Horses and riders show their true class By Dana Krause

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From January 17-20, hundreds of dedicated riders aged eight to 25 from Victoria, South Australia and NSW descended on Fiona Selby’s breathtaking Boneo Park Equestrian Centre for the 2019 Ellenbrae Park Victorian Youth Dressage Championships. Despite having everything from sweltering heat to torrential rain and lightning, all riders put their best foot (and hoof) forward with many sensational up-and-coming combinations shining through the clouds. Paired with Olympic and internationally accredited judges, it surely was a competition to watch, and with a vibrant and fun trade village, spectators had much to enjoy.

Day one kicked off with the Interschool classes, sponsored by Toorak College, which allowed the younger kids to participate and get a taste of what the world of dancing on horseback is really like. The Overall Interschools Preliminary Championship went to the exciting new combination of Charlee Martin and Ellenbrae Jupiter, and with a massive score of 76.346 per cent in the preliminary 1.2, there is certainly a bright future in store for them.

The competition on day two was fierce! At the end of the day, with many riders soaked through, there were extra big smiles on the State Championship winners’ faces, including Charlie Welsh, who won the Advanced Championship on the talented Horizonte de Jeu; Dana Krause and Taittinger VDS, who won the Elementary Championship; Louisa Inge and her lovely Road to Jamieson, who took out the Pony Elementary Championship; and Indi Officer and super Devlin Park Time Will Tell, who won the Overall Interschools Novice Championship. 

Day three saw the sun start to shine again, and with the early morning sound check signifying the start of freestyles to music, riders were eager to get out and showcase the movements in the way they designed. This class always draws a crowd as riders and their dancing partners showcase their talent to some of their favourite music, creating an exciting and distinct atmosphere. Charlie Welsh and Horizonte de Jeu danced their way to win the Advanced Freestyle, while Skye Wright and the stunning Kamber Meryn won the Elementary Freestyle. With the Championship classes continuing, Isabelle Luxmoore and Linus WK’s faultless tests secured them the Medium Championship while South Australia’s Kaitlin Petney and the gorgeous Jazz Fusion R took out the Novice Championship. The day’s participation classes allowed riders to compete under the guidance of Australia’s top judges on young or new horses that haven’t yet qualified to compete at State Championships. Gabriella Officer and Radnor Fantastic won the Participant Preliminary Junior Championship and Victoria Meyer and Almania Matrix won the Senior Championship.

Day four’s final presentations were emotional for many because this was their last time competing at this event. Nicole Berry and the exceptional Christos won the Preliminary Championship; Eliza Harvey and Heatherton Park Surprise took out the Pony Preliminary Championship; Jasmine Abernethy and Royal Diamond Jubilee won the Participation Novice Championship; Claire Nitschke and Tassas Taboo jived their way to success winning the Novice Freestyle; and Tamara Campain riding Bon Chance had a blast winning the Medium Freestyle. The overall Championships for the FEI classes were announced. The FEI classes are internationally recognised with the three tests run over three days. The final day consisted of freestyles, ensuring all riders finished the competition with a smile. Paige Koliba and Loriot Skyes the Limit won the FEI Pony Championship with Sophie Taylor and Raven Lodge Aura getting Reserve Champion. Jessica Dertell and the dashing Valerius Waltermeyer won the FEI Junior Championship with Reserve Championship going to Dana Krause and Taittinger VDS. Lindsey Ware, riding the incredible Aristede, won the FEI Young Rider Championshp with Amy Bachmann and Silverdene Pharaoh getting the Reserve Champion. Mary Nitschke, of NSW, riding Utopian Cardinal won the FEI Small Tour Championship; Jessica Hivon and Greenoaks Weltmann won the FEI Medium Championship; Fern Wright and fabulous Kamber Pryderi won the Big Tour Championship; and the FEI Overall Championship was won by Mary Nitschke and Utopian Cardinal. 

The final day concluded with the awarding of the perpetual trophies in honour of young riders who lost their lives doing what they love, with the Briana Judge Memorial and the Taylor Farley Memorial awarded to the grateful Emily Yeoman. Past superstar dressage horses were also remembered, with the Highborn Baden Trophy won by Nicole Berry, Lindsey Ware receiving the Kevin Hitchins and Deb Hamid award for the most successful rider in the FEI Championships; and Taleah Cameron winning the Macedon Ranges Encouragement Award recognising her efforts. 

Jan Smith, Donna Desmet and many others worked tirelessly to make sure this competition went off without a hitch. Judges came from all over Australia and New Zealand to give the riders a true gauge on where they are heading, and without our sponsors we would have no events to participate in. Thanks to all these people and many more, it is without a doubt that many riders will have this competition marked on their calendars for next year. 

For more information on sponsorship opportunities for next year, please visit our website

Balnarring gal brings artistic direction to the Espy By Liz Rogers


Janenne Willis has been exceptionally busy since we last chatted about her multiple artistic endeavours. Immersive live art experience SWELL 3.0, which was held at Point Nepean, went off with a blistering bang as mentioned in Mornington Peninsula Magazine’s January edition, so we figured that SWELL 4.0, to be held at the newly refurbished Espy in St Kilda, is set to do the same. 

The Hotel Esplanade — or the Espy as it is fondly known — holds brilliant memories for many of us. Hot summer nights stuffed with mad music, endless chatter and plenty of carry on with the pumping beat of Fitzroy and Acland streets stomping in the background. Lunar Park cracking one big cheesy smile. Now exquisitely reimagined, this iconic spot for all things creative is bringing its arts A-game with Janenne at the helm. She’s been appointed artistic director, which means she gets to experiment, promote artists she respects and admires, have mega fun and launch her SWELL 4.0 Music as Medicine experience this month. We chat.

“I mean, how good is that? I feel so lucky to be in the position I’m in. Being commissioned to develop the inaugural artistic program at the Espy, I get to bring the arts to what was classically known as a pub. Over the last five years I’ve had a central idea around the power of live art/music to connect us to our inner selves and our environment. SWELL 4.0 continues that theme, inviting you to step inside a surreal world of reimagined live music and journey through multiple music-meets-art encounters. You’ll also get to explore parts of the Espy that are still closed to the public,” she giggles. “There’ll be five shows starting with the first on February 13 and ending on March 3. All five levels of the building will be in operation and all five shows will be slightly different experiences.” 

But that’s just one event that’s happening over the next few months at this iconic institution. Janenne has plenty of other creative experiences in store. Go to to check out more.

St Kilda may be a bit of a hike from Shoreham, where Janenne now lives, but her roots are firmly planted in pristine Mornington Peninsula sand. Born and bred down south where the sea crashes against the coast, her next port of call later in the year will be closer to home and involves a live music sculpture underneath the sea. Yep, you read right. A live music sculpture will manifest as a physical experience for residents and visitors to explore via snorkel or glass-bottom vessel. 

“Drawing on sounds emanating from our ocean ecology, including sea life, rocks, waves and beyond, musicians and producers will create a transcending live music score that people can hear while exploring the underwater world. I creatively developed this during my artist-in-residence at Police Point to explore questions like what it might be like to live underwater if rising seas make it impossible to survive on land. The experience aims to provoke conversation around living sustainably and to listen to what the ocean is saying to us. DEEP SOUND will hopefully be presented next summer,” she concludes.

Pick up some tix for SWELL 4.0 Music as Medicine in the meantime at to move and groove, and visit to sign up for updates about DEEP SOUND. The future is now. ‘Nuff said.

Dominik’s dinosaurs add roar power to Silvers Circus  

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Dinosaurs have been seen in the beachside town of Mornington, congregating near the Bata showgrounds, running alongside the road and playing around the Silvers Circus big top. And it’s all thanks to Silvers Circus director Dominik Gasser. Not only is he juggling his roles as a clown and acrobat, he also performs in the Globe of Death and Wheel of Steel. He talks to Kate Sears. 

How did the decision to add dinosaurs come about? 

Well, the story goes as follows. I was marking out the location to set up and to check for underground services. We always use Dial Before You Dig. While they were doing their thing they came across an unidentifiable object, which turned out to be a dinosaur egg. Once we brought it above ground, its mother — a T-rex named Spike — came looking for it. It was her that gave us the inspiration to bring our dinosaur exhibition to the Mornington Peninsula. Spike and Fluffy even make a special surprise appearance in the circus show. We have 18 dinosaurs, including 11 different species of dinosaurs in our free exhibition and plenty of photo opportunities. This is something new and special and something we are very proud of. 

How many hours of training are required to pull off the Globe of Death stunt? 

It’s now my 10th year performing the Globe of Death, and whenever the riders and I are learning a new trick or are adding an extra bike it take weeks of planning and daily training for at least two or three hours until it’s consistent and ready to go into the show. 

What’s your favourite act to perform? 

I love all of my acts equally but if I really had to choose one it would be the clowning. It may be the safe feet-on-the-ground act, but it’s the most challenging as I am working with what the audience has to give me. Sometimes it’ll be a big lively crowd who really get involved with me. But other times it may be a small or quiet audience who I really have to work to get a reaction from. I love this challenge and rise to it. 
At what age did you first try your hand at circus arts? 

My parents, Anton and Anna, started the circus in 1976. I was only eight years old when I went into the ring as a clown and at 12 years old I was performing in the flying trapeze act. 
What’s a day in the life of Dominik Gasser entail? 

My daily routine changes but it always includes scouting for new locations, speaking with councils, advertising, general maintenance around the show, checking everything inside and outside the tent is ready for the next performance, practice if something new is going in the show. We usually have at least one show daily, sometimes two.  

What do you like about the Mornington Peninsula?

Mornington Peninsula is a special place for the family at Silvers Circus. We’ve been coming here for so long and the community here is next level. They are loyal, friendly, and always have something nice and productive to say. It feels like coming home. We spend a lot of our free time fishing, swimming at the beaches, enjoying the amazing local produce and restaurants/wineries/cafes and we have a lot of friends who live here. The Peninsula always opens its arms and gives us a big hug when we roll back into town. 

You’ve still got time to roll up to the circus before it leaves for another year. Visit to book your tickets for Friday, February 1, at 8pm, Saturday, February 2, at 11am and 8pm, or for the final show on Sunday, February 3, at 11am.

The heat is on for your pets too By Liz Rogers


Reading about another dog left in the car on a hot summer’s day in Mount Eliza recently has got us thinking. It’s time to remind you guys — and ourselves — that our fabulous four-legged friends and wonderful wildlife need looking after in the heat too.

The RSPCA NSW’s Just Six Minutes campaign teaches us that it only takes a very short amount of time for an animal to die from heat exhaustion in a car. Dogs are particularity at risk because they use panting to cool themselves down, and if the air around them is too hot they can’t regulate their body temperature. Even if they have water. Cars heat up quickly and can still be death traps even if you leave the windows open or park in the shade. It’s actually illegal too. So why do it? 

The just “nipping in to get a few things at the shop” mentality needs to be challenged. There’s never any excuse to leave a pet — or indeed a child — behind in a car, but it’s not only the aforementioned we urge you to think about over the warmer months. The RSPCA also states that cases of heat-stressed wildlife are on the rise – especially birds and possums — while Australian Wildlife Assistance Rescue and Education gives pointers at on what to do if you come across a heat-stressed native animal that isn’t coping with the rise in temperatures. Things to look out for include nocturnal animals out during the day or tree-dwelling animals on the ground. 

Small changes to the way we live can have a big impact. Keep your eyes open for signs of heat exhaustion in the pets you love and the wildlife that shares our region, and take a look to find out more about what happens to your canine when left to fend for itself in a hotter-than-hot car when the heat is on at 

Make a choice.

What happened to the Kobenhavn?

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In February 1929 there was concern in shipping circles because for weeks there had been no report from the Danish sailing vessel Kobenhavn. She had departed from Buenos Aires on December 14, 1928, in ballast, to load a cargo of grain in Melbourne. One week later she sent a radio report to her head office in Denmark and the following day exchanged signals with the SS William Blumer, a Norwegian steamer. At that time, she was well out into the South Atlantic on her way to pass to the south of the Cape of Good Hope. 

At the time the Kobenhavn was the largest sailing ship in the world and the only surviving five-masted barque. Only five other five-masted barques and one five-masted ship were ever built as cargo-carrying vessels. Launched in 1921 at Leith, Scotland, for the Danish East Asiatic Company, she had a length of 131m and a gross tonnage of 3965. The largest sailing vessel ever built in Great Britain, her hull, masts and yards were constructed from steel and her four square-rigged masts towered to 60m. Under full sail she spread 4650 square metres of sail. 

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Kobenhavn was built as a training vessel for Danish cadets and until 1928 she traded all over the world, carrying a variety of cargoes and earning a reputation for her sailing ability and smart appearance. During the 1920s she visited Australia on three occasions, including Melbourne in 1926.

After her contact with the William Blumer on December 17, 1928, nothing further was heard from the Kobenhavn. Searches were made along the coastline of Africa and Australia and the islands of the Southern Ocean were visited to look for survivors and wreckage, but to this day no identifiable wreckage from her has ever been found. Perhaps she was capsized by some huge wave or she struck an iceberg and sank very quickly. Many icebergs were sighted in the Southern Ocean that summer. Whatever happened, all 45 of her cadets and 15 crew were lost, with their families having no knowledge of how they died. 


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. 

MoMo’s a goer By Liz Rogers

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MoMo’s got the gift of the gab. This five-year-old Hickinbotham of Dromana resident loves telling his owners to “get a wriggle on”, “throw the ball already” and “let me in; I’m cold”. “Kelpies are smart,” says owner/operator Terryn, and it seems to be true. She continues. “Kelpies definitely have a way of telling you what they want. He has a loud insistent bark when he is playing ball, a single low bark when he wants to be let in and he almost meows when he wants something. He follows me everywhere. I just love him.” And who wouldn’t — check out that face!

“We got him from a working farm in Moama. One of my son’s best mates owned the property and he was one of nine puppies. That’s how we got his name too. Moama . . .  MoMo,” she explains. And the work ethic appears to be built into this gorgeous dog’s DNA. 

She continues. “He goes to work with us every day helping herd sheep and also helps out under the nets chasing down pesky birds in summer and over autumn.” But that doesn’t mean he doesn’t need a bit of rest and relaxation. “On a hot day you’ll find him asleep beneath one of the wine tanks in the winery and in winter he likes to stay curled up in the car where he’s warm and dry,” says Terryn.

MoMo likes interacting with guests at Hickinbotham too. “Well, he’s totally obsessed with chasing a ball, so if anyone looks even a little bit interested, he’s on to it. This is a real kelpie trait. He hasn’t quite mastered the act of return to the thrower yet, though. He drops the ball about 10 feet away, crouches and then stares at you. He’s very friendly but he also likes his own space and definitely hates being chased.”

So next time you’re in Dromana and feel like a bevvy or two, say hi to a leash-free Safety Beach cohort who loves a splash in the sea as long as there aren’t any waves. He might be chowing down on raw chicken and steak offcuts from the kitchen or roaming around the beautiful Hickinbotham of Dromana grounds. Either way, he’s worth meeting.  

Gigi gets the gig By Kate Sears

Photo: Ron Blackford

Photo: Ron Blackford

When most children aged four are playing with Lego, Barbies and teddies, Gigi Rose was learning to play the piano. She grew up surrounded by music as both her parents shared their passion for music with her, which shaped her approach to music. Through their support Gigi was inspired to explore and get creative in her own way. Music lessons became unnecessary as Gigi discovered her ability to teach herself to sing and write songs as well as play the piano and guitar. 

After finishing VCE at Padua College in Mornington, Gigi studied bio sciences and worked with the Peninsula RSPCA and Mornington Peninsula Shire. After still not finding her stride, she tried real estate, retail, renovating her first home and travelling around the world. Eventually she drifted back to her roots and uses music as a form of expression and connection. 

Discovering that music was an ideal way for her to express herself, she found harmony in pursuing the creative path and began songwriting as well. Gigi’s indie pop vibe is created by applying her life experiences and making sure to document her dreams to use as inspiration in her writing process to create dreamscapes through her lyrics. This fresh young artist writes a few chords, then adds some melodies. Ultimately she uses what comes to mind and then jumps on Garage Band. After receiving a piano, deciding on the stage name Gigi, finding her own sound and discovering who she was, she was set. The next step was to fine-tune her ambition into landing a gig. 

“I was walking my dog past Harba Oyster Bar & Grill in Mornington five or so years ago and I saw the music crew getting ready for their music nights,” said Gigi. “I thought to myself, ‘I wish I had the confidence to go in and perform with these great artists’. One day I brought up the courage and walked straight in, introduced myself and it all went from there.”

Her first performance was in a beer garden with her father in a small country town in Victoria. Since she took that first step she’s played at large events at The Bay Hotel and Portsea Hotel, as well as weddings over the past five years and more recently at The Peninsula Showcase Festival, where she released her first single, Fearless

This Mornington Peninsula-based singer-songwriter has spent the past few months recording 10 original songs at Bounce Studios and she’s signed with their affiliated label, Songbird Productions. Gigi wrote the lyrics and melodies for the album while working closely with producer Brendan Marolla, who played keyboards, and with musician Daniel Marolla, who also played keyboards, percussion and guitar on these songs. 

With her angelic voice and recently purchased caravan, she’s setting out to explore Australia with her partner for a year, all the while stopping at new places to perform throughout their travels. That’s it. That’s the only plan. This free spirit is following her own melody. 

Gigi will release her second single, Cigarette, when she performs at the Let Go Festival at Mornington Racecourse on Saturday, February 2, alongside Sticky Fingers, Thundamentals and other great artists. Listen to tracks by Gigi on her website and follow her on Instagram at @gigirosemusic 

Treaty. Yes! By Liz Rogers

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It’s 1991. The Indigenous mega-band Yothu Yindi mesmerises movers on the dance floor into an electronic trance with a serious slathering of digeridoo. “Treaty yeh, treaty now,” the Mushroom/Razor release goes. “I’m dreaming of a brighter day/When waters will be one.” 

This brilliant club classic brings much more than its dance-floor poetry in motion and ripper beats to the celebratory table. It delivers pre-emptive and poignant commentary on the Australian political landscape. “Treaty negotiations are still likely to be years away really,” says Dan Turnbull, who is co-chair of the Aboriginal Treaty Working Group with Auntie Eleanor Bourke and one of the directors of the Federation of Victorian Traditional Owners Corporation. “It’s important to do it right, not quickly, but at least the process has begun. 

“The (State) Government has openly supported the process of creating an Aboriginal Treaty Working Group which advises the Treaty Advancement Commission on Aboriginal people’s hopes and aspirations for treaty.  Made up from traditional owners and elected by Aboriginal people in Victoria, the Aboriginal Representative Body will play a big role. This is a cultural process. All Aboriginal people will be involved.”

For those of you who don’t know much about treaty, which Treaty Advancement Commissioner Jill Gallagher describes as “a hugely significant step for our state and for our people”, the Treaty Advancement Commission released a proposed model for the representative body last September. The proposed model included six voting regions, a dedicated voice for elders to ensure cultural integrity and the agreement that only traditional owners may be on the body. It also included the proposal that there will be 17 elected seats with 11 seats reserved for formally traditional owner groups. Jill continues. “It’s so important we get it right. Aboriginal people have driven this right from the start. Thousands of people have been involved. The election in 2019 will set up an Aboriginal Representative Body. This is historic. It’s 200 years overdue, but things are finally being put right.”

Dan explains further. “Non-Indigenous Australians are perhaps a bit scared to recognise Aboriginal people as sovereign entities. If we create a state-wide treaty or group of smaller treaties, they may be concerned it could impact on their everyday lives. The Government has backed the treaty process, which was federally recognised years ago, and we are finally on the way to working together. It’s not about blame, but about the recognition that Aboriginal people did and do own the land. The results won’t be quick. It could take years, but we have to start somewhere.” 

In the words of Yothu Yindi once again: “This land was never given up/This land was never bought and sold/The planting of the Union Jack/Never changed our law at all.” If you’d like to know more about the treaty process, get in touch with Bunurong Land Council Aboriginal Corporation chief executive Dan Turnbull in Frankston on 9770 1273 or contact the Treaty Advancement Commission on 1800 873 289.

Out of the box and into our hearts By Liz Rogers

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So, it’s like this. Faye’s on the beach in Parkdale and the wind’s doing weird and wacky acrobats with the mobile reception, while Anastasia’s popping in and out of range as she serves nuts to shoppers in Main St, Mornington. “Are you that Gogglebox lady?” I hear in the background as deep guttural laughter leaps through the phone and grabs me by the throat. “Yes, I am,” laughs Anastasia with big bold Greek heritage pride. 

We can hardly hear each other speaking as the three of us banter and bounce with conversation about lifelong associations with the Mornington Peninsula, hanging in Dromana as kids, doing breakfast at The Boyz 4 Breakie in Main St and having a brick with your name on it in the wall of the Mornington Life Saving Club. Faye explains. “My boys went right through the Nippers there. It’s a great club. There were only 89 members when we joined and now there are over 400. We’ve been on the Mornington Peninsula for 30 years. I’m currently living in the west but still have a place in Mornington and both my boys still live there. There’s nowhere else like it.”

Anastasia always thought she’d be famous and now she is. Gogglebox is in its ninth season and she and Faye are having just as much fun now as they were when it all began. Three Logies later — one for Outstanding Entertainment in 2018 and two for Best Factual Program for 2017 and 2016 — Gogglebox Australia on Foxtel’s Lifestyle Channel and Network 10 is still pulling the television junkies in, and these 50-something gal pals who met in a Melbourne nightclub are rapt.

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“Can you believe it? Three Logies. How’s that? I still help Mum out at her nut stall in Mornington three days a week and love coming here. I got discovered at a market stall in Frankston. That’s how I got the Gogglebox gig. Faye wasn’t my first choice to come on the show. Ha, ha. She was my last, of course . . .” And the cracking up begins again.

“I first came to Dromana when I was one year old. My parents bought a house in Mount Martha in 1988/89 because it reminded my dad of Greece, and he didn’t want to go to Rye like all the other Greeks did. It was supposed to be a holiday house but they moved there permanently. Now I’m building a house there. The Peninsula has everything — boating, wineries, beaches. I go to Sorrento with friends, eat out in Dromana. Remember the Greek church in Red Hill?” Faye joins in. “Yes! With Father Tatsis?” “No, that wasn’t his name,” quips Anastasia. “It . . . it was . . . gee, he was good-looking.”

Personality is the name of the game in TV and these two girls have got it in spades. You can see why they keep coming back season after season. Faye continues. “The show is so much fun. All the things they don’t show you that happen behind the scenes, like the time Anastasia fell asleep and started to snore and I fell asleep and rolled off the couch. Gogglebox has become our normality. It’s just what we do and everyone has remained the same. It’s like one big extended family. I still think it’s funny when clients in my day job as an executive assistant ask for selfies.” 

Real estate developer Anastasia continues. “My relatives don’t give a damn that I’m on TV, but I’ll never forget getting free charcoal chicken from across the road after the first season aired and little kids asking if they can sit on the couch with me. It’s sweet.”  

These two lovers of the Peninsula are always around. You might bump into Anastasia at her mum’s nut stall throughout the week, or at Safety Beach taking a dip in the sea. Faye loves catching up with her sons in Mornington and dropping by Montalto or Mills Beach. She also wants to get back into working with horses, which she did for years on the Peninsula. 

Both women intend to use their fame to help less fortunate people in the future. Until then you can turn on the box and get a goggle at these two ‘crazy’ ladies who “at our age have nothing to prove. We’ve been there, done that”.  

Thumbs up to that.

Gogglebox Australia will return to our screens first on Foxtel’s Lifestyle Channel on Wednesday, February 6, at 7.30pm and the following day at 8.30pm on Ten.

Stellar seaside run turns six

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A runner’s fantasy with panoramic views of Patterson River awaits athletes of all capabilities. Now in its sixth year, the iconic Carrum Coast Guard’s Around the River Fun Run will again offer 6km and 12km course options. A 50m sprint for under-6s, along with a jumping castle and face-painting, will keep the little ones entertained too.

Deputy flotilla commander Deanne Semmens says the fun run’s carnival atmosphere has many returning each year, and this year the forecasted attendance is expected to be close to 700 participants. “You couldn’t think of anywhere better to run than around Patterson River with its picturesque outlook and sea views,” she says.

A first this year is an event for emergency services personnel from the SES to the CFA, with organisations entering teams to compete for the inaugural Emergency Services Trophy. Radio Carrum will be broadcasting live from the event and a cooked breakfast plus coffee will help settle those tummy rumbles afterwards.

Money raised goes towards supporting the Carrum Coast Guard’s volunteer operations, which oversee Victoria’s busiest launching facility at Patterson River and Port Phillip Bay. “This is our major fundraiser, keeping our boat on the water and enabling us to patrol locally,” Mrs Semmens says.

To register for the February 24 event at Launching Way, Carrum, visit


A new way of doing business By Liz Rogers


B Corp Certification has landed on the Mornington Peninsula, so we thought you’d like to know a bit about this innovative and forward-thinking way of doing business that focuses on  balancing purpose with profit. 

So what does it mean to be B Corp certified? Well, it’s sort of like the certification of organic milk. A business that wants to gain this certification must go through a rigorous process to attain it and is legally required to consider the impact of its decisions on its community, environment, workers and clientele. Put simply, B Corp Certification is a new way of doing business with the greater good of the community and the survival of the planet being top considerations. Building a new, inclusive and sustainable economy for everyone is pivotal. Transparency and ethics are integral to success.

Red Gum BBQ in Red Hill is part of the B Lab Australia group and is the only business on the Peninsula and the first restaurant in Australia to hold B Corp Certification. As a business that’s committed to ethics, sustainability and taking a holistic approach to its operations, Red Gum BBQ qualified for the certification in 2018 after an extensive and demanding process. Owner/operators Melissa and Martin Goffin saw the process as a natural progression from their already unwavering commitment to using grass-fed and free-range beef since opening in 2013. 

Melissa explains. “The online assessment alone took approximately 10 hours and we had to provide detailed evidence that we were paying staff appropriately; employing people from different backgrounds, including under-represented sectors; and using ethically sourced produce among other things. There were two B Corp verification processes with site calls and then a third by an external assessor, but it was worth it. We believe B Corp Certification to be the blueprint of business for the future and want to connect with like-minded businesses in our community to create networks that can make real change.”

B Corp originated in the US but has a growing presence around the world, including Australia where the City of Melbourne has just announced grants to B Corp businesses. B Corp-certified organisations include Patagonia, Intrepid, and Ben and Jerry’s. If you’d like to find out more about this certification process, log on to for a new way of doing business.

Squeal for joy, it’s the Year of the Pig By Kate Sears


Chinese New Year is celebrated at the turn of the traditional lunisolar Chinese calendar, which is based on both Gregorian and lunar-solar calendar systems. It can land any time between late January and mid-February, and this year it’s on Tuesday, February 5. 

According to the Chinese 12-year animal zodiac cycle, the Chinese year beginning in 2019 is the Year of the Pig and it begins on Chinese New Year’s Day. In Chinese element theory, each zodiac sign is associated with one of the five elements, and this year is the Earth Pig. We hate to be the bearer of bad news, but Pig years are believed to be the unluckiest for people born in the previous Years of the Pig. However, the bubs due this year will be A-OK! 

The Pig is the 12th in the cycle, and for people born in the Year of the Pig their lucky numbers are 2, 5, 8; their lucky colours are yellow, grey, brown and gold; and their lucky plants are the hydrangea, daisy and marguerite. Pigs should endeavour to avoid their unlucky colours red, blue and green, and their unlucky numbers 1 and 7. 

Pigs are honest, gentle, loyal, generous, compassionate, diligent and warm-hearted. They have great concentration in that once they set a goal, they will devote all their energy to achieving it. On the other hand, their weaknesses include naivety, sluggishness, short-temperedness and gullibility. 

Wondering if you’re a Pig? Years of the Pig include 1935 and 1995 (Wood Pig), 1947 and 2007 (Fire Pig), 1959 and 2019 (Earth Pig), 1911 and 1971 (Metal Pig), and 1923 and 1983 (Water Pig). Famous Pigs include Henry VIII, Ernest Hemingway, Stephen King, Alfred Hitchcock, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Hillary Clinton, Julie Andrews, Mark Wahlberg, Luke Wilson, and Mila Kunis. 

Peninsula Grammar students pursue excellence

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‘Quod Bonum Tenete: Hold fast that which is good.’ This timeless motto sits proudly on Peninsula Grammar’s crest as a reminder to not only consider the past but to also strive for personal excellence now and into the future. 

Proudly co-educational from K-12, with leading-edge programs and targeted teaching to meet individual needs, Peninsula Grammar’s teachers nurture and inspire each student to be their individual best. 

The school’s positive learning environment and engaging personalised programs are spread across four key learning areas: Junior Years (3YO Kindergarten-Year 4), Middle Years (Years 5-8), Pre Senior Year (Year 9) and Senior Years (Years 10-12), with single-gender classes in Years 7-9 for Maths and English. 

Students diligently pursue their passions and are active members of the Mornington Peninsula community, ‘giving back’ via a range of service learning initiatives. Numerous co-curricular activities are also tailored to each student so they can learn, grow and flourish. 

Several scholarships are now available for 2020 entry across multiple year levels. 

Register via or phone on 9788 7702 for the school’s Scholarship Testing Day on Saturday, February 23, and to attend an upcoming Open Day on Thursday, February 14, or Thursday, May 9. 

Elite takes property management to new heights  

Elite Property Management Group in Somerville is one of the few property management-only agencies on the Peninsula. Although Elite opened its doors only last October, its working directors have more than 15 years’ experience in the industry, during which time they developed a breadth of knowledge and experience that is few and far between.


Senior property manager and director Sara Burke has worked closely with VCAT specialist Ross Rushton over the years and has consistently invested in her training. “At Elite, we are aware that legislation changes from time to time,” Sara said. “It is important to be abreast of those changes and to really understand what that means for your client. So many times I see property managers who have had little training and lack of support and realistically are not equipped to be handling investment portfolios. This is why Elite Property Management Group was born — we provide our clients with a service that is second to none.”

Elite offers a new approach in the way investments are being managed. “Property management has come a long way,” said director and officer in effective control Kylie Helbig. “We have invested in the most up-to-date software packages available, and we offer our landlords portal access where their financial statements, ledgers and maintenance history are available at the click of a button. We believe communication is the key to great service and that is what our clients receive when having their investments managed by Elite.”

Elite Property Management is a welcome change to the way property management has been received. Contact the team at Elite Property Management Group for all of your property management needs.


A: Shop 5/8 Edward St, Somerville

T: 5925 9150


FB: TheElitePMGroup

INSTA: elite_pmg

Free TAFE courses provide rich opportunities

Frankston and Mornington Peninsula residents can access tuition-free TAFE courses this year across a range of career areas under the State Government’s Free TAFE for Priority Courses scheme. As the holidays come to a close, people are setting their 2019 goals. Whether you are a school-leaver or considering that long-desired career change, this could be a great starting point.

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General manager regional education Jess Cook says: “Enrolments are filling fast and this is a great opportunity for people within our community to study close to home within in-demand career fields. We have extended our offering to include courses in Education Support, Horticulture, Hospitality, Commercial Cookery and more.”

There is a range of Free TAFE for Priority Courses with some places still available for early and mid-2019 intake at Frankston and Mornington Peninsula campuses. These include 30 non-apprenticeship courses and 20 courses that provide pathways to apprenticeships known as pre-apprenticeships. Chisholm is offering 39 of these Free TAFE Courses on-campus and online.

Chisholm CEO Dr Rick Ede says: “It’s clear that Victoria is growing and we need skilled workers to help keep building the state. Chisholm is championing Free TAFE as an initiative that will support Victoria’s growth industries with skilled workers for in-demand jobs, particularly in the southeast of Victoria. Chisholm is proud to offer these free priority courses and play our part in making sure all Victorians can get the training they need for a good job, and help deliver the skills mix needed by industry.”

It is really important that no matter what stage people are at, school-leavers as well as career-changers can access quality, nationally recognised training locally to keep skills and jobs in our vibrant region. For more information or to enrol, visit

Luxe getaway exclusively for you By Liz Rogers

Now this is something mega, Mornington Peninsula people. Beaches Port Douglas has put together an extraordinary getaway package just for you that involves bucket list brilliance, beachside vistas, French champagne on arrival and private return airport transfers if you travel before Easter. 

Ideal for couples who love travelling with like-minded people, this exclusive package includes five nights for four guests in a two-bedroom fully-equipped airconditioned apartment with premium facilities, including a pool, jacuzzi and free Wi-Fi — all with Four Mile Beach frontage. Then there’s the handmade chocolates!

As part of this luxe getaway for Mornington Peninsula far north holiday hunters who have time to explore, Beaches presents a 30-minute scenic helicopter flight for four over the greatest natural wonders in the region. Choose to fly over the Great Barrier Reef or Daintree Rainforest, soaking up the natural beauty with your companions as you sit back, relax and enjoy the fun. Bucket list begun!

Beaches is a multi-generational family-friendly holiday destination in the heart of gorgeous Port Douglas. Stroll along leafy, tree-lined Macrossan St and indulge your senses with award-winning restaurants, relaxing massages, and boutique shopping experiences.

Book now to indulge in this exclusive ‘travelling with friends is best’ escape offering.


A: 19 Esplanade, Port Douglas, Queensland

T: (07) 4099 4150


E: [email protected]

Let’s ride


The guys and gals are riding their bikes into town this February, so get set to see plenty of shiny motorcycles in Mornington and around the Peninsula. Named after the Greek hero Odysseus — Ulysses to the Romans — who had a long journey home after the Battle of Troy, the Ulysses Club brings motorcycle enthusiasts from across the nation together and is all about travelling with mates. Its annual rally is happening at the Mornington Racecourse from Monday, February 25, until Sunday, March 3, and is a week-long celebration of motorcycles, caravans and RVs, so there will be lots of silver and black metal for the community to look at. 

There are up to 25,000 members of this club, whose mantra is ‘grow old disgracefully’ and which prides itself on being a social club that brings like-minded people together for life. Media and PR co-ordinator Alf Dennemoser explains. “The club started in Sydney in 1984. There’s currently 130 branches across Australia with nine people on the national committee. All members are over 40 and the oldest are in their 80s. Lots of them still ride motorbikes, but for those who can’t there’s a caravan section of the club which brings them together. We’re expecting around 2000 people in February. There will be dinners with live entertainment each night and entertainment with food trucks during the day. There are also lots of local rides out in the community which give club members the chance to explore. I’ll be leading a couple of them myself.”

The Ulysses Club used to be a male-dominated club but not anymore. “It’s split pretty much right down the middle these days. Each branch also has smaller rallies throughout the year. The ladies are just as enthusiastic as the guys,” continues Alf. There’ll be a grand parade along Main St from 9-10am on Saturday, March 2, with the police at the helm too. Grab the kids to check it out for a taste of the riding life. There will also be a public open day on Thursday, February 28, so look out for notices in your area.

To find out more, log on to and get your motor running.

Ton up for Toni By Liz Rogers

Brian Davis’s mum Toni always ate right, and even though she had polio as a child growing up in Scotland, this mother of one, grandmother of three and great-grandmother of five and resident of the Village Glen in Mornington has lived an incredibly active life. 

Turning 100 on December 6, she’s just come off the back of celebrating with a continuous party running over three days and Brian says she’s keen for more. He explains. “The family organised a get-together of close friends in the boardroom of the nursing home on Thursday, catered for by Classic High Tea in Mornington, which was fit for a queen. Then we went to the Mornington Golf Club for dinner on the Saturday and then had another celebration on the Sunday. She was always very social. She played golf regularly and bridge, where she became a life master. She also did a bit of ice-skating too. Dad (Rex) is 98. They are like two budgerigars. Mum’s often sitting on Dad’s knee when I drop by.”

Toni and Rex have been married for 77 years. They’ve lived in Sydney, where Rex was born, North Melbourne, Ivanhoe, Eaglemont, North Balwyn and have been on the Peninsula near Brian for the past six years. As a centenarian, Toni received letters from the Queen, Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, Governor General and other MPs in recognition of this milestone.

Happy birthday from us too, Toni!  

Who’s up for a run in the sun? By Matt Davy

You’ve decided to explore one of the greatest places Australia has to offer, the beautifully dreamy Mornington Peninsula. However, today you’re not here to sample the wineries, distilleries or cheeseries; you’re here to explore something new, something that inspires you to embrace the elements and swap the taste of luscious shiraz for invigorating sea air. From a runner’s perspective, here is what I believe are the Top 5 running locations around the Peninsula.

1. Point Nepean National Park (medium)

With sweeping views across both Port Phillip Bay and the rugged coastline of Bass Strait, Point Nepean offers an experience that can only be described as an Instagrammer’s dream. A run through here offers all the ingredients to make you want to come back every weekend. With numerous trails — from the flat, gravelled Coles track that weaves its way from Quarantine Station past the remnants of the former quarantine cattle jetty, to the long, undulating Defence Road, which gives you views of Cheviot Beach, where former Australian prime minister Harold Holt disappeared in 1967, and past Fort Pearce and Fort Nepean — you’re absolutely spoilt for choice. Ensure you find some time to explore the various historical features that line your journey towards the westernmost point of the Peninsula.

2. Greens Bush (medium)

Living up to its name, Greens Bush has an enormous variety of vegetation and wildlife. There are numerous trails to run on, from Baldry’s Short (1.6km) and Long circuits (3.6km) to part of the Two Bays Trail (8.9km), which you can extend past the exhilarating descent into Bushrangers Bay and across to Cape Schanck. You’ll traverse undulating sections of what seems like remote bushland and with a keen eye may even spot a koala. If you’re looking for a calming, invigorating run then you should hit somewhere green — and there’s no better place for this than Greens Bush.

3. Lifesaving Track — 16th Beach to Sorrento Back Beach (hard)

Part of the coastal walk that runs from Cape Schanck to Point Nepean, this section of trail offers a 10km stretch of picturesque, undulating and enriching terrain. Called the Lifesaving Track and built in the 1890s, its original purpose was to give better access to the coastline to assist with any shipwrecks. This run will take you past such sights as Dimmicks Beach, Bridgewater Bay and Diamond Bay. As a detour, I suggest taking the path to Spray Point, where in the right conditions you’ll be given an absolute spectacle as the waves crash on to the rocky ledge and set off a spray up to four storeys high.

4. Devilbend Reservoir (very easy)

This is an absolute hidden gem of a run. With an amazing 16km circuit, including the addition of a loop around the Bittern Reservoir, this run takes you around the largest inland water body on the Peninsula. This run is mostly flat, but includes some slight inclines and declines. If you’re lucky you might spot some waterbirds, shorebirds or turtles while taking in the beautiful scenery.

5. Red Hill Rail Trail (easy)

A hilly 6.5km one-way run that connects Red Hill to Merricks, this run gives you nice views across to Phillip Island and the Nobbies. It mostly follows the original railway that ran from Red Hill to Bittern, but most of that land is now privately owned. The surface can get a little rough at times, consisting of dirt, gravel, grass and crushed rock. An amazing part of the Peninsula, though, this trail is definitely worth a crack.

So why not make a trip down to this incredible part of the world and experience its beauty. After the run is done, don't forget to sample some of the amazing food and drink on offer at the local cafes, wineries, breweries and restaurants. 

Matt Davy is the co-founder of online run coaching business Run2PB. Find out more at 

A Wolf in Port Phillip

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During the American Civil War of 1861 to 1865, the southern states used armed merchant ships as raiders to attack the merchant vessels of the north. The visit of one of these ‘Wolves of the Sea’ to Melbourne was the only occasion on which Australia had a connection to the Civil War.

Built in 1863, the Shenandoah was chosen and purchased by an agent of the Confederacy because of her speed. She left the Thames supposedly on a passage to India but actually to meet another ship at Madeira. This ship carried the guns the Shenandoah would use to attack Union shipping. 

CSS Shenandoah arrived at Port Phillip on January 25, 1865, to replenish her coal supplies and to make repairs to her damaged machinery. Though strict international agreements limited the time the ship could spend in Melbourne, her captain gained the permission of the Governor to repair his ship. 

The ship and her crew received an enthusiastic welcome to Melbourne and, when opened to visitors, thousands took the opportunity to go aboard. While in Melbourne, the officers and crew members were invited to banquets in their honour, to the theatres, and seven officers accepted an invitation to visit Ballarat. The vessel was undermanned but men could not be recruited in a neutral port under international law. Forty-two stowaways, however, signed on as crew members on February 19, the morning after the ship left Port Phillip. 

During June 1865 in the northern Pacific, Shenandoah captured 25 whaling ships owned by states of the Union, having taken four more on her way north. She had previously taken nine ships before visiting Melbourne. After the war had ended, Shenandoah was sailed to Liverpool and surrendered to British authorities. 

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A tribunal set up in Geneva in 1871 found that Britain was responsible for acts committed by the Shenandoah after she left Melbourne. The decision of the tribunal was that the colonial government had allowed greater than necessary assistance to the ship and 42 men had illegally joined her crew. Nearly $US4 million in damages was awarded against the British Government.


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. 

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