Let’s get crafty By Liz Rogers

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The Hastings Community Hub is getting crafty this month with the Western Port Craft Expo in full swing. Come along to view a wide range of fabulous creations and to participate in a selection of information-based sessions where you’ll learn how to turn your ideas into works of craft.

The Western Port Craft Expo showcases the amazing works of inspired artisans from the Western Port area and across the Peninsula. There’ll be craft demonstrations and ‘have a go’ sessions, plus all stall-holders are encouraged to work at their craft to create crafting conversations with other enthusiasts.

Over the past six years, expo exhibits have included spinning, saori weaving, rug and paper making, leatherwork, spoon carving and millinery. This year there’ll be three talks given on Indigenous crafts, Japanese weaving and English paper piecing too. There’ll be two-hour workshops where you can learn leatherwork, mono-printing and book-carving (book places at wpcraftexpo.com). It’s open from 10am-4pm on Saturday, April 14, so mark it on your calendar. Proceeds raised go to the restoration and continued maintenance of the small brick chapel in the Hastings Uniting Church grounds.

So, calling all crafters – come and chat about beading, leatherworking, knitting, patchwork, quilting, gemstones, lace-making, card making … the list goes on. You’re only limited by your imagination and there’s plenty of that at this annual crafting expo. You can purchase some of the exciting works on show as well.

It’s time to get crafty!

 

WESTERN PORT CRAFT EXPO

A: Hastings Community Hub, 1973 Frankston-Flinders Road, Hastings (Melway ref: 154 G8)

M: 59791237

W: wpcraftexpo.com

Crappy cars, commendable cause By Kate Sears

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A lemon. A rust bucket. A pile of junk. And more than 150 other similarly rundown shitboxes will be hitting the road on May 19 from Brisbane to hopefully finish in Darwin on May 25 for the Shitbox Rally 2018, raising money for cancer research.

Representing the Mornington Peninsula and Frankston City for the 3800km trip is Team Funsize - electrician Josh Carlson, plumber Sam Tyson and their $250 Hyundai Excel.

When - not if - your shitbox breaks down, it’s up to your team and your buddy group of six other teams to rally together to fix it. If that’s an impossible feat, the volunteer support crews with qualified mechanics will help you attempt to get your car over the line. Cars that make it are auctioned off, with all the money going to the Cancer Council.

“The rally isn’t actually a race; rather, it’s a challenge to achieve the unthinkable,” said Sam.

“Sam does a lot of four-wheel driving and we both do a lot of trips into the bush to trail bike ride and four-wheel drive,” said Josh. “But I think it will be a bit different in a 2WD hatchback Hyundai.”

Since the first event in 2010, the Shitbox Rally has raised $11.9 million for cancer research. Sam and Josh would love to raise $10,000 to add to the 2018 tally. You can follow their progress on Instagram @team.funsize or donate or become a sponsor by visiting donate18.shitboxrally.com.au/fun-size

 

Pure passion for animal welfare By Andrea Kellett

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First she gave us Wombat - the Mornington Peninsula’s first 100 per cent vegan café and store in Dromana. Now Rebecca Ettridge has opened an animal rescue sanctuary and she’s using proceeds from her landmark cruelty-free business to fund it.

When customers tuck into anything from the menu at Wombat Café & Store, they are helping save animals from death row. It’s a unique, feel-good vibe around here. Rebecca’s 32ha sanctuary in regional Victoria is called Plumfield Farm.

A couple of  years ago, walking her rescue lamb Albie and three dogs past a vacant shop front on Boundary Rd, wondering what was to come, this café owner who, along with her mother, Shelle Hepburn, founded and later sold Wild Yam Health Food Store in Mordialloc, was inspired. “People really connected with Albie in the park, and as a vegan I thought to myself I want to have even more of an impact. I decided to create the Peninsula’s first vegan café - against the advice of many of my friends. People said the Peninsula wasn’t ready for it and said Dromana was the wrong location, especially Boundary Rd where you’re off the main road and away from the highway action.”

So Rebecca did what she does best - she took the well-meaning advice on board and went against it. “I love being told that I can’t or shouldn’t do something,” she smiled.

Now well into her second year, Rebecca employs an all-vegan team of 11 and Wombat Café & Store is thriving. She stumbled on the “dream” farm last year amid the chaos of building the new business and went for it. She has 34 sheep and a family of cows, pigs, horses and chickens, all given a second chance at life.

Rebecca has also contributed to a ground-breaking new animal rights documentary, released last month, titled Dominion. “I think this is going to be a game changer in terms of animal rights. People watch footage of animal cruelty and think it’s happening elsewhere, but this is Australian footage.”

And, to set the record straight, the business name Wombat has nothing to do with the animal. “Wombat is actually the name of my favourite mountain bike trail, which is right across the road.”

For more on Plumfield Farm, check out Wombat Cafe on Instagram. There’s now a second 100 per cent vegan cafe on the Mornington Peninsula with a third due to open shortly. It seems the wave has begun.

 

Cornwall to Victoria by fishing lugger

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When seven Cornish fishermen decided to try their luck during the Victorian gold rush, the first idea for raising the money for fares was to sell their boat - a fishing lugger called the Mystery. The captain, however, had another idea - sail it all the way to Victoria. Departing from Cornwall on November 18, 1854, the fishermen sailed the 21,900km to Melbourne, arriving on March 14, 1855. None of them found a fortune and five returned home, but the other two settled here.

A replica named the Spirit of Mystery was built in 2008, and an adventurer called Pete Goss sailed her over the same route. Skippered by Pete and crewed by his brother Andy, his brother-in-law Mark Maidment and his 14-year-old son Eliot, the Spirit of Mystery left Cornwall on October 20, 2008, and arrived at Melbourne on March 9, 2009. A fortnight was spent in Cape Town, which meant the Spirit of Mystery was a little more than a week longer at sea than the Mystery.

Pete described 15m waves with crests passing every 18 seconds. The voyage was delayed after Mark had one of his legs badly broken when the lugger was struck by a huge wave south of Kangaroo Island, and the vessel made for Portland so he could be taken to hospital.

The replica was rigged in the same way as the original, and although an engine was fitted, it was used on the voyage only to take Mark into Portland. Navigation was by the sun and stars, but a satellite tracking device made it possible for the progress of the Spirit of Mystery to be followed on the internet.

An interesting YouTube video provides some idea of the huge waves encountered and shows views of the accommodation below decks. More information and photographs can be found on the internet.

BY MAURIE HUTCHINSON

President, Peninsula SS

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.

 

Michael’s bag of tricks By Kate Sears

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Michael Robertson has been playing the bagpipes since he was seven, and at 73 there’s no sign of him stopping.

“As soon as I started playing I was hooked,” Michael says. “Nothing else would distract me. My father was a talented musician and encouraged our whole family to take up a musical instrument. To entertain ourselves in the simpler times we’d all sit around the radio and play our instruments together or attend concerts.”

Practising for at least two hours a day, Michael joined The Rats of Tobruk Memorial Pipe Band in Melbourne, the youngest of its 24 members. Performing every weekend became the norm as the band graced such events as the Royal Melbourne Show and the Good Friday Appeal and performed at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl and various competitions.

“It was a lot of work but I can look back now and tell you that it was a wonderful part of my life. We all knew each other so well, and the seniors would look out for me and even pick me up for the events. I tell my students that you can never master the bagpipes. It’s a very challenging instrument. You either like them or hate them.”

Michael keeps his skills sharp by practising regularly and playing at weddings, funerals and events. He even got the privilege of leading the Hastings branch of the RSL during the 2017 Anzac Day march in Hastings. He’s played for charity and inspired his students in Lakes Entrance so much that they began their own band.

You can catch Michael at this year’s Dawn Service at the Crib Point Cenotaph. “Playing on Anzac Day always sends a shiver up my spine. It makes me realise how fortunate we are right now here in Australia.”

 

Mamas who love to share

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A 20-year friendship between Helen James, of Frankston, and Lisa Schefman, of Langwarrin, has blossomed into an Instagram account and blog called Mama loves to share. They talk to Kate Sears.

What inspired you guys to start @mamalovestoshare?

HELEN: We were pregnant with our first children at the same time, so we would constantly text each other with questions, comments, funny stories, things we were worried or unsure about. We always joked that we should start a blog so other people could read about how crazy our lives were too. It took a couple of years but by the time our second babies were born we were ready to take the plunge.

Why do you think people resonate with what you post?

LISA: We are very different people. She’s cool, calm and collected and I’m none of those things. I’m anxious, crazy and neurotic. People can relate to both of us.

HELEN: From day dot, we have always kept our blog 100 per cent real. We don't have time to perfectly edit our photos or filter our words - although sometimes we probably should. We just literally brain dump what is going on in our minds that day, the good, the bad and the ugly. I think mums appreciate that, they can relate to what we are saying and they can have a laugh with us knowing they're not alone in this exhausting world of motherhood. We also try and give back to our followers - we share recipes, tips and tricks when it comes to kids, local attractions, ideas for family outings.

What’s the best part about the blog?

HELEN: Well, aside from working with your best friend every day, for me it has to be reading the messages we get from other mums when a particular blog or post resonates with them. Running a blog is hard work. It's self-funded, long hours, but when we read that we have helped someone with one of our tips, or even just given them a laugh knowing there are other mums going through the same stuff as them, it makes it all worth it knowing that not only are we having fun, we are also helping others at the same time.

What do you love most about where you live?

HELEN: Frankston has such amazing facilities for families to utilise - the parks and gardens, beaches, swimming pools, playgrounds, cafes, and restaurants. The best thing is everything is only a few minutes’ drive away and most of the places we love visiting are free so you can always pop somewhere spontaneously.

LISA: We’ve lived here our whole lives; what’s not to love? Frankston is always evolving, it has everything we need right here and it’s smack bang in the middle of the Mornington Peninsula and Melbourne.

Follow the girls on Instagram at @mamalovestoshare and @i_heart_kmart.

SARAH ELSHAUG IN CONVERSATION Casual chats with Peninsula people by Liz Rogers

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Maitland Street Interiors owner Sarah Elshaug spent her weekends and holidays riding horses on her parents’ 22ha farm in Balnarring as a kid. Fast-forward to present day and this interior design creative continues the tradition with her own daughters. Oh, and there’s some chatting with cows too! Here’s a snapshot.

 

The Elsie & Hugo collection of limited photographic prints is so cute. How and when was the idea conceived?

I’ve always had a passion for nature and love being surrounded by animals. Through my work in interiors I get to create beautiful internal environments for my clients. It was a natural progression for me to use photography to bring these two loves together.

 

Any problems getting your subjects smiling for the camera? How long did the shoot go on for?

It took a lot of patience. I spent an entire afternoon in the paddock that day but loved every minute of it. The cows were content and not bothered with me getting up close for the perfect angle. 

 

What do you love so much about cows?

They have their own unique character traits and individuality in their markings and body shape. They also have very gentle, soft eyes and cute fluffy ears.  Their ability to ‘talk’ to each other is also very sweet.

 

Where can readers get their hands on these gorgeous interior style statements?

We’re excited to have Elsie + Hugo ranged exclusively by The Interiors Assembly. All Elsie + Hugo prints are limited editions and available to purchase in three sizes at theinteriorsassembly.com.au/collections/elsie-hugo. 

 

What’s next on the photographic agenda? More animals?

Following the success of the portraits of Elsie, Hugo, Molly and Levi, I’ll be releasing a new series featuring other cows from the herd and this season’s new calves.  Mum and Dad’s alpacas Cecil and Cedric may make an appearance too. 

 

What was your favourite thing to do as a child in Balnarring?

We grew up riding horses and eventing with Hastings Pony Club until we were 21, competing at the PCAV State Championships and Royal Melbourne Show. My first job as a teenager was at Marmaduke’s Deli in Balnarring and I learnt to drive bumping around the paddocks in Dad’s old Holden Commodore. We spent endless summers swimming at Merricks Beach or Mills Beach in Mornington. All of it was great.

 

Describe an ideal weekend away with your own children at the farm.

I’m happiest at the farm with my own girls (Jessica, 9, and Ebony, 6) and spending time with Mum and Dad and my brother and his family. The girls have taken up my love of horse riding. They enjoy bonfires after a day moving and feeding the cows, riding on the quad bike and making cubbies in the hay. In summer we spend hours on the beach fossicking for shells and sea glass and then pop in to see Jill at the Red Hill Baker in Balnarring for a treat. We love visiting the Enchanted Maze, Main Ridge Dairy and Sunny Ridge Strawberry Farm.

 

Favourite thing to do or place to go on the Peninsula?

We put on our walking shoes on the weekend and adventure along the Red Hill Rail Trail from the Station Ground Recreation Reserve up along the ridge to Red Hill.  Then a coffee at the Epicurean café before returning back down the trail. It’s perfect for viewing the Peninsula’s rolling hills, the sea and breathing in the fresh country air.

Guide hall diamond jubilee a milestone in Rosebud’s history By Andrea Kellett

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Sixty years ago the Rosebud community gathered on Jetty Rd to watch World Chief Guide Lady Baden-Powell open the Rosebud Girl Guide Hall. It was, by all accounts, a significant celebration. Earlier this year - on Sunday, February 25 - the community gathered at the same location, this time to mark the diamond jubilee of this iconic building.

On a prominent double block at the corner of Jetty Rd and Morgan St, it is one of only a few Girl Guide halls in the country not on council-owned land. Both the land and building are owned by the Girl Guides Association of Victoria and Rosebud is home to one of the longest-running Girl Guide units in Australia - it was registered in 1931. At the 60th anniversary, current and past Girl Guides, Leaders, dignitaries and others gathered to celebrate a significant part of Rosebud’s history.

This world-wide movement, which exists to build confident, self-respecting, responsible community members, is as fresh today as it was when the hall was opened. Mornington Peninsula Girl Guides volunteer district manager and Seawinds Community Hub chief executive Heather Barton explains: “In essence, yes, it’s as fresh today as it ever was and that’s because it’s girl-driven. If the girls aren’t involved in designing and implementing the program then the units generally don’t survive.”

It is also about values. “Parents are looking for something that’s values-driven and that’s what we’ve always stood for. Girl Guides sets girls up for life,” Ms Barton says.

Those who gathered at the reunion and high tea heard how Lady Baden-Powell visited Rosebud on November 26, 1958, to open the building during a visit from the UK.

“On the Saturday when I was setting up I put the DVD of the opening on and burst into tears because you could see these people carrying children in calipers, obviously with polio,” Ms Barton says. “They were placing them on groundsheets at the front of the hall where the opening was to take place so the children could be part of it. You don’t realise how far we’ve come in such a short time. It’s really quite something.”

When organisers put word out about the planned reunion, the “jungle drums” led them to the daughter of Eddie Brady, who helped plan and build the hall. To Ms Barton’s delight, Maureen Marshall (nee Brady) accepted an invitation to speak and to help cut the anniversary cake.

The hall is, Ms Barton explains, now heritage listed and continues to be used almost daily by Guides as well as other community groups. Endless fundraising has been held over the years to pay for its ongoing maintenance. “Over the past 60 years, a great many people have been involved in getting the hall established and in continuing to operate it as a community resource. This celebration gave us an opportunity to acknowledge the support of the whole community and thank those involved.”

Rosebud Girl Guides currently has three units – ages 5-7, 7-11 (juniors) and 11-14 (seniors). The programs include outdoor education, environmental education, leadership, service, craft and more. “Parents want their daughters to broaden their horizons in a safe environment,” Ms Barton says.

Girl Guides Victoria is connected globally to more than 10 million members in 150 countries through Girl Guides Australia, which is a member of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts. More at guidesvic.org.au

 

Heath set for another serving of success By Kate Sears

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Dedicated barely skims the surface when describing this 30-year-old Rosebud Paralympian. Heath Davidson doesn’t stop and won’t stop. He’s training six days a week, and we’re sure he’d sneak in a Sunday session if he could - a training session, that is. There’s no alcohol in sight now he’s in full training mode after winning the quad wheelchair doubles final with his tennis partner, friend and mentor Dylan Alcott at the 2018 Australian Open.

“I celebrated with friends for a few days,” says Heath. “There were a few cheeky beers, but now I’m back to training again.”

The next goal? Well it’s “goals” – plural. There are a few competitions in the US before he heads to the Korean Open, then Japan and the European tour for the World Team Cup in the Netherlands.

“Dylan and I won it two years ago, and we can’t wait to do Australia proud by winning it again. But Wimbledon is the big one. It will be an honour to wear all white for the first time. I just have to keep training hard and get results.”

Heath played as a junior for four years from the age of 14 before taking time off to “enjoy my 20s”. He returned to the sport to win gold at the 2016 Rio Paralympics and took out the 2016 ITF World Team Cup in Tokyo with Dylan.

“I didn’t know if I’d be good enough to go back to it. Ultimately, I was scared to go back and fail – but I finally took the chance and the results have spoken for themselves.”

Heath has also developed a passion for motivational speaking, inspiring those with disabilities to get into sport – something he felt was lacking when he was a junior. “Knowing that I can help someone, that’s awesome. I kind of say, ‘If I can do it, well, so can you’.”

Taking part in a show-and-tell for wheelchair-bound schoolboy Sonny, 6, and his classmates was something Heath described as an honour. “I want to normalise disabilities, and if it gets him happy then I’m more than happy to do it.”

What a champ!

 

MACEY WEHNER IN CONVERSATION Casual chats with Peninsula people by Yazmine Lomax

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Macey Wehner is an up-and-coming Tyabb-based jewellery designer. Though trained in urban Melbourne, Macey creates stunning silver pieces inspired by the natural environment of Frankston and the Peninsula.

Where did your passion for design begin?

Being creative has always been a passion of mine. As I grew older and explored different hands-on classes during my school years, it became apparent that my strengths and skills lay somewhere in the design field. I’ve always enjoyed creating things that are a little left of centre, controversial, and strange.

Do you see a difference between city style and Peninsula style?

To me, the Peninsula holds an organic element which is captured in art, landscapes, architecture and, of course, jewellery. ‘Simplicity’, ‘coarse’, ‘edgy’, ‘texture’ and ‘natural’ are a few words I would use to describe Peninsula jewellery. Melbourne holds pieces with sleek lines, thickness, angles and boldness, much like the environment in which they’re created, but what city style is to me could be interpreted completely differently by someone else.

Why do you love where you live and how does it inspire your work?

Growing up on the Peninsula has been a large influence on my jewellery making. Going to local markets such as Frankston, Mornington and Rosebud was a family outing I always looked forward to. Now this has come full circle and I get to enjoy it as a stall-holder. The soft edge of a wave hitting the shore, the unevenness of life, the rawness of emotions, and the boldness in a personality can all be seen and experienced in my jewellery and how I design my pieces. To some this may be hard to understand, but I try to put a little piece of myself and my environment in every jewellery piece I make.

Gamble releases dream single By Andrea Kellett

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Image by Peter Coulson 

Mount Eliza’s effervescent reality TV star Gamble Breaux continues to surprise and delight with her many and varied talents. This firm favourite from the international smash hit series The Real Housewives of Melbourne has quietly launched her own product range called The Seaside Collection and released a single titled This Time, with Taxiride’s Jason Singh.

A rising singing star before the age of 20, Gamble stepped away from the microphone at a young age after she started to lose her hearing and consequently her pitch.  It was devastating.

“When I was a young woman, my life’s direction took a massive detour.  My singing career was going well.  I was a signed singer/songwriter with Warner Chapel Music.  I had plenty of studio time under my belt and I wasn’t even 20 yet.  It came as quite a shock when I started losing my hearing. It was due to otosclerosis,” she revealed on her website.

“Although I had surgery to fix the condition, I never trusted my hearing until now. If you can’t hear, you can’t pitch.  It broke my heart.”

In an interview with Mornington Peninsula Magazine, this bubbly ‘Melbourne housewife’ described by producers as “quirky” and one who “definitely marches to the beat of her own drum” said producing and releasing This Time was a dream come true.

“I didn’t sing for 20 years,’’ Gamble said. “Rick (her husband, Dr Rick Wolfe) was always encouraging me to get up and he bought me these incredible hearing aids that elevated my hearing to a bionic level.”

So, with her confidence restored, she spent a year learning how to sing again. And she did it right here on the Peninsula, in secret. “I would sneak out once a week to meet up with Carolyn Waddell,” Gamble explained. “There’s really good talent on the Mornington Peninsula.”

Her debut performance at Melbourne’s Athenaeum Theatre in February was for an audience of one - Rick, for their anniversary. Gamble stepped on to the stage and sang This Time. “I cry almost every time I try to sing it,” she said. “It has given me new life.  Jason Singh and Lukether Batterbury are the most brilliant producers.”

Gamble’s first single and accompanying video clip have rocketed up the music charts and she has already recorded a second single, yet to be released. “I’ve put down the vocals to it,” she said. “The second one is even better.”

As for whether we will see her on the next season of The Real Housewives of Melbourne, Gamble is understandably coy. “It depends if I’m invited back,” she declares, explaining she is prevented from discussing upcoming productions.

When it comes to life on the Peninsula, this pocket rocket couldn’t be happier. “The Mornington Peninsula is the most beautiful place on the planet in summer,” she says, revealing she takes a break here in January and finds it hard to get her motor running again.

This Time with Jason Singh is available on iTunes, Spotify and YouTube - download it and boost Gamble’s single into Australia’s top 40!

*The Seaside Collection is a collection of fabulous things Gamble has found while shopping for her wardrobe. She launched it privately without RHOMelbourne fanfare. View The Seaside Collection and find links to This Time at gamblebreaux.com

 

Living the dream on the land By Andrea Kellett

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Rachael Koch, and her husband Matt, both 28, are Peninsula farmers. Juggling the demands of being new parents, this is a young couple working hard to build a life on the land.

Inspired by this month’s Women on Farms Gathering, which is being held on the Peninsula for the first time since the event started 29 years ago, Mornington Peninsula Magazine spoke to Rachael about all things farming. She and Matt are both Peninsula born and bred and are the founders of Heritage Farm, a new farm in Moorooduc that’s pushing the boundaries of traditional agriculture.

For a start, being a female farmer is not, Rachael says, unusual. “There aren’t many couples on the land where the woman isn’t a farmer too.” What is, she explains, is what she and Matt are doing with their 8ha – sustainable, ethical food production.

“Ours is a different style of agriculture; it’s a bit unusual. The idea is to have an integrated farm where everything is multi-purpose, everything works together. We’re in the process of filling in the paperwork to be certified organic.”

Rachael and Matt bought their land 18 months ago and have been farming it for 12 months. Right now they are selling free-range chicken and duck eggs; they have a sheep breeding program, a couple of dairy calves, geese and alpacas that “look cute but aren’t very productive”. They also travelled widely to collect the trees for their heritage fruit orchard. Four-month-old Kingsley is very much a part of the journey too, often sleeping in a wrap with Mum as she works on the farm.

Rachael admits farming is much harder than she imagined as a 10-year-old girl daydreaming of living off the land. “Ten-year-old me had no idea how much work it would be. But I think she’d be pretty happy with what we’re doing.”

The Women on Farms Gathering recognises the isolation women sometimes face in farming regions. It aims to connect women on the land and enable the sharing of ideas, information and support. Rachael readily admits her connections with like-minded female farmers, both online and offline, are invaluable. “Everyone down here is so willing to help. The Peninsula is full of people on the same page, and the online community is so important as well.”

The 29th Women on Farms Gathering will be held at the Rosebud Memorial Hall and surrounds from Friday, March 16, to Sunday, March 18. It includes workshops, tours, a gala dinner, a breakfast and speakers. There’s also a Q&A panel session on our region’s provenance brand Mornington Peninsula Produce. Register at wofg2018.com

For more on Heritage Farm, including tour information, and farm gate hours, visit heritagefarm.com.au

 

Two Phase the Duo rock Sunday Sessions By Andrea Kellett

The Mornington Peninsula’s much-loved two-piece band Two Phase the Duo are shaking things up at The New Atrium in Safety Beach.

Pete Carroll, from Safety Beach, and Trevor Bowers, from Arthurs Seat, are bringing a serious dose of cool live music to the beer garden on Sundays. It’s called Sunday Sessions (Pete and Trev have fondly named it ‘Sunday Sippers’) and you can enjoy a beverage outdoors while listening to their hip-swinging cover music spanning all genres and decades, from the 1920s right through to current-day hits.

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Two Phase the Duo are a cover band that have been going strong for more than a quarter of a century. They’ve played thousands of gigs ranging from pubs and clubs to weddings, private functions and everything in between. “When we first started I was playing congas and singing and now I play guitar and sing,” Pete explains.

As for the Sunday Sessions, Pete says it’s all about having a good time. “It’s super relaxed. You’ve got to be prepared for anything. Sometimes we go hammer and tongs and other times we take requests and have a laugh.”

Check out Two Phase the Duo at The New Atrium’s Sunday Sessions this month on March 4, 11, 18 and 25. The New Atrium is at 10 Country Club Drive, Safety Beach. More at thenewatrium.com.au/sunday-sessions and check out Two Phase the Duo on social media.

 

Appetite for instruction By Kate Sears

You can’t miss this duo. Steve Owens wears gregarious, brightly coloured abstract chef coats as he cruises around the Mornington Peninsula in his yellow Jeep while his wife, Michele, operates the cameras.

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They are the team behind the successful online cooking show Steve’s Kitchen, boasting more than 190,000 subscribers on YouTube and 2.8 million views on just one of their most popular videos. Steve’s Kitchen is hosted by YouTube chef and food enthusiast Steve, with more than 20 years of food study and hands-on experience. Steve is passionate about food and how it gets to our tables, and he loves to recreate easy-to-follow but genuine recipes while bringing a little colour into your kitchen.

The couple owned and worked on a hobby farm in France for some years, where Steve studied French cooking and charcuterie using their own rare breed pigs and farm animals to reproduce classic French, Italian and European cured meats and sausages.

Last year Steve’s Kitchen scored an invite from YouTube directly to attend Australia's first VIDCon in Melbourne. More recently with partners in the US, they’ve cooked up a new deal with Amazon Prime, in which they are producing a longer format food and travel series, Steve’s Kitchen - Australian Food Odyssey,  featuring artisan producers, restaurateurs and growers from all over Australia. The series will kick off on their home turf - the Mornington Peninsula.

It was during a relaxing lunch on our foodie-loving Mornington coast and enjoying a locally brewed beer that Steve was inspired to show the world how we Victorians brew our beer. He’s focusing his next episode on the Peninsula, visiting craft brewers such as Mornington Peninsula Brewery, Jetty Road Brewery, Red Hill Brewery, and St Andrews Beach Brewery and calling the feature episode, airing on Amazon Prime TV, A Brewer’s Tale. The mini-documentary sets out to show the passion behind the story of how each brewery began, why they decided to grow into a larger production, often from very humble beginnings, and what fuels their passion to brew what Steve states are some of the finest beers in Australia.

Two and a half years ago the couple left their home in Melbourne to take a culinary world tour, studying food in such countries as Mexico and the US, then on to Sicily, Italy, France and South-East Asia from Malaysia to Vietnam. As they explored the globe they collected little crumbs of information, traditions, cultural techniques and foreign delicacies.

“We just enjoy sharing food, travel and learning new culinary skills,” Steve says. “We share with our followers what we learn on our journey. There’s passion anywhere you go. You only have to mention food to anyone and their eyes light up.”

The idea to spend the next year exploring Australia occurred when many friends overseas asked them, “Have you seen your own backyard yet?” Now they’re determined to see as many small producers in Australia as they can and show the world how expansive our food culture and diversity is.

When they call “Cut!” and the beers stop flowing on the Mornington Peninsula, the pair will be off to Perth, which they aim to reach by the end of the month and where they plan to explore artisan cheese makers, wine producers and food enthusiasts. In the meantime, you can catch our beloved Peninsula’s beers on Steve and Michele’s YouTube channel at youtube.com/StevesKitchen or on Facebook at @StevesKitchen.

 

Eyes to the sky on solar day By Andrea Kellett

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Holy sunspots! Now this is something to sink your stargazing teeth into - on March 24 the not-for-profit Mornington Peninsula Astronomical Society is hosting a solar day at the Briars Astronomy Centre in Mount Martha, and it’s free to attend.

This is your chance to observe the sun with special solar telescopes and to learn all about the sun, including how sundials work and how to tell the time from the sun. As society member Tony Nightingale explains, solar day is an instructional and demonstrative day for the public and society members. You can even take part in practical exercises, including constructing a sundial.

“This event is part of our commitment to community outreach,” Tony says. “Our telescopes can view distant objects such as stars, nebulae, planets and galaxies and close-up vision of the sun and moon. On the day, viewers may see solar flares and sunspots.”

Solar flares are large explosions on the surface of the sun. Sunspots are darker, cooler areas on the surface about the size of the Earth.

The Mornington Peninsula Astronomical Society solar day starts at 1pm and will be a fun, family-oriented day, with society members on hand to answer questions. The society also holds monthly public viewing nights and talks (on the first Friday of each month); viewing nights for schools and community groups; and regular astronomy education courses. More at mpas.asn.au

 

*Did you know the visible part of the sun is about 5500C, while temperatures in the core reach more than 15million degrees, driven by nuclear reactions? You would need to explode 100 billion tons of dynamite a second to match the energy produced by the sun, according to NASA.  

 

Sally tackles the big issues By Kate Sears

Sally Hines, the chief operating officer of The Big Issue and Homes for Homes, grew up in Frankston South and now lives in Mount Martha. She talks to Kate Sears about helping disadvantaged Aussies help themselves.

 

How did you get to be the COO of two organisations?

Following a brief dabble in the corporate sector I have spent my entire career in the not-for-profit sector with a strong interest in working with those most disadvantaged in society. Prior to commencing at The Big Issue and Homes for Homes, I worked in employment services, community development, youth mental health and health for over 10 years. I have held various strategic, service delivery and operational management positions, including experience in establishing new not-for-profit businesses across Australia in diverse communities. 

 

What’s your day like?

No day is the same, that’s for sure. The diverse nature of my roles means I can spend the morning watching the new edition of the magazine being launched by our editor with our vendors celebrating with a breakfast, followed by a meeting with a property stakeholder discussing Homes for Homes and then an afternoon with staff working through strategic plans to maximise the income generated for homeless and marginalised Australians working in our social enterprises.

 

What’s the most rewarding aspect of what you do?

Sally Hines_By TBI Staff_2.jpg

Seeing the people we work with (homeless, marginalised and disadvantaged) making positive changes in their lives. Our mission is to “help people help themselves”.

[LW: PULL QUOTE GOES HERE:] Being part of the staffing group that provides these work opportunities to those in our community unable to access mainstream employment is incredibly rewarding.

What do you love about Frankston and the Mornington Peninsula?

I grew up in Frankston South, and after moving around metropolitan Melbourne in my 20s I was very happy to move back to Mornington and now Mount Martha with my husband and daughter. I love living in a holiday destination - everything is at your doorstep and there is always something to do. It is a relaxing place to live.

 

What’s your favourite quote?

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, concerned citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” — Margaret Mead

 

Sally Hines will be speaking at the 2018 International Women’s Day Breakfast, presented by Frankston North Rotary with the Rotary clubs of Frankston, Peninsula 2.0 and Mount Eliza, on Wednesday, March 7 (tickets from eventbrite.com.au/e/international-womens-day-breakfast-event-2018-tickets-38694946627). You can buy The Big Issue from a vendor in the city or subscribe at thebigissue.org.au