The other world of Scott Norton
by Kate Sears

Meet Scott Norton.  By day, he’s a devoted dad who commutes from Mornington to Port Melbourne for work at a printing company.  But in the eerie pre-dawn hours, when most of us are still blissfully sleeping, Scott enters another world – The Otherworld – in his guise as teen fiction author S.B. Norton … and that’s where the magic happens.

From 5am until 6.15am every week day, Scott immerses himself in the world of the Operatives, whose mission it is to rid a parallel universe known as The Severed Plane of the warlocks and wizards that control three of its four quadrants and who prey on human kind.  These quadrants provide the settings for the three (and soon to be four) novels in his Otherworldly Operatives series: Flames from the North, Southern Vexations, and White Eyed Children of the East, which he’s launching at a Meet the Author event at Farrell’s Book Shop next month. 

At weekends he’s able to devote a little more time to The Otherworldly Operatives, and that’s something he relishes.  “It’s quite exhausting.  But I needed a creative outlet, and it’s great for my own escapism as I have a very vivid imagination.” 

Scott has been a self-published author since 2014. With no support team besides his family and friends, he has written, edited, designed, promoted, distributed and established his books’ presence on social media and in the minds of teenagers world-wide. With lots of adventure, these horror fantasy novels appeal to 10-14-year-olds (he often visits schools to meet his young fans) but have found devotees among much older readers too.

With one more book in the works to complete the series, he’s relishing the traction he’s establishing overseas.  His protagonists come from all over the world and represent a variety of ages, so his novels have wide appeal. Readers respond well to these strong characters as they travel through corridors from this world to The Otherworld and fight to save human kind from being kidnapped by The Severed Plane dwellers. 

“The suburb that my main protagonist lives in was inspired by Mornington, Dromana, Cowes and Phillip Island,” says Scott.

The tales of warlocks and witches include some scary bits that keep the young readers interested and are quite dark at times, but there’s an underlying humorous tone throughout the collection. 

You can meet Scott at Farrell’s on Saturday, September 16, at 3pm, where he’ll be more than happy to sign copies of his books.  Perhaps in blood, we’re not too sure … 



FB: @theotherworldlyoperatives 


Listen up with Andy and John By Liz Rogers

Andy Donaldson is easy on the eyes and ears. She’s long, lean and blonde – but more importantly she’s smart. Her voice is smooth and just a tad husky, which is perfect for the radio show she and her partner in crime John McCormack host on Sundays on SEN 1116. 

They’ve got the gift of the gab, these two, and as Andy and I navigate our way through menopause, homelessness, disability, the role of MC and sport, it’s plain to see how she got the gig on the wireless. We both agree on being slightly seduced by it. The voices soothing over you from somewhere in the ether and crooning into personal space. Especially when they’ve really got something to say.

“I’ve always loved radio. I just sort of fell into it three and a half years ago with our Voice of the Peninsula show on RPPFM (98.7). John and I just get along so well and fill in each other’s gaps. I spend most of the week now researching for Everybody’s Talking.  We’ve been on air since February and currently pre-record on Wednesdays.  We’ll be going live after the footy season. It’s exciting, not only because John and I get along so well and we get to talk with lots of interesting people, but because we got poached. Someone was listening and loving it. It really proves you can re-direct your life at any age.”

Andy and John chat about sports that don’t get much other media play on their Everybody’s Talking slot at 7.30pm on SEN. Sports like snowboarding or badminton. And they like to get personal too. Andy continues: “I do my research well, but when we get on air, John and I just have conversations with our guests, really. That’s how you get to the good stuff. Just chatting and see where the conversation leads. We often start with sport and end up somewhere else.”

Tune in to Everybody’s Talking on Sunday nights to hear this duo give it their all, and in between shows keep your eyes peeled for Master of Ceremonies Andy, who has been fronting various events around the Peninsula. Think Rye’s Australia Day foreshore event, the Sorrento Rotary Club’s cystic fibrosis fundraiser at the Couta Boat Club, and the Christmas Carols on the Rosebud foreshore last year.  

Looks like everybody is talking, Andy. Keep the conversation flowing.

On top of the world

Rhiannon Pilton doesn’t do things by halves.

She’s a working mum, a businesswoman, a local employer and founder/director of human resources and workplace health and safety consultancy PWR Consulting Group. 

This 33-year-old Rosebud resident is also a nominee for the prestigious 2017 Telstra Business Women’s Awards.  It’s recognition for the years she’s spent building a successful business that now has offices in Rosebud and Frankston and as far afield as Perth, Adelaide, Sydney and the Sunshine Coast.  

Rhiannon admits she’s rather humbled that one of her clients took the time to nominate her for the awards. “I would have been happy with a nice ‘thank you’ email,” she joked during a short break in her hectic work schedule.

Hers is a dynamic working environment, with clients ranging from small to large businesses, large government organisations and everything in between. PWR Consulting Group offers a wide range of services including advice in regard to (and not exclusively) employment contracts, company training, compliance to Fair Work and National Employment Standards, policy documentation and general workplace matters. And Rhiannon juggles it all while studying for a Masters degree.

The Telstra Business Women’s Awards, now in their 23rd year, recognise outstanding businesswomen across Australia and Asia. The 2017 State/Territory winners will gather in Melbourne for national judging on November 20, culminating in a glittering gala dinner on November 21. 

For more on PWR Consulting Group, visit


And they call it puppy love… By Liz Rogers

Donna Sutherland has dogs. Even though she’s allergic. Streaming eyes and runny nose. Itchy skin. Her hounds don’t shed hair - which certainly reduces the amount a tumble week hair balls roaming around the house – but they still get her allergies going!

So why have them?

“They are just lovely. Lola is quiet and relaxed while Angus is boisterous and solid. They are so much fun to watch. They do the ‘bitey’-face, as we call it. Wrestling with each other while gnawing on each-other’s faces. It’s hilarious!”

Donna’s two Airedale Terriers are comedic yet undemanding. Her 13-week-old (at time of printing) recently spent the day in her Amicus Salon in Mornington because it was the RSPCA’s Bring Your Dog to Work Day. Talk about a lush! “She just lay down all day expecting pats and tummy rubs. If I’d had the time to walk Angus before work, I would have brought him too. He’s a bit more active. Every-one loved having Lola there. The staff didn’t get any work done though! She was a hit.”

“They get along so well with each other. Lola has a soft, curly coat and came from a breeder in Castlemaine. Angus came from Langwarrin and his fur is more wiry.  He’s 15 months old now. The kids just adore them” she continues.

Donna grew up with Dachshunds. This is the first time she’s had dogs since her childhood growing up in Scotland. A friend of hers had some Airedales and she fell in love with the breed. Personality was key. “Angus is a bit of an escape artist. He opens the doors and just lets himself out. I need another fence!” she explains. “Lola is always up for a snuggle.”

This dynamic duo goes every-where with their family on the weekend, but they don’t sleep on the bed. 

“They do get on as soon as my husband leaves for work though”, laughs Donna.  

So, the itchy skin and weepy eyes are worth the canine licks and devotion? “Every bit of it. I couldn’t imagine life without them now.”

The things we do for love.

Cristina has designs on Mornington
by Yazmine Lomax

Cristina Velez is a US-born designer who has recently moved to Mornington. The ambitious 21-year-old chats to Mornington Peninsula Magazine about her life-long love of fashion, international style, and how her new home will inspire her label.  

Where did your love of fashion start?
My mom taught me to sew when I was about seven or eight years old. I've always loved expressing myself with what I wore; dressing yourself each day is such an intimate thing. 

What differences have you noticed between New York and Melbourne style?
I don't think there is anything like New York style. It’s the most amazing, bizarre thing. You'll see someone walking down the street in sweatpants and a dirty T-shirt with fluffy slippers, and then behind them someone in 10-inch rainbow platforms with fluorescent braids, a mesh top and American flag cut-off shorts. Here, as far as I've seen, people are very put together. 

What’s your proudest achievement?
My proudest achievement would be starting my own ethical, sustainable clothing label, Covert Clothing. I design clothing made with organic and vintage fabrics, or up-cycled materials. It’s all cruelty-free so no animal products whatsoever. I didn’t feel there were enough options that were actually ethical as well as environmentally friendly. I wanted people to be able to shop my clothing and feel good about the company they were investing their money into. It’s still in its early stages but I’m so excited to see where it goes. 

Why do you love where you live and how does it inspire your work?
I’m new to Australia as of May and I’m loving it! The scenery here is gorgeous and the people are lovely. Australia is much more welcoming of what I’m doing; people are generally environmentally conscious and look for sustainable items to limit their footprint. Being around like-minded people definitely encourages me to keep working towards what I believe in. 

Design matters

A family home that feels open yet private, with the ability to evoke a sense of calm away from the complex outside world whilst minimally containing all the clutter that a busy life creates. The underlying brief may be somewhat universal, but the design response on any given site is not – at least it shouldn’t be.

Vibe Design Group understands design and its capabilities to bring the everyday into the realm of something above and beyond. Michael O’Sullivan and his design partners Kathryn and Katie believe that starting the build process with a bullet-proof blueprint means their clients are absolutely guaranteed of a home that delivers on every level.  

Design briefs at Vibe Design Group are envisaged and signed off over casual conversations with the Vibe team. Getting to know each client’s personality and desires is an integral part of an association-based process at this forward-thinking, multi-award-winning design studio. 

It’s not extravagance that’s at the heart of what Vibe Design Group believes in; it’s a standard of living and long term usability that Vibe thinks every home deserves. The highest expectations are those that Vibe place upon themselves – to produce an original, that first and foremost speaks to those it was created for.

A building can take on a certain persona when every aspect has been refined. It could be nostalgic, but never a replica and the most exciting part is that it’s something that does not yet exist. 

Set the bar high with Vibe Design Group – the local contemporary designers who provide original abodes for people who desire comfort, environmental harmony and organic aesthetics.  



A: 29/1140 Nepean Highway, Mornington 

T:  HYPERLINK "javascript:void(0)" \o "Call via Hangouts" 5975 8288


IG: vibedesigngroup

Ho ho ho, let’s go By Liz Rogers

If you’re like me heading into the silly season – disorganised and decoration-depleted – then why not start early this year at Santa’s Place in Moorooduc, where everything Christmas resides.

As soon as you walk through the door you are welcomed into a world where Santa and all the magic he brings survives and thrives. Three generations of family for over 18 years have been supplying Christmas trees (including fibre-optic), indoor/outdoor decorations, advent calendars, nativities and large display pieces plus more to the Peninsula and beyond. The 8ha site includes a Christmas tree farm and shop, café and playground, and there’s a licensed bar which is ideal for long lunches or morning and afternoon parent-group playdates. 

Santa’s Place is full of Christmas cheer from July 1 onwards, when the doors open to invite clients in to experience a world full of wonder and festivities. Get a group of friends together or grab a cuppa with a mate while the kids jump on the trampoline or climb and slide outside. There’s plenty of parking (the carpark accommodates 200) and you can stay all day.

Be smart this Christmas and get your decorations and gifts sorted early so you can sit back and relax while everyone else gets flustered. Santa’s Place stocks the lot: angels, candles, bonbons, tableware, snow globes, costumes, stockings and sacks! The list is too long to put down here, but one thing’s for sure - if you’re searching for something that makes your child’s heart sing, you’ve found it. 

Make sure you have a very merry and relaxed Christmas this year - start shopping today and stay for the fun at Santa’s Place.

The man in red is calling. Ho, ho, ho!



A: cnr Moorooduc Highway and Bentons Rd, Moorooduc

T: 0408 092 821


Mummalicious Pregnancy High Tea by Andrea Kellett

Listen up ladies, there’s a glamorous new event coming to the Peninsula this September called Mummalicious Pregnancy High Tea. And, if you like the sound of it, you need to get in quick because numbers are limited.

Mummalicious Pregnancy High Tea is a high-class high tea event for pregnant women, their friends and family and it’s a fundraiser for The Bays Hospital. Organisers Joanne Ford and Sara Griffiths envisage Peninsula mums-to-be will use the event as their baby shower, loved ones will use it to spoil their pregnant friends and, if you’re looking for a baby reveal with a difference, this is it! Surprise family and friends with something pink or blue on the day to break the exciting news! Either way, it’s a wonderful chance to dress up, be entertained in style and celebrate pregnancy.

The inaugural Mummalicious Pregnancy High Tea will include a classic high tea with a pregnancy fashion parade, a women’s stylist, a raffle, gorgeous food, a quality gift bag for all participants and a sensational guest speaker - Director of Women's Health at Peninsula Health Dr Jolyon Ford.

Mornington Yacht Club has donated the space for the event and obstetrician and gynaecologist Dr Andrew Griffiths praised the club for its continued support. “Mornington Yacht Club has been very supportive of The Bays Hospital and are always happy to do as much as they can to help,” he said.

*Mummalicious Pregnancy High Tea is on Sunday, September 10, 2pm-4pm, at Mornington Yacht Club. There will be 8 tables of 8. Tickets: $85 each at

Instagram:  mummalicioushightea
FB/ mummalicious  


Photos: Michelle Pragt

When Hugo hitched Frankie by Liz Rogers

“Good morning fur people, ladies and gentlemen…. My name is Randall Randwick and I am a self-proclaimed Civil Sausage Celebrant.”

That’s how it started. They were all there. Twenty dogs or so, their owners, the bride and groom dressed to the nines. It was just another ordinary day on the Mornington Peninsula and none of the people who knew Mike and Dianna would ever bat an eyelid – after all there was that sausage dog chariot made from aluminium and wood in which the duo could often be seen in riding down Main Street. Why not slip on a tux and a wedding gown on a Saturday morning at Royal Beach? Why not celebrate the love of two adored Dachshunds, especially when it was assumed the lady may be with child?

Dog owner Mike Renwick explains. “My partner Dianna and I have had Hugo and Frankie since they were puppies. They are over 12 months now and love each other dearly so we thought why not having a Dachshund wedding? We do suspect that Frankie is going to have pups so we thought Hugo better do the right thing! I used to take a lot of wedding photos and thought it would be fun. We had a red carpet, jewels and flowers, and they were dressed in their best clothes. All the guests were dressed up as well!” (They included many canine companions from the I Love Dachshunds Facebook group). “We walked up to the Blackbird Café in Empire Street for the reception afterwards. The humans had coffee and wedding cake. The dogs enjoyed their treats. Hugo is very social and enjoyed every minute of the event. Frankie is a little more reserved.”

These two much loved family members were bought from breeders in St Albans and Brighton respectively and are now soon to produce their own offspring. Mike isn’t sure when this Mount Martha local sausage dog duo will become parents but one thing’s for sure - The adorable factor will be right off the Richter Scale!

“You may now lick your bride,” offered Randall at the end of the ceremony, the two cuties forever linked in doggie bliss.

Woof woof!

Find your way to fine wine

How appropriate that a column designed to point you in the direction of the best Peninsula wines should be written by the founder of Wine Compass.

Adam Nicholls, from Wine Compass, joins the Mornington Peninsula Magazine team from this issue as a regular wine columnist for our new section Peninsula Uncorked.

Adam turned his back on a successful career as a digital marketing manager to pursue his dream of owning his own business and to follow his two passions: food and wine.  Adam loved wine tours but thought they could be run better, so he combined his skills in digital marketing, his knowledge of the Peninsula and Yarra Valley wine-producing regions and an acute focus on customer satisfaction to launch Wine Compass in 2013.  Since then, with the help of Adam’s wife, Sara and the rest of the team, the business has grown substantially and has run more than 1000 tours. 

Wine Compass focuses only on groups looking to organise events or days out with friends and/or family, as well as corporate events and special occasions such as birthdays and hens’ parties.  The itinerary is individually tailored after a consultation with the group and can include any preferences the group might have.  “We can even mix things up with breweries, cideries, dairies (for cheese), distilleries and chocolateries,” Adam says.

Wine Compass is a private company that’s not tied to any wineries, preferring small, boutique wineries that give guests a great experience, including behind-the-scenes access.  The key, says Adam, is to make the tour fun and social.

So whether you’re an occasional tippler or a passionate connoisseur, let Adam show you the way to the best wines the Peninsula has to offer. Read his first Peninsula Uncorked column in our Food and Wine section.

Thomas knows truffles! by Liz Rogers

Jenny McAuley’s truffle business is totally dependent on her four-legged English Springer Spaniel Thomas - and she wouldn’t have it any other way!


We’re riding in her John Deer wide-wheeled tractor towards the Truffière. Yep. That’s what you call a Truffle Orchard in France, and Thomas is already showing signs of the thrill he gets while hunting for this subterranean delicacy that takes time, patience and grunt to grow and harvest. This rescue dog has been trained by one of the best. Ex-army officer Simon French, who operates out of Tasmania, finds dogs in pounds, assesses as to whether they will be suitable for truffle training and Bob’s your uncle. But not all dogs make the eight-month training program. Jenny’s previous dog - a Lagotto Romagnolo - failed, but Thomas didn’t, and now he’s bent on showing me why.  


“You want to run Thomas?” asks Jenny as he clings to her right leg pushing into the accelerator. He jumps out and bounds beside the Deer while we growl up the incline to where the jewels lie beneath the Red Hill mud. The land here is ridiculously undulating, lush and ancient. Good things grow here. Jenny asks again. “You want to find some truffles Thomas? Where are the truffles?” And that’s all this spritely and adoring dog needs. He makes for the base of one of Jenny’s 2600 Oak and Hazelnut trees which are perfect truffle companions and lies down where the edible gold grows. “Where’s the truffle Thomas? Show me where the truffle is,” she repeats as his highly-sensitised nose sniffs at the spot and Jenny gently scrapes back the earth. “Truffles are like ice-bergs,” she says. “You never know how big they are below the earth. This one isn’t quite ready.” Thomas never touches the precious find, instead, he takes a seat and waits. I kneel and bow to take a deep whiff of the intoxicating aroma.


“I initially planted 300 trees after a couple of years’ research,” explains Jenny. “We now supply all restaurants in Red Hill and many beyond, and have a range of truffle infused foods.” All Thomas requires is his liver or kangaroo treats, love and attention. “He pretends to find truffles to get treats now. There’s a lot of work involved in growing truffles,” she continues (irrigation, recycled weed mats around the base of every tree, checking the PH levels of the soil and making sure it stays well drained). “Truffles don’t like wet feet and the season only lasts up to 12 weeks although you work at it all year round.”


This dog’s day ends in front of an open fire after a satisfying meal. He’s done his couple of hour’s work, chased away the cockatoos and ducks and stuck close to the person he loves most. Meet him on one of Jenny’s truffle tours and you’ll see he’s the real truffle finding deal.


Visit to see how.


The Perfect Partnership by Andrea Kellett

“If you are serious about wellness, you must choose certified organic products.”

And with that, one of Australia’s leading researchers into the benefits of an organic lifestyle, Professor Marc Cohen, helps launch a brand new partnership at Peninsula Hot Springs.

Peninsula Hot Springs has partnered with Synthesis Organics, a certified organic skincare range, after years of careful research. Synthesis Organics is Australia’s only Energy Imbued™, certified organic, vegan, bioactive skincare. It’s a partnership that will redefine the day spa experience at this world renowned, award winning destination (Peninsula Hot Springs is also one of the Peninsula’s largest employers).

When Peninsula Hot Springs founder Charles Davidson decided it was time to partner with a new day spa skincare range, he set the bar high. Certified organic wasn’t enough. Bioactive wasn’t enough. First, the range had to be Australian made. Then, it had to align with Peninsula Hot Springs’ indigenous connections, with the healing, nurturing experience of natural thermal mineral springs bathing, and with the goal of wellness and restoration through connection to nature and self. It also had to have a positive energy. “This is about the story, aligning with our story,” Charles explained at the partnership launch. “Synthesis has connections with indigenous Australia and we have connections with indigenous people.”

It took, Charles explains, years to discover and settle on Synthesis Organics. Founder and formulator Theme Rains created Synthesis after almost two decades immersed in studying, teaching and practicing in the healing arts using natural therapies. She formulates her range with Australian native botanicals sourced ethically, directly from indigenous communities wherever possible.  Theme started her first Certified Organic lab in 2006, called ‘Tiny Geometries’, which has now expanded to larger facilities called ‘Ray of Sunshine’ on a property in Northern NSW.

The holistic range not only works on the skin but also on mental and emotional levels. “Every product is handcrafted, seasonally adjusted and made with intent,” Theme explained at the launch.

Professor Cohen described the potential at Peninsula Hot Springs for healing as “profound”. “Peninsula Hot Springs is already on top of the world with their offerings, but they keep climbing…People who come here leave with a shift in their energies.”

Peninsula Hot Springs is proud to be the first spa in Victoria to be offering Synthesis Organics certified organic spa treatments in their spa range. Book online at

We’re going viral with Your Content! by Kate Sears

While you’ve been reading this magazine, your phone has probably lit up with text messages, chirped with a Twitter notification, chimed with a new Snapchat or pinged with a comment on your latest Instagram post. 

We may be a printed magazine but we are right on top of this.  As a successful 10+year-old print magazine, we’d be tweeting mad to not keep up with the times. 

Engagement with our social media posts is massive and growing, the result of keen interest in our stories and our readers’ eagerness to win competitions that offer amazing Peninsula products or experiences. Our recent competition post to win 1 of five double passes to the Peninsula Hot Springs had almost 1 million views and attracted nearly 35,000 entries! 

Jump on board.  We complement our advertisers’ print campaigns by sharing their editorials on Facebook, uploading foodie shots or fashion finds to Instagram, sharing online magazine links on Twitter and promoting competitions across all platforms.  This full-blown social media assault gets your brand across all mediums, and most importantly it’s appropriated slightly to match each platform’s specific style so it’s like a new advertisement each time it’s seen by a potential customer. 

We promise access to a huge audience of residents and visitors who support small businesses and shop here, and just as different forms of print attract different demographics, each platform has a specific audience.  So, this is your chance to reach as many customers as possible. 

And look at the stats, our organic social media following is triple that of any rival publications.

Social media has become the new ‘word of mouth’; it’s how a consumer decides who gets their hard-earned money.  Decisions on where to buy, visit or dine are influenced by Facebook profiles and customer reviews and photos, and of course advertisements with your own branding.   With 24/7 access to our stories on what’s happening in our region, and with each story uploaded separately for our clients to share as they choose, we’re all working together to support Peninsula businesses.

On average, users check their Facebook or Instagram feed 14 times a day. Contact us today on 9708 8222 to be one of those posts they see.

COMMON PEOPLE Colour me Janine by Liz Rogers

Janine Daddo’s eyes are like black beads. Smart, shiny and intense. Revealing yet guarded. This Peninsula-based world renowned artist paints colour, emotion and organics – stories to lean on, learn from and enjoy in all their eccentricity and connectivity. Her ideas come thick and fast. They hitch a ride on her brush and give the thumbs up to an expansive and eclectic breadth of work that hangs in both private collections and public spaces throughout Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong and beyond. She’s had sell-out shows in Sydney, Melbourne and Chicago.

I caught up with her over coffee and conversation about life, art and all the ‘wiggly’ things in between. Firmly planted within the Peninsula’s salted earth, Ms Daddo has no intention of leaving the coastal region she has called home for more than 19 years. She can’t. She’s hooked, line and ‘sinker-ed’ to her purpose-built backyard studio set in the salty scrub of Mount Martha where she creates colour infused, textured and layered work that celebrates her well lived life.

Her father once said, “You’ll be common if you get your ears pierced Janine”. Enjoy catching a glimpse of this ‘common’ Peninsula person’s world where art and life are intrinsically linked.

What do you think your Dad meant by being ‘common’?

(Much laughter) My dad was such a gentle soul. Very kind and funny. You see he was Scottish and had a real sense of humour. The idea that one thing would ultimately lead to another! You know, if you got your ears pierced, well then, you’d get a tattoo! And then the next step would be prostitution! (More laughter). It was all said tongue in cheek. He just meant stay as you are. Be yourself.

I began a Fine Art degree when I finished school. Dad was the one who suggested I transfer to graphic art. “What are you gonnna do with a Fine Art degree?” he said. I didn’t like it at the time, but looking back he was right. He understood what I needed to do.

You paint, sculpt and make jewellery amongst other expressive forms. How much work have you created?

I’ve never let it pass my lips, but it’s a lot! To give you an idea – I’ve got a solo show based on botanicals and losing self in surroundings coming up in August in Perth which will have 38 pieces in it. There’ll be a grove of 2m to 2.4m-high powdered coated steel trees. I hand-draw onto the steel which is then hand plasma cut, joined and welded. There’ll also be paintings. 

My work has just been showed in Singapore (with Manyung Gallery) and I’m always creating outdoor installations and commissions. I’m about to launch a new project in September, which is a secret for now. I’m never not producing!

How does living on the Pen influence your work?

We lived on Frontage Way when we first moved to the Peninsula and had a boat shed on Mills Beach. Days were spent eating chicken rolls, swimming with the kids and getting together with friends. That’s also where we scattered my second son’s (Hudson) ashes. We moved to Gypsy Meadows in Stumpy Gully Road and lived on 20 acres of virgin bushland where the kids constructed tents while dressed in costumes and my daughter began horse riding. She’s now a professional dressage rider. I’m currently looking after my elderly mum as well. These experiences have made my work what it is. The pleasures of every day. Nature, love, loss.

What’s a typical day look like for Janine Daddo?

I’m up around 6.45am and like to be in the studio by 7.30/8am after being a bit domestic! I get into the studio and see if I still like what I was painting the day before. I usually work on two to three canvases at a time which I have prepared myself and are stretched by local Peninsula business Southern Buoy. I even get my paints delivered now! I paint until lunch time with my two dogs nearby. Check in with the (adult) kids - son Jak and daughter Arkie and work again until dinner time. More drawing and jotting down ideas after dinner.

So, you do have some time off! What do you do when you are at home on the Pen?

I visit some of the local wineries. Montalto is a favourite. I love the Mornington Main Street Wednesday market too. Sometimes I go to Sunny Ridge Strawberry Farm or drop by Tully’s Corner Produce Store. There’s so much great local produce and it’s all so close. I love living local.

Follow this local artist on Facebook @JanineDaddoArt and Instagram @janinedaddo or log onto to view her work.

We should all be so ‘common’.


Fostering the curiosity of our youngest students

At Woodleigh, from the very early years, we believe that every child comes to school with a deep understanding about the world in which they live. They are intelligent, strong, ambitious and full of potential. They have abundant curiosity and resilience.

Our learning experiences are carefully designed to engage students in learning that is purposeful, relevant and promotes the development of the whole child.

Even as three year olds, all children can be active citizens who contribute to their local communities.

At Minimbah, our outdoor learning programs foster sensitivity for the environment and help our children see themselves in a wider, more global context, which in turn raises awareness for protecting our environment and the need for sustainable use of the world’s natural resources.

Our students have abundant opportunities for personal and social development, often in challenging situations. The children learn to trust, care, be tolerant and accept support. Children also learn better interpersonal behaviours when they work together or side-by-side one another, especially in team situations.

Minimbah’s Early Learning Centre is staffed by expert and experienced professionals whose work with children is influenced by the work of educators from Reggio Emilia and the Scandinavian Forest Schools. The ECC program is based on socio-cultural theory, inquiry and play-based learning. By investing in a philosophy that fosters deep engagement, growth, joy and passion – and by letting children be children – we are able to develop individual learning programs that inspire and engage every child.

And it all begins in our Friday three-year-old program. This full-day program is creative. It is progressive. It is a broad palette of experiential and enquiry-based programs that combine to create a fun and engaging environment, sowing the seeds for a lifetime love of learning.

For more information on Woodleigh School’s Early Childhood programs, contact our Enrolments team on 5971 6100 or email [email protected]

Rod Davies
Deputy Principal – Head of Minimbah Campus

Inspiring students. Engaging parents. Empowering teachers.

Join Hugh van Cuylenberg, the founder of “The Resilience Project”, to discover how to build resilience and how to develop positive mental health strategies to support young people.

Why? Because 1 in 4 adolescents have a mental illness, 1 in 7 primary school children have a mental illness, 1 in 5 adults have a mental illness and 65 per cent of adolescents do not seek help for mental illness

Being ‘resilient’, what does it mean? Resilience is "bouncing back" from difficult experiences; resilient people do not let adversity define them. We often ask ourselves, “How can I help my child build resilience?”

Hugh has been working in education for more than 13 years and has developed “The Resilience Project” to support young Australians to be mentally healthy. "I went into teaching, and I thought that by being a good, positive role model I'd be able to help kids to avoid mental illness," he says. “However, I soon realised that it was not that simple so I went back to university to specialise in mental health education.” Hugh formed The Resilience Project, visiting schools to speak about the things students could do for their mental health. “Teachers and parents wanted to know more, so from there it just grew,” he says.

The highlight of his teaching career was a year spent in India volunteering and living at an underprivileged school in the Himalayas. It was here that he discovered resilience in its purest form. Hugh met a student who was extraordinarily happy despite his lack of possessions or privilege. On watching the boy, he noticed his gratitude for everything from his drinking water to his too-small shoes. It was a turning point. "It was only looking back on it that I realised what I'd experienced, and I reflected on it," he says.

While the psychological theories are complex, Hugh has broken it down to a simple equation: resilience and happiness are based on the three pillars - gratitude, empathy and mindfulness. Advising children and adults to practise these pillars, through activities such as a daily gratitude journal, which after 21 days, can rewire the brain to search for the positive aspects of life, has been life changing.

People who master resilience can cope better when faced with challenges. They have the skills to handle emotional emergences and are adept at accepting what comes at them with flexibility rather than rigidity. They face these times knowing that, ‘times are tough but I know they will get better’. Even if they feel like they are broken for a time, there is still a part of them deep inside that knows they won’t be broken forever. Resilience is something that we all need and Hugh offers real insight into how we can achieve this.

As well as presenting to groups, Hugh works on programs for schools and has created curriculum for every year level from Prep to Year 12, in conjunction with teachers and consultants, which is linked to the national curriculum. Toorak College is passionate about student wellbeing and implements these resources to give students the tools to build resilience and develop mental health.

As part of Toorak College’s 2017 Parent Information Series, Hugh van Cuylenburg will present “The Resilience Project” at Toorak College on Wednesday, August 2, 7pm. Everyone is welcome to attend. Call 9788 7200 for more information.


The Manor Medical by Andrea Kellett

There’s a new cosmetic medicine clinic on the Mornington Peninsula and if you haven’t yet heard of The Manor Medical, you soon will.

This is a high-end, professional cosmetic medicine clinic, founded by Dr Sally Shaw from The Wellness Manor – Mornington’s award winning wellbeing and day spa retreat. 

The Manor Medical opened in early May, offering a comprehensive range of cosmetic medicine treatments overseen by Dr Shaw. It has two treatment rooms; it has the signature luxury look and feel of The Wellness Manor; and it’s also located beachside Mornington, at 94 Tanti Avenue.

Mornington Peninsula Magazine attended the official launch and met with aesthetic nurse Prue Fox, RN, to find out a little more about the treatments offered. It is very much aligned with Dr Shaw’s highly regarded The Wellness Manor. Skin wellness services are offered with the same attention to detail, luxury and care that The Wellness Manor has provided.

“Everything we do here is medical grade,” Prue explains. All treatment machines are medical grade, the clinic stocks the Obagi physician-dispensed skincare range and all treatments are performed by a degree qualified team.

Clients start their cosmetic medicine journey at The Manor Medical with a detailed general practitioner consultation. Treatments include anti-wrinkle injectables, dermal fillers, ultrasound facelifts, thread facelifts, laser, radio frequency needling, PRP, LED light therapy and medical grade skincare.

If you are looking for a lift without downtime, try Ultherapy at The Manor Medical – Ultherapy is the only FDA-cleared non-invasive treatment for lifting the skin on the neck, chin, brow and décolletage. It uses ultrasound waves to stimulate the body’s natural collagen production deep within the skin, and there is no downtime.

Find the treatment that’s right for you at The Manor Medical. More at