Brand new lifestyle store by the bay

For gorgeous homewares, a gift for someone special, an indulgence for yourself or some interiors inspiration, venture inside The Phoenix and the Turtle. This brand new lifestyle store on Point Nepean Rd in Blairgowrie is brimming with beautiful items and ideas!

Shelley, the owner, is always looking for something new to add to the core range of great Australian-designed products, including Robert Gordon, Elk, Nicole Fendel and Designers Guild, to name just a few.

You will find homewares, home fragrances, clothing, jewellery, cushions, newborn gifts, first birthday gifts, men’s gifts and much more. And you can browse the extensive The Phoenix and the Turtle range online and at their Northcote store!

Pop in and talk to owner Shelley today.

A: 2843 Point Nepean Rd, Blairgowrie
FB /PhoenixandTurtle

WIN the ultimate getaway in Sorrento!

Sorrento is one of those destinations where it doesn’t matter how often you visit, you continue to be awestruck with its natural beauty. Right on your doorstep is the pristine bay, the rugged ocean beach and Sorrento Village with its limestone heritage buildings mixed with modern cosmopolitan chic.

One of the loveliest times of year in Sorrento is when it’s cool…the beaches are still magical, it’s easy to get a car park and you can still enjoy a heap of retail therapy or relaxation therapy with a massage or a makeover.

It would be easy to argue that Sorrento is THE BEST girl’s getaway destination in that it’s only a 90-minute drive from Melbourne, or 40 minutes from around the Mornington Peninsula, but it feels like a world away. Most accommodation is within walking distance of the village, as is the beach and activities such as day spas, eateries and the range of boutique, unique and high end fashion and homewares stores.

Sorrento Portsea Chamber of Commerce is offering an amazing opportunity to WIN the ULTIMATE GIRL’S GETAWAY WEEKEND in Sorrento. You and your BFFs (or your Mum, aunties, sisters) could WIN a $1000 SORRENTO GIFT CARD which you can use anywhere in Sorrento that accepts an EFTPOS card. You can put together the ultimate Sorrento girl’s getaway that could include accommodation, eating out, shopping or spa and makeover…whatever makes you and your friends happy!

Enter by filling in your details at or download the Sorrento Live the Life App and head to the deals page. You will also find it on the Sorrento Village Facebook page.


Sorrento will be hosting its first SORRENTO MAKERS MARKET along the footpaths of Ocean Beach Rd, Sorrento on:

·      Saturday May 27 and Sunday May 28

·      Sunday August 20

·      Sunday October 22

Sorrento Portsea Chamber of Commerce in conjunction with Craft Markets Australia will be bringing this boutique seasonal market to the village with an outstanding quality selection of home-made, home-grown goods. The market will complement what is already an outstanding range of retailers and bring atmosphere and vibe to the beautiful seaside village during the cooler months. More:

By the Sorrento Portsea Chamber of Commerce

Gold for Portsea Hotel!

Portsea Hotel is officially Australia's Best Hotel Wedding Reception and Best First Night Honeymoon Venue.

Portsea Hotel has won two golds at the Australian Bridal Industry Academy’s prestgious 2017 Designer of Dreams National Bridal Industry Awards, held in Queensland at the end of March.

The awards recognise the best of the best in Australia’s bridal industry. Only wedding suppliers rated and reviewed by brides and grooms over a consecutive four-year period are eligible to qualify and, as such, the awards recognise excellence over the last five years.

Portsea Hotel wedding co-ordinators Shannon Lott, Sarah McLaine and Nicole Johnson accepted the two gold awards and congratulated Portsea Hotel’s entire weddings team, including coordinators, weddings chef Greg Young and his team, function set-up staff, wedding supervisors, management, housekeepers and more.

“These awards are recognition of a massive team effort, and a HUGE thank you to all the brides and grooms who have taken the time to vote for us, the joy that we bring to each couple on their wedding day is what keeps us all so dedicated to every I DO!” they said.

Portsea Hotel offers two distinct function rooms for weddings, with sweeping views of Port Phillip Bay, The Heads and Queenscliff. The Portsea Deck, situated on the second level of The Portsea Hotel, is an exclusive al fresco function area, boasting stunning bay views. The Deck is a glamorous venue for more intimate weddings and comfortably seats 60-80 people for a sit-down function, and up to 110 for a cocktail event.

The Nepean Room has an extensive terrace circling the room, bi-fold doors, a private bar, a dance floor and a stage for entertainment. It extends out to a grassed garden area steps away from the sand on Portsea's front beach, overlooking Portsea Pier. It accomodates 80-300 people.

A: 3746 Point Nepean Rd, Portsea
T: 5984 2213
FB /Portseahotel

Craft, age and aesthetics at Marlene Miller’s

Step back into a world where craftsmanship is honoured and age is a thing of beauty at Marlene Miller Antiques on Ocean Beach Road in Sorrento. Time stands still seven days a week in this history-laden wonderland full of story, craft and magic.

Inside you’ll find Gold Rush jewellery and Georgian mourning jewellery, Victorian Cedar bookcases, Australiana and industrial lighting for starters. Opals and Bentwood chairs, Black lady lamps and Japanese screens merge with Marlene’s incredible range of antique and contemporary wedding and engagement rings by top Melbourne jewellers including Simon Kushnir.

Marlene is thrilled her keen eye is being appreciated by younger generations. “Teenagers are falling in love with antiques now. They are buying old cups and saucers and books which is great to see.”

Come inside to see the magic today.

A: 128 Ocean Beach Road, Sorrento
T: 5984 1762
M: 0438 537 757

Experience history in Sorrento Village

Built as the Mornington Hotel in 1876, the ‘KOONYA’ site has had a mixed history. The original building survives today as the corner piece of the Koonya Apartments accommodation and entertainment precinct at 3374 Point Nepean Rd.

The Mornington Hotel (later the Koonya Hotel) was constructed for John Boswell Clarke and remained in the family until 1952.  The site was redeveloped through the decades.

Nestled in the hillside between the foreshore and shops, Koonya is in the perfect location for your Sorrento getaway!  A boutique selection of the 35 apartments are offered for holiday rental, most directly, through an owners’ co-operative. Guests take comfort in knowing they can deal directly with an owner.

A choice of 2 or 3 bedroom apartments are all individually furnished with the highest quality fixtures and fully self-contained kitchens.
Guests can access the indoor heated pool and spa during their stay.

Bridal couples, families and groups on weekend getaways often call Koonya home. Shops, restaurants, wedding venues and day spas are a stone’s throw away. 

Enquiries: 0412 025 108 or visit

Lapidary club offers a multifaceted experience By Kate Sears

There is a hidden gem in the grounds of McClelland Gallery in Langwarrin.  For more than 40 years the Frankston & Peninsula Lapidary Club has been specialising in faceting, cabochon, opal carving, chain weaving, silver smithing, and mineral collection.

The art of faceting is the process of cutting and polishing a variety of gemstones, from sapphire to quartz.  Cabochon, on the other hand, is cutting, grinding and polishing a range of rocks and minerals.  Club members can express their artistic talents with opal carving and chain weaving classes, making bracelets and earrings, while silver smithing classes teach them to make settings for the stones they find, or create jewellery using soldering and casting techniques.

Field trips led by experienced organisers give members the chance to experience the excitement of finding their own semi-precious gems and minerals, which they can then cut, polish and set into beautiful statement jewellery.

The club has a range of minerals and gems on display so new members are able to identify the treasures they find on field trips. The club also invites the public to donate any unwanted minerals they have to add to this display, or people can sell them on a commission basis in the club’s annual rock auction.

This August 26-27 at the Cranbourne Public Hall the club will have 20 traders attending for the Annual Gem Show. They’ll be selling a large range of rocks, gems, minerals, crystals, jewellery and even equipment from around the world. Professionals will be sharing their knowledge as visitors partake in raffles, while enjoying food and drink.

The club is open on Sundays from 10am-2pm, Wednesdays 4-8pm, Thursdays 10am-3pm and Saturdays 10am-4pm; it is closed during school holidays on Wednesday evenings.  Visit the website for details about becoming a member.

A: McClelland Gallery (in the grounds of), 390 McClelland Drive, Langwarrin
T: 9770 9340

Jazz and blues to warm up your winter

The fifth Mornington Winter Jazz and Blues Festival is kicking off in just a few weeks, and with a fantastic line-up of Peninsula and national artists pegged to play you have every excuse to throw on your winter woollies and head to the Mornington Peninsula for a weekend of great entertainment.

Mornington’s bars and restaurants will come alive with the sound of swingin’ jazz and smooth blues from Friday, June 9-Sunday, June 11 across the Queen’s Birthday long weekend.  In addition, this year sees a return of the ever-popular Main Street Festival Market on Saturday, June 10, plus historic walking tours of the township and rides on the steam locomotives of the Mornington Railway.

You’ll find a variety of performances on offer this year, including the supremely talented Olivia Chindamo at The Rocks Mornington on Friday, June 9. Best known for her effortless ability to improvise or ‘scat’ and as the 2016 Bell Award winner for Young Australian Jazz Artist of the Year, Olivia has firmly cemented her place in Australia’s flourishing jazz scene.

Multi-instrumentalist, composer, arranger and educator James Morrison will perform an intimate show at the Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery on Saturday evening. A Mornington favourite, this Celebration of Jazz performance will be everything you want and more. Closing off the festival celebrations on Sunday evening at the Grand Hotel is the amazingly talented and exquisite Kate Ceberano with All That Jazz, a must-see for every festival-goer.

Of course, crowd favourite performances are back with the Mornington Library After Dark Series and Back2Back Blues at Beaches on Sunday. Gods Kitchen has a host of free performances all weekend, and for something a little bit different Casa De Playa will be home to a sassy jazz line-up. If foot-stomping blues is more your style then Double G Saloon has you sorted, or you can plan a weekend of restaurant hopping as you choose from the wide variety of entertainment on offer around town.

Our Sensational Sam by Andrea Kellett

Sam Keck is a young entrepreneur. There’s never been any doubt about that since he opened his award winning roastery café Commonfolk Coffee Company in Mornington’s industrial estate when he was 24. He’s now 29, has a second successful café in McCrae (Merchant & Maker) and he’s just been named the Frankston Foundry and Rotary Club of Frankston's Peninsula Young Entrepreneur of the Year.

When Mornington Peninsula Magazine caught up with Sam, he was visiting coffee farmers in Central and South America, as one does when they are an entrepreneur, but he took time out of his crazy schedule to answer a few questions.

What are your thoughts on being named the Peninsula Young Entrepreneur of the Year?
I was pleasantly surprised and humbled to be recognised for my businesses. Like a lot of small business owners, so much of my time and energy is spent focusing on work and having someone tap you on the shoulder and say well done is really incredible. More to the point, it gives our entire team a real lift and a sense of pride because of what we have achieved. At the moment I'm not even the most celebrated award winner in the business - with our Head Chef Roong Saisombat the current SOAR Woman of the Year for her tireless and against-the-odds work as an immigrant female chef. She's probably more inspiring than I am!

If you were to inspire others, what advice would you give?
I think a lot of young entrepreneurs just want to be entrepreneurs. They learn the buzz words and focus a lot on developing their business acumen but I think often they can be missing the key ingredient any successful entrepreneur needs, which is a passion for a product and a passion for people. I never studied business, sales, marketing or any 'entrepreneurial' course. Instead I got down and dirty becoming the best barista/roaster/leader that I could be. I scoured the internet for the latest trends in coffee, I met with key industry figures asking questions every chance I got, and most importantly I developed my own opinions and style of coffee. I also got stuck into the business of people and learned what it meant to rally a team together and invest in your staff to bring the best out of everyone. My advice would be to figure out what your business is, get good at it by working for/with the industry leaders (volunteer if you have to), and figure out how to involve others in your journey and invest in them. 

You have two successful businesses on the Peninsula. Any plans for more?
We're always looking to grow our family. In fact, we just launched Commonfolk's mobile arm 'Bussy McBusface'! It's a refurbished Mercedes school bus that lets us bring the brews to you. We're also in the process of developing an international market for our product. We're looking very closely at Asia, in particular Hong Kong, but I guess you'll just have to wait and see!

Launch your hospitality career with Chisholm

Thinking about studying hospitality? You don’t have to go to town.

You may be mature aged or simply wanting a career change. Maybe you didn’t get the university offer you wanted?  Or perhaps you’ve been out of work raising a young family?

Chisholm TAFE at Rosebud has a variety of courses in the Hospitality space that will prepare you for work, provide apprenticeship opportunities, or further study through pathways to higher education. With a 16 per cent increase predicted in hospitality trades by 2020 and 55,000 hospitality jobs available over the next five years, there’s never been a better time to work in hospitality, particularly on the Peninsula.

TAFE programs range from commercial cookery, patisserie, and front-of-house training along with travel and tourism courses. There’s a range of job-ready short courses such as barista training and coffee making, cocktails and ‘mocktails’, Responsible Service of Alcohol and Responsible Service of Gaming to get you started.

Chisholm’s teachers work with industry to design courses that meet their needs, which means that your hospitality qualification will help you get ahead. You can start with an apprenticeship or fast-track your qualification by studying full-time.

Did you know that 61 per cent of businesses have vacancies but can’t find qualified staff? Find out what’s possible and start the conversation with your local TAFE today.

Chisholm’s Mornington Peninsula Campus located in Rosebud provides a comfortable and community based learning environment with strong links with the local industry that provide placement opportunities. Our dedicated teachers understand the local needs of industry, and make learning relevant to the future success of our students.

Applications for 2017 are still open. For more information visit

Kirsten proves she’s a ‘Whiz’ by Andrea Kellett

Peninsula businesswoman Kirsten Norman is on the cusp of earning national recognition for her forward thinking professional bookkeeping business, as a finalist in the Australian Accounting Awards.

The 41-year-old founder of BizWhiz Business Solutions will attend the national awards in Sydney at the end of May, less than 12 months after BizWhiz Business Solutions opened the doors on its first commercial office space in High Street, Hastings.

It’s been a rapid rise from a home-based business to one that now employees four staff, and growing.

But when Kirsten starts to explain her business mantra, her passion for her clients, cloud-based accounting and the “exciting” industry she works in, it’s easy to see why she’s a standout.

“The days of traditional bookkeeping are gone and that’s the exciting part,” she explains.

“We are unique in that we provide a business support hub. We exist to help our clients every step of the way, from a start-up to a saleable business. We are here to provide support and motivation and assist with their financial obligations and business automation - this is our speciality.”

“Our mantra is to support our clients to flourish in business. With passion, expertise and innovation, we aim to empower our clients with increased cash flow and profitability, greater control and the freedom to focus on what they love to do.”

BizWhiz Business Solutions works with cloud-based accounting and business systems and Kirsten seeks out the best accountants in Australia, who align with her values and work collaboratively with her and the clients.

As for the being a national finalist in a year of record submissions, Kirsten is thrilled. For bookkeeping and business support contact BizWhiz Business Solutions 1300 883 045 or visit

World Champion Sailor Chooses Hidden Harbour Marina

If you have visited the Mornington Peninsula you may have noticed this exotic little beauty, pictured, at Hidden Harbour Marina over summer. It belongs to Glenn Ashby, Skipper of NZ America’s Cup team and multi time Catamaran World Champion.

This Venetian Watertaxi (or Motoscafi, to be exact) was enjoying a berth at the marina and exploring our beautiful surrounds. Glenn Ashby imported the Motoscafi from Venice himself. He brings her to Hidden Harbour Marina every year so he can experience a more chilled out time on the water. Glenn’s usual mode of transport on the water is anything but!

Glenn is the skipper of the New Zealand America’s Cup team and a multihull world champion whose impressive record includes 10 Australian A Class Championships and 15 world championships across three multihull categories.

Glenn chose Hidden Harbour Marina for its easy access to the bay and to ensure he keeps his little beauty safe. The berths are a freehold purchase instead of a lease and the latest pier offers a range of marina berths in 12m and 15m sizes with some 13m berths also available. Marina berths are priced from $170,000 and provide a secure investment for use now or in the future.

Hidden Harbour Marina offers the closest access to your boat from the carpark within Martha Cove. With 24-hour security and secure ‘fob only’ access you know your investment and your boat are both being well looked after. The Owners Marina allows you to be close enough to everything but far enough away to miss the traffic, the construction or parking issues seen elsewhere on the Peninsula.

It may be next summer before you see Glenn and his Venetian Water taxi again, but you can check out a video of Glenn and his team racing in full flight at

A: 75 Watt Rd, Mornington
M: 0481 207 832

Creating Change at Bayside Centre

This month, Bayside Centre is creating change and helping to raise awareness and much-needed funds for Community Support - an integral charity assisting with homeless in the local area. Proving a huge range of services including emergency housing, food and grocery vouchers as well as pathways to education, information, advice and skills, Community Support is often the first point of contact for people in crisis. Last year alone saw more than 13,000 people reach out to them for help. 

With the support and community strength of Bayside Centre and the wider Mornington Peninsula, Community Support is able to keep up the vital work it does in changing the direction of people’s lives through helping them gain the ability to make more effective life choices.

Help Bayside Centre bring hope to many people in less fortunate situations than ourselves. Homeless, not hopeless.

Artefacts, symbology and Saltwater people by Liz Rogers

Dan Turnbull from the Bunurong Land Council Aboriginal Corporation takes me through it. Through the history, cultural importance and the perseverance. Through the array of Aboriginal artefacts, self-made shields and keepsakes made by his grandmother in the glass cabinet in his living room. Over the vast maps outlining Bunurong Country from the Werribee River down to the Peninsula’s tip in Portsea and into the deep waters of Port Phillip Bay that line his office walls (Bunurong Country also extends to the Prom).

Dan Turnbull knows a lot about where his mob comes from and where he believes they should be heading.

He picks up a shield and explains. “Our Ancestors have always known Point Nepean as Monmar. It is one of the most sacred sites on the Peninsula and is the traditional land of the Burin’yong Bulluk who are a clan of the Bunurong/Boon Warrung. There are Aboriginal artefacts right across the Mornington Peninsula. Our people have lived in the region for more than 35,000 years.” He leans over to show me one of his shields. “All symbols here are viewed from Sky Country. Overhead. These u shapes are people. The more u shapes there are indicates position in the mob - an elder, while the vertical lines - one line is a woman (digging stick) and two lines is a man (two spears). Long curly lines are the sand dunes while concentric circles represent campsites. And here, here are the daughter streams.”

Indigenous artefacts tell their stories through symbology and craft. Dan continues. “About seven years ago we worked with archaeologists within the quarantine station at Point Nepean and found an 18,000-year-old site! The bay was a grassland back then. It only filled with water 10,000 years later which is thousands of years before the Great Pyramids were built. There have been findings from the Cranbourne sands, Wonga (Arthur’s Seat) and Carrum Swamp areas. You know the park next to the Karingal Hub? There’s a house next to it called Ballam Homestead. It was one of the first houses in the area. A bullroarer and pointing bone which had been collected from the Bunurong people in the early contact period and kept onsite until a recent clean out were handed back by the owners.” (Bullroarers are for communicating with the spirits, while message sticks have been used to convey communications from mob to mob throughout Indigenous history.) “It’s a misconception that the message was on the stick. There was an identifying symbol of the person who was sending the message. It was the carrier who relayed the message,” he continues.

The Bunurong Land Council in conjunction with archaeologists are excavating a Lyndhurst site as we speak. They are digging down 1.7 metres into ‘coffee rock’ and finding pieces that could be up to 32,000 years old. Dan continues to go through his selection of stone tools, each one delicately carved for a uniquely special use. “Flaked edge axes were tied to their wooden handles with kangaroo tail sinew and solidified with grass resin. Greenstone ‘blanks’ from Mount William in the Grampians were traded for three possum skin cloaks or 90 skins and made into axes. They took months to create and were buried with the person because of how valuable they were.” We look at one of the rice shell necklaces Dan’s grandmother made. “My grandmother told me that it took up to ten times to get one shell threaded because they are so small.” The patience to complete the double stringed necklace is obvious. “I’ll never know how to do it. It’s women’s business.” Maybe so, but Dan is certainly in the business of uncovering Saltwater people’s business.

Bunurong business.

Emma’s salute to the Peninsula by Andrea Kellett

There’s a lot about Emma Freedman you probably don’t know.

For instance, this much loved TV and radio host could do with a little help from the Mornington Peninsula right now. And we mean, right now.

It turns out Emma lived on the Mornington Peninsula in her teens, attended school here from Year 7 to Year 9 and she still has family here (keep reading, the connection about what you need to do is coming). The 28-year-old now lives in Sydney and has created a unique pack design for Twinings’ ‘Morning Tea’, which can be seen in supermarkets across the country for a limited time, alongside designs created by Carrie Bickmore (Network Ten’s ‘The Project’), Nicole Kidman (need we background?) and Samantha Harris (Australian model). The four Australian women are finalists in the Twinings Design Challenge.

 What’s touching is that Emma's design, pictured, is a visual representation of her childhood memories growing up in Mount Martha and visiting our beautiful local beaches for regular swims (note the bathing boxes)! She has chosen the Captain Courageous Foundation to receive 10 cents from every pack sold and (here’s where you, our readers, come in) if Emma can poll more votes for her design than Bickmore, Kidman and Harris, her pack will remain on shelves for the next four years and her charity will reap the rewards.

So, she needs Mornington Peninsula residents to get behind her beach design and vote for it by May 8. It’s a charitable competition Mornington Peninsula Magazine couldn’t resist being involved in. Captain Courageous Foundation exists to find a cure for children suffering from life threatening Bone Marrow Failure disease. 

Emma explains why she chose Mount Martha: "I was inspired by living at the beach when I was younger. I do remember when I was in my mid-teens I would go for a swim of a morning at Mount Martha, come back home, dress into my school uniform and have a cup of tea before jumping on the bus. I looked back at those memories to create an image that reflected my experience of my first cup of tea," she says.

As to whether she still visits the Peninsula, the answer is a definite yes! She was here on Christmas Day visiting her family, in fact. “I came down for Christmas and spent some time around Cape Schanck,” she says. “I don’t get down enough, working seven days.”

Discussing her competition, she laughs. “Those are some pretty nice names to be in competition with!” she says, admitting she’s a Kidman fan and would love to meet her one day.

To see the four ‘Morning Tea’ pack designs and to vote by May 8, go to