Businesses sign up for war on waste

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Frankston City businesses have been praised for their waste management practices and prevention of waste and litter. Mayor Michael O’Reilly said the council worked with the EPA and 3199 Frankston Beach Patrol to engage businesses in the city centre to help each reduce their impact on the environment. 

“More than 200 local businesses were engaged through our Bay Friendly Businesses program, with the assistance of the Victorian Government,” Cr O’Reilly said. “It’s great to see so many businesses taking steps to reduce their impact on the environment.”

Cr O’Reilly said Eeny Meeny, Breathe Hair, Bendigo Bank, Trims Restaurant, Australian Red Cross and Drummond Golf also signed a Voluntary Code of Practice and pledged to implement additional improvement actions. Eeny Meeny, Breathe Hair and Bendigo Bank were recognised as Bay Friendly Businesses for meeting all the required actions in the code. 

Some of the waste-reducing measures businesses took included no longer distributing plastic bags; replacing disposable plastic straws with paper ones; dropping off waste oil to an oil recycler; introducing a recycling collection; pledging to replace some items with equivalent items made from recycled materials; and collecting compostable items such as non-recyclable paper towels and coffee grounds for home composting.

“These actions help to protect our environment into the future,” Cr O’Reilly said. “Sharing these achievements could help inspire other businesses to take similar steps to reduce waste or better manage waste.”

Distance no barrier to students’ friendship By Ainsley Paton

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Several weeks ago, my family and I had the pleasure of hosting a Canadian exchange student, Sofia, in our Mount Eliza home and showing her around Melbourne and the Mornington Peninsula. Sofia is from Quebec, the French-speaking part of Canada, and is in her last year of high school. She didn’t know anyone who had been to Australia, but having seen pictures of our white sandy beaches, towering cities and stunning bushland she knew she had to go. 

Coming from a Canadian winter to an Australian summer was a culture shock. Like many people who have never been here, she imagined it would be 40C every day, kangaroos would be wandering around the backyard, and everyone would be a surfer. She was delighted that wherever you go on the Peninsula you’re only a short drive from the beach, and although we visited many beaches such as Mills, Mothers, Frankston, and Canadian Bay, Mount Martha was her No.1. “It had beautiful beach boxes, not a lot of people running around, the water was very clear, and the sunset was incredible.”

During her five weeks with us, she attended school with me at Woodleigh and participated in all my classes. Sofia noted differences between our school and hers, such as how much more relaxed it is here and “how many trees there are!”. Before school started back and on weekends we went to such destinations such as Chadstone, The 1000 Steps, Phillip Island, Bushrangers Bay, Arthurs Seat, Peninsula Hot Springs and of course Bunnings. On her last day of school we also went up to the reserve and farm at the back of school to feed kangaroos and emus and play with the friendly goats. Although I had visited the majority of these places before, I was able to view where I lived through a different lens, and it made me realise how lucky we are to be living in an area where a short drive one way takes you to the bustling city centre, and the other way to serene bushland overlooking the bay. 

We were both surprised at how close we became and how quickly you become comfortable with someone you’ve never met before from the other side of the world. Spending 24 hours all day, every day, with someone for a whole month really fast-tracks the bond. 

Sofia told me that during her time here she learnt that while on exchange you can’t hold back. “You have to go for the things that scare you and do it. Face your fears, socialise, make friends. The best times were all spent totally out of my comfort zone. It made me realise how many things you can miss out on if you don’t just jump in.”

She said she would absolutely recommend the exchange program to anyone who had the opportunity. It may be scary, “but it makes you see the world from another angle, and it makes you see how different things are in another country, and you get to meet people from so far away, and it just makes you want to go back as soon as you leave”.

Sofia said that if she had to give advice to anyone going on exchange, she would say: “It will probably only happen once in your life, so you absolutely do not want to have any regrets. So do everything.”

Ainsley Paton is a Year 10 student at Woodleigh School and completed work experience with us at Mornington Peninsula Magazine.

Come and enter a little wonderland By Kate Sears

It had always been Guildan’s dream to open up a magical world for children. Having the successful Guildford’s Restaurant and Florist at Seaford under her multi-talented belt, Guildan’s love of designing kids’ clothes had always been bubbling beneath the surface. Enter Little Guildfords. 

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Little Guildfords is a wonderland for children, and while it only opened in early March it’s already received rave reviews from parents and children alike. The fairy-centric shop offers clothes from size 0 to 6, boutique giftware and adorable décor for the little ones’ bedrooms. It’s a shop that could only be described as a child’s ultimate wonderland, complete with tiny fairy doors, colourful tutus, magical toadstools, fairy lights, murals, a lolly station, and tree branches in place of clothes racks. 

Guildan is thrilled to announce that she’s got yet another trick up her sleeve: she’s decided to offer her unique space for high teas, birthday parties, classes, baby showers and weekly storytelling sessions. Faery Emma is rumoured to be flying in soon, complete with a sprinkling of fairy dust and face paint at the ready. School holidays will see this fairy forest come alive with activities and workshops, and mums are invited to relax over a coffee while the kids enjoy a magical story time. 

Guildan’s other venture will supply the perfect addition to your gift-giving needs, with beautiful bouquets of flowers coming straight from her own shop for baby showers and other celebrations.

Little Guildfords is open Monday to Friday from 9.30am-5pm, and Saturday from 9.30am-2pm. To discover the upcoming workshop on Wednesday, April 10, visit For inquiries, email [email protected] 

A: 5 Station St, Seaford
T: 0414 919 892
FB: littleguildfords
INSTA: littleguildfords

Doing it for the kids By Kate Sears

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Certificate III and Diploma courses in Early Childhood are taught at Nepean Industry Edge Training in Frankston by three very passionate and experienced trainers — Elisha, Cara and Anna. A pre-training interview is given to all potential students to answer any questions they may have and to work out which course is most suitable for their needs and careers.  The trainers make sure to cater to each individual student’s needs and have a wealth of industry knowledge to offer their students. 

“The trainers here are very passionate about what they do,” Elisha said. “We are always willing to assist new students and we’re excited to meet new faces. It’s a fantastic place to learn.” 

Government support is available for eligible students and they have ongoing enrolments. Class sizes are kept quite small to allow the trainers to cater to the students as individuals. An induction class is held to offer an opportunity for the students to go over everything with their teachers and understand exactly what they can expect from the course. Their full-time program sees students attending two sessions a week, whether it be a weekday or night, or even a day class on a Saturday. Both courses have no prerequisites and are carried out over a 12-month period. 

“We do our best to make the training fun,” Elisha said. “I also teach through experience, which I find works well. It’s not all sitting down with a book. We make learning interactive, fun and educational, whether it’s a variety of learning and assessment tools, group assignments, presentations or placement hours.”

The team is also excited to announce that their Early Childhood courses will be offered at their new Pakenham location in mid-April. 


A: 405 Nepean Highway, Frankston

T: 9770 1633


FB: NIETraining

INSTA: niet_training

E: [email protected]

These cool Dads are hot stuff
By Kate Sears

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Catchy melodies in the style of ‘60s and ‘70s pop and rock-inspired tracks have been floating across the airwaves of Triple J by band members Jordan, Connor, Angus and Vincent, who combine to form local band Teenage Dads. But it’s not what you’re thinking. Their baby is actually their band and their child is bringing home A+ report cards. 

This quad-psych-pop band has tracks with blasting synths and lyrics that will have you singing along as the good vibes flow. On stage the band oozes charisma with immense energy and a high sense of fun. Performing alongside Kingswood, Northeast Party House, Ruby Fields, Radio Moscow (US) and Wharves have been career highlights for the Mount Eliza Secondary College alumni. 

Having formed the band during high school in 2016, they progressed quickly from jamming in the school music rooms to playing at friends’ parties throughout their final school year, and then venturing on to venues in 2017. With Vincent on drums, Angus on bass, Connor on guitar and Jordan on synth and vocals, these young artists are proudly self-taught and never turn down the chance for a jam session.

“We don’t add extra instruments during the editing process. We want to make sure with our music that what you hear on the album is what you will hear live. We want to live up to the recording when we perform live for our fans.”

Having gained experience playing covers, they entered 2017 writing and performing their own original songs — cue lyrical genius Jordan regularly messaging his band mates at 4am when his writing inspiration hit — and it snowballed from there. The year saw the Dads offered the chance to play all around Melbourne supporting other local artists before finding themselves presented with the opportunity for their own debut headlining show in December 2017.

In the lead-up to their headline show, September saw the release of their very first EP, Wett Weather. These fresh new tracks, straight out of Jordan’s shed-turned-recording studio, found their way on to Triple J Unearthed. To put their following achievement into perspective for you, it goes that anyone can upload their music tracks to the website and Triple J then listen to them all and play their favourites on the Triple J Unearthed station. Teenage Dads’ energetic debut EP graced the radio waves shortly after its release. 

Egged on by this achievement, the band saw no sign of slowing down in 2018 with the uploading of singles Devil’s Jam, Fool and Sunburnt throughout the year ahead of their debut album Potpourri Lake in October 2018, with their sold-out launch at The Gasometer Hotel held the following December. “The presenters gave our new song, Sunburnt, a spin too,” said Vincent. “They played it on Triple J Unearthed and Triple J, which was a very exciting time for us.”

And just like that they were getting the recognition they deserved. Just a year later, their gigs are sold out for their current tour — next stop Tasmania! Letting us in on their insider statistics from Spotify, Vincent told us they have 11,000 monthly listeners and currently more than 200,000 plays on Spotify, including listeners from all around the globe — what an achievement! Their music appeals to all age groups, and seeing the demand from underage fans for an all-ages concert, Vincent took it upon himself to get it happening by launching Pack Up Time. Held at the Mechanics Hall in Frankston, the event was pumping on Saturday, March 23. A line-up of local bands and musically gifted friends joined fellow host 123 Agency with support from RRP Radio. Collectively, they put on a highly successful community event to be envied by all. 

Search for the band on Spotify, or check out their recent video and band biography at 

Water safety for all abilities By Liz Rogers

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There’s been a great little program running at the Mount Martha Life Saving Club over summer that’s worthy of a mention. The Starfish Nippers, which was created by the Anglesea Surf Life Saving Club and is now in operation at many lifesaving clubs across Victoria, is a modified Nippers program for children and young adults with special needs. This means that kids with autism and Asperger syndrome, Down syndrome, ADHD, and physical and intellectual disabilities get a chance to hit the beach, learn new skills and have a lot of fun with family and friends while doing so.

Sarah Hilli, the administrator of the Mount Martha program, explains. “I really had no idea I would be doing this. I just went along to a Lifesaving Victoria conference and saw a video of what the Starfish Nippers program looked like and thought it was cool. I took the idea back to the Mount Martha Life Saving Club committee and their response was it was a ‘no-brainer’. We started three years ago and it is all run by volunteers. Each participant has a trainer and the program is run concurrently with the mainstream Nippers program, which means the whole family can be together.”

Sarah runs the program with Julie Marshall, who in Sarah’s words “has such a lovely nature with the Nippers and is hands-on on the day”. They both have Bronze Medallions, the international benchmark for lifesavers. The program runs from 6-7pm on Fridays from late November until March and the response has been amazing. Beginning with five Nippers ranging in age from eight to 14, there are now eight participants with the oldest being 17. Lifesaving activities include board skills, beach flags, swimming, water familiarisation, beach running, games such as volleyball, and beach, water and surf safety. 

Sarah continues: “Parents are required to have a Working With Children Check and to stay on the beach while the program is running. There’s a dinner and a movie upstairs at the club afterwards too. We also attended the inaugural Starfish Nippers carnival at Hampton Life Saving Club. All you need to do is become a member of the Mount Martha Life Saving Club and the first-year membership for Starfish Nippers is free. Membership applications happen in September, and check our website for open day dates, usually held in September.”

If you have a child with a disability who loves the water, this could be the program for you. Jo Taylor, a parent of one of the participants, says: “Having just finished our third season, I have seen huge advances in confidence and ability in not only my child, but among all of the participants. I hope the program continues to expand around the state, allowing children of all abilities to be part of a local lifesaving club.” 

Go to, email [email protected] to find out more or follow them on Facebook @StarfishNippers.

International acclaim for Ritchies Dromana

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Those of us who shop there already know it as one of the best supermarkets on the planet, and now it’s official: Ritchies Supa IGA Dromana has been named IGA International Retailer of the Year. The award was presented to Ritchies group CEO Fred Harrison and Jarrod Swaine from Ritchies Stores at the international IGA conference in San Diego on February 26.

The accolade is the latest in an impressive list of awards for the innovative supermarket: 2018 National Retailer of The Year, Supa IGA Store of the Year, Supa IGA Bakery Department of the Year, and the Retail Transformation & Innovation Award winner at last year’s IGA Australia Awards.  It is owned and operated by the Ritchies group, which has been operating in Australia for almost 150 years and is now the nation’s largest independent supermarket and liquor retailer. 

Mr Harrison said of the honour: “We have worked hard to deliver on our vision. Our stores reflect our commitment to be the best in independent retail and it is a wonderful feeling for the team at Ritchies Dromana to have their efforts recognised internationally.”

Ritchies Dromana is the complete package for modern grocery retailing and has become famous as a foodie’s paradise, with a wide range of food and ingredients sourced from around the world. Energy-efficient refrigeration, low-line bakery display units, wine barrel display tables in produce and the Himalayan salt wall in the meat dry-ageing room all help to create a visually impressive store.

“We have designed Dromana around the needs, tastes and lifestyles of our customers so they are really at the heart of the unique shopping experience we offer,” Mr Harrison said. “The team has worked hard to build great relationships with our local community and our suppliers, and the store stocks considerable ranges from local growers and producers.”

With a focus on fresh food — from the seafood display and sushi kiosk to the international cheese bar and fresh meals counter — shoppers can find everything they are looking for and more. The modern design of the new supermarket has cleverly incorporated some visual images of the past 148 years of history.

“There are not many businesses today still family-owned after 148 years and continuing to grow stronger in a very competitive retailing environment,” Mr Harrison said. “Our business is about unique ranges. Our main point of difference is that we are working with our supplier partners to range many products that are exclusive to Ritchies. These include hard-to-find specialty items as well as all the traditional lines found in a large supermarket. As an independent supermarket, we are better placed than many to tailor our fresh offerings and provide unique grocery items.

“We have an incredible team, loyal employees and a great local community whose needs are at the heart of our business. These relationships are the cornerstone of our success. This award is a result of the hard work and commitment put in by all the team that contributes to the success of the Dromana store.”

For further information on Ritchies Supa IGA Dromana and Ritchies-owned supermarkets, visit

Down the rabbit hole with Janine we go By Liz Rogers

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“Rabbit girl.” That’s what they called her on the street. She’d bring them into her bedroom when they were kits, pop them on her bed and drown in their fluffy bunny beauty. They were always silent as she snuck them inside and there were sometimes up to 17 snuggling on her bed at one time. Unbeknown to her parents.

The young Janine Daddo was bunny mad. She still is slightly buck-and-doe kooky. She got her first rabbit, Tootsie, when he was six weeks old after he’d been rejected by his mother, and his blue eyes and pale fluffy feet bewitched her as she fell beneath his spell. She was 12. She explains: “He was a beautiful big-eared masculine rabbit. He followed me around and slept in my bed. When I brought him home from my girlfriend’s house, Dad made him a hutch from an old A-frame swing set, corrugated iron and mesh, which he dug four feet into the ground. I bought another rabbit, an albino, and they had babies. Within 12 months I had 17 rabbits and we’d built a colony of tunnels. Dad put a tiny torch on the end of a wire, which went down into the burrows so we could see what was going on. I began showing them at the cavy shows. The bunnies would sit on cushions or carpets and I’d brush them. Just like a cat or dog show, I suppose. Yep. I’m the original rabbit girl.”

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If you know anything about Janine Daddo’s art, you probably know that bunnies feature heavily whether in her paintings or in her sculptural works. From the days when she used to sell her rabbits for $2 to the kids around the corner and carry her own to a show in a rabbit carry-all, which had been converted from a bird cage, Alice in Wonderland’s main man of adventure with the big ears has always held a soft padded spot in her heart. She continues: “I just love them. I spent four years showing rabbits, sometimes six or seven times a year, and I remember it cost me 50 cents to enter. It was so exciting getting the certificates. When Tootsie died of a stroke at nine years old it was over. He was such a great buck. You know German people often have bunnies as pets, and when I went to visit some of my German relatives they had massive big rabbits almost the size of dogs. That’s what I’d like. When my dog goes, I’d like to have a studio rabbit with soft little feet.”

In the meantime, Janine will keep on painting her cottontails camouflaged in the garden, their faces peering from within flowers silently as they keep her secrets. She’ll also continue to sculpt her rusted steel “tumble bunnies”, ideal for standing guard in the garden just in case there’s an adventure to be had. Just go ask Alice.

Check out Janine’s bunnies on Instagram @janinedaddo or pop in to Manyung Gallery Group, Sorrento, Flinders, Mount Eliza and Malvern.

Eagle-eyed constable ferrets out maritime crime


On April 20, 1881, The Argus newspaper described the SS India , which had arrived the previous day, in these words: “The India is a smart-looking craft with a touch of the yacht about her lines and also her interior planning and equipment. She can thus be utilised either for pleasure or profit. She is an iron screw boat of 310 tons gross measurement, and was built in 1874 by Messrs J and G Thomson, of Glasgow.” 

Mr Henderson, who was aboard with his partners, was named as her owner but in fact the steamer had been stolen and her appearance and her name had been altered. A false story had also been concocted about her passage to Australia. Henderson had chartered the ship from her owners, claiming to be a wealthy man wanting to take his ill wife on an extended cruise of the Mediterranean. This cruise consisted only of being sighted passing Gibraltar in daylight before slipping back into the Atlantic under cover of darkness. The ship was then taken to the Cape Verde Islands for ballast and water and across the Atlantic to Santos in Brazil. A cargo of coffee was loaded at Santos, which was sold on reaching Cape Town. From there the passage continued to Mauritius, Albany for coal, and then to Melbourne. 

Henderson hoped to sell the ship in Melbourne or Sydney but his crime was discovered because an alert constable at Queenscliff correctly identified the India as the SS Ferret and informed his superiors. He had seen a ‘Lost, Stolen or Strayed’ notice in a Scottish newspaper, The Scotsman, which had arrived only days before the ship. To keep the crew from talking, Henderson threatened to shoot any man who talked and he also offered them money. When he was arrested, however, the crew members quickly gave evidence against him to avoid being involved.

Henderson and his partners went to jail and the ship’s owners sold her in September 1881 at Melbourne. The SS Ferret worked around the southern coast of Australia until she was wrecked in South Australia in November 1920.


President, Peninsula Ship Society

T: Maurie Hutchinson 9787 5780

E: [email protected]

The Peninsula Ship Society meets at Hastings Yacht Club on the fourth Tuesday of each month at 10am. Visitors always welcome. 

Hoppin’ around
 By Kate Sears


Mornington Peninsula has its very own Robert De Niro . . . I mean, Rabbit De Niro. Mikayla and partner Ash wanted to give their ginger lop-eared rabbit a really clever name, and after tossing up over the latter and B-rabbit (from the film 8mile), Rabbit De Niro was the winner as they’re both huge fans of the actor Robert De Niro. Who isn’t? 

He was adopted at age two and a half in August last year from Peninsula Vets in Mount Eliza. Three months later, the 23-year-old Mount Eliza hairdresser had a client mention her rabbits had unexpectedly become pregnant and her hands were suddenly very full. Mikayla offered to rescue Luna and take one of the lop-eared/angora-cross rabbits off her hands at just three months old. 

Weighing 2.5kg, Rabbit De Niro now had a little friend after being the only child for three months, yet he bonded well with his new friend despite him liking his peace and quiet. Happy to just sit and observe everyone, he’s a pretty content, quiet boy who isn’t fussed by other animals or children. When he feels the need to stretch his legs, he’ll hop off the couch, have a look around then get back on to the couch and lay down. It’s a hard life being a celebrity in the rabbit world, that’s for sure. 

By comparison, Luna is a very energetic soul. She’s playful and likes to sit as close as she can next to the couple’s Jack Russell, Joey, who is actually a little scared of her — how, we don’t know. Her name was coined by her grey colouring and her quirkiness. This little lady loves to hit the grass and practise her ball skills with any sport equipment that she may find. Luna’s other love is to groom Mikayla, which seems like a copycat move as her fur requires a brush every second day. Little Luna’s fur is quite high maintenance and requires a haircut every few months too. Lucky her mum is a hairdresser.

Instead of hopping around delivering eggs, these adorable bundles of fur dine on kale, silver beet, celery, carrots, apples, cos lettuce and bananas, but their favourite meal of all time is hay. Both adopted bunnies are most active at sunrise and sunset, with their pre-bedtime antics including hopping around the lounge room with Mikayla’s daughter eagerly following suit.

As cute as these little guys are, it’s important to know that they aren’t an Easter toy; they’re a long-term commitment.

Not-so-new kid in town By Liz Rogers


It’s Sunday afternoon and newly Independent MP Julia Banks is fishing in Port Phillip Bay with her family. It’s tradition. Julia even took her husband, Mike, out fishing for flatheads on one of their first rendezvous. Now that’s a way to catch a guy hook, line and sinker! On that early ‘scaly date’ Julia caught 10 flatties and Mike came home with zero — and yes, you’re right, she’s never let him forget it. She explains: “My late Dad taught me the tricks of the trade. My son, Sam, and I have caught big snapper. Fishing has always been a big hobby of mine. Unusual but true.”

Two days before writing this, I’m in Mornington’s Main St outside a cafe with a smart and gregarious Julia Banks.  Julia and her small team of supporters have been pounding the pavement all day because that’s what you do leading up to a federal election that will be held sometime in May. The waiter asks us what we would like but before we respond Julia is stretching out her hand to introduce herself. She asks him what’s important to him and he says he’s never even registered to vote. Doesn’t see the point. We converse after he takes our orders. “There is a point because change can happen at a grassroots level. As an Independent with socially progressive and financially responsible values, I can now put people before the party, which is exciting. My campaign is centred on climate change action, opposing Adani, upgrading Rosebud hospital, genuine support for local businesses and community groups, social justice and gender equality. Women are not a minority group. We make up 52 percent of the population and are grossly under-represented in Parliament, which has no quotas for women or a proper independent workplace conduct system. Climate change is an acute issue too. We’ve seen the extreme weather patterns and droughts. There are the climate deniers in Parliament and both parties look at the environment and climate change policy as a way to secure votes rather than saving the planet — and as I said in my speech in Parliament about the refugees being held in Nauru, ‘long-term, indefinite detention is no place for any child’.”

Since announcing she wouldn’t contest the seat of Chisholm (which she won from Labor in 2016) after the leadership coup that ousted Malcolm Turnbull late last year, this former Liberal MP and successful corporate lawyer is set to run against Greg Hunt for the seat of Flinders. She continues: “Both my parents came from small business and my family has had ties with the Mornington Peninsula for a long time. The first ever photo of me was with Mum holding me as a baby in Red Hill. Mum was part of the U3A senior citizens group, various walking groups and plays mah-jong. Mike and I have had our house in Red Hill for 20 years. Our kids, Sam and Emma, played for the Red Hill Tennis Club and three generations of my family have participated in the Red Hill Show. I’ve entered my jams and a couple of my watercolours, which is another hobby of mine. I’ve put that one on hold with kids and work. Maybe one day.”

Julia’s campaign will be run on a shoestring budget. She’s already made hundreds of phone calls and has a team of enthusiastic volunteers who are keen to witness a woman being elected to the seat of Flinders for the first time. She concludes: “It will be tough but the response has been good so far. Over the summer, countless people across the seat of Flinders thanked me for my courage and the stand I took with regard to women and speaking up about climate change and the refugees. It will be a lot of hard work but we’re in this race to win it.”

Cast your line, Julia, and see what you can reel in.

Grassroots girl power By Liz Rogers


Lorraine Kabbindi White has six girls. Six 13-year-old girls. Sextuplets, you say? Well, no. Lorraine is the proud carer of six on-the-brink-of-womanhood Indigenous girls who, as part of a program run by the Melbourne Indigenous Transition School for students from remote or regional communities, are calling her place home. She’s only 27 herself, but this courageous and clever former Toorak College boarder figures she can handle it. The hormones. The chatter. The chaos that two different schools, multiple languages and a bunch of excited and enthusiastic young women can bring. 

She explains: “It can be overwhelming at times, but I’m really enjoying it. They are very switched on. They are on scholarships to Kingswood College in Box Hill and Siena College in Camberwell. That makes for interesting starts to the day because we — my partner and I — are living in Kew. The girls come from different regions and speak their Indigenous languages as well as English so it can get very noisy around here.”

Lorraine was the recipient of a scholarship to Toorak College in Mount Eliza herself, and boarded at the school in years 10, 11 and 12. She was also the only Indigenous girl at the school and was thus the first to graduate in 2009. She continues: “It wasn’t easy at first as I had come from a community in West Arnhem Land, where I felt I belonged, but the boarding house became a haven for me. I made real connections with the other girls, who also felt homesick, and ended up enjoying the experience. My girls are faced with the same issues. The non-Indigenous group is much larger than the Indigenous, but they love it. They don’t even want to go home for the holidays.”

The girls will be living with Lorraine and her partner, Bradley Copeland, until they finish their schooling. Lorraine’s role is as primary care-giver and that’s what she gets paid to do. She continues: “After school I went back home. I was very close to my grandfather, Bardayal Lofty Nadjamerrek, who was dying, and I got back to see him before he passed. He associated with nine language groups.” He also taught Lorraine how to paint. “I then worked as a teacher’s aide in the Oenpelli community but community life can be hard, especially in the wet season when it becomes an island. You are cut off and feel very isolated. I came back to Melbourne in 2013.”

Lorraine’s girls are well-versed in language too. Marlene, from Manyallaluk (Eva Valley community) in the Katherine region of the Northern Territory, speaks Kriol, Mayali and English. Denise, from the Nganmarriyanga (Palumpa community) in the NT’s Daly River region, speaks Murrinh Patha and English. Sherilyn, from the Ramingining community in the East Arnhem Land region of the NT, speaks Djambarrpuyngu and English. Lorraine’s little sister Timikar, niece Elaine and cousin Lilly all come from Gunbalanya (Oenpelli community) and speak Kunwinjku, Iwaidja, Kriol and English between them. Cripes!

“There’s a lot of patience involved. You’ve got to remember it’s new for them as well as for yourself, but I wouldn’t have it any other way,” says this girl power provider and designer of the new North Melbourne Indigenous footy jumper. 

Yes, she can do that too.

Eat Up, Australia By Ainsley Paton

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Each day, young children in Aussie schools are going to school without lunch. Without this essential fuel, these kids find it extremely difficult to concentrate in classes, and their learning is compromised. Eat Up, primarily run by Lyndon Galea, is a not-for-profit organisation that, with the help of many generous volunteers, makes sandwiches and delivers them to these kids at their schools, where teachers will discreetly pass out the sandwich so there’s no embarrassment. Since starting in 2015, Eat Up has managed to make 250,000 sandwiches, and has spread from Victoria to NSW and Queensland as well.

Apart from volunteers helping out, companies make a difference too. Coles Supermarkets provide the delicious Wonder White bread needed to make the sandwiches.

Year 10 student Ruby Broomhall, pictured, is one of the organisers of Eat Up here at Woodleigh School. She has only begun having a major role in the program since the beginning of 2019, but has been helping out since the program started in early 2018. Since then, students have given up their lunch times to make sandwiches for Eat Up. The first session brought 45 students making 700 sandwiches in the space of about half an hour. The number of students and sandwiches climbed and climbed throughout the year, and by the 12th session, Woodleigh had made a combined total of 10,000 sandwiches, getting more than 150 helpers, including students, staff and parents, and also helping out seven individual schools.

“In 2019 we are aiming higher and we believe we can positively smash it,” Ruby said. “It’s a magnificent program which allows people from various age groups to socialise and obtain friendships. Altogether I cannot express enough how much of a great experience and opportunity it is to be a part of. It’s so incredibly simple yet so incredibly rewarding.”

It’s not just Woodleigh that is helping out this amazing organisation. Across the three states, companies such as Jetstar, RedBubble, PWC, and Swisse have contributed. Community centres around the country also host Eat Up sessions, where members of the public come along by themselves or with a team of family and friends to help make 5000 sandwiches in an hour. Schools like Ivanhoe Grammar, Ruyton Girls School, Carey Grammar, Caulfield Grammar and Geelong College have also made a huge difference. The organisation has even been featured on Sky News just last year.

Eat Up has had major success over such a short time, but there is still so far to go. If you’re interested in making a contribution, consider attending a public sandwich-making event. Check out their Facebook @eatupaus to see upcoming events near you. Or, if you’d like to get your whole team involved, Eat Up can come into your workplace. They provide all ingredients and equipment; all they need is an hour or two and a bit of space. Simply visit their website at to register. The same applies if you’d like to sign up your school — just head to the website. 

Ainsley Paton is a Year 10 student at Woodleigh School and completed work experience with us at Mornington Peninsula Magazine.

Interactive performance promises the best seats in the house

No. 33  will explore the experiences of women who lived in the same house. Photo by Pippa Samaya

No. 33 will explore the experiences of women who lived in the same house. Photo by Pippa Samaya

Audience members will join the energy while attending an interactive performance conceived and delivered in Frankston by Mornington Peninsula duo Ru Atma and Brigitte Jarvis.

No. 33 will explore the experiences of women who lived in the same house within an “intimate” performance limited to just 15 people. Audience members will feel like invited guests as they search for clues in an unravelling, engaging 45-minute storyline.

Brigitte said audience members will be enthralled, excited and surprised at each turn of the story, where links will be discovered between your guide and the inhabitants. “Imagine stepping into an unpredictable world where the previous inhabitants are slowly revealed to you as you feel compelled to explore and investigate their lives,” she said.

Frankston Art Centre’s performing arts incubator program HATCH helped facilitate the immersive work supported by industry professionals over different stages via skill refinement and storyline development. Without HATCH development funding, the project wouldn’t have been financially feasible. 

“Last year we developed our story, characters and created four different sets,” Brigitte said. “This culminated in an intense shooting period, where we worked with a small, incredibly talented team to shoot four short films in four days.”

Most creatives experience barriers. Ru and Brigitte find clarity by working spatially, sometimes enforcing physical or metaphorical boundaries while following their intuition to develop works, including the recent comedy Brain Fog. “We are both Geminis and multiple paths are taken to bring us home when creating work,” Ru said.

This year the duo that goes by RAWcollective have developed the live performance element to No. 33. Beyond this they are fostering confidence in the next generation of dance and theatre performers through Loco-motion creative moving for kids and Loco Youth Dance Theatre.

A passion to empower children through free expression drives former professional dancer Ru, who has worked internationally and for the Australian Dance Theatre. Students have been provided with the opportunity to perform at McClelland Sculpture Park+Gallery and various theatres. 

Frankston Arts Centre handpicked the act for this year’s season, which will be shown in May. Tickets are available from 


An army man of measure By Liz Rogers

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Alan McDonald’s handshake is firm. At almost 89 years old, this ex-army man, RSL appeals officer and president of the Mornington RSL stands strong with both eyes gazing towards the horizon. You can tell a lot about a person from how they carry themselves, and Alan’s stance screams “get the job done”. No fuss. His front door is already half open as I walk into the driveway of his Mornington home where he lives with his hairdresser wife of 16 years, Waltraud Maria. Inside there is calm and order. Family photos, snow globes, memorabilia and lots of animal statues. Feels like home.

“Do you like my animals?” he asks, and continues: “I love animals. I was at the Balcombe Army Apprentice School in Mount Martha from 1972 until 1975 training young fellows. There were 650 of them then. I went into the army because of my big brother, who had fought in New Guinea and won a Military Cross. All three brothers fought in World War II and Dad was in World War I. I began a four-year course at Duntroon in 1948, graduated into the corps of signals and then went on to Melbourne University for 12 months. We installed, maintained and operated information and communications systems. Morse code then. Of course, it’s all digital now. I was drafted into the infantry and was active in Korea and then in Vietnam. I’ve been a platoon commander and the personal assistant to the British General of the Commonwealth Division in Korea. Been all over the world too. Two years in Germany, six months in England, and I spent my last 10 years in Canberra. You’re always moving in the army. I lived in Cape Schanck with my first wife, Pip, and our four children for a while but have been in Mornington for 30 years.”

There are only 14 men left of the 54 from Alan’s Duntroon graduating class of 1951. They get together each year. I ask Alan how he feels about that, and then if he’s got any medals. “It gets harder to travel when you’re older. I’ve got the normal medals from all those things,” he replies casually. I count 10 awarded to him for different campaigns (pictured). He continues: “No one ever wanted to go and fight. We all hoped we wouldn’t have to, but to save your country you’d be part of it. Army, navy, air force — we were in it together. The defence force is one big family. There was only any rivalry between the groups in sport!” He throws a sideways glance with a grin as we both chuckle over tea and biscuits. “That’s part of the reason I took on the role of appeals officer organising the Anzac Day badges and Remembrance Day poppies. We’re a family. I co-ordinate the whole lot. I liaise with schools and commercial businesses and co-ordinate the volunteers. I’ve been doing it for 20 years. I joined the RSL after I retired from the army in 1985. I’ve looked after people my whole life.”

Alan didn’t have a pushbike when he was a kid growing up in Lismore, Victoria. He had a pony named Trixie whom he’ll never forget. Maybe that’s where the connection with animals began. “Dad worked as a stock agent, so it was normal back then. It was also normal to go to boarding school as there were no secondary schools in the area. I went to Ballarat.” 

I ask this sport-loving, community-minded man of values if he thinks there’ll be another war. “I don’t think so,” he replies. “We are getting better at learning to agree to disagree. It took us 60 years to talk with North Korea, but we are doing it. I don’t think China or the US or Russia wants war. War is silly.”

Well said, Alan. Well said. 

Start training now so you don’t run out of puff

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“Do you think a runner could beat Puffing Billy to Emerald Lake Park?” In 1980, a conversation just like this between Puffing Billy volunteers led to the establishment of the Great Train Race, a run that is now one of the oldest and most iconic on the Melbourne running calendar.

The first Great Train Race was organised in 1982 with 1600 competitors. Since this time, 80,000 people have taken to the Dandenong Ranges in an attempt to outrun Puffing Billy, who tends to chug into Lakeside Station in about 52 minutes. The race record currently stands at 42 min 27 sec, which was achieved by Steve Kelly in 2015. Melissa Duncan broke the women’s record in 2018 with a time of 48 min 27 sec.

The Great Train Race is popular with runners due to the unique challenges it presents. While relatively short in length, the 13.5km course includes three hill climbs in the first 10km and a fast-paced downhill run for the final 3-4km. This is all done while Puffing Billy’s whistle echoes through the forests and gullies, with runners never knowing whether they are in front of the train.

This year will mark the 38th running of the Great Train Race, with more than 3000 runners expected to take part. The event is a major fundraiser for the not-for-profit railway, which operates under the steam of more than 600 volunteers.

For more information or to register for the race, which will be run on Sunday, May 5, please visit 

Mature-age students drawn to family violence studies

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Harnessing years of experience in family violence research and social commentary, Dr Ilsa Evans, pictured, spearheads family violence education at Chisholm. Ilsa is a passionate teacher and appreciates the diversity of ages and cultures that come together in her classroom, and she especially enjoys teaching TAFE students. “TAFE students are more motivated and engaged and it is an absolute pleasure to teach them. It’s also incredibly rewarding to watch their journey.”

Ilsa says family violence studies attract many mature-age students who are returning to study after years, but richer with their life experiences. “Mature-age students are fertile ground with many transferable skills. They have an enhanced appreciation for education and teaching them is always a collaborative effort. I personally identify with them because I was a mature-age student myself when I studied for my doctorate.”

At Chisholm, students studying family violence will receive practical skills and experience, assistance with use of technology, time and life-management skills, and one-on-one time with teachers. Ilsa and her team also work closely with the community services and social work industries to secure placements for students. “We network with industry and build relationships with key organisations to ensure that students to have the opportunity to join the workforce. Some of these placements actually turn out to be real jobs.”

In Ilsa’s experience, a common difficulty her students face is the inability to separate their personal experiences and opinions when working on academics for family violence. But she believes this can be overcome by teaching different techniques that encourage students to shift their thinking to evidence-based facts.

Ilsa’s advice to potential students is that family violence work, while very challenging, is also extremely rewarding. “In order to be the most effective practitioner, however, both for yourself and for your clients, a thorough understanding of the complexities of family violence is essential. Never stop researching and learning.”

Boots and all at Bata By Liz Rogers


Boots are going to be big this winter, so get yourself along to Bata Shoes in Mornington where hard-wearing and stylish new-season arrivals are walking out the door.

This chilly season why not treat yourself to a pair or two of exclusive-to-Bata Italian shoes that deliver clever comfort and streamlined panache. Or pull on some manufactured on-site gumboots that have got both grunt and style in spades. Ideal for pottering around outside whether you’re on the farm, the beach or just nipping out the back door to the line, Bata Shoes’ gumboots give the handyman or woman the confidence to get the job done with flair. They’re also great for the kids with the Easter holidays just around the corner, especially if you’ve got outdoor activities planned to while away the time. 

Men, women and kids are covered at Bata Shoes, where the price is always competitive and the design is meant to last. Whether you’re after casual or dress shoes, lace-ups or slip-ons, work shoes or get-cosy-by-the-fire slippers, the team of experts can help you find the right fit because they know what they are doing. And don’t forget their great range of school shoes, because you never know when your little mover and shaker may need another pair. 

Bata’s boots are made for walking. Pop by today to stock up for winter with a range of footwear that makes a statement time after time.


A: 1158 Nepean Highway, Mornington

T: 5970 8500


FB: Bata Mornington Australia

INSTA: batashoes

The Master of creating memories By Liz Rogers

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Connect with family from 5pm onwards six nights a week at Orita’s 2 in Balnarring. Experts in bringing loved ones together over traditional Japanese food prepared by Master Hikaru Orita, Orita’s 2 offers genuine food lovers an exceptional dining experience that transcends age and celebrates the importance of generational bonds.

Grandparents, parents and children dine together at Orita’s 2 to experience the love and respect the Master has for his produce and that they have for each other. Conversation and flavour flows around the exquisite transformation of home-grown seasonal food prepared by the Master and the delight in spending time with each other while tasting fruits, herbs and edible flowers from his garden. It is also a space for soul-inspired gatherings while sampling skilled meat preparation as the Master, who was a student of the founder of teppanyaki cuisine in Japan, prepares unparalleled meat dishes that will inspire.

The entire food preparation and production process at Orita’s 2 is guided by the Master’s dedication to bringing the most authentic Japanese cuisine to his guests, whether young or old. He is often called ‘the food magician’ or ‘the moonlight gardener’ because his understanding of how the produce is grown and prepared is much broader than that of the average chef. 

Magical memories are created at Orita’s 2. From the Master to you.


A: Shop 17, Balnarring Village, Balnarring

T: 5931 3232


Property management agency has the Peninsula covered By Kate Sears

A real estate agency that was founded on the principles of exceptional service, results and knowledge is how you would describe Mornington Peninsula Rentals. This boutique real estate agency is situated in Balnarring, yet it services the whole Peninsula from Mount Eliza to Portsea, Western Port and Frankston. 

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Nancy McGuire and Kym Colliver have a combined 45 years of experience in the property management industry. They both have the qualities required to offer their clients the best support around. The pair have determination, drive and unwavering enthusiasm. You know they’re the perfect solution for your property because they established their business as a result of their pure frustration over the lack of care and services provided in the property management arena. Their locally owned and 100 per cent independent agency is determined to be different in its approach to managing your property. Endeavouring to be transparent and efficient in their dealings with both landlords and tenants is how this dynamic duo conduct their business. 

The pair believe that their success is due to building good relationships with both clients and tenants alike to ensure your property is maintained to a high standard in order to continue your hassle-free income stream. Nancy and Kym treat your asset as if it was their own. This being said, they make promises to their landlords starting with ensuring that they return their calls and emails within a 24-hour period. They also update their landlords immediately upon any changes to their property, as well as carrying out any repairs or maintenance quickly and efficiently, seeking good-quality tenants and even offering a money-back guarantee. 

And they service the whole Peninsula and more — what more could you ask for?

A: Shop 14, Balnarring Village
T: 5983 5509 
FB: mornpenrentals
INSTA: morningtonpeninsularentals

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