Miss Western Port Finalists Revealed

The annual Western Port Festival returns on February 24-26 and with it, the Miss Western Port Pageant.

Mornington Peninsula Magazine caught up with this year’s finalists ahead of the February 25 judging. Miss Western Port 2017 will be announced on the RPP FM Main Stage on Saturday, February 25, 1.30pm - 2pm.

The mission of the Miss Western Port Pageant is to create opportunities for local young women. Entrants are judged on their community service involvement, ability to connect with people from all walks of life, poise, presence, interviewing skills and confidence. “She must be an all-rounded woman who has a desire to make a positive impact in her community while being a positive role model to others,” director Hannah Swinnerton explains.

*The theme for the 2017 Western Port Festival is ‘Superheroes’ (a superhero can be a Mum, Dad, emergency services worker, volunteer and more). More at westernportfestival.org.au

Mentoring, squid and sailing apparel …. By Liz Rogers

Following on from our Lovin’ Life on the Peninsula story in the January edition, Mornington Peninsula Magazine thought you’d like to know more about Liz Egan’s connection with our coast, cooking with local produce and creating long lasting ties with kids who’ve had a rough start. I caught up with this petit blond haired go-getter one stormy afternoon and, as the cumulonimbus nudged its way from the hazy horizon towards us, I found out that my namesake is smart, funny and very determined to make a difference.

“I’m really looking forward to the camp at Ferngully Lodge in Healesville. We stay for a week. The kids come from the Frankston North area and have never had the opportunity to go to camp. All we plan to do is have fun, fun, fun!”

Egan began searching for volunteer work around six years ago, after she had an accident that left her shoulder in bad shape and made commercial kitchen work a thing of the past (she misses the adrenalin rush of service and the comradeship at Becco and her 2 Chef Hats venue Onions). “There’ll be 15 primary school children from low socioeconomic families at the camp organised through The Salvation Army (in late January). If I can plant a seed in just one of these kids’ minds that there are possibilities out there, it’s been worth it.”

The easy going My Kitchen Rules judge has been emergency relief volunteering in Dingley once a week and will be in a school in Frankston North mentoring kids one on one from February onwards. “I also fundraise for the children’s hospice Very Special Kids,” she continues, and as the rain begins to thrash the sand and sea, she tells me she’s turned her hand to distributing sailing apparel with her husband David Andrew.

“I’m not a sailor, but David is mad for it, so somehow we’ve got a bedroom full of British made Rooster sailing kit! It’s a bit of fun and the brand is affordable” – Egan and Andrew like supporting club sailors and are members at Mount Martha – “We’ve taken it on and there’s a lovely tailored line for women.” Check out the website sailingkit.com.au for more info.

Before we wrap it up, I ask Egan how her squid fishing has been going. “I caught one! Salt and pepper, lightly dusted in flour and deep fried quickly. Delicious. The second time I went out on the kayak with my daughter - three and a half hours later – nothing!”

That’s the luck of the draw we figure but one thing’s for sure – she’ll give it another go. You can’t stop her.

International Women's Day – Get On Board!

Hundreds of people will gather at Mornington Racecourse on March 8 to celebrate International Women's Day and you can be a part of it.

International Women's Day is celebrated across the globe on March 8 each year. On the Peninsula the day is marked by a breakfast attended by a diverse range of professional men and women who recognise the important role women play in modern society.

The event, now in its third year, is jointly arranged by the Rotary clubs of Frankston North, Frankston, Mt Eliza and Peninsula 2.0.  All profits are donated to charity. International Women's Day is about celebration, reflection, advocacy and action. The breakfast runs from 7am-9am.

More than 370 guests attended the 2016 event and organisers expect an even bigger crowd this year.  The speakers are Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman Kate Carnell and Susan Berg, author of ‘The Girl Who Lived’.

Susan was the sole survivor of a boating accident at the age of 15 that claimed the lives of her mother, father and brother. On January 7, 2017, Susan faced her greatest fear - open water - and swam the world's largest open water event, the Lorne Pier to Pub. This was part of her ongoing journey of self-healing and to encourage other women to confront and overcome their own fears.

Tickets $50 each, tables of ten $500, buy at: iwdbreakfast2017.eventbrite.com.au

Enquiries to David on 0414 996 798.  Mornington Peninsula Magazine is a proud sponsor of the Peninsula’s International Women's Day Breakfast 2017.

A: Mornington Racecourse 'Gunnamatta Room', 320 Racecourse Rd
W: iwdbreakfast2017.eventbrite.com.au

Poles positioned

Eight new poles have been installed along the Dreaming Trail at the George Pentland Botanic Gardens in Frankston. 

The ironbark poles, replacing ones that had succumbed to weather and white ants, tell the Boonwurrung people’s story of the Mornington Peninsula’s creation: “A long time ago, Bunjil the eagle asked Mindi the snake to help create the land.

Mindi was the one that created the rivers and valleys and now she lays waiting beneath the Peninsula. The Mindi path is a reminder that creation is precious and that we must respect and care for mother earth.” Photos: Mark Calleja

From Shoreham to Fitzroy Crossing by Liz Rogers

Imagine having your home burn down and not having the funds to rebuild. Imagine not being able to access the materials you need because you live in an incredibly remote part of the Kimberley – 2000km from Perth and 500km from Broome in Western Australia to be exact.

Not a great way to ring in the New Year, right?

Susan and Emily from the McCulloch and McCulloch Whistlewood Gallery in Shoreham work on fundraising initiatives with various educational, literacy and health organisations to further the work of Aboriginal programs. When they heard the news about the fire, they got moving.

Aboriginal artist, Bawoorooga man and Gooniyandi traditional healer Claude Carter had his first show with them in conjunction with Salt Contemporary Art in Queenscliff in 2011. This social leader and teacher of Law and Culture’s work represents a sacred cave on his treasured land, the power of connectivity to it and is painted with pure Kimberley ochres that Claude mines himself.

“We’ve had the privilege of representing Claude’s work for some time now. His show was a sell-out and people were very impressed by his work and modus. Claude and his wife Andrea Pindan (who is also a leading artist of Mangkaja Arts, Fitzroy Crossing) spent 16 years building their homeland community of Bawoorooga.  There was an art shed, food garden, native plant nursery and a fruit orchard. The news of the fire is devastating,” explain Susan and Emily. 

The girls at Whistlewood have contributed to a crowd funding platform that has been set up at chuffed.org (Rebuild an Aboriginal Community that Burnt Down) by donating one of Claude’s beautiful paintings entitled Limestone Ridge at Goonboorooru Cave which has just been sold (at time of writing) for $4800. All funds go to the cause with the aim to raise $12,000. 

The gallery also has two additional Claude Carter works available now for purchase as every sale helps.

Nice work ladies – from Shoreham to beyond.

A: 642 Tucks Rd, Shoreham VIC 3916
T: 5989 8282
W: mccullochandmcculloch.com.au

Hurly-burly at Gunna by Liz Rogers

Now this is where you want to be. 8am. Blue cloudless sky. Dunes, surf undulating behind them and a group of local ‘grommets’ just itching to get into the water.

Gunnamatta Beach has always been a lady who sends mixed messages. She oozes wild beauty but behind her grand façade she is well known for being dangerous and downright deathly. That doesn’t seem to bother the 10 local surfers ranging from eight to 20 years of age who have come to participate in the free elite surf coaching session put on by the travelling Hurley Surf Club. They’re just stoked and ready to surf.

There will be three sessions over the day and 22 ‘gromms’ participating. Hurley’s personal video coaching mobile (where the kids will watch themselves on the waves later) has travelled from Queensland and New South Wales and will be heading to Torquay - but let’s get back to Gunnamatta.

World Surfing three-time champion and Hurley international surf ambassador Wayne ‘Rabbit’ Bartholomew is checking out the conditions while the kids slip on their wetsuits. Let’s say I’m fairly impressed to be in the same carpark as this surfing legend (I grew up watching him riding waves across the planet). The kids don’t have much of an idea who he is until we mention it and they get onto YouTube and have their minds blown. 13-year-old Jake Pancic and his sister Sasha (10) from Blairgowrie, 10-year-old Luke Hickson and his eight-year-old sister Sarah (their cousins) have been surfing with their parents for much of their young lives and don’t seem to be bothered that the waves are twice their size and angry (their dads are out there with them).

Older Mount Martha ‘gromms’ Andrew Juchnevicius, Alex Cook and Cam Myers are amazed the event is free and are suitably impressed by Rabbit’s credentials, while local 15-year-old St Andrews surfer Jett Dickinson is so chilled out he could be in a freezer. After a quick warm up on the beach they all slip into the surf.

“Look at that rip out there”, says Rabbit. “They are unbelievable. Some of them are so little, but look at them go.” I’ve never seen anything like it. The courage, physical strength and confidence of these kids is, well, nuts! Each surfer is filmed. Once on Terra Firma the guys hunker down in the Hurley van and go over the material with Head Coach Tim McDonald and Rabbit. Jett’s mum Danni talks. “This is so good. What an opportunity to have the best check out Jett’s surfing” (all they had to do was sign up online, submit a questionnaire and upload a one-minute video to YouTube to be part of it). The program’s global roster of coaches includes former world champion and Aussie surfing legend Barton Lynch, plus there’s free how to videos breaking down the techniques of top pros on the Hurley Surf Club website.

For more info log onto nike.com/au/en_gb/c/hurley/surf-club. Sick.

Youth Dressage Championships, What an Event! By Dana Krause

Fiona Selby’s magnificent world class facility Boneo Park was immaculately turned out for The Ellanbrae Park 2017 Youth Dressage Championships - a competition for riders aged 10-25 years.

About 150 riders competed over three days from Victoria, NSW, Queensland, Tasmania, South Australia and even New Zealand.  The talent of both riders and horses was phenomenal, some of which are sure to represent Australia on the international stage in the future.

Dressage is often described as ballet on horseback and spectators were not disappointed as they were entertained by some of the most graceful young riders and horses in Australia. This was also the first year that interschool classes where included, supported by Toorak College, making this event inclusive of all dressage riders.

The state champions of day one included: Brooke Mance riding Fairbanks Ringo, from Victoria, won the Elementary Pony; Samantha Coleshill from South Australia, riding Tarrendene Forte, won the Elementary Horse; Alicia Ryan from Victoria, on Bluefields Furstentanz, won the Advanced Horse; and Fern Wright on Kamber Pryderi, from Victoria, won the FEI Inter II Horse.

The state championships of day two were: Haylea Wright on Stanmore Park Ruby, from Victoria, won the Novice Horse; Jemma Dodd from South Australia, riding Class Capture, won the Novice Pony; Nicole Berry riding Euroz Jinks, from South Australia, won the Medium Horse; Allysse Smith from Victoria, on the imported Keilshoop Honeyhill, won the Medium Pony; and Fern Wright, riding Kamber Pryderi (pictured), won the FEI U25 Grand Prix.

The weather improved on day three and the final state championship winners were: Jemma Dodd from South Australia, once again riding Class Capture, won the Preliminary Pony; Melissa Galloway riding BWS Cabaret, from New Zealand, won the Preliminary Horse; Jessica Hivon from Victoria on Garraboo Scoobie Doo, won the FEI Junior Tour; Morgan Duell and Florinzz, from Victoria, won the FEI Medium Tour; Amy Bacchman from Victoria, riding Heritage Park Chartreuse, won the FEI Pony Tour; Amy Reilly riding Michar, from NSW, won the FEI Small Tour; and the picture perfect combination Charlie Welsh, riding W Esther De Jeu, from Victoria won FEI Young Rider Tour.

Dressage is a tough sport that requires dedication not only of the young riders who compete but also their families and the support of the judges, volunteers and sponsors. More at www.vydc.com.au

She’s our Delvene Delaney by Andrea Kellett

Nikki Osborne relaxes on the deck of her stunning McCrae home overlooking Port Phillip Bay. It’s a far cry from the film set in Brisbane where the actress spent eight weeks filming a television series about to air on Channel 7, called ‘Hoges: The Paul Hogan Story’.

Nikki is a mother of two, an actress, a comedian, a Peninsula local and one of the lead characters in the new Channel 7 series, which airs Sunday, February 12, and Sunday, February 19, at 8.30pm on Channel 7 (in two parts). She plays Delvine Delaney, the beauty pageant winner who found fame on Australian television in the 1970s, became a cast member of ‘The Paul Hogan Show’ and later a co-presenter on the quiz show ‘Sale of the Century’.

It’s a dream role for Nikki, who bears a remarkable likeness to Delvine. “When I heard about the role I just went ‘please’,” she says. “I love Delvine. I’ve been nicknamed Delvine in comedy shows I’ve worked on in the past. She and I had pretty similar careers, working in comedy and television.”

‘Hoges: The Paul Hogan Story’ tells the story of Paul Hogan - the almost accidental supernova of raw comedic talent who exploded onto Australia’s entertainment scene and then the world. He was a Sydney Harbour Bridge rigger with five kids who entered a TV talent contest, became a household name and an Oscar-nominated star.

Embraced by Australians as ‘Hoges’, he is joined on his journey by lifelong friend, producer and sidekick John ‘Strop’ Cornell. Together they make Australians laugh then proud as one of the most successful tourism campaigns in history sells Aussie hospitality to the world. This, along with the success of ‘Crocodile Dundee’, cements Hogan’s legacy. ‘Hoges: The Paul Hogan Story’ explores the factors that shaped this success, his family life, his two great loves, divorce and his struggle with life in the public eye.

Nikki’s career includes a role in Oscar-winning director Peter Bogdanovich’s US telemovie ‘The Mystery of Natalie Wood’ and appearances in award-winning television dramas such as ‘Rush’ and the Bryce Courtenay mini-series ‘Jessica’. It is in comedy, however, where she really made her presence felt. Her improvisational talents were uncovered when she hosted the live interactive game show ‘Quizmania’. Mick Molloy invited Nikki into the cast of his comedy series ‘The Nation’ and numerous guest spots on panel shows, breakfast radio and pilots followed.

Nikki battled a gruelling round of auditions to secure the role of Delvine then spent eight weeks away from her family during filming. Her boys Will, 8, and Teddy, 4, have interesting thoughts on mum’s upcoming television role. “Will’s little girlfriends at school are far more into what mummy does that he is!” she laughs. “And Teddy is worried I’m going to get stuck in the TV!

Nikki and her husband moved from Hampton to the “Ninch” seven years ago. “My husband wanted land and I wanted water so we travelled south until we found something that had both,” she says. As for juggling parenthood, a Peninsula lifestyle and a soaring career, Nikki is pretty relaxed. “Having an apartment in town would be a good crash pad but once you’ve had a taste of the ‘Ninch’ you don’t go back,” she laughs.

Hoges: The Paul Hogan Story’ -  Sunday, February 12, and Sunday, February 19, 8.30pm on Channel 7.

Travellers advised to seek an adviser


Smart travellers know the key to an outstanding trip is partnering with a travel adviser. And people who work with advisers such as the staff at Peninsula Travel, a member of leading luxury travel agency network Virtuoso®, say trips planned with an adviser’s guidance are better than those organised without them.

Here are just three reasons why:

1. Personalised planning: Whether you’re the do-it-yourself type or want someone else to take the reins, when you collaborate with a travel adviser, your trips will be tailored to your interests and budget.

2. Global expertise and connections: Not only do Virtuoso travel advisers have extensive personal knowledge of destinations and products around the world, they have relationships with global partners who can arrange exclusive experiences to make a trip truly extraordinary.
3. Value: A Virtuoso adviser has access to the same (and often better) pricing than you can find online and can secure special perks like complimentary room upgrades that you can’t get on your own.
“People who are overwhelmed and dissatisfied with the glut of online information now crave the human connection,” said Peninsula Travel director Michele Saunderson. “Once they partner with one of our travel advisers, they wonder why they didn’t do it sooner.”


A: 9 Bay Rd, Mount Martha
T: 5974 3911
E: Admin@peninsulatravel.com.au

Small to medium businesses will get the chance to make 2017 a year of expansion and growth when Smart Business Solutions hosts BITE Conference 2017 in May.

One of the Peninsula’s most awarded accounting firms, Smart Business Solutions has designed BITE Conference to direct businesses to all that’s available in integrated technology. To be held at Mornington Racecourse on May 10, BITE Conference is aimed at those wanting to run their business more efficiently, and explore the latest and greatest technologies available to small business. 

Awarded 2016 Victorian Xero Accounting Firm Partner of the Year, Shannon Smit and Nadia Hughes are your kind of accountants.  Shannon’s a real go-getter who has genuine energy and enthusiasm for every single thing she does, and it’s no surprise she was appointed as an adviser to the Australian Government’s Board of Taxation.  Nadia’s passion for accounting and financial planning means she never stops researching the latest financial legislation changes and nutting out nifty new wealth maximisation strategies for each and every one of her clients.

1 +1 =3

Wait … what!? They are accountants, right?  Correct, but they think conceptually and strategically, not just in a number-crunching linear fashion.

BITE Conference 2017 and Smart Business Solutions – it’s your winning formula.


A: Level 1, 328 Main St, Mornington

T: 5911 7000

W: www.smartbusinesssolutions.com.au

Disability Training Leads to Jobs

The disability sector is experiencing a boost in jobs due to the rollout of the National Disability Insurance Scheme.  The NDIS is expected to create up to 20,000 jobs in Victoria and fund support for 105,000 people with a disability.

Abbey McRae and Katie Absolom chose BRACE as their preferred training provider.  Both have previously completed qualifications with BRACE, and returned earlier this year to complete their Certificate IV in Disability (CHC43115).

“I wanted to change my career path and already knew from past experience that BRACE is a really good training provider. I like that it is a really welcoming environment where everyone says ‘hello’ to each other. My trainer (Susanne) also organised our practical placements, which was a big plus,” said Katie.

Abbey smiled and nodded, adding “Our trainer was always available.  When I needed help, I just contacted her and she always responded.  I loved completing my qualification with BRACE.”

Abbey and Katie are now both working for a local disability service provider. They explain that it is very rewarding working with people with disabilities.  They enjoy helping people to enhance their independence and become more confident.

A: Level 2, 54 – 58 Wells Street, Frankston
T: 9781 3388
W: brace.com.au

How to feel the fear and do it anyway

Last November, I had a great idea. I would launch the inaugural Regional Business Women's Day on February 6 via a documentary about regional businesswomen while going on a 3321km road trip from Geelong to Townsville. Oh and taking 2 businesswomen, 2 babies and a video camera with me. All we needed was an automotive sponsor, accommodation in 8 locations, venues and speakers and to cover it with an $8000 crowd funding campaign. And we had five weeks to do it.

Was I scared we wouldn’t achieve these crazy goals? I had half a day of freaking out at one point but otherwise, no. As the great Sir Richard Branson says, ‘You don't learn to walk by following rules. You learn by doing, and by falling over.’

If your fear is holding you back from achieving your goals, try this:

1.     Remind yourself of your why. Why are you doing what you do and who are you doing it for? If your crazy goals will serve others, keep going.

2.     Is this goal you’ve set for yourself achievable? If you can break down what you need to do and when you need to do it and stick to your plan, you can achieve it.

3.     There’s no such thing as failure. If it doesn’t turn out, try another way using what you’ve learnt from the experience. Real growth comes from being out of your comfort zone.

4.     Believe in yourself, no matter what the non-supporters say!

5.     Visualise your goals. Top performing athletes use the technique of positive visualisation before doing it in real life. You can too.

The Big Shed Balnarring

A Big surprise lies tucked at the back of 2996 Frankston Flinders Rd, Balnarring. Over 20 stunning, stylish individual designers and producers have come together under one roof to help you find the treasure that your heart desires and that you and your home need. Stylish Clothing, magical jewellery, stunning homewares, fabulous accessories, fresh flowers, plants, a gallery and a delicious café - with new pieces arriving weekly you will be drawn back to The Big Shed time and time again.

Open Thursday – Sunday 10am – 5pm
W: thebigshedbalnarring.com.au
E: info@thebigshedbalnarring.com.au

All-hours gym a perfect fit

Less than three months after opening, Balnarringym has reached its target of 300 members.
“The fact that we are open 24 hours every day has been a big factor,” said manager Tiffany Jukes.  “For example, a lot of tradies tend to use the gym early in the morning, whereas some mums are coming around 8pm after the kids are in bed.  Shift workers also appreciate the 24/7.  Retirees seem to enjoy working out during the quieter times of the day.  We’re finding a lot of young lads are getting fit for the football season in the gym after work.”

Tiffany’s colleague, Brendan Potter, added: “The wide variety of fitness equipment is a real plus.  The sled run, the battle rope and the boxing circuit are all proving popular.  The True Stretch Frame is also in great demand. And with the snow season approaching, our new True Traverse Lateral Trainer (pictured), which increases the muscle on the outside of thighs, is also in high demand.”

The True Traverse is a revolutionary piece of cardio equipment that combines the motions of a stepper, elliptical and treadmill all in one, allowing users to achieve a more complete workout in a fraction of the time spent on traditional cardio pieces. 

A: 2992 Frankston-Flinders Rd, Balnarring
T: 5931 3131
FB: Facebook/balnarringym
I: Instagram.com/balnarringym

‘Bucket List’ Tour To Africa 

Africa is without doubt the best place in the world to view wildlife. On Balnarring Travel & Cruise’s Wildlife Encounters Fully Escorted Group Tour to Africa trip you have the best game viewing opportunities as well as the amazing Victoria Falls and the exciting Cape Town. The trip of a lifetime to be ticked off your bucket list.



A: Shop 4, Village Centre, Balnarring

W: balnarringtravel.com.au

Iluka Retreat has it all

Iluka is a stunning 14.5ha property providing a range of private camping sites for small groups as well as a glamping camp and a safari tent village.  The glamping tents are styled for couples or families, or you can book a high tea or a birthday gathering.  There are terraces, lake views and bushland camp areas, and accompanying the campsites is a fully equipped camp kitchen with fridges, cook tops and barbecue.  There are also bathrooms with hot showers.

The picturesque property has wetlands, bird hides, a lake and rolling hills and can be booked for corporate groups, weddings and small events.  The lodges, which can accommodate groups of up to 36 and 60 people, include dining rooms and common areas, recreation rooms with open fires, separate bathrooms, disabled facilities, and on-site parking.

The lake is perfect for swimming, stand up paddle boarding and canoeing, which can be hired. Iluka also has a range of discovery walks and an obstacle course.  Iluka is just a 15-minute walk from Shoreham beach and neighbours Pier 10 Winery, and Ashcombe Maze and Lavender Gardens.

T: 5984 0888
W: Ilukaretreat.com