Saddle up for summer fun

Summer school holidays are here again, and that means many of us will be looking for ways to keep the kids entertained.  So why not get them out in the fresh air doing something they might not have tried before – horse-riding.

Set on 80 gorgeous hectares at Cape Schanck, Ace-Hi is a western-themed adventure park that offers a range of trail rides for all ages and all levels of experience - even if you’ve never ridden a horse before.  For children aged seven and over there are scenic trail rides for beginners and intermediates, bush’n’beach rides for intermediates and forest rides for the more experienced rider.  And for youngsters aged six and under there are delightful pony rides.

The rides are available every day except Christmas Day, including from noon on Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.

A: 810 Boneo Rd, Cape Schanck
T: 5988 6262

Birthday celebrations and expansion at Mach1 Panel and Paint

Mach1 Panel and Paint in Mornington is a place where hard work, original ideas and caring for customers come together to create a local business driving itself into the number one spot of automotive accident repairers on the Peninsula.

It is also a place where hard work is recognised and celebrated.

High end painter Luciano Missaglia has known Mach1 owner Michael Turner for around 21 years and has been working with him for the past eight years. To celebrate Luciano’s 50th and to show their appreciation of this talented painter’s skill and preparedness to put in the extra miles to get the job done, Michael and his wife Sharon have given Luciano a completely ‘kitted up’ Mercedes 250 diesel. Now that’s a present!

Sharon explains: “Luciano is a gun painter and is both efficient and productive. He knows our clients have an important connection to their cars. The client always comes first and his work is impeccable. He deserves it.”

Mach1 Panel and Paint won the Best Medium Shop (Victoria) and Best Medium Shop (National) titles in 2015 and were finalists in the 2016 inaugural VACC awards. Their work is fully guaranteed and carries a five-year warranty - plus they offer a 24-hour towing service.

“Our office is moving across the road to Bennett’s Road because our panel shop is expanding. Mach1 will soon be offering large vehicle painting services with the introduction of a new spraying booth,” Sharon continues.

So if your car, minivan or Sprinter needs some tender loving care, call Mach1 to get the job done.

Open five days a week and Saturday morning
A: 14-16 Virginia St, Mornington
T: 5975 5367

A Cracker Half-Dozen Years in Beer by Andrea Kellett

“It’s hands on and there’s definitely a love of what we do, in many ways it’s an ideology…” says Matt Bebe, Managing Director of Mornington Peninsula Brewery.  “With craft beer, you’ve got to nurture it all the way through, it’s not mass produced.”

Matt Bebe has had a whirlwind half-dozen years at the helm of Mornington Peninsula Brewery.  He (with his team, of course) has seen the highs and lows of a new venture since he left the corporate world to open a craft brewery in Mornington in 2010.  Given this, one might expect his head to be in the clouds.

While his head is filled with blue sky thoughts, his feet are firmly planted on the ground. “You have to be respectful of where you’ve come from,” says Bebe, and this shows in their genuine commitment to local collaboration. In 2016 Mornington Peninsula Brewery and Montalto Winery worked together on producing one of Australia’s first beer and wine co-fermented hybrids.  A combination of Mornington Brown and Montalto Pinot Noir, the VinAle was released at both venues with such amazing feedback that in 2017 they are planning on releasing multiple varieties. Mornington Peninsula Brewery also recently sponsored the inaugural On The M.A.P. (Mornington Artist Precinct) project.

This year alone the brewery has landed a contract to stock Mornington beers with Coles and Woolworths; was chosen to be the beer partner for the Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) until 2018; and released a new range of beers (#tinnage) which is only available at independent stores (and that’s barely scratching the surface of achievements at the Peninsula’s biggest craft brewer and employer of about 30).

Mornington Peninsula Brewery’s latest release, Hop Culture Session IPA (a hybrid between a Pale Ale and IPA), is so widely popular that with each packaging run it’s sold before day’s end.  

An hour-long interview with one of the Peninsula’s biggest success stories right now produces so much good stuff we have to pin him down on his biggest achievements this year and ask for a sneak peak of what’s in store for 2017. “Our biggest achievement over the last year would have to be the specialty beer releases of #tinnage, to add to this 2017 will be the year we begin the packaging and release of our small batch barrel-aged products”.

Overall the Australian craft beer industry is still in its infancy when compared to the United States, and with Mornington Peninsula Brewery playing a key part in this exciting period of growth there are plenty of surprises to come for the beer-loving public of Australia.

Don’t feed the gulls! by Liz Rogers

It’s time to quit chucking your chips at seagulls - Right?

Even if your intentions are good, you’re not doing them any favours. In fact, you’re doing them more harm than good. Seagulls should be eating crustaceans, insects, small fish and worms - not nutrient deficient potato chips that make them sick - and we don’t want them swooping at our heads. Do we?

Melanie Attard from information-based initiative Wildlife Matters explains: “It’s time the public was educated. Humans have become a source of regular food for seagulls and now they are becoming a persistent problem.”

Seagulls are native waterbirds and are iconic species in the Frankston municipality. Feeding them leads to the birds coming in to our built-up areas looking for more food.

Melanie continues: “They are nesting on rooftops, causing blocked pipes and gutters, or corrosion of steel rooftops due to droppings and the damage can be costly. Some owners have resorted to using rooftop deterrent systems consisting of (monofilament) lines and nets which are poorly designed and installed. Volunteers are rescuing the trapped gulls but many can’t be saved. It is illegal to intentionally trap, harm or kill protected native wildlife. Silvergulls (seagulls) are protected under the Wildlife Protection Act, enforceable by State Government department DELWP.”

Wildlife advocate Melanie has been into schools, given talks at festivals and has given conference presentations in a bid to get the word out there. AWARE (Australian Wildlife Assistance Rescue & Education) in Frankston is a volunteer group made up of around 30 active volunteers who help rescue the trapped birds. They also aid in the rehabilitation of other wildlife in the region.   

“It’s important to understand who shares our home. Humans are not alone and everything we do has an effect on other living things. Getting aggressive towards seagulls is not going to help the situation. Not feeding them will.”

Enough said.


Scout adventure at Mount Martha by Matt Dobson

Mount Martha has hosted Victoria's largest annual Scout camp.

 More than 2250 Scouts from across Victoria attended the camp - the 41st Gilweroo - over the last weekend of November - supported by 500 Leaders and other volunteers.

Gilweroo is an annual activity camp at Scouts Victoria's Bay Park campsite at Mount Martha. As an end-of-year camp the emphasis is on fun. Scouts enjoyed more than 30 activities, including archery, rock climbing, flying fox, challenge valley, air rifles, canoeing, sumo mud wrestling, BMX, zorb balls and bubble soccer. At night the fun continued, with a disco and movies.

Scouting is for boys and girls aged 6 to 25 years. The journey begins in Joey Scouts (ages 6-7), then continues through Cub Scouts (8-10), Scouts (11-14), Venturers (15-17) and Rovers (18-25).

Earlier in 2016 Scouts Victoria celebrated 10 consecutive years of growth. There are more 25,000 members in Victoria and 47 million Scouts worldwide. Scouting is expected to reach 100 million members by 2025.

Brendan Watson, Chief Commissioner of Scouts Victoria, says parents are increasingly seeking Scouting to balance their child's other interests. “Scouting is a chance to get kids away from screen - TV, computers, video games - to enjoy the outdoors, to plan their own activities, to learn to work in teams, to learn about leadership, to become responsibly independent and resilient," he said. "And, course, to have fun!” 

"Recent UK research showed that former Scouts have significantly better mental health than non-Scouts - up to 50 years later. As adults, they were less anxious and less likely to suffer mood swings." 

To join or find out more about Scouting visit or call 1800 SCOUTS (1800 726 881). 

*Matt Dobson is the District Leader (Scouts) for Mornington Peninsula District.

Love at first sight by Liz Rogers

 Sully (Left) & Jetta (Right)

Sully (Left) & Jetta (Right)

Mornington Peninsula Magazine’s Molly Mitchell has a soft spot. Well, two actually. Molly’s seven month and five-year-old Staffordshire Bull Terriers have been pulling at her heart strings ever since they bounded into her life, so we thought you’d like to catch a glimpse of Staffie seduction first hand as part of our Peninsula pets and their owners segment.

Staffordshire Bull Terriers are well known for their courage, loyalty and intelligence. They bond closely with their owners and are great communicators with kids and adults alike. Jetta, Molly’s oldest Staffie, is a rescue dog and was adopted from Geelong Animal Welfare. She explains: “I wanted a companion and she’s been the best. She is calm and happy to sit alongside me. She used to sleep on the bed before Corey and I moved in together. Now she sleeps outside with Sully” (who was purchased from a breeder).

“They play fight constantly and love chasing birds – or each other! They just get you. There’s a real connection with Staffies,” she continues.

Staffies are super friendly and gentle and are not to be confused with Pit Bull Dogs, which can be aggressive. Jetta has been a regular fixture in the Mornington Peninsula Magazine office over the last two years while Molly gets on with her job. The ‘old softie’ is petrified of water, unlike her younger canine house mate who loves a visit to the beach or the leash free reserve in Somerville. “Jetta gets bored of fetching, but Sully (named after the Monsters INC character by Corey) just keeps on going. He can also bark on command. They are so spoilt - fresh mince, garlic and rice plus pasta and dog biscuits; but they are also incredibly well behaved,” Molly says. Although Sully does chew on the skirting boards sometimes!

Molly grew up with Border Collies and German Shepherds as a kid but has been completely converted to the Staffie way of life. She is also a passionate advocate for the Victorian Dog Rescue program ( which encourages dog adoption rather than buying from pet stores.

“Some rescue dogs have behavioural problems but I think most issues can be addressed through training and lots of love,” she says.

And Jetta is the licking, living proof.

The Surfing Sisterhood by Andrea Kellett

Sorrento surfer Cathy Sansom clearly remembers the moment the seed was planted that would later see her become an advocate for the ‘surfing sisterhood’.

It was 10 years ago and she was shopping for a winter wetsuit. “I went into the surf store to buy a 4/3 wetsuit and they said ‘sorry we don’t make a women’s one, you’ll have to buy a men’s one’.” That was before women’s surfing exploded in popularity. “It didn’t fit and it didn’t look pretty,” she continues. “I remember thinking, ‘that’s not my expression of surfing, that’s not me’.”

Fast forward to 2014. It’s eight years later and Cathy has finally decided to leave her successful career in arts management and launch Girls Who Surf – a website and online store she describes as being “all about women embracing and expressing the surfer within”.

Cathy is a passionate surfer, a creative, a community-minded woman and mum to Asha, 9. She has surfed Australia’s east coast for more than 20 years and has a burning desire to offer surf hardware designed specifically for women that is “truly” feminine, feels good, looks good and is functional.

“It’s about saying we are here, we’re doing it our way and we want to wear great surfing gear that’s designed for us and looks pretty,” she says over a coffee at the ‘Conti’ in Sorrento. “You want to feel the feminine power when you’re surfing.”

She also founded a local ‘surfing mums’ group nine years ago, following the birth of her daughter. The group still meets on the southern Peninsula, providing women with an opportunity to catch a wave while their little ones are cared for. It’s part of Cathy’s bigger picture passion for women’s surfing.

Her most popular online item is her towel skirt wrap, which she designed herself after a moment of frustration scrambling down a track at Rye Back Beach. Her daughter has even designed a children’s version, not yet released. Cathy ships internationally, has her gear made locally and is riding a pretty sweet wave of success while she enjoys life on the Mornington Peninsula.  More at 

Making kids giggle is a real hoot

James Rees has come back to where it all began.  When he took the stage at Frankston Arts Centre in December, the man better known to thousands of Aussie kids as Jimmy Giggle was revisiting his old stamping ground for a second time.

“When I came back to Frankston a couple of years ago (with Giggle & Hoot), nostalgia hit me right in the face.  I thought ‘Wow, this is where I first performed in a Peninsula School production and now my name’s on the door’.”

James was born in Frankston and was 18 months old when his family moved to Mount Eliza. He went to St Thomas More, then Padua College for a year before following his older brother, Tom, to Peninsula.  “I think it shaped a lot of what I do now.  I loved playing sports and got into the drama too.”

James’s love of performing began early. “Dad filmed us a lot. He had a little camcorder and loved to take videos of all the family at Christmas time and all that, and sure enough me and Tom were planted right in front of it for the majority of it. And Dad encouraged it. We’d act out little plays and puppet shows, and he nurtured that creativity in us from a young age.”

However, he credits his wife, Tori, for giving him “the kick up the bum” he needed to turn his passion into a career.  They met when they were both working at the Canadian Bay Hotel in Mount Eliza.  “She said, ‘Well, if that’s what you want to do, you’ve got to pull your finger out and just go for it’.”

His chance came almost immediately – in 2009 the ABC was auditioning for its new children’s channel ABC3; while he didn’t make the final round, James’s audition reel was handed to the casting director for a new kids’ show called Giggle & Hoot.

“I never looked back.  I was prepared to have a little bit part in a little drama and that’s it.  It was like, ‘Wow, this is awesome!’ 

“The character of Jimmy Giggle was a spin-off of my personality, really. I kept adding things, and I was free to add things if it fitted that character.  If I’ve got a new idea (I can say to the producers) ‘Well, Jimmy Giggle would do that because it’s me.”

Seven years on, Giggle & Hoot shows no signs of slowing down, which suits James just fine. “I love doing it and all the things that come with it. It’s really sweet; it makes kids happy. I do have other aspirations but at the moment I’m not thinking about that.  I love the show too much. I’m having a great time and I’m just riding the wave.”

Home is where the heart is

The Peninsula holds a special place in Fred Harrison’s heart.  The Ritchies IGA chief executive has lived in Frankston and Mount Eliza for 50 of his 59 years, and when he and his wife recently moved house – downsizing after two of their three sons had left home – they chose to stay here.

“We could have moved out of Mount Eliza and gone to another part of the Peninsula or even closer to the city.  (But) we committed to live in Mount Eliza for at least the next five or 10 years. I just love the area.  It’s just a great lifestyle and fun place to live.”
It’s also the people.  “People who decide to live here usually do so for a purpose – they tend to be more family-focused, they tend to be more sport-centric.”

Certainly, the dedication of his staff and the loyalty of his customers mean everything to him and help keep Ritchies in the game against the might of Woolworths, Coles, Costco and Aldi. 
“The fact that we’ve been able to grow from humble beginnings to 80 supermarkets and liquor stores I think is a credit to the intelligence of our business but also very much to the people in the business.  We’re up against it versus the chains, so you’ve just got to accept that you have to work longer and harder, and that’s a fair commitment and sacrifice by a lot of people in our business.  We’ve got hundreds of our team who give over and above the call of duty.

“I have no doubt there are many people who shop and support Ritchies because they just don’t like the chains for whatever reasons or they’ve had a long association with Ritchies.  I would suggest that loyalty in our business, as far as being loyal to Ritchies, could be as high as 60-70 per cent of our customers – maybe who don’t do all of their shop but maybe do some of their shop with us.

“We're very proud of what we’ve been able to achieve, particularly in Mount Eliza and now at Dromana – our Dromana store is, I think, one of the best supermarkets you’ll find anywhere in Australia.   The feedback I’ve received through Dromana has been very motivating, very flattering, and it makes you grit your teeth and want to continue to produce more and more stores like a Mount Eliza, like a Dromana, and continue in that mould and build bigger and better stores for Ritchies – and ultimately for our customers.”

Keep it clean folks by Liz Rogers

Question: How clean do you want your beaches to be?

Answer: Isn’t it obvious?

Keeping the Mornington Peninsula rubbish free is everybody’s responsibility. Clean Up Australia Day is coming your way in March which means you can do your bit to keep our Peninsula the beautiful spot it is – now, and well into the future. Are you up for it?

Fact: More than 750,000 volunteers have removed the equivalent of more than 16,000 utility van loads of rubbish from 8205 locations across Australia in 2016. The clean up began with communities, schools, businesses and youth groups coming together and registering their events in a bid to get down and dirty. Chairman and founder of Clean Up Australia Ian Kiernan AO said it had been a great success and now wants you to know their website is open for 2017 registrations.

“We want everyone to put on a pair of gloves and grab a bag – because when the rubbish is gone, nature can carry on,” he said.

So here’s how it goes. Once you’ve found a clean up site, you can register it at and let everyone know about it. Why not be a part of the largest community mobilisation event in the Asia Pacific region?

“Over the last 26 years, volunteers have donated more than 31 million hours at over 166,000 locations across the country. Together they have removed the equivalent of 331,000 ute loads of rubbish – that’s like having end to end utes stretched from Sydney to Brisbane following the coastline,” continued Mr Kiernan.

So pick the piece of the Peninsula you think needs a bit of tender loving care and register today, or let Clean Up Australia Day know about it. 

Everyone is welcome to join in.


Important dates to remember:

Community Clean Up Day – Sunday, March 5, 2017
Business Clean Up Day – Tuesday, February 28, 2017
Schools Clean Up Day – Friday, March 3, 2017
Youth Clean Up Day – Friday March 3 – Sunday March 5 2017

Original beginnings and generational aesthetics by Liz Rogers

Architectural design is an ethereal, almost intangible phenomenon. At its best, it is an art form that can solidify emotional and concrete desires, nurture primitive need and deliver an understanding of environment, material and human changeability. At its worst – well we won’t go there.

Michael O’Sullivan has been delivering on the former for three decades via his Michael O’Sullivan and Associates design and building business and currently as Director of Icon Synergy, a Master Building company on the Mornington Peninsula that delivers innovative and award winning homes created for seamless connection with climate, coastal terrain and the Peninsula lifestyle we all cherish.

O’Sullivan lives and works on the Peninsula. His intimate understanding of the region means Icon Synergy delivers homes that are constructed, yes, to pass down from generation to generation, but also to cohabitate harmoniously with the coastal, sea and sky scape from which they morph. Hard wearing and beautiful materials are used to optimise rural or bay views and all planning, site inspections, costings and construction flow effortlessly under the guidance of O’Sullivan’s team of experts.

When you build an Icon Synergy home, the result will be above and beyond your expectations.  Local Peninsula craftsmen and women are contracted to do the work, while the expertise of O’Sullivan’s Vibe Design Group partnership gives you advice on how to optimise your home’s style, functionality and form (Vibe Design Group is a multi-award winning design studio. Their Kew House 3 has been featured in The New York Times and both the Sorrento House 1 and Mount Eliza contemporary classics have been awarded.)

O’Sullivan and design partners Kathryn and Katie are thrilled to be operating from their new head office in Mornington and to be building abodes for Peninsula people who demand quality, creativity and statement in their coastal dwellings.

Bespoke new home construction has landed on the Peninsula. Call Icon Synergy to see how.


Icon Synergy – Custom Home Builder

Vibe Design Group - Contemporary Architectural and Building Design

A: 29/1140 Nepean Hwy, Mornington

A: Ground Floor, 35 Cotham Road, Kew

T: 1800 457 898



FB: Icon-Synergy

FB: vibedesigngroup

An Aladdin’s cave of gorgeous treasures

Imagine yourself in a place as individual as you are and you are likely to find you are in one of the many exciting areas of the Tyabb Packing House.

More than just antiques, the Packing House is packed to the rafters with unique treasures for you and your home.  It is an Aladdin’s cave just waiting for you to rub your magic lamp so you and your inner-genie can enjoy a truly inspiring shopping experience.

Make your home the one people talk about, with unique items from the elegance of an 1880s chaise longue to the mid-century mojo of a Tessa suite.  And be spoilt for choice from every style and period in between.

Host a very special afternoon tea with cups, saucers and plates sourced from specialist dealers and pair them with amazing tea and coffee sets.  Lay the table with pretty cloths, napkins and cutlery for that extra-special touch.
If that isn’t enough, then take a look at the vintage clothing or the estate jewellery, then peruse the vintage toys and books and check out the phones and radios.

There are always dealers on hand to help and assist you with your purchases, and valuations are held on the first Sunday of every month.  Finally, head to the café where a revitalising drink is a must.
The Tyabb Packing House is a place of magic and wonder just waiting for you.

A: 14 Mornington-Tyabb Rd, Tyabb
T: 5977 4144

Top marks for Toorak College

Well done to Toorak College’s class of 2016.

“In true Toorak spirit, our students performed exceptionally well together, with 50 per cent of our students achieving ATARs of 85 or above,” said Principal Kristy Kendall.  “We also celebrate our high flyers with 17 per cent of our students achieving ATARs of 95 or above, placing them in the top 5 per cent of the nation.” 
Toorak College Dux Brianna Blake obtained an ATAR of 99.0, which places her in the top 1 per cent of all VCE students. “Brianna epitomises the Toorak spirit,” Mrs Kendall said. “She is a well-rounded student who has participated enthusiastically in all areas of the school. As well as excelling academically, she represented her school in 10 sports throughout her final year.”

Every year in a school is crucial and critical.  The early development in childhood is just as critical as the finishing touches of the VCE.  “We encourage our students to dream big, set high goals and expect big things for themselves, and we as teachers need to have high expectations about what every student can achieve,” Mrs Kendall said.  “We have much to celebrate about our achievements in 2016 - our students have excelled in the areas of academic excellence, sports, arts, music, debating and public speaking and leadership.”

Toorak College offers endless opportunities for students to find their passion. There is scope for the artist, the athlete, the academic, the musician and the lover of learning to explore their ability and shine.
For details of scholarships for 2018, visit or phone 9788 7234, and find out more about what Toorak College has to offer at its open day on Saturday, February 18.

A: Old Mornington Rd, Mount Eliza
T: 9788 7200


Portsea primed for polo party

Some of the world’s best polo players will descend on Portsea this month for the 17th annual Alfa Romeo Portsea Polo.

Thousands of spectators are expected to rub shoulders with a bevy of national and international celebrities at the Point Nepean Quarantine Station on Saturday, January 14, for the event, which will include three thrilling matches.  While the 2017 guest line-up is yet to be announced, last year’s Portsea Polo attracted the likes of Anna Bamford (Wonderland), Olympia Valance (Neighbours), Matthew Lloyd, Luke Darcy and Trent Cotchin, while guests at previous events have included Lara Bingle, Whitney Port, Harry Kewell, Ruby Rose and Luke Hemsworth.

This year’s affair will continue to hold its standing as the must-attend event on the summer calendar for the who’s who of the Australian social scene, with a 6,000-strong crowd expected to make the trip to witness one of the fastest growing spectator sports in the world.
Corporate guests will again enjoy custom menus crafted by some of Australia’s best chefs. The 2016 Portsea Polo showcased Ian Curley, of The European, at the Polo Club Point Nepean Marquee, while Mamasita delivered a spread of authentic modern Mexican dishes in the Mamasita at Portsea Polo Marquee.

Tickets are $85 for general admission, $150 for the Provincial Home Living Polo Lounge and $350 for the Portsea Polo Marquee. The Provincial Home Living Polo Lounge is fully furnished and full of fun, with its own DJ plus food and drinks available over a cash bar, while the Portsea Polo Marquee is a chic and vibrant fully furnished area, with player appearances and all-day gourmet catering and premium beverages.

The Alfa Romeo Portsea Polo is an over-18 event. For more information and ticket purchases, go to