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 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

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: [email protected]

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


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

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
E: [email protected]

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

‘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


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

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.