Don’t relax on supervision By Lucy Rae

Backyard barbecues by the pool, taking the boat out on the river, or catching waves at the beach are all a regular part of Australian culture. Tragically, too often we hear of drowning deaths as a result of our love of the water. 

The Royal Life Saving National Drowning Report 2017, launched recently by federal Health Minister Greg Hunt, shows 291 people died as a result of drowning in Australia last year.  Last summer, drowning rates were notably above average between Christmas and New Year. Sadly, children accounted for a significant proportion of these preventable tragedies.


Swimming pools are the leading location of child drownings, and a lapse in supervision is a primary causal factor in these incidents.  Often parents and carers become complacent in the home environment, relying on a pool barrier to keep children out of the water or trusting an older sibling to supervise young children while quickly doing something else.

Royal Life Saving Society Australia chief executive Justin Scarr says it’s crucial to keep watch on children at all times.  “Answering the door, preparing food, changing a sibling’s nappy, and answering a call are all distractions that leave children vulnerable to drowning,” Mr Scarr said.  “Active adult supervision of young children is the first line of defence against drowning - be prepared, be close, and give all of your attention all of the time.”

“Active supervision is key; however, children can be quick, and it's difficult to maintain supervision 100 per cent of the time. That's why it’s important for parents and carers to follow the four Keep Watch key actions: Supervise, Restrict Access, Water Awareness, and Resuscitate.  These are not individual strategies but should be used together for maximum safety – if one line of defence fails there are other prevention measures actively working to prevent drowning."

Inadequate pool fencing continues to be a contributing factor in toddler drowning deaths. Mr Scarr said pool owners often don’t realise their pool fence or gate is faulty and poses a threat to their children’s safety. “Pool fences, pool gates and latches should be regularly checked and maintained because parts can break or become defective over time.  Visit the Royal Life Saving website and download the home pool safety checklist to make sure your pool fence, pool gate and latch are in working order.”

The checklist is not a substitute for a pool inspection, however. Pool owners should consider getting a professional assessment of their pool’s compliance, check regulations with their local council or go to the local hardware or pool shop to discuss how to ensure the pool is made safer in time for summer.

Prevention is the fundamental way to prevent drowning.  However, as a last line of defence, CPR is a vital skill that can help save a life. Two-year-old Lily Cross was found face-down in the Hawkesbury River after wandering away from her family home. Her father and other locals commenced CPR until medics arrived, which played a vital role in her survival.

For training courses, water safety tips and resources visit


Plastic-Free Peninsula Community initiatives earn Tidy Town nominations By Liz Rogers

A Peninsula design studio, preschool and council are in the running for four awards in the 2017 Keep Australia Beautiful Victoria Tidy Towns – Sustainable Communities Awards.  Our forward-thinking finalists are Share the Word Design Studio (Litter Prevention Award), Waterfall Gully Preschool (Active Schools Award), and Mornington Peninsula Shire (Community Government Partnerships Award and Young Leaders Award).


Mornington Peninsula Magazine spoke with Josie Jones, from Share the Word Design Studio, about how she’s been working with Rye Woolworths to improve waste management through rubbish collection and being waste-responsible. Josie is the current recipient of the Keep Australia Beautiful Dame Phyllis Frost Award and believes that by working together as a community we can make a real difference in reducing waste.


Tell us a bit about the One Tonne Challenge for which you received the Dame Phyllis Frost Award 2016.

My motto is “If you see it, pick it up”. People are frightened of touching rubbish because they are scared of getting sick. The One Tonne Challenge was created as a way of giving back to the ocean. If I could collect 4.2 tonnes of rubbish, then surely someone else could pick up just one piece. Dame Phyllis Frost was an Australian welfare worker and philanthropist and established the Keep Australia Beautiful movement.


What inspired you to collaborate with Woolworths Rye?

For the past four years I’d been collecting rubbish from the Rye Foreshore. I’d find on average per week 400 cigarettes, 78 single-use plastic items including straws, 50 chocolate bar wrappers, 30 bottle tops, 25 plastic bottle lids, 20 lollypop sticks and over 400 micro plastics. The carpark at Woolworths had been treated like a dumping ground for a long time by the community and visitors. I wanted to close the gap between land and sea and find a long-term solution. The Woolworths staff led by example. We had a nine-week clean-up from coast to community plan, where we saw 65 per cent less waste on the Rye Foreshore. Members of the community pitched in from individuals to groups such as the Tootgarook Scouts.


How else did Woolworths Rye help?

The staff cleaned up the entire carpark, moved the soft plastic recycle bins to the front of the store and installed ashtrays on the walls of the supermarket. These things have made a real difference. They are also looking to align all the cleaning with the proposed new carpark so they can maintain a standard everyone can be proud of.


How else do you spread the work about litter prevention?

I go into schools to teach children. I recently spoke at Geelong Grammar about litter prevention, marine habitats and an international learning module on the effects of waste. The feedback and work by the students inspired me so much. Education really does make a difference.


The Keep Australia Beautiful Victoria Tidy Towns – Sustainable Communities Awards ceremony will take place at the Horsham Town Hall on November 25. Mornington Peninsula Shire Mayor and Keep Victoria Beautiful Tidy Towns Awards councillor representative Bev Colomb congratulates all entrants and finalists on their accomplishments. 


Summer Holidays on the Peninsula By Liz Rogers

As part of our Summer Holidays on the Peninsula series, Mornington Peninsula Magazine thought you’d like to hear about some part-time locals who downed their city tools for the holidays and headed down south for rest, recuperation and plenty of seaside fun when they were kids. Many of them continue to holiday on the Peninsula year in and year out because … well, we all know why. 

The first couple in the series are artist Philip Adams and his wife of 49 years, Pat, who met on a surfboard out the front of the Balnarring Yacht Club as teenagers and danced the night away into a life-long partnership. This is a story of love, life, longevity and a deep connection with the Mornington Peninsula where friends were made and stayed. Enjoy!


This is how it started. The Adams family from Mordialloc built a house at Balnarring Beach when Philip was around six years old. Mr Adams grew it from the ground up – a fibro cement shack, three boys in one room, a family ready for some beachside shenanigans. They were close to the seaweed-laced coast that pointed its salty fingers towards Point Leo as if it was directing them to the end of the world. Those boys would run – run along the water’s edge with the freedom of the gulls above them crowing all the way to Point Leo. There were the old war-time caves to crawl through and pieces of tin to slide on, scratching all the way from the top of the pathway that led down to the bluff. Billycarts to ride and farms to explore. Swimming, so much swimming and surfing at the point between Balnarring and Merricks Beach when the tide came in. “There used to be 20 board riders sitting there waiting – you can still see them today if you’re looking,” says Philip. The Adams boys were also members of the Balnarring Yacht and Life Saving clubs.

Pat was hunkered down in a tent near the yacht club with her parents. Her family would set up in the camping ground each year for the summer holidays away from their family home in Hawthorn, and the two soon to be love-birds (Philip was 15 and Pat was 13) would rendezvous on the beach. “This was unheard of you know. People who had houses never mixed with the campers. But we sure did!” explains Philip. Pat calls out in the background from their adobe mud brick house they built in Bung Bong in central Victoria: “We used to go to the outdoor movies behind the Balnarring tennis courts when we were older to have a kiss and a cuddle.” Philip chuckles: “We got a bit of lip rash after that.” The two were married on Philip’s 21st birthday. Pat was 18.

Philip clearly believes that his Balnarring Beach childhood and holidaying with his and Pat’s four children at the Balnarring Beach house after his parents retired there influenced his addiction to the “possibilities of space” as an artist. Now living in the bush, the pair are always thrilled to get back to the Peninsula. The Balnarring house was sold eight years ago when Philip’s mum retired to Hastings, but there have been many holidays in Shoreham with Pat’s relatives and friends they met all those years ago at that stunningly simple summertime camping ground. The couple drop by Flinders, Cape Schanck and play golf when they come to visit Philip’s mum nowadays.

They love where they live – even though Philip’s art studio was burnt down when fire blew in over the state forest from Avoca, pushed along by a 130km/h north wind in 1984-85. Philip remembers the rims of his glasses singeing as he trod water in the dam and losing a couple of years’ worth of work. Pat and the kids had left the property. They rebuilt the studio, their lives and continued to fall further in love with each other and the Mornington Peninsula, albeit from a distance.

Once a sea child, always a sea child.

See Philip’s wonderful coastal work inspired by the Mornington Peninsula at Manyung Gallery Group’s Sorrento Gallery this December.


The tragic sinking of HMAS Goorangai


The first ship of the Royal Australian Navy to be sunk in World War II was the minesweeper Goorangai, with all 24 crew members losing their lives. However, she was not sunk by enemy action but after a collision with the Melbourne Steamship Company’s coastal liner Duntroon.

The Goorangai, a small ship of 223 tons and 36m in length, was built in 1919 for the NSW Government. In 1926 she was sold and operated as a fishing trawler until 1939 when she was requisitioned for military service. She was then fitted with a 12-pounder gun, depth charges and minesweeping gear.

In November 1940, the Goorangai had been clearing mines from the shipping lanes of Bass Strait when she returned to Port Phillip for supplies. At 8.37pm on November 20, as she crossed from Queenscliff to anchor for the night off Portsea, the Duntroon, travelling at 17.5 knots, struck the Goorangai amidships on the port side, sinking her immediately. Boats were quickly lowered by the liner but no survivors were found.

At the Court of Marine Inquiry the captain of the Duntroon said: “I saw two white lights ahead about a point to starboard and about a mile and a half away. I took the lights to be those of a vessel going to sea, and as the overtaking vessel it was my duty to continue on my course. I could see another ship on my port side entering the Heads.” Unfortunately the red port light of the Goorangai was not seen until too late.

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The court initially blamed both vessels to some extent, declaring: “Neither vessel was navigated with proper and seamanlike care.” However, charges against the captain of the Duntroon were not sustained by the court because the placing of the Goorangai’s red port light and green starboard light was deemed to be the major reason for the collision.

There is a memorial plaque on the Esplanade at Queenscliff and a commemoration service is held each year on the Sunday closest to the anniversary of the collision, which this year is November 19. The Queenscliffe Maritime Museum has a permanent HMAS Goorangai display, and the Goorangai Memorial Trophy yacht race is held on November 11.


President, Peninsula SS
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.


Micro donkeys, mighty hearts by Kate Sears


Who’s your favourite donkey? There’s Eeyore, the lovable but forever sad donkey whose spirit is uplifted by his friends Christopher Robin and Winnie the Pooh. There’s Donkey, Shrek’s chatterbox sidekick who has amazing one-liners. Well, prepare yourself - we’ve got a new donkey for you to fall in love with.

Meet Marion’s Bounty Micro Donkeys. These super-friendly memorable micros prove that good things do come in small packages. Even if you’re stubborn as a mule, your favourite donkey will be bumped for these babies.

At less than 81cm, micro donkeys are the smallest of the miniature donkey breed, which also includes mammoth, standard, small standard and miniature.  Marion’s Bounty Micro Donkeys has been operating for two years in Langwarrin, and with Kris at the helm it has created quite a fuss. The breed is difficult to find and in high demand. Kris endeavours to make sure the family that purchases one of her foals is suitable and that the home is appropriate for her beloved cherubs.

“They don’t want to be just in a paddock; they must have a companion like a sheep, cow or a pony,” Kris says.  “It’s important that they have their own herd, so to speak, as they can’t be lonely and they love to play. That’s why we have a screening process.”

The gestation period varies from 11 to 13 months, and they aren’t weaned off their mothers for six months. Given this, Kris is only just now preparing to sell her second foal and is seeking expressions of interest for this five-month-old named Elenor.
The males are called jacks and the females are jennys; furthermore, all of Kris’s donkeys are named after cars. Enzo is the smallest registered jack in Australia at 66cm - he’s tiny but full of character. There’s also Shelby, who is pregnant, and Lola, who gave birth to Elenor this year.

These donkeys don’t reach their fully-grown state until they are three years old. They all play together and are naturally very curious animals. With adorable floppy ears, fluffy winter coats, and full of individual characteristics, they don’t horse around. They are confident as they know how “awwww” worthy they are.

“They go straight up to you and will follow you. They want to know what you’re doing at all times. Ultimately, they are like little dogs; they’ll even go inside. They’re really smart - sometimes too smart! They can work out how to open things and love ball games.”

These loving and low-maintenance pets are great around kids because they’re an ideal height and don’t shy like horses do. They’re raised by people and love attention from their human friends. Micro donkeys are an expensive purchase but their upkeep is relatively cheap. They’ll happily live off grass and hay but they’ll need to have their hoofs trimmed every four months and be wormed regularly.

If the image of these little treasures has you wanting more, there are plenty of videos on Kris’s Facebook page to get you going “Awwwww!” Follow their adventures at @Marions-Bounty-Micro-Donkeys.


Tongan trip delights med student By Yazmine Lomax

Georgia Smith likes big words and chatting to people. That’s how she found herself studying medicine, a course that’s already taken her on an energising trip to the Polynesian kingdom of Tonga.


Along with four other med students, the Peninsula resident took off to Tonga in June where she volunteered in hospitals and in the community to understand and address the issues of diabetes and hypertension. It was a trip that involved visiting rural villages, setting up stalls in Vava’u to test blood pressure and sugar levels, and - to Georgia’s delight - gabbing with local youth groups.

“My favourite moment was sitting on some steps in the middle of the main street and taking two ladies’ blood pressure,” Georgia recalls. “Before we knew it, we had taxi drivers pulling over to check their blood pressure and construction workers having their fingers pricked on their break and getting competitive with their sugar reading results.”

Although she’ll be spending the next few years on placement in either Bendigo or Mildura, Georgia’s interested in using her skills to help those closer to home.  “I’m massively keen to get involved in projects around the Peninsula and Frankston,” she says. “I’m particularly excited about the success of mental health initiatives around Frankston and hope to be able to get involved in the future.”

This will see her following in the footsteps of two of her biggest inspirations: her mum and grandmother. Both have lived in and loved our corner of the globe for years and worked passionately in schools and health centres respectively.

“I also have massive admiration for people like Dr Ranjana Srivastava OAM,” Georgia says. “She’s an oncologist who engages the public in discussion with her writing and broadcasting. I really like the idea of medicine being broadly accessible, exciting and understood.”

So while she’s said “Nofo ā” to Tonga for now, expect Doctor Georgia to be popping up around the world soon!


We’re all looking up to Jazmin By Andrea Kellett

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Mount Eliza’s queen of stilt-walking, Leonie Deavin, has welcomed a special new member to her team of towering performers - her teenage daughter Jazmin.

Leonie and her team at stilt entertaining company Nova Star Productions have graced many of the Mornington Peninsula and Melbourne’s most glamorous events over the past two decades, from festivals and carnivals to gala balls, launch events, sporting events and special celebrations. They regularly perform interstate too.

You’ve seen them in their show-stopping costumes at the annual Main Street Mornington Festival, the Mornington Australia Day Parade, the annual Orphans of Ghana Ball and more. Leonie has been a regular at the Formula One Grand Prix in Melbourne, the Moomba Parade and the Melbourne Cup Day Parade, to name a few.

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Little did we know, 13-year-old Jazmin has been waiting in the wings for years, quietly practising on modified stilts, hoping to follow in Mum’s footsteps. “She’s been asking for quite a few years and now that her foot is as big as mine she can fit into my stilts,” Leonie explains. “She had little ones, 1 foot, and was playing in those for about three years.”

On September 13, Jazmin officially stepped out for the first time, on modified .6m stilts (Mum’s are .9m) at the glamorous Fields of Fashion Spring Charity Luncheon and Race Day, held at Mornington Racecourse. She appeared at the Main Street Mornington Festival on October 15 and there’s more to come this summer.

Jazmin is a natural performer. She’s skilled at musical theatre, dancing, singing and even hula hoop! For Mum, the Fields of Fashion debut was a proud moment. “It’s lovely. I switch from being Mum to being a performer when I’m working and it’s really nice to be someone else with her. Jaz just wants to make people smile, as well as enjoy life.”

More at


Superfoods from our own super continent

Goji berries. Chia seeds. Acai.  These are just some of the so-called superfoods that have made their way into our restaurants, cafes and homes from around the world as we continue to scour the planet for the next big health trend.


But what you might not know is that Australia is home to a wide variety of superfoods too – perhaps not as widely known as their international counterparts, but no less healthy.  And while many are yet to enter our greater consciousness, they have been harvested or cultivated for centuries by Aborigines for their medicinal and health-giving properties, which is why they are now starting to pop up in some of our more savvy eateries.

Dietitian and Australian Superfood Company founder Hayley Blienden sings praises of Australia’s foraged superfoods. "Our ancestors discovered and cultivated their native roots, berries, seeds and leaves to bolster longevity, treat ailments and provide critical nutrients when sustenance was sparse,” Hayley says. “Think of now-popular superfoods such as acai from South America, ginseng from China, and chia seeds from Mexico, which feature in popular café menus or are consumed in households daily. But perhaps lesser known is the bounty of native Australian superfoods, which thrive in one of the Earth’s most sun-scorched landscapes.”

Hayley says our own superfoods can be used in “endless” ways – in sweet or savoury dishes or even cocktails.  So let’s have a look at some of the superfoods indigenous to our own super continent:

Finger lime has been an important source of food for Aboriginal people for thousands of years. While only a small fruit, the zesty finger lime is rich in folate, potassium and vitamin E and contains three times the vitamin C found in mandarins.

Riberry was one of the first fruits consumed as jams, jellies and cordials by the early colonists. The riberry has three times the folate found in a blueberry, is rich in manganese, is packed with minerals and possesses antidiabetic properties and the capacity to reduce obesity.

Quandong is found throughout southern Australia. High in vitamin C, antioxidants and protein, it has a sweet, beautifully textured flesh that can be eaten straight or dried and stored for later use. It has a sweet taste with a slightly sour and salty aftertaste.

Kakadu plum is a nutrient-rich, antioxidant powerhouse. High in folate, iron and vitamin E and vastly more antioxidants than the blueberry, the magnificent Kakadu plum has, according to Hayley, the highest recorded levels of vitamin C in the world - up to 100 times higher than an orange. This tart little berry is best enjoyed in small portions. “We love it with homemade muffins or adding a pinch to smoothies.”

Davidson plum is a rich source of calcium – “perfect for our vegan friends”, says Hayley – as well as vitamin E and zinc. The dark purple fruit has a blood-red flesh and a soft, juicy pulp and contains properties thought to have antidiabetic effects and a capacity to reduce hypertension and obesity. It’s a great addition to homemade jams, desserts and sauces.

 As well as these fruits, there are many herbs and seeds that qualify as Aussie superfoods too. 

Aniseed myrtle, with its strong aniseed and liquorice flavour, makes a wonderful addition to teas, drinks and desserts. Aniseed myrtle is high in anethole, a compound used to treat conditions such as acid reflux, intestinal cramps, colic, flatulence and anorexia.

Mountain pepper leaf is a “surprise gem of the bush” that can be used in all savoury dishes in place of black pepper or to give that extra bite. “Historically, it was used by Indigenous Australians to enhance flavours and to treat oral infections like sore gums and toothaches,” says Hayley. Today, it’s prized for its flavour as well its health benefits – antioxidants, vitamin E, lutein, zinc, magnesium and calcium.

Cinnamon myrtle can be used to lend a warm and spicy flavour to desserts and savoury dishes, curries, stews, Middle Eastern dishes and even good old spag bol. “Cinnamon myrtle is commonly used for medicinal purposes to treat indigestion, heartburn and colic.” It can be added to tea for a soothing effect.

Lemon myrtle has significant antioxidant and mineral properties and is high in vitamin C and antimicrobial oil, hence its use by Aborigines as an antiseptic.  Hayley says it is the world’s strongest and purest source of natural citral – the oil that gives lemon its characteristic flavour. “Lemon myrtle is undoubtedly one of the most popular Australian native herbs, with its fresh aroma of citrus, delicate menthol touches and a strong lemon flavour, which is sweet and refreshing.”

Wattleseed is the unsung hero of native Australian foods. High in protein, fibre, potassium, calcium, iron and zinc, it also has a low glycaemic index, which means it releases its sugars slowly and can be used by people with diabetes to help maintain blood sugar levels. Dried, roasted and crushed, wattleseed can be used in baking, sauces, scones and scrambled eggs.

Strawberry gum is the original chewing gum. Aborigines used to chew on the leaves for their sweet flavour and burned the leaves to release their health-giving oils, which relieved sickly stomachs. You can use ground strawberry gum in pavlovas, cakes, muffins, frozen yogurt, ice cream and teas.


Former swimmer makes waves in medicine By Yasmine Lomax

Caitlin Goding is a former elite swimmer who's now ready to dive into the world of paramedicine. Currently studying at Monash University's Frankston campus, this Somerville resident chats to Mornington Peninsula Magazine about her passion for helping the community.

Where did your interest in health and paramedicine begin?

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I didn’t always have my heart set on paramedicine but knew that helping others and being a part of a community that looked out for others was something I wanted to do. I think I learnt this from my mother, who is a social worker, and I always saw how fulfilling her job is. Plus, I’ve always loved learning and discovering new things, and in school I was most interested in science-based subjects, especially biology.

What have you found to be the most challenging part of your studies?

That no matter how much study and hard work you put into the degree, nothing can fully prepare you for the things you will see and will have to deal with while on the road. It both terrifies and excites but it's what attracted me to the job.

What are you most excited about in the field?

I’m probably most excited about feeling as though I'm giving someone a small positive experience on possibly one of the worst days of their life.

Why do you love where you live and how does it inspire your work?

I have always been attracted to a healthy, active lifestyle and living on the Mornington Peninsula I am extremely fortunate to have an amazing backyard of beaches, parks and walking tracks. I think growing up going camping with my family or spending days at the beach with friends has really made me appreciate the outdoors and the privileges that we have here in Australia. I think this has influenced me to become a paramedic as I would rather have a job that allows me to be outdoors instead of sitting in an office all day. I also love travel and paramedics are needed all over the world, so I'll be able to travel and work at the same time.


Bella’s stellar BMX blitz by Kate Sears

Bella May is having the standout year of her sporting life. At just 11 years old, this Seaford youngster is leaving her competitors in the dust as she blazes a brilliant path on two wheels.


Bella’s already gained the title of BMX racing national champion and nothing’s going to stop her in her bid to one day represent Australia at the Olympics.

Currently seeded No.1 in her age group, she puts her amazing success down to her “never give up” attitude. This includes training five times a week and setting personal goals that she strives to reach every day.

This mature young lady with attitude to boot also holds the No.1 ranking in Victoria and the ACT.  She captained the Australian girls’ team to victory against New Zealand and next month she will again represent Australia against New Zealand, but this time as the team’s No.1 rider.

Mornington Peninsula Magazine asked Robyn May how her daughter got involved in BMX. “We drove past (the Frankston BMX Club) by chance when there was an event on and we stopped to have a look. When Bella saw them racing she looked at my husband and I and she said ‘This is for me!’”

Since then, this rider hasn’t let her age stop her in her tracks. Her love for BMX racing is running deep in her veins after passionately pursuing the sport for almost four years now.

If you can catch sight of this little spitfire, you’ll find she’s as headstrong as ever and gone in a flash!

Undeniably Austen By Liz Rogers


So, the phone line makes him sound like a drowning fish, and although it’s hard to make out the words at times, the tone and undercurrent of irreverence and coolly calculating crank-it- up controversy makes its mark.

Born in New York, Austen Tayshus (aka Alexander ‘Sandy’ Gutman) moved to Sydney when he was a year old and he’s been there ever since. He’s tall (190cm), Jewish, and coming to the Peninsula this month as part of an Australia-wide 30-year Australiana anniversary tour. But are we ready for the man with the unforgiving tongue? Divine disregard? Brutal political barrage? Sure are.

“I love the Mornington Peninsula. I’ve been there lots of times. I mean, it’s by the sea. Relaxed. I like to choose places that are relaxed,” he says in a voice that can only be described as sexy on the ear. I suppose that’s the trick - delivering highly political and topical stick-in-your-craw content with the smooth voice of a late-night radio DJ. He says he was born funny, unlike many comics whose jokes are scripted, and I believe him. You don’t survive in the industry for over 40 years without some natural aptitude. But I get the feeling there’s more than talent involved in maintaining a comic career that screams of doggedness and danger.

“I’m relentless. Each show is different. I make most of it up on stage according to time and place. It’s about interacting with the audience. Improvisation. Anything can come up.” And does. Ever since his pun-fuelled spoken word piece Australiana (co-written by fellow comedian Billy Birmingham) in 1983, Mr Tayshus has performed thousands of shows, written a book, produced movies, documentaries and records, and many of them have been based on social issues. He’s currently making a doco called Skin in the Game about his career. He says it’s “good for the brain. Keeps me sharp - let me see, let me see, let me see…” as he looks for a picture to send me. “I also sit back on the couch with my feet up pushing 1000 donuts a day into my mouth,” he quips when I ask him if he has any fitness routines. “I don’t have one. I just love doing what I’m doing. I’m either on stage, on a plane or in a car. I get myself around. I’ve done 150 90-minute shows so far on this tour – who knows how many more. I’ll keep going until I stop.”

Not before you get to Rye please, Sandy. The South is looking forward to a dose of sociology and semantics by the sea. Take it from me.

The Austen Tayshus 30th Anniversary National Australiana Tour lands at The Rye Hotel, 2415 Point Nepean Rd, Rye, on Friday, November 10.  Doors open at 7.30pm. Inquiries: 5985 7222.

Heritage Award for cage-free cattery By Liz Rogers

The owners of the Windrest Cattery in Bittern are 2017 recipients of a National Trust Heritage award.

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Dennice and Robert were originally nominated for the Mornington Peninsula Heritage Award after all their hard work was recognised when renovation of an old dairy was completed. “We finished work at the end of last year,” Dennice says. “Receiving the award in August was wonderful. We’ve always loved animals and the idea for the cattery came after volunteering at the RSPCA.”  Dennice and Robert have remained true to the integrity of the beautiful old building constructed just after World War I and have focused on highlighting the exposed beams and original brickwork.

The old dairy on the 9ha property has been converted to become a premium cattery, one that is highly secure yet without the need for cages. So this is what’s in store for your cat while you are away. There are 13 villas catering for group or single stays. Each villa is themed:  bold coloured bathing-boxes; the Red Room with invisible stairs and red cushions; and the pink Princess Room (no explanation needed) to name a few. There are daily massages, dedicated playtime combined with fully enclosed individual outdoor spaces and classical music playing. Organic food is provided or you can bring your own, and hygiene is paramount - the use of disinfectant mats at the entrance of each villa illustrates this.

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You’ll also receive pics of your pampered pet playing and sashaying too. To say this is a holiday destination for cats that have got the cream would be an understatement.

The Windrest Cattery Boutique in Bittern is a premium no-cage, Heritage Award-winning cattery that ensures your feline friend is pampered while you are away on holiday. This is not your average away from home animal stay – this is a highly individual villa experience that will have your cat feeling ‘purrrfectly’ relaxed and stress-free.  There are no holiday period surcharges at any time throughout the year.

Enough said.  There is a maximum capacity of 30 cats, so book now - your cat’s holiday of a lifetime awaits!



A: 102 Myers Rd, Bittern

T: 5983 0041


Rye Hotel sets a shining example By Liz Rogers


The Rye Hotel just keeps reinventing itself. The latest forward-thinking move by owner/operator Peter Houghton has seen the installation of solar panels across its three buildings. Both The Rye Hotel and the award-winning One Four Nelson (accommodation at the rear) have 129 panels with Enphase micro inverters behind each panel, and the Main Sail Bar has 71 panels also with Enphase micro inverters behind each, bringing the total to 329 panels.

Peter says: “Installation of the panels, which have been in operation since January, just seemed like something we should do to be part of the Peninsula’s renewable energy future.”

He explains. “The reason we installed the solar panels was two-pronged. It made sense fiscally as electricity prices are going through the roof, but also on an environmental level. We are lucky to be part of the Sustainable Melbourne Fund program that provides third-party administration services for environmental upgrade agreement programs. We received some funding assistance to implement the solar panels. The program runs for ten years and each of the panels are Australian-made Tindo 255W panels. Our carbon offset has increased since the installation. Our last reading in September was at 2.39 tons, which is the equivalent of 61 trees. The total site generation since January has been 78.4MWh. We can only see it improving.”

Peter is also conscious of the hotel’s waste disposal and the use of recycled water as he believes we need to be careful with how we use energy and dispose of waste in an area that is environmentally sensitive. He remembers as a kid a waste pipe running into the sea from Ocean Beach Rd in Sorrento.

Times now have certainly changed since then and Peter is happy to embrace the future.  The Rye Hotel even has three electric car re-chargers onsite catering to both Tesla and general purpose electric vehicles.  “We can all do our bit,” he says.

The southern Peninsula’s iconic Rye Hotel is definitely doing its part. Ripper!



2415 Pt Nepean Rd, Rye

T: 5985 2277 


Estate makes a point about culture and culinary class By Andrea Kellett

If you haven’t heard of Phil Wood, you are about to.

When the Gandel family decided to share their magnificent family estate at Point Leo with the world by building a world-class restaurant, cellar door and sculpture park, they needed one of the country’s leading culinary minds on board. Phil (ex-Rockpool and Eleven Bridge in Sydney) was handpicked as culinary director.

Welcome to Pt. Leo Estate – the Gandels’ brand new $50 million passion project and arguably the most impressive project of its kind in the country right now. The family has owned the land for more than 20 years and planted the first vines here in 2006.

Phil Wood - Anson Smart Photography (1).jpg

The doors to this spectacular venue opened on October 25 in unpretentious style. No VIP parties or A-list guests; rather, a warm welcome for the world to share in the Gandel family’s cultural and culinary haven. It’s the classic ‘build it and they will come’.

Pt. Leo Estate features a cellar door, a 100-seat restaurant and a sculpture park with “international clout”, all enjoying panoramic views over Western Port Bay to Phillip Island.

The goal for Phil and his team is, he says, to create a special place that reflects the owners’ affection for their property. The restaurant features simple, seasonal and regional food. A second, more intimate dining space will open at the end of the year.

“We want it to be a place where it’s a community restaurant. We don’t want it to be any national and exclusive restaurant,” Phil explains. “We just want it to be a great place to come.”

Phil is joined by hospitality veteran Ainslie Lubbock as restaurant manager, Joel Alderson as senior sous chef and Andrew Murch as head sommelier. Phil describes his decision to join the team as a relatively easy one. “An opportunity like this only comes once in a lifetime,” he said.

Pt. Leo Estate is home to Australia’s best private collection of sculptures, comprising more than 50 large-scale local and international works. Many are from Mr and Mrs Gandel’s own private collection.

And, naturally, park curator Geoffrey Edwards was handpicked too. The former Geelong Gallery director and former senior curator of international and Australian sculpture at the National Gallery of Victoria describes the sculpture park as pure brilliance.

“It’s been landscaped from scratch as a sculpture park and it’s the only one on the coast with a spectacular panorama," Geoffrey explains. “Vineyards adding sculpture has become a thing, but not with this absolutely single-minded brilliant vision and not on such a glorious site.”

The tone of the park is set at the entry to Pt. Leo Estate’s cellar door, where Australian sculptor Inge King’s gigantic steel Grand Arch lies in wait. The building itself is designed as an object within a landscape and the entry is “an abstract interpretation of wine pouring from a bottle”.

It’s a sensory experience on 134 sprawling hectares with 20ha under vine. And did we mention there’s Black Angus cattle grazing on the estate too?

The owners and their team invite you to dine and to wander along the serpentine paths, admiring the sculptures and the scenery, with a glass of estate wine in hand. All you need to do is allow enough time to take it all in. Oh la la, on our doorstep.



A: 3649 Frankston-Flinders Road, Merricks


T: 5989 9011