Go, speed racer, go By Liz Rogers

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Ricky Capo likes going fast. Needs to feel the adrenaline. To feel the chassis beneath his posterior while the engine growls. This 22-year-old Mount Eliza native started racing go-karts when he was seven years old and he hasn’t stopped putting the pedal to the metal since. Motorsport has got him hook, line and sinker. Why? “Because it’s the most addictive thing there is. I can’t stop chasing it; it’s like a drug. The more you do it, the more you need,” he exclaims.

Ready, set, go . . .

Growing up with his younger sister, stay-at-home mum and engineer dad, Ricky loved the whole go-karting scene. He won the Victorian and Tasmanian State Championships in karting and then the Formula 3 championship. This kid from the ‘burbs still has a chuckle about how he could race on the track but had to be in the car with his mum to drive on the road, especially when he started racing cars at 17. He continues. “It was a natural progression from go-karting. Racing cars is safer than driving on the road even though there’s more speed involved. You’re going in the one direction and you usually have confidence in the other drivers. Other racers use their mirrors and have a great understanding of what their competitors are doing.” Usually!

“It’s very physically and mentally demanding. The g-force alone can be a challenge and you’ve got to be able to concentrate for a long time,” says this weight-lifting, cycling and jogging junkie. He spent nine months in Europe last year racing and an endurance LMP3 race went for four hours. He continues. “LMP3 cars are entry-level prototype class closed cars which introduce young drivers and their teams to endurance driving. There were six races in the season and each race was four hours in total. You take turns with your driver partner. One driver is in the car for two hours and then you swap. It’s quite intense.” Over those nine months spent in Europe racing, Ricky drove on the Silverstone Circuit in the UK, the Paul Ricard in France, the Red Bull Ring motorsport track in Austria, Portimão in Portugal, the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium and on the Autodromo Nazionale Monza in Italy. He came first in Italy. 

This semi-professional music-loving racing car driver has set his sights big. With experience driving Formula 3 and pimped-up GT and super 2/supercars (which is the lower division of the V8 supercars), he’s well on his way to where the big guys play — Formula 1. He concludes. “It’s an expensive and technologically advanced sport these days. When you’re not on the track you’re going over data, using cockpit simulators, looking at car performance. You’ve also got to find sponsors, which I am always looking for, and a team to take care of the tyres, fuel . . . there’s a lot more to it than just slipping in the seat and turning on the engine. But I love it.”

Go, speed racer, go!


A Christmas tragedy

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The SS Coogee was a screw steamer launched at Sunderland in 1887, with the name Lancashire Witch. Of 760 tons with a length of 69m, she had a top speed of 17 knots. Bought by Huddart Parker & Co, she was sailed to Victoria and began service on the Melbourne-Geelong run in February 1889. The following year, after alterations, she was transferred to the Melbourne-Launceston overnight service.

A few hours after departing from Launceston, at 7.30pm on Christmas Eve 1903, the Coogee, with 30 passengers aboard, ran into fog. At 2am on Christmas Day, when the fog thickened, the Coogee slowed to half-speed and for a short period the engines were stopped. When the fog cleared a little, Capt Carrington decided to continue at half-speed. Unfortunately, a large Italian iron four-masted barque, the Fortunato Figari, lay hidden in a patch of dense fog directly ahead of the Coogee.

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As the sailing vessel appeared out of the fog, the Coogee turned hard to port in an attempt to avoid a collision. She avoided driving into the hull of the Fortunato Figari but tore a large hole in its bow. The Coogee, however, had almost everything destroyed above the level of the main deck as she passed under the iron bowsprit of the barque, with its chain rigging and bobstay (a 100mm iron bar). The masts, the open bridge, the funnel, deck houses and boats were all flattened. The captain was killed, the helmsman died later and the other man on the bridge was seriously injured. There were no casualties on the Fortunato Figari. Capt Carrington was an experienced and highly regarded captain but the court of inquiry found that on that foggy night he was operating his ship at a dangerous speed.

Both vessels were later towed to Melbourne, repaired and returned to service. The Coogee continued on the Bass Strait run until replaced by the SS Loongana in 1910. She was returned to the Melbourne-Geelong service until 1917, used as a minesweeper late in World War I and taken out of service in the mid-1920s.

BY MAURIE HUTCHINSON

President, Peninsula Ship Society

T: Maurie Hutchinson 9787 5780

E: ma[email protected]

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


Lucy’s pretty in the pink By Liz Rogers

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Oh dear, this is adorable! Girl about town and maltese terrier on the street Lucy just loves getting her hair done like any regular gal. As a well-known Mount Martha resident, this cute and cuddly sweetheart gets her tail wrapped in foils just like her human counterparts every three months and the result is pretty in pink. You can see her coming done the street or waiting outside for her owner Yvonne Gerandt to finish her shopping at IGA.

Yvonne explains. “She never strays; just waits there until I’ve finished. She doesn’t need a leash.  She comes to the salon with me and we put the foils in. None of the dye or foils ever touches her skin and of course the dye is organic with no nasties. She trots around the salon (Chatterbox) with them in for about half an hour and then we give her an organic rinse and blow dry. She loves being pampered and the result is super cute. I’ve been doing it for about three years.” 

Yvonne met her soulmate Lucy as a newborn pup. She went back to visit her at five weeks old and brought her home five weeks later. The connection between the two is strong. “I got her from a breeder in Frankston and she came home with a little pink bow in her hair. I’ve kept the pink theme going. She’s not very vocal usually except when she sees a dog — or any kind of animal, for that matter — on the television. Then she’s up on the buffet barking at the screen. She also barks at big dogs when they walk past the salon. It’s always the big dogs. She likes to be lifted up and down the stairs too. She’s a bit of a princess.”

Yvonne and Lucy live with Buster the British bulldog, who is only 14 months old and a bit of a bruiser. “He snores a lot and Lucy just ignores him,” says Yvonne, who recently found out that her best mate Lucy has untreatable cancer. “She’s a beautiful dog really. I’m going to keep her as comfortable as I can and we’ll keep our fingers crossed. She’s been my little rock.”  

Solid. Pink. And pretty.

Loud, proud and connected By Liz Rogers

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I’d heard about Boon Wurrung author N’arweet (elder) Carolyn Briggs. Heard she was tough, direct and opinionated. When I first met her at a book signing in Sorrento many moons ago, her cool inner-Melbourne chic, cropped coloured hair, smart bright eyes and highly held head seemed to support the murmurings. She spoke with a voice of generations and a deep connection to land and ancestors. Here’s a snippet of her devotion to living her people’s story.  

Who are the Boon Wurrung people? 

The first people of the bays (Port Philip and Western Port) and southeast Victoria.

Where were you born? 

In Melbourne. There was a strong Kulin community in North Melbourne, where my mother lived. When I was young, we moved to Swan Hill, to my maternal grandmother’s Country. Her name was Margaret Taylor and her family were Wemba Wemba. My grandfather, William Briggs, was known as Napa, a Kulin word meaning ‘grandfather’. He was a very proud and respected man.

Who is Bundjil?

Bundjil was a deity of the Boon Wurrung. He travelled as an eagle and protected the land and the children of the land. Bundjil was also the creator, and many of the traditional stories of Bundjil relate to both the creation of the people and the protection of the people from harm.

Tell us about your great-grandmother, Louisa Briggs.

Louisa was born into the Yaluk-ut Weelam clan of the Boon Wurrung language group around 1835 and lived until 1924. Louisa with her mother, aunt and grandmother were taken by sealers to Bass Strait to work as slaves — catching seals, processing their skins and rendering their oil. They travelled by open boat between the islands of Bass Strait and Melbourne. She was a matriarch and an activist who supported her children and made them strong.  She sent many letters to the Aborigines Protection Board. Two of Louisa’s children gave evidence at the Royal Commission in the 1880s. She died aged 90 at Cumeroogunga.

What did the Port Phillip region look like thousands of years ago?

Much of the area we live on today was very different prior to the Europeans arriving. The land supported a complex ecosystem, with many creeks and swamps supporting a wide range of life. For example, the eels (iilk) would travel up through the creeks and rivers, and this provided a great source of food during particular seasons. These were farmed through fish traps and often smoked in large hollow trees to preserve them. I have seen some of these remaining sites on the Mornington Peninsula. 

What is the Boon Wurrung Foundation?

The Boon Wurrung Foundation was established in 2005 so we could ensure the survival of the Boon Wurrung cultural heritage that had been passed down and to promote this unique part of Melbourne’s history. 

What does being a keeper of the history and genealogies mean?

In our community, the history has been traditionally protected by the women who kept the knowledge of family and genealogies. This knowledge is the most important part of our heritage and it contains the stories of our families.  

How does Boon Wurrung language differ between written and oral forms?

The first attempt to write the Boon Wurrung language occurred in the late 1830s by William Thomas, the assistant protector of Aborigines. He began translating the Bible and the Lord’s Prayer as well as some of the psalms into Boon Wurrung. William Thomas understood and respected the structure and hierarchy of traditional Yaluk-ut Weelam society. In recognition of his commitment towards the traditional owners, he was given the title Marminata, which translated means ‘the good father’. His diaries remain an important record of the Yaluk-ut Weelam.

What are you most proud of?

My children and other young people making some amazing achievements. When I see them happy, confident and achieving their own goals, I know the journey has been worthwhile.


Daddy’s in the rainbow By Liz Rogers

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Imagine having two very small children and being told your partner has brain cancer. Well, unfortunately author/illustrator, teacher and mother Tracey Newnham didn’t have to. This Mount Eliza-bred girl’s partner Wes passed away from the disease at 37 when their children were two and three respectively. And the world spiralled. Tracey explains. “My partner Wes is our hero. In 2014 he fought a lengthy and courageous battle with brain cancer. The reality of his passing was incredibly confronting and I was left feeling overwhelmed by my own grief and the responsibility of now being a sole parent with grieving children. Our home was no longer complete.”

Gaps. Space where someone once was. How do you tell a child that their father isn’t coming home and guide them with what to do with that empty space in a way that best serves them? How do you process your own well of emotions, let alone navigate a path for your children to follow? 

Tracey used art as therapy, by drawing rainbows with her children. She continues. “I introduced the activity of drawing rainbows with my elder son after his grandfather passed away. Drawing rainbows was a place that they would be able to feel the love and keep the connection alive. When Wes passed, I told the boys their Daddy’s memories could be found in the rainbow. I wanted to keep their connection with their father alive. From then on rainbows seemed to appear everywhere in the house.”

Then came the authentic picture and resource book written, illustrated and self-published by Tracey. “I recognised the need for a resource to assist families living through such an overwhelming time. In The Rainbow is an honest story encouraging adults and children to reach out while educating about the real emotions shared during illness, trauma, loss and grief.”

The book is filled with openness and empowers readers to communicate feelings and build effective resilience strategies. It has had great support from both the cancer and grief sectors. It is recommended in the Cancer Council’s Cancer in the School Community booklet and highly recommended by Magpies Magazine in 2017. 

Four years on and now living in Torquay, Tracey sees her tight-knit family’s future moving forward. If you are living a similar story, you can go online at intherainbow.com.au to purchase a copy of this lovely soft-cover book that tells it like it is in a safe and gentle way. In the Rainbow makes annual donations to the RMH Neuroscience Foundation for brain cancer research (neuroscience.org.au) and the Wes Crooke Scholarship/Endowment Fund in conjunction with PANGEA Global Health Education, to support the training of medical professionals in Africa.

Dan’s an unstoppable Force of nature By Liz Rogers

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Three days in and Dan Force knew she was never gonna leave. Well, not until she’d drunk in every last Californian dream drop with multiple Kodachrome cherries on top. Day four and the Earth moved. An earthquake measuring 7.4 on the Richter scale hit Los Angeles and things got pretty hairy, but this Black Rock-born and Wesley-educated 20-year-old who had an RMIT Bachelor of Photography in her pocket had decided that the US was her oyster and she was ready to bite. She held tight. She’d been accepted into an exchange program at Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara and wasn’t going to let a “piddling” crack in the Earth’s crust get in her way. 

She explains. “I was running late for a lecture at Brooks where Playboy photographer Arnie Freytag was speaking about his work and the industry. There was nowhere left to sit, so I went down the front and ended up almost sitting on his legs. I was the only female in the room and asked a lot of questions. He offered me a job on the spot and meeting the studio manager sealed the deal. I found myself interning at Playboy within a week and continued working as a freelancer on and off for around four years.” 

Things don’t move slow in this force of nature’s world. She continues. “I’d left home at 17 and moved into a house owned by Albert Tucker in Albert Park with a boyfriend. We eventually separated and I wanted a new beginning. LA was the ideal solution.” Enter Seinfeld and intergalactic Barbarella gun photoshoots, Santa Monica Blvd and Bunny-loving media mogul Hugh Hefner. 

‘Hef’s 29-room Gothic-Tudor-style Playboy Mansion in Charing Cross Road was notorious for the risqué related shenanigans he and his celebrity cohorts enjoyed. Dan describes. “Hugh had just got married so was in the background. I worked with Arnie most days and met editor Marilyn Grabowski, who was the driver behind the gatefolds (centrefolds). Most Bunnies had long blonde hair and big boobs like Pamela Anderson. They also wore incredible make-up. I’d help light the girls, set the dials and filters, go over the pics and do the test shoots. We’d go through rolls and rolls of film taking hundreds of frames, then I’d drop the film off at the end of the day and pick it up in the morning. There was a real artistic flair to taking those pictures. I also shot the burlesque performer Dita Von Teese and moved into videography but eventually got burnt out, so I left LA, drove to San Francisco, put on my rollerblades and skated the Golden Gate Park as soon as I got there and started meeting people. It was the late ‘90s.” 

But La La Land kept calling.

“When I returned to LA, I got into the music scene and landed a job with Behind the Music, which interviewed artists like Milli Vanilli, Debbie Harry, Ozzy Osbourne, Chaka Khan and Stevie Nicks. Then I went on to MTV and started clubbing and meeting LA-based DJs whom I started to manage. I went on to promote LA’s biggest club, Giant on Vine St, with DJs Sasha and Carl Cox,” she continues. Next stop? London and becoming Hedkandi’s booking agent and tour manager. “We did parties all over the world, including Australia and the Netherlands, and a weekly gig in Ibiza. We also opened for Cirque du Soleil shows in Las Vegas with circus performers, drag queens and stilt walkers.”   

This laugh first, express and explain later cropped-hair force of nature stayed in London for nine years and became a booking agent for 20 burlesque performers who wowed audiences from London to Russia and everywhere in between. She landed back in Australia in 2010 and now delivers a ripper brew and spirited conversation at her café Via Battisti in Mount Martha, where she welcomes everyone with open arms. She is travelling back to the States later this month with her two children and partner for a reunion.

“It will be fun to catch up with people again. Those were wild times, but I’m happy. I mean look at that.” We both grin at the sea as she opens her arms again. “Not bad?”

And the Force continues. 


House with the most the toast of the coast

House on the Coast, by Sean Godsell Architects, has won the Robin Boyd Award for Houses (New) at the Australian Institute of Architects’ Australian Architecture Awards. Photos courtesy the Australian Institute of Architects/Sean Godsell Architects/Young and Percival/Earl Carter

House on the Coast, by Sean Godsell Architects, has won the Robin Boyd Award for Houses (New) at the Australian Institute of Architects’ Australian Architecture Awards. Photos courtesy the Australian Institute of Architects/Sean Godsell Architects/Young and Percival/Earl Carter

A stunning Mornington Peninsula house has taken out a major prize at the Australian Institute of Architects’ Australian Architecture Awards. House on the Coast, designed by Sean Godsell Architects, won the Robin Boyd Award for Houses (New) at the awards last month, the jury describing it as “an exploration of refinement and reduction”. The holiday house, nestled into a steep sand dune bordering a national park, is focused on privacy and connection with nature, created to take in the most spectacular ocean views.

“As coastal towns begin to manifest the suburban model, the quality of the natural landscape is often compromised, along with views and sightlines,” the jury said. “House on the Coast acknowledges this changing condition and prioritises the landscape by sinking the timber-battened building into the sloping terrain. Rather than opening the living spaces out to the views of cluttered hillsides populated by an increasing number of rooftops, the home strategically orientates itself into the landscaped hillside with only carefully choreographed openings to the ocean view. The sense of isolation and privacy that this creates is highly appropriate in its context as a holiday house, allowing its inhabitants a chance to detach and relax.

“Entry to the house is via a protected courtyard with a fireplace — a transitional and multifunctional space that can be used all year round. The plan comprises a series of ordered, compact and robust spaces that would require minimum maintenance. Rooms are designed for a variety of configurations, with consciously flexible arrangements such as a custom-designed kitchen bench that extends out to form a long dining table and a large bedroom with a retractable wall. Despite the raw and robust materiality of the house, there is a warmth and subtlety within these interior spaces.

“This house continues an exploration of refinement and reduction by Sean Godsell,” the jury said. “The singular form and intense detailing create an exquisitely neutral living platform from which to engage with the beautiful coastal landscape.”

Richard Kirk, the jury chairman and immediate past president of the Australian Institute of Architects, said the awards provided an opportunity to reflect on how Australia’s diverse landscapes, urban environments and economic conditions influence and inform our architecture, enriching our culture. “Projects at this level are all accomplished but it was those that could demonstrate their value broadly, beyond the limits of the brief and the confines of the site, which were nationally recognised,” Richard said.

“Most impressive were projects that established new design benchmarks and whose influence can be of value to the broader community, leading to positive change in our built environment.

“For the jury, it was important that all the awarded projects implemented sustainability initiatives at a conceptual level, taking a holistic approach. It was impressive to see the growing sophistication and ingenuity in this domain.”

The institute’s national president, Clare Cousins, congratulated all award recipients and finalists for their valuable contribution to Australian architectural practice. “In Australia, we have developed our own brand of architecture that defines who we are and where we come from,” Clare said.

“These awards are the most recognised and competitive in the industry. They are peer-judged and involve an exhaustive selection process, with site visits to shortlisted projects, allowing the jury to experience the quality of the work firsthand. They showcase the continuing evolution and diversity of our craft and the changing needs of our society, illustrating the vital role architecture plays in the lives of all Australians.”

The full list of Victorian award winners is available at architecture.com.au

Peninsula people go north By Liz Rogers

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Are you looking to holiday somewhere that feels like a home away from home but has a rainforest and Great Barrier Reef experience just around the corner? You’ve found it. Actually, you’ve found two!

Beaches and Beachfront Terraces are situated side by side on the main strip in Port Douglas and offer accommodation to suit any Mornington Peninsula holiday-maker escaping to the far north. First, there’s the position of these two holiday offerings built for Peninsula people and their families and friends. Beachfront brilliance is an understatement. World Heritage beauty, oodles of Four Mile Beach frontage and plenty of come and go as you please freedom makes these two sensational accommodation spaces the place to be.

Beaches Port Douglas brings full-size apartment living and understated barefoot luxury to the Mornington Peninsula escape table. Blending comfort and the familiarity of home with premium facilities such as a pool, jacuzzi, free Wi-Fi and airconditioning, it delivers two and three-bedroom apartment resort living in spades. Its stellar sister holiday accommodation haven Beachfront Terraces offers some ocean and garden views and a pool with a wide beach area, making it ideal for gradual entry and exit for anyone with mobility issues. It’s also great for the little ones with fun-for-all shallow wading capabilities. 

So go far north, Peninsula people! These two holiday destinations provide ideal holiday accommodation for multi-generational families to suit all budgets and personalities. And of course A1 staff-to-client care is top priority.

Are you there yet?

BEACHES PORT DOUGLAS

A: 19 Esplanade, Port Douglas, Queensland

T: (07) 4099 4150

W: beachesportdouglas.com.au

E: [email protected]

BEACHFRONT TERRACES

A: 17 Esplanade, Port Douglas, Queensland

T: (07) 4099 5397

W: beachfrontterraces.com.au

E: [email protected]


Barefoot luxury in beachfront oasis By Liz Rogers

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Where do you go when you’re looking for a home-away-from-home holiday with extended family and friends? Or when searching for a faraway place brimming with exclusive relaxation and full-amenity living? A place synonymous with your already Peninsula-perfect lifestyle.

Beaches in Port Douglas, that’s where.

This is the place where full-size apartment living in a premium beachfront location delivers ultimate convenience and customer-care satisfaction guaranteed. Everything you could possibly need for a position-fuelled rainforest-meets-the-reef escape is within reach of this understated luxury two and three-bedroom apartment resort, with Four Mile Beach ocean front views, pool, jacuzzi, free Wi-Fi and airconditioning. Soak up the carefree atmosphere while making memories with the ones you love onsite or take a stroll down the street where Far North Queensland life flourishes.

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Beaches Port Douglas blends the comfort and familiarity of home with stellar facilities and accommodating staff whose desire to help you create the holiday of a lifetime means non-stop service with a smile. Or why not book annually for a family meet and greet at the same time each year? This is the perfect spot for bringing family from far and wide together in a magnificent, no-fuss, beachfront oasis just a stone’s throw from magnificent World Heritage beauty.

Beaches? Brilliant.

BEACHES PORT DOUGLAS

A: 19 Esplanade, Port Douglas, Queensland

T: (07) 4099 4150

W: beachesportdouglas.com.au

E: [email protected]

 

Wake up and smell the peonies

Spring is in the air, and so is the exquisite scent of flowering peonies at the Red Hill Peony Estate. It has been a big year for the Mornington Peninsula’s first commercial peony farm — it became the first and only Peony Society in Australia and you have the chance to become an Associate Member. It is entirely free to join and includes a 25% discount on your 2018 entrance fee and 10% off any of the peony workshops to be held during 2019.  (Find the link on the Estate’s website.)

This year’s Open Days will have a festival air, with marquees selling hot and cold food and drinks including homemade lemonade and the Estate's magnificent gin and fruit-based cocktail. There will be bunches of peonies, potted peony plants, original oil paintings and prints of peonies by the Estate owner-Jillian Holmes-Smith, and an exciting selection of peony-related merchandise for sale.

The Red Hill Peonies are still young and establishing; and as expected, they are producing significantly more flower buds than last year.

You’ll be able to stroll through the Peony Paddock, where you will find 3,500 peony plants in various stages of development and bloom; stroll to the formally designed box-hedged Rose Garden and the open Parkland to see unusual tree plantings; the white Rugosa Rose Walk, the substantial Kitchen Gardens and fully espaliered Orchard; the Berry Garden; and then on to the Barn Garden, which is blooming superbly.

For something very special, you may prefer a private and sumptuous picnic on your Open Day visit — go to “Private Estate Picnics” on the Estate’s website.  

 

2018 November Open Days

 

Saturday 17th & Sunday 18th

Saturday 24th & Sunday 25th, and

Saturday 1st & Sunday 2nd

10am-4pm,

(with the last entry at 3pm)

 

Bookings are recommended because numbers are limited 

Note that the Coolstore Shop located at the top of the Estate, will not be open on any of these six Open Days. However, the Shop will be open on weekends and week-days leading up to Christmas and New Year. (Check the website for exact dates later in the year.

 

RED HILL PEONY ESTATE:  A: 237 Arthurs Seat Rd, Red Hill  T: 0438 558 633 

W: redhillpeonyestate.com.au   FB: redhillpeonies   INSTA: redhillpeonyestate

New train line an alternative to ‘Mum’s taxi’ By Mike Hast

Frequent, safe and reliable trains will enable young people to be more independent of their parents for transport.

Frequent, safe and reliable trains will enable young people to be more independent of their parents for transport.

The proposed Frankston to Baxter rail extension is big news across the region, but which governments are supporting it, where will the stations be built, and how will the new train line benefit the wider community?

With strong backing from the Federal Government and Opposition and the State Opposition, the $450 million-plus project has three of the four promises needed for it to go ahead. Rail supporters want the State Government to join the party, but in the lead-up to November’s state election there has been no word yet from Premier Daniel Andrews.

Three new stations have been proposed on the 8km extension. Frankston East would service Frankston Hospital and Monash University’s Peninsula campus and see up to 5000 “boardings” each weekday, making it among the top 25 busiest suburban stations. Six times more people could reach the hospital and university precinct within 50 minutes (walking plus train journey). With the State Government backing the hospital’s rebuilding project to the tune of $562 million, this station is essential to fulfil the grand vision of creating a world-leading teaching hospital alongside its normal functions. The station would relieve pressure on scarce hospital and health precinct parking.

The second station, as yet unnamed, would service 13,500 residents of Karingal, Frankston Heights and Lakeside. The third station, Langwarrin, would service 23,800 residents, and a 1000-plus commuter carpark has been proposed. An upgraded Baxter station also would have a new carpark and would be used by people living farther afield.

The new carparks would take pressure off Frankston’s CBD. Frankston station carpark holds just 416 vehicles and is full by 6.30am weekdays. Later commuters take many affordable CBD car spaces. The new line and its carparks outside the CBD would free up spaces for shoppers, traders and their staff as well as visitors and tourists. Shopping and working in Frankston would be far less hassle if affordable carparks were easier to find.

Some commuters who miss out on a CBD park keep driving up the line until they find a carpark at Kananook, Seaford or Carrum stations, a major inconvenience. Life would be so much easier if you knew there was plenty of station parking on McClelland Drive, Langwarrin.

A reliable train service every 10-15 minutes would transform Karingal, Frankston Heights, Frankston South and beyond. It would enable workers to get out of their cars and off congested roads, getting to and from work faster and home to their families sooner. Better transport would improve access to higher paying jobs and boost local incomes, a welcome relief as the cost of living rises.

‘Mum’s taxi’ would get a break — frequent, safe and reliable trains would enable young people to be more independent of their parents for transport. How good would it be if teenagers could get to their jobs, the beach or sports matches without having to ask Mum or Dad to drive them?

Committee for Greater Frankston is among organisations backing the rail extension; others include Frankston Council, Mornington Peninsula Shire, Frankston Hospital, Peninsula Health, Monash University, Karingal Hub, and Frankston traders. Committee CEO Ginevra Hosking, the granddaughter of Frankston’s first mayor, Percy Hosking, who founded Hosking’s Jewellers in 1945, has prepared a compelling case for the extension.

“Karingal and Langwarrin are two of Melbourne’s most car-dependent suburbs and the extension will be a game-changer for residents,” Ginevra said. “It will radically transform public transport in our region, drive creation of new jobs and improve overall prosperity, reduce congestion on roads, free up crowded carparks, and make better use of public and private assets like Frankston Hospital and Monash’s Peninsula campus.”

More information about the rail project is on the committee’s website at c4gf.com.au

Mike Hast is a freelance writer for the Committee for Greater Frankston and a former editor of Peninsula newspapers.

 

The Duke of Edinburgh’s visit to Melbourne

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Many readers will remember the Royal visit to Victoria in February and March of 1954. Prince Philip accompanied Queen Elizabeth II on that occasion, but another Duke of Edinburgh had made a previous visit. Prince Alfred, the second son of Queen Victoria, was the first member of the British Royal Family to visit Australia. At the age of 23 he arrived here in command of HMS Galatea during a visit to the Australian Colonies.

Shortly before noon on Saturday, November 23, 1867, HMS Galatea steamed through the Heads to be greeted by a salute from the guns at Queenscliff and those of HMCS Victoria, which was waiting with the Governor aboard. A flotilla of around 20 steamers, crowded with people anxious to greet the Prince, formed up in two lines to escort the visitor via the South Channel to Melbourne. At first this presented a fine sight, with clouds of smoke from the ships’ funnels and some vessels with sails also set. The escort, however, was unable to keep pace and the Galatea was soon well ahead. It had to wait for the escort to reform for the official welcome by crowds lining the shores around Hobsons Bay.

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Before his visit to Melbourne, Prince Alfred had visited Adelaide. He later visited Hobart and Sydney before going on to Brisbane. While in Victoria he visited Geelong, Ballarat, Castlemaine, Bendigo and the Western District. Everywhere he went he was greeted by huge crowds but on many occasions problems occurred. Several planned functions were failures or turned into riots, and deaths and injuries resulted. While in Sydney an attempt was made to assassinate Prince Alfred, but he quickly recovered from a bullet wound to his back.

HMS Galatea was a 3200-ton, 26-gun frigate launched in 1859. Rigged as a ship, she was also equipped with an 800-horsepower steam engine driving a propeller that could be raised when sailing. Her hull measured around 75m but her bowsprit and jib-boom added another 10m.

Melbourne’s Alfred Hospital, which opened in 1871, was named in honour of our first Royal visitor, Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh.

BY MAURIE HUTCHINSON

President, Peninsula Ship Society

T: Maurie Hutchinson 9787 5780

E: [email protected]

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

 

Milo’s a bit hit and Miss by Liz Rogers

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Imagine this. You’re standing in the hallway in a pair of shorts. After all, it’s a hot night in Mount Eliza, right? Then, without warning, a cat launches at you, claws and all, leaving scratches up and down your legs and giving you a right scare in the process. A cat named Milo, who also goes by Miss. A cat who usually sits around purring, talking and receiving sweet tooth treats (if he can get them!). A feline who appears to have just a little bit of a split personality.

Hannah Scott explains. “That’s what happened — just out of the blue with no warning at all and there he was on me! We got him when he was about three or four months old from the RSPCA. Apparently he’d had a previous owner who brought him back. We’ll never know what he experienced, but every now and then he just attacks. The rest of the time he snuggles and sits at the back door chatting to the birds. He doesn’t go after them. He just meows.”

There’s a running argument in the Scott family over the origin of his name. Hannah’s business-studying brother Chris —who is really Milo’s owner — says he named Milo after the cat tried to drink his Milo. Hannah reckons he was named after a dog in an Xbox game her father was playing — and she has no clue why she calls him Miss. Either way, this Bachelor of Nursing student at Federation University Australia in Berwick thinks Milo’s just a little bit weird, but in all the right ways. She continues. “He lives inside and sleeps on my bed during the day, on Mum when she’s on the couch and on Dad when he’s in bed. He hides under Chris’s bed when he’s afraid. He’s really scared of baking foil and rubbish trucks and hates the wind. I think he’s a bit of a man’s cat. He prefers to hang with Chris and Dad.”

This 10-year-old tabby cat is spoilt rotten. Whether it’s a chicken dinner or a bit of Weet-Bix and milk, he’s got this family wrapped around his slightly nutty but perfectly self-cleaned and preened paws. Who cares if he’s a bit on the chubby side, doesn’t like his vegetables and lets off a bit of aggro steam every now and then. Hannah doesn’t. “If he jumps on the bed or couch, he wants to be as close to you as possible. Purring.” 

Who needs scratch-free legs anyway?

 

Friends happy to share their life stories By Yazmine Lomax

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For Mornington-based book club The Happy Bookers, the third Tuesday of every month means a discussion of their latest read with a side of wine and cheese. The brainchild of Sarah Hansen and Dee Rorke, The Happy Bookers’ story began 11 years ago and is still going.

There are currently 12 members of the group, which only recently settled on its name. “We went to see The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society,” original member Francesca McLoughlin explains. “We wanted a name like that for our group. Someone suggested The Happy Bookers and we were quite ‘happy’ with that!”

The group meets each January to decide the books and the meeting dates for the coming year. Every month, one member hosts while another brings food and a third is tasked with preparing questions and leading the discussion. “We each enjoy the opportunity to put forward our own opinions and feel safe to do so without the risk of criticism,” explains Gabrielle Gordon. “This is very special and allows us all to not only reflect on how we think and feel, but also how those around us think and feel.”

“We talk over each other, we disagree, we often are honestly raw,” continues Amy McKenzie-McHarg. “What makes this a great group is that we are not afraid to speak openly and truthfully and know that, whatever happens, we'll be there for the next book and to share another bottle of wine.”

The Happy Bookers have had some climactic plot points in their narrative, including meeting the authors of books they’ve read together. The ladies enjoyed discussing the life and writing process of Sohila Zanjani, author of Scattered Pearls, over dinner and recently caught up with Music and Freedom author Zoe Morrison to chat about her award-winning novel.

“What stands out to me is that although it started being about books and a shared love of reading, it’s now something so much bigger,” says Sally Lloyd. Lucia Keightley, who returned to university as a mature-age student, agrees. “The interest and encouragement that has been shown to me over the years has all gone towards my success in achieving my dream of furthering my education.”

“As we have been together for 11 years, our book club has experienced the great excitement of births, the enormous sadness of deaths and every other emotion,” Sarah Hansen says. “We are more than a book club now — we are lifelong friends.”

Who says reading has to be a solitary experience?

 

Life’s expression painted through music By Liz Rogers

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More than 300,000 migrants came to the Bonegilla Migrant Camp, which opened its gates in 1947 in northeastern Victoria. Frankston North jazz musician and artist Hermann Schwaiger was one of them. He was 13 when he arrived in Bonegilla with his family, who had sailed by ship from post-war Germany to a far-off world where mess huts with unlined timber frames and toilet blocks must have looked particularly strange, like ugly wooden time capsules baking beneath the Albury/Wodonga sun. No more Eastern Alps; no more medieval and baroque buildings. So, this was home.

Hermann explains. “We loved our time at Bonegilla  — all exotic, such as big gum trees, hot weather and licence-free fishing under the age of 16. We were only there for a month and then moved to Maribyrnong, then Ascot Vale and eventually to Kinglake. We — I have three brothers and a sister — lost our old house in the Black Saturday bushfires in 2009. We lost people too. I used to work in my grandfather’s music shop, which was on the German side of the border only 4km from Salzburg in a town called Freilassing. He made accordions, which he exported across the world, and he also played in the Edelweiss Trio. My mother studied opera singing in Salzburg and my father wanted to be a classical pianist but the war came along. I’ve probably been playing jazz for around 40 years. The music was always there.”

The Bonegilla camp ceased operation in 1971, but Hermann has never stopped creating. He has played with the best of them since taking up double bass in the ‘70s after coming out of the Fine Arts Department at RMIT when he formed the Hermann Schwaiger Quintet. Then there was the Chris McNulty Quintet playing double bass, the year he spent playing with pianist Paul Grabowsky and acclaimed drummer and percussionist David Jones, and jazzing it up with the likes of Vince Jones, Jane Clifton and Wilbur Wilde and touring with the Cathay Pacific Band in Hong Kong. In between came painting workshops at Kinglake and Somerville. He continues.

“I began painting about 20 years ago. I use acrylics to paint Melbourne streetscapes and the people in them. I suppose it’s about documenting life as it is now and being representational. I just like doing it. I’ve shown my work in the Derinya Art & Craft Exhibition, Camberwell Art Show, Flinders Art Show and have just been in the 40th annual Mount Eliza Art Show.”

Life has taken many melodic twists and turns for this music and art expressionist who is looking forward to a future filled with more of the same creation. From Salzburg to Frankston North, his double bass and paint brushes will continue to tell their stories of his deep connections with the world around him. Whether far away or just around the corner.

 

Lisa shows Frankston in a positive light By Kate Sears

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If positivity was a person, it would be Lisa Fisher. Frankly Frankston has previously praised her selfless efforts as the founder of the Positively Frankston Facebook group and now her tireless work has been officially recognised. Lisa was awarded a Certificate of Appreciation by Frankston Mayor Colin Hampton for all her hard work and the countless hours that she dedicates to creating a better Frankston via her Positively Frankston brand.

When Lisa started the Facebook group she had no expectation of how the public would receive it. Now she’s also established a linked Facebook page and website which also showcase everything positive about Frankston.

“I first heard about the Certificate of Appreciation from Cr Sandra Mayer, who told me she had nominated me,” said Lisa. “I was really surprised and of course very excited. It was quite unexpected and it is great recognition for our group.”

In the group you can expect to discover local unknown treasures to visit, hidden walking trails that may have been forgotten, tips on how to thoroughly explore our town, information on events happening, or simply photographs that have been shared of spectacular sunsets by members at Frankston pier. It’s a page that helps to remind people of everything that can be found in Frankston — potential friends included, as Lisa has organised six successful meet-ups and the first Ladies’ Night and Children’s Catch Up events.

Lisa has been praised for creating a group that had Frankston’s best interests at heart and for providing a safe place for people to converse, make connections and get to know each other, both online and out in the community. Her role as administrator requires plenty of hours to maintain the smooth running of her social media accounts to make sure that the content remains positive and relevant to Frankston. Updating the website, being out in the community, meeting people and discovering new places to tell her members about has become a passion.

“I guess it was about testing the water to see how many like-minded people there were in our community, and it has come at a time when there is so much great development and investment happening in our town. People are wanting to feel proud about where we live and certainly a fresh approach on social media was needed.”

This month, Positively Frankston is hosting Mission 100 in collaboration with 3199 Beach Patrol because Lisa’s group thrives on working with other community groups to raise awareness and support each other. “What started simply as a Facebook group has now become a popular campaign.”

To be part of the Positively Frankston movement and gain a sense of belonging, join the Facebook group, like the Facebook page and visit positivelyfrankston.com.au

Growing up strong immersed in culture

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Mornington Peninsula Shire’s Family Services and Community Planning unit is unapologetically proactive in closing the education gap, particularly when it comes to families with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander babies and young children.

The Shire has an ongoing relationship with the Aboriginal Gathering Place, Willum Warrain, to co-facilitate the culturally appropriate Koori Kids Bush playgroup held every Wednesday from 10am-noon, excluding school holidays. Exclusively for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children up to five years old, this playgroup provides a natural learning environment with weekly activities that aim to connect families with their culture in a safe space. It’s run by Carla Lauch and Kerry Fortuyn.

The unit teams work closely with other agencies to develop holistic approaches to ensure Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families are receiving information that encourages and enables them to enrol their children in the Early Start to Kindergarten (ESK) program. Working with Peninsula Health Aboriginal Early Start to Life, Frankston City Council, Koori Education Support officers and the Shire’s Maternal and Child Health team and a specialist Aboriginal MCH outreach worker, the unit aims to foster relationships while providing an opportunity to support families in accessing other programs and services in their area.

Adopting culturally safe practices has led to a large increase of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children attending playgroup and a significant uptake in Kindergarten Central registrations. Proactive strategies are implemented to assist new families in accessing two years of funded kindergarten by identifying those new registrations and offering the ESK program. Assistance is also provided to ensure the second year of ESK is implemented.

If you’d like to find out more about Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander early learning, go

to mornpen.vic.gov.au or willumwarrain.org.au/bush-play-group/ for more information. Or give Willum Warrain a call on 5979 1391. You’ll find it at 10c Pound Rd, Hastings.

Remember the name Kitty Reeves By Liz Rogers

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Lorraine Reeves does fashion. At 50 years old, this dedicated student of embellishment, embroidery, detail and texture has come a long way from the young girl sewing outfits for her Barbie in a small South Gippsland town.

Things were different then when she began dressmaking at eight or nine years old. All the other girls wanted to get a job and get married after they finished school, but not Lorraine. She dreamt of becoming an interior designer, and then of making and creating couture, although she didn’t know it was called that then. Chanel. Dior. Balenciaga. Valentino. Ah! These were things worth dreaming about! High school happened and her interest in fashion developed, but support and like-minded fashion enthusiasts were hard to find. Time moved quickly and yes, she did get married, worked in retail — ladies’, men’s and kids’ fashion — and continued to make outfits for herself and friends and family. She also did a TAFE course in pattern-making when she was 26. She explains.

“People would ring me up when they wanted a wedding dress or something special. That’s what it was like in a small town. Everyone knew I could sew. I went back to school as a mature-age student to get more knowledge of the design process. It was also super-stimulating to be surrounded by other creatives who were interested in fashion. I’d never had that before.”

Lorraine has just completed her Advanced Fashion Design - Bachelor of Fashion Technology course at the Melbourne School of Fashion. Getting up at 6am, driving to Seaford from Mount Martha and arriving home about 8pm. “I only had to do the fashion component of the course because I had so much previous experience, but the workload was big. It’s a three-year degree. I couldn’t have completed it without my husband, Andrew. He’s been fantastic. I was the oldest in the class but found my life experience gave me more focus. I really wanted to be there. I stopped working part-time in my final year so I could really concentrate.”

Which was a smart move because she got selected to show a student capsule collection last September at Fashion Week. She continues. “My collection was called Rendition and was inspired by the classics. I love working on one-off garments. They were timeless pieces that were heavily embellished. Tassels separated and sewn together, reworked. I love morphing fabric into something else. It showed on the student runway. My label is called Kitty Reeves.”

Entering the world of fashion at any age can be challenging, but that doesn’t seem to bother this Mornington Peninsula designer. She’s just getting set to be part of Fashions on the Field at Flemington Racecourse after supplying a look book and being chosen as one of the 10 finalists. “All the fashion institutes were invited and I got chosen. We have to design the complete look. Choose accessories, shoes. Unconventional racewear. That’s what I’d call mine. A model named Gabby Kellie will wear my outfit. It has to be ready by November 6. I’d better get to it.”

Yes, you’d better, Lorraine. Life takes twists and turns but one thing’s for sure — it’s never too late to do what you love. Is it?

 

Sail away on a river of dreams

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Have you dreamt of exploring the delights of Southern France?  Lauren, one of the dedicated travel advisers at Peninsula Travel, has recently returned from an enchanting eight-day Rhone river cruise itinerary with APT.

The Rhone Treasures itinerary commences in the picturesque city of Arles, famed for inspiring the paintings of Van Gogh.  Wander the charming winding laneways, explore the medieval hilltop village of Les Baux-de-Provence and take in spectacular views from the fortress.

The Provencal town of Avignon is renowned for ecclesiastical architecture and it doesn’t disappoint.  Standing proudly in the heart of the city, the World Heritage-listed Palais des Papes Palace is a must-see.  An excursion to Pont Du Gard, the Roman aqueduct constructed from three tiers of archway bridgework, allows time to appreciate this beautifully preserved UNESCO World Heritage site.

Days can be spent leisurely absorbing the luxury on board, or you can continue to be immersed in the gifts Southern France has to offer.  Visit a truffle farm and taste the delicacy in Viviers, followed by a steam train ride through the Ardeche Mountains of Tournan.  Chatillon sur Chalaronne is a quaint town and the place to tick off the ‘must-do’ French experience — dine on frogs’ legs and snails.

Saving the best for last, Lyon is the final stop on this journey and it doesn’t take long to see why it is fondly referred to as France’s ‘second city’.  Bicycles are readily available for passengers to use and this is the perfect city to pedal through, absorbing the sights before saying ‘au revoir’ to Southern France.

APT is a popular choice for travellers desiring life-enriching and unique cruise experiences.  Luxury is delivered throughout, down to the smallest detail.  Lauren was impressed to discover that meals are crafted to showcase the cuisine of the local region and are matched with superb wines — a perfect way to finish each spectacular day of the Rhone Treasures itinerary.

River cruising is a perfect way to travel if you want to experience highlights of a destination and leave the hard work to the experts.  Arrive, unpack and enjoy — the rest is taken care of.

PENINSULA TRAVEL

A: 9 Bay Rd, Mount Martha

T: 5974 3911

W: peninsulatravel.com.au

 

Take the whole family on a journey of discovery

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Journeys Rediscovered is the culmination of Kirsty Thomas-Thoeun’s 21 years in the travel industry and her passion for the exotic destinations of Asia, Africa and India. Developing wonderful contacts with hotels and local operators allows Journeys Rediscovered to create unique experiences and immersive itineraries for small groups and individuals alike.

Kirsty loves creating itineraries for families and says travelling with children allows for greater interaction with locals.  “India is an amazing destination; of course, we all hear stories of travellers getting ‘Delhi belly’, and this may make some hesitant to travel there with children. However, I believe it is such a fascinating and rewarding holiday experience for families with children aged eight and above.

“My 10-year-old daughter Aimee recently accompanied me to India. We explored Delhi and Rajasthan before heading to Varanasi, the spiritual heart of India. We took a side trip to a new upcoming beach destination, the Andaman Islands, and finally the romantic old British cities of Calcutta (now Kolkata) and Madras (Chennai).

“Before our trip, some were surprised I would take a child to Varanasi, but it was a favourite of both Aimee and I, along with Kolkata. The crowds, chaos and frenetic pace of locals coming down to the Ganges was a little daunting for Aimee for the first couple minutes but she held both my hand and that of our guide and quickly appreciated Varanasi as much as I did. We had a private blessing at an old Nepali temple before sailing on the Ganges to Dashashwamedh Ghat to witness the colour and sounds of drums, bells and chanting of prayers. This ceremony is mesmerising, and ends with the release of hundreds of lamps on to the water of the Ganges.”

Journeys Rediscovered has chosen itineraries that are perfect for families. There are some wonderful hotels in India that parents or grandparents will love and that go out of their way to make sure their younger guests enjoy their stay too. Journeys Rediscovered would love to plan an immersive holiday for your family to India or other stunning destinations such as Vietnam, Cambodia, Japan or Sri Lanka. What are you waiting for?

JOURNEYS REDISCOVERED

T: 0477 002 235

W: journeysrediscovered.com.au

E: [email protected]

FB: journeysrediscovered

INSTA: journeysrediscovered

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