LAST Saturday 15 locals including award-winning architect Paul Clout strapped on tool belts, loaded up the nail guns and got down to building a bedroo... Read More »
ANOTHER successful Mount Evelyn Community market was held again over the weekend.
Local craftspeople, artisans, cooks and traders set up stalls while the Mount Evelyn RSL put on a classic Devonshire tea for everyone in attendance.
Held at the RSL Hall on Birmingham Road, the community market featured handmade local goods and fresh local produce.
There was a huge variety of handmade crafts from jewellery, to baby clothes and underwear as well as local business offering everything from travel advice to cosmetics.
There was also fund-raising for the Cure Brain Cancer Foundation and wonderful original artworks for sale.
The community market is held on the fourth Saturday of each month from 9am to 1pm.
WARBURTON Caravan Park looks set for a major transformation.
Simon Edwards and his father Ray Edwards detailed their plans to Yarra Ranges Council on 23 June in a special meeting that provided an opportunity for anyone who made a submission on the proposed sale of the park to put forward their view.
Yarra Ranges Council identified Ray Edwards and sons, Simon and Adrian, and David Pratt, as the preferred tenderers back in March.
Simon Edwards told council he and his business partner Mr Pratt were in the process of selling the Bright Caravan Park they were presently operating with the intention of operating the Warburton Caravan Park.
“We are very much hands-on operators,” he said.
Both have young families and Simon Edwards said one of the significant drivers was their desire to move closer to their families in Melbourne.
Ray Edwards has been a caravan park operator for more than 20 years, and currently owns the Big4 park at Inverloch.
He said there was a significant amount of infrastructure work that needed to be done to bring the park up to the level expected by families who were the main focus of their businesses.
Included in their plans is a redevelopment of the reception and office area, boom gates to control traffic and improve safety, a jumping pillow, games room and communal kitchen, a dump site for caravaners and more two and three bedroom cabins further down the track.
Providing modern shower and toilet facilities was a high priority according to Ray Edwards who has owned and run parks for more than 20 years.
On the issue of continuing community access to the park, Simon Edwards said, “We do want to control vehicle access, but would have no plans to restrict any sort of pedestrian access”.
On the issue of existing residents and their tenure, he said they were governed by the Residential Tenancies Act and council had requested a minimum of two years surety for residents.
“We have no plans to get rid of permanent residents or site holders,” he said.
Ray Edwards said they respectively run our own individual businesses and would be pulling together for the capital spend that Warburton requires.
“What we have committed to is to pour a lot of money into not only the caravan park, but into the district,“ he said.
“We would be increasing staff over time.“
Simon Edwards said a long-term combination of lifestyle and investment in the community was what he and David Pratt were very excited about.
“We think we are in a fantastic position, ideally situated as catchment for tourists within two hours of a major metropolitan area.”
Warburton Valley CEDA (Community, Economic Development Association) president, Peta Godenzi, told the Mail she trusted that the reassurances over residents and annual site holders would be honoured.
“Our main criteria was that they weren’t compromised by the sale,” she said.
“A lot of money will need to be spent, and we trust they are going to do very good job if the tender is successful.”
The matter will go back to council on 14 July.
A NEW police initiative encouraging the community to meet their local police officers is coming to Endeavour Hills.
The Coffee with a Cop program, originally from the US, will launch at Endeavour Hills Shopping Centre this Thursday and will allow Casey residents to come and have a cuppa with their local cops and discuss any topic.
Acting Senior Sergeant Jen McKenna is helping co-ordinate the program.
“It personalises it, it gives them the opportunity to meet people,” she said.
“There’s no agendas, no forums, it’s whatever the community want to discuss.
“I think with policing you go job to job, and a lot of those jobs aren’t always meeting people in good circumstances so police members don’t get an opportunity to meet people in an informal way, it’s generally when people need us.
“This gives people the chance to meet us in an informal setting.”
Coffee with a Cop was started in Hawthorne, California, in 2011 after members of the local police department looked into ways they could interact better with their community.
In less than two years Coffee with a Cop events have been hosted in more than 2000 communities across 48 states.
Victoria Police has since looked abroad to see how what community projects they could draw on to improve community relations.
Sen Sgt McKenna said the Coffee with a Cop initiative would be run in Casey monthly, with the hope of taking it to other suburbs after the Endeavour Hills trial.
“It’s absolutely something Victoria Police will be watching to see how it’s received in the community,” she said.
“Of course if it takes off here (Endeavour Hills), it’s something we could easily spread.”
The first Coffee with a Cop session will be held this Thursday, 2 July, from 10am to noon at the Endeavour Hills Police Station.
To get involved with the program, or for more information, contact Sen Sgt McKenna at Endeavour Hills Police Station on 9709 7666.
CLEAN water is on the minds of seven Cranbourne Secondary College students as they prepare for an eye-opening trip through Thailand and Laos.
For three weeks the group will be trekking and visiting villages along the way.
Sports co-ordinator at the school Kellie Fellon said the group would be staying the night in local villages and interacting with the children.
“This expedition is not about the students simply jumping on a plane and being chaperoned around; it’s about them planning the whole expedition, budgeting and organising,” she said.
Every student has to do their best to raise $6000 or close to it which will cover their flights, travel within these countries, accommodation and food.
Ms Fellon said they were aiming to raise a further $3000 for the community work they would undertake in various communities.
“The expedition is aimed to challenge the personal growth of the students; they will be interacting with local children and teaching them basic English,” she said.
The group’s major project is building a water filter for a village in Laos and helping out in their local school.
“This is the first time the school has done anything like this, and we are very excited for the experience,” she said.
Students are currently fund-raising for the trip with the help of the Cranbourne Lions Club and have already received generous donations from the Blue Light Disco and Kelly’s Motor Club.
To donate, call Cranbourne Secondary College or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
EYE patches, swords, parrots and black beards took over the classrooms at Yarraman Oaks Primary School as students sailed aboard a ship of giving.
Friday 12 June was unlike most Fridays at the primary school with students and teachers dressed up in their finest pirate attire to raise money toward prevention and cure for childhood brain tumours.
Pirate Day Friday is a national fundraising day for what is the biggest killer of children in Australia with more than 620 cases diagnosed every year.
School wellbeing officer Alyssa Sewell said the school raised $244 towards the cause.
“We had a pirate parade in the morning and a colouring competition organised by Coles Noble Park who gave out lots of prizes and their manager also dressed up as a pirate,” Ms Sewell said.
The annual event was designed to help raise awareness and funds towards new treatments for the deadly cancer.
Ms Sewell said the children have been briefed on what the day was all about.
“There’s been a focus on why we are dressing up and brain cancer was mentioned at the morning assembly,” she said.
To get on board with Pirate Day Friday visit www.piratedayfriday.com.
HALLAM’s Friends of Red Cross celebrated two very special occasions on Monday 15 June.
Dorothy Browne was awarded as its longest serving member and got the honour of cutting the 36th birthday cake.
Betty Keen has been a part of the Hallam Red Cross for 25 years and said Dorothy is very special.
“Dorothy is from Keysborough and has come up to Hallam for 30 years, so she’s very special, I think she’s been on the committee several times over the years as well,” she said.
On the day Dorothy said: “I’m not the oldest, just the longest.”
And the Friends of Red Cross celebrated its birthday with an afternoon tea and talk from guest speaker Eunice Welch from the Red Cross stamp collection department.
“It was a very interesting speech, she showed us how they package, auction and price the stamps.
“Eunice left with about four bags full of stamps – there would have been thousands of stamps in there,” Betty explained.
Betty said the members didn’t have time for reminiscing over the past 36 years because they were too interested in the funds the stamps provide to the Red Cross each year.
“The Red Cross made $11,000 last year just through the sale of used stamps that would otherwise been thrown away,” she said.
Betty said members are very proud to still be going strong.
“Many small units have had to shut down local units because they can’t get new members but we’ve been very lucky to get new members they bring in new ideas,” Betty said.
The Friends of Red Cross holds raffles, barbecues and fundraisers throughout the year and utilise their crafty skills as well.
“Our ladies are very handy with craft and cooking and we hold a stall at the Doveton shopping strip to raise money.
“Were a good little group, we’re not a one man band and we all do something to contribute to the group we often go out to lunch together and that’s part of it, too, to socialise with friends, neighbours and locals,” Betty said.
BALLANDEAN winemaker Tony Hassall says more lives will to be lost at one of the region’s worst road crash zones unless the speed limit is reduced and distracting signs removed.
Mr Hassall has spent the past 20 years on the Southern Downs, travels on the New England Highway daily and has not seen improvements made to one of its worst black spots – the southern Stanthorpe bypass intersection – in more than ten years.
Mr Hassall is better qualified than most road’s users to speak with authority on the subject as his daughter Nikki and her friend Paul were killed in a car accident at the intersection 12 years ago, when a driver failed to give way, ploughing into their vehicle. Mr Hassall’s son Michael, who was a passenger in Nikki’s car, was critically injured in the crash.”The intersection hasn’t been changed to make is safer since Nikki and Paul’s deaths and I would like to see a 60km/h zone here as most people drive through at 100km/h and it’s all too quick for them to react when they get to the intersection,” Mr Hassall said.
“You can see people racing through without even realising they are leaving the highway and need to give way.”
Mr Hassall said a red flashing sign placed near the intersection this week was a major distraction for drivers making it even more of a risk zone.
“In Nikki’s accident, the driver in the other car was at fault and had bad sight, but it’s a hazardous road regardless and we don’t want to make it even more confusing for drivers with distracting signs.”
“The man claimed he didn’t realise he was leaving the highway,” Mr Hassall said.
“So if the same situation arose again this same man would also have the added distraction of a flashing sign.
“If the the Transport and Main Roads Department has money to put up such an expensive sign why didn’t it spend that money on making the intersection safer, not more dangerous?
Nikki, who was 20 at the time, was on her way to visit her parents winery and help pick grapes for their first vintage.
She had been an outstanding student at Warwick State High School, receiving the Mayor’s medal for student of the year in 2000 before going on to study education at the University of Queensland.
“I drive past this intersection every day and think about Nikki’s accident. If we can raise awareness on how dangerous this stretch of road still is and seek to have the speed limit reduced and it made safer in any way, then other drivers will have a better chance than my daughter and son and their friend did,” Mr Hassall said.
A Transport and Main Roads Department spokesperson the current speed limit of 80km/hr on the section of the New England Highway is appropriate and not currently suject to change.
She said the location of the flashing speed sign in front of the intersection was determined following consultation with Southern Downs Regional Council and the Queensland Police Service.
Crash figures aren’t available for the southern Stanthorpe bypass intersection, but Darling Downs roads are among the most dangerous in the state.
Figures from the Transport and Main Roads Department showed 42 people died on Downs and south western roads last year.
The region has the second highest road toll in Queensland.
ANDREW Bogut is far from the stereotypical NBA star.
He’s never been afraid to speak his mind, but he’s never sought the limelight. He’s never been part of the party scene or a regular on TMZ.
Soon after the Endeavour Hills product, now 30, won the 2014-’15 NBA title with the Golden State Warriors he treated himself, but it wasn’t with diamonds or jewels. His championship ring has enough of those. Instead he bought himself an Aussie muscle car – a Ford XW GT Phase II.
He’s long been a car nut – having partnered with his father in ABC Customs and Imports, a rare car restoration business in Dandenong South.
In fact, he credits Dandenong and its surrounds for instilling a sense of toughness in him that has helped shape him into the player, and person, he is.
Speaking at Foot Locker’s Swanston Street store at a meet-and-greet with local basketball fans on Thursday, he said: “Growing up around Dandy you’ve got to be street-smart and have a toughness about you just walking home from school.
“It’s a working-class suburb and if you’re soft and scared people will take advantage of you, so I grew up being the tougher guy.
“At times it was perceived the wrong way but that’s kind of what the area forced me to do. I think it definitely shaped me into who I am today.”
Bogut, a former first overall NBA draft pick, didn’t play a minute of the Warriors’ decisive Games 5 and 6 victories over LeBron James and his Cleveland Cavaliers.
He admitted that at the start of the season, under new head coach Steve Kerr, the concept of team sacrifice was a bit of a culture shock.
“My first DNP-CD (Did Not Play – Coach’s Decision) was Game 5 of an NBA Finals,” he said.
“We all sacrificed. We had a bunch of guys who’d been All-Stars – I’d been All-NBA one year and All-Defensive Team, David Lee was a two-time All-Star, (Finals MVP) Iguodala had been an All-Star – we’ve all accomplished those individual accolades and realised they don’t really get you that far.
“People don’t remember all those individual accolades. When you win a championship ring, whether you’re the first guy or the 15th guy on the roster, you’re remembered in history forever.”
Earlier this year Bogut passed Luc Longley as the Australian to play the most NBA games.
He has battled through a series of freakish injuries over his career to date but he has still played at least 65 games in seven seasons so far, and is regarded by many as one of the best passing big men of his era.
In the past regular season he was named to the NBA’s All-Defensive Second Team after holding opponents to just 41.4 per cent at the rim (third best in the league) and being ranked third in defensive rating.
And he knew his role on offense was often to help the likes of league MVP Steph Curry and running-mate Klay Thompson score.
That was easier said than done in the finals, with another Australian – Matt Dellavedova – playing a relentless style of defence on Curry.
“We caught up for dinner during the regular season when we went to Cleveland and I joked that I’d see you in the finals … that’s actually how it worked out! But once the finals started it was a kind of no-contact type of attitude,” Bogut said of his relationship with Dellavedova, who some had labelled “dirty” for his physical play throughout the series.
“I just saw it as him playing hard,” Bogut said.
“Some of the stuff was possibly questionable – the guys on my team absolutely wanted to kill him, to be quite honest, because they thought he did some stuff that was borderline dirty. But if you ask 10 people about Delly they’ll give you 10 different opinions.
“He sees a loose ball and he dives on it – he doesn’t think about the repercussions … I don’t think he was purposely trying to injure guys. He was just trying to be physical and be that little terrier.”
Bogut admitted it was tough sitting on the bench for the last two games of the series, but he knew he’d played his role in the Warriors getting to the best-of-seven match-up with the Cavaliers in the first place.
“Every series was different for me,” he said.
“I was really called upon in the first three series because they had big fellas who were dominant. I was playing 30-plus minutes guarding Zach Randolph, Marc Gasol and Dwight Howard and taking elbows and knocks and all that.
“We obviously had to get through those series just to get to the finals so I’ll definitely take a championship ring facing a little bit of adversity along the way.”
Bogut praised the mercurial performance of LeBron James in the finals, but he and his team-mates knew if they could make life tough on his supporting cast (which was already restricted through injury), it would go a long way to deciding the series. And when that series was over, Bogut and his team-mates were in for another culture shock – a victory parade in downtown Oakland which over a million people came to watch.
“The parade was the craziest thing I’ve ever seen,” he said.
“We had two players per bus – it was an open-air bus with the players at the top and there were around 10 buses.
“We were driving around downtown Oakland and on every corner we turned there were fans on buildings, hanging out of windows, hanging off traffic lights, up trees … it was unbelievable and something to remember forever.”
Next up for Bogut – and Dellavedova – is national duty with the Australian Boomers. They have a two-game Olympic qualifying series against New Zealand and their focus is already gearing up for it.
But Dellavedova also has to decide on his NBA future – with the Cavaliers tending him a qualifying offer. When asked if he had any advice for the young point guard, Bogut said simply: “I suggest he goes wherever there are more zeroes on his pay check at the end of the day.
“You always want to stay with a team that was as successful as Cleveland but I’m guessing if he gets an offer from somewhere else it’s probably going to be close to double what he’s possibly going to make next year with them. I’m not great at maths, but most people would probably take that offer.”
As for Bogut? He wants to stay with the Warriors and continue to build on what he thinks could be “something special”.
“I think management is trying to keep our core group together and we can all sense that this is the start of something special – that we can hopefully churn out a couple more championships before the run is over,” he said.
VIDEO: Andrew Bogut speaks with Andrew Gaze about the importance of a good defence