Police are appealing for help to find 12-year-oldl Destiney Van Rye.The girl was last seen when she was dropped off at school in Noble Park about 8am ... Read More »
A PAKENHAM photographer is using her creative talents to give back to the charity that has restored her quality of life.
Mother of three Abby Boyle was diagnosed with a heart condition in her early twenties and suffered years of episodes, ambulance trips, hospital stays and tried many different medications.
For more than 10 years she lived with SVT, a rapid heart rate condition, and PoTS which involves abnormal jumps in heart rate when sitting up quickly from the lying down position.
Her episodes took a turn for the worse in late 2014 and Ms Boyle’s heart would frequently race over 200bpm, which would send her to the hospital every two weeks.
“When your heart races that fast so quickly, it makes you pass out. I was constantly worried that wherever I go, something might happen,“ she said.
“I used to make a mental note of all the defibrillators in Fountain Gate when I would go out with my daughters and at a concert with friends I was very aware of where all the exits were just in case I needed to get some fresh air.
“It consumed me and dictated what I would do on a daily basis.“
Late last year, Ms Boyle made the decision to undergo a cardiac ablation, an invasive procedure that required her to remain awake for the entire operation.
“I remember the whole thing and I could feel everything. I could see my heart up on the screen,” she said.
“As scary as it was, it was successful. I remember just lying in bed that night and thinking about how amazing it was to go into hospital for 45 minutes and be sent home that night, episode free.
“Everything’s so much easier now. I go out without a thought and I’m not scared of pushing myself that much further. I have a new lease on life.”
Inspired to give back to the Heart Foundation to support the life-changing work of doctors and surgeons, Ms Boyle will hold a monthly event, Go Red Portraits, inviting residents to have their portrait taken with a touch of red with 10 to 20 per cent of the cost donated to charity.
“This is my way of giving back as much as I can to the foundation that will continue to help more people live their lives,” Ms Boyle said.
“Wear a red dress, shoes, lipstick, colour your hair and share your own heart health journey.“
Ms Boyle said that often heart conditions were assumed to be anxiety attacks and encouraged residents to seek a second opinion.
“There’s not a lot of awareness around SVT but at the end of the day you only have one heart,“ she said.
“If something’s not feeling right, get it checked out and listen to your intuition. Get a second opinion and ask for a blood test.”
Go Red Portraits is open between 23 July and 14 August.
Ms Boyle said those interested could visit give.everydayhero.com/au/abby-15 or phone 0434 974 686.
SOUTH-EAST independent schools have gained a big chunk of the State Government’s $27.6 million education funding pie.
Some 18 non-government schools across Victoria have been named to receive cash injections, including Casey Grammar which can expect $1.3 million for a gym extension.
Hillcrest Christian College in Clyde North will receive $1.71 million, to put towards a discovery centre and administration building.
Another $2 million will be spent on a Year 9 building at St Peter’s College and schools in neighbouring growth corridor Cardinia have also won out.
Eighteen classrooms will be built at St Francis Xavier College in Beaconsfield using the state’s boost of $2 million.
St Clare’s Primary School in Officer is set to receive $1.5 million for eight new classrooms and Lakeside College in Pakenham will use $1.1 million to build stage two of the junior school building.
Victorian Minister for Education, James Merlino called independent schools a vital part of the state’s education system.
“One in three Victorian students attend Catholic and independent schools – this funding will help provide better facilities to more Victorian students,” Mr Merlino said.
The State Government has provided $120 million to help build and upgrade Catholic and independent schools, along with $1.1 billion to build new government schools and upgrade existing government school facilities around the state.
A Riding for the Disabled group in Doveton is calling for a hay bail-out due to a poor recent growing season.
Hay prices have risen unaffordably for the 30-strong volunteer group that coaches and assists riders of all ages at Mynua Farm.
As well as feed for its 11 horses, the group also requires more accredited or trainable coaches to help its riders.
Its Wednesday riding session has been dropped and its rider waiting list has grown as a consequence.
Coach Rick Beeby of Hampton Park has been helping the national association for 15 years.
He said he is “always happy on a horse” and started volunteering after a back injury caused him to give up his trucking job.
“I was told by doctors that I’d have to change my vocation and I’d never ride again, or I’ll be in a wheelchair.
“I told them OK for the first point, but you’re wrong on the second one.”
He said the aim of the school was to help riders take the reins independently, if possible. It caters for riders of high needs, one that Mr Beeby remembers was 90 years old.
“She’d owned horses all her life and was getting to the end of it.
“This was her last wish.”
The activity has layers of therapeutic benefit. Physically, the riders build up core strength, balance, co-ordination and motor skills, and emotionally bet the benefits of the joy of horse riding.
“You concentrate on the abilities of the riders, not the disabilities.
“It’s a really good working atmosphere. We have good people to get along with.”
The group, which receives no government support, relies on fundraising and donations.
To donate free or cut-price hay, volunteer or become a coach, call Rick Beeby on firstname.lastname@example.org or 0425 777 449.
Casey council has refused to bail out a Polish senior citizens activities group in Doveton after its state grant was not renewed.
The 13-member group – whose members are aged up to 92 – has stopped meeting for exercise, games, crosswords, singing, art and crafts since its one-off ‘performing arts program’ grant finished at the end of June.
A Casey council report on 19 July stated it had not budgeted to provide extra funding to the group to make up for the lost $22,512 Home and Community Care funding.
Councillor Rafal Kaplon, who is also on the executive board of Polish Community Council of Victoria, said the council had to be mindful of its own “tight budget” due to rate capping.
“It’s unfortunate but … we have to be responsible and not spend beyond our means.”
The club boasts it is one of the most active of the Polish planned activity groups in the region.
Cr Kaplon said the group was located close to Endeavour Hills which has one of the greatest concentrations of Polish residents in Melbourne.
The council’s Community Care department has made a written offer to “support” the program in partnership with the Polish Community Council of Victoria.
It will continue to run a monthly outings program for the group in partnership with the PCCV.
Polish Community Care Services manager Bozena Iwanowski said the group could be revived by combining parts of each members’ aged care funding packages.
“The Polish Community is now at a peak age of 80-90 years. They really enjoy going to this group and having fun because they are lonely at home.”
THE Pakenham Warriors’ Youth League Men’s Division 2 side bounced back from a sluggish start to its clash with the Mildura Heat at Cardinia Life on Saturday night, ultimately dismantling the severely undermanned visitors by 34 in the Big V basketball clash 81-47.
Despite only having six available players in uniform for the game, the Heat trailed by just a point at quarter-time.
Jay Madigan showed plenty early for the visitors, while it was the Warriors who seemed to lack any real spark outside of three impressive dunks from big man Lewis Newman.
Coach Simo Pajdic delivered an almighty rev-up to his Warriors early in the second, and it had the desired effect – jolting them to life in an emphatic close to the opening half.
Pakenham led 41-19 at half-time and refused to let the foot off the pedal in the final two quarters.
Newman led the way for the home side with 14 points and 8 boards, while the Jenkinson boys – Aidan and Dylan – also impressed.
Jeff Reid’s Division 2 men returned from their northern swing to Albury empty-handed, despite a fast start against the North East Bushrangers on Saturday afternoon.
The Warriors opened with a 26-19 lead at the end of the first quarter – courtesy of an impressive 53 per cent shooting from the field.
They maintained a six-point advantage, 48-42, at the half and doubled that by the end of the third, but faded badly in the last – outscored 32-17 – to ultimately lose by three, 94-91.
The Bushrangers shot a staggering 76 per cent from the field in the last, missing just four shots for the entire quarter, while in stark contrast the Warriors drained just seven of their final quarter attempts.
Lloyd Wright was the chief destroyer for the North East, finishing with 28 points on 10 of 14 shooting including a lethal five of six from beyond the arc.
Dylan Webb was equally as damaging – finishing with a 22-point, 11-rebound double-double on 53 per cent from the field.
Pakenham, meanwhile, was led by Ben Gaze’s 24 points on 59 per cent shooting, 18 points from guard Josh Smith and 6 points and 14 boards from import big man Kenneth Hall.
With the result, Pakenham sits in fourth place on the ladder but tied for Coburg in third with 11 wins and five losses from their first 16 games. Mornington is just one win ahead in second.
Earlier in the day on Saturday, the North East comprehensively had the better of the Warriors’ Big V women’s side – to the tune of 41 points, 74-33.
Darren Thomas’ side hosts Blackburn from 7pm this Saturday at Cardinia Life, with Pajdic’s boys hosting Melton in the earlier game from 5pm.
Reid’s Division 2 men head to Mornington to take on the Breakers from 2pm on Sunday.