Browsing: Feature

KOALAS and other native animals were treated to specially prepared meals last week to celebrate Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park’s 20th anniversary. The dreams of a young Michael Johnston were able to turn into reality when the sanctuary was established by the Johnson family on 10-hectares of what was a farm and pony club at Pearcedale. Now it is home to more than 400 animals representing 70 species. However, while the koalas at the sanctuary always receive special treatment there are fears for the safety and survival of those in the wild across the Mornington Peninsula. Loss of habitat and…

BENTON Junior College, Mornington, is testing the power of flowers to “bring the community together”. The school’s front fence is being used as a base for a spring flower art installation, named Flower Ville in recognition of the Spoon Ville sites that appeared during 2020. “We chose flowers as a celebration of spring and the uplifting power they have on people,” visual art teacher Michele Marshall said. “We have invited our school community to contribute a homemade flower and attach it to the fence over the school holidays.” Ms Marshall urged other schools to establish Flower Villes as a “simple…

THE chance sighting of a missing item poster near the beach at Canadian Bay set off a train of events that ended with a happy ending for a Mount Eliza couple. On the poster were photographs of a lost wedding band that had slipped off its owner’s finger while he was out paddling in front of the boat ramp, Wednesday 8 September. The man, who is not being named as he is suffering serious health issues, was distraught at the loss and his wife set about printing the posters in the hope the ring would be found. Enter Mount Eliza…

REBECCA Fraser, of Mount Martha, has been awarded $1000 in money, bookstore vouchers and a two-week Police Point artist’s residency after her story Due South won the 18 years-plus category in the Mayor’s Short Story Writing Awards. The tale is about a Tasmanian widower, Franklyn, who rebels against his daughter’s plan to deposit him in a retirement home on the mainland and, instead, packs up his cat and rows “due south”. “Franklyn wants to maintain charge of his own destiny,” Fraser said. “He reminds us that we have our own paths to follow.” She said it was a “thrill to…

MOONLIT Sanctuary, Pearcedale, celebrates its 20th anniversary this week, and what better way to celebrate a birthday than with cake? With lockdown in place, it is the animals’ turn to celebrate on Friday, 17 September. Keepers will be serving up “cakes” for koalas, dingoes, wombats and emu to mark two decades of bringing people and wildlife together. “The animals are in for a real treat”, life sciences manager Lisa Tuthill said. “Whether made of sweet potato, meat or insects, birthday cakes can serve as a great source of nutritional and behavioural enrichment.” Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park grew from the…

JULIE Saunders earned the Mornington Peninsula 2021 Citizen of the Year Award partly for her role in cooking, packing and delivering three-course meals to around 60 needy households every Wednesday. She and a group of dedicated volunteers made 1200 meals which were delivered to mainly older residents during the COVID-19 lockdown. Ms Saunders also acts as an IP, or independent person. This voluntary position administered by the Department of Justice involves making herself available 24/7 to assist 12-17-year-olds who have been arrested. When a parent or guardian is not available an IP sits with that person to help them through…

AN epic experience on this year’s Great Vic Bike Ride is just what Dromana cyclist Rose Benton needs as she eases back into the sport after a break. Benton is tackling her first Great Vic Ride: the nine-day Ride the Art Silos and the Grampians, Saturday 27 November to Sunday 5 December. The 537-kilometre route is being billed as an “exceptional mix of scenery, art on a grand scale, wildlife, wineries and the awe-inspiring Grampians National Park”. The 37th ride will start in Rainbow and progress through Rainbow, Brim, Horsham for two nights, Halls Gap for two nights, Dunkeld…

THE historic timber section of Flinders pier may yet be saved from demolition after Heritage Victoria accepted a nomination to include it on the Victorian Heritage Register. Heritage Victoria will now undertake a statutory assessment to determine whether the whole foreshore precinct “demonstrates state-level significance”. The pier’s nomination, by Flinders District Historical Society, seems to have had an immediate – and welcoming – effect. Save The Pier Campaign organisers say it will “at the very least ensure an independent evaluation of the significance of the pier by heritage council and delay any action/decision on demolition”. Parks Victoria, which had previously…

MORNINGTON’S Afghan Marcopolo Restaurant last week had an “overwhelming” response and raised $8680 to help those in desperate need in Afghanistan. Proprietor Nadir Shakoor said customers had jumped on board the campaign after he explained that due to the war-like conditions in the country, many people had been displaced from their homes and had little to eat. “As Afghan Australians my family took refuge in Australia after going through a lot of difficulty getting here and I cannot imagine what the Afghan people would be going through right now,” he said later. He asked customers to place their orders as…

GETTING on in years, but still active, this male koala was recently released at Frankston Nature Conservation Reserve where he will “live out his time” in his favourite gum tree. Animalia Animal Rescue’s Michelle Thomas said the “old boy” was brought in for a check-up after being found on the ground by a walker concerned that he was staying in the one place and not moving around as much as he should be. “There was nothing wrong with him, though”, Ms Thomas said. “He was happy and healthy. “Koalas are in every reserve and they are always on the move.”…

SCARECROWS have always been associated with taking care of food crops and numbers of a much friendlier version, carecrows, are popping up across the Mornington Peninsula. A peninsula-based Carecrow Club formed during the state’s sixth COVID lockdown is urging householders to make and display a carecrow in their front yard to lift spirits and provide support for mental health. “It is hoped that the Carecrow campaign will lift our spirits, offer a sense of fun and community for all, and is not intended to be a competition,” Heather Forbes-McKeon, of McCrae, said. The carecrows can be made from anything around…

THE 100 Meals on Wheels volunteers who deliver up to 1600 meals a week on the Mornington Peninsula were honoured on National Meals on Wheels Day, Wednesday 25 August. Mornington Peninsula Shire acknowledged the dedication, commitment, and resilience of the volunteers who over a year collectively travel 125,000 kilometres which is equivalent to a trip around Australia. “National Meals on Wheels Day acknowledges and celebrates the tremendous impact our Meals on Wheels volunteers have on our local communities,” the mayor Cr Despi O’Connor said. “I thank our local volunteers for their passion and time.” The shire acknowledges that the Meals…

TO an outsider it may look like a group of friends getting together and sharing sandwiches on the foreshore at Rosebud. And while it’s true that there is a feeling of welcome and no shortage of kind words, these twice-weekly get togethers are full of purpose and highlight a part of what life can be on the Mornington Peninsula. People sleeping rough on the foreshore or experiencing other kinds of homelessness are participating in the southern peninsula shower and laundry program (SPLaSh) at Rosebud on Mondays and Thursdays. The program at the foreshore allows them to shower, do their laundry,…

MUSICIANS and other performers who have done it tough over the past 18 months can see a spotlight at the end of the COVID-19 tunnel with plans for an artist’s hub and performance space at Main Ridge. The driving force behind the project is Mornington Peninsula Music Network president Heidi Luckhurst, who also leads the Frankston Music Community Network. “I feel as though it is my obligation to spread the voices and concerns of what I hear directly and pass it on,” she told The News last week. “Musicians, entertainers and venues are struggling. Hospitality is struggling. I’m sure the…

IT would be fair to say that without COVID-19 Brett Sutton would be able to walk down the street unnoticed. That is not the case anymore. Never has a state’s chief medical officer been such a highly regarded, recognisable figure. His almost daily appearances on TV news bulletins alongside Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews and references to his advice have made Professor Sutton a familiar figure (and voice) to anyone following the progress of the pandemic. St Andrews-based artist Vicki Sullivan was casting around for a subject to paint for this year’s Archibald Prize when a friend suggested Prof Sutton. “I…

Mornington couple Erin and Fay Alexander will celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary next week. “There won’t be much happening on 2 September, though,” Mr Alexander said, tongue-in-cheek, referring to restrictions imposed by the extended COVID-19 lockdowns. “We had planned 80th birthday celebrations in October last year but they were scrubbed; hopefully we will be all right this time.” The Alexanders, who have lived around Mornington since 1974, met and married in Sydney in 1961. Erin was from the Latrobe Valley and Fay from Tamworth, NSW. “Dad was a Navy man and loved it and he encouraged me to join and…

COLOURED ribbons will be tied on the chain link fence on the Esplanade at Mornington Park to mark year’s World Suicide Prevention Day. The is held to raise mental health awareness as well as acknowledge those that have been lost to suicide. This year’s theme, Creating Hope Through Action, is a reminder that there is an alternative to suicide and that the actions of individuals, no matter how big or small, may provide hope to someone who is struggling. Preventing suicide is often possible and community is a key player in its prevention. Organiser Rebecca Tyler said, “our community can…

TWO Mount Eliza men are taking adventure racing to a new level as competitors in XPD events. XPD is expedition-style adventure racing in which international teams of four hike, mountain bike, and kayak for three to six days over all types of terrain, usually far from medical assistance. Racing day and night over a 500 kilometre course they push themselves to the limits of their endurance – just for the thrill of competing. Under race rules all team members must complete all sections of the course and they must never be more than 100 metres apart. Courses are inspired by…

IN these times of lockdown and restrictions designed to prevent the spread of COVID, it is nice to know that nature continues its merry way. This echidna was out and about late last week (as was legally entitled photographer Yanni) foraging for food, and no doubt enjoying the relative quiet, at Flinders. Not adverse to taking advantage of the situation, the echidna (an egg-laying mammal) made good use of the steps down (or up) the steep cliff. It would be fair to assume that the species, estimated to have evolved 20 to 50 million years ago, has weathered some changes…

UP to 12 people a week are getting a free hot lunch and dessert at the Holy Trinity Hastings Anglican Church hall. The meal, dubbed Trinity Tucker, is served between midday and 1pm every Tuesday, with the doors opening at 11.30am. No bookings are necessary. The service has been running since the start of May, with the church paying for the meals with the help of donations from local businesses. Volunteers from the church are preparing the food for those doing it tough, in need, or just lonely and who want to meet new friends. “Church Warden Sandra Gould, the…

MORNINGTON police rolled up their sleeves to the Red Cross blood donation drive as part of the Emergency Services Blood Challenge, Tuesday 4 August. The police say they understand the importance of blood donations and are prepared to help the community any way they can. Victoria Police are hoping to retain the state title in the number of donations. The Frankston donor centre is at 20 Davey Street. Donors are asked to say they are donating on behalf of Victoria Police. First published in the Mornington News – 10 August 2021

MORNINGTON Peninsula lifesavers have been recognised in Life Saving Victoria’s 2021 excellence awards. LSV chief executive officer Catherine Greaves applauded their commitment to lifesaving. Life Saver of the Year Chris Perrott, of Portsea Surf Life Saving Club, made an “outstanding contribution to lifesaving as a patrolling lifesaver”. This award remembers John Wishart, of Sorrento-Portsea SLSC, who was taken by a shark off Portsea in 1956. Youth Lifesaver of the Year Andrew May, also of Portsea SLSC, made an “outstanding contribution to the delivery of lifesaving frontline services”. May is the club’s director of general and operation committees, chief instructor of…

TO celebrate their 100 days of learning, foundation students at Eastbourne Primary School, Rosebud dressed up as if they were 100 years old. The milestone day was one for the memory books as students brought in collections of “100’things”, including buttons, Lego pieces, marbles and stickers. The played games which were popular a century ago along with making necklaces with 100 Cheerios. “The celebration was an important day for children to reflect on their achievements and growth over the past 100 days,” foundation teacher Shae Haney said. “Together, the students reflected back on their first day, making comparisons to their…

ONE of the highlights of Melbourne Whisky Week is a self-drive tour of Mornington Peninsula that includes distilleries, a winery and brewery. Venues include Saint Felix, at Mordialloc, Chief’s Son, Somerville, JimmyRum, Dromana, Red Hill Estate and St Andrew’s Beach Brewery. First stop on the Lexus of Brighton Whisky, Spirits and Barrels Driving Tour of the Mornington Peninsula is Saint Felix Distillery. It offers tastings, masterclasses as well as food and spirit pairings all made on site. Bartender Orlando Marzocan will give cocktail-making lessons. The second stop is the family Chief’s Son Distillery that specialises in small-batch, single malt whiskies.…

A SPECIALIST surgeon has performed the Mornington Peninsula’s first liver resection using a surgical robot. Associate Professor Charles Pilgrim performed the surgical-first earlier this month at Peninsula Private Hospital. The patient was a 49-year-old woman whose bowel cancer had spread to her liver. Dr Pilgrim, the first surgeon in Victoria to use the da Vinci Xi robot for liver resections, said the cutting edge technology was great news for the hospital. “Using the da Vinci Xi robot means we can perform surgery with the minimally invasive approach more often, expanding what is possible using the keyhole approach,” Dr Pilgrim said.…

THE onset of the latest COVID-19 restrictions proved heartbreaking for two “outsider artists” who were looking forward to staging a joint exhibition at & Gallery, Sorrento. The outsider artists – or artists with disabilities – Robert Croft and Jonathan Thompson had been working hard to prepare works for the exhibition which closed just one day after being open to the public. Neither got to see their works on display. “The gallery is looking at its calendar of future exhibitions with a view to shifting dates so this exhibition can be extended and the opening event can be held when safe…

A PILOT Climate Change Community Action Grants program is being set up by Mornington Peninsula Shire to help it achieve net zero emissions by 2040. “Reaching that target is a huge challenge and we cannot achieve it alone,” the shire said last week. “We need our community to work with us to foster behaviour change, share knowledge and reduce carbon emissions across the peninsula.” The pilot Climate Change Community Action Grants program will fund not-for-profit community groups, charities, schools, business associations, social enterprises and small businesses working on innovative projects that help the shire reach its climate emergency goals. It offers…

A MORNINGTON schoolgirl has been selected to dance in the Australian Ballet’s 2021 production of Harlequinade. Ava del Rosario, 11, and in grade 5 at St Macartens Catholic Primary School, is a junior cast member in the production described as a “lively romp based on commedia dell’arte” written in 1900. “Harlequin and Columbine are in love, but her father, who wants her to marry a rich older man, has her locked up by Pierrot, his loyal servant. Pierrot’s wife, sympathetic to the young couple, helps her escape, and a Good Fairy gives Harlequin a magical slap stick that helps him…

MOUNT Eliza Fire Brigade has appointed its first female officer, Lieutenant Petyka “Tyk” Slattery. Members of the brigade, headquartered in Canadian Bay Road, elected her to the position of Third Lieutenant earlier this month. Lieutenant Slattery is pictured with Captain Andrew Whitehead after her appointment. While many female members have performed office-bearer roles in the brigade’s management team over the years, “Tyk” is the first woman to take up an operational leadership role. She is set to bring her “enthusiasm and dedication to serving the community in her new role”. First published in the Mornington News – 27 July 2021

OVER the past year, 390 young people on the Mornington Peninsula sought help because they had nowhere to stay. Mornington Peninsula Shire is encouraging residents to try sleeping in their cars for one night to help draw attention to the homeless. “It takes a village” is the theme of this year’s Sleep In Your Car event organised by Fusion Mornington Peninsula as part of Homelessness Week 1-7 August. The event will go virtual from 5.30pm, Saturday 7 August as residents give up their beds for a night to sleep in their cars at home or in a tent in the…