Browsing: Interviews

MATT Mackay spends a lot of time taking note of the weather and its effects on the scenery. A surfer based in Sorrento, he seeks out tide times and wind speeds. As a photographer, he uses all this knowledge to compose scenes through a camera lens. “I’ve built up a strong connection with the Mornington Peninsula’s coastal and marine environment,” he says. “My main focus is on nature and landscape photography, that’s what inspires me photographically and it’s where like to spend much of my time.” Mackay says this connection to the environment is necessary to “truly capture its essence”.…

WAR veteran John Missen takes issue with the old adage ‘You can’t teach an old dog new tricks’: he’s nearly 90 and he’s just written his first novel. A Mornington resident for 20 years, Missen has written 450 pages of “historical romance” set in the Wimmera district of north-western Victoria in the 1950s. ‘A One Man Band’ was officially launched at Mornington Library, Saturday. “It’s the area of Victoria I remember best as a child,” he said. The book’s jacket says: “The hero, Eric Fergusson, travels from farm to farm with his mobile engineering workshop in an old Bedford truck,…

MENTION Steve Warner to parents in Mornington or Mt Martha and you’ll more than likely get the response, “oh, yes, he taught our kids how to play guitar”. Actually, you can substitute drums and several other instruments to that statement. It seems that Warner’s been around the area teaching music forever. But what is less known is Warner’s extensive background and presence in the Melbourne music scene and commercial world, extending from advertising jingles to composing for television documentaries and serials. Last weekend saw a piece of his musical history repeated: the re-release of his solo, self-titled album, Steve Warner.…

THERE’S something about fishing. Rain, hail and shine, anglers are always out there casting a line. Sheltering from the weather or running to see what’s happening when someone’s reeling in something that’s obviously bigger than the baited hook, anglers can be a social bunch. The delights of casting a line, the patience required and, yes, skill, are all the things that Glenn Couper uses to bring friendship, companionship and healing to a variety of people who often find themselves marginalised in mainstream society. A Frankston resident, Mr Couper’s fishing-based work with people with mental illness, autism and physical disabilities seems…

A PHOTOGRAPHER by profession, Fran Bainbridge these days finds herself more often wielding paint brushes and metalworking tools than operating a camera. “In a world where everything is so readily accessible online, I considers it a pleasure to be designing and creating unique pieces in silver and gold,” she says. Her paintings are inspired by life on the Mornington Peninsula. She describes “Shoreham sands” as “a painting executed in a free flowing loose abstract style that has captured the interest of many who love to wander along our pristine beaches”. Bainbridge, previously of Gallery One in Mornington, is having an…

THE Melbourne Press Club last week commemorated the death of Graham Perkin, one of Australia’s great journalists, 40 years ago. He was vitally alive in that room for the many who worked with him, and for those honouring the legend he has become, an enduring and inextinguishable presence in the annals of Melbourne. Ranald Macdonald, a former managing director of David Syme and Company who now lives at Flinders, appointed Graham Perkin editor and with him revived The Age, making it a newspaper of world renown. He spoke at the commemoration dinner. This is an edited text of his address:…

ROSEBUD audiologist Fallon Arnold is about to head off on a two-week volunteer placement for All Ears Cambodia, based in the capital, Phnom Penh. The organisation offers a range of hearing health services to those afflicted with hearing loss or ear-health problems, such as infections. “It has been something I have always wanted to do,” Ms Arnold said. She received input from an audiologist working in Queensland “who was fortunate enough to do several placements there”. “We have a fantastic health care system in Australia and I wanted to give back to a country where access to vital hearing health…

IN January after the murders in Paris at the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, Mornington Peninsula publisher, author and artist Fran Henke dispelled her dismay and anger by creating a collage on the theme of the slogan that swept the world – “Je Suis Charlie” (I Am Charlie), including Aussie references. “I’ve worked with cartoonists and satiric portraitists over more than 50 years of journalism and the tragedy hit me hard,” she said. She donated her work, Je Suis Ahmed, to Bald Archy Prize organiser Peter Batey, who created the prize in 1994 to take the mickey out of pretentious portrait…

PLAYING golf has “kept me alive”, says Mt Eliza enthusiast Ralph Godfrey, who is about to celebrate his 100th birthday. He likes nothing better than spending time each week on the course – sometimes playing three rounds with his mates at Frankston Golf Club in Golf Links Rd. “I always look forward to playing golf,” Mr Godfrey said. “I like meeting people and I’ve found that hitting a little white ball around the course for two and a half hours makes me forget any problems.” After losing his wife in 2008 he maintains he would not be alive today if…

IT’S unusual to associate young boys with taxidermy, but don’t tell Xavier Noonan. The Grade 6 Tyabb Primary School pupil is so enthused by his craft that he’s decorated the walls of his parents’ house with a stuffed rat, mice, birds of all sorts, fox, duck, and a deer’s head. “And we’ve got a lot of dead bodies in our freezer,” confided his mum, Kellie. At the tender age of 11, Xavier has been practising taxidermy for nearly two years. “He has been passionate about animals since he was little and was always very good at art,” Mrs Noonan said.…

POST work life can surprisingly be a time to begin a new career and that’s exactly what Rosebud resident Elsie Bradley has decided to do. The self-professed keen reader had turned her hand to writing and has penned her debut novel We All Have Secrets. Ms Bradley has drawn on her varied working life as an insurance agent, bookkeeper and bus conductor among many jobs and her own experiences to tell the story of a reading group of “vintage women who write a book based on their experience of growing older and enjoying the freedom it gives them to live…

MORNINGTON postie Ray Garlick took his dad’s advice and applied for a job with the old PMG way back in 1965. And he’s still doing it, and loving it, 50 years later. Mr Garlick attended Mornington Primary School in Vale St and is a former pupil of famed historian and teacher Leslie Moorhead.  He finished school after Form 3 when he was 15 years six months. “Dad was a telephone linesman and he suggested I try becoming a postie,” Mr Garlick said last week. “I applied and had to sit an exam of Grade 6 arithmetic and spelling to get…

FORMER police officer turned business and life coach Ruth Cyster-Stuettgen wants women to know they can have a bright future no matter how dark the present can be. The mother-of-three has turned her life around after leaving an abusive situation and has written a book called From Misery to Mastery: Journey to Freedom and Empowerment as a guide for anyone who has “ever felt lost, helpless or scared of what your life has become”. She hopes the book can find an audience with “women who are suffering in silence behind closed doors” and give women tips and strategies to empower…

A NEW land, a new language and no friends or job. It is a situation that is hard to imagine and even harder to experience. However, that was the predicament confronting Luz Restrepo when she arrived in Australia five years ago after fleeing her native Colombia. “I was a political asylum seeker with no contacts, very little English language and no employment,” Ms Restrepo said last week. “I had left my successful communications business to protect my family under threat.” It was a fear that she was unable to shake. “When I arrived in Australia I was full of fear,…

A NAME synonymous with spectacular fireworks displays all over the world has its Victorian base at Balnarring. Howard & Sons Pyrotechnics – one of the country’s best-known fireworks artists and producers – is run locally by master pyro-technician Rusty Johnson. The designer and programmer uses advanced digital pyrotechnic and musical software to bring his vivid imagination to life. “Our state-of-the-art computer firing system and design software enables our performances to be choreographed with music and all multimedia. As well, the use of special computer firing hardware allows fireworks to be fired from an unlimited number of locations to produce the…

Fran Henke spoke to Tamie and Malcolm Fraser in 2013 about their love of gardening.  When the President of Open Gardens Australia says this will be the last time of opening her garden, you have to wonder why. Age? Aggravation? Twenty five years ago Tamie and Malcolm Fraser opened their garden in Victoria’s western district to support the new scheme and to help keep staff going on their property, ‘Nareen’. “There was drought, stock prices were low, it was a difficult time,” said Mrs Fraser now president of Open Gardens Australia. A different story today: the Frasers have gardened at…

The Mornington Peninsula is known all over the country for its diversity of landscapes including some of the best beaches in the world, wild surf coast, rolling fields and unspoilt bushland as well as historic landmarks signifying some of the first British settlement in Terra Australis. But when it comes to people and culture, less than six per cent of people in the municipality speak a language other than English at home, compared with an average of 24 per cent in metropolitan Melbourne. Less than one per cent of the peninsula’s population is indigenous. The region is one of the…

WHILE every author draws on life experiences to form a narrative, not every author has such a rich and at times dark background as Klaas Kalma. His upbringing within a dysfunctional family in war torn Holland, journeying to Australia and learning how to speak English among strangers provides a rich lode to be mined and woven into the fabric of his first novel, Creeping Shadows. Written at the urging of a close friend, the self-published book has sold more than 10,000 copies online and, according to a librarian, has no time to gather dust on the shelves at the lending…

CELEBRATIONS marking last week’s 50th anniversary of the Beatles tour of Australia struck a resonant chord with Rosebud’s John (Johnny) Chester. The popular musician was a support act for the Fab Four when they played to packed – and screaming – houses in Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney and then New Zealand. Memories came flooding back when the phones ran hot last week after the screening of an ABC documentary on the landmark tour. Australia had never seen anything like it before, with half of Adelaide’s population jamming the route from the airport and Melbourne’s streets a sea of eager young faces…

The News interviewed Tommy Hafey in October last year. The interview, entitled “Hafey: I love people” is reprinted below in memory of a great and gracious man. By Andrew Kelly In the world of AFL Football, there are not many bigger names in the game than Thomas Stanley Raymond Hafey. The man dubbed T-shirt Tommy by the great commentator Lou Richards, has coached at four VFL-AFL Clubs, is one of five coaches to have coached more than 500 games in the history of the game, has coached teams to 10 grand finals and four premierships and has had 18 former…