Browsing: Feature

THE sound of singing is ringing through halls around the Mornington Peninsula as more people seek social connection through community choirs after years of COVID-related withdrawal. Singing together has long been recognised as a way to facilitate social bonding, but it is also known for improving mental health and happiness. The musical director conductor of new community choir, Vox Peninsula’s Jill Linley, said singing together had many health benefits and gave singers a social outlet some might otherwise not have. “It’s great for the soul, and people get so much joy out of it – plus we perform in the…

WESTERN Port Community Support has sent a big “thanks” for the support from the community for its annual Christmas Giving Program. CEO Georgie Hourn said the planning and preparation for the program started mid-year and behind the scenes staff worked hard to ensure there was money for hamper contents and gifts for the children. Hourn said the program required hours of work and administration, in particular by volunteers. “We had hundreds of toys and packing hampers ready for collection on Thursday. Our other staff have been out in the community picking up the toy donations from various businesses and community…

KEEN observers of changes to the environment, especially near the homes and where they are regularly taken for walks, five-year-old groodle Olive seemed particularly aware of Christmas lights. These decorative lights in Rollings Close, Rosebud created just the right atmosphere to take the weight off for a bit and appreciate the ambience. The next notable stop, of course, will be Christmas Day, when, in the past, Olive’s “family” has included her in the festive celebrations. Picture: Yanni First published in the Southern Peninsula News – 19 December 2023

GUNNAMATTA and Sorrento surf lifesaving clubs have been presented with Rescue medals by Surf Life Saving Australia for their members’ efforts in rescuing a father and his son. Everyday Lifesaver certificates were awarded to Liam Kiernan and David Lawson for their actions at the same incident, Gunnamatta club president David Stogdale said. The drama that the lifesavers were recognised for unfolded in the early evening after patrols had ended at Gunnamatta on Friday 6 January. The father went into the water after seeing his sons, two brothers, aged 16 and 20, get into difficulties. However, he too soon got into…

RSPCA Victoria is looking for nearly 140 volunteers to join its network of op shops this summer. The organisation’s op shop volunteers are key to paying for the care required for arriving at RSPCA Victoria, many of which require veterinary treatment. “Volunteers are crucial to our work in animal welfare, and this includes the amazing volunteers in our op shops across Victoria,” Nadine Hutchins, RSPCA Victoria volunteer program manager, said. “Our op shop volunteers raise vital funds for RSPCA Victoria and the thousands of animals in our care every year, which is more important than ever right now. “We’re recruiting…

PETA Murphy’s first speech as federal member for Dunkley quoted her literary hero, Pippi Longstocking. Pippi was being warned by her friend Annika to refrain from competing against “the world’s strongest man”. “Man, yes,” said Pippi. “But I am the world’s strongest girl, remember that!” The speech came just weeks after Murphy received a devastating cancer re-diagnosis. She was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2011, and again in 2019 around the time she was elected the first ever female member for Dunkley. Murphy carried Pippi Longstocking’s attitude with her during her four years in parliament. In spite of deteriorating…

ATTEMPTING 50 kilometres a day for 50 days is a challenge that would make even the bravest of runners hesitate, but for Somerville man Connor Scott it was a mission with a purpose. Scott took on the challenge to raise money for Mornington charity Speak & Share because he backs what the charity does for young people. “I wanted to be able to help challenge the stigmas of mental illness and help this charity work on proactive responses,” he said. From 15 October to 3 December, no matter the weather or the pain level, Scott donned his running shoes and…

A CAMPAIGN to reduce single-use coffee cups on the Mornington Peninsula is gathering momentum, with some local cafes taking up the challenge and spreading the word. A first for Victoria, the peninsula’s Plastic Free Places campaign is launching a reuse revolution at Commonfolk Coffee and HomeGround in Mornington, culminating in BYO Cup Day on 8 and 9 December. The program is being paid for by Mornington Peninsula Shire Council and delivered by the Boomerang Alliance, which represents 55 allies across Australia to tackle waste and litter. Birte Moliere, the alliance’s Plastic Free Places facilitator, said the community was being invited…

A NEW sculpture has been installed at the Peninsula Link’s Cranbourne Road, Frankston ramp. Compass 2023 by artist Natasha Johns-Messenger was installed last week. The steel pole sculpture stands 14 metres high and lights up after dark. Johns-Messenger said the sculpture “responds to site – its scale, topography, light, spatial orientation, materiality and context. Engaging perceptual shifts inside simple geometric framing, my artworks aim to question our expectations of space and three-dimensional form”. “The forms of Compass 2023 are based on the navigation pillars of north, south, east and west, the smallest semi-circle pointing due north. The sculpture’s semi-circular forms…

THERE is plenty of evidence, documented and anecdotal, that community gardens are beneficial to the environment, to the health and wellbeing of users, and can help reduce the impact of high cost of groceries while providing nutritious food. So, it’s no surprise that community gardens are increasing on the Mornington Peninsula, with a new one popping up in Balnarring and many established ones dotted around the peninsula. The Coolart Community Garden is now up and running in the space of a former herb garden, which was the original Luxton family’s vegetable garden that was overhauled in the mid-1980s. Spokesperson Julie…

By Despi O’Connor* THE Mornington Returned and Services League (RSL) has its first female president in Meryn Cooper. Cooper joined the Women’s Royal Australian Navy in 1981 and was based at HMAS Cerberus, Crib Point for her new recruits’ course, proudly wearing her uniform. She completed her category training on the base and as a cook was then posted to HMAS Albatross, Nowra Hill, NSW home of the Fleet Air Arm. Eighteen months later Cooper was posted to HMAS Coonawarra, in Darwin. Prior to 1985, women were not able to go to sea, so for her four years of service…

THE National Trust’s Mornington Peninsula branch is holding an auction on Sunday 3 December of paintings, drawings and prints donated by branch members and friends. Branch president Victor Sullivan said a chance remark during a gathering of members inspired the “unique fundraising idea”. “Conversation between colleagues drifted to the topic of what happens after downsizing when people retain some or even all of their much-loved art collections, but do not have wall space to hang items,” he said. “An appeal to members and friends has been hugely successful and we have gathered excellent examples of art for the auction.” He…

ZETA Newbound, who recently celebrated her 100th birthday, lives independently, drives her manual car, attends events and participates in discussions regarding current topics. The president of Flinders Probus Club, Rose White, said the club had organised a surprise This is your Life Power Point presentation and a birthday lunch for Newbound following a monthly meeting at Flinders Yacht Club. “Eighty-five of us kept the secret and Zeta was amazed,” White said. The presentation traced Newbound’s life from her 7 October birth 1923 in Lewisham, England, where Australian parents were working. Her mother Meta was a professional violinist and her father,…

MORNINGTON Community Support Centre has celebrated 40 years of service to the local community and paid tribute to its founders at a special event at the Main Street centre. Established as a citizen’s advice bureau, the centre evolved into the broader community-focussed Mornington Community Support Centre, providing practical and personal support for people in need. The centre’s scope ranges from a coffee and toast in the meeting room cafe to advice and help on financial matters, finding somewhere to live, or handing over groceries under its fresh food program. The inaugural centre manager, the late Helen Hendry OAM, was represented…

OVER the weekend of 3 and 4 November more than 40 walkers took to the streets and bushland trails of the Mornington Peninsula in a two-day White Ribbon walk that has so far raised more than $2500. The route of the inaugural walk went from Mount Eliza to Portsea and was supported by the Uniting churches of the Port Philip region and a Mornington Peninsula Shire flexi grant. Walkers covered 50 kilometres to make a stand against violence towards women. Organiser Peter Hough described the experience as “truly humbling”, as the walkers promoted their cause to residents and campers along…

PHOTOGRAPHERS can find inspiration anywhere and at any time. Last week was no exception, with Adam Richmond looking up and seeing some ominous looking clouds over the beach at Dromana. The mammatus clouds can sometimes signal the arrival of an extreme weather system. They are composed of ice and can extend for hundreds of kilometres. Although not rare, mammatus clouds are eye catching and are also known as bubble, marshmallow or cotton ball clouds. Meanwhile, staff photographer Yanni is known as a storm chaser, alert to storm reports, especially electrical storms. He has already published one book of storm shots,…

A SMALL crowd gathered at Memorial Park, Mornington on Saturday to observe one minute’s silence at 11am and participate in the Remembrance Day commemoration organised by Mornington RSL. Speakers included the RSL’s president, Meryn Cooper, vice-president Paul Patulovic and membership officer Graeme Savige. The bagpipes were played by Lindsay Burgess and the Last Post by trumpeter Joseph Tobias. Remembrance Day (formerly Armistice Day), also known as Poppy Day, has been held since the end of World War I to honour members of the armed forces who died in the line of duty. The one minute’s silence marks the 11th hour…

THE founding president of Balnarring Men’s Probus Club in 1985, Dr Eric Kings, OBE, celebrated his 100th birthday with fellow club members on his birthday 27 October. Kings, who now lives in Somers, enjoyed his day with club members meeting at Balnarring Bowls Club and one of the club’s members, Bernie Poll, a retired pastrycook, baked a beautiful cake for Eric to enjoy. Kings, who grew up in Richmond, had a long career as a dentist in the city and at least one club member recalls being treated by him. As well as providing a guiding hand to the club,…

THE Food For All Christmas Appeal is in full swing as the charity seeks donations to help its support within the community. The volunteer-run charity is calling on businesses and residents on the Mornington Peninsula to give generously, with the need for support increasing and Christmas often being the hardest time of the year for those in need. The Southern Peninsula Food For All began in 1991 and this year has delivered more than 4000 food parcels with pantry staples, fresh fruit and vegetables and tinned food. At Christmas it provides toys for children who may not otherwise receive a…

SURFBOARDS and an assortment of vehicles used to chase the often elusive waves drew hundreds of onlookers to this year’s Vintage Surf Day at Pt Leo. Mingling in the crowd and swapping surf tales were surfers of all ages, including some that could be classed as pioneers in what is now regarded as a respectable industry. Surfboard maker Paul Trigger, of Trigger Bros Surfboards, said the vintage day was always “a great opportunity to renew acquaintances from yesteryear”. Notables at this year’s event included George Rice, 89, Tui Wordley, 88, Clem, Rod Sly, Garth McIntyre and Rob Lippiatt. Serving up…

HE may only be seven, but Taj McCallum has a wise outlook when it comes to his number one passion – fishing. The primary school fishing fanatic has been taking to the rod for as long as he could walk, and dad Michael couldn’t be prouder. Not only is the youngster dedicated to being the best, but he is also passionate about sustainability of the sport he loves and making sure people understand responsible fishing. Michael McCallum says his son’s enthusiasm for fishing is matched by his love and health of the water. “His passion is fishing, being with his…

ROSEBUD based charity Clothes4U is taking the stress out of looking professional on a budget, providing students and people looking for work with quality clothes at low or no cost. Prices are low, but quality is not. There are suits, race day wear and hats, dresses, designer brands and clothes for most occasions. Charity president Tina Donahue said buying new clothes that were suitable for employment situations was sometimes out of reach for students or people looking to join the workforce. Donahue said clients who come to Clothes4U were given a one-on-one consultation, taking into account their body shape, likes…

THE Archibald Prize 2023 Regional Tour at Mornington is winding up for its last day on 5 November, but it has created long lasting memories for at least one family. Mornington grandmother Monica Hughes has turned the portrait exhibition into a family tradition that has so far spanned three generations. “Every year for the past 10 years that it has been on we go as an extended family to wherever it is being held, and we have our very own competition to try and enhance the experience for the young ones,” she said. “It all started a decade ago when…

MOUNT Martha resident and Cure Cancer fundraiser David Sutherland ran 10 kilometres on Sunday 15 October as part of the Melbourne Marathon Festival, and has already raised more than $2000, beating his $1500 target. Originally from Hamilton, 69-year-old Sutherland grew up on a farm with a brother and sister and now, as a father of four and grandfather of four himself, understands the importance of family and friends. Sadly, four important people in Sutherland’s life are now undergoing treatment for cancer, which is why he decided to raise money for Cure Cancer. “Right now, one of my amazing nieces, Heidi,…

SURFING has a history and the Vintage Surf Day being held at Pt Leo is much more than being “about a bunch of antiquated surfboards”, according to Paul Trigger. Trigger, of Trigger Bros. Surfboards, says the day provides a chance to “meet the people that created and rode” those surfboards. George Rice, one of the biggest surfboard manufacturers in the 1960s will be attending along with an early team rider Gail Couper, winner of 10 Easter Bells women’s titles. “There will be mind blowing surfboard collections from as early as the 1950s through to signed surfboards ridden by the professionals.…

ON and around World Mental Health Day on 10 October Mornington Peninsula police showcased the work of Sergeant Barry Randall, who founded Operation Soul Surf. When it comes to healing the mind, water and waves are the best healers. From early in his career, Randall became aware of the impact policing can have on a person’s mental health, describing “high highs and low lows” during his nearly 30 years at Victoria Police. Not long into his career, an attempt on Randall’s life in 1995 ended in a fatal police shooting. Nightmares followed, as did insomnia and PTSD; a diagnosis that…

AUSTRALIA’S first equine-assisted therapy program to use retired racehorses is celebrating the Melbourne Cup with a difference. Racing Hearts, a charity that gives former racehorses a new lease on life through retraining and integration to therapy programs for humans, is inviting the community to be part of early cup celebrations and experience humans “helping horses helping humans”. Founded in 2018, Racing Hearts operates from a 12-hectare property in Balnarring with a sand arena for riding lessons with a therapy focus. The organisation has rehabilitated more than 100 retired racehorses, working with Racing Victoria with a large focus on their reset…

SUAN Lee Campbell has a grand vision to bring people together on the Mornington Peninsula. A strong advocate for refugees and the disadvantaged, Campbell, of Rosebud, is hoping to encourage others to embrace newcomers to Australia and invite them to the peninsula to be part of the community. She has organised a fundraising lunch next week (28 October) to help support the refugee cause. “I think the peninsula is a great place to live and I would love to invite people to a lunch to listen to inspiring stories from refugees and share great food,” she said. Campbell said there…

SIXTEEN-year-old Balnarring resident Matty Meysztowicz has always had a healthy fascination with dog poo, recycling and innovation, not unusual interests given the teenager’s background. It has become something of a Meysztowicz family tradition to think ahead and plan for the future. The young Meysztowicz, whose father Ed runs a recycling plant in the south eastern suburbs, has an innovative idea to solve the problem of discarded dog poo and the plastic bags used by owners to pick up and dispose of the mess. The avid dog lover says he came up with the idea after seeing too many plastic-based dog…

MORNINGTON Peninsulas charity Saltbush Balnarring Beach is on the lookout for a new CEO, after Rachel Connor announced that she would leave the organisation at the end of the year. Saltbush was established in 1989 with a vision to provide short-term holiday accommodation for people from disadvantaged backgrounds, including those with disabilities, physical or mental illness, asylum seekers, refugees and families recovering from domestic violence. The organisation caters for more than 1600 people each year for short-term stays in its six purpose-built houses and arranges holiday programs for children to provide respite for parents and carers. Connor joined Saltbush as…