Browsing: Interviews

THE adage of getting knocked down and then getting straight back up again describes Karen Stevens, 46, of Rosebud, to a tee. Unfortunately, the knock part literally happened, not once but three times, until Ms Stevens said to herself “enough is enough” and moved out. The penny had dropped; she realised the cycle of domestic violence would be repeated if she stayed around. “I didn’t want to pass that pattern onto my children,” she said. Across the Mornington Peninsula hundreds of domestic violence victims are struggling to get their lives back on track. “I know because I was one of…

A MORNINGTON student has won the elite Rising Star Award from CAMS – the governing body of motor sport in Australia. Circuit racer Simon Fallon, 17, who attends Haileybury College, joins the list of previous scholarship winners who became household names in motor sport: Daniel Riccardo, Matthew Brabham and James Courtney. To earn the award, Fallon’s race record was compared to hundreds of young drivers from all over Australia by champion racing car driver and CAMS director Mark Scaiffe. He was one of four chosen for the program and is now regarded as one of its elite drivers. Fallon won…

FORGET about stocking your pantry with exotic ingredients and trying to cook complicated recipes that you can’t even pronounce – Frankston foodie Jade O’Donahoo says “simple” is back in fashion. The former cafe owner has just released a self-illustrated cookbook of vegetarian recipes that hark back to her Italian heritage and her love of “uncomplicated” food. She said the book – Eat This, My Friend – published by Hardie Grant Books, was inspired by the customer requests she received for her recipes after she closed her popular hole-in-the-wall cafe, Switchboard, in Melbourne a few years ago. “I got so many…

BLAIRGOWRIE nursing student Molly Moore is still a year away from qualifying, but the 22-year-old hopes her proactive approach to healthcare will reduce death and disease in third world environments. After going on a study tour to Thailand last year with Deakin University, the former Rosebud Secondary College student decided that one of the simplest ways to prevent illness in poor communities was to teach better hygiene practices. She has now developed a hygiene education program and will go to the Tanzanian township of Arusha with two friends in February to volunteer at the Tengeru district hospital, and deliver the…

A BOOK exploring the rich history of Rosebud West and its people, from the early beginnings in the 1930s to more recent times, was launched on Saturday. Stories of Rosebud West, funded under the Rosebud West Community Renewal project, took first-time author Bettyanne Foster more than four years to research and write. “It might only be a tiny area, but I was amazed at just what a rich, vibrant history this area has and how many interesting tales people have about it,” she said. Ms Foster, who had never heard of Rosebud West until moving to the Mornington Peninsula six…

TWO Saturdays ago Jim Kolokithas turned his wheelchair along a strip of plastic matting down to the water’s edge at Mt Martha beach. “It was amazing; a good feeling,” he said.  “I got a bit emotional just sitting there.” The emotion was not just for himself, but for the other disabled people who will now be able to enjoy the simple pleasure of crossing a beach to the water. With the new matting being regularly rolled out in front of Mt Martha Lifesaving Club the soft sand will no longer be an insurmountable obstacle for narrow-tyred wheelchairs. Although Jim Kolokithas…

MOTORISTS who continue to drive while over 0.05 per cent are often certain they “won’t get caught” and can best avoid accidents by driving slowly. They ignore the risks while maintaining that it is more convenient, cheaper and quicker to take their chances than seeking alternative transport. Many blame alcohol for reducing their inhibitions and responsible decision-making. But the possible dangers for them and other road users is high, and the costs – after getting pulled over – far outweigh any presumed savings. These confronting findings emerged from a nation-wide online survey (Facebook, Twitter and Linked-In) by designated driver service…

AFTER eight years of studying their behaviours, diets, relationships as well as photographing their every visible move, Sue Mason gives the impression there are still more unknowns than knowns when it comes to a “community” of dolphins living in Port Phillip between Frankston and Dromana. “There are always questions to be answered.” Ms Mason’s interest in cetaceans (whales, dolphins and porpoises) dates back to when she and her husband John, spent three weeks each year for eight years – their Christmas holidays – as volunteer whale watchers in Hawaii for Earthwatch. Like any good carer, Ms Mason is now checking…

IN her short but inspirational life, 23-year-old Jess Van Zeil has not asked very much of others. The high-achieving Frankston South resident, who grew up in Mt Eliza and worked in Mornington, is now asking for help from others to give her a chance at life. At 22, Jess had the world at her feet – just weeks away from completing a degree in nutrition, on the brink of a part-time career in motivational speaking, and working up to 30 hours a week at a job she loved. “My life was completely different, I was busy being busy, and focusing…

IT is a stark statistic; 91 per cent of all women hate their bodies. That was the finding of Taryn Brumfitt who interviewed more than 5000 women on the subject while making her landmark film on body image, Embrace. The statistic was no surprise to one Mount Martha mother, Yasmin Chandler, who has suffered from a lifelong negative body image, and is only now breaking free from its effects. “It has taken up far too much of my life,” Yasmin said. “If I am raw about this, if I put myself out there, maybe other people will benefit from my…

SOME people have a goal in life they’re willing to work hard for, to give it their all, until it’s finally within their grasp. For 11 indigenous young men and women, that goal was achieved on Thursday 13 October when they graduated from recruit training in front of family, friends and the Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Tim Barrett, AO, CSC, RAN. For Seaman Star Marine Technician Jeff Andrews, the hard work was worth the effort. Awarded Recruit of the Intake and Sportsperson of the Intake, Andrews impressed with his performance, attitude, skill at motivating others and in helping fellow…

A MORNINGTON man is hoping to take the world by storm with his new deal-based app, ifloc. Anthony Cincotta’s ultra-local app will send people notifications of deals available within a one kilometre radius of their location. “It is aimed to help businesses capture the market of people currently nearby, and to create a more instantaneous result,” said Mr Cincotta. That differs significantly from other deal applications, that offer deals with a much larger geographical location. “The idea is that somebody might be walking down Main Street Mornington, and deals will pop up on their screen as they walk. “They can…

TUTANEKAI “Tui” Wordley should be an inspiration to every surfer. Not because of the size of the waves he rides or the latest overseas trip he’s made, but because, at 80, he’s still out there, catching swells that bend towards the shore, steepen up and then crash down, peeling off to the right or left. He’s at home on Western Port’s reefs and points and the beach breaks at Gunnamatta or Phillip Island with visits to the west coast, from Torquay to Lorne, when the surf is on. A New Zealander by birth with a mixed Scottish, English and Maori…

WHILE speaking with portrait artists Fiona Bilbrough and Vicki Sullivan it becomes clear that their subjects are much more than mere objects to be represented as one-dimensional art. Sullivan likes to have lunch with her subjects and have at least two sittings in her Rye studio. The lunch provides a relaxed way “to study the structure of the head, skin tones and the character in the hands”. Bilbrough, who is exhibiting her works alongside Sullivan’s in a Portraits exhibition at Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery, spends “many hours conjuring up a concept that will hopefully look appealing to me enough to…

PHOTOGRAPHER Daryl Gordon has an image for the future. Actually, he has many images for the future. Fascinated by the photography since he was eight, the Balnarring father of three regards all of his shots as historical records. “It’s really difficult to put a finger on why [I was attracted to photography]. I guess I love the power that a single image can carry and the archival nature of photography,” Gordon says. Although the images he shoots as a commercial photographer may or may not be seen by the client as having any historical value, there is no doubt that…

PAUL Lucas has done a bit of yachting, but travelling thousands of kilometres down the Murray River was never on his radar. But for 89 days from 1 March that’s exactly what he did. Steering a tinny powered by a small outboard Mr Lucas was trailing behind a kayak being paddled by Dave Jacka. Onshore, the pair were in turn being shadowed by friends following the winding course of the Murray as best they could by road. What sounds like a reasonable and enjoyable enterprise for a bunch of friends had one major difference: Dave Jacka is a quadriplegic with…

ART imitating life or art imitating art? Michael Leeworthy manages to mix ‘n’ mangle the time worn adage in his latest publication “So you want to be an artist? You had better read this first ”. It was Oscar Wilde who famously made the seemingly innocuous statement that “Life imitates art far more than art imitates life” in his 1889 essay The Decay of Lying. Decades later the truth of his position remains a debating point. Leeworthy, a Red Hill-based artist and gallery owner has gone a step further by publishing a small book of cartoons depicting himself and those…

A LOVE of crafts – particularly knitting and crochet – was behind Lynda Sibbald’s decision 18 years ago to take over the Mornington Wool Centre, which had been a feature of the town since 1971. Business grew steadily and she found it necessary to move to new premises in Yuilles Rd, Mornington, to cater for the rise in demand. Now this “hidden gem” – tucked in between a plumbers’ supply and power tool outlets – is able to take whole bus tours, prams, walkers and wheelchairs. It offers loads more room to display stock and samples and the huge glass-fronted…

ROB Lippiat is reviving the days when paddle steamers regularly circumnavigated Port Phillip. But he’s not about to embark on a voyage of the bay, it’s more about looking at the past in scale, about 100 to one. Lippiat is building model replicas of the boats and admits to doing things by halves. His wooden boats and split down the middle and mounted on mirrors. “I used to make them complete, but this way they can fit in with any decor,” Lippiat says while sitting at his workbench in Mt Martha. “That was more than 14 years ago when I…

JAN Dance is determined to turn the tragic death of her sister from motor neurone disease into a story of faith and hope. Her sister Sue Whyte died in 2011, four years after being diagnosed with the illness. Jan says the diagnosis, when Sue was 54, was hard to accept, as her sister was a “beautiful soul” who was adored by many. “I was her younger sister and I can say we never ever had an argument, she was just a beautiful person and was always kind,” she said. Jan and her brother Jeff did all they could to stay…

IT’S tempting to say that the years have flown for Dromana police sergeant Paul Dixon, who recently received his 35-year clasp at an awards ceremony for Mornington Peninsula and Frankston police officers. Joining as a 17-year-old cadet in 1980, Sgt Dixon completed his HSC (now VCE) as part of the educational squad and was named academic cadet of the year. He was off to a good start and being paid the grand amount of $93 a week, minus $15 for board, lodgings and food at the Spencer St complex where he lived-in for 12 months. Sgt Dixon’s first training station…

A MAN whose name is synonymous with squash, not just on the Mornington Peninsula but across the southern suburbs, has been inducted into the Squash and Racquetball Hall of Fame. For almost 40 years Allen Minchington owned and managed the Oakleigh, Portman’s and Dromana squash centres, as well as being a player, coach and administrator. He is still active in the sport, most recently running in-house practice and coaching sessions at Tonic Squash and Gym, Dromana, on Sunday afternoons. As a Victorian senior state team member, junior and senior state team coach and team manager, he is a highly sought…

Two small garage-sized tin sheds in Langwarrin South may hold the key to cutting the cost of domestic power needs while providing a reliable source for off-the-grid sites. A relatively small bank of lithium batteries developed in the sheds can be used to store enough power from solar panels to run a household for up to three days. In trials already under way they are powering electric fences, golf buggies, caravans, small waste treatment works and now houses.  These long lasting batteries can effectively store power from solar panels to be used at night or in cloudy conditions rather than…

“It may be called the finest thing in Australasian history. It was a revolution – small in size but great politically; it was a strike for liberty, a struggle for principle, a stand against injustice and oppression. … It is another instance of a victory won by a lost battle” Mark Twain, Following the Equator (1897) WHEN Fran Henke wanted someone to launch her latest historical novel she had to look no further than at the words she had written. Kerry McNarn, district nurse, wedding celebrant whose name and personality form the basis for a “character” used in two of…

A MORNINGTON coffee company was recently awarded Radio 3AW and Momentum Energy’s Small Business Achievement Award. It was presented on Denis Walter’s afternoon program. Mornington resident Sam Keck started Commonfolk Coffee Company coffee roaster and cafe in 2013. The 24-year-old zoology graduate wanted to introduce people to the concept of specialty coffee and connect them with all stages of its production – from the farmer to the importer and on to the roaster. “The company battled through archaic council planning regulations but, finally, got permission to open up in the Mornington industrial estate – far away from your typical Main…

A LOVE of stamps was nurtured in Jon Fladeby when he was a young boy in his native Norway. The seven year old was encouraged by his grandfather to appreciate his country’s stamps and to develop and maintain a worthwhile collection. It became an absorbing hobby and the basis of a lifelong interest. As a teenager and then getting married, meant there was a lack of time and opportunity. Mr Fladeby’s love of stamps remained “on the shelf” while he and his family established themselves in Australia in the early 1970s and moved to Mt Martha when he retired in…

FOR eight decades the neon Skipping Girl Vinegar sign has delighted children and adults as it lights up the streets of inner city Melbourne, at Abbotsford. The girl known as Little Audrey – the original Skipping Girl – lives at Sorrento. Irene Barron, 94, was the model for what became Australia’s first animated neon sign while working as a young artist for Neon Electric Signs. “I was nearly 14 when I started there after winning a drawing competition. The prize was you got to work there,” Mrs Barron said. “I was the smallest there and so they wanted someone to…

TO some, boxing may seem a strange road to travel in search of peace. But that is exactly the destination where the lessons in life handed out by boxing trainer Ron Smith can lead. The Mt Eliza-based former professional boxer admits to making mistakes while growing up, but says he learned from those to be a better man. Now 71, Smith is an advocate for peace, harmony and self-respect; attributes he passes on to people of all ages attending the Mt Eliza Boxing Centre he runs with his wife Sharyn. The philosophies espoused by Smith resonated so much with Jack…

NATUROPATH and herbal medicine practitioner Tory Breheny has written a book to bring home the message to the younger generation that gardens can be more than flowers and trees. “Gardens are the perfect learning environment for our children,” she says. “They really are nature’s pharmacy. Not only do gardens sustain us with delicious and healthy food, they are a source of tried and tested natural remedies for everyday ailments. “Our parents, grandparents and elderly neighbours can be a library of practical and traditional knowledge about plants and herbs for a healthy life. Let’s not lose that vital source of information…

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”.…