An outer east guitar manufacturer has utilised sycamore trees from along Monbulk Rd Kallista – which were originally cut down by Council – to build sonorous and unique acoustic guitars.
Yarra Ranges Council removed the trees last year as part of bushfire mitigation works to ensure access to roads during an emergency and to protect biodiversity by reducing weed invasion threats caused by the sycamore’s winged seeds.
Council contributed $90,000 to removing the sycamore trees from Monbulk Road after receiving funding through the National Bushfire Mitigation Program.
Though, around 20 of the sycamores received a new lease on life when guitar builder Karl Krauss recycled the wood to create his guitars.
Mr Krauss, who creates guitars at Bayswater, reclaimed the sycamore trees that would otherwise have been chipped on site.
He then before aired and dried the wood for six months to create stunning Cole Clark guitars with the very first guitar sold within just 12 hours after completion.
Mr Krauss, who contacted Council after reading a news article about the tree removal, said sycamores were traditionally used for cellos and violins, though could also be utilised in guitars.
“Different combinations of wood make different sounds,” Mr Krauss said.
“Sycamore wood sounds like something between Queensland maple and local Blackwood.
“The sycamores from Kallista were about 500 to 600mm in diameter so the trunks were quite big.”
Making a guitar takes up to three weeks from time the wood has dried, to the components being cut, joined, bent and internal bracing installed.
The guitar is then assembled and painted before the electronics and hardware is installed and set up.
“We have 28 people here creating the guitars here at Bayswater, it’s quite a production line,” Mr Krauss said.
“We offer to remove trees from private properties from gullies and all sorts of places.”
The tree removal was part of a fire mitigation program as sycamores are known for shutting out the undergrowth meaning the growth of native species is supressed and eventually lost.
Council’s Bushland team partnered with VicRoads, Parks Victoria and the Community Weed Alliance for the Dandenongs to deliver the project.
By removing the tree native plants are able to re-establish themselves, providing habitats for local birds and mammals.
If there is one organisation that represents the resilience and community spirit synonymous with the Dandenong Ranges, it’s the Upwey-Belgrave RSL Sub-branch.
Earlier this year the community branch- affectionately known as the ‘heart of the hills’ – looked to be on the brink of collapse after falling victim to substantial thefts.
Though their survival and capacity to flourish in the face of overwhelming odds is why Upwey-Belgrave RSL and all their supporters have been named in the Mail’s 2017 Issue of the Year.
Faced with the dire reality of closure, the Mail reported in January 2017 on the plight of the Upwey-Belgrave RSL, when it was found that Marion Mills, a previous Treasurer at the RSL had stolen a substantial amount of money from the organisation.
Over an almost three-year period – from 26 November 2010 to 5 August 2013 – Mills made 80 fraudulent payments totalling $28,918.
Though a News Corp report suggested the RSL was left in the red to a figure of around $400,000 after Mills failed to pay bills or staff superannuation.
With thousands of dollars lost, the Mail reported in April that the RSL Sub-branch had made an announcement confirming that they would continue on until at least the end of 2017, though their future looked dubious.
Instead of giving up and shutting the doors or succumbing to the appeal of poker machines, members of the committee of management called on the community to join their fight for survival.
And join the fight they did, with RSL member Annie Ashton, acknowledging the immense support of the surrounding community who rallied to retain what patrons acknowledge as the ‘heart of the hills’.
Spurred on also by a rejuvenated bistro – as well as assistance from local politicians and the Healesville RSL Sub-branch – the Dandenong Ranges community threw its weight behind the popular icon.
On Sunday 6 August when the Sub-branch held a special event that called on the community for support the Mail spoke to RSL member Annie Ashton who said visitors turned out in record numbers with many signing up for membership on the day.
“This is not your average RSL; it’s also a community and social hub,” Ms Ashton said.
“There’s a sign near the door which reads, ‘You enter a stranger but once’, and it’s true.
“The patrons know the staff by name, and often vice-versa, and being a member here is like belonging to a big extended family.”
On April 24, 2017 The Mail reported that Marion Mills pleaded guilty to obtaining financial advantage by deception and was sentenced to four months in jail, wholly suspended for two years – Mills was also ordered to pay back the stolen funds back at $50 per week
Despite its hardships over the past year and a difficult start to the year, the RSL remains an enduring part of the Dandenong Ranges, much thanks to its support from the community surrounding the Dandenong ranges.
Every year its importance in the Dandenong Ranges as a welcoming hub for residents and returned servicemen alike is shown by the thousands who turn out to its Anzac Day service. Those thousands also rallied in support of the RSL and were crucial in ensuring that it remains an enduring presence in the Dandenong Ranges.
Though President David Eaton said the RSL is not out of the woods yet the fight is far from over and he said they would continue to fight to ensure the RSL remains a pokie-free branch and ensure that it retains that welcoming atmosphere which has earned the RSL its place as ‘the heart of the hills”.
Belgrave Hub on track for 2018 opening.
Twenty one months since the sod turning and construction is progressing well at the Belgrave Community Hub site in time for the expected completion by mid-2018.
In March 2017 Yarra Ranges Council reported they would enter into a lease agreement with Inspiro over the to-be-constructed Belgrave Community Hub facility which will provide essential community health services to the region and help respond to a high demand for allied health, family and children services, and dental services.
At its 28 February meeting, council unanimously supported the move, which set in stone a 10-year joint agreement, with options for four further 10-year terms.
The $9.673m hub will provide purpose built accommodation for visiting specialist services such as mental health, public dental services and services for people experiencing family violence.
Burnham Beeches heats up.
The decision by celebrity chef and developer Shannon Bennett’s to develop the historic Burnham Beeches site continues to create controversy within the Dandenong Ranges Community throughout 2017.
At the forefront of that controversy was the proposal to remove 13 of the 22 beech trees that comprise the Avenue of Beeches in Sherbrooke as well as an incident involving helicopters landing at the location without any permits.
An independent planning panel meeting held in December covered many of the residents concerns ranging from safety in the event of a bushfire, and inadequate response to heritage values, traffic and parking, environmental and landscape impacts, excessive scale and inadequate application information.
The owners of the Sherbrooke site, celebrity chef Shannon Bennett and business partner Adam Garrison, are seeking to significantly redevelop the site, including the restoration of the Norris Building.
The Independent panel meeting gave the opportunity for both sides to put forward there position to the panel, and will prepare their recommendations in early 2018.
Blue building is no more.
The iconic Upper Ferntree Gully Visitor Information Centre dubbed the ‘blue building’ closed its doors in June 2017 after Yarra Ranges Tourism announced the decision following a decrease in visitors.
Following a detailed review of the ongoing viability of the centres, Yarra Ranges Tourism determined a significant decline in the number of visitor inquiries and a rise in online bookings by visitors to the Dandenong Ranges had driven the decision to cease operations at the Upper Ferntree Gully Information Centre.
Having been vacated by volunteers as well as Dandenong Ranges Taxi service who had been a subtenant at the site, there still remains no current development planned for the site.
Puffing Billy puffs into the future.
The popular Puffing Billy railway is steaming into 2018 after the Andrews Labor Government announced a funding boost of $8.2 million on 10 November, 2017.
Puffing Billy Railway Station announced that the funding boost will be used to improve facilities and create a new discovery centre at Lakeside Station that will be utilised as an all-weather venue and give a significant lift in visitor experience. Just as importantly, it will be a kick-off point for the second half of the railway.
Construction on the discovery centre is expected to commence before the end of 2018 and be completed by late 2020.
Mt Evelyn local plays for Collingwood
With her dreadlocks and uncompromising attack on the contest, it’s hard to miss Collingwood midfielder and Mt Evelyn local Lauren Tesoriero on the footy field.
All you have to do is look for is the player at the bottom of every pack.
That was especially true when on Friday, 3 February Lauren made history playing as part of the Collingwood team in the inaugural AFL Women’s League match at Princess Park.
The game marked the beginning of the 28-match AFLW competition and it was set up by the AFL as a ground-breaker, building on the traditional rivalry of Collingwood and Carlton.
The 30-year-old’s multi-sporting career has seen her travel from her roots in Mount Evelyn, to the country town of Yea, to across the globe in Ireland, before bringing it back full circle to play AFL for Collingwood in the AFL Women’s League where she will return to play for in 2018.
2017 … it’s done and dusted now, but on reflection it was far from uneventful as the pages of the Mail recorded.
It was a year marked in stories and photos of achievements of young and old, celebrations of lives well-lived and loved-ones sadly missed, awards, ongoing campaigns and new ones, trauma on our roads, local perspectives on national issues such as SSM, the NBN, NDIS, Assisted Dying Bill and off-shore refugees, festivals and milestones, sport, conservation storms (that is conservation and storms!), devastating house fires and heart-warming community responses, stories of bravery and resilience … and the odd ‘quirky’ tale to entertain.
The year started sadly with the sudden death of Gruyere CFA stalwart Don Bigham. We said goodbye also to too many ‘elders’, among them Mel Gowing, centenarian Myra Healey, Jeanne Wilcox, Peter Kimberley, Kevin Ford, Ted Gramlich, Bob Armstrong, Betty Warner, Carmel Fox and Lorna Brown.
The death in May of Healesville High School teacher Sue Contarino (Tanner) whose ‘Walk With Me’ campaign to raise awareness of ovarian cancer saw more than 500 people walk in February, hit hard. As did other young lives lost.
But the young also provided inspiration and joy. Bianca Kennedy from Launching Place and Lilia Corbett, 13, from Yarra Glen were celebrated as ‘triple-zero heroes’ for their part in saving the lives of their father and sister respectively. Music students wowed audiences playing with Orchestra Victoria’s On The Move program, Coldstream Primary students made history chartering the first Yarra Ranges’ Early Act Club (junior Rotary) and Healesville’s Jayden Crozier received an United National internship.
Major developments were in the news with Aldi’s plans for a Healesville store finally getting the go-ahead after agreements were reached at a VCAT hearing in August, the Warburton Hydro project, and a proposed tourist park in Coldstream was also given the green light in March with Yarra Ranges Council giving its blessing to the proposal.
A $4.4m retail/apartment complex flagged for Healesville’s main street drew fire from objectors with the developers left in no doubt that heightism is an issue, while in Warburton Yarra Ranges Enterprise Centre’s (YREC) future came under threat with the proposed government sell-off of the land it has occupied for 17 years.
Haining Farm also continues to be in the news with the local community up in arms about plans to revegetate the Don Road as part of the Yellingbo Conservation Area. That battle is far from over!
Healesville Kooweerup Road was again tragically in the news with three fatalities prompting a call by emergency services for work to be done on the road. The speed limit was lowered from 80 to 70, and surface work done.
Stories that made us smile! The mystery of the missing (or found shoes) … perpetrator, a local fox! The perennial big cat stories, things got a bit too hot when the Herb & Chilli festival van burst into flames and, ewe guessed it, Lachie Pitman and friends’ Variety Club Bash team “Sheep Assist Wool Save Ewe” in action … with guest navigator, the Mails own Derek Schlennstedt on board for a no-holds-baaaad assignment he will never forget!
2017 was the year that ‘People Power’ paid off.
In Warburton and in Healesville, community members reaped the benefits of actively railing against the threatened loss of vital services, and came out in force to inspire a better future.
The opening of the ‘new’ Healesville Hospital in February and the opening of the first stage of the AdventCare Aged Care Facility in October came about only through people standing up in numbers and refusing to accept that ‘others’ know better the needs of their own communities.
The Healesville Hospital campaign started with a firey meeting in November 2012 attended by 30 people and quickly gathered momentum to a ground-swell public meeting that saw The Memo Hall packed with more than 280 people just weeks before Christmas.
That meeting resulted in the formation of SHHAG – Save Healesville Hospital Action Group, a voice for the Yarra Valley’s health needs and the backbone of a hard-fought and long campaign.
The group raised $80,000 for a case study and continued to engage the community with more public meetings and unrelenting lobbying across all levels of government to get the new $8.8million facility that was opened on 6 February.
The Yarra Valley would not have the hospital it has today with a new operating theatre, a six-chair dialysis unit, and a range of primary and palliative care services, along with the Yarra Valley Community Health Service without people power.
In Warburton, the road to retaining the much-loved, community-built AdventCare Yarra Ranges aged-care facility was more collaborative, but equally driven by locals who were determined to do whatever was needed to turn around a decision by the Victorian SDA AdventCare Board in August 2016 to close the facility with just a few weeks notice.
Closure seemed inevitable … until the people of Warburton just said ‘no’ and vowed to find a way.
The community rallied and Save Warburton Aged-Care Group (SWAG) set to work to convince AdventCare that as a community they could make it work.
While SWAG chairperson Peta Godenzi urged the group to be positive, she warned AdventCare that the problem would not go away … and as a community, they kept that promise.
They gathered 1800 signatures on a petition, but more importantly presented a business case they believe was viable and garnered a commitment from the Warburton/Yarra Junction Bendigo Community Bank to kick in $100,000 for equipment should the facility stay open.
Before the year was out, AdventCare announced they would redevelop the facility and left no doubt that this was an outcome driven and made possible by local people.
In October 2017 the first stage, 19 fully compliant resident rooms with ensuites, a new lounge and courtyard and a general upgrade was opened – and residents could hardly wait to move in.
By mid-2018 the second stage is expected to be completed taking the facility to more than 40 beds, serving the Upper Yarra and wider Yarra Valley aged community.
While these communities have shown they will ‘man up’ when the things held most dear to them are threatened, it’s rare to have people show up in big numbers to support a new enterprise, as happened with the launch of Healeville CoRE (Community Renewable Energy) in July 2017.
More than 225 turned up at The Memo and voted resoundingly for a renewable energy future.
The meeting followed several months of planning by the CoRE steering group, but the response to what is essentially a project aimed at making Healesville a solar energy-driven town, was overwhelming.
Cr Fiona McAllister described the community response, along with Yarra Glen’s push for solar energy and Warburton’s Hydro project, as “a very determined ground-up push for change with communities taking matters into their own hands.”
A working group formed on the night, the group was incorporated and continues to work to make solar energy affordable and accessible and to promote and educate on a more sustainable energy future.
In a letter to the Mail in the early days of the Healesville Hospital campaign, a resident urged people to continue to support those who had taken on the role of representing the community.
After attending a community meeting she admitted to her ‘shame’ at not playing a more active role.
“I’m ashamed, that I have attended only one SHAGG meeting. I ‘meant’ to go and rationalised my absence (who would miss one lone person?).
“These amazing people are representing us. How can our presence not be important?
“As our representatives they need community input and support.
“We owe them our presence at meetings to validate their efforts, to encourage and reinvigorate them, and to keep up the momentum,” she wrote.
“Their unpaid efforts are for us, and for future generations.”
A 20 hectare piece of prime bushland in Macclesfield has been dedicated to the life’s work, and the memory, of Healesville wildlife champion, the late Jeanne Wilcox.
The land, purchased with funds raised by the Judith Eardley Save Wildlife Association (JESWA) where Jeanne had volunteered for 15 years, will provide additional habitat for the critically endangered Helmeted Honeyeater.
Members of Friends of the Helmeted Honeyeater (FoHHE), Parks Victoria and DELWP, joined JESWA volunteers and members of Jeanne’s family on 7 December, 2017, to celebrate the purchase of the land and to formally dedicate the land as the Jeanne Wilcox Reserve.
In what was described by FoHHE president Bob Anderson as one of the quickest land sales in conservation history – “no governments involved” he quipped, he thanked the family of the late Willy Veit who had owned and cared for ‘Bilagal’ for the past 20 years.
The rare piece of bushland came up for sale as part of Mr Veit’s estate and the family were thrilled to be able to keep its conservation status.
Mr Veit’s daughter Tania Kirby said her father was a passionate farmer and conservationist.
“He was heavily involved in landcare and spent quite a bit of time here keeping weeds out and keeping it in pristine condition.
“He was always just happy to keep it for conservation and to have this kept as a reserve … well, he would be as pleased as punch,” she said.
“The whole family is very happy with this outcome.”
JESWA chair and friend and colleague of Jeanne, Peter Hannaford, said everyone at the Wildlife Centre was grateful that the land to be known as the Jeanne Wilcox Reserve was to be part of the Yellingbo Nature Conservation Reserve.
“The reserve will commemorate Jeanne’s wonderful work for the environment and wildlife,” he said.
It was a particularly poignant dedication following Jeanne’s death in June 2017, and the imminent closure after 17 years of the Wildlife Centre.
“We are a small number of volunteers who have grown older – not old – together,” he said, adding that the volunteers were links in the chain that had seen a business supporting wildlife flourish.
He paid tribute to Jeanne saying she was the ‘heart and soul’ of the centre who made it a special place.
She was also an astute business woman and tireless worker.
“Throughout her 15 years and 40-hour weeks at the shop Jeanne made more than enough money to single-handedly pay for the reserve that appropriately bears her name,” he said.
Jeanne’s son Danny, on behalf of the family, said his mother would be honoured – if a little miffed at all the fuss!
“Really, mum would love it,” he said.
“She always wanted to live in the bush, and that’s where she is now – we’ll always have a place where we can come and see her.”
With extreme weather extending the break for senior cricketers across the Yarra Valley, the cream of the Valley’s junior crop take centre stage for their upcoming representative carnivals.
Annually during the summer school holidays, Melbourne’s most talented junior cricketers pit their skills in the Victorian Metropolitan Cricket Union (VMCU) representative carnivals.
The YVCA has a proud history in the competition playing in many finals and taking out multiple titles. This year’s competition involves a series of preliminary matches which act as qualifying for a knockout finals series.
The best of the Valley have been put through their paces with a series of training/selection sessions, plus a series of Region 8 games against Ferntree Gully, West Gippsland and Mornington Penisula Cricket Associations rounded out a solid preparation for the competition.
After some nervous moments, the teams were selected, and caps presented, at a formal presentation at Coldstream Cricket Club before the Christmas break.
The Under 12 Girls have already completed their qualifying games in the Claudia Fantone Shield finishing in tenth position.
With many of the girls just beginning their cricketing journeys, they found the competition tough, but the learning experience enjoyable. The team consisted of Briana Parker (Launching Place), Natasha Vassallo (Gruyere), Ameilia Kuth (Launching Place), Pearl Saurine (Warburton-Millgrove), Holly Robins (Mt Evelyn), Ella Amore (Launching Place), Eliza Owen (Launching Place), Alisha Beers (Gruyere) and Samara Kuth (Launching Place). Caitlin Parker of Launching Place gave the girls great guidance as coach of the team. With girls’ cricket going through dramatic growth, the future of this team looks bright.
The Under 12 and 14 Boys teams kick off their campaigns on Monday, and their competition consists of five qualifying games, plus finals across two weeks. Competing in the Josh Browne Plate, the Under 12 team will be coached by Stuart Parker (Launching Place) and Chris Handasyde (Healesville) with the team represented by Baylin Spencer (Woori Yallock), Billy Thurlow (Hoddles Creek), Cody Anderson (Healesville), Dan Potter (Mt Evelyn), David Carvill (Launching Place), Dylan Walker (Warburton-Millgrove), Harvey Smith (Seville), Hudson Semple-Hetherton (Warburton-Millgrove), John Thurlow (Hoddles Creek), Joshua Handasyde (Healesville), Lucas Parker (Launching Place), Luke Pearse (Yarra Glen), Raph Lever (Healesville), Riley Cameron (Healesville) and Ryan Thompson (Warburton-Millgrove). With their home games based at Queen’s Park, Healesville, the team are looking for a big two weeks of competition. For a full fixture of games, go to mycricket.cricket.com.au and search for VMCU > Josh Browne U12 Plate.
Competing in the Des Nolan Cup, the Under 14 team will be coached by Adam Humphrey (Warburton-Millgrove) with the team represented by Bailey Humphrey (Warburton-Millgrove), Josh Sharp (Warburton-Millgrove), Ryan Gribbrock (Warburton-Millgrove), Angus Smith (Seville), Jai Kettlar (Yarra Junction), Sam Gebert (Healesville), Ryan Vassallo (Gruyere), Cooper Williams (Mt Evelyn), Reece Thomas (Launching Place), Bohdie Jones (Mt Evelyn), Riley Foley (Yarra Junction) and Taykyn Nicolandos (Warburton-Millgrove). With their home games based at Yarra Junction, the team are looking for a competitive effort against Melbourne’s best. For a full fixture of games, go to mycricket.cricket.com.au and search for VMCU > Des Nolan U14 Cup.
The representative cricket doesn’t end there. The Yarra Valley also have good representation amongst teams representing the Outer East Eagles in the Victorian State Championships. The following players have been recognised for their excellent skills; Lucy Sinnott (Wandin) and Taylah Darvell (Mt Evelyn) in the Under 14 Girls, Hayley Fry (Healesville) and Georgia Parker (Launching Place) in the Under 16 Girls, Caitlin Parker (Launching Place) and Ari Taylor (Coldstream) in the Under 18 Girls, and Daniel Ebbels (Healesville) in the Under 14 Boys. To be selected to play in the state’s highest underage competition is a phenomenal achievement.
The Valley’s best Senior cricketers are also beginning their preparations for the VCCL Country Week competition being held in February. With a host of changes to the delivery of the competition, the squad are looking forward to finalising their preparations over the next month. Rick Bean has been reappointed as coach of the team, whilst Mt Evelyn gun all rounder Kane Jones has been appointed the captain of the squad. Training and selection will begin shortly with the hierarchy keen to consolidate their position in Division 2 of the competition after finding it tough going in last year’s competition.
YARRA VALLEY CRICKET ASSOCIATION
After having to wait an extra week for cricket to arrive again, due to torrential rains last weekend, cricketers around the Yarra Valley were champing at the bit to resume the cut and thrust of the season.
With two day games being cut down to one day in the competition’s top grades, victories would prove crucial in establishing ladder positions.
The game of the round in DJ Strachan Shield had to be between the top two performed teams this season, Mount Evelyn and Yarra Junction, and the game didn’t fail to deliver.
On their home deck, Mount Evelyn batted first, and it was in-form opener Daniel Giblin (51) who set the pace for the home team.
With Nick Bark (2/26) removing his partner in crime, Jesse Fraser, in a brilliant spell of bowler, Giblin set about the task giving his team the best part possible. A 62-run partnership with Gareth Fraser had the Mounters humming along nicely.
Jesse Cook (3/52) and Terry Ottrey combined for an excellent partnership of bowling that netted three wickets and put the breaks on the Mount Evelyn innings.
Mount Evelyn captain Kane Jones (32) threatened, but the remainder of the batting line up had to scratch and scrape for their runs and eventually their innings was closed at 7/157, a decent total, but one that was very much attainable.
Yarra Junction made a brisk start courtesy of openers Andy Wear and Andy Taylor, and they were able to maintain their momentum despite some tidy bowling from the home side.
Brad and Kane Jones were able to keep things tight, but Wear stood firm on his way to a half century.
The innings proved to be a real arm wrestle as Yarra Junction stood firm against some disciplined bowling.
With a dash for the total on the horizon, Wear lost his wicket, and the Eagles gradually slipped off the required rate, courtesy of some well executed late bowling from Chad Witherdin (4/29) and Gareth Fraser.
The Eagles were still within reach of the total late into the innings, but just couldn’t muster the big over required to break the Mounters’ back. In the end they fell agonisingly nine runs short in a brilliant contest.
Yarra Glen and Healesville also played out a close game at Queen’s Park.
Yarra Glen’s season has been built upon their experienced bats at the top of the order, and Brendan Ricci, Andy Cowan and John O’Donnell all threatened to break the contest early.
Unfortunately, none of them were able to convert positive starts into a match defining innings.
With the innings well set for a fast finish, Dermott Fry (5/37) kept the middle order in check with an excellent spell of bowling just when his team needed it.
The Riverpigs were able to keep the scoreboard ticking over, but not with the gusto they had anticipated. In the end the final total was 9/167, which could’ve been much more, but considering Healesville’s batting woes this season, looked to be enough to enjoy lunch without to many worries.
Healesville have battled for consistency with the bat this season, but looked determined to give themselves every opportunity to chase the score. Openers Brenton Damrow and Michael Jackson cautiously kept things intact early, and despite an early wicket, the inform Jayden Lawry entered the fray assuredly.
Yarra Glen matched the Bloods patience, and wickets to Richard Ellisdon (2/27) and Jimmy Lusk (3/46) had almost broken the Bloods with the score at 4/66 and a wobbly tail sitting in wait. Jayden Lawry stood firm, and found a valuable ally in Liam Daly. Not only were the pair able to stem the flow of wickets, but they were able to up the ante on a flagging run rate.
At 4/130, the wheel had certainly turned in the Bloods favour with 38 runs needed with seven overs remaining.
Lawry fell for an excellent 61, but Daly fought on.
Yarra Glen needed a match winner, and it was the spin of Andy Cowan (4/46) that would prove to be the difference as he cut a swathe through Healesville’s lower order with guile as they tried to put him to the sword in the final throws of the contest.
Cowan bowled his side to victory as the home side were left six runs short of victory with still two overs in the bank.
Yarra Glen’s season keeps ticking on, whilst a devastated Healesville would be ruing an opportunity to close the gap in the top four.
In the final contest in Strachan Shield, Warburton-Millgrove did what they needed to secure victory against a gallant Seville. The Burras batted first and battled to gain total ascendency against the Blues.
The home side had contributors right throughout their innings without any batsman going on to take control of the match.
Carl Morgan (32) and Liam Barnard (31) were their team’s top contributors with their innings built on a series of partnerships that added to a final total of 7/187, a final total they would be well pleased with.
Jake McInnes (3/45) proved to be the surprise packet with the ball as he led a spirited Blues performance with the ball.
After a bleak start to the season with the bat, Seville have turned things around in recent weeks.
A more determined display this week gave them an opportunity to stay in this contest for a long time.
A useful partnership between Toby Spargo (55) and Jake McInnes (39) gave the innings some early momentum in which it required.
The Burras, however, weren’t about to let this slip, and their bowlers, led by captain Daniel Lever (4/33) ensured their wouldn’t be too many wobbles defending the total. In the end, Seville were bowled out for 151.
Not a disappointing effort with the bat, but still one that left them short on the scoreboard.
In RA Finger Trophy action, Hoddles Creek proved that they can match it with the top four, despite narrowly losing to top of the table Coldstream.
Coldstream batted first, and just could flex their collective muscle against a disciplined Wombats attack.
Contributions from Stephen Phillips (38) and Dean Oliffe (28) looked to be steering the Crocs in the right direction, but the momentum of their innings was continually thwarted by regular wickets.
Simon McLachlan (2/14) and David Rowe (2/30) led a displined performance from the Wombats attack at they managed to keep the home side to 8/137, definitely not an insurmountable total.
The Wombats gave themselves every opportunity to chase the target, and their were moments throughout that suggested they may just get there.
Enterprising innings from Will Trotter (34) and Simon Robertson (29) threatened, but wickets fell at inopportune times.
Daniel Sharp (5/28) and Leam Doughty (4/40) have proven valuable with the ball for the Crocs this season, and again they proved the difference as things got close at the tail end of the innings.
With the game almost gone, the pair were able to bowl Hoddles Creek out for 131, securing a nail-biting five run win and cementing their spot at the top of the ladder.
Woori Yallock are proving that they have every opportunity to be featuring when the whips are cracking at the end of the season as they held firm against a gritty Gruyere.
On their home turf, Woori Yallock batted first, and soon found themselves in a spot of bother losing experienced openers Mick Dwyer and Paul Broussard.
Cal Ferguson strode to the wicket, and from the moment he faced his first ball, he owned this innings.
With the fall of Brandon Mills making the score 3/36, the Tigers found themselves in a spot of bother. Ferguson held firm.
A 118-run partnership with Stephen Morgan, in which Ferguson contributed 80 of the runs, was a highlight of the innings, and enabled some fast scoring at the end of the innings to push the final score to 9/186.
The sour note on the innings was that Ferguson couldn’t convert a much deserved century as he fell for 92. Jared Carroll (4/43) and Ethan Blain (3/39) were the pick of Gruyere’s bowlers.
Gruyere have putted along this season without giving us too many glimpses of their premiership winning form of last season.
They have been close to breaking the trend in recent weeks, and despite the loss of an early wicket, looked to be well on the way to changing their fortunes as the ever reliable Carroll (51) combined with Josh Harding (50) to give this innings some early momentum.
Unfortunately the pair lost their wickets just upon bringing up their half centuries, and the tale of this game would lie in the fact that none of their teammates could reach double figures.
This consigned the Scorpions to a 23-run loss, that with a bit of discipline would’ve seen them claim their biggest scalp of the season.
Wandin kept themselves within touching distance of the top two with a solid victory against Launching Place.
Batting first, the Bulldogs did little wrong with the bat as they compiled a tidy 7/186.
Danny Alderman (59) continues his consistent season with another half century, whilst his captain, Tim Thorne, contributed a contrasting half century to his team’s total scoring it off just 23 balls, including 5 sixes.
Launching Place were best served by Cody Andrews (4/46) with the ball as he did his best to keep things in check. Launching Place have found it tough to match it with the big boys despite showing fight.
Once again the total proved too great, but to Launch’s credit, they batted out their overs and battled on gamely.
Captain Andy Vandervlught (43) gave his team the best opportunity up front with Matt McConnell, but the pair couldn’t kick on.
Max Bradley (29) continues to display his prodigious talents, but he too fell when he needed to kick on.
In the end the visitors fell 46 runs short despite fighting it out.
For the Bulldogs, who have now entrenched themselves in the top four, David Wallace (3/26) was again their most effective bowler.
DJ Strachan Shield and RA Finger Trophy
Healesville 162 (J Lawry 61, L Daly 44, A Cowan 4/46, J Lusk 3/46) lost to Yarra Glen 9/167 (B Ricci 35, A Cowan 31, D Fry 5/37); Warburton-Millgrove 7/187 (C Morgan 32, L Barnard 31, J Neale 21*, J McInnes 3/45) defeated Seville 151 (T Spargo 55, J McInnes 39, Dan Lever 4/33); Mount Evelyn 7/157 (D Giblin 51, K Jones 32, J Cook 3/52, N Bark 2/26) defeated Yarra Junction 8/148 (A Wear 50, K Bomford 23*, C Witherdin 4/29); Coldstream 8/136 (S Phillips 38, D Oliffe 28, S McLaughlin 2/14, D Rowe 2/30) defeated Hoddles Creek 131 (W Trotter 34, S Robertson 29, D Sharp 5/28, L Doughty 4/40); Woori Yallock 9/186 (C Ferguson 92, S Morgan 21, J Carroll 4/43, E Blain 3/39) defeated Gruyere 163 (J Carroll 51, J Harding 50, J Young 2/5, P Broussard 2/25); Wandin 7/185 (D Alderman 59, T Thorne 50, C Andrews 4/46) defeated Launching Place 7/140 (A Vandervlught 43, M Bradley 29, D Wallace 3/26).
Yarra Junction 9/119 (R Foley 43, S Gebert 3/17, A Pearce 2/38) defeated by Healesville 6/122 (S Gebert 48*, T Gasket 2/40); Mount Evelyn 8/185 (A Giblin 61, A Whiting 30, L Faulkingham 3/25, S Thompson 3/20) defeated Powelltown 8/170 (L Long 51, A Giblin 3/27); Seville 5/80 (D Gale 31, K.Chawala 18*, H Lamont 3/8, D Trembath 2/40) defeated Wandin 75 (R Smith 17, M Alderman 17, G Foster 4/28, J Beri 2/3, M Proctor 2/17); Yarra Glen vs Warburton-Millgrove (no scores).
Healesville 67 (S Fawdry 9, P Heaphy 5/10) defeated by Mount Evelyn 7/72 (L Cook 15*, D Henderson 14, W Cooney 4/9); Hoddles Creek 49 (B. Ganson 4/4, R. Foley 3/9) defeated by Yarra Junction 9/189 (L Thompson 77, S Jordan 34, B Cole 2/32, B Sinclair 2/36); Coldstream 7/144 (D Vaux 67, A Whelan 31*, M Milkins 3/35, E Davies 2/26) defeated Launching Place 97 (R Milkins 48*, P McArdle 3/9, A Cummins 2/9); Seville 3/110 (A Kay 55, S Mindie 14, L Kay 14, B Clark 1/4, B Sinnot 1/9) defeated Wandin 9/109 (L Perry 45, M Sinnot 23, D Knight 6/25, A Kay 2/27).
One Day Grade
Marysville 2/83 (T Gleeson 39, B Norman 26*, M Wallace 2/6) defeated Healesville 8/76 (L English 24, R Nolan 21, R Hodgins 2/3, B Norman 2/9); Coldstream 6/71 (J Hamilton 26, B Robinson 2/11, S Dunne 2/20) defeated Seville 9/64 (D Steele 3/2, Jamie Hamilton 2/1, Jace Hamilton 2/21); Yarra Junction 9/179 (G Lebrocq 48*, G Thompson 43*, A Clarke 2/4, C Dunne 2/21) defeated by Powelltown 4/203 (B Simpson 41*, D Andrel 41*, M Clue 30*, C Holmes 2/15), Gruyere vs Warburton-Millgrove (no scores).
Mount Evelyn v Healesville 7/171 (Z Fawdry 54*, L Chandler 31, B Westaway 2/18); Seville v Coldstream 7/120 (A Steele 51*, M Pezzimenti 18, A Whelan 18, C Collee 2/8, H Harvey 2/18); Warburton Millgrove 96 (A Nelson 33, N Andueza 11, J Woolley 10, L O’Dea 3/19, M Berry 2/8, J Kettler 2/16) vs Yarra Junction; Launching Place vs Bye.
Moujnt Evelyn/Launching Place v Healesville 3/161 (S Gebert 40*, M Hirst 34*, B Jones 1/19, G Parker 1/20, O Powell 1/23); Hoddles Creek 1/21 (G Vukman 6*, K Rhodes 1/7) vs Coldstream 58 (H Wheeler 16*, B Weir 4/2, J Fritzlaff 2/6); Warburton Millgrove 8/171 (B Humphrey 49*, P Huynh 31, T Nicolandis 17*, R Bomford 4/13, R Foley 2/29, H Beers 1/9) vs Yarra Junction/Gruyere; Yarra Glen vs Bye’
Healesville Red 4/79 (R Cameron 21*, B Davey 1/4) defeated Yarra Glen 7/55 (L Pierce 13*, J Johnson 3/4), Healesville White 3/194 (C Anderson 65*, R Lever 31*, P Lambe 1/16, K Tilney 1/18) defeated Yarra Junction/Gruyere 8/26 (R Lever 3/3), Seville 4/88 (H Smith 21*, L Timoney 9*, H Murphy 7*) defeated Woori Yallock 5/74 (Charlie 9*, Balyn 8, James 5*, H Smith 2/1, T Scott 2/5, H Murphy 1/8); Marysville vs Hoddles Creek (no scores); Warburton-Millgrove vs Launching Place (no scores); Mount Evelyn vs Bye.
Warburton White 3/124 (Zane 14, Mitch 7, Tilley 2/7, Archie 1/10) defeated Hoddles Creek 13/66 (Des 7, Jack 5, Archie 5, Zane 5/3, Mitch 2/2, Zack 2/9); Warburton Burras 4/59 (Steven 9, Tom 5, Gabriel 5) defeated by Warburton Black 3/97 (Gabriel 1/12, Sasha 1/16); Wandin 2/126 (Jack Dixon 14, Mac 11, Joshua 1/1) defeated Warburton Blue 5/86 (Jack Darwall 14, Jack Dixon 2/4); Healesville 3/166 (D English 31*, L Frazzetto 20*, Ella 1/18, Jarrah 1/29) defeated Launching Place 80 (Briana 19, Paige 13, L Frazzetto 3/10, D English 2/7); Seville 5/79 (Jackson 6*, Alby 3*) def by Wandin 3/91 (Jarrah 7*, Max 3*, Jackson 1/4, Aiden 1/6); Wandin Blue 2/126 (Jack Dickson 14, Jack Mann 12, Kaylee 1/19, Josh 1/1) defeated Warburton Blue 5/84 (Jack Dorthwaite 2/4, Jack 14, Nate 6); Yarra Junction/Launching Place 5/63 (Ash 4, Dean 4,Black 2/10, Hunter 1/2) vs Woori Yallock 7/89 (Brock 11, Archie 8, Molly 2/7, Paddy 1/8, Tyler 1/15).
Menzies Creek musician Benny Allen has been a long-time performer, largely in the alternative rock and indie scene.
But as he says when his wife left him, his dog died, and he lost his job – he did the only thing he could think of – and started playing country music.
It was that country music which has propelled Benny towards the opportunity of playing at the epicentre of country music in Australia, Tamworth.
Benny was one of two Victorians chosen to travel to Tamworth and be part of the highly prestigious CMAA Senior Academy of Country Music.
Each year the Country Music Association of Australia hosts a group of aspiring singers, songwriters and musicians at the Senior Academy of Country Music, where they undertake a world-class intensive music and business workshop under the guidance of some of the best country artists in Australia.
Benny, 41, has been playing music since he was 10 years old and said he was ecstatic to be chosen.
“The biggest thing is to get some direction to how you can potentially go about making a living from playing music,” he said.
“There are parts to do with song writing and there’s mentoring with experienced country music people, but as well there’s the business side of it.”
This is something Benny can relate to as he said he spent many nights when he was younger playing at pubs and bars, but was never able to break even.
“Going back to when I was younger and playing in punk bands, pop bands and playing at Metro Nightclub on Bourke Street, but then you have start working for a living.”
Recently though he has turned his attention to country music, and a new original single called Yellowstone is now being played over radio stations across Australia and America.
“As a musician you play your music, to find out other people like it especially original songs, it’s kind of surreal.”
Though Benny fell into the country music scene, he personifies much of that old-school country-esque music tradition.
With a custom-built piano that he made himself, he often throws it into the back of his ute when going to gigs around the Dandenong Ranges and says he will do just that when he goes to Tamworth.
“My weapon of choice is a piano, I’ve got a custom upright stage piano that I made and we load into the back of the ute – it’s something different to the traditional guitar and singer.”
The two-week long CMAA Academy of Country Music takes place ahead of the Tamworth Country Music Festival (TCMF), where all 29 students will perform an opening group performance.
Among the highlights for students at the academy is the chance to jam with Kasey Chambers.
To hear more of Benny’s work visit http://www.bennyallen.rocks/
Maggie Alley is a young musician on a mission.
The Monbulk College Year 9 student, who has the singing voice of an angel, is determined to tour Bolivia next year with World Challenge, an organisation that sends dedicated students over to developing countries for four weeks of volunteer work in communities.
Previously, Monbulk College has helped facilitate trips to Nepal and Mongolia, and in 2018 is planning a South American sojourn, where Maggie hopes to sing for the people of Bolivia once she hits their shores.
To raise funds for her goal, Alley has been playing a series of house concerts around the Dandenong Ranges and surrounding areas.
She has even performed at the Skylark Room, in the Burrinja Cultural Centre, where she supported local musician Matt Walker.
Maggie has also headlined Melbourne venue Bella Union with her band, The Rosebloods.
The committed student says she’s focused on performing her way to Bolivia, with her target of $9000.
“I need to raise another $4000 by March to get myself to Bolivia with World Challenge. I’ve raised most of my target through busking and gigs so far,” she said.
“House concerts are great, lots of people are forming online groups to host them – like House Concerts Australia on Facebook – and I can play afternoons and early evenings, then get my dad to drive me home … he’s my roadie!”
“World Challenge is an amazing opportunity. It’s great to be doing it through the school, and part of the deal is that I have to sing for the group once we hit South America.”
The young artist plays 45-minute house parties with voice and guitar for $100, with all funds going to her World Challenge campaign.
Concerts can be booked at email@example.com.
To visit Maggie’s fundraising page, visit www.gofundme.com/buskingtobolivia.
Now in its ninth year, The Wandin Custom Car and Bike Show has established a reputation not only as an outstanding display of vehicles, but as a popular mid-week get-together for friends and families.
The Rotary Club of Wandin, supported by numerous local motoring businesses, the Wandin Bendigo Community Bank and other community organisations, runs the monthly show from October through to March.
All roads lead to the Wandin East Recreation Reserve on the third Wednesday of each month as hundreds of pre-1985 cars and multi-generational bikes file through the gates and make their way onto the showground.
Owners and enthusiasts mingle with those who have a more casual appreciation of the eclectic collection of horsepower, chrome and glossy paint jobs.
Starting at 6pm and running through to 9pm, the atmosphere is relaxed and friendly with the local CFA providing a barbeque and wood-fired pizza and refreshments also on offer.
The entry fee for cars and bikes if $5 with gold coin entry for patrons.
The event supports the Royal Children’s Hospital Good Friday Appeal and local community organisations.
The 2018 show dates are January 18, February 15 and March 15.
Enquiries to Auto One in Woori Yallock on 5964 7366, or visit Wandin Rotary Club facebook page.
Start your year right and take the time to enjoy the distinctive variety the Yarra Valley has on offer.
That variety is clearly on offer at Greenstone Vineyard where it’s yearly Sunday Sessions event lets patrons enjoy a divine tipple while listening to soulful music.
Every Sunday from January through to March, Greenstone Vineyards will be hosting their Sunday Sessions complete with live music, gourmet foods and of course, spectacular wines.
One of those local musicians is Healesville personality Jeff Jenkins, who will be playing an unaccompanied ‘roots’ described performance of his well-known Dylanesque show.
Having played at Greenstone several times over his career, Mr Jenkins said the Sunday Sessions were a nostalgic reminder of everything he loves about playing music on a relaxing Sunday afternoon.
“I’ve played here with different bands and it’s just a really relaxed, casual kind of groove,” Mr Jenkins said.
“It’s what I love about music on a Sunday … it’s a great spot, with fantastic views, there’s cool music happening and you’re in a winery could life get any better?”
Greenstone Vineyards certainly delivers on its promise of breathtaking views and is sheltered by the Christmas Hills that offers patrons some of the best panoramic vistas in the Yarra Valley.
For two hours Mr Jenkins and his voice will take you on a soulful dylanesque journey as he recreates Bob Dylan’s finest songs, even gving insight into their meanings and the stories behind them.
Friends and family can also relax on the deck or on the lawn and soak up the ever changing landscape of spectacular scenery over a glass of wine and gourmet cheese platter.
Every Sunday from January to March from 1 to 4pm patrons can enjoy great music by solo, duos and bands.
For the month of January patrons can enjoy and relax to music from the likes of Louise Mc Gregor on 14 January, Jeff Jenkins on 21 January, and The Campbells on 28 January.
To find out more simply visit https://greenstonevineyards.com.au/cellar-door-2/
The final St Mary’s Music Afternoon for 2017 is promising to be a very special Christmas treat.
Concert pianist Judith Lambden will be returning by popular demand, joining well-known harpist Cath Connelly and singer/guitar duo Michael and Karen, as the feature artists for the event.
The music afternoons are held throughout the year with the gold-coin donation admission fee supporting the upkeep of the lovely St Mary’s church, and to provide an afternoon of acoustic music for locals and visitors.
Organiser Jeff Willmott said the music afternoons featured mainly local artists, with some guest artists from further afield from time to time performing a variety of genres from classical and folk music to poetry.
Part of the appeal of the afternoon is its back to basics format.
“It’s all acoustic, so no microphones or sound systems at all,” Jeff said.
“It’s just beautiful acoustic music and the artists love it.
“There’s no mucking around with mics, just pure harp, piano or voices and the acoustics in the church are excellent.
“It makes for a really special afternoon of music.”
Among all the hype and hurly-burly of Christmas, a couple of hours of beautiful music among friends may be just what’s needed to set the scene for a relaxing and enjoyable Christmas.
A delicious afternoon tea is provided.
The Music Afternoon is on Sunday, 17 December from 2pm. St Mary’s is opposite the tennis courts in Warburton.