FEATURE ARTICLES 2016
$17m Cowes centre shelved
December 17, 2016 – The council has shelved plans for a Cowes cultural and civic centre, the centrepiece of the town’s $17 million revitalisation project.
A view from the Chamber
December 17, 2016 - A regular series in which our councillors expand on the issues that matter to them. First up: dumping the Cowes cultural centre is a missed opportunity, writes Michael Whelan.
Christmas in the bush
December 17, 2016 - In 1839, Western Port settlers gathered in a bush hut to celebrate the season of goodwill, writes Libby Skidmore
Through the looking glass
December 17, 2016 - Liane Arno meets Deb Watson, a human resources manager who fell in love with glass.
Made for art
December 3, 2016 - The Centennial Centre’s new tenants are celebrating a very special space that seems custom-made for showing off the work of local artists, reports Liane Arno.
Let there be lights
December 3, 2016 - Artists in Corinella, Coronet Bay, Grantville, Tenby Point and Pioneer Bay have been helping residents to make simple objects that light up at night.
The future starts now
November 19, 2016 - The youngest candidate in the recent election, Mikhaela Barlow has a message for our new councillors: be brave, ignore the loud-mouths, and start making decisions for the long-term.
Time and tide
November 19, 2016 - Mark Robertson records the joys and tragedies of local beachcombing.
November 19, 2016 – An astute business woman way ahead of her time, Clara Johnson opened Wonthaggi’s first hamburger shop and used wind energy to power her shops in Inverloch. Her son Geoff Johnson takes up the story.
Going, going, gone
November 5, 2016 - One of four councillors dumped by voters, Phil Wright reviews the election results.
The songs go on
November 5, 2016 – After 31 years of teaching, Larry Hills still had the music in him, and so the Bass Coast Chorale was born. This month the chorale celebrates its first 10 years with an anniversary concert.
Hooded Plovers doing it tough
November 5, 2016 - The hooded plover breeding season in Bass Coast is off to a bad start, with not a single chick surviving to fledging so far.
November 5, 2016 - Sandra Peeters’ recent exhibition began with exercises in a life drawing class, writes Marian Quigley.
November 5, 2016 - Malcolm Turnbull announces a ban on refugees and asylum seekers on Manus Island and Nauru (or, as he calls them, “passengers”) from ever coming to Australia.
Far off the superhighway
October 22, 2016 - Think your internet is slow? Gurdies resident Rob Parsons has been trying for the past three years to get a basic ADSL connection.
Open for business
October 22, 2016 - A recently discovered memoir by Wonthaggi’s first shopkeeper gives us the sense of being there when the town was founded.
October 22, 2016 - Miriam Strickland pursues the age-old question of what makes us happy.
October 8, 2016 - Of the 24 candidates standing for election to the council, at least 11 have links to the Phillip Island Progress Association or the Bass Coast Ratepayers and Residents Association. Catherine Watson reports on an unlikely alliance.
Reading the numbers
October 8, 2016 - Is the council a basket case or well on the way to a brighter future? Four council candidates read the numbers and come up with surprisingly different answers.
October 8, 2016 - A family gathering at Inverloch Pioneer Cemetery marked the end of a quest to find the long-lost grave of a young mother and son, buried 125 years ago. Linda Cuttriss reports
I am sixty six
October 8, 2016 - With the clock ticking on his life, Tim Shannon is increasingly drawn to stillness.
Not the last picture show
October 8, 2016 - In spite of its name, this weekend’s Wonthaggi Final Film Festival almost certainly won’t be the last, with the council agreeing to support the cinema.
September 24, 2016 - Twenty-four candidates: nine positions on the Bass Coast Shire Council. See who's standing and why.
Casualties of colonisation
September 24, 2016 - A reconciliation group seeks local recognition of two Aborigine men who were once condemned as bloodthirsty outlaws, reports Anne Davie
In the steps of our forebears
The appearance of an emu with 10 chicks is a fitting commemoration of the first 10 years of the Wonthaggi Rifle Range wetlands, writes Terri Allen.
September 10, 2016 – Architect Sue Mitchell has vivid memories of the first earth building conference she attended, standing ankle deep in mud and straw.
A bit average
September 10, 2016 - Tim Shannon gives thanks for the happy brigade of the below average, renegades and free spirits. Cartoon by Natasha Williams-Novak
The joys of gravity
September 10, 2016 - From billy carts to tin toboggans, steep slopes were a source of pleasure for the kids in Kit Sleeman’s neighbourhood
Arts plan creates a buzz
August 27, 2016 - A Wonthaggi Arts Centre plan estimates it will cost almost $2.4 million to refurbish the centre but says there will be multiple creative, social and financial benefits to the community.
August 27, 2016 - The new Wonthaggi Arts Centre Plan acknowledges the importance of the Wonthaggi cinema but is short on detail about how it will run, writes Larry Hills
Copping a spray
August 27, 2016 -Glyphosate might be the world’s most popular herbicide, writes Geoff Ellis, but perhaps we should recall the cautionary tale of DDT.
The coast dwellers
August 27, 2016 - Jim McDonnell was still living in a hut on the coast in the mid-1970s. Frank Coldebella recalls a gentle man more attuned to the rhythms of nature than to the trivia of town life.
Out of danger, prognosis good
August 13, 2016 - Like all the best doctors, Jan Child imparts a sense of calm and control even in the midst of crisis. Catherine Watson meets the new CEO of Bass Coast Health.
August 13, 2016 - Mark Robertson is awe-struck by an octopus that builds a home far more delicate and beautiful than the finest porcelain produced by humans.
Take your partners
August 13, 2016 - Ellen Palmer Hubble is organising a concert and square dance to raise awareness of a little-known but debilitating condition known as bronze diabetes.
Art, with a capital K
A group of local artists intend to put Kernot on the artistic map, writes Janice Orchard.
People vs cars
July 30, 2016 - Cr Phil Wright explains why he supported a controversial five-storey apartment block in Cowes.
The bigger picture
July 30, 2016 - We need to make the future of the Wonthaggi Cinema an issue in the upcoming council election, argues Kay Setches
Walk this way
July 30, 2016 - Nola Thorpe road tests a new digital walking tour of Wonthaggi.
Our founding, murdering father
July 16, 2016 - Scottish writer Cal Flyn confronted the truth of her ancestor Angus McMillan, a revered pioneer who perpetrated the slaughter of Gippsland’s Indigenous people. Jeannie Haughton shared part of her journey.
July 16, 2016 - A move towards ‘ethical banking’ by the council provokes the scorn of the local press. Catherine Watson considers the arguments.
Release the Kraken!
July 16, 2016 - Don't feel guilty about enjoying a feed of fresh calamari, writes Mark Robertson. If they grew bigger they would happily feast on us.
July 2, 2016 - Two work conversations left Catherine Watson wondering whether universal suffrage was such a good idea. Cartoon by Natasha Williams-Novak
July 2, 2016 – “Not the type to make a fuss”, Emily JJ lost her privacy when a new development went up next door. She wants others to learn from her experience.
June 18, 2016 - The first in a series by Mark Robertson about the strange and special species that share our Bass Coast home.
Clear as mud
June 18, 2016 - Michael Whelan has been a vocal critic of Environment Minister Greg Hunt’s management of climate change issues; now he’s trying to work out whether he's misjudged him
Flights of fancy
June 18, 2016 - To “fashion with artistic skill” – now that’s bliss, writes Tim Shannon in the penultimate essay of his series on architecture.
My sea change
June 4, 2016 - A marriage breakdown brought David Norton to Bass Coast. The healing power of nature and friendships helped him put his life together again.
Chorus of approval
June 4, 2016 - Bass Coast Chorale members share their joy in commual singing at the group’s 10th anniversary concert this month.
Shine a light!
June 4, 2016 - Inverloch Primary School and the South Gippsland Conservation Society are combining for a project in Fiji that will achieve social as well as environmental benefits.
has never deviated far from his purpose.
Portrait of an independent
May 21, 2016 – Capturing the essence of a person is the challenge of portaiture, writes perennial Archibald Prize hopeful Ursula Theinert. This year she tackled former Independent MP Rob Oakeshott.
May 21, 2016- Kit Sleeman looks back to an age of real service when fresh milk and bread appeared on the kitchen table every morning as if by magic.
May 6, 2016 – An autumn Sunday in Inverloch ... Ed Thexton contemplates a perfect day that ended with a young boy’s first taste of sailing.
May 6, 2016 - We cannot resist the temptation to make the unfamiliar familiar, writes Tim Shannon in the eighth part of his series on architecture.
Petrol price puzzles
May 6, 2016 - Geoff Ellis does the arthithmetic on petrol prices and finds it doesn’t add up.
A Rain of Love
April 22, 2016 - For 30 years, Fiona Hill lived on an off with a Syrian family. Now their lives have been shattered by war and it’s time to repay the favour
Swell and spray
April 22, 2016 - Linda Cuttriss is exhilarated by a dramatic show at The Blowhole during a big swell.
April 22, 2016 - Excerpts from a letter and diary written by two young men who joined up in 1915 for the Great War that was to end all wars.
The good wood
April 9, 2016 - Liane Arno meets a Wonthaggi woodworker who finds hidden treasures in other people’s rubbish.
The shape of things to come?
April 9, 2016 - A visit to the Lorne Sculpture Biennale convinced Jordan Crugnale there were lessons for Bass Coast.
One more for the hill
April 2, 2016 – Every evening Ralph would come down to the pub for his three pots – and then one more so he could make it up the hill to his home. Liane Arno continues her series on Archies Creek regulars.
Taking the waters
April 2, 2016 – Catherine Watson couldn’t work out why the birdbath emptied so quickly, until she started taking photos.
March 26, 2016 - The almost unrelenting negativity of reports on council deliberations and decisions is clouding the facts, writes Kay Setches.
A flicker on the hill
March 26, 2016 - Long-time Labor supporter Geoff Ellis thinks we should put Ricky Muir first and a politician second.
‘There’s a song in my head ...’
March 26, 2016 - A songwriters workshop in Wonthaggi heralded a celebration of local musicians and songwriters, writes Joan Woods.
Michael of Krowera
March 12, 2016 - Michael is a man with a problem, writes Bob Middleton. He has a weak heart, the kind that melts when he sees someone or something in need. Cartoon by Natasha Williams-Novak
Welcome to country
March 12, 2016 - Years after houses replaced Wonthaggi’s tent town, many old people remembered their camping times as the best days of their lives, writes Frank Coldebella.
Still all at sea
March 5, 2016 - With the State Government poised to order water from the Wonthaggi desalination plant for the first time, Mark Robertson says there are still too many unanswered questions.
Firing on all cylinders
March 5, 2016 - Sue Acheson revels in the mystery of the kiln, where what emerges depends on the flow of the fire and the fall of the ash. Liane Arno reports.
What’s right with the council?
March 5, 2016 - Last month’s Community Plus forum raised plenty of lively discussion on “What’s wrong with the council?” On Monday, Bass Coast’s mayor and deputy mayor will take up some of the issues.
February 27, 2016 - After 32 years of delivering meals on wheels around Wonthaggi, Vilya Congreave mourns the demise of a service that was about much more than a meal.
Rabbit control, one bite at a time
February 27, 2016 - If you can’t beat `em, eat `em! Phillip Island Landcare is looking for chefs and home cooks to enter its annual Bunner Boiler Challenge.
February 20, 2016 - Gurdies residents opposed to a rezoning of their land for tourism are advocating not just for their own futures but for the lives of all the creatures who live around them, writes Liz McDonald.
Negative gearing reform? Yes please!
February 18, 2016 - Michael Whelan applauds the ALP for having the courage to tackle policies that benefit a powerful minority.
February 13, 2016 - Walt Disney was a dreamer who made a fortune. Braxton Lane thinks he has some lessons for us in Bass Coast.
February 13, 2016 - Kit Sleeman recalls a memorable miners’ picnic at Cowes, enlivened by a foul-mouthed ventriloquist and a storm-tossed voyage home.
The winds of change
February 13, 2016 - Miriam Strickland finds herself pre-occupied with endings, or at least changes that happen as we and those around us get older.
Knowledge on tap
February 6, 2016 - Look at our community and you will see an array of exceptionally qualified and experienced people. It’s time the council tapped into them, writes Michael Whelan.
My window on the world
February 6, 2016 - Travel for Matt Stone has a deeper meaning since he began using his skills and experience to empower people in developing countries.
Dawn before the dark
December 17, 2016 - Gill Heal asks whether anything can stop humanity’s descent into a new Dark Age.
Serenade makes a comeback
December 17, 2016 - Sandra Mounsey welcomes the return of Bass Coast’s iconic light opera and musical theatre event after a one-year hiatus.
Stories within stories
December 17, 2016 - Ventnor artist Josephine Allen’s new exhibition features works inspired by landscapes, allegorical stories and travel sketches.
The twelve days of moving
December 17, 2016 - Geoff Ellis vows to call in the removalists next time.
Easy does it
December 17, 2016 - Miriam Strickland offers a few tips on surviving – and perhaps even enjoying – the family Christmas gathering.
More or less
December 3, 2016 - Our increasingly virtual existence would have confounded Ulysses, Gulliver and Leopold Bloom, writes Tim Shannon.
December 3, 2016 - Pride in Wonthaggi was apparent at a series of workshops to discuss the future of the town, reports Terri Allen.
The Wheatleys of Grantville
December 3, 2016 - In good times and bad, Don and Irene Wheatley have been part of Grantville’s story. Tony Hughes reports.
A woman for all seasons
November 19, 2016 - In a Kongwak garden, Carolyn Rowson learned to understand the seasons of her own life. Gill Heal reports.
Portrait of the artist as a younger man
November 19, 2016 - In his new exhibition, veteran John Adam comes face to face with his younger self – and he likes what he sees. Catherine Watson reports.
Alien orchid on the march
November 19, 2016 - Don’t be fooled by the African weed orchid, warns Terri Allen. It’s a menace.
Life’s rich tapestry
November 5, 2016 - Inspired by tribal art, Heather Towns’ art is “a conversation between shapes and perspective”. Liane Arno meets an artist who admits her work is not for everyone.
November 5, 2016 - In 1970, a young Chilean woman arrived in Melbourne to begin a new life. Joan Woods tells the tale of a survivor.
November 5, 2016 – Swamp paperbark deserves to be Wonthaggi’s floral emblem, suggests Terri Allen.
November 5, 2016 - In 1835, pioneer Sam Anderson planted Victoria’s first orchard at Bass. His pear trees are still bearing fruit today, writes Libby Skidmore.
Beyond the call of duty
October 22, 2016 - Good luck to all our new councillors. You’re going to need it, along with the wisdom of Solomon and the hide of a rhinoceros.
The bigger picture
October 22, 2016 - A new art prize encourages artists to have a bit of fun in support of Kernot farmers.
Enjoy the view
October 22, 2016 - Tony Hughes celebrates the magic of glass.
October 8, 2016 - Ed Thexton salutes Inverloch's seachangers for their valiant attempts to impose the suburban dream on the wilds of Bass Coast. Cartoon by Natasha Williams-Novak
Let’s get real
October 8, 2016 - Robbie Viglietti surveys the tide of outrage at either end of the shire and calls for a dose of realism.
Coast towns meet the candidates
October 8, 2016 - Eighteen candidates were briefed on the Small Coastal Township Alliance’s innovative plan for a planning incentive to protect the character of townships.
Chamber of horrors
October 8, 2016 - Joan Woods asks whether indigenous MP Linda Burney will get a fair go in the brutal environment of the Federal Parliament.
Life without art is empty
“So here we are, ready for our third and final act,” writes Anne Tindall of her tree change. The result is Chaotica gallery, where the city meets the country.
All the news that’s fit to print
September 24, 2016 –The departing Mayor of Bass Coast challenges the local press to lift their standards.
Little shop revisited
Little Shop of Horrors was the Wonthaggi Theatrical Group’s first blockbuster. This time it’s being performed as it was written, with a small ensemble, and in the group’s new home.
Affairs of the heart
September 24, 2016 - When Mark Robertson read a recent Post article about new links between Wonthaggi Hospital and Frankston Hospital’s cardiac unit, he had no idea he’d be testing the new system a few days later.
Behind the lines
September 10, 2016 - Two recent editions of The Waterline News were published from Roger Clark’s hospital bed. He credits the magazine with keeping him sane in difficult times.
Slice of life
September 10, 2016 - An Inverloch pig called Charlie makes a cameo appearance in an acclaimed film examining the treatment of farm animals, writes Bron Dahlstrom
Across the great divide
September 10, 2016 - Director Josh Gardiner left us no place in hide in his outstanding production of The Diary of Anne Frank, writes Gill Heal
Making her mark
September 10, 2016 - A challenging career in social work helped Karen Sandon find her own path in art. Liane Arno follows the master printmaker’s journey.
For those left behind
September 10, 2016 - A local support group aims to provide a venue for people to begin the long, slow path to healing following the loss of someone as a result of suicide.
All for the best
August 27, 2016 - Plans to close Wonthaggi’s information centre shocked locals and prompted a most satisfactory outcome for the town, writes Liane Arno
The final cut
August 27, 2016 - Diana Edwards, Ursula Theinert and Adrian Johnson are vying for a $5000 first prize and a place in the permanent Bass Coast art collection.
War of words
August 27, 2016 - Local poets will do battle at the first Archie’s Creek Poetry Slam, reports Martha Ansara.
Out of the ashes
August 27, 2016 - A survey of the Tank Hill Conservation Reserve nine months after fire swept through it reveals some rich and unexpected botanical treasures, writes Catherine Watson
Whale tales and trails
August 13, 2016 - Bass Coast’s growing reputation for whale sightings is bringing hundreds of new visitors to the shire over winter, the traditional off-season.
A story for our times
August 13, 2016 - The director of the Wonthaggi Theatrical Group’s new production The Diary of Anne Frank finds disturbing parallels with today's cultural and political climate.
A touch of magic
August 13, 2016 - Liane Arno meets Leigh Rowles, a former ballerina, choreographer, actor and now abstract artist who revels in the beauty of life in its many guises.
Gippsland’s hall of fame
August 13, 2016 - Artist Annemieke Mein left a clue for the astute observer in her bronze of the early Gippsland explorer Angus McMillan, writes Geoff Ellis.
Short but sweet
August 13, 2016 - At a funeral for a young man whose life was cut short by drugs, Miriam Strickland is moved to reflect that she had something to learn from the way he lived his life.
How sweet it is
August 13, 2016 - Terri Allen sings the praises of sweet bursaria in the bush and in the garden.
Of sand and stone
July 30, 2016 - Massive hills of sand up to 30 metres high, the Woolamai dunes are in a constant state of change, writes Linda Cuttriss.
Firmness, commodity and delight
July 30, 2016 - Damn that Vitruvius, writes Tim Shannon, for issuing the famous edict that has beguiled and frustrated architects ever since.
The joys of cycling
July 30, 2016 - It’s a chilly 12 degrees and Gabrielle Mahony has just returned home exhilarated from an invigorating ride with the Phillip Island Bicycle Users Group.
The numbers game
July 16, 2016 - If we want better services, holiday home owners can help by bringing the family down on census night, suggests Peter Brown. Cartoon by Natasha
Down for the count
July 16, 2016 - When Lisa Schonberg found an injured falcon last week, she knew exactly who to call.
Slowly does it
July 16, 2016 - Liane Arno meets Mandy Gunn, who takes the slow boat to travel and the slow method to produce her fine and unexpected art.
July 16, 2016 – Sometimes there just aren’t enough hours in the day to fit in everything we want to do, writes Miriam Strickland.
120 Respite Drive
Self-confessed revhead Geoff Ellis envisages the driverless drive.
On with the show
July 2, 2016 - The shire’s fine film group has held talks with the mayor to ensure the local cinema can survive when current operator Keith Stevens steps down. Larry Hill reports.
Back of beyond
July 2, 2016 - With the quarter-acre block a threatened species, Terri Allen celebrates the big backyards of her childhood
July 2, 2016 - “I scarcely know a place I would rather call mine than this little island,” Lieutenant James Grant wrote in 1801. Visiting Churchill Island 215 years later, Linda Cuttriss echoes his thoughts.
Totally Renewable Yackandandah
July 2, 2016 - Residents of Yackandandah aim to power their town with 100 per cent renewable energy by 2022, reports Aileen Vening.
A sense of entitlement
June 18, 2016 - Not every man will inflict violence against women but every man is capable of doing something to prevent violence against women, writes Brian Paynter
June 18, 2016 - A cat run makes life easier on everyone, writes Pamela Jacka, not least her cats.
Solar gardens and other hot topics
June 18, 2016 – Forty-one like-minded and passionate locals recently met to pool their ideas on community energy, reports Sarah Van Stokrom
June 18, 2016 - Wonthaggi’s stormwater drains were a constant source of adventure for kids, writes Kit Sleeman
Cut and Fill
June 4, 2016 - The sight of a beach freshly eroded by a storm can shock, writes Linda Cuttriss, but the sand will return in the natural order of things. At least it has so far.
Artist of the people
At 13, Bob Hickman declared “When I grow up I’m going to be an artist!” Liane Arno meets a Gippsland artist who has never deviated far from his purpose.
Nice work if you can get it
June 4, 2016 - Geoff Ellis looks back fondly to the days when employment services actually found jobs for people.
One perfect morning
May 21, 2016 - Last Christmas brothers Luke and David Wilkinson converged from north and south to share a morning on the Southern Coast.
When will it rain?
May 21, 2016 – Like all farmers, Anne Davie likes to talk about the droughts she has experienced over the years and how each compares with others.
May 6, 2016 – “You disgust me …” began a recent email to a Bass Coast councillor. Catherine Watson wonders why our local representatives are considered fair game for bullying and abuse.
Just a cold?
May 6, 2016 - As winter approaches, we can enjoy our favourite warming and nourishing foods but we also need other ways to nurture ourselves, writes Miriam Strickland.
April 22, 2016 - Dick Wettenhall fears for The Gurdies’ unique forest and wildlife if a push for commercial tourism succeeds.
April 22, 2016 - Archies Creek has lost a legend with the death of ‘Old Joe’, writes Liane Arno.
April 9, 2016 - Early humans spent their lives hunting and gathering. We spend our lives trying to choose wisely, writes an exhausted Geoff Ellis. Cartoon by Natasha Williams-Novak
April 9, 2016 - A tip shop would have employment, environmental and social payoffs, writes Maddy Harford.
The joy of the hunt
April 2, 2016 – Foraging for mushrooms was one of the great autumn pleasures for a young Kit Sleeman, and a profitable pursuit.
March 26, 2016 - Beware the beastly easterlies, writes Linda Cuttriss, and remember they will pass.
Cry freedom for other people’s grandchildren
March 26, 2016 - A cavalcade of grandmothers dressed in purple descended on Parliament last week to give the country’s leaders a piece of their mind. Anne Davie reports from the front line.
Beginnings and endings
March 12, 2016 – The instructions were firm: no funeral and no death notice. But Bernadette Miles was mistaken in thinking she could slip away unnoticed, writes Catherine Watson.
Order out of chaos
March 12, 2016 - Good plans make the complex simple, writes Tim Shannon in the seventh of his meditations on architecture.
Home and hosed
March 5, 2016 - After 10 years of talk and planning, The Cape estate is starting to take shape. Developer Brendan Condon sells Geoff Ellis on the benefits of eco-houses.
All aboard, please
March 5, 2016 - Steven Haby delves into the history of Bass Coast’s bus fleet of 1976, when dozens of small bus operators provided a vital transport link.
February 27, 2016 - Wonthaggi isn’t just a fast food stop on the way to the penguins or Inverloch, writes Mark Robertson, but a place of hidden delights.
February 27, 2016 - Next month marks 100 years since mining started at the eastern area mine, and the Friends of the State Coal Mine are planning to celebrate, reports Sheila Ormerod. Poem ‘Underground’ by Terri Allen.
February 20, 2016 - Two seachangers have no idea what they’re getting themselves into when they buy an old pub in Archies Creek. The first part of a true series by Liane Arno.
February 20, 2016 - Long before celebrated botanical artist Celia Rosser started on her famous banksia series, she illustrated coastal saltmarsh plants for a university botany class.
Man versus nature
Februrary 13, 2016 - Geoff Ellis’s tree change has thrown up surprising challenges, some of them with eight legs.
A friend for life
February 13, 2016 – Like good friends, good rooms humour and delight us, writes Tim Shannon in the sixth part of his series on architecture.
February 6, 2016 - A proposed “great hall” in Cowes might just be the start of visionary architecture to match the island’s grand landscape, writes Robert J Viglietti ... but only if we open our minds.