Meander Valley Gazette

Your Independent Community Newspaper


Bonza brekkies & fair dinkum fun

FeatureJoanne Eisemann

February 2019

WHEN IT comes to Australia Day Breakfasts, Chudleigh certainly brings home the bacon.

With visitors from Melbourne and locals from as far away as Longford, the stalwart volunteers were kept on their toes ferrying huge amounts of tucker for the seemingly endless line of eager and hungry visitors.

At Westbury the old hands set to with a will, up to their elbows in bangers and mushroom.

The previous evening in Prospect Vale saw a few hiccups for Council’s Australia Day Award Ceremonies.

At one stage it seemed unlikely that the event would go ahead when the Highlands fire emergency caused a blackout to Prospect Vale and surrounding suburbs.

Then Councillor Tanya King very bravely sang the national anthem (with some help from the Meander Men) when the scheduled performer didn’t turn up.

Things went smoothly from then on with many wonderful Meander Valleyites being recognised for their extraordinary service to community.

Woody Sampson and daughter Faith recent arrivals from Melbourne enjoy brekky at Chudleigh   Photo | Mike Moores

Woody Sampson and daughter Faith recent arrivals from Melbourne enjoy brekky at Chudleigh

Photo | Mike Moores

From L-R: Sue Poulton, Alison Lee and Dinah Fitzgerald feed the hungry hoards at Westbury.   Photo | Mike Moores

From L-R: Sue Poulton, Alison Lee and Dinah Fitzgerald feed the hungry hoards at Westbury.

Photo | Mike Moores

A tissue a tissue we all fall down

EventsJoanne Eisemann

February 2019

The good folk of Chudleigh organised another circus skills workshop for thirty lucky Meander Valley young ones during the school holidays. Pictured here are L-R Cayden Kester, Shenoah Hume and Samuel Marshman, all 8yrs, practising with kangaroo stilts while ably assisted by Kim Hume.

Chudleigh circus workshop.jpg

Cash & hay on its way

RuralJoanne Eisemann
Hay is loaded on to Paul’s truck at Tony Wadley’s farm, Deloraine

Hay is loaded on to Paul’s truck at Tony Wadley’s farm, Deloraine


RECENTLY, A local Chudleigh resident, Paul, who is on the Chudleigh Show Committee, o„ffered to donate all his bales of hay to the Drought Relief project in NSW.

The hay was loaded onto Paul’s truck on Sunday 26th August. To fill the truck Tony Wadley of the Rotary Club of Deloraine also donated round bales.

Rotary Australia World Community Service (RAWCS) had established a Drought Relief Fund, which is distributing hay, grain and cash to farmers in northern NSW.

Contact was made with the Project Manager of the Northern NSW fund, Reg Pierce who is also the President of the Wauchope Rotary Club and has organized for the hay to go to a farmer whose property is located 80km south of Lightning Ridge.

The Chudleigh Community has contributed $1000, the Mole Creek Hotel Patrons $1000 and the Rotary Club of Deloraine $2500 to this Drought Relief Fund.

This money will be added to the $400,000 that the fund has raised so far and will be distributed to needy farmers either in cash or supplies

Photo | Mike Moores

Come join the circus

EventsJoanne EisemannComment

MARCH 2018 | Hayley Manning

CHUDLEIGH’S three-day circus school was attended by 40 eager kids, the maximum number possible. Children spent the days laughing, playing, learning and spending some quality time away from their phones and devices.

Circus Art hosts, Anna and David, shared 20 years of circus experience with their captivated pupils, who gained self-confidence and became aware of their own capabilities, while having fun learning to juggle, master the diablo, acro-balance and more.

Proud parent Kerry McKenna, said her children Daisy (9) and Ruby (8), enjoyed getting outside and learning active skills in a workshop that “creates a childhood for children.”

“They could showcase their ‘amazing physical skills’ later in life when travelling or attending festivals,” she said.

SuperSillyUs Coordinator, Pip Stanley, supported the Chudleigh event and said she was very excited about renewed community interest in learning the art of circus performance.

“Our troupe of volunteers have played at schools and numerous community and charity events across Northern Tasmania during our 14 years together. It would be fantastic to form a new group under the existing banner, or create a new one altogether,” she said.

Please contact Belinda at Deloraine House on Mondays and Tuesdays, or Pip if you are interested in joining or creating a circus troupe.

Photo | Mike Moores

Come join the circus

Events, NewsJoanne EisemannComment

January 2018 | Heather Summers

LOOKING FOR a fun activity for the kids these school holidays? Circus School is coming to town in Chudleigh this summer.

A three day workshop will be conducted at the Chudleigh Memorial Hall, from 31st January to the 1st and 2nd of February, 10.00am to 3.00pm.

It is open to children between six and twelve years old, and will involve learning a range of circus skills; from Trapeze, Stilts and Juggling to Acro-balance, Unicycling and Poi.

Most importantly, it will involve a heap of fun, skills and friendship building!

A fee of ten dollars per child will cover all three days, and these funds will provide refreshment and lunch during the workshop training.

On the final workshop day, at 6.00pm, a Community Family Circus Show and BBQ will be held to showcase the new skills the children attending have learned. It will be a community celebration, and all are welcome.

Bendigo Community Bank and the Meander Valley Council have generously funded this project. It is a community-driven and supported project of the Chudleigh Agricultural, Horticultural Society, the Chudleigh Memorial Hall Committee and the Village of Roses Committee.

To help confirm booking numbers, fees are required upon registration.

Email for more information or to request a registration form.

Following in the footsteps of dinosaurs

NewsJoanne EisemannComment

SEPTEMBER 2017 | Emma Hodgkinson

PALAEONTOLOGY enthusiasts Louise Middleton and her partner Nigel devoted years of their lives in Western Australia, fighting to protect ancient tread marks that were imprinted amongst the coastal sandstone more than 130 million years ago.

Now residing in Chudleigh, the couple’s effort has been recognised throughout the palaeontology community. Both Louise and Nigel have dinosaurs named after them, having played a vital role in discovering, documenting, and protecting the pre-historic tracks.

The Aboriginals residing in WA’s Kimberley region knew that there were three toed tracks throughout the coast of James Price Point. Traditionally, they believe the tracks were made by their ancestor as part of a song cycle. To scientists they are known as theropod tracks, Louise however, saw more than one type of print as she noticed giant pancake-shaped hollows along the beach and knew that there were other tracks fossilised in the sandstone. Working in close consultation with the Goolarabooloo people, she contacted the WA Museum, later receiving verification that she had found the only sauropod tracks recorded in Australia.

Years after Louise’s discovery, Woodside Petroleum announced their proposition to build one of the world’s largest LNG plants at James Price Point, causing a community uproar and the beginning of the James Price Point Campaign. Louise and Nigel played a vital role within the campaign by documenting the footprints for over two years as an effort to gain National Heritage listing. They had the proof they needed but feared that it wasn’t enough, until they met Dr Steve Salisbury.

Having taught University of Queensland’s Biological Science, Dr Salisbury also believed that the tracks should be researched before anything happened.

Louise and Nigel invited Dr Salisbury to see the footprints for himself, managing to convince the Heritage Council to grant the site as National Heritage. Woodside was forced to withdraw their proposal, leaving the beach untouched. “With the collaboration of science and indigenous community, we were able to continue research.”

After the campaign’s victory, Dr Salisbury invited his biology students from UQ to further study the fossils.

“That was my dream”, said Louise, “the land gets protected and the science continues. Having a name was just a fringe benefit.”

To date, 26 different types of prints have been discovered along James Price Point.

Two of these dinosaurs have been named after Louise and Nigel; Wintonopus middletonae and Yangtzepus clarkei. The other dinosaurs have been named through native culture and language.

Photo | Mike Moores

Chudleigh chompers

Events, NewsJoanne EisemannComment
Jordan and Jesse Oliver at Chudleigh

Jordan and Jesse Oliver at Chudleigh


Chudleigh was the place to be for brekky on Australia Day. 400+ people attended and were treated to champagne or orange juice when they arrived, followed by a huge assortment of breakfast delights. Brothers Jordan (11) and Jesse (9) Oliver of Chudleigh enjoy a sausage at the Chudleigh Australia Day Breakfast.

Photo | Mike Moores

Governor flooded with interest

NewsJoanne EisemannComment


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Attracting a throng of media interest, Her Excellency Kate Warner AM, Governor of Tasmania recently visited Chudleigh Hall to speak with those affected by the floods.  Around 70 people attended to share their tales.  The Governor also made a visit to Westbury and several north-west towns.

[udesign_icon_font name="fa fa-camera" color="#000000"] Mike Moores

Chudleigh's sacred grounds

Events, NewsJoanne EisemannComment

John Hawkins of Chudleigh in the Church of England Graveyard

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SEPTEMBER 2016 | Chere Kenyon

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CHUDLEIGH IS only a small village in the Meander Valley in comparison with others, but it has a rich history and the distinction of having not one or two, but three graveyards.

The first churchyard, located on a hill south of Chudleigh, was the original Church of Scotland grounds.

It is privately owned by John Hawkins, owner of ‘Bentley’ homestead.

It had been completely overgrown and covered in gorse, but John has now cleared it and his wife has planted an arboretum of native Tasmanian trees below the burial grounds.

They have now re-opened the graveyard to Chudleigh residents.

John continues to maintain the graveyard at his own expense and it’s quite a task for an individual to keep a cemetery looking beautiful.

The earliest grave appears to be a man called Wiggin (Wiggin Hill is located above Wesley Dale) who was born before 1788 and died around 1860.

The ‘bottom’ graveyard (heading towards Mole Creek) has always been a sacred place.

John said, “The churchyard at the bottom was a sacred place for Aboriginals and it covered the crossing point of what later became the Lobster Rivulet and is on slightly elevated ground.”

“From there the Aboriginals could survey their fire farm landscape up the valley.” It was called the Aboriginal Native Hut Corner camping grounds and the Pallittorre controlled access to the Ochre mines of Alum Cliffs from this location.

The Europeans later introduced sheep, and as they were an easier source of food for Aboriginals, the situation became ripe for trouble and eventually the Pallittorre were massacred.

John Hawkins went on to add, “We took over their sacred place, as and when they were basically removed from our environment, and turned it into our sacred place, the Church of England graveyard.

So, in a way, it is a particularly historic place for two communities; the Aboriginal community and the white settlement community of 1826.”

“This is where the Aboriginals had their camp, under this magnificent banksia which is the largest and most important banksia probably anywhere in this world. It is possibly a thousand years old.” Unfortunately you can’t accurately date a banksia tree because it doesn’t have rings.

The third graveyard consists of Catholic graves which are located beyond the Church of England graveyard boundary.

You can read more on the area by Googling ‘The history of Chudleigh Valley John Hawkins’ and downloading the Blue Gum Newsletter.

[udesign_icon_font name="fa fa-camera" color="#000000"] Mike Moores

Up for the chop at Chudleigh

Events, NewsJoanne EisemannComment

250 ml standing block chudleigh show 2016

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MARCH 2016

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AT THE Chudleigh Show, cattle steamed, horses sweltered and axemen sweated. It was a glorious day in a picture book setting for the 127th show. Our rural youth were well represented in all aspects and classes during this historic festival of country life, and visitors from across the world were treated to the running of the Chudleigh Cup.

[udesign_icon_font name="fa fa-camera" color="#000000"] Mike Moores

Small hall, Big impact

Events, NewsJoanne EisemannComment

East Pointers (Canada) Play Festival of Small Halls Chudleigh 2016

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February 2016

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DESPITE THE thick blanket of smoke that covered the valley, Chudleigh Hall was filled to capacity for the ‘Festival of Small Halls’ performance.

Dancing and toe tapping were the order of the evening.

Organisers commented that the Meander Men were one of the best support acts they had seen around the country.

Jane Lamont from the Chudleigh Hall Committee commented in a letter thanking council for their participation in organising the event.

“Our little community being under siege for nearly a week and inundated and virtually ‘taken over’ by strangers was dispirited, anxious, dog tired and in no mood for this event. It appeared to be just another thing we didn’t need right at that moment.”

Jane went on to add, “What eventuated was that it was EXACTLY what we DID need!

“The hall looked amazing and we burst with pride. It sounded amazing and we congratulated each other.

“The crowds were tremendous and we patted each other on the back.

“The concert was a HUGE success and we felt our spirits lift and our morale soar as we stomped, clapped, yahoo’d and danced with each other.”


[udesign_icon_font name="fa fa-camera" color="#000000"] Mike Moores

New arts, crafts, food shop for Chudleigh

Arts, NewsJoanne EisemannComment
Cindy Watkins, award winner at last years Craft Fair

Cindy Watkins, award winner at last years Craft Fair

February 2016 | Sara Fawcett

ART FOOD Tasmania will be opening soon at 45 Sorell Street in Chudleigh and will specialise in Tasmanian art, craft and food - all of which are sourced locally.

Hence, its range of foods include Sweet-As-Homemade Rock Candy, I Love Chocolate and Chocolate Coated Almonds by The Tasmanian Honey Company, as well as Herbs Deloraine’s jams and chutneys and Spreyton Fresh’s vinegar.

The shop will display art and crafts like Michael Thomson’s wooden chopping boards and trugs, Steve Blakeney’s wooden bud vases and timber pen and paper holders, Bruce Bain’s framed and matted photos of Tasmania, hand-made and dyed unique garments by Deb from Slow Sewn, and a huge range of gift cards by various Tasmanian artists.

The selection of products will be ever changing and owners, Cindy Watkins and Chris Riley, will even be serving locally roasted Gioconda Coffee.

Its changing exhibited art and craft will also include Chris and Cindy’s own creations.

“Chris makes spin cast pewter jewellery on site. And there is a viewing window into the workshop,” Cindy said.

Despite the fact that their soon-to-be opened shop has come about largely as a result of Chris needing the space to make the jewellery, he has only been doing it for a little over eighteen months.

Cindy, on the other hand, is a Textile Artist, who had originally painted as her mother’s many years of experience as a quilter did not interest her in any way.

Then she discovered the art quilt movement and got excited about the possibilities of stepping into a new area of art.

Art quilting, or more officially Quilt Art, for those who are not familiar with it, actually moves beyond traditional quilting as it creates artistic images rather than patterns. Hence, quilt artists often use techniques such as painting, printing, stamping, thread painting, free motion quilting and appliqué.

Cindy has had enormous success with her textiles over the past eight years. She has won numerous competitions with her art quilts locally, nationally and internationally. Many of her quilts have also been sold nationally and internationally.

“I love working with textiles as the work is not only a visual medium. It is a tactile one as well,” Cindy shared.

Moreover, she enjoys teaching her techniques and giving classes at Elemental Artspace in Deloraine, where some of her textile artworks are for sale, and where Chris has been making some of his pewter jewellery and figurines.

Cindy loves traveling to groups to teach as well. “Last year I taught on a cruise ship from Fremantle to Singapore. And in May I am teaching on Flinders Island,” she added.

Chris and Cindy have been hard at work for over two years renovating and prepping Art Food Tasmania for its opening.

Chris’s pewter jewellery and figurines can also be purchased online at www.etsy. com/shop/deeppeacestudio.

Photo | Mike Moores

Fire devastates wilderness around Lake Mackenzie

RuralJoanne EisemannComment

Stefan Kadareanu and James Darbyshire both of Hornsby Brigade NSW

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February 2016

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WHILE THE recent downpour received in Meander Valley was welcomed after an extended dry period, the ongoing threat of fire to communities close to the Western Tiers has not yet subsided.

Having burnt an estimated 25,266 hectares at the time this paper went to print, the damage to world heritage areas is substantial and in some cases irreparable while many communities remain on a ‘watch and act’ alert.

The fire was first reported in the early afternoon of 19th January.

Residents from Bracknell, Liffey, Jackey’s Marsh, Golden Valley, Meander, Dairy Plains, Caveside, Western Creek, Chudleigh, Mole Creek and Liena were given a ‘Watch and Act’ warning. For some, this was later upgraded to an emergency warning and many residents found alternative accommodation for themselves and their animals that night.

Meander Valley Council quickly responded by establishing an Emergency Evacuation Centre at the Deloraine Community Complex to provide information, registration and service support to affected residents.

The Evac Centre operated in partnership with Emergency Services, Red Cross and the Tasmania Health Service.

With more than 80 fires burning around the state Tas Fire Service resources were stretched to the limit.

Volunteer fire fighters from near and afar continue to put in many long hours to keep people and properties safe.

Smoke from the fires covered much of the north of Tasmania for almost a week, sending people wih breathing conditions scurrying indoors and bringing an eerie feeling of impending doom to the Meander Valley area.

Much of the fire was burning in areas difficult to access. Remote area teams and other crews from the mainland were brought in to assist.

Caveside resident and president of Friends of Great Western Tiers, Kooparoona Niara (aboriginal name of the Tiers), Deborah Hunter says that some of the areas that are burning will not regenerate after the fire, particularly those growing on peat soils.

“Peat soils consist entirely of accumulated organic matter.

They can take thousands of years to form and were not routinely burnt by the first Tasmanians, otherwise they would not be there,” comments Deborah and adds “Factors that coincided to cause these large fires include a record dry spring and early summer conditions followed by high frequency of forked lightning attack.

Deborah says our local water systems may be affected as a result of the fire.

“Extensive areas of peat exist on the Central Plateau, acting like a sponge, release water gradually to our streams and hydro storages. This is known as an ecosystem service. Should substantial areas of peat be burnt, the hydrology will be adversely effected.”

She also sees an impact on tourism not just locally but statewide.

“Ecosystems that are important to tourism branding will have been lost and the tourism asset degraded, making Tasmania less attractive.”

With these implications in mind, Deborah would like to see a more coordinated strategy in the approach to fires in wilderness areas saying “Experts from the various emergency services and Tasmanian fire ecology experts should meet to develop preventative, emergency response and remedial strategies that take into account the predicted increasing frequency and severity of extreme climatic events.”


[udesign_icon_font name="fa fa-camera" color="#000000"] Mike Moores

Vintage fun at Chudleigh Show

Events, NewsJoanne EisemannComment

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February 2016

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CHUDLEIGH SHOW-goers have been treated to displays of vintage agricultural machinery and tractors for many years.

Recently, the range has been extended to include vintage cars and motorcycles as well, thanks to displays organised by the Veterans Car Club, the Vintage Motorcycle Club, and Ulysses Motorcycle Clubs.

Joe Clippingdale, member of the Show Committee, says, “This complements the Show’s focus on fun, family and community.”

Other patron-pleasers are the children’s Pet Parade, a Kids’ Corner with wind tunnel and jumping castle, and the Deloraine Big Band playing rousing music throughout the day.

Ron Morgan and Geoff Harvey will also showcase their horsemanship skills.

Since vintage motorcycles and cars were first introduced to the Show, as many as 30 vehicles from the early 1920’s onwards, have been on display for patrons’ enjoyment. The popularity of these vehicles has ensured that the event is now an annual fixture.

“Probably the oldest car there this year will be my 1917 Overland, with a few pre-1930 vintage cars, and a selection of classics,” said Joe.

Don’t miss Chudleigh Agricultural and Horticultural Society’s Show on 20th February 2016.