Meander Valley Gazette

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Alpacas with Maracas and kids!

FeatureJoanne Eisemann
Mole creek Primary School was visited by llamas to help celebrate National Simultaneous Storytime.  Photo supplied

Mole creek Primary School was visited by llamas to help celebrate National Simultaneous Storytime.

Photo supplied

By Jessica Marston, teacher librarian at Hagley Farm School

ON 22 May students from across the Meander Valley joined over 1 million children in Australia and New Zealand for National Simultaneous Storytime (NSS), all sharing the same book, Alpacas with Maracas by Matt Cosgrove.

This was the 19th year of the NSS, which is an event aimed at promoting the value of reading and literacy, the fun of books, and an Australian author and publisher.

Hagley Farm School took advantage of their own reallife alpacas with children from Kinder to Grade 6 enjoying a live-feed from the alpaca paddock.

Visitors’ Centre staff member Mr Tyson introduced the story with help from Maggie, Snowy, Noelle and Blinky Bill. This video can still been seen on the Hagley Visitor Centre Facebook page.

The children then watched the Story Box Library version of the story read by the author Matt Cosgrove and ABC TV identity Jimmy Rees (Jimmy Giggle).

At Bracknell Primary School, Mr Eeles read the story and Mrs Strickland provided the sound effects, while children were able to see the story unfold on the interactive whiteboard.

Mole Creek Primary School had visiting llamas for the day and made lots of alpaca themed crafts. They made their own maracas and even learnt and performed a song about alpacas with maracas!

Deloraine Primary School students were joined by Early Learners from the Toddle Inn Childcare Centre. Mr Samphier filmed Mrs Groenewold reading the story, adding lots of sound effects as well. As children watched this film in their classrooms they felt as if Mrs Groenewold was actually in the story.

Westbury Primary School Prep/1 and 1/2 classes walked to Westbury Library to take part in their NSS event. Anne-Marie Loader from the Deloraine Library kept them engaged with a lively reading of the book. Afterwards they shared library books together and made an alpaca collage.

Giant Steps students from Prep to Grade 12 watched the key-sign video and read along with the story. As well as following up with some craft activities, the children learned the key-signs for alpacas and maracas with some help from their speech pathologists.

At Our Lady of Mercy, Kinder to Grade 2 students followed up the story by making their own maracas using rice, disposable spoons and masking tape. The students then had fun playing songs with their maracas.

For those who didn’t get a chance to join in with the fun of this year’s NSS event, Westbury Show are planning to feature an alpaca display in November this year, which will likely include another

reading of this very engaging

book.

Piping hot and fresh from the garden

Community, FeatureJoanne Eisemann
From left, Tanya King, David Hudson and Howard Hor sampling soup at the community garden.  Photo by Mike Moores

From left, Tanya King, David Hudson and Howard Hor sampling soup at the community garden.

Photo by Mike Moores

By Hayley Manning

THE DELORAINE Community Garden has been transformed into a flourishing communal space that would have celebrity garden gurus jumping up and down in their gumboots.

And now in their own ‘War on Waste’ the garden volunteers are using excess produce to make soup. This happens every Wednesday and you are more than welcome to join them.

When the Gazette visited, volunteers clutched warming mugs of hot pumpkin soup and engaged in conversation, which as Guidance Project Officer, Tanya King, noted ‘is really what it’s all about’.

Tanya has been coordinating the garden since March 2017, and provides the daily activities on a work board.

She also supervises the Giant Steps students who have been lending a hand for a few hours every Wednesday since February.

‘They just love it. They pick and weed,’ she said.

‘The students also taste the soup first, then go off around the garden to try to find the ingredients they think have been used to make it.’

Volunteer David Hudson said they follow the ‘Plot to Plate’ principle of growing produce, picking it and cooking it.

He said it would be great to get more volunteers and community involved in the garden to share ideas, tips, and different gardening styles.

‘Everyone has gardening knowledge – pruning, weeding, composting.’

David said future plans for the garden may involve advanced cooking demonstrations.

If you are interested in becoming a garden volunteer please contact Tanya King at communitygarden@delorainehouse.com.au.

Scaling the heights with Rotary

Community, Events, FeatureJoanne Eisemann
John Zeckendorf, the first Tasmanian to reach the summit of Mount Everest.  Photo supplied

John Zeckendorf, the first Tasmanian to reach the summit of Mount Everest.

Photo supplied

By Hayley Manning

OPPORTUNITY USUALLY knocks once, so it’s time to get off the couch, shake out the winter chills and spend a special evening with the first Tasmanian to reach the summit of Mount Everest.

Entrepreneur, philanthropist, and adventurer, John Zeckendorf will give an informative and entertaining insight into Sherpas and what it takes to climb Mt Everest, the last mountain he completed on the Seven Summits list – the highest mountains in each of the seven continents.

But John says the evening is not just about listening to him. The real emphasis is on audience engagement and asking him questions that highlight the ‘human side’ of climbing that people don’t usually hear about.

Deloraine Rotary Club’s Lois Beckwith and the team are pulling out all the stops to transform the Rotary Function Centre. Lois said there will be long tables for clubs and organisations, group bookings, plus individuals … all are welcome.

Bar facilities will be available and a Nepali craft trade table. Supper will be provided at food stations featuring an assorted variety of chef-cooked, light curries. Side options will be provided for those who like to spice things up a bit.

All proceeds from the evening will help Rotary build a Youth Training Centre in Kathmandu to educate and empower disadvantaged youth, particularly vulnerable young girls. The young children are told: ‘If you don’t get a miracle; become one.’

John is an altruistic man and has long-held the belief that people should use their gifts and talents to help others where possible. He has auctioned carabiners (climbing clips), rocks, and bits and pieces from his Mt Everest tour to raise funds for Pathways Tasmania, an organisation that helps homeless youth battle addictions.

At a Tasmanian fund-raiser in 2017, $5000 was bid for a board mounted with a Mercury article and a rock, carabiner, and undies from John’s Everest trip.

Local MP Guy Barnett, who gave John three Tasmanian flags and advised him to ‘make sure you climb this thing’, has been invited to bring a surprise item for the Dutch auction, as have several other MPs.

Everyone is encouraged to bring an item for the auction to help make what promises to be a night with a difference.

Please contact Lois Beckwith for your donations of auction items.

For more information and bookings, contact Lois on 03 6369 5393.

Tickets: $25 per person
Rotary Function Centre,
Alveston Drive, Deloraine
7pm, 27 July 2019

Small steps, giant results

Community, FeatureJoanne Eisemann
Michael Nicholson and Terri Walker of Giant Steps, working with the communication app Proloquo2Go.  Photo by Mike Moores

Michael Nicholson and Terri Walker of Giant Steps, working with the communication app Proloquo2Go.

Photo by Mike Moores

GIANT STEPS in Deloraine recently received a $5000 grant from Aurora Energy as part of its Community Grants Program. This has enabled the school to purchase brand new iPads and specialised apps to assist students who have difficulties with communication.

The Proloquo2Go and LAMP apps are used at Giant Steps to give non-verbal students (who cannot talk) and minimally verbal students the voice they need to communicate. Children point to the symbols or words on the apps and the iPad then ‘says’ the word that they have pointed to.

Using these apps, the students can put sentences together to express their ideas and wants.

These apps have also been shown to support the ability of the student to understand what is said to them.

Terri Walker is one of two speech pathologists at Giant Steps who are using iPads and apps for what is known as Alternative Augmentative Communication (AAC).

Developed overseas, these apps can have a vocabulary modified for Australian students.

Words and images can be restricted or ‘masked’ for younger students or those who are just beginning to communicate and can be expanded or ‘unmasked’ as students progress.

There is a large range of communication skills across the students at Giant Steps The iPads and different apps that are available assist the teaching staff to extend these skills.

‘For a student to be able to ask to go outside and play, to say they are hungry or even to say ‘hello’ to people is empowering and they are more able to develop relationships with others if they can communicate,’ said Giant Steps Principal Tim Chugg.

Students on the autism spectrum, even when very talkative, still respond better to visual cues rather than aural. They often perform better in the classroom, learning more quickly if they communicate and receive input visually as well as verbally.

Autism often causes a ‘motor planning problem’ – a child knows what they want to do or say, but has difficulty getting their body to respond. The use of the communication technology (AAC systems) does not stop students from ever talking.

Research has shown that the opposite occurs and it will help develop talking skills in many non-verbal students.

Giving students a voice means they are able to express themselves through words rather than behaviour.

Students who move to mainstream schools may continue to need visual cues to help them study and navigate a confusing environment.

World Autism Awareness Day is held on 2nd April every year. Software can be bought for half price to assist families to provide their children with the tools to communicate with the wider world.

Thinking big for Agfest

Events, Rural, FeatureJoanne Eisemann
Perched on a Goldacres chemical sprayer, Tytan Wolfe, 3, of Tullah.  Photo by Mike Moores

Perched on a Goldacres chemical sprayer, Tytan Wolfe, 3, of Tullah.

Photo by Mike Moores

Longhorn cattle were an impressive sight.  Photo by Mike Moores

Longhorn cattle were an impressive sight.

Photo by Mike Moores

By David Claridge

QUERCUS RURAL Youth Park in Carrick will benefit from a grant announced by Senator Steve Martin in March. They will gain around $96,000 to have an accommodation block built.

Rural Youth State President, Dale Hayers, is grateful for the grant, explaining that it will help to better utilise the site throughout the year, Agfest being the busiest time of the year for the site.

‘The 24-person accommodation unit will go next to the existing function centre at the Quercus Park site,’ he said.

‘It’s to help utilise the site better through the remainder of the year, away from Agfest, encouraging school groups and others to come out and use the facilities.

‘We have a number of other community groups who consistently use the site away from Agfest, they expressed an interest in this happening.’

The funding is due to be available next financial year, with the building to built away from site and delivered by January 2020 and ready for use a couple of months after that.

Blooming marvellous!

Community, FeatureJoanne Eisemann
From left, Wendy and Roger Travis along with Helen Clarke, President of Westbury Garden Club, planting bulbs outside the White House in King Street, opposite the Village Green, Westbury.  Photo by Mike Moores

From left, Wendy and Roger Travis along with Helen Clarke, President of Westbury Garden Club, planting bulbs outside the White House in King Street, opposite the Village Green, Westbury.

Photo by Mike Moores

THE WESTBURY Garden Club has coordinated the planting of over 3,000 bulbs in May, at the eastern entrance to the town and beneath more than 200 street trees.

The Garden Club contributed $1000 for the purchase of bulbs, in addition to the many that were donated by the community.

A $3000 grant from Meander Valley Council and the involvement of the Council’s Works Department allowed the project to be expanded, complementing Council’s street tree plantings.

With donations and help from throughout the Westbury community, the bulbs will create an annual display that can only enhance Westbury’s considerable street appeal.

A tall ship to Antarctica

Feature, People and PlacesJoanne Eisemann
Chris Grose of Blackstone Heights recently returned from a voyage to Antarctica on the three-masted  Bark Europa . Chris is sharing his story and photos with the Gazette this month. Drop in to see the full exhibition at Pixels Gallery at the Deloraine Online Centre. The gallery will be showcasing Chris’s photos for the months of June and July.

Chris Grose of Blackstone Heights recently returned from a voyage to Antarctica on the three-masted Bark Europa. Chris is sharing his story and photos with the Gazette this month. Drop in to see the full exhibition at Pixels Gallery at the Deloraine Online Centre. The gallery will be showcasing Chris’s photos for the months of June and July.

Story and photos by Chris Grose

SAILING TO ANTARCTICA aboard a 40m three-masted steel sailing bark may not be everyone’s holiday of choice but for me it was the only way to go. And so I found myself at the helm of Bark Europa as we ploughed through 5m seas and a 50 knot gale heading across the Drake Passage, the notoriously rough stretch of water where the Pacific meets the Atlantic ocean at the tip of South America.

For the first 24 hours of the crossing most of the voyage crew had succumbed to seasickness and rarely moved from our bunks. ‘Sounds like world war three down here,’ I overheard one experienced crew member say, amidst the moaning and groaning, as I lay hunched over my little yellow bucket.

As we found our sea legs, more and more of us could be found on deck, taking the helm or standing watch as the ship rolled beneath us and the wind howled through the rigging. Meal times became a social occasion rather than something to be endured. After four days of sailing we reached the South Shetland Islands and made our first landfall at Yankee Harbour and were greeted by the soon-to-be familiar aroma of penguin guano.

Going ashore in the zodiacs we were left to wander the pebbly beaches, observing hundreds of gentoo penguins, skuas, fur seals and occasional elephant seals, none of whom appeared in the least perturbed to see us.

Over the following two weeks we had numerous shore landings and zodiac cruises amongst the icebergs. At Walkers Bay on Livingstone Island we climbed an old glacial moraine and looked down upon a tremendous glacier descending from the island’s heart until it reached the sea where it ended in great ice cliffs. Even from our airy lookout we could hear the thunder as great lumps of ice calved off and plunged into the sea.

At Deception Island we visited the remains of an old whaling station and marvelled at steam rising from the beaches where sea water was being heated by thermal activity – the island is itself a dormant volcano!

At every landing site there were gentoo, chinstrap or adelie penguins to greet us. We saw more elephant, weddell and leopard seals. Rising early one morning I climbed the rigging of the main mast and looked out at dramatic mountains and glaciers and a sea that reflected the sapphire blue sky overhead.

Everywhere I turned, both near and far, there were spouts from humpback whales – several passed within 50m of Europa. Most memorable of all were the deep blue shadows hidden inside the many icebergs that we passed.

All too soon it was time to head back across the Drake – but this time few succumbed to sea sickness. As we passed by a distant Cape Horn, thoughts turned to home and those that we had left behind. How could we best explain what dramatic landscapes and marvellous wildlife we had experienced?

I knew the question everyone would ask. ‘What was it like?’ could not be answered with mere words.

My lasting impression of Antarctica is one of just how fragile it is and how important it is that we all look after and protect it in every way we can.

Europa  appears dwarfed by the landscape as the voyage crew take ahike at Orne Harbor to visit a chinstrap penguin colony.

Europa appears dwarfed by the landscape as the voyage crew take ahike at Orne Harbor to visit a chinstrap penguin colony.

Sunrise in the Gerlache Strait. I rose early on this particular morning and watched numerous humpback whales feeding around the ship.

Sunrise in the Gerlache Strait. I rose early on this particular morning and watched numerous humpback whales feeding around the ship.

A Gentoo penguin, one of three types of penguin that we saw during the trip, appears to fly above the water.

A Gentoo penguin, one of three types of penguin that we saw during the trip, appears to fly above the water.

Approaching the Lemaire Channel, also known as ‘Kodak Gap’ due to the spectacular mountain and glacier scenery.

Approaching the Lemaire Channel, also known as ‘Kodak Gap’ due to the spectacular mountain and glacier scenery.

Swinging dancers, not so square

Events, FeatureJoanne Eisemann
The Community Complex was a sea of movement and colour as over 600 square dancers took to the dance floor to strut their stuff.  Photo by Mike Moores

The Community Complex was a sea of movement and colour as over 600 square dancers took to the dance floor to strut their stuff.

Photo by Mike Moores

By Wendy Laing

DELORAINE AND the Valley welcomed the 60th National Square Dancing Convention this month.

Six hundred and thirty-five registered square dancers, ranging in age from 12 years to over 80 years, came from all over Australia for the event, which was held across two venues, the Community Complex and the Bowls Club, from 24–28th April.

‘The Deloraine Community Complex is amazing,’ Coordinator and Caller, Di Ashton from the Launceston Square Dance Club said. ‘We had a great rapport with the Meander Valley Council to help stage the event in Deloraine.’

Square dancing clubs began in Tasmania in 1952 and then went on to join the National body 60 years ago. Usually conducted in capital cities, this was the first time a National Convention had been held in a regional town anywhere in Australia.

Not only were the established square dancers having a wonderful time, but on the Sunday afternoon a public session was held, and anybody interested in learning how to square dance was invited to come along and join in.

During the Convention, the Australian National Association also held well-attended workshops on all aspects of square dancing.

‘The square dances at this Convention are called the mainstream level,’ Di Ashton said. ‘There are 64 moves you need to know by heart. Consistency is the keyword and once learned, you can dance anywhere in the world.’

Weekly classes in modern square dancing have begun in Deloraine and are held on Friday nights from 7.30pm to 10.00pm at the Bowls Club.

Couples, singles and families are welcome to come along and enjoy a fun night of dancing and friendship. For further details contact Gary Petersen on 0499 088 680 or email tassquare@bigpond.com.

Thumbs up for Kanga, the Roos’ new recruit

Feature, SportJoanne Eisemann
Deloraine Football Club’s new mascot Kanga gets to know some of the club’s rusted-on supporters. From left, Cooper Field, Benji Crowden (6) and Lucy Crowden (3).  Photo by Mike Moores

Deloraine Football Club’s new mascot Kanga gets to know some of the club’s rusted-on supporters. From left, Cooper Field, Benji Crowden (6) and Lucy Crowden (3).

Photo by Mike Moores

By Hayley Manning

THE DELORAINE Football Club’s latest recruit – Kanga, has become quite the socialite, posing for snaps, sponsoring businesses and handing out Easter eggs around Deloraine.

It is going to be a busy year for Kanga on the field and at the club, as they prepare to acknowledge Deloraine Football Club’s milestone 125 years with a host of events.

Club President, Shaun Donohue, said he wants to ensure the year is a success, not just in terms of winning games but with the local community taking part in the celebrations. And presumably Kanga and friends will be there too.

Bethany and Kylie, looking fresh

Sport, FeatureJoanne Eisemann
Bethany Macfarlane, 16, and her horse Kylie are looking forward to improving their showjumping over winter. From Exeter, Bethany rides for the Birralee and Districts Pony Club and has just joined the Tasmanian Showjumping Association (North).  Photo by Mike Moores

Bethany Macfarlane, 16, and her horse Kylie are looking forward to improving their showjumping over winter. From Exeter, Bethany rides for the Birralee and Districts Pony Club and has just joined the Tasmanian Showjumping Association (North).

Photo by Mike Moores

WESTBURY SHOW Horse Committee were most impressed with the performance of young horse riders and seasoned competitors who took the opportunity to jump their horses over well designed courses at the recent Freshman’s Day, held at Westbury Showground on the 13th April.

Held in beautiful weather on a superb jumping surface, the riders thoroughly enjoyed the friendly, encouraging atmosphere.

Local course designer Liz Richards provided flowing courses, while Level II accredited coach Judy Kilby was available to assist the riders.

Participants on the day ranged in age from a 4-year-old led around the course on a pony to 77-year-old Sandra Atkins riding her horse Wally.

Sandra and Wally both thoroughly enjoyed the rounds of jumps that the day offered.

The Freshman’s Day was a great chance for riders to educate their horses around the jumps without the stress of a real competition.

With about 30 competitors on this day, riders could choose 2 from 6 rounds at 50, 60, 70, 80, 90cm and 1m heights.

The horse committee have scheduled the next Freshman’s Day on the 11th May

Back on the Village Green, the pipes, the pipes are calling…

FeatureJoanne Eisemann
Brian Owens of Ouse, flute and tin whistle player, playing his Indian rosewood flute on the Westbury Village Green. Just one of Brian’s collection of wind instruments, the flute was made in 1837 by an instrument maker called Joseph Wallis, in the Euston Road, London.   Photo | Mike Moores

Brian Owens of Ouse, flute and tin whistle player, playing his Indian rosewood flute on the Westbury Village Green. Just one of Brian’s collection of wind instruments, the flute was made in 1837 by an instrument maker called Joseph Wallis, in the Euston Road, London.

Photo | Mike Moores

WESTBURY AND the Village Green came alive on Saturday 16th March with the town’s revival of the annual St Patrick’s Festival. This iconic event drew big crowds to revel in the sunshine and soak up a wonderful atmosphere of Celtic and community spirit.

There was something for everyone – a street parade led by St Patrick himself, a bustling church market, more craft and food stalls than you could poke a stick at, vintage tractors, classic cars, children’s activities and a packed program of folk music, song and dance.

As always, the Maypole dancing by Westbury Primary School students proved to be a huge hit and in its traditional Village Green setting, created a real sense of history coming alive. John Hickey of the Wheels folk group gave his thanks, “for organising such a charming festival.

The Wheels really enjoyed it, especially as traditional Irish music is so relevant to Westbury’s rich history. “The music in the church was a highlight for me (great acoustic venue). Barry Higgins’ Irish pipes sounded wonderful. “Hope the Steering Group got a chance to enjoy the festival as much as we did.” The Festival’s new committee have been buoyed by the community response and has already started planning for 2020.

Chairman, Phil Steers, said, “the decision to make the Festival entry by donation has been a total success with many more local families able to enjoy celebrating the town’s Irish roots. “Thanks to everyone who helped to make it happen. With the weather with us, we look forward to an even bigger event next year.”

Mending our heritage

FeatureJoanne Eisemann
Dave Conway of Launceston, expertly applying new lime mortar to the inner walls of the Folk Museum, assisted by Ben Earle.   Photo | Mike Moores

Dave Conway of Launceston, expertly applying new lime mortar to the inner walls of the Folk Museum, assisted by Ben Earle.

Photo | Mike Moores

April 2019 | Wendy Laing

THE DELORAINE and Districts Folk Museum is being repaired and renovated. As the museum remains open to the public, visitors have found it interesting to watch the work and sometime ask questions about the renovations.

As a listed building urgently in need of repair, the Meander Valley Council has allocated $100,000 for the preservation work. Dave Conway, a contractor experienced in corrective conservation to heritage buildings has begun work.

The aim is to stop the rising damp and repair the damage caused by water that has been trapped in the old walls due to lack of ventilation when the museum was first built. A new ventilation system requiring installation of air drains and sub floor vents will prevent similar problems happening in the future. Old plaster and paint is first removed from the original brickwork. Dampness and mineral salts are then drawn out of the old walls by applying a ‘poultice’ similar to papier mâché.

This is left in place for two weeks and then the poultice is repeated. The walls will be replastered using traditional lime mortar, as used in the original building, made from local materials. Lime from Sibelco at Mole Creek is ‘slaked’ – a process where water is added to create a slurry which needs to be stored for a year or more. Local sand is mixed with the slaked lime to produce the lime mortar.

This is a breathable surface which will prevent dampness from building up again. The mortar would have been mixed with horsehair in the past, but now other fibres are used to add strength. Finally, the walls will be traditionally rendered and painted to further preserve them.

Originally built in 1863 as the Family and Commercial Inn, Mrs Alma Bramich donated the old inn and its grounds to the community of Deloraine in 1972 to help preserve the history of the area. Over 40,000 people visit the Deloraine and District Folk Museum every year.

A great investment in the future

FeatureJoanne Eisemann
Telisha Byard of Deloraine is excited to be awarded the inaugural TAFE scholarship to assist with her Education Support studies.   Photo | Mike Moores

Telisha Byard of Deloraine is excited to be awarded the inaugural TAFE scholarship to assist with her Education Support studies.

Photo | Mike Moores

Sarah Larcombe of Westbury has been awarded this year’s tertiary scholarship.   Photo | Maggie Howe

Sarah Larcombe of Westbury has been awarded this year’s tertiary scholarship.

Photo | Maggie Howe

April 2019 | Joanne Eisemann

THE DELORAINE & Districts Community Bank® is delighted to again be supporting local young people in furthering their career goals by assisting with education expenses through their scholarship program. For the past nine years the bank has offered scholarships to university students.

This year, the scholarship program was extended to include financial support for students undertaking certificate, diploma, advanced diploma or associate degree level studies at TAFE. Telisha Byard of Deloraine was awarded the inaugural scholarship to assist with her Education Support studies. Sarah Larcombe of Westbury has been awarded this year’s Deloraine & Districts Community Bank® Branch tertiary scholarship.

The tertiary scholarship is awarded to a first-time student whose financial circumstances might mean a university degree is out of reach. Both young women are excited to be receiving scholarships. Talisha will study at TAFE’s Alanvale campus and chose to study Education Support because

“I’ve always wanted to work with children within a school environment.” “I’m so grateful … because I now have a chance to get the qualifications I need to achieve my dream job as a teacher assistant.” Sarah has a similar story to tell. Her dream to become a vet began at age 4, “and now I’m taking the first real step towards that dream. In the fourteen years since telling my parents that I wanted to be a vet, there has not been a single doubt in my mind that it’s what I’m meant to do.

“Getting into Vet Science has been one of the most challenging experiences of my life, being both academically and emotionally strenuous. However, with the tremendous amounts of support from those around me, I managed to stay focused on my goal, whilst living a life full of fun and love. “Living away from home for the first time, studying at a university approximately 1000km away from the place I’ve called home my entire life, definitely comes with its challenges.

The stresses of university can be overwhelming; however, this scholarship has lifted an enormous weight off my shoulders,” shares Sarah. Sarah plans to bring her skills back to the Valley when she finishes her studies. “To be able to work within the Meander Valley as a veterinarian is my absolute end goal.

The opportunity to give back to the community which has given me so much is something I truly aspire to.” Simon Rootes, Branch Manager of the Deloraine & Districts Community Bank® Branch, said that both Sarah and Telisha were deserving winners.

The slippery slope

FeatureJoanne Eisemann

AS THE home brewer progresses from K&K (kit and kilo) through kits and bits (kits with added hops and steeped specialty grains) to full all grain brewing, this transition is quite often referred to as the ‘slippery slope’. But is all grain beer that much better? In a nutshell – Yes! You can customise it to whatever style, outcome, ABV and colour you desire.

You will eventually make a nicer drop than most of the craft breweries that are popping up everywhere, because you won’t have to skimp on any aspect of the brewing process or ingredients. But before we descend the slope, is there a way to actually try the beer before we spend the time and dollars? Well, fortunately, these days there is.

Go to the brew shop and get yourself an FWK. A Fresh Wort Kit is a 100% craft beer where all the time-consuming hard work has been done for you. Just tip it into your fermenter, add 5 litres of water and the yeast, brew it for the normal two weeks, then bottle or keg. This is by far the very best beer that a home brewer can produce without the time and labour of making an all grain beer from scratch.

There is a large range to choose from as well. But as with everything there are trade-offs. The first is that most FWKs only make 20 litres of final product not 23 litres like K&K. The second is price – if you want true craft beer you will have to pay a little extra. A typical lager or pale ale will be around $46.00. Is it worth it? Totally.

You’ll find that a lot of all grain brewers, myself included, do FWKs from time to time, especially when timepoor or if stocks are low. FWKs have good instructions, with dry hopping options as well as a grist ratio. So if you really like the resultant beer, it is quite easy to make a clone in the future. You can try the All Inn Brewery FWK beer at Dan Murphys, but the most inexpensive carton is $108, up to $120 for the IPAs.

You will see the savings if you decide to do your own. You will end up with about 25–26 bottles (750ml). Family and friends will be amazed that you made this beer at home. Northern Home Brewing on Elphin Rd in Launceston has an excellent range of FWKs in store that include a quality yeast when purchased.

Recipe of the month

Here is a New England India Pale Ale (NEIPA) that came second in the IPA category at the state championships last year.

4 kg Golden Promise (79%)

455g flaked oats (11%)

350g wheat (7%)

150g CaraRed malt (3%)

10g Simcoe @ 60 min

15g Simcoe @ 20 min

25g Summer@ 10 min

25g Pacifica @ 10 min

25g Citra @ 5 min

25g Citra Dry hop

50g Cascade Dry hop

50 g Simcoe Dry hop Bitterness 41.1 IBU, colour 7.8 EBC, ABV 5.4%

This recipe has all the style features. The oats and wheat contribute to the hazy appearance. The CaraRed helps with the orange juice colour (although I would use a little more next time). The truck-load of hops give it that breakfast juice taste, without all the relatively high bitterness that IPAs are known for.

Flowers and veg come full circle in Westbury

FeatureJoanne Eisemann
March 2019   The Westbury Garden Club Flower Show was once again a runaway success, attracting an estimated 700 entries. 300 people attended on the day with Lorraine Pasfield and R Mercer taking out the prize for Grand Champion Dahlia. As well as the many beautiful blooms on show there was also a selection of summer vegetables, including this unusually shaped marrow, held by Elena Tweedale 8 yrs of Westbury.   Photo | Mike Moores

March 2019

The Westbury Garden Club Flower Show was once again a runaway success, attracting an estimated 700 entries. 300 people attended on the day with Lorraine Pasfield and R Mercer taking out the prize for Grand Champion Dahlia. As well as the many beautiful blooms on show there was also a selection of summer vegetables, including this unusually shaped marrow, held by Elena Tweedale 8 yrs of Westbury.

Photo | Mike Moores

Tree top adventure

FeatureJoanne Eisemann
9-year-old Jez enjoys exploring the treetops at Hollybank during a retreat at Wonderland.   Photo | supplied

9-year-old Jez enjoys exploring the treetops at Hollybank during a retreat at Wonderland.

Photo | supplied

March 2019

MOLE CREEK is home to a special service for young people with disabilities, ‘Wonderland Retreat’. The Retreat, which has been open now for just over 14 months, provides short-term supported accommodation for younger people (ages 8 to 35 years) with NDIS plans.

Wonderland Retreat provides two programs, one involving recreational weekend activities and leisure, and the other providing a focus on life skills training mid-week. Rob and Toni Mehigan, Psychologist and ex School Principal, and owner/managers of Wonderland, have coined the term ‘adventure retreat’ as young people participate in an active program which includes learning archery at Beers Farm in Red Hills, animal appreciation and grooming with llamas from Llama Farma at Christmas Hills, visiting Trowunna Wildlife Park, fish feeding at 41 Degrees South salmon farm,  grooming horses at Nellie’s in Chudleigh, feeding the chooks on the 2 acre property, petting the therapy cat Sophie as well as innovative physical therapy outings to Air 360, mini golf, Go Karts at Latrobe, Tazmazia and Westbury Mazes, Hollybanks Tree Tops Adventure and caving tours at Mole Creek as well as short walks around the Western Tiers, to name a few.

On the property, young people participate in discos, karaoke, arts and crafts, haircare, makeup, glamour photography, woodwork and horticulture supported by friendly and experienced care workers. “Relationship skills are honed through having fun together,” says Kathryn Campbell – Community Liaison Offcer at Wonderland. “Our largest focus is simply having fun. Learning, growing as a person and having the courage to try new things is a lot easier with peers, especially where activities are supported to ensure no one is left out,” she said. 

“While at the retreat young people also learn to cook pizzas and other meals and learn barista skills at the Pepperberry Café as well as being taught house cleaning and bedmaking skills and other life skills relevant to the participants’ NDIS goals. Parents love us!,” Kathryn commented. Wonderland Retreat is also there for families when there is no other available support. 

Recently, a mum had to go for surgery and her young son spent 9 days at Wonderland with carers who followed an individually designed program over his time. He was particularly interested in making a stool for his sister and a lamp. He was able to create these things from scratch using recycled materials from the Mole Creek tip shop.

One young girl living with Huntington’s, a condition which affects motor and brain function, had lost her confidence in relating to peers. She was able to bring Grandma to the retreat staying in one of the Guesthouse family rooms so she could provide the necessary extra family support for her granddaughter in getting used to the new environment and building her confidence again. “I’ve found my peeps mum,” said one young visitor.

Another young person had lost confidence after being bullied at school. They had previously enjoyed singing and dancing but had become withdrawn and anxious. Her teary mother stated “she’s back” after coming to Wonderland Retreat, as she had found new friends and was able to be herself in the accepting environment. 

Wonderland provides many families in the district and beyond, with a ‘second family’ in a rural environment to back them up in parenting their young person with a disability, which can be a tough job’. Visit www.wonderlandretreat.com.au.

Trash turns into treasure

FeatureJoanne Eisemann

March 2019 | Maeken Danen

THROUGHOUT MY childhood here in Tasmania, my sisters and I would often have small projects around the garden and paddocks that required basic materials such as timber, pipe, bricks, and nails. Having limited funds for new materials, we turned to 2nd hand items and discovered that 80% of our needs where met at the local Deloraine tip. Needless to say, this became our favourite shop and still is for most of us, including me.

Trips to the tip are very fruitful. Not only can goodies be found in the shop area but also amongst the disposal piles.

Lengths of timber in excellent condition can be found in the wood pile as well as pallets which are great for turning into compost bins, keeping things off the ground or pulling apart, producing straight, even boards that can be used in a variety of DIY projects. Existing nails can even be taken out, straightened and reused if required!

The metals pile always has roles of old chicken wire. Whilst most is only good as plant guards or patch jobs, occasionally there is a piece good enough for a fence. We built several poultry pens out of just such wire. Not only was it good enough to keep the ducks and chickens in but also to keep the cows and goats out. Sheet tin was also a common find and there was always enough of different lengths without having to cut them up too much. Sometimes, when building, we would find that there were even holes pre-made in just the right spots!

The paint was another great collection. Many cans are just the remains of a larger project but are still perfect. We used only tip paint for our projects, one sister even scored a can with enough to paint the inside of her room!

Old fridges make great garden beds once the doors have been taken off. Drill a few holes in the bottom, turn it upside down and fill with dirt. Because fridges are so deep, you can fill the bottom half with chunks of woods, old cotton sheets, and weeds. They will be decomposed by the time that space is needed by the roots of plants. Chest freezers make excellent beds if you need an extra tall one but feel free to fill much of the space with inorganic materials as it may never be used by roots.

Bathtubs are also good garden beds but can also be used in hydroponic systems and as stock water troughs. They last a long, long time and best of all, can be fitted with plugs for easy cleaning! A friend of mine used bathtubs on his property in NSW for all his stock. With correct fittings, they are just as good, albeit smaller, than industrial concrete troughs. They are cheaper too!

The tip shop itself contains a wide range of things from an excellent array of ceramic basins - some brand new, clothes, including a great deal of bed linen in good condition which could otherwise be used for rags, picture frames, furniture that may only need a nail or two, doors, solid and fly-screen, toys and much more. The book and magazine section contain literature of many topics, from cookbooks, fishing magazines, health and diet as well as novels. Over the past several years, I have collected the entire Harry Potter series for 50 cents instead of $150+. I have also stocked up on all my folders, plastic sleeves and some lined workbooks for the coming school year.

There are also several shelves of kitchen utensils and appliances as well as nicely sized glass jars with lids that, with a good scrub, shape up nicely. The electrical appliances work more often than not. The teacup and tumbler collection is magnificent with a wide variety of colours and even matching sets to choose from. The glass jars are a favourite of mine because occasionally, there is a very unique and often very old jar with interesting designs on it that may work as part of a decorative piece or put in a wall. Be careful when purchasing plastic or metal with marks or rust as these can be difficult to clean and may contain unwanted germs.

With so many useful things lying around at the tip, it seems a waste to let them be carted off for processing. They can be used in so many creative ways and help cut down on the amount of waste we already have to deal with not only in Tasmania but in the world. And there must be more ways to use tip waste that I have not mentioned or even thought of. So maybe check out the tip next time you are out that way and see for yourself the plethora of goodies that can be found and reused at a great price!

Tip shop assistant Jess Wall of Deloraine with a selection of toilet suites and hand basins starting at $10.00.   Photo | Mike Moores

Tip shop assistant Jess Wall of Deloraine with a selection of toilet suites and hand basins starting at $10.00.

Photo | Mike Moores

Blue Farmer searches the skies

FeatureJoanne Eisemann
A dozen people plus the media gathered in a paddock outside Ashley Youth Detention Centre for the assembly of the Blue Farmer.   Photo | Mike Moores

A dozen people plus the media gathered in a paddock outside Ashley Youth Detention Centre for the assembly of the Blue Farmer.

Photo | Mike Moores

Feburary 2019 | Hayley Manning

TAKE THE old Meander Valley Road toward Ashley Youth Detention Centre and you will see a big Blue Farmer surveying the surrounding landscape. Bruny Island artist, Grietje van Randen, designed the first Blue Farmer in her ‘Sprokkelwood’ open garden to raise awareness about people in the community with depression, after a spate of tragic events in her partner’s farming family.

The third Farmer project began in 2018, when Tasmanian Craft Fair Director, Lesley Dare, invited Grietje to the all-new Community Arts Tent, where 250 locals and visitors took part in knitting garments from recycled blue twine on purpose-built dowel knitting needles. The completed garments were then sewn together and fitted onto a PVC frame, designed and made by the Ashley students.

Grietje stipulates all Blue Farmers must be positioned scanning the landscape to remind people to ‘look out’ for each other when they drive past, and they are to be created by local community volunteers. “The process of sitting together while the hands are busy allows people to open up and work through things.

This is of immense value if you are having a hard time,” Grietje said. “You might only need one conversation to make a difference.”

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

Carnival at Carrick

Sport, FeatureJoanne Eisemann

February 2019

The Carrick Park Pacing Club’s major event of the season, the Carrick Cup, takes place on Saturday 16th February at twilight. For the first time a sale of yearlings will be held. It is the only sale of standard bred yearlings in Tasmania this year. Other attractions during the evening will include: the Vandenberg Transport Carrick Cup, Fashions on the Field competitions, a double-seated sulky race, celebrity pony race, live music, free children’s jumping castle & face painting, and a Polocrosse demonstration. Tasmanian Polocrosse players from the Midland Spurs and Kentish (green & gold) are pictured above during the polocrosse demonstration match at last years Carrick Cup.

Photo | Mike Moores

Photo | Mike Moores