Sarah Henderson, Liberal candidate for Corangamite, met with 60 local residents to hear their case for a heated swimming pool in Apollo Bay. Corangamite is the most marginal seat in the September federal election, currently held by Darren Cheeseman ALP.

?????????????????????????????????????????.Sarah Henderson meets Apollo Bay residents about their new pool
Ms. Henderson spoke with community members in the Senior Citizens Hall about their needs for a heated pool:
” I’m doing my very best to advocate for the really important projects in our region…from what I’ve seen today, the pool is the number one project in Apollo Bay.” If elected, Sarah says she’ll ” bang the drum, bang the table and do the very best I can for projects such as this one.”

The community members at the meeting ranged in age from parents with young children to grandparents. ??????????????????????????????????

They told their stories of the need to have a heated pool for children to learn to swim, for rehabilitation, for hydrotherapy for an aging community, and for visitors too. One resident wants to celebrate her 80th birthday in 5 years time, in Apollo Bay’s heated pool.

For many years, Apollo Bay community has been calling for a heated swimming pool so the treacherous trip through the Otways to Colac, or to Lavers Hill once a week, to access hydrotherapy or swimming lessons for children, wouldn’t be necessary.This recent push for a heated pool started over two years ago with the formation of Apollo Bay Aquatic Centre Inc.

In March this year, after the pool committee presented a self-funded feasibility study and concept plans for the pool, the Colac Otway shire voted unanimously to provide the running costs.  A community fundraising campaign to raise 10% of the capital cost has begun with Bendigo Bank pledging $20,000. Now it’s up to Federal and State funding for the remainder of the capital costs.

Jane Gross, Secretary of the Aquatic Centre committee was pleased with the community’s  response at the meeting, and with Ms. Henderson’s support. Jane Gross at meeting with Sarah Henderson

Jane is feeling hopeful: ” Sarah was happy to come down to meet with us. Darren Cheeseman too was fairly positive when we met  at his office in Waurn Ponds on Wednesday . He noted that Apollo Bay hasn’t had any spending or infrastructure for a very long time.  If we get a federal election promise this September by whoever gets in, we’ll hope to have the pool up and running by2015 “.

A month after the dramatic  Black Saturday fires around Kinglake in 2009,  logging recommenced in the Central Highlands forests at Toolangi.


These tall mountain ash forests are where the devastating Kinglake Black Saturday fires stopped.

Since that time thousands of hectares  have been logged primarily for woodchips. The tall mountain ash forests of Mt. St.Leonards are being stripped, opened up to weedy grass invasion and dried out,  creating a further fire risk.

These forests are home for many endangered species, most notably the leadbeaters possum, Victoria’s state emblem.

VicForests are currently being sued by some community members for logging leadbeater possum habitat. The Appeal will be heard in April.

Locals are outraged at the logging in Toolangi, and have kept up their opposition with public meetings, submissions, requests to state government. Tony Burke Federal Environment Minister has been requested to intervene.

Local resident and avid conservationist Bernie Mace has lived on 140 acres in Toolangi for the last 24 years -  mountain ash country. He remembers as a young child walking at his uncle’s place at Pheasant Creek near Kinglake and seeing the tall mountain ash trees ” … enormous trunks of enormous trees which seemed to go on forever…”

Bernie was enraged when logging recommenced at Toolangi following the Black Saturday fires. Listen to  Bernie Mace

With other locals he continues to fight on to end logging at Toolangi.


Posted: February 3, 2013 by Rochelle Moss in Music



Posted: February 3, 2013 by Rochelle Moss in Music


BMX and the Olympic Dream

Posted: October 30, 2012 by belindap86 in Sport

Despite a severe crash in May that saw him severely rupture his spleen, BMX cyclist Tory Nyhaug was determined to represent his country at the London 2012 Olympics.

The 20 year old Canadian’s remarkable recovery from surgery just eight weeks before the games meant that he was able to compete and was indeed selected, something Nyhaug doesn’t take for granted.

Tory recovering after surgery on June 3 to remove his ruptured spleen

“It really takes some grit to keep on pushing when things get tough” he says, admitting that his path to the games was both ‘not ideal’ and ‘unique’.

The sport of BMX is itself unique, beginning in California in the late 1960s with ties to motocross before spreading internationally. With the inception of the International BMX Federation in 1981, BMX’s identity was described as having “more in common with cycling than motorcycling”.

Introduced to the Olympic program only four years ago at Beijing, the Official Website of the Olympic Movement describes BMX as “one of the fastest and youngest cycling disciplines.”

Nyhaug’s passion for the sport began at just four years old, when he began riding at his local BMX track. Since then, his passion for competition has led him to consecutive National Junior Titles, a consistent top five ranking in the world since becoming pro and of course, a quarter-final appearance at his first Olympic Games.

Mpora catch up with World Contender : Tory Nyhaug. a BMX Racing video by corinnewalder

In ths video recorded by the action sports website, MPORA, Tory talks about his career highlights.

Although he admits it was “definitely hard to compete with some of the premier events in the Olympics” Nyhaug managed to find plenty of support – “whenever I told someone I was in BMX they thought it was really cool”.

“In London it was one of the first events sold out and that shows a lot” he says. “Hopefully we can get some more racing on TV and build a bigger viewing audience around the world.”

Tory with Australian cycling gold medallist Anna Meares at the London games

There is little doubt that Nyhaug’s motivation to race stems from his love of competition -“I love the challenge of beating someone else and striving to be the best I can possibly be” he says, but appreciates that like any sport, it should remain fun. “No matter if its practice or the Olympics, I always remember to enjoy what I’m doing.”

Two languages are better than one

Posted: October 24, 2012 by Amy Johnston in Education
Tags: ,

Bayswater South Primary School is a school with a difference.  However it is not the students or the staff that are the point of difference.  It is the school’s curriculum, or more specifically their bilingual program which has raised the profile of the school beyond that of other schools in the outer eastern suburbs.

The school prides itself on its Bilingual Immersion Program, which involves the teaching of subjects such as Visual Arts, Science, Humanities and Design in both German and English.


Bayswater South Primary School celebrates its 40th birthday. Photo courtesy Knox Leader.

The Bilingual Immersion program prompted the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (DEECD) to publish a report on the program, praising the school’s 25 years of excellence in bilingual education.

The report found that the strategies implemented by the school, such as increased interaction between students, and the integration of LOTE with discipline based subjects, is highly beneficial to language learning.

The methods used by Bayswater South Primary School are seen to be noticeably more effective than traditional methods of LOTE teaching, with students participating in immersion programs developing language skills at a faster and more comprehensive rate according to the DEECD.

Leading teacher of LOTE at the school, Linton Roe, believes bilingual immersion programs are far more effective at encouraging children to continue with LOTE subjects into secondary school, due to the integration of language learning into content of subjects such as science and humanities.

In relation to the Government’s recently proposed educational reform, Mr Roe believes that more of a focus should be placed on funding language programs, if we are to keep up with the rest of the world

A majority of people in the world are using two or more languages every day.  A minority of people such as those in Australia and the Unites States seem to have the attitude that English is all you need…When in fact Australians are disadvantaging themselves by not knowing more languages.

Anonymity is a controversial topic in the age of information. We are all entitled to our own opinions on the subject but what cannot be disputed is the fact that anonymity allows an individual the freedom to step outside of their social, economic and even physical status in life and speak freely on a topic considered taboo.  The internet seems to be the battlefield where this statement is put most to the test.

The video link at the bottom of this post is a link to a certain review of a particular multilevel marketing company(MLM), which is yet another subject of controversy.  Interestingly enough, the author has chosen to remain anonymous.

Organizations like this are similar to the ocean tides; they are transnational titans that go back and forth freely from shores across the globe, sweeping up one generation and disappearing, only returning to impart the same lesson on the children of yesterday. In a very sad way, such deceptions have become a form of initiation into adulthood for many. A lesson some might say on the mechanics of deception. While I have never directly participated in MLM, like most people, if not literally all, there are only a few degrees of separation between myself and a victim of this industry. To my recent surprise, my parents too even participated in Amway.

The way to challenge these giants is through information, except companies like this also spend millions of dollars in Public Relations attempting to create an image of transparency. It wouldn’t be insane to suggest these MLM organizations also hold a monopoly on the flow of information regarding their industry and public perception as well. They achieved this through the rigorous management of search engine tools like AdWords, AdSense, SEO and a splash of Astroturfing.

Many people have claimed that these corporations are cult-like in their ability to implant ideas, change personalities and warp opinions; they are masters in the craft of brainwash.

They are a threat that desperately needs to be re-considered by governments across the world, especially for the future integrity of the internet.

This video is interesting as it is not an answer to this problem but a means of verifying who the bad guys in this industry are.  The person who made it obviously wanted to withhold their identity for the purpose of protecting themselves against the financial liability possibly involved in standing up against such an industry.

The clip lasts for 11 minutes and can be viewed here.

Documentary maker and The Age reporter Jane Lee outside Media House.

The Age reporter Jane Lee’s recent New York documentary ‘Yesterday’s News’ investigates mainstream media’s potential for survival in the digital age.

In her thirty minute production Ms Lee shares her insight from a series of interviews with prominent journalists and academics to establish what went ‘wrong’ with the media industry.

The share price for Fairfax alone has dropped from 96 to 39 cents in less than one year and with jobs being laid off, a downturn in circulation and falling revenues, the newspaper industry currently presents itself as an unstable frontier.

“Traditional legacy print media organisations around the world forecast their futures based on old revenue models without really doing any serious due diligence on the trends online,” Ms Lee said.

“I think that showed a massive lack of foresight from a lot of media companies and I guess they’re starting to realise now.”

In her documentary Ms Lee reports on a range of media start-ups to explore how journalists should deal with the rapid changes in their industry.

“There are some small pockets of opportunities, like in the documentary we found Talking Points Memo as a website in New York that started as a political news site. It started as a small following, and now their revenue’s up year on year, much more than a lot of major media companies. So there is some hope,” she said.

ABC investigative journalist Bruce Hill agrees that the key to surviving the changing times is to innovate and embrace the challenges presented by citizen journalism.

“Where there is increasing competition from blogs and websites that people put up for free we’re going to have to provide our audience with something that’s a bit special and with a bit more added value,” he said.

Mr Hill believes that some newspapers only have themselves to blame for falling revenues as they are alienating their readers due to the growth of what he calls ‘committed’ or ‘biased’ journalism.

“Journalists can have their own opinions but if it’s going to start influencing the way that you’re writing and what you’re writing about, your readers eventually detect this,” he said.

“They’ve created a bit of an ideological bubble for themselves and I think the city doesn’t like being talked down to.”

Both Bruce Hill and Jane Lee agree that the future of mainstream media will be more fragmented with a choice of media to suit different interests.

“People are going to listen to people who make them feel good about themselves and comfortable, and that possibly means the idea of mass media culture that everyone shares in is probably over and that’s very uncomfortable for a lot of people,” Mr Hill said.

Ms Lee and her co-director intend to present several screenings of ‘Yesterday’s News’ at journalism schools around Australia.

Go2News Extra: Will there be a future for young journalists?

ABC Investigative Journalist Bruce Hill and The Age Reporter Jane Lee respond.

Yesterday’s News Trailer