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The Victorian Government recently funded Goulburn Valley CLC to provide employment law services to Working Holiday Makers in our region.
To lead this work, we have appointed Amanda Ferguson as our new employment lawyer. Amanda has previously worked for the Fair Work Commission, the Fair Work Ombudsman and the Australian Building and Construction Commission.
The Goulburn Valleys horticultural industry, in particular, relies on an annual influx of Working Holiday Makers who help with harvesting, packing and storage. These workers are primarily covered by 417 and 462 visas. They come from varied ethnic, cultural and language groups, and their poor command of English often opens them to exploitation by labour hire firms and predatory employers.
Our project will work with employees and employers to ensure that workers rights and obligations are understood and followed.
Amanda will educate industry participants about the Fair Work regime. She will also build the capacity of all our lawyers so that we can all provide general employment law advice and casework. Amanda will be supported by a dedicated lawyer based at Melbournes specialist employment law service Jobwatch.
NEW initiatives may help more people in Bass Coast complete
A forum run by The Star and Bass Coast Shire Council in Wonthaggi last Tuesday, September 4 identified life skills programs and a remote university hub located in Bass Coast as priority projects.
Twelve secondary school students, two trainees and two tertiary students attended the forum and presented to Bass Coast Shire Councils mayor Cr Pamela Rothfield, deputy mayor Cr Brett Tessari and CEO Paul Buckley.
As well as life skills, finances, support and distance from home were identified as key barriers into tertiary education.
Students intending to leave the shire and move into the city suggested they lacked the life skills and experience to confidently make the lifestyle change.
Other students said they would prefer to stay local if given the option. This launched the topic of remote university hubs, like the model operating in Cooma, New South Wales.
Newhaven Colleges Azul Sibly said she would use the hub if it were developed.
I dont like to be away from the ocean for too long, she said.
My family has a farm, so I have a dual connection with the land and the water. I would prefer to stay with my family.
Those looking to move away gravitated towards a program soon to be launched by youth advocate Josh Baker.
Mr Baker intends to run a summer program for Year 12s transitioning to the city for further education.
The program will cover a range of topics including cooking and cleaning, budgeting, how to use public transport and what scholarships to apply for.
The life skills program is perfect for me. It would be incredible to be able to go to university confident in those skills, Wonthaggi Secondary College student Jack Mendes said.
Education is one of the key priorities listed in councils advocacy strategy and council was responsive to the students concerns.
These students give me so much faith in our future. They are articulate and bring so much to the table. We need to listen to this generation and let them lead us, Cr Rothfield said.
I found the life skills discussion was interesting and it was nice to hear not everyone wants to move away from their community. We need to do something now to retain our youth and give them options.
Council has a role to advocate for the right solutions to help people achieve their tertiary qualifications.
The students said they appreciated having their voices heard in a formal setting and would like to see more forums held in the future.
LOCAL libraries are supporting youth experiences.
A series of programs called Meet Up 2018 was launched recently.
Over two weeks, libraries in Leongatha, Wonthaggi, Mirboo North, Phillip Island and Warragul will hold a range of information sessions.
These sessions cover topics such as gap years, buying a car and public speaking.
The recent session was all about gaming.
Leongathas library set up an Xbox sampler, with new games to try out every half hour.
Leongatha, Wonthaggi and Warragul also set up a Minecraft network.
For younger participants, Leongatha library set up educational programs on iPads.
These programs taught children coding, mathematics and creative arts.
This was the first use of these iPads and programs. We will catalogue these in the future and the community will be able to come in and use them, Leongatha librarys Michael Hogan said.
Another session was held on September 3 at the Leongatha RSL.
This session taught participants about buying first cars, collecting and trading cars, and the automotive industry.
On September 15, Leongatha and Wonthaggi libraries will hold a session on robotics.
Nao the Robot will be introduced at these sessions. Nao is 58 centimetres tall, autonomous and fully programmable.
Participants will be able to work in a group to program Nao to operate a service situation, such as taking coffee orders.
On September 17, a gap year session will be held at the Leongatha RSL.
Apprenticeships, pathways into uni and ways to plan a gap year will be discussed.
Bookings are essential for some sessions. Bookings can be made at wgrlc.eventbrite.com.au.
WONTHAGGI RSL is seeking $40,000 to honour local war heroes.
Partnered with Friends of the Wonthaggi Cemetery, the RSL applied for funding in the Pick My Project campaign.
The project is a Wonthaggi Cemetery Veterans Memorial Wall. Many veterans are in unmarked graves and the wall would honour their services respectfully. Initially, the groups want to develop a wall to commemorate World War One. Future funding will establish walls for other wars. The wall will note the veterans names and grave locations.
One idea could be to make the tiles available for families and the community to sponsor. Research for the project was driven by Renee Loeckenhoff and Noelene Lyons. Some 980 men and four nurses have been identified as World War One veterans in the Bass region.
They have located 447 ex-servicemen and women from different wars including 13 prisoners of war and a high percentage of unmarked World War One graves at the Wonthaggi Cemetery.
It was a hard time. People were dying of the flu and veterans were buried without proper recognition. To walk through the cemetery now, you would find it difficult to tell which graves belong to veterans, Mrs Loeckenoff said.
Mrs Loeckenhoff and Mrs Lyons have been re-listing burials for the past three years.RSL project coordinator Mark Stephenson said, There were the people who contributed to the fabric of our community by establishing the central business district and agricultural enterprises. Indeed, Edward Beard MM became a councillor and mayor of Wonthaggi.
A website will be developed to help people navigate through the cemetery.
Voting will close for the Pick My Project campaign at 5pm on September 17. Search online. People can contact RSL or the Friends of Wonthaggi Cemetery to offer sponsorship.
A STUNNING 29th Annual Orchid Show took place in Wonthaggi on
Friday and Saturday.
Held at the Wonthaggi Town Hall, the event attracted more entries and a larger crowd than last year.
Bass Coast Shire Council deputy mayor Cr Brett Tessari opened the show on Friday morning.
This is the 29th year and I would like to congratulate the South Gippsland Orchid Society for continuing to grow. There are a few people who also won awards at the Victorian Orchid Society Show. I would like to congratulate them, as well as everyone who presented in this years display, he said.
Cr Tessari presented the mayors award on behalf of mayor Cr Pamela Rothfield to Julie Kilgour.
Jim Foster-Johnson presented the best novice exhibit award to Inverlochs Trevor Smith.
Mr Foster-Johnson is the son of Horrie and Myrtle, who were foundation members of South Gippsland Orchid Society.
Society president John Betts said the turnout was fantastic, which produced amazing orchid sales.
The displays were just magnificent. It was an excellent show, he said.
Nine judges travelled to Wonthaggi on Thursday night to choose the winners. There were 13 categories that received ribbons.
Mr Betts said the show is well loved locally and the South Gippsland offers great growing conditions for orchids.
Id like to thank Bass Coast Shire Council and our sponsors for their wonderful support, he said.
Mr Betts said there are no details yet, but next years show will have a point of difference to mark its 30th year.
LEONGATHA Lyric Theatres next production is not only an intense,
psychological drama, it is also being acted on a traverse
A traverse stage is one where the audience is seated on either side, instead of in front of, a rectangular stage.
I have known about traverse staging for many years and long had a desire to direct or act in a play on a traverse stage, said David Tattersall, director of the upcoming Lyric production, Death and the Maiden.
I have acted in and directed plays and a musical (Godspell) with the audience seated on three sides, so I was confident the traverse layout could work given the audience is able to see and hear all the action, particularly if all the action takes place in one room.
I had the opportunity to see a production of Death and The Maiden about five years ago and thought it might be a play that could be performed by Lyric Theatre.
I discovered the author would like the audience to see themselves in a giant mirror which descended on the stage in the final scene of the play so they could all reflect on how they might be capable of the excesses he writes about, and think about how they might judge others who are caught up in the violence of war and repression.
As a one set play, Death and the Maiden works best with a small, intimate audience. Although Lyric Theatre could not afford the giant mirror, as a play where the author wanted the audience to see themselves to lend weight to his message, I figured this play would be a perfect use of transverse staging.
Death and The Maiden is a tense psychological drama, so I have used tiered seating to heighten the drama, with the audience looking down on the stage, and deliberately limited the seating to 35 people on either side of the stage so no one is more than seven metres from the action and everyone has an unobstructed view.
Rehearsals have been quite intense due to the nature of the script so, given their proximity to the stage, audience members can expect to be fully immersed in a drama which not only features strong adult themes and language, but also has subtle twists and turns in the plot which will have them drawing and changing conclusions as the play unfolds.
Death and the Maiden runs from September 28 to October 6 at Leongathas Mesley Hall. Bookings through the Lyric website: www.lyrictheatre.net.au
A PROPERTY on the edge of Leongathas central business district
failed to sell at auction on Friday, with no bids for the
The property, located at 53 McCartin Street, was passed in by Alex Scott and Staff auctioneer Alan Steenholdt after receiving no interest above the starting price of $320,000.
Prior to auction, Mr Steenholdt lauded the property for its location, saying that positioning is what real estate is all about.
He made note of the propertys size and access to a lane at the rear of the house, while also highlighting the stable nature of Leongatha.
The 1000 square foot block is both commercially and residentially zoned, with Mr Steenholdt asking onlookers to consider the plethora of options that the block brings.
Despite this, the property received no interest from the 30 people in attendance and was passed in.
WONTHAGGI Workmens Club has been recognised as one of the top
fundraisers for the Royal Childrens Hospital Good Friday Appeal
this year after raising $42,000.
The amount ranked the club third in the list of the most money donated by any hotel or club in Australia.
Club president Kevin Williams said, Being recognised for our efforts is nice but we dont do it for the recognition. We do it because its right. This is the twentieth year that we have raised money for the Royal Childrens Hospital and the last few years we have gotten around $40,000 each time.
The club supports the appeal through raffles, auctions and events.
The club has been a prolific donator to the appeal, placing in the top 10 of hotels and club based donations most years for nearly two decades.
Terry Bird, committee member at the Workmens Club, said, We are a community based club and its part of our charter to give back to others.
As well as the Royal Childrens Hospital, we do other projects including donating to our local hospital.
Jac Fletcher, fundraising coordinator for the Good Friday Appeal, said the work done by the club over the last 20 years has been astounding.
Its a small group but a great establishment, she said.
Ms Fletcher said the money raised goes towards research endeavours, new equipment and care for family members of hospitalised children.
Ninety cents of every dollar raised from the Good Friday Appeal goes directly to the hospital itself which is world class standard, Ms Fletcher said.
So the work the Wonthaggi Workmens Club does really does make a difference.
WHEN Mirboo East residents Brenton and Kat Gration joined on to
assist charity group Aussie Helpers in delivering much needed
supplies to struggling farmers, little did they know how much of an
impact they would have across the country.
An endeavor that started with making several deliveries a week across Victoria quickly turned into supplying more than 50 loads of necessities to desperate farmers as far away as Queensland.
Now Mr and Mrs Gration, owners of Gration Transport, are putting on a fundraiser at Mirboo North on Saturday, September 22 where people can donate anything from money and water, to canned goods and dog food.
Our plan is to park our B-double truck in Mirboo North and hopefully have people fill it entirely with supplies, Kat Gration said.
Its going to be a whole event. We have the Mirboo North scout group putting on a sausage sizzle, the Mirboo North Pony Club will be offering rides, the local CFA are bringing the fire truck for the kids and there will be live music as well.
Money donated from the event will be split between Aussie Helpers and the Gippsland Farmers Relief, while supplies will go to the two charities, plus some of the Grations struggling customers. While the event is being held in Mirboo North, the Grations are hoping to encompass residents all across Gippsland.
Its been a whirlwind six months for the Grations, who have appeared on Channel Sevens Sunrise program and in newspapers across the country for their charitable efforts including supplying watermelons to farmers.
We came across an opportunity to buy watermelons in bulk and I thought it may be a good idea to feed them to dying livestock, Mrs Gration said.
Its obviously not perfect, but at the very least the livestock can get some basic nutrients and moisture to survive off for a while. Its not about fattening the animals up; its simply about keeping them alive.
Mrs Gration said while the watermelons had been useful, their supply has started to dry up, along with other traditional food sources like hay and grain.
Most people dont realise just how dire the situation truly is, even with all the reporting on the news, Mrs Gration said.
We are out of hay, out of grain, and pretty much out of watermelons and other vegetables as well. Thats why we are doing this fundraiser, because farmers lives depend on it.
Mr Gration said farmers barely have enough water to offer him a drink.
When I drop supplies off its not uncommon for them to say Id offer you a coffee or water but we dont really have any. Ive seen farmers forced to drink and bathe from troughs, and kill off hundreds of their livestock and bury them in massive holes because they simply cant keep them from starving, he said.
The work the Grations have done over the previous six months has taken a toll on both their business and their lives, but they say they cannot possibly stop with so many p...
A SIMPLE solution by a passionate nurse at Gippsland Southern
Health Services Koorooman House aged care facility has sped up
treatment and diagnosis for its residents.
Enrolled nurse Faye Hancock, whose career in aged care has spanned more than 12 years, was recognised for her professionalism and initiative last week at the Victorian Healthcare Association Annual Awards.
To reduce delays in treatment and clinical review of skin tears and pressure injuries, Mrs Hancock developed the practice where she would take a picture of the wound on a mobile device and send those images directly to a specialist.
This initiative combined with her professionalism and concern for residents resulted in her receiving the VHA Celebrating Aged Care Passion for Aged Care Award.
Mrs Hancock, who said she regards working with aged care residents as a privilege, was at the aged care forum on Thursday where the winners were announced.
To be honest I was blown away and very honoured to be receiving this award. I work with a team of passionate people and we love what we do, she said.
My philosophy for our aged care residents at Koorooman House is to treat them how I would like to be treated.
Gippsland Southern Health Service invested in us to gain our qualifications as enrolled nurses and had faith in us. I also feel very lucky that I love everyday that I go to work.
This week marks Celebrating Aged Care Week which along with the Victorian Healthcare Awards, acknowledges the contributions of Victorias thousands of public sector aged care workers.
A NEW junior secondary school will be built on Phillip
Both the State Government and the Opposition have committed to the school.
The governments election promise came last Friday, with a total of $24.7 million promised, which would build the new campus and a new gymnasium for Cowes Primary School. The Coalition promised $25 million yesterday (Monday).
Fridays announcement was made by Premier Daniel Andrews, and Deputy Premier and Minister for Education James Merlino.
Wonthaggi Secondary College principal Darren Parker was thrilled and said the school would support a campus on Phillip Island. It is uncertain whether the school will be a new campus of Wonthaggi Secondary College.
The new campus would reduce travel time to our junior campus, particularly for those students coming to us from beyond Anderson. We believe Wonthaggi Secondary College could support this campus in a practical and meaningful way, he said.
It would be a fantastic opportunity for us to be flexible with where we appoint our teaching staff and would ultimately feed into our new sensational senior campus facility.
Wonthaggi Secondary College is anticipating 750 students at its junior campus in 2019, with 1400 across the entire school. The new campus would ease some of the pressure on the Dudley campus and would be closer to home for students living in Phillip Island, San Remo, Coronet Bay, Corinella and Grantville.
Having 1400 students across three campuses would allow us to have the numbers to run significant programs without losing sight of individual needs, Mr Parker said.
Mr Parker said San Remo or Newhaven would be an ideal location for the new campus to increase convenience for students from the Waterline area. The Victorian School Building Authority and the community would be consulted before a site was chosen.
Bass MP Brian Paynter said, The funding for this new school campus is a massive boost for local education so I will ensure we get it right. Ive been working hard with local families to provide better education opportunities, including arguing the case for a new Wonthaggi secondary school. The Coalition also promised to build a new indoor facility at Cowes Primary School.
A BUSINESS park in Korumburra worth in the vicinity of $50 million could create 200 jobs.
The energy of Korumburra businessman John Kennedy coupled with the experience of his business partner Alistair Jack are behind the purchase and development of the new industrial site.
With the ink barely dry on the sale contracts, the Korumburra Gardens Business Park is expected to be the new face of industry for the area.
The site covers almost 20 hectares (47.9 acres) of land at the western end of the existing industrial estate in the town, accessible via 5 Adkins Street.
Mr Kennedy said the site will be developed into an attractive, sustainable and carefully designed location for enterprise.
As the owner of the Korumburra Bicycle Fitting Store and developer of The Borough cafe and food store, Mr Kennedys vision is to make full potential of Korumburras proximity to Melbourne.
There are so many people moving to this area but there are no jobs. The businesses on the existing industrial estate have already got all the people they need, he said.
Youve had three shops open on the main street in the past few months that are creating new jobs but there are no heavy duty jobs in the area.
On the completion of the business park, we estimate 200 jobs will be created and many more during the construction period.
The property has two creek systems which will be cleared of environmental weeds and designed with walking tracks and ponds for public use.
According to the business park development manager Nigel Hutchinson-Brooks, the layout design and new permits will be obtained following expressions of interest from end users.
Feedback from real estate agents in the area is that there is not a lot of industrial land available in Korumburra, he said.
We are approaching universities who may need research facilities and government departments, as well as businesses in Melbourne seeking development in regional areas.
Whats important is that we will be using local trades wherever possible in the construction phase.
It is understood South Gippsland Shire Council chief executive officer Tim Tamlin has been briefed on the development to request the site be given priority and council resources due to its potential for significant economic impact to the area.
Committee for Gippsland chief executive officer Sophie Morell, who visited the site last week, said it was exciting to see a local business person driving development in the area.
When development is driven by locals, it is more likely to create long term sustainability for the region and that is really encouraging, she said.
This project can bring benefits not just for Korumburra but for all of Gippsland.
I have recently purchased a new LED head torch which is so bright I reckon it could scorch the fur off a koala at 1000 paces. Walking at night I can now locate arboreal mammals at a great distance by their reflective eye-shine. In the eyeball there are structures that detect light called photoreceptors. In 
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