Coordinator’s News – April

This edition has a theme of service. ANZAC Day inspired us to think about all the forms of service that we participate in. All through our lives we are given opportunities to serve others. In the home, in the neighbourhood, in the community, in the region, in our state, in our country and in the world. Often it is the little things we do that have multiple roll on effects.

Those of you that know me well, know I love to watch a good movie and gain inspiration from situations portrayed. One of my favourites is Pay it Forward, the story of a very young boy who comes up with a practical theory of making the world a better place. His idea is to do 3 generous things to change the lives of 3 people and they need to pay it forward to 3 other people and so the concept continues. It doesn’t take long before thousands of people are helping each other.

I’ve had a couple of ideas around this before, that haven’t quite become a reality yet, I’d love to hear from people who might help get this started on the Bellarine.

When you think about the amount of service that is given on the Bellarine it is overwhelming – at playgroups, at kinders, at school, at sporting clubs, at Guides and Scouts, for the environment, for civic engagement, for health and welfare, through the food banks, through service clubs, our seniors clubs, through the RSLs and so many more. Every club and group has governance committees and each of them provide a vision, direction and energy to meet the need of our community.

I found inspiration in this quote – Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth. Muhammad Ali

Thank you sincerely to everyone who provides service on the Bellarine. Special thanks to our staff and volunteers who regularly go out of their way to support our community. Once again I ask people to pass this Messenger on to someone you think might appreciate its content and hopefully uplifting articles.

Please consider supporting the advertisers who support us and please consider submitting information for the Messenger.

Yours sincerely

Anne Brackley

for the SpringDale Team

News from Lisa Neville MP – April

Launch of “Help Yourself” Campaign

On Friday 10th of March I was pleased to launch a new campaign to drive down thefts of and from vehicles across Geelong including the Bellarine Peninsula.

The “Help Yourself” campaign will raise awareness about how drivers can help prevent thefts and protect their property from being stolen.

The City of Greater Geelong and the Bellarine Community Safety Group have collaborated to develop the campaign, with funding of $16,000 from the Victorian Government.

There has been a significant increase in theft of and from cars on the Bellarine Peninsula recently. Fifty one per cent of these are from unlocked cars.
The Help Yourself campaign will encourage drivers to take simple steps including ensuring valuables are out of sight, cars are parked in well-lit and secure areas and vehicles locked.

As part of the campaign, Victoria Police is also partnering with local Men’s Sheds and other community groups to hold Safe Plate days throughout 2017, fitting number plates to vehicles using one-way screws, free of charge.
Posters, advertising and signs with crime prevention tips will be rolled out across the region on community noticeboards, shop windows and Neighbourhood Watch material, as well as online. This will continue to build on the Bellarine Community Safety Group’s work, including the recently launched bSafe website, which delivers crime prevention advice and tips to the Bellarine community.

New Jetty at Clifton Springs

I was recently pleased to open the new jetty at Clifton Springs that was built with a $250,000 contribution from the State Government.

Previously there had been 2 wooden piers at the Clifton Springs boat ramp that were in a state of dis-repair and starting to fall down.
Over a number of years I had been made aware of the poor state of the old piers by local anglers and have been pleased to deliver what was a 2014 election commitment.

The ‘all abilities’ jetty is 2.9 metres wide and features a larger fishing area at the end to cater for more anglers. The jetty is a modular design so can then be extended into the future as need arises.

As always, please don’t hesitate to contact me by email or call my office if there are any matters that I may be able to assist you with directly.

Hon Lisa Neville MP
Member for Bellarine
Twitter: @LisaNevilleMP

Ph: 5248-3462

Drysdale Clifton Springs Community Association – April

DCSCA members live, work or study in Drysdale and Clifton Springs. We meet regularly to discuss how the community is changing; we link with other local groups and organisations to improve the wellbeing of people in the area; and we try to represent local people’s ideas, views and hopes.

Each month Drysdale Clifton Springs Community Association (DCSCA) volunteers spend many hours researching and advocating for our community. Current projects of interest are the Drysdale By-Pass, the Clifton Springs Fishing Pier and the Clifton Springs Boat Harbour.

The Festival of Glass is our main project for each year and we have just successfully delivered the seventh event. Each year the Festival grows and we sincerely thank all our volunteers.

Service and betterment of our community is at the heart of all we do.

Hoping you might consider joining Drysdale Clifton Springs Community Association and be part of this organisation.

Manika Conning for DCSCA

75th Anniversary of the Battle of Ambon

As we nearer to ANZAC Day may I make a plea – please remember the bravery and courage of the men who fought and died at the battle of Ambon and those who were captured and tried to live through the horrors of the most brutal POW camps of WW2. We all have knowledge of Tobruk, El Alamein, the Battle of the Coral Sea, the downfall of Singapore, the plight of the HMAS Sydney but Ambon does not instantly fly to mind yet the island’s story is a special one, one that needs our thoughts and commemoration on this year, of the 75th anniversary.

Have you ever heard of Ambon? Do you know where it is? What occurred to make it such a debacle and what occurred during the years 1942 to1945 following the battle – what horrors were added to archival material through transcripts of 1946 Ambon War Crimes Trials?

Ambon is a tiny island in the Maluku Group, nearer to New Guinea than Java. In the war years it was part of the Dutch East Indies and strategically placed with a wide protected harbour and an airport. In 1941 the Australian Government sent Gull Force (2/21st battalion of 1100 men) to defend Ambon combining with a Dutch force who had established a base there. These Australians were tradesmen, mainly Victorians and had very little training in jungle war fare. The island was hot, humid and covered with thick jungle. The men had very little chance of defending as they had little backup and they were poorly equipped but they had in their minds that they were defending Australia and were the last line before Darwin and the coast.

It was a doomed case from the beginning. 20,000 battle hardened Japanese invaded the island on the 3rd February 1942 and the Australian and Dutch soldiers were captured. 300 Australians who defended the Laha Airport were massacred. Hands were bound with wire and the men were executed – bayoneted, clubbed or beheaded. Others were herded into a camp named Tan Touy. It is reported that 2,600 men entered Tan Touy being joined in 1943 by British POW from Borneo. The camp was the scene of shocking brutality. In some reports 75% of men perished others say 77%. Starvation, cruelty and denial of elementary medical aid was common.

In 1946 a War Crimes Court was set up in Ambon and 93 Japanese were tried. 36 Japanese were found guilty and 57 acquitted.

My name is Carole O’Neill and I have just returned from Ambon where I attended the ceremony marking 75 years since the Battle of Ambon. I was the only Australian at this ceremony.

Ambon War Cemetery; The story

Ambon Cemetery was not fully established for a length of time as during post war, the Indonesians were fighting their own battle for independence consequently access was denied to all overseas powers, it was not until the sixties when the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) gained permission to complete the cemetery and lay all to rest in the very beautiful site found today. The mammoth task of construction was completed 50 years ago this year. Major Keith Proctor MBE a works officer for the CWGC was sent to the remote island to complete this logistic challenge under great difficulties as described in letters that took months to reach Australia.

He mentioned “a basic diet, the heat and humidity of the equator, little contact with home, no contact with the outside world other than cables, only one other English speaking individual and the non-arrival of supplies and materials which meant longer in the task and a craving for luxuries like milk and butter. Living conditions were certainly uncomfortable. In December 1964, Major Proctor was forced by armed soldiers to leave Ambon and there followed years of negotiation and political discussion between Australian, British, Dutch and Indonesian governments. It wasn’t until 1967 the work on Ambon could commence again still with many hardships.” Once again due to the remoteness, this meant months away from family and a comfortable life style. There weren’t hotels or accommodation places so an Indonesian hut that he built himself became home. It was for this work Major Proctor was awarded the MBE. Major Proctor was my father.

In December CWGC invited me to attend and speak at the Commemoration Service held in Ambon. In the heat of the morning I was joined by CWGC staff, representatives of British High Commission staff and many islanders from schools, churches and the community. The service will be treasured not only as a remembrance of my father but of the many men who are laid to rest here from Australia, Britain, Holland and one from the USA.

The Memorial also commemorates over 450 Australian soldiers and airmen who died in the region of Celebes and Molucca Islands who have no known grave.

I was stunned by the beauty of the gardens and the memorial and over whelmed by the kindness of the Indonesians. The Cross of Sacrifice stands no more as in 1998 it was destroyed by extremists but the stone of memorial survives. Around this memorial stone we of many faiths remembered those lives who were given in sacrifice.

Lest we forget

Goodbye Sharon!

Thank you Sharon for sharing our time and skills with us for the last almost eleven years. During that time you have managed the Drysdale / Clifton Springs entries in Town by Town column of the Echo. Thank you for even coming from Corio to Drysdale during vacation breaks. Thank you for helping to coordinate our courses for a number of years and thank you for helping to bring the On the Bellarine Directory to life for the last few years. Your reliability and your consistency has always been appreciated.

It is amazing to think that you have donated more than 8,000 hours to our community. We all wish you well in your future adventures and we wish you success in all you do.

Yours sincerely,

The SpringDale Team


Letter to the Editor – Dining Out

Just a short note to tell you how much Ron and I enjoy our monthly night out with the SpringDale dine out club.

We love visiting so many different local venues. We have so much variety! We look forward to each one. It’s great to meet up with old friends and meet new ones. It was a lovely surprise to receive the beautiful photo taken of us both a a dinner.

Barbara & Ron Jenner
(Photo by George Stawicki)

If you would like to see other groups, classes, and courses offered at SpringDale, please check out our courses website at


Letter to the Editor – Go Digi

I attended the iPhone tutoring with the Bellarine Secondary College students recently. What a delight! It was such fun, and I learnt so much from the young chaps. I had 3 tutors. The hour flew by and I have pages of handy hints to follow. Such a fantastic idea. Please thank the school, the teachers and the fabulous tutors.


If you would like to see other classes offered at SpringDale, please check out our courses website at

Bernard Filbay’s Legacy

The achievements of Bernard Filbay (1937- 2012) were recognised by the Rotary Club of Drysdale, Drysdale Fire Brigade and the City of Greater Geelong during March. Bernie gave a life time of service to the Drysdale community and his achievements have been recognised with a memorial. The City of Greater Geelong honoured Bernie’s memory with a seat in the Fire Brigade precinct.

Bernie was remembered for his wonderful and mischievous smile; words of encouragement; his quiet ways and his big heart. A very gentle man who achieved greatness in his local community.

Retired Captain Jeff Stewart talked about Bernie’s distinguished career in the Fire Brigade including an unflappable demeanour. Mark Filbay spoke about Bernie’s time management across all facets of his family, his occupation and his volunteer work.

From a Rotary perspective, Bernie Filbay was a Founding member of the Rotary Club of Drysdale and a Rotarian for 30 plus years. He was President from 1986 to 1987.

Bernie contributed to: Ocean Grove Nature Reserve animal refugee, Portarlington Miniature Railway, Quarry Reserve, Drysdale Rotunda and building of the Easter Art Show art boards.

Bernie received community recognitions throughout 50 years of volunteer service including an Adrian Mannix Community Service Award and a Board member of the Bellarine Peninsula Community Health Centre. The Bernard Filbay memorial seat in the Drysdale historic park remembers Bernie into the future, as a significant contributor to our local community. Wendy Filbay, her sons Mark and Gary together with her extended family unveiled the seat recently.

Coordinator’s News – March

Making Dreams Come True is what we try to do every day. Whether it is something fairly small like copying a video to a DVD or whether it’s helping to create something much bigger like quarterly Bush Dances. We try, if we possibly can to make it come true, we will.
Every day a new opportunity is presented to us. Some dreams we can do straight away but many take a number months or sometimes years like the renovation to the SpringDale Kitchen which took 7 years but when people see it they go “wow” and so do I.
Dreams that I know from your feedback we’ve helped to come true are the Life Drawing Group, which became too big for our premise, our Men’s Kitchen groups – some men were sick of eating eggs on toast as their wives wouldn’t let them in the kitchen, a number of classes including Cheese Making that a salt intolerant person was so happy to be able to have cheese again and she could make it.
A really big dream that we were very instrumental in coming true was the Fishing Platform at Clifton Springs. John Williams approached us late in 2012 just as we were planning our first Community Summit. His idea gained support via hundreds of signatures on a petition and we wrote articles about it in the Messenger and it gained more support and now it is a reality. It may be a bit shorter than we’d hoped for but people are fishing from it and catching fish.
What might your dream be? You might want to play in a band, you might want to create an app for your phone, you might want to start a group, you might want to create a new career path via something that you are very interested in and wonder why no one has done it before. We have a band, we have a coding course, we have innovation classes and we are happy to talk to you about what your dream is.
Every time we make a dream come true we help the community to become stronger and more resilient. We build the capacity of what we can do next because we have had successes that we can draw on for the next challenge.
If you have a computer and you use email – please register to be part of our email network so you can be included and informed of upcoming events and opportunities that spring up quickly. If you don’t have email but would like to know about using it please join our introduction class and or pop into SpringDale to gain updates. We would love everyone to know what is happening so you can choose what to be part of and feel connected with and belong. That’s my dream, please help it come true.
Yours very sincerely,

Anne Brackley for the Team SpringDale

News from Lisa Neville MP – March

New School Year

As we quickly move into 2017 it is an important time of year for schools, students and their parents. Of course preps have just embarked on school life, while Year 12 students are commencing the most important year of their education. As the Member for Bellarine, the provision of quality education and facilities are of paramount importance to me, as they are for all parents. So I am pleased to report that the State Government is continuing to fulfil its promise of upgrading schools right across the Bellarine.

Late last year Portarlington Primary school’s $5.7 million refurbishment commenced joining Barwon Heads, Ocean Grove and Drysdale primary schools, all who are subject to multi-million dollar upgrades over 2016/17. At the secondary level both Bellarine Secondary and St Ignatius colleges have been allocated multimillion dollar state government funding packages for upgrade and refurbishment works.

I am also pleased to note that the Andrews Government has significantly increased the “State Schools Relief” fund which helps families of low income with financial assistance to purchase uniforms and footwear. Across the Bellarine in 2016 nearly 200 students received such financial assistance. I wish all our Bellarine students well for 2017.

Portarlington Ferry

It is good to know that having completed its very first summer holiday period that the Portarlington ferry has been a resounding success with thousands of locals and tourists alike enjoying the service.

Many were coming from Melbourne to enjoy time on the Bellarine, while lots of locals took advantage of a relaxing cruise for a day in the city. I have enjoyed working with all stakeholders in getting this service up and running and look forward to it going from strength to strength.

As always, please don’t hesitate to contact me by email or call my office if there are any matters that I may be able to assist you with directly.

Hon Lisa Neville MP
Member for Bellarine
Twitter: @LisaNevilleMP

Ph: 5248-3462