Crappy cars, commendable cause By Kate Sears


A lemon. A rust bucket. A pile of junk. And more than 150 other similarly rundown shitboxes will be hitting the road on May 19 from Brisbane to hopefully finish in Darwin on May 25 for the Shitbox Rally 2018, raising money for cancer research.

Representing the Mornington Peninsula and Frankston City for the 3800km trip is Team Funsize - electrician Josh Carlson, plumber Sam Tyson and their $250 Hyundai Excel.

When - not if - your shitbox breaks down, it’s up to your team and your buddy group of six other teams to rally together to fix it. If that’s an impossible feat, the volunteer support crews with qualified mechanics will help you attempt to get your car over the line. Cars that make it are auctioned off, with all the money going to the Cancer Council.

“The rally isn’t actually a race; rather, it’s a challenge to achieve the unthinkable,” said Sam.

“Sam does a lot of four-wheel driving and we both do a lot of trips into the bush to trail bike ride and four-wheel drive,” said Josh. “But I think it will be a bit different in a 2WD hatchback Hyundai.”

Since the first event in 2010, the Shitbox Rally has raised $11.9 million for cancer research. Sam and Josh would love to raise $10,000 to add to the 2018 tally. You can follow their progress on Instagram @team.funsize or donate or become a sponsor by visiting


Sharks to host national BMX series

 Photo by JPS photos

Photo by JPS photos

It’s shaping up to be a huge year for the Frankston Sharks BMX Club after it was selected to host Round 2 of the UCI Supercross BMX National Series on April 21-22. The weekend of racing begins with a club race on Friday night, practice on Saturday and UCI finals on Sunday.

UCI (Union Cycliste Internationale) is an international event that determines world champion cyclists and only five races will be held in Australia – so for the Sharks to secure one of them is a real coup.

The club’s track has recently had some significant upgrades with the support of the Frankston City Council, with new bitumen berms and a new start gate installed. The vibe at the Sharks is at an all-time high, with club members and a highly motivated, friendly and positive committee working tirelessly to get the track in pristine condition for the night’s racing. The number of racing members has risen to 160 and the club has played host to some major events, including Track Attack, the Summer Series and Helltrack.

Everyone is welcome to come along and watch any event at the club, and entry is free. There’s a fully stocked canteen with food and drinks at race events, coaching clinics and practice sessions. If you’re keen to ride, bring your bike, safety gear and a fun attitude and you’ll fit right in. Visit; for general inquiries, email [email protected]


Mamas who love to share

A 20-year friendship between Helen James, of Frankston, and Lisa Schefman, of Langwarrin, has blossomed into an Instagram account and blog called Mama loves to share. They talk to Kate Sears.

 Photo by Michelle Pragt

Photo by Michelle Pragt

What inspired you guys to start @mamalovestoshare?

HELEN: We were pregnant with our first children at the same time, so we would constantly text each other with questions, comments, funny stories, things we were worried or unsure about. We always joked that we should start a blog so other people could read about how crazy our lives were too. It took a couple of years but by the time our second babies were born we were ready to take the plunge.

Why do you think people resonate with what you post?

LISA: We are very different people. She’s cool, calm and collected and I’m none of those things. I’m anxious, crazy and neurotic. People can relate to both of us.

What do you love most about where you live?

HELEN: Frankston has such amazing facilities for families to utilise - the parks and gardens, beaches, swimming pools, playgrounds, cafes, and restaurants. The best thing is everything is only a few minutes’ drive away and most of the places we love visiting are free so you can always pop somewhere spontaneously.

LISA: We’ve lived here our whole lives; what’s not to love? Frankston is always evolving, it has everything we need right here and it’s smack bang in the middle of the Mornington Peninsula and Melbourne.

Follow the girls on Instagram at @mamalovestoshare and @i_heart_kmart.

Heath set for another serving of success By Kate Sears


Dedicated barely skims the surface when describing this 30-year-old Rosebud Paralympian. Heath Davidson doesn’t stop and won’t stop. He’s training six days a week, and we’re sure he’d sneak in a Sunday session if he could - a training session, that is. There’s no alcohol in sight now he’s in full training mode after winning the quad wheelchair doubles final with his tennis partner, friend and mentor Dylan Alcott at the 2018 Australian Open.

“I celebrated with friends for a few days,” says Heath. “There were a few cheeky beers, but now I’m back to training again.”

The next goal? Well it’s “goals” – plural. There are a few competitions in the US before he heads to the Korean Open, then Japan and the European tour for the World Team Cup in the Netherlands.

“Dylan and I won it two years ago, and we can’t wait to do Australia proud by winning it again. But Wimbledon is the big one. It will be an honour to wear all white for the first time. I just have to keep training hard and get results.”

Heath played as a junior for four years from the age of 14 before taking time off to “enjoy my 20s”. He returned to the sport to win gold at the 2016 Rio Paralympics and took out the 2016 ITF World Team Cup in Tokyo with Dylan.

“I didn’t know if I’d be good enough to go back to it. Ultimately, I was scared to go back and fail – but I finally took the chance and the results have spoken for themselves.”

Heath has also developed a passion for motivational speaking, inspiring those with disabilities to get into sport – something he felt was lacking when he was a junior. “Knowing that I can help someone, that’s awesome. I kind of say, ‘If I can do it, well, so can you.’ I’m actually being brought in for ‘show and tell’ this week. Sonny is a six-year-old boy in a wheelchair and I’m honoured to go in and meet his classmates and show my medals. I want to normalise disabilities, and if it gets him happy then I’m more than happy to do it.”

What a champ!


Frankly Speaking With Mariah Stellato By Yazmine Lomax


Frankston’s Mariah Stellato is a certified environmental warrior. The environmental science student has transformed her life into one that centres around mindful consumption and sustainability, and she has volunteered her skills both here and across the ditch.

How have your studies affected your views and lifestyle?

Before I started studying environmental science I was your typical consumer. I consistently bought copious amounts of junk I didn’t need and my life was so full of stuff that I couldn’t distinguish between what I needed and what I wanted. My studies taught me it’s possible to live sustainably.

What’s been the most rewarding experience so far?

It would have to be meeting people. I know it sounds extremely cliché but when you’re removing invasive plants, replanting natives, fossil hunting or beach cleaning, you get to work with people who have amazing stories. I’ve learnt more about the environment, culture and historical context from listening to people I’ve worked with than from a university book.

Why do you think volunteering is so important to society?

I spent a month in New Zealand volunteering with Conservation Volunteers NZ and have previously completed work with local Aboriginal archeologist Adam Magennis. From these experiences I have learnt that when you give, the benefits you receive back are endless. If no one gave then we would all just expect to receive.

Why do you love where you live and how does it inspire your work?

My passion for the environment was sparked from living here; with places like Olivers Hill and Bushrangers Bay, how could you not love it? If I can help protect what we have as our backyard, maybe others will too.

Delightful alpacas steal Beverley’s heart By Kate Sears

In 2007, Beverley Baker began looking for an animal that would keep the grass down on her 4ha Summerhill Farm B&B at Main Ridge.  Enter the alpacas, and Summalon Alpaca Stud came into being.


Beverley, who operates the stud with her daughter, Fleur, says she was attracted to these animals for their endearing nature and protective instincts. “They are lovely to work with and relatively low-maintenance.  The B&B guests find them entertaining and quite a novelty, as their curious nature often tempts them to approach in the hope of a few treats.” 

Beverley’s alpacas are the Huacaya breed - “the ones that look like sheep with long necks” – and their fleece is soft and lustrous and makes beautiful and stylish garments. Beverley supplies the fleece and yarn you’ll find at the Little Alpaca shop in Flinders that is owned by her daughter, Trudy.

Farmers also use alpacas to prevent fox attacks on their chickens and new-born lambs.  The animals will chase intruders from the paddock and give a warning cry that Beverley describes as a high-pitched shriek.

So who is Beverley’s favourite?  At the moment it’s a youngster called Alfie.  “I think he is a good one, but we will soon know as he will be shown in the junior class at Berwick Show. It’s good to see how our animals compare to those of other breeders.”

Summalon Alpacas is a registered commercial stud, and much as Beverley loves her alpacas she can’t keep them all, so there are usually a few for sale.  Beverley can be contacted on 5989 6077.


Dolphins’ goal to support autistic kids


The new-look Dolphins will come up against VFL Premiers Port Melbourne this month in the inaugural Autism Helper Pre-Season Cup. The match will be an excellent opportunity for Frankston, who have been readmitted to the VFL, to test their list against one of the competition’s heavyweights while supporting the autism community in general and Light Up Autism in particular.

Light Up Autism’s creative convenor is Bianca Appleford (pictured), whose family has a long-time involvement with the Rye Football Club, and the organisation will join The Autism Helper and the Applied Creative's LABpro in demonstrating their practical resources in support of children on the autism spectrum.

The Autism Helper Pre-Season Cup is on Saturday, March 24, at 2pm at Frankston City Oval and includes barbecues and a free community lunch, free footy clinics for the kids, pre-match and half-time entertainment, and an analysis by former Hawthorn champions Gary Buckenara and Gary Ayres on how the Dolphins are shaping up for 2018. Entry is free but patrons will be asked to make a gold coin donation to Light Up Autism.

For further details, visit


‘Heavy hearts’ as lights go out By Kate Sears

The Christmas lights at 1 Lulworth Place have been turned off for the last time. Visitors to last year’s jaw-dropping display were greeted with a sign informing them that after 17 years, residents Trevor and Sandra had decided 2017’s festive spectacular would be their last.

“Thanks for everyone’s years of support; unfortunately it is with heavy hearts that we’ve decided to stop our yearly display,” Sandra said.

Each year the Frankston couple spent four months setting up their display with help from Trevor’s family, and each year they took great delight in seeing the awe on the faces of thousands of children who passed through their doors. But their display was more than just a major drawcard for countless families from far and wide; over the past nine years Sandra and Trevor have collected donations from their visitors and raised an incredible $36,852 for Frankston Special Development School.

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“Every year we’ve outdone the year before in terms of donations,” said Sandra. “However, this year we were under - but it wasn’t a reflection of our display. This last display was our best display yet. We went out with a bang and raised $5020.80.”

FSDS principal Scott Tucker said he greatly appreciated what Trevor and Sandra had done for the school over the years, and he shared the community’s sadness that the annual displays had come to an end. However, Scott said he was so delighted the couple would now have time to reward themselves for their tireless work with their first holiday in more than 18 years.

And what’s become of their incredible collection of lights and Christmas decorations? The couple held a garage sale and have been able to sell most of them. “It was a very cathartic experience,” said Sandra.

On behalf of our readers, Frankly Frankston would like to thank Sandra and Trevor for the money they raised and the memories they created through their stunning displays, and we wish them all the very best.


Book in some ‘you’ time

Attention mums - we’ve found a way for you to finally finish that book you’ve had sitting around for too long. Simply tell the family that you’ve got “hours of errands to run”, and hide away at The Book Hub before completing the grocery shop in record time.

For 18 months, Karingal Hub’s The Book Hub has been delighting bookworms of all ages. It’s a pop-up community book swap where customers are invited to exchange their preloved books for a new story, or alternatively treat it as a library and take a seat in the book nook to be transported to another world.

With an overwhelming response from many shoppers, The Book Hub has turned the page by creating a quiet retreat within the shopping centre. It’s also encouraging new readers to discover the world of books.

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Customers are donating countless books and are genuinely excited about the space. Langwarrin resident Claude Littlechild, pictured with his wife, Gail, said: “It’s one of the best around. I come every other day and help stack the shelves while my wife waits. I would highly recommend it.” And Helen Howlings, of Frankston, said: “It’s a fantastic idea, and people bring books they’ve read back, which is great.”

Karingal Hub is proud to provide the community with this space to share and enjoy the pleasure of reading.  If you’d like to donate any pre-loved books, simply add them to the shelves or leave them with centre management.

You’ll find this little oasis opposite Soul Pattinson at Karingal Hub, 330 Cranbourne Rd, Karingal. It’s open daily from 10am-4pm.


Good vibes happen on the tides

They say that the ocean breeze puts the mind at ease. That is, until you see a plastic bottle top at your feet and a plastic straw floating by.

We’re supporting Sea Shepherd Marine Debris Campaign Australia’s efforts and want to herd our readers in the direction of its beach clean-up at Frankston Pier on Saturday, February 24, ahead of the Pier Street Party at Pelly Bar. Just for helping the crew pick up rubbish at Frankston Beach you’ll be in the running to pick up some free tickets to the party, where you’ll see such performers as Thundamentals, Art vs Science, Gyroscope, The Getaway Plan, Rackett, and Jesswar, as well as food trucks and outdoor pop-up bars.

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The Sea Shepherd Melbourne teams are returning to Frankston and they’re really looking forward to what will be an epic day. You’re invited to meet at the Sea Shepherd marquee near the Frankston Pier to register at 10.45am, with a briefing at 10.55am before the clean-up from 11am-12.30pm. After the beach is spotless, there will be sorting and counting from 12.30-1.30pm before packing up at 1.45pm.

You’ll be looking the part if you’re dressed suitably with sunscreen, hat, sunglasses, closed-toe shoes, and water (in a reusable container, of course). The team can provide gloves if you don’t have your own, and clean-up bags are available – but please take note the clean-up is a single-use plastic-free event.

This kid-friendly environmentally aware clean-up will fuel your karma, and the waves will entice you in for a refreshing dip to reward your efforts.

The aim is to keep our oceans plastic-free every day, and hey, it’s the least we can do.

Sharon builds her dreams on sand

Every year, more than 20 sand sculptors from across Australia and around the world turn 3500 tonnes of sand into incredible works of art on Frankston Waterfront.  The Sand Sculpting Australia exhibition, which draws thousands of people to our city over summer, is the brainchild of Sandstorm Events director and South Frankston resident Sharon Redmond. She talks to Kate Sears at Frankly Frankston Magazine about how it all started.

Where did the idea come from?
I saw a sand sculpture on the beach at Rye about 14 years ago, fell in love with the art form and thought it would be great to bring it to the Australian public in an event format. I was working for Vision Australia at the time so I developed it as a fundraising initiative for them in conjunction with a small community group called Rye Beach Action Group. After a number of years Vision Australia decided to no longer run events, so l purchased the event that l had developed for them from them and started Sandstorm Events.

How long did it take to get off the ground?
The first three to five years were very hard as the art form was not known in Australia. Fortunately, the Australian public fell in love with the art form – as l had – and Frankston City Council decided to host the event on their foreshore. We have now been running at Frankston for 11 years, and due to the popularity of this event we also hold annual events in NSW, South Australia and Queensland as well as running school holiday programs in shopping centres all throughout Australia.

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Who was your biggest help/influence?
Aidan J Graham, a businessman in Langwarrin who owned a quarry with the special type of sand that we need. He loved what the sand artists did with the sand and for the first four events donated all the sand and - in conjunction with another local company, Maw Civil – all the haulage. Without this initial support we could not have got the event off the ground.

What’s the most rewarding part of the job?
Watching a generational family - grandparents, parents and children - all view the sculptures and each take something from it. It is an art form that reaches all age groups. Also l gain great pleasure from watching the sculptors at work, creating a three-dimensional sculpture from a simple drawing. It constantly amazes me.

Where do the theme concepts come from each year?
I draw the theme each year from our research material, where we ask our audience what they would like to see carved in the sand.

What’s been your favourite Sand Sculpture theme?
Disney - I am a Disney princess at heart!

Any other similar plans in the works?
We are looking to develop our four-month event at Frankston into an all-year-round attraction with a roof over the sculptures. This is a very exciting project in the pipeline and we hope to see it come to fruition in 2018.

Do you travel for work?
Yes, l am fortunate that we get to create sand magic all over Australia and overseas. I have travelled to the Maldives, Singapore, Cable Beach, Townsville, Esperance, Darwin … it is part of the job that is really amazing, and l count my blessings every day that l can wake up and do something that l love with a passion.

What’s your favourite thing to do on the Peninsula?
Go for long walks and dine out in our amazing restaurants across the Peninsula. 

Anything else you’d like to add?
I hope all the readers have had a chance to see the amazing sand sculptures on the Frankston Waterfront. They will be on display until the end of April. 


Sally tackles the big issues By Kate Sears

Sally Hines, the chief operating officer of The Big Issue and Homes for Homes, grew up in Frankston South and now lives in Mount Martha. She talks to Kate Sears from Frankly Frankston Magazine about helping disadvantaged Aussies help themselves.

How did you get to be the COO of two organisations?
Following a brief dabble in the corporate sector I have spent my entire career in the not-for-profit sector with a strong interest in working with those most disadvantaged in society. Prior to commencing at The Big Issue and Homes for Homes, I worked in employment services, community development, youth mental health and health for over 10 years. I have held various strategic, service delivery and operational management positions, including experience in establishing new not-for-profit businesses across Australia in diverse communities. 

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 What’s your day like?
No day is the same, that’s for sure. The diverse nature of my roles means I can spend the morning watching the new edition of the magazine being launched by our editor with our vendors celebrating with a breakfast, followed by a meeting with a property stakeholder discussing Homes for Homes and then an afternoon with staff working through strategic plans to maximise the income generated for homeless and marginalised Australians working in our social enterprises. 

What’s the most rewarding aspect of what you do?
Seeing the people we work with (homeless, marginalised and disadvantaged) making positive changes in their lives. Our mission is to “help people help themselves”.

Being part of the staffing group that provides these work opportunities to those in our community unable to access mainstream employment is incredibly rewarding.

What do you love about Frankston and the Mornington Peninsula?
I grew up in Frankston South, and after moving around metropolitan Melbourne in my 20s I was very happy to move back to Mornington and now Mount Martha with my husband and daughter. I love living in a holiday destination - everything is at your doorstep and there is always something to do. It is a relaxing place to live.

 What’s your favourite quote?
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, concerned citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” — Margaret Mead

Sally Hines will be speaking at the 2018 International Women’s Day Breakfast, presented by Frankston North Rotary with the Rotary clubs of Frankston, Peninsula 2.0 and Mount Eliza, on Wednesday, March 7 (tickets from You can buy The Big Issue from a vendor in the city or subscribe at


It’s truffle time on MKR By Liz Rogers

Frankly Frankston loves My Kitchen Rules almost as much as Peninsula truffles, and what better way to celebrate both than to have a quick word with brother and sister Henry and Anna, two truffle-farming Tasmanians who are hitting the road on this trail-blazing show.

“Last season Damo and Caz gave us a quick visit to buy some truffles for their instant restaurant,” says Henry. “She got me into this.” The siblings agree that they’re not the most experienced cooks but are looking forward to giving it a go. Anna jokes: “If we can put out three courses and no one vomits, no one cries and I don’t chop a finger off or break anything, it’ll be a good night.”

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For anyone who knows something about truffles, farming them is by no means simple. They start growing here in the ground in the first week of December and don’t ripen until the beginning of June. There’s the PH levels in the soil to consider, the right trees to plant and foster (it takes years before a tree will produce its first truffle) and then you’ve got to find them beneath the soil. That’s where a truffle dog comes in. You can see why they sometimes sell for thousands of dollars.

“We really want to showcase our love of truffles and how proud we are of what Mum and Dad have created,” says Anna. “We’re so lucky to have grown up on a truffle farm. It’s very special to us.” Henry adds: “To experience something like this with your sister and best mate is once in a lifetime.”

MKR screens on Channel 7. Get ready to rumble, people - it’s truffle time.

Dolphins’ return a boost for young players By Sam Mills

The Frankston Football Club is back in the VFL and has some big plans to re-engage the community and promote women’s football.

The Dolphins’ appeal for readmission was approved by AFL Victoria in August and the club has since been working around the clock to build a list for next season and a business plan for the future.

Current St Kilda ruck assistant Adam Skrobalak will take over the head coaching role at the Dolphins, splitting his time between the two clubs. Frankston native and recently delisted Richmond defender Jake Batchelor will be playing assistant coach in 2018, lending valuable experience to what is likely to be a young playing list.

With a VFL record of 1200 members and with a significant amount of its $1 million debt paid off, Frankston is beginning to implement a plan that will strengthen its position on the Peninsula.  Among the plans are new lights at Frankston Park and a VFL Women’s team.  St Kilda will enter a Peninsula-based side in the VFLW next season and operate the club until 2020, when the Dolphins will likely take over.

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The return of semi-professional football to the Peninsula is a big boost to the dreams of young footballers in the region who missed out on being drafted to an AFL club.  Before its licence was terminated in 2016, Frankston was seen as a pathway club where younger players were given greater opportunity to pull on the jumper in the VFL.

Former Western Bulldogs captain Matthew Boyd and forward Tory Dickson and Richmond small-forward Sam Lloyd have all graduated from the surrounds of Frankston Park to play in AFL premierships.