Creating Change at Bayside Centre

This month, Bayside Centre is creating change and helping to raise awareness and much-needed funds for Community Support - an integral charity assisting with homeless in the local area. Proving a huge range of services including emergency housing, food and grocery vouchers as well as pathways to education, information, advice and skills, Community Support is often the first point of contact for people in crisis. Last year alone saw more than 13,000 people reach out to them for help. 

With the support and community strength of Bayside Centre and the wider Mornington Peninsula, Community Support is able to keep up the vital work it does in changing the direction of people’s lives through helping them gain the ability to make more effective life choices.

Help Bayside Centre bring hope to many people in less fortunate situations than ourselves. Homeless, not hopeless.

Hospital undergoes major upgrade

Work has started on a $9.7 million refurbishment of St John of God Frankston Rehabilitation Hospital to deliver new and improved patient accommodation and amenities.

 Refurbished patient room

Refurbished patient room

The work, which is expected to be completed early next year,  includes converting three and four-bed wards to two-bed wards; increasing the number of single rooms; refurbishing patient rooms and ensuites; and improving front entrance access for patients and vehicles.  A new kiosk, lounge area, three additional consulting rooms, a chapel and an adjoining multipurpose meeting room will all form part of the new-look foyer.

Chief executive officer Sally Faulkner said the most critical component of the refurbishment was increasing the number of single rooms to provide patients with greater comfort and privacy during their recovery.  “The design will also give us the flexibility to increase the bed capacity as required to meet the demands for our services,” Sally said.

“While this is a comprehensive and detailed refurbishment, it will occur in stages so that we minimise the impact on our inpatient and outpatient services.  We will continue with business as usual to provide our comprehensive rehabilitation services every day throughout the refurbishment.”

A: 255-265 Cranbourne Rd, Frankston
T: 9788 3333

Calombaris sets sail to the Peninsula by Liz Rogers

Get ready for this Frankston! Self-proclaimed “Safety Beach boy” George Calombaris is bringing his Hellenic diet inspired restaurant Mastic to the Mornington Peninsula, and that’s just for starters.

Mr Calombaris has been a familiar face at Safety Beach for around 10 years. His children James (6) and Michaela (4) and his partner Natalie love the Peninsula lifestyle just as much as he does. “The kids’ eyes light up as soon as they know we are heading to the beach to see family and friends. We were down last Friday (March) and the weather was cracking! I mean, what’s not to love about it? I can get about without any hassles. Locals are friendly and the space… It’s a fabulous break from a hard working industry where it’s all about being busy and survival of the fittest.”

And that’s what George’s life is - insanely busy and fit for a hard worker. There’s 17 restaurants, ambassadorial positions for Swisse, Bulla Dairy, Qatar Airways and Bowel Cancer amongst others, and then of course he’s co-judge on the mega successful MasterChef Australia on Network 10. “I don’t like sitting still and am always obsessed by something. This season’s MasterChef is going to be better than ever. You know you can feel it in your gut. MasterChef is like an extension of your own kitchen and everyone gets treated with respect. This one’s unbelievable and we have a lot of fun too.”

So, here’s the Mastic deal. George has had two executive chefs scouring the Mornington Peninsula for the best local produce and he’s bought 19 acres in Flinders for winter time planting (think 90 per cent fruit and vegetables). There’s no set date for the opening of his mini holistic village (Mastic, produce and health retreat) set on five acres in Red Hill - but we’ll let you know as soon as we do! One thing’s for sure, George wants to plant roots on the Peninsula and the seeds are already sowing.

“The Peninsula is full of fabulous stuff. You know there’s a National Park behind the (Hummingbird) site where Indigenous Australians used to smoke fish in the hollows of the trees. Radek (Sali, his business partner) and I are keen to create a place where friends can experience food, lifestyle, health and happiness. I may even re-locate The Press Club…”

What? Never!

In the meantime, there’s the annual trip to Greece, television commitments, awards, cooking, family/friends and Peninsula produce and wineries to keep this Safety Beach boy very busy.

MasterChef Australia season nine commences next month on Network Ten.

Always true blue By Kate Sears

The stars in his eyes have magnified since Mornington Peninsula Magazine spoke to actor Ajay Banks last year after his study in L.A.

A move to Canada is paying off for the Peninsula Grammar Old Boy, with a new agency (MVM Agency), new classes and an audition for a small role in a Netflix series.  At last month’s New Renaissance Film Festival in Amsterdam Ajay won Best Actor for his role in Always, which he also wrote and produced and which was nominated for Best Film.  Yet Ajay remains humble and credits his team for the film’s success.

Ajay channelled his grief at the death of his grandparents into Always.  It’s fictitious but inspired by his feelings, and it’s so powerful in its raw aesthetic that you feel like you’re a fly on the wall as you get a snapshot of the worst time in a person’s life.

“It was cathartic to write about this boy who was grieving for his mother and how the people around him were grieving in their own way,” he says.

Thirst for the limelight does not motivate this mature young actor, nor does financial reward.  “I’m not in it for the money,” he says.  He has simply never wanted to do anything else.  Acting from the age of 15, his passion just keeps growing.  With a strong desire to tell stories, whether via script or performance, he’s on stage to connect with others.

Ajay also played Brian in The Happiness Curve, which was well received at the LA Webfest; it was nominated for Outstanding Comedy Series and Outstanding Writing and picked up the award for Outstanding Ensemble Cast.  This international recognition was just that extra push he needed to make the move abroad.  It’s a delightfully funny web series with heart thrown in too.  Ajay enjoyed portraying Brian, who was a very different comedic yet intense character; a portrayal that was new to the actor.

His advice? “When you want to give up, you shouldn’t.” 

W: Watch The Happiness Curve online at
INSTA: @ajay_banks
FB: @AjayBanksActor


Make tracks for Trax

Trax 627 is the go-to café bar for everything from functions and catering to takeaways and special nights.

Mondays and Wednesdays are Parma Nights, with seven delicious parmas to choose from for $17.50.  Steak Nights are on Thursdays, with a 350g char-grilled porterhouse steak, sweet potato curls, chips and salad for $19.90.  Both deals come with a free soft drink, pot of beer or house wine, and bookings are a must.

If you’re up for a parma challenge, take on the Big Boss of Carrum for $34.90. If you complete it like competitor eaters Chompamatic and Hulksmashfood you’ll receive a free t-shirt!

With beer on tap and happy hour every day from 4-6pm, you’re always in for a treat at Trax 627. In addition, a lunch special is on offer until 4pm for $14.90, with gluten free options available.

Trax 627 is also excited to announce it is opening a second location in May at 533 Nepean Highway, Bonbeach.  To keep up to date on the progress, make sure to follow Trax 627 on Facebook.

If takeaways are on your mind, order online from Trax 627’s full menu with the smart phone app (Trax 627) for IOS and Android. As an introductory offer, your first order via the app receives 25 per cent off for pickup or delivery.

TRAX 627
A: 627 Nepean Highway, Carrum
T: 8712 3103
F: @Trax627

Bringing the community together

Lyrebird Community Centre has been serving the Carrum Downs and Skye community for more than 20 years - and more recently the suburb of Sandhurst.  In that time it has provided many local families with support, services, education, activities and important resources that have improved or added value to their lives.

The centre is strategically located in Carrum Downs and has established itself as the hub of the community, providing modern facilities and services.  Lyrebird is a Learn Local provider and hundreds of residents attend the centre each week. The centre caters for all ages in the diverse programs and services it offers, including accredited and pre-accredited educational courses, self-help groups, children’s services and recreational activities.

Lyrebird’s vision is achieved by providing residents and groups with a modern facility, programs and services that promote and encourage a connected community.

Lyrebird’s focus of ‘Bringing the Community Together’ is highlighted each December at the wonderful Community Christmas Festival & Carols to celebrate the magic of Christmas with the diverse community.  Community networks identified some time ago that Carrum Downs and Skye residents wanted safe, well managed, family friendly events that connect the community.  Lyrebird’s Christmas festival has firmly cemented itself as one of these and has become an annual tradition for thousands of families.

If you haven’t visited Lyrebird already, drop in and enjoy a coffee at the Lyrebird Coffee House, a training café that opened in 2016.  Lyrebird is open Monday to Friday during school terms from 8.30am-4pm.  Visit the website or ‘Like’ Lyrebird on Facebook to stay up to date with what’s on.

A: 203 Lyrebird Drive, Carrum Downs
T: 9782 0133
F: @lyrebirdcommunitycentre

Your friendly neighbourbood supermarket

Carrum Downs Regional Shopping Centre is proudly privately owned and boasts a variety of over 50 retailers for your homeware, hair dressing, newsagent and floristry needs.

With specialty stores ranging from Kmart, Woolworths, BWS and Priceline to variety stores, and Cheap as Chips. This shopping centre has easy access with loads of free parking, you’ll complete your errands before you know it!

After your shopping is done, treat yourself to a relaxing coffee break at one of the cafes.

Open 7 days a week, 9am – 5:30pm with FREE parking.

A: 100 Hall Road Carrum Downs
T: 9782 6000

Introducing Kate!

We’d like to welcome Kate Sears as our new Frankly Frankston journalist. Kate has previously been working as our Publisher’s assistant at Mornington Peninsula Magazine. She has now moved into this new role, while maintaining her work as our social media guru. Her passion for the peninsula is bottomless as her family has been living on the Mornington Peninsula for 5 generations. She just couldn’t imagine living away from the beach!

Kate comes well qualified, she has completed her Master’s in Communications and Media Studies, a Bachelor in Communication Design with minors in Media, as well as Diplomas in Digital Marketing, Social Media & Online Reputation Management and Photography. Prior to joining our team she interned at Black Pearl recording studios and enjoyed travelling through Malaysia, Europe and the United Kingdom. Outside of work she enjoys day trips exploring waterfalls and hidden beaches with her boyfriend, hamburger nights and Netflix marathons.

Kate can’t wait to work with our locals exploring people and places across the greater Frankston!



Another Milestone for Frankston bluesman

The awards could not have come at a better time.  On the eve of a 30-date UK/US tour and with his new album just released globally, Frankston bluesman Geoff Achison “pretty much scooped the pool” at the Chain Australian Blues Awards:  Album of the Year for Another Mile, Another Minute; Song of the Year (I’m Gonna Ride); Producer of the Year (Geoff and father-and-son team Rob and Ben Harwood); Group of the Year (which his Souldiggers shared with the “fantastic” Justin Yap Band); and Artist of the Year.

The awards justified Geoff’s attempt to take his music to the next level.

“We were committed to making the best possible album, having learnt in the past that now and again because of budget constraints we would cut corners.  We were trying as hard as we could to not do that and then found that it wasn’t getting completed because we were just running out of money.”

So Geoff’s wife, Michelle, suggested crowdfunding to keep those corners intact.  “When it was initially suggested I was a bit coy about it – I felt like it was asking people to give us a handout – but once we got into it I realised it’s not like that at all – you’re really appealing to your support network to get on board and be involved in the process.”

Geoff would post regular updates on YouTube, playing demos of songs he and the band were working on.  “I’ve never done that before; usually we keep all that stuff a secret as much as we possibly can because you really want people’s first hearing of a new song to be when it’s completed.  So I had to drop some walls there and allow people to see into the inner workings of putting it together.  But the response was fantastic.

“Then I did about 20 different events around the place which were anything from house concerts to guitar lessons as people snapped up these little packages that Michelle offered, and it was actually really fun because I got to meet a lot of people and go to their houses and sit down and play a few tunes – it was great.

“For all the accolades we’ve got for the album, which is fantastic, the experience of the music for us is best when it’s live on stage and we’ve got an audience and we just have our own little party.  I love it; it’s the greatest job in the world.”

Brooke’s life in the fast lane

Brooke Hogan, 24, is one of Australia’s top models, she’s from Frankston and she has just been named the Female Ambassador for the 2017 Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix (March 23-26).  This ‘girl next door’ shot to prominence when she appeared on Australia’s Next Top Model 2013 and she now has more than half a million followers on social media. She spoke with Frankly Frankston about her meteoric rise, her new role and her love for Frankston and the Mornington Peninsula.

Tell us where you grew up and what you love about the area.
I am a Frankston girl born and bred and I love it. My parents still live there and I love going home to visit them. I went to Ballam Park Primary School and McClelland College in Frankston. I have always loved living on the Peninsula. They say home is where the heart is and I believe that 100 per cent. There are so many things I love and the list is continuing to grow.  There are some great new little cafés and shops but my favourite thing about the area would have to be that it is where my family are.  My boyfriend, Myles, lives in Portsea so I would say I spend 50 per cent of my time in Melbourne and the other 50 on the Peninsula.

Name your favourite café, restaurant and beach on the Peninsula?
I have two favourite cafés - 6 Nutrition in Frankston (they have the best acai bowls ever) and also Store Fifteen in Mornington (really healthy and organic foods with delicious smoothies). Favourite restaurants would be Doc in Mornington and Hotel Sorrento in Sorrento. Favourite beach would be Shelley Beach in Portsea - the water is super clean, there is a beautiful view on the walk down, a little pier to walk down as well and it isn’t too crowded … unless it’s peak summer time.

Do you use Peninsula locations in your Instagram photos?
Yes, all the time.

What does it mean to be named the 2017 Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix Female Ambassador?
It is a role that I have had my eye on for quite a while now and I am over the moon that the opportunity has come around. The Grand Prix is such an iconic time for Australia and we are so lucky to host such a prestigious event here in Melbourne. It’s going to be an action-packed exciting few days and I am thrilled to showcase Melbourne in all its glory.

What is your message to young women, particularly local girls, who might wish to dream big and follow in your footsteps?
I could write an essay on this. My advice would be, don’t doubt yourself. If you want something, you need to work as hard as you can to get there. You can’t just sit around waiting for something to happen. It doesn’t work like that. Figure out what it is you want to do, get up and go get it.

For Grand Prix tickets, go to

High-rise development leads the way

A landmark residential project proposed for Frankston could trigger a property boom.

Peninsula Project Group says its Allure Bayside development, at 10-12 Davey St, will be first high-rise residential development in the Bayside/Mornington Peninsula region, and with the area primed for growth it’s unlikely to be the last.

The 14-storey development will include 77 one, two and three-bedroom luxury apartments and penthouses above a single-level podium incorporating existing heritage buildings, with a four-level basement carpark below.  One heritage façade will contain a gymnasium, golf and yoga room, the other incorporating café space with a garden terrace.

“The hero of these apartments is the bay views from the Melbourne CBD to Sorrento,” a PPG spokesman said.  “This sets Allure Bayside apart from other similar priced low-rise apartment buildings in the area.

“Now is the time to invest in Frankston property, while property prices are still low, rental demand is high and property value is only just commencing its incline. The trick is to invest in areas that have not yet experienced their property ‘boom’. This is where property owners will make significant returns.”

Forty-five per cent of the apartments have already been sold, mostly to owner-occupiers. Construction is forecast to start in May.

A: 10-12 Davey St, Frankston
T: 1300 336 542
E: [email protected]

On the ride of a lifetime

“It’s beginning to feel like it was all a long time ago but we’re still really, really proud of her.”
Pam Hawkes is reminiscing while on her way to Wagga to see one of her horses run.  She doesn’t give it much hope, but she saw it born five years ago and wild horses couldn’t keep her away.  “It doesn’t matter whether it’s at Mornington on a midweek race or Wagga tomorrow, it’s just fantastic.  We get just as much thrill watching her run as we did watching Black Caviar.”

It has been almost four years since Black Caviar ran her last race – the TJ Smith Stakes at Randwick.  It was her 25th win from 25 starts and her 15th Group 1 win – both records – and her brilliant career captivated the racing world and delighted the group of lifetime friends who for years had talked about owning a racehorse.  “We used to go to the Melbourne Cup and we’d say ‘Gee, we should get a horse together; it’d be a lot of fun’.”

One day, with Pam stuck on her vegetable farm at Boneo, the others called her from the Murray River houseboat on which they’d all stay and said they were going to buy a horse. “I said ‘I’m in but I only want a fast one’, so they took me at my word and got a fast one.”

The eight syndicate members each suggested three names for the filly and everyone voted; Pam’s suggestion – inspired by her love of caviar - got up.  “You’ve got to have a catchy name for people to take notice of, and it worked.  We’re very fond of champagne as well and you always hope you’ll have an excuse to celebrate; we haven’t had that much caviar because, by gum, it’s expensive but we’ve had plenty of opportunities to celebrate with champagne.”

Pam’s love of horses goes way back to growing up on a farm in Keysborough, where she used to watch her grandfather’s Clydesdales plough the fields and ride the Shetland he bought for her, so it’s no surprise she saw all Black Caviar’s races and went to every trial.   One of her favourites is the Lightning Stakes at Flemington in February 2013, the mare’s return from injury sustained during her triumph at Ascot eight months earlier.

“We’d virtually written her off; we left Ascot thinking we’ve got a brood mare.  But she just jumped and ran and broke the track record and just blew everybody away. It was just fantastic.”
Another highlight was the TJ Smith at Randwick in April 2011, when she made up seven lengths on Hay List, the second-highest rated sprinter in the world.  “It was phenomenal.”

The same group of friends are now racing Black Caviar’s first foal, Oscietra, who ran third in her first start on New Year’s Day at Flemington, but they still occasionally visit the grand dam and get regular updates from the stud where she is in foal again.  “The last one we got was to say how magnificent she’s looking and she’s never looked better.” 

Pam Hawkes will address the Frankston Business Network in the Mornington Racing Club’s Gunamatta Room on March 8, 11.30am-2.30pm.  Tickets (including a two-course lunch, champagne on arrival, and tea and coffee) cost $69 ($65 for FBN members; $625 for a table of 10).  Bookings: or 9781 1422.

Ha ha, Hannie, you’ve got them laughing by Liz Rogers

Humour. Smarts. Telling it like it is. These are the words that come to mind as I mull over my interview with writer, playwright and performer Hannie Rayson. Oh, and giggling. Chuckling. Sarcasm and chutzpah. Cherry blossoms with a whiff of cyanide on top?

Watch out for this woman’s craft. She knows what she’s doing and does it so well that every word on her page has something to tell. She weaves her words with wit, intelligence and an understanding of the human condition and connectedness that makes her audiences feel like they belong together in this dinghy of life with all its up sides and sometimes drowning downs.
Hannie’s words speak to her listeners. That’s why her “back catalogue” of work continues to be performed.  Hotel Sorrento is set to tour nationally in 2018, while Inheritance, Two Brothers, Falling from Grace and Life After George keep enthralling new generations of theatre goers. Hannie loves to write with a pen that has been dipped wholeheartedly into the dramaturge of living. “I’m actually quite a 19th Century person. I can imagine myself writing with a quill in a bustle dress – you know, with the big bulge over the bum.”  

She’s been ‘lettering’ full time since she was 24 and is the only playwright to be nominated for the Miles Franklin Literary Award for Life After George. This jovial juggernaut of journalism (Sydney Morning Herald columnist), non-fiction (her memoir Hello, Beautiful!) and screenwriting (Sea Change) is a true dialogue diva. She just hears it. “Dialogue is a freak skill. Teaching it is hard because you’ve got to train your ear. I always remembered what people said when I was young and loved eavesdropping on conversations.

“I’m a bit of a control freak as a playwright.” Actors beware, the AWMF = As Written Mother F…. rule applies here. That’s why her acclaimed show Hello, Beautiful!  which is set to hit the Frankston Art Centre stage on March 15 is going to be worth a visit.  It was rapturously received by Malthouse Theatre audiences in 2016 and will be travelling throughout Victoria for the rest of 2017. It goes remote in 2018. “I hope to be going right up to the Northern Territory. I only go to nice places I want to visit, ” she laughs. “I can’t wait to be on stage in Frankston. It’s so much fun because it’s very personal and every audience responds differently.” There were 43 stories in the Hello, Beautiful! Scenes from a Life collection (Text Publishing) and she shares 11 of them in this one-woman show.

Hannie’s plays are about social issues and connecting generations. She’s currently at Aireys Inlet trying to write the last two scenes of her new Sydney Theatre Company’s play Noah’s Daughter. “I’m doing this one backwards! From present day into the past. It’s only taken me about four months instead of the mandatory 12!” Noah’s Daughter is about sperm donation, secrets and family, but while you’re waiting for that little gem get along to the Arts Centre in Frankston to experience Hello, Beautiful!

The stage door to this prolific writer’s inexhaustible mind is ajar. Step inside.
And laugh. Picture: Shannon Morris

WB on the Waterfront

Fame came to Frankston earlier this month when Frankston Life Saving Club welcomed Kids’ WB to have fun on our foreshore.

Hosts Lauren Phillips and Shane Crawford were set some strenuous challenges by Frankston Nippers Amber Amalfi, Sophie Campbell, Gerard Comey and Jai Dodd while being enthusiastically cheered on by the junior Nippers and ably supported by SRC qualified junior members Tegan Amalfi, Isabella Comey and Tristan Saltmarsh and the rest of the FLSC Nippers community, including many parent volunteers and president Tim Cutrona.

Lauren and Shane also explored Sand Sculpting Australia’s annual display, tried their hand at flyboarding and explored the rockpools around the Frankston Waterfront precinct to promote the return of the Nine Network children’s show for 2017.

More than 10,000 Victorian kids participate annually in Nippers, the main surf education program for ages 5-14.  This family friendly national program is structured specifically to ages and abilities, gradually teaching youngsters basic lifesaving skills required to be safe around an aquatic environment as well as developing their talents to compete in surf sports.

Frankston Nippers meet on Friday afternoons at FLSC between spring and Easter and usually enjoy a barbecue after the session. Other social and training events maintain involvement across the winter season. Parent engagement is an integral part of the Nippers program with opportunities to volunteer as age managers and officials, in water safety roles and for social, event and fundraising activities.  For more information, go to or Facebook: Frankston Life Saving Club Inc.