Frankly Speaking With Ashleigh Newman By Yazmine Lomax

Ashleigh Newman is a visual artist from Baxter who, at just 21, already has an impressive portfolio of commissions and exhibits under her belt. Her work has amassed tens of thousands of followers on social media, including YouTubers and pop stars who are obsessed with her skills.  

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Where did your love for art begin?
My interest in art began when I was very little when I would spend most of my time scribbling animals on just about every surface I could get my hands on! While the kids around me became less interested in drawing as they got older, my love for creating artwork intensified and this passion continued into my adult life.

What are you currently working on and what’s next?
I recently had the incredible opportunity to work with Mental Health Australia on their World Mental Health Day campaign. I filmed a time-lapse video of myself creating an artwork that centred on mental illnesses to raise awareness of the issue. It’s been the most personally inspirational project I’ve worked on, and I hope to work on more projects like this one in the future. As for day-to-day work, I am currently illustrating a children’s book while squeezing in the odd pet portrait commission here and there.

Who are your inspirations?
My grandad. He has been practising art his entire life and even drew cartoons for the WA newspapers for many years. He is my artistic mentor – always willing to give me advice on why a piece isn’t working out and the tips and tricks on how to make my work even better.

I also source inspiration from fellow artists on social media. I love seeing the new ideas and concepts that other artists are currently exploring and experimenting with. There are so many awesome art communities online.

Why do you love where you live and how does it inspire your work?
I’ve only just recently discovered the plethora of beautiful walking tracks that are scattered throughout our area. If I am experiencing an art block, I find that walking a trail I have not yet discovered is a huge help in clearing the mind and providing inspiration.


Purple haze reigns in 2018

Pantone, the US corporation given to declaring a colour of the year since 2000, has decreed that this year’s hue will be purple – or more specifically, “ultra-violet”.

It describes PANTONE 18-3838 Ultra Violet as “a blue-based purple tone that is reflective of the inventiveness, imagination and enlightenment of our modern age”.

“Complex and contemplative, ultra-violet suggests the mysteries of the cosmos, the intrigue of what lies ahead, and the discoveries beyond where we are now. The vast and limitless night sky is symbolic of what is possible and continues to inspire the desire to pursue a world beyond our own.”

In a nod to the likes of Prince (Purple Rain) and Hendrix (Purple Haze), Pantone says musicians have “brought shades of ultra-violet to the forefront of western pop culture as personal expressions of individuality”.

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“Nuanced and full of emotion, the depth of PANTONE 18-3838 Ultra Violet symbolises experimentation and non-conformity, spurring individuals to imagine their unique mark on the world, and push boundaries through creative outlets.”

Pantone Color Institute executive director Leatrice Eiseman says we can expect “a galactic collection of stunning items to hit the market” inspired by the announcement of this year’s official colour, as well as by NASA’s ultraviolet photography - such as the pioneering UV photograph of the Andromeda Galaxy (pictured) taken by NASA's Swift satellite earlier this decade.

"From exploring new technologies and the greater galaxy to artistic expression and spiritual reflection, intuitive ultra-violet lights the way to what is yet to come," Leatrice said.

Changing of the guard at Frankston Business Network

Frankly Frankston Magazine’s Kate Sears speaks to Frankston Business Network’s Karin Hann to congratulate her on retiring after 10 years. We also introduce you to Mary Tresize-Brown, who will be taking over the role of FBN’s executive officer.


How did you come to be at FBN?
When I retired from my job at the CBA I was asked if I wanted to take on the job of executive officer of the Frankston Business Chamber, which has now become the FBN. This was only to be a 12-hour-a-week position, which has certainly grown since October 2007.

What in your opinion makes FBN so great?
It is our members that make the FBN what it is today. They are all very supportive of each other and what the FBN is trying to achieve for them whether that is through advocacy or just listening to them and helping them work through problems.

Could you give us a brief history of your career?
I worked for the CBA for 40 years. This was mainly in branches, but I also worked on major projects in Sydney over a number of years, and retired as a senior manager.

Where and what did you study?
I completed high school at Mornington High, and then went to Melbourne University, but only for six months as I wanted a break from studying, and decided to work in the bank for a short time before I decided what I really wanted to do. That short time ended up being 40 years. I also studied accountancy at Chisholm in Moorabbin.

What was your most rewarding experience?
In my role as the executive officer it has been very rewarding to see local businesses grow over the years.

What will you miss about your role?
The people. I will also miss Allison, who has been a constant with me for the past 10 years at the FBN. I have made amazing friends.

What’s next? What are you looking forward to the most in your retirement?
A lot more travel without time constraints. I have three grandchildren and I am looking forward to spending more time with them. I am also very involved with Dress for Success Mornington Peninsula and will be assisting them grow to help more women to get into the workforce.

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Anything to add?
I just want to thank everyone who has been part of the FBN over the 10 years for making my job so enjoyable. It has been fun coming to work every morning.


How did you come to be at FBN?
The position was advertised and caught my interest. My background and skills seemed a really good fit so I applied, met with the board and was offered the role. I’m very happy to be here.

What in your opinion makes FBN so great?
Business networking is a highly valuable way to expand knowledge about other local business and business sectors, tell others about your business, attract new clients/customers and learn from the success of others. The FBN offers members great ways of doing this and there’s no limit, really, to ideas and initiatives that keep growing business in Frankston.

Could you give us a brief history of your career?
My background is in learning and development, project management, people management, career development and organisational development. A large chunk of my working life has been in Frankston with Monash University, Brotherhood of St Laurence, Chisholm Institute and Mornington Peninsula & District Water Board (now South-East Water). In my secondary school days I was a student at Chisholm when it was a technical college and I had part-time jobs in the retail sector of Bayside Shopping Centre.

What do you most look forward to in this role?
Building good relationships with the numerous sectors in the Greater Frankston region and creating innovative, effective partnerships for the good of business that enhances the lives of residents in Frankston and visitors to the region.

What’s on the cards for FBN this year?
The monthly Networking Nights, two fabulous Women Connect luncheons, a business expo and four social nights that will give members time to catch up with each other in an informal way. We keep members updated with a fortnightly newsletter and we’ll be adding some new sections to this - for example, the different venues on offer by FBN members. Our social media has been ramped up to include Instagram (find us at fbnfrankston), LinkedIn and Twitter. It’s an exciting time!

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Anything else to add?
I’ve been meeting with FBN community partners, partners and members to learn about their business and how FBN can support their business goals. The FBN is one of the best ways to keep connected to the business community of the Greater Frankston region and build your business, so contact me if you’d like to meet and work together.

Our boxing legend stands tall By Kate Sears

Five years ago, Gary Luscombe was told that he was dreaming. He recalls countless people letting him know that the Johnny Famechon Statue Project he was supporting wouldn’t be able to raise the $128,000 needed to help the Australian National Boxing Hall of Fame complete the bronze statue of ‘Fammo’.

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But after the 2.1m sculpture of the former world champion boxer was unveiled at Ballam Park on January 21, Gary had the last word: “We did it. The dream came true.”

It was an impressive turnout for the unveiling, with an estimated 1000 people coming to pay tribute to Fammo on the 49th anniversary of his World Featherweight Championship triumph. Commissioned by Rob McCarthy and the Australian National Boxing Hall of Fame and supported by Frankston City Council, the statue is the work of Sydney-based sculptor Stephen Glassborow.

“Everyone was very excited to see the result of five years of fundraising,” said Gary. “It all came together for the final unveiling. Fans from overseas and Australia came together for the occasion. The list is too long, but I’d like to thank everyone again.”

Frankston Mayor Colin Hampton paid tribute to the sporting legend. “John’s triumphant story has captivated sporting enthusiasts not only here in Frankston City, where he has lived for over 40 years, but across the country and beyond.”

With an impressive 56 wins from 67 bouts, Fammo is also an inductee of the Australian Hall of Fame, Frankston City Hall of Fame, and the World Boxing Hall of Fame. Unfortunately, in 1991 he was hit by a car while jogging in Sydney. This resulted in a seven-year recovery period with the help of his wife, Glenys, and clinical counsellor Ragnar Purjie. It was fitting that Ragnar, the man who brought Fammo back to life, unveiled the statue.

“It gave us a great sense of accomplishment,” Gary said of Fammo’s career in the ring. “He inspired so many for over 50 years and now he will go on inspiring everyone for an eternity through this everlasting sculpture.”


Croquet club courts new members

Moira Costello, left, and Jan O’Connor, from The Mornington Croquet Club, sit down with Frankly Frankston editor Kate Sears to give us the what’s what with this growing club.

“We pride ourselves on a friendly and social game,” Moira says. “It’s more of a ‘hit and giggle’. We can play socially without competition - that’s the beauty of it. You just feel the love of the club without any pressure. But if you’re competitive, don’t worry - we do competitions too.”

The club was formed in 1982 and moved to the Mornington Civic Reserve in Dunns Rd in 2000. It is affiliated to the Australian and Victorian Croquet Association, with credited referees and coaches. With 78 members, the club is encouraging everyone to visit for a free trial – it welcomes new members of all ages – and all you need to bring is flat-soled shoes and an inquisitive nature.

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“We all pitch in. The club members volunteer their services to maintain the clubrooms, set up the courts, uphold the garden, serve tea, coffee and biscuits after the game - and of course, the clean-up after the tea and gossip.”

With its new courts expected to be finished at the end of March, the club is eager to get a junior membership started. “The school kids who come love it. A teacher came up to us once and said she’d never heard one of her students talk so much.”

Moira joined the club in 2013 after moving to Mornington, not knowing anyone and having never played croquet before. It’s a completely different story now. “I was a bit hesitant at the start, but everyone’s so friendly and willing to help. Even players on the opposite team were providing tips during my first game.”

The members’ spirits are at an all-time high after winning the Metropolitan Shield Autumn 2017 when they competed against clubs from all over metropolitan Melbourne. It’s such an outstanding achievement because most of the players had never played before and knew nothing about the game.

Make sure to snag your snag at Bunnings Warehouse Mornington’s sausage sizzle on Sunday, February 18, when the club starts fundraising for the year. “Thanks to our sponsors we’re still going strong,” Moira says.

To ask about a trial or membership, call Moira on 5977 0071.

Garden designs take the cake By Kate Sears

Colin Hyett made a sweet change to his life after spending 12 years creating stunning wedding cakes and luscious pastries - he transitioned to designing eye-catching gardens and painting.

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“I was always passionate about gardens,” he says. “My grandmother had a 2ha garden in Shoreham and I’d spend much of my time as a teenager in the garden with her. She was very passionate and it inspired me.”

Colin describes his garden designs as a cross between the Mornington Peninsula and Palm Springs, California. Indigenous plants fill them, as well as drought-tolerant species such as cacti and succulents. He’s about to start restyling the gardens at the Enchanted Adventure Garden in Arthurs Seat.

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“It’s so rewarding to work with very different people and a diverse variety of houses. I don’t have a favourite project; however, my favourite aspect is dealing with such amazing clients. I enjoy it when they give me a brief of textures and colours and then let me take the reins and off we run. Just to create something that’s their own habitat to coexist in is amazing.”

In winter he escapes to Mount Buller and spends his time painting while his team manages his nursery back home. This also gives him creative space to finalise his garden designs in preparation to installing them come spring. After this year’s getaway he’ll hold an exhibition for the fourth year in a row.

For a chance to see Colin’s work first-hand, you’re invited to the Regional World’s Longest Lunch – Langwarrin South at La Serre on Friday, March 16, for the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival. It’s where artists, winemakers and foodies jump out of the box at Colin’s property of unparalleled magnificence, a purpose-built space for a garden party. For tickets, visit

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Callum Dodson: Impossible is nothing

Energised and empowered, Callum Dodson brought the entire community along for his rollercoaster journey to good health after his diagnosis with bowel cancer.

In the middle of last year, the then 22-year-old, who was fighting a rare form of bowel cancer, wanted to deliver the message that you are never too young to be diagnosed. The keen Chelsea Heights football player was diagnosed with an aggressive and rare malignant neoplasm present in the bowel called clear cell sarcoma.

The intensive treatment took a toll on Callum, who found the countless check-ups and scans after surgery to be “traumatic”. Having missed out on his football grand final, he had to mentally come to terms with the unknown factor of his condition.

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The Chelsea Heights community, led by Phil and Amy Smith with the support of both the cricket and football club, put on a fundraiser to help towards the cost of his treatment. “It would have been tough financially without the overwhelming support from the community,” Callum says. “The support has been amazing, with people often asking how I was travelling.”

In November Callum was given the all-clear until he undergoes further tests this month and has since worked closely with a counsellor at Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre to assist with his mental wellbeing. The 'unknown factor’ of clear cell sarcoma, however, means Callum will have to undergo check-ups every five months.

“I am feeling positive, I’ve put on weight and I feel a lot better within myself,” he says. “My body is starting to heal from the surgery and I have gained mental strength from getting back into sport, but I still have those ups and downs.”

With a positive and determined mindset from the onset of diagnosis, Callum now hopes to raise awareness and money via Kick it for Cancer, which would be a special event within the season for the Southern Football League. He and Ricky Nixon have been working on the project that is in the pipeline for 2018.

Bowel Cancer Australia states that more than 1300 Australians under the age of 50 are diagnosed with bowel cancer each year. “This was something that I wasn’t expecting at my age and it can happen to anyone at any time,” Callum says. For further information, see



Starry, starry nights

If you’re looking for something to do with family and friends over summer, why not head to the Briars Astronomical Observatory in Mount Martha and look towards our sparkling skies. You’ll be delighted at the celestial wonders you discover.

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Founded in 1969 at the time of the moon landings, the Mornington Peninsula Astronomical Society (formerly the Astronomical Society of Frankston) hosts its telescope stargazing nights on the first Friday of each month. These family oriented evenings are a fantastic opportunity to view the moon, planets such as Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn, interesting stars and clusters as well as bright satellite and International Space Station passes, all with a wide array of telescopes. There is a small charge for these public stargazing nights and bookings on are essential due to their popularity.

Meanwhile, there will be a telescope learning day on Saturday, February 24, from 4pm, during which you’re invited to bring your telescope and have any questions answered by members. A barbecue dinner will be provided. And on Saturday, March 24, at 1pm there will be a solar day when the public can learn all about the sun, how sundials work, how to tell the time by the sun and have the opportunity to look at the sun with special solar telescopes.

All aspects of astronomy, from visual to astrophotography, are undertaken at the observatory and public viewing nights usually go ahead no matter the weather.  If the cloud cover is thick, you’ll be privy to a bevy of extended astronomical presentations in the Don Leggett Astronomy Centre.

The Briars Astronomical Observatory is at The Briars, 151 Nepean Highway, Mount Martha (Melway ref: 151 E1).


Curator appointed sculpture park director

Distinguished curator Lisa Byrne has been appointed the new director at McClelland Sculpture Park + Gallery.

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Lisa has an impressive and varied career as a director/curator in Victoria, NSW and the ACT across local, state and national arts organisations. She has held significant curatorial roles in both research and practice at Monash and RMIT universities and leadership roles in several contemporary arts organisations in Australia, including the Australian Centre for Photography and Canberra Contemporary Art Space.

Lisa was closely involved in the development of the arts and culture program for Realm, a library learning and cultural centre in the newly redeveloped Ringwood Town Square. As curator for the Maroondah City Council she was responsible for its art collection and she successfully negotiated several major cultural gift donations by leading Australian artists.

In welcoming Lisa, McClelland’s Board of Trustees also paid tribute to the vital transition work of strategic manager Maudie Palmer AO.


A: 390 McClelland Drive, Langwarrin

T: 9789 1671



Pools with that winning edge

Create. Something. Beautiful. This is the motivation behind every design project by Edgewater Pools + Landscapes. A pool that is an integral part of your home should represent your lifestyle and personal taste.

Kaz Hall and his team create outdoor spaces that are innovative, personal and functional. Constructing an environment that clients can escape to, relax, unwind and enjoy with family and friends is what they strive for.

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Managing the whole project for you is their specialty. They take into consideration all factors to ensure the final product is a perfect reflection of your vision. Their other services include landscaping, carpentry and all aspects of pool construction.

It’s crystal clear that they are passionate about your entire pool atmosphere, designing the outdoor space to perfectly complement your home, swimming pool and spa. Your whole entertainment area can be expertly designed so your decking, pool house, pergola and concrete bar come together in a complete stunning package.

Whether you have an idea in mind or you require some direction, Kaz and the team relish the opportunity to create a stunning outdoor space that will exceed your expectations. You can even explore the design via an interactive and real-life imagery visual 3D design tool.

“We all have a dream pool,” says Kaz. “Edgewater Pools + Landscapes can make that pool a reality.”

While you’re dreaming of the pool you wish you had this summer, why not get a plan in motion so that next year your dream becomes a reality?


T: 0466 947 609

A: Satu Way, Mornington


Baton relay shines light on our achievers

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Line the streets and cheer as Frankston City welcomes the Queen’s Baton in the lead-up to the Gold Coast XXI 2018 Commonwealth Games.

Everyone’s invited to join in the fun and excitement as 18 local legends carry the baton over land and sea across Frankston City from 4.30-6pm on Sunday, February 11.  All eyes will be on the bayside city in the lead-up to the Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony on the Gold Coast on Wednesday, April 4.

Frankston City Mayor Colin Hampton said: “The Queen’s Baton Relay is a rare opportunity to shine a light on the people and places that help make our community truly great.  I encourage everyone to come out and join in the celebrations and cheer on your local baton-bearers.”

Baton-bearers of all abilities who inspire others were chosen to showcase their sporting achievements and community contribution to the world.  The 18 Frankston chosen ones who will carry the baton are: Anthony Callea, N’arweet Carolyn Briggs (Respected Elder of the Boon Wurrung people), Debbie Flintoff-King, Jane Jelekainen, Robert Kabbas, Dan Langelaan, Christopher May, Lisa McLeish, Sarah Miller, Tina Miller, Bailey Miller, Darren Murphy, Paul Olsson, Ray Peak, John Pingiaro, Mathew Rizzo, Trevor Vincent and Jake Ward.

Young Veterans founder Christopher May said: “It's a great honour to be chosen to carry the Queen’s Baton for the Commonwealth Games next year. We have so many great people that do wonders in our communities and to be nominated and selected was a fantastic surprise and (an) absolute privilege.”

For the best locations to view the relay, please see the map provided (below).


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Echoes of karma in business success By Kate Sears

Georgia set good karma in motion, and now she’s reaping the tasty rewards.

In April, Georgia made a raw vegetarian lactose-free cake for herself and her partner, Aaron, and posted a photo of it on Instagram. Now she’s booked out for the next two months filling orders for raw vegan desserts through her business The Kindness Echoes. With a focus on guilt-free products that aren’t harmful to the environment or our bodies, she’s also dedicated her business to generating zero waste.

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Likewise, Georgia and Aaron try to do the same.  They compost, have a worm farm, grow their own fruit and vegetables, re-use containers, and shop where they can bag or jar their purchases.  Georgia also dehydrates the leftover fruit from her cakes and uses it to decorate them.

Such has been the rapid success of The Kindness Echoes it’s tempting to put it down to karma generated by Georgia’s passion for the environment – that and the power of Instagram!  “A café messaged me on my private page about my cake. Then one week later I was taking cakes to cafes around Melbourne. It just all fell together.”

Currently she’s supplying cafes in Melbourne and Gippsland and getting orders for two birthday cakes a week. She’s also working on an e-book with ethical chocolate manufacturer The Chocolate Yogi that she makes look like a piece of cake.

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The Kindness Echoes has grown from something to support her while she studied graphic design at uni to a full-time job.  Perhaps fittingly, her stunning cakes look like works of art.  “I’ve finally found my creative outlet.”

You can meet Georgia and sample her raspberry cheesecake at The Mermaid Sorority Vegan Market on Saturday, January 20, at Frankston Basketball Stadium.  For more, go to or follow her cooking travels on Instagram at @thekindnessechoes

Jump on board for a SUPer shot By Kate Sears

Stand-up paddle boarder Lara has captured our attention with her stunning scenic shots of Frankston City and the Peninsula coastline.  We’re impressed with her selfie skills while standing on her board – not to mention while surfing!  She’s even perfected yoga on her board and made friends with dolphins.

“Every time I go out paddle boarding I tend to see dolphins,” says Lara. “They play with me by swimming under and around my board. They’re very inquisitive and friendly; they’ll even jump out in front of the board.”

This quick learner only started stand-up paddle boarding (SUP) in March, progressing to stand-up paddle board surfing in July.  Lara loves the freedom and peacefulness of the water.  “If there’s something on your mind, you forget about it all. I believe that water puts everything in perspective.”

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Her go-to haunts are Moondah Beach in Mount Eliza beside the beach boxes where it’s tranquil, the rock pools at Flinders for lazy days, and Shoreham for surfing.  “You can really appreciate how amazing the Peninsula is. We have so much choice for what we want to do. You can find an area to match the activity that you’d like to do for the day.”

Weather permitting, Lara will spend an hour or more on the water every day, combining SUP with her other passion – photography.   This former professional photographer’s camera of choice is actually her iPhone, but she also uses a GoPro on the water.  “I’ve got spots on my board and paddle to secure it on so I can get different angles.  It’s not what equipment you have; it’s how you use it.”

Check out SUP Vic Peninsula Pods on Faceboook for expert tips and day trips or @WassupOZ for tuition, and follow Lara’s on-board explorations on Instagram at @frankston_by_the_bay


Come and pay tribute to a legend

When Johnny Famechon’s statue is unveiled in Frankston next month, Gary Luscombe hopes the crowd will be every bit as enthusiastic as the 200,000 people who lined Swanston St in 1969 to welcome home the newly crowned WBC world featherweight champion.

“Johnny is a Frankston and Australian sporting legend,” says Gary, a supporter of the Johnny Famechon Statue Project, which helped the Australian National Boxing Hall of Fame raise $128,000 for the 2.1m bronze statue of ‘Fammo’.

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The statue will be unveiled in Ballam Park at 11am on January 21 – the anniversary of Johnny’s 1969 title fight in London when he beat Cuba’s Jose Legra to earn his place in sporting history – and Gary hopes everyone will get along to honour the former King of Moomba and inductee into the Australia Sport Hall of Fame, World Boxing Hall of Fame, Frankston Hall of Fame and Australian National Boxing Hall of Fame.

Jean-Pierre Famechon was born in Paris in 1945 and grew up in Melbourne.  He won 56 of his 67 featherweight bouts and drew six.  “I don’t like draws. You want to win,” he told Frankly Frankston in August 2016.

“I knew boxing was for me when I punched the bag for the first time at 16. The first fight is the biggest.  There are no more nerves after that. You’ve got to knock them out before they get you.”

In 1991 Fammo was hit by a car while jogging in Sydney. It took him seven years to recover with the help of his wife, Glenys, and clinical counsellor Ragnar Purjie. He’s also written two autobiographies - Fammo and The Method.

The unveiling of Johnny Famechon statue is on Sunday 21 January 2018, 11am-12pm
at the Ballam Park Playground entrance (near the water feature), 260R Cranbourne Road, Frankston.

Author continues his remarkable innings By Kate Sears

When you’ve written more than 70 books, it’s fair to say that’s almost a sport.

Ken Piesse is Australia’s most published living sports writer, with 73 books to his name.  His latest is Heroes of the Hour, which focuses on some of the quintessential moments from Australian Test cricket and the game’s legends from Bradman to Lillee and Warnie to Steve Smith.

After 35 years at The Age, the Sporting Globe, the Sunday Observer and the Sunday Press, Ken moved into full-time books and now has written or edited 53 books on cricket, 19 on Australian Rules football and one on the Commandoes for his father and his wartime mates.

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Ken’s move from journalism to books, commentary and public speaking was prompted by the passion his contemporaries such as Mike Sheahan and Paul Heinrichs had for their craft. He wanted to be a specialist sports writer and has been now for 40 years.

“As writers you try and make every sentence sing,” says Ken. “Every new book is a favourite. You throw your heart and soul into it – I make it is as succinct as I can and rework it until I’m 100 per cent happy with it.”

Ken used to reside in Seaford but now lives in Mount Eliza, where he coaches and plays in the club’s fourth XI.  He is signing copies of Heroes of the Hour at the Mount Eliza Newsagency from 10.30am on Saturday, December 16.

“I can quote statistics. But I particularly love the stories behind the statistics too, and all the quirky facts. I like to make the reader smile and be fully engaged.”

To explore Ken’s impressive body of work, visit


Five stars for new release

Scott Jackson, our resident movie reviewer, now has a distraction during film nights. Scott and his partner Sanné Mestrom welcomed Dante Woody Jackson at 8.49am on Friday, November 17, weighing 3360g. “I call him my little Mogwai because of the sounds he's started making,” says Scott. Congratulations, Scott and Sanné, from all of us at Frankly Frankston!


Young skier turns up the heat By Kate Sears

Gus Broersen is happiest when he’s skiing.  In fact, keeping this Mount Martha young gun off the slopes is no easy feat.

“Once his coach, Coen, insisted he have a day off and he knew the only way that Gus would follow through would be if he took his lift pass from him,” says Gus’s mum, Tammy.

Gus, 14, had a scholarship for the Mount Hotham Freeski team for two years when he trained with Coen, Danny, Martin and Al and is a member of the Volkl team. Gus went to the Perisher Winter Sports Club in the Snowy Mountains this season, where he skied every day for five weeks. For five years in a row he has won his favourite event, the Slopestyle, at Hotham, and his greatest achievement to date was this season with a win in the Thredbo Big Air.


“I am also really lucky to train with awesome coaches - Leon, Luke, Hayden and Alastair,” Gus says.  “I'm going to keep working hard and hopefully I'll get to represent my country in the future.”

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While his long-term goal might be to ski for Australia, Gus has his immediate sights set on winning an international event.  That’s what he was aiming for this year before an accident derailed his plans; he was competing in the US where he achieved a second place but due to an injury had to cut his trip short. Unperturbed, he’s heading to Switzerland with Alastair in 2018.

Gus’s family manages a ski lodge at Hotham and he pretty much took to the snow from day one. “He was always playing outside, and even built a jump out the back,” Tammy says.  When they saw his commitment to the sport, Tammy and her husband, Rob, decided to enrol him in online distance education, which is ideal for when he travels overseas.

“We just want to support him,” Tammy says. “He tries and tries and tries.”

Frankly Speaking with Danielle Binks By Yazmine Lomax

Danielle Binks, from Langwarrin, is a writer, editor, literary agent and advocate for Australian Young Adult literature. Here’s a look inside her bookish brain!


Why is supporting Australian literature, particularly young adult, so important to you?

Books create communities, bringing together characters, ideas, writers, words and readers. #LoveOzYA (Love Australian Young Adult Literature) is a way to bring Aussie teens into that community. We’re trying to show them that they are connected to something big, and that the books of their own backyard are putting their stories and their voices on the page.

What’s your proudest achievement?

Gotta admit, seeing Begin, End, Begin: A #LoveOzYA Anthology on bookshelves felt pretty darn great! It took two years of editing, plus writing my own story for the collection, and every time I get to visit schools and talk to students about the anthology and the message behind #LoveOzYA, I get goosebumps all over again.

What are you currently working on, and what’s next?

I’m a literary agent who represents young adult authors specifically so I’m gearing up for a few of mine to have books out in 2018. Among them are Borderland by Graham Akhurst, a YA eco-thriller from a debut Indigenous author, and Neverland by Margot McGovern, a dark take on the traditional boarding school novel with sailing, secrets and forbidden romance thrown in.  A new format of the #LoveOzYA Anthology will be out in May and I’m also working on a middle-grade book about Operation Safe Haven, when Kosovar refugees were evacuated to Australia in 1999.

Do you have any advice for local emerging writers?

Think about joining the Australian Society of Authors and/or Writers Victoria – these associations are dedicated to helping writers improve their work and find writing opportunities. Take advantage of all the opportunities we have in Australia to build a writing CV; enter short story competitions, submit your work to unpublished manuscript awards, and apply to be part of the Emerging Writers Festival. These are all chances for you to be edited, get feedback, deal with rejection and affirmation, and build a profile for your name and your work.

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

Frankston Library has been my home away from home since I was a kid, and we’re also very lucky to have Victoria’s oldest general independent bookshop in Robinsons, another bookish institution that has nurtured me since I was a child and continues to meet all my bibliophile needs. Just generally, I think Frankton has provided a great kaleidoscope of people, places and cultures to feed my imagination.


Dogs of summer

If your best friend has four paws, loves walks and is furry, you know that summer means different walking schedules and locations.

From now until Saturday, March 31, dogs are not permitted on any Frankston City beach between 9.30am and 7.30pm. At all other times your dog must be on a leash when on a beach and you must carry plastic bags to collect your dog’s waste.

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There are no free-roam areas for dogs on any Frankston or Seaford beach, but Frankston City Council has designated several reserves as free-roam areas where your pampered pooches can be exercised off-leash as long as they are under your effective control at all times. Some conditions do apply at these areas so make sure to read the signs, and visit for further information.

Animal management officers patrol our beaches and reserves daily - even on weekends and public holidays - and penalties may be issued to owners found in breach of the laws. Frankly Frankston applauds dog owners who do the right thing, and we know Santa will definitely have you on his ‘nice’ list!

Moor success for funding campaign

Work on an overhaul of mooring facilities at Inner Harbour Marina is expected to start in January after a two-year funding campaign by the Carrum and Patterson Lakes Forum.

Stage 1 of the $700,000 project will include a floating pontoon jetty and eight berths, with space for a dedicated shared berth for either Victoria Police or the Volunteer Coast Guard. Stage 2 will provide another four berths, an extra gangway, and enhancements to walkways. It will be paid for under the State Government’s Boating Safety and Facilities Program and is expected to be completed by mid-March.

Forum founder Cameron Howe said the overhaul would boost Patterson Lakes’ credentials as a boating destination. “Residents have been calling for these upgrades for years to meet demand from recreational users and to transform this eyesore into a space that can be enjoyed by the community.”

Patterson Lakes resident Jeanette Shone felt the project would only bring the community closer. “We are thrilled to hear that this exciting project will be ready for use soon,” she said.

The mooring facilities at the marina, which is accessible to the public and sits behind Harbour Plaza shopping centre, had posed a safety risk to those wishing to moor and failed to meet demand from recreational boat owners. The campaign was backed by Kingston City Council and its success was described by Cr Tamsin Bearsley as “warmly welcomed”. The council has agreed to be responsible for the maintenance costs, and residents will be organising a celebration to welcome the new investment once open for use.

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