Read all about it: Mayor’s Challenge a hit By Yazmine Lomax


August 31 marked the end of not only another frosty month by the bay but another successful year of the Mayor’s Reading Challenge. Wrapping up its eighth year, the Mayor’s Reading Challenge is a Frankston initiative that supports early literary development and is aimed at families with kids up to five years old. The challenge encourages parents and care-givers to engage in regular reading experiences with their curious possums, and it certainly achieved that this year.

Frankston families spent August enjoying experiences as varied as reading books together, singing rhymes, pointing out signs and names of objects, and sharing snippets of favourite magazines, newspapers and novels. Activities were documented on the official reading challenge record, part of the registration pack that Frankston, Carrum Downs and Seaford libraries handed out to more than 400 families.

Librarians at Frankston Library noticed just how valuable the Mayor’s Reading Challenge was to children and adults alike. One family attending Pre-School Storytime at the library reported their children raced home from childcare during August so they could start reading books straight away. In fact, they loved reading so much that they stopped watching television and didn’t want to use any technology devices!

Inspired to get reading with your little one? For children up to two years old, Frankston Library recommends giggling your way through such classics as The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle, and Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes by Mem Fox and Helen Oxenbury. For those a tad older, The Cat In The Hat by Dr. Seuss, Diary of a Wombat by Jackie French and the Charlie and Lola series by Lauren Child are always popular choices. 


There’s always room for Pudding By Kate Sears

Puds birthday party this year in Mount Eliza.jpeg

This pudding is like no other. It is made up of cheese, dried kangaroo, chicken necks, salmon, chicken nuggets and grain-free dry dog food. Pudding, lovingly known as Pud, is a pooch with human tastebuds — well, except for the dog food.

Pud is a five-year-old British bulldog who has picked up a few more human traits since being adopted by Jade at two years old.  Her passion for sleeping on Jade’s bed gets disrupted when Pud’s bulldozer-like snoring wakes her owner. Once she’s booted to the bathroom for making such a racket she proceeds to protest — not by barking, but by turning the bathroom into a beautiful winter wonderland under a ‘snow’ of toilet paper. Pud’s bathroom quirks do not stop there. This large loveable lump adores sitting on Jade’s knee when she’s otherwise ‘engaged’. To put this in perspective, that’s 20kg of dog!

Pud was an ex-breeding dog and has blossomed after meeting her loving family because she’s actually just a huge softie. She goes everywhere with her pack, and loves saying hi to her fans; 6000 followers on Instagram means she’s doggy famous, OK? “She’s a real person-lover and is very affectionate and needy,” said Jade. “She loves nothing better than cuddles and going for walks along the beach, so it’s lucky she lives on the lovely Olivers Hill.

“Pud doesn’t know how to fetch a ball, and only sits if there’s an edible reward. Her favourite toy is probably her boyfriend, Turk, another British bulldog who she adores wrestling with.”

To take a squiz at Pud and Turk’s adorable date nights, which include chicken nuggets for their mains, follow Pud on Instagram at @misssquishyface


How determination built the ‘gateway to the Bay’


Victoria’s largest marina had a tenacious Robert Jackson at the helm during the development of Patterson Lakes.

Old Carrum was a rural area, home to cattle and dirt roads, and earmarked to become the future canal suburb of Patterson Lakes. Having been successful in their loan application, the Jackson Brothers with a background in marine mechanics moved from Abbotsford to Mentone in order to expedite plans for Whalers Cove Marina.

In the late ‘70s, Patterson River was shallow and muddy at a time when the Jackson Brothers were cutting into the levee bank to enable access to the marina. “After cutting two entrances into the levee bank, in the early ‘80s we began excavation of the marina using large earthmoving equipment,” recalls Robert.

Upon completion, Whalers Cove Marina attracted some of Melbourne’s wealthiest businessman who travelled to Patterson Lakes to launch and store their boats, from AC/DC’s Phil Rudd to motoring legend Peter Brock. The thriving family-run marine business with direct access to Port Phillip Bay offered services from mechanical repairs, sales and refuelling to storage in the hard stack or wet berths. 

The hard stack, commonly referred to as The Big Green Shed, stored 180 boats. “We put a big crane in there — a unique suspended overhead crane to lift boats into the racking. Seven tractors with 14 boys launched and retrieved boats, including 40-foot cruisers from the water.”

Rival Priestley’s, which was storing trailers and had berths in the canal nearby, was soon acquired. Expanding the business, catering to storing 1000 boats, the Jackson Brothers worked day in, day out. 

“We lived it, seven days a week; you were young and we had to make it work,” Robert says.

In 1987, the ‘one stop shop’ turned over $22 million in boat sales before later selling out for $50 million to Capital Resorts Group. The publicly-owned group would eventually go bust, leading to housing development under new ownership and the business being renamed the Patterson Lakes Marina.

With a big vision, Robert Jackson and his motley crew are a testament to realising the untapped potential of Patterson Lakes, the ‘gateway to the Bay’.



Rocking The Block from Somerville to St Kilda By Liz Rogers


For those of you who don’t know, Channel Nine’s The Block has hit the small screen yet again and this time around we have a local girl getting down and dusty. Season 14 sees Somerville born and bred former pro netballer Bianca Chatfield and her teammate Carla Dziwoki (another former netballing pro) hit St Kilda’s Gatwick Hotel in a quest for makeover perfection, and these two girls aren’t going down without a fight. Must be the champion sportswomen in them, or the fact that die-hard ‘Block Head’ Bianca was determined to be part of the much-loved show she had watched for years.

“I was gutted that we didn’t make it last year. I used to drive past incognito checking out what was going on and I slipped through on the media night (Bianca now works in sports media and leadership) taking mental notes. There were 45,000 entries this year with only five teams of two being successful. You sign up for three and a half months of living and breathing The Block. You can’t do anything else. It’s like life on steroids, but what an experience! I’ve wanted to be on the show since retiring from netball.”

Bianca began playing netball on the Peninsula when she was 11 and went on to become one of the youngest netballers to represent Australia. She was the vice-captain of the Australian gold medal Commonwealth Games team in 2014, but she grew up in Somerville with her two sisters surrounded by building and renovating. “Dad was and still is a builder on the Peninsula and it was not unusual to spend holidays on a building site learning by osmosis — that’s why I did the project managing and Carla did more of the shopping and styling. I renovated my apartment in town too, but there was still lots to learn. We had a great team of tradies helping us.

“When we first rocked up, the other contestants thought ‘Oh, here’s two girls, this will be a breeze’. But they didn’t realise that our netballing careers were based on problem-solving and endurance. It was hard work, but to see the apartment transform was so satisfying. The other contestants were great too. We’ve made long-lasting friendships.”

Bianca and Carla have been watching the show unfold with the rest of us. “It’s been fascinating seeing what they’ve kept in and what the other teams were going through at the same time. Every Saturday night before the Sunday reveal was an all-nighter trying to get everything finished. We were up every morning between 5am and 6am. Once we had to rip up floors and start again, but it was all worth it.”

Would she renovate one more time? “Yes; there’s so much satisfaction in it. I love beginning and completing new projects, but I still take time to get back home (her family is in Somers now), pull out the paddle board and check in with the dolphins. I’ll always be a water baby.” And a successful one at that.


Injured penguin rescued from rough surf By Kate Sears


A ferocious wind was hitting Frankston’s foreshore. Waves were thrashing violently on to the sand. Julie Baker was rugged up and determined to complete her daily walk along Frankston beach despite the bone-chilling conditions. It was then that she saw a little fairy penguin struggling in the waves. She and her dog kept their distance at first as they watched the little fella contend with the challenging weather.

“He was flapping along but he was really struggling with the waves and looked like a baby penguin,” said Julie, from The Sports Injury Clinic in Frankston. “He looked very distressed. His flippers didn’t look too bad but when I got closer I saw that his eye was badly injured. He was waterlogged and couldn’t get out of the water.”

Julie called AWARE Wildlife Rescue and kept the penguin calm and warm until a volunteer arrived and took it to the Karingal Vet Hospital, from where it was sent to Melbourne Zoo. “I was told that his eye was severely injured and his flipper wasn’t good either. He couldn’t hunt, so he couldn’t feed, so he was anaemic and had very little strength. He was actually an adult yet was so small because of his injuries affecting his eating habits,” said Julie. “He definitely needed my help that day.”

If you ever find distressed or injured marine life or wildlife, keep an eye on them and call AWARE’s 24-hour hotline on 0412 433 727. Between 8am and 5pm you can also call the AGL Marine Response Unit on 1300 245 678. It’s important to remember to approach animals with caution because some can be dangerous if they feel threatened. For more information, visit and


Frames to suit every face

As I write this, Spring has finally sprung and the sun is shining down on us.  Our new window display is bursting with beautiful spring colour, which is reflected in-store with a stunning new range of colourful and stylish ladies’ frames.


We are often asked “which frame shape suits my face?”, but the old adage of ‘working out’ your face shape is truly dead and buried. The first thing to take into consideration is your complexion, together with eye and hair colour. The wrong colour will inevitably make you look dull, tired and sallow, whereas the perfect colour for you will add vibrancy and personality to your face.  Obviously shape is also imperative; however, as spectacles have become an extension of our wardrobe, they must conform to our overall image. 

We are so proud to be able to offer a myriad of shapes, sizes and colours in both plastic and metal frames.  The trend has moved from the bold look to softer shapes, with gold metals seeing a comeback in larger shapes for the ladies. 

Allow us to help you select the perfect frame to suit (and fit) your face, style and budget and that you will love.  Honesty is one of our greatest policies to ensure you leave feeling fabulous in your new frames with the best clarity of vision.

We look forward to seeing you in store soon.



A: 34 Wells St, Frankston

T: 9783 9920


FB: Vince La Rocca Professional Eyecare

E: [email protected]

Quest director’s love affair with Frankston


Frankly Frankston Magazine speaks to Quest Frankston director and franchisee Kumar Vasantha about the 66-apartment complex and what made him fall in love with Frankston.

Tell us about Quest Frankston and what you love about Frankston.

The apartments consist of oversized studios, or one and two-bedroom dwellings. I have had this business for over 10 years under the successful Quest Apartment Hotel brand. My wife and I fell in love with Frankston as a destination when we first visited in the early years. There is no other destination that offers 10km of undisrupted walk on this beautiful stretch of beach from Frankston to Carrum. The fresh, crisp sea breeze reignites my passion for Frankston and the decision to invest in this area. I have seen Frankston realise its potential over the years and am very passionate to be part of its growth. We have a great support network and collaborate with local organisations such as Peninsula Health, Monash University, Frankston Arts Centre, Peninsula Grammar, other local business houses and the local SMEs who continue to boost our market.

What services do you provide?

We have conference facilities, outdoor swimming pool, barbecue area, and complimentary car parking available on-site. We are also situated right next to amazing local restaurants. We are in the accommodation business providing a home-away-from-home experience.

What do you love most about your job?

Being very passionate about this business, I empower my team to take control of the business. I really enjoy my job and the best part is that every day is different and it’s all about building local business relationships and offering our guests a great experience with a personal touch.

Reception is open 7am-11pm Monday to Saturday, and 9am-5pm Sundays.


A: 377 Nepean Highway, Frankston
T: 8796 1000

Sanctuary provides space for children to thrive


Next year promises to be an exciting time for our youngsters with the opening of Frankston House Sanctuary of Early Learning. Frankston House will be a 78-place boutique centre with a government-registered kindergarten, and it is committed to providing a home-like environment where each individual child can thrive.

Frankston House is a family owned and operated long day care provider and currently runs Mt Eliza House Sanctuary of Early Learning at 41 Baden Powell Place, Mount Eliza. It believes that all children have the right to grow and learn in their own way and at their own pace, allowing them to gently unfold to reach their full potential.

With natural outdoor play spaces and four inviting rooms, the children will spend their days exploring their world, creating positive friendships and developing empathy and respect. Frankston House’s curriculum reinforces connections with nature and encourages self-reliance, problem solving and creativity.


Frankston House’s learning environments are provided to assist young ones to become curious, confident and caring decision-makers. Frankston House highly values family input and works collaboratively within its team and the community to provide best practice and continual improvement.

Frankston House Sanctuary of Early Learning is expected to open in early January. To stay informed on progress, go to, and for further information, email [email protected]


A: 1-3 Vera St, Frankston South

T: 9783 1117



Dancing up a storm


Dance Union Studios is coming to Frankston after its success in Parkdale to bring commercial, hip-hop and jazz classes to juniors, adults, beginners and advanced dancers.

Dance teacher and Dance Union Studios owner Abbey Armstrong aims to provide high-quality and innovative dance training in a fun and positive environment that does not intimidate beginners. She understands that while classes aim to build on dancers’ professional development, some of us just want to dance to keep fit or simply enjoy the social aspect that comes with dancing just for fun.

Born and raised on the Peninsula, Abbey is no stranger to our performing arts community and has shared her passion for dance at dance schools and primary and secondary schools over the years. She has also coached teams to AASCF state and national championship titles and competed in the USASF Dance World Championships in the US, with her team also making it to the world finals.

For the latest information on upcoming classes, visit Dance Union Studios’ social media pages. Its next pop-up workshop is on Saturday, September 29, at Peninsula Movement Studio, Monash University, Frankston. To book this workshop, email [email protected]



E: [email protected]

FB: danceunionstudios

INSTA: danceunionstudios

Crewther creating opportunities for local young people


As the youngest member of the House of Representatives, Chris Crewther MP is passionate about making a difference in the lives of young people. One way of doing so is engaging young people in sport, education, work and the local community.  This is why Chris has been so supportive of investing in local sport.

One example is Jubilee Park, where the Federal Liberal Coalition Government provided $350,000 towards a new high performance pathway program, shelter sheds, a PA system, cricket nets, and developing new stadium plans with Frankston City Council. These plans have now resulted in more than $16 million funding from Council and the Federal Government towards building the stadium!

Trish McLachlan, from Peninsula Waves and Frankston & District Netball Association, said: “These developments are terrific for our community, providing a home base and opportunities for both grassroots and high performance athletes. This will allow our young people to be led, mentored and inspired to be the best they can be through sport.”

Recently, Chris also secured $850,000 Federal Government funding for new television broadcast-quality lighting at SkyBus Stadium (Frankston Park), following an original commitment of $650,000 from Michael Lamb, the Liberal candidate for Frankston (then matched by the State Government), and over $850,000 from Council.

Peter Geddes, from Frankston Football Club, said: “Lighting of this quality will provide an elite facility that can showcase football on the Mornington Peninsula and provide the community with a night venue for VFL, VFLW, MPNFL and Junior AFL football. Perhaps in coming years we could see Frankston Dolphins VFL in a televised night VFL final from SkyBus Stadium Frankston — now that would provide some inspiration for all footballers right across the Peninsula!”

Chris noted: “It will also provide the opportunity to attract not only VFL and VFLW night games, but also AFL/AFLW games, with the lights being up and running for the 2019 season. That will mean a boom for the local economy and the promotion of Frankston on the national stage.”

What’s more, Chris has also been involved with setting up the Frankston Mornington Peninsula Local Drug Action Team (FMPLDAT). Frankston Mornington Peninsula Primary Care Partnership’s Ryan Peace noted that FMPLDAT’s Federal Government grants have enabled the set-up of ACTIVATE, which “links young people into local sporting and recreational clubs and provides scholarships for local children aged 12-18 years to participate in a sport or recreational activity of their choice … to reduce social and economic barriers … and to increase social connection and pro-social activity”.

Locally, Chris has also delivered $100,000 for a new Peninsula Hockey Centre pitch, $300,000 towards new clubrooms and a netball court at the Karingal Football Netball Club, $300,000 towards new facilities at Seaford United Soccer Club, $410,000 towards upgrades for Peninsula Senior Strikers at Centenary Park in Frankston North, $90,000 for the Karingal Youth Hangout Bus, $25,500 towards a scoreboard and women’s change rooms at Lloyd Park in Langwarrin, $300,000 towards lighting across two ovals in Frankston South, $3 million for athletics track/soccer facilities, $17,000 for Ballam Park hurdles and much more.

Chris has also been promoting early childhood reading by delivering free preschool children’s books to local childcare centres, preschools and kinders. If you would like some books for your organisation, business or home, feel free to contact Chris on 9781 2333 or at [email protected]

Sights set high in Wayne’s world of fundraising By Kate Sears


By day, Wayne Barker is in training for the Eureka Stair Climb in November. By night, however, he’s a food blogger who is not letting those juicy burger calories affect his fitness regimen. This unlikely mix has led the burger blogger to focus on his individual fundraising efforts and launch a raffle that’s supported by some big names in the food world.

Peninsula born and raised, Wayne will take on the 88-floor, 1642-stair climb to the Eureka Skydeck on Sunday, November 25. This community challenge and fundraising event for The Fred Hollows Foundation will have a remarkable impact around the globe. The foundation works intensely to follow Fred Hollows’ dream of ending avoidable blindness and restoring sight to people in more than 25 countries. Just $50 can restore two people’s eyesight. Therefore, Wayne is using his enthusiastic 12,000 Instagram followers by raising awareness of the incredible work the foundation achieves.

“I figured it would be a great, selfless thing to do. It’ll be amazing to raise some money for a great cause and good for my fitness too,” said Wayne. “Restoring sight is a magical thing and I’m more than happy to support it.”

With $5000 his goal, Wayne is organising a raffle to be drawn after the event. Everyone who donates $5 to Wayne’s stair climb will receive one raffle ticket, with multiple prize packs of vouchers and products to be won from the likes of Frankston’s Bobo’s Diner, Carrum Downs’ Remedy Kombucha and Mornington’s Merchant Lane and YOMG. Farther afield, Royal Stacks, Nuts About Tella, Demazzi Stonegrill, Daniels Donuts, That Burger Joint, Fish & Burger Co and many other businesses have also put up prizes. Wayne’s even got upcoming Australian rap duo Black Shades and Arrogance involved — and he’s still accepting support, so if your business is interested in giving to an amazing cause, this is it.

“There’s more businesses responding every day; there’s going to be some amazing prizes going out to reward those generous donations. Through my food blogging I’ve been to hundreds of food venues across Australia, so I’m contacting several places and the generosity is crazy! I’m so thankful these places are happy to help. The response has been absolutely overwhelming.”

If you need any further convincing to donate to help Wayne reach his goal, check out his Instagram page @waynes_burgers for some visual inspiration of the amazing restaurants you could be dining at if you’re one of the lucky winners.  You can donate at

“I will definitely be starting my exercise routine. It’s physically a very demanding challenge. It’s very hard work, but 30 minutes of hard physical work on the day restores sight for people who are blind. And I think that is beyond worth it.”


Game on By Liz Rogers


Andrew Owen is a multimedia and information technology kind of guy. His digital work ranges from producing marketing material such as 3D 1:1 scale helicopters for the San Andreas movie launch to his concept art being used by actor Barry Bostwick, from The Rocky Horror Picture Show, at the fan conventions he attends. He’s an illustrator and painter too, but it’s his Tech Games Fest that has got game enthusiasts’ tongues wagging.

This 46-year-old Somerville trainer and assessor in the IT Communications and Business department at Chisholm is passionate about bringing technology to the masses. He’s been involved in esports for about 10 years and created the Tech Games Fest after hosting his Computer Games Boot Camp for six years until about five years ago. There have been four major three-day Tech Games Fests held at Chisholm, which has been a great supporter of them.

“The event has something for everyone across cosplay, gaming, networking, programming, virtual reality and ethical hacking. It also covers pop culture, card and board games, esports, video games, plus there’s talks by industry sponsors. There are also opportunities for work experience and volunteering, which is great for meeting like-minded people. I start working on each event six months ahead, but it’s worth it to provide a place for people who love particular brands of gaming and want to share that passion with others. Plus it’s great fun.”

Andrew has raised up to $30,000 for TLC for Kids, an Australian children’s charity helping sick kids and their families, from his events over the years. Last month’s free Tech Games Fest was open to the public for the first time, with 30 volunteers and 160 work experience students on board. Watch out for his Beyond 2018 event at the end of the year. Log on to Facebook @TGFTechGamesFest and Instagram @andrewoonline to take a look.

Skaters make their mark at nationals By Kate Sears

Bernadine and Kevin Geary show the form that took them to first place in the Masters Compulsory Dance Pairs section at the National Artistic Roller Skating Championships .

Bernadine and Kevin Geary show the form that took them to first place in the Masters Compulsory Dance Pairs section at the National Artistic Roller Skating Championships.

When we spoke to Bernadine Geary after her return from the National Artistic Roller Skating Championships, we could feel her euphoria down the phone line. She was beyond proud and could not contain her excitement as she told us about six of the skaters from Sk8house who competed in the championships last month.

Sk8house co-owners Kevin and Bernadine, competing as a couple as they have been doing for six years, took out the national gold medal for Masters Compulsory Dance Pairs among a very tough seasoned field of couples. This year was their second national title following their 2016 win, having just missed out in 2017 after they placed second. Coached by Candace, the husband and wife team have perfected their performance. Completing tough training at least three times a week, and more during the nationals season, you can see them skating around the rink while dancing in the style of ballroom, blues and tango.

“We love dancing together. It’s a great chance to bond. We make sure we dance together in time and focus on our precision as a couple,” said Bernadine. “You’re judged on the technical merit as well as the flow of your movements. Winning the gold medal twice has been a huge achievement for us.”

Brittany Hammond, the daughter of Sk8house’s other co-owner, Vanessa Hammond, competed for the first time in the seniors international level, finishing in a very creditable sixth place.  Brittany has a long history of competing at national and international level in NZ and the US.  The other Sk8house skaters who competed were Bethany Johnson and Carissa Domrow, who placed second in their divisions, and Keischa Thorn, who placed 16th in hers.  All in all, it was an outstanding effort by the six skaters.

“Kevin started as a young boy, where he would freeskate alone or with his sister. He was the British champion but stopped for 20 years before taking it up again after a kids’ skating party,” said Bernadine. “He’s improved his fitness and he hasn’t looked back since. Then we bought the rink and our kids and myself caught the skating bug. It’s helped my co-ordination so much; I used to call myself Calamity Jane!”

Yasmin is following in her dad’s footsteps and has previously won national titles two years in a row in the freeskating category; she collected a silver medal at the Oceania competition in 2016 and was fourth in the Pan Pacific titles earlier that year.  She now competitively speed skates with her brother, Harry, who has been competing since he was six years old as well as at national and Oceania competitions for the past few years, winning gold and silver.

Visit Sk8house in Carrum Downs to see what all of the fuss is about.


Twelve words that can change your life

YolandeNikk Headshot1 (2).jpg

Nikk and Yolande Hughes will be sharing their story of the origins of Inspire Tribe and about the 12 words that allow you to see and understand yourself in a life-changing way at WomenConnect Frankston’s biannual networking lunch at Functions By The Bay in Frankston on September 5.

As co-founders of Inspire Tribe, Nikk and Yolande provide strategic and insightful mentoring, coaching and training that uncovers conscious-limiting patterns of business owners and executives who are seeking to be even more successful. Nikk is in demand as Australia's leading expert in conscious leadership.  Yolande is a sought-after NLP Master Mindset Coach and trainer specialising in taking individuals and teams to unprecedented levels of strategic self-awareness, leading to purposeful and significantly more profitable teams and companies.  It’s an event not to be missed.

WomenConnect Frankston is an independent group of like-minded local women in business wanting to connect, empower and support women in our community and who volunteer their time to make this happen. They are:

Pippa Hanson — managing director of The Sports Injury Clinic;

Beckie White — director of Miss Velvet;

Michelle Braggins — director of Braggins & Co Estate Agents;

Karin Hann — president of Dress For Success Mornington Peninsula;

Allison Besanko — director of Alli's Cleaning; and

Jenny Wright — Dress For Success Mornington Peninsula.

WomenConnect hosts two lunches a year: International Women's Day in March and its spring event in September. Join it on Wednesday, September 5, from 11.30am-2.30pm at Functions by the Bay (Frankston Football Club), cnr Plowman and Young streets, Frankston.

Tickets: $65 (includes glass of wine on arrival, two-course meal, tea and coffee). Bookings close August 30.

To be advised of future events, sponsor or buy tickets for this event, join WomenConnect’s database; email [email protected]


Battling families get a hand from Mums

Mums Supporting Families In Need is a volunteer-run, not-for-profit service assisting Melbourne’s most disadvantaged and at-risk families with their material needs. Founded in November 2012, MSFIN has grown from operating out of a lounge room to a 500sq m Seaford warehouse and believes that no child should go without the essentials.

MSFIN assists more than 130 families a month, supplying new and quality pre-loved daily living essentials to help their recovery from circumstantial crisis. Support is predominantly baby and child-focused and includes prams, cots, bassinets, car seats, change tables and high chairs, but the whole family is provided for as well through the supply of clothing, footwear, linen, toiletries and food.

Clients are referred to MSFIN by more than 70 partnership community support services, including DHHS, Red Cross, Salvation Army, maternal nurses, public hospitals, WAYSS and Anglicare. They typically include refugees and migrants, at-risk and unsupported parents, and children with significant additional needs; they may be experiencing homelessness or insecure accommodation, domestic violence, mental health problems, substance abuse, and intervention and family reunification issues.

MSFIN receives no government help despite supporting funded services, and survives on the tireless fundraising of volunteers, generous donations, and successful grant applications. MSFIN acknowledges the ongoing sponsorship of Dandenong Hyundai and Mitsubishi, Carrum Downs and Marriott Waters Bendigo Bank, and Igniting Change.

Launching in August, MSFIN’s #igiveacup campaign asks supporters to donate the price of a cup of coffee each week to its operational expenses. Could you skip a short black, miss a mocha or cut out a chai to make sure no child goes without the essentials? See or Mums Supporting Families In Need on Facebook for more information.

Volunteers are always welcome at its Seaford warehouse at 2/7 Sir Laurence Drive.  It’s open Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays between 10am and 3pm.


Frankly Speaking With Reilly Stapleton By Yazmine Lomax

Mornington’s Reilly Stapleton is an emerging singer-songwriter who enthralls audiences with her emotional lyrics and soulful voice. Though busy gigging around Frankston, the Peninsula and farther afield, Reilly snatched some time to chat with us about her exciting career.

Who or what inspires your songwriting?

My Nana's love for writing poetry helped me discover my own love for writing songs. Ever since I was little, my family was so supportive of my singing and always wanted to hear their favourite songs sung. My dad in particular loved it — he’s always been one of my biggest influences with what I write about because losing him was heartbreaking and hurt me more than I could ever explain, but I feel I have this way of letting him live on through my songs.

What was it like to make your first music video, for your song That One’s On Me?

So much fun! Jumping off The Pillars into freezing cold water was uncomfortable but I loved every moment! Michael (@shotbysadler) did such an amazing job on the video, and since it was such an emotional and personal song it had to be 100 per cent perfect before it was released.

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

I've lived here my entire life and I love it. I’m extremely lucky to live opposite the beach, therefore I'm always getting the peace and serenity of the ocean and beautiful sunsets. I love being able to live so close to my friends and family — it gives me such a sense of security, which makes exploring and building my music career a lot easier. This industry can be make or break and you're always walking a tightrope, so it's good to know I have amazing family and friends to catch me if I fall.

Find Reilly as ‘Reilly Stapleton’ on Spotify and Soundcloud


We love Lucy By Liz Rogers

After our Story Dogs story in our issue last month, we thought you’d love to read about a special bearded collie gal called Lucy and her owner, Alan Cole, who have been making a real difference to children’s lives through the Story Dogs program.

Eight years old, this gorgeous canine lives with Alan and his wife, Susie, in Mount Martha and sets off to Mornington Park Primary School and Osborne Primary School respectively twice a week where she sits on a mat nestled up close to her student as Alan gets down to the business of reading. Alan explains.

“The children read to her and don’t feel any of the pressure they may feel in front of their peer group. The eight-year-old kids we help really benefit. There was one boy who had just lost his grandfather and his dad wasn’t around. He was already two years older than the rest of the group. The sessions with Lucy and I made a huge difference. He caught up and began enjoying reading. We’ve been volunteering with Story Dogs for a couple of years now.

“She’s just a fantastic dog. We bought her from a breeder when she was a pup and have never looked back. She’s got inbuilt intelligence. If there’s ever any tension at home she comes up to us and places her paw on one of our legs and just waits. She’s never been food-driven. All she wants to do is please and be good. We trained her and she’s just a beaut.”

Thumbs up to Lucy!

If you are interested in volunteering with your dog, or would like more information on Story Dogs, go to


Sharing Guy’s stage a dream come true for Fatai

After Frankly Frankston editor Kate Sears interviewed Fatai in August last year, we had the pleasure of seeing her perform at the Frankston Arts Centre with Guy Sebastian last month. And we were in awe. So what’s she been up to since we last spoke?

How was the experience of touring with Guy?

Touring with Guy was a dream come true in the truest of ways. My dad sent me a photo of me singing in my first local singing competition called Boronia Idol.  Behind me in the image is a poster of Guy Sebastian after he won Idol. Fast-forward 15-something years and here I am touring with, not a poster, but the actual Guy Sebastian, one of the best voices to ever come out of our beautiful country.

This wasn’t your first time working with him, was it?

My first collaboration with Guy was a feature in a song called Lightning on his Madness album. And not long after that I got to support him around his first ever stadium tour around the country. He hasn’t changed one bit; still a good guy and a grand voice.

What was your reaction when you heard you’d be supporting Guy on his Then and Now 2018 tour?

I felt humbled and thrilled to be asked to tour with Guy again, this time working a little more closely with him as one of his backing vocalists as well as a support act.

What was the highlight of the tour for you?

So holy and moving was Guy singing in Hindu at the end of Battles Scars for an encore. Most beautiful thing I’ve ever heard come out his mouth.

What else have you been up to?

I’ve been travelling and touring my own shows around the world and writing a lot of new material.

What’s inspired your recent songs?

I’ve always written about broad subjects in the past but this time round I’ve grown and matured into adulthood; therefore, I’ve experienced more of life’s ups and downs. So I’ve been trying to pull from personal experiences both joy and pain as a means to share my story in the hopes of relating to someone out there that goes through the same joys and pains.

How was your recent Blank Canvas tour?  

Melbourne and Sydney were the best shows I’ve ever played in my short career so far. Special in every way, from energy to sound to venues and people. Also, first time playing with a trio. Growing the band slowly but surely, and this was such a beautiful window of great possibility of what could be in the near future.

You’ll be performing at the ACL Festival in Austin, Texas in October with Paul McCartney, Metallica, Childish Gambino, Arctic Monkeys and many more. What a line-up! Can you tell us more? 

To be honest, I’ve never heard of ACL, so when I saw the names on the line-up you can imagine my pure shock and awe to see my name among giants! Hoping to bring my keyboardist with me and just enjoy, have fun, learn, take in, and share our hearts with people.

Follow Fatai on Instagram at @Fatai or visit