Betty and Dianne.

It’s afternoon, and Betty Martin lays out a right royal spread of homemade cakes, biscuits pastries and savories that makes high tea at The Windsor look somewhat deficient.

But it’s what Betty does. From her kitchen in the large family Herne Hill home has come the makings for morning tea that over the last decade has contributed to Betty and daughter Dianne raising nearly $40,000 for the Cancer Council of Victoria.

Betty 94 and Dianne 73, with help from loyal friends, have held morning tea functions annually over nine years, providing the food and raffling and selling magnificent handmade quilts, along with all manner of functional knitted and sewn novelty items made from donated materials.

Dianne explains that the catalyst for the fundraisers was a close friend who suffered a long battle with breast cancer. While the women over the years had put effort into varied fundraising for a number of causes including Multiple Sclerosis, they decided cancer research would be a focus, and there were many willing and skilled hands to assist.

While the pandemic has cut into their event planning, the mid-year morning tea in 2021 held at the Geelong West Football & Netball Club rooms, was one of their most successful. With around 70 attending, and “so many new faces” said Dianne. It was amazing to see some exquisite handmade quilts and other items walk out the door for the price of a $2 raffle ticket.

The next morning tea being organised to raise additional funds for cancer research will feature a guest speaker from Anam Cara. It will be held on Tuesday 7 June at 10.00am at the Geelong West Football Club Rooms (West Oval), cnr Church St and Weddell Rd, North Geelong.

These events have highlighted some of the traditional skills developed by women through a need to provide the comforts and accessories for their families – that are now either lost or ignored for mass production.

“Of course I don’t get to see much of what happens,” quips the effervescent Betty. “They just say, get in the kitchen and stay there!”

Betty attributes her staying power to a sense of humour and a positive attitude. “That’s how to live to old age, you have to laugh!” And the inherent need to help others: “Both of my parents would go to any lengths to help others. And that’s the way we were raised.” 

Story and photo: Denise Civelli

Dr Bernard Shiu.

Dr. Bernard Shiu’s earliest childhood memory is of a hot summer’s day in Hong Kong, his city of birth. Together with his cousins, he experienced the taste of ice cream for the very first time. This memory appears to be reflective of his childhood surrounded by love, music and a propensity to dismantle ‘machinery’ so he could enjoy the challenges of the re assembly. Bernard’s Mum was not as enamoured as he, when an ‘upgrade’ to the television, resulted in it turning on whenever the telephone rang!

Mr Shiu senior was perhaps the initial catalyst for Bernard and medicine finding each other. His words, “Son, do not fix things that are not broken”, could be a loose paraphrase of the historical Hippocratic oath “Primum non nocere, First do no harm.”

As a child Bernard could be described as always busy; obviously a precursor to his life as an adult! He struggled to always ‘follow the rules’, which at times put him at odds with his parents and teachers. If Bernard had not pursued medicine his other life passions may have led him to be a professional jazz musician. Musicians say ‘it is the silence between the notes that makes the music’. Listening in the silence and intuitively hearing what may not be verbalised, is a skill Bernard brings to his patients and their healing.

Continue reading “Dr Bernard Shiu.”

Geelong Waterfront Film.

Geelong Waterfront Film was officially launched over drinks and canapes at the private residence of Dr Martin Ching on Friday 29th of April.

Guests were interviewed on the Geelong Connected Communities ‘Red Carpet Extravaganza’ with hostess and local filmmaker Cassidy Krygger. 

Geelong Waterfront Film aims to encourage more filming in the Geelong region as well as supporting emerging content creators through grant opportunities.

The Foundation’s first grant was issued to director Rebecca Metcalf for her film ‘Development’.

No floating gas terminal.

No floating gas terminal for Corio Bay or anywhere in Australia. Great turn out today for the ABC news photo shoot. Well done to Geelong Renewables Not Gas and all involved.

Here’s what some big opposers have to say:

GeelongPort states “the Project should not proceed without further assessment of the environmental impacts” and the project would have “unacceptable impacts on GeelongPort and the Port of Geelong”.

Geelong Grammar School “strongly opposes the Project” due to the safety implications of expanding a major hazard facility close to their campus, climate change impacts, ecological impacts on Corio Bay and noise/air quality impacts.

They are joined by The City of Greater Geelong, the Borough of Queenscliffe, The Association of Geelong and District Angling Club, Doctors for the Environment, The Climate and Health Alliance, The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation, Humans in Geelong and a stack of likeminded environmental advocacy organisations in raising concerns about the proposal.

Climate Action.

Urgent! We need as many humans as possible to meet on the sand at Eastern Beach, towards the pool end, tomorrow, Friday 6th May, at 10am for a photo shoot, to show that we don’t want a huge, ugly, floating gas terminal polluting our beautiful bay!

2,000 people sent letters of protest but we need to keep taking Action.

ABC News are working on a story and want to visually show the community opposition to the terminal, so bring family, friends and colleagues.

Then, Saturday 7th May, Cherished Pets is supporting Vets for Climate Action and Australian Parents for Climate Action, with a Walk for Climate Action event at Ocean Grove Main Beach from 9:30am.

Go Geelong! Renewables not Gas & Climate Action!

Reconciliation in the Park 2022.

Reconciliation in the Park is a unique, Aboriginal community led event. Nikki McKenzie is programming this years’ event and she states, “Now is the time to make the commitment to making quality decisions and acting on them. 



Be brave and  


Reconciliation in the Park warmly welcomes everyone to this very special event with a unique opportunity to join together and learn through hands-on activities with local Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander community members.

It includes: free cultural activities, stalls, performances, music, a BBQ and more!

This year we have a possum skin cloak workshop – “embedding our culture further into Reconciliation in the Park”, Nikki adds.

Reconciliation in the Park is Sunday 22 May from 10am to 3pm in Johnstone Park, Geelong.

Photo shows Aunty Helen at last year’s event, by Vicky of Geelong One Fire.

Drawing Norman Lane.

I’m 39 years old, born in Geelong and live in Geelong.

I’ve been drawing since age 3, drawing was my number one hobby, and still is today, even after many years inactive. I upload all my latest drawings on YouTube, Instagram, as well as TikTok. So go check them out.

I’m Darren Nelson (Dasher’s Artwork) drawing Australian soldier/serviceman Norman Lane, from my home city Geelong, Victoria. Norman Lane died serving in the second world war from cardiac Beri Beri whilst a POW on the Thai-Burma railway. A suburb called Norlane, in the north of Geelong, was named after him.

Lest we forget.

If you’d like to read more about Norlane’s namesake:

Oppose the floating gas terminal.

Take Action! Only 3 days left to submit your opposition to Viva’s dangerous and polluting floating gas terminal which would be an eyesore in our beautiful Corio Bay  — submissions close on Monday the 11th of April at midnight.

There is a new quick tool to help you make a submission in no time. 

Submit a letter in less than 5 minutes, with no writing required. 

Click here to generate your letter

This submission builder tool will ask you some questions about what concerns you most about Viva’s terminal and then will generate a letter that you can enter into the government form. 

It’s a simple 4 step process

  1. Fill out the questionaire.  The tool will generate a letter for you! Have a read and make any changes you like.
  2. Copy the letter and head to the Government website where you need to enter your details
  3. Fill in the Government form (name, address, etc) and paste your generated letter.
  4. We strongly suggest that you request to appear at the hearing.  You won’t be cross-examined or questioned. Appearing in person makes it even more real to the Inquiry board that their decision affects real people’s lives. 

That’s it! Enjoy the feeling of having stood up for what you believe in. 

If you still want to write your own unique letter instead of using this tool (yay! lots of love to you), head on over to our website.  There are pointers, facts and some other example letters that you can take a look at. 

Make sure you forward this information to your colleagues, friends and family and let’s get as many submissions as possible in these last few days.

Darcy of Geelong Renewables, Not Gas. Photo supplied.

I CAN, Chris Varney.

“I have capability, I can do things, I am worth believing in.” This is the idea at the centre of the I CAN Network founded by law graduate, loving husband, father and Drysdale local Chris Varney. Chris is proudly autistic and grew up surrounded by a supporting and loving family. He was a verbal, highly anxious kid who often took days off from school.

A particularly important person in Chris’s life was his year 7 transitional coordinator, Christine. ‘She was a gentle educator,’ Chris says, ‘and she gave me a sense of trust, safety and belief in myself.’ With those three things, Chris concludes, autistic students can do anything. Although not an autism expert, Christine noticed Chris’s extreme anxiety and created a welcoming environment by engaging his special interests in European history.

‘I was lucky to have positive minded parents,’ says Chris, who also spent a lot of time with his maternal grandparents. ‘Grandma Margaret was a tiny woman with a lot of grit,’ and Chris would often come around to help take care of his wheelchair-bound grandfather. ‘That was my sanctuary,’ Chris recalls. After his grandfather passed away and he left year 12, Chris felt he had to use the power of his network with their influence. Already, the dream was building slowly.

Continue reading “I CAN, Chris Varney.”

Dragon Boating.

Are you a breast cancer survivor? Come and try Dragon Boating with the Geelong Juggarnauts. It’s lots of fun! April 2, 9, 23 and 30th at 12.30 followed by afternoon tea. Please Share.

Women, men and supporters, all fitness levels and ages are welcome. There is no previous experience required. The Geelong Juggarnauts are the face of breast cancer survivors enjoying fun, fitness and camaraderie.

Come and meet the team, have a paddle, a laugh and enjoy afternoon tea. Please wear comfortable clothes, a hat and covered in shoes. We’ll supply the Personal Floating Devices PFDs and paddles.

You’ll find us at the Geelong Canoe Club, 1/11 Marnock Rd Newtown.

@dragonsabreastgeelong-juggarnauts  Deb 0429948254 Traci 0417301228

Photo: from our story May 2018