Cobram News

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Cobram’s sandy beaches feature in Murray River documentary

The sandy beaches of Cobram made an appearance in the feature-length documentary Rivers of Australia: A Journey Along the Murray. The documentary follows the journey of Albany Asher and James Livingstone, who along with their two blue heelers, Onyx and Rocco, kayak the 2500 km or so of the Murray River — from Bringenbrong Bridge to the Murray’s mouth. The film, narrated by actor Tony Barry, premiered at the 2018 Wildlife Conservation Film Festival in New York. The journey included the Cobram-Barooga Apex Club’s Cobram Cod Classic fishing competition with Mr Livingstone trying his hand at catching the elusive native fish. Ms Asher said the documentary, which was five years in the making, highlighted a number of themes, including wildlife conservation and the river’s importance to Australian indigenous culture. As well as kayaking, Ms Asher was the writer, producer and director of the documentary, and said she intended the film to be an ‘‘armchair adventure’’, which anyone could enjoy. ‘‘The Murray-Darling Basin is the life-blood of Australia,’’ she said. ‘‘Hence, from a writer/director’s perspective, it is pertinent to ensure that an audience can connect with the Murray River on a deeper level. ‘‘James and I may star as the navigators of the journey, accompanied by our dogs Onyx and Rocco, a decision that adds a really unique and wonderful layer to the journey. ‘‘However, it is of course the majestic Murray River that is the real star of the show.’’ The adventurer said the Cobram leg of the journey was one of their most memorable, noting the hospitality of the locals. ‘‘Cobram is one of our favourite places along the Murray,’’ she said. ‘‘This section of the Murray is absolutely stunning — we enjoyed stopping for breaks on the sandy beaches on the river bends. ‘‘The people we meet were so lovely and share similar values to James and I — we value the importance of the country lifestyle and appreciate the strong integrity of the Cobram folk. ‘‘We also have friends that moved to Cobram just before we kayaked through, so we spent quality time with them before kayaking onwards — it was a really special time.’’ Ms Asher hoped the documentary, which covered a number of curriculum subject areas, was implemented into school programs in Australia and overseas. ‘‘I’ve already had teacher friends indicate that they’ll use the film in their own classes, which is fantastic,’’ she said. ‘‘It’s a really educational film, so I look forward to seeing how it is received by teachers and students in the education system.’ Rivers of Australia: A Journey Along The Murray can be seen on streaming services DocPlay and EcoStreamz or it can be bought from the website The Education Shop. Echuca’s Paramount Cinema will host a Q&A fundraiser screening at 2 pm on October 13 with funds going towards the Foundation for National Parks and Wildlife to support the Murray River Turtle Project. Additional screenings will be announced on Rivers of Australia Facebook page.

Dylan Arvela




News

Local crime prevention grants now open

Victorian councils and not-for-profit groups can apply for two streams of local crime prevention grants through the Victorian Government’s Community Safety Fund. Crime Prevention Ben Carroll Minister announced Thursday applications for the grants of up to $25 000 were open. Mr Carroll said the fund had provided almost $3 million of grants to support 460 crime prevention projects across the state since 2015. ‘‘These grants will give community organisations the resources they need to improve public safety and increase community pride and engagement,’’ he said. ‘‘I encourage all local councils and not-for-profit community groups to consider applying for a grant under the Community Safety Fund and join us in helping to build a safer Victoria.’’ Stream one grants, up to $10 000, are aimed at preventing crime relating to community facilities and public spaces, which includes the installation of security equipment, as well as small-scale improvements streetscapes, parks and reserves. Stream two projects, up to $25 000, are aimed at education and awareness initiatives focussing on home safety, theft from businesses, personal property theft in public places and theft of and from motor vehicles. Applicants can also apply for stream two grants for projects which help to boost understanding of the justice system, as part of an expanded awareness and education grant focus this year. Applications close at 4 pm on Friday, October 18. For information, visit www.crimeprevention.vic.gov.au/safetygrants

Cobram Courier




News

Casting awareness on mental health

A group of farmers recently took part in a fishing event, which aimed to help men dealing with mental health issues. Bayer’s Big Fish Challenge on Lake Mulwala on August 17 and 18 was organised alongside The Fly Program, a charity tackling mental health issues facing men in rural Australia. The event gave the group a chance to escape the disruptions of everyday life and also casts awareness of the impact of depression, PTSD and suicide in men. The Fly Program chief executive Matt Tripet led participants as they battled it out to catch the biggest fish for the weekend and he also provided short seminars of mental health issues. Bayer has committed $25 000 to program and will donate $1 for every 1 cm of fish caught through the Big Fish Challenge to address men’s mental health. Barooga-based farmer Brad Stillard said: ‘‘The Bayer Big Fish Challenge allowed me to broaden my fishing knowledge, meet new people keen on fishing, creating that bond and raise money for men’s mental health. ‘‘There are mental health issues out there that as men, we are reluctant to talk about, Bayer’s affiliation with The Fly Program creates an environment with guy’s who have a similar passion. ‘‘It’s not really spoken about, it’s hidden, so if there is a way to get the conversation started and the message that you are not alone out there, it’s extremely important.’’ AllSeederFresh Cobram farm manager Dean Hartley said: ‘‘When I heard about the Bayer Big Fish Challenge it took me two seconds to get on board. To be able to go out, and fish for men’s mental health, it is easy to get around. ‘‘It’s great to have people in our communities that are able to facilitate this kind of thing.’’

Cobram Courier




News

Time to nominate a stand out citizen

Nominations for next year’s Moira Shire Australia Day Awards are open for individuals or organisations which have enhanced and provided for their local community and instil a sense of community spirit and awareness.Nominees who are Australian citizens and have made a significant voluntary contribution during 2019 or who have given outstanding service to the local community for a number of years are eligible.But it is not just individuals who can be nominated.A project or event that a school, community group or organisation has held — which went that extra mile to help the local area — can also be nominated.Mayor Libro Mustica said the awards were a chance to recognise those in the community who, in 2019, gave tirelessly for the benefit of others.‘‘We are fortunate to have so many community-minded people in Moira Shire and the Australia Day Awards provide us with a fantastic opportunity to recognise their commitment, contribution and effort,’’ he said.‘‘I encourage members of the community to take the time to think about the contributions the people and community groups around them make, and nominate a worthy candidate for an Australia Day Award.‘‘The 2020 Moira Shire Australia Day Awards recognise the exceptional contribution of the people and groups in our community who inspire us all.’’There are five award categories — Citizen of the Year, Young Citizen of the Year, Community Event of the Year, Community Organisation of the Year and Arts, Culture and/or Environment Project of the Year.Nominees and guests will be celebrated at an awards night hosted by council in January as well as being recognised at their own town’s Australia Day festivities.Nominations for the 2020 Australia Day Awards close Friday, November 8.Nominations can be made online at Moira Shire Council’s website. If you need help in completing the application form, contact council. If you need access to a computer, libraries and community houses across the shire have computers available for public use, by appointment. For information, phone 5871 9222 or email [email protected]

Cobram Courier




News

Mayor Mustica reports on four councillors’ holiday to Italy

Moira Shire Mayor Libro Mustica opened Wednesday’s council meeting with a report on his recent trip to Italy. Cr Mustica and three councillors Wendy Buck, Gary Cleveland and Peter Lawless travelled to Italy last month, during which the group visited the Australian embassy. Cr Mustica spoke about the group’s stop over in Dubai as well as visiting Venice, Rome and Florence. ‘‘We were privileged to go for an official visit to the Australian embassy in Rome,’’ Cr Mustica said. ‘‘We meet up with senior ambassadors and deputy ambassador Christopher Chong. ‘‘We discussed Australian politics, the current problems in Italian politics, the lack of funding in the south of Italy and the Brexit situation. ‘‘We also had discussions about Australian tourism as we are the third biggest spenders in Italy, spending over a $1 billion a year.’’ The group visited the Calabria region, including Cobram’s ‘twin cities’ Varapodio and Molochio. While there, Cr Mustica said the group enjoyed great Italian cultural and hospitality. ‘‘We were welcomed into Italian culture which included great food as well as great hospitality and friendship from the local people from Varapodio, which has been Cobram’s sister city since 2004,’’ he said. ‘‘The current mayor (Orlando Fazzolari) has held office the entire time and he certainly knows how to present himself in his area. ‘‘We attended an official function with a visiting bishop from the Vatican and it was an honour to exchange gifts including a special plaque to remember the 2019 visit. ‘‘We were presented a cake featuring the Moira Shire logo as well as the Varapodio logo and both of our flags. ‘‘We were driven to wonderful places to enjoy the festive holiday season, often staying out till the early hours of the morning.’’ When in Molochio, the councillors presented the mayor of the town with a ‘special sister city certificate’, which was signed by Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison. The group also stopped to see the school Cr Mustica attended as a child. Before presenting Moira Shire chief executive Mark Henderson with a commemorative plaque given to the group by the mayor of Varapodio at the meeting, Cr Mustica spoke about an newspaper article and two letters regarding the trip. He spoke about an article in the Numurkah Leader which included details about the trip costing local ratepayers in the vicinity of $6000, as well as two letters to the editor where the trip was described as a ‘junket’. ‘‘On returning home, we faced the music regarding the Numurkah Leader’s article, which falsely claimed we took a ratepayers junket,’’ he said. ‘‘I can assure you, this was far from the truth.’’ Cr Mustica’s report was followed by Cr Buck, Cr Cleveland and Cr Lawless speaking on the tour.

Dylan Arvela


News

Peddling Peter fitter, healthier and happier after riding over 1000km

Peter Fitzpatrick has discovered a love for bike riding, with the Cobram and District Specialist School student peddling more than 1000 km this year. Peter, who is non-verbal and lives with autism, struggled to get on a bike when he first started riding with education support staff member Lou Edis, but now frequently riding more than 20 km up to three times a week. Ms Edis said the idea to get Peter into riding was to help with his self-regulation as well as his fitness. She said Peter had surprised everyone with how far he has ridden. ‘‘We have got to 1067 km so far, we try to average 20 km a ride, weather permitting, we hope to get over 1500 km by the end of the year,’’ she said. ‘‘We just thought we would write down how far we went and every 100 km we would take him out for lunch. ‘‘He just loves it, as soon as I ask him if he wants to go for a ride he’s up. ‘‘The furthest we have ridden is 28 km. It’s pretty amazing because he has ridden so much further than anyone thought he could ride. ‘‘He is a fitter, he is healthier and he is happier.’’ Ms Edis hoped Peter would continue his cycling exploits in the next few years and said she would love to take on a bigger cycling challenge with him in the future. ‘‘Next year we will try and beat our record again and the year after beat it again,’’ she said. ‘‘It will be a great achievement for when he leaves school. ‘‘I would love to do something like the Great Victorian Bike Ride with him — I think that would be wonderful.’’

Dylan Arvela