Home' The Great Southern Star : May 17th 2016 Contents “THE STAR”, Tuesday, May 17, 2016 - PAGE 29
LEONGATHA Primary School students
are celebrating Education Week by ex-
ploring the multitude of opportunities
available on campus.
Students have excelled academically and in
their specialised subjects which have been intro-
duced to all year levels this year.
The expansion of music classes to all year lev-
els has seen students take a keen interest in learn-
ing musical instruments and other extracurricular
“The Preps have been learning percussion
with a strong focus on rhythmic notation and
learning notes this semester,” music teacher Jes-
sica Stein said.
“Leongatha Primary School offers a wide
range of musical programs for students who are
interested in pursuing music further.”
The Ogilvy Street campus will host a major
school production in August about local legend
Students in the concert band and senior choir
are also pursuing their interests and will travel to
Melbourne’s Federation Square to perform in the
Victorian Schools Music Festival.
“We also have classes in music technology,
both junior and senior choirs, and instrumental
lessons where students can learn an instrument of
their own choice,” Ms Stein said.
Students have also benefitted from mandatory
language classes, with Jane Pierini sharing her
fluent mandarin with all year levels.
“Students from Prep have started learning
Chinese and it has been a great opportunity for
them to learn about global awareness and cultural
understanding,” she said.
“Grade 6 students have the opportunity to
travel to China and it is growing in popularity
every year. There is a massive link between Le-
ongatha’s dairy industry and China and it is creat-
ing a buzz around students. They are excited to
Further overseas opportunities will arise at
Leongatha Primary School this year with four
students selected to travel to Japan in August.
Vice principal Dot Coghlan said the students
will be financially supported by the State Govern-
ment to share their research about natural disas-
ters with international students in Nogata.
“Students have been learning about bush fires
and as a result of their research have developed
fire safety packs for students on school buses,”
“This will be presented in Japan and the other
students who conducted research will have the
opportunity to present it locally and hopefully in
Melbourne at CFA headquarters.”
Further specialised classes, including physical
education workshops run by sports coordinator
Joel Cahir, have given students the opportunity to
pursue an interest in various sports.
“We run a lot of assessments for students in
Prep to help them with things like throwing and
catching,” he said.
“From there they develop a number of skills
and they are given the chance to explore their in-
Mrs Coghlan said students of all ages at Le-
ongatha Primary School continued to excel, both
during Education Week and on a daily basis in
MEN’S shed members from across the
region gathered at Wonthaggi’s State
Coal Mine last Tuesday, May 10 for a
highly anticipated cluster meeting.
Victorian Men’s Shed Association vice president
Lindsay Oates said the local organisations were
proving to be a major success across the state, with
new branches and projects cropping up in South
Gippsland and greater Victoria.
“There are new men’s sheds popping up across
Victoria, with new sheds at Yarragon and Lake Tyres
taking new members and more sheds growing and
expanding,” he said.
“Now is the time for men’s sheds to be applying
for grants if they wish to secure funding for shed
extensions. We do not know what changes to fund-
ing could be made after the election and it is best to
Inverloch Men’s Shed president Julian Sellers
said the organisation is in the process of applying
for two grants to cover the construction costs of a
“We are looking to host the next cluster meet-
ing in our brand new shed at Inverloch Recreation
Reserve,” he said.
“The future is very exciting for our group.”
Nyora’s Men’s Shed is also in the process of
seeking an expansion, with new sewage and power
supplies to be installed later this year. The organisa-
tion has hosted a series of sausage sizzles to fund-
raise for the upgrades.
The shed, situated at Nyora Recreation Reserve,
has just received a defibrillator funded by the Ben-
digo Bank which was installed in early May.
Wonthaggi Woodcrafters had its application for
a defibrillator rejected, however the group is finding
success in other areas, having achieved more than
Peter Waters of Leongatha South said he is look-
ing to start a new sub branch in the area, with inter-
ested parties recruiting keen members.
“We are looking to work with existing men’s
sheds in the area, or if worst comes to worst we may
start an independent, new shed,” he said.
Leongatha’s Men’s Shed may look to amalgam-
ate with the new group, having depleted its member
base to 15 active participants this year.
“We have had some success this year however,”
sub branch president Max Wood told the conference.
“We did receive funding for a new defibrillator
which will be updated yearly. We just hope we will
never have to use it.”
The Leongatha group, along with the group at
Venus Bay and Tarwin Lower, are both in the pro-
cess of negotiating their respective leases with South
Gippsland Shire Council for 2017.
“Despite everything at the moment we are going
along pretty well,” Mr Wood said.
“We received a letter of thanks for our contribu-
tions to Operation Christmas Child and it makes us
feel really to see what kind of a difference we can
Corner Inlet Men’s Shed is sitting at around 25
active members with its main source of income gen-
erated from sausage sizzle fundraisers. The group is
currently planning to construct a replica Long Tan
cross at Fish Creek.
Warragul Woodworkers have also had a success-
ful year, having obtained $60,000 in grant funding
for a new shed. The branch has 100 members who
have focused this year on constructing boats and ca-
noes for local school groups, meeting four days a
week for workshops and social gatherings.
Music maestros: music teacher Jessica Stein with Prep students Tyson, Millie, Ava, Ronan
and Ruby in the music room at Leongatha Primary School.
“Students are getting more and more oppor-
tunities, between band classes and international
travel, which we have never offered before,” she
“Students now have the chance to find their
passion at a younger age and it is fantastic to see
them exploring in the classroom as individuals.”
An information session for Prep enrolments
next year is on Wednesday, June 1 from 7pm at
the Leongatha Primary School Prep building.
static,” however a few members have complete their
service to make way for other commitments in recent
“We have 28 members on the books and we are
always looking for more to join. We are also looking
to recruit more females because we think it is good
to have a mix,” Mr Olden said.
“I do think the organisation is trying to fit into
a current volunteer model. Nationally volunteers are
changing and the CFA is working hard to maintain a
strong membership base.”
Mr Olden said the life skills he has obtained in
the brigade have been an invaluable asset to his own
development, both as a volunteer firefighter and
within the work place.
“I have definitely learned more life skills and
learned how to push myself. That said I have also
learned what my limits are,” he said.
“CFA gives people the skills to push themselves
both physically and mentally. Members really learn
what their own strengths are. CFA is a part of the
community and I think it is really respected by com-
Mr Olden runs his own refrigeration repair busi-
ness and said balancing work, volunteering and time
with the family is of the utmost importance.
“Finding time to volunteer can be a big chal-
lenge. Family always comes first and maintaining a
balance where you can find time to do other things is
very important,” he said.
“You have to be realistic and know how much
time you can put aside for each component of your
While CFA does present its fair share of chal-
lenges to members, Mr Olden said he does every-
thing he can as a captain to ensure the wellbeing of
“Personally, as a captain I oversee a lot of what
is going on and I recognise my members’ skills to
decide who is capable of performing particular tasks
in order to better manage them,” he said.
“For instance, car accidents can be one of the
most difficult events to attend. I need to know who
should steer clear of a car accident and assist in other
areas like traffic direction because some people can-
not handle it.
“CFA is a fantastic organisation. It presents
people with a challenge but it has so many re-
wards. It is about getting out there and helping the
Kongwak Fire Station is open every Sunday
morning for maintenance tasks, training and duties.
“We are more than happy to have a chat to those
interested in learning more about the CFA and poten-
tially joining up,” Mr Olden said.
For more information about becoming a CFA
Volunteer visit www.cfa.vic.gov.au/volunteer
leads Kongwak CFA
Hard worker: Ross Olden has been a volun-
teer for Kongwak Fire Brigade for 16 years.
Last week marked National Volunteer Week,
dedicated to recognising the efforts made by
those who volunteer in the community.
by Lucy Johnson
KONGWAK’s Ross Olden celebrated
National Volunteer Week last week as he
acknowledged 16 years of work as cap-
tain of the Kongwak Fire Brigade.
“It is not really a long time in the scheme of
things,” he said.
“Some members have been with the brigade for
over 55 years and have supported locals in countless
Mr Olden said the demands of Country Fire Au-
thority volunteers have grown over the years and he
has risen to the challenge with pride.
“Kongwak responds to about 20 callouts a year
and we have already responded to 10, so this year is
above average so far,” he said.
“I joined because I was looking for something to
do in the area. I wanted to do something for the com-
Kongwak Fire Brigade numbers are “pretty
Shedders get together
Strong cluster: from left, Victorian Men’s Shed Association vice president Lindsay Oates,
committee member David Mudge, Inverloch Men’s Shed president Julian Sellers and South
Gippsland Shire Council community strengthening officer Barbara Look at the Men’s Shed
cluster meeting last Tuesday, May 10 at Wonthaggi’s State Coal Mine.
Links Archive May 10th 2016 May 24th 2016 Navigation Previous Page Next Page