Home' The Great Southern Star : June 7th 2016 Contents “THE STAR”, Tuesday, June 7, 2016 - PAGE 29
By Brad Lester
WONTHAGGI artist Ursula Theinert is
hoping a political powerbroker will help
her to be selected as a finalist in Austra-
lia’s most prestigious portrait competi-
tion, the Archibald Prize.
Mrs Theinert painted former Australian politi-
cian Rob Oakeshott for her 11th entry in the Archi-
balds, to be announced at the Art Gallery of New
South Wales in late June.
“It would be fantastic to be a finalist. From 2005
I began entering the Arhcibalds as an art practice
exercise and it’s a big dream of mine to have that
goal realised,” she said.
“There are 1000 portraits entered and only 40
are chosen, and those portraits are wonderful.”
Mrs Theinert has enjoyed the honour of being
chosen in the Victorian Salon de Refuses exhibition
in the past – a show for the 40 or so Victorian entries
that just missed the final Archibald cut.
Mr Oakeshott was the independent Member for
Lyne in New South Wales in 2010 when he and fel-
low independents Bob Katter and Tony Windsor
decided the government of the day after the federal
election returned a hung parliament.
Mr Katter voted for the Coalition while Messrs
Oakeshott and Windsor voted for Labor, then led by
“Rob was and is an idealist, a devoted family
man who believed in the proposed Emissions Trad-
ing Scheme and the NBN, and secured the $75 mil-
lion extension to the regional hospital,” Mrs Thei-
“Rob the outsider was motivated by policies and
had the courage to stand up for what he believed
Mrs Theinert’s portrait in acrylic and charcoal
spans 180cm by 120cm and focuses on Mr Oake-
shott’s eyes, as though he is reflecting on his past
“There is a lot more detailing on the inside of
his face, and the outside is free and loose to try and
draw the viewer’s eye in,” she said.
Mr Oakeshott has approved of the work, to the
artist’s relief, after an initial four hour sitting at Mr
Oakeshott’s Port Macquarie home, followed by
three weeks of solid painting in the Theinert fam-
ily’s Wonthaggi studio.
“We discussed his time as a politician and I won-
dered how different his life might be if he had cho-
sen Tony Abbott,” Mrs Theinert said.
“His expressive blue eyes often seemed to look
into the distant past as he pondered my questions,
as I sketched.
“Rob responded that even in hindsight he had
made the right decision.”
Mrs Theinert’s husband Werner took photo-
graphs of Mr Oakeshott’s face and hands, and
around the house to gain an appreciation for who
the former politician was as a person.
“It’s an incredible adventure to be able to meet
these wonderful people in their homes,” Mr Thei-
The artist chose a simplified colour palette to
emphasise the “meditative tone” of the portrait.
Mrs Theinert was inspired to paint Mr Oakeshott
after reading his memoir The Independent Member
for Lyne, and invited him to sit by making contact
“At the delightful sitting at his home with walls
filled with children’s paintings and toys strewn
round about, I was interested to know what he was
doing after the turbulent 43rd parliament,” she said.
“It must have been incredible; at one point being
in the thick of the politics of the time and the thick
of people, donors, sponsors and people of industry
trying to get you to vote for their ideas, and the next
minute being a house husband at home.”
Mr Oakeshott, a former lawyer, now works part
time for the United Nations and is studying to be-
come a doctor.
Mrs Theinert’s previous Archibald entries have
included now Guardian Australia editor Lenore
Taylor and journalist Giles Parkinson of website
Striking piece: Wonthaggi artist Ursula Theinert painted former independent Member for
Lyne in New South Wales, Rob Oakeshott, for this year’s Archibald Prize.
Artist aims for Archibalds
A GREENHOUSE at Koonwarra
Village School will be replaced
thanks to the proceeds of a popu-
lar open garden recently.
Anne and Michael Vale-Sidell opened
their heritage property Cluanie at Koon-
warra as part of an Open Gardens Victoria
event on Mother’s Day.
They donated $2296 to the school for
a new greenhouse, after wind damaged
the previous structure.
Open Gardens Victoria replaces the
Open Gardens Australia Scheme which
closed in 2014. With the new scheme,
which is run by volunteers, the garden
owner retains half the gate takings which
they can keep or donate as they wish.
The Vale-Sidells were pleased to do-
nate their share of $2296 to the school.
Leongatha Lions Club and friends
served Devonshire teas, after Dot Mc-
Garvey baked more than 300 scones, and
ran out due to demand.
Combined with a raffle, the Lions club
raised more than $1600 for the Royal Fly-
ing Doctor Service.
More than 600 people attended the
event and there was great interest in the
history of the property and the develop-
ment of the relatively new garden.
The event was a real team effort, with
the Lions club and Open Gardens helping
with traffic control, South Gippsland Hire
providing a toilet, Koonwarra Village
School families manning the gate, and
family and friends answered questions
and parked cars.
Gardening winning: Anne Vale (back, left) presents the proceeds of the open
garden at her property Cluanie to Koonwarra Village School’s, back from left,
Melinda Licciardi, Rachel Axford and Rebecca Cooke, middle row, Erin, Lola,
Jensen and Harrison, and, front, Ruby, Hannah, Mitchell and Makenzi.
BASS Coast Shire
Council’s planned ac-
tivity group held its
most successful Aus-
tralia’s Biggest Morn-
ing Tea at the Phillip
Island Senior Citizen’s
Group staff – together
with their hard working vol-
unteers – raised $771.05 for
the Cancer Council.
Groups of people came
to enjoy the morning from
council’s group and carer
support programs, Phillip
Island Senior Citizens Club,
Melaleuca Lodge, Griffiths
Point Lodge and Garnham
More than 100 attended
and all enjoyed an amazing
array of food and musical
entertainment provided by
Prizes were donated
by the Phillip Island Lions
Club and PAG clients.
Tea time: Bass Coast Shire Council’s planned activity group staff Carol Fay,
Tina Leonard and Pam Pitts, and group volunteers Shirley Collins and Bev
Kruger with group clients Bonnie Campbell, Joan Greenway and Ron Lever at
the recent Biggest Morning Tea.
Record morning tea
Food was lovingly pre-
pared by group volunteers,
staff and clients as well as
seniors club members.
Council thanked Carol
Fay, Tina Leonard and Pam
Pitts for organising the
event and gave a special
thank you to the volunteers
who helped make such a fun
and enjoyable event for the
community to attend.
By Tayla Kershaw
A NEW toilet block is in the pipeline for the
Anderson Inlet Angling Club.
Bass Coast Shire Council voted to amend the Inverloch
foreshore Cuttriss Street activity area plan – which was set
out in July 2014 – to accommodate a permanent toilet block
closer to the angling club.
Initially, the Inverloch foreshore Cuttriss Street activity
area plan stated the toilet block would be built near the Cut-
triss Street car park.
Anderson Inlet Angling Club’s June Laycock said coun-
cil had allocated $150,000 for a new toilet block in the
2016-17 budget, but feared the club would lose the money
if council decided to move the location of the toilet block
closer to the car park.
Council assured Ms Laycock the allocation was not loca-
tion dependent and would still go towards construction.
“This is a good move for the club and for the visitors of
Inverloch. Hopefully it will make the residents happy to see
this development,” Cr Andrew Phillips said.
A petition was tabled in 2014 for permanent amenities,
which included 1191 signatures.
“The angling club has an active member base and we’ve
identified the use of the toilets in the area,” mayor Cr Jordan
“We will be having a consultation process with inter-
ested parties to amend the plan.”
A CLAYTON woman has expressed her grati-
tude after South Gippsland Shire Council of-
ficers and police helped return her father home
Gail Petta was thankful to hear her father was safe and
well taken care of after an accidental trip down the road took
him all the way to Leongatha.
Ninety year old Leslie Collison of Springvale left his
home to go to the library five minutes from where he lived
at 9am on Friday (May 13).
However, he continued to drive for 23 hours until he
ended up in Leongatha at 8am on the morning of Saturday,
He stopped outside the council building where he was
found by local laws officer Graeme Peters, who called po-
lice and Mr Collison’s family.
Mr Peters drove Mr Collison to the Wonthaggi Police
Station, where he was picked up by his family.
“Council and the police went out of their way to ensure
he was not alone and that he was safe,” Ms Petta said.
“It was hours before we could get to Wonthaggi and I
wanted to acknowledge the kindness of those involved who
made sure he was looked after. I can’t comprehend how
much worse it could’ve been so I am thankful to them.”
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