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The News Headlines

Wednesday April 5, 2017

Letters to the Editor

From The Mirror,
April 2, 1997

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Foster Rotary gives books to new mums

• Proud parents Hannah and Jack Weston - with new baby Parker and 2½-year-old Harley - are pictured with Deirdre Fegan and Jeannette Allan - representing the South Gippsland Hospital Auxiliary, (at rear) South Gippsland Hospital CEO Chris Trotman, Foster Rotary Club president Richard Jones, and author/illustrator Alison Lester.

ONE-hundred new books especially written for children by local and world renowned author and illustrator, Alison Lester were donated last week by the Rotary Club of Foster to the South Gippsland Hospital Auxiliary.
The books will be included in Pamper Packs which will be given to mums on the birth of their new babies.
The books were presented to the Auxiliary last on March 30 in one of the maternity ward rooms, which was occupied by Hannah Weston and her son Parker who was born only two days earlier.
Not only is Alison Lester one of Australia’s most loved children’s authors - she was also the third baby to have been born at South Gippsland Hospital!
“This Read Together Program initiative was our Club’s part in celebrating the centenary of the Rotary Foundation, one of whose aims is the development of basic education and literacy,” said Richard Jones - president of the Foster Rotary Club.
“Our new babies are so very, very precious and many studies have proven the huge benefits of early reading to infants and youngsters; stimulating and developing fluency in language, recognition of shapes and figures and most importantly strengthening the bonding links between children and their parents.
“Working parents - many of whom work all day, benefit specially in this bonding process. We also hope that this small gift will encourage mums and dads to read, sing along and simply enjoy talking with their children.
“Reading and the appreciation of books was one of the most valuable gifts given to me by parents and we hope this gift to the new mums of Foster and surrounds will promote this value,” Richard said.
Hospital Auxiliary representative Jeanette Allan was delighted by the donation, adding “the mums will be very pleased with this very practical addition to our pamper bags.”
Funds for the purchase of the books were raised from receipts from the Rotary train, which runs on the Foster oval during Promontory Produce and Craft Market days.








Two local doctors receive significant awards

• Dr David Iser was the recipient of a Length of Service Award (35+years) - an award which acknowledges extensive commitment to providing health services and continued involvement in the community.

• Dr Ruyu Yao received the Rural Doctor Award - New Rural Doctor.

EIGHTEEN rural doctors, nurses, allied health professionals, practice managers and medical specialists were recognised for their outstanding service to Victorian communities at a ceremony on Saturday March 25.
These outstanding award winners took centre stage in Marysville for the twelfth Victorian Rural Health Awards, hosted by the Rural Workforce Agency Victoria (RWAV) and sponsored by the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services.
Every year nominations are put forward by members of the public, community organisations and local healthcare providers and are assessed by an independent panel of judges. Nominations open in October of each year and RWAV encourages the public to nominate healthcare professionals who provide vital health services to rural and remote communities.
Among the award winners were Foster and Toora Medical Centres’ own Dr David Iser and Dr Ruyu Yao.
More than 130 guests attended the ceremony, representing health service providers, local community leaders, award recipients’ friends, colleagues and families.
“The influence each of the award winners have made to rural and remote communities is life changing and their collective efforts build a sustainable healthcare system for rural Victoria,” said RWAV Chair, Yousuf Ahmad.
Dr David Iser was one of five doctors to receive a Length of Service Award. This award is presented to general practitioners and medical specialists who have served rural and regional Victoria for over 35 years.
The Length of Service Award recognises their extensive commitment to providing health services, often to many generations of the same family and their continued involvement in the community.
Dr David Iser was born in Bendigo and moved to Melbourne for his higher education at Melbourne University. Dr Iser began his career as a GP in Foster in 1981. Over the years he has expanded his skills and interests to include obstetrics, anaesthetics, surgery, endoscopy and gained an Advanced Diploma Obstetrics (DRANZCOG).
He practised medicine for short stints in Papua New Guinea, England and Canada. He has also worked in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in outback Australia in Laramba, Alice Springs, Tennant Creek, Nhulunbuy and Papunya.
Dr Iser is semi-retired, still working in Foster and is a resident of Sandy Point. He is grateful for the support of his wife Narelle, a retired theatre nurse. He is the father of three daughters - (a teacher, an obstetrician and a GP). Inspired by their father, all of them have chosen doctors for their partners.
Dr Iser loves working in rural Victoria and says it is a supportive and close knit community “where patients and friends all mould into great lifelong friendships.”
Dr Ruyu Yao received the Rural Doctor Award - New Rural Doctor - an award which recognises doctors who are establishing their careers in rural health and have demonstrated an outstanding contribution to their profession and community.
Dr. Yao was born in Guangzhou, China. Following a family tradition, she completed medical training and became a doctor. Curiosity brought her to Australia 13 years ago, to pursue a new career pathway, but opportunity led her back to medicine. After a few years working in city hospitals, she entered the GP training program and Dr Yao’s supervisor in obstetrics introduced her to Foster.
She soon fell in love with the rolling hills and the pristine water.
“It is the people I work with and the community I serve, that warms my heart and lifts my spirit,” Dr Yao said.
For the past five years she has enjoyed the variety of general practice, including practising obstetrics as a special interest.
“There were sleepless nights and frustrations like every job, but the reward makes them all worthwhile,” she said, adding that she is very lucky to have a loving and supportive husband and together they have made Foster their home and they ‘are loving it!’



Another fabulous festival for the region

FISH CREEK was abuzz with activity on Sunday, the final day of the Prom Coast Seachange Festival for 2017.
The Makers Market filled the Fish Creek Hall with a treasure trove of homemade goods and tasty treats, and the sights and sounds of buskers and circle dancers entertained those outside.
Colourful paper planes, launched by a crowd of enthusiastic young aviators, flew high and far as part of the inaugural Paper Plane Challenge, with a distance of some 17m reached in the over 8s category.
At the end of two weeks, and with around 60 events having showcased the best the Prom Coast has to offer, festival chair Deb Bray acknowledged that support for the festival, both local and from further afield, has ensured a highly successful series of events for 2017.
“The festival goes from strength to strength due to the huge amount of expertise and talent, financial and in-kind support, and pure hard work that is offered by many from within the community.”
“The festival committee is passionate about providing a structure that is driven from within the community; one that not only makes the most of established activities and emerging skill-sets but, importantly, fosters quality events that draw attention to, and celebrate, this magnificent region.”
Along with the festival’s major sponsors, Toora & Foster Community Bank® and Welshpool Agency, Esso BHP Billiton and the South Gippsland Shire Council, and media partner ABC Gippsland, Deb Bray also recognised the many groups, businesses and individuals who funded or contributed sponsorship to stand-alone events.
A great deal of media attention was given to the festival, with many local media outlets providing generous coverage that helped spread the word and promote interest in the region.
From attracting internationally renowned artists and celebrating those within our community of similar calibre, to drawing community and visitors together through larger-scale events such as the Seachange Fun Food Fair and the Makers Market, the festival committee always endeavours to put forward a diverse program of events.
In opening the festival for 2017, Member for Gippsland South, Danny O’Brien said, “The support that goes into this festival provides cultural and economic benefit to the area. Events like the Prom Coast Seachange Festival give us time to pause, reflect and engage with community and with the region.”
“The Prom Coast community can be proud that it has drawn together, worked incredibly hard, shown it’s best and represented itself as a great place to visit and a great place to live,” affirmed Deb Bray.
Given the enormous number of people who have contributed to the festival the organising committee has extended an all-encompassing ‘thank you’, particularly to those who contributed time, talent, resources and support, including event organisers and their teams, volunteers, venues, traders, producers, performers and artists, community and sporting groups, local businesses, regional agencies, donors and sponsors, and media outlets.
“Importantly, we need to thank those who attended events, stayed in local accommodation, shopped locally, invited friends to visit, helped sell tickets, ate in local eateries, put donations in tins, visited local sites, and generated traffic on the festival’s website and social media pages - it all helped make the festival a success,” added Deb Bray.
“The organising committee always does an exceptional job, we’re all extremely proud of what’s been achieved this year, but as the festival grows so too do the opportunities for new people to be involved, there are so many talented people out there.”
The festival runs every second year and, according to Deb Bray, new members are always welcome on the commitee.


Great Southern Portrait Prize winners revealed

THE 11th Great Southern Portrait Prize opened last Thursday at Stockyard Gallery and the much-anticipated announcement of winners and official opening was made at the gallery on Saturday during the last weekend of the Prom Coast Seachange Festival.
The Mayor, Cr Ray Argento, was in attendance along with Cr Alyson Skinner, Cr Meg Edwards and Cr Maxine Kiel. The two Portrait Prize judges, Ros Atkins and Deb Milligan were also present.
Deb Bray - chair of the Prom Coast Seachange Festival committee, welcomed everyone to the third occasion when the Portrait Prize and Seachange have come together.
PCA member Kerry Spokes spoke on behalf of PCA, starting with a short history of the Portrait Prize, then thanking the judges , a thank you to the PCA artists who run portrait workshops in the schools, the Seachange committee for support, Stockyard Gallery, the exhibition hanging committee, the Mayor and councillors, artists and all those in attendance. A special thank you was made to the sponsors and to the South Gippsland Shire Council.
During his speech, Cr Argento explained how he had little contact with art growing up on a dairy farm but a visit to the Western District town of Brim to see the wonderful painted silos ( made him realise how art could touch everyone in a town and bring visitors from far and wide.
Cr Argento went on to encourage and invite South Gippslanders to go online and make comments on the arts in South Gippsland and the role the Shire Council is taking on with a new take on the Council's art, culture and creative industries policy.
The two judges then spoke with Ros Atkins praising the younger artists' work. She was pleased to see that adult and junior work is shown together in the Great Southern Portrait Prize exhibition. Ros felt it is wonderful that parents and schools in the area are so supportive. She said it was a difficult decision judging the Junior section and encouraged the kids to keep trying with their art.
Deb Milligan spoke about the technical and compositional aspects of the artworks - mark making, space left around the subject and drew attention to the hand gestures in Tom Murray-White's portrait, introspection in Janie Frith's work and the fine detail in Linda Keagle's work.
A great day was had by all. The exhibition continues daily from 10am to 4pm until May 1, (closed Good Friday). Visitors are reminded to cast their votes for the People's Choice prizes in both the Open and Junior sections. Two lucky voters will each win a voucher from Bromley's on Main café to two lucky voters. These will be drawn at the end of the exhibition and announced in the newspapers the following week.
Tom Murray-White won the Open Section Grand Prize of $1000 for 'I Love Paul,' - a portrait of Paul Satchell.
The Second Prize of $500 was awarded to Linda Keagle for 'Ouch,' a photographic portrait of Roger Keagle.
Janie Frith received a Highly Commended and was also awarded the Packers' Prize of $100 for 'Chico,' - a portrait of Reuben Frith.
The First Prize of $100 in the Junior Section went to Aaron for 'All About Me,' - a self portrait.
Six Junior entries received Highly Commended: 'A Study of Van Gogh' - a self portrait by Leila; 'Self Portrait' by George; 'Summer Days with Leo' by Claudia; 'Mrs Gurnett' by Mia; 'Me' a self portrait by Charlie.
In addition to receiving a Highly Commended, 'Bored' by Campbell was also awarded the Packers' Prize of $50.
The People's Choice prizes of $500 (Open Section) and $100 (Junior Section) will be awarded at the conclusion of the exhibition.
Stockyard Gallery is located near the roundabout at the corner of Main and McDonald streets, Foster. For further information, contact the gallery on 5682 1125.


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