The News Headlines
Wednesday April 5, 2017
Letters to the Editor
From The Mirror,
April 2, 1997
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
“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
• 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
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
“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
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
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
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
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
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
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
“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
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 (www.abc.net.au/news/2016-01-07/brim-grain-silos-guido-van-helten-art-wimmera-victoria/7072768)
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