Habitats: Celebrating Indigenous Flora & Fauna in Hobsons Bay

Habitat Tour & Talk

Join Angela as she shares her extensive knowledge of indigenous plants with you in a virtual tour of her habitat garden.  Participants of Hobsons Bay will receive a habitat box (while stocks last) and go into the draw to win an original Brianna Paige watercolour.  This presentation is supported by the Hobsons Bay City Council through its community grant program.

Sunday 11 October, 2pm-1pm
Online presentation via Zoom | BOOKINGS

Our Wonderful Wetlands

Gordon from Hobsons Bay Wetland Centre is presenting this fascinating talk about the wetlands found in Hobsons Bay. Participants of Hobsons Bay will receive a habitat box (while stocks last) and go into the draw to win an original Brianna Paige watercolour. This presentation is supported by the Hobsons Bay City Council through its community grant program.

Saturday 17th October, 11am-12pm
Online presentation via Zoom | BOOKINGS

More Musings from the Manager 

Yes, it is tough. I am not going to say any more than yes, it is tough. And there is so much negativity out there that it is hard to be positive - much less foster enthusiasm for anything! But I received photos of the goats and chickens we purchased for our friends in Uganda with the message that the chickens are already producing eggs and the goats have settled in. The better news is that people reading my story have offered to buy goats, so there will be an extra two goats joining the herd soon.  

Our administration staff, Lyn and Danielle attended a workshop recently that spoke of the mental health benefits of art and community based art especially (and we take it to include all creative endeavour) – not only as a therapy, but also just for the creative outlet it provides and the pathway for recovery it can offer. Working at the Louis Joel Arts & Community Centre, we see first-hand how much art and creative endeavour can help, how much it can heal and what delight it brings to those who attend the many workshops and classes we have in the building.  

Art is often associated with children and most will concede that art and creativity is important for children – and yes, we think it is too. But it is equally important for adults to have a creative outlet – and no matter what you choose to create or make, it is a relaxing and inspiring activity for most people.  

Lyn, Danielle and I have been discussing just how we can deliver an arts program online, but we need your help to see if our ideas have merit. We love the number of courses and classes on offer from all over the world and they are bringing art to you in many ways but we think we can provide something a little different.  

That difference would be us arranging a delivery of a box of art supplies to you that relate to the workshop we are offering. That way, you would be able to join in the workshop in real time, with guidance and feedback from a tutor and maybe a follow up a few weeks later to see how you are progressing.  

We may only be able to offer this on a ‘smaller’ scale (we won’t be able to post out a huge canvas to everyone) but if you had the materials arrive at your door for your workshop (that is teaching you a technique or skill), would you be interested? And if you are, what types of art or creative endeavour would you like us to explore? 

We have a quite a few projects in mind for getting into art and being creative for when we can open the Centre again and we will do that as soon as we can and we will let you know the details so you can put dates in diaries and start collecting something for us – but that’s all we can say until we know our timeframes in line with the next steps of coming out of lockdown.  

In the meantime, I hope you have something creative to do that sparks excitement in you. Whether it’s dragging out art supplies that have been hiding in the back of your cupboard or teaching yourself how to crochet, or even if it’s rearranging your rooms to create a more aesthetically pleasing environment, it is indeed being creative, in my book, and I hope you are enjoying what you are doing. 

Kim Reilly

Art, Craft and Other Things to Keep You Busy

Creating Your Own Colours

Emma Lebefvre presents a series of colour mixing videos for watercolours. Using a limited palette of 8 colours Emma explains in detail how to achieve the colour you are looking for.

Mixing Purples - Colour Mixing Series Part 1

Mixing Greys - Colour Mixing Series Part 2

Mixing Greens - Colour Mixing Series Part 3

Mixing Reds (And Some Pinks) - Colour Mixing Series Part 4

Holy Trinity Virtual Gallery

Holy Trinity Church Williamstown are launching a new Virtual Art Gallery on October 15. The gallery is an oportunity to share your art & craft with a wider audience and is open to photographing, drawing and painting, collage and craftwork.

All work must be offered for sale online and sales attract a commission to support Holy Trinity's work. 

Details on how register in the link below


Crochet Hexagon Bag

This week we're going to show you how to crochet a hexagon bag. Here are some links to some different hexagon shapes to try; pick a favourite, or mix and match, then follow the bag pattern instructions. 

Crochet Hexagon Bag

Easy Crochet - Solid Hexagon

Hexagon granny tutorial

Granny Flower Hexagon

Online Dance Classes

Fun, free dance classes that will get you moving and spark some joy! Laverton Community Hub are offering dance classes that will introduce you to Bollywood or Hula Hawaiian style dances. 

Bollywood Virtual Dance 
Thu 17 Sep at 5pm (for four weeks) 
Sat 19 Sep at 5pm (for four weeks)
Online via Zoom | Free (limited places)
Contact Laverton Community Hub on 9932 3011 or register ONLINE

Hula Hawaiian Virtual Dance 
Wed 16 Sep at 5pm (for six weeks)
Online via Zoom  | Free (limited spaces available)
Contact Laverton Community Hub on 9932 3011 or register ONLINE

Sustainable House Day

Sustainable House Day gives visitors a chance to see inside houses that have been designed, built or renovated with sustainability in mind, as well as the opportunity to talk to owners and receive unbiased advice. 

Register via the link to attend Sustainable House Day on Sunday 20 September 2020. 


Garden Gurus Tips

Indigenous Plant Use

Created by Barkandji woman Zena Cumpston, this booklet on the medicinal, nutritional and technological uses of indigenous plants came out of The Living Pavilion event at Melbourne University in 2019. It is a fascinating look at the cultural and ecological significance of different indigenous plant species.


Image credit: Takver from Australia

DIY Glass Cloches

Last week we looked at using upcycled plastic bottles to cover tender spring seedlings. Another option is to upcycle glass bottles to make durable glass cloches that will protect seedlings from pests and extend the growing season.

For tips and videos on how to make your own glass cloches, check out the link.


Stuff to Keep the Kids Busy

Artistic Food for Kids 

Kim Reilly

When I was young, I remember being told ‘don’t play with your food’ – and it had to do more with pushing unliked or unwanted food around my plate to avoid eating it rather than the creating something fun out of the ‘play’. When we had our kids, Graeme and I wanted meal times to be less stressful and so we created our own bit of ‘artistic’ play with their food – smiley faces on their plates in tomato sauce or cutting their toast into a variety of shapes to take the mundane out of a square of bread were just a couple of things we did. We would also cut up bowls and plates of vegetables and arrange them in colours and they were invited to have two pieces of each colour (and many variations of those ideas) but we were not as creative as the images I’m sharing with you.  


Lost Lands Found 

Hobsons Bay children and their families are invited to join an online creative program to create artworks that respond to the natural landscape of Hobsons Bay. The program runs from 7 September to 2 November and will have a new theme each fortnight.

Inspired by Dean Stewart’s Lost Lands Found project in Altona, the program's brought to you by Hobsons Bay City Council.


Kids Art & Activity Packs

We've been busy putting together some fabulous packs containing art and craft supplies and activities to keep the kids busy over the next few weeks.

The packs are free and available for children living in Hobsons Bay. The packs will either be dropped on your doorstep or posted out to you. There are a limited number available.


Wellbeing & Selfcare

Online Youth Counselling

Hobsons Bay Up is providing a free online counselling session for young people aged 12 to 25.

Counsellors will be able to provide support and strategies to help young people and their families manage their wellbeing during this challenging time.

12pm to 3pm every Wednesday 


Daughters of the West

Daughters of the West is a free health & wellbeing program from Hobsons Bay City Council. The program runs for eight weeks and this year will be delivered in an online format starting 6 October.

The program assists women to prioritise their health and wellbeing, something many of us find difficult between kid wrangling, work and other caring committments.  


Ferguson & Urie – The Beginning

Altona-Laverton Historical Society

This story, in fact this series of stories, originated from two small cards that I discovered whilst going through some old items that have been gathered and accumulated over the years from a number of members of our family.

So, let us start with one of the cards which triggered my curiosity. It was this card that will lead off our story and steer it on to a number of events and places. The front of this card shows an image of two very distinguished gentlemen (see image below). On the left is James Ferguson and the right James Urie and on the reverse of this card is what appears to be an invitation to a dinner given by these two gentlemen to the employees of the firm on 22 June 1887, in the Jubilee year of Queen Victoria.
My curiosity as a historian prompted a number of questions:
  1. Who were James Ferguson and James Urie?
  2. What was their firm and what did they do?
  3. Was this dinner a ‘one-off’ occasion?
  4. How many employees went to the dinner?
  5. Is there a connection with the Hobsons Bay area in any form?
In this first instalment of the five-part series we will endeavour to answer the first two of these questions. In the coming weeks we will provide answers to the other three questions.
In December 1852, three Scotsmen emigrated to Australia from Ayrshire, Scotland, to make their fortune in the new colony. These colonial pioneers were the brothers James & David Ferguson, sons of a Master Slater and Glazier from Wallacetown, Ayrshire, and James Urie from Kilmarnock, Ayrshire.

The Ferguson brothers and James Urie started their business as Plumbers, Glaziers and Decorators from premises in North Melbourne. In late 1854 they showed some of their workmanship at the Victorian Exhibition and were awarded certificates for their stained glass windows. In the years to follow, the company exhibited at many Victorian state and Inter-colonial exhibitions and received many awards which would ultimately lead to their recognition as the leading studio in stained glass in the colony.

In early January 1857, David Ferguson decided to leave the partnership and return to Scotland, but the business continued under the same name between James Ferguson and James Urie. By the late 1850s Ferguson & Urie were concentrating the business solely on glazing, lead light and stained-glass windows and now had many commissions for windows in churches and other significant public buildings and private mansions.

By 1863, Ferguson & Urie had a monopoly on the design and manufacture of stained-glass windows in the Colony and were admirably competing with the works of English stained glass being imported into the Colony. Possibly the earliest known surviving windows designed and manufactured by Ferguson & Urie are the stained glass window at St. Margaret’s Church Eltham commissioned in 1861 (pictured below), the triple-light window in St Paul's Church in Ballarat circa 1861, and the window commissioned in 1862 for George Coppin’s Apollo Music Hall in Bourke Street Melbourne.
By February 1867 the company name was well known and their magnificent workmanship was now in demand throughout the Colony and New Zealand. By the 1880s the appetite for stained glass artwork was reaching its peak and the Ferguson & Urie business had grown considerably.

On the 21 July 1890 partner James Urie died at the age of 62. Outside of the business he was a Justice of the Peace, as well as a Councillor of Flemington and Kensington from August 1886 to August 1888, and Mayor from August 1887 to August 1888. His funeral procession was described as “the most imposing seen in the borough” with all the employees of the firm marching in front of the hearse followed by mourning coaches and upward of fifty vehicles following. The Hon Alfred Deakin also played the part of a pall bearer at the grave site.

On the 17 April 1894, remaining partner James Ferguson died at the age of 76, beginning the final decline in the Ferguson & Urie company history.
The business name continued for another five years, possibly with Ferguson & Urie’s eldest sons, James Ferguson Jnr and William Urie, at the helm, then in July 1899 the business’s entire stock in trade went up for unreserved sale. The Ferguson & Urie stained glass company was no more after a 46-year history. The magnificent artistry and workmanship by all the artists and craftsmen within this company have been largely unrecognised. Throughout the company’s history, thousands of magnificent stained glass windows were created and installed in churches, public buildings, private mansions and homes around Melbourne and regional Victoria as well as New South Wales, Queensland, Tasmania, South Australia and three known instances in New Zealand.
So that is, in brief, the who and the what of Ferguson & Urie and their company. Next week the Ferguson & Urie celebration dinners for their employees.

Cut Your Energy Bills

Discover some simple and practical ways to keep your house cosy, reduce energy bills and help cut climate pollution. There are workshops for home owners and for renters.

Renters Workshops
Practical tips that renters can take to save money on heating and cooling, what your rights are as a renter, and the campaign for rental efficiency standards renters.
Mon 14 Sep, 6pm-7.30pm & Thu 24 Sep, 6.30pm-7.30pm
Home Owners Workshops
Hear about the changes you can make to your home to make it more energy efficient and comfortable, plus the campaign to bring Victoria’s energy efficiency standards up to scratch. Tue 15 Sep, 6pm-7.30pm & Tue 22 Sep, 6pm-7.30pm


Support Services Hobsons Bay and Surrounding Suburbs

If you, or someone you know, has been impacted financially by the pandemic or is facing issues to do with housing or family violence, there is a list of organisations that can provide support on our website.


Hobsons Bay City Council is also providing a range of support for individuals and community groups experiencing financial hardship.


There is also a range of support available through Hobsons Bay Has Heart. A community Connector is available to connect you with services in the local area. See this flyer for details. 


The Extreme Hardship Support Program is providing support to Victorians who:
  • are unable to access Commonwealth income support (including JobKeeper and JobSeeker) or the International Student Emergency Relief Fund
  • have very limited income, savings or community support.
  • and are a temporary or provisional visa holder, or undocumented migrant.

Financial Counselling is a free service that can people assist in dealing with a range of financial issues including debts and fines, early release of superannuation, No Interest Loans, emergency relief and Utility Relief Grants. 


If you need support with something not covered in here, please get in touch with us and we can refer you to the appropriate service.
We acknowledge that we are on traditional lands of the Kulin Nation and recognise their continuing connection to land, waters and culture. We acknowledge that sovereignty was never ceded, and we pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging, and, through them, to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Copyright © 2020 Louis Joel Arts & Community Centre, All rights reserved.

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