World Rhino Day

22 September

There is a day to celebrate almost everything in the world and we love to pick the ones we care about most. World Rhino Day is one close to my heart as I have had the wonderful opportunity to visit the Ziwa Rhino & Wildlife Ranch in Uganda and walk around the sanctuary, looking at the most magnificent creatures that rhinos are.

When you arrive at Ziwa, there is a briefing about the care you need to take when being near the rhinos. No loud noises or sudden movements and the best advice they gave us - if a rhino did charge you, you should run in a zig zag line or climb a tree! It was a bit terrifying, the first time we visited but by the second time, we realised the advice was a little tongue in cheek. The rhinos could well charge but were very used to seeing people and did not feel any threat to their territory or their babies.

The rhinos at Ziwa are cared for and protected 24 hours a day. There are wildlife officers on patrol day and night to ensure the safety of the rhinos and to keep an eye on their health and wellbeing. Do you know how the white rhinos got their name (they are not white in colour)? White rhinos are the second largest land mammal and their name comes from the Afrikaans’ word ‘weit’ – which means wide and refers to the animal’s mouth (white rhinos have a square upper lip with almost no hair) and not its colour and the theory is that English speakers heard ‘white’ and that is how the story goes as to how the white rhino got its name.

Seeing the rhinos in their natural habitat is very special. We were close enough that we could hear them breathing and on one occasion, we saw a baby feeding. There are 22 rhinos at Ziwa – each named and known well.

There are many partners that support Ziwa and the Rhino Fund Uganda and we were especially interested when we saw the Zoos Victoria logo inside the information shed. Zoos Victoria has a conservation partnership with the Rhino Fund, to protect and eventually re-establish white rhinos in the wild in Uganda. ‘With a clear vision and integration of wildlife conservation goals, community well-being and social development needs, we are the ideal conservation partner for Zoos Victoria in Africa. The new partnership is also an excellent platform to tell stories of the white rhinos at the Ziwa Sanctuary and their conservation significance for white rhinos through the same iconic species at the Werribee Open Range Zoo.’

The next time you go to the Werribee Open Range Zoo (when we can, of course), take special note of the white rhinos, knowing where they originated from and the work that is going on to protect them.

Kim Reilly



Art, Craft and Other Things to Keep You Busy

Backlit Skies with Watercolours

Dragonfly Spirit Studio guides you through simple watercolour techniques to create skies with backlit clouds.

The workshop also looks at some ideas for adding foreground elements to your sky studies to make finished postcards.


Crochet Gifts 

September is the month that I like to start thinking about crocheting Christmas gifts for my family and friends, leaving myself plenty of time to finish projects.

With that in mind, this week's project is a crochet dishcloth. They are easy to make, practical, look good and are a great alternative to throw away dishcloths. I like to use 100% cotton when crocheting these.

Lyn Hunt


Creative Tech Fridays: State Library of Victoria

Check out the Creative Tech Fridays workshops available from the State Library of Victoria.

There are sessions looking at audio and video editing, clever things you can do with photoshop, as well as collage techniques and making a Japanese Boro Bag.


Spring Writing Series

A free writing workshop series brought to you by Hobsons Bay Libraries.

Secrets of Story Structure with Nic Brasch
Learn how to use structure to bring your story to life with maximum impact.
Tuesday 29 September, 6pm to 8pm

Deep Diving into Character with Sheryll Clark
Engage your readers and make your characters truly come alive. 
Tuesday 27 October, 6pm to 8pm

The Sustainable Writer with Ellen Van Neerven
Build and benefit from a sustainable writing routine including daily prompts, creative play and overcoming writer's block. 
Monday 23 November, 6pm to 8pm


Leo's Trivia Night

The Leo’s club of Hobsons Bay are running an online trivia night celebrating all things sport. Money raised will go to mental health awareness and suicide prevention as part of RUOK day and suicide prevention week. The night will be broken up between sports rounds and general knowledge. There is a $10 donation per screen.

Saturday, 26 September 2020 at 7.30pm


Royal Melbourne Show 

This year the Royal Melbourne Show is going virtual with a range of cool things to watch available online from the 19 to 29 September.

There will be a farmcam, woodchopping, judging of dogs, alpacas and sheep, as well as the action from the equestrian arena and lots more. You can also purchase a showbag online.


Ferguson & UrieCelebration Dinner

Altona-Laverton Historical Society

The Ferguson & Urie stained glass company were known to have held company dinners for their employees in the years 1886, 1887 and 1888.

At each of the dinners a reporter from the North Melbourne Advertiser newspaper was invited to report the proceedings. Each occasion was published in extraordinary detail in the press and characterises a fantastic insight into the company’s history and their employees.

The 1887 dinner is the one that I consider the most significant for two reasons. The first is that it was Queen Victoria’s Jubilee year and the second because there are photos that still exist that were taken specifically for the dinner and are also mentioned in the reporter’s newspaper article of that day.


On the occasion of the 1887 dinner the employees of the company organised to have a poster made up to be presented to their employers, James Ferguson & James Urie. The poster features photographs of all 29 employees, as well as photos of James Ferguson & James Urie in the poster's centre.

The dinner was held at the North Melbourne Mechanics Institute in Errol Street, North Melbourne, which was part of the North Melbourne Town Hall which still exists today.

On that Wednesday evening, about 40 gentlemen sat down to a dinner given by the firm to their employees. The table was laid out in Charles Doyl Straker's (the caterer) well-known style. Apart from the employees and James Ferguson and James Urie, those in attendance included Cr. J. Wilson (Mayor of Flemington and Kensington) and Cr. R. Barrett. It should be noted that James Urie had served as a councillor and mayor of Flemington and Kensington.

The reporter noted that 'the menu was of a most elaborate character and included all the good things common to a well-appointed table'. The menu of this night is listed below, you can be the judge as to whether or not you would consider it ‘common to a well-appointed table'.

Main Course: Roast Turkey aux Truffles, Boiled Turkey en Bechamel, Roast Chicken, Roast Duckling, Wild Duck, Saddle of Lamb with currat Jelly, Roast Beef with Horseradish, York Ham, Ox Tongue, Salad A Mayonnaise and Hot Vegetables.

Dessert: Almond Pudding, Assorted Jellies, Fanchonettes, Charlotte Russe, Compotes, Trifles, Fruit Pies, Swiss Pastry, Fresh Fruits, Cheese, Dried Fruits, Celery &c.

To compliment the meal, they served Chablis, Claret, Port, Sherry, Australian Wines, McEwan’s Ale and Stout, Cognac, Old Whisky and Aerated Waters.

Such was Charles Straker’s reputation that in 1882 the National Agricultural Society of Victoria awarded him the sole right to cater for the Intercolonial Ploughing Match to be held at the Chirnside’s Werribee Park Estate on the 26th & 27th July 1882.

They certainly saw the value of their employees and these were very lavish times.

Garden Gurus Tips

Creating A Resilient Garden

This week we're sharing some links that look at ways to build the resilience of your garden to help your plants, as well as local biodiverity, through summer. Building the resilience of your garden will help your plants cope with the heat and assist in managing pests.

These links contain some great ideas on how to encourage diverse garden visitors – pollinators, good bugs, small birds and lizards – as well as how tips for helping your garden retain moisture.



Delicious Homemade Snacks

Pork and Vegetable Spring Rolls 

  • 65g dried vermicelli noodles 
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, plus extra, to deep fry 
  • 250g pork mince 
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed 
  • 3 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger 
  • 1 carrot, peeled, coarsely grated  
  • 100g shiitake mushrooms, stalk removed, finely chopped 
  • 2 teaspoons cornflour 
  • 1 tablespoon cold water 
  • 2 tablespoons Oyster Sauce 
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce 
  • 18 frozen spring roll wrappers, thawed 
  1. Soak the noodles in boiling water for 3 minutes or until softened. Drain and refresh under cold water, squeezing out any excess moisture. Cut into lengths. Set aside. 
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a wok over medium-high heat. Add pork. Stir-fry for 2-3 minutes, until browned. Add garlic and ginger. Stir-fry for 1 minute. Add carrot, mushrooms and noodles. Stir to combine. Combine cornflour and water in a bowl until smooth. Add oyster sauce, soy sauce and half the cornflour mixture. Stir-fry for 1-2 minutes, until combined and liquid is absorbed. Set aside to cool. 
  3. Place 1 spring roll wrapper, with a corner closest to you, on a clean bench. Place 2 heaped tablespoons pork mixture in the centre. Fold in the sides, then fold over the bottom corner. Roll up from bottom to top to enclose filling and form a log. Spread a little remaining cornflour mixture over top corner. Roll to seal. Repeat to make 18 spring rolls. 
  4. Add oil to a large deep saucepan to reach a depth of 10cm. Heat to 180C on a cook’s thermometer over medium-high heat. Deep-fry spring rolls, in 3 batches, for 2-3 minutes or until golden. Drain on paper towel. Serve with soy sauce, sweet chilli sauce or other. 

Stuff to Keep the Kids Busy


These podcasts from audioplay allow children to pop on some headphones and become the character in the story.  After quite a few weeks of remote learning, this is a welcome form of entertainment that doesn't involve a screen. 

Designed for 6 to 12 year olds, there are experiences for one and two players available.


Puffin Activity Packs

These downloadable activity packs from Puffin UK are available for three different age ranges: 0 to 5 year-olds; 6 to 9 year-olds; and 9 to 12 year-olds.

They are packed with activities that will help beat boredom this school holidays and may introduce kids to some new literary heroes.


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

Free Online Classes

Laverton Community Hub has some great online classes that are free to enjoy and will help keep you moving.

Choose from zumba, yoga, pilates and line dancing (cowboy boots probably not required!). There's also a social craft session, for those keen on a chat. Classes are free during COVID closure. 

Enrol via


Family Safety During COVID

This resource has been developed by the Flemington & Kensington Community Legal Centre and provides advice on how to stay safe for those at risk from family violence. 

The resource is available in English, Arabic, Mandarin, Somali, Tigriny and Vietnamese. You can access the resource in one of these community languages HERE.


Bibliotherapy with SLV

This podcast series offers relaxation and self-care through the power of stories. Bibliotherapist Susan McLaine reads selected stories and poems that support reflection and mindfulness, and help us to reflect on what's emerging from within us during the current crisis.

Bibliotherapy is available via soundcloud.


Support Services Hobsons Bay and Surrounding Suburbs

If you, or someone you know, has been impacted financially by the pandemic, needs assistance with food or other essential items, or is facing issues to do with housing or family violence, this list of organsiations list services in Hobsons Bay and other western region LGAs.


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. 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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