Kyle’s Rant

February 5th, 2023Kyle’s Rant

HAPPY Australia Day. That seems wrong. Do we even celebrate Australia Day any more? And if we don't, why the public holiday?

HAPPY Australia Day. That seems wrong. Do we even celebrate Australia Day any more? And if we don’t, why the public holiday?
Aren’t hospo businesses doing it tough enough without another day of paying staff an extra 30 per cent?
I saw on telly the other day they, whoever they are, were spruiking for another public holiday for the lunar new year. WTH? We even held the Grand Final public holiday in Victoria through the pandemic even though the game was held interstate.
It’s gone nuts.

Oh, and what about the Queen’s Birthday? Apparently they, again they, are going
to stick to the same day in June for the King’s Birthday. Even though King Charles
the Third (say it in an Irish voice, it’s quite funny) was born on November 14.
And what about Queen’s Counsels? According to the Australian Bar Association
“persons appointed as QCs will automatically become KCs, following the accession
to the throne of King Charles III”. I wonder if there was good trade in updating
business cards? Would KCs use Vistaprint?
We did nothing for Australia Day. Well, we worked, and we did go to a mate’s
place for a pizza evening. When I mentioned to him it was Australia Day, he added a
couple of lamb chops to the mix.
What happened to the Australia Day lamb advert with Sam Kekovich? I Googled
him and found there was one made but I never saw it anywhere. It’s all about being
un-Australian and creating a new society of various un-Australian people which is like
the new Australia. My head hurts thinking about that but it’s worth a watch.
It seems to be such a controversial day. Even Hepburn Shire held their Australia
Day event on January 25 – but maybe that was to give everyone a day off? Not sure.
But why not just change the date? It was not until 1994 that January 26 was
marked by a public holiday by all states and territories. So the public holiday side of
things is pretty light on history. And the perfect time for the change would be next
year – celebrating the 30th annual public holiday – but on another day.
Not sure what that date should be. Please don’t choose November 14, that would
be terrible because surely now we are closer to a republic than ever before. And
please stop selling Australian items – thongs, singlets, stubby holders, all made in
China. And do those sorts of items really represent Australia? Or is it just because it’s
I think it would still have to be a date in summer because nothing is more
Australian than a barby. And with Covid, being outside is so de rigueur. It’s a win-
win. But can’t be too close to Christmas. I reckon February. We have no public
holidays in February and I have a few that might work.
First up, February 14 – Valentine’s Day. A public holiday to celebrate Australia
Day and mix it up with love. Perfect. Or February 20 – World Day of Social Justice.
Just seems like it would be a good day. Finally February 27 – World NGO Day. We
get a public holiday and also recognise, celebrate and honour all non-governmental
and non-profit organisations, and also the people behind them that contribute to
society. Which is what the Australia Day awards are about already. Sorted!
Anyway, I hope you had a good day off and enjoyed being with family and/or
friends. That’s what I see Australia Day as being about. Gathering with others, having
a laugh and a bit of a feed. I think that’s very Australian. Who cares what day it is.
Aussie, Aussie, Aussie, What, What, What rant over.

Community Awards recipients announced

February 1st, 2023Community Awards recipients announced

HUMBLED and “a bit surprised” is the way farmer John Drife describes discovering he’s this year’s Hepburn Shire Citizen of the Year.

Words: Eve Lamb | Image: Supplied

HUMBLED and “a bit surprised” is the way farmer John Drife describes discovering he’s this year’s
Hepburn Shire Citizen of the Year.

At a civic event in Daylesford last Wednesday, the Hepburn
Shire Council named John its Citizen of The Year, also announcing Daylesford’s Atticus Punt-Trethewey as its Young Citizen of the Year.
The Great Dividing Trail Association’s Reconciliation Walks took out Event of the Year as part of the shire’s 2023 Community Awards.

Above, from left, Tim Bach, John Drife and Atticus Punt-Trethewey

“I was a little bit surprised. It’s very humbling just to be nominated and I’d like to congratulate all the others who were nominated,” said Clunes farmer John Drife.
John and Billie Henderson-Drife farm sheep, cattle and crops in the Glendaruel-Mount Beckworth area just out of Clunes. Both of their families settled in the area back in the mid-1800s.
John paid special homage to his wife Billie, stating that he believed she deserved the award as well.
The farmer is a pivotal part of the community in and around Clunes. He’s on many committees and community groups including the CFA (a member for more than half a century),
Waubra Wind Farm Community Fund Committee, Mt Bolton/Beckworth Landcare Group, Clunes & District Agricultural Society Committee and many more.
John coordinated multiple fundraisers for individuals and groups, in particular playing a central role in Bushy’s Cutout fundraiser in 2018, which raised more than $85,000 to support local shearer Tony
‘Bushy’ Hill in his battle with Motor Neurone Disease.
Other Citizen of the Year nominees were Terry Bolton, Gayle Chappell, Michelle
Clifford, Margaret Giles, Natasha Hall and Jennifer Hind.
The shire’s Young Citizen of The Year, Daylesford’s Atticus Punt-Trethewey, was
similarly humble.
“It’s not something I ever would have expected,” he said.
The 21-year-old Australian College of the Arts music production student initiated and organised the free youth music event AltWave, held for the first time last year in the Daylesford Town Hall.
Atticus engaged a team of young musicians and entertainers and coordinated support of community groups and businesses to run the event that raised awareness and money for youth mental health.
“I guess more than anything I’m just grateful that the message we’re trying to spread with AltWave has cut through,” said Atticus, who is already busily planning the next AltWave event for later this year.
“The issues that young people face in the region are very important,” he said.
The other nominees for the shire’s Young Citizen award were Flossy Haughie,
Lucinda Lowe and Sasha Taylor.

Meanwhile, president of The Great Dividing Trail Association, Daylesford’s Tim
Bach, was keen to pay homage to others when the association’s Reconciliation Walks
scooped the shire’s Event of the Year award.
“The driving force for this particular event was Barry Golding who did a lot of the
research and got permission from landholders, because some of the walks cross onto
private land, and he liaised with the Djarra people,” Tim said.
As part of its ongoing, wider guided walks and rides program, the Great Dividing
Trail Association held educational guided walks to local sites where Aboriginal
Protectorates had been established in the mid-1800s.

The walks highlighted the early post-contact history of First Nations peoples and
emphasised the need to acknowledge their mistreatment as a step in the reconciliation
The Reconciliation Walks had strong support from Djarra people and have
become a regular feature of the GDTA’s wider guided walk program.
“This year we are doing two more walks in significant Aboriginal areas – one to Mount Beckworth on Sunday, August 27 and one to Mount Tarrengower on Sunday, June 25,” Tim said.
“I’m honoured that we received this award. I’m surprised too because there were some really high quality nominations and I feel that we are only a little organisation.”
The other nominees for the shire’s Event of The Year award were AltWave Youth Music Event, CresFest and Wombat Trees Festive Project.

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