The PRWIRE Press Releases https:// 2020-06-04T00:55:49Z THE COAST IS CLEAR TO WORK, STAY AND PLAY IN EAST GIPPSLAND 2020-06-04T00:55:49Z the-coast-is-clear-to-work-stay-and-play-in-east-gippsland-1 But there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and East Gippsland has declared it’s open for business come June 1. Indeed, operators in towns like Bairnsdale, Metung, Paynesville, Lakes Entrance, Nicholson, Bruthen, Orbost and Omeo are calling on visitors to “work, stay and play” as restrictions lift and winter’s charms set in.   Experience the wind in your hair at Ninety Mile Beach, Cape Conran or Red Bluff Beach, or simply savour being far away from the maddening crowd – or, at least, the inside of your home, where you’ve spent almost every waking hour these past 10 weeks – in one of East Gippsland’s 11 national and marine parks.   There’s the tranquil Gippsland Lakes; the invigorating Alpine High Country (one of Victoria’s best kept secrets!); the natural heritage attractions of the vast Snowy River region; the majestic coastal wilderness of the Croajingolong National Park… the list goes on.   East Gippsland is about nurturing among nature; combining stunning scenery with modern-lux accommodation, world-class food and country hospitality.   Hayley Hardy, East Gippsland Marketing Inc., says local operators are ready to “welcome visitors with open arms”, but is urging tourists to practice social distancing while being mindful of the many locals still working through the impact of the bushfires.   “We’re just asking people to be empathetic, sympathetic and respectful to locals – but please visit; it’s the best way to support local businesses and communities,” she says.   Where to stay The flexibility of remote working is one gift of COVID-19. So why not consider a three- or four-day break that takes in work and play? The region has no shortage of superbly positioned hotels that pamper and pander while providing resources to assist travellers with work commitments.   These include: The Riversleigh Hotel in Bairnsdale; Paynesville’s Captains Cove Resort; the Bellevue on the Lakes Resort and Esplanade Resort + Spa in Lakes Entrance; and the Jetty Road Retreat, situated on the Gippsland Lakes. (If you don’t want working but still want remote, East Gippsland’s wide-open spaces are perfect for that, too.)   What to do Venture Out Australia (Lakes Entrance) – Reignite your sense of adventure with a paddle-boarding, kayaking or bike tour.  Lakes Entrance Explorer – While sea safari tours remain out, socially-distanced foursomes can explore the Lakes by water taxi. Ideal for photographers, anglers and wildlife lovers.  Raymond Island – Nature lovers can witness koalas in their natural habitat on this island paradise. Ride the Rail Trail – An easy 20-kilometre return ride from Bairnsdale to Nicholson – and don’t forget to grab a homemade pie at the Nicholson General Store.   Metung boardwalk walk – Spot the endangered baby Burrunan dolphin on this easy five-kilometre return walk.      Fish – East Gippsland is full of great spots cast a line. Try your luck at Snowy River Estuary, Mallacoota Inlet, Lake Tyers and more!     Where to eat and drink Nicholson Winery - Victoria’s oldest winery east of Melbourne boasts a wide range of traditional European-style wines representing the intense flavours unique to East Gippsland.   David Lucke’s Fresh Food Market – Before you head back to the big smoke, stock up on the region’s local eggs, honey, seafood and fresh fruit and vegetables.    The Long Paddock, Lindenow - Melbourne-trained country chefs deliver an amazing range of delicious cakes, pies, tarts and great coffee. Northern Ground, Bairnsdale – A nod to Flinders Lane, this modern and stylish café-by-day and restaurant-by-night champions fresh, seasonal produce from across Gippsland. The Grand Terminus, Bairnsdale – Beautiful Victorian-era pub delivering quality pub grub since 1889.   Sardine Eatery + Bar, Paynesville – This beloved “hatted” restaurant delivers seafood at its finest. Eat in or take-away. The Marlo Hotel – Dine in at this scenic, scrumptious country pub at the mouth of the Snowy River. Albert + Co., Lakes Entrance – An all-day café that showcases the region’s produce, offers great coffee and a cocktail bar that opens on Monday, Tuesday and Sunday evenings.   For more information about how to work, stay and play in East Gippsland, visit: www.visitgippsland.com.au/loveeastgippsland   SLICK, BIG SMOKE IDEAS, DELIVERED WITH A PRACTICAL AND STRAIGHT-TAKING COUNTRY OUTLOOK 2020-06-04T00:51:59Z slick-big-smoke-ideas-delivered-with-a-practical-and-straight-taking-country-outlook Having launched Greta Donaldson Publicity in 2002, Greta has worked with many of Australia’s leading consumer, entertainment, lifestyle, hospitality and retail brands, from Red Bull Australia to the Australian Radio Network (MIX 101.1 and Gold FM), as well as big name international brands, including Lavazza and L’Oreal. Greta now spends much of her time between Bendigo and Melbourne, servicing clients in both regional Victoria, including the Loddon Shire Council, confectionery delight Bendigo Brittle and Bendigo’s new entertainment precinct MacKenzie Quarters, and the city, including South Melbourne Market, one of Melbourne’s best, independent, co-ed schools The Knox School in Wantirna South and not-for-profit pancreatic cancer organisation, The Pancare Foundation, among others. Commuting regularly between the two cities over the past five years, means Greta now knows the Calder Freeway as well as she knows the national media landscape, with a well-honed road map for pitching stories the media love and grabbing the headlines her clients are seeking. Greta’s strengths lie in her extensive and personable media relationships, her innate ability to know what makes a good news story and her nimble, strategic and empathetic approach to understanding the communication needs of  her clients, whether they be small, family-run businesses, large multinationals, or regional organisations. News producer of Network Ten’s The Project, Christie Kerr, sums up Greta’s greatest assets. “Now based in Bendigo, Greta brings the best of the city and the country to the table… slick, big smoke ideas delivered with a practical and straight-talking country outlook,” she says.  “She’s well connected in media circles, both in Victoria and nationally, and her work ethic and attention to detail is second to none.” Sam Cavanagh, creative director of On Demand Audio at Southern Cross Austereo, agrees. “Having worked in media for 20 years, I’ve probably been pitched by every publicist in town. I can confidently say that Greta is one of the best.  She is personal, professional, and always able to help her clients stay top of mind with a clever idea.” Greta says moving back to Bendigo, which was only meant to be temporary, “has taught me you can do PR from anywhere and do it well.”  “I was only meant to stay in Bendigo for a few months but I fell back in love with the place,” she says. It’s less hectic and frenetic and greener and I love the freedom I have to move between Melbourne and Bendigo and regional Victoria.” Born in Cohuna and raised in Bendigo, Greta says being based in one of Victoria’s most vibrant regional cities, less than two hours from Melbourne, means she gets the opportunity to work on both big-name national brands, as well as regional businesses. “I love having the opportunity to work with a diverse range of clients and bring their stories to the attention of their local communities as well as the national media. Despite being in the PR business for two decades, it’s still a great thrill when you secure widespread media attention for a client, no matter how big or small, who has a good story to share.” CREATIVE VICTORIA APPOINTS LOCAL BUILDER FOR BENDIGO’S NEW CREATIVE INDUSTRIES HUB 2020-02-04T23:29:35Z creative-victoria-appoints-local-builder-for-bendigo-s-new-creative-industries-hub Formerly known as Bendigo Creative Industries Hub, The Studio will transform the ground floor of the former Morley’s Emporium site on Mitchell Street in Bendigo’s CBD into a place for the region’s creative practitioners, entrepreneurs and businesses to work, connect, build their skills and expand their networks.   Gerard K House Pty Ltd, led by managing director, Gerard House, is one of Bendigo’s best-known builders with over 40 years’ experience delivering major commercial and residential projects in the region.   Major projects completed by the company in recent years include the Environment Protection Authority’s (EPA) multi-purpose regional office fit out in Bendigo, which was completed in 2017; the Carisbrook Primary School’s new multi-million dollar learning centre; the Castlemaine North Primary School New Learning Centre (and refurbishment works); and the new Total Tools Warehouse and offices in Kangaroo Flat - all completed last year.   Member for Bendigo East, Jacinta Allan, said the appointment of this respected local team reflects the project’s commitment to supporting local businesses.   “This project provides a space for the local creative community to come together, share their knowledge and build their business capability. Gerard K House Pty Ltd is part of a highly skilled local team working with ACMI to make sure The Studio is by, for and about the local community - and I look forward to seeing the results.”   Gerard K House Pty Ltd will work alongside local architect firm, e+ architecture to transform the ground floor of the 110-year old Mitchell Street building into a bespoke coworking and event space.  An initiative of the Victorian Government’s Creative State strategy and led by the team behind ACMI and a Local Advisory Group – The Studio will offer workspaces, meeting rooms, project spaces, a communal kitchen and a presentation space for local creatives and creative businesses to work on site.   The building, originally built in 1910 by prolific Bendigo architects, Keogh and Austen, for the Morley and Johnson and Co furniture warehouse, has stood empty for more than three years after Morley’s Emporium, a retail and hospitality enterprise, closed in October 2016. Before that it housed a large Toyworld outlet.   The Studio manager, David Hughes, says Gerard K House Pty Ltd will work with e+ architecture and ACMI to honour the heritage of the historic building while offering the latest in agile workplace design.   “We received a very high quality of tenders to work on this exciting project but Gerard K House Pty Ltd really impressed us with their comprehensive and well thought out tender,” Mr Hughes said.   “They also come with an esteemed reputation within the Greater Bendigo region, having completed dozens of high-quality projects of a similar scale and type. We are incredibly excited to be working with Gerard and his team,” he said.   Mr Hughes said elements of the Romanesque revival style of the building, including the original pressed metal ceilings will be maintained as part of The Studio’s new design.   In December, a Local Advisory Group, made up of some of the region’s most respected creative professionals, was appointed to work with ACMI ahead of the opening of The Studio in the months ahead.   The 10-member Local Advisory Group brings a deep understanding of the creative landscape within the Greater Bendigo region and rich, grass roots connections that will ensure The Studio is relevant to those who use it.   Supported by a dedicated manager and a part-time administrator, coworkers at The Studio will have access up to 24 workstations, high speed wi-fi, bookable meeting rooms, printers, a workshop and presentation space, a kitchen, and access to The Studio’s business and social program. Coworkers will also have access to a bookable desk at ACMI X, ACMI’s coworking space located in the Melbourne Arts Precinct in Southbank.   Gerard K House Pty Ltd joins e+ Architecture, The Local Advisory Group, The Studio’s manager David Hughes, local design and digital marketing agency Creative Revolution and Bendigo-based PR strategist Greta Donaldson as the local team leading The Studio’s development.   -ends-   For more information about The Studio, Bendigo please contact; The Studio manager, David Hughes, at: david.hughes@acmi.net.au   For media enquiries or interviews please contact; Greta Donaldson, Greta Donaldson Publicity, 0427 658 638 or greta@gdpublicity.com.au COME SHARE THE LOVE IN EAST GIPPSLAND THIS VALENTINE’S DAY 2020-02-04T09:25:14Z come-share-the-love-in-east-gippsland-this-valentine-s-day Business operators across East Gippsland have been severely impacted by the fires that ravaged some parts of the region during what is normally their busiest time of the year.   Even coastal towns such as Bairnsdale, Paynesville, Metung, Lakes Entrance and Nicholson, which were untouched by fire, have been impacted as tourists deserted the area over the peak summer holiday period.   But business owners in these towns want Victorians to know the “coast is clear”, they are open for business, and the best way they can help the region rebuild is to come and visit, and what better excuse than Valentine’s Day.   Hayley Hardy from East Gippsland Marketing Inc. says with Valentine’s Day (February 14) falling on a Friday this year, it is the perfect opportunity to turn it into a long weekend, escape the hustle and bustle of the city with your loved one and share that love with business operators in the region who will welcome you with open arms.   “People have seen the images and they’ve watched on feeling helpless. But by booking accommodation, dinner, cruises and tours in East Gippsland over the Valentine’s Day weekend, you can help fire-affected communities recover economically and ensure that 100 per cent of your money is going directly to the businesses who need your help,” she said.   To further entice lovebirds to share the love with East Gippsland over the Valentine’s Day weekend, some of the region’s most popular restaurants, resorts, wineries and day spas are offering a range of offers and discounts to make that romantic getaway even more special.   Tamara Cook, owner of Captains Cove Resort in Paynesville, in the heart of the Gippsland Lakes, is among those offering special deals for Valentine’s Day visitors.   Anyone who books three nights at Captains Cove between February 10 and 17, 2020, will receive a complimentary $50 voucher at Sardine Eatery & Bar or Pier 70 on the Esplanade.   “We’re really excited to take part in this initiative and offer something special to our guests who make the effort to come and visit the region and share the love,” Ms Cook said.   “Everyone here has felt the impact of these fires either directly or indirectly,” she said. “And obviously some are hurting more than others.”   “But our cafes, restaurants, hotels and our tourist operators have all been affected by the fact that visitors have largely stayed away while the bushfires impacted the region over our peak tourism period,” she said.   “The one thing people can do is come back, come visit. Come and stay in East Gippsland and enjoy all the things we have to offer, from our amazing restaurants, cafes, wineries and local produce, to our picture-perfect lakes and beaches and an abundance of outdoor activities, from hiking and horse riding to boating and fishing,” she said.   “It’s actually a no-brainer,” says Sarah Carlisle, co-owner of Lakes Entrance-based outdoor adventure operator, Venture Out Australia.   “Couples get to enjoy a romantic getaway while at the same time knowing that the money, they are spending is going straight into the pockets of those who need it,” she said.   Other East Gippsland Valentine’s Day offers, include:   Bellevue on the Lakes at Lakes Entrance and the hugely popular Albert & Co cafe and restaurant have come together to offer a special Valentine’s night in the Boathouse spa suite, including champagne on arrival, an ‘East Gippsland produce-inspired love dinner for two’ at Albert and Co and a breakfast hamper to your room the following morning, all for $425.   The Nicholson River Winery, in Nicholson is offering two glasses of 9-year-old sparkling wine with a cheese or antipasto platter for just $40 to anyone who visits between February 13 and February 15, 2020.   Sardine eatery and bar in Paynesville is currently taking bookings for its a la carte and tasting menu for Valentine's Day. The tasting menu offers 8-9 dishes to share between two people for $85 per person; and add an additional $50 per person, for the ‘wine match' option.   Lakes Entrance Helicopters and Albert and Co have partnered to offer a unique Valentine’s Day experience in East Gippsland at a surprise location on the Lakes. Fly high above the spectacular lake system, enjoy the birds-eye view of the islands and iconic Entrance and land at a surprise location to enjoy a sensational picnic basket provided by Albert and Co. ($375 for two people for 1 hour and 45 minutes)   Northern Ground in Bairnsdale is offering a complimentary glass of Lightfoots Sparkling Shiraz, or Glenmaggie Sparkling to anyone who comes in to enjoy its seasonal Gippsland produce menu on Valentine’s night.   Illuka Day Spa in Lakes Entrance is offering anyone who purchases a voucher for the day spa, an additional 50 per cent for free. Pay $100 and get a $150 voucher; pay $150 and get a $225 voucher.   Meanwhile, anyone who books a romantic Valentine’s Day getaway at The Esplanade Resort in Lakes Entrance will receive a bottle of sparkling wine and chocolate platter upon arrival. Simply quote ‘vday’ when you book.   For more information about how you can share the love in East Gippsland, visit: https://www.visitgippsland.com.au/loveeastgippsland   NEW DELI-COME-BODEGA OFFERS A MELBOURNE TWIST ON SOME SPANISH CLASSICS 2019-03-21T02:00:41Z new-deli-come-bodega-offers-a-melbourne-twist-on-some-spanish-classics-1 Conceived by Spanish-born Alberto Andres and Rufino Ramos - formerly of Chez Phat and The European Group - La Central is both a market deli and a bodega, where customers can sample much of what they can see on the shelves of this unique market space.   In Spain, a bodega is a local cellar or wine bar where you can stop by for a drink with friends or pick up a bottle of wine to take home. Because La Central is also a deli, Market goers can also sit in and sample a selection of tapas, as well as Jamon Iberico, Spanish cheese and olives straight from the deli.   While La Central specialises in delicious Spanish produce, beer and wine, it also stocks a vast selection of local produce, made from a range of traditional and contemporary Spanish processes – think cured hams and chorizo.   Owners, Alberto and Rufino like to describe the Market’s newest offering as “a Melbourne twist on Spanish classics.”   “Almost all our cured smallgoods are made in Victoria and more widely in Australia, while many of our olives, as well as our olive oil, is grown and made in Victoria from Spanish olive varietals,” says Alberto, who has dreamed of opening La Central since moving to Melbourne from Barcelona ten years ago, where he was involved in running a bar in one of the city’s most iconic markets.   Rufino, meanwhile, has been involved in hospitality for much of his life. His family owned several restaurants and bars in Madrid and Melbourne and he is the former owner of popular city eatery, Chez Phat, and the former General Manager of the European Group, which runs several Melbourne dining institutions, including The European, The Supper Club, City Wine Shop and Siglo, among others.   “We felt the idea of doing your shopping in a market place and taking the time to meet up with friends over a bite to eat and a quick drink would really resonate with Melburnians,” says Alberto.   “We both love food and wine, but by far the best thing about hospitality is sharing in people’s moments of celebration and time with family and friends,” agrees Rufino.   “La Central has been thoughtfully designed so our customers can experience the combination of a gourmet deli, Spanish-style bodega, a place to learn more about Spanish products and a great location to sit down and have a break between shopping at the Market,” Rufino adds.   Some of La Central’s renowned Spanish suppliers include Carrasco (Iberian ham), Don Juan (cheeses), Campotoro (dressed olives), Olasagasti (anchovies) and Savour-and-Grace and La Boqueria (smallgoods).   The Market’s contemporary new space features a mural painted by renowned Melbourne artist Ghostpatrol, whose artwork also features on the walls of several high-profile buildings, including inside the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre and Australia’s first community-owned wind farm, Hepburn Wind.   La Central is at: Stall 45, South Melbourne Market, Coventry Street, South Melbourne   Visit: https://www.lacentral.com.au or find them on Facebook and Instagram: @lacentraldeli A NEW BOOK HELPS BUSINESS OWNERS NAGIVATE THE EVER-CHANGING WORKPLACE 2018-11-07T01:14:10Z a-new-book-helps-business-owners-nagivate-the-ever-changing-workplace The author of a new book - From Hire to Fire & Everything in Between - claims "the majority of business owners are terrible at recruiting.”   Natasha Hawker, the founder and director of Employee Matters, which provides employee support to businesses around Australia, says poor recruiting means business owners often bring on employees “that are unable to do what they thought they could do or are not a cultural match to the business.”   This not only leads to poor productivity but can even lead to costly unfair dismissal claims.   With the #metoo movement gaining momentum, Christmas party season fast approaching and new domestic violence leave entitlements in place, Natasha, who has 23 years’ experience in human resources, people management and employment relations, felt the timing was right to launch a new edition of her HR bible.   First released in 2015, From Hire to Fire & Everything in Between, is the only book of its kind in Australia to help small to medium business owners navigate hiring, managing and exiting employees.   Entertaining and easy-to-read, the book reveals the secrets to finding, building and maintaining engaged, high performance teams - increasing productivity and profitability by up to 20 per cent.   Equally, it teaches business owners how to have those difficult conversations and exit employees easily, fairly and legally, avoiding company fines of up to $63,000 and personal fines of up to $12,600.    “Your employees are your biggest opportunity to make your business successful. They can also be your greatest liability,” Natasha says.    She says hiring and managing the right employees, dismissing poor performers and keeping compliant with ever-changing workplace laws can be an ongoing challenge.   "Research consistently shows that people issues are the primary cause of headaches for most businesses."   “There are legal challenges to be faced within employment law; there’s the cost of hiring and managing employees, whilst trying to avoid and prevent discrimination, bullying and terminations – to name just a few,” she says.   “This book aims to remove those headaches by equipping business owners with the knowledge and advice they need to manage employees - from hiring and getting the most out of them, right through to exiting staff.”   Natasha has held numerous human resources and recruitment roles over the past two decades, including for global management consulting firm Accenture, in London, India and Australia, before launching Employee Matters in December 2011.   She has presented at conferences and for organisations across the globe, on all aspects of HR, people management and employment relations and has facilitated Appropriate Workplace Behaviour courses as a qualified Train the Trainer.   She is also regularly quoted as an expert on employee matters in the national media, including for the ABC and in the Sydney Morning Herald.   Natasha Hawker is available for interview and can discuss a broad range of topics, including:   The #Metoo movement – has increased the number of sexual harassment complaints being filed due to an increase in awareness and acceptance of the issue. Natasha firmly believes, now more than ever, employers need to protect their employees and themselves by conducting Appropriate Workplace Behaviour training.    Christmas parties – are notoriously high risk for complaints around sexual harassment or inappropriate behaviour. Natasha says bosses need to prepare properly for the silly season.  She says Christmas parties are an extension of the workplace and professional conduct is required. Communications should be sent out ahead of the event, outlining the expectations around behaviour and the ramifications for non-compliance.   Domestic Violence Leave – millions of workers across Australia now have access to unpaid domestic violence leave, following a ruling by the Fair Work Commission which came into effect on August 1. Natasha says this is a new change that impacts potentially all Australian businesses and goes some way to help curb our appalling performance in supporting victims of domestic violence, with one woman every week being murdered by her current or former partner.   Firing Employees and Redundancies – Natasha believes we are going to start seeing some significant impacts of technology in the workplace which will result in an increasing number of redundancies. In addition, every business owner will need to exit poor-performing employees at some point. Natasha can provide advice on how to end an employee’s tenure with minimal legal, commercial or emotional fallout.   From Hire to Fire & Everything in Between, $24.95, is available now from all good book stores, including Dymocks, Amazon, Kindle, and the Employee Matters website, www.employeematters.com.au A BESPOKE WEDDING VENUE AND BOUTIQUE ENTERTAINMENT PRECINCT COMES TO BENDIGO 2018-11-06T08:12:36Z a-bespoke-wedding-venue-and-boutique-entertainment-precinct-comes-to-bendigo MacKenzie Quarters - to be established on the site of the former All Saints school and master's residence on Mackenzie Street - has been carefully designed by owners, Rhianwen and Andrew Seiter, to embrace its 140-year-old history in a contemporary environment.   Having grown up in Bendigo, Rhianwen says it was crucial the new precinct, which includes a wedding venue, outdoor ceremony area, boutique accommodation and a high-end basement bar and intimate rooftop - pay tribute to its rich history.   “We hope it will be the perfect mix of old and new, which Bendigo does to aplomb," says Rhianwen. “It will be warm and inviting, with a touch of romance and grandeur.”   The Gothic Revival-style architecture synonymous with the venue, originally built in the 1870s, will be honoured and restored.    The precinct will also give a nod to its school and parsonage heritage with subtle design cues, such as a contemporary take on pew-style seatings and bathrooms with schoolyard-like water troughs.   Scheduled for opening in 2019, MacKenzie Quarters (which also gives a nod to the four school terms) - will feature four key elements - The Residence boutique accommodation, for groups of 10-12; the Mackenzie Hall wedding venue with space for 175 people; the Old School Yard ceremony site and intimate rooftop space; and Ms Batterham’s basement bar, otherwise known as Batty's Bar.   Rhianwen and her husband Andrew say the new precinct has been carefully created to be a space “for people to connect, socialise, laugh and celebrate in the heart of Bendigo.”   “We believe every gathering is special and unique and therefore deserves generous attention and a quality result”, Rhianwen says. “We look forward to working with clients to design and deliver an event that reflects their personality and brief.”   Rhianwen and Andrew purchased the former Master’s Residence, the neighbouring All Saints School building, known as MacKenzie Hall, and the former school courtyard, in March 2014 from the Anglican Diocese of Bendigo, after a 15-year search for the “perfect” heritage building to transform into a modern, bespoke wedding venue.    Between October 2014 and June 2015, the couple lovingly restored the master’s residence into a boutique accommodation offering for large groups and in August this year, the City of Greater Bendigo council approved plans for the development of MacKenzie Quarters, allowing the Seiter’s to complete their vision for the precinct.   Restoration works on MacKenzie Hall and Ms Batterham’s (Batty’s Bar) will begin in January 2019 with a planned completion date of mid-2019.    The Old School Yard and rooftop will be developed later in 2019.   For more information or booking enquiries, email: connect@mackenziequarters.com or tel: 0418 381 981. You can also visit: https://www.mackenziequarters.com/ Instagram: @mackenziequarters INTERNATIONAL CONGRESS PUTS THE SPOTLIGHT ON GREEN URBAN SPACES 2018-10-14T19:24:44Z international-congress-puts-the-spotlight-on-green-urban-spaces Co-hosted by World Urban Parks and Parks and Leisure Australia, 'Future of Spaces and Places in Cities' will put the spotlight on the importance of green urban spaces and discuss how government, urban planners and parks and recreation professionals can respond to ensure our open spaces, health and wellbeing are protected at a time of increasing urban density.   More than half (55 per cent) of the world's population now live in urban areas. By 2050, that figure will have risen to 68 per cent or 6.5 billion people - two-thirds of all humanity.    The rapid growth of cities in the developing world, coupled with increasing rural to urban migration, has also led to a boom in mega-cities. In 1990, there were ten mega-cities with 10 million inhabitants or more. There are now more than 30 mega-cities, home to more than 450 million people and the UN predicts there will be 43 megacities by 2030.   Sustainable development and liveability in these urban areas cannot be achieved without significantly transforming the way we build and manage our urban spaces.   The 'Future or Spaces and Places in Cities' brings together hundreds of delegates from across the globe and from all levels of industry - from government and academia to researchers, urban planners and parks and recreation professionals, including some of the world's most innovative thinkers and playmakers.   Guest speakers include British explorer and geographer Daniel Raven-Ellison, who is campaigning to make London the world's first national park city. As founder of the Greater London National Park City initiative, Raven- Ellison, with the backing of London's mayor, Sadiq Khan, wants London to be physically greener with more wildlife and to be viewed as an ecological centre as well as a political, cultural and financial one.   Also addressing the congress is Gil Penalosa, the founder and chair of the board of internationally-recognised non-profit organisation, 8 80 Cities, which was created on the simple philosophy that if you create a great city for an eight-year-old and an 80-year-old, you will create a successful city for all people. Gil's transformation of the park system in Bogota (Colombia) during the 1990s is still considered an exemplar of sustainable urban design and development.   World Urban Parks Chief Executive, Neil McCarthy said it was fitting that such an important congress was being held in a city voted the world's most liveable for seven year's running.   “Urban parks are central to the future of the world's liveability and so to be able to bring world leaders and experts together, here in Melbourne, which is famous for its liveability is a unique and important opportunity to explore our cities futures," he said.   “It is also a unique opportunity to explore and understand some of the world's most innovative and exciting ideas from the London National Parks City concept to the creation of 'dark sky parks' for health, environmental and astro-tourism benefits."   Parks and Leisure Australia President, Martin Lambert said “we are extremely proud to be partnering with World Urban Parks to host this major international Congress, which will bring together some of the brightest and most innovative minds to share their thoughts, ideas, research and best practice to help ensure parks, sport and recreation infrastructure remain an integral part of our cities in a time of unprecedented urban growth and density."   “The future of our cities depends upon the people who plan and provide sport and recreation spaces and places in those cities to ensure the social, physical, mental and ecological health of our communities," he said.   The International Parks and Leisure Congress (IPLC) will be held at the Melbourne Cricket Ground from October 14-17.    Guest speakers are available for interview and include:   Gil Penalosa, 8-80 Cities, Canada - Gil is passionate about cities for all people and advises decision makers and communities on how to create vibrant cities and healthy communities for everyone regardless of age, gender and social, economic or ethnic background. His focus is on the design and use of parks and streets as great public spaces, as well as sustainable mobility.    Daniel Raven-Ellison, National Geographic, UK - Daniel is a guerilla geographer, National Geographic explorer and founder of the initiative to transform the whole of Greater London into the world's first National Park City in 2019.   Mitchell Silver, New York City Parks Commissioner, USA - Mitchell Silver is the Commissioner of the New York City Department of Parks and the immediate past president of the American Planning Association (APA). An award-winning planner with over 30 years’ experience, he is internationally recognised for his leadership in the planning profession and his contributions to contemporary planning and urban design issues. In 2017, Commissioner Silver was elected to Planetizen’s list of the 100 Most Influential Urbanists in the world.   Susan Alberti, Parks and Leisure Australia Ambassador - As former President of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, former Vice President of the Western Bulldogs and the inaugural ambassador of the AFL's national women's competition (AFLW) in 2017, Susan understands the importance of grass roots sport and the importance of parks and open spaces in developing happy, healthy and prosperous communities.   Other speakers include:   • Dr Julia Miranda London, Deputy Chair International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) World Commission on Protected Areas, Columbia • Bishop Ngobeli, Johannesburg Parks Commissioner, South Africa • Jayne Miller, President, Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy, USA • Karen Keenleyside, Vice Chair People and Parks, Canada • Dr Melanie Davern, Co-director, Healthy Livable Cities Group, USA  • Liliana D’Ambrosio, Victorian Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change • Jason Fox, leadership advisor • Margaret Garmley, Office of Public Works, Ireland   For a full program, visit: https://www.iplc2018.com/program/ FORGET TUSCANY AND THE LOIRE VALLEY, EAST GIPPSLAND IS THE NEW HOT SPOT FOR CYCLING TOURS 2018-10-01T01:50:54Z forget-tuscany-and-the-loire-valley-east-gippsland-is-the-new-hot-spot-for-cycling-tours In fact, Victoria is home to the most developed rail trails in Australia, making it the perfect destination for a cycling holiday.    Liz Mitchell from Snowy River Cycling says there are a wealth of outstanding cycle routes on both forestry tracks and rail trails in East Gippsland, where she has run her cycling tour business for the past eight years.  She says the abandoned rail corridors converted into multi-use paths - for walking, cycling and horse riding - not only make for a “safe and easy, cycling experience” but a picturesque one.   A former veterinarian and passionate cycle tourist herself, Mitchell launched Snowy River Cycling in 2010 after identifying an “untapped potential to use the area’s network of rail trails to showcase East Gippsland’s stunning natural environment.”   “Being a cycling tourist myself I knew there was a growing appetite for cycling tours in this country”, Mitchell says. “Having lived in Orbost for some time and experienced first-hand the many amazing rail trails in the area, not to mention the breathtaking scenery and wildlife, I knew it was the perfect region to see by bike.”   Mitchell was right. Eight years on and her three to six-day guided tours through legendary Snowy River country, high alpine meadows, lush rainforests, quaint townships and a wild coastline, frequently book out months in advance. She also facilitates up to 50 self-guided tours along the East Gippsland Rail Trail - between Bairnsdale and Orbost - each year.   Then there is Snowy River Cycling’s annual Great East Rail Trail Ride - a three-day cycling event that now attracts 120 participants, taking them on a gentle 100-kilometre journey through forest, farmland and friendly country towns with plenty of rest stops for river-side picnics and hearty country pub meals.   In nearby Lakes Entrance, local adventure business, Venture Out, also offer guided mountain bike tours on custom-built forest single-tracks, ranging from hour-long tours to longer ‘ride and dine’ packages.  Mitchell says people come from near and far to experience the region’s bike tours.   “More than 50 per cent of our cycling tour patrons are from interstate. But we also attract a small but growing number of international tourists.”   Mitchell says while the company’s rail trail tours are always popular, their ‘Snowgums to Seaweed tour’ - a six-day tour through the remote and little-visited Gippsland hinterland, including the Alpine, Snowy River, Errinundra and Cape Conran National Parks - has become increasingly popular.   For the first time this year, Snowy River Cycling will also host a rail trail tour designed specifically for families. With no cars, small hills and regular ice cream stops, the tour covers three rail trails over four days with family friendly accommodation and a support vehicle.    “The Family Rail Trail Tour is running for the first time in November and it’s already booked out,” says Mitchell, adding that the popularity of such tours reflects the growing demand for cycling holidays in Australia and the diverse make up of cycling tourists, from serious Lycra-clad cyclists to leisure bike riders of all ages.   *Prices for guided tours range from $478.50 per person twin share for a three-day tour and up to $1600 - $1900 pp twin share for a six-day tour, including meals and accommodation.  The cost of self-guided tours is approximately $150-$200 per person, per day, depending on the level of service required.   For more information visit: https://www.snowyrivercycling.com.au/ or https://ventureout.com.au/tours/. SOUTH MELBOURNE MARKET’S SECOND ANNUAL SUSTAINABILITY FESTIVAL KICKS OFF SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 15 2018-09-14T21:44:53Z south-melbourne-market-s-second-annual-sustainability-festival-kicks-off-saturday-september-15 Sustainable September will showcase the wide array of sustainability practices at the Market including activities, workshops, back of house and self-guided tours, and an exciting new initiative which calls on traders and marketgoers to recycle their plastic HDPE milk bottles.   South Melbourne Market have teamed up with global waste management company Vanden Recycling to convert Market traders and marketgoers plastic bottles into pipes, pallets and decking boards that will be made into furniture positioned around the Market in the coming months.   Vanden Recycling’s Mil-Tek 2205 has a footprint of only 42cm2, making it one of the smallest footprint vertical balers on the market. The gutsy little waste compactor can crush and bale over 50kg of milk bottles in one hit - that’s over 1,000 milk bottles and equivalent to over 40 x 120 litre waste bins of plastic bottles.   According to South Melbourne Market General Manager Ian Sumpter, “the milk bottle recycling initiative is sustainability at its best - and a WIN WIN for our planet. It demonstrates how businesses like South Melbourne Market in collaboration with innovators like Vanden Recycling can provide a sustainable way for the Market to deal with waste from traders locally, while decreasing landfill, and produce repurposed commodities such as chairs and tables that can be enjoyed by the entire community.”   Port Phillip Mayor Cr Bernadene Voss said: “Sustainability is something we are very passionate about and we’re striving to reduce our environmental footprint and create a sustainable Market for the next generation.” In line with its strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and water use, Council has several sustainability initiatives in place at the Market including food rescue, water recycling, banning single-use plastic bags, solar PV and a progressive landfill diversion strategy with up to 90 per cent of organic waste volume reduced.   “Our Market is closing the loop with its waste strategies and so it’s an exciting time,” Cr Voss said. “Green waste is now converted into an organic compost (vermicompost) which is returned to the Market and sold as a garden product called Market Magic. All other food and organic waste is dehydrated onsite in a 1000L Gaia Recycle machine and sold as Soil Food™, a fertiliser with similar properties to blood and bone.”   During the festival try your hand at fermenting, or composting made easy, or take a class with Leftover Lovers and learn to use what you’ve got on hand to make delicious meals. Bees Wax Wrap Making will teach you how to stop using plastics and clingwraps and make your own bees wax food wraps. Wormlovers Worm Farm will share practical knowledge on how to set up and manage a worm farm at home - with a live worm farm onsite. And the Sustainable Circuit (Self-Guided) will take you on a journey through the Market and show you how to shop more sustainably and discover Market traders, such as Frankie’s Story, who are leading the way by stocking only ethically or environmentally sound fashion labels.   Marketgoers can also attend two programs presented by the City of Port Phillip, Living A More Sustainable Life which details what’s on offer to support you in your home, apartment building or business and How to Harness Solar Power, hosted by experts from the solar panel industry who will provide information on options to suit your home/business needs.   The Back of House Sustainability Tour will take you behind the scenes of the Market to see sustainability in action. Tour are free - however bookings are essential.   South Melbourne Market is located on the corner of Coventry and Cecil streets, South Melbourne. It is owned and operated by the City of Port Phillip. For Sustainable September details and to book see, https://southmelbournemarket.com.au/sustainable-september-festival-2/ or phone (03) 9209 6295 or log onto Twitter: @sthmelbmarket, Facebook: @southmelbournemarket, or Instagram: @southmelbournemarket. - CORPORATE AUSTRALIA REAPS THE REWARDS OF TEAM HOLIDAY EMPLOYEE SUBSIDIES 2018-03-23T06:45:04Z corporate-australia-reaps-the-rewards-of-team-holiday-employee-subsidies According to data collected by the Australian Institute of Family Affairs in its 2016 ‘School-Aged Care Survey’, 45 per cent of mothers and 31 per cent of fathers who use child care services take paid leave during the school holidays to care for their children. A further 23 per cent of mothers and 9 per cent of fathers take unpaid leave or reduce their work hours to care for their children. The founding director of Team Holiday, Sam Hoath, said progressive businesses recognised the real struggle people could face when balancing work needs with family commitments, especially during school holiday periods. “Average full-time employment contracts offer four weeks of annual leave but students have 12 weeks of school holidays and many private schools have even more,” Mr Hoath said. “It can be a very stressful time for working parents so we have worked with companies to come up with a solution that not only aims to position them as an employer of choice, but also lifts productivity, reduces sick leave and carers leave, and improves job satisfaction and workplace culture.” The idea came about in 2013, when Team Holiday began running its first on-site program for the Department of Health and Human Services in Melbourne. The company now has partnerships with organisations including the AFL, Etihad Stadium, the Department of Education and Training, Melbourne Cricket Club and Collins Square. While some organisations opt to provide a Team Holiday service on-site, others choose an employee subsidy package, which enables employees to access school holiday programs at convenient locations, either near home or work, at a discounted rate at 70 existing Team Holiday sites in Melbourne, Sydney, Gold Coast, Geelong and Bendigo. “Many offices don’t have appropriate space for children,” Mr Hoath said. “Our new employee subsidy package overcomes the need for businesses to have suitable space and increases accessibility.” Mr Hoath said there was a growing trend among corporate employers to offer incentives to meet family needs. “Organisations can see the benefits, not only to their employees’ work-life balance, but also in the loyalty a program such as this fosters within their workforce. When their children are happy and well looked after, employees are happy too.” “This is a huge bonus for employees and employers. We often find employees’ children becoming friends through attending our programs, further developing a sense of community and connectedness for employees within the workplace. And our children get to enjoy experiences they wouldn’t find anywhere else, and make lifelong friends and memories in the process.” A former teacher, Mr Hoath established Team Holiday in June 2011 to meet a need for fun, engaging school holiday activities. The company expanded to offer before and after-school in June 2017. All staff working in before and after-school care are qualified or training to be teachers.  “We create genuinely stimulating experiences that children want to be at, not have to be at. This immediately removes any guilt or stress that parents often feel when it comes to sending their child off to anything during the holidays,” he said. Team Holiday offers programs for primary school aged children (aged 5 to 12) from Tuesday April 3 to Friday April 13 and all public school, holiday periods throughout 2018. There also is an adventure camp offered for children aged 11 to 17.  For further information, visit www.teamholiday.com.au ACCLAIMED VICTORIAN WINERY LIGHTFOOT & SONS OPENS NEW CELLAR DOOR 2017-12-01T02:14:04Z acclaimed-victorian-winery-lightfoot-amp-sons-opens-new-cellar-door Set on a bluff overlooking the Mitchell River, the family-owned winery and vineyard was established in 1995 by Brian and Helen Lightfoot, who fell in love with the stunning location.   Chosen for its unusual soil structure – a terra rossa over limestone – the vineyard was planted to grow and supply grapes for other wineries, but Lightfoot & Sons launched their own wine brand when esteemed winemaker Alastair Butt joined the family business in 2007.   Lightfoot & Sons is now run by two of the Lightfoot sons, businessman and marketer Rob and winemaker Tom, who share responsibilities for operating the business, managing the vineyard and cellar, and producing the wines, along with Alastair Butt.   “Our wines are an expression of our vineyard and there is no better way to enjoy them than with a view of the grapes below,” Tom Lightfoot said.   “From the cellar door deck, you see the vines stretching along the limestone bluff and the terra rossa soil. While you are tasting the wine, you can see a dissection of what goes into growing the fruit.”   All wines are 100 per cent estate grown, made and bottled, and reflect the unique of the Myrtle Point Vineyard and the Gippsland Lakes district.   The vineyard grows grapes for pinot, chardonnay and shiraz, and the winemakers use traditional, sustainable techniques while continuing to experiment with wild yeast ferments and different types of oak barrels, sourced from coopers in France. The work has paid off.   In November, Lightfoot & Sons’ 2015 Homeblock Chardonnay was named by wine guru James Halliday as one of the 100 best wines in Australia. When broken down by class, the same wine was one of the top 20 Australian whites in the over-$20 price range. Halliday’s 2018 Wine Companion, the industry bible, lists the same wine as one of the 47 best chardonnays, awarding it a score of 97 out of a possible 100 points.   “We have spent 10 years focusing on producing high quality wines but our magnificent location, with its spectacular views of the vineyard, the Mitchell River food bowl and the Lindenow Valley agricultural lands, meant we always hoped to be able to open a cellar door to better connect our customers to the vineyard,” Rob Lightfoot said.   The cellar door includes a top-floor viewing deck, which sits over a cellar carved into the side of the hill, providing natural, climate-controlled temperatures. The wine is pressed on the top floor and gravity fed through stainless steel tubes into barrels in the cellar beneath.   The cellar door fit-out also was a family affair, with Rob and Tom’s brother, Nick, a builder, directing the project, with assistance from Brian and Tom. The interior and furniture feature locally sourced materials, including timber pallets from the winery.   “We have sourced reclaimed timber from the old Calulu Bridge and Gippsland Lakes jetties, along with concrete, steel and plywood,” Rob said. “The reclaimed timbers add a softness to the industrial building, in some ways referencing the vineyard and winery itself.”   Lightfoot & Sons cellar door is open from 11am-5pm Friday to Sunday. It will open every day from 27 December to 31 January. Visitors can enjoy the wines with tasting platters of local Gippsland produce and cheese - for additional information see www.lightfootwines.com LAKES ENTRANCE HOOKS A WINNER WITH ABUNDANCE OF FISHING AND SEAFOOD 2017-11-02T08:00:06Z lakes-entrance-hooks-a-winner-with-abundance-of-fishing-and-seafood The town has long been the showpiece of the Gippsland Lakes, with a permanent population of just 4,500 swelling to 25,000 over summer as families’ flock to enjoy the plentiful kids’ activities on and off the water, abundance of wildlife, including seals and Burrunan dolphins, delicious local produce and seafood bought straight off the boat.   But the coastal waters off Lakes Entrance offer far more than that – particularly for those who wish to catch their own.   “Lakes Entrance is really building its reputation as a great destination for game fishing all year around, especially for adventurous fishers who like to hunt large species, such as broadbill swordfish, which can be found about 80 kilometres offshore,” Tony Kemna, of Far Out Fishing Charters, said.   “Improvements in technology mean more boats can travel further offshore to reach the Continental Shelf. We also have a safe harbour and dredged channel to support a variety of boats.”   Situated at the entrance to the Gippsland Lakes, the largest inland lakes system in Australia, Lakes Entrance was settled by Europeans in the 1850s and the entrance created to allow ocean-going vessels access between the ocean and the lake.   Other fish species found in the area include big-eyed tuna, southern bluefin tuna, mako shark, striped marlin and albacore tuna. Snapper and gummy shark are commonly caught off Ninety Mile Beach.   The Gippsland Lakes, and neighbouring Lake Tyers, are renowned for prawns and fish such as flathead, bream, trevally, tailor and whiting.   “The region has always been popular with recreational fishers but even if you don’t fish yourself, you’re never far away from the freshest local seafood,” the marketing manager of East Gippsland Marketing Inc, Karly McCaskill, said.   “The Lakes Entrance fishing fleet brings its catch in from Bass Strait where you can buy it straight from the local fishing co-op.”   The region also is popular for people who love to go crabbing or to collect fresh shellfish, such as mussels, on the rocks, walls and jetties around town.   “Crabs are really popular among Chinese visitors and can be found throughout the lake system, and particularly around Bullock Island in Lakes Entrance. They’re caught by placing bait in a crab pot, similar to the way you’d catch lobster.”   All visitors must have a fishing license, and quotas and sizing applies.   Those who prefer to stay land-based can still wash down a meal of freshly caught seafood with a matched local wine in waterfront restaurants, such as Miriam’s Seafood Restaurant or Ferryman’s Seafood Restaurant.   Or pick up supplies to cook yourself at Off the Wharf, the retail outlet run by the Lakes Entrance Fishing Cooperative on Bullock Island, where you can watch the boats unloading their catch while you wait.  Lakes Entrance will host its second annual Hooked on Lakes Entrance Seafood Festival on Sunday March 11, 2018.   For further information visit www.visiteastgippsland.com.au or follow @loveeastgippsland on Instagram, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter and @lakesentrance on Instagram and Facebook. COFFEE INDUSTRY SEEKS IDEAS TO HEAD OFF GLOBAL SHORTAGE AT #HACKOFFEETHON2017 2017-10-03T20:15:08Z coffee-industry-seeks-ideas-to-head-off-global-shortage-at-hackoffeethon2017 Fuelled by single-origin filter coffees, thought leaders from the coffee and tech industries will spend two days solving challenges in the coffee industry during the inaugural Griffiths Bros Coffee Roasters #hackoffeethon2017 in Melbourne on October 13 and 14.   “The coffee industry is facing real and significant challenges as coffee consumption grows around the world and we need to start addressing them,” the managing director of Griffiths Bros Coffee Roasters, Peter Patisteas, said.   “The hack will give roasters, baristas, retailers and others in the coffee industry a chance to get on the front foot by working with thinkers in the tech scene as they explore how technology can be used to address challenges and create opportunities.”   Described as “a meeting of like-minded peeps who want to explore how technology can have a profound and positive impact on the coffee industry”, the hack will be held at the Eastern Innovation Business Centre in Mulgrave.   Participants - coders, designers and hackathon enthusiasts, baristas, café owners, students and other academics – will come together with a team of mentors including coffee scientist Dr Monika Feteke, and representatives from HA Bennetts coffee importers – to seek solutions to a range of sustainability challenges spanning the coffee lifecycle, from plantation to transport to roaster to cafes to the consumer.   Key among them is the future of coffee itself as farmers in coffee-growing regions face a perfect storm of increasingly hot, dry weather, higher levels of pests and disease and rising fertiliser prices.   The two-day hack kicks off at 3pm on Friday October 13 with registration and a keynote address from global sustainable energy leader Tesla, before participants are given a briefing and the data sets for the challenges at 4pm. There will be six challenges for each briefing, each challenge designed to take about 20 minutes. A question-and-answer session will be held around 6.30pm before teams begin their ideation process into the evening.   On Saturday, teams continue to sharpen their ideas before pitching to the judging panel, led by Peter Patisteas, a representative from Planet Ark, and Amy Frangos, chief disruptor at GUD, at 6pm. Each participant or team has five minutes to pitch their ideas before the judges announce the winners at 8.30pm.   Prizes include a year’s supply of free coffee and a barista masterclass to the winning team valued at $3,000. There is also a Kickstarter team bank account up for grabs valued at $1,500, alternative brew kits (Chemex, V60 Pourover, Cold Brew) valued at $1,300; and a dinner for six at Kisumé restaurant valued at $1,000.   Participants may have an opportunity to work with people they meet at the event to further develop their ideas.   To register, visit www.hackoffeethon.com.au and click on the ‘register’ tab, then register through the Eventbrite page. Registration costs $10 for an individual or $40 for a team of four to six people.   For further information please visit www.hackoffeethon.com.au or www.griffithscoffee.com.au or follow twitter.com/hackoffeethon, www.instagram.com/griffithsbros/ or www.facebook.com/hackathonsaustralia/ SOUTH MELBOURNE MARKET IS HELPING YOUR GARDEN GROW THIS SPRING 2017-09-20T08:50:08Z south-melbourne-market-is-helping-your-garden-grow-this-spring Its organic waste diversion program - which has seen more than a 90 per cent reduction in waste volume at the Market - has spawned the production of two nutrient-rich, garden fertiliser products. The fertilisers are being launched this month during the Market’s inaugural Sustainable September festival.   “As the Market’s owner, the City of Port Phillip is very passionate about sustainability,” says Mayor Bernadene Voss. “These exciting new organic products add to a suite of green initiatives we’ve been introducing to help us lighten our environmental footprint, creating a more sustainable Market today and for the next generation.   “Diverting our food waste from landfill significantly reduces both our greenhouse gas emissions and leachate which pollutes waterways. Every two tonnes of waste diverted from landfill has the same greenhouse gas reduction effect as taking a car off the road for a year”.   South Melbourne Market has taken significant steps to stop organic waste entering landfill through two processes: large-scale vermicomposting of green waste resulting in a specially formulated, organic garden fertiliser called Market Magic; and turning food waste into garden fertiliser known as South Melbourne Market SoilFood™ through a fermentation and dehydration process. “What is most exciting about this is that what was previously discarded as waste now has an environmental value”, says Operations Coordinator Adam Mehegan.   Over 150 tonnes of fruit and vegetable waste is collected twice a week and taken to a farm on the outskirts of Melbourne and fed to millions of worms, which turn our green waste into worm castings or vermicompost. This is a unique initiative and the first of its kind in scale and concept. The specially formulated blend of Market Magic vermicompost, made up of 25% worm castings and 75% organic mushroom compost, is a highly active biological mixture of minerals, bacteria and enzymes that are beneficial to plant growth.   In addition to vermicomposting, the Market’s food waste is collected daily and fed into the onsite 1200kg/day GaiaRecycle machine including items like coffee grounds; fish offal; food waste from restaurants, cafes, food hall and other food traders; bread; and high acidic products that can’t be vermicomposted like citrus, pineapples and onions. The whizz-bang machine heats the food waste, shreds it and activates a very fast fermentation and dehydration process, turning it into SoilFood™ in just nine hours.   “South Melbourne Market was the first retail market in Australia to adopt the technology for producing SoilFood™, they’ve been a real vanguard and are producing great results”, says General Manager of Eco Guardians David Berry. The product has similar properties to blood and bone and can be applied to vegetables, fruit trees, shrubs, flowers and lawns. The water collected from the process is also used for Market wash-down.   These organic waste recycling initiatives saw the Market pick up the Australian Organics Recycling Association (AORA) award for ‘outstanding local government initiative in collection/processing/marketing’, which reflects high standards in organic recycling and positive contributions to the organics industry. Keen gardeners can purchase both fertiliser products from the Market Office or nursery and florist traders. Market Magic retails for $15 for a 4 litre bucket and you can swap your empty bucket for a full one and get $2 off at the Market Office. South Melbourne Market SoilFood™ is $7.50 for a 2kg bag and fifty cents from the purchase of every product, both Market Magic and SoilFood™, will be donated to a local environmental charity. The Market is located on the corner of Coventry and Cecil streets, South Melbourne. For more information see www.southmelbournemarket.com.au, Twitter @sthmelbmarket, Facebook @southmelbournemarket, Instagram @southmelbournemarket