Save your bottle tops

The Lions Club of Corio Norlane is taking on another venture to help others.

Members are collecting plastic milk and soft drink bottle tops to give to a company called Envision, who are making colourful hands for children in third world countries. The hands are made with a 3D printer and are life-changing for children.

Residents can organise a collection, contact the club and they will collect from you.

Meanwhile, the club is continuing its many other activities, including:

  • Opportunity Shop.
  • Road Home Geelong project for homeless.
  • Bike maintenance project.
  • Bike Education trailer.
  • Computer donation project.
  • Peace Poster competition.
  • Collecting gate takings at North Shore Football Club.
  • Supervising car parking at the Royal Geelong Show.
  • Trivia Night in October supporting local charities.
  • Supporting Northern Christmas Carols.
  • Selling Christmas cakes.
  • Running barbecues.
  • Collecting unwanted eye glasses.
  • Collecting stamps.

Club members are continually striving to achieve more in their local community and if you have some spare time on your hands and wish to make a difference, contact Richard Walter on 0402-409-895 or

Richard said anyone who has other ideas or suggestions to help the community but doesn’t know how to achieve them, can contact the club and it may be able to help.

“We are also looking for members with multicultural backgrounds who are interested in helping their own communities,” Richard said. “With this support we can make a difference.”

A place to buy, learn and meet

A new opportunity shop arrived in Norlane earlier this year, with Opportunity Rocks Op Shop opening at Dorothy Thompson Centre.

A project of Uniting, the op shop is open Monday to Thursday from 10am until 4pm under the guidance of Peter Wheeler and a small team of volunteers.

“Our volunteers are learning retail skills and to be more active in their community,” Peter said. “The shop is also a social outlet for our volunteers, and we always have room for more.”

The shop stocks a large range of clothing, toys, books and household goods and all proceeds go back into the local community.

There are plans to introduce other community activities at the site, including playgroup and yoga. For more information, call 0402-602-939, or drop in during opening hours.

Free legal advice

Canny Legal provides free general legal advice for 3214 residents, at Norlane Community Centre.

Residents can apply for help with legal matters including tenancy, wills, power of attorney and deceased estate advice. To apply for help, fill in an intake form at reception of Norlane Community Centre and you will be contacted for a session time.

Canny Legal’s aim is to provide some general advice on legal issues to help you manage the issue in the future. The program is limited and if your issue is unable to be resolved, you may be referred to another service that may be able to help. For more information and to apply for some help, call into Norlane Community Centre in Rose Avenue or call 5275-1824.

Fishing for new members

A new fishing club has formed in Corio, offering a family-friendly environment for all anglers.

Corio Bay Anglers Club meets fortnightly, on Wednesdays from 6pm-7pm, at Cloverdale Community Centre. The club already has 30 members involved in a variety of activities.

President Mick Conway said the club is for all-weather and all sorts of fishing and will host 12 to 14 fishing competitions each year. They also have plans to clean-up around the bay, including North Shore and St Helens beaches.

“Our members also share their knowledge, so it’s a good place for young anglers to come and get support and advice,” Mick said. “We encourage families to come along to our social events, which include our weigh-ins and barbecues at Moorpanyal Park.”

Mick said young anglers can learn from older members and can also access equipment for a day if they want to try fishing.

For more information, call 0421-739-618, email or look for Corio Bay Fishing Club on Facebook.

Outdoors, discovery and learning

Boys and girls aged eight to 10 years are invited to join Cub Scouts, who meet at Norlane West Scout Hall in Dunloe Avenue every Monday afternoon.

Cub Scouts focuses on exploring the outdoors, discovery and learning interesting things. Members belong to a Pack and begin to learn leadership and teamwork in small teams called Sixes.

Cub Scouts go bushwalking, on bike trips and camps, and learn skills including how to use a compass. They also have the chance to try things like sailing, canoeing and abseiling. The natural environment is at the heart of Scouting and there are activities aimed at developing knowledge of caring for the environment.

Cub Scouts have a Leader to help along the way and encourage members to participate. They also help create a fun place to learn, belong and be adventurous.

By joining in different activities and learning new skills, Cub Scouts can earn special badges to sew on their Cub Scout shirt and camp blanket. There’s something for all interests.

Cub Scouts from the Norlane West Scout Group attended the ANZAC Day march and service at the Norlane RSL. Several Cubs were proud to wear their Great-Grandfathers’ war medals. The following week at the Scout hall, the Cubs planted poppy seeds and learnt about their significance. They also learnt about the components of the Australian flag.

Boys and girls interested in starting their Scouting adventure can enjoy a free three-week trial. The group meets at Norlane West Scout Hall, 84-86 Dunloe Avenue, Norlane on Monday from 4.30-6pm.

For more information, contact Kim phone 0425-783-995 or email

Students as community leaders

Year 6 students from Northern Bay College are stepping up to take on community leadership roles, as they tackle Victoria’s leading schools-based philanthropy initiative for children aged eight to 12.

Kids as Catalyst is run by Kids Thrive, a not-for-profit creative organisation for child voice, choice and agency. Students from the Wexford, Tallis, Hendy and Peacock campuses have identified a diverse range of issues and are actively working on projects related to cultural diversity, the environment, elders, animals, gender and all abilities.

Andrea Rieniets, Co-Creative Director and Lead Artist, Kids Thrive said: “Kids as Catalyst is a two-phase, 16-week social action program. Students identify issues in the Geelong community that matter to them and partner with relevant community groups to develop solutions and take action.”

 196 students from a broad range of cultural backgrounds and abilities are taking part. 

 “We also have 20 year 7 students who participated in this program in the past and have returned as mentors for the younger students,” Andrea said. “They’ve been incredible in their support and continue to put into practice the program values, such as gratitude, kindness, giving and volunteering.”

This is the second year Kids as Catalyst program is being delivered at the College. It is aligned with the Victorian Curriculum through Social Emotional Learning (SEL), Civics and Citizenship, Literacy, Numeracy, Economics and Critical Thinking. In 2017 the program received the VicHealth Improving Mental Wellbeing Award. 

For more information contact Angela Thiel-Paul –

Major stage role for Ben

Aspiring young actor Ben Oakes has taken the greatest leap of his short career in a role he hopes will lead to bigger and better future opportunities.

Ben recently completed his debut season at Melbourne’s Malthouse Theatre in its production of Cloudstreet, which is based on the novel by Australian writer Tim Winton. He played the role of Fish, the disabled son of the Lamb family.

Ben, who has Autism Spectrum Disorder, was cast after a nation-wide search for an actor with a disability to play the role. It follows his earlier work with Geelong’s Back to Back Theatre.

Ben appeared in the production alongside well-known actors including Guy Simon, Natasha Herbert Greg Stone, Alison Whyte and Geelong’s Bert LaBonté. He said it was “an amazing experience”.

“Everyone has been so nice,” Ben said. “I’ve enjoyed it immensely.”

Ben will travel with the production to Perth in 2020 and hopes to secure an agent to help him find other acting work. He is well known at Cloverdale, Rosewall and Norlane community centres where he has been a volunteer in various programs and at events.

Gardening: Time to think about winter vegies

We’ve said goodbye to summer and the labour-intensive work in the garden over the warmer months and hello to the lower maintenance time of the cooler weather.

A crop of onions, leeks and garlic is always a bonus to the home cook and some can be stored after they mature and used during the coming seasons. They are not hard to grow and their flavor fresh out of your garden makes the produce out of the supermarket seem very bland and uninteresting, lacking in looks and flavor.

Another keeper is pumpkins – if they are cut after the vine withers and dies off, stored in a cool, dry place with a constant temperature, they will keep for months and the flavor is amazing.

Top of the agenda during the winter months are cabbages, cauliflowers and brussels sprouts. Grown from seedlings they seem to take forever to reach maturity, but the wait is worth it.

They do need monitoring to make sure that the white cabbage moths don’t eat them all for dinner and they must be kept dusted or covered under fine netting to keep them safe. They are at their best both in flavor and in vitamin content when fresh from the garden.

A spare cauliflower can be used to make a lovely pot of Picalily Pickles – the recipe is an old one my Gran brought out from England in 1921. It’s easy to make and a great keeper, I’ve kept it for three years in storage.

Now is also the time to buy in your bulbs ready for spring and summer flowers. Bulbs grow well in pots so they’re great for balconies or patios. Look for big, firm bulbs and plant them three times as deep as their height, with their shoot facing upwards. You’d be amazed how many people plant them upside down. Don’t overwater them or they may rot.


Start with: 1 cauliflower, 3 zucchinis, 3 large onions, ½ cup salt.

Finely chop all vegetables and put into a large plastic bowl or bucket with salt. Mix through and cover with water. Leave overnight.

Next day, tip into large boiler, bring to boil for five minutes, then strain off the water.

Add 3 to 4 cups sugar, 1 level tablespoon salt, a pack of pickling spice tied in a cloth and cover with enough white vinegar to cover plus an extra 1.2 centimentres (usually takes 2 bottles). Bring to boil for approximately 15 minutes.

Thicken with a mixture of 1 ½ cups plain flour, 2 tablespoons mustard and 1 heaped tablespoon turmeric mixed together with water. Boil a further 10-15 minutes to cook the flour, stirring frequently, remove the spices tied in the cloth and bottle into hot bottles. Seal with paraffin wax.

If it’s too thick add more vinegar; if too thin add more flour mixture.

If it’s not spicy enough add more mustard, but remember that flavor will improve and grow stronger when stored before using.

New support group in Corio

Corio is home to a new Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) group.

The group is co-ordinated by Nick, who has more than 30 years’ experience with AA and saw a need for a program of its kind in the area.

Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope to help others recover from alcoholism. The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking.

“The traditional format is the foundation of what AA is,” Nick said. “The AA meeting is a safe place where vulnerable people can go and get good information about how to solve their problems.

“It’s spiritual not religious – it’s really just about good living. Alcohol is a health issue, but before that it’s a spiritual issue, so the spirituality is the key.”

Meetings are held weekly and are open, meaning family, friends and loved ones can attend. They include three or four speakers, followed by discussion, and the chance to build trust as a way of supporting members.

The AA group meets at Rosewall Neighbourhood Centre. For more information about meeting times contact Nick, phone 0429-691-845.

Celebrating volunteers

National Volunteer Week will be held in May to celebrate the generous contribution of our nation’s volunteers. The theme for 2019 is ‘Making a world of difference’.

From May 20 to 26, thousands of events will be held across the country to say thank you to the six million Australians who volunteer their time. Locally, volunteers support a huge range of organisations including community, sporting, health, education and welfare.

At the neighbourhood and community centres in Corio and Norlane the volunteers are much-appreciated. They include administration assistance, garden and grounds maintenance, child minders, computer helpers, Community Kitchen facilitators, program leaders and cleaners.

Among the much-valued volunteers is Rosewall Neighbourhood Centre’s Carlie, who has lived in Geelong for two years and volunteers as playgroup co-facilitator and child minder most days at Rosewall.

As well as holding a Certificate III in Children’s Services, Carlie is super creative, organised and on the ball when it comes to children’s activities and programs. Carlie makes all the centre’s art and crafts, playdough, mini-cooking menus and outside and creative play setups. Her creativity has made the playroom a fun and colourful space.

Information about Volunteer Week activities will be available at the neighbourhood and community centres in early May. The centre staff thank their volunteers for all that they put in. They are to be applauded on their commitment to the neighbourhood centre.