Philipa deserves college salute

50-year teacher-1

Philippa Cartwright’s 50 years of extraordinary service for the children and families of Myrtleford will come to an end next week when she retires from teaching at Myrtleford P-12 College

She had been teaching for eight years at what has since become Myrtleford P-12 College when Australian hard rock band AC/DC in 1975 released the album which contained its hit song – ‘It’s a long way to the top’.

In its way it’s the perfect metaphor for Mrs Cartwright’s extraordinary 50-year career – a record of service that ensures she will long have a place as one of few in Victoria to achieve such distinction.

It also works for the former Victorian and now Australian Football League team with which many Myrtleford families have long identified her.

The Collingwood Magpies have in all that time won the premiership cup just twice – in 1990 and 2010.

“I would teach maths and we would have the Collingwood football ladder on the wall,” Mrs Cartwright said

“I was just trying to hook the boys into doing a bit of learning and so every Monday morning someone would go to the staff room to get the newspaper and bring it back and it was their job to read the results,” she said.


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Champ gets ready to rumble

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With just 9 weeks until his title defence in Perth, Australia's UFC middleweight world champion Robert Whittaker has journeyed to the Victorian High Country at Falls Creek this week. Whittaker and his team from Sydney based Gracie Jiu Jitsu took advantage of the cross training facilities at the resort taking to the mountain biking trails and gym facilities, circuit work while also taking to the (now) green ski trails for some mountain top touch rugby. The team are vowing to return for future training opportunities. Falls Creek is is also hosting several elite athletes ahead of a busy summer competition season and Commonwealth Games preparation.

RECENTLY crowned Ultimate Fighting Championship middleweight world champion Robert Whittaker has visited the High Country for some early conditioning ahead of his title defence in February.

Whittaker, 26, last week spent three days at Falls Creek where he and his team took advantage of cross-training opportunities in preparation for his fight with American Luke Rockhold.

Earlier this year Whittaker became the first Australian and first New Zealand-born fighter to hold a UFC title when he defeated Yoel Romero for the interim middleweight crown in July.

He was promoted to the undisputed champion when Canada’s Georges St-Pierre vacated the UFC middleweight championship on December 8 because of health problems.

Whittaker will face 33-year-old Rockhold in Perth on February 10.

“This camp is like a prelude to the camp leading into my fight in February and is a great way to kick things off,” Whittaker said.

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Saints secure first win

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SMOTHERING: Jalen Barker and Ryan and Charlie Crisp apply pressure to Wangaratta’s Michael Jenkins during Saturday night’s game. PHOTO: Justin Jenvey

A DOMINANT first half has helped Myrtleford to its first win in the CBL men’s competition.

Facing Wangaratta, the Saints led 46-23 at the break before running out 79-61 winners at home on Saturday night.

Coach Les Stevens said the victory will be a be huge boost for his team as they head into back to back winnable games against Wallan and Echuca this weekend.

“Saturday’s win will give the guys a lot of confidence,” he said.

“We finally showed what we can do and I think we can win both games this weekend.

“Wallan are on a bit of a slide at the moment, they’ve lost three in a row and Echuca is struggling so as long as we go in with the right frame of mind we’ll be a chance.”

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Better roll-out for works

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ALPINE Shire Council has changed the works schedule for Myrtleford’s ‘Alpine Better Places’ project to limit the potential effects of traffic disruption on holiday trade in the town centre.

The $1.87 million refurbishment of Myrtleford’s heart – with construction of a roundabout on Myrtle Street (Great Alpine Road), its re-development of a tree-lined avenue, and park and other public places works – was to start on January 8.

But concerns aired in the Times Observer on November 22 revealed worries by local business owners about the timing of the works roll-out.

But concerns aired in the Times Observer on November 22 revealed worries by local business owners about the timing of the works roll-out.

Myrtleford Bakehouse owner Matt Quinn welcomed the project but hoped the council would delay the construction start on the roundabout at the front of his bakery until after the Australia Day weekend.

Chemist King’s Cameron Ahn agreed that timing the start of works after the end of the summer holiday – “one of the busiest times of the year in town” – would be preferable to an earlier post-new year start.

Alpine asset development acting manager Francine Stacey on Friday said the council and the contractor, Bright-based North East Civil Construction, had now amended the works schedule to ensure positive economic outcomes for local businesses during the January peak trading season.

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Change in pedal power

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THE announcement of the first High Country cycling event for women has further cemented Bright and the North East as Australia’s premier cycling destination.

The first High Country Women’s Cycling Festival will be based in Bright in April.

The festival is set to be a celebration of women’s cycling, with a focus on fun, fitness, and friendship in a unique alpine environment.

The event aims to inspire, encourage and support more women to ride, and to experience the beauty of the High Country by bike.

Festival organiser Clare Holdsworth said, despite the huge growth in women’s cycling, the gender imbalance is strongly evident in cycling and cycle-tourism in alpine areas.

“Many female riders consider hills and mountains beyond their capability,” she said.

“We want to share our knowledge, build confidence, push boundaries and help women discover new ride destinations with new friends.”

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Apprentices among the best

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TOP OF THE CLASS: Bright’s Caroline Hodge was last week named Outstanding Final Year Apprentice for hospitality at the GOTAFE annual Trade Awards.

APPRENTICES who are from or working in the Upper Ovens Valley have taken out 12 of the 50 awards presented at the annual Trade Awards for GOTAFE’s Wangaratta and Benalla campuses.

Last Wednesday’s awards were attended by more than 220 apprentices, employers, sponsors and GOTAFE trainers with honours for outstanding pre-apprentices, and apprentices in their first, second, third and fourth years.

Snow Road Cabinets’ Ben Antonello (building and construction – joinery), Boynton’s Feathertop Winery’s Caroline Hodge (hospitality – cookery), Nicoll Engineering’s Thomas Johnson (engineering – mechanical trade) and Alpine Motorcycles’ Josh Roche (automotive – outdoor power equipment) were all named outstanding final year apprentices.

Harry Bartlett of Ronad Constructions and Tayla Lewis from Bright Coiffure received outstanding second year apprentice honours for carpentry and hairdressing.

Mitch Harper (Cummins South Pacific), Jordan Harrington (Plumbing by Hall) and Sherry Brown (Carter Holt Harvey) were the outstanding first year apprentices in automotive – heavy vehicle, plumbing, and engineering – mechanical trade.

Myrtleford’s Ellie Burgess and Bernice Bitting, who is part of the Thathangathay Foundation’s indigenous training program at Dumu Balcony Café in Bright, received non apprentice awards for hair and beauty and hospitality.

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Cubs make cut

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RISING STARS: Young cricketers Nick Blesser and Monique Martin have been picked for the region’s top representative sides. PHOTO: Justin Jenvey

TWO Ovens Valley United juniors are set to take on the best cricketers from across Victoria when the new year hits.

Monique Martin, 14, and Nick Blesser, 13, have both been selected in this year’s North East Knights squads, in respective boys and girls under 14s sides.

The pair survived recent trials against the region’s best up and coming cricketers and will now travel to Melbourne in January for the Victorian Pathway Program State Championships.

The Marian College youngsters both play for Ovens Valley United’s combined under 14s team with Beechworth in the Wangaratta and District Cricket Association.

The team is currently fourth with just one loss from their first four games of the season.

Blesser has played a key role in the team’s early season success, the opening batsman has only been dismissed once in his four innings.

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Marian 100 outruns rain

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WET AND SOGGY: Bonnie Benson and Giordana Genero make their way into Myrtleford.

MYRTLEFORD’S Marian College students have braved torrential rain to complete this year’s Marian 100.

The annual run saw 62 students make the almost 100-kilometre journey from Mount Hotham to Myrtleford last Friday.

This year’s event also marked a major milestone – with the run taking place for the 25th time.

The college expects to donate about $6000 to Camp Quality when final tallies are counted.

Marian 100 coordinator Davina Perkins said it was another exceptional effort by students who departed Mt Hotham before 6am in an attempt to avoid some of the forecast heavy rain.

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Emergency response

Mayor wants families to update vulnerable persons’ list

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HERE TO HELP: Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews met with local emergency services on Sunday to see for himself the impact of the rain. PHOTO: Justin Jenvey


ALPINE mayor Ron Janas has encouraged local families to ensure the names and contact points of vulnerable relatives and friends – particularly older people living alone – are listed with Alpine Health ahead of potential emergencies like last weekend’s rain.

Cr Janas said Alpine Health maintained a vulnerable person register so that emergency management personnel were able to check on their safety, and that of their property, during severe weather or fires.

“We need to keep a check on vulnerable people across all our communities at times like this,” he said.

“We need as a neighbourly community to make sure Alpine Health’s vulnerable persons list is up to date.

“There’s always the risk that someone could fall through the cracks and we must make sure, as much as it’s possible, that this doesn’t occur.”

Cr Janas and Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews – who flew in to Myrtleford by helicopter on Sunday to review the effects of three-day falls – thanked State Emergency Service personnel and other volunteers who rallied to help those caught up by the weather.

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Plans for girls’ footy to take off

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FUTURE STARS: The Alpine Lions are looking to be a force in the AFL North East Border Youth Girls competition.

NEW Alpine Lions coach Craig Dent will put some key structures in place for the upcoming season in an attempt to fast track girls’ footy in the Ovens Valley.

Dent, who takes over from Scott Reeb, has extensive coaching experience and last year was in charge of the North East Bushrangers V/Line Cup team and head of the NSW Female Academy in Albury.

“The first thing we’ve tried to do is expand the branding of Alpine Lions and make sure we’re attracting girls from right across the Ovens and Kiewa valleys not just girls from Wangaratta or the King Valley,” he said.

“I’ve visited schools in Bright, Myrtleford, Mt Beauty and Beechworth and we’ve had significant interest from girls in all those towns.

“While our main training will be at Whorouly we’ll also have group training in Bright and Mt Beauty with the girls completing specific training I’ve designed.”

Dent said an Alpine Lions academy will also be established.

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