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Wandong - Heathcote Junction - why would you live anywhere else. Until NOVEMBER 2021, Allen Hall (editor)


Printed by Newspaper House, Kilmore



The Wandong Pharmacy Vaccine Clinic is pleased to be a part of the Australian Government’s response to COVID-19. The Pharmacy is vaccinating eligible people via online booking. To make a booking please visit :

Wandong Pharmacy has access to the AstraZeneca and Moderna vaccines. More information regarding the vaccine can be found at:

Book now and help stop lockdowns



In 2006, the Wandong Heathcote Junction Community Group embarked on an ambitious project to transform the area between the Epping Kilmore Road and the Wandong Railway Station from an area covered in thick overgrown noxious weeds and blackberry to the attractive landscaped walk that exists today. The pathway has now been named Pickett Walk after Frank Pickett who was Stationmaster Wandong for many years. The Community Group has just renovated its signage along the walk and is very grateful to Mitchell Shire Parks and Gardens for updating the area with new pathway and new plantings. The Community Group only wishes other Departments at Mitchell Shire would get on board with many projects they decline or delay to the detriment of our town. See photos below.







-by his son, Greg Ryan

Allan Francis Ryan was born on 29/4/1930 at the Kilmore Hospital. At the time his parents Robert and Florence lived at the Dene, a farm just north of Wandong.

Dad, his two brothers, Des and Eric, along with his sister Elain all attended Wandong State school. At that time there wasn’t a high school in the area, so the normal practice was to go to year 8 and attain your certificate of Merit. Dad did this and then left school at around the age of 15.

Around the same time Dads parents Bob and Flo had moved from the Dene into the house at Burnside, their farm in Wandong.

After leaving school, Dad worked with Bob on both farms The Dene and Burnside as well as supplying firewood throughout the area. After getting his driver’s license he travelled away shearing and working for his friend Dave Keath as a Plant Operator digging dams out in the Western District.

In 1956 Dad married Mum, Jean Elizabeth Faulks, also of Wandong.

They moved to Caveat up near the Strathbogie Ranges were Bob and Flo had bought another farm. While living up there they had three children Barry, Greg and Anthony. Mum and Barry were travelling to Melbourne frequently for medical appointments, so Mum and Dad decided to move back to Wandong in 1961 to be closer to Melbourne.

12 months later Maree was born.

Mum and Dad built a new house in Wandong Ave in the late 60’s. Dad continued shearing part time and working for Dave in the Earthmoving game for a further nine years or so.

In 1970 Dad went into partnership with Laurie Davern. They purchased a Bulldozer to clear and develop a large parcel of land on the South Mountain Road in Heathcote Junction.

This resulted in a couple of other projects in the vicinity which led to three years work in the area clear-ing and developing other properties for farming.

In 1973 Dad purchased Laurie’s share in the business and went out on his own. He continued working in the earthmoving/civil construction industry into his early 70’s.

Michelle was born in 1977 and although there was a 15-year age gap between Maree, the youngest in the family and Michelle, Dad said “there was no better way to keep you feeling young in your 40’s and 50’s.”

Around this time Dad decided to take up an outside interest away from work. He joined the Wallan Bowling Club and played pennant bowls for many years.

In 1985 Mum and Dad left Wandong Avenue and bought a bigger house in Heathcote Junction. They lived there for 15 years before making the decision to move and build a new home.

That decision would shape the latter years of their life.

Part of the property Burnside that adjoined the Wandong township was developed by the family in 1999 and as Dad told me it was his sister Elain’s idea that he should keep one of the flat and level blocks and build a new house.

As it turned out this was great advice because the current home built on that site at Rail Street Wandong allowed Mum and Dad to enjoy the later years of their life comfortably and independently.

It also provided Barry with better access and his own space for the time he lived there.

Dad cared for Mum through a long illness that sadly took her from us in 2017. He had to learn new skills at this time and did an amazing job of caring for and loving Mum.

Dad had a tremendous sense of community spirit and was involved in several activities in Wandong and the surrounding areas. This culminated in him receiving an Australia Day award in 2018 for his services to the community.

COVID restrictions have been tough on everyone over the last 2 years.

We were very lucky to have a large family reunion on ANZAC day just last April. It was a large gathering of family and friends and a perfect way to celebrate Dad’s 91st birthday. It was tremendous to see Dad so happy on that day, he loved being around people and people loved being around him.

Dad found living on his own challenging at times. He was a very social person. This was made easier by the kindness of his family, neighbours, and friends.

He loved all the family visits and phone calls.

There were so many more family and friends that supported him. Too many to mention but we appreciate how much this helped him.

Recent memories are always the clearest and I often reflect on Dad’s ability to have a calming and caring relationship with toddlers and babies. It was amazing how the grandchildren and great grandchildren would gravitate to him in an easy and carefree way. Even the ones who didn’t see him that often.

As a father - Dads’ greatest gift to me was to teach me right from wrong, common decency to others and loyalty to your family and friends.

A true gentleman, he will be greatly missed but will always be in the hearts of those fortunate enough to have known him for these past nine decades.





Mitchell Shire Concert Band

Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, the Mitchell Shire Concert Band regular Saturday Bingo sessions at the Band Hall at Chittick Park, Seymour, have been suspended until further notice

The Band has now resumed rehearsals on Tuesday evenings, 7pm to 9pm. Any new players will be given a warm welcome


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EPA’s online help for farmers

Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) offers online advice for the agricultural community, and is taking requests on what farmers need next.

The Agricultural Guidance section of EPA’s website supports farmers in managing the farm in a way that minimises harm to the environment and human health, meets Victorian regulations, and keeping the property in good condition for the next generation.

It also includes a two-minute survey that lets farmers ask for the environmental advice they most value.

EPA’s advice for agricultural community is at:

It offers advice on protecting the environment and human health; meeting Victorian law and regulations; and issues like livestock planning, farm waste, chemicals, noise, water, sediment and dust.

Anyone on the land can make a request or provide feedback, at:

Members of the public can report pollution by calling EPA’s 24 hour hotline, 1300 EPA VIC (1300 372 842).


Litter is a burning issue

Flicking cigarette butt from car window a severe fire danger and environmental risk: EPA, fire and rescue services say.

With North East Victoria’s fire danger period projected to continue into May, EPA, Country Fire Authority and Metropolitan Fire Brigade are calling for cigarette butt litterers to check their habit, and for members of the community to report this kind of littering.

Given that most human-cause fire incidents in Victoria are caused by lit cigarette butts, the potential cost to the community and environment is extreme. “EPA counts on members of the public to report people who flick their butts out of car windows,” said EPA North East Region Manager Emma Knights. “Flicking lit cigarettes out your car window is a serious fire hazard, as recent fire tragedies across our state have shown. “And cigarette butt litter pollutes our roadsides and chokes our waterways,” Ms Knights said.

The CFA regularly attends to fires caused by cigarettes, and some of Victoria’s worst bushfire tragedies were sparked by cigarette butt litter. CFA Chief Officer Steve Warrington said roadside fires pose a “significant danger to drivers not only from smoke, but flames or falling burning trees or branches, and there’s high potential for tragic consequences.” Mr Warrington said more than half of Victorian bushfires are deliberately lit or caused by reckless behaviour. “One of the most common causes is inappropriately disposing of cigarette butts. “Recklessly caused fires are often viewed by the community as accidental, but in reality, the potential for injury, loss of life, property damage and drain on resources is the same as that caused by arson.” Mr Warrington said. MFB Chief Officer Dan Stephens said that firefighters respond to more than 10 fires caused by carelessly discarded smoking materials every month across the Melbourne metropolitan district alone.

Last financial year, EPA handed out over $5 million in fines to more than 11,000 Victorians for discarding litter, mostly cigarette butts, from their vehicles. EPA litter fines range from $322 for a small piece of rubbish or unlit cigarette up to $645 for a lit cigarette.

People can report littering via EPA’s website, through its smartphone litter app, or by calling 1300 EPA VIC (1300 372 842).





Are you interested in the history, conservation and community of the Mount Disappointment State Forest and
surrounding areas.
Join “Friends of Disappointment” to share history, photos and ideas.


Volunteers for Young Care Mentor Program urgently Needed

Have you got some spare time? Are you  a good listener? Would you like to help a young person continue with their schooling?  Not-profit organisation Villa Maria Catholic Homes has young carers in the Heathcote Junction area who desperately need support from an adult to help them cope with their day-to-day responsibilities.

Contact Marion Rak on (03) 5722 9046.

Do you consider commuting emails in your fatigue & working hours considerations?

With the installation of Wi-Fi on our rail system here is a study from the UK on extended work hours.

Researchers have suggested that as UK commuters are apparently so regularly using travel time for work

emails that their journeys should be counted as part of the working day. The study from the University of the West of   England found wider access to wi-fi on trains & the spread of mobile phones has extended the working day.

The study involved interviews with 5,000 rail passengers on commuter routes into London as wi-fi 

became more available. The study, presented this week at the Royal Geographical Society, found that 

54% of commuters using train wi-fi were sending work emails. Those on the way to work were catching up with emails sent ahead of the coming day, while those on the return journey were finishing off work not completed during regular working hours. The study examined the impact of an upgrade to free wi-fi on the London to Birmingham & London to Aylesbury routes. It showed that as internet access improved it had the consequence of extending working hours, using laptops & mobile phones. Researchers suggested that smartphones & mobile internet access had caused a blurring of boundaries between work & home life, & this now applied to the journey to work. Instead of technology giving people more flexibility over working, the study showed that people were working extra hours on top of their time in the office. The head researcher from the university's Centre for Transport & Society indicated that it is a real challenge in deciding what constitutes work. Do you account for this in your work hour considerations? Your IT/Telco records will indicate this post incident.                    


Residents in Wandong - Heathcote Junction, particularly in Affleck Street and Dry Creek Crescent are getting no response from authorities to curtail the noise, parking problems and destruction of the Mt Disappointment State Forest by rail bike and 4WD drivers. It is no longer safe to walk or horse ride on the mountain trails due to these uncontrolled vehicles. Mt Disappointment could rival the Dandenongs for beauty and tourism but no authority seems prepared to stop the damage.