Jason King and Sandra Onus at the tent embassy on Portland’s Market Square. AN Aboriginal tent embassy protest on Portland’s Market Square has been blamed for an ugly eruption of racial tension in the district.

As the small protest led by activist Sandra Onus drags on beyond 50 days, other members of the Koorie community have copped criticism, taunts and insults.

Glenelg Shire Council mayor Cr Gilbert Wilson has been told of a woman who was spat on and children who have been teased at school.

“It’s set our community harmony back at least 20 years,” he said.

Respected Aboriginal elder and fellow shire councillor Ken Saunders said unfortunately some people assumed all local Koories were associated with the protest.

“She’s a damn pest,” he said, referring to Ms Onus.

“Her protest is real stupidity and does not have our widespread support.

“The tent is driving everyone crazy and stirring up racism.

“Her issue has to be directed to the federal government, not us.”

The protestors continued to stand firm yesterday, telling The Standard they would remain steadfast in their bid to maintain a campsite at Market Square.

Ms Onus claimed specific indigenous groups received preferential treatment over others and said her activist organisation represented tribes including the Yigar, Gilga, Kerrup-Jmara, Kilcarer, Cart Gundidj and Euroite peoples.

“We plan to keep on representing the native people of this region through the tent embassy, even if it means being arrested,” Ms Onus said.

“This is an arm of the original Canberra tent embassy.

“Certain groups both inside and outside the indigenous community want to silence us.”

Several conical tents have been erected in the square, placards adorn the sides of the shelters and a small fire burns around the clock. In the 1980s Ms Onus protested alongside the late Auntie Betty King and others ahead of the Portland aluminium smelter opening by then premier John Cain.

The group set up an on-again off-again camp near Portland’s Uniting Church during the 1980s.

She was also involved in the Lake Condah land rights push.

Cr Wilson said the issue would probably end in a forced eviction, but he hoped for a peaceful resolution.

“We want to consult, not confront,” he said.

“The council has been moving forward in racial harmony, but this tent protest has brought it undone.”

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Linda Flook and Alan Flowers are preparing to pedal more than 10,000 kilometres in four months. WHILE most south-west residents are preparing to rug up for winter, two intrepid cyclists will spend the next five months in shorts and T-shirts.

Linda Flook and Alan Flowers will leave Warrnambool on Sunday on an epic road trip holiday and probably won’t return until August.

They’ll drive 3000 kilometres to Cairns, unload their bikes and then ride more than 10,000 kilometres across the north, west and south of the continent back to Warrnambool.

“It’s now or never,” 57-year-old Mr Flowers said as he saddled up on his mountain bike, towing a laden 50-kilogram trailer.

The idea gelled from a conversation last year when Mr Flowers called at Ms Flook’s balloon shop on his milk delivery rounds.

He had previously been a casual short-distance cyclist between work commitments, while Ms Flook had been coaxed onto a bike by her teenage son about five years ago and gradually progressed to longer multi-day events in Victoria, Queensland and Western Australia.

They decided to enter the 250-kilometre event around Port Phillip Bay in October, which whet their appetites for a longer challenge after their businesses were sold.

“I’d been around Australia 23 years ago in a vehicle with my family, now it’s time to see it on a bike,” Ms Flook said.

“I thought if we can do the bay ride easily why not have a crack at a big ride around Australia.”

Mr Flowers has been dragging the trailer around district roads in training for the past few months with up to six hours on weekends.

“We aim to do up to 200 kilometres a day. My legs are holding up well and I feel fit,” he said.

“When I said to my wife I wanted to do the Cairns to Perth trip she said ‘go for it’.

“If the winds are OK we’ll just continue onto Warrnambool.”

Ms Flook, 49, chipped in: “We will definitely be riding through all the way back to Warrnambool by August 1.

“The freedom and the wind in the face will be just awesome,” she said.

“On the weekend I rode on the Great Ocean Road from Warrnambool to Geelong.”

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ONE of the largest parcels of CBD property in Warrnambool — featuring a former funeral parlour and butchery dating back to the 1800s — has been put on the market.

The Guyett family property fronting Timor Street covers more than 3000 square metres, including a large section of vacant land suitable for development.

It is believed to be the largest parcel of Warrnambool CBD property offered for sale in recent memory.

Expressions of interest close on April 27 through Northeast Stockdale and Leggo.

Agent Matt Northeast said there was early interest from business investors and the sale would have international exposure.

“A myriad of uses is possible,” he said. “For the CBD this is massive.”

It is being offered in two sections or as a whole.

The largest parcel on 2024 square metres includes the former funeral parlour, which has capabilities for seven bedrooms plus a three-car garage.

Adjacent is a laundromat under a four-bedroom residence, plus a six-car garage.

Spokeswoman for the owners, Helen Bayne, said the properties had great emotional value to the family.

“We have not made this decision lightly, but we believe such a large site offers great potential for redevelopment,” she said.

“Many people are surprised when they see how big the blocks are and that there are substantial gardens behind the buildings.”

Titles for the properties were created in the 1870s and the laundromat building started its life about 1888 as a two-storey residence and workplace for G. A. Wiggs.

It continued to be occupied by butchers until being purchased by Jack and Marg Guyett in the early 1970s.

The larger adjacent building was constructed in the 1930s. It operated as a boarding house until bought by the late Jack Guyett’s parents in 1946 and transformed into a funeral parlour.

Jack bought the funeral business and building from his family in 1956 and it was the home where he and Marg raised seven children.

Mr Guyett installed a gymnasium in one of the garages in the 1970s when he was a stalwart of Merrivale Football Club and it operated as a community facility for about two decades. He died in 1986 and his wife in 2007.

Guyett’s Funeral Home relocated to east Warrnambool in 2010.

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Deakin University Graduation at Lady Bay Resort. PhD graduates L-R: Marine Ecology Agnes Lautenschlager, Marine Ecology Jacquomo Monk, Fisheries Science Daniel Grixti, Marine Ecology Jess Mc Kenzie, Environmental Chemistry Karen Hermon. 120329LP08PICTURE:LEANNE PICKETT Mandi Poustie: support network.

MOST university students will tell you full-time study is hard enough.

But Mandi Poustie took on the challenge while working, raising three children and driving two hours each day to attend Deakin University classes.

Yesterday the Cooriemungle mother graduated with a Bachelor of Education (Primary), which has already landed her a full-time job.

With support from her family and Deakin lecturers, Ms Poustie has successfully emerged with a job at Timboon P-12 and is encouraging others to follow her example.

“It was a challenge but I had great support,” she said. “I’m passionate and determined so if I want to do something I make sure I can get there.

“I knew it was going to be difficult with all the travel but I wanted to meet and develop a relationship and support network with my lecturers.

“They realised I had three different roles and they were always there for me and checking that I was going all right. My husband Jason backs me 100 per cent with any crazy idea I might have and the kids have been great.

“They came in on the holidays to help me set up and they help out with cooking dinner.”

Ms Poustie, 31, had previously started a forensic psychology course but left to raise her family.

She was inspired to return to study after volunteering at school with her children.

“I enjoyed the atmosphere of the school and helping the children,” she said.

“Teaching at Timboon P-12 now is amazing, challenging and lots of fun.”

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David Roach with his granddaughter Chloe Rooth, who graduated yesterday.TEACHING graduate Chloe Rooth has given David Roach another reason to feel proud about Deakin University.

Mr Roach was the first permanent principal of Warrnambool Institute of Advanced Education (WIAE), which later became the Deakin University Warrnambool campus.

Click the image for gallery

The Ocean Grove resident was principal and later director at the institute from 1970 to 1990, but yesterday returned to Warrnambool to help his granddaughter celebrate achieving her Bachelor of Education (Primary).

Ms Rooth is already enjoying work in the field, having just returned to Warrnambool after seven weeks as a governess teaching three young children on a remote New South Wales station.

“We were two hours north of Broken Hill,” she said.

“It was very peaceful but also an exciting opportunity. I’d like to go back there.”

As part of her course, Ms Rooth secured placements at Katherine in the Northern Territory for three weeks and spent a semester studying on Vancouver Island in Canada.

While the advantages of studying locally influenced her decision to choose Warrnambool, Ms Rooth appreciated the travel and study opportunities.

“I had never been overseas so going to Canada on my own was a real challenge,” she said.

“I could travel and study abroad and still earn credits for my course, which was fantastic.”

Ms Rooth said she was now looking to secure a local teaching job a bit closer to home.

Mr Roach’s daughter Kathie Rooth also graduated from the Warrnambool campus in 1979 with teaching qualifications, making Chloe’s graduation yesterday a third-generation link to the campus.

“I am proud of Chloe and proud to be there for her,” Mr Roach said.

“I was glad that she chose Deakin Warrnambool and pleased that it worked out so well for her.” He said he looked back at the merger with Deakin University in 1990 as a key decision in securing the future of the campus.

“The introduction of teaching education was also one of the most vital advances in Warrnambool and it wasn’t easy. Lots of people were fighting against it.”

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Ricky Smedts.WARRNAMBOOL Mountain Bike Club (WMTBC) will close its season with another two-hour enduro tonight before returning to the drawing board to work out its next chapter.

WMTBC committee member Jeff Mutsaers said tonight’s race would mark “the end of chapter one”, with the club’s permit to use Thunder Point expiring with daylight savings.

He said the club was keen to continue hosting races in Warrnambool, particularly after its competitive schedule had been embraced this season.

Mutsaers believes hosting local races is crucial when it comes to the growth of the club.

“It’s really all come to an end so we have to go back to the drawing board and try and get another year,” he said.

“We’re really hopeful that we can make that happen.

“We’ll be working with the council and DSE to come to some sort of arrangement.”

WMTBC is ending its season with an eventful couple of days, with 2010 world 24-hour solo champion Jessica Douglas visiting the club last night to run junior clinics.

This afternoon the Forrest rider will assist coaches with a mountain bike skills session, which is part of her training business.

“The nucleus of the club is that we exist for juniors and development,” Mutsaers said.

“In this sport, generally what happens if you make it, you have to leave town and you spend a lot of time on the road chasing competition.

“Generally when somebody gets to that level, they’re not interested in little local events.”

But not Douglas, who is willing to share her knowledge and passion with clubs and give youngsters an insight into what it takes to reach the elite level.

This afternoon’s coaching session will be followed by the season-ending two-hour enduro, which will also incorporate the Thunder Point Dirt Criterium Series, as the first lap will count towards competitors’ handicaps. WMTBC held an enduro race in January, which attracted about 50 riders.

While the dirt criterium series is focused on improvement as riders compete against themselves, the enduro is a more competitive event.

“It’s who can do the most laps in two hours,” Mutsaers said.

Ricky Smedts took out the enduro in January and will be one of the riders to beat tonight.

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THE south-west has been left out of the three-year rollout for high-speed fibre cable internet delivered in the first stage of the National Broadband Network (NBN).

The federal government’s eventual nationwide network will connect to 3.5 million homes in 1500 towns and suburbs over the next three years, but will not be fully complete until 2021.

NBN Co Ltd boss Mike Quigley said today’s launch of the three-year schedule was a “turning point” for the federal government project.

“We are moving out of doing the trials, doing all the planning, all the negotiations with Telstra deal, submissions with the ACCC,” Mr Quigley said.

NBN Co, the government-owned builder of the $35.9 billion network, is commissioned to deliver high-speed fibre cable broadband to 93 per cent of homes, schools and businesses by 2021.

When is the NBN coming to you?

But an infuriated Member for Wannon Dan Tehan has described the rationale for the three-year rollout as a “complete joke”.

“The problem is this is a city-centric federal government, which is not allocating broadband on a needs basis,” he said.

“It finds all the excuses in the world to just deliver to major capital cities because they can get the commercial gains they need for the $50 billion the NBN is costing to roll out.

“That is why you’ll see areas of NBN rollout occuring in major metropolitan centres where broadband needs are not equivalent to those in regional and rural areas.

“I don’t think this government has the competenancy levels to determine how the rest of the rollout will take place.

“One lives in hope it could be based on a needs basis but everything we’ve seen indicates they will continue to operate on an ad hoc basis on the whim of the NBN and the minister.”

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Bob Dylan around the time of his first album in 1962.IN 1962, the musical landscape was very different.

The Twist

As with every year, there are certain albums that helped shape the future of music more than others. Here are some of them.

Green Onions – Booker T & The MGs

WHILE the rock ‘n’ roll of fame inducted Booker T & The MGs in 1992, it’s a rare acknowledgement of the impact and importance of this oft-overlooked instrumental rhythm and blues combo. Beginning as a session band for Stax Records, the group backed Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett, Sam & Dave, The Staple Singers, Albert King and many more on hundreds of recordings. They influenced The Beatles and Creedence Clearwater Revival, were one of the first racially integrated bands to make it big in the south (keyboardist Booker T Jones and drummer Al Jackson were black, guitarist Steve Cropper and bassist Duck Dunn were white), and they helped shape soul music, R&B and the Memphis sound. Their recording landmark is the 1962 album

Here’s a pretty cookin’ live version of

Modern Sounds In Country & Western Music – Ray Charles

IN 1962, country and western music was primarily the domain of white musicians, while it was mostly black artists playing soul, blues and R&B. The US was still a segregated country and Martin Luther King Jr was yet to make his “I Have A Dream” speech. Such a political, racial and musical climate helps make Ray Charles first studio album of 1962 (he made a sequel later that year) one of the greatest crossover albums of all time and arguably one of the most important records of all time. Charles, who had played in a “hillbilly band” in his youth, had recently signed a new contract with ABC-Paramount Records that featured an annual advance, higher royalties, a studio space, ownership of his masters and – best of all – creative control. He exercised the latter to do the unthinkable (his label were initially against the idea) by reimagining honkytonk standards, country ballads, and Nashville twangers into swinging and stylish big band tunes. Charles’ soulful voice is backed by tasty horn arrangements, sweet strings and a “supper-club choir” (as it’s described in

Here’s that big hit, sounded like country has never sounded before:

Bob Dylan – Bob Dylan

THE Bob Dylan legend (at least on record) begins here. After a year of working his way up through the ranks of New York’s burgeoning folk scene, the 20-year-old secured a record deal, but instead of recording the songs he’d been playing in the coffee houses and bars of Greenwich Village, Dylan ditched most of his set in search of the ideal tracklisting. Only two of the songs on his self-titled debut are his own –

This version of

Howlin’ Wolf – Howlin’ Wolf

CHESTER “Howlin’ Wolf” Burnett was something of a rarity among black blues singers of his age. He didn’t succumb to the temptations that dogged many of his peers, he acquired a fair recording contract, and his career and popularity rarely waned over three decades. It was this album – the follow-up to his debut

Of course,

Live! At The Village Vanguard and Coltrane – John Coltrane

COLTRANE was one of the most important figures in jazz; he was also perhaps the only one to be canonised (he was made a saint by the African Orthodox Church). After doing his apprenticeship with Miles Davis and Thelonius Monk – he learnt from the best – Coltrane emerged in 1960 to form his own group. By 1962 the line-up had settled into what is known as Coltrane’s Classic Quartet and they released two albums –

And here’s 23 minutes of Coltrane live in Germany, including with his take on

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SAFETY fears for campers and their equipment have scuppered plans for an elite under 18 football match to be played at Port Fairy’s Gardens Oval on Easter Saturday.

The south-west’s TAC Cup sides North Ballarat Rebels and Geelong Falcons were scheduled to meet at Port Fairy but organisers have been forced to relocate the game to Warrnambool’s Reid Oval.

Rebels regional manager Phil Partington said they had no choice but to abandon the Gardens Oval fixture after issues were raised by Moyne Shire.

“There were a few safety concerns with campers around the ground, especially behind the goals,” Partington told The Standard.

“We had quite a few meetings with the Port Fairy Football Club and the council felt it was too much of a risk to have it on Easter Saturday with so many campers and caravans there if one was damaged or if a person got hit with a football.”

Partington said the Rebels, who annually hold a game in the south-west, would continue to look at Port Fairy as a possible host.

“We are keen to hold a game at Port Fairy. It might not happen to be Easter Saturday,” he said.

“Just on the promotion of the TAC Cup’s 21st birthday, we thought the crowd and population in the town of Port Fairy, a TAC Cup game would have been great.”

Moyne Shire recreation officer Gerard Auld said he was as disappointed as anyone the game could not go ahead.

“Around three quarters of the oval, campers are going to be camping up against the rail,” Auld said.

“It would be great for Port Fairy and great for the AFL to bring it here, but it would be the same if you were at home with your family on Easter Saturday or Easter Sunday having a meal and a football went straight through the shade sail and landed on the table, sending everything everywhere.

“I doubt you would give the football back to your neighbour.

“We’ve got people who have been booked in for years and we have no idea whether they even like football.”

Auld said liability would have fallen on the Port Fairy club but under its insurance it was only covered for one claim.

“It may not happen, but if it does, people will be looking to council for money,” he said.

“Our risk assessment people have said the risk is too great.”

Auld said the shire had looked at installing temporary netting behind the goals but it would cost $20,000 to do it properly.

“And that was only going to be temporary,” he said.

He said the shire was keen for such a match to be held at the venue in the future and it would look into installing permanent nets behind the goals.

Partington said the Rebels had been fortunate to be able to switch the game to Reid Oval, which initially hadn’t been available. But after East Warrnambool and Deakin University moved their opening game to this Sunday, it opened up Reid Oval for use on Easter Saturday.

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CORANGAMITE MP Darren Cheeseman says Labor needs to reconnect with the average voter after the party’s drubbing in the Queensland state election.

Newspoll this week revealed the Coalition leads Labor 57 to 43 per cent on a two-party preferred basis, enough to see Liberal and National MPs returned with a thumping majority.

The gap has blown out in recent weeks, from a two-party preferred margin of 53 to 47 per cent last month.

But Julia Gillard leads Tony Abbott as preferred prime minister after last month’s leadership ballot between the incumbent PM and her predecessor Kevin Rudd.

Mr Cheeseman told News Limited this week that the federal government needed to refocus on its traditional voting constituency in order to retain power.

“We have a massive amount of work to do. We are coming from a long way behind and I know there is a lot of anxiety in the caucus,” he said.

“We have to do a lot of work to reconnect with the group of people our party was established to represent, working people.”

Labor sources have confirmed that Mr Cheeseman has a reasonably safe footing as the endorsed Labor candidate for Corangamite.

Some figures within Labor branches were critical of Mr Cheeseman’s public support for former foreign minister Kevin Rudd in his bid to return to the prime ministership last month.

Senator Michael Ronaldson, who acts as the patron Coalition representative in the seat, said the relationship between the Prime Minister and Mr Cheeseman was frosty.

“Mr Cheeseman’s constituents now understand that he hates the Prime Minister and that he now believes the Labor Party no longer represents workers,” Senator Ronaldson said.

“But what they can’t understand is why he lied to them at the last election and said there would be no carbon tax imposed on the people of Corangamite.”

Corangamite has been a closely-fought electorate for the past decade, with veteran Liberal MP Stewart McArthur losing the seat to Mr Cheeseman at the 2007 election. The Labor MP won a second term by narrowly defeating Liberal candidate Sarah Henderson in 2010.

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