We have been in the capital of Victoria for the past two weeks to enjoy the Spring Racing Carnival. Most people know that Melbourne can endure 4 seasons in a day and we have certainly experienced that over the past two weeks.
The bucket list got shorter with the WS Cox Plate and the Victorian Derby run and won and us as part of the spring racing crowds. We also included another Melbourne Cup and a Crown Oaks Day to complete the visit to the carnival features. I have penciled in the Xmas meeting in Ceduna on December 6 as our next feature race meeting. Don’t worry, they only have two meetings a year and the for the locals it’s their Crown Oaks Day. Julie will be prepared this time around.
Again plenty of outlet shopping and a little buying, weekend visits to the markets, day trips down the coast, to Williamstown and the Maribyrnong River have kept us occupied between those race meetings. We are comfortable on buses, trams, trains and driving in Melbourne now. The highlight of our ‘touristy’ events was a visit to the Shrine of Remembrance on St Kilda Rd – if in Melbourne do yourself a favour and take the stroll from the city to the shrine. While your are at it you can add a visit to the Botanic Gardens and the Sidney Myer Music Bowl that are all in close walking proximity.
Add to that our keen interest in the Theatre – we took opportunities as they presented. This short sojourn saw us take in ‘Once The Musical’ (highly recommended) a show at the Melbourne Festival – ‘When The Mountain Changed it’s Clothing’ (different) and a performance with Mariah Carey (at Rod Laver Arena) we balance the sport and culture. We also found time to catch up on a couple of new movie releases.
I must give a plug for the Australia v England 4 Nation match at AAMI Park – went down to the wire and it was good to experience a rectangular stadium purpose built for these sports and of course your country playing.
I also found 2 days to join the Alanah and Madeline Foundation at a Cyber Conference held at the Regent In Melbourne. I was humbled to be invited to participate alongside Cybersafety Expert, Jeremy Blackman and Brent Hedley, eSmart Schools Program Coordinator, we were involved in an insightful panel discussion with staff and students from Corpus Christi College in Western Australia and Moonee Ponds West Primary School in Victoria. Key foci of this conference included strategies to:
- Effectively educate parents & children in regards to cybersafety
- Navigate social media & online platforms
- Develop robust policies that will drive culture change
- Gain clarification on legal rights & responsibilities.
As one has learnt from the joys of travelling – its meeting new people and sharing times with old friends that make the trip. This short stay in Melbourne has been highlighted with spending time with a life long mate Johnny Murphy and his lovely wife Jo. Races, food and cakes but important good times always celebrated and new horizons visioned. Johnny Rover and his mum Lilia were a delight to share the Italian Festival with in none other than Brunetti’s in Lygon Street Carlton. Rover was one of those legendary teachers that made my days seem worthwhile when we last worked together – I will miss the chats, the banter and the common sharing of knowledge but I look forward to the polenta and pizzocoli on the table. Brent and Jane Hedley from back in my Kolbe days were lovely ambassadors and invited us home for dinner. Armed with their lovey son Hal, the Hedley’s have made Victoria home. Back to Geelong next year for another stint, Brent and Jane are lovely people and we managed to catch them again to share some laughs on Derby Day. People make the great holiday memories.
It’s now time to begin the long, slow and enjoyable trip back to the west and the opportunities that will present to us in 2015. As I said ‘slow’ so it’s down to the Great Ocean Road tomorrow for some surf, sand and re-engagement with nature.