Deep diving down south

IF YOU are looking to dive into Albany’s underwater world and see a bit of history, then get your scuba gear on and jump into two must-see dive sites.

Named after an old mainland communications cable, which ran across island to island and was cut and fell into the sea, The Cables dive site is a magical maze of bommies and coral walls.

Located on the northern side of Breaksea Island, under the lighthouse, the dive site offers deep swim-throughs between seaweed and soft coral-covered walls.

Keep a keen eye out for little nudibranchs and the popular blue devils.

Try and spot the old communications cable hidden amongst the seaweed, a piece of Albany’s history hidden beneath the waves.

For a deep dive into Albany’s history, visit the HMAS Perth in King George sound. Sunk in 2001, the 133m long ship boasts a variety of corals, fish and history.

It is an easy dive for beginners and an exciting challenge for experienced divers, with the shallowest point starting at five meters and deepest at 36 meters.

Swim through the bridge and swing the Captain’s chair, take a swim down hallways, see the intact gun and spot the two resident wobbegong sharks.

An interpretive dive trail can be followed to learn about the local marine life.

Be sure to plan these dive trips around good weather where the swell is low.

For full experiences of these dive sites, book a charter with a local dive store or get a group of divers and a skipper together to enjoy a good day of diving.


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Hip hip hooray

ALBANY’S Rainbow Coast Toy Library is celebrating its 30th birthday with a party and free family activities next weekend.

Families are invited to the library’s premises at 18 Chester Pass Road from 10am to 1pm on December 6.

There will be a range of fun free activities for children under five years as well as messy play, toys to ride, a toddler bouncy castle, face painting, singalongs, birthday cake, and coffee for parents.

Charlee Scott and Evelyn Hassell, pictured here, are excited for next weekend’s birthday party.

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Rachel jumps for joy

A MOUNT Barker girl has taken out the title of WA 2020 State Jumping Titles Champion for under 25s after travelling to Perth to place in the fierce competition.

Year 10 student Rachel Henderson and her mare Hylite Lodge won the 85cm Grand Prix amongst 20 other competitors.

Rachel’s passion for riding was nurtured from a young age, following in her mother’s footsteps who is also a competitive rider.

“I’ve loved horses ever since I could walk basically,” Rachel said.

“My mum’s always been very passionate about it, she’s also pursued equestrian, so I followed suit.”

Despite a fairly new partnership between Rachel and the young warmblood, assistance from the likes of Sonja Johnson through Rachel’s involvement in the Great Southern Eventing Squad allowed the bond to quickly develop over their 18 months together.

Rachel said she hoped to pursue equestrian into the future, with a goal of riding in the big ring next year.

“I love the team spirit around show jumping and the thrill you get from it,” she said.

“I’d just like to get up to the bigger heights.”

Rachel and Hylite Lodge can be seen competing throughout November at the Mount Barker Show, Albany Spring Fair and Yalambi Show Jumping Classic.

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Pasta princess bows out after pressure test

RUBY Hughes’ Junior MasterChef journey is over after the Denmark-born cooking whizz was eliminated in episode nine of the reality TV show on Sunday night.

The bubbly 11-year old found herself competing in the first pressure test of the season, set by pastry chef extraordinaire Darren Purchese.

The young contestants had to recreate Purchese’s famous edible snow globe dessert, Snow, in just 90 minutes.

While Ruby’s sugar dome was crystal clear and the best of the day, there was not enough gelatine in her red glaze, making it so thin it soaked into her cake. She was sent home along with popular contestant Ben.

After wowing audiences with her pasta-making prowess, judges labelled the Denmark product a “powerhouse”.

“I can’t wait to see what will happen with you in the next few years because you are incredible,” Judge Melissa Leong said on Ruby’s departure.

Speaking to the Weekender, the Year 6 student from Denmark Primary School said it was an emotional goodbye after making some close connections on the show.

“I was sad to go home, but I was there for a while anyway,” she said.

“It was such an amazing experience.”

The pasta princess was chosen from more than 2000 applicants from around Australia and had to travel over east to take part in filming.

Apart from continuing to cook up a storm at home, Ruby said she plans to one day open up her own business selling pastries and baked goodies.

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‘Good food, good fun’

BORNHOLM’S Good Food Shed is reopening for the new season in two weeks.

November 22 is the date for diaries when the shed swings open its doors to invite people along from 9am to 1pm on Sundays.

Chairman Michael Romeyn said the new committee already had good momentum leading up to the new season and were excited to trade with the public again.

“The philosophy we’ve come up with is, ‘good food, good people, good fun’,” he said.

“The idea is to have a hub here, where people can share a coffee or share produce and catch up; it’s a great opportunity for people to meet the suppliers of their produce and vice versa.”

Mr Romeyn said the Shed would offer everything from fresh fruit and vegetables to alpaca knitwear, flowers, fish, seedlings and a tool sharpening service.

The Good Food Shed is located on the corner of Lower Denmark Road and Shepherd’s Lagoon Road.

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Wilson’s awarded as fan favourites

AN ALBANY beer will now be found throughout the entire state after winning the BWS Local Luvva competition, allowing the young company to spread their reach across WA.

Wilson Brewing Company was founded only three years ago by Matty and Jessica Wilson after trading in the FIFO life to follow their dreams of creating unique and well-loved beverages.

The local beermakers took out 43 per cent of all votes for the WA Beer and Cider category.

National Sales and Marketing Manager Luke Wilson said taking out the title of Fan Favourite in the Beer and Cider category for WA meant that all the hard yards made in their first few years weren’t going unnoticed.

“It was pretty awesome for us because we’ve been trying for ages to get into more BWS stores to a point where they’ll distribute for us instead of us doing it, so this is something we’ve been working towards for quite a while now,” he said.

“It’s all been small gains up until now, but through that we’ve built the support base and gave them all the opportunity to shout out for us.

“It said that the winner would get into up to 100 stores, so in the worst case we’re going to get another 40 odd stores which is nearly what we’ve done in two years’ time and they’re just going to snap their fingers and have it done, so it’ll be awesome.”

Marketing Coordinator Liz Northern said winning the competition will allow the team to focus their energy on their next goal: seeing their products interstate.

“At the moment we have to deliver our beer to every venue we have ourselves, so getting into that distribution means we send bulk orders to their warehouse and they distribute it to the stores which will save us a lot of time and money,” she said.

Mr Wilson said he was grateful for the support from customers.

“There are some big breweries out there, so for us to have gotten 43 per cent of votes means our supporter base is so loyal and so vocal about us,” he said.

“I just want to give a big thanks to everyone who took the time and effort to vote for us, it’s unreal.”

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War nurses remembered

THE sacrifices and efforts of Australian nurses during war and peacetime will be remembered at a special ceremony this weekend in Albany.

The Nurses Memorial Service will take place this Sunday, October 25 from 2pm at the RSL Nurses Memorial Garden on Proudlove Parade.

This year is the 83rd year the ceremony has been held in Albany and marks 45 years since the end of the Vietnam War.

Nurses Remembrance Association of Albany Secretary Heather Malacari said the Vietnam War would have particular emphasis in this year’s service.

“A lot of the nurses weren’t allowed to talk about their experiences from this time, so here is the chance for those stories to be told,” she said.

“Our keynote speaker, Sue Lefroy, will be talking about the nurses who were in South Vietnam.”

Ms Malacari said the nurse memorial service recognised all nurses from all time periods, including those working during the current COVID-19 pandemic.

“With the challenges we’ve had this year, especially for our nurses on the frontline, it would be so lovely for our present-day nurses to be recognised,” she said.

RSL Special Functions Chair Michael Tugwell will give the opening address, followed by a guard mount of police rangers, Guides and Scouts.

After the Australian and New Zealand national anthems, Museum of the Great Southern Manager Catherine Salmaggi will give the welcome address.

Reverend Helen Barnard will say the prayer, read from the Bible and give the Benediction, and Julie Bright from the Nurses Remembrance Association of Albany will read the Ode.

The Year 10 Girls Choir from Great Southern Grammar will perform I’ll Never Find Another You, and join with attendees to sing Amazing Grace and How Great Thou Art.

The City of Albany Band will play the Last Post and Rouse.

Ms Malacari will read the poem At Your Side He Will Remain, written by Becky Coleman.

Following the proceedings, attendees are welcome to an afternoon tea at the RSL clubrooms under the Stirling Club, on Stirling Terrace.

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Summer School brightens day

ALBANY Summer School organisers are encouraging residents to ‘have an adventure’ and sign up for next year’s program of more than 50 classes.

President Annie Sanders said some of last year’s favourites, including macrame and poetry writing, were back again for the January 4-15 program as well as some brand new ones.

This includes a Titanic-themed cooking class, a managing back and neck pain class, guitar lessons, a wildlife welfare class, and sessions around botanical printing, watercolours, African drumming, natural fibre basketry, writing books and line dancing.

Ms Sanders said there was something for everyone.

“It’s a great way to try something for a short term. You’re not stuck with it for a year or six months. It’s a couple of classes and if you don’t like it, you can try something else,” she said.

“I tried botanical watercolours one year which is so not me, and I loved it.

“Sometimes it’s just nice to try.”

Ms Sanders has seen friendships formed at summer school blossom over the years and encouraged people to sign up and expand their horizons too.

“It’s mainly for adults, some classes are for teenagers 14 and older, and it’s a great way to meet new people and learn new skills,” she said.

“We have lots of options and people can do it on their own or in a group…we want people to have a little adventure.”

Enrolments are open now and can be completed online at

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Exhibition goes alfresco

SIX Albany artists will display their interpretations of the Great Southern’s vast and varied landscapes in a two-week exhibition.

Zoe Butler, Jennifer Dul, Margaret Dowdell, Ros Jenke, Jennifer Hills and Julie Fletcher from Albany Outdoor Painters will exhibit at Albany’s Historic Whaling Station until October 11.

The group were drawn together through their love of outdoor painting and sketching, meeting weekly at different locations for inspiration.

Fletcher said the artists delight in discovering the natural beauty of the area and are always on the lookout for interesting and exciting places, historic buildings and undiscovered locations.

“All artists have exhibited a range of their extensive and varied works in Albany and throughout WA, are experienced and accomplished artists, and some have taught in their individual specialties,” she said.

The exhibited works will vary between watercolours, oil paintings, acrylic work and pastel creations.

The Albany Outdoor Painters Exhibition and Art Sale is open daily from 9am to 5pm during its exhibition time.

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Fire-wise workshop connects

MORE than 30 residents attended a fire-wise gardening demonstration in the Denmark CBD, finishing off the Shire’s Plane Tree Precinct development and learning how to make their own gardens more fire resilient.

Chris Ferreira and his expert team from the Forever Project narrated the installation of a sustainable, fire-wise garden from the ground up, providing insight into the reasons and science behind the design.

The garden is one of the final milestones of the Shire’s Plane Tree Precinct development, a meeting place designed to revitalise and rejuvenate the town centre.

The hands-on workshop was the last in a series funded by the Natural Disaster Resilience Program that supports communities to raise their awareness and resilience around bushfire risk.

Shire Bushfire Risk Planning Coordinator Melanie Haymont said understanding and implementing the principles of fire-wise garden and property design can have a flow-on effect that benefits Denmark as a whole.

“By people managing bushfire risk on their individual properties they can have a huge impact on their whole neighbourhood’s bushfire risk,” she said.

“If everyone managed the vegetation on their properties we would be in a great position to manage risk across the entire shire.

“If people know to evacuate early and bushfire volunteers can be assured properties can be defendable, this would save a lot of time and resources during a fire event.”

The Shire’s first workshops under the funding focused on the Bushfire Ready program.

This is a community-driven bushfire preparedness program helping neighbours become more connected and resilient to the impacts of bushfire.

Bushfire Ready sees community members host street meets discussing bushfire preparation.

Through these events it was evident there was a desire for knowledge on fire-wise gardening principles.

Ms Haymont said the demonstration showed people they did not have to uproot their entire garden to make it firewise.

“People were concerned that they had to decimate their gardens and compromise biodiversity and amenity to be more fire-wise,” she said.

“This is not the case and we really want people to understand they can still have lovely gardens and be fire-wise following a few simple principles.”

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