Mildura Weekly : Friday June 12 2015 Vol 9 No 31
NEWS 15 FRIDAY, JUNE 12, 2015 MILDURAWEEKLY.COM.AU Fond memories of a church • From previous page Records show that early school lessons for 30 pupils, from Years One to Eight, were given in the old hall less than a year after it was built, with a proper school building com- pleted in 1923. A shelter shed followed seven years later. A more modern hall was built on the same site in 1956, and a monument to the church and the township was erected in 1981. Some well-known Mallee names are among the roll calls of the day - the Eggletons, Jes- sups, Finsh, Rundell, Perry and Bishop families, with the Ste- vens, Mitchell, Rowney, Keating and Richardsons to follow. A generation later, it was the turn of their sons and daughters. A hand-written time line lists students – and teachers – by name from 1917 through to 1953. The school had 26 teach- ers during those years. The old building was removed in 2003. Records show the first crops came off in 1911, described as “a good year.” There was a similar result in 1912, before “a poor year” in 1913. This was followed by a drought, and then three more “good” years, before another “fair” year, and then another drought year. The remaining diary entries up to 1927 were all “fair,” then came a good year. Between then and when re- cords stopped in 1953, there were four more droughts, in- cluding one at the “extreme” end of the scale, with the last eight of the time line years end- ing with four “fair” years, and then four labelled “good.” The Mallee has enjoyed a mix of similar seasons ever since. * Historical facts, photo- graphs courtesy Hopetoun Cou- rier. By ALAN ERSKINE GERMAN motion graphic artist Oliver Koch, 28, had done his homework on Australia before flying here in late February for the start of a planned two-year outback adventure. He had heard some good things about Australia, so what he discovered on backpacker news feeds and social media took him by surprise, with nu- merous reports of travellers be- ing ripped off, claims of sexu- ally harassment, workers being under-paid and/or being evicted from basic accommodation. And the worst cases seemed to be centred on Mildura, and one operator in particular. A lot of reports referred to someone called ‘The Don.’ After spending a month in Sunraysia, Ollie says he discov- ered that rogue operators were few and far between, that there is plenty of work for fair reward, that there are many options for accommodation, and that the majority of people are friendly and welcoming. An accomplished photogra- pher with his own website, Ollie has now acted online to reassure young international travellers that Mildura should definitely be included on their world trav- els. “I was shocked to read many, many reports from people who had bad experiences with ‘the Don,’ and others” Ollie said. “There were reports of backpack- ers being ripped off, kicked off the property without any mon- ey, and even sexual harassment. “As a result, Mildura has received a horrible reputation among backpackers, with a lot posting on social networks that they would never come here again, and they would make the same recommendation to their friends.” Ollie says his experience with Australians has been com- pletely different. At the start of his second trip (he travelled the East Coast a few years ago), Ol- lie was hosted by the owner of a Colignan property, with free board in return for photography lessons. They helped him find a van, with Ollie fitting it out like a mobile home and travelling to the Great Ocean Road, Adelaide and then across to the west, before returning to Adelaide for work. He has promised to spread the good word about Mildura to other young interna- tional travellers, as well as advis- ing them about who and what to avoid. Ollie said he didn’t just hear the backpacker horror stories on social media. “I was at Swan Hill, on my way here when I met an Irish backpacker who was about to start a job as a grape picker in Mildura,” Ollie said. “He knew all the stories about ‘The Don.’ That’s why he choose to stay in a proper working hostel that is known for treating its backpackers very well. I have kept in touch with him, and he tells me he spent a whole month there without any trouble, and earned good mon- ey for continuing his trip.” • Continued Page 16 Social media is rife with reports of backpacker horror stories, many centred on Mildura. But a seasoned world traveller says rogue operators shouldn’t deter people from visiting “this amazing place.” He urges people to watch for... Hostel ‘traps’ for the unwary backpacker • Australia is a favoured destination for the world’s young travellers. JGK15446-Ad-MildWeek-260x161-v1 *Pricing applicable to Mildura Region only. Every endeavour has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information provided, all images are for illustration purposes only and may depict fixtures, finishes and features either not supplied or are upgrade options by JG King Homes. These items include wall finishes, furniture, window furnishings, cladding, in built joinery and landscaping, such as planter boxes, retaining walls and fencing. For detailed home pricing regarding the Up Collection and your building location, please talk to a sales consultant. Geographical restrictions apply and travel surcharges may be applicable depending on building location. 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Looks great, is that a Colorbond roof?
Friday June 5 2015 Vol 9 No 30
Friday June 19 2015 Vol 9 No 32