Welcome to Eastsider News

Your free digital local newspaper 

Eastsider News reports to communities in the eastern part of Melbourne including the Cities of Boroondara, Whitehorse and adjoining areas from Kew to Croydon

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Edition 24, July 2024


Who is Eastsider News?

 We at Eastsider News aim to tell the interesting and important stories of your neighbourhoods, and to keep residents informed about the events, activities and important issues happening in your area. 

We want to share information, celebrate talent and achievements, stimulate discussion and report on the many things that affect your everyday life. 

Let us know your thoughts or submit a contribution by emailing us at eastsidernews1@gmail.com.  We will always acknowledge that we have received your contribution.  If you don’t receive an acknowledgment within two to three days, please contact us.

It is essential to us that the material we publish is accurate, verifiable and respects copyright.  Please include all necessary attributions and credits in your contribution. We will not publish material that can be seen as defamatory to an individual or an organisation.  Before you submit any material, please read our Editorial Values here.

Want to receive alerts and keep up to date with the latest edition of Eastsider News?

Subscribe to Eastsider News here

You are invited to subscribe at no cost.  The purpose of a subscription is so that we can send you an alert that a new edition has been published or to remind you that contributions are due for the next edition. The information you give us will be used  for no other purpose.

Our Web Host, Web Genius

An extremely important element in the Eastsider News project is our web host, Web Genius.  The designer of our website, Robert Dark created something for us that has been easy to use and capable of great flexibility.   Thank you, Robert for the support you have given us since we first began back in mid 2020.  And thank you for your responsiveness and capacity to handle all sorts of questions with complete equanimity and good humour.  You have been an enormous support to us in this journey .


Photographic Competition 2024

The Eastsider News team is delighted that we can team up with our good friends, Doncaster Camera Club to run a Photographic Competition for our readers in the Cities of Boroondara, Manningham, Whitehorse and adjoining areas.  Since we started Eastsider News, we have been featuring the photographs of the members of the club.  It’s now your turn to show us your skills as a photographer and win prizes.  For more details and how you can enter, go here.

A sneak preview of things coming up in our next edition

Our wonderful contributors send us lots of articles that are topical and newsworthy for inclusion in the regular 2-monthly edition of Eastsider News.  To give you early access to some of the best of these articles, we have set up a new post called Latest Contributions.

Julia Blunden has questioned why the proposed SRL station near Deakin University will be called Burwood when there is already a Burwood station on the Alamein line. To read her  contribution and others we have recently received, click here.  Go there, also to read about the  value of volunteers to our community as demonstrated by Balwyn Evergreen Centre.

Send us your contributions and comments

Eastsider News is made up mainly of content supplied by the people who live, work or play in our local region.  Without those contributions, we would not exist.  We continue to be delighted by the quality, diversity and depth of the material our local friends and supporters send us for each edition. You can read our writing guidelines on the dropdown menu under the Home Page tab. If you’re not in the mood for writing a longer article, maybe you could write a Letter to the Editor?  No more than 250 words and please, be polite, positive and helpful.  The editorial team is made up of a small group of volunteers and we are delighted by the supportive comments we receive.  Send your contributions to eastsidernews1@gmail.com. It is our goal to publish content that reflects the views of the local community in an unbiased and non-political manner. We do not endorse any particular political party, candidate or agenda. Contributors are asked to take note of our editorial values available here.

Please note:  views expressed in Eastsider News by individual writers do not necessarily reflect the views of the Editors, Independent Community News Group Incorporated, or any other organisation.

Advertising with Eastsider News

We encourage local businesses and organisations to advertise with us.  Check out our rates here.  We’re sure you’ll agree they are very reasonable. We also encourage our readers and supporters to check out the businesses and organisations that advertise with us.  They are an essential part of our local economy and contribute to the growth and prosperity of our region.

What a marvellously creative bunch are our  contributors!

We at Eastsider News are regularly delighted by the beautifully creative material that our contributors send to us. Poems, essays, photographs and all sorts of well crafted, expressive material.  This material is published in our digital newspaper and we have also created several pages on our website to let you experience this content.

If you enjoy poetry, we invite you to check out our Local Poets post here.   Our latest contribution there is a poem by Carolyn Ingvarson about the perils of ageing.  Also there is lovely poem by Evie, our youngest contributor so far.  And if you want a giggle, you can’t go past Barry Horn’s pandemic poems.

Please donate to help Eastsider News grow

Go to our Chuffed account here Prefer to donate directly?  Then click here to find our bank account details.We thank you for whatever you can give. It will help us look at new ways to increase our coverage of the things that matter to you.  Note: donations are NOT tax deductible

We are deeply grateful for all those many generous donors who support us by regular donations or who have donated through our Chuffed account or directly.  It is your kindness and generosity that ensures we can continue to pay our bills and explore new projects.

We acknowledge with much gratitude the recent donation by Rotary Forest Hills.  Thank you to the club and best wishes to all following your absorption into other local Rotary clubs.

Can you help?

The Eastsider News team is always looking for people to join its team.  We can’t pay you but we can offer you lots of interesting experiences, and loads of opportunities to use your particular skills.  If you are interested in volunteering with us, please contact us at eastsidernews1@gmail.com.

Support our local community groups

We continue to be surprised by the number of community groups that exist in our catchment area. we are very fortunate that so many people actively and voluntarily participate in enriching our community in so many different ways. There are the many service and support groups who  provide such a range of high quality services to support many in our community who need a bit of help when life gets  difficult.  It is important to remember that these groups rely on the generosity of their community to provide these services. Our region has many vibrant sporting clubs that contribute much to our local communities.  Let us help publicise what is happening with your local club.


Volunteering can be both a meaningful and enjoyable experience. It is  great way to give back to your community and also to yourself.   By volunteering, you can develop and share your skills, experience a sense of achievement and purpose, build your links with your community, and make new contacts and friends.

There are many organisations within our region that play a vital role in supporting fellow members of their community.  To be able to do their work, they rely on people volunteering their time and skills.  Go to our Volunteering page here to find the many ways your skills, talents, energy and enthusiasm can be be used to help others.

Our Community Links page provides information and links for you to investigate some of these groups.  They cover:

Celebrating our neighbourhoods

Eastsider News covers many strong and interesting neighbourhoods in the eastern areas of Melbourne with which people have strong connections over time.  We want to celebrate these neighbourhoods and to help people get to know them better.  For articles on Whitehorse heritage and the Faces of Greythorn, click here.

Love your leafy suburb?

The eastern suburbs of Melbourne have long been known for the pleasurable amenity of tree lined streets and the prevalence of magnificent, mature trees on private land and in neighbourhood parks.  Trees bring many virtues to a local area, the most notable in recent times is their contribution to ameliorating the impact of climate change.

The existence of canopy trees (trees on private land that contribute to biodiversity, shade and privacy) has come under increasing threat in recent years.  Most municipalities have policies and local laws in place to protect local tree cover and to increase the planting of trees.  And yet, the destruction of these valuable community assets continues to rise.

The number of articles Eastsider News receives from its contributors indicates the importance that our readership places on the need to protect canopy trees on private land. Please go here to read some of the more recent articles we have published.

Save the last greenfield site in Box Hill for parkland

The Box Hill Brickworks site is a former quarry and landfill off Elgar Road only a couple of streets from Box Hill Central. It is the last untouched greenfield expanse in the heart of Box Hill.

The Suburban Rail Loop Authority now has control over the future planning of Box Hill and has earmarked the Brickworks site for a major housing development and possible road extension. The Suburban Rail Loop project will also result in the loss of open space and canopy trees in Box Hill.

Environmental audits have deemed the site suitable for recreational open space. The site holds unlimited potential for passive recreation and as an urban treed landscape.

The group seeking to preserve the Box Hill Brickworks site as parklands invites you to check out their petition requesting the government and Whitehorse Council to work together to secure the site for parkland. Click on the QR code  to access the petition.

Further information can be obtained on the Facebook page ‘Box Hill Brickworks Parkland’ and in the petition https://www.change.org/p/save-the-last-greenfield-site-in-box-hill-for-parkland.

Whitehorse Heritage

One of our contributors, Hasan Hassan has established a very interesting website called Whitehorse Heritage.  Hasan’s website is a wonderful source of information on all things to do with the history and heritage matters in the City of Whitehorse.  It is the ideal place to start if you want to know how the area has changed over time and gives important leads on what to do if you have concerns about threats to this heritage.

To read Hasan’s latest contribution about the Koonung Heights Primary School Terracotta Pavers Garden, click here.

Walking Box Hill

Box Hill Historical Society Think you know Box Hill? Here’s a way to increase your knowledge. Thanks to a grant from the SRLA’s Community Projects Fund, the Box Hill Historical Society has devised three walking tour apps.  which can be enjoyed, either from the comfort of your lounge room, or by venturing along the routes detailed. Don’t forget to look at the many images available on the app during the walks. The three walking tours focus on the social and cultural life of the area from its beginnings.  To access the app, click here.

Save Boroondara’s Bluestone Heritage

Please help save Boroondara’s Bluestone heritage by signing an online petition at  Sign the Petition

The petition asks Boroondara Councillors to take a conservation approach to the reconstruction and repair of Boroondara’s historic bluestone kerb and channels, so that any works are carried out in a way that reflects as closely as possible their original appearance as first constructed in the period from the mid – nineteenth Century to the late 1930s.

The petition also asks the Boroondara Councillors to provide protection for our historic original bluestone kerb and channels, by undertaking a bluestone heritage study, conducted by an expert heritage consultant, to identify, document and apply a heritage overlay to Boroondara’s bluestone heritage.

George Demetrios, Convenor Save Boroondara’s Bluestone Heritage Campaign

Two petitions, with a combined total of over 500 signatures, were submitted on behalf of the residents group, Save Boroondara’s Bluestone Heritage, to be tabled, at the Boroondara Council meeting, that will take place on Monday, June 24, 2024. 
The two community petitions submitted focus on concerns, raised by residents, regarding the preservation of Boroondara’s bluestone heritage.

Surrey Hill Reminiscences

One of our correspondents, Gill Bell has written several interesting articles about life in Surrey Hills, a pleasant and community minded suburb in our region.  Please go here to read her meditations on life as a child, changing times and her story of Hector.

Art Students at Box Hill High School re-imagine Australia’s most famous art exhibition.

Did you know that Box Hill is the birth place of Australian Impressionism? It all started in 1886 when Tom Roberts and Frederick McCubbin journeyed from their Flinders Street studios and caught the train to the last stop on the train line. They set up camp every weekend for 2 years painting the bush around Gardiner’s Creek. It was their friend Louie Abrahams who gave them dozens of 9×5″ cigar box lids and they used them to paint the first ever Australian Impressionist paintings exhibited at Buxton Rooms in 1889. Year 10 students from Box Hill High have visited the local artist trail (a historical walk orchestrated by the City of Whitehorse) to paint the suburban sprawl that has since replaced the rugged bush lands of times gone by.

Artworks can be viewed online at the Box Hill High School Art Instagram account. To read more, go here. A brochure on the artists’ trail is available here.  For more about the artists’ camp, go here.

Science is everybody’s business

Are you someone who is curious about the world around you, stands in wonder or bemusement watching and listening to what is happening in nature? Then you have the makings of a scientist, a person who is looking to discover how this beautiful world works. Over  time Eastsider News has published articles on scientific matters.  We have brought together these articles  as a post on our Eastsider Extra blog here.

Local Heroes

We have set up the Local Heroes page to tell the stories of people who have contributed to our communities.  We would love to tell more of these stories.  If you know of someone who should be acknowledged, please send us their story.  But, please make sure firstly that they have given you their permission to do so.

Your opportunity to have your say about what is happening in your local government area

Local government is an important layer of Australia’s democracy.  We encourage you to participate in the work of your local council by responding to their calls for submissions on matters they have under consideration.  Listed here are links to the engagement sites for Whitehorse, Boroondara, Manningham and Maroondah.  Other ways to participate include attending regular council meetings and making contact with your local councillor.  Details are readily available on the website for each council.

The Voice to Parliament

It is with deep sadness that we accept the result of the Voice Referendum.   We thank the people who wrote articles on this issue for publication in Eastsider News.   They were well argued and heartfelt calls for Australia to accept the generous and gracious offer given by Indigenous people in the Uluru Statement of the Heart.

  Before the nation moves on to more everyday matters, we ask that all Australians take the time to think about what has happened and the lessons to be learnt from this exercise.  In particular, why does this outcome seem so out of tune with the much lauded ‘Australian values’ of kindness, decency, generosity, open heartedness, courage  and equality of opportunity?  The outcome suggests that this may be simply a myth we tell ourselves to be reassured we are bonza blokes and sheilas. We have collected together the articles we published in Eastsider News on the Voice to Parliament as a post in our Eastsider Extra blog here.

Thank you

We have a number of very generous regular donors who are absolutely essential to our survival.  Also essential are our regular advertisers. Thank you to these beautiful people without whom we would not  exist. Go to our donation page here if you want to help us in this way.  To find out about advertising with us, go here. We are always looking for people to help us produce the newspaper or to contribute content.  Please contact us by email at eastsidernews1@gmail.com

Acknowledgement of Country

Independent Community News Group Inc acknowledges the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung people of the Kulin Nation, Traditional Owners and Custodians of the lands and waters of the Eastsider News focus area, and pays respect to their Elders past, present and emerging. To learn more about the rich culture and traditions of the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung people, we encourage you to explore their website here.


Eastsider News is a means by which people in Whitehorse, Boroondara and adjacent areas can share information, opinions and experiences. A spread of interests and views that reflects the diversity of people in the area is encouraged, but views expressed in Eastsider News by individual writers do not necessarily reflect the views of the Editors, Independent Community News Group Incorporated, or any other organisation. Copyright © 2024. Copyright rests equally with the named authors and Independent Community News Group Incorporated. All rights are reserved but, consistent with the community spirit of the venture, a Commons approach to reproducing material is taken on the understanding that it is accompanied by an attribution which refers to both Eastsider News and the author, and a copy of the reproduction is sent to eastsidernews1@gmail.com. Responsibility for material related to elections is taken by named authors and Independent Community News Group Incorporated. We accept advertising in good faith, but readers need to apply caveat emptor.