DoncasterLocal heroes

Local Heroes

By August 6, 2022September 28th, 2022No Comments

Local Heroes

We all know people who make valuable and substantial contributions to our community.  If you have a story you want to tell about somebody who you think should be recognised, please email us at But, don’t forget to ask them first – it is important that we respect the person’s desire for privacy.

William (Bill) Chandler, OAM

The Eastsider News team is deeply saddened by the death of our founder, Bill Chandler on the morning of Sunday 24 July 2022.

Without Bill, there would not have been an Eastsider News.

Please click here to read more. 

Glen Waverley nurse, Alecx Quillope, named among top in Australia 

Glen Waverley’s own Alecx Quillope was recently recognised in Australia’s leading nursing agency’s Inaugural Caring for You Core Values Awards.

Please click here to read more.

A giant in the table tennis world: Don Cheyne

Neville Young

The Eastern Suburbs and Churches Table Tennis Association acknowledges the achievement of Don Cheyne who has contributed much to table tennis in this area and offers their congratulations to him for his recent birthday.

Don Cheyne started playing Table Tennis at age 15. Last month Don celebrated his 90th birthday. Over the time that Don has been a member of the Eastern Suburbs and Churches Table Tennis Association (ESCTTA) he has been, a Committee Member, Secretary, President and Life Member.

Don has run the Monday night social and practice Table Tennis night for around 45 years. He has spent thousands of hours coaching and mentoring players of all standards over that time.  Don has been a volunteer with the ESCTTA for a remarkable 70 years. To celebrate these wonderful achievements the ESCTTA held a surprise party to thank Don for his extraordinary contribution the sport of Table Tennis.

If you are interested in playing Table Tennis, please visit our website for further information. We cater for all abilities, from State level to beginner. We hope to hear from you.

Neville Young President ESCTTA

Air Commodore Peter Newton AO (Retd) – Sharing with Love

 Longtime Blackburn resident, Peter Newton, instigated the establishment of Klibur Domin, a large health care centre outside Dili in East Timor following the brutal withdrawal of Indonesian troops. Klibur Domin (KD) means Sharing with Love in Tetum. KD was set up in 2000 after the then Commander of the Australian Peacekeeping Force, Major General Peter Cosgrove, told Peter that the Dili Hospital was in desperate need of assistance to cope with the huge number of injured, disabled and sick people needing treatment.

KD was set up under the auspices of Ryder-Cheshire Australia (RCA), a not-for-profit charitable organization which has homes in India, Timor-Leste and Australia dedicated to the relief of suffering. Peter Newton became involved with Ryder-Cheshire in 1996 after retiring from the RAAF. He was inspired by the life and work of Group Captain Lord Leonard Cheshire VC, OM, DSO**, DFC, the most decorated airman in World War II and CO of the famous 617 (Dambuster) Squadron and his wife Baroness Sue Ryder CMG, OBE, a member of British Special Operations Executive (Secret Service) in WWII. Between them they established over 400 homes in more than 50 countries.

RCA took over 18 damaged buildings on a five-hectare site in the Tibar District, 17 km west of Dili, previously housing elderly people. Volunteers were recruited and donated supplies sought from a sympathetic Australian public. A container load was shipped to KD in September 2000, soon followed by a Rotary team of nine volunteers who spent two weeks making the buildings habitable and restoring essential services. The first patients arrived from Dili Hospital in January 2001 and shortly after the 50 beds were fully occupied by sick and disabled patients.

Since September 2000, more than 400 Ryder-Cheshire volunteers have served at KD, some for weeks and months at a time, including other volunteers from Blackburn. Every year Australian Rotary sends up to three teams to KD for home maintenance and project works. Rotary Clubs in Victoria, South Australia and New South Wales have given generously for the purchase of building materials, support vehicles and GeneXpert TB testing equipment at KD.

In 2004 the management of KD was handed over to the Timorese with RCA continuing to support its facilities and services which are provided free of charge.

KD now has 85 patient beds, a staff of 71 locals and five mobile outreach teams, each with 4WD vehicles. KD is responsible for Covid and TB testing and has the only ward in Timor-Leste for treating Multi-drug Resistant TB patients. Apart from the Respite Center and Inpatient-Care for those in recovery, there is a big Community Based Rehabilitation Program to provide equipment, rehabilitation and support for people with disabilities. KD staff served nearly 1500 patients last year, either at KD itself or through outreach support.

RCA provides the funding for the everyday operations of KD, including staff, capital improvement works and home maintenance.

In the last 22 years RCA has had many generous supporters through donations, sponsorships and bequests. Father Ted Burns, for example, formerly an RAAF Chaplain, through his outstanding commitment and with strong parish support for KD, has raised more than $300,000. Initially, Father Ted introduced Peter Newton to Ryder-Cheshire’s inspirational work in India where it has a big center called Raphael near Dehradun. In Australia there are homes in Mt Gambier and Ivanhoe in Victoria.

Peter and Helen Newton and their daughter, Kim, have all stayed and worked at KD as volunteers for long periods and Peter has usually visited at least once a year – often accompanied by Father Ted Burns. Peter and another volunteer also went to the Rotary Donations in Kind (DIK) Store in Footscray on most Tuesdays for 12 years helping Rotarians load more than 250 containers for Dili.

Ryder-Cheshire is committed to its long-term support for Klibur Domin in Timor-Leste but costs are rising faster than revenues received.

“We need more donations, sponsors for specific people or projects, volunteers and bequests,” Peter says. “Volunteers can work in administration, healthcare, gardening or livestock care. Anyone interested in our work can visit our website at or contact Mike Moignard on 0419 403 256 and” Ryder-Cheshire in Australia is run 100% by volunteers.