There is going to be so much at this year’s show, which is our 80th. Don’t miss out. The latest news is that we will have two giant birds on loan from the Lake Bolac Eel festival. A magnificent emu and brolga. That’s in addition to the photo display from Stawell camera Club, Lynne Stone’s exquisite textile flowers, bush food demonstrations, dyeing demonstrations, children’s creations, and of course our local flowers. But we urgently need more volunteers. Can you spare a couple of hours on Thursday 27, Friday 28 for set up or Saturday 29, Sunday 30 to meet and greet?

Did you know that Halls Gap closest Paramedic is 20mins away??? This Sunday at the market the Halls Gap CERT will be there. We are currently on the lookout for new members, so if you would like any questions answered about volunteering come and say ‘hi’. We will also have our ‘pillow pal’ there if you want to practice your cpr skills. Look forward to seeing you on Sunday.

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We are pleased to announce that we are rebuilding this track soon. Eleven people attended a gathering last Saturday and another six had indicated their interest but inability to attend prior to Saturday. Bushwalking Victoria have expressed interest and they are able to publicise to a wide base.

We are still waiting for final approval under the Cultural Heritage Management Plan to come through, but I am confident that this will happen. Once it does, we resolved that I should go ahead and set a day for the first working bee, since we are now moving into the cooler part of the year (hopefully!!) We had discussion around weekends or weekdays for this purpose – perhaps we can try both.

Once again, a big thank you to everybody who has shown support for this project. It will take quite some time to complete and it will require a degree of dedication from participants, but the end result will be a great addition to the tracks available in our National Park.

Anybody who wants to be involved in this exciting project please contact me on 5356 4300 or 0427 879 831.

David Witham

Have you seen our beautiful new nest in our Botanic Gardens? It is so good, and it has been a great experience for many of us watching textile artist Gwen create it with much help from locals and visitors. Thanks must go to the locals who donated old Tshirts, grape vine prunings, other vegetation from their gardens. Lots
of us (including the school children) added material and bound it in with blanket stitch under Gwen’s watchful eye. It was officially opened on Wednesday March 21. Do go down and have your photo taken sitting in it. We expect it to last about three years.

The Halls Gap Visitor Information Centre has moved spaces but is still within the HUB building (near the kitchen/hall)
— this allows the service to be more flexible in its delivery and opens up access to the toilets and lockers for visitors.

Drop in anytime for a cuppa and check out the new displays. And, if you have a little bit of time to spare from time to time, why not volunteer to help out in the VIC? Training is provided and it’s really just about chatting to visitors and letting them know what us locals know about the area.

The Leukaemia Foundation’s ‘World’s Greatest Shave’ raises funds annually to assist in research of various blood cancers. Our local ’The Flashing Lights’ team comprising PARKS Vic and Pomonal identities are shaving it all off on Friday the 16th of March.

The ’Flashing Lights’ team members comprising of Dave Roberts, Kyle Hewitt and Graeme ’Shonky’ Scherger will bare all on Friday March the 16th at 4.00pm in front of Livefast Cafe in Halls Gap.

The Pomonal component Dave Handscombe, Alison Bainbridge and Peter Greenberger, will shed their locks in the outside courtyard at Barney’s Bar and
Bistro at 7.00pm.

Come along to either or both events and see what they are hiding underneath!

The six members are keen for sponsorship. You can sponsor them now by going online to ’The World’s Greatest Shave’. Click on ’Sponsor’ and then sponsor
a team ’The Flashing Lights’ or an individual or drop some money in the boxes around town.

Council staff will be in Halls Gap on Thursday January 18 from 2 till 5 for you to bring your ideas. You can read some of their thinking on the NGS website (you can follow the link from here), but it’s a bit tricky to find. Home / Your Council/ Documents Available for Public Inspection / Council Publications.

Dear Halls Gap CFA team, SES team, Max the Policeman, Stawell Ambulance and Bendigo Air Ambulance,

I am writing to thank everyone for their marvellous support and rescue operation for my husband Craig Whitehead at Fish Falls on 22/12/17.
It was such a relief to be in receipt of such a wonderful team of people at the scene of this traumatic accident. Being so isolated and in need of help was indeed alarming, and I cannot tell you how comforted we were to have such a skilful team of rescuers arrive to assist us.
We feel so grateful to live in Australia, and to have been fortunate to have dedicated people working around the clock to assist in such emergencies. We feel indebted to the volunteers with the CFA and the SES who interrupted their lives to save ours. THANK YOU SO MUCH!! A special thank you to Graeme with the SES whose 70th birthday was on that day. The Ambulance team were incredibly professional and life saving to our family- we are so grateful.
Anthea, Finlay and I truly  appreciated the care, conversation and escort provided by everyone following Craig’s airlift to the Royal Melbourne Hospital. We were pleased to gain mobile phone reception once back in Halls Gap. How lucky we have also been to learn that Craig is expected to make a full recovery following his head injury, and no other physical injury was diagnosed. Craig was discharged on Christmas Eve, and was able to enjoy his Christmas Day with family. WOW- how bloody lucky!!
With Craig cleared to return to work tomorrow, we continue to process the enormity of this recent event. Cannot help but feel humbled, lucky, grateful and proud to be Australian living in this country.
It is with great appreciation to everyone who assisted the Whitehead family on 22 December 2017, thank you so very much.
May you enjoy a safe, quiet and peaceful 2018.

Melissa Whitehead

At this year’s wildflower show we had 103 species on show. That’s up from 82 last year.  Every one of them is a Grampians native.

A couple of days before each show, volunteers go out picking flowers all over the region. We have a permit to do this and have to go to specific areas. Then other volunteers arrange the flowers into vases and group them according to the type of flower. It’s a lot of fun. Let Margo Sietsma know if you’d like to be involved.