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Newsletter No. 25 - Summer 2019

Welcome to our summer community newsletter.


  • Sat 26 January 2020 - Australia Day breakfast
  • Sat 21 March 2020 - Junortoun Neighbourhood Garage Sale
  • Sun 29 March 2020 - Clean Up Junortoun morning

A word from the chair

This year I was appointed Chair of the Junortoun Community Action Group having been a member since JCAG began in 2012. I have lived in Junortoun for 26 years and I have seen a lot of change in that time. I take over from Bob Jamieson who has left the group in a very sound position. Bob unfortunately resigned because of ill health and we wish him all the best and thank him for his time as Chair. Thank goodness Kevin de Vries, our Secretary/Treasurer stayed on to help keep us on the straight and narrow.

I would like to welcome all new Junortoun residents and ask that they consider getting involved in either a project or one of the JCAG interest Groups (Gardening, Walking or Book Club). We would love to have extra help and your input!

As you read this newsletter please ask anyone that you meet if they are connected to JCAG via Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, and whether they subscribe to our e-newsletter. And if you would like to get more involved in our community you can volunteer at an event or join a sub-group - email to learn more.

As I write there has just been a second accident in the last two weeks at the intersection of Somerset Park Road and McIvor Highway – thankfully no deaths have been reported but the trauma for those that have been involved is the hidden cost.

In the past JCAG lobbied successfully for a reduction in the speed limit from 100km/h to 80km/h – Atlas Road traffic lights to Cashens Road which was a community view. JCAG wants to represent the community majority view and at this stage is asking for your input.

In 2020 we will hold an information and discussion night for all residents to attend where we will invite Police, Local Government and VicRoads to come and talk to us. Hopefully we can provide some good discussion, feedback and maybe even action on safety and road issues.

Many Junortoun residents contributed to the McIvor Highway community consultation earlier this year but it is time to get all the responsible agencies to come and give us an update and discuss our issues in regard to safety and issues with our roads. As a Junortoun resident put it, “The real issue is the inability of McIvor Hwy to cope with increased traffic. There needs to be investment for four (4) lanes, dedicated turning lanes at major intersections, in addition to the road widening, allowing bike lanes.

Junortoun now has a more frequent public transport connection thanks to the hard work of our committee. There is a word of warning that if it is not used then it will be taken away. Please use it whenever you can.

Elsewhere in this newsletter there is a list of future community events and activities– please support them especially the Australia Day Ceremony that is held with our valued Community Partners, the Junortoun CFA, at the fire station. Sunday 26 January 2020 from 8:00am.

Please have a safe and enjoyable Christmas and I look forward to your input and involvement in 2020.

Merry Christmas

Colin Smith
Chair – Junortoun Community Action Group (JCAG)

A slight change for our newsletter

You may notice some design changes to our newsletter this month as we have changed mail sending providers from Mailchimp to MailerLite.

Hopefully this email will reach your inboxes in just the same way that our previous newsletters have done, but remember we also post our newsletters on social media and publish them on our website.

As we transition to our new mail service provider we have a new web form to subscribe to the newsletter, if you wish to subscribe please email:

Kevin (JCAG Secretary)

Upcoming events in Junortoun

We were dreadfully disappointed to have to cancel our Welcome to Summer BBQ at the start of December. Our team put a lot of effort into organising and promoting this annual picnic and it was a shame that the weather was so cold and rainy.

We hope to see you on Australia Day and we look forward to your participation in our neighbourhood garage sale.

Sunday 26 January - 8:00am
Australia Day community breakfast, flag raising and community awards

Join with local residents, share breakfast and participate in a community-led flag-raising ceremony.
Date: Sunday 26 January 2020.
Time: 8am-10am.
Venue: Junortoun CFA Station, Popes Road

Note: This year will be a special occasion and we will have no invited guest speaker. Instead, the Junortoun Community Action Group will be presenting our inaugural Distinguished Service Awards for service to JCAG and to the Junortoun Community.

  • Free breakfast provided.
  • Family friendly event.

More information on JCAG website

Saturday 21 March 2020
Junortoun Neighbourhood Garage Sale

Announcing the
Saturday 21 March 2020 - 8:00am to 2:00pm.

How does it work?

  • Sellers plan the items they will offer for sale from their home “garage”.
  • Sellers register their sale by email ( or phone (0434 235 504) by 14 March 2020 to have their Garage Sale listed on the JUNORTOUN NEIGHBOURHOOD GARAGE SALE MAP.
  • Junortoun Community Action Group (JCAG) prints and sells maps on the day listing the addresses and locations of Garage Sales around Junortoun. JCAG will also promote the event across the Bendigo region and through media outlets.
  • Buyers purchase a map of Garage Sales in Junortoun (for $2) and can enjoy a barbecue breakfast at one of two locations before heading off to “grab a bargain”.
  • Breakfast locations:
    • Manning Reserve Junortoun (Cnr McIvor Rd and Atlas Rd)
    • McIvor Forest Estate Play Space (Inverness Drive, Junortoun)
Register your sale today
Sunday 29 March 2020
Clean-Up Junortoun Day

JCAG is calling on the community to get behind our "Clean Up Junortoun Day" on Sunday 29 March next year from 9am to 12 noon.
The base for our activities will be Manning Reserve, but if you have a local area where you think a clean up is needed please let us know by email.
Note, this date is a month later than Clean Up Australia Day (1 March 2020). We choose this later date to reduce the risk of extreme heat and the likelihood of encountering snakes.

Christmas ceremonies at Bendigo Baptist Church

This Christmas the Bendigo Baptist Church warmly invites you to one of their ceremonies.

CHRISTMAS EVE - Tuesday 24th December: 6:00pm
Bendigo Baptist Church, Junortoun

CHRISTMAS DAY - Wednesday 25th December: 9:00am
Bendigo Baptist Church, Junortoun

Junortoun Interest Groups

Three new community interest groups (Garden, Book and Walking Club) are up and running in Junortoun and they are looking for new members to join in their activities.

First Tuesday of the month
Garden Club

Garden Club meets on the first Tuesday of the month.
Various venues.
Contact person: Denise Johns.

The Junortoun Garden Club has been up and running for several months now with members really enjoying the outings as well as each others’ company. Places we have visited so far (some with guided tours) are: PepperGreen Farm, White Hills Botanical Gardens, The Conservatory Gardens, Bendigo’s Beautiful Tulip Time, The Castlemaine Botanical Gardens and Garden For The Future at White Hills.

It has been a pleasure to explore Junortoun members’ own diverse gardens, and to exchange garden tips and share cuttings.

Next year we hope to expand our activities to include such things as a pruning demonstration, and learning more on how to cope with Junortoun’s gardening challenges!


Request information about Garden Club
Every Thursday at 9:00am
Walking group

Walking Club meets every Thursday at 9:00am.
Various meeting points.
Contact person: Glenys Rahill.

Walkers have enjoyed a variety of walks on some rather chilly or warm mornings. We frequently walk along the O'Keefe Rail Trail usually beginning at Wilkie Road, and walking towards, Bennetts Road, or Pratts Park, Road.
Other places we walk include McIvor Forest Park, the Walk/Cycle track to Strathfieldsaye. Pope Track, and Kennington Reservior.
The most challenging walk was along O'Keefe trail to Mayfair Park, where a coffee stop was most welcome before the trek back - a distance of 12km.
If you are interested in walking, meeting other Junortoun Residents, enjoy a coffee, join the group on Thursday mornings at 9am.

Request information about the walking group
Last Tuesday of the month at 6:00pm
Book Club

Book Club meets on the last Tuesday of the month at 6pm
at the Farmers Arms Hotel.
Contact person: Diana Devlin.

Junortoun Bookclub has met each month at The Farmer’s Arms Hotel, Junortoun, to discuss our chosen books. We have all thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity and will continue in 2020.
Our discussions have been rigorous, thoughtful, educational and funny. We enjoy dinner and a glass of wine together as we share our thoughts and ideas. This year we have had a variety of chosen texts reflecting a variety of genres. Our club has utilised the wonderful services provided by Goldfields Regional Library.
As a group we also like to share and recommend other books we have read.

Are you looking for some holiday reading?

Some of the titles we have read together this year which we would highly recommend include:
The Good Women of China by Xinran [tells the true stories of the sufferings of women in Chinese society in years gone by]
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy [a realist novel-a tragic love story in the context of 19th century Russia]
Oranges and Sunshine by Margaret Humphries [the true investigation, by the author, of the deportation of children from British children’s homes to distant parts of the Empire, and their subsequent treatment, adoptions, reconciliations and revelations in their struggles for the truth]
The Children Act by Ian McEwen [the story of a High Court judge who makes a very difficult decision about medical treatment on religious grounds amid her own tumultuous feelings of regret, sorrow and domestic strife]
All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr [a riveting story of survival in war-torn Europe/2015 Pulitzer Prize for Literature]
My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante [a unique story of friendship set in Naples, Italy] # this is the first book of the Neapolitan quartet and is followed by The Story of a New Name, Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay and The Story of the Lost Child.

Other titles recommended by our members include:

The True Queen by Alison Weir [This is a historical/biographical fiction- the story of Catherine of Aragon. One of a six book series about the wives of Henry V111]
The Days of Abandonment by Elena Ferrante [The story of an abandoned wife and her descent into an ‘absence of sense’]
The Art of Growing Up by John Marsden [A manifesto on all aspects of growing up by this well- known author and educator ]
The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt [ a coming of age tale /2014 Pulitzer Prize for Literature]
The Tattooist of Aushwitz by Heather Morris [based on a true story, a fictionalized romance between two concentration camp prisoners in WW2]
The Light Between the Oceans by ML Stedman [A historical novel about a returned soldier seeking solitude as a lighthouse keeper after WW1, and how his young wife and family bring him love and despair]
Educated by Tara Westover [a memoir, true story, great read]
I’m Fine [and other lies] by Megan Blandford [deals with post-natal depression, motherhood and actually trying to be fine]

Happy Reading.

Request information about the book club
Junortoun Community News
News from the Junortoun Fire Brigade

As forecast, this summer is shaping up to be one of the hottest and driest on record, and with that we are also experiencing a lot of very windy days, and have already had one Code Red day. All of that makes for extremely dangerous fire conditions, and the Brigade has already had a number of call outs, including as part of a strike team to neighbouring areas. As well as that, a number of our members have given their time and efforts, each lasting several days, to be part of the CFA’s contingent assisting at the long-running interstate fires in NSW.

With all of that, we all need to be well aware of the fire danger in our area and have our properties well prepared. We need to clear the area around our homes of all long grass and other flammable material such as dry sticks, leaves etc. and to ensure that our roof gutters are cleaned out. We also need to have a plan for the event of a fire. We recommend planning to leave early rather than staying to defend. By leaving early, we mean to plan to leave the night before or early on the morning of a day of Extreme Fire danger rather than waiting for a fire to occur, particularly if you live in one of the many areas of bush in Junortoun. For more information, please refer to the attached “Fire Ready Kit”.
Many people also ask questions about what they can and cannot do during the Fire danger Period and on Total Fire Ban days, particularly with regard to barbeques and the like. Information on that is contained in the CFA's Can I, Can't I brochure.

Know your Total Fire Ban District

Victoria has nine Total Fire Ban Districts.
Junortoun is in the Northern Country district.

Friends of the Bendigo-Kilmore Rail Trail

Do you love what the O’Keefe Rail Trail does for Junortoun and Bendigo residents? Do you have ideas to enhance this trail in your community and beyond?

Cycle and off-road trail tourism is growing at a fantastic rate worldwide. To have the O’Keefe Trail as part of a world-class network of shared off road trails within central Victoria, the Friends of the Bendigo-Kilmore Rail Trail is taking steps to make this happen. Yet to continue such work, this community group needs people who would like to support those efforts.

Would you like to know more about developments for this trail or like to assist this community group’s vision and objectives?
More information can be found on the Friends’ web page, with a copy of the group’s vision for the Trail, as well as its objectives and links to maps from this page.

Becoming a member of the Friends of the Rail Trail is easy, just complete a membership application downloadable from this web page, membership fees are $25 single, or $50 family (which includes children living at home).

The group meets bi-monthly, conducts member activities e.g. bicycle rides, information stands, involved in public events, engages with local governments and State Government departments as a trail specialist, advocates for bicycle riding and walking as a means of creating healthy communities, and is a great social group.

Connect with the Friends of the Rail Trail
Honeyeater Reserve

There have been several exciting developments in relation to this reserve.
• On the 8th July 2019 Junortoun Community Action Group (JCAG) was appointed as the Committee of Management (CoM) for this reserve. The reserve status was changed from gravel supply to public purposes.
• The process has taken two years to achieve but now the future of the reserve is in the hands of the Junortoun community.
• The Honeyeater Reserve Sub-Committee has been formed and they held their first meeting on the 25 October 2019 with a walk around the reserve. The sub-committee is made up of several Junortoun residents and they will investigate how the reserve can be managed and developed for the Junortoun Community.
• Signs have now been erected at both ends of Honeyeater Lane and at the main entry points into the reserve. The signs have a QR code on them that you can use your phone via an app to obtain more information or you can just go to the Junortoun website.

• This is the largest block of public land in the Junortoun area and for JCAG to be able to become the CoM is a significant step for JCAG and the Junortoun community.
• There is no reason why a park for children’s activities could not be developed in the future. Walking tracks, bike tracks (not motorbikes) and an arboretum are all possibilities for the future. Development of the existing dam into a larger water feature and resource are all possible. There are endless possibilities but it will need community buy in and support to be successful.
• The Honeyeater Reserve sub-committee needs the community to help by suggesting possible options for this land. This information will be used to develop the vision and then a staged management and landscape plan.
• JCAG and the Honeyeater Reserve committee need the Junortoun Community to tell us what activity they want now and into the future.
• Hopefully it will become a well- used passive recreation reserve and will become a significant asset for the community.

Nest box project

Also known as “Phascogales, Sugar Gliders, Birds, Bats, and Bikes” Project

  • The City of Greater Bendigo Community Grants program has funded the Junortoun Community Action Group (JCAG) to build and erect nest boxes along the O'Keefe Rail Trail.
    The nest boxes have openings suitable for particular animals and birds that are rare or endangered and that require hollows to live in. The animals are Sugar Gliders, Phascogales (Tuans) and micro bats. The birds are Eastern Rosellas, Owlet Nightjars, and Pardalotes. Brush-tailed Phascogales are also known as Tuans which is their Australian native name.
  • The Junortoun Group plans to erect more boxes for other animals such as small insect eating bats and birds such as pardalotes. These particular boxes will be erected over the entire project length from Bennetts road to Markovich Lane.
  • 159 nest boxes have now been constructed as a result of this project. An additional 25 Pardalote boxes and 21 Bat Boxes have also been constructed.
  • The project focuses on the O'Keefe Rail Trail- that runs through Junortoun which is well known and used by this community.
  • A significant and ongoing relationship has been developed with McAuley College - both teachers and students. Students have been able to develop their knowledge of the natural environment through the information sessions and by understanding that they are building nest boxes to overcome the shortage of natural hollows in trees.
  • A new partnership has been developed with the Domain Village residents and the men of the Men’s shed.
  • A pole camera (a small digital camera on a long pole) which was purchased as part of the project will be used to see which marsupial or bird is using the box as a new home.
  • Monitoring by the City of Greater Bendigo Natural Reserves staff has confirmed up to 5 sugar gliders in one box with numerous other boxes also occupied. No Tuans or Owlet Nightjars have been recorded using the nest boxes so far.
  • Occupation of the boxes by bees has occurred in several boxes and these have been removed by a local beekeeper. Please let JCAG know if you see bees in a box
  • This project commenced in 2016 was always intended to be a 3 phase project as the total project would have been impossible to undertake as a single project – both in the distance covered and the number of nest boxes that needed to be built.
  • Phase 1 – 2016 / 2017 build and erect nest boxes along the O'Keefe Rail Trail between Knuldoorong Woodland – 5 Ha (Somerset Park Road) and the Junortoun Flora and Fauna Reserve – 9.2 Ha (Trotting Terrace).
  • Phase 2 – 2017 / 2018 between Knul-doorong Woodland – 5 Ha (Somerset Park Road) and Bennetts Road.
  • Phase 3 – 2019 / 2020 of the project was funded and will cover the O’Keefe Rail Trail from Cashens Road and will follow the O’Keefe Rail trail north west across McIvor Highway to Markovich Lane.

The City of Greater Bendigo Natural Reserves staff have erected all of the nest boxes and JCAG gratefully acknowledges their expert knowledge and their assistance that guided the number and placement of boxes. In particular JCAG would like to acknowledge the extra time and effort that Ami Greenfield has contributed to the project – thank you Ami.
JCAG are pleased that we have been able to involve local students and thank Catherine McAuley Catholic College and the Men’s Shed at Domain Lifestyle Village Bendigo and also Karen Thomas, Bendigo Field Naturalist for their support and involvement.

Volunteer opportunities

Junortoun is your community, and JCAG is your voice for the community. We are entirely run by local volunteers, and we always welcome assistance from community members. From helping to organise events, being part of our campaigns, helping with the administration of the group or even just cooking some sausages at a BBQ, there is a role for everyone within JCAG.

Can you help with any of the following areas?

Event assistance

JCAG requires occasional volunteers to assist with the running of community events. This can include preparing and serving food, or set up or pack up activities.
Your involvement could be just for an hour or two according to your availability.

Volunteer to help at events

Event organisation

The JCAG "Sense of Community" group works together to plan, organise and promote community events in Junortoun such as BBQs, picnics, ceremonies, markets and fundraisers.

Perhaps you have a great idea for a community event. The Sense of Community group would love to hear from you, and would welcome your assistance. They meet once a month, generally on a Thursday evening.

Volunteer to help organise future events
Connect with JCAG

Post: PO Box 5, Junortoun Vic 3551


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Content policy and advertising

This newsletter is a community project, we publish items of genuine community news at no charge. We also offer a range of low-cost advertising packages to local businesses, with revenue returned to Junortoun community projects.
if you would like to contribute to the newsletter, or discuss advertising, please email us at

Junortoun Community Action Group Inc.

PO Box 5, Junortoun, Victoria

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