News

Year in review: October - December

By Campaspe News

October

IT WAS a day of celebration for Rochester Secondary College students on their final day of classes.

To commemorate the occasion, students dressed up and headed off to breakfast before going to school for one final assembly.

■MEMBER for Murray Plains Peter Walsh toured the Lockington & District Bush Nursing Centre as the state opposition announced their aim to save centres at risk of closure under Premier Daniel Andrews.

Bush nursing centres (BNCs) provide a critical health service to rural and remote Victorians, but recent changes by the State Government has left them financially unviable and forced to consider closing their doors.

If elected, the Liberal Nationals government would provide $300,000 in emergency funding over two years to make sure nurses and support staff at Victoria’s 15 community-based not-for-profit BNCs can continue to deliver essential primary health services.

November

A TOXIC tyre and haystack blaze in Nanneella sent plumes of black smoke into the air, and could be seen from as far away as Tongala.

The fire served to hammer home a safety message delivered by CFA Campaspe Shire district 20 acting operations officer Mick Lavery.

Twenty-five firefighters on seven appliances from Rochester, Timmering, Corop and Tongala brigades spent two-and-a-half hours battling the intense blaze at a Gibson Rd property.

■MAUREEN Oliver cannot speak highly enough of Rochester Secondary College – a place that saw her through her high school education and where she has just ended her career after 34 years as business manager.

Born and bred in Rochester, Maureen left her job at Northern Timber & Hardware to marry Greg Oliver and have their two children Damien and Lauren.

Once the children were at primary school, there was an advertisement in the local paper for a position at Rochester High School.

Maureen applied and was successful, and the rest, as they say, is history.

December

YOU can imagine Olivia Dimovski’s surprise when she logged on to check her ATAR result and found she did better than she expected.

Her score of 97.3 put her at the top of the rank for Rochester Secondary College (RSC) graduates in 2018 — and left her speechless.

‘‘I thought it wasn’t real when I saw it,’’ she said.

‘‘I was up at 6am but I didn’t want to check my result (when it was released at 7am), but I was laying in bed and got my computer out to check it.’’

And there it was, the past two years of work summed up in one number — and quite a high one at that.

Olivia scored a study score of 48 out of 50 in English, 45 in Business and 43 in Australian History, which contributed to her result.

■LOCKINGTON cowgirl Cherie O’Donoghue added some more silverware to add to her saddle after being crowned the Australian breakaway roping champion.

At the Australian Professional Rodeo Association (APRA) national finals in Queensland, O’Donoghue won her 10th Australian title and secured her place in the APRA Hall of Fame for the most national titles overall.

O’Donoghue said her love of horses and action events was instilled in her by her father, Des, a Kamarooka farmer and horse breeder with ‘a big mob of horses’.

She grew up surrounded by horses and remembers spending most weekends being hauled to agricultural shows and gymkhanas where the speed events were always the highlight for her.

At age five she competed in her first rodeo at Calivil, Victoria, in the junior barrel race.

But she didn’t take up the sport of rodeo competitively until the age of 21 when she began travelling and competing regularly in three events: the barrel race, breakaway roping and team roping.

O’Donoghue has now won six all-round cowgirl champion titles and four breakaway roping titles and said she was humbled and proud of her achievements.