Thursday, January 17, 2008

Historic Point Cook Homestead

2 weeks ago, I travelled to Werribee to visit the Werribee Open Range Zoo and Werribee Park.

Last week, I went to Werribee again, but to visit two other places; the Historic Point Cook Homestead and RAAF (Royal Australian Air Force) Museum, Point Cook with Phiaw.

As we entered the Point Cook Homestead property, our attention was focused on a humble fig tree.

At first glance, it looks pretty ordinary; however,

...this fig tree is believed to be the largest in Victoria, and is listed on the National Trust's Significant Tree Register. It fruits twice annually, however the figs are small and inedible and are only consumed by chooks and possums.

In 1852, a Scotsman, Thomas Chirnside purchased the property and finished building the main homestead in 1857. Together with his brother Andrew, they built a vast and successful pastoral empire and in 1877 completed the grand Werribee Mansion.

Overall view of the Homestead

An architectural historian, who happens to be my lecturer in the University of Melbourne summarised the importance of the homestead as follows:

"One of Victoria's earlier pastoral homestead complexes, incorporating part of a particularly early timber house thought to be of c.1849, a bluestone house and service wing of 1857 with a number of essentially compatible additions but with intrusive internal alterations from 1920's onwards, and a stable block of a similar date and of some charm, and with association with the famous racehorse Newminster. The group is enhanced by its bayside location and its relative isolation in a rural landscape, and is unusual in its proximity to Melbourne."

Miles Lewis, 1984

This small timber building is possibly part of the original homestead. Of course, it now has a zinc roof to protect the original shingled roof from the elements.

Rear view of the main building

How I wished that I could have a house next to the beach, and wake up to this sight every morning ! You can barely see Melbourne's skyline to the right.

Dead tree

The front of the main building built by Thomas Chirnside in 1857. The glass windows to the verandah were part of a major refurbishment of the property in the 1980s.

The house is currently being restored by the National Trust. This is the interior of one of the front rooms.

The rest of the house has been tastefully refurbished to accommodate the caretaker and her family

We then proceeded to the rear of the house.

Side view of the house. You can see how close the house is to the seaside on the right.

The supervisor of the property who works with the National Trust has built a little farm to the back. The sheep were pretty startled by our presence when we approached them.

Now I know how it feels like to be the black sheep of the family.

The small little buildings to the left are portable toilets. They were necessary because there was no sewerage system available on the property at that time.

The building on the left is an abandoned water tank, while a blue stone stable is to the right.

This remarkable stable has housed several Melbourne Cup winners during its use. Those days, people would poison each others horses to foil their attempt to win the Cup.

The farmers would use those pulleys to hoist hay into the attic, and drop them down to the horses below during feeding time.

A National Trust volunteer (of which our tour guide was one of them) restoring and painting an old wagon.

By the way, the colours don't have any significance on their own. They were simply chosen to make the wagon look more 'pretty'.

300 retold

Its 540 am.

I was going about minding my own business when I found this

This is Sparta!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


Looks like more and more little kids are being kidnapped nowadays. Everyone is particularly hyped up about this one too so as to not repeat the Nurul Jazlin Jazimin incident which happened not too long ago (she was found dead 120 days ago).

Nurul's dad has set up a blog here in memory of his daughter

MYT 9:03:03 PM

Police launch massive search for Sharlinie

PETALING JAYA: Police have started a massive search for five-year-old Sharlinie Mohd Nashar who disappeared from a playground about 200m from her house in Taman Medan on Wednesday.

Inspector General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan said a task force headed by Petaling Jaya OCPD Asst Comm Arjunaidi Mohamed had been formed with Bukit Aman, Kuala Lumpur and Selangor police.

He said posters of Sharlinie and a photofit of the suspect involved in the attempted abduction of a six-year-old girl near her flats in Kampung Sepakat, Taman Medan, on Monday, about 2km from where Sharlinie went missing, had also been sent to all the police stations located at the borders.

The six-year old girl was found three hours later in Wangsa Maju.

He said there was a possibility that the suspect was linked to the abduction of Sharlinie and the previous cases in Kampung Baru.

“We have told them to be on the lookout for anyone trying to cross the border with a girl fitting the description of Sharlinie.

“We have also alerted all airports and our counterparts in the bordering countries to be on the lookout," he told reporters during a joint press conference with Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil at the Petaling Jaya police station Thursday.

Musa said police want to interview those who saw Sharlinie being abducted.

“The incident occurred at about 11am. At that time there were several stalls and people in the area.

"So those who might have witnessed the incident should come forward to help us identify the criminals involved in the case,” he said, adding that this would enable the police to take swift action in locating the girl and nabbing the culprits.

He said those with information on Sharlinie’s whereabouts could contact her father Mohd Nashar Mat Hussain at 016-2583450 / 016-2709096 or call the police at 03-79662222 or the Rakan Cop at 03-21159999.

Asked about the phone call and text message received by Sharlinie’s father, Mohd Nashar, Musa said police were investigating its authenticity.

“People should only give genuine information and not take advantage of other people’s grieve," he said.

Musa said that he had directed DCP Khalid to discuss with the Taman Medan Village Security and Development Committee (JKKK) on ways in which parents or an elderly person from every housing estate in the area be placed at playgrounds.

“By doing this everyone including parents and the police will be able to monitor the children,” he said.

MYT 3:29:45 PM

Sharlinie’s posters sent to border crossings

PETALING JAYA: The police have sent posters of missing girl Sharlinie Mohd Nashar and a photofit of the suspect to all border crossings, said Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan

Where is she?: Children living near Sharlinie's house in PJS2 holding up a poster showing the missing girl Thursday. Sharlinie has been missing since Wednesday. AZMAN GHANI / The Star

Suria FM to provide hourly updates on missing girl

KUALA LUMPUR: Suria FM has joined in the efforts to locate missing five-year-old Sharlinie Mohd Nashar.

Chief executive officer Engku Emran Engku Zainal Abidin said the Bahasa Malaysia radio station would give hourly updates on the little girl.

“Everyone should take part in the search to help the police. We hope Suria FM listeners will help to look for the girl.

Tracking service: Engku Emran (standing, right) discussing efforts to help trace Sharlinie with Suria FM staff members Thursday.

Sometimes, the media can give wrong information too:

There is no mystery woman

PETALING JAYA: There is no mysterious woman with shoulder-length hair and wearing high-heels who coaxed missing girl Sharlinie into a black car, it was clarified yesterday.

Mohd Nashar Mat Hussain, the father of five-year-old Sharlinie told reporters to disregard what his older daughter Sharliena had said the day before about a woman coaxing her sister into a car.

He was referring to eight-year-old Sharliena’s statement in the newspapers yesterday about Sharlinie being pulled into a car by a woman.

“This case is a matter of life and death. I urge the media not to publish misleading facts about my missing daughter,” he said during a brief press conference outside his home in Taman Medan here.

Mohd Nashar said Sharliena’s account was doubtful, adding that a child could easily make up stories.

MYT 4:08:50 PM

Sharlinie: Reward now stands at RM100,000

KUALA LUMPUR: Tycoon Tan Sri Vincent Tan has topped up the reward for information on the whereabouts of missing girl Sharlinie Mohd Nasir, bringing it to the RM100,000 mark.

The businessman said he wanted to donate RM83,000 to increase the RM17,000 reward offer.

“I hope my gesture would help to find the girl. I join other Malaysians in praying for the safety of Sharlinie,” he told The Star here Sunday.

On Saturday, RM17,000 was put up by a group of people including MCA vice-president Datuk Donald Lim (RM5,000) and MCA Public Services and Complaints Department’s company GMH Property Sdn Bhd (RM5,000).

Lim, who is the Petaling Jaya Selatan MP, announced the amount at a press conference at the PJ police headquarters.

Tan said he hoped that all Malaysians would cooperate to find the missing girl.

I then found this today on

Celcom (Malaysia) Berhad would like to announce that it is answering the call from Dato’ Sri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil, the Minister of Women, Family and Community Development by offering its mobile services in the case of Sharlinie.

Celcom will be issuing a MMS broadcast of Sharlinie’s picture together with a message urging the public to be aware of the case. The MMS will be sent specifically to Celcom customers, and we urge them to help in finding Sharlinie by sharing this message with family and friends. We are also urging other corporate bodies, NGOs and individuals to join in on this effort in the wake of this unfolding case.

I sincerely hope that they find Sharlinie before its too late.

Health Warning



Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Brazilian music @ Fed Square

After the ferry cruise, I wandered up to open space in Federation Square and was wondering what the noise was all about.

There was a Brazilian Music Festival happening, and several bands were playing.

The BossaNegra band was playing several nice jazz and bossa nova music

You could basically sit anywhere you wanted. The sun was a bit hot though

View of the stage from the front

It's my solo!

The sun got a bit too overwhelming, so I went over to the side and managed to get some closer shots

After them was the Melbourne Samba School (and I didn't even know one existed !)

Enthusiastic kids trying out the bass drum

They took some time to set up (I think about 20 mins). Oh yes, the speakers were turned up to MAX !

Introducing the band. The guy on the right comes is not even Brazilian ! (He's from Holland)

Getting warmed up

The accompanying percussionists. The instrument played by the guy on the right makes some interesting 'hiccup' sounds.

When the whole band came on board, the noise that they made was amazing ! Being in the front row does make you go deaf for a while

They sure know how to have a good time

The 4 drummer boys. Their hairstyles look so cool

Lets quiet down

The crowd was ecstatic. Some of them were dancing away to their hearts' content

They then got off the stage and marched around Fed Square. It was like a big school band

Of course, wherever the band was, the crowds followed.

I don't remember the name of this guy who owns the school, but whatever it is, Brazilian Samba rocks ! Long live Brazilian samba!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Ferry Cruise down the Yarra River, Melbourne

It was a really sunny day in Melbourne last Sunday.

I wanted to explore Melbourne's Waterfront attractions, and the cheapest way to do so is by using the Yarra River Shuttle Service. It only operates on Saturday, Sunday and Public holidays from 10am-8pm. The shuttles arrive every 30 minutes.

After church, a group of us went for lunch at King of Kings, corner Little Bourke and Russell Street.

Roast chicken with egg chiffon on rice

Bbq pork with egg chiffon on rice (AUD 7.50)

I did not know there is a market held at the Arts Center every Sunday

These are mini cacti. The diameter of their pots are only 20mm. AUD 3.50 each.

View of the footbridge towards the CBD.

I got on the ferry at the Southgate stop.

It is very near to the Eureka Tower.

Passing underneath the Queens bridge.
The bridges spanning across the Yarra are really low, so much so that the gap between the bottom of the bridge and the top of the ferry was about 30cm only.

Passing by Crown Casino

View of Spencer Street Bridge, with the Melbourne Exhibition and Convention bridge on the right.

The Webb Bridge, Docklands by DCM Architects

5 apartment towers at Yarra's Edge

Leaving white froth behind in the Yarra

Passing directly underneath the Bolte Bridge. It is massive !

We made a u-turn at Bolte Bridge to turn into Victoria Harbour

I got off at Waterfront City stop.

View towards Telstra Dome from the harbour

This is how the ferry looks like

The place was teaming with people in the restaurants and walking along the water front.

An interesting sculptural assembly.

They have lots of nice apartments along New Quay and Waterfront City. I'm sure it will be wonderful to own one of these and have a spectacular view of Victoria Harbour.

Please feel free to comment on any of my posts and pictures. Cheers!


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