Little Houses built by a big-hearted community

Little Houses, Berkeley Street Kindergarten, Castlemaine. Photo: Christine Sayer.

A unique interactive installation exploring how homes and people make a community brings the early learning sector to the Castlemaine State Festival for the first time.

The Little House Project is the initiative of accomplished central Victorian artist and specialist in early learning arts teaching, Ann Ferguson.

In early 2017 Ann and Kaori Fujimoto ran workshops with 180 pre-school children in the Mount Alexander Shire. Using the Victorian Early Years Learning Framework themes of Being, Belonging and Becoming, the children explored their connection with family and home by creating their own little clay houses.

Cutting, stamping and painting their tiny clay creations, the children also played with pre-made ceramic houses and soft clay, creating their own streetscapes and towns and sharing stories about home, environment and community.

Now glazed and fired, the little houses will become an interactive installation at the Castlemaine Art Museum for the duration of the Festival; a place where children and adults can play and build their own tiny towns.

This is the latest evolution of the Little House Project, something Ann has been working on in one form or another since her time as a specialist teacher at the University of Melbourne in 2004.

Artist Ann Ferguson and pre-schooler work on the Little Houses, Berkeley Street Kindergarten, Castlemaine. Photo: Christine Sayer.

“I’m delighted by how well everything has come together,” says Ann. “I’ve been extremely well supported by the community, from the pre-schools, kindergartens and childcare centres to LaTrobe University, the Festival team, my assistant Kaori and local craftsman Mark Anstey who built the table for the exhibition, everyone has been just fantastic.”

At the completion of the exhibition and the Festival, the little houses will return to the centres as resources for ongoing play and exploration of the theme.

“This ongoing work is just as important as the exhibition,” says Ann. “While the exhibition will be beautiful, by taking the houses back to play with in their own spaces the children will be able to continue to explore the ideas of being, belonging and becoming and what they really mean to them.”

The Little House Project

Castlemaine Art Museum

14 Lyttleton Street Castlemaine

18 – 26 March 10am – 5pm (closed Tuesdays)

Free

Waller Realty is pleased to be able to provide financial support to The Little House Project.

The Little House Project is part of the Festival’s ASCEND* education program. *ASCEND – Arts, Society, Community, Education, Nurture, Development.

Landmark Property in Burnett Road

At the door of the house who will come knocking?
An open door, we enter
A closed door, a den
The world pulse beats beyond my door
Pierre Albert Birot

Pine Hill Castlemaine

Probably named because of two Bunya Pines (Araucaria Bidwillii) and Hoop Pine (Araucaria Cunnighami), these with three Funeral Cypress and several Cabbage Tree Pine Hill is a gracious historic Castlemaine home. Built by Samuel Kelsall in 1862 Pine Hill lies on prize acreage at 9 Burnett Road, Castlemaine, (Click this link to check the web feature on Pine Hill) just a hop, skip and a jump from Castlemaine’s Botanical Gardens.

Once you pass through the ornate gates, decorated with peacocks, walk slowly up the winding drive that leads to the period homestead.

Stop to feel the energy of this space and reflect upon the stylistic elements of this home. It features typical gables, an asymmetrical plan and a verandah with open-work supports.

The current owners have a file filled with information about the property, the period when it was included in a Australian Garden History itinerary, and the Yandell family who lived here in the late 1800’s.

A.C. Yandell was a native of the town, the son of a pioneer resident and leading public man. He was a consulting herbalist in Mostyn Street, a consistent advocate of Castlemaine and giver to all progressive movements of Castlemaine.

This is a simply designed, stylish home. Each room has retained original features and with them comes a sense of a bygone time. Make sure to check out the recent owners library, find out which were their summer and winter bedrooms and stop to enjoy the delightful ‘garden room’, the perfect place to have tea and read the paper.

Above all take the time to stroll and discover the not so hidden treasures amongst the magnificent, historic outbuildings.

Finding the right buyer

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The owners of Whitegum Road in Barkers Creek bought the property from Waller Realty when they relocated to the region from interstate. The last nine years were spent enjoying life in their hilltop home, close to family and the community they’d come to love, but by late 2016 they’d decided it was time to downsize and move into town.

Liz Bell was well known to them both as a real estate agent and local business owner. They felt confident she was the right person to sell their property. They were right. It took Liz just four weeks to secure a successful sale.

According to the couple, Liz was extremely professional and worked hard to understand what was important to them. They were particularly impressed with her ability to target their property to the right buyers.

Selling a property with land, Whitegum Road sits on four acres, is different to selling a property in town with the convenience of services like town water and where everything is within an easy walk or drive. This modern and stylish home, with its stunning 180-degree views, easily captured the hearts of potential buyers; it took someone like Liz, who understood the property, the market and rural living, to turn that interest into a sale.

The owners initially thought their property should be pitched at the Melbourne market and needed direct exposure in Melbourne print media. Liz convinced them that this strategy, which can be very costly, was not the way to go initially. She felt that listing on the Waller website, sites like realestate.com.au and in local print, combined with her relationships with buyers already in the market would give them enough exposure. She was right. The property had interest from both local and Melbourne buyers and within weeks they had a serious offer.

The couple describe the whole experience of working with Liz as ‘absolutely wonderful’ and are extremely happy with the result she was able to achieve.

If you would like to speak with Liz about your property contact our Castlemaine office on

03 5470 5811, call Liz on 0417 311 733, or email her at liz@wallerrealty.com.au

Sustainable living in the heart of Castlemaine

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By harnessing the energy of the sun, wind and rain the Bull Street Terraces will have minimal impact on the environment, they’ll also be beautiful, functional spaces to live in and enjoy.

Designed by Crosby Architects, well known for their work in sustainable, residential design, the Bull Street Terraces development is just minutes walk from the centre of town and the train station, making it ideal for people living and working in Castlemaine or commuting to Melbourne or Bendigo.

The development is the first medium density residential project in Australia to be registered with the Living Building Challenge (LBC). The four terrace houses average an over 8 Energy Star rating and are designed to use zero net energy (energy used will equal energy produced on site).

The energy of the sun will keep the terraces comfortable in winter with only minimal heating required even on the coldest central Victorian winter night. During the warmer months they’ll be protected from overheating through good design, orientation, insulation and shading.

Building materials have been selected both for aesthetics and their ability to reduce the homes’ carbon footprint and energy needs. The majority will be sourced from within 200kms of the town. They include timber milled in Ballarat and natural wool insulation manufactured in Melbourne.

Comfortable living over three levels

Built over three levels the terraces comprise a ground floor where living, dining and kitchen areas open out to a front garden to the north and a courtyard to the rear. There’s also lane access and space to park a car.

A large front bedroom and smaller rear bedroom, both with built in robes, take up the spacious first floor alongside a bathroom with laundry facilities. The top floor opens out to a large, north facing roof deck overlooking the street with a roof planter and plenty of storage.

Design that’s part of the community

Geoff Crosby moved his architectural practice, Crosby architects, from central Footscray to Castlemaine nine years ago to bring up his family and develop a more sustainable way of designing and building.

Concerned with the increasing population and urban growth in the town, he sees developments like the Bull Street Terraces as the way forward, integrating medium density new homes into the existing town limits and encouraging more connection with the township, its facilities and surrounds.

This development includes the renovation of an existing cottage and a new stand-alone house.

Please contact Nick Haslam on 0418 322 789 nick@wallerrealty.com.au to discuss the steps involved in buying off the plan and securing your terrace.

A Very Castlemaine and Maldon Christmas

castlemaine christmas

Whether you’re looking for handmade gifts, someone to cook your Christmas lunch or a spot to share some carols with friends and family, our region has it all.

Shop local and handmade

The Castlemaine Artists Market showcases over 40 established and emerging local artists, designers and craftspeople. At this year’s annual Twilight Market on Friday 16 December they’ll be joined by the Castlemaine Farmers’ Market so you can shop for presents and produce from over 100 stalls. While you’re there enjoy some great food, cool tunes, a craft workshop or even a cocktail!

Light up the night

Each night, as the sun sets, we put on a show. Local homes and businesses are transformed by everything that twinkles, glitters and glows. Bundle the kids in the car and take a tour. You’ll find maps in the Castlemaine Mail and Tarrangower Times.

Carol under the stars

Gathering with friends and family and a picnic dinner for carols under about a billion stars is the stuff Christmas memories are made of round here.

You’ll find the Maldon Carols by Candlelight in the Shire Gardens on Saturday 17 December where you’ll hear the Maldon Brass Band and other local artists thanks to the Maldon Lions Club. Castlemaine Carols by Candlelight is the work of Rotary Castlemaine with musical theatre company Three’s A Crowd, the Thompson’s Foundry Band and plenty of other local talent in Victory Park on Wednesday 21 December.

Celebrate with food and music

Whether you’re after something kid friendly or a night out with friends we’ve got you covered.

Take someone special for a meal at the Public Inn, housed in Castlemaine’s Old Fire Station, before the Christmas rush. Sample a local craft beer or cider at The Taproom at The Mill, Castlemaine’s recently transformed historic woollen mill. Or grab some friends and celebrate the return of the Criterion Hotel Castlemaine’s famous Christmas Eve Party.

Want a year off cooking the Christmas lunch? Locals, The Bridge Hotel (who recently won Best Regional Venue at The Age Music Victoria Awards – congrats!) and The Five Flags Hotel Campbells Creek are both open with delicious set menus sure to make your day a happy one.

Be part of a country Christmas tradition

Thought Santa only travelled by sleigh? Think again. In Castlemaine and surrounding towns the man in red delivers lollies and icy poles to excited kids from the back of a ute on Christmas morning.

It’s a tradition that started nearly 80 years ago when the Castlemaine Apex Club would deliver food hampers to families in need. It continues today thanks to the dedication of the Castlemaine Past Apexians and it’s a special part of our Christmas morning that’s loved by everyone regardless of age.

Whatever you do this Christmas we hope it’s a safe and happy one for you and your loved ones, from everyone at Waller Realty.

Information that may help you decide to come to live here

There are many things that can help you make the decision to leave the city and come to a  regional centre like Castlemaine. Knowing that there is good child care and good quality schools may help you decide.

schools

daycare

With you for as long as it takes

The owners of this beautifully presented property in Racecourse Road Newstead chose to place their property with Waller because, by comparison with other agencies, Wallers had the most professional marketing process. They sought to work with Liz Bell because of her reputation, professional demeanour and familiarity with the Newstead area.

Liz BellThis home went onto the market during the heat of summer and, as with many properties in this region, it did take some time to find the right buyers. The owners particularly appreciated that throughout a particularly hot summer and the recent colder months Liz maintained a positive approach and maintained regular contact with them. They found Liz to be not only personable but to be an agent who followed through every lead and who, when it all seemed to go quiet, left no stone unturned.

Liz has built a reputation for not only being personable but for being a determined, hard working, effective negotiator. She will be supportive and work for as long as it takes. If you are seeking a professional, honest and fresh approach towards the sale of your property please don’t hesitate to contact Liz and see the difference he can make for you.

Deep Vein of Local Knowledge

The owner of this property in High Street Maldon had a very positive experience when she worked with Leah Panos. Leah tapped into a significant client base  and sold this property within three weeks.

The owner was delighted with Leah’s professional approach throughout the process. She noted that Leah’s outstanding communication skills, her depth of local knowledge and her capacity to match clients with properties made all the difference. She was particularly impressed that not only was Leah able to meet her individual needs throughout the marketing process but she was also able to balance and manage the specific needs of potential buyers.

wallerrealty.comAt the end of the day it is an agent’s personal touch, communication skills, intimate knowledge of the market, depth and range of experience which eases the stress of selling a home. Leah’s professionalism and local knowledge effectively removes stress and smoothes the process

If you are after a professional, personable approach towards the sale of your property please don’t hesitate to contact Leah and see the difference she can make for you.

 

 

Service Support and Sincerity

Crevilly

‘Crevilly’ offered buyers the chance to own and enjoy one of Castlemaine’s finest historical solid brick homes. Enjoying  a graceful street profile and featuring an original façade Crevilly offered potential buyers an impeccably presented family home, rich in period detail.

Nick Haslam

Nick Haslam

After languishing in the hands of another agent, once the sale of this historic property was placed in the hands of Nick Haslam at Waller Realty the owners fully appreciated and respected Nick’s service, support, communication and sincerity. They were also delighted that Nick was visibly proactive and was able to seal an appropriate price for their much loved property.

Nick’s reputation for being a determined, hard working, effective negotiator has become well known in this region. If you are seeking a professional, honest and fresh approach towards the sale of your property please don’t hesitate to contact Nick and see the difference he can make for you.

Partnering Seals the Deals

Newstead

Set in a quiet residential setting with semi-rural outlook this brand new home in Newstead had great appeal and, like another property the owner had built in Maldon, sold quickly. Given that the Newstead market is a little bit tougher than Maldon the owner was delighted with this result. He feels that the property sold quickly because he had sought and acted upon the advice and insights provided by Leah Panos during the building process. He described the relationship of agent and owner as a ‘partnering’ and team approach.

wallerrealty.comGiven the success of this partnership it is little wonder that this owner will go on working with Leah! He found her to be pragmatic, willing to do pre-work prior to the sale of the property, an outstanding communicator, insightful about fittings that clients respond to and an ‘amazing’ source of local knowledge.

If you are interested in selling in this region and you want a true specialist who understands price points, what the market is responding to and who is willing to advise you throughout the process ring Leah Panos at Waller Realty. Talk to her clients and they will tell you that the service she provides is nothing short of ‘brilliant’!

 

Sold Within a Month

Baringyup

This property in the delightful rural hamlet of Baringhup was on the market with a Maryborough agent for almost nine months. It takes little to imagine how delighted the owners were when they put the property with Waller Realty and Leah Panos had sold it within a month, for more than the asking price.

wallerrealty.comDuring the nine months with the Maryborough agency there were two open for inspections and no one came to either. By contrast, once Wallers took over they not only advertised online but placed advertisements in the local paper. Within a month Leah had three parties who were interested. One party pulled out leaving the other two pushing each other over the line.

The owners particularly appreciated the professional, hard working approach that Leah adopted and would have no hesitation recommending that people who are serious about selling work with her.

Seachangers and treechangers! Do they ever come back?

Jules Bondy and Meghan Anders (and dog Lottie) are putting their Northcote home on the market and making the move to the country.

I want to live in a place that’s beautiful!” you cry. “There’s too much traffic, gentrification and too many people. I deserve more than grey concrete and my dog deserves more than a postage-stamp piece of grass masquerading as a park!”

So you pop your city home on the market, and move to where the grass is, apparently, greener. If you’re lucky, there’s a bit of ocean blue, too.

Your friends and neighbours promise to visit, and you visualise your new dining room filled with your (no longer) nearest but still dearest, all drinking wine made from grapes that ripened just five kilometres away, and eating free-range ham, goats cheese and olives all sourced from your new neighbours.

But is it time to wake up and smell the (city) coffee? Just how successful is a sea change, or tree change?

“Once you move out of town you never go back!” says public relations manager Tara Bishop. She says this despite it taking four years to “defrost” her local Bottle O shopkeeper on the Mornington Peninsula and actually get a smile back.

She moved from the CBD to near Rye and loves it. But does she know anyone who’s given up and gone back? “No. They all love it. They’re happier, their kids are happier,” she says.

A place in the country, such as this Castlemaine home, has always had its appeal for many people.

Sam Rigopoulos, director of Jellis Craig in Northcote and Rob Waller, director of Waller Reality in Castlemaine, may both lay claim to coining the term “North Northcote” for regional Castlemaine, but they agree on one thing; those who move from the city to the country don’t come back. They are, according to both agents, happy.

“The only ones that really stick in my mind that didn’t work out were when relationships broke up,” says Waller. “And maybe the odd few where they had to move to climb the ladder at work.”

In fact, Waller sees treechangers acting like magnets. “If you look at couples we sold to, you’ll see that two years later you sold to their brother and sister, and then mum and dad will make an appearance, too.”

We tracked down Helen Bodycomb, who, in 2009, told The Age she and her husband were joining the exodus from Northcote to Castlemaine. Update: they held onto their Northcote property until two years ago, realising they would never go back. “We initially thought we’d be here for a year,” she says now. “I was more keen coming here, but after two weeks, my husband said he didn’t want to leave.”

Still, if things do go awry, buying back into the city isn’t so straightforward, and Waller has seen treechangers get stung. “Years ago they’d sell the house in the city and buy something here, travel the world and buy a new car. Then maybe something would happen health-wise, or they’d want to come back to be near the grandkids, and they’d find they couldn’t come back to where they’d come from,” he says.

Waller says people are being smarter with their money. “Now, if they sell a four-bedroom house in Camberwell, they will buy a country property in Castlemaine and simultaneously buy a townhouse in Fairfield, Kew or Richmond,” he says.

Long-time Northcote residents Jules Bondy and Meghan Anders and their two children attempted to move to Castlemaine over a decade ago, but failed.

“I set it up so our Northcote house would be auctioned one hour before the house in Castlemaine,” Bondy remembers. But no one bought the Jessie Street property. There were no offers, so I couldn’t bid and it was sold at auction. That was bad,” he recalls. Ten years later, a now renovated Jessie Street is hitting the market.

“The draw to the north may have ebbed slightly but it never really left. We saw this gorgeous property, like a dream house, not in Castlemaine, but in Mount Macedon – it’s the new Castlemaine!” he jokes.

Bondy, a public servant, will continue working in Melbourne, and is expecting a 48-minute commute on the train to the CBD, while Anders, a primary school teacher, will look for work closer to her new home.

Anders is Melbourne born and bred, but has long dreamed of moving to the country. “Making the leap now has given us such a deep sense of being alive!” she says, though admits the hardest thing will be losing the proximity to friends and family, and the cinema.

Source: Domain article by Jayne D’Arcy

45 Hunter Street Castlemaine

The current owners of 45 Hunter Street (click this link to view web feature) bought this home in 2006. When they arrived the garden was mainly grass, a couple of daisy bushes, some large pink roses down the drive and some large trees. Coming from a farm in a drought ridden region of NSW they were keen to establish a soothing garden with lots of hardy green and colourful flowers. What we see today is a credit to their knowledge of gardening and hard work. This is a garden that has been featured in The Hedge Garden Festival in Castlemaine and been included in organised walks from the Buda Historic House and Garden.

The spacious, comfortable family home may be said to have grown and spread, while retaining original features. It is a place where there are spaces to live and daydream. It has a diaphanous quality, but not just because of the landscape windows that soak in the diverse shades of the surrounding green. It is a house that breathes and seems infinitely extensible, yet at the same time has a coat of armour to shield her inhabitants from the world beyond the boundaries.

Take the time to seek out the diverse spaces. Find the divine ‘Rapunzul’ bedroom overlooking the back garden! Seek out the view from the back verandah, explore and find the downstairs room that serves so many purposes and stop for awhile to feel the energy of the main living area.

This is a much loved home seeking to draw those who will love her and the garden that envelops her.