Tag Archive | Castlemaine

Castlemaine Secondary College: a true community school

Whole school assembly in the new gymnasium

It has been a big year for Castlemaine Secondary College. After years of development and planning they’re decommissioning their old senior campus and bringing everyone together at a new, purpose-built 7 – 12 site. They’ve also appointed a new Principal, Castlemaine Secondary graduate, Paul Frye.

“I’m extremely proud to have returned to Castlemaine Secondary and be leading it through such exciting, pivotal times,” says Paul.

Paul grew up in Castlemaine, leaving to study then teach in schools around the state before returning in 2010 as one of the school’s assistant principals. He took a detour in early 2017, taking up an acting principal position at one of the local primary schools, and was appointed Principal in July 2017.

“We have some amazing new facilities and are about to open more,” says Paul.

The first new building to open back in 2014 was the Wellbeing Centre and Gym, which includes science labs and classrooms. The Engineering and Trade facilities followed at the start of 2017 and the new performing arts centre, including auditorium, drama and music rooms, will be completed by the end of the year.

Eventually there will be four precincts: Wellbeing, Engineering, Performing Arts and Art/Administration, all built around a central piazza.

CSC Principal Paul Frye

“We’re a school that caters for a diverse range of students and we’ve been working on building a 7 – 12 culture for a few years now,” says Paul.

“It’s great to finally all be together. Watching the younger kids walk through the learning spaces and see the Year 12s with their heads down, working away, really adds to the culture. Prior to that VCE was a bit of a mystery to them.”

The school offers a broad range of programs, including a Steiner stream, but is still small enough that students are known by their teachers, the majority of whom live locally.

“I’m proud of the fact that we are a true community school,” says Paul. “We are the only 7 – 12 provider in town and that carries with it a lot of responsibility.”

“We have a strong diversity of students and we cater for everyone, from the high achieving students to those who struggle and we have a range of programs to keep them all engaged and supported.”

“I think we do a really good job of enabling students to get to the destination they choose,” he adds.

“Some aspire to university and we have an excellent record of getting them there with consistently high VCE results. Others want to go out into the workforce or into TAFE and we have programs to help them achieve their goals.”

Like to know more? Visit www.csc.vic.edu.au call 03 5479 1111 or email castlemaine.sc@edumail.vic.gov.au

Follow them on Instagram @castlemaine.sc

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Working together to find the right property

The vendor at 7 Haydn Court Castlemaine was looking to downsize when she enquired about a property listed with Waller Realty. The property didn’t turn out to be suitable, but she met Liz Bell who set about finding her one that was and helping her sell her own.

She describes Liz as very easy to work with. Liz always had lots of suggestions and would call the vendor often with properties to look at. Whether it was her list of requirements for a new home or the specifics of listing her own, she says Liz listened and the two developed a very easy relationship.

It didn’t take long before a property in Montgomery Street in Castlemaine came up that fit the bill so the vendor made an offer and put her home on the market. The sale of both properties has since been finalised and the vendor is extremely happy with the result.

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

Census 2016: our region is growing and the way we live is changing

The 2016 Census has been released, providing the latest data on Australia’s population – who we are, where we live, how we live and much, much more. So what does this snapshot of the nation reveal about those of us who live in the Mount Alexander Shire and how have we changed since the last census in 2011?

There are more of us

More people still live in our capital cities, which are growing twice as fast as the rest of the country, but regional areas are also experiencing rapid growth.

The number of people in the Mount Alexander Shire has grown by nearly 7 per cent since 2011, from 17,591 to 18,761.

That’s a similar rate to our neighbours in the popular Hepburn Shire, but outstrips the growth in places like the LaTrobe, Yarra Ranges and Colac Shires, all comparable distances from Melbourne, by several per cent.

Affordability is still high

Housing affordability is a hot topic across the country. High buyer demand and limited supply continues to drive prices upward and most people are feeling the pinch, particularly if they’re living in a capital city.

In 2016 people in our region spent an average of $1,300 a month on their mortgage.

That’s more than $400 less than the state average of $1,728 and significantly lower than the average monthly mortgage in popular Melbourne suburbs such as Northcote, Coburg, Prahran and Essendon, which range from $2,000 – $2,167.

 If you’re looking to buy property in one of the towns in our region such as Castlemaine or Maldon this is good news.

 The way we live is changing

While the majority of homes in the shire are still separate houses the 2016 Census shows an increase in other types of dwellings such as semi-detached homes and townhouses.

The number of semi-detached, terrace or townhouses in the shire has more than doubled in the last five years.

“The trend towards more concentrated, medium density living in towns like Castlemaine and Maldon reflects changes we are seeing all over the country,” says Waller Realty Agent, Tom Robertson.

“More people in our region are choosing to build and live in smaller homes for reasons of convenience, for cost and, in many cases, to reduce their environmental impact. We expect to see this shift in thinking continue to grow in the next few years.”

Additional details from the Census are due to be released in October 2017. This includes information on employment and income.

Sold in just three days

For the owners of this property at 10 Maclise Street in Castlemaine the decision to sell was a quick one. Keen to get the best possible price for their family home of 12 years they contacted Tom Robertson from Waller Realty.

Tom was able to visit and appraise the property immediately and within days had presented them with a price they felt reflected current market value and a marketing strategy that showed how well he understood who to target and how to attract motivated buyers. He also offered advice on some quick cosmetic changes that would add to the appeal of the home.

Interest in the property from several parties was immediate and the home sold after only three days for over the listed the price.

The owners were thrilled with this result – if a bit shocked by how quickly it all happened! They were full of praise for how Tom handled the whole process.

If you would like to speak with Tom about your property contact our Castlemaine office on 03 5470 5811, call Tom on 0408 596 871, or email him at tom@wallerrealty.com.au

Pristine Californian Bungalow

Cowling is a classic Californian bungalow in Castlemaine Victoria, which was originally built in the early part of the twentieth century and historically owned by the Cowling family. In 2005 it was lovingly renovated with an emphasis on updating the space for modern family life without losing the original character and period features of this charming home.

The house presents a huge flexibility in how the owner uses the space. The front portion of the home consists of a hardwood floor veranda, grand entrance hallway, large master bedroom, two extra bedrooms, bathroom, a formal sitting room and formal dining room which are connected by original wood folding doors and feature original fireplaces. The current owners have used the formal sitting/dining rooms as workspace, but they could very easily be used as bedrooms, reception rooms or a combination of both. Through the second hallway the modern north-facing addition adds a large open plan space with a lovely sun filled kitchen, dining room and living area with French doors out onto the patio and garden. A family bathroom and laundry with ample storage and pantry space lead out through the side door to the carport. New air-conditioning and heating units have been installed throughout the home, 11ft high ceilings, carefully chosen wall colours and beautiful timber floors add to the feeling of space and warmth.

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, 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.

Sustainable living in the heart of Castlemaine

cros7967_bull-st_2

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

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.

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

Opening up Small Areas

small patio design ideas 1You don’t have to renovate your home or add on rooms to make it bigger. Instead, there are plenty of ways to make small areas seem larger than they really are. This will come in handy when you’re ready to sell your home and want to impress buyers.

Here are some ideas for opening up small patios. Meanwhile! In the house you can

  • Hang mirrors. Having mirrors on opposite walls makes rooms appear more spacious. It’s also a good way to reflect more light into the room to make it brighter, which can also make it seem larger.
  • Paint. Painting the walls can make a room look more open when you stick to cool tones or white. Another paint tip is to have the crown molding painted the same color as the ceiling to make the room seem wider.
  • Put in bay windows. Having bay windows installed provides a room with a little more space and a lot more natural light. The added square footage and sunlight will give it a roomier feel.
  • Choose furniture wisely. Keep furniture in smaller rooms simple, so it won’t take up valuable space. Look for taller pieces when buying dressers, entertainment centers or shelving units. These can make your ceiling appear higher, which makes the room itself look larger.
  • Go with streamlined cabinets. Kitchen cabinets with simple lines make rooms look less cluttered than ones with ornate designs. You can make a kitchen look even larger by putting in stainless steel appliances, which provide reflective surfaces.

Opening up small areas in a home doesn’t require a big budget or tons of time. With these ideas, you can easily give your home a more spacious look.

The Right Agent

Barkers

The owners of this property in Barkers Creek met Nick Haslam when they were inspecting other properties in the area. It was Nick’s proactive approach and the sense that it would be possible to build a working relationship with him that prompted them to sell their Barker’s Creek property through Waller Realty rather than another agent who they had considered using. Nick proved to be the right agent for them.

Nick HaslamNick met all their expectations and they really appreciated that he quite literally kept them in the loop at all all times. They were particularly impressed with Nick’s understanding of the value of their property and his insight about who would be drawn to a property which, in their words, was ‘off the grid, up a bush road’! Nick only encouraged people, who he genuinely believed would be a match, to inspect. The owners were very grateful that he did not waste everyone’s time.

If you are looking for an agent who you will give you a realistic value, work with you and respond to your individual needs then Nick is an agent who has developed an impeccable reputation in and around Castlemaine. Do not hesitate to contact him if you are interested in buying or if you are seeking an appraisal for your property.

 

Selling in Autumn

autumn_houseSpring is traditionally a busy period for the real estate industry – but did you know you’re actually more likely to sell your property in autumn?

It’s popular opinion that spring is the best time to sell your home, explains Luke Woollard, director of Pilot Estate Agents in Mornington, and for good reason.

“After the doldrums of winter, it’s believed that there are plenty of home buyers out there, which will result in lots of competition for your home,” he says.

The reality, however, is that spring doesn’t always bring with it a fresh supply of willing and eager homebuyers. continue reading 

More Tips

How to Sell a Home in Autumn
How to sell in Autumn