President’s Report

In the last month we have witnessed the loosening of restrictions within the community and some of those imposed on our respective businesses. For some this will be a great relief and hopefully the first step in the return to what we used to call normal. For others it will be a question of how their particular business will cope with reopening under the remaining restrictions, or whether reopening is even practical given the remaining restrictions.  Unfortunately, there is an absolute plethora of information available on the internet and the media, which may be overwhelming and, in some cases, even contradictory.  For those of us who have been members for some time, you will have no doubt had the opportunity of meeting other members who operate in the same sector of tourism industry as yourself. If you are at all unsure of your next step, I would encourage you to engage with such business owners to “compare notes” and share ideas and your respective interpretations. If you need to confirm contact details, please check with any of our committee members.

At our last virtual committee meeting we discussed the likely impact on TNYV’s activities over the forthcoming months. In the first instance we concluded we would most likely continue with our virtual networking events, be they virtual breakfasts, morning teas or pub nights, for the months of June and July. However, depending on the community health impacts of easing the restrictions and the corresponding responses of the Victorian Government, I am hopeful of us being able to return to a semblance of our normal events in August or September – fingers crossed!

So, I wish you all the best of luck with your families and your businesses over the next month, and look forward to seeing you, at least virtually, at our next networking event.

Ed McGettigan


New Members

  • – Bart Sobies

TNYV 2019-20 Membership

Reminder that our 2020-2021 membership renewal payments have been delayed until October 31. In the mean time we will continue to be working on bringing you together virtually with ‘Morning Tea’s’ and ‘Pub Nights’ until the restrictions on gatherings are lifted.

Email us if you have any queries regarding your membership. If you know of someone in the Industry that needs support right now and would like to join TNYV, we are currently offering a $40 pro-rata membership fee that will cover them until October 31. Send them this email and they can register online at any time!


Networking & Events

Last Pub Night

Our Virtual Pub Night was a great way to connect while in “ISO” – Check out what happened at the latest Pub Night

New Hospitality Centre

It’s all hands-on, in the kitchen, for students at Cire Community School’s spanking new hospitality training centre at its Yarra Junction campus. The much-anticipated facility was completed just as the COVID-19 restrictions commenced, so students were super keen to start cooking up a storm when they were given the green light recently to return to campus in stages.

Cire has invested more than $600,000 in the project, a massive undertaking for the not-for-profit but a very clear demonstration of its commitment to providing positive and realistic career pathways for students and also the broader community. Cire CEO Gus Seremetis described the project as a real stimulus and a tremendous positive for the whole region, especially given the impact of COVID-19 at so many levels in terms of health and social and economic wellbeing.

‘Cire Community School offers vulnerable young people a positive alternative to mainstream education. The new centre has given our students so much to look forward to and also provides the community with a new resource to create employment pathways and community/social interaction, connection and support’, she said. ‘We are now in an economic
recession but we still need to look forward and give our young people hope in the future.’

Ian Seppings, VET/VCAL teacher responsible for hospitality training at the community school, said the new facility provides students with exciting new opportunities for learning real life hospitality knowledge and skills.

‘The students helped unpack the equipment and set up the training stations which has given them a them real ownership and new sense of pride … I’ve never seen students so enthusiastically wash, dry and put away their dishes!’ remarked Ian who is a chef by profession. ‘With all this
COVID stuff, we’ve been waiting a long time for our first practical session. It’s really exiting, exclaimed one student while another added: ‘The kitchen
just looks so professional… Being in this space and wearing my uniform, just gives me so much more confidence.’

The facility comprises a state of the art commercial kitchen with eight fully-equipped training stations to accommodate up to 15 students, a dedicated area of coffee machines for barista training, plus a spacious outdoor deck and landscaped gardens with vegetable beds to support the hospitality program’s emphasis on ‘paddock to plate’ and healthy eating. It is hoped the facility can eventually be used to cater for internal and external functions and events, while the deck will provide a great gathering space and possible location for a social enterprise, similar perhaps to the pop up cafe run by students at Cire’s Chirnside Park Community Hub.

Ed McGettigan, President of Tourism Network Yarra Valley, has welcomed the new facility and commended Cire’s vision. Confident the tourism and hospitality sector would re-emerge to a new level of normality, whatever form that may take, he said the facility was a real injection of confidence in the future. He said it would be the drive of many benefits to the broader community, economically, socially and emotionally as well as the students themselves.

‘If young people have skills sought by employers and career pathways with local opportunities, it gives them a reason to stay in the region rather than move to bigger centres for work, away from their families and support networks.’ Ed suggested. ‘Apprentice wages are low and barely cover the cost of accommodation in bigger centres. Where possible, staying with family works much better while you are starting out.’

Ed said it was important for young people to be independent when the time was right, and gain experience away from home, with the possibility of returning to the region in the future, upskilled and well-placed to make their mark in the local tourism and hospitality and  industry.

He flagged that he will be discussing Cire’s project with the TNYV membership and encourage them to support the venture, whilst considering the potential for work experience opportunities and support wherever possible, as they move forward post COVID-19.

Supporting the community

What’s Happening Around the Yarra Valley in Winter..

  • Healesville Sanctuary is open and welcoming visitors (Tickets must be pre-purchased before arrival)
  • Alowyn Gardens & Warratina Lavendar are open
  • Great news that our pubs and wineries can re-open from the 22nd June!
  • Watts River Brewing & Innocent Bystander are also open and welcoming customers (make sure to check opening times and pre-book your spot in advance.)


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Editor’s Note

Stay tuned for further information on upcoming events as our lockdown restrictions are reviewed and we are able to gather together once again.

If you have a venue that would be suitable to host one of our TNYV Pub Nights or breakfasts later this year, let us know! We’d love to visit and promote your business amongst the TNYV Community.

Don’t forget to tell everyone on social media when your business is back open and ready to welcome guests or customers!

Use #roadtripyarravalley #findyourself #holidayherethisyear #sharingiscaring #visityarravalley_official and #visitvictoria when posting on Instagram.

Till our next newsletter, enjoy the beautiful Winter weather and stay safe

Caroline Brown
TNYV Editor