WomanGoingPlaces drove deep into a forest to film cheese being handmade by one of the leading artisan cheesemakers in Australia.

Burke Brandon recently won 2 Gold and 3 Silver medals at the Royal Sydney Cheese & Dairy Show. And he was also recognised as the 2013 Outstanding Farmer of the Year by The Weekly Times Farm Magazine.

Why did he win such distinction? After all, sheep have always been central to Australia’s wealth, history and and folklore. But Burke is not interested in the sheep’s wool or its meat. He is part of a small group of farmers who are pioneering the breeding of sheep for its milk. Cattle and cow milk have traditionally dominated the dairy industry in Australia, but now as many of these cattle farms go into decline, some farmers are experimenting with sheep dairies.

On their beautiful family farm in South Gippsland Victoria, Burke and his wife Bronwyn are involved in the whole process – growing the pastures, breeding the sheep, milking them and handcrafting the cheese.

From paddock to plate.

The farm and their range of Prom Country cheeses mark the evolution of the Brandon family as cheesemakers. It all began in the 1990’s when Brandon’s parents, Jan and Trevor Brandon set up Red Hill Cheese on the Mornington Peninsula. Their handmade cheeses developed such a following, that streams of people continue to make their way down winding dirt tracks through wooded hills, to taste and buy Red Hill cheeses at the cellar door.

And this is where, in a forest of eucalyptus trees, that WomanGoingPlaces was able to film Burke Brandon during the entire cheese making process, something not usually open to the public. What made it such an exciting experience was that we could see each stage of the process. In commercial dairies, you can’t see the milk and you can’t see the cheese, as they are concealed in massive closed vats and the entire process is mechanised from start to finish.

We watched Burke measuring, pouring, adding, stirring, adjusting, raking, scooping, draining, turning – constantly monitoring and shepherding the cheese as he shepherds his sheep.

We watched the miraculous moments when milk turned to curds and whey, and when the curds then turned to cheese.

Amazingly the run-off whey is not discarded. Instead, winegrowers from the region come to collect it and spray it on their vines, to reduce mildew and allow them to grow their grapes organically.

Prom Country Cheese is now celebrating the opening of their new specially designed Cheese Cellar Door on the farm in South Gippsland.  As well as tasting and buying their cheese directly from this farm gate outlet, there are displays of the farming and cheese making process. Classes in cheese making will also be held there. You are welcome to visit the farm.

For more information: http://www.promcountrycheese.com.au      http://www.redhillcheese.com.au

Interviewer, Videographer & Editor- Augustine Zycher

Farm visuals – Burke Brandon

Prom Country Cheese, Moyarra, Victoria



Red Hill Cheese, Red Hill, Victoria




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Melbourne Now – The National Gallery of Victoria



Like an Empress Dowager, the National Gallery has reigned over art in the state of Victoria for 152 years. This bluestone building, standing like a fortress behind a moat of water, has been a revered institution but also a very conservative one. Contemporary art was rarely exhibited here.

But now, in a dramatic break with the past, the Empress Dowager has flung off her ceremonial robes and put on jeans.

This is the feeling I got at the launch of the National Gallery of Victoria’s first ever massive exhibition of contemporary art, Melbourne Now. It is an explosion of colour and creativity. It features video, sound and light installations, interactive community exhibitions and artworks, and design and architectural components.

Over 400 local artists, designers and architects have individually and collectively brought a new excitement into the galleries. They are boldly and exuberantly celebrating the contemporary cultural identity of Melbourne.

This unprecedented exhibition was initiated by Tony Ellwood, the director of the NGV. He explained that “It takes as its premise the idea that a city is significantly shaped by the artists, designers, architects, choreographers, intellectuals and community groups that live and work in its midst.”  The Melbourne Now exhibition has brought this creative energy into the NGV and the effect, he said, has been “transformative.”

As you walk amongst the more than 250 works, you are able to identify and recognize so much of what it means to live in Melbourne today. There is a Design Wall with 600 everyday items such as tram handles and water coolers; icing-coated edible living and dining rooms; a large dome constructed out of plastic Ikea bins; and many other remarkable exhibits.

That could be the reason Melbourne Now has struck such a chord with both locals and tourists.

A record number of more than 100,000 people saw the exhibition in its first 2 weeks alone.

It is the perfect place to come on your own. You can come again with a friend or a group of friends. In fact, you can probably do all three as there are many opportunities to visit repeatedly and it would be near impossible to see it all in one visit. Entry is free, however often you visit.

We’ve prepared a presentation of photos of some of the exhibits for you to see. Photography by Augustine Zycher and Rosalie Zycher.  Several photos courtesy of NGV. Post by Augustine Zycher


Melbourne Now will be open until 23rd March, 2014. Note that the Ian Potter Centre in Federation Square is closed on Mondays and NGV International on St. Kilda Road is closed on Tuesdays.


Melbourne Now is not only the first major exhibition showcasing the city’s contemporary art, it is also the biggest exhibition in the gallery’s history. Spread over its two sites, NGV International on St. Kilda Road (B in map below) and NGV Australia at the Ian Potter Centre in Federation Square (A in map below), it also spills out into street art in the city’s laneways.

WomanGoingPlaces has written about the street art in Hosier Lane (http://womangoingplaces.com.au/go-touring-melbourne-street-art/ ). The project ALLYOURWALLS associated with Melbourne Now has painted over these works to allow a new group of the finest of Melbourne’s street artists a chance to exhibit.

Further Information

Not only is there so much to see, but there are a great many public events scheduled over the next few months as part of the Melbourne Now exhibition. You can get information on the website http://www.ngv.vic.gov.au/melbournenow.  

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Go Yachting in Australia – A Great Activity For Women


You’ve always wanted to go yachting but you don’t have a boat or a friend with a yacht. Here’s what you can do.

For $20 or less, you can become a temporary member of yachting and sailing cubs all around Australia. This enables you to go out on a boat as part of its crew.

It’s a spectacular way of seeing beautiful beaches along Australia’s magnificent coastline.

In Victoria alone, there are 89 clubs and about 400 clubs overall in Australia. Many offer one or even two days a week that you can go out for a sail. So there are opportunities for sailing in different parts of the country.

I phoned the Royal Melbourne Yacht Squadron in St. Kilda, Melbourne, and asked if I could take part in a sail. I was told to come along that afternoon, pay a fee of $20, and I would be assigned to a boat.

I knew nothing about sailing, but this was not a problem at all. Because it is entirely up to you whether you just want to sit back and enjoy the sail, or whether you want to have a more hands-on experience. Either way, the clubs, boat owners and crews are very welcoming.

And that’s how I came to take part in my first ever yacht race, a Twilight Sprint which began at dusk and ended at sunset on the waters of Port Phillip Bay.

I was on a 57′ S&S Swan yacht called the White Swan. And because we were in what is called a ‘pursuit’ race, White Swan was handicapped to start last because of her speed and size.

There was another guest on the boat. Diana had just completed her first sailing course because she thought it would be  a great idea to be able to sail to different countries when she retires.

Skipper of the day, Lee Maddison steered us out of the St. Kilda Marina into the bay. As we got into position for the start of the race, the skyline of Melbourne’s city centre rose up on our right. The gold cap on the striking Eureka Tower caught the fading sunlight and became a glittering beacon.

We set off and the crew went into frantic motion. Letting down sails, hoisting up sails, letting out ropes and winding them in. On a boat, ropes are called sheets – a whole new vocabulary. The excitement rose even higher as we began tacking or jibing, that is, quickly switching the position and tautness of the sails in order to make the most of the wind and trap its power to propel the sails.

As you do this, all crew members have to swiftly move from one side of the boat to the other to help balance the boat. You have to remember to duck as the boom swings from side to side.

At times, it was like being on a sea-borne roller coaster as the boat rose precipitously out of the water. And then suddenly, we were skimming along at an angle of almost 45 degrees. That was when I decided to stow my camera away and hang on with both hands.

Acting Skipper Lee maneuvered us very capably through it all, rapidly catching up on the other boats and flying past the markers.

White Swan finished in second place, even though we had started the race 25 minutes after the first boat began.

And I had an exhilarating, wonderful sail. Take a look at the video I took of the yacht race.

An additional benefit to signing up as a temporary member is that it entitles you to have dinner in the Royal Melbourne Yacht Club’s Members’ Dining Room. So after the sail, relax and join the crews for drinks and dinner overlooking the marina and the city lights.

Increasing numbers of women are taking up sailing. Yachting Victoria is now taking the initiative to increase the number of women taking part in sailing and to promote as many woman-friendly clubs as possible. They have set up a website www.womenandgirlsinsailing.com.au . Contact them to find out what’s available. You can decide on your level of involvement – a day trip or sailing courses, club membership, joining teams and racing. You can also search the internet for yachting and sailing clubs and call them to find out what they offer.

Woman-friendly: Definitely for women travelers wanting an exciting experience.

Videography and editing by Augustine Zycher


See our Noticeboard for more contacts both Australia-wide and in Victoria that will give you information about how to begin sailing at the various yacht clubs around Australia.



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有些巷道,如曾有一个多世纪是众多服装工厂所在地的福林德斯巷(Flinders Lane)都是这座城市生命的一部分。但它们曾经却都不是这座城市体面和值得炫耀的一部分。


其中最有特色的巷道艺术当属位于霍西尔巷(Hosier Lane)的了。参加一次游览或是自己去寻找它们吧。最后你还可以在沿途众多的咖啡馆中以享用美妙的咖啡完美收官。


摄影及编辑Augustine Zycher


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Go Mushrooming & Wild Mushroom Bruschetta recipe

Serves 4-6 as an entree or light lunch


  • 1 large loaf of Italian bread, sliced thickly – ciabatta is ideal
  • 3 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 3 tbs extra virgin olive oil or more if required
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 500g mixed mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 handful fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped, plus extra for garnish
  • I small handful fresh oregano, chopped
  • 1 small handful fresh thyme, chopped
  • wedge of parmesan cheese, for garnish
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper


Toast your bread in a toaster or on the grill. Once toasted, spread with a little of the mustard, then set aside on your serving plate.

In a large pan over medium-high heat, heat 3 tbsp olive oil. Once hot, add garlic and fry for two minutes until golden.

Add the mushrooms, salt and pepper and another sprinkling of olive oil. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for about   10-12 minutes, stirring often. Add the parsley, oregano and thyme, cook for another 5 minutes.

Add a little more olive oil if needed to moisten the mix.

Serve the mushrooms warm, on top of the bread slices.

Grate fresh Parmesan over the top and dress with some extra salt, pepper olive oil and parsley.


T’Gallant – www.tgallant.com.au

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