About East Gippsland
East Gippsland in the far east of Victoria is home to magnificent coastal areas and old growth forests.
In 2012, ACMI film crews visited the towns Lakes Entrance, Orbost, Marlo, Omeo and Swifts Creek, creating films that celebrate local stories and explore the contemporary preoccupations of people living in East Gippsland.
Omeo and Swifts Creek
The Swifts Creek Bush Nursing Centre (8 mins 30 secs)
Learn about the vital role bush nursing plays within the small rural town of Swifts Creek.
Swifts Creek has had a bush nursing service since 1918 when staff were originally transported on horseback. These days the bush nurse Sue Carroll visits patients in a 4WD and understands the importance of providing medical care to locals that are often isolated and unable to travel to the Omeo Hospital. Whether it’s farmers in need of wound management, children with the measles or victims of car accidents, Sue is usually the first person on the scene.
Part nurse, part social worker, all legend; Sue and the staff at the Swifts Creek Bush Nursing Centre provide a vital 24/7 service to not only the local community but the wider surrounding regional area.
Deirdre Jack: Swifts Creek Artist (7 mins 05 secs)
Meet Swifts Creek painter Deirdre Jack, an artist passionate about her local environment and the voluntarily run Great Alpine Gallery. The rolling hills and golden fields that surround her Swifts Creek bush studio inevitably make their way into her vibrant oil paintings and pastel sketches. Fruit, however is the main subject of her latest exhibition premiering at the Great Alpine Gallery, a small exhibition space that sits in the heart of Swifts Creek and run voluntarily by a group of fellow artists.
The gallery has been a vital place for local artists since 1989 and continues to survive despite the challenges of running an art space in a small rural town.
My Omeo: A Short History (7 mins 50 secs)
Discover Omeo’s rich history through local tour guide and historian: Jeff Cooper
Jeff Cooper is a guardian of all things great about Omeo and its checkered history. His role within the community is not only as a custodian of the local records, but as a passionate tour guide of the Omeo Historic Park and local gold fields. The park contains five heritage-listed buildings that are believed to be some of the most intact and original in Australia.
Jeff believes Omeo is the last bastion of self-funded retirement and despite losing his home and livestock in the 2003 bushfires, wouldn’t live anywhere else in the world.
Orbost and Marlo
Orbost Locals (9 mins 40 sec)
Meet Mick Colling: the publican of the Orbost Club Hotel who is heavily involved in fundraising within his local community and in particular for Ronald McDonald House. Lachie Macalister, a true local and 80 + years old farmer who has lived and farmed in Orbost all his life, growing everything from potatoes and pumpkins, and working the land with pigs and cattle.
Heather Terrell, a passionate gardener, volunteer and member of the local historical society. Liz Mitchell, a tree changer and small business owner who decided to move to Orbost because she loved the environment and wanted to raise her family in a rural region. Sam Mitchell, an 18-year-old student known around town for the extraordinary machines he builds and rides.
Paddle Steamer Curlip (10 mins 25 sec)
Some years ago a group of Orbost locals built the PS Curlip II as part of a community project. After 16,000 hours of voluntary labour the paddle steamer was launched and continues to this day to transport tourists in and around the various waterways of East Gippsland. Members of the PS Curlip committee talk about the history, their involvement and the future of the much-loved paddle steamer.
Welcome to Cape Conran (9 mins 40 sec)
Cape Conran Coastal Park consists of 11,700 hectares of pristine coastal wilderness. Meet Carla and Josh Puglisi who manage the park with Mike Irvine; the park ranger, as they talk about the importance of protecting the coastal environment, the rich indigenous history of the area as well as what it’s like living within and raising families in such a beautiful place.
Respect and Belonging (7mins 40 secs)
As a respected Elder, pastor and community health worker; Aunty Phyllis Andy feels a strong connection not only to the land but the people that live within it. She understands the importance of connecting with the next generation and uses storytelling to pass on respect and culture to the young Indigenous people of her community.
Lakes Entrance Surf Life Saving Club (8 mins 45 secs)
Founded in 1956, the Lakes Entrance Surf Life Saving Club currently has over 400 members and patrols the beach from November through to Easter. The Club not only provides a vital service to locals and tourists alike, but is also a fantastic way for the young people of Lake’s Entrance to gain life skills, practical knowledge and build confidence.
Lakes Entrance Fishing (6 mins 45 sec)
Arthur Allen and his family have maintained a tradition of lake fishing in East Gippsland for five generations and hope to continue for many years to come. Despite the uncertainty of the industry, Arthur, his son Matthew and the Lakes Entrance Fishermen’s Co-op continue to keep fishing alive in Lakes Entrance.
East Gippsland Shire