Anzac biscuit cook up for Rotary

Cire Community School students have responded to a call out from Wandin Rotary for Anzac biscuits for the club’s community Anzac Day Service.

They eagerly bunkered down in the school’s Hospitality Training Centre at Yarra Junction to bake dozens of Anzac biscuits to serve up at morning tea, following the club’s Anzac Day Service at Wandin.

The students were delighted to support the club which has been hosting the community remembrance for about 20 years. Not only did some of them taste test Anzac biscuits for the first time but the initiative also sparked their interest in Anzac Day and its significance and to share their own family’s connections.

The cook up ticked some additional boxes for students studying for their Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL), satisfying one of the learning outcomes required for their course. One of the VCAL strands is Professional Development Skills (PDS) which aims to develop student knowledge, skills and attributes that lead to self-development and community engagement through family, social, community and environmental responsibilities; resilience, self-esteem and efficacy; and health and wellbeing. This partly involves responding to a need in the community. Their Anzac biscuits were of huge benefit to Wandin Rotary who hosted the morning tea assisted by Wandin CWA and much enjoyed by those who attended, as well as being rewarding for the students.

Cire Community School

(pictured above from left to right; Cire Community School Students Rd, Callum, Tiarna and Bella)

VCAL students commented:

  • It makes me feel great to help out on Anzac Day because my Great Grandmother was a nurse in WW2. I feel like I’m giving something back. It is so great to have our new kitchen (completed in 2020), with the new equipment we have we can improve our skills and do events like this for the community quickly.. Bella (pictured)
  • These opportunities make me feel good knowing that I’m helping in the community. We only come to this campus once a week specifically for this subject, we love the amount of new foods we can explore in this fantastic new space. Tiarna (pictured)
  • My Great Pop was in WW2. By helping bake Anzac biscuits and supporting Wandin Rotary and it being Anzac Day gives me a sense of pride. Ella

One of the baking sessions was timely for a Middle Years mixed class of Years 7 to 9 students. It provided a real life context to a Maths class earlier in the day as they had to work out how many times they had to multiply the recipe to bake the required number of biscuits, as well as work out ingredient quantities.

“The biscuits taste different but still yummy, said Callum (pictured) who was in charge of weighing the butter.

“They taste great. I hope they (Anzac Day attendees) like them,” added classmate “RD” (pictured)

While the history of Anzac biscuits varies, the following is one of the more popular accounts.

During World War I the wives, mothers and girlfriends of the Australian soldiers were concerned for the nutritional value of food being supplied to the troops.

Food was transported across the sea at a maximum speed of ten knots, or 18.5 kph, by ships of the Merchant Navy. Most of these ships did not contain refrigerated facilities, so food had to remain edible for at least two months. That is when the Anzac biscuit was “invented”, based on the Scottish recipe using rolled oats, sugar, plain flour, coconut, butter, golden syrup, bi-carbonate of soda and boiling water. The ingredients did not readily spoil and were easily maintained. Some soldiers also used crushed biscuits to make porridge.

The biscuits initially were called ”soldiers biscuits” but were dubbed Anzac biscuits after the landing on Gallipoli in 1915.

As the war continued, many groups like the Country Women’s Association, churches, schools and other women’s committees made Anzac biscuits to send to the troops.

Cire Services Inc. is one of the first organisational members of Wandin Rotary Club.

A leader in the making

What does it mean to have the skills to be a leader? Not everyone gets an opportunity to better themselves and prepare for what may lie ahead, but with the support and generosity of the Wandin Rotary, Hannah, a student from Cire Community School, was given this chance when she attended The Rotary Youth Seminar of 2017. This camp was designed to build leadership and communication skills in young people.

These are the words of Hannah.

I want to begin by mentioning that I consider my experience at RYLA leadership program to have been an invaluable catalyst and because of this, I feel an overwhelming amount of gratitude for my sponsorship from the Rotary Club of Wandin, and Cire Community School for giving me the opportunity.

The Rotary Youth Leadership Award (RYLA) is an experience, which feels almost impossible to describe because it is like no other. It is a residential seminar, expanding over the course of 6 days. Participants ranged from 18-30, and the program offered a diverse networking experience, which caters to the specific needs of young adults within this age group.

For me, RYLA felt like one of the most pivotal points in my life thus far. I believe that the program had a life-changing effect on every participant. It offered us access to powerful life skills delivered by an incredible leadership team who worked effectively, creating an intellectual and emotionally stimulating program.

Through this program, I took on a refreshed perspective, an improved outlook and approach toward multiple different aspects of my life and the way in which I navigate it. I consider the experience to have been a recalibration. Various other participants that I have spoken with share the same view.

With the perfect circumstances, environment, stimuli and duration for positive self-regulation, I feel that RYLA meets the true needs of young people, necessary in this day and age. RYLA enabled me to truly understand by example and experience what it is to be a leader and the absolute importance of leadership and teamwork. These two things are required and performed every day in all of our interactions and communications whether that be relationships, study, work, being a member of society, or just a good human being.

RYLA provided evidence of success and fulfilment through truly inspiring guest speakers, which opened an environment where I felt inspired by peers, idea sharing, activities, tests of the comfort zone, reflection and results.

All of these things coupled with an incredible leadership team encouraged every participant to be true to themselves. They allowed us to enjoy a truly authentic and rewarding experience. RYLA is host to an honest, motivating and passionate atmosphere that was contagious. It was an inexplicably inspiring experience to observe myself and those around me growing and learning in such a profound way.

RYLA gave me the chance to learn about myself, and to learn about others, to assess my strengths and weaknesses, and to assess the strengths and weaknesses of others. It also gave me an understanding of how we can use this knowledge and power in diversity for compatible success in all of our teams and communities.

I feel grounded in myself and in my community; I know this sense will continue to grow as I further engage. By searching deeper into my passions, strengths, weaknesses and my awareness, I feel more confident in where I am best able to contribute, engage and strive in the great wide world. I have an improved method for goal setting and more areas to set goals, which will lead to more and more goals.

Personally, one of the most valued effects that my experience instilled, was an improved sense of self-regulation; which serves as an umbrella term for the majority of all I learned at RYLA.

During our introduction to the seminar, Program Director, Alan, said that we may find an aspect of the seminar ‘indescribable’. I remember a few days before the seminar finished,  realising that I considered that ‘indescribable’ aspect to be the profound sense of connectedness, like-mindedness among diversity, lust for knowledge and growth. The power of collective passion, enthusiasm, motivation, optimism and deep community among strangers felt like an almost tangible force.

Since returning from RYLA, I feel that my quality of life has improved. The response to the program from my fellow 2017 Rylarians has been that of the same opinion. I believe that this is thanks to, what I consider, the psychological artillery that comes with the RYLA package.

Lastly, I consider RYLA to be a catalyst for every participant. Thank you, Rotary Club of Wandin. Words couldn’t really suffice for depicting my gratitude, so I will demonstrate my thanks in the way in which I conduct my life, living positively within my community, living out the lessons that I have learned as a Rylarian.

If you would like to find out more information about Cire Community School or would like a tour contact 1300 835 235


Moira’s story, turning 100 and growing up in the valley

Moira Burgi, a valued Cire In Home Care client, celebrated her 100th birthday on Monday 25th July 2016.  Moira is the only grand-child remaining of the original Burgi family, the first settlers in the Wandin district.

Celebrations for Moira’s centenary began with a special mass for her on Saturday 23rd July at her Catholic Church in Lilydale where not only she, but also her mother was Christened. This was followed by a celebration of Moira’s milestone with a gathering of over 150 family and friends at the Gruyere Hall on Sunday 24th July.

“It felt like it was happening to someone else, not me.  It was such a lovely day, I spoke to so many people and it will take me a long, long time to read each of the cards.”  Moira speaking about her celebrations

Johann Burgi, Moira’s grandfather, was a German-speaking Swiss man who came to Victoria in 1854.  He met and married Mary Tyne in 1864, an Irish immigrant from Tipperary, Ireland.  They had 10 children: the second born in 1866, was Edmund, Moira’s father.

In that year Johann had been experimenting growing tobacco on Sam de Pury’s property in Lilydale.  It was at this time that land in the Wandin area was surveyed and made available. Johann selected Lot No.1, a heavily timbered and completely undeveloped area on the corner of what is now known as Burgi Hill Road and Victoria Road.

He set to and cleared enough land to build what he described as “a good comfortable hut” and moved there on May 11th, 1867, bringing his wife and 15 month old son Edmund, Moira’s father with him.

Edmund, in turn, married Mary Lily Kiernan.  They built a house in Victoria Road where Moira was brought up with her two brothers, Bernie and Eddie.  This house is still Moira’s home to this day.

Life was very different when Moira was a child.  She couldn’t recall having any toys – just a paling through the fence for a see-saw and a farm pony to ride.  There were few other children around for herself and her brothers to play with except for their three cousins from Lot 1 John, Mary and Nancy. Church was an hour’s drive away in an open jinker, but Moira’s mother made sure the family never missed a Sunday.

Moira was at school at the convent in Lilydale from the age of 7 years and up until she was 15 in 1931.  Ten years later she trained as a mothercraft nurse and worked with many families in Victoria and interstate.  This was followed by more than a decade in the office at Belloc House in Kew.  In the mid 60’s, she returned home to Wandin to care for her mother full time.

Moira’s father Edmund was the first European child in Wandin.  He and Moira, between them, have seen all of Wandin’s development since.

“Today there are roads, churches, sporting grounds, schools, shopping centres, cars and all sorts of motor vehicles, iPods and mobile phones.  Imagine life in 1866, no running water, no power, no refrigeration or air-conditioning, no phones, no cars, no public facilities, no schools, no glad-wrap and the ‘local’ priest was in Heidelberg! We have certainly come a long way in my 100 years.”

Moira has been a client of Cire In Home Care for a number of years now, and credits her being able to stay in her family home with the expert care and assistance she receives from her carers.

“Thank you so much for all your assistance.  Without your help, I would not have been able to remain in my own home for so long.”

Moira’s long term carers Cassie and Bev very much enjoyed joining in the Sunday afternoon celebrations for Moira’s 100th.

We finish this article with a couple of quotes from Moira.

“Thank you for helping me celebrate my very special birthday”.

“The past is just a memory away…”

If you would like to know more about Cire In Home Care services click here or call 1300 835 235.

Cire In Home Care – Supporting people to live independently