Signs of Christmas in Oakleigh

Signs of Christmas in Oakleigh

It’s looking a lot like Christmas in Oakleigh.

From pretty decorations dotted around the shopping precinct to embellished shop windows and poinsettia floral arrangements, Christmas has truly arrived in Oakleigh.

We spotted an elaborate yet modern Christmas tree in Eaton Mall, bright boards with festive messages and an oversized ball decoration.

Santa will also be roaming around Oakleigh Central shopping centre daily from 10am to 1pm until Saturday, December 24. Be sure to pop in to say hi and snap a selfie.

We hope you enjoy this snapshot of Christmas in Oakleigh – it’s our way of documenting and spreading the festive cheer.

To all our readers, thank you for supporting Discoverist this year. We wish you all a delightful Christmas and a cheerful new year.

Signs of Christmas in Oakleigh

An oversized ball decoration in Oakleigh.

Signs of Christmas in Oakleigh

A festive shop window in Oakleigh.

Signs of Christmas in Oakleigh

A poinsettia floral arrangement adorns a shopfront in Oakleigh.

Signs of Christmas in Oakleigh

Bright boards with festive messages are dotted around the Oakleigh shopping precinct.

Visit Santa at Oakleigh Central shopping centre this Christmas.

Visit Santa at Oakleigh Central shopping centre this Christmas.

Discover Bakaliko in Oakleigh

Bakaliko is the perfect stop-off for some traditional Greek fare.

Nestled in the heart of Oakleigh, Bakaliko offers Greek expats a chance to enjoy a taste of home thanks to its gourmet European deli options.

The family-run business sells a range of traditional Greek and Mediterranean delicacies, guaranteed to tantalise the tastebuds.

Since opening two years ago, Bakaliko has built a loyal following of regular customers who love having a friendly banter with the owner and exploring the products on offer.

Specialties include imported nuts, dips and a smorgasbord of delicious European cheeses. A popular choice includes Chelmos Kefalograviera, a firm, flavoursome cheese with a pleasant, salty, nutty flavor, a rich aroma and lingering aftertaste.

“Our cheese sells very well, as do our homemade dips, the raw almonds, and raw walnuts,” said owner Nick Moutzouris.

Bakaliko is the perfect stop-off for some feta, olives and Tsoureki, or sweet bread, before heading to a nearby park to enjoy a picnic and some Mediterranean fare.

There is also a large range of frozen spinach and cheese pastries from Greece on offer, as well as sweets such as Greek chocolate.

Mr Moutzouris has more than 35 years’ experience working in the food industry, in both retail and wholesale capacities.

His energy is as vibrant as the products in his store, and he welcomes every customer like an old friend.

Bakaliko is a family affair ­– Mr Moutzouris’ wife, sister, nieces and nephews all work in the shop.

The family are proud of their strong sense of community and charitable endeavours, donating hampers to support initiatives such as the Mytilini’s Youth Welfare Organisation.

Mr Moutzouris said he loved going into work each day and seeing the regulars, 70 per cent of whom are of Greek origin.

“Interacting with the customers is great and it makes your job more pleasurable,” he said.

“We’ve got a lot of Greeks who have moved over from Greece in the last couple of years and they walk in and feel like they’re at home.

“They can find all of the specialties they used to buy back home.”

Bakaliko is open Wednesday to Friday, from 7.30am to 5.30pm, and Saturday from 7.30am to 3pm.

Oakleigh 2015 Community Festival

Oakleigh Community Festival 2015

Archangel Michael & St Anthony’s Coptic orthodox church are hosting a free 2 day community festival.

The family friendly festival celebrates Oakleigh’s diverse culture with international food and tasty sweets.

The event includes kids entertainment including children’s rides, face painting, craft activities, animal farm, pony rides, and market stalls.

Oakleigh Community Festival 2015

Where: Archangel Michael & St Anthony’s Coptic orthodox church, 136 Drummond Street Oakleigh

When: Saturday 10 October & Sunday 11 October 2015

Time: 10am – 4pm

Learn Le Bop modern jive dancing in Oakleigh

Couple dancing - Le Bop

Those looking to put a little spring in their step are invited to join Le Bop modern jive dance classes in Oakleigh.

The dance style originated in France in the 1950s as a fusion of the American jitterbug and smoother rock n’ roll dancing.

Over time, Le Bop has borrowed a mix of moves from Street Latin including Jive, Lambada, Dirty Dancing and other styles, and is often danced to commercial music.

Classes are now running at Number Ninety in Oakleigh and teacher Kaarin Goode said the partner dance style was a great way for people to learn Le Bop in a social setting.

“Our focus is to get people freestyling or social dancing. We teach basic footwork and timing in the beginner class, where dancers learn a sequence of steps before moving on to freestyle,” she said.

While there are more than 400 moves in the dance style, Le Bop is easy to learn and ideal for beginners or those who enjoy freestyle movement.

Le Bop Dancing Class

Ms Goode said the style of dance can change depending on the teacher’s approach or influence.

“It’s a great way to be creative. And the style will all depend on the teacher – sometimes they’ll infuse some hip hop or a smoother, lyrical style.”

Ms Goode said Oakleigh was chosen as a location for the classes because the founders of Le Bop were keen to offer it in other areas of Melbourne.

“It was a way for us to take the dancing out to the suburbs, instead of expecting people to come in (to Prahran),” she said


Couple dancing

Ms Goode said the Oakleigh venue was smaller and more intimate than their Prahran location but the formal space offered “a lovely community feel”.

Since launching the classes in Oakleigh in August, there has been a positive response with old students returning because the location was more suitable, as well as several new attendees each week.

“It’s a good social night and a good way to get fit while having fun,” Ms Goode said.

Thanks to Le Bop/The Space Dance and Arts Centre for the images in this article.

Le Bop Dancing

Get Dancing Today

Le Bop dance classes at Number Ninety, Oakleigh

Time: from 7.30pm on Mondays
Place:  Number Ninety, 90 Atherton Rd, Oakleigh.
Phone: (03) 9529 3949

New rules for use of Jack Edwards Reserve in Oakleigh

Jack Edwards Reserve pavillion

Soccer players and dog walkers have to adhere to revised rules on the use of Oakleigh’s Jack Edwards Reserve.

Under new arrangements phased in over the past month, dogs are banned from the $1.3 million synthetic pitch area at all times, and during sports matches and training sessions, dogs are banned from the pitch surrounds, designated by a low fence.

Dog bans will also apply to the natural turf pitch and immediate surrounding areas two hours prior to and during National Premier League Victoria (NPLV) senior matches.

During these NPLV matches on the natural turf, the football clubs are permitted to lock the gates to the pitch and charge admittance fees. While the gates are locked, the area will be restricted to game spectators and associated soccer club patrons. The gates will reopen once the soccer match has finished.

Dogs are allowed to be off-leash on the natural turf pitch and surrounding areas at all other times, while other areas of the reserve can be accessed via a gate at the southern end of Parkside Ave which will be permanently unlocked.

Jack Edwards Reserve off lead

Following an arson attack at the synthetic pitch in March, which caused $50,000 worth of damage, Monash Council has agreed to install CCTV cameras to monitor the area and prevent repeat vandalism.

The gates to the synthetic pitch will also be locked from dusk to dawn for security reasons.

To prevent damage to the car park, heavy vehicles including trucks and large buses (rubbish collection vehicles excepted) will be banned from using the reserve’s off-street car park.

A Monash Council statement said the decision to introduce new arrangements “respects the needs of the different sectors of the community that use the reserve, including both dog walkers and the tenant sports clubs.”

The Oakleigh Cannons Football Club and the Chisholm United Football Club are based at Jack Edwards Reserve.

For further queries about animal management and dog walking, phone 9518 3257. For sport and recreation queries phone 9518 3560.

More details are also available at Monash Council’s website.

Jack Edwards Reserve is located at 22 Edward St, Oakleigh.

Monash Library Oakleigh: Thursday Knitting Group


Love knitting? The Monash Library in Oakleigh is hosting Thursday Knitting Groups.

Come down every second and fourth Thursday of the month for this FREE event, and catch up on some knitting while meeting fellow knitters who share your love for this fine art.

Anyone can join in, regardless of level of skill and experience.

Event Details

What: Thursday Knitting Groups

When: Every second and fourth Thursday till December 10, 2015

Time: Starts at 3:00pm

Where: Oakleigh Library, 148 Drummond Street, Oakleigh

Cost: Free

Find out more at the Monash Library website.

Discover the taste of Greece on a Greek food tour in Oakleigh

Oakleigh street dining

Experience the flavours and culture of Greece on a walking food tour in the heart of Oakleigh.

Gourmet Food Safaris will lead a guided tour that allows attendees to discover the best of Greek fare on offer in Oakleigh.

The day-long tour starts with a coffee and an introduction to Oakleigh’s rich Greek heritage and culture; a suburb that has become renowned as Melbourne’s “little Greece”.

It then moves on to a variety of tastings where dips, olives, cheese, Gyros (souvlaki) and other goods can be sampled, before finishing up with a sit-down lunch as the main meal.

Tour guide Victoria Kyriakopoulos says the walking food tour is not only a great way to discover the flavours of Greek food in Oakleigh but also gives attendees a valuable cultural lesson.

“You get a sense of the character of the place and of the Greek community in Oakleigh,” she says.

“It’s all family-run businesses so you get to meet the families and kids working behind the counter. Everyone is really passionate about what they do – they’re passionate about their produce and their business.

Marinated feta

“You also get to hear the stories along the way and get a unique insight into the local Greek culture.”

Ms Kyriakopoulos says the tour takes attendees “behind the scenes” of some of the bakeries and food stores in Oakleigh, giving them a chance to meet business owners.

“One of the great things about Oakleigh is all the characters we get to meet and talk to on the tour,” she says.

Oakleigh is the perfect destination for a Greek food tour because the area provides an environment similar to that of a small Greek village, says Kyriakopoulos.

“It’s quite a unique destination – there’s nowhere else in Australia where you get that immersion in Greek culture.

“Oakleigh has a very special atmosphere. It is bustling on a Saturday and that makes it feel very much like a genuine Greek village.”

Ms Kyriakopoulos says tour attendees can look forward to a “very full” and “lively” day.

“They (attendees) leave Oakleigh with a real sense of the Greek characters and flavours.”


The next Gourmet Food Safaris Greek walking food tour in Oakleigh is planned for Saturday, May 21, 2016.

For bookings, visit

Monash Library Oakleigh: Baby Time Monday

Monash Library Oakleigh: Baby time

Monash Library in Oakleigh is hosting Baby Time Monday for babies aged 12 months and under.

Come down every Monday for this FREE event and enjoy stories and rhymes and meet other parents and carers in your area.

Enjoy a fun and nurturing environment with plenty to do.

Event Details

What: Baby Time Monday

When: Every Monday till December 28, 2015

Time: 2:00 – 2:20pm

Where: Oakleigh Library, 148 Drummond Street, Oakleigh

Cost: Free

Find out more at the Monash Library website.

Player Profile: Adrian Chiappetta of Oakleigh Cannons Football Club

Adrian Chiappetta

From a young start through to leading a team as captain, enthusiastic soccer player Adrian Chiappetta has learned a thing or two from his years on the football field.

The 27-year-old defender is one of the newest members of the Oakleigh Cannons Football Club, after joining earlier this year.

Although Chiappetta is currently out on injury, after tearing the Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) in his knee, he is looking forward to getting back on the field next season.

“For the moment, I’m really focused on getting better, becoming stronger than I was and having a good year next year,” he said.

“I’m looking forward to getting settled into the club properly. Because I’ve had to miss out it has made me a bit hungrier. The club really deserves some success and I hope I can contribute to that.”

Making a move

After playing for Northcote City for six years and obtaining captaincy, Chiappetta made the jump to Oakleigh Cannons Football Club, based at Jack Edwards Reserve, at the start of the year.

The opportunity came up in mid-2014 when Chiappetta was asked by then Oakleigh Cannons coach Miron Bleiberg to join the club.

“It was a combination of good timing, being based at a club closer to home and playing under a coach who was someone I wanted to work with,” Chiappetta said.

Bleiberg has an impressive resume, with experience coaching teams across Australia including Croydon City, Heidelberg United and the Brisbane Strikers, before his string of successes in the Queensland Premier League with North Star and Queensland Lions.

The Israeli-born, Australian soccer coach announced his departure from the Oakleigh Cannons via his Twitter account on April 21, citing the decision as his own.

“It’s time to head back home to Brisbane,” Bleiberg wrote. “We built a good team and results are just around the corner.

“But with the pressure from home to come back (business/family) it’s better for the club to bring someone local than for me to stay half committed.”

Chiappetta said it was a privilege to work with Bleiberg, despite their short-lived relationship.

“He is really professional and very organised. He does things differently,” Chiappetta said.

“The level of respect and the way he went about training the team – that, I appreciated.”

Bleiberg has been replaced by coach Arthur Papas, who took the Oakleigh Cannons to the grand final back in 2011.

Chiappetta said Papas had some “great experience” to bring to the team, including a stint in India’s I-League and a role as an assistant coach with A-League team Newcastle Jets.

Miron Bleiberg

Former Oakleigh Cannons coach Miron Bleiberg (pictured, above) invited Adrian Chiappetta to join the club.

A game for life

Chiappetta said a love of the game began early in life – he starting playing soccer at the age of five and the sport has taken him overseas a number of times.

But he can’t pinpoint exactly what it was that attracted him to soccer.

“No one in my family really followed the game,” he said. “The only thing that really sticks out in my mind is my god brother who was big into soccer – I wanted to be just like him.”

Playing the sport has been beneficial, not only from a fitness and competitive perspective, but in learning skills that have transferred to Chiappetta’s personal and work life.

“Being able to listen and take instructions – those are some things that I’ve taken from the game into my own life,” he said.

“The discipline that I have learned from playing soccer has also carried on into the rest of my life.”

When it comes to passing on advice to up-and-coming young players, Chiappetta said he could “talk about that topic for hours”.

“There are a lot of things I’d like to say to young players but in a nutshell: follow your dreams, work hard to make something happen, and know that hard work is paramount.

“If you can get a good mix of discipline and hard work I think that will take you a long way. You’ve got to be prepared to put in the hard yards.”

Embrace a new sport at Olympic Ice Skating Centre, Oakleigh South

Ice Skating Oakleigh South

As the cooler weather sets in, it’s only natural that our attention turns to winter sports and recreation.

But there’s no need to travel far and wide to enjoy an activity such as ice skating.

Located a short distance from central Oakleigh is the Olympic Ice Skating Centre which is open for public skate sessions, private figure skating lessons, ice hockey games and speed skating.

The ice skating centre is open for public sessions on Wednesdays from 12pm – 3pm and Fridays from 1pm – 2.30pm.

It operates more frequently over weekends, with the ice rink open for public skating on Saturdays and Sundays from 9.45am – 11.45am and again from 2pm – 4pm.

Olympic ice skating in oakleigh south - speed skater

The centre really comes alive on Saturday nights, with a public disco skating session, involving music and lights, which runs from 8.30pm until 11pm.

These public skating sessions make for an ideal indoor exercise option, leisure activity, birthday party or family fun.

For those who have always dreamed of learning how to perform an arabesque, a backspin or a pivot on ice, the centre also offers private figure skating sessions throughout the week.

Anyone looking to take on a new sport this winter might want to consider ice hockey – the centre offers a hockey program run by the Next Level Hockey Association.

The centre also runs speed skating sessions for those looking to improve power, agility and balance in their skating technique.

If you’re looking to try a new sport or simply want to have a bit of fun on the ice this winter, be sure to visit Oakleigh’s Olympic Ice Skating Centre.

Olympic ice skating in oakleigh south - family fun

Getting to Oakleigh’s Olympic Ice Skating Centre

Where: 1080 Centre Rd, Oakleigh South

Phone: (03) 9579 3755

Admission costs: $23 general admission; $21 concession; $74 family (two adults, two children); $63 single family (one adult; two children). Includes free skate hire.

Car parking: Free car parking on site

By car: 5 minute drive from central Oakleigh

Closest train station: Clayton station (2.5km)

More details:

Exhibition: Trees to Remember Them By

Trees to remember them by - Avenues of Honour

‘Trees to Remember Them By’ is an exhibition of the four World War 1 Avenues of Honour in the Chisholm electorate.

Produced by Cooee History and HeritageOakleigh Historic Society, and enabled by a grant from the Department of Veterans Affairs, the exhibition runs from 30 March to 30 May 2015 at the Monash Federation Centre in Oakleigh. This

The exhibition will feature original images, soldier’s stories drawn from the avenues, images of the avenues today and exhibit original name plaques as well as provide opportunity for reflection and remembrance of the service of soldiers during World War 1.

Monash Federation Centre will be open the public on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 10am – 5pm for the duration of the event.

Event Details

WhereMonash Federation Centre, 3 Atherton Road, Oakleigh 3166

When: Tuesdays & Thursdays – 30 March – 30 June 2015

Opening Hours: 10am – 5pm (closed public holidays)


Oakleigh Rotary Sunday Market

Oakleigh’s Sunday market started more than 25 years ago as a humble market but has evolved into a thriving and well-loved local event that brings the community together every week.

Described as a trash and treasure market, visitors can find a range of preloved goods, vintage items, books, records, gardening equipment and tools. There is also a variety of produce available too, including fruit, vegetables and fresh flowers.

Run by the Oakleigh Rotary club, the market began in 1987 on a small scale with only 20 – 30 stalls.

By 1994-95 the market had grown in popularity, among both patrons and traders, and a vendor ticketing system was introduced to better manage the stalls.

Market chairman Peter Norman said about 160 stalls now operate in the peak months, with 140 stalls regularly operating throughout the year.

Mr Norman said the market has become an important part of Oakleigh’s fabric.

“It’s very much become a community meeting place on a Sunday morning. People look forward to their Sunday mornings to come down to the market, have a coffee and a chat,” he said.

“The stall holders love it; they love the ambience of the market.”

Mr Norman has seen the market evolve over the years and said, in its early days, many Oakleigh traders opposed the market because they felt it was poaching business.

“But now they embrace it,” Mr Norman said.

“The traders have seen that the market brings people to the area and they then patronise local shops, cafes and services.”

Oakleigh Rotary Sunday Market

The Oakleigh Rotary Sunday Market has a really unique range of things for sale. | Image credit: Save Oakleigh Rotary Sunday Market

One of the most incredible aspects of the Oakleigh Rotary Sunday Market is that it raises about $70,000 per year which is used to fund local, national and international projects, Mr Norman said.

“Over the past 20 to 25 years we have put about $1 million back into the community,” he said.

Projects that have been supported include a bushfire relief appeal, funding for schools, elderly citizens groups and the Polio Plus program, an international initiative which has helped reduce polio cases by 99 per cent worldwide since it began in 1979.

“It’s a wonderful thing that we are able to help others through the work we do. That’s what Rotary is all about,” Mr Norman said.

Information about the Oakleigh Rotary Sunday Market:

  • The market runs every Sunday (except Christmas Day) from 8am – 1pm
  • The market is located at the Hanover St carpark on the corner of Hanover St and Atherton Rd, Oakleigh
  • Closest train station: Oakleigh (Cranbourne, Dandenong and Pakenham lines)


The Sunday Rotary Trash & Treasure Market

When: Every Sunday

Time: 8am – 1pm

Where: Cnr Atherton Road and Hanover Street Oakleigh

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