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SFA Newsletter Winter 2020


SFA is free to join. Donations are appreciated to help support research of Bayside
Payments can be made directly to Museums Victoria
The Lost World of Bayside Fossils
using this link:
Museums Victoria Bayside Fossil Fundraiser
(Donations are 100% tax deductible).

"We acknowledge the traditional custodians of the waters and lands on which we live
and work, and pay our respects to the Elders past, present and emerging”
Dr Vicki Karalis AM
President, Sandringham Foreshore Association

Dear Friends and Members of the SFA,

Instagram - exploring a wider world of treasures

During the COVID-19 lockdown my children helped me navigate and start up my own Instagram
account! Instagram enabled me to connect with like-minded people and explore a whole new world.
I have a small following at this stage but anyone interested to follow my professional page on
positive images and stories of the beach, fossils, cliffs, plants, trees and medical hot topics such as
air pollution -please welcome to connect with my personal Instagram: @kotsirilos

The Lost World of Bayside

Instagram enabled me to connect with Museums Victoria and The Lost World of Bayside - fossil
team. I was so impressed by their continued fossil discoveries at both Sites A and B Bayside fossil
sites. See below a sample of Ben Francischelli's latest discoveries. I have really enjoyed viewing
the fossils discovered and watching Ben's weekly video presentations every Friday. These activities
would not have been possible without the support of the community and Bayside City Council. So I
encourage you to please connect with the Museums Victoria team and Bayside Earth Sciences
Society instagrams using the following links for their latest fossil discoveries:
Instagram: and

The Lost World of Bayside Fundraising

Unfortunately due to COVID this year we were not able to run the face to face fundraiser to support
the good work of Dr Erich Fitzgerald and his palaeontology team. I recently caught up with Dr
Fitzgerald and it impressed me how many significant fossils they continue to discover, the scientific
exploration and publications they are producing as a result of the new discoveries of Bayside
fossils. The Bayside fossils are a national treasure and jewel of Melbourne's natural heritage! The
Bayside community are so honored, proud and grateful to Dr Erich Fitzgerald and the Museums
Victoria team for their ongoing enthusiasm and interest in the fieldwork and research of the Bayside
fossils. There is an article soon featured in the Banksia Bulletin acknowledging the many Bayside
community groups including Bayside City Council who have provided support to Museums Victoria.
The article will be published soon in the winter issue found

EXPEDITION BAYSIDE! Bringing the World to Bayside’s Unique Fossil Heritage

Below you will find information about the new project Dr Erich Fitzgerald and his palaeontology
team are hoping to launch with our community support. They can only run this project with our help.
We know times have been difficult for many but if possible please provide a tax deductible donation
to The Lost World of Bayside using this link: Museums Victoria Bayside Fossil Fundraiser
Or contact us via email to personally connect you with the
philanthropy department at Museums Victoria.

The Sandringham Community Bank, Branch of Bendigo Bank have kick started this year's
fundraising by offering a GENEROUS $1000 donation. THANK YOU so much to the branch
manager Mr Matthew Gallop for organising this generous donation! Below are photos of Mr Gallop
and Dr Fitzgerald at Sandringham beach.

Lecture to Rotary Club of Brighton

Recently I was honored to lecture to the Rotary Club of Brighton on the significance of the Bayside
fossils in particular the Beaumaris Bay fossil site. Any groups who would like a presentation of the
Bayside fossils, please contact myself or MV Palaeontologist Ben Francischelli via his facebook or
instagram [listed above] who presents an exciting talk with displays of his fossil finds. Bayside Earth
Sciences Society Inc (BESSI) is also a great group to contact too if interested on fossil talks.

Save the Hampton Pier

The Hampton jetty was constructed in 1882. In this issue we have profiled historical photos of the
Hampton Pier / Jetty. It is currently closed after Parks Victoria discovered a few slumps along the
pier. This may have occurred after the dredging of the black sludge earlier this year, most likely due
to sand shifting. The Hampton Pier is a Bayside icon. Many locals have stories to share of the pier
so it is not suprising the community are working hard to support Parks Victoria to restore the pier.
Below we have an email from Parks Victoria explaining why they had to close the pier immediately
to protect the safety of the public. This was a reasonable step they took. So to ensure we protect
and restore the pier, and support the good work of Parks Victoria there is currently two petitions we
would like everybody to sign. There is a hard copy petition available at the Sailboard headquarters
or you can obtain a copy from the Sandringham MP Brad Rowswell's office [phone 95982688].
We hope you enjoy the winter issue of the SFA newsletter

May we live in peace, harmony & in good health. That we eat well, exercise daily, sleep
soundly, reduce stress & be in touch with nature. That we learn from recent challenges, be
kind to one another & take better care & respect of our unique planet to live a more
sustainable healthy clean way by protecting the air we breath, the water we drink & the land
that grows our food! Blessings to all!

With kindness, Vicki

Bringing the World to Bayside’s Unique Fossil Heritage

Mr Matthew Gallop, Dr Erich Fitzgerald and Dr Vicki Karalis

It was an honor to have Dr Erich Fitzgerald, Museums Victoria senior curator and palaeontologist
visit our local beach to personally thank Mr Matthew Gallop, Manager Bendigo Bank, Sandringham
branch to express our gratitude for their kind donation to the Lost World of Bayside project. See
below photos taken by Chris Karalis. Erich talked about their new project titled Expedition Bayside
and demonstrated some of the trace fossils in the Sandringham sandstone.

Bringing the World to Bayside’s Unique Fossil Heritage
Bayside Council is home to Australia’s most important urban fossil sites––Beaumaris Bay Site A
and the emerging fossil hotspot of Site B. Combined, these fossil sites are reshaping scientific
understanding of the history of Australia’s sea creatures from 5 million years ago.

Fusing scientific field expeditions in Bayside with the power of up-to-the-minute web videos on
social media, Museums Victoria will provide worldwide access to The Lost World of Bayside at a
rate and scale never before attempted. Each week for 12 weeks over summer 2020/2021,
Museums Victoria palaeontologists will explore Bayside, produce a short (2–4 minutes) ‘mini-
documentary’ on their latest discoveries, and broadcast these videos via Museums Victoria’s and
Bayside Council’s social media channels. Museums Victoria’s and Melbourne’s Museum’s social
media channels alone reach an audience of >500,000 people.
Image below from left to right:
Dr Vicki Karalis, Dr Erich Fitzgerald, Mr Matthew Gallop
Treasures from the Lost World of Bayside

June Field Update

Museums Victoria Palaeontologist:

Ben Francischelli

Hi all! I hope you're safe.

Crazy times! Despite the recent restrictions, the Melbourne Museum is open once
again! Its been great to utilize the labs once more, and continue preparation on the
specimens of Bayside. As Port Phillip Bay dips in temperature, the exploration of these
fossils becomes more difficult with each dive. Despite this, we've made even
more scientifically important finds... Remains of giant baleen whales, the oldest evidence
of "deep-diving" beaked whales in Australia and prehistoric river dolphins have been
found in the last month.

In addition to this, our team has been utilizing the Museums multimedia platform: we've
been creating Fossil Friday videos of our most recent finds in Bayside. Ill post the most
recent one below!

Our discoveries are consolidating Bayside as one of the most important fossil
sites in Australia.

Below are some of the images from our fieldwork over the last few weeks.

None of this is possible without your help. For more information, follow us on


Facebook Instagram
"Fossil Friday with the Megalodon" (a tooth recently found at Site B in Bayside,

The back end of the skull (exoccipital/squamosal) of a VERY LARGE baleen whale our
team found in Bayside (Site A) recently.
A recently found pelagornithid (largest-ever flying bird) wing bone. The bone is only 2
mm thick; the rest is infilled by 5-6 million year old sediment. Pelagornithids had
incredibly hollow bones; it allowed them to soar over the southern ocean for millions of

A very large vertebra from a 5 million year old baleen whale. I was able to give it a "deep
clean" in the paleontology preparation lab earlier in the week (gloved fingers for scale!).
Sea foam or soap suds?
Can anyone provide more information about the sea foam as evidenced in these images
recently spotted at Sandringham and Brighton beaches? It is likely the sea foam was
produced from algae source.
Council recently inspected the sea foam at low tide and we do not believe the foam is
coming out of the drains. It certainly is not soap foam as there is no oily surface to the
foam and it does not feel like a surfactant of any sorts.
There are large amounts of Red Algae in the bay at the moment and this is producing
the foam. In the amounts we are seeing it is not an issue to be concerned about.

Bayside Beach Patrol

- helping to keep our beaches clean

Hi to all Beach Patrol Members

Beach Patrol are sending a shout out to let you know that, while they are still not running any official
3193 or 3191 Beach Patrols at the moment, they are still thinking of you all and hope you are
keeping well.
Beach Patrol Australia is still not authorising official beach cleans.
The unfortunate spike in the spread of the virus means that they must observe now the stricter new
Covid rules re-introduced on Saturday 20 June, and good hygiene practices.
They will let you know as soon as they can about when they will start operating again as a big
friendly group.
The beaches still need cleaning, so it would be great if you could get together with a couple of
friends and do some of your own beach clean.
For the Ricketts Point group, you can still wear your 3193 Beach Patrol Tshirt!
And please remember to record your results on our free Beach Patrol Australia Litter Stopper
Beach Patrol is also in the process of moving all its groups to a different web based system so
currently our old email platform has been discontinued.
Usually Beach Patrol Volunteers meet every month to pick up rubbish that either has been
washed in or dropped in the Marine Sanctuary.
BP 3191 and BP 3193 are local Bayside groups that regularly clean Melbourne's beaches. Visit
their website to find a group near you or if there isn't one why not
gather a group of friends or neighbours and form your own?

Vicki was appalled seeing all this rubbish at the base of the Red Bluff Cliff on Thursday
25 June when the tide was out! We must prevent this from happening to protect the
health of the Port Phillip Bay.
Hundreds of dolphins spotted in Bayside in June 2020
Photo of Bob Mason and with his dog Hundi. Bob took these amazing images on 20th
June 2020 of "100’s of dolphins" just outside of Southey St groyne at Sandringham
beach. The dolphins were competing with Gannet birds for fish. This is a sign the Bay is
Save Hampton Pier!


Can you spot the slumps on the Hampton Pier?

Parks Victoria concern for state of Hampton Pier &

response to email from SFA
dated 25th June 2020
Hello Vicki,
Thank you for your email regarding the recent Hampton Pier closure.
As you may be aware Parks Victoria have had to close the pier on 12 June 2020 due to an
unacceptable risk to members of the public in its current condition.
Over the last few months a rapid amount of deck slumping was observed - and Parks Victoria
commissioned a thorough dive inspection. After carrying out the dive inspection, which included
pile inspections beneath the seabed - we were made aware that a number of piles had deteriorated
so much that they had led to the structure slumping. Parks Victoria engineers have reviewed these
dive reports and have had to close the pier to all access in the interest of public safety.
At this point in time I am unable to provide a further timeframe on the next steps. Parks Victoria
will continue to work with affected stakeholders on site and will provide updated communications as
soon as possible.
Thankyou again for your email – I hope you are well also.
Kind regards,
Area Chief Ranger I West Port Phillip

Local residents petition to restore the Hampton pier

To ensure we protect and restore the Hampton pier, there are currently two petitions we
encourage you to sign.
The objective of the petitions are to create broad community support for the re-installation
of this Bayside icon to secure appropriate and timely funding for Parks Victoria to do so.
You can help by signing:

1. The hard copy petition available at the Sailboard headquarters or you can obtain a copy from
the Sandringham MP Brad Rowswell's office on Bay Rd Sandringham or email to email a copy of the petition
2. Sign the online Petition Link here
Graham White is the organiser of the online petition - you can contact Graham via his Facebook


The Hampton jetty was constructed in 1882.
Mike Meyers is pictured below in front of the Sailboard Headquarters -the original Beach
boatshed built in 1916 where hire boats were launched on a flying fox! The Sailboard
Headquarters features a number of black and white historical images of the Hampton
Pier/Jetty as featured below.

We encourage you to visit the Boatshed, admire the many historical photos of the area
on display, and sign the hard copy petition to support Parks Victoria to restore the
Hampton Pier.
There is a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow -Half Moon Bay June 2020
Image supplied by Sandringham resident Bob Mason

Committee members of SFA

Dr Vicki Karalis President; Medical practitioner, expert in environmental medicine
Alison Horton Vice President & Public officer/secretary; Perfusionist
Adrienne Smith Committee member; IT consultant
Ike Solomon Committee member; Corrosion engineer
Salva Crusca Committee member; Counsellor
Helen Gibson Committee member; Geologist and Renewable Energy advisor
Craig Francis Committee member; IT consultant, teacher

Free SFA Membership

The Sandringham Foreshore Association is a charitable not-for-profit association. Membership is free. Our
self-acclaimed role is to foster and promote good natural conservation principles to Bayside foreshore
management. Our current focus is to assist public education by aligning ourselves with scientific experts in
fields of conservation and natural environment, and to facilitate effective communication between
community – council and state governments – and established environmental science publications and
position statements.
The role of SFA is to care for and help protect our local beaches and cliffs, but also to educate, raise
awareness and preserve our local archaeological, geological, cultural, indigenous and heritage sites such
as the Beaumaris Bay fossil site.
If you are interested in joining our free membership, to receive notices and our Quarterly Newsletters –
Please respond via our website

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