Chewton monthly is a publication that focuses on Chewton and district. It is produced by volunteers who also help with distribution and published by the Chewton Domain Society (CDS) to publicise and promote local events, groups and businesses. Chewton Chat is a not-for-profit publication of the CDS, which is also a not-for-profit community organisation. Funding comes from advertising in the paper as well as generous donations.
A CDS Subcommittee is responsible for Chewton Chat, which is circulated on the first of each month, with a deadline for news stories, articles, letters and ideas for consideration set around the 22nd day of the previous month.
Chewton Chat, known locally as The Chat, is an A4 sized colour and monochrome newspaper and is a member of the Community Newspaper Association of Victoria (CNAV) and has won awards or been a finalist most years for its quality journalism. This includes best editorial comment, best history article, best hard news reporting, best community reporting and best news feature story.
Chewton Chat is available to read online at www.issuu.com and www.chewton.net and also has its own Facebook page. Each month, 600 copies are circulated to pick-up points including the Chewton General Store, Top Dog, Chewton Post Office, Chewton Service Station, Red Hill Hotel, Castle Automotive Enterprises and Chewton’s Tourist Information Board, as well as the Bold Cafe, She Sells Seafood, Castlemaine Library, Market Building, Castlemaine Community Health, CIC, Castlemaine Copy Centre and Castlemaine Office Supplies. Mt. Alexander Hospital Residential also receives monthly copies, all of which are within the local government area of Mount Alexander Shire to include not just Chewton, but also Spring Gully, Fryerstown, Faraday, Golden Point and Wesley Hill.
March 2019 marks 240 editions of Chewton Chat over 20 years and over 32 pages, covers news updates on Kalamazoo, artist Sally Duncan’s new exhibition, the renovation of the lock-up, details of what’s happening at Chewton Pool and another in-depth report on the Expedition Pass Reservoir, plus the surprise finding of Chewton House in the city of Melbourne, just over 100 kilometres south-east of Chewton.
One of the most significant stories in the latest editions of Chewton Chat is news that Kalamazoo Resources Ltd has been granted an Exploration Licence covering the Wattle Gully gold project near Chewton. This covers a total area of 70km2. Another exploration licence application covers regional geological structures associated with gold potential covers an additional 218km2. The licences offer a rare opportunity to secure an advanced regional gold asset, extensive exploration database and substantial drill core farm at minimal cost.
Australian artist Sally Duncan is opening an exhibition entitled: The sound of Form, The Colour of Soul for the upcoming Castlemaine State Festival. On display will be a range of sculpture, drawing, painting and glassworks by the artist. The event will start with a Conversation with the Artist event at 17:00 on 22 March then run daily from 11:00 to 18:00 with the closing event at 17:00 on 31 March, the day the festival ends. Several others from Chewton will also be contributors at the Festival. St John's Anglican Church is on Fryers Road, opposite Chewton Soldiers Memorial Park.
In the March edition of Chewton Chat, it was announced that the state's Swim Smart programme would fund additional swimming lessons for schools that need it, catch-up lessons for children needing extra support and more support to cover transport and pool entry frees. These federally funded swimming lessons will create revenue for community-run pools, including Chewton Pool which already runs school events for the Chewton Primary School pupils.
Old Chewton Lock-Up
The old Chewton Lock-Up which is now next to Chewton Town Hall, but was originally placed in the police paddock in the 1850s, was a mobile holding cell during the gold rush years. The Lock-Up has recently been repaired and repainted by carpenter Doug Drury and his son, now immortalised in the towns People and Places Collection which has the fascinating story and photographs of the Lock-Up, which in the 1990s was salvaged from a local tip.
People and Places Collection
The People and Places Collection, a historic collection of items displayed at Chewton Town Hall, will soon have a new display book on the history of Chewton Pool, particularly about how the pool was saved. A new book is also being collated about the Monster Meeting which has been celebrated locally in recent years.
A display book is also being prepared on the Chewton Progress Association, an organisation that in the 1990s achieved so much for Chewton. The story of the restoration of Chewton Town Hall and the work of the Chewton Domain Society will also be gathered and collated.