I was able to use my CGI member Volunteer Day for something a little bit different. I am a member of the Yarra Valley Machinery Preservation Society Inc. (YVMPS) which each year run an event called the Wandin Draft Horse and Yesteryear Festival.

Our group runs this event in partnership/conjunction with a number of other groups – the two main ones being the Mont De Lancey Museum (MDL) and the Heritage Draught Horse Club Inc. (HDHC). The event is run on the grounds of the museum and some adjoining neighbours’ property who give the use of the land for displays and car parking.

When people come to our event they get to see Draught Horse doing a variety of jobs (including standing by the fence ready for pats from the public), the museum and original homestead building, blacksmiths activity working, wood turners, old vehicles (cars motorcycles, trucks and tractors) and not forgetting old engines and farm machinery.

I spend my volunteer day and a recreation leave day helping to set the grounds up – which was putting up temporary fencing, moving old machinery around, and putting up signs – all sorts of things I don’t do at work. I then spent the weekend at the event – my main task was to manage the manning of the entry and exit gates. Given the days and hours spent setting the site up – it was great to get positive feedback from our visitors (customers) that they had a great time and didn’t realise there was such a place hidden in the valley. The elderly enjoy the vintage part of the display, the kids love playing with the old-style toys – an old-style bowling alley, mini golf etc.

Whilst assisting in the running of the event, I assisted with advising, organising sponsorship, organising market stalls, and running visitor logistics (managed the gates) and a number of the values we have at CGI such as respect, and partnership came into play when managing and delivering these activities.

Working together – making a difference – creating memories

In addition to our club, the event supports the museum with funds to continue operating, it supports the Heritage Draught Horse Club who over the years have provided a lot of enjoyment to people wishing to see these draught horses, and we support the Wandin CFA who use the additional funding like this to pay for additional firefighting equipment needed in our areas where there are no professional firefighters.

People could get close up and pat these great beasts.



Our club is a little like a Men’s shed – with old machines, engines and the like. It creates a community of people with a common interest who come from a variety of work backgrounds, fitters and turners, electricians, plumbers, painters, printers, IT, farmers, earth movers etc. We welcome anyone with an interest in old machinery.





Horse driving what is known as horse works that then drives machines such as chaff cutters, one of the big costs with horses was the constant effort to grow and supply their food. My father talked about doing that in his childhood days in Western Australia.



Horses pulling a rake which was used to align the hay to make it easier for pick up.



It’s great to have CGI’s support via the Member Volunteer Day to be able to support my local community and help preserve a bit of history!