Who we are

We are a non for profit organisation and volunteer group administered by an elected committee. We act as a consultative body to assist the Mornington Peninsula Shire Council in managing the Reserve as an ecological corridor (Biolink) and a remnant bushland stream reserve.

Current Committee 2023/2024

Our committee is led by Pia Spreen who has a lifetime of Conservation and Land Management experience and is currently working with Naturelinks. Pia is also a MPS volunteer co-ordinator and has been on the committee for 21 years.  The team are passionate about protecting and conserving the bushland.


  • Co-Ordinator & Secretary: Angie Fly
  • Field Officer: Pia Spreen
  • Treasurer & Membership: Cameron Glover
  • Newsletter: Kate Reynolds
  • Events and Social Media Coordinator: Jessica Schubert-Hoban
  • Business and Project support: Jon Fly
  • Project Support: Tanya Burnett
  • Education: Sally Fisher
  • Water watch Coordinator: Cath Bortello

Our Objectives

  • Assist the Shire in its management of the Reserve and the implementation of the management plan
  • Promote local ecological corridors
  • Support fire prevention works and awareness
  • Remove noxious and environmental weeds
  • Prevent further erosion of creek banks
  • Revegetate with appropriate indigenous species
  • Educate community members about the reserve and its natural values
  • Cooperate and undertaken joint activities with similar purpose organisations
  • Obtain sponsorships and grants to fund suitable projects
  • Inform local council of hazards posing a threat to public safety
  • Encourage adjoining landowners to take positive action in maintaining the area’s unique conservation values

Our history

The Sunshine Reserve Conservation and Fireguard Group was formed in 1997 to take positive action in maintaining the Reserve’s unique conservation and habitat values.

The late Winty Calder, a noted local botanist, described Sunshine Reserve in Mount Martha as 'our greatest asset.'

Sunshine Reserve straddles the boundary between two geological formations. The Palaezoic grandiorite massif of Mount Martha and a Quaternary siliceous sand sheet.

The sand sheet extends from near Sunshine Creek to Balcombe Creek, and inland to Panorama Drive.

The course of Sunshine Creek through Sunshine Reserve approximately follows the surface boundary between the two formations – Winty Calder 1988

Changes since European early settlement, from agriculture and escalated development, has impacted this important habitat.

Local historian, Malcolm Gordon writes:

The Ngruk willam, a band of the Boonerwrung language group of Aboriginal people, called Sunshine Creek, Ballern Ballern.

At a time when the creek was far less entrenched than today, a few families spent the summer months camped at the creek mouth. Their more permanent village, consisting of several mud-covered huts, was located near The Briars homestead.

The name Ballern Ballern, is thought to be derived from the Aboriginal word Balun, meaning 'creek'. Because another smaller creek enters the bay close to Sunshine Creek, Ballern Ballern probably means 'place of two creeks'.

The creek's first European name was Granite Gully. Quality granite was quarried for building purposes along the creek's southern banks in the 1800s. Evidence of quarrying can be seen today.

The area was officially reserved as a drainage reserve in the 1930s in anticipation of future residential expansion of Mt Martha.

The creek reserve's name is most probably coincident with the naming of Sunshine Drive as part of residential development in the area during the late 1950s and early 1960s.

Ballern Ballern – Boonerwrung campsite by Malcolm Gordon, (Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula) 1997.

A permanent collection and history of Sunshine Reserve is being archived by historian and life time member Gill Gordon at Mount Martha Community House.

Sunshine Reserve

Life Time Members

Sunshine Reserve Conservation and Fireguard Group

Winty Calder

(deceased) Lifetime Member

Judy O’Donnell

Lifetime Member

Clive Gordes

Lifetime Member

Faye Gordes

Lifetime Member

Gill Gordon

Lifetime Member

Malcolm Gordon

Lifetime Member

Geoff Linnell

Lifetime Member



Our Partners

We seek sponsorship and/or grants to augment Sunshine Reserve funds for funding suitable projects associated with the Reserve. We are grateful to our current partners.