South Gippsland Shire Council - Worklife Balance Project

The Shift the Work-Life Balance project’s role is to engage with shift workers, farmers and the dairy industry to identify local activities for community members living in South Gippsland. 

South Gippsland Shire Council, Project worker, Shift the work-life balance project, Mrs. Heather Butler is interested in activities that offer the community an alternative to gambling, which is why she visited Rusty Cricket in Loch, South Gippsland. 

"What's gambling got to do with Rusty Cricket? Nothing. It's an activity that is an alternative to going gambling." Mrs. Butler said. 

Rusty Cricket started because a few people in the local community (of Loch, South Gippsland) wanted a weekly dose of cricket, but without committing to every Saturday. 

Gary knox Rusty cricketMr. Gary Knox, Rusty Cricket

"If you commit to playing cricket on a Saturday, it means every Saturday, every Thursday night, some social activities, some club activities. So, a few of us just wanted to come down here and have a net session. And that's what we did." Rusty Cricket, spokesperson, Mr. Gary Knox said. 

After six weeks, there is a blatantly obvious improvement in Rusty cricket's cricketers, with participants going from being very rusty to enjoying cricket and becoming more than capable, Mr. Knox remarked. 

"It's an opportunity to chat. It gets them into circulation. They meet people that otherwise, they wouldn't have come in contact with," he said about the Rusty Cricket participants.

There have been numerous good stories coming out of participating in Rusty Cricket including one from three or four years ago, with the local policeman thanking the group for entertaining one of his clients. 

Another participant was "a bit down on his luck" with Rusty Cricket leading him to getting a job and turning his life around, Mr. Knox commented.

It was a suggestion that emanated from Rusty Cricket that has led to the formation of an over 60s and two over 50s local cricket teams. 

"There's more to having a hit down here than having a hit. It's great," Mr. Knox said.

rusty cricket Loch South Gippsland team

"Rusty Cricket is held at the Loch Reserve on Monday nights,

during daylight savings - everyones welcome"

Mr. Knox shared a story of two couples from Sweden and a family from Broome taking part in Rusty Cricket while camping at the Loch Reserve.  

"I turned up here one day and over on the side of the oval there, there were two couples. They said, "We saw the sign we're waiting for you, were coming over." It turns out they are from Sweden. They had never touched a cricket bat or a cricket ball before. And they made our night," he said.

"That same night, we had a family from Broome who were staying here. They turned up, and they joined in as well."

"After an hour of good, interesting cricket and conversation, we signed a cricket ball and presented it to the two Swedish couples."

"We were just about to pack up and go, and the lady from Broome came over and handed over a big chocolate cake that she'd cooked during the day. So that was fantastic."

"We've kept in touch with the two couples from Sweden. They found it very interesting, and we were delighted to have them on board."

If you would like to take part in Rusty Cricket, John Citizen from the street, can turn up with nothing, and the group has the kitbag, two or three sets of pads, gloves, bat and balls to play with. 

rusty cricket Loch South Gippsland

"All you need to do is turn up to Rusty Cricket"

South Gippsland Shire Council, Project worker, Shift the work-life balance project, Mrs. Heather Butler is interested in Rusty Cricket because it is not a regular cricket match, but a community event you can turn up to if you are free on a Monday night. 

"You don't have to have experience. You don't have to be dedicated and come every week. You don't have to put in time for training. You can just come along and have a bit of fun," Mrs. Butler said. 

"Connect up with some people that you might or might not know and be part of something a bit fun," she said.

Heather Butler South Gippsland Shire Council shift the worklife balance project

South Gippsland Shire Council, Project worker, Shift the work-life balance project, Mrs. Heather Butler

The Shift the work-life balance project is funded by the Victorian Responsible Gambling foundation as evidence shows that those who work shift work or hours outside of nine to five have higher incidences of experiencing gambling harm due to their social isolation.

Working outside nine to five or shift work means that committing to regular sports and activities is complicated as people are not always available for training or matches. 

In addition, if you live in a smaller community, the travel time to and from some activities makes them unattractive.  

The shift the work-life balance project looks to find out what people in South Gippsland would like to do if there were no barriers and then facilitate delivery methods. 

Ideas for what this might look like are casual memberships, apps to book classes, digital locks to allow out-of-hours access to facilities.  

If you have any ideas, you can email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Rusty Cricket is held at the Loch Reserve on Monday nights, during daylight savings. 

Reference: South Gippsland Shire Council, Shift the Work-life balance, viewed June 4, 2021,



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