Shark attack victim Lisa Mondy joins Eat Like A Monster

On Song: Lisa Mondy with her bandmates in Eat Like A Monster.

Lisa Mondy is a musician who survived a great white shark attack. Being ina bandnamed Eat Like A Monster, then, seemsquite fitting.

The attack happened in 2011, while Lisa was swimming at Jimmys Beach in Port Stephens.She came off a wakeboard and was swimming back to the board when the shark struck.

Music helps Lisa Mondy deal with the demons of a shark attack.

“I was in the water face down swimming, it came straight up from underneath,” she said.

“It had my whole head, face and arm in its mouth at the same time, then it breached out of the water with me.

“It’s ridiculous that I’m still here.”

But she is here and we’re happy for that.“Me too,” she said, with a laugh.

The band, which also includes Dan Power and Adam Barnett, is starting to play gigs around Newcastle.

In the band’s bio, posted on sites like Triple J and Soundcloud, the boys said that – in their quest for sound –they stumbled across “a damsel in distress held by the jaws of a monster from the deep”.

Lisa said the band definitely saved her from “the emotional demons of dealing with what happened with the shark”.

She faced those same demons with a performance on theTV show XFactor last September.

Lisa suffered extensive injuries in the attack, requiring 16 hours of surgery and a massive number of stitches.

The injuries left her unable to play guitar.

“That was pretty heartbreaking,” she said.

Before X Factor, she hadn’t been confident to sing in a band without her guitar.

“Getting back into singing again is helping me put things back together.Music has been the biggest part of healing for me,” she said.

The band has recorded a single and will head back to the studio in a couple of weeks.

Lisa’sroad to recovery has been long and hard, but she has kept her sense of humour.

“I have a couple of chips out of my jawbone from the shark’s teeth, which is pretty cool,” she said.

Treasured BookTopics reported last Saturday on an old book called Newcastle 150 Years.The book covered the years from 1797 to 1947.

We’d published a picture from the book of an old tram running down Hunter Street.Pam Webber said she too had a copy of the book.

“In 1947, Swansea public school committee held an athletics carnival as part of the [anniversary] celebrations,” she said.

She was given the book as a prize for winning a 40-yard race for 8-year-olds.

“I must have treasured the book to keep it all those years,” she said.

The book was “probably the first thing I had ever won”.

“Around the same time, all the schools in the district participated in a wool dance for the junior students,” she said, adding that a“wheat dance” was held for seniors at a Newcastle sports ground.

“I don’t know whether it was to do with the anniversary or not – maybe some reader may remember.”

Them Were The DaysHere at Topics, we like to reminisce about the good old days.So does reader Trish, of Medowie.

“I grew up on a farm in south-western NSW. We had no electricity or even a generator,” she said.

“Our fridge and lights all ran on kerosene. We kids had to fill them up after school every day. I seem to remember it took two or three beer bottles of kerosene to fill the fridge.

“I remember when Mum won some money in the lottery and bought a washing machine.”

Her mum would kickstart the machine, which was powered by a petrol engine.

“The noise and fumes would drive us out of the laundry and the machine would bounce across the floor.

“It only washed the clothes. Mum still had to manually put them through a ringer, before hanging them on the line.But it was a big step up from the copper over an open fire in the backyard.

“Needless to say, we also had an outdoor long-drop loo, a wood stove for cooking and a huge open fireplace for heating.In the summer we slept outdoors to keep cool.

“We grew up on a diet of mutton, poultry, eggs, milk, fruit and vegetables, all home grown – and we are all still healthy.”