In today's podcast episode we hear from the Ocean Crusaders about their February clean-up event, learn about an upcoming photography exhibition, and find out about the facilities at the Bundaberg Multiplex.
Local news highlights include construction starting on a new Red Collar Rescue facility, the 2021 graduate nurse intake, and fish stock replenishing in Lake Gregory and Sandy Hook.
Adele More 00:05
Hello and welcome to the Bundaberg Now Podcast, brought to you by the Bundaberg Regional Council. We're all about showcasing our beautiful region, its amazing people and sharing news about local arts, culture, events and business. I'm your host Adele More, and today I have a great episode for you. We'll hear all about efforts to clean our waterways and protect wildlife, learn about a nationally acclaimed photography exhibition opening this week at the Bundaberg Regional Art Galleries, and get inside information on the Bundaberg Multiplex and how you can use it for your next function. But first here's a quick news recap from this week's top stories. Red Collar Rescue are on track to help even more dogs find their forever homes with work starting on a new purpose built facility near Farnsfield. Here's founder Sharyn Banks with more information on the new facility.
Sharyn Banks 01:04
We're going to have a big play yard, a Memorial Garden, eventually a quarantine area, a feed shed, a caretakers cottage plus what's going on behind us which is the new kennel block.
Adele More 01:17
46 enthusiastic first year nurses have joined the wide Bay Hospital and Health Services team as part of the 2021 graduate nurse intake. In total, 18 of the first year graduated will be based in Bundaberg. More than 6500 fish have been released into Lake Gregory and Sandy Hook to help replenish fish stocks. This is part of a joint endeavour by Bundaberg Sport Fishing Club Incorporated, Abington Agriculture and the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries. And that's the weekly news wrap. Plastic rubbish in waterways poses a huge threat to wildlife. The Ocean Crusaders is a charity organisation leading a rubbish removal event from February 13 to 17 along the Burnett River. They're inviting people to roll up their sleeves and get involved in the cleanup. Managing Director Ian Thompson spoke to Bundaberg Now's Ashley Clark about the event.
Ashley Clark 02:17
So Ian, tell me a little bit about what Ocean Crusaders is all about.
Ian Thomson 02:22
Ocean Crusaders is founded having seen 8 turtles die and 3 particular died because of plastic. So we want to clean up our waterways to protect our wildlife.
Ashley Clark 02:33
Lovely and you're back to clean up the waterways?
Ian Thomson 02:37
Last year we travelled as far north as the Whitsundays and as far south as Tasmania. And yes, we're coming back to Bundaberg.
Ashley Clark 02:46
Lovely and what are you hoping to achieve while in Bundaberg?
Ian Thomson 02:52
Hopefully the recent rains haven't put whole heap of rubbish back out there. We've been cleaning up a lot of flood debris in our last few visits. But now we want to start focusing on the more everyday rubbish that comes off streets. So we'll be cleaning the rock wall near the mouth and also the mangrove systems on the main Burnett River.
Ashley Clark 03:15
And in regards to last year, how much was cleaned up in the Bundaberg area?
Ian Thomson 03:21
14.8 tonnes in 12 days.
Ashley Clark 03:24
Wow. And so how does it all work? How do people get involved in what happens on the day that you're out there?
Ian Thomson 03:29
We we hit out with our boat from different ramps, we've got a seven metre landing barge and a crane trucks so we actually fill both bags on the boat so the crew will be dropped off, they walk off the front of the boat and go and collect the rubbish in smaller bags and then bring it back to the big boat where they put it into typically into the big bags, and then go back with the same bag back out into the mangrove system or the rock walls and pick out more rubbish by hand. There's no easy way to do this. It's not the easiest work, try traversing over rocks and and through the mangroves. But it needs to be done because we need to get this rubbish out from those locations not for humans, but for our wildlife.
Ashley Clark 04:15
And how do people get involved in this round?
Ian Thomson 04:18
We advertise every day for volunteers on either our Facebook page or our Eventbrite page. So if you go to oceancrusaders.eventbrite.com.au, we list it there. So I do want to come out they do have to reserve a spot because there are only four spots each day that are available to the public. We're already full for the first three days I believe, but we still have a couple for the last two. We haven't advertised the last day because we never know where we're going on the last day.
Ashley Clark 04:51
Perfect. And just last question, why is this work so important for our wildlife?
Ian Thomson 04:56
Our plastic habit happens to have a detrimental effect on our marine and bird life. More sitting out there. The plastics, smothering mangroves, fish eating them, turtles are swallowing them and we know that Mon Repos just around the corner. It is turtle season. So getting this stuff out now is of paramount importance because the nest is starting to hatch. And we don't want those hatchlings like dealing with rubbish as their first thought. We want them to be able to survive a low survival rate anyway, we don't need to be putting plastic in their stomachs to kill them in the first place so we can get it out. It's beneficial for all our marine life and that's what we focused on Ocean Crusaders is protecting them.
Adele More 05:44
Thanks for that information Ian and Ashley. If you'd like to volunteer some time to help the Ocean Crusaders, head to their Facebook page and get in touch. A nationally acclaimed exhibition is set to open this week at the Bundaberg Regional Galleries promising to showcase the very best Australian portrait photographers. Here is Jolene from the Moncrieff Entertainment Centre with more.
Jolene Watson 06:08
This is Jolene from the Moncrieff Entertainment Centre I'm here today with Rebecca McDuff from the Bundaberg Regional galleries. How are you going Bec?
Rebecca McDuff 06:15
I'm good Jolene. How's it been happening over there at the Moncrieff? Great?
Jolene Watson 06:18
Oh look. It's as busy as anything as it is over here. What have you got coming up?
Rebecca McDuff 06:24
Absolutely. Look, we have got exhibitions opening across the gallery at the moment. And the big one for gallery one is a National Photographic Portrait prize. It opens on Friday the 12th of February at 5:30pm with a big opening event that everyone is welcome to attend. And then it officially opens to the public on the 13th of February, which is the Saturday. So have you heard of the national photographic portrait prize before Jolene?
Jolene Watson 06:49
Yes, I have. It's quite an prestigious event.
Rebecca McDuff 06:53
It certainly is. I'm really excited to be having it in the gallery. We did have it a number of years ago as well. But this is the 2020 portrait prize or the latest one. And it's a touring exhibition from the National Portrait Gallery in Canberra. It's an annual competition so it's open to aspiring and professional portrait photographers. The finalists are selected from a national field of entries and the subjects really reflect the distinctive vision of Australia. So the photographers capture this and the unique nature of their subjects. And as you said, it's very prestigious. It's also a highly sought after prize. The first prize winner actually is awarded $30,000 cash from the National Portrait Gallery, and they also win the latest photographic equipment from Canon that's valued at over $22,000 so that's amazing. So in 2020 the winning portrait was by photographer Rob Palmer, and it's titled The Mahi Mahi which is of course a fish. The photograph features Josh Niland head chef and owner of St. Peter restaurant and is a trailblazer in the area of reducing food wastage in Australia. And it's a stunning portrait. So really incredible. And there are also a number of other awards in the exhibition. There's the highly commended award and in 2020 this went to Hugh Stewart for an artwork titled Eileen Kramer is a dancer. Now Eileen, who is featured in this artwork is a woman who moved back to Australia when she was 98 because she wanted to hear a kookaburra again, and when this photograph was taken in 2020, she had just turned 105 incredible, so amazing, beautiful portrait of her. There are also a number of other prizes in the national photographic portrait prize. There's the art handlers award so this is chosen by the artwork handle so people that handle the artworks backstage at the National Portrait Gallery. This award in 2020 went to Sheer Kirk for an artwork titled Gemma Baxter right view. This image is from the artists ongoing series vantages and it's half of a stereoscopic Portrait of the Artist friend Gemma. So Gemma is the genius behind to bow and and back a Melbourne based label creating tech streetwear that is all about safety, comfort and community. And this is a really stark portrait and one that I think will incite quite a bit of conversation. So really stunning portrait, but also quite insightful. The People's Choice Award went to Clarissa Dempsey and her artwork is titled Wonder and this is a Portrait of the Artist's daughter Taylor. The moment is just beautiful. There's sun coming through her hair and it was captured on country homelands. So Taylor spends a lot of her time playing with her brothers and sisters or cousins will typically will go riding bikes walking to create play with dogs being carefree and you can just see all of that in this beautiful portrait.
Jolene Watson 09:41
So that all sounds just amazing that we're going to have all these winners here in Bundaberg.
Rebecca McDuff 09:48
Absolutely look. You know as I said it's been on show at the National Portrait Gallery and it only two was to certain galleries within Australia. And we were exceptionally lucky to get on the touring schedule and one of the owners A few places in Queensland will actually have this exhibition. So this is a real coup for Bundaberg and I really hope the community enjoy coming in and seeing the works of this. of this calibre. There are actually 47 portraits in total, and they were chosen from over 2400 entries. Honestly, as you said, it's an outstanding exhibition. And we don't get to often see a lot of national touring exhibitions here in Bundaberg. So I really am thrilled that we're able to offer it in our community.
Jolene Watson 10:29
Yeah, well, let's hope the community gets behind it and drops in to come and see what's going on here. When does that run through into?
Rebecca McDuff 10:36
So that one opens on the 13th of February and it runs through to early March. It's about six weeks, so definitely pop in and have a look.
Jolene Watson 10:45
Well, there's plenty of time to come and have a look around. Thanks for your time today.
Rebecca McDuff 10:48
Again, big. Thanks, Jolene.
Adele More 10:50
Wow, I can't wait to see that amazing exhibition. We really do have some fantastic facilities here in Bundaberg and there's always something going on. Another facility on our site is the Bundaberg multiplex, sport and Convention Centre, a purpose built venue with lots of different hire options. Here's Lizzie Hosford, and Melissa Baker from the multiplex with more.
Lizzie Hosford 11:13
Hi, this is Lizzie. And this is now and we are from the multiplex. We thought we'd talk to you today a little bit about what the multiplex is what we do, and just give you some general information about the multiplex. So I thought we'd start by introducing ourselves to you. Do you want to start first Mel?
Melissa Baker 11:31
Sure, no worries. I'll start. So my name is Mel. I am the multiplex booking support officer. I assist in the general running day to day of the multiplex with event inquiries and providing quotes. I'm also here when the events are on helping with catering and really touching base with clients from start to finish. I am a Bundaberg local prior to this, I was working in customer service for the council. And I really enjoy working at the multiplex and seeing the variety of events that we have here. How about yourself, Lizzie, tell us a bit about you.
Lizzie Hosford 12:02
Yes, so my name is Lizzie. I am not at Bundaberg local. I actually moved up here in March of 2020 from Hobart. So I haven't been here that long, but loving it so far. The weather is incredible. My kids are really enjoying being outside, which has been amazing. And it's been really incredible to be able to do events again at the multiplex. I was an event manager down in Hobart, which was so much fun. So coming up here and being able to, to slip into the multiplexes has been incredible doing what I love. So I thought we'd just go through a few questions, so you guys get to know a little bit more about the multiplex. We'll start with what sort of functions do we hold here Mel?
Melissa Baker 12:54
Oh, we have a great variety of functions that we see here, which is amazing. We hold everything from conferences, to seminars, trade shows, small and large meetings, we have weddings, formals, gala dinners, and even sport events in our very Multi Purpose facility. We are multipurpose. We can fit a lot of people in this building to you know, even with our COVID restrictions, we can fit up to 730 people in our exhibition hall 120 in our function room, 60 in our function room two which we can combine to make one big room for 180 and 180 in our four year. So even with the two metre per person rules, we can still cater for a lot of events, which is really great for the Bundaberg residents. So this is going to tell you a little bit about how we've adapted to run our events COVID safe.
Lizzie Hosford 13:49
Yeah, so as everyone would be aware. COVID is obviously something we have all had to be aware of and manage. And it has been certainly something we have to manage well in the multiplex, given that there are a lot of people coming in and out of this building every day, every other day. And so we have put in some policies and procedures in place. So firstly, to keep everyone safe, we have adapted and created a COVID safe plan for the multiplex, and that essentially is a document that covers what we will do with the venue to keep everyone safe that is guests and attendees of your event. And also then describes what we do require the event organisers to manage for their event to make sure that everyone is safe during the event that we that we adhere to the policies and the procedures set out by Queensland Health. A few other things that we do which we do cover in that plan is have entry and exit points to all our rooms including the front entry doors, we do COVID spacing in all of our rooms, COVID seating, we have regular cleaning of high touch areas. And we think this all these policies will probably stay around for for at least the short term going into long term. So we managing the centre, well, just trying to make sure that everybody that comes in is healthy and everyone that leaves is healthy.
Melissa Baker 15:25
That sounds great. That sounds like it's really easy for hires to be able to come in and use the facility and and know what they need to do and what we provide.
Lizzie Hosford 15:33
So yeah, we try to make it as easy and seamless as possible, so that everyone can still have their event and it can be successful, the way that event organisers would like it to be, but also that we are doing our duty of care as well. So we thought we'd tell you guys a couple of quick fun facts about the building, just in case you didn't know. So Mel, do you want to give me one of yours to start with?
Melissa Baker 16:03
Sure, did you know the multiplex is actually the region's disaster evacuation Centre in the case of an emergency.
Lizzie Hosford 16:03
I did know but but I'm sure many that don't
Melissa Baker 16:15
You, have you got a fun fact?
Lizzie Hosford 16:17
I do. I do. This incredible building is actually a level two grade basketball court as well as our exhibition hall, which can hold National Games.
Melissa Baker 16:27
Wow. All right. Let's see what 2021 bring.
Lizzie Hosford 16:32
will thank you guys so much for sitting and listening to us for these few minutes. If you would like to know more or meet us in person and our team, feel free to contact counsel or hop on to the multiplex website. We would love to hear from you.
Adele More 16:48
Thanks, Lindsay and Mel for that great overview of the multiplex. That's all for today. I hope you've enjoyed this week's podcast. Join me again next week for more news and stories from across our region. Bye for now.