Weekender: Mark makes Tamworth academy

Goodwood, Lucketts Road intersection complete

Georgia Neville

Council recently completed an upgrade of the intersection at Goodwood Road and Lucketts Road to improve the safety of this busy intersection.

The works included improving the layout of the intersection by adding new right and left turning lanes off Goodwood Road, introducing a staggered T intersection configuration with Station Road and Mamminos Road and improving signage and lighting in the area.

Bundaberg Regional Council Roads and Drainage portfolio spokesperson Cr Bill Trevor said the Doolbi intersection, near Childers, was a main route for many who were travelling on to the Bruce Highway.

“More than 1600 vehicles travel along Lucketts Road per day and 3200 vehicles along the state-controlled Goodwood Road all utilise this intersection,” he said.

“It's an important connection for our road users and it is great to see the upgrades completed to assist in keeping the community safe on the roads.”

Sergeant Ben Holdcroft from Childers Police said the upgraded intersection had been welcomed by the community.

“Anything Council does to assist us in improving road safety is always welcomed,” Sgt Holdcroft said.

“Improved infrastructure assists with the reduction of traffic crashes, so we look forward to seeing increased safety at this particular intersection.”

The work was undertaken by local contractor SGQ.

The project is partly funded by the Federal Government's Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Program with cooperation from the Department of Transport and Main Roads.

Mark Lavender accepted into The Academy

Georgia Neville

Bundaberg’s Mark Lavender will be among the 28 rising music artists studying at The Academy in Tamworth in January 2023.

Running from 3 to 12 January, the course heralds the countdown to the popular Tamworth Country Music Festival.

Known for his love of country music, Mark Lavender has tailored his career path as a performing musician, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist.

He said he was proud to be part of The Academy, looking forward to growing as an artist and continuing to learn.

“As a professional musician full time since a young age, I have always known that my path in music has always been the right one for me as my passion for song writing and sharing that with an audience is what gets me onto that stage every night,” Mark said.

“Being part of the college is an honour as I will get to enjoy and be present and learn from a knowledgeable collective.

“As an artist I always feel the way we grow is through having a yarn, watching others work and listening to other interpretations of songs and originals.

“Being able to spend two weeks with other talented individuals and mentors, I know that I will take away the next piece of the puzzle…or the next verse in my song.”

Mark said it had been his dream to be part of The Academy for many years and, now that it was a reality, he was excited to learn from some of the best in the business.

“Throughout the two week window I will be sharing the experience with artists who range from 18 to 61 years of age with loads of skills I will definitely learn something from.

“The participants range from all over Australia and we will be coached and mentored daily by the best of the best from, Kevin Bennett, Melody Moko, Mickey Pye, Liam Kennedy-Clark and co-ordinated by Lyn Bowtell and Roger Corbett.

“From these greats we will be learning skills in music business, musical performance, song writing, promotion and recording.

“All of these aspects we dabble in as artists but the skill of our craft is more than the words we write and tunes we play, it’s also the other things that happen behind the curtain that no-one sees.”

Mark said he was excited for the opportunity to attend The Academy and, as anyone who knew him would say, he was all about relationships and connecting with people.

“As someone who has worked in bands my whole life, I always love to see what each artist brings to a band and how you can keep your own flair but somehow can make it work – I love the originality that everyone brings to a group and how that challenges you as an artist and how other artists challenge you,” he said.

“For me it's about finding those opportunities for me to reflect and challenge myself.

“Listening and learning on how to make a successful and long-lasting career, while meeting the needs of the ever-changing audience, but staying true to your craft is the hopeful advice I wish to learn from the mentors.”

Mark is a well-known musician in the Bundaberg Region, and is a regular on the pub circuit as a solo artist as well as through the band Knee Deep.

He also performs at local events including the Childers Festival and is set to entertain the crowd, alongside country greats such as Adam Brand and Lee Kernaghan, at Lighthouse Country 2023 in Burnett Heads.

Find out more about Mark Lavender here.

Eureka Street Furniture to open in Bundaberg

Ashley Schipper

Solid and recycled timber, plush fabric and buttery leather lounges will be some of the unique pieces available when Eureka Street Furniture opens its new store in Bundaberg.

The Queensland family-owned business is expanding to the region, with a grand opening celebration planned for Saturday 3 December.

CEO Joel Brisblat said the he was thrilled to be bringing the furniture brand to Bundaberg.

“We love regional Queensland and regional Queensland loves our products,” he said.

“We have a network of stores across the state and Bundaberg was missing from our footprint.”

The first Eureka Street Furniture store opened in Brisbane in 1986.

Most of the furniture sold was constructed from recycled timber taken from popular Brisbane landmarks including Brett’s Wharf, the Rialto theatre in West End, Roma Street Railway yards, and the Coca-Cola factory.

Today, Eureka Street Furniture has grown into a trusted household name, with stores from Cairns to Canberra.

Eureka Street Furniture now also boasts a wide variety of modern, traditional and contemporary products.

The new Bundaberg store is located at Shop 2, 7 Johanna Boulevard and will celebrate its grand opening on Saturday 3 December.

“We will then be open from 9 am to 5.30 pm Monday to Friday and late night Thursday as well as 9 am to 5 pm on Saturday and 10 am to 4 pm on Sunday,” Joel said.

“The store will employ eight local staff.

“We are so excited to be opening in Bundaberg.”

Find out more about Eureka Street Furniture here.

Endeavour Foundation Bundaberg gifted tractor

Georgia Neville

A $124,500 tractor, purchased by Endeavour Foundation’s Bundaberg social enterprise thanks to two generous donations, is making work easier while improving the career prospects of employees.

From the moment he saw the classic green sheen of Endeavour Foundation’s brand-new five-point-seven tonne John Deere tractor, William “Billy” Bastable had one thought: “I want to drive that!”

Mr Bastable has worked at Endeavour Foundation’s social enterprise in Bundaberg since he left high school six years ago and he loves machines – from the smallest whipper snipper to the largest tractor.

He will be one of the first employees to be trained in how to drive the big and famously green machine, and he has already had a ride inside.

“The tractor will so be useful on the farm – if I don’t crash it into anything,” Mr Bastable said.

“It’s cool in the air-conditioning too and I got ACDC playing on the Bluetooth.”

The 90-horsepower model 6090M John Deere was purchased by Endeavour Foundation for $124,500 thanks to generous donations from Jim Livingstone Fabrications – the Livingstone family competes in the Great Endeavour Rally – and from the Simpson Foundation, known in Bundaberg for Simpson’s Farm.

Endeavour Foundation tractor welcome addition

“We’re very grateful to these two families for a donation of this magnitude,” Site Manager Robert Campbell said.

“We’ve already started to use the tractor and it will be the mainstay of our Bundaberg farm for years to come.

“Being a four-wheel-drive this thing will go anywhere and do just about anything.

“I know our local team is looking at the variety of attachments available to speed up our processes and make the farm even better and more efficient.”

Mr Campbell said the tractor was ideal for training people supported by Endeavour Foundation at work.

“The tractor has 24 gears, but the controls are all electronic, making it much easier for people to learn on,” he said.

“It’s a two-seater cabin so it’s ideal for teaching in and the closed, air-conditioned cabin will be a hit in the Bundaberg summer.

“It’s also an automatic so it means learners can concentrate on where they’re going and see any obstacles in their way, rather than worrying about changing through the gears.

“The new tractor is a real boon and will enable us to ramp up production on our worm farm, which is a relatively new venture creating new avenues of work for our employees.

“We can’t thank the Livingstone family and Walsh Family Trust enough for their generosity.”

Farm employee Blake Kummerow agrees.

He already has a driver’s licence and sees the new tractor as another step on his career ladder, hoping in future to also gain his forklift licence.

“I’ll just get taught how to use it and when I’m capable enough I’ll be able to drive it myself,” Mr Kummerow said.

“It’ll make work easier for sure.”

To find out more about Endeavour Foundation, go to endeavour.com.au or call 1800 112 112.

Options Day set to return in 2022

Georgia Neville

Local community groups are being encouraged to register a stall for the upcoming Options Day which will be held at the Bundaberg PCYC.

Marking 11 years of the event in 2022, Options Day is organised and hosted by Bundaberg All Abilities Alliance in partnership wit the Bundaberg Neighbourhood Centre.

With Disability Action Week held from 26 November until 2 December, Options Day will take place on Tuesday, 29 November at the PCYC.

Steps Bundaberg Business Development Officer Gayle Reynolds said the event was a fantastic way to get the community together and create great outcomes.

“This event is local and community driven, it invites the community to discover the rapidly emerging opportunities in the local disability sector,” Gayle said.

“This event offers inclusive, hands-on and engaging activities for the whole community and features art workshops, singing and dancing, guest speakers, cooking demonstrations information stalls and much more.

“This year people with a disability are encouraged to host their own stall to showcase their product, service or what they are currently working on and wanting to share.”

Guest speakers include people from NDIS, NIDA and BushKids to answer questions and talk about the disability sector in Bundaberg.

A sign language interpreter will be onsite.

Options Day will be open to all schools and members of the public.

Local businesses are encouraged to attend to meet with the community, connect with people and learn about the opportunities this thriving region and sector has to offer.

The All Abilities Alliance is a collaborative group of businesses, services, and members of the disability community.

Stallholders may register a site here.

Numbers are limited and registrations close soon.

What's on

Christmas movies at Moncrieff for festive season

Georgia Neville

A Christmas classic, a festive movie for a cause and one for family fun – the Moncrieff Entertainment Centre has it all this holiday season.

The screening of A Christmas Gift From Bob will be a fundraiser, with proceeds going towards the Bundaberg Housing and Homelessness Forum's bid to secure a Sleepbus for Bundaberg.

Council’s Arts, Culture and Events portfolio spokesperson Cr John Learmonth said it was great for the community to be able to enjoy an afternoon at the movies, while raising funds for a much-needed cause.

“The Christmas movies on offer at the Moncrieff provide the perfect opportunity for families to support important local initiatives such as the Sleepbus project,” Cr Learmonth said.

“I look forward to seeing everyone enjoying these events and all the others that make up this year’s fantastic Christmas program.”

Tickets for the Moncrieff Christmas movies are available here.

Christmas movies at the Moncrieff include:

White Christmas

If you’ve been dreaming of a White Christmas these Moncrieff film screenings are for you!

Singers Bob Wallace (Bing Crosby) and Phil Davis (Danny Kaye) join sister act Betty (Rosemary Clooney) and Judy Haynes (Vera-Ellen) to perform a Christmas show in rural Vermont.

There, they run into General Waverly (Dean Jagger), the boys' commander in World War II, who, they learn, is having financial difficulties; his quaint country inn is failing.

So what's the foursome to do but plan a yuletide miracle: a fun-filled musical extravaganza that's sure to put Waverly and his business in the black!

During the performance, Betty and Bob become engaged, and Judy and Phil decide to go through with their own engagement.

As everyone sings “White Christmas”, a thick snowfall at last blankets Vermont.

Date: 9 December
Time: 10.30am and 6.30pm
Cost: $12
Location: Moncrieff Entertainment Centre

A Christmas Gift from Bob

This is a Christmas movie for a cause, offering the chance for the community to raise funds for a Sleepbus which would offer those in need a safe and comfortable night’s sleep.

Following on from the first successful fundraiser, the Bundaberg Housing and Homelessness Forum is presenting the sequel – A Christmas Gift from Bob.

This 2020 British Christmas biographical drama film stars Luke Treadaway, reprising his role as Bowen, a struggling street musician who finds himself the target of an animal welfare investigation that threatens to take away his beloved cat at Christmas.

All proceeds from ticket sales will go towards purchasing a Sleepbus for Bundaberg.

Patrons attending the movie will also be encouraged to bring along non-perishable items to donate to the various Bundaberg charities to distribute to the homeless.

Date: 10 December
Time: 4pm
Cost: $12 general admission, $100 VIP experience (includes preshow food and beverages commencing at 3pm)
Location: Moncrieff Entertainment Centre


Enjoy a free movie at the Moncrieff to get the whole family into the festive season spirit!

Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Encanto tells the tale of an extraordinary family, the Madrigals, who live hidden in the mountains of Colombia, in a magical house, in a vibrant town, in a wondrous, charmed place called an Encanto.

The magic of the Encanto has blessed every child in the family with a unique gift from super strength to the power to heal—every child except one, Mirabel (voice of Stephanie Beatriz).

But when she discovers that the magic surrounding the Encanto is in danger, Mirabel decides that she, the only ordinary Madrigal, might just be her exceptional family’s last hope.

“Encanto” features original songs by Emmy®, GRAMMY® and Tony Award® winner Lin-Manuel Miranda (“Hamilton,” “Moana”).

Date: 14 December
Time: 10.30am
Cost: Free – bookings essential
Location: Moncrieff Entertainment Centre

Tickets for the Moncrieff Christmas movies are available here.

Seeds of Unity project comes full circle

Emma Turnbull

Bundaberg's Seeds of Unity mandala, made up of thousands of individual hand-painted leopard tree pods, came full circle after a visit from the project's original founder.

The reimagining of this project started locally in June at Bundaberg Art Gallery with community members invited to paint their own leopard tree pod to add to the mandala.

The Seeds of Unity idea originated in Brisbane by not-for-profit organisation Womenspace, 24 years ago, in 1998.

Ludmila travelled to the Bundaberg Region specifically to visit the installation.

She said it was fantastic to see the extensive community effort that went into the local project.

Ludmilla said the Seeds of Unity mandala at Womenspace was not as big as the Bundaberg installation and she praised the community for creating such a wonderful art piece.

“For me this is a privilege to know the story that started so many years ago, is alive, it’s not just history as it is living here and now,” Ludmilla said.

“It’s about spreading, I love the idea of spreading, and here the seeds of unity are spreading – bringing us all together.

Ludmilla said the team at Womenspace were left in awe when they heard the project had sprouted, to grow in Bundaberg.

“It has an interesting story… it is a symbol of belonging, of differences, of ideas and beliefs,” she said.

“It’s amazing to come to Bundaberg to see this, it is wonderful and validating.”

Council’s Arts, Culture and Events portfolio spokesperson Cr John Learmonth said the Seeds of Unity art installation recognised being part of a community and could have a positive effect on mental health and emotional wellbeing.

“It’s about drawing people together to be part of something greater, it’s about a moment of mindfulness,” Cr Learmonth said.

“Overall, the project was collective, involving a large scale of participation, starting with community members contributing seeds from their own leopard trees to be used.”

Cr Learmonth said Seeds of Unity connected people of all ages and abilities in the one project.

“With the help of their parents, we’ve had babies contribute to the project at Flourish Family Fun Day and older people, up to 90 years of age, from Gracie Dixon Respite Centre have taken part,” he said.

“Activity kits, available for loan, have been out to various schools and support organisations and people who live with disability having worked on this wonderful project.

“In terms of accessibility, it really is ‘The Great Community Art Installation’ and everyone is welcomed and invited to contribute.”

Got You Covered library column

Bundaberg Cycling Spectacular brings the action

Emma Turnbull

There will be two action-packed days coming up as the Bundaberg Cycling Spectacular attracts cyclist from across Australia and New Zealand to the region to compete.

Elite, junior and master cyclists will race at the Kevin Brogden Velodrome on 25 and 26 November in the highest prized cycling competition in Queensland.

Bundaberg Cycling Club president Wayne Morden said the two-day cycling spectacular this year had a focus on equality across the racing categories.

“There’s a huge focus on equal prize money for male and females this year from the juniors to the elite,” Wayne said.

“The Bundaberg Cycling Spectacular is the highest paying prize competition in Queensland and in the top five in Australia.

“We’ve had a lot of interest from competitors in New Zealand and other international places, in particularly from high performance squads.

“It’s great for our region to attract such competition here.”

Wayne said with international borders reopened, he expected between 180-200 competitors for future events.

“Early indications are very good as we expect to have 150-plus riders this year,” he said.

“When we previously held the international event, prior to covid-19, we would be happy to get 150 competitors, now we are getting that domestically – so it’s just fantastic!

“Pre-covid-19 our cycling spectacular was a qualifying international event for the Olympics, and we will look to return to this in future years.”

Wayne said local competitors would have a hometown advantage of knowing the velodrome track.

“Our velodrome is very unique,” he said.

“It can be most challenging at times because of its size, as each race can be different as it depends on the wind and the weather conditions.

“So local riders will definitely have the hometown advantage during the event.”

Council throws support behind Bundaberg Cycling Spectacular

Bundaberg Regional Council has supported the Bundaberg Cycling Spectacular since its inception and has this year provided financial support of $5000 under its Sports Championship Funding Program.

Bundaberg Mayor Jack Dempsey said the event was fantastic not only for the riders but also for the community.

“Bundaberg Cycling Spectacular is an event that can bring the whole community together,” he said.

“This event attracts international and national riders, and in return provides not only an economic boost but also shines an international spotlight on the Bundaberg Region.”

Sport and Recreation portfolio spokesperson Cr Vince Haberman said Bundaberg Cycling Spectacular was a high-level sporting event made possible because of the fantastic local facilities.

“The Kevin Brogden Velodrome is of a standard that allows competitions like this to be held here,” Cr Habermann said.

“Bundaberg has a huge cycling community and we’ve produced international cycling competitors and winners, so it’s very exciting to hold events like the Bundaberg Cycling Spectacular here each year.”

Bundaberg Cycling Spectacular will be held on 25 – 26 November at Kevin Brogden Velodrome, for updates check the Facebook page.