Weekender: Bundy teacher named librarian of year

RFDS base to start construction


This week marked the start of construction on a new world-class aviation training facility in Bundaberg, which will house the only Beechcraft King Air Pro Line Fusion Full-Flight Simulator in Australia.

Representatives from the Royal Flying Doctor Service (Queensland Section) (RFDS), QCoal Foundation, Australian Government and Bundaberg Regional Council gathered on site to celebrate ground being broken on the development, following Bundaberg-based Murchie Constructions being awarded with the contract to build the facility.

Once built, RFDS pilots from across Queensland will spend at least two weeks at the training facility each year, while non-RFDS pilots will also be able to use the simulator for their endorsements or recurrent training for King Air aircraft.

The RFDS Aviation Training Facility is expected to be completed and ready for training by the end of 2023.

The $25.3 million facility is jointly funded, with $14.9 million from the Australian Government and $3 million from QCoal Foundation.

The land for the facility has been donated by Bundaberg Regional Council and the build will be undertaken by Murchie Constructions.

RFDS will fund the remainder of the project through fundraising.

Bundaberg Region Mayor Jack Dempsey said Council was pleased to support the new RFDS Aviation Training Facility through the donation of land adjoining its aeromedical base.

“It’s an incredible boon for Bundaberg to be chosen as the location for this new flight simulator which will be the first of its kind to be constructed in Australia,” he said.

“It’s going to create jobs here locally during construction and will attract at least 81 pilots every year to come here for a minimum of two weeks to do their training and get a taste of our beautiful region.”

Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government Minister Catherine King said the critical project would provide many benefits.

“This will support the essential medical services of the RFDS by providing a world-class facility for training their pilots,” she said.

“It will also deliver a broader economic boost to Bundaberg and surrounds by supporting local jobs and attracting these pilots to visit, stay and shop in the region, while strengthening our domestic medical aviation capacity.”    

RFDS (Queensland Section) Chief Executive Officer Meredith Staib said the sod turning event was an important milestone for the Flying Doctor.

“I’m incredibly excited to see work commence on our new Aviation Training Facility which will help support the ongoing training of our highly skilled pilots, as well as pilots from across Australia and Asia,” she said.

“This purpose-built facility will play a vital role as we head towards 100 years of the Flying Doctor, with innovative aviation and training technology on our doorstep helping to ensure the continuity of world-class training for our pilots and crew – allowing them to continue to provide the finest care to patients right across Queensland.

“This new facility simply wouldn’t be possible without the support of our long-standing partners QCoal Foundation, as well as the Australian Government and Bundaberg Regional Council – we’re enormously thankful for their support.”

QCoal Foundation Chief Executive Officer Sylvia Bhatia said the organisation recognised the significant value of the project for the RFDS and also for the Bundaberg Region.

Darlene Hill recognised for teaching passion

Emma Turnbull

Kepnock State High School’s Darlene Hill has been recognised for her passion in education and awarded Queensland Teacher Librarian of the Year 2022.

With more than three decades of teaching under her belt, Darlene said she was delighted to be recognised by her peers and the school community as she accepted the award in Brisbane.

“I am very humbled to have received this award,” Darlene said.

“There are many, many teacher librarians that do an outstanding job across Queensland.”

Darlene has taught at Kepnock State High School for the past four years, and she has a career in education that spans more than 30 years, including time at Bundaberg North State High School and St Luke’s Anglican School.

The Queensland Teacher Librarian of the Year 2022 award recognises an exceptional school teacher-librarian and who has made an outstanding contribution to teacher-librarianship.

Darlene, who is also Head of Department for Humanities and Library, has worked to support students and aims to build positive and engaging opportunities for them.

She said teacher librarians played an important part in the education system and she was honoured to be involved.

“Gone are the days of what people picture librarians as, with glasses and so forth, well and truly!” she said.

“Libraries are a modern, dynamic places of learning, with innovative practices in supporting teachers and students.

“They are a space where students can be creative and critical thinkers.

“Teacher librarians are an essential part of schools.

“They support not only the students but also the teachers and build transformative educational practices that support the school.”

Reuse and recycle to help the planet thrive

Ashley Schipper

Bundaberg Region residents are being encouraged to get creative with recycling as part of Planet Ark’s National Recycling Week.

The annual event is celebrating a quarter century of helping Australians cut waste by asking Australians to recycle in a way that is meaningful to them.

National Recycling Week kicks off on 8 November and runs until 14 November.

Bundaberg Regional Council is getting involved by providing locals with tips and ticks on how to Recycle Right.

Waste and Recycling portfolio spokesperson Cr Tanya McLoughlin said there was always plenty of opportunity to turn household waste into something useful.

“Waste isn’t waste until it’s wasted and this National Recycling Week, we are encouraging residents to give household items a second chance before throwing them away,” she said.

“For example, one reusable cup can keep hundreds of disposable coffee cups out of landfill so find one you love and incorporate it into your morning ritual. 

“Take your reusable bottle to school or work to avoid the use of unsustainable single-use water bottles.

“Keep reusable shopping bags in your car or handbag to avoid the risk of forgetting them at the front door – the opportunities are endless!”

Cr McLoughlin said to help locals, a 30 day recycling calendar had been created and featured plenty more tips to reuse household waste.

“Make yourself a challenge to follow a tip each day to keep your recycling habits in check,” Cr McLoughlin said.

Find the calendar here.

Council provides a range of recycling services to the Bundaberg Region community, including:

Yellow-lidded bins
All plastic bottles and jars can be recycled in the yellow-lidded bins, but remember to remove the lids and rinse out to ensure a better end product. Some hard/rigid containers can also be recycled including ice-cream containers, yogurt containers, butter containers, and plant pots. Soft plastics like plastic bags and plastic wrap should not go in the kerbside recycle bin. Find out more here.

X-Rays are accepted at the Bundaberg and Qunaba Waste Facilities. Disposal of these is free.

eWaste is free for disposal at all waste facilities. Items should be separated from other general waste and placed in the eWaste areas provided.

Residents have access for disposal of wet paint in containers up to 20L drums (to a maximum of 100 litres in one disposal) through the Paintback Scheme available at some waste facilities. Wet paint is accepted free at Bundaberg Waste Facility and Qunaba Waste Facility.

Battery collection boxes are located throughout the region – you can drop your batteries at all local waste facilities, Council service centres and the Bundaberg Library.

One Brother offers gourmet goods in Bundaberg

Ashley Schipper

A passion for gourmet food and gifts has led Tyler Stevens to create his own brand, One Brother, with a new store having just opened in Bundaberg.

Tyler said his business focused on a range of gifts and hamper options featuring his own gourmet foods including dukkha, barbecue meat rubs, dip mixes, spice blends and more.

He said while his shopfront was new, the idea of his business had been around since he was a 16-year-old apprentice chef a few years ago.

“The business was created when I lost my job in Biloela due to Covid,” Tyler said.

“Working in the chef industry and having a passion for food I began selling my goods through my mum's store in 2020 and then into a little shop called Little Market Co.

“I did this for about two years before moving to Bargara in 2021.

“I had got a new job and pushed One Brother aside for nearly a year before deciding to get back into it.”

Tyler has just opened his Bundaberg shopfront, located at 124 Targo Street, and said he was excited to offer his services to the region.

“I wanted to bring something new to Bundaberg and offer a complete local range,” he said.

“One Brother stocks artisan baking jars, ready-made hampers, jarred goods, earrings, honey and much more.

“We also offer a build-your-own hamper section in store.”

One Brother is located at 124 Targo Street on Thursday from 9 am to 8 pm, Friday 9 am to 4 pm, Saturday 9 am to 4 pm and Sunday 9 am to 1.30 pm.

Find out more on the website here.

Recycling leaves positive Impact

Ashley Schipper

More than nine million soft drink bottles, enough to fill 360 domestic swimming pools, have been recycled by the team at Impact Community Services in the past financial year.

The impressive figure is one of many captured in the organisation's annual report, which was recently released in time for National Recycling Week.

Through a range of recycling and collections social enterprises the team at Impact is continuing to make a positive difference to the environment while providing employment opportunities for employees with disabilities.

The Material Recovery Facility (MRF), owned by Bundaberg Regional Council and managed by IMPACT Community Services, is one of these social enterprises.

All of the waste from Council’s yellow-top bins is sorted by Impact's workers at the site on University Drive.

MRF Australian Disability Enterprises Manager Tim Van Kooten said in the 2021/22 financial year, IMPACT processed and stopped 9000 tonnes of material from going to landfill.

He said having a passionate team was a big part of the organisation's success.

“The workers inspire me, they always come to work with a smile and are genuinely excited to be here,” Tim said.

“It is awesome to see them grow and become more confident in themselves, and see them develop into fine young individuals,”

At the same location as the MRF, Impact also operates a Container Refund Point as part of the COEX Containers for Change Scheme.

General Manager Robert Henderson said the Containers for Change scheme gave people an incentive to collect and return containers for recycling, in exchange for a 10 cent refund payment.

“We recently opened a new location at Bargara and have plans to open various additional CRP points in the next 12 months to make the scheme even more accessible across the region,” he said.

“At present, we employ 35 staff across our two CRP location and the MRF.”

Through both the MRF and Containers for Change scheme, the Impact team is kicking some serious recycling goals.

In the past financial year Impact Community Services recycled:

Nine million soft drink bottles – enough to fill 360 average sized domestic swimming pools

30 million aluminium cans – saving enough energy to run a TV for 10,300 years

4.6 million milk bottles – if laid top to tail they would go around Uluru/Ayres Rock 130 times

20 million glass containers – enough to cover the distance from Bundaberg to Melbourne and back

Read more about what Impact Community Services do in the recycling space here: http://ow.ly/cZNt50L0sIp

Snappy and Toothy celebrate birthday

Ashley Schipper

Gin Gin Library's favourite characters Snappy and Toothy recently celebrated their fourth birthday with the community at a special event promoting reading and socialisation.

The Paint Gin Gin REaD crocodile twin mascots have been helping children to foster a love of books through the early literacy program that encourages reading, singing, talking, rhyming and more.

Last week, children were invited to attend Gin Gin State School to sing happy birthday to the crocodiles while enjoying some party fun.

Arts, Culture and Events portfolio spokesperson Cr John Learmonth said the event was well attended.

“Up to 170 children came along to enjoy the day, from kindergarten groups right up to primary school students,” he said.

“Everyone loved singing Happy Birthday to Snappy and Toothy and the Year 6 students assisted by providing the Acknowledgement of Country as well as reading to the younger children at the reading stations.”

More than 15 activity stations were featured throughout the event as well as displays of a fire and SES truck, obstacle courses, music and more.

Paint the Town REaD

This early literacy movement began with the knowledge that “more than 20 per cent of Australian children arrive at school without the skills necessary to make the most of their early education”.

It has been found that a child’s ability to learn to read and write is set in the first five years – before school starts.

Paint the Town REaD was developed to bring a whole community approach to spending time with children every day, from birth — talking, singing, rhyming, reading.

It is also about inspiring and empowering community groups, businesses, agencies and families to integrate a literacy culture into everything that they do.

To help spread the Paint the Town REaD message throughout the community, three special Reading Egg hatchings happened in 2018.

Childers Reading Egg hatched a frog

Gin Gin Reading Egg hatched twin crocodiles

Bundaberg Reading Egg hatched four baby turtles

All of the ‘hatchlings’ are hand puppets.

Find out more here.

Mumma’s Nest Markets back for Christmas

Ashley Schipper

Stock up for Christmas at the upcoming Mumma's Nest Markets with up to 50 stalls selling local goods at the Civic Centre this month.

Organiser Hannah Jacobs said the event would be held on Friday 18 and 19 November, with something for the whole family to enjoy.

“This event will be held over two days to give our Bundaberg community plenty of opportunity to shop and support small local businesses,” she said.

“Our Friday evening market will run from 5.30 pm to 8.30 pm and reopen for Saturday 8 am to 1 pm.

“We have stall holders who have handmade earrings, candles, homeware, clothing, children's items and accessories, bag makers, hats, knick-knacks – lots of things that would be perfect for end of year teacher presents and getting your Christmas shopping sorted.

“Don't forget the food – we'll have a coffee cart, gelato, donuts, cupcakes, and some savoury options too.”

The Mayor's Christmas Cheer Appeal baubles will also be available at the event, with funds going toward providing food hampers to those in need this festive season.

Hannah said it had been three years since the last market was held and she was looking forward to welcoming the community and local businesses once more.

“Mumma's Nest Markets have always been an event looked forward to by many in Bundaberg,” she said.

“Having been unable to hold our market since Christmas 2019 due to COVID, we are so excited to bring our Christmas markets back for 2022.

“We love seeing our wonderful stall holders and giving some the opportunity to have a mini-shop to be able to promote their business and sell their items.

“We also love giving our customers the chance to shop for something more unique than what's available at the larger shops, and exposing them to new businesses they may not have heard of before while supporting local.”

Mumma's Nest Markets

Where: Civic Centre

When: Friday 18 November from 5.30 pm to 8.30 pm and Saturday 19 November from 8 am to 1 pm.

Find out more here.

What's on

Emily Wurramara’s connection to Milbi

Georgia Neville

Aria nominated singer Emily Wurramara recently performed at the launch of Milbi Festival and said her totem was a turtle, making it an event close to her heart.

Emily comes from Groote Eylandt in the Northern Territory and has also released a song, Yimenda-Papaguneray about the turtle.

Emily said the opportunity to play in Bundaberg and reflect on her culture was important to her.

“This festival has so much more meaning considering this is turtle country and my totem is the turtle and I feel such an affiliation with that,” Emily said.

“After yarning with the mob, it is really special, and it is something we need to see with everyone coming together again.

“It is super important for First Nations people to have voices in these spaces and be part of events like these.

“I remember going to many events when I was younger and seeing a black woman on stage was very inspiring for me.”

She said her song Yimenda-Papaguneray (turtle song) was one which has a lot of meaning to her as she reflected on memories of her childhood.

“I sing a song called Yimenda-Papaguneray, Yimenda which means turtle in Anindilyakwa language, and it is a song that we used to sing when we were really little with my grandma,” she said.

“We would sit with my cousins, and we would play the hand clapping game as we sung along to the song.”

From a young age Emily Wurramara picked up music, starting to write her own songs at six and a half years old before going on to win awards and perform with a number of artists.

“I started writing music when I was six and a half and then I learnt how to play the violin, saxophone and then guitar, ukulele,” she said.

“I released my first single when I was 18 and ended up being Triple J unearthed artists and touring around with incredible people like John Butler and Missy Higgins.

“It has been an incredible journey and I released my album in 2018 and that was a homage to my country, people, language and my grandmother and mothers’ stories.

“I got nominated for an Aria award and that was amazing and now I am here.”

You can find out more about Emily Wurramara and her music here.

Dr Annette Tyson releases Garrow Head novel


Dr Annette Tyson is a well-known local artist and assistant surgeon who now adds another feather to her cap with author, as she releases her debut novel Garrow Head.

The story is set in Van Diemen’s Land in the early 19th Century in a fictitious location known as Garrow Head.

While it has a strong historical background, Annette describes it as a tale of medicine, mystery and art, with a touch of romance.

“I was born in Tasmania, and I am proud to be a descendant of the colonial artist, John Glover, who emigrated with his family from London in the early 19th Century for reasons unknown.

“I used them as the starting point for my story,” Annette said.

“By reading Garrow Head, I hope people will develop an understanding of society in 19th century Van Diemen's Land and its impact on the Palawa (the Tasmanian Aboriginals).

“Many interesting people visited or lived in Van Diemen's Land during the 1830s – the time period when my book is set.

“I have included some of these people in the story: historical figures such as Count Pawel Strzelecki, the governor of the day, Sir John Franklin and his wife Jane, a woman many years ahead of her time with interests in science, social reform and education for women.”

Novel Annette Tyson's 10-year labour of love

Garrow Head has been a 10-year labour of love for Annette because she has led, and continues to lead, a very busy life.

Annette lives by the sea at Bargara with her supportive husband and fellow medico, John Evans.

In her early years Annette was raising her two sons, working in the operating theatres of Bundaberg, and developing her art and textile design practice.

Annette has always had a fascination with history and art and as a doctor has a particular interest in the history of medicine.

She spent many hours searching through second-hand bookstores, libraries and museums.

Initially, her research was conducted when she travelled to her family cottage in Low Head, Tasmania, during school holidays.

But in more recent years Annette has been able to spend more time in the region to write, paint and recharge.

Some of Annette’s literary treasures include a copy of her grandmother’s nursing textbook and an original copy of her great-great-grandfather Henry Button’s book, Flotsam and Jetsam.

Annette said Henry married John Glover’s granddaughter, Emma, who was a major character in the story, and he writes about visiting Patterdale and the Glovers in Flotsam and Jetsam.

Annette credits attending creative writing workshops organised by the Bundaberg Writer’s Club in helping her writing to evolve.

The first draft of the manuscript was finished in 2019 but then the long process of editing commenced, Annette said it was another two years before she felt the story was ready for publication.

Annette considered herself fortunate to have found a wonderful publisher, Foot and Playsted, in Launceston, Tasmania.

Finally, in October 2022, the first copies arrived in a box on her Bargara doorstep.

“I enjoyed doing the research for the book and made some fascinating discoveries along the way,” she said.

“I also enjoyed developing the characters and their world.

“It was difficult managing all the plot lines, who was meant to be where and when, and who knew something that someone else didn't.

“The editing process was the most difficult part of all.

“I didn’t realise that writing the end on the manuscript is actually only the beginning of the process.”

Garrow Head will be officially launched this month, with copies already available at Artisans Bargara, The Book Boutique Bundaberg, Dymocks Bundaberg and Bundaberg Regional Art Gallery.

Annette Tyson said she looked forward to doing readings at local book shops and at the Bundaberg Library.

Got You Covered library column

2022 Milbi Festival

There was plenty of good vibes about for the Milbi Tucker & Tunes event last Sunday which featured performances by local and touring musicians such as Kim Churchill on the lawn of Fairymead House.

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