Weekender: Foster dog paw-fect for school

February roads and drainage wrap

Ashley Schipper

There was plenty of work happening in the Bundaberg Region during February with new pathways, road upgrades and maintenance getting underway.

Work has commenced to a Hummock Road upgrade, with the project to be completed in June 2023, weather permitting.

An Avoca Road pathway construction project is also underway, complete with a bus stop area, with an expected finish date of March 2023.

Completed pathway construction in the region includes Gahans Road, with a boardwalk installed, and on Barolin Street.

In Childers, crews have repaired a concrete culvert which had caused the overlying pathway to become unsafe in Green Court, Buxton, while gravel resheeting has been completed on Bonannos Road and Promiseland Road.

A range of other minor and maintenance works were also completed during February, including:


Minor works:

• Bakers Road – desilt drain and remove trees blocking water flow
• Gooburrum Road – move silt from roadway and clean inlet and outlets
• Wearing Road – remove silt from concrete drain
• Storm clean up – removal of timber from roadways on Weir Road, Woodbury Drive, Lines Road, South Bingera Road, Jensens Road, Finsens Road, Chambers Street
• Removal of silt from concrete drains from Walker Street to Targo Street
• Drainage upgrade behind Palais Court, Thebeban
• Upgrade to RCP’s – Whalley Street, Bargara
• Drain cleaning at the following locations:
o Dr Mays Crossing Road
o Sauers Road
o Clayton Road
o McKenzies Road
o Rifle Range Road
o Poinciana Drive

Reseal preparation works:

• Wallace Road
• Adams Street, Corser Street, Geary Street, Baldry Street, Coates Street (Burnett Heads)
• Bayliss Road, Harveys Road, Lines Road, Nolans Pocket to Sharon Park Lane
• Quinns Road
• Asphalt repairs on Woongarra Scenic Drive
• Branyan Drive

Grading works completed:

• Philips Road
• Dorrian Road
• Haylocks Road
• Cherry Creek Road
• Ten Mile Road
• Heales Road
• Bayliss Road



Isis River – Barretts Road, Blacks Road, Broadhurst Homestead Road, Ross Camp Road
Kullogum – Coles Road
North Isis – McDonalds Road
Redridge – Hetheringtons Road, McKenzies Road
South Isis – Cooks Road, Jacksons Road, Junction Mountain Road, Laceys Road, South Isis Road

Gin Gin


  • Bucca: Bostons Rd, Bucca Rd
  • Doughboy: Doughboy Rd
  • Good Night: Back Creek Rd, Booyal Crossing Rd, Camp Paddock Rd, Iron Bark Rd, River Rd
  • Horse Camp: Horsecamp Rd, Mary Nagel Dr, Stronachs Rd, Tobins Short Cut Rd
  • Moolboolaman:Duckpond Rd
  • Morganville: Eddingtons Rd, Goodnight Scrub Rd
  • Waterloo: Moolyung Rd
  • Wonbah:Chavasse Dr, Wonbah Rd
  • Yandaran: Monduran Rd


  • Gayndah Rd – Goodnight
  • Duckpond Rd – Takilberan
  • Top Waterloo Rd – Waterloo

School support dog Kiwi learns the ropes

Emma Turnbull

Kiwi was born with the ability to comfort those around him and now, the eight-month-old pup is putting his skills into practice as he becomes Bundaberg State High School's first-ever support dog.

Born in Red Collar Rescue’s foster care, Kiwi was taken in by Bundaberg State High School’s guidance officer Sally Freeman and her family.

Eight months later, he has graduated from training organisation Dog Matters and is the first support dog to put his paws on the pavement at the local high school.

The mini foxy, maltese and poodle mixed breed will be an asset for both students and teachers as he is trained to add comfort and support to those around him.

“Kiwi was just different from the start,” Sally said.

“Even as a pup he searched people out and gave so much love.

“He just innately knew to sit, or play.

“He would pull on his lead towards people of all ages.

“I bought him to school and the students and staff gravitated to him and as mentioned him to them.

“Even to this day when we arrive at school his tail is like a windscreen wiper, he is just so happy!”

Sally said after the initial encounters, she enquired about putting Kiwi to the test to become the first therapy dog at Bundaberg State High School.

“I then did some research on what we needed to do [for Kiwi] to become a school support dog,” she said.

“I put a proposal forward and the school supported me 100 per cent.”

Students see the benefit in having a support dog

Bundaberg State High School students Hayley Asnicar, Karlea Law and Eli Thomas all agreed that having a companion like Kiwi the support dog at school made every day better.

Hayley said Kiwi supported students emotionally.

“Kiwi provides great emotional support and just makes us feel a lot better,” Hayley said.

“Having little cuddles from him is enough to put you in a better mood.”

Karlea agreed saying the little pooch had the ability to brighten each school day.

Eli said all the students and teachers had benefitted from having a support dog at the school.

“Kiwi offers a pretty good atmosphere for any kids who are feeling down and he helps them get back to work and focus better.

“He is a fun, playful, cute little dog and just makes us happy.

“I like his goofy little underbite too!”

Dogs truly are man's best friends

Professional trainer Tenille Williams worked with Kiwi who she said now has the skills to be able to help students when they are in need of time out from daily stresses.

“Now, I know what you're thinking ‘a dog in school? That sounds barking mad!’,” Tenille said.

“But trust me, having a furry friend around can bring a whole lot of benefits that you may not have even considered.

“First and foremost, having a school support dog can do wonders for the mental health of students and staff alike.

“Dogs are natural stressbusters, and just petting them can release feel-good hormones like oxytocin and dopamine in our brains.

“So, if you're feeling overwhelmed by schoolwork or just having a bad day, spending some quality time with a dog can really lift your spirits.”

Tenille said dogs were also amazing listeners and having a school support dog could also promote socialisation and empathy among students.

She said animals were great at bringing people together and having a dog in the classroom could encourage students to interact with each other and form friendships.

“Sometimes, all we need is someone to talk to who won't judge us or interrupt us mid-sentence,” she said.

“Dogs are perfect for that, they'll sit there and listen to you talk through your problems for as long as you need, without ever complaining or telling you to stop. They're the best secret-keepers too!

“And let's not forget about the sheer joy and fun that a dog can bring to a school.

“Having a school support dog benefits everyone in the school community in so many ways.

“From improving mental health to promoting socialisation and just bringing some happiness and laughter into our lives, a dog is truly a human's best friend.”

Community invited to celebrate new CBD piano

Megan Dean

The community is invited to attend the launch of a new community piano in the Bundaberg CBD, including performances from local pianists.

Bundaberg Regional Council and the Moncrieff Entertainment Centre will launch the new piano following three generous donations from local families.

Three pianos in good working order have been donated to Council meaning that not only can the currently damaged piano be replaced but there are two more ready and waiting to be installed if and when needed.

The community is invited to celebrate the launch with a short lunch-time performance at midday on Friday 24 March.

Arts, Culture and Events portfolio spokesperson Cr John Learmonth said the replacement piano would be welcome news to many.

“The community piano is a fantastic initiative which has economic, social and cultural benefit to our community,” Cr Learmonth said.

“We’ve been receiving increasing community requests regarding tuning and damage on the existing instrument so we know many interested residents will be pleased to hear a replacement piano is on its way.

“It’s unfortunate that the community piano has been targeted by vandals on a regular basis but we are so grateful for the generosity of the three local families who have donated pianos because it ensures that we can continue this great initiative at low cost to ratepayers.

“We’re also introducing a regular tuning schedule for the new piano to ensure it stays in top condition and ready for the community to enjoy.”

Donated piano already has community history

The McCracken family has donated a Thalberg piano which was purchased in the 1950s and has already spent decades bringing joy to the Bundaberg Region community.

It was donated in memory of previous owner Edna Jean McCracken (nee Saunders), born in Gin Gin in 1924, who first began piano studies at the Roman Catholic Convent in Bourbong Street.

It was the beginning of a love for music which saw her become a rostered organist at the Saint Andrews Presbyterian Church and, during the war, perform for the soldiers alongside her brothers.

Edna participated in St Andrews Night Concerts and earned her letters at Trinity College which qualified her to become a piano teacher, following which she offered private lessons from home.

Her passion for piano only grew throughout her lifetime and her family fondly recalls that, in her later years, she would go regularly to the church services at Pioneer home to “play for the oldies”, despite the fact that many of the audience were younger than she was!

Now her family’s donation of her much-loved piano will continue to give joy to the community.

“As the next generation of the McCracken Family, we are so very pleased to have Edna’s musical legacy live on through Bundaberg’s Community Piano Project,” the McCracken family said.

“She would be quietly delighted that her beloved piano will continue to bring joy to many.”

Attend the community piano launch event

Everyone is welcome to attend the official launch of the new community piano which will feature a short lunch-time performance.

When: 12 pm Friday 24 March

Where: CBD pavilion, Bourbong Street

What: unveiling of the new community piano followed by performances by three local pianists

Two decades of delights for Nana's Pantry

Emma Turnbull

Fond childhood memories inspired Leisa Storey's business Nana's Pantry which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this month.

Established on 10 March 2003 by Leisa and her husband Darryl, Nana’s Pantry is a local, family-owned business which continues to provide the community with a unique mix of healthy options and indulgent treats, including delicious gelato.

Named in honour of grandmothers from both sides of the family, Nana Edna and Nana Shirley, Darryl and Leisa continue to share the joy of food passed down through the generations with their customers.

“We wanted to create a unique store that reminded people of homemade treats and goodness,” Leisa said.

“For me walking into my Nana's house was just a joy, the smells coming from the kitchen were always delightful and homely. 

“Food was just one way to show love. 

“My Nana could make the most decadent foods out of the simplest ingredients, and that is what I wanted to bring to Bundaberg.

“A place to get all the ingredients to make those delicious treats for your family.”

Gelato a favourite at Nana's Pantry

For 20 years Nana's Pantry has grown into a household name in the Bundaberg community, with what started as a one-man store with Darryl running the business to now operating two bustling stores – the second in Hervey Bay – and more than 30 staff.

“We have had three moves in our 20 years, Woongarra Street, Barolin Street and currently Electra Street,” Leisa said.

“On our move to Electra Street we introduced Bundaberg to gelato.

“We make the gelato onsite daily from the finest ingredients, using the best Italian equipment and techniques, we use local milk and cream and where possible local ingredients.”

Darryl said Nana’s Pantry originally opened as a bulk food store, but after the couple visited a food fair and stumbled across gelato, they knew they had to share it with their hometown.

“We originally had a store with bulk wholefoods, and we ran out of space and when we saw this building become available and it was a lot bigger, we knew we could expand,” he said.

“We’d been to a food fair and tried gelato for ourselves for the first time and we were blown away by how good it was and knew we had to share it with the community.

“We were the first ones to do gelato in Bundaberg and we do it all onsite.

“We supply a number of local businesses with gelato, including Macadamias Australia, Water Street and even a big gelato shop up in 1770.”

Darryl said they had always focused on quality over quantity.

Leisa agreed saying they were proud of their staff and the service they offered.

“I think Nana's supplies a unique mix of naughty and healthy and we have the largest variety of wholefood products in Bundaberg,” Leisa said.

“We pride ourselves on great customer service and the best quality and grades of foods and products.

“Plus, you can buy as little or much as you like of most products.

“We do want to thank all our amazing customers for their support over the last two decades.”

QRL offers support to Share the Dignity

Emma Turnbull

Locals can help Queensland Rugby League to end period poverty through Share the Dignity as the QRL Wide Bay now has collection bins at Salters Oval.

Throughout March, QRL will hold a dignity drive with the aim of collecting 500,000 period products through Share the Dignity.

QRL Club Coordinator Kym McIntosh said she was proud to be part of the campaign to raise support for local women.

“It’s a privilege to be a female in rugby league and supporting other women in rugby league and partnering with Share the Dignity,” she said.

“Share the Dignity is all about supporting females that are going through tough times and they can’t afford to buy themselves the products they need to in order to get through every day living.

“Periods are a once-a-month thing for most women, and they (products) are expensive at times.

“I think being able to give females who are struggling in their personal situations, whether it be because of domestic violence, or the housing shortage as rent has increased, we are able to give back and support the community and the women who are going through tough times.”

QRL Wide Bay area manager Bryce Holdsworth said they were pleased to support Share the Dignity for the first time, and they would continue to do so for years to come.

Although rugby league is typically a male dominated sport, Bryce said it was important to support not only the growing number of female players, but also the staff, volunteers and female community members.

“It’s really important for us to be involved with Share the Dignity, with many females across the state struggling with period poverty,” he said.

“We felt a need to support where we can and by providing a Share the Dignity collection box we hope to provide some assistance to the females that may be struggling to purchase sanitary items.

“We have quite a number of female players throughout Wide Bay, but we also have a lot of female volunteers as well, who do a massive job for our leagues and clubs.

“We all understand sometimes it is hard to ask for help, so this is just one way we can show our support for the many females within our sporting community.”

Community can donate to Share the Dignity

Bryce said Bundaberg community members could also help to share the dignity by donating female hygiene products.

“We would be grateful, if the community could assist us with this great cause by donating any type of sanitary item they like,” he said.

“We have a collection box at the QRL office, Salter Oval – we have this at the bottom of our stairs which is behind the main grandstand.

“Community members can drive in the gate, with the box being out between 8 am and 5 pm Monday to Friday.

“For those outside of Bundaberg, we have collection boxes in the Brisbane, Sunshine Coast, Townsville, Mackay, Gold Coast and Ipswich offices.”

QRL social impact and inclusion coordinator Liberty Jones said Share the Dignity was identified as a charity important to QRL employees during a recent social impact and corporate social responsibility survey. 

“QRL recognise that great work Share the Dignity have done with putting period product vending machines in Queensland schools, so we see great value in supporting them in making such a positive change in the lives of young females,” Liberty said.

“There are many young females playing the game in Queensland who are experiencing period poverty and struggles within their lives, so we see great value in supporting Share the Dignity support these girls.”

Liberty said it was important to be part of education around female health and wellness to improve the lives of those struggling. 

“We want to be part of creating an environment where young females feel safe and supported,” she said.

She said QRL had also conducted education forums around working with female athletes across the southeast last month.

“We want to leverage the unique footprint QRL have across the state to raise awareness of social issues impacting our communities, including joining the conversation about the struggles girls and women have around period poverty,” she said.

Share the Dignity vending machines, supplying free sanitary products, are located locally at Angels Community Group, Bundaberg Hospital and a number of high schools.

Free Family Fun Day a gift for community

Emma Turnbull

Making a big come back, the Bundaberg Baptist Church will treat the local community to a Free Family Fun Day.  

Everything from rides, entertainment, parking and even the food will be free at a community event that aims to take the financial burden off local families.

Bundaberg Baptist Church Senior Pastor Richard Cathie said the church was eager to see the return of the fun day which had previously been held prior to Covid-19.

“We are really excited to see the hard work that church members have done to make sure families, such as those who can’t attend local shows, can come along to this Free Family Fun Day and enjoy their time together,” Richard said.

“This year we are trying to cater for more families with more rides and shorter lines.

“All the costs are covered by the church people – it’s our gift to the community.

“The idea behind it for us is that everything comes from the heart.”

This year will be the third time Bundaberg Baptist Church has organised the popular Free Family Fun Day.

Richard, who is also chairperson for the Bundaberg Ministers Association, said the combined churches in the Bundaberg Region strive to support the community.

“We saw at Bethlehem Live how together the combined churches can put on an event for the community,” he said.

“The churches were justifiably proud of the effort and result of Bethlehem Live.

“Although the Free Family Fun Day is organised by Bundaberg Baptist Church, we are doing this on behalf of the wider Christian community as a blessing for the whole community.”

The free activities from Fun Time Amusements including a mega slide, rock wall, pirate ship and mini jeeps.

Bundaberg Baptist Church Free Family Fun Day

When: 10 am to 2 pm on Saturday, 18 March
Where: 14 Fitzgerald Street, Bundaberg
For more information click here

What's on

Childers Heritage Weekend celebrations return

Emma Turnbull

The rich culture and history of Childers will be proudly on show during the second annual Childers Heritage Weekend as part of the Australian Heritage Festival.

Locals and visitors will be able to explore a number of experiences during the two-day event in May, with the return of the popular open houses.

Taking part in the Childers Heritage Weekend will give visitors the opportunity to step inside the historic Isis Masonic Lodge, the old Apple Tree Creek School, Childers Historical Complex and Childers Soldiers Room.

Several functions and features have already been developed under the guidance of Isis District Historical Society Inc members Scott Stedman, Abby Biggs and Darren Eastwood.

As a local historian, Scott said a number of activities had been planned and he was looking forward to showcasing the charm of Childers for everyone to see.

“We will celebrate the rich cultural and historic roots of the charming Childers area, along with our local heritage,” Scott said.

“This includes museum visits, a military vehicle and vintage fire engine display at the Childers Historical Complex plus discovery walks around the town.”

The inaugural event last year had visitors indulging in the popular Childers mock chicken legs, served up by the Freemasons at Isis Masonic Lodge, and taking in the community history as West Street Hall opened its doors.

“In my book, last year was successful even though we had some weather,” Scott said.

“This year we are hopeful for perfect conditions to give more people the chance to come and see what Childers has to offer.”

Scott said there would an open-visit scheme consisting of historic buildings and sites of significance, static military and cultural displays, along with story-sharing in the library.

He said there would also be demonstrations and displays of traditional crafting and Devonshire teas served in the old Apple Tree Creek School, now the CWA rooms. 

“There will also be open access to all displays at the Childers Historical Complex, the Soldiers Room, the Masonic Hall and West Street Hall, a display of handmade-patchwork quilts along with an orchid display in Christ Church, Childers,” Scott said.

“A display of historic police memorabilia will be at the Childers Police Station.

“The aim of the weekend is to draw visitors into the region allowing the shared historic and cultural richness and experience to encourage economic growth and development in the local area.”

The exciting weekend of activities and attractions is part of a nation-wide celebration of regional local heritage, celebrating the rich cultural and historical roots of the charming area during the Australian Heritage Festival and will be held on 13 and 14 May.

To keep up to date with new information for Childers Heritage Weekend click here.  

Mosaic for Afghan Women displayed at CQU

Emma Turnbull

International project Hanging by a Thread: Mosaic for Afghan Women, involving 47 countries, is proudly on display in Bundaberg.

Hanging by a Thread: Mosaic for Afghan Women is an artwork that comprises of 91 individual pieces of glass-mosaic made by mosaic artists across Queensland.

It will be displayed around Queensland after opening in Brisbane for the United Nations International Day of Peace last year, with the first stop on the tour at Bundaberg CQUniversity.

Mosaic Association of Australia and New Zealand (MAANZ) Queensland representative, and Bundaberg artist, Paul Perry said the giant handmade glass mosaic scarf was the Queensland contribution to the international project.

Paul said each piece was a reminder of how 20 years of hard-won freedoms could, in a matter of one year, come to be hanging by a thread.

He said it was an honour for Bundaberg to showcase the artwork after its initial stop in Brisbane last year.

“We would like to thank the Bundaberg campus of CQU for their generous support in hosting this display,” he said.

“As a member of MAANZ I was made aware of the project, its message, and the opportunity to participate.

“As this was something I strongly supported, I decided to make a number of pieces for the project.

“Within a few weeks I became one of the new Queensland representatives for MAANZ and took on the role of co-ordinating the project in Queensland, making the substrate for the display and arranging the touring exhibition of the finished mosaic within the state.”

He said mosaic artists had been working since September 2021 to gain the world’s attention to the erosion of the human rights of Afghan women and girls following the takeover of Afghanistan by the Taliban.

More than 1200 participants from 47 countries have created individual glass-mosaic panels to be assembled as mosaic scarves.

Participating artists and community members have drew inspiration from the colours and designs of the now banned colourful traditional Afghan costumes.

Inspiration from Afghan traditions

The scarves in the artwork represent the resilience of Afghan culture beyond its own borders.

“The artwork is a made up of 91 glass mosaics, each one based on or inspired by designs of Afghanistan clothing,” Paul said.

“While each one is a beautiful piece of art in itself, they have been curated together into a scarf form – 3.6m wide and 1.2m high, which adds another dimension to its beauty and draws attention to the message of the project.

“I made six of the mosaic pieces using Italian, Mexican and Chinese smalti and glass tiles – international materials for an international project.”

Paul believes its important to create artwork that connects with its audience.

“A project like this has many layers and dimensions,” he said.

“Firstly, it’s a community project, connecting people with a common interest in a project.

“But beyond this, the project has a real and current message, drawing attention to the plight of Afghan women and girls under the Taliban regime.

“It is also a great opportunity to share the diverse beauty of mosaics as an art form, and especially one that can be used to carry a powerful narrative.”

Excitement of artwork in Bundaberg

Hanging by a Thread: Mosaic for Afghan Women will be displayed at CQUniversity in Bundaberg until the end of June.

“I’m excited to see the MFAW exhibition here in Bundaberg and to be able to share it up close and personal with friends, colleagues and other art lovers,” Paul said.

“While the 91 individual mosaics that make up the display are beautiful in their own right, the message of the exhibition in terms of continuing to raise awareness of the plight of Afghan women and girls under the Taliban regime, is equally important for Bundaberg. 

“It is something I personally feel strongly about and share with the mosaic community internationally.

“It’s also exciting for this exhibition to be opening during International Women’s Week.

“It’s great to have Dr Rita Anwari be part of the opening event here, albeit via video link, as the Hanging by a Thread project has a strong synergy with her Women Empowerment and Leadership organisation.

In Our Group with Childers and Isis District Orchid Society

Emma Turnbull

The Childers and Isis District Orchid Society Inc has a proud 40-year history of blooming beautiful flowers while creating social connection for members.

Publicity Officer Fay Partridge shares the workings of the local community group.

Tell us about the Childers and Isis District Orchid Society Inc?

The Society is open to anyone that is interested in learning about orchids or joining our club for the social side of it.

Even better it they know a lot about orchids.

The community is involved by visiting our shows, cent sales and purchasing raffle tickets.

A small amount of money raised goes to having speakers come and give us a talk so we can learn more about orchids.

What significant events do you hold during the year?

We will be holding our Autumn Charity Orchid Show on 24 and 25 March at the Isis Culture Centre Churchill Street Childers.

Doors open at 8 am to 4 pm Friday and 8 am to 1 pm Saturday, when trophies will be presented.

This year the beneficiary is Forest View Aged Care Inc. in Childers. 

At our show there will be a potting demonstration at 10 am each day.

You can also buy orchid potting mix and orchid supplies.

Orchid members will be selling orchids, as well as vendors selling everything from baby orchids to flowering ones.

Entry is $2, refreshments are available andt there will be raffles to be won.

See the beautiful display of orchids from Bundaberg, Maryborough, Hervey Bay, and Childers and the Isis District Orchid Societies.

We also have a cent sale on Easter Saturday at the Woodgate Hall.

On 1 and 2 September we have a Spring Orchid Show at the Childers Culture Centre.

What’s the history of Childers and Isis District Orchid Society Inc?

Our society has been operating for 40 years.

The club had a special 25th year anniversary dinner where medallions were presented.

We have around 65 members with the oldest in their 90s.

New members are always welcome.

Why is the group important to the Bundaberg Region?

We freely share our friendship and give charities in the area, such as RACQ LifeFlight, donations from our previous shows.

How can the community become involved?

Meetings are held at Church Hall, McIlwraith Street, Childers with a 2 pm start every second Saturday of the month.

To find out more about the club, join their Facebook group.

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