Weekender: ViP Barry has a heart of gold

Boggy Creek Bridge built in rain, hail and shine

Ashley Schipper

A major upgrade to Boggy Creek Bridge in Gin Gin has now been completed after months of rain and flooding hampered construction efforts in the area.

The two-lane bridge, featuring concrete box culverts, has replaced a single-lane timber bridge, significantly improving safety for motorists.

Bundaberg Regional Council's Roads and Drainage portfolio spokesperson Cr Bill Trevor said the work finished this week and provided plenty of benefits.

“The main benefit is the transformation of an old, timber single-lane bridge which has been widened out to twin lanes, providing much better visibility and a safer route for travellers,” he said.

“This work was identified due to the deterioration of the timber bridge, which was no longer servicing the growing community, and the need to construct a structure that required much less maintenance.”

Cr Trevor said many hours of work went into the major project.

“This upgrade has been a bit of a challenge from the start,” he said.

“The area experienced 17 weeks of wet weather with flooding inundating the bridge numerous times.

“Crews were made up of a multi-skilled team who have worked extremely hard to complete the work in such difficult conditions.

“This new bridge is part of Council's commitment in enhancing road safety and catering to the growing needs of our community, now and into the future.”

The Boggy Creek Bridge upgrade was partly funded under the Bridges Renewal Program.

Barry awarded gold for Volunteer in Policing

Ashley Schipper

Childers resident Barry Cochrane has volunteered 2000 hours to help local police officers and this week, his efforts didn't go unnoticed as he was awarded a prestigious Gold Medal at a special ceremony.

The Volunteer in Policing (ViP) role is something Barry has been involved in since 2010.

ViPs are based with police and work to address customer service, community safety and crime prevention needs in the community.

The range of tasks they undertake complements the roles and responsibilities of paid police officers and staff members. 

“Volunteering with the police, especially here in Childers, gives me the opportunity to work alongside a great bunch of young men and women and provide support wherever possible,” Barry said.

“With Childers being such a small town it also allows me to meet and interact closer with the local residents.

“It gives me a feeling of community involvement, something I am quite passionate about.”

Barry received his Gold Medal at the Queensland Police Service Medal Ceremony held in Bundaberg this week and said being awarded made him feel valued.

“The fact that QPS recognises its volunteers and includes this recognition as part of the medal ceremony for all officers, serving and retired, makes you feel you are an important part of the overall organisation,” he said.

During his volunteer time, Barry said he helped out with front counter tasks at Childers Police Station and was also on hand to assist with events that officers attended.

“Here in Childers my main task is to assist the administration officer on the front desk with over-the-counter queries and pass on details to officers as needed,” he said.

“I am also involved in the Childers Festival and Read To Me Day, which is a big event here in each year and the police are very involved.

“My wife Margaret and I run the Police Reading Station.

“We always get dressed up depicting the theme of the day – I am not sure if this is for the benefit of the kids or ours!”

Barry encourages others to join VIP initiative

According to Barry, volunteering with the QPS was the next best thing to joining as a full-time officer.

“I actually did try to join the Queensland Police Service when I was 19 and in Townsville but the desk sergeant took one look at me and told me to go away, put on two stone or shrink five inches,” he said.

“Neither of those body changes were likely to happen so I enlisted in the RAAF and served for nine years here in Australia and South East Asia.”

For those looking to volunteer in the community, Barry said the ViP program was a wonderful way to give back.

“It gives you purpose and makes you feel like you are part of the community,” he said.

“You do it because you to want to, knowing there is no remuneration other than a sense of self-satisfaction.”

Bundaberg Patrol Group Senior Constable Brittany Duncan is coordinator of the ViP program and said ViP’s were vital to police officers and stations.

“Our local ViP’s conduct a range of tasks around the Bundaberg Patrol Group such as administration duties, found/lost property section, court assistance, community events and crime prevention activities such as letterbox drops and anti-theft screws,” she said.

“Our volunteers have lifetimes of experience in their own unique walks of life so it is wonderful to watch them use that existing knowledge to help community members in different aspects under the QPS banner.

“As the coordinator of the ViP program I am so lucky to have such wonderful people willing to give their time to assist us with our everyday duties.

“They make my job easier and certainly more enjoyable by being surrounded by such positive and incredible personalities.”

Find out more about Volunteer in Policing here.

Queen Elizabeth captures Bundaberg’s heart

Emma Turnbull

Bundaberg residents woke on Friday 9 September, to the news Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II had passed away after serving as the longest-reigning monarch of the Commonwealth.

News of her death quickly spread around the world and her son Charles released the following statement:

“The death of my beloved Mother, Her Majesty The Queen, is a moment of the greatest sadness for me and all members of my family,” the statement read.

“We mourn profoundly the passing of a cherished Sovereign and a much-loved Mother.  I know her loss will be deeply felt throughout the country, the Realms and the Commonwealth, and by countless people around the world.  

“During this period of mourning and change, my family and I will be comforted and sustained by our knowledge of the respect and deep affection in which The Queen was so widely held.”

Queen Elizabeth’s visit to Bundaberg

During her first royal tour of Australia in March 1954, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II was the only reigning monarch to visit Queensland. She was accompanied by her husband His Royal Highness Prince Phillip, The Duke of Edinburgh.

Queen Elizabeth captured the hearts of the Bundaberg people, who had been preparing for the special occasion for almost a year, when she visited Bundaberg on Thursday 11 March 1954.

The research undertaken by the Bundaberg Regional Libraries' Heritage Team shares the details of the magnificent event.

More than 30,000 community members turned out for the momentous occasion and the months of preparation for the fleeting two-hour visit had paid off.

The swiftness of Queen Elizabeth’s visit to the region did not deter the City Council, and Mayor Fred Buss was proud it would be the first time in Queensland that children would take part in the civic reception.

“From what he had read and heard of visits to other places so far …in most cases the Queen attended other gatherings to see the children, but in Bundaberg children would be present when he presented his address of welcome, and the children would hear her reply,” the article states.

“A local service club sponsored a garden competition to encourage residents along the proposed route to ‘brighten their gardens’, and the Council was pleased to report that ‘…apart from only one or two exceptions, everyone who had been asked to decorate their premises had agreed to do so'.”

The local newspaper, in the 40 days before the visit, had published 57 articles about the forthcoming event, and the week before her visit the paper published daily hints for residents on how to cope with the whole experience.

A full-scale dress rehearsal was held at the Bundaberg Showgrounds days before the royal visit, and the complete royal reception procedure was run through numerous times until it was faultless.

Ten trains arrived in Bundaberg early Thursday morning, from Maryborough, Gympie, Isis, Monto, Kingaroy, Morganville, Mt Perry and Gladstone, with more than 5000 people on board and most had returned home by 9 pm that same night.

Arrival of the Queen in Bundaberg

As the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh left Brisbane Airport at 10.40 am on Thursday 11 March, the crowd of almost 30,000 people already at the Bundaberg Showgrounds cheered wildly.

The progress of the flight to Bundaberg was broadcast at the Bundaberg Showgrounds for the 10,000 people waiting at the Bundaberg Airport.

The crowds en route to Bundaberg Showgrounds were 20 deep in places, with an estimated 30,000 people positioned between the hospital, and the corner of Maryborough and Woongarrra Streets.

“The Queen even directed the driver of the royal Humber to slow down even further than six miles per hour, because of the number of people along the streets,” the article reads.

A broadcast of the progress through Bundaberg was warmly received by the waiting crowds, with enthusiastic clapping whenever a well-known name or city landmark was mentioned.

As the Humber the Queen was travelling in turned into the showgrounds at 12.40 pm, the crowd went wild with cheering and flags waving, and the 47th Battalion pipers formed a guard of honour on the ramp leading to the oval.

Crowds stood as the Royal couple ascended the dais, and the official ceremony began with the Bundaberg Municipal Band playing the national anthem as the crowd joined in.

After the official welcome from Mayor Buss, he and his daughter Bettina presented the Queen with a bouquet of flowers.

After the civic reception, the Queen and Duke transferred to the royal Landrover, and began the slow circuit of the oval to inspect the rows of school children and youth organisations who had travelled across the Wide Bay to see royalty.

After a 15 minute drive through the cheering children, the Queen and the Duke transferred back to the Humber tourer, and along with their escorts, departed Bundaberg Showgrounds for the drive back to the airport.

On returning to the Airport, the royal couple were met by a crowd of 15,000 people to see them off.

Before boarding the flight to Oakey, the Queen thanked Mayor Buss for the warm welcome from the Bundaberg community and she commented on the how beautiful the region was.

“I thank you and the people of Bundaberg and district for your lovely welcome,” she said.

“We enjoyed the flight over Bundaberg, enabling us to see your lovely city and district.

“The green canefields and variegated colour made a splendid sight from the plane.”

The Queen’s final comment was to Mayor Buss about Bundaberg Rum – she asked where it was distilled, and whether he liked to drink it.

Never one to miss an opportunity, Mayor Buss quickly replied that he did, but that it was too dear and cost one shilling a nip when it should only cost one penny, because of excise duty from the Government.

Apparently, the royal couple were very amused with his reply.

The Queen and Duke then entered the aircraft, turned for one last wave to the crowd, and left for the next stage of the royal tour.

The Queen’s visit to the Bundaberg Region was the first of 16 visits to Australia, and eight to Queensland, as the Queen.

Queen Elizabeth will be remembered fondly as the longest-reigning monarch of the Commonwealth, having succeeded to the throne on 6 February 1952 on the death of her father, King George VI.

For community members who would like to share their condolences an official State of Queensland Condolence Book can be found here.

Buckingham Palace has indicated that online “Messages of Support and Condolence” are preferred over the use of physical condolence books.

The messages of support and condolence provided to the State of Queensland Condolence Book will then be collated and forwarded via Government House Queensland for transmission to Buckingham Palace.

Childers home to Mulberry and Stone

Georgia Neville

Inga Stallan’s dream of owning a homewares store has become a reality with Mulberry and Stone recently opening in Childers.

The store provides the community with a unique shopping experience, offering homewares, gifts and clothing from the space on Churchill Street.

Inga said the timing felt right to open the store, with her children now older and the space lending itself to being the business she had always imagined.

“It has been a dream of mine for many years now to create a beautiful space full of pieces for the home and filled with gifts for loved ones, a space that you can just escape into,” Inga said.

“Now my children are at a good age and the shop came available, it just felt like the right time and place.”

The store stocks a large range of items, with something for everyone from clothes and jewellery through to a range of homewares and gifts.

“We stock everything from glassware, dinnerware, home decor, furniture, clothing, jewellery, crystals, and also men’s gifts,” she said.

“We have tried to have a bit of everything.”

Inga said community support for the business had been fantastic.

“We have had a great start to the business, everyone has been so supportive and complimentary on the space and pieces that we have,” she said.

“Everyone says Childers needed something like this and we are thrilled to provide it.

“We thank everyone for all the support.”

Inga has lived in the region for many years, first moving to Childers two decades ago from Bundaberg, before again returning back to the region to raise her children.

“I moved around a bit only to return 12 years ago when my son started school. It has been the perfect place to raise my children,” she said.

“Childers has such an amazing feel about it, always friendly happy people and such a pretty main street, filled with travellers and it has plenty to offer to tourists to stop over and spend time.”

As time goes on, Inga is looking forward to seeing the store continue to grow while hoping to offer the opportunity to stock a number of other local suppliers.

“We hope to continue to grow and hope to support more local suppliers in the future,” she said.

“We have some exciting events in the making for supporting local women in small business also.

“For now, we are enjoying the process and love meeting all of our beautiful happy customers and learning what they are looking for.”

The store is located at 91a Churchill Street, Childers.

Silver by Diamond expands in new location

Georgia Neville

An old seafood shop in North Bundaberg has proven to be a diamond in the rough, with clothing store Silver by Diamond transforming the space into a beautiful boutique.

After months of renovations, Silver by Diamond owner Cheynee Wedrat has relocated to the space on Queen Street and is now stocking a wider range of clothing as well as looking forward to the opportunity to hire her space out for events.

Cheynee started Silver by Diamond 17 years ago and has constantly evolved her business.

“I started the brand 17 years ago and it started with jewellery first and expanded into clothing as I have always made my own clothes,” she said.

“As this is my own label I design everything, and then I have 15 tailors that sew everything which is all made from linen and cotton as they are fabrics that breathe.

“A lot of women who live on the land buy our product, so they need things that breathe.

“I also design them to be classic feminine styles that do not really date, so they can be worn for years and years.”

After years in Bourbong Street, Cheynee said the business had outgrown the space and so the hunt began to expand to a new store.

“We had a shop in the main street, but we were not ground floor and while we had a great space we had just outgrown it and we needed more room,” she said.

“We also really needed a store on the ground as we do attend a lot of events and move stock from the store to events, so this space is perfect as we have access from the back of the store also.

“When I saw the space, I knew we could create what we wanted.”

The new store has provided the opportunity for Cheynee to expand her range, while also stocking another local brand called The Candle Café.

“We have a lot more stock than what we had in our old store and we are also able to display the clothes far better,” she said.

“We can have the clothing more spaced out and we also now stock The candle Café which is another local business run by Dael Ryan.”

Cheynee said the opportunity to use the space for events was part of her plans, having had this in mind when designing the space and undertaking renovations.

“We are looking at hiring the space out as we have designed it so it can be used for events,” she said.

“We have made it so that everything just pulls up into the roof or is on wheels so we could clear room if someone wanted to hire the space.

The shop Silver by Diamond is open at 3 Queen Street, North Bundaberg.

New Seed Library grows love of gardening

Georgia Neville

The catalogue at local libraries is set to grow with a new Seed Library offering free seeds to plant at home with participants returning new seeds from what they grow.

Coordinated by Bundaberg Regional Libraries, Seed Library will be available at the Bundaberg and Gin Gin libraries from Friday 16 September, with Childers library launching at a later date.

There will also be a range of Little Gardener seeds made available which will be suitable and simple for children to grow.

Library members can plant, grow, and harvest their crops and then have the option to return seeds from that plant, or donate seeds of a different variety back to the library.

Council’s Arts, Culture and Events portfolio spokesperson Cr John Learmonth said this initiative was a fantastic way to get people outdoors and learning a range of new skills.

“Our libraries do a fantastic job of engaging the whole community and teaching them new skills, with the new Seed Library an opportunity for everyone to get outdoors and learn a range of gardening skills,” Cr Learmonth said.

“I look forward to seeing people’s love for gardening grow through this new library program.”

To ensure there are enough seeds for the program, the libraries will be accepting donations.

New Seed Library information:

When donating seeds, a seed donation form will be required to be filled out featuring as many details about the seed as possible.

Please note, Bundaberg Regional Libraries is not accountable for the content of donations or any errors in the accompanying information.

A maximum of three varieties of seed per household can be taken at one time.

When taking seeds, you will be able to see if they have been purchased from a nursery or donated.

A tick in the purchased box indicates the library has purchased the seeds from a nursery but if the donation box is ticked a library patron has donated the contents from their own garden.

You can find out more about Bundaberg Regional Libraries and the new Seed Library here.

School holiday guide full of fun

Georgia Neville

There is no reason not to have a spring in your step these school holidays, with Bundaberg Regional Council's Spring School Holiday Guide featuring a range of activities to keep children busy and entertained.

From arts and crafts to puppet shows at the library, dinosaurs galore at the Moncrieff and a range of fun free activities across the region’s parks, there is something for everyone.

Arts, Culture and Events portfolio spokesperson Cr John Learmonth said the school holidays were the perfect opportunity for families to get out and explore Council facilities.

"From the Hinkler Hall of Aviation and the Botanic Gardens to our fantastic libraries, community hubs, art galleries and more, there is so much to explore in the Bundaberg Region," he said.

Cr Learmonth said the upcoming school holiday guide featured 26 events and activities across Bundaberg, Childers and Gin Gin.

"Get creative with Bundaberg Regional; Galleries Outdoor Art Room to create seed bombs and botanical badges or create a small home fit for bees at Bundaberg Library," he said.

"There will also be free films showcased at the Moncrieff as well as Erth’s Prehistoric World, which will bring dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures to life."

Find the full school holiday guide here.

What's on

Bundaberg Youth Orchestra’s 50th anniversary

Emma Turnbull

Bundaberg Youth Orchestra will celebrate its proud history which stretches across half a century at its special 50th anniversary reunion concert.

Starting in the Bundaberg Region in 1972, Bundaberg Youth Orchestra has provided quality educational music opportunities to young musicians, some of whom have gone on to perform internationally.

On Saturday 17 September the community is invited to attend the Bundaberg Youth Orchestra 50th anniversary reunion concert at Shalom College.

Bundaberg Youth Orchestra alumni Kate Hardisty said Bundaberg Youth Orchestra 1, and its guest performer, will entice the audience with a classical repertoire that members first encountered during their time in the local orchestra.

“Whether those who are joining us are professional musicians or if they haven't picked up an instrument in decades, we are looking forward to sharing their memories, of just what makes Bundaberg Youth Orchestra such a special part of our community, with our audience,” she said.

Recent past members include Liam O'Malley who is the associate principal trombone in the Western Australian Symphony Orchestra, Alex Morris who is principal bass clarinet in the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, and Ashley Carter who is associate principle trombone in the Queensland Symphony Orchestra.

Long-serving member Robert Rotar has been the backbone of Bundaberg Youth Orchestra for the past 31 years in his role as conductor. 

“His passion and love of music has been an inspiration to many,” Kate said.

“He has a wealth of knowledge which he continues to generously share – he is so humble he wouldn't like me to say, but I believe Robert is the reason many of us pursued careers in music.

Robert believes that every music student should have the opportunity provided by groups such as Bundaberg Youth Orchestra.

“Not every student who learns an instrument will be out to have a career as a musician, but they should have the option of playing music for the rest of their life,” Robert said. 

Fond memories of Bundaberg Youth Orchestra

Kate said the reunion had provoked many fond memories from the musical group, including some of her own.

Joining Bundaberg Youth Orchestra in 1991, Kate remembers the first moments as if they were yesterday.

“I can clearly remember sitting at the back as a very inexperienced violinist thinking ‘wow! I hope one day I can play in the first violin section’,” Kate said.

“I was in awe of the huge, resonant sounds and amazing talent around me – Wednesday afternoon fast became the highlight of my week.

“I continued to play in the orchestra until 1997, and yes, I did play first violin, and I also had the great pleasure and opportunity to be concertmaster from 1995-1997.

“BYO is more than an orchestra – it's a family and I am still in close contact with many of the members.”

In celebrating Bundaberg Youth Orchestra’s 50th anniversary Kate said her time with the group was filled with pride.

“I am so proud to say I was a member of BYO,” she said.

“It is one of the longest running youth orchestras in Australia which (is) something the community of Bundaberg should be very proud of.

“I have played in many concerts as a member of BYO, but the concert next Saturday will be particularly special.

“As adults we reflect on years gone by, and without a doubt my fondest teenage memories are BYO, the music was fantastic and there was a real sense of belonging.”

Kate said the Bundaberg Youth Orchestra 50th anniversary concert was the second of three main events to celebrate the milestone year.

“This concert will see the past (alumni) and present combine to perform a program of much-loved BYO favourites,” she said.

“The audience will be treated to a feast of music featuring all sections of the orchestra – powerful brass to heart wrenching strings.

“We are all very much looking forward to reconnecting through our love of music.

“The number of alumni players returning to Bundaberg to play in this concert is a testament to what a significant part BYO has played in many lives.”

Bundaberg Youth Orchestra’s reunion concert will be held Saturday 17 September at 7 pm at Shalom Performing Arts Complex. Tickets are available here.

Busking program helps light Meleane's spark

Emma Turnbull

Listening to her father’s music as a child, Meleane Havea said it sparked an innate feeling which has now guided her to become involved in a special program supporting local talent.

Meleane has been performing for almost a decade and she jumped at the opportunity to take part in Bundaberg Regional Council's Spark Starter Program.

The initiative provides local musicians the opportunity to work with project coordinators to showcase their performance talents, network with likeminded people, attend free workshops with professionals, work within the industry and fast track their careers.

“My dad used to play Tongan music around me when I was growing up – I never consciously thought deeply about music – I just knew I enjoyed it,” Meleane said.

“My first performance happened when I was 10, and I became aware of how much I loved music and I realised how naturally it came to me.

“I love how it feels so natural to me. When I sing and play, I feel very focused yet peaceful.”

Meleane Havea part of Spark Starter cohort

Meleane is one of eight talented locals enrolled in this year’s program, and she said taking the leap to sign up to Spark Starter had been worth every moment.

“I think it’s so great for Bundaberg because it’ll introduce the community to more creativity and art,” she said.

“It’s funny because I had been thinking and manifesting about sparking up my music pursuits.

“One day I was driving past the piano in the main street and saw the advertisement saying buskers wanted.

“It felt like a sign, and I was intrigued to see what I’d do if I took the leap!”

Meleane Havea said she looked forward to the upcoming performances, after taking to the stage at various events through the Spark Starter.

“I love performing and I’m excited about all the different venues and people I’ll see,” she said. 

“The process has been really exciting so far – I’ve been to Childers Festival and Taste Festival.

“Both were good starting points and I’ve been incredibly grateful to have the chance to be there.”

To find out more information about the Spark Starter program click here.

The Spark Starter project is supported by the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland.

Podcast: South Sea Islander gravesite

Adele Bennett

The owners of a Bundaberg Region farm have worked with the South Sea Islander community to commemorate a gravesite more than a century old.

In July last year, Mayor Jack Dempsey issued an historic apology for the past practice of “blackbirding”, that saw indentured South Sea Islander labour forced to work in the region’s cane fields.

Around 62,000 people were tricked or forcibly removed from the Pacific Islands between the 1860s and early 1900s and were subjected to inhumane treatment as they harvested cane and cleared rocks from fields.

There are reminders of this history throughout the region, from the Basin swimming hole in Bargara to the stone walls that line farm boundaries.

But some of the history is not so easily seen.

In 2013, Brian Courtice heritage listed a South Sea Islander gravesite on his property, Sunnyside, a farm on Windermere Road that’s been in his family for almost 100 years.

“When my grandfather and Ben bought Sunnyside, some of the neighbours told them that there was a graveyard because they used to bring cane through this property to the juice mill that fronts Windermere Road and they'd see freshly dug graves,” he said.

“I always knew where the graves were, but I was not able to heritage list the gravesite because I couldn't prove it.

“But finally, after several failed attempts, I hit on the idea of getting ground penetrating radar and Gayle Read who then worked for the Council at the cemetery to bring it out.

“She was able to substantiate the fact that 29 South Sea Islanders, one at least of whom is a child because of the size of the grave, are buried here.”

Third generation South Sea Islander and local Bundaberg man Matthew Nagas said he was thankful for Brian's commitment in finding out more about the history of his property.

“Brian's discovery was confirmation of what, what we had been saying for years that our people weren't taken to cemeteries, they were buried in the cane fields where they died,” he said.

“It was a confirmation from the stories that we passed down to our families and what's been happening.”

He said the site was a place for the community to reflect and pay respects.

“We feel a lot of peacefulness, tranquility,” Matthew said.

“Brian does look after that particular area now, he doesn't let any farming on it or that sort of thing, you know. And so we're very thankful for that."

Listen to the podcast:

Got You Covered library column

In Our Garage with John Spencer's 1974 Holden Torana

Morgan Everett

John purchased his Holden Torana 10 years ago and said he had customised it to suit his taste.

Tell us about your car?

It's a Holden Torana 1974 and the model is a SLR 5000.

I bought it 10 years ago.

It was in really good order but it was a standard SLR 5000, so the motor was a bit down.

What modifications have you made?

We've changed the engine, the gearbox, the wheels, repainted it and done a new interior.

What makes your car unique?

It's a genuine SLR 5000.

People will argue that it's not genuine because it hasn't got genuine parts on it anymore but it's an enhanced, off the production line SLR 5000.

I've done everything that I wanted to do with it to make it good for me like added a better motor and faster motor, air conditioning, fuel injection, big sound system, better brakes, everything.

You can't do much more to it to make it more comfortable to drive.

What do you love about it?

The sound system is really good with big subwoofer in the boot and then the air conditioning is great and the engine is really good now, it's a five speed.

So the bonnet, a lot of people don't like it, but I love it because that's what we did in the old days.

We put a Ford XA GT bonnet on it or the skin.

What is the public reaction?

If you’ve got an old car, everybody flashes their lights or waves or thumbs up or whatever it may be.

Same as I do whenever I see one.

To have your vehicle featured in In Our Garage email us at news@bundabergnow.com

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Thousands to attend rowing championships

Georgia Neville

Over 700 athletes are getting ready to take their seat as they prepare to compete at the Queensland Schools Rowing Championships at Bucca Weir Rowing Course next weekend.

Thousands are set to visit the region as part of the championships, with the high-profile event securing the use of Bucca Weir through a sponsorship agreement with Bundaberg Regional Council.

Bundaberg Rowing Club has been working closely with Rowing Queensland to assist in organising the competition and is looking forward to seeing the community come together to support the event.

Rowing Queensland’s Event and Communications Coordinator Lucy Benjamin said they were proud to be hosting this year’s championships back at the Bucca Rowing Centre for the first time in six years.

“Rowing Queensland are excited to be bringing the Queensland Schools Championship Regatta back to the Bucca Rowing Centre in 2022, for the first time in six years,” she said.

“With 773 athletes rowing 2512 seats across three days of racing, the event promises to be a huge attraction for the Bundaberg region.

“Visitor numbers are finally recovering post covid, and regattas are seeing higher and higher attendance throughout 2022, the numbers coming along to the 2022 Schools Championships will be huge.

“With athletes, coaches, officials and spectators coming from all across Queensland and Northern NSW, it’s great to be able to show them the fantastic course and facilities at the Bucca Rowing Centre as well as what the Bundaberg Region has to offer.”

Sport and Recreation portfolio spokesperson Cr Vince Habermann said the event was a great opportunity to showcase the Bundaberg Region and its sporting facilities to visitors.

“It is fantastic to have secured the Queensland Schools Championships as the regatta showcases that we have the facilities to host high level sporting competitions in the region,” Cr Habermann said.

“We are expecting over 1000 people to visit as part of the competition, with over $1 million expected to be spent within the local economy.”

Lucy encouraged the community to get behind the event, with food trucks and vendors on site to enjoy while watching the races.

“There will be food trucks and other vendors on site, plus some exciting rowing to watch, so all spectators are welcome to come along and be a part of the event,” she said.

Further to the economic benefits for the community, this event has also led to exposure opportunities for local businesses through sponsorship agreements.

“It is excellent to also be welcoming local business, Rum City Foods, on board as the Naming Rights Sponsor for the event,” Lucy said.

“Rum City Foods are contributing both cash funding and generous in-kind support, making it possible for Rowing Qld and local hosts Bundaberg Rowing Club to manage the huge numbers expected to attend the regatta.”

Other local business including Murchie Constructions, Nemo car and dog wash and Adina Designed Interiors are gold plus sponsors for the event.

Racing will be taking place on Saturday 17 until Monday 19 September, with the days looking to run from 7 am until 5 pm.

Keep up to date with the latest information here.