Apply now to host 2023 Australia Day festivities
Whether it’s a barbecue cook-up by the beach, a picnic event in the park or any other type of fun festivity, community groups are invited to apply now to host Bundaberg Regional Council's official 2023 Australia Day celebrations.
Each year Council encourages not-for-profit organisations to take on the role of host, providing a unique opportunity to showcase a special event to a diverse range of residents and visitors.
The activity is subsidised by Council through financial and limited in-kind assistance with event staff sitting on the organising committee to assist with planning and implementation.
Arts, Culture and Events Portfolio spokesperson Cr John Learmonth said Australia Day was a time to celebrate with family and friends but also a day of reflection and commemoration.
“This is a time where we see families and friends get together to enjoy all things Aussie and each other's company,” he said.
“It's also a time to reflect on our past and look forward to a brighter future.”
Cr Learmonth said hosting an official Australia Day event was a wonderful way to bring locals and visitors together to enjoy the Bundaberg Region.
“These events are always very well attended and much-loved by the community,” Cr Learmonth said.
“Whether it’s a massive meat-pie eating competition, snags at sunset, egg and spoon racing or more, there are plenty of ways we can celebrate our great Aussie spirit.”
For groups wishing to apply for the host position, expressions of interest will remain open until Friday 7 October.
A list of requirements, including suitable location for attendance numbers of more than 3,000 people, must be adhered to.
For more information or to apply click here.
Lucinda born to create as she opens exhibition
Seven-year-old Lucinda Dumont was “born to create” and thanks for the support from the Regional Arts Development Fund (RADF) she will soon open her first art exhibition, Faces.
The bright, eye-catching naïve artwork Lucinda creates has captured the essence of the subjects from a youngster’s view.
For five years Lucinda has been dabbling in various art mediums and styles, but she turned her focus to painting with acrylics last year.
“I find it relaxing,” Lucinda said.
“I have painted my mum, (my brother) Winston and my red heeler Chilli.”
Lucinda is the youngest recipient of a RADF grant in the Bundaberg Region, and her mum Lauren Corvino believes Lucinda may even be the youngest artist in Queensland to receive RADF funding.
Lauren said Lucinda’s style had been likened to Pablo Picasso, and was similar to Australian artist Ken Done.
“Lucinda loves creating, she is home-schooled, and I get to watch her follow her passion and when she gets in the zone you can see she really enjoys it,” Lauren said.
“Each painting takes her a few days, between coats and background – she’ll be working on a few at once – she was definitely born to create.
“Her style is bright, I compare her to Ken Done cross with Picasso.”
RADF grant helps promote young artists like Lucinda
Lucinda received a RADF Quick Response grant to support her Faces exhibition opening.
Local RADF grant applicants under 18 years of age are eligible to apply with the support of a parent or guardian.
“The RADF grant has helped with the opening, and I am really proud of her,” Lauren said.
“Without the funding it would have been very difficult.”
The young Gin Gin artist is excited to feature her 35 artworks in the Faces exhibition at the local gallery, and said she took inspiration from close family and friends.
“My nanna and pa will come (from Bendigo) to see it, I’m excited because I haven’t seen them in years,” Lucinda said.
“I have painted both of them.”
Lucinda Dumont’s Faces exhibition opens at Gin Gin Courthouse Regional Gallery on Saturday 1 October.
RADF promotes the role and value of arts, culture, and heritage as key drivers of diverse and inclusive communities.
The Bundaberg Regional Council RADF funding supports artists, projects and programs that contribute to strengthening the creative ecology of the region.
For more information about the Regional Arts Development Fund, click here.
Boardwalk at Botanic Gardens set for upgrade
A new and improved structure made from upcycled plastic materials will soon replace the existing Botanic Gardens boardwalk, with construction to begin next month.
The current boardwalk, which is located in the centre of the gardens, will be removed and replaced due to reaching its end of life.
The work will be carried out in three stages, from Tuesday 4 October, and will be completed by June 2023 if weather permits.
The new boardwalk will have a section of walkway removed to improve water flow and reduce nutrients in the lake.
By utilising plastic composite, which includes recycled plastics, the new boardwalk will feature a timber look while having the added benefits of being more durable against animal droppings and weather events, reducing maintenance requirements.
The community will be able to continue to sit and enjoy birdwatching from the central boardwalk, and access other areas of the gardens.
Mayor Jack Dempsey said the upgrade would ensure the life of the boardwalk continued to see longevity and the gardens remained a place for all visitors to enjoy.
“Upgrades to Council’s facilities are crucial to ensuring our community has access to the highest quality facilities possible,” Mayor Dempsey said.
“This project will ensure the gardens continues to support the recreational needs of regional, national, and international visitors for many years to come.
“I look forward to seeing everyone enjoy the new boardwalk once it is complete.”
The three-stage project will be rolled out as follows:
Week starting 4 October 2022
• Stage 1 and Stage 2: One section of boardwalk to be removed. Concrete piers under the above section of boardwalk to be removed.
• Stage 3: The remaining boardwalk will be removed and replaced, weather and unforeseen delays permitting
This project is part of Bundaberg Regional Council’s Parks, Sport and Natural Areas Capital Renewal Program 2022 – 2023.
You can read more about the project on the Our Bundaberg Region website.
Arluna Boutique opens in Bundaberg CBD
Bundaberg CBD’s newest fashion and homewares store Arluna Boutique has opened its doors on Bourbong Street.
The shop is owned by mother-and-daughter-in-law duo Amy and Jeanette Bretag, whose love for stylish garments and gifts has provided the opportunity to open the new business together.
Amy said Arluna Boutique would be more than just ladies’ fashion clothing as they also stocked accessories, gifts and homewares.
“We’ve been thinking about it for a while now,” Amy said.
“We thought something was missing from up town, so we decided to come together to fill the gap in the field.”
Jeanette is no stranger when it comes to understanding fashion, as she previously owned local business Dress Co.
“Arluna Boutique is a modern twist to what was stocked at Dress Co,” Amy said.
“Jeanette and I are really excited about our new venture together – we are really opposite to each other, and that works as we contrast together, which means we will cater for a wide variety of people and age groups.
“We really do bounce off each other and that works well in this business.”
Amy said after working in gifts and furniture for a decade, she was eager to provide the Bundaberg Region with a boutique shop for all their giftware needs.
“We will stock candles, gifts and a wide range of knick-knacks,” Amy said.
“Our business name Arluna, is part of both my children and Jeanette’s grandchildren’s names – Arlo and Luna.
“This is our little touch of home that we have brought to the store.”
Arluna Boutique’s grand opening was on Friday 23 September at 3/56 Bourbong Street. The shop will be open 9 am to 5 pm Monday to Friday, and 9 am to 1 pm Saturday.
Kalki Moon gin release at Cocktails + Canapes
Immerse yourself in the Bundaberg Region’s rich Indigenous culture and enjoy Cocktails + Canapes to celebrate Kalki Moon’s fifth anniversary as part of this year’s Milbi Festival.
Cocktails + Canapes will have guests savouring the tastes of botanical flavours served from an exquisite, limited-edition gin bottle created to showcase Kalki Moon's journey and connection to country.
Adorned in locally inspired Indigenous artwork that features cane fields, turtles and local rivers, the anniversary gin launch at Bundaberg Regional Council’s Milbi Festival will be one not to miss.
The annual Milbi Festival runs for 10 days from 28 October and showcases events and activities to celebrate local culture, history and turtles.
Kalki Moon owner Rick Prosser said the bottle had been years in the making, and he was excited to finally share it with the local community during the 2022 Milbi Festival.
“We are hosting a Cocktails + Canapes event as part of Milbi to celebrate our fifth anniversary and launching our very limited-release bottle which has been designed by local artist Chern'ee Sutton,” Rick said.
“I worked with Chern'ee on this for a couple of years and it is really heavily based on Bundaberg.
“It really brings together the four rivers that Bundaberg is surrounded by; the Burnett, the Elliott, the Gregory and the Kolan, as well as celebrating the reef.”
Rick said the bottle’s artwork was created in the contemporary style that Chern’ee was famous for.
Cocktails + Canapes guests will have the chance to be the first to taste the limited edition gin before it is released to the public the following day.
Rick said the limited-edition bottle was a blend of Kalki Moon’s four high-strength gins.
“It was a bit of work on my side of things to get a four-way blend into the bottle,” Rick said.
“It is a blend of our classic, premium, navy and summer gins.”
Cocktails + Canapes will include delicious appetisers served up by Water Street Kitchen along with music by local artist Tim Spargo.
Cocktails + Canapes
Date: Thursday 3 November
Time: 6 pm to 9 pm
Location: Kalki Moon Distilling Company
Cost: $100 per ticket (includes canapes and two cocktails)
Brian gives Gin Gin a helping hand
After moving to Gin Gin a year and a half ago, Brian Carmichael has wasted no time offering a helping hand to his local community.
Brian has become the “go-to” person within the region, volunteering his time not only at the Gin Gin Community Hub to provide technology support, but also with Kolan Community Options, providing transport and assistance.
From Monday through to Wednesday between 9 am and 2 pm Brian offers tech help at the hub.
He has provided support with everything from community grant applications, creating slideshows, downloads and uploads and recharging mobile phone credit.
“I give lots of mobile phone help because some of the older people do not understand their phones and need email addresses,” Brian said.
“While it is rather hard for these people to work out, a lot of the tasks are relatively simple.”
The support allows participants to build confidence and learn new skills at their own pace with one-on-one support.
Brian says he loves giving back to the community and meeting new people.
“I love having a chat with the different people,” he said.
“I do not have a background in IT but I have been running small businesses for the past 30-odd years, so I do know how to use computers.
“The Gin Gin Community Hub is fantastic and a great resource for the community."
While giving his time to those who need assistance, Brian said he was just glad he could help.
“People are always grateful (for) what they can come in here and get help,” he said.
“I hear a lot of people being told to go and ask your kids to help, and that is all well and good to say you can go to your kids to help but a lot of the time their kids aren’t close by, so at least I can help them.”
Brian supports all neighbourhood centre activities and makes sure all the small details are not missed helping with a range of events, while also keeping the plants alive in the hub.
When he is not sharing his technology skills and wicked sense of humour, Brian assists Kolan Community Options with transport for clients to make sure they can get to and from their appointments and pick up essential items from the local IGA and pharmacy.
Brian also supports the fortnightly men’s outings that provides facilitated group support to encourage peer-to-peer social connections.
Anyone can book into Brian’s sessions by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or phoning 4130 4630.
War Widows to mark 75th anniversary
The Bundaberg sub-branch of the Australian War Widows Queensland will join in marking the organisations 75th anniversary on Wednesday 19 October.
Seventy-five years ago, in 1947, Mrs Jessie Vasey founded the War Widows Guild.
So was the beginning of a powerful lobby group which is consulted by governments on all matters concerning War Widows today.
Mrs Vasey was born on 19 October making it only fitting that each year war widows throughout Australia celebrate her, and the organisation she founded, on that day.
To recognise the milestone, the Bundaberg sub-branch will host a luncheon and a white cross ceremony at Rowers on the River.
Bundaberg War Widows sub-branch President Laurel Crawford said the local guild was proud to continue its work fostering friendships and providing support and advice to one another.
“We give fellowship and assistance to our war widows,” Laurel said.
“These ladies are on their own and they need friendship, they need to be able to get out and talk to people.
“There is lots of fellowship and companionship and we are all there for each other, while also providing advice to each other when talking about different services and where we can get help.”
Laurel said the white cross was something that had evolved over time, through both Friendship Day and as a mark of respect for their husbands.
“Each year one club takes it upon themselves to host a Friendship Day and that is getting together of different war widows from all different subbranches,” she said.
To mark the anniversary, Bundaberg Regional Council will be lighting the fig trees at the Multiplex in blue and white.
At present, there are more than 10,000 war widows in Queensland who benefit from the work that Jessie Vasey began all those years ago.
Sidewalk to pave the way for creativity
The upcoming Chalk the Sidewalk event at Burnett Heads will pave the way for children of all ages to showcase their artistic talents.
The youth of the region will get the chance to add some colour to the Burnett Heads CBD and win some great prizes, including scooters as first prize for each age group, on Saturday 1 October.
Chalk the Sidewalk is the opening event for this year’s Burnett Heads Celebration of the Arts.
The month-long celebration will see art activities run every weekend throughout October.
The free art competition invites children and youth of all ages to participate with three categories including under 6, under 12 and under 18.
Organiser Felicity Newlands said the event was a great chance for families to get out and explore Burnett Heads.
“The aim of the event is to bring families out to Burnett Heads and ‘unearth her beauty', to give the children something to get excited about,” she said.
“A lot of kids love to draw, the excitement to use a different medium than paper, this gives them a chance to use colour and texture in a new way.
“With the event being located in the centre of town, it will also allow parents to grab a coffee or lunch at one of the several businesses adjacent to Chalk the Sidewalk.”
Chalk the Sidewalk will run from 11 am to 1 pm with registrations starting at 10.30 am on Saturday 1 October.
Local artists Jenni Kirkwood and John Layland will judge the competition and announce the winners at 1.30 pm.
Felicity said children could be as creative as they like with their chalk art, with technique to play a part in the judging process.
“It’s not always about the best picture,” she said.
“I know Jenni and John will be looking at the overall effort, not just the actual picture itself.”
Chalk the Sidewalk entrants will be provided with chalk to use during the competition thanks to Burnett Heads Post Office.
Any entrants under 14 must be accompanied by an adult.
Since its inception, prizes have been supported by Bundaberg businesses and local residents, with this years prize pool set to be the biggest so far.
Chairperson of the Burnett Heads Progress and Sports Association Daniel Walshaw said there were some great prizes up for grabs.
“With all that has been donated there will be some very happy children at the end of the day,” he said.
For more information visit www.cota.events.
Mirusia Moncrieff performance a welcome return
International star soprano Mirusia is headed for the the Moncrieff Entertainment Centre in a performance which will feature some of the most beloved songs in existence.
The concert, on Saturday 8 October, will see Mirusia take to the stage with her band to perform music that inspired her to become one of the world’s favourite classical crossover artists.
Mirusia said, having toured Bundaberg before, she was looking forward to once again playing for audiences within the region.
“I have toured through Bundaberg before and the last time I was there we had the best time together with the audience,” Mirusia said.
“They were so warm and welcoming and I am so looking forward to catching up with the audience again.
“I love travelling and discovering interesting places and Bundaberg is no exception as the people I have met on my travels thus far, have made some of my favourite journeys complete.
“Every regional area has its own special places to visit and stories to tell and I love being able to discover them on this tour.”
And it's not just the audience which Mirusia fondly remembers from her last visit.
“The Moncrieff is a very special theatre with fantastic and friendly staff who make the whole experience wonderful, not only for the audience but also for us, the performers,” she said.
“I love the fact that it is named after the great Gladys Moncrieff who also was a classical crossover singer, like myself!
“Gladys was one of the trailblazers of this genre and she was a Queenslander, just as I am.”
The audience can expect a show that will see Mirusia perform a range of different songs from throughout her career thus far.
“This concert program is a retrospective on my career to date and I will be singing the songs that made me the artist I am today, plus telling some personal and revealing stories too,” she said.
“On stage with me are some of Australia’s finest musicians and the music will take us through multiple genres meaning that there will be something each member of the family can enjoy.”
Tickets are available for the show here.
In Our Gallery with Virginia Hendren
Virginia found her passion for art in the past six months and said she was constantly learning and evolving as an artist.
How long have you been an artist and how did you get started?
I have been an artist for only six months.
I wanted to take a break from working as a nurse and do something different that would challenge me to the core.
As I am a self-taught artist I had very limited knowledge about art basics.
I completed many hours of online study, exploring other artists' styles as well as some tutorials and courses which helped me to learn the basics.
I have converted a space into my art studio and have recently purchased a large shipping container which I will turn into a beautiful art space.
What was the inspiration behind your Here + Now piece at Bundaberg Regional Galleries?
The inspiration behind this piece was the wonderful national parks and rainforests in Far North Queensland that I was lucky enough to grow up near as a child.
I have many happy memories of playing in the crystal-clear creeks with my younger sister and our friends for hours and hours.
I loved to study the rocks in the creek beds and watch as the water moved around the large boulders in the river.
I would float on my back and stare up at the enormous tree foliage above me.
Everywhere I looked there were mountains on the horizon.
I tried to capture a bit of these elements in nature from my mind and displayed in my unique style on canvas.
What medium was used and how does this reflect your usual practice?
I used acrylic medium for this painting as well as moulding paste and some craft paper to create wonderful textures.
I do enjoy painting with acrylic paints/inks and paint pens.
I use a variety of tools other than paint brushes, including a spatula I stole from the kitchen!
I love texture in my paintings but also love exploring different methods.
I am always learning and growing each day as an artist and am not afraid to try different painting styles until I truly find my own style and groove.
What are some of your artistic highlights?
In just six months of being an artist I feel like I have achieved a lot already.
I have entered into four different art exhibitions and two art competitions.
I have managed to create my own small business including the creation of a website, organising logistics and suppliers.
I have learned a lot about art creation and also running a small business - it has been a busy productive year so far.
I have won second place for my artwork at this year's Bundaberg Show.
That was a big surprise for me and it helped me push on with my dream of becoming a well-known artist in my town of Bundaberg and perhaps, one day, Australia-wide.
Football fever as local boys head to England
It’s football fever for two Bundaberg boys who have been selected to join the national squad and travel to England for the West Ham United development tour.
As most local children spend their spring school holidays getting ready for warmer weather and the beach, Cruz Kemps and Xavier Holzberger will strap on their boots to take in the ultimate professional football experience in England.
The 11-year-old best mates both agreed they lived and breathed football from a young age, and all their hard work and dedication was now paying off.
During the 10-day tour Cruz and Xavier will be trained by some of best coaches in England and be given the opportunity to watch international matches on the big stage.
After passing the regional selection process last year, Cruz and Xavier went on to the national football camp of about 400 kids.
They were then both given the green light to take part in the international tour along with 50 other keen young Australian footballers.
Speaking from the Gold Coast camp before they departed for England, Cruz and Xavier said they were both thrilled to be part of the Australian team.
“I am really excited! The first thing I expect to do is to watch a lot of games and do some intense training,” Cruz said.
“My favourite player is Virgil van Dijk – he plays for Liverpool and inspired me to play my position as defender.”
Xavier said they both played for Bargara Football Club, and after winning the U-13 grand final together this year he looked forward to learning new skills in the West Ham United development tour.
Both boys said they hoped to go on to become professional footballers and taking part in the West Ham United development tour was a step in the right direction.
Cruz’s mum Holly Kemps said both Cruz and Xavier had put in the hard yards, and she was proud their dedication was paying off.
“When the opportunity arose, as parents we thought why not?” Holly said.
“Both boys train a lot, five days a week, and they played each Saturday.
“It’s a pretty big thing for them as they are only 11 years old!”
Holly said another local boy, Lucas Cunningham, had also been selected but he couldn’t make it, and Lilly Thatcher was selected to join the female tour at a later date.