Weekender Molly

New playground for Habitat Estate in Branyan

Megan Dean

The Habitat Estate in Branyan will soon feature a new playground with work starting this month.

Featuring play equipment, a shelter and additional pathways, divisional representative Cr Steve Cooper said the playground development would cater to the growing population in the area.

“There has been a high level of development interest in the Branyan area in recent times, supporting Council’s recognition of this area as an emerging community,” Cr Cooper said.

“Branyan has become highly sought after for its semi-rural lifestyle right on the Burnett River, just a stone’s throw from the Bundaberg CBD.

“More than 250 residential lots have been approved in Branyan in recent times and commercial interest, including a shopping complex and childcare centre has followed.

“This new development activity triggers the delivery of additional facilities by Council which will not only cater to these new residents but will also benefit existing residents.”

A variety of play equipment will be featured in the new Habitat Estate playground, including an adventure fort with slide, seesaw and swing set.

Cr Cooper said local companies would supply both the playground equipment and shelter.

“The playground and supporting infrastructure will be installed this month,” Cr Cooper said.

“Throughout May work will continue to plant trees, lay turf and install bollards.

“It is expected that the playground will be finalised and ready for the community to enjoy by 30 June.”

Cr Cooper said Council had been busy undertaking future planning for the Branyan growth area to ensure access points and road planning “keeps ahead of the curve”.

This Bundaberg Regional Council Habitat Estate playground project has been supported by the Queensland Government Works for Queensland program.

The new Habitat Estate playground designed by local company WillPlay
The new Habitat Estate playground equipment
The new Habitat Estate playground equipment
E-scooters a hit with residents as region records 10,000 trips in first week
E-scooters a hit with residents as region records 10,000 trips in first week
E-scooters a hit with residents as region records 10,000 trips in first week
E-scooters a hit with residents as region records 10,000 trips in first week

Thousands try out e-scooters in first week

Megan Dean

International e-scooter provider Neuron Mobility said its Bundaberg launch has been one of its most successful yet with more than 10,000 trips in less than a week.

The e-scooters were launched over the Easter long weekend and not even the wet weather could dampen the enthusiasm of locals and visitors who gave the e-scooters a whirl in Bundaberg and Bargara.

Neuron has e-scooters across Australia, New Zealand, the UK and South Korea but said the Bundaberg Region had been one of the most successful launches in the company’s history.

The Bundaberg Region e-scooter operation has already created more than 20 local jobs with a further five people set to be hired in coming weeks.

Over 500 people also participated in safety briefings in Bargara over the launch weekend with Neuron’s ScootSafe Team.

Bundaberg Regional Council sport and recreation portfolio spokesperson Cr Vince Habermann said it was pleasing to see so many people embrace the new initiative.

“The 12-month trial of this e-scooter program in our region is a wonderful opportunity for our residents to experience something new that is usually only offered in metropolitan cities,” Cr Habermann said.

“With our wonderful climate and our many attractions these scooters could prove to be another drawcard.”

Cr Habermann said he understood there had been some teething issues and community concern during the program’s early stages.

“The operation is only in its first week and I urge residents to have patience as the community learns how to safely operate the scooters and the newly employed local staff learn the ropes.

“The company has demonstrated that they have an established process to manage these issues in other areas of Queensland and Australia.”

The Scootsafe team will be back in Bargara on Saturday April 10 between 10am - 4pm, near Turtle Park.

Neuron has encouraged people to go down and say hello and learn about the riding rules and the e-scooters.

Bundaberg Regional Council has granted Neuron Mobility a permit to operate a commercial activity on Council land, but Neuron remains wholly responsible for the operation of the e-scooter program.

For more information about e-scooters or to report an issue contact Neuron Customer Support Team on 4887 3993 or by emailing bundabergsupport@neuron.sg.

Molly shares inspirational journey

Video: Paul Donaldson

In this moving video, Molly Dawson, face of this year's Bundaberg Relay for Life, shares her experience with Hodgkin's lymphoma to raise awareness of youth cancers.

"After a cancer diagnosis or any experience where you fear for your life, I think you develop this new understanding and awareness of how precious every day is."

'Local hands and local pride' build custom, luxury motor yachts


Stretching a massive 23.5 metres the impressive luxury catamaran, the ‘Catalina’, has become the 24th and largest build for Bundaberg Port based company Coral Coast Marine Constructions.

Coral Coast Marine Constructions (CCMC) was established 17 years ago in Bundaberg by Rob and Denise Goode after many years of boat building in Brisbane. The couple recently celebrated their biggest project ever with the launching of the custom-built luxury motor yacht Catalina, at the Bundaberg Port.

Mark and Katie Wilson of Brisbane are the proud owners of the new vessel and said they are ecstatic that their dream had been transformed into reality. Having previously owned a pre-loved 18.5 metre CCMC catamaran, Mark and Katie made the decision to have one designed and built to suit their own personal tastes and lifestyle.

"Rob had built then maintained our last Cat which was later damaged during Cyclone Debbie whilst in Hamilton Island, resulting in extensive repairs being carried out by CCMC,” Mark explained. “In my view, Rob and the team are the very best in the business hence why we decided to have our new build through them. As expected, the build and design process for Catalina, was totally relaxed and hassle free. Rob and Denise and the team of local businesses have created a GREAT boat at a quality level, well above normal expectation, and nothing was too much trouble."

After almost two years of planning and construction, Catalina was launched last week and created quite an interest in the area.

Denise said, "Due to her size, the vessel needed to be positioned onto a specialised semi and carefully moved to the riverbank in preparation for the precision lift by two commercial cranes. The timing for the launch was a pivotal part of the process as the suitable tide for a crane launch of a vessel this size only happens a few times a year.”

"There were plenty of family and friends, and curious onlookers at the launch, with many staying on to watch Rob complete the tricky task of manoeuvring Catalina into her temporary berth. He was greeted with loud applause from everyone when he appeared from the helm."

Major project a celebration of Rob’s skill and finesse

CCMC specialised in the custom design and construction of the multi-level luxury power catamarans, but also built jet powered monohulls, houseboats and outboard powered ally plate fishing boats. It didn’t take long for word to spread across Australia about the luxury builds happening in Bundaberg.

“Orders rolled in from Darwin right around to Melbourne, with a number of customers returning to place orders for their second Cats. Two Cats have even made their way overseas and are currently berthed in Fiji.”

Denise adds, “It’s remarkable to think that the creation of these huge vessels begins with an empty shed and flat sheets of aluminium, nothing is prefabricated. From start to finish, the whole project is transformed on site in Bundaberg. The task of custom designing these beauties is shared between Rob and Andrew McDonald-Smith from McDonald-Smith Marine Designers. Many long hours are spent at the drawing board but wow - what awesome designs they create.”

Rob is quick to deflect all the attention that comes his way and explains that creating these vessels is very much a team effort. “CCMC is just part of it with many local businesses and tradies making up the team: from fabricators, cabinet makers, electricians, plumbers, painters, mechanical fitters, air-conditioning specialists, upholsterers and so many more. Most of them have been part of each build since the very first one back in 2004, and it’s their expertise and high quality workmanship that make these cats so well-known and sought after. I congratulate you all and am proud to have worked alongside each of you.”

Denise spoke affectionately of her husband as she explained, “Even after all these years of watching these magnificent creations get built from the shed floor up, I am still in awe of my husband’s achievements. His talent, his untold knowledge and his personality shine through each and every one of the vessels he has built. I am extremely proud of him. I’m also very proud to say that you don’t need the big cities to produce top end products. These ‘Majestic’ Cats are built right here in Bundy with local hands and local pride. Congratulations to everyone involved, they are truly a credit to you all."

After 43 years in the marine industry, including the last 17 years as CCMC, Rob has decided that ‘Catalina’, his largest build yet, would be his final major project before stepping back from the construction part of the business. He will though, continue on with the family business of CCMC and concentrate on smaller projects like refits, engine repowers and general R&M. When Rob was asked what his favourite part of his job has been his answer was simple, "The people I have met, the friendships that have formed, and of course the finished product."

Local couple Harley and Leah Mason will take on the new-builds through their own business Coral Coast Cats. Denise adds, “Harley is a fully qualified Boat Builder and has worked alongside Rob for a large number of the builds. He has gained enormous knowledge learning from Robs wealth of experience, and from watching him work his magic on these Cats. It’s now Harley’s turn,” Denise said with a smile. “Both Rob and I sincerely wish Harley and Leah all the very best in their new venture.”

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New pastors carry on Bundaberg couple's legacy

Ashley Schipper

St. John's Community Church in Rosedale will welcome two new pastors this week, with husband-and-wife team Dave and Shelly Drage taking over ministerial duties in the township.

The church, which is a central feature of Rosedale, was previously managed by much-loved Bundaberg couple Adrian and Narelle Iles for three and a half years.

Adrian and Narelle commenced the self-funded evangelical Qld Baptists ministry at Rosedale in 2016 until Adrian's passing last year.

The ‘Little Memorial St John's Church' was erected in 1923 and commissioned in 1924.

The new pastors will take on an important role in the Rosedale community, one that was so passionately filled by previous Pastor Adrian Iles.

The impact Adrian had on every community he became part of has been beautifully highlighted in a tribute piece written by his wife Narelle and two sons Thomas and Andrew after his passing last year.

“Before his calling to the church, Adrian had established himself as a much-loved teacher in Bundaberg, with his teaching career first taking his family on a journey up and down Central Queensland,” the tribute said.

“Approximately every five years, Adrian would experience what he called “itchy feet” and pursued the excitement of a transfer to a new location and school.

“Some of the schools he taught at included Bundaberg South State School and Bundaberg Christian College.

“After 28 fruitful years, Adrian finally retired from education, finishing in the role of Head of Primary at Bundaberg Christian College.”

Adrian and Narelle take over St. John's Church in Rosedale
“Obeying the call of God, Adrian commenced formal study in theology, with full time ministry in mind,” the tribute read.

“Adrian and Narelle purchased a little church on a hill, situated in the township of Rosedale.

“For the last 3.5 years Adrian served as pastor, mentor, counsellor, and friend to all members.

“Adrian was a man of the people and loved to be engaged within the community, by helping and supporting in every way possible.”

New owners honour Adrian's legacy

New owners Dave and Shelley said they would continue to honour and maintain the heritage listed building, just as Adrian and Narelle had previously done.

The couple have just arrived in the region from Far North Queensland, where they had been ministering through Cape York and the Gulf of Carpentaria.

“When we first came to Rosedale to view the beautiful church and to meet Narelle in person, we just fell in love with the town straight away,” Pastor Dave said.

“We stayed in the pub and upon talking to the locals, we knew this was a place that we wanted to be.”

Pastor Dave said he and wife Shelly had been ministering for more than 20 years in various mainstream Christian denominations and was looking forward to continuing their journey in Rosedale.

“We will be having a meet and greet event at the Rosedale Hotel on Saturday,” he said.

“We are really looking forward to meeting everyone because to us, it is all about the people, that's why we love doing what we do.”

A century passes since Bert's record-breaking flight

Megan Dean

This Sunday marks 100 years since Bert Hinkler’s record-breaking Sydney to Bundaberg flight and the daring aerial stunts he performed on his return home.

On April 11, 1921 at 2.40 pm Flight Lieutenant Bert Hinkler arrived in Bundaberg after leaving Sydney at 6 am the same day, flying 700 miles without stopping in his famous Avro Baby.

It wasn’t just the distance that impressed, the travel time of eight hours 40 minutes was unheard of at the time.

The Bundaberg Mail reported the world record non-stop flight made by “Bundaberg’s intrepid aviator” in its April 12, 1921 edition.

The paper reported that Bert “whose daring aerial feats during the war and his subsequent extraordinary flights in his Baby Avro startled the world, arrived home unexpectedly”.

“…the youthful aviator landing on the Foundry Green within a stone’s throw of his home, and two minutes later he was with his worthy parents, sisters and brothers, who wept with joy at the sight of their brave son and brother coming home to them from the clouds.”
Bundaberg Mail, 12 April 1921

Bert had sent his parents a telegram before leaving Sydney to say he was headed home but having only arrived a couple of hours before he did, they had not looked for him so soon.

Newspapers across the country reported the record-breaking journey, which broke Bert’s own record set in a 650 mile flight between England and Turin in Italy.

Interestingly, Bert's trip home did not start in the air.

With the war hampering Bert's flight path, he was forced to start his journey to Sydney via boat.

He dismantled his plane, packed her into two large wooden cases and put her into the cargo hold of the Blue Funnel Line’s SS Ascanius in Glasgow to voyage the seas to Australia.

After seven weeks at sea, Bert arrived unannounced in Sydney on Friday, 18 March 1921 before he took off towards the Bundaberg Region.

Residents flocked to the streets to applaud Bert’s return after about eight year’s absence as the pioneer aviator served in the war and followed his dream to breach the limits of flight.

“Shortly after 2.30 … the buzzing of an aeroplane engine and propeller could be heard,” the Bundaberg Mail reported.

“Amidst cries of its “Hinkler’s Baby Avro,” people began to swarm into the street and gazed interestingly at the machine, which by this time was doing some sensational stunting over the town."
Bundaberg Mail, 12 April 1921

“Spiral diving was indulged in, the machine descending from a height of about 4000 feet to 300 feet from the ground.

“Everyone was satisfied that it was Bert Hinkler.”

Bert flew over his childhood home in Gavin Street, North Bundaberg, waving to his mother in the garden before landing nearby at the Foundry, as he had vowed to do on his return.

“It was a most venturesome feat, since the small area of ground is practically enclosed by telephone wires, buildings etc.

“But Bert did not hesitate. After a little manoeuvring to get his bearings, he swung round and down.

“The descent which was magnificent to watch was mae [sic] in a most skilful manner without the slightest hitch, the machine settling down like a great bird.”

A crowd assembled to greet the hero aviator, including the mayor.

Later that afternoon Bert discussed his journey with the Bundaberg Mail reporter over a cup of tea.

“I slipped quietly away from the company’s aerodrome at 6 a.m. and followed a course which I had previously marked out on a map,” Bert told the Bundaberg Mail.

“It was a direct line as near as I could get it.”

He described the towns he passed on his journey which was hampered by heavy, low lying clouds, causing deviations to his original course.

“Passing over Childers, Bert said the district presented a lovely picture."
Bundaberg Mail, 12 April 1921

“From there he picked up Bundaberg quite easily. The Burnett river was discerned quite plainly…”

The original Avro Baby G-EACQ aircraft can be viewed at the Hinkler Hall of Aviation.

To commemorate 100 years since the record-breaking solo flight, the Hinkler Hall of Aviation will be offering $5 entry into the museum at the Botanic Gardens on Sunday, 11 April.

Find out more about the Hinkler Hall of Aviation here.

Bert Hinkler
Bert Hinkler
Bert HInkler
Bert Hinkler
Morgan Everett

Morgan Everett started with Bundaberg Regional Council as a trainee and enjoys contributing garden features to Bundaberg Now

Morgan Everett started with Bundaberg Regional Council as a trainee and enjoys contributing garden features to Bundaberg Now

Morgan captures dream job through traineeship

Introducing Bundaberg Now team member Morgan Everett, who’s employed as a multimedia assistant at Bundaberg Regional Council.

Morgan, 20, takes photos, shoots video, edits digital media and writes stories, including a regular garden feature.

She started with Council as a trainee in May 2019 after finishing Year 12 at Shalom College in 2017 and struggling to find work afterwards.

Morgan has lived in Bundaberg all her life and has relished the opportunity to pursue her passion in videography close to home.

"To get the traineeship was an amazing opportunity,” Morgan said.

“I didn’t require any experience and that’s an opportunity that not a lot of employers offer.

“Obviously I was passionate about film and photography but getting my foot in the door with that traineeship was great because I love my job.

“I love that I get to be creative and meet people in the community and help bring ideas to life, whether it’s giving the community a platform to speak on or sharing Council news.”

Morgan’s favourite contribution to Bundaberg Now has been her garden features which allow her to take creative images and develop her writing skills.

“I love meeting the people whose gardens I photograph, they’re just the nicest people I’ve ever met and it’s the highlight of my week.”
Morgan Everett

In addition to Bundaberg Now, Morgan’s work involves assisting with staff communications, helping the marketing team and promoting Council’s more than 50 business areas.

She said other parts of her role she really enjoys include creating internal videos for Council’s almost 900-strong workforce and producing long form videos for the Bundaberg Regional Art Gallery for those that can’t access level two.

“I enjoy making the gallery videos because it’s a different sort of style,” she said.

“Seeing a long form video for people that might not be able to get up to the exhibition space but are still able to view it is a really important thing for me to help make it accessible for everyone.

“It’s a really rewarding job for me to be able to do something a little different.”

In her spare time Morgan enjoys craft and she’s very excited to have just bought her first home.

Savour the beauty of art in new exhibition

Craig Ross

In an increasingly busy world, it’s refreshing to be able to slow down and savour something we enjoy.

And that is the concept behind Bundaberg Regional Art Gallery’s latest exhibition SAVOUR.

When the doors to the Gallery open on the morning of Saturday, 10 April, visitors will be greeted with an exhibition that allows the visitor to take their time with each artwork.

The artworks are spread out around the walls, there is increased seating in front of the works, and the lighting is designed to calm.

Bundaberg Regional Council’s portfolio spokesperson Cr John Learmonth said SAVOUR was an appropriate title for an exhibition designed to not only capture the attention of its audience and draw them further into the artworks, but also inspired by food.

“All that the exhibition asks of visitors to the gallery is that they take their time when viewing the artwork, exploring the sensations and emotions that each image evokes within them,” Cr Learmonth said.

“On average, gallery visitors spend just 17 seconds looking at each artwork, but this exhibition will ask a little more of the viewer than that.

“The works, created by Marian Drew, John Honeywill, Linde Ivimey, Dylan Sarra, and Chloe Smith, are thought provoking and should be the catalyst for lively discussion after the viewings.”

In a nod to the slow food movement, each artwork in SAVOUR is inspired by food, the act of eating, or what remains after the feast.

Food, like art, is often so much about the personal resonance which can be complex or subtle, but always evocative.

In the Shed in Gallery Two

Also opening to the public today at Bundaberg Regional Art Gallery Two is In the Shed, a celebration of the humble structure found in backyards and fields across regional Queensland, and the importance it holds for the men who call it theirs.

Initiated by Creative Regions in partnership with photographer Sabrina Lauriston and journalist Kallee Buchanan in Childers in 2020 and competed in 2021 at Bargara, the purpose of the ‘In the Shed’ project was to uncover the stories that lay behind the shed doors.

Alongside the rusty farm implements, half finished projects and the odd litter of kittens, Sabrina and Kallee found links to past generations, treasures from yesteryear, and men who were willing to open up about what this space meant to them.

Invested exhibition to follow

Invested is an uplifting and empowering digital animation about the importance of choosing to engage with, and nourish, both our environment and community.

It has been created as an installation for Bundaberg Regional Art Gallery’s The Vault by Emma Thorp, a Fraser Coast artist known for her strong digital works and short animations that are often autobiographical in nature.

Invested will open to the public on Tuesday, 20 April 2021.

A weekend to celebrate these exhibitions, and the artists and curators involved, is planned for the 21 and 22 May.

To find out more phone Bundaberg Regional Galleries on 4130 4750 or visit the Galleries Facebook page or Arts Bundaberg website.

Kylie's succulent garden an ethereal wonderland

Morgan Everett

Kylie Walduck has transformed what used to be her small clothesline area into a succulent laneway with over 300 plants.

The journey started six years ago when Kylie found a love for succulents and cacti, her garden started off simple but has transformed into an intricate array of colour.

“I once had simple gardens of just a few pots and very basic plant varieties common to homes that are newly landscaped,” she said.

“Succulents and cacti have become a huge part of my life over the past six years and mainly planted separately in pots.”

Kylie said her husband Jason had always been supportive of her gardening ideas and was willing to jump in and build something new.

“Recently he brought to life my shaded area,” Kylie said.

“The summer sun in our part of Queensland can be quite harsh so he built a 10 metre shade for my beautiful potted babies.

“It’s been great protection for some very special varieties.”

As a dedicated gardener, Kylie said spending time in her garden had helped her feel grounded.

“Being in a stressful job I feel grounded and calm when amongst my plants,” she said.

“Often, I’ll start the day with my coffee in hand inspecting new flowers, new leaves, changes in colours and sometimes spot a dreaded mealybug attack.”

Kylie has also branched out and planted succulents in her front yard and driveway garden, creating an interesting mix of greenery.

“Two years ago, I said to hubby I’m going to be brave and plant out the full driveway garden with succulents!” she said.

“I was always hesitant to put my potted beauties in the ground in fear if not being able to regulate water.

“My hubby helped prepare the soil with my super mix of coarse brown sand, perlite, small river gravel and quality succulent mix and we planted one rainy morning.”

Kylie said she had poured endless hours into caring and loving her garden.

“It truly brings me joy,” she said.

“I love standing back and seeing what we’ve created.”

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Bundaberg's Ben Marschke makes Roosters debut

Ashley Schipper

Bundaberg's Ben Marschke lived his childhood dream on Easter Monday, donning the red, white and blue jersey as the Sydney Roosters took on the Warriors at the SCG.

SC Corinthians will host the Gold Coast Knights coaches as they conduct the inaugural Easter Skills Acquisition Phase Clinic at Bundaberg’s home of football, Martens Oval.

It was the ex-Shalom College student's debut performance in the NRL, with the young gun making twelve tackles in his seventeen minutes on the field while a crowd of supporters roared from the stands.

“All my friends and family came out, and they were nice and loud as well,” Marschke said at a recent press conference.

“I’m really grateful they came out and showed their support.

“It was an unbelievable experience, it’s something you dream about as a kid.

“It’s such a historical club to be a part of and to be in the same team as some of your mates and your idols at the same time is unreal.”

The moment happened in the blink of an eye, according to the 23-year-old, who said he was only given the news that he would be named on the bench on Saturday.

“It was such a surreal feeling,” he said.

“I called mum and then dad straight after, they sort of told the whole family.

“The old man was speechless, same with mum – as you would be.

“It’s been a long time coming, I’m a bit older as well and I think it was a sigh of relief really.”

Shalom College principal congratulates Ben on footy success

Principal of Shalom College, Dan McMahon congratulated Marschke on his debut performance and said the former student had always shown great passion for sport.

Marschke attended the college from Year 10 to Year 12, in 2012 to 2014, along with his twin brother Jesse.

“Both boys were great to have at Shalom and, not surprisingly, loved their sport– any sport,” Mr McMahon said.

“Ben played half back for the Shalom Open Rugby League team in both Year 11 and 12 while Jesse played in the centres.

“The team did very well in 2014 and won the Open Boys Qld Country championship which had Shalom play RL powerhouse, Palm Beach Currumbin SHS in the Final.”

Mr McMahon said Marschke was a gifted athlete during his school years and could turn his hand at any sport.

“I wondered if he would be lured to AFL where his natural speed and dexterity really stood out,” he said.

“But NRL was the love for both boys and they have been with the Roosters since leaving school.

“It is just great to see a young man whose dream it has always been to play first grade rugby league, achieve that goal.”

Mr McMahon said Ben's story was one of grit and determination and showed how working hard could result in achieving your dream.

“So many young people have dreams to play first grade football or to become an actor or to dance or play music professionally,” he said.

“There are not that many of them though, who are prepared to put in the number of hours involved in practice or to endure the setbacks and disappointments that inevitably come along the way.

“It is just wonderful to see a young man who has been prepared to do the hard work involved and who has dealt with the disappointments, achieve his goal.”