Weekender Mia

Residents will be able to commemorate Anzac Day at a range of services around the region this year.

Residents will be able to commemorate Anzac Day at a range of services around the region this year.

Bundaberg Region to pause and reflect for Anzac Day

Ashley Schipper

Local residents will join in solidarity with the rest of Australia in commemorating Anzac Day on Sunday, with various dawn and civic services featured around the region.

Bundaberg's Civic Service will be held in Anzac Park for the first time since Covid restrictions had cancelled plans the year before, with people instead asked to pay their respects at the front of their homes for the the Light up the Dawn campaign.

While the campaign ran again this year, residents are also free to attend public services with social distancing measures in place.

Mayor Jack Dempsey said however and wherever you were choosing to commemorate, Sunday was an opportunity to pause, to reflect and to honour those who sacrificed their lives for Australia.

“Sunday marks the 106th anniversary of the landing at Anzac Cove where our young nation had a baptism of fire,” he said.

“There were 16,000 Australians and New Zealanders who joined British, French and Indian forces on that fateful day.

“The whole Gallipoli operation cost 26,111 Australian casualties, including 8141 lives. We gather at this time on this day every year to remember them.”

Mayor Dempsey said Anzac Day was also an opportunity to honour others that had served and were currently serving the nation.

“This year, as the Australian military involvement in Afghanistan draws to a close, we also honour all the men and women who fought for us in this terrible conflict,” he said.

“In November 2001, Australia joined the United States-led coalition to disrupt the use of Afghanistan as a terror base of operations, to remove the Taliban from power and to defeat al Qaeda.

“There was no indication at the time this would be Australia’s longest war.”

More than 26,000 Australian soldiers served in Afghanistan on Operation Slipper and 41 Australians have died.

“They will never be forgotten,” Mayor Dempsey said.

“Across the Bundaberg Region we honour all the men and women who have served in theatres and operations around the world to keep us free.

“We thank them for their sacrifice, Lest We Forget.”

Budding entrepreneur raises funds with Anzac earrings

Megan Dean

With a father in Army Reserves Mia Hart knows the significance of Anzac Day and is using her new earring business to raise funds for Legacy Australia.

Recently launching her business Mia Hart Designs, the 10-year-old creates clay earrings from moulds.

After discovering poppy moulds, Mia has thrown herself into fundraising with $5 from each set of Anzac earrings being donated to Legacy Australia.

Mia said it made her happy to know she was helping to raise funds for such a worthy cause.

“[Legacy is] a team that raises money for families who have lost soldiers - their family members - in the war,” Mia said.

“It just helps them because their family or friend could have helped them with the money, so Legacy just donates and helps them with their loss.

“It feels really good that I'm helping someone in need and making them happy again.”
Mia Hart

Mia’s dad Sergeant Leon Hart, who is also a local police officer, has spent 23 years in the Army Reserves.

Unfortunately, he knows firsthand how vital Legacy Australia is.

“Legacy do a great job supporting soldier’s families when they come home and sometimes when they don't,” Sergeant Hart said.

“We've had some people close to us die on operation, so it's very important to us.

“They play a very important role for the soldiers.”

He said Legacy’s support often including things like helping with school supplies and fees for families that have lost a parent.

Now he’s watching on with pride as young Mia shows her support for the organisation.

“I'm super proud of her.

“We sort of started this little business for her as a way to introduce her to money and commerce.

“When this popped up and she said, I'll donate the money to Legacy, I was super proud.

“Obviously, we've sort of explained to her what they do.

“It's something that's really close to my heart. I'm super proud of what she's done.”

Mia said it was important to reflect on the sacrifices of servicemen and women on Anzac Day.

“So they feel honoured and that they did something really well with their life,” she added.

Norville Park Pool amenities set for major renovation

Ashley Schipper

The bathroom amenities at Norville Park Pool are set to undergo major renovations for the first time since the venue opened in 1983.

As the swim season finishes on 30 April, work will be undertaken to the amenity block including a whole new refit featuring new toilets, shower cubicles and unisex facilities.

Bundaberg Regional Council Sport and Recreation portfolio spokesperson Cr Vince Habermann said, while maintenance had been carried out previously, the amenities were now in need of a major overhaul.

“The bathroom amenities will be completely refurbished, including shower facilities plus family cubicles,” he said.

“The male showers will go from one open shower area to four individual shower cubicles while the four existing shower cubicles in the female block will be demolished and renewed.

“Accessible facilities will be added along with family sized changerooms, ambulant facilities and the overall number of toilets within the block will double.”

Cr Habermann said the upcoming project built on a range of improvements already completed at the pool complex and would provide much improved amenities for the benefit of all pool patrons.

“In 2019 Norville Park Pool was rejuvenated with a new water play area, featuring a towering 2.9m slide and 151 litre capacity tipping bucket,” he said.

“These features added to the already popular venue, which boasts an Olympic size pool and toddler splash area.

“The new amenity block works will continue to bring the facilities up to the high standard of the rest of the pool area.”

Swim season at Norville Park Pool finishes on 30 April and resumes in September 2021.

Rob's Custom RCades grows from gaming hobby

Ashley Schipper

What started out as an arcade gaming hobby has become a full-blown business venture in designing and building custom machines for Robert Lutz.

The local man is the owner of Rob's Custom RCades, and with 35 years of electronics experience under his belt, has used his skillset to follow his passion and dream of creating arcade gaming machines.

Since the business was established in 2019, Rob has crafted more than 100 machines for his customers with a wide range of fun and quirky themes included in each design.

“I have designed everything from Space Invaders, Pacman, Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat, Spiderman and more,” he said.

“I can do just about anything a customer's heart desires.”

He said the craftsmanship behind each project varied in difficulty and time but the end result was always the same.

“Depending on the style of the machine, it can take from one to four weeks to build,” Rob said.

“I like to make them compact so that they can fit through any doorway in your house or man cave and don’t take up too much room.

“I love being about to create and build my own designs and seeing the excitement and smiles from customer’s when they see the finished product.”

In a world where major brands like PlayStation and Xbox dominated, Rob said it was great to see feelings of nostalgia raising the popularity of arcade gaming once more.

“Arcade machines started to die out in the late 80s early 90s and lots of these machines where destroyed as their popularity started to decline,” he said.

“No one was playing them anymore because of the rise of home game consoles like PlayStation, Nintendo and the like.

“But things have slowly turned around as more parents who lived in the 80s want to show they’re children what dad and mum used to play at the arcade parlours when they were their age.”

Rob said while the older generation would appreciate his machines, they were definitely proving to be a popular amongst the younger generation too.

“I make my arcade machines affordable so everyone can enjoy the fun of playing an arcade machine,” he said.

“They are great for all ages, from young to old.

CQU, Corematic building next generation harvester

Ashley Schipper

Corematic Engineering and The Hinkler Agtech Initiative are joining forces to build a next generation macadamia nut harvester that will improve the capabilities and efficiency of the entire industry.

According to Co-Founder and Director at Corematic Engineering Scott Hansen, the harvester aimed to help farms and businesses to stand above the competition by benefiting from state-of-the-art innovation.

"The next generation harvester utilises modern technology to make the machine more efficient, autonomous and easy to operate,” he said.

To get the idea off the ground, Mr Hansen said the project started with an understanding of the needs of those in the field.

“The interesting thing regarding this project is that, for the first time, an engineering company is involving all the growers, farmers, and macadamia nut experts to shape the future of macadamia harvesters,” he said.

“The idea of this commercial harvester actually came from our discussion with the farmers directly.

“It also came from our observation around the fact that the area they need to cover is growing very quickly and farmers don’t have the capacity to build a product themselves...

We thought that if we can make a machine that operates using a smart control system, farmers can spend less time being overworked and will save time, money and a couple of headaches on the way!”

The Corematic and Hinkler Agtech teams will be at AgroTrend next weekend to begin the next phase of the project- gaining interest from farmers in the region and beyond.

Mr Hansen said Corematic would also collect the know-how from industry professionals through monthly workshops in order to shape the next generation harvester to best suit their needs.

"We are asking all of those industry professionals to join in on our workshops and participate in the product development process," he said.

"This includes giving them direct influence in the harvester design and helping ensure that the final product addresses any concerns the industry currently encounters during the harvesting process.

"The final goal will be to design and manufacture the prototype of a next generation harvester."

The Hinkler AgTech Initiative (CQU) is funding the first phase of the project, with Corematic Engineering leading the development.

What's On

Childers Show back with a bang in 2021

Georgia Neville

The countdown is on for the 104th Childers Show, which is set to bring back the fun in 2021 after last year’s COVID hiatus.

Fireworks will send the show off with a bang on Saturday 22 May, with something for the whole family including rides, sideshow alley, local arts and crafts and much more.

The show committee has been working tirelessly to bring the event to life this year, after restrictions forced the annual event to be cancelled and hosted online for the first time in 2020.

Childers Show Society President Chloe Johnson explained that this year had been a work in progress but with the help of the local committee, the show would be able to go on.

“This year we were quite doubtful we would be able to have a show as there are a lot of new rules and regulations we must comply with to keep everyone safe,” Chloe said.

“With careful consideration from the whole committee, we knew we could pull this off and bring a fantastic family fun day to the community.”

Chloe said the Childers Show committee was very fortunate to have support from other local community groups who were keen to participate on the day and make it a success.

The show opening will include demonstrations by the local Karate Club, Childers Country Chaos, pet show, wood chopping and many more.

As with any community group and community events, the Childers Show is always looking for new members and volunteers to help on the day.

Childers Show 2021 event details

What: Childers Show

When: Saturday 22 May 2021

Where: 5 Ridgway Street, Childers

You can find more information on the Childers Show Facebook page.

Ten Tenors bring 25 years of hits to Bundaberg


The Ten Tenors will pack 25 years of fun into the one night when they bring their 25th anniversary tour to Bundaberg’s Moncrieff Entertainment Centre in July.

Australia’s premier vocal group are excited to be heading out on tour again, taking to stages throughout Australia in July for a special 25th anniversary tour – their biggest to date.

The Ten Tenors were a big hit when last in Bundaberg, drawing 650 fans to the Moncrieff and staff have been receiving enquiries about the group’s return ever since.

The July 5 show is expected to be one of the biggest events in Bundaberg for 2021.

Having been in hiatus since its sold-out tour of Brazil in March last year, the highly revered group are waiting to reconnect with old fans, and entertain the new, with a show that revisits the full history of the group’s catalogue of 15 albums and more than 4000 live performances.

The song list will feature all their fan favourites including ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’, ‘Hallelujah’, ‘Perfect’, ‘In My Life’, ‘Here’s to the Heroes’, ‘Pearl Fishers Duet’, ‘Funiculì, Funiculà’, ‘Largo al Factotum’, ‘Nessun dorma’, plus their three most requested medleys.

The group have headlined more than 2000 concerts worldwide, sold more than 3.5 million concert tickets and become renowned for its dynamic, choreographed performances and skilful ability to seamlessly transition from operatic arias to soulful ballads and chart-topping pop and rock songs.

The Ten Tenors have also shared the stage with a host of the world’s biggest music stars including Lionel Richie, Rod Stewart, Andrea Boccelli, Willie Nelson, Alanis Morissette and Christina Aguilera.

The group’s current line-up is Cameron Barclay, Daniel Belle, Michael Edwards, Keane Fletcher, Nigel Huckle, Nathan Lay, Boyd Owen, JD Smith, Sam Ward and James Watkinson.

Don’t miss this celebration of one of Australia’s longest running and most enduring musical groups as they bring their revered 10-part harmonies to the Moncrieff Entertainment Centre stage in a show more than two hours long!

Tickets for the July 5 event are on sale and disappearing fast so don’t delay.

Ticket prices are $95 A Reserve and $85 B Reserve and can be purchased online via the What’s On Bundaberg page.

For more information phone the Moncrieff Box Office on 4130 4100.

The Ten Tenors will thrill their Bundaberg fans when their 25 year anniversary tour brings them to the Moncrieff Entertainment Centre in July.

The Ten Tenors will thrill their Bundaberg fans when their 25 year anniversary tour brings them to the Moncrieff Entertainment Centre in July.

Local artwork rekindles thoughts of Anzacs

Wayne Heidrich

A Bundaberg artist has showcased his latest artwork depicting local war heroes at a special exhibition ahead of Anzac Day commemorations.

Ross Driver is well known for his striking historical representations of noted district First World War servicemen and women and was also commissioned to provide a large mural on the water reservoir adjacent to the Bundaberg War Nurses Memorial.

His latest display was recently on show in the Mt Perry Art Group Gallery and featured his paintings of war heroes from around the district.

While the displayed artworks evoked a range of emotions for those viewing the exhibition, one drawing in particular had special significance for Bundaberg man Les Elsey.

The drawing featured Corporal Leslie Charles Eastaughffe, Les’ grandfather, who was attached to a gunnery section when wounded and later awarded for bravery during action in France in WW1.

“He was a Childers boy and when the war started he jumped a train from Childers to Enoggera in 1914 where he enlisted and was quickly shipped out to Egypt," he said.

“He went to Gallipoli towards the end of that campaign but then went on to active service in France.

Les said his grandfather was a Corporal in charge of a field gun in a Gunnery Section when, on September 19, 1918 at St Emilie they came under fire from German guns.

“One German shell landed near an artillery wagon which promptly caught fire. My grandfather pulled every shell out of the burning wagon while wounded in the shoulder and suffering extensive burns to his hands," he said.

“He was awarded the Military Medal in 1919 and the medal was actually presented by his father Alexander Eastaughffe who was a long serving Shire Chairman in Childers.”

Creatures take comfort in Sasha’s tranquil garden

Morgan Everett

Like a scene from a Disney film, Sasha Job’s garden boasts a range of flora and fauna which she always welcomes with open arms.

An array of wildlife inhabits the outdoor space including, birds, bees, butterflies, frogs and kangaroos.

“I love that they choose our home as theirs,” Sasha said.

“I also love seeing our kids and friends enjoy our garden to relax and play. “

When the Job family moved into their vacant one acre block, each section of the garden was developed to serve a different purpose.

“We created zones for us to relax, play and entertain whilst encouraging native wildlife,” Sasha said.

“We envisioned a backyard that blended tropical and native plants, that allowed us to produce lots of goodies to eat and share.”

The zoned establishment of the garden helps to keep it manageable, according to Sasha, who said it was a great way to find out what grows without attention.

“As beautiful as our garden is it thrives on neglect and tough conditions due to careful planning,” Sasha said.

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“We have zones such as the fruit orchard, fire pit area, chicken and duck coop, tropical and native gardens, play area which has gardens that surround a trampoline for the kids.

“I also have my zen zone which is my hanging chair on a deck that is hidden in some more established plants with my native beehive.”

Many challenges were faced to create a thriving garden, including water, clay and direct sunlight.

“We don’t have town water so we rely on rain for our tanks,” Sasha said.

“There is also a lot of clay in our dirt so if we get heavy or persistent rain some of our plants rot out.

“All the blocks around us were cleared like ours, we have to plan for full sun all day as we don’t have many established trees to create shade from the sun.”

Sasha said those challenges, however, were all worth the end result in having a beautiful garden to enjoy.

“Every time I go into my garden it reminds me to slow down, be present in the moment and believe in tomorrow.”

Last week's garden: Liza's sentimental garden a place of many faces

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Cricket carnival marks two decades of hitting sixes

Georgia Neville

To mark two decades of the Bundaberg Veterans Cricket Club, the annual eight-a-side cricket carnival will be held on the May Day weekend at Kendall Flat.

Hosting approximately thirteen clubs from Mackay to the Gold Coast, and for the first time featuring a women’s team, the competition is expected to attract over 150 people to the Bundaberg Region.

According to Bundaberg Veterans Cricket Club secretary/treasurer Mike McLellan, the Brisbane women’s veteran team was delighted to receive an invitation to the carnival, with the Bundaberg club being the first to ask them to participate in such an event.

He said it was fantastic to be able to include women’s teams within the carnival for the first time.

“By including women within the carnival this year, we are given the opportunity to profile women’s cricket which is growing very quickly,” he said.

“Locally, we have seen more girls taking up the game within clubs across Bundaberg junior cricket which is fantastic to see.”
Mike McLellan

Mike credits the club’s longevity and success to the enjoyment of playing cricket from those across the region and looks forward to many more years of success.

The club has recently invested over $8000 in improving their wickets and installing an irrigation system to enhance the facilities at the club, ahead of the event.

The carnival is a major fundraiser for the club, with the majority of the profits supporting Bundaberg Junior Cricket to help maintain and upgrade facilities and assist in developing the regions younger players.

The annual carnival was first hosted about 15 years ago, although heavy rain, flooding and last year’s COVID-19 lockdowns have caused its cancellation on several occasions.

Event details

What: Bundaberg Veterans Cricket Club

When: May 1 – May 2

Where: Kendall Flat

For more information about club membership, visit the Bundaberg Veterans Cricket Club’s Facebook page or email bundyvetscricket@outlook.com.

Veteran Cricket Club

MAY DAY EVENT: Club president Kev Pratt and secretary/treasurer Mike McLellan.

MAY DAY EVENT: Club president Kev Pratt and secretary/treasurer Mike McLellan.