Weekender: surf club

Pontoon launch proud moment for Burnett Heads boat builders

Adele More

The launch of the Lady Musgrave HQ was a special moment for a team of Burnett Heads boat builders who spent 18 months on the once-in-a-lifetime project.

The team from Oceaneer Marine Services attended the official opening this week to see their hard work floating on the reef.

Oceaneer Marine Services director Steve Foster said seeing the 35-meter pontoon anchored in the Lady Musgrave Island lagoon and being enjoyed by tourists was a fantastic feeling.

“It makes me proud just not for myself, but our entire team that was involved in the whole project,” Steve said.

“When you start from an empty workshop with just flat pieces of aluminium… you don't stand back and see it, until a day like today when you can actually see it as a complete operation with happy tourists.”

Steve said up to 10 people worked on the pontoon at a time.

“We have a really good crew of local people and local businesses which help support as well.”

The three-level pontoon features an underwater observatory, the ability to cater for up to 350 day visitors, and overnight accommodation for up to 36 people.

Steve said being engaged to build the multi-million-dollar snorkelling and diving attraction was a highlight for the business.

“It was great that a local operator believed in local businesses to make his dream come true and put Bundaberg on the map not only for tourism, but also to be able to take on these bigger projects and prove that we can do it in the local area.”

Oceaneer Marine Services started as a mobile business in 2014 when Steve and co-director David Kirke combined their individual 30 years plus experience in large scale boat building projects.

“We do a lot of international work as far away as the Seychelles, Singapore, and Papua New Guinea, but we had the opportunity to start it here in Bundaberg three years ago and now this is our home base.”

Next on the project list is a new glass bottom boat for Lady Musgrave Experience and other builds in Queensland.

“We have a 30-meter ferry at work now that we're turning into a luxury houseboat.

“It's an ex-Sydney ferry, so we've turned that into a luxury houseboat for the Whitsundays, plus all the other work that we do supporting Sea Link and other big businesses up and down the coast.”

Lynda's passion for beach leads to many years of volunteer work

Ashley Schipper

Lynda Cremer has a long involvement in surf lifesaving, starting from a simple love for the sun, sand and surf.

That passion then spanned over many years of working as a volunteer and making her way up to President at the Bundaberg Surf Life Saving Club.

Lynda has been profiled as part of Bundaberg Regional Council's Our People Our Stories project which aims to shine a light on the residents that make up the local community.

The Cremer family moved to Bundaberg in 1992 and just like Lynda, they all shared a love for the sand and the ocean with trips to the beach becoming a Sunday ritual.

One day, Lynda's eldest daughter Lani pointed to the lifesavers and said “I want to be like them” which led the family to its involvement in the Bundaberg Surf Life Saving Club by joining nippers in 1997.

In 1999 Lynda took on the voluntary role of junior secretary before holding the role of club secretary for more than 10 years.

She completed her bronze medallion in 2006 and held this qualification until she could patrol with both her girls.

Lynda has worked hard over the years in her voluntary positions within Bundaberg Surf Life Saving Club and is very passionate about motivating women to become involved.

“Women can do anything with a lot of hard work,” she said.

Adding another feather to her cap, Lynda was recently recognised as the first female life member of the BSLSC after 90 years of all-male recipients.

She is also the first female President of the BSLSC in its 100-year history.

Lynda volunteers to build community

Lynda said her volunteering roles within Bundaberg Surf Life Saving Club had always provided professional development that has not only been transferable to her working life but also in building a strong community.

“If you want to improve a community, you need to be a part of it and take on a role,” she said.

“It’s satisfying and you’re able to meet people through volunteering which creates those social connections.

If you want a better community, make a difference.”

As a life member, Lynda said she had a vested interest in the future of the Bundaberg Surf Life Saving Club and is currently working on the centenary celebrations which had been moved to 2022 due to COVID restrictions.

“The essence of Bundaberg Surf Life Saving Club is a lot of amazing people,” she said.

Stormwater strategy recognised for engineering excellence

Megan Dean

Bundaberg Regional Council’s Stormwater Management Strategy will be presented at an international conference after taking out a state engineering excellence award.

The strategy, which was previously recognised at a regional level, took out the award for best asset management project at the recent Institute of Public Works Engineering Australasia Queensland (IPWEAQ) conference.

The team also won the Geoff Wilmoth Memorial Prize for best conference presentation as voted by the attendees.

The 10-year Stormwater Management Strategy, developed by Council and AECOM, uses a risk-based framework to prioritise works and improve the sustainability of the region’s waterways.

IPWEAQ described it as “providing an essential framework for best practice asset management that caters for future growth while maintaining and improving existing stormwater infrastructure”.

It said the strategy defined a clear level of service for the community that employed risk-based decision making to inform long-term investment.

Roads and Drainage portfolio spokesperson Cr Bill Trevor said the award was well-deserved recognition for Council’s engineering team.

“Throughout the process, 150 potential capital projects were identified – many of which related to historical issues - demonstrating how essential it is to approach future drainage works strategically,” Cr Trevor said.

“Taking out this prestigious award is terrific recognition for our hard-working engineering team and, as we now move towards implementation of this strategy, the environment and residents will benefit from this approach.”

In a statement, IPWEAQ said the asset management excellence award recognised how well the Bundaberg Regional Council stormwater management strategy was executed.

“…bringing a holistic vision for stormwater management in the region by increasing awareness and education within the community, capturing social and environmental values, and identifying critical infrastructure needs,” the statement said.

“The strategy will see the Bundaberg Region transition to an integrated, water sensitive city over time and will see the development of an integrated catchment management plan which considers the water cycle as a whole.”

IPWEAQ CEO Leigh Cunningham said the peak body’s annual excellence awards recognised the success of infrastructure and engineering projects and the people who delivered them.

“These awards highlight how public works engineering projects and professionals are improving our communities and growing our economies through every aspect of our lives, from transportation and water supply to road safety and recycling, to recreation,” Ms Cunningham said.

“Public works engineering professionals work on infrastructure projects that will contribute an estimated $32 billion a year to the Queensland economy every year for the next five years.

“With the state’s continuing growth and the lead-up to the 2032 Olympics, Queensland’s public works engineering sector will be taking a leading role over the coming decade.”

The Bundaberg Region Stormwater Management Strategy paper will now be presented at the international IPWEA conference in New Zealand in February 2022.

Witness beauty from above with Coastland Aviation

Ashley Schipper

Coastland Aviation is offering a bird's-eye view of the region's natural attractions with the launch of scenic flights.

The new business allows passengers to take in all the sights from the sky, from the local coastline, Lady Musgrave and the Southern Great Barrier Reef.

Director of Coastland Aviation and local pilot Jeremy Browne established the business in July and said he never got tired of witnessing the beauty of the region from above.

“The Bundaberg coast is so interesting, with the stunning shallow sandy inlet of Elliott River along the volcanic rock shelf that meets a crystal clear turquoise water,” he said.

“The Southern Great Barrier Reef is nature's aerial art at its finest.

“Our Ultimate Reef Experience scenic flight gives visitors to the Bundaberg Region the best opportunity to view the reef from above.”

Jeremy said growing up he had always had a passion for flying which became integrated in many aspects of his life.

“I have held a commercial pilot licence for 20 years, however, I have been flying aircraft since I was a teenager,” he said.

“I attended a boarding school that offered gliding as a sport and after my first lesson I was hooked on flying for the rest of my life.

“As a young adult I gained my licence but at that time Ansett had not long collapsed, there was a pilot glut and the chance of landing a flying job was difficult.

“I then pursued a career that took me into agribusiness and I always managed to use my own aircraft for transport across the region and interstate – now it has come full circle.”

Jeremy said Coastland Aviation operated two small aircraft for scenic flights with others available for larger bookings.

“They are a single engine Beechcraft Bonanza and a six-seater twin-engine Partenavia,” he said.

“The Partenavia is a high-wing aircraft suitable for scenic flights as it provides an unobstructed view.

“We also have access to partner aircraft for air tours or flights that require a greater capacity and are suitable for long distances.

“These include a Cessna 414 (cabin class six seater), Cessna Caravan (air-conditioned eight seater) and a six-seater Aero Commander.”

Jeremy said while the Covid pandemic had put a stop to any travellers from outside of the state visiting the region, he was still having great success with locals who wanted to explore their own backyard from above.

“We have seen an initial rise in domestic tourism,” he said.

“People are eager to undertake new experiences, like flightseeing the stunning reef and bright blue and green coast that is a highlight of the region.”

The local pilot said although he had seen the region from above many times before, the bird's-eye view never ceased to amaze him.

“It always looks different, not one flight is the same,” Jeremy said.

“Spotting marine life is a bonus but the region changes colours throughout the year and the tidal changes everyday make scenic flights interesting at any time.”

Coastland Aviation scenic tours can be booked by phoning 0477 977 474 or online at www.coastlandaviation.com.

Cat condos offer luxury boarding for felines

Ashley Schipper

Furry felines now have a new, luxury accommodation option to stay in when their owners go away with Bundaberg South Vet Clinic's cat condo expansion.

The luxurious, spacious and comfortable condos feature separate rooms, play areas, a toileting section and a sleeping area for its feline visitors.

The clinic's co-owner and veterinarian Rue Mukandi said the condos were also hot property, with only four rooms available for booking.

Dr Rue said the expansion was something she and partner Dr Clarence Bere had decided on after getting many requests for a cat boarding service.

“We were regularly getting our clients asking to board their cats when they went away on holidays,” she said.

“It took us so long because if we were going to do it, we wanted it to be separate from the dog side to reduce stress and to offer modern cat friendly boarding.”

The renovation work began in October last year and was finished in March, allowing the team plenty of time to become prepped for the new service.

Dr Rue said the cat condos were fitted out with top-quality features to ensure each feline was at their happiest during their stay.

“The condos feature an airflow system that eliminates odours and minimises risk of airborne disease,” she said.

“There are three separate rooms that can be accessed individually and an elevated, private sleeping area offering a quiet safe space for napping and observing (especially important for shy cats).

“There is also a lounge area with a view and different levels for exploring, playing, napping and eating.”

Rose finds connection with QCWA Country Kitchens

Ashley Schipper

Rose Aston was born in Buka Island in Papua New Guinea but has called Gin Gin home for the past seven years.

It's where she became part of the local Queensland Country Women's Association and was able to share her love of food and cooking through the QCWA Country Kitchens initiative which supports communities across Queensland to adopt healthier lifestyle behaviours.

Her work as a facilitator for the organisation, and her journey in coming to Australia, has been told as part of Bundaberg Regional Council's Our People Our Stories initiative which aims to celebrate the community.

But it hasn’t always been happy memories in Gin Gin for Rose.

When she first arrived in the region, what was once excitement and wonder about a new place to live had quickly turned into loneliness and isolation.

“When I got here I looked for something familiar, someone who had similar interests to me or was the same colour as me” she said.

“I live 15 kilometres out on 26 acres and would come into town each month to shop while on the lookout for other black people.

“I was getting really depressed and isolated, I was really just searching for a friend.”

It wasn't until Rose watched a television show about the Queensland Country Women's Association that she realised she needed to find connections in her own way.

“I was just drawn to their whole concept of looking after women in remote communities. So the very next day I picked up the phone and spoke to the then President who invited me to a cent sale.

“I didn’t even know what that was and I just said, ‘I’m black, is that alright?', and she said ‘yeah, just come along!'”

Rose said upon meeting the group she instantly knew it was an organisation she wanted to be part of.

“They just wrapped their arms around me,” she said.

“Coming from a matrilineal community in Buka Island, which means that everything is passed down through the women, made being part of this group feel like I could heal, regain my confidence and rediscover myself again.

“Just meeting those women, I began to come out of my shell.”

As part of her QCWA involvement, Rose focused on a facilitator position in Country Kitchens which began in Gin Gin in 2017.

As facilitator she helped to roll out the nutrition program via the QCWA Country Kitchens program through a partnership with Queensland Health to provide the community with improved food and nutrition literacy.

“That’s what I did because I believe in health and I like the five key messages that they have,” she said.

“It was more of a community-based role to teach people about nutrition.”

Rose said being a volunteer in the Country Kitchens program supported her love of cooking and her food knowledge which had stemmed from her traditional roots.

“Back on my island home it’s the women that run the show and they taught me about culture and traditions,” she said.

“For example if I was going to visit someone, I must bring food, it’s just a tradition.”

Rose said her time in Gin Gin had made her grow as a person thanks to the wonderful community that had taken her in.

“That’s why I just love this community, because they just wrap their arms around and impart a heartfelt sense of belonging,” she said.

Carmen cooks up a storm for weather-affected residents

Ashley Schipper

When the 2013 floods and wild weather impacted the Bundaberg Region Carmen McEneany got to work to help the many volunteers and people impacted by preparing delicious meals to be distributed throughout the community.

Carmen has been profiled as part of Bundaberg Regional Council's Our People Our Stories project which aims to celebrate the community and create positive conversations.

The local woman made 500 meals in the first week of the devastation with the help of donations and her handy Thermomix.

“I remember lying in bed after 18 hours without power and I just said to myself alright, I’m going to start making meals and take it over to the Ergon workers,” she said.

“They didn’t even care what it was, they were so grateful because they hadn’t eaten in 10 hours.

“During the first week I cooked 500 meals by myself and then a friend from Maryborough came up and with the help of six Thermomixers we cooked an extra 500 meals in one day.”

Carmen distributed lasagne, mac and cheese, shepherd's pie and more throughout the community.

She said she hated the thought of anyone being hungry during such a terrible time.

It's not the only instance in which Carmen has offered her support on such a large scale.

The Bundaberg woman is also behind the local Boomerang Bags group, a global initiative which aims to replace plastic bags with those made from cloth and other donated and recyclable materials.

Carmen got together a small group of people after finding out about the Boomerang Bags process online and in 2017, they held their first sewing meeting at the Botanic Gardens.

“I just thought ‘whatever I need to do, I’ll do it',” she said.

The group is still operating to this day and has created thousands upon thousands of Boomerang Bags free for the community to use.

More recently Carmen has also been busy with needle and thread, creating hundreds of face masks for the community to use during the COVID pandemic. 

“My kids and I made over 300 face masks last year,” she said.

“We just had them on a clothes airer in the front yard for people to come and grab!”

Carmen has a happy-go-lucky attitude and said the reason she liked to offer her support and time was because she enjoyed bringing people together and connecting with her community.

She said as a single mum of three it was an escape and a hobby.

“Everyone has something to give,” Carmen said.

“Any day you wake up is a good day if you can have the mindset of happiness, kindness and gratitude.”

Kyra prints Indigenous heritage into history

Georgia Neville

In conjunction with her Sitting Down Place exhibition currently on at Bundaberg Regional Art Gallery, Kyra Mancktelow undertook an artist in residency to develop an artwork for the Bundaberg Regional Galleries’ collection.

Kyra spent a week in the region, yarning with Traditional Owners and hearing their stories.  The time she spent on country will inspire her new artworks reflecting the region’s history.

Having grown up spending time in the region visiting her family, Kyra said this trip had given her a different perspective.

“Growing up I always came here to visit my aunty and my family, but this has given me a different perspective after being shown around by the Traditional Owners and yarning with the community,” Kyra said.

“I yarned with a few different mobs to learn about their Indigenous heritage while in the region.”

“I will definitely incorporate those stories and really talk about this history to form a documentation of the Indigenous and the South Sea Islander people in Bundaberg in my piece.”

Kyra said the opportunity to meet and talk to many different people gave her the chance to connect with both the people and the places they were talking about.

“You meet the people and then you hear their stories of the place and feel that real sense of history,” she said.

“It is so exciting to create a work that is about the region, will be kept in the region and for the story to be told here is great and as an artist there is nothing more amazing than your work to be seen and told.”

“All my work is about recognising history, drawing this from the Indigenous side or the South Sea Islander side, it will all be about uncovering history and bringing that to light for people to see,” she said.

As a Quandamooka woman with links to Mardigan of Connamulla and Vanuatu, South Sea Islander people, heritage and family are central to Kyra’s practice.

Printmaking is a prominent method used in her creative practice through which she likes to explore her cultural history, traditions, and identity.

Kyra is currently studying a Bachelor of Contemporary Australian Indigenous Art (Honours) at Queensland College of Art.

This Artist in Residency was made possible through the Regional Arts Development Fund.

You can visit her exhibition at Bundaberg Regional Art Gallery until 7 November 2021.

Find out more about what’s happening at Bundaberg Regional Art Gallery here.

Kate Miller-Heidke announced to perform at Moncrieff

Ashley Schipper

Australian award-winning singer-songwriter and Eurovision 2019 contestant Kate Miller-Heidke will be performing at the Moncrieff Entertainment Centre next month.

Traversing the world of contemporary pop, folk, musical theatre and opera, the songstress has achieved multi-platinum status and appeared in the top 10 album and singles charts numerous times over her career.

Heidke is most known for her multi-platinum hits including Last Day On Earth and Caught In The Crowd, but has also experienced a long career in classical music.

Trained as a classical singer at the Queensland Conservatorium, Kate recently appeared at the Metropolitan Opera in New York in John Adams' The Death of Klinghoffer.

She has performed several roles for the English National Opera, and in Jerry Springer The Opera at the Sydney Opera House.

Her work has been nominated for other ARIAs in categories as diverse as Best Pop Release, Best Adult Contemporary Album, Best Classical Album, Best Comedy Release and Best Australian Live Act.

With her collaborator Keir Nuttall, she has written the music and lyrics to Muriel’s Wedding: The Musical, which premiered at the Sydney Theatre Company and played throughout 2019 in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

After competing at ‘Eurovision – Australia Decides’ on the Gold Coast in February, Kate was unanimously chosen by both the jury and public votes to become Australia’s representative at the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest.

Kate’s heartfelt performance and the out-of-this world staging of her original song ‘Zero Gravity’ won her first place in her semi-final and a top ten placing at the Eurovision Grand Final in May 2019.

Her most recent performances include the NRL 2021 Grand Final in which she sang ‘Flame Trees' alongside Cold Chisel guitarist and singer Ian Moss.

Kate Miller-Heidke will perform on the Moncrieff Entertainment stage on Saturday, 20 November at 7.30pm.

Bundaberg Regional Council's Arts, Culture and Events portfolio spokesperson Cr John Learmonth said with only four weeks until the show, fans would have to get in quick to secure a ticket when they go on sale.

“Kate Miller-Heidke is an amazing, first-class performer and we are so excited to have her in Bundaberg, to perform on the magnificent Moncrieff stage next month,” he said.

“This fantastic show is just another amazing act that Council is bringing to the region, with this year boasting a stellar line-up of entertainment including Dami Im, Human Nature, Kate Ceberano and Adam Brand – just to name a few.”

Event details:
Date: Saturday 20 November 2021
Support Act: 7.30pm (local artist)
Interval: 8pm Main Act: 8.20pm (Kate Miller-Heidke)
Finish: 9.30pm + Encores
Tickets: $59

Tickets can be purchased online or by contacting the Moncrieff on 4130 4100.

What's on

Morgan Parremore's picture-perfect garden

Morgan Everett

While she may be best known for capturing beautiful moments on camera, local photographer Morgan Parremore still finds the time to potter in her flower-filled garden.

Featuring a lawn renovation and upcycled outdoor studio, Morgan and Shane Parremore’s passion for plants has kept the couple busy for the past nine years with an outdoor space that needed a head-to-toe makeover.

With an unworkable vegetable garden out back and a front yard full of fruit trees, the duo decided that removing the veggie patch, rehoming the trees and letting the grass grow would help their vision come alive.

“The house itself was in great condition but the gardens were a mess,” Morgan said.

“It took us a good six months and a multitude of dump runs to remove everything that we didn't want to keep.” 

Morgan said two years ago they started working on the front yard which led to the pursuit of knowledge in lawn renovation.

“When we started the front yard renovation, we really wanted to put turf in.

“We just wanted a nice space for the kids to play in and kick the footy around in.”

Both the front and back yards have undergone lawn transformations and while Morgan said it was definitely hard work, the end result was worth the effort.

Morgan said Travis from The Lawn Lab  made a plan, which helped remove the old thatch that builds up in the lawn and coring which aerates the soil below. 

“We sprayed the whole area that had the old grass and weeds before having someone remove and scrape it all away.

“We put in some top dressing and had Nara Zoysia grass laid for us.

“We then add washed brown sand to fill in holes and level out the lawn.”

A second lawn renovation was then completed with the knowledge acquired.

“This year we took on the lawn reno ourselves with the knowledge that Travis gave us and with the dethatch, coring and top dressing done we just have to watch it come back better than ever,” Morgan said.

“All of this was so new to us, we really had no idea what goes into making an amazing lawn.”

Morgan said she had built an outdoor photography studio, completely from recycled materials collected over the years, which had created a useful space for clients that was once wasted.

With most of the gardens being tropical, Morgan said this led her to branch out into other species of plants, which she has grown fond of.

“We started out with some natives in the new garden which have taken off, but now I am obsessed with flowers,” she said.

“My favourite plants would have to be all the flowers, the colours are just so much fun and the amount of bees and butterflies that have come into our yard lately is incredible.”

Item 1 of 6
Book review

Salter Oval to shine bright with lighting upgrade

Georgia Neville

A lighting upgrade is currently underway to the main field at Salter Oval which will make the popular venue capable of hosting high level cricket and rugby league games.

The new LED lighting will be much brighter and more energy efficient than what is currently in place, providing a range of new opportunities for sport in the region.

The lights will meet the current Australian standards for holding night-time cricket and rugby league games meaning the region can attract higher level games.

Council’s Sport and Recreation portfolio spokesperson Cr Vince Habermann said the lighting would provide a number of opportunities for the Bundaberg Region to host future professional games as well as a range of regional competitions.

“The lighting project has been led by Bundaberg Regional Council, with funding support provided by the State Government, Queensland Cricket and Queensland Rugby League,” Cr Habermann said.

“Two new additional poles will be installed which are 36m tall and the four existing poles will be retrofitted with new LED lights utilising the existing infrastructure.

“We are looking at a number of projects to enhance the facilities at Salter Oval, including a fencing upgrade also due to be completed early next year.”

The new lighting will also comply to Australian standards for obtrusive light spillage to ensure there is no impact on adjacent properties or Takalvan Street motorists.

The work is expected to be completed prior to Christmas.