Weekender: Eveleena knits 2000 trauma teddies

New café to take flight at Bundaberg Airport

Ashley Schipper

A pilot of the fresh and tasty kind will be underway at the Bundaberg Regional Airport with the launch of the Bundy Bites Café.

The new café will have a focus on showcasing local produce and comes as flight numbers lift and the state's border reopens.

Bundaberg Regional Council will operate the Bundy Bites Café under the pilot program for a trial period. 

The café will operate based on demand, in line with flight arrival and departure times.

The menu will include hot and cold drinks, sandwiches, toasties, sweet treats and grab and go items, with local produce to feature heavily.

Bundaberg Airport portfolio spokesperson Cr Greg Barnes said the operation of Bundy Bites would give the airport a boost while the airline industry continues to navigate through the pandemic.

“While there are not enough flights to be able to cater to a full-time commercial operator just yet, our staff at the Moncrieff Entertainment Centre are fully equipped to help service the airport cafe as needed,” he said.

“This opportunity will help us to deliver a welcoming experience for those arriving in or departing our beautiful region.

“It will also be a fantastic opportunity to showcase our wonderful local produce to ensure travellers are getting a real taste of Bundy as soon as they step off the plane.”

The café operations coincide with news of Alliance Airlines servicing the region once more under the Queensland State government’s $5 million Domestic Aviation Route Restart Program.

The program is a one-off support package responding to the need to stimulate the domestic travel market and a return of regional airline services.

The airline recently made a proposal to use program funds to support charter flights from Brisbane to Bundaberg as part of a series of Alliance Adventures.

The airline will offer day trips from Brisbane to Lady Musgrave Island in conjunction with Lady Musgrave Experience.

Alliance Airways is the only charter airline available with proven ability to market and successfully operate adventure day trips from Brisbane under COVID restrictions.

Cr Barnes said it was a win for travellers and for local tourism.

“This means more people will be stopping by our region to take in our sights, to use our facilities and to enjoy what we have to offer,” he said.

“It’s a promising step in a positive direction in getting the region and the rest of the state back on track after experiencing restrictions for more than two years.”

The Bundy Bites Café is expected to launch in early 2022.

Two thousand Trauma Teddies later, Eveleena keeps knitting

Wayne Heidrich

It is the magic in her hands and the love in her heart that has fuelled 92-year-old Eveleena Hardiker’s passion for a lifetime association with the Australian Red Cross.

A valued member of the Childers Red Cross, Eveleena was honoured on Thursday with the awarding of her 30 year service gold bar.

Eveleena, who joined the Red Cross as a 16-year-old in Victoria towards the end of the Second World War, continues to use the skills she exhibited as a teenager when called upon to alter uniforms and to sew on insignia for both Army and Air Force service personnel.

These days Eveleena is an absolute factory in producing the famed Red Cross Trauma Teddies.

“I think that over the past few years the numbers I have knitted must be getting up to around 2000 teddies,” Eveleena said.

“I finished 13 over the past couple of days and actually put the finishing touches to one this morning,” she laughed.

“I have always had some form of association with the Red Cross, even when I moved around and there was no local branch.

“The Red Cross used to send me information and I liked to be able to help where I could.”

Painting also a passion

In addition to her knitting skills Eveleena also has a flair for art and relishes the opportunity to paint.

“I enjoy the company of my fellow members and also enjoy the work I do with the senior citizens group in Biggenden.

“I’m pretty much left to my own devices when it comes to the help I can offer.

“Since I had my hip replacements - three on this side and two on the other - they pretty much leave me alone,” she said.

Eveleena said her husband, 10 years her junior, drove her to her meetings.

“The only thing I drive these days is people mad,” she said, roaring with laughter.

Childers Red Cross President Patricia Fuller said Eveleena, who had been with the Childers group for around 12 years, was a powerhouse when it came to knitting the teddies.

“We have a small but very effective group of ladies and everyone contributes to our work,” she said.

“I think Eveleena proves that age is no barrier to anyone who wants to contribute their time and talents to help the community.”

Patricia said Childers Red Cross was established in 1914 and had a proud 107 year history.

Trauma Teddies very comforting

Eveleena said she always carried a couple of the Trauma Teddies with her in case she encountered highway accidents.

“They are just a small thing but can be very comforting,” she said.

In addition to the teddies, Eveleena also knits small Christmas trees complete with sweet treats which are regularly presented to hospital patients.

Childers Wesleyan Methodist Church Pastor Alan Brown presented Eveleena with her service bar and accompanying citation.

“Eveleena epitomises the vision of the Red Cross which holds that everyone has a right to live in safety, dignity and peace.

“You (Eveleena) discovered something that the one who gives us Christmas said and that is that it is better to give than to receive,” said Pastor Brown.

“You learn a lot more about what you are on the Earth for when you give to others.”

Red Cross Trauma Teddies were first produced in 1990.

More than one million of the comfort items have been knitted by Red Cross volunteers.

The teddies have found their way to many places around the world where disaster has struck.

Earthquake zones, bushfire survivors and 500 teddies were sent to New York in the wake of the September 11 attacks.

Sims Road pathway project underway

Ashley Schipper

Tradies from local company Kerb Placers have been working to lay new pathway along Sims Road as part of a Bundaberg Regional Council project aimed at boosting connectivity.

Roads and Drainage portfolio spokesperson Cr Bill Trevor said the team was contracted for the construction of 650 metres of pathway along Sims Road, as well as a small section on Elliott Heads Road.

“The construction started in November and we are hoping it will be finished in early April 2022, weather depending,” Cr Trevor said.

“Council is very keen to see work done locally so it's fantastic that the team from Kerb Placers are undertaking this project.”

Cr Trevor said the new footpath was identified as part of Council's Active Transport Strategy 2020 – 2025 which outlined the need for more pathways in the region.

He said the Sims Road pathway would provide many benefits.

“According to research, Bundaberg's average percentage of people who require assistance with core activities is 8.3 per cent, well above the national average of 5.1 per cent,” he said.

“The pathway strategy not only helps meet the needs of people through providing pathways as a means of exercise, but it is also creating connectivity within the community.”

Managing Director of Kerb Placers Ben Halliday said the pathway installation had been underway since November.

“We have been working along Sims Road now for approximately six weeks,” he said.

“As part of the construction we are installing a 1.8-metre-wide path from Boundary Street all the way through to Elliott Heads Road.

“We are also providing a pedestrian refuge at Elliott Heads Road.

“The physical work involved is predominately concrete and kerb work, a little bit of detailed excavation, minor earth works and landscaping.”

Cr Trevor said providing connectivity for all abilities as well as spaces for people to exercise was an important goal of Council.

“We have a lot of elderly people in small, motorised vehicles who need to get around and there are also plenty of aged care facilities, so we need to make sure we are providing these residents with pathways,” he said.

“Many years ago, I was in a wheelchair and tried to get from A to B and I realised how difficult it was.

“This project is about connecting our community and making it better for people of all abilities.”

The timeline for completion of the Sims Road pathway is April 2022.

Diamonds and Dust brings country wear to Childers

Georgia Neville

When Kerri Ann Plowman first made plans to open a business under the name Diamonds and Dust it didn't include country wear.

Originally, she planned for it to focus on cosmetics and beauty, but this soon changed due to Covid.

Diamonds and Dust now sits in the main street of Childers stocking a range of clothing, gifts and country wear.

Kerri Ann said while she was a trained beauty therapist she had always wanted to own a shop stocking country products.

“I’m a beauty therapist and used to be a laser technician and that was my first idea, and I got Diamonds and Dust up and running to do cosmetics and then Covid put a halt to that,” Kerri Ann said.

“I have always wanted to do country and so I went back to that idea and as we live out in the bush, we have cattle and horses and everything.

“I still have plans for the future to do the cosmetics part, so we will see how that goes.”

Kerri Ann said the store stocked a range of products from country wear, work wear, gifts, hats and everything in between.

“There are lots of cafés in town but not many options when it comes to clothing stores, so we thought that would be something a bit different,” she said.

“We are a family-owned business; myself and son work here, and my daughter also comes in and helps out occasionally.”

Kerri Ann said Childers was always busy and had a supportive community which had helped make the first few months of business easier.

“It is a good community here and it is always busy which is great, whether it be locals or travellers but everyone is very happy.”

You can find Diamonds and Dust at 94 Churchill Street Childers.

For more information, head to their website here.

Nurtured Minds Therapy opens to offer support

Ashley Schipper

Following a lengthy career in psychology, Bundaberg woman Gina Hansen has opened her own business in the region called Nurtured Minds Therapy.

Located at Suite 9/44 Princess Street, the business offers hypnotherapy, neuro linguistic programming and counselling to support people through a range of mental and personal health issues.

Gina said the establishment of her business had come about after she found herself becoming more frustrated with the lack of support for people who had trauma in their life.

She said before delving into providing hypnotherapy, she had experienced the service for herself.

“I started having hypnotherapy myself to assist with some of the emotional triggers that I was experiencing while working in the mental health space,” she said.

“I found hypnotherapy allowed me the freedom of processing all of the emotions that I had held onto throughout my life.”

Gina said there were a range of benefits to hypnotherapy.

“Hypnotherapy has the power to allow individuals to process and let go of stuck emotions,” she said.

“These emotions often lead to unhealthy coping strategies such as smoking, drinking, drugs and over eating.

“Hypnotherapy can also assist in creating new neural pathways and altering existing ones in order to create new patterns of behaviours and create new memories.

“People can create positive experiences for themselves by interrupting old patterns of thinking and behaving.”

Nurtured Minds Therapy supports women

Gina said as part of Nurtured Minds Therapy, she also provided a safe space for women to feel listened to and accepted.

“I provide women with the opportunity to create a life where they can become confident and empowered,” she said.

“I also have a passion for providing support to women who are currently supporting loved ones living with addictions.”

Gina said the opening of her business had come at a time when people often struggled with mental health.

“Christmas is not always a time of joy and happiness,” she said.

“It can be a reminder of loss and grief. It can be a very lonely time for some people or a time when they are reminded of childhood trauma.

“Christmas can also be a time of stress when you are trying to juggle a thousand things and make everyone else happy while sometimes sacrificing your own happiness.”

In the New Year, Gina said she would be expanding her services to include new programs for those who were also suffering from the mental strain that came with quitting nicotine, exercising and more.

“I will be offering new programs to start in the New Year including Virtual Gastric Band and Quit Smoking Sessions,” she said.

“These sessions are for people who are genuinely invested in their own mental and physical health and who want to start the New Year with healthy mind sets and healthy habits.”

To find out more about Nurtured Minds Therapy phone 0403 041 964.

John Rea recognised for 50 years service to Brothers

Emma Reid

John Rea recalls walking through bushland where Brothers Sports Club was built more than half a century ago with big plans on his mind.

Commencing as the inaugural Brothers Sports Club president on December 19, 1970, he has been instrumental in seeing the club become the successful, community-focused venue it is today.

Now, 51 years later, Brother Sports Club has paid homage to John’s dedication, service and hard work with the John Rea International Bar.

John celebrated his 80th birthday in October and with his mind as sharp as it was when he first joined Brothers sports committee as a young 25-year-old teacher, he shares his fond memories.

“I came to Bundaberg from teachers’ college and taught at South School – my father was principal at Yandaran, and I came here on family association,” John said.

“At the time the rugby club was just like every other country rugby league club – we’ve had some good players over the time including captain-coaches and a lot of growth.

“It was a time when the only sporting clubs in Queensland that were licenced were either bowls or golf clubs.

“We (as a rugby league club) would have to get a permit to hold an event because we weren’t licenced.

“So, when the club licence became available, we took the opportunity and became the first rugby league club in Queensland to be licenced.

“This was very well noted – we were the example and lots of clubs came to us for guidance.”

John said once the land, which was on the outskirts of town at the time, became available they jumped at the opportunity and development of the sports club started promptly.

John Rea makes sporting passion a family affair

The five decades of service at Brothers Sports Club came easy to John who, with his cheerful demeanour, said he wouldn’t have it any other way.

“I was involved as a player and joined the committee,” John said.

“I guess I was at the right place at the right time; it was fairly easy to say I had the right credentials at the right time as most of the older committee members were in their 70s and were retiring.

“I was a young guy – a teacher and I guess it was a good way to get out of the classroom for a couple of weeks each year!

“My two sons Tony and Michael were also influenced by the club, with Tony going on to play for Queensland and captain Northern Sydney. While Michael was the one to break my point scoring!

“Brothers is definitely about family.”

John stepped down from his role as vice president of Brothers Sports Club on October 6 this year after more than half a century of service.

He thanked his wife Rhonda, who he said had always played a significant role behind the scenes, and the committee for making his time at Brother Sports Club memorable.

“After 51 years of service I decided as everything was going along well that it was time to hand it over to someone younger,” he said.

“It has grown and grown over my time, and I know it is just going to keep getting better.”

Mango Paradise transforms to keep with the times

Ashley Schipper

Col and Jan Taylor are well known in the Childers and Cordalba community for their volunteer work with the local Rotary Club, QCWA and Meals on Wheels as well as the operation of their farm, Mango Paradise Bed and Barra.

The local couple have been highlighted as part of Bundaberg Regional Council's Our People Our Stories project, which celebrates the community by sharing the profiles of residents.

Col was born in Bundaberg but was raised in Childers.

It's where he first met Jan after she moved to the region with her family from Southport.

Col is a fourth-generation farmer and the story of how Mango Paradise Bed and Barra came about starts with some land and some cane, which had always been the backbone of the Taylors' farming work.

Through years of hard yakka and plenty of tough times, their established farm has continually transformed – growing cane, mangoes, lychees, fish and now macadamias.

“Mango Paradise has seen many changes over the years to stay ahead with changing times,” the duo said.

“From cane farming we diversified into tree crops to try and supplement the cane, and while we waited for the mango trees to produce, we grew sweet potatoes and tomatoes,” Jan added.

“When in season, the farm sells mangoes and lychees to the public through the roadside store.

“Somebody came here one day to purchase some mangoes and told us we had a little piece of paradise, which is where the name Mango Paradise came from.”

Col said the introduction to fish came about when the couple added a 44 megalitre pond to help water the cane.

They filled it with barramundi.

“Our son Paul was only young so I thought I’d teach him how to run a business,” Col said.

“We then we added a second pond and expanded with silver perch.

“From there we added another three ponds, then added another six and now we are up 24 ponds on 12 hectares of water agriculture.”

The Taylors travel to Brisbane every Wednesday and supply live fish to the large fish shops.

“It was a matter of ‘get big’ to keep up with demand and to supply to those customers all year round,” Col said.

The Mango Paradise property has been in the Taylor family for nearly 50 years, with Col’s father originally stepping aside to let he and Jan take over.

“It’s now our time to step aside and let Paul and Letitia come up with different ways of doing things on the farm and pass it on to the next generation,” Jan said.

The Taylors are looking forward to moving to Woodgate.

“We have no plans of stopping, we are just getting started,” they said.

Community creates rainbow water snake Dugg’un

Emma Turnbull

The head of rainbow water snake Dugg’un will lead visitors on a trail through a new bush tucker garden at Community Lifestyle Support.

Crafted by mosaic master Paul Perry with help from community members in a number of workshops, Dugg’un represents the rainbow water snake in dreamtime stories of the Taribelang Bunda culture.

Taribelang Bunda representative Byron Broome said he enjoyed partnering with Paul and CLS to bring the cultural history to life.

“The dreamtime story of Dugg’un; Dugg’un is the sea serpent that comes from Butchulla country, it is a shared dreamtime story between Butchulla and us,” he said.

“It’s an ancient dreamtime story that the elders have kept alive through the family.

“In the story of the Dugg’un it used to come up to Bundaberg country and eat all the turtle eggs, in our language turtles are named Meeba.

“We tell the story to the community to grab a hold of the whole dreamtime story.”

Byron said he and the elders chose the colours of Dugg’un as she was a rainbow sea serpent.

The blues represent the ocean with splashes of colour from the coral reefs it swam through.

“It’s good to see the community get engaged to create something together for Bundaberg,” he said.

“It’s good for us that the colours represent our country and our land, and Dugg’un had all the colours of the rainbow on her because she was a sea serpent.

“The colours were very particular… I think the Dugg’un head (mosaic) is amazing.”

Once complete the large mosaic will find a home at the entrance to the community nursery’s up-coming bush tucker garden.

Inviting community members to take part in one of 10 workshops to create Dugg’un, Paul said he had people from all walks of life attend.

“Some of the participants have worked previously on mosaics with me, and then there are others including CLS clients and their carers who come along to have fun – they had a ball actually, it was lovely,” Paul said.

“There’s regulars and there’s newbies plus people from outside of the box – the idea of this particular project was to incorporate all of those things into it as a real community project.

“It’s CLS’s ethos to make it really community based and all-inclusive, it’s that sort of connection that really got me excited.

“With these projects not only do you expose people to art, to understand accessible art and be involved, but it also creates a sense of ownership. For me it’s about growing the sense of community ownership.”

Community Lifestyle CEO Damien Tracey said they had been liaising with representatives of the Taribelang Bunda people to incorporate cultural history into the development of the new bush tucker garden.

“We were aware of the high-quality mosaic artworks that Paul Perry has undertaken within the area over the last few years and his inclusion of local community participation and Indigenous input into his projects,” Damien said.

“We were especially interested in having him work with our communities to create this artwork feature.”

Paul said Nardoo’s bush tucker garden would be accessible to the public through pre-arranged visits to CLS or during Nardoo Nursery’s open days.

“The bush tucker garden will have interactive information panels for the public to read and engage with at key locations, these will explain the nature of the traditional uses for the various plants in the garden, including food and medicine; and the dreamtime stories associated with those plants, where available,” Paul said.

“This will be combined with the cultural information prepared by and developed in conjunction with Taribelang Bunda representatives.

“It’s very much about sharing with them and getting them to share their culture back into the area and within the community.”

This project was made possible with support from Community Lifestyle Support, Bundaberg Regional Council and RADF Quick Response Grant.

What's on

Mia’s sentimental garden held close to the heart

Morgan Everett

Every garden tells a story, and for Mia Dawson it’s all about the appreciation of family, friends and the ability to get creative in her outdoor space.

Moving into her Thabeban property from the Gold Coast in 2014 presented her with the perfect blank canvas to dig in to.

“The property was very well looked after, it had beautiful timber fencing and a fruit orchard with irrigation, not much else,” Mia said.

“I visit nurseries frequently and have picked up plants that are in season at different times of the year instead of planting all at once, my goal is to enjoy the garden all year round.

“The garden has evolved along with our life challenges and celebrations.”

Mia said the very first tree she planted was a Jacaranda for her mother, who was the reason for her passion to grow and create.

“She is 81 and lives back in my homeland of Sweden,” she said.

“My mum loved visiting Australia, she was in particular fascinated by the blooming Jacaranda trees, so it was wonderful to have the space to plant a tree for her.”

Mia said after her daughter Molly was diagnosed with blood cancer in 2019 the pair relocated to the Leukemia Foundation in Brisbane for treatment.

When Molly felt well enough, they would visit Southbank, have a meal and stroll around the gardens.

“At the time the Bougainvillea was in bloom all along the riverbank, once again, just like in my childhood, the beauty of nature gave me power and strength to keep going,” Mia said.  

“When back from treatment I planted my Bougainvillea, they have bloomed nearly every day since.

“They are for Molly and a symbol of her beauty and resilience.”

The green thumb said she never had a plan when creating her garden, it had been sculpted by passion and creativity.

“Every plant has ended up in my garden on an emotional decision at the time,” she said.

“I buy from local growers and home enthusiasts.

“Instead of buying shoes online I purchase plants, seeds and trees.

“My family shake their heads, ‘Another tree mum, really?’”

Mia said she had been growing plants her entire life.

Even her teenage room back in Sweden featured an array of pot plants.

“If young me only knew I would have my own paradise now, those little struggling plants are giant trees in Australia!” she said.

“It has been years of hard work to get us here, I could happily retire just strolling around my garden now!”

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