Weekender: Lyn grows community kindy

Free fitness fun returns to parks and pools

Emma Eaton

Free fitness sessions are back next week and will have residents diving into pools and jumping into parks as part of Bundaberg Regional Council’s Be Active Be Alive program.

Now in its eleventh year, the annual program aims to make fitness fun and accessible to every Bundaberg Region resident.

Commencing on Monday 24 January, Council Sport and Recreation portfolio spokesperson Cr Vince Habermann said the program featured eight weeks of free fitness fun right across the region.

“With a total of 50 pool sessions and 65 park sessions, plus the weekly Parkrun activities, across the two month long program there is something for everyone in Be Active Be Alive,” Cr Habermann said.

“Sessions are suited to adults of all ages and fitness levels with qualified trainers leading each session and able to customise routines to the participants’ abilities on the day.”

He said leading an active, healthy lifestyle was important and with the free fitness sessions underway soon, there was never a better time to start.

“The warm Bundaberg summer is a perfect excuse to head to the pool and enjoy the company of others looking to get fit and have fun,” Cr Habermann said.

“The pool program offers a variety of fitness activities undertaken by certified aqua instructors in our local swimming pools.

“The parks element of the program provides a long list of popular classes available to those who prefer to stay dry.

“Residents can improve strength and flexibility with Gentle Stretch, Tai Chi, Yoga and Pilates and increase the intensity with cardio and strength classes, BoxFit and mSwing.”

The program will run until Saturday 19 March.

Find the full list of class times and locations in the program here.

Leone dedicates her life to local organisations

Ashley Schipper

It was the summer of 1962 when Leone Wilson joined the Women’s Royal Australian Air Force, beginning a 12-year career serving on bases throughout the nation.

Her time with the RAAF was not only where she met her husband John, it was also the start of a lifelong passion in volunteering for the veteran community.

Leone's dedication has been highlighted as part of Bundaberg Regional Council's Our People Our Stories initiative, which celebrates local residents.

After moving to Bundaberg in 1980, Leone said she and John became heavily involved in local organisations.

“One of our first Bundaberg committee involvements was with the Bundaberg Soaring Club, however it was the various organisations centred on defence service veterans that saw both of us becoming very involved, notching up decades in committee executive positions,” Leone said.

Through her many roles within local community and veteran organisations, Leone said she became a prolific newsletter creator, which was something she had learned to love.

“The importance of communication has always been a driver for me,” she said.

“Producing newsletters for members became a secondary but very important part of the committees on which I served.

“For the RAAF Association I have produced monthly newsletters for 20 years, for the Bundaberg RSL Sub Branch it was 30 years, and I am still producing them for women veterans after 27 years and the RAAFA.

“I also introduced a newsletter to the RSL Wide Bay Burnett District and produced that regularly during my 18 years on the committee executive.”

Leone said one of the highlights during her 40 years of working in the veteran community came in 2014 when a long-held desire to see the War Nurses Memorial Park enhanced to honour the regional nurses who had served in the Australian Defence Forces was realized.

“Aided by a newly-elected president of our Ex-Servicewomen’s Association, this project developed into a very fitting tribute to these selfless people who provide care and comfort to our service men and women,” she said.

“Officially opened in 2014, plaques and tributes have been added since, marking significant anniversaries.”

Leone said this year would be a very special time not only for herself, but also for the many women veterans throughout the nation.

“In 2022 the Vietnam War will be honoured, and the women veterans are pleased to be able to provide this tribute to the nurses and medics of the Bundaberg/Burnett region,” she said.

“We will also pay tribute to 75 years of Australian peacekeeping/peacemaking.

“The wellbeing of women veterans and the honouring through commemoration of all servicemen and women is a continuing aim for the Bundaberg District Women Veterans.

“I am so proud to be a part of that.”

Cane rail bridge proposed at Strathdees

Megan Dean

A new cane rail bridge which would cross the Burnett River at the Strathdees boat ramp has been proposed by Bundaberg Sugar Ltd to address increased transport costs.

The construction of the bridge would mean a return to a historical transport route, with the location once hosting a cable ferry crossing.

The proposed infrastructure is the subject of a current public notification period which will run until 18 February 2022.

The sugar grower, miller, refiner and marketer is one of Australia’s largest and oldest cane growers, owning and operating sugar mills in Queensland and distributing product to retail, industrial and export customers.

But in 2020, largely spurred by reduced cane tonnage, Bundaberg Sugar made the decision to close the Bingera Mill, consolidating its milling operations at the Millaquin Mill in East Bundaberg.

As a result of the mill closure, an Environmental Assessment Report prepared by Insite SJC said the “substantial increase in transport costs for cane on the north of the Burnett River … jeopardises the viability of sugar milling in Bundaberg”.

Construction of the cane rail bridge would remove about 48,000 additional heavy vehicle movements from local roads during the crushing season.

“Heavy vehicle road transport also introduces considerable burdens on the local and State Government road transport networks, environmental impacts, residential amenity imposts and reduced road traffic safety,” the report said.

“It is within this context that BSL proposes to construct a cane rail bridge across the Burnett River between Strathdees Road, Rubyanna to a point contiguous to the north of River Road, Fairymead ...

“The sole purpose of the bridge will be to transport cane.

“As such it will [be] built and operated by BSL.”

Mayor Jack Dempsey encouraged the community to take part in the notification process and share their views.

The new rail line would extend from existing Bundaberg Sugar rail infrastructure on the west side of the Burnett River on River Road at Fairymead through BSL land (with level crossings at Fairymead Access Road and Gahans Road) before transitioning to trestles as it approaches the Burnett River.

The bridge itself would cross the river from a point just north of River Road to Strathdees Road at Rubyanna on the eastern bank.

On the east side of the river, the bridge would connect to trestles situated in the northern verge of Strathdees Road before the rail line loops across Strathdees Road to connect with existing cane rail infrastructure in the vicinity of Barrons Road.

The bridge also incorporates a 25-metre-wide retractable opening span which will remain in the open position outside of the cane crushing season.

During the cane crushing season, the opening span would be operated from the Millaquin Mill Traffic Control Office and manned 24/7.

A vessel with a height that necessitates the opening of the bridge could either pre-book an opening or telephone the Traffic Control Office to request the bridge be opened.

The report also outlined the bridge design concept and includes artist impressions.

“Whilst the bridge has the benefit of an operational works approval, land use approval is also required for the bridge, bridge trestles and rail line,” the report explains.

If constructed, the cane rail infrastructure would be built over cane land, road reserve, the Burnett River and its banks.

“The eastern bank aligns with remaining infrastructure associated with the former cable ferry crossing used by BSL to transport cane.

“Much of the infrastructure alignment is a modified environment that will introduce minimal additional impacts, including minimal impacts to marine and terrestrial vegetation and habitat.

“The bridge design, construction methodology and operation minimise disturbance to the environment, to users of the Burnett River and to public infrastructure.”

To view the report in full and to make a submission during the cane rail bridge public notification period, head to Our Bundaberg Region.

Bundaberg BBQ Rubs brings the flavour

Ashley Schipper

With a passion for barbecuing and a desire to provide the community with a local product full of flavour, Emily Cleaver has created new business Bundaberg BBQ Rubs.

Established in September last year, Emily said the small business was built upon a wealth of knowledge via a collaboration of two local barbecue enthusiasts.

“Years ago I had a conversation with good friend Paul Durston, owner of 4670 BBQ, about creating a range of blends available to bring to the market, to promote Bundaberg and to use with our local produce,” she said.

“A pitmaster in national barbecue competitions, Paul worked to refine his blend recipes and I have then been able to create the business with branding, packaging, and marketing socials to complement”.

Emily said Bundaberg BBQ Rubs directly met the existing and growing demand of local product through the small business collaboration, with plenty of delicious rubs on offer to suit every taste palate.

“Dry barbecue rub blends are suitable for the grilling of meats, barbecue and low and slow smokers and some customers also like to sprinkle them on hot chips and to flavour their meat on beef jerky, homemade sausage rolls and meatloaves,” she said.

“The list of how they can be used seems endless!

“Our rubs are gluten free, preservative, additive, MSG, soy and dairy free and are vegan friendly.”

Emily said the current range included blends for beef, chicken, pork and lamb with more to be released throughout the year.

“Chicken and lamb would be my personal favourites but I love exploring by adding the rubs to most dishes I make to complement our locally grown and purchased products,” Emily said.

Transitioning into her new business had been somewhat of a natural occurrence for Emily, who said she had been working in the industry for many years prior.

“Since 2013 I have owned and operated a barbecue product supply business, Yagoona Design Australia, with my husband” she said.

“When you have a household of three boys who, of course, love eating, I found I was always looking for different cooking options to involve them.

“For many years with that business we travelled the state to various lifestyle garden events including many barbecue competitions.

“Succumbing to much delicious barbecue food I decided to develop the range with help from Paul of 4670 BBQ.”

Emily said Bundaberg BBQ Rubs was available to purchase online or at a variety of local businesses.

“Purchases can be made directly by contacting me via social pages however I have seen incredible enthusiasm and support for the products from our local small businesses,” she said.

“These include One Little Farm, Cha Cha Chocolate, Bundy Chop Shop, The Lettuce Patch, KC’s Fresh, The Bundaberg Lunchbox, Chippindals, both Bundaberg and the Childers Visitor Information Centres and online with The Ruben Wood Smokers.”

Find out more about Bundaberg BBQ Rubs here.

Pulse Pilates by the Sea expands to Bundaberg

Georgia Neville

What started as a dream has fast become a reality for Melinda Pain who launched Pulse Pilates by the Sea three months ago and is now expanding her offering to a studio in Bundaberg.

The studio, located at 91 Woondooma Street, allows Melinda the opportunity to provide classes to a broad range of clients from the CBD to the oceanside.

Melinda said the expansion came after a space in Bundaberg West became available.

“I believe that all things happen for a reason as I had started putting the plans in place to secure a location later this year without putting too much pressure on myself,” she said.

“Then a chance encounter with a local yoga studio highlighted that they had a space to lease which has worked perfectly as we now have the ability to collaborate and offer pilates, yoga and holistic coaching all in the one location.

“It’s the cutest space and has a warm inviting feeling and happens to be painted sea blue, so I felt it was the closest thing to the sea component of my business that Bundy had to offer.”

Melinda said she had planned to secure the space for a few reasons, including the opportunity to help people regain their confidence.

“Mainly so we had somewhere warm and dry as an alternative in the cooler months but also so I could continue to expand my business into the larger market that Bundy offers and a space where clients of all ages could feel safe,” she said.

“I feel that I offer a unique class as it is driven by my passion for helping people and it’s more than just an on-trend fitness class, I thrive on helping others reclaim movement and confidence.”

The Pulse Pilates by the Sea expansion allows Melinda to also offer small weight classes which provides a slightly different workout to those sessions held by the sea.

“I am really looking forward to expanding the business to enable more clients to experience my classes,” she said.

“I am also excited to offer more small equipment in my classes which is something that can be a tad tricky to transport around to multiple outdoor venues.

“Pilates doesn’t need to be complicated to be beneficial, so keeping to the foundations of the movement and adding small appropriate equipment is a great way for clients to get the results that are important to them.”

Melinda said she was encouraging those who haven’t yet tried pilates to give it a go, whether they exercised regularly or not.

“Something I have noticed is that many clients have come along not knowing too much about pilates and are really impressed with the level of the workout,” she said.

“Quite a few of my current clients are regulars at local gyms and considerably fit, yet pilates is unique in that it isolates so many muscles we don’t use in regular workouts but really should be strengthening.

“It can marry in beautifully with your gym or running programs, but you also don’t have to overdo your workout and risk injury in fast paced workouts, you can get just as good a strength workout with nothing but your body and the mat.”

Aunty Marina loves to share in heritage, culture

Ashley Schipper

Local Taribelang elder Aunty Marina Anderson is proud of her history and heritage.

Her passion for her culture is what drove her to start the Wan'di Aboriginal Corporation in Gin Gin where people meet frequently for discussions and celebrations.

“Wan'di means gather together,” Aunty Marina said.

“People came on board and decided, because there wasn’t much happening in Gin Gin, to form the Wan’di Aboriginal Group to try to push for more culture.”

Aunty Marina and her passion for her heritage has been told as part of Bundaberg Regional Council's Our People Our Stories project, which celebrates local residents.

She said showcasing her Taribelang culture to the community, especially to the younger generation, was important to her.

“We would like to see more involvement, looking after the land, learning about culture and sharing and helping one another,” she said,

“How we have it today, if you want to find out about anything you will find it on Facebook instead of talking to one another!”

Aunty Marina said she had always been a proud local of the Gin Gin area and surrounds.

She was born in Tirroan in 1934 and eventually moved to Truslon Street, Gin Gin and has been there for 50 years.

It was chaotic times growing up, according to Aunty, who said with nine brothers and sisters in the family there was always plenty happening.

“We never had a fridge and lived on a dirt floor,” she said.

“My brothers taught me how to ride my bike, there were lots of bloodied knees!

“I went to primary school until age 14 then I started working.”

Aunty Marina said her parents worked hard to support the family, with her Dad taking on many roles including a jockey and a drover.

“Dad was even asked to take horses over to India in the Second World War, but he said no because he didn’t want to leave Australia,” she said.

“My brothers had to miss school because dad had to do droving and they went with him, all the boys worked with horses.”

Aunty Marina said she had grown up with a great respect for her hometown, her culture and her way of life and hoped the same sentiment would be passed on to others in the future.

“If you look after the land, the land will look after you,” she said.

Walter Adams a ‘generous’ pioneer

Emma Turnbull

One hundred and forty years ago Walter Adams had a vision to build a hotel that, while now known as the Metro Hotel, remains in the heart of the Bundaberg CBD.

Originally named Adams’ Hotel, and only one storey tall, the structure was built in 1872-73, by prominent community member Walter Adams, before taking on the name The Metropolitan Hotel in 1879.

Research undertaken by Bundaberg Regional Libraries' Heritage Team shares the history of Adams, and the story of how his original timber building made way for a grand two-storey architecturally designed hotel.

During 1885-86, less than 15 years after the hotel was initially opened and despite being built to last 50 years, Adams invested in the new building which was designed by architect A Hettrich and built by E Boyle.

At the time, Bundaberg and Mount Perry Mail, on the 9 October 1885, reported the original building looked amiss among the other structures in Bourbong Street (which was known Bourbon Street at the time).

“During the past three years… this one storied wooden structure has appeared dowdy and out of place beside the large brick two-storied building now doing duty as hotels. Consequently, Mr Adams has wisely determined to pull down the dingy roadside inn and erect in its stead a presentable brick edifice to grace once of the best sites in town.”

Opening the next year, the revamped Metropolitan Hotel had street appeal, boasting spacious balconies and set in the ideal location, on a prominent corner site in town, ensuring it became a popular venue.

Walter Adams a generous pioneer in the Bundaberg community

Born in 1830 at Yeovil, England, Adams arrived in Sydney in 1849, before moving to Queensland at the age of 23. He married Mary Shannon in Gayndah and they moved to Bundaberg in 1871-72.

During his time in the Bundaberg Region Adams served as Mayor of Bundaberg (1882-83), and he was described as a generous man who used his wealth for others.

As a pioneer in the community Adams helped to develop the town’s infrastructure, including the cemetery, racecourse, hospital, and the telegraph line to Burnett Heads.

Heavily involved in the Catholic Church, Adams was raised Church of England but adopted his wife’s faith.

It is understood prior to the first Catholic Church being built in Bundaberg the first mass was held at the Adams Hotel.

Adams donated a large portion of land to the Catholic Church, and it is on this land that Shalom College was built.

Shalom College honoured him by naming Adams House after him, and its crest bears the words “Adams” and “Generosity” to this day.

Mornings at the Moncrieff set to entertain

Georgia Neville

In 2022 the Moncrieff Entertainment Centre will be offering up a daytime program with the introduction of the Mornings at the Moncrieff sessions.

Mornings at the Moncrieff will provide an opportunity for those who prefer going out during the day the chance to experience all the Moncrieff has to offer at a time that suits them.

The sessions will include a series of mid-morning shows, concerts and movies that will showcase wonderful entertainment.

Morning tea can be pre-purchased when booking for these sessions.

Council’s’ Arts, Culture and Events portfolio spokesperson Cr John Learmonth said the reintroduction of morning sessions provided the opportunity for everyone to enjoy all that the Moncrieff offered.

“It is fantastic to see morning sessions back at the Moncrieff as we know that there are many people within our community who may not want to be out late at night, but still enjoy going to shows,” Cr Learmonth said.

“By hosting these session times, we hope to see many more members of the community enjoy the great shows and concerts that will be put on.”

You can find the full digital Moncrieff Entertainment Centre program here.

As well as the online program, you can collect a printed, hard copy of the program from the box office from Monday to Friday, 9am – 5pm.

What's coming up for Mornings at the Moncrieff:

Andrews Sisters Tribute

The Andrews Sisters Tribute Show consists of three sassy divas – Cherryn Jane Bray, Claire Candy and Jodie Joy. They are backed up by the accomplished and lively Andrews Sisters Tribute Band.

When: Wednesday, 23 February
What: Andrews Sisters Tribute show
Where: Moncrieff Entertainment Centre
Time: 10.30 am
Cost: $25 – morning tea can be purchased for an extra $12

Find out more about Mornings at the Moncrieff and book to see the Andrews Sisters Tribute here.

Under current State Government directives, Moncrieff Entertainment Centre patrons must be vaccinated and masks must be worn.

For COVID-19 enquiries, restrictions, visit www.covid19.qld.gov.au or call 134 COVID (13 42 68).

Ice baths and breathwork with Daniel O’Keeffe

Emma Turnbull

After recently moving to the Bundaberg Region, Daniel O’Keeffe is on a mission to share his knowledge of a health-conscious lifestyle through his new business Vibing Fit and Conscious.

As a qualified personal trainer Daniel said he believed it was important for people to learn how to regulate their emotions to help strengthen their body.

Daniel said through a selection of meditation techniques, including breathing exercise, participants would often see improved mental, physical and spiritual well-being.

Holding personal training and breathwork meditation sessions through his new business, Vibing Fit and Conscious, at Nielson Park, Bargara, Daniel said the beachside was the ideal location.

“Breathwork is a powerful holistic tool available to all of us to learn how to regulate our emotions and emotional reactions more effectively,” he said.

“Increasing our ability to live our lives in a conscious effective manner.”

The 24-year-old said after he personally saw the benefits of leading a healthy life, he hoped to share some of the methods with the community.

“I have a passion for helping people … and seeing them happy,” Daniel said.

“That is the main reason I do what I do, I have felt first hand the benefits of living a fit healthy and conscious lifestyle.

“So, I spread the knowledge and wisdom I have acquired from my experience to assist people who are on their own journeys. Assisting them to live a free happy lifestyle void of suffering or stress.”

He said along with teaching breathing methods to support a healthier lifestyle, he practiced cold water immersion, which was also known as ice baths.

He said there were physical benefits to ice baths which included shortened time for muscle recovery, and fat burning.

“Finding the silent space which is always present within you, the observer of your thoughts and feelings,” Daniel said.

“Tapping into the essence of your true power the silent space beyond the noise. Tapping into this essence through the use of breath in the stressful environment of the ice bath.”

Daniel said he usually took an ice bath twice a day, for about three minutes each time, and he believed it helped him to tap into the essence of his daily life.

Find out more about Vibing Fit and Conscious on Instagram.

What's on

Wonder of wildflowers at Vera Scarth-Johnson Reserve

Morgan Everett

The Vera Scarth-Johnson Wildflower Reserve is nestled between the Elliott River and Coonarr, a 93-hectare sanctuary bursting with rare plants and diverse colours.

The reserve features well-defined walking tracks for visitors to watch birds or simply enjoy the scenery.

137 varieties of plants have been identified in the reserve, with wildflowers in bloom throughout the year but looking  most spectacular in spring.

The walking track splits into two directions not far from the entrance, with the western track leading to the salt flats of the Elliott River.

Birdwatchers will enjoy looking for the honeyeaters feeding on nectar.

Commonly seen species are the Brush Wattlebird, White Cheeked Honeyeater and Noisy Friarbird.

Flora in the reserve

Most of the vegetation in this reserve is known as “Wallum”.

This is an Indigenous word for the Banksia aemula plant which is often the tallest plant in this type of vegetation.

It grows on deep, nutrient-poor acidic sandy soils and is adapted to fire.

One of the rarest plants in the reserve is called the Melaleuca cheelii.

Its branches are often very twisted and gnarled, creating an interesting subject for photographers and painters. It has a papery bark, tiny leaves and creamy white flowers.

Wildflowers in abundance

Many of the flowers you might find in the reserve are tiny in size and ranging in colours from whites to creams, purples, pinks and yellows.

This reserve features flowers that are very different to what you experience in any other parts of the Bundaberg Region.

Vera’s legacy lives on

The reserve was named after Vera Scarth-Johnson, an artist and conservationist who lived in the region between 1940 and 1972.

In 1995 Vera was awarded the Order of Australia medal for her contribution to art and the environment.

Her biggest wish was to give future generations the opportunity to experience the beauty and complexity of this wildflower reserve.

When visiting the wildflower reserve it is important to leave nothing but footprints behind, have a good look, touch and smell of the flowers but leave them for others to enjoy.

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