Weekender: Lyn grows community kindy

Road and pathway pedestrian data gathered through AI

Megan Dean

Artificial intelligence is being used to map when and how pedestrians are using roads and pathways to plan future upgrades around current use and demand.

Bundaberg Regional Council Roads and Drainage portfolio spokesperson Cr Bill Trevor said the innovative and strategic approach to developing the region’s transport options for pedestrians and cyclists was not only more accurate but more cost effective as well.

 “This emerging technology is no small improvement in our practices, it’s a quantum leap,” Cr Trevor said.

 “Previously, the only way we have been able to collect this information is manually.

 “That means having a person standing on a pathway and clicking a counter every time they see a pedestrian.

 “It’s not as reliable and, if traffic increases at one particular time, they can’t necessarily keep an accurate track of movement.”

 The cameras capture imagery and use it to track the route that was taken.

Using artificial intelligence the software can further break this data down into transport categories including pedestrian, cyclist, motorbikes and even differentiates between cars, utes, taxies, buses and trucks.

The end result is a single image which shows pedestrian and vehicle movement as ‘tracelines’ for the final report, with each individual movement identified only by a colour which represents the mode of transport.

The technology was trialled within the region and Cr Trevor said it was the results of that trial which saw Council decide to continue its use of the technology for future planning.

“This new technology automates the data collection process but it also gives us access to more information than ever before.

“We don’t just know that someone used the footpath, we know what mode of transport they used, where they crossed the road and which direction they went.

“This can have tangible benefits in the planning process.

“For instance, if we had plans to provide a pedestrian refuge at a particular point but from the data we can see most people travel from the opposite direction and cross 200 m away, they’re not likely to walk the extra distance to use that pedestrian refuge.

“It’s all about trying to provide best practice engineering solutions while making informed decisions based on behaviour.”

The artificial intelligence software will be utilised over coming months at several sites to assist in transport planning and refining the location of footpath and cycling infrastructure based on measured demand.

Lose yourself in a book with new street library box

Emma Turnbull

Community members will find more ways to while away their time now that the Woodgate Street Library Box is open and supplying a variety of free books.

Initiated by Woodgate and District Residents Association, the book exchange cupboard was painted by local artist Margaret Featherstone and crafted by a dozen pairs of helping hands.

Woodgate and District Residents Association’s Pauline Greer said neighbouring communities, such as Childers, already had book exchanges and community libraries, and the group thought it best to set one up in Woodgate.

She said the idea was to share books within the community, and anyone was welcome to take a book for themselves and leave a book for others.

“The concept has been around for a while and there are several other little libraries in other communities, so the Woodgate and District Residents Association decided to take on the project and it was finished on 27 January and open to the community,” she said.

“We want people to be able to lose themselves in a book, just like the artwork painted on the side by Margaret says.”

Pauline said within days of opening the street library was already bursting with a range of quality titles, with everything from fiction to non-fiction ready and waiting for someone to take home.

“Even though we do have a monthly book stall here at Woodgate I know this is very welcome,” she said.

“This was a great project that had the opportunity for lots of people to become involved in.

“A dozen pair of hands worked on creating the box and Council came out and put the post in for us and we really appreciate that.”

Pauline thanked members who kindly organised the pattern and wood for the Woodgate Street Library Box and she said it was a real community effort.

“Ros (Rieck) instigated and coordinated the project, and Ros and Max (Henke) donated the materials,” she said.

“Ros’s husband Neil, and Dale Greer, prepared and painted the raw materials ready for assembly.

“Now, it looks so good in the park outside the community hall.”

To find out more about Woodgate and District Residents Association keep an eye on the community Facebook page.

Ocean Crusaders clear microplastics from region's waterways

Georgia Neville

The volunteers of Ocean Crusaders have been continuing their mission to remove rubbish from the region’s waterways with their first trip of the year completed this week.

Husband and wife duo Andi and Gemma Ross spent five days on the Burnett River, working to clear away microplastics and smaller pieces of rubbish from the area.

“We have now moved on to maintenance trips which is what we have completed over the past few days,” the duo said.

“All the big stuff has been taken and removed and now we are just working to collect the smaller stuff which has come from the recent rainfall.

“The majority is microplastics that have come from consumer single-use plastics such as sushi soy fish, plastic bags and bait bags.

“The microplastics are never ending; it seems to be a case of the more you look the more you see.”

Andi and Gemma encouraged residents to volunteer to take part in upcoming clean up events and said keeping the region’s waterways clean was a whole-of-community approach.

“We are professional mariners, so we care about the waterways, but it is not exactly the best job in the world, it is just something that has to be done and someone has to do it,” they said.

“The more people that do it the better because it is the one-way spiral if we don’t.

“This is a way to educate and raise awareness, but it definitely is not the solution as waste will continue to fill our waterways unless we tackle the source.

“At the end of the day, it is better to be doing something and this is what we are passionate about, as well as helping to protect the marine life.”

Volunteering for a clean up trip is easy, with people encouraged to visit the Ocean Crusaders website to find out more information.

“It is super easy to volunteer, you just have to jump on the website and keep an eye out for updates about when the events or clean ups are happening,” the duo said.

“We are always looking for people to come out and help.”

Stellarossa cafe to open its doors in Bargara

Emma Turnbull

It was always on Craig Nolan’s bucket list to one day own a café and now he and partner Bethany Staib are about to open Stellarossa in Bargara.

The new café will take up residence in Bargara Central and the franchisees are now looking for staff to fill a variety of positions.

“We’ve put a call out for all sorts of staff, from barista to front of house,” Craig said.

“Meals including brekky and lunch will be served throughout the day, so we have a few positions to fill.”

After four years in the Australian Army, Craig said the timing was now perfect to follow his childhood dream and he and Bethany were both excited about the new venture.

“Ever since I was young I wanted to open a café,” he said.

“We’ve been planning this for a while and it’s all coming together now.”

Spending time at Stellarossa headquarters in the lead up to the opening, Bethany and Craig are now refining their barista skills and taking in the café culture.

Stellarossa has about 25 cafes across Queensland with each one locally owned and operated.

The brand encompasses a passion for quality coffee, service excellence and delicious flavours.

Each Stellarossa cafe has a bespoke menu to suit their market, and prides itself on using locally sourced produce.

Stellarossa cafes provide an enticing, modern slant to the traditional cafe.

Most locations have a variety of dining options including indoor tables, benches, lounges and outdoor dining. 

With each Stellarossa café being locally owned and operated, Craig said they were looking at the property market in Bargara, where his mother already resides, and they were looking forward to becoming part of the beachside community.

Community members interested in applying for a position can email their resume and cover letter to bargara@stellarossa.com.au.

Brighter Minds Counselling offers safe space for kids

Ashley Schipper

Bundaberg woman Jess Pick has always had a passion for supporting children and now she is able to offer her services at new business, Brighter Minds Counselling.

Located at Zara Place on Woongarra Street, Jess said the safe space provided children and their families with a range of mental health support services.

The new business is a long time coming for the Bundaberg local, who said she had always wanted to establish a place that would “fill the gap”.

“Growing up in the local area, and with family members needing access to mental health support, I quickly found that there is a major gap in services for young people in our community,” she said.

“In particular, children aged between five and twelve years of age.

“My heart has been set on supporting children and youth for as long as I can remember and being able to sit in my own office now and realise that I can be the support that so many have needed over the years, makes me beam.”

Jess said Brighter Minds Counselling offered mental health support to children and youth aged up to seventeen years.

She said young people could access three different forms of support; individual sessions, play therapy sessions and group sessions.

“Individual sessions are one-on-one support for children to help manage any concerns or achieve goals they or their families have identified,” Jess said.

“Play therapy is an excellent form of therapy designed for children utilising their most important and incredible form of imagination, development, and communication; play!

“We have games, kinetic sand, books, Lego, Mobilo, Duplo, teddies, fidget things, imaginative play and more.

“Group sessions are designed to help children in small group settings build and improve their social skills, find new ways of navigating life, relationships and challenges they may face over the years.”

Jess said she began working with young people as a teenager before she moved on to studying at university to be able to pursue her passion even more.

“I began working with kids as a babysitter and assistant dance teacher as a teen,” she said.

“I then went on to complete tertiary studies with a Bachelor of Psychological Science, Bachelor of Science and a Graduate Diploma of Counselling.

“In my first year of university, I completed work experience with a local child psychologist, without whom I would have not been given such an amazing, education and eye-opening start to this type of work.”

Jess provides important role in mental health journey for children

Jess said having access to counselling was important for young children, who were in their prime developmental years.

“During this time, they may need support managing concerns or symptoms of a mental health diagnosis that they can no longer manage on their own,” she said.

“Therapy helps kids talk about, understand, and manage their feelings and emotions and give them the tools they may need to navigate certain aspects of their lives.”

As for why she has such a passion for her role, Jess said there was one stand-out moment in her career that she always looked back on.

“The background on my computer has three words that state ‘Good thanks Jess',” she said.

“The story behind this is from when I was working with a young person many years ago who had only ever spoken to a very small group of people and no one else.

“A number of weeks into working with this child, I opened the door and began with the same thing I did each week prior, ‘Good morning, how are you today?' and was absolutely blown away when I heard that three-word response, ‘Good thanks Jess'.

“In that moment then, I was completely sold and there was no going back.”

Brighter Minds Counselling is now open at Shop 2, 74 Woongarra Street, ground floor of Zara Place.

Jess is accepting referrals from GPs, schools, support services, families and clients.

To find out more check out the Facebook page here or call 0478 076 860.

John Wilson’s commitment to RSL continues

Ashley Schipper

John Wilson moved to the Bundaberg Region in the early 1980s and became heavily involved in the Bundaberg RSL after an extensive career in the Royal Australian Air Force.

His commitment to the organisation is still going strong these many years later and his story has been shared as part of Bundaberg Regional Council's Our People Our Stories initiative.

John joined the RAAF as a junior trainee in January 1952 and over the next 28 years, moved around Australia and overseas to places including Melbourne, Thailand, Woomera, Toowoomba, Vietnam, Penrith Singapore and Amberley.

“Short attachments included Java and Biak in Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Tindal NT and Learmonth WA,” he said.

“While at Penrith I worked with my wife Leone and we were married in January 1973, when I was posted to Singapore in 1974, Leone retired from the Air Force to accompany me.

“After I retired in 1980 we moved to Bundaberg and had our home built at the Port alongside the Burnett River.”

John said he then became Bundaberg RSL Sub Branch president for twenty years.

“In 1987 we were instrumental in the formation of the Bundaberg Branch of the RAAF Assn. I was the foundation secretary and still hold that position,” he said.

“I have also been involved with the RSL Club and Legacy.”

In 1994 John was invited to be involved with the Burnett Heads ANZAC Day service which led to his current position of Memorial Park committee chairman.

When he isn’t volunteering his time here, John said he enjoyed supporting the many other great organisations around the region.

“I also volunteer my time with JPs in the community at the Bargara shopping Centre,” he said.

“My current activities include gaining exercise by cycling around the Port, Burnett Heads, Rubyanna and Qunaba areas during which I pick up roadside rubbish and recyclables.

“All cash received for the bottles and cans is donated to RFDS, RACQ LifeFlight and Angel Flight.”

Grant flies high with Bundaberg Gliding Club

Ashley Schipper

The Bundaberg Gliding Club is made up of a small but dedicated group of locals who offer their services to teach people of all ages how to fly.

The club has been operating for over 50 years and is open to all who wish to enjoy pure flight without a motor.

One of the club's dedicated members is Grant Davies, club president and chief flying instructor.

He's been profiled as part of Bundaberg Regional Council's Our People Our Stories initiative which celebrates the community.

Grant always wanted to be a pilot. 

On his 40th birthday he decided to live out his dream by looking into purchasing his first plane with help from the Bundaberg Gliders Club.

When the Bundaberg Gliding Club agreed to take him up for a joy ride his love for flying took off and now, almost 14 years later, he has purchased his own aircraft.

“I get to fly and introduce people to flying and it fills me full of joy,” he said.

“I ride a 2010 Triumph Thunderbird and fly most weekends at the Gliding Club.

“Life is good!”

Grant has also followed many other passions throughout his life, including volunteering with the Rural Fire Brigade for 25 years.

“It is a selfless job; nobody really understands unless they are involved,” he said.

The Bundaberg man said he was also passionate about the community, which has been highlighted through his ownership of CBD Realty for 15 years, his work to develop Kookaburra Park near Gin Gin and his participation in the CBD revitalisation group.

“Working in the city centre helped me to get to know a lot of people, to create community in a different way and to be involved,” he said.

“I had this vision; to know and be known in a community and to be a part of it.”

Grant said he had learnt a lot through his many different careers and roles within the community and he was always mindful to provide support to others wherever and whenever he could.

“Practice selflessness, communication and visualisation,” he said.

“We get more from giving than receiving.”

Find out more about the Bundaberg Gliding Club here.

Myths and Legends of the Australian Bush at CHARTS

Georgia Neville

An exhibition showcasing the stories, myths, creatures and eccentricities of the Australian bush will be on display in Childers from this month.

Created by members of Childers Visual Art Group, Myths and Legends of the Australian Bush, launched last week and will be available to view at Childers Art Space until Sunday, 20 March.

Each artist has provided an individual interpretation of bush legends, producing a series of mini exhibitions within the display.

Art journals used to record and develop ideas and narrate the individual artistic journey, are also featured in the exhibition as unique works.

Childers Visual Art Group secretary Lesley Perk said the exhibition was officially opened recently with a large crowd enjoying the display.

She said the exhibition had been in the works for over a year, with a number of mediums used by different artists.

“We have been working on this project for over a year now with 18 artists from the group involved in the exhibition,” Lesley said.

“The works include paintings, works on paper, clay and textile pieces and also includes the artists story boards and journals.

“We would encourage people to view the exhibition so they can see how our group works together to produce exhibitions.”

Childers Visual Art Group Artistic Director Alice McLaughlin said the group were given freedom to interpret the theme how they chose, making the display very unique.

“This year our Visual Arts Group has based our study on myths and legends of our Australian bush and things pertaining to this theme,” Alice said.

“The artists were encouraged to keep a journal to work out their ideas and develop more as they worked, with each artist given freedom to choose their own group of artworks to best illustrate the theme and display.”

Alice said that through the use of journals the artists were able to work to the theme and showcase the process they have gone through to produce their displays.

“The object of the process was to teach the artists to work to a given theme, to produce their own exhibition and to research and plan the works professionally with the use of a journal.

“Some of these journals are on display at the exhibition for the viewers to enjoy and understand the artists journey too.

“Please feel free to look through them as you will enjoy the whole experience with the artists more as you are viewing their artworks.”

You can find out more about the exhibition here.

Event details:
What: Myths and Legends of the Australian Bush
Where: Childers Art Space – 72 Churchill Street
When: Saturday, 5 February – Sunday, 20 March
Time: Monday to Friday 9.00 am to 4.00 pm; Saturday and Sunday 9.00 am to 3.00 pm
Cost: Free

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Luke the Spook haunts Grand Hotel

Welcome to Hidden Histories: Childers Grand Hotel, the fifth episode of series two of the Bundaberg Now Podcast.

A poker game gone wrong is thought to have led to the demise of Luke the Spook, who famously haunts the Grand Hotel in Childers.

Though Luke is generally a friendly ghost, hotel manager Helen Corliss said the encounters can be somewhat unsettling.

“Luke apparently was a gentleman that sometime in the turn of the last century had lost a poker game and accrued a large debt, and he was staying upstairs at the time,” Helen said.

“We don't know whether he was pushed over, or he jumped, but he certainly fell to his demise over the top of the balcony there.

“And sometime after that, people started reporting and sort of seeing and hearing strange occurrences throughout the hotel.”

Luke has become so well known that paranormal experts regularly visit the hotel with specialist equipment to detect any ghostly presences, said Helen.

“There was vision from not very long ago, a couple of years ago, where they did catch curtains moving and objects moving by themselves when there wasn't any wind, and the windows were shut.

“They even said we weren't expecting anything like that, so that's why they keep coming back because they are detecting something.”

The Grand Hotel was the first hotel built in Childers in 1892 and is celebrating its 130th anniversary this year, with celebrations to coincide with Heritage Weekend in Childers on May 14 and 15.

Listen now to hear more about Luke the Spook and the Grand Hotel:

Photos bring back memories of Reids department store

Georgia Neville

A Bundaberg woman has shared historic photos of a local department store that was once a popular feature of the Bundaberg CBD.

Sandra Patterson said she was cleaning up around her home when she came across a number of photographs from her time working at Reids Department Store.

She said the popular business was once located along Bourbong Street, just down from King Kong Sales, and stocked everything from fabrics, fashion, linen, shoes, crockery and more.

“It was an absolutely beautiful store,” she said

“It was one of the biggest stores in the street at that stage, along with Buss and Turner.”

Sandra said she worked in both the cosmetics department and as a manager during her time at Reids.

“I started at the store in 1979 working at the cosmetics counter looking after Revlon, Estee Lauder, MaxFactor and Clinique,” she said.

“I travelled around to the different stores in Rockhampton, Mackay and Gladstone as a cosmetic consultant during my time.

“I was in charge of the ground floor, so it was all the bottom floor which housed cosmetics, hosiery and jewellery.”

Sandra said the store stocked everything from clothing to crockery, with an emphasis on fashion.

She said some of her favourite memories included the fashion parades hosted by Reids for the community.

“We used to do fashion parades in the upstairs space of the store which were used as fundraisers for different causes, they were great to be involved in,” Sandra said.

“We organised so many fashion parades for the region.

“We spent hours practicing and doing it properly and it was a really professional thing, like a big show that we then also hosted at the Rowers club and the racecourse.”

Reids had stores in Ipswich, Mackay, Gladstone, Bundaberg, Rockhampton.

In photos shared by Sandra, the popularity of the store is evident with crowds of people pushing through the aisles to grab a bargain.

She said fashion was a huge selling point, with unique hats, gloves and stockings the on-trend styles.

The Bundaberg shop was established in the main street after taking over John Black's, which was a major family-owned department store that was established in the region in the late 1800s.

Originally it was situated in North Bundaberg before moving to the Bourbong Street location in the early 1900s.

Reids eventually took over the shop but the original Black's Buildings signage still remains on the façade.

Crowds shop for the latest bargain.

Crowds shop for the latest bargain.

A fashion parade at Reids.

A fashion parade at Reids.

Reids staff pose for their photo. Date unknown.

Reids staff pose for their photo. Date unknown.

Hat were all the rage at Reids.

Hat were all the rage at Reids.

The department store had a large fabrics section.

The department store had a large fabrics section.

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Crowds shop for the latest bargain.

Crowds shop for the latest bargain.

A fashion parade at Reids.

A fashion parade at Reids.

Reids staff pose for their photo. Date unknown.

Reids staff pose for their photo. Date unknown.

Hat were all the rage at Reids.

Hat were all the rage at Reids.

The department store had a large fabrics section.

The department store had a large fabrics section.

In our garage: Wayne's Holden HQ Monaro

Paul Donaldson

The time, effort and money put into restoring an older vehicle has been worth it for Wayne Holzberger, who loves nothing more than cruising around in his classic car with admiring views from the public.

Wayne shares with us his story about his passion for older vehicles:

Q. Tell us about the features of your 1974 Holden HQ, four-door Monaro.

It's a V8, 308.

There have been a few alterations to the car over the period of time that we have owned it.

We've had it probably now for roughly about six or seven years and we have done a little bit of work to it, obviously to bring it up to the standard that it is at today.

Q. What condition was the car in when you first got it?

The condition was fairly reasonable.

It did have some rust in it, which we got professionally cut out and I did a bit myself.

Mechanically, we did a little bit of work to it with the brakes and things like that just to get it up to the roadworthy standard.

It's not an original HQ Monaro. There have been a few alterations done to it like mag wheels.

Man, hours wise... I'd be guessing. I couldn't really put a figure on it because you do little bits here then little bits there!

Q. Why did you purchase the Holden HQ Monaro?

I got this vehicle because my wife and I both love the HQ Monaro.

We looked around a fair bit for one, and this one came up in a magazine so we decided to go around and have a look at it.

We thought well, that's us, we will buy that car!

It was made in Sydney in 1974 and we have changed a few things in it but we still have the complete original parts, the engine and exhaust system.

We still have all the original stuff that we could always put back on a vehicle if we were required.

The beauty of having an older vehicle that does look nice is you can go somewhere and people wave to you, people acknowledge the vehicle.

You do get a big kick out of just driving it around.

It's so good to drive, you’ve got the power there... they’ve got a beautiful tune, beautiful note when you put the accelerator down.

Q. Why do you like restoring old vehicles?

It's a passion. You see the end product and other people enjoy it.

Showing the vehicle to the public, you get that feeling that the person looking at the car is appreciating something that you've done.

We take the car to a few car shows around the place and you do meet other people, and everybody's got that common interest.

It's a break away from normality at the end of the day. We can just sit around and talk about vehicles and basically have a good time.

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Recipe - omelette