Weekender: Deems share secret to lifelong love

Motel development approved for Takalavan Street

Ashley Schipper

A vacant lot along Takalvan Street will soon be transformed into a two-storey motel after a development application was approved by Bundaberg Regional Council.

Submitted on behalf of applicant Super Trunkey Pty Ltd, the motel will be located at 55 Taklavan Street between Midtown Caravan Tourist Village and Hungry Jacks.

“The format of the development is a two-storey motel development with units located on both levels, with ground floor hosting disabled accessible units, reception/office, manager residence, kitchen and storage along with car parking areas,” the application states.

“Two disabled accessible units have been located on the ground floor towards the front of the site.

“Disabled access is provided throughout the ground floor area to the rear of the site at compliant grades.”

According to the application, the motel will utilise the latest technology once constructed, avoiding the need for on-site management presence.

“Operationally the motel will be served by a 24-hour self-check-in and management system.

“Cleaning and maintenance staff will have a daily presence on site to service the motel rooms.

“Typically cleaning and maintenance will be carried out between the hours of 10 am and 2 pm when minimal guests are present at the site.

The application states the motel is “a positive re-development of an ageing commercial site and is situated in a prime position of the region, located on major transport routes into and out of the CBD.

“The proposal development will provide a functional and attractive accommodation development in an appropriate location in the city of Bundaberg.”

Priscilla Queen of the Desert Playhouse’s biggest show

Georgia Neville

Local talent adorned in glitter, sequins, lycra and feathers will be on show when Priscilla Queen of the Desert hits the Moncrieff Entertainment Centre stage next month.

Four well-known Bundaberg locals and powerhouse performers Andy McLucas, Kyle Schneider, Trevor Green and Tony Meerman will share the lead roles in Priscilla Queen of the Desert and will be championed by a fabulous cast from Bundaberg Players Inc when the first of four shows kicks off on Thursday 28 July.

The storyline will follow two drag queens and a transgender woman as they journey across the Australian Outback from Sydney to Alice Springs in a tour bus that they have named “Priscilla”, encountering various groups and individuals along the way.

Director Bex Hutchins said the show was set to be the biggest Bundaberg Players performance yet, with everything from costumes to props taking the show to the next level.

“I know that we say this every time we do big productions, but this show has to be the biggest show we have done to date,” Bex said.

“When our productions are off site, it always adds the extra level of excitement but also the extra level of stress.

“There are so many people involved in Priscilla, a huge costume team, makeup department, choreographers, sound and lighting technicians, not to mention the very talented cast.

“I think our vision of the production will not leave audiences disappointed, as we are using technology and clever staging to utilise all the cast and stage space.”

Bex said the fabulous Priscilla bus had now arrived in town for rehearsals, with the team looking forward to putting her together as she takes over the Moncrieff stage.

“Priscilla has arrived and is currently in pieces in a 40-foot shipping container!” she said.

“The container was so large that it would not fit down the driveway of the Playhouse and has had to be stored off site.

“We have had a look inside, and it is like a giant 3D puzzle sitting in a box waiting to be put together so our bump in day will be very interesting!”

Bex said not only would audiences be dazzled by all of the glitz and glam from the costumes and sets, but the fantastic local performers would also bring this colourful story to life.

“We have always had a talented nest to choose from here in Bundaberg,” she said.

“The four leads Andy McLucas, Kyle Schneider and Trevor Green and Tony Meerman, who share a role, have really been adventurous and bold in creating characters that not only push them as actors out of their comfort zone, but have found a way to complement each other and the storyline.

“The Diva’s lead by Stella Hutchins, along with Emma Donohue-Dix and Bonny Treloar sing approximately 25 songs all-in three-part harmony.

“The talent doesn’t end at the leads or the featured roles, the talent filters right through to the ensemble and beyond to the crew.”

Bex said the audience could expect to feel as though they were part of the show, with a number of hit songs to sing along to throughout the performance.

“They will get to sing along, share laughs with fellow audience members and maybe even shed a tear or two along the way,” she said.

“I have always wished I was privy to the conversations in the car as audience members leave the theatre as I have no doubt they will find many wonderful things to talk about.

“If you loved Mama Mia! You will certainly enjoy Priscilla!”

There are four shows on offer including:
• Thursday 28 July at 7.30 pm
• Friday 29 July at 7.30 pm
• Saturday 30 July at 2 pm
• Saturday 30 July at 7.30 pm

Tickets are still available for purchase here.

The show is recommended for ages 15 years and older.

Australian Air Force Cadets re-establish 228 Squadron

Georgia Neville

Youth within the Bundaberg Region are once again being given the chance to spread their wings and take flight as part of the Australian Air Force Cadets No. 228 Squadron.

Returning for the first time since 2014, the No. 228 Squadron will commence in July and parade on Monday nights from 6pm-9pm during the school term at St Luke’s Anglican School.

Those who are turning 13 to 17 this year, and have an interest in aviation, drones, STEM, camping, the Australian Defence Force, or just want to make new friends, are encouraged to register their interest.

The Australian Air Force Cadets (AAFC) will teach students valuable life skills and help develop qualities including but not limited to leadership, self-reliance, confidence, teamwork and communication.

Squadron Leader (AAFC) and Regional Executive Officer (North) Barry McGlynn said the chance for students to take part in this squadron is fantastic, providing them the opportunity to learn a range of unique skills.

“The Australian Air Force Cadets is one of Australia’s premier youth development organisations,” Mr McGlynn said.

“Cadets are afforded high quality training, and unique and exciting experiences, while making new friends among likeminded peers in a positive environment.

“Cadets are offered the opportunity to fly in our aircraft, both powered and glider flying, learn about and operate unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV drones), take part in camping, fieldcraft activities and drills and attend ceremonial experiences such as ANZAC Day in uniform.

“Being part of the AAFC also provides the opportunity to undertake aviation training and experiences, visit military bases and operational units such as RAAF Squadrons, firefighters, dog handlers and eating and staying in their messes and

“Air Force Cadets receive great training in communications, STEM, Fieldcraft, service knowledge, aviation and drill and ceremonial knowledge, being taught everything in a fun environment.”

The Air Force Cadets is sponsored by the Royal Australian Air Force.

Those interested in joining the Air Force Cadets No. 228 Squadron can submit an expression of interest for a July start now.

Visit www.airforcecadets.gov.au to register your interest today.

For more information visit the website or you can email 228sqn@airforcecadets.gov.au.

Joyful Hampers to make gift giving easy

Georgia Neville

Gift giving has just been made easier with new business Joyful Hampers opening in the Laneway on Woongarra Street in the Bundaberg CBD.

Local sisters Sarah Jensen and Jane Hart have come together with their love of gift giving, to open the business allowing them to be a part of other people’s celebrations.

Both coming from very different backgrounds, Sarah being a nurse and midwife and Jane a photographer, the ladies are looking forward to taking on their new venture.

“The idea was something that both of us wanted to do, so we joined forces to make it something bigger and better than we could have done individually,” Jane said.

“We are most excited about seeing the joy and smiles on everyone’s faces as they come into our little shop.

“We love to socialise, so we are looking forward to having lots of chats and laughs with all of our customers.”

The business will offer pre-made hampers, as well as the opportunity for people to go in store and hand-pick the different products they want in their hamper.

“There will be ready made hampers in store that you can grab and go, or you can walk around the store and pick what you would like to put in a hamper and we can put it together for you,” she said.

“We will accept message or phone orders and will eventually have an online store.”

A range of products are available to customise hampers, with products suited to anyone from babies through to men and women as well as gift vouchers to allow someone to make their own hamper.

“We have a range of local and well known non-local products available,” she said.

“Products range from macadamia nuts, popcorn, rocky road, lollies, chocolates right through to baby clothes, wraps, dummies, lotions, body washes etc etc, beauty products and we have not forgotten the guys, they are covered too.

“We also have corporate hampers available too.”

The store can be found at 53 Woongarra Street, Bundaberg Central.

You can find out more about Joyful Hampers on Facebook here.

Sweet creations wanted for Strawberry Jam Competition

Ashley Schipper

Jam lovers will have a new competition to showcase their sweet creations in with the inaugural Taste Bundaberg Festival Strawberry Jam Competition.

To be judged as part of the Taste Bundaberg Farmers Market, the competition aims to showcase the abundance of local strawberry farming within the region to residents and visitors.

Bundaberg Regional Council Arts, Culture and Events portfolio spokesperson Cr John Learmonth said the competition was perfect for jam connoisseurs or for those who just wanted to try something new.

“Whether you have been perfecting a family jam recipe for years and years or you simply want to try your hand at making something sweet to spread on your scones, this competition is for you!” he said.

“There are two categories in the competition which include Traditional Strawberry Jam or the Strawberry Jam with a Twist section with online registration now open.

“Winners will be announced at the Taste Bundaberg Farmers Market on Saturday 6 August in a segment on the cooking demonstration stage.

“As a special treat, the strawberry jam place getter will have their creation used by dessert queen Kirsten Tibballs in her cooking demonstration at the event.”

Known nationally as the queen of chocolate, Kirsten Tibballs is one of two celebrity chefs to be involved in the Taste Bundaberg Festival this year.

She said she was excited to experience everything the region had to offer.

“I love working with locally sourced ingredients, it gives a sense of belonging, and connects your food to stories of the people and businesses you are surrounded by,” she said.

“I am very excited be a part of the Taste Bundaberg Festival and utilise the winning strawberry jam in one of my creations!”

Bargara Berries' tips for Taste Festival strawberry jam

Bargara Berries owners Michael and Debbie Meiers know a thing or two about creating a delicious strawberry jam.

The couple said they were excited to see what festival-goers would be able to produce as part of the contest.

“The aroma of cooking brings people together and there is always a joy in the sweetness of the cooking of jam,” Debbie said.

“One tip we have for competitors is to use better quality strawberries!”

Michael and Debbie have operated Bargara Berries for more than eight years, taking over from original owners Lynne and Bob Hay. 

It was then that Debbie said she was taught all she knows about making quality jam.

“Bargara Berries started with Bob and Lynn Hay in 1992 on the property on 100 Hughes Road, Bargara,” Debbie said.

“The jam was made to be used in the cafe at the time and is still being used in the cafe on the premises, Turtles Paradise. 

“Michael and I took over this business in 2014, and under the careful eye of Bob he taught me about making jam. 

“He said, ‘I have tasted your cooking, I know you can do this.’

“So I did and have continued to do so and Bob continues to be my source of information.”

Debbie said she was delighted with the news that this year’s Taste Bundaberg Festival would feature a strawberry jam competition. 

“There is a romance with strawberries,” she said.

“We love the joy they bring to our customers when they buy our strawberries.”

The Strawberry Jam Competition is proudly sponsored by Sugarland Plaza.

Registration for the competition is now open here

Competitors are asked to create their jam entries using 75 per cent local ingredients.

Jars will be provided to all who register, available for collection mid-July.

Delivery of Taste Festival jam entries to be made to the Bundaberg Recreational Precinct on 3 and 4 August, with judging to occur Friday 5 August.

You can view the Taste Bundaberg Festival program here.

Rob honoured for prostate cancer volunteer work

Georgia Neville

Bundaberg resident Rob McCulloch been awarded Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia’s prestigious annual Max Gardner Award for Distinguished Service.

The local man joins three other recipients from across Australia who have together contributed over 71 years of combined voluntary work to helping men and their partners cope with the disease.

John Fullagar of North Shore (NSW), Rob McCulloch of Bundaberg (Qld) and Graham and Adele Staggs of Dural (NSW) have each been presented with an award in recognition of their outstanding contribution to PCFA’s mission.

The annual award is named in memory of the late Max Gardner, who was a passionate advocate for prostate cancer control in Australia, helping to establish PCFA’s nationwide Prostate Cancer Support Group Network.

Rob McCulloch joined the Bundaberg network following his diagnosis and surgery in 2007 and has been its leader since 2009.

He became a Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia ambassador in 2013 and has been integral in the establishment of other support groups in the region, dedicating countless hours to community awareness and peer support over the past 15 years.

“I am very humbled and overwhelmed to receive this award,” Rob said.

“It was something I didn't ever expect to happen to someone like me.”

With the cause being close to his heart, Rob said he was proud to see people becoming more aware of prostate cancer through their ongoing work within the community.

“I am passionate about this cause as it is so important that people become aware of prostate cancer and we continue to get the word out there,” Rob said.

“Having recently spent some time out in the community as part of Men's Health Week, I can start to see that we are getting the message across and people are becoming more aware which is very heartening for us.”

PCFA Chairman, Adjunct A/Prof Steve Callister, commended the award winners.

“My congratulations to John, Rob, and Graham and Adele, for their awards,” he said.

“They are truly remarkable figures in the Australian prostate cancer community, dedicating many hundreds of hours of service to other men and families impacted by the disease and raising awareness to help us defeat it.

“I thank them for their voluntary service and contribution.

“Their tireless advocacy has advanced our work towards a future free of prostate cancer and has changed many lives for the better.”

PCFA CEO Anne Savage thanked the Max Gardner recipients for their leadership.

“Our work is only made possible by the support of people like John, Rob, Graham and Adele, who give of their own time to ensure that men and their partners do not have to walk alone when prostate cancer strikes,” Ms Savage said.

“They play a vital role in providing men and their loved ones with information, comfort, and support, calling on their own personal experiences to make a difference in the lives of others.

“We’re honoured to be a part of a grassroots network of exceptional Australians impacted by prostate cancer who are dedicated to improving survivorship outcomes for all others.”

PCFA has more than 130 Support Groups around Australia, providing vital peer support and outreach to the community.

To find out more, go to www.pcfa.org.au.

Local showcase for Ink in the Lines artist table dinner

Georgia Neville

Local businesses will come together to plate up an unforgettable experience at the upcoming Ink in the Lines Artist Table Dinner on Saturday 16 July at Bundaberg Regional Art Gallery.

A fusion of art, food and music will take over the Gallery One space at Bundaberg Regional Art Gallery, as guests enjoy food from local 4670 BBQ and beverages from Ballistic Beer.

Surrounded by the artwork that makes up the Ink in the Lines exhibition, Lewis McKee will set the scene with his soulful music while guests will enjoy a relaxed dinner of slow-cooked meats, paired with a bespoke beer tasting led by Brett Doss from Ballistic Brewing Company.

Each of the craft beers tasted will be chosen specially to compliment the smoky, slow-cooked meats, and Brett will take guests through the brewing process behind these local beers.

There will also be exclusive access to the exhibition and the opportunity to hear more about the artworks from the Gallery Director.

Bundaberg Regional Council Arts, Culture and Events portfolio spokesperson Cr John Learmonth said this exclusive event was a fantastic opportunity to see the Australian War Memorial’s Ink in the Lines exhibition in a different light.

“The Ink in the Lines exhibition is an incredibly moving exhibition which will be accompanied by great music and fantastic food and beverages in what is set to be a fantastic event,” Cr Learmonth said.

“There is so much to learn from this exhibition as it tells a range of stories about those who served for our country and the stories they have to share.

“I encourage anyone who can attend this event to do so, as you will not be disappointed.”

Artist table dinner celebrates Ink in the Lines

The Ink in the Lines exhibition was curated by the Australian War Memorial and explores themes around identity and belonging, mateship and family, loss, grief, commemoration, and healing.

It explores the personal stories of 22 people from all branches of the Australian Defence Force, with their explanations providing an interesting and varied insight.

Australian War Memorial photographic curator Stephanie Boyle said the veterans’ identities were inscribed on their skin.

“I hope this exhibition helps visitors to engage with the Australian military in a way they probably haven’t before, so that they see that everyone has an important story to tell, and that some stories can be written on skin,” Stephanie said.

Tickets for the event are limited, with prices including dinner, dessert and a drinks package and can be booked here.

The artist table dinner is an 18+ event.

What's on

Family Fun for the winter school holidays

Georgia Neville

Take a look at all that is on offer as part of Bundaberg Regional Council’s school holiday program for the winter holidays including the annual Flourish Family Fun Day at Boreham Park.

Kids are set to be entertained with something for everyone including a range of activities on across the region’s libraries through to outdoor activities at Baldwin Swamp.

Explore the outdoors at the Botanic Gardens with activity sheets and a gardens booklet available to keep the kids busy, as well as Baldwin Swamp exploration activities open for registration.

The Seeds of Unity project will also kick off during the school holidays with kids invited to attend the Bundaberg Regional Art Gallery sessions to paint their seed pod.

These pods will make up a Seeds of Unity Mandala that will be installed at Bundaberg Regional Art Gallery, made up of hundreds of painted leopard tree pods.

A number of NAIDOC week events are also taking place throughout the school holidays including Pop-Up Story Play at the Yarnin’ Place and handmade rainstick and wooden message stick activities.

A range of council facilities are also open throughout the school holidays including the Bundaberg Regional Art Gallery, Alexandra Park Zoo and the Botanic Gardens.

You can find the full winter school holiday activity guide below:

Fiji Day dance celebrations taking shape

Emma Turnbull

Preparations are underway to celebrate Fiji Day in Bundaberg with Natalie Toms sharing her culture by teaching children the national dance.

Fiji Day is celebrated in October each year to mark the anniversary of both Fiji's cession to the United Kingdom in 1874 and its attainment of independence in 1970.

Born in Fiji, Natalie has fond memories of celebrating Fiji Day with family and friends, and she wants to share the connection with young locals from the pacific islands here in Bundaberg.

“It was always such a celebrated day for us as a melting pot of cultures and what it means to all of us ethnicities to come together as Fijians,” Natalie said.

“Being able to celebrate your country, our music, food, and of course dance. It also gives me the sense of pride to show my son his culture and teach him – that is what brings me the most joy.

“Fiji Day is so important for many reasons. It's our connection to country and culture.

“Our connection to the Fijian community here in Bundaberg and surrounding areas. We all get homesick and it's a great way to all be together and feel like we are home.”

Natalie said dancing was an essential part of Fijian life, and she was excited to share this with the next generation through the dance classes.

“Dance is a massively important part of our culture and heritage. Meke, our traditional style of dance, is a mix of dance and storytelling,” she said. 

“These dances can be used for different reasons: war dance, fan dance and for celebration and welcoming.

“I have been dancing the Meke from a very young age and I'm hoping that through these classes the next generation of kids will fall in love with Fijian dancing and our traditions to carry that on. 

“To practice our traditions together, like singing, dancing, preparation and cooking of food – lovo, similar to Aotearoa New Zealand's version of a hangi.

“It's such a warming feeling for all of us and especially the kids to grow up together and have that connection to their culture.”

She said celebrating the diversity of cultures also helped to connect the local community.

“We are also people that love sharing our culture with others, so for us here in Australia coming together and putting on these events are special in that we get to share what we love about being Fijian,” Natalie said.

“We usually share these events with other pacific islanders in the community and invite them to come along and be a part of the day as well.

“This collaboration is of such a huge importance for all of us, getting together and just kind of having the chance to really enjoy who we are and where we come from.”

To find out more about the Fiji Day dance classes phone Natalie on 0422 866 695 or email natalie.toms29@gmail.com.

Got You Covered library column

In Our Garage with Alice Evans' Subaru WRX

Alice Evans turns heads in her modified Subaru, with its wide body kit making it a standout as the first of its kind in Australia.

Tell us about your car?

This is my Subaru WRX S-Edition. She's a 2013 model in Satin Pearl White.

Her name is Wonderland, hence the plates. It's Alice in Wonderland inspiration.

So, I really love her, love driving her and the full aspect of all her body stylings and performance.

Being in and around cars most of my life I turned it into a passion and I bought her brand new.

She's nine years old now, and I've built her up every day since practically.

What modifications have you made?

She's got basic modifications within performance to make her handle better and just get a little bit more boost around the track when I'm down doing track days.

Body-wise, she has a Fenderist Urban-R 50mm wide body extension.

She is the first one in Australia. It is a Russian kit, full plastic and I did the full installation on it.

I had to cut out a bit of her guards all round, all four guards were cut with a grinder to fit the wheels first.

She's running 18 by ten and a half, most Subarus only run a nine and a half, and then the kit was tech screwed.

So individually screwed on to the car to get her line up.

Then the kit was nutserted, so I went through and drilled it in again, screwed the kit on, and then she went through for professional painting.

What makes her so unique?

All my black extension pieces under the car are part of her wide body and they are just like an aero styling add to the vehicle, including her front grill as well.

Also, her side vents and her hood vents, which are one of my designs.

Under the hood, Wonderland is running just under 350 horsepower, which is a little bit more for a four cylinder I guess, she takes on the big boys.

She's got intercooler front mount cold air induction.

She's also got a boost solenoid and just a couple of little extras that give her a little bit more oomph with the big boys on the track.

Where do you go to race her?

Powercruise is normally what I hit, or Happy Laps down at Ipswich Motorway.

Down back straight she can get fair up there over 180 km an hour, happily.

I love the performance, just taking her down the track and the adrenaline rush of getting that speed under my belt.

I love it. And I went with the exposed bolts for that track spec look, the little bit wider inspiration, a little bit of aggressive feel.

So I love it, and I love it when she turns heads, it makes me smile.

To have your vehicle featured in In Our Garage email us at news@bundabergnow.com

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