Weekender: New lungs give second life

Amy Daniels takes part in Spark Starter program

Georgia Neville

Amy Daniels discovered her love for music singing in a primary school choir and the talented musician has never looked back.

With a love for all music, Amy describes herself as a 'bit of a belter', enjoying singing strong songs, accompanied by a strong performance.

After being accepted into Bundaberg Regional Council’s Spark Starter Program, Amy will be provided the opportunity to develop her musical skills in the hope of taking her career further.

Amy said the program provides the opportunity for her to learn a range of new skills while gaining experience in performing at different types of events.

“In regional areas it can be hard for young emerging artists to find a place to start, so programs like this really help us get out in the community and share our passion,” Amy said.

“There are so many artistically gifted young people in Bundaberg, and I am so glad programs like this exist to foster their talents.

“We all got together last Sunday, and everyone got along so well, we were all having a great time just meeting each other and jamming out.”

Amy said she was excited to continue to follow her dream.

“It will be great to take part in the performance opportunities, continuing to grow in my abilities and take part in the workshops,” she said.

“I have always had a love of music thanks to my parents and that love was really fostered through primary school choir.

“It has been a lifelong dream to follow my passion for singing as I love everything about music.

“It can make a bad day good, fit your mood and it is a great form of expression.

“I have been performing as Amy Alice since December 2021, but before that I worked with Creative Regions performing in Dancing in the Rainbow and The Hatching.”

Amy will be performing at the Childers Festival this weekend as her first major event as part of the program.

“I am looking forward to being in that festival atmosphere and working with all the talented artists,” she said.

“It is an environment that I have not had a chance to perform in and I am excited for those unique moments.”

You can find Amy on Facebook and on Instagram.

Sharon teachers publish book for school starters

Georgia Neville

Sharon State School teachers Janette Puie and Margaret Pippia have published their first book, Cato Starts School, to make the transition to prep easier for young students.

The book, based around the Sharon State School Mascot Cato, discusses what to expect on the first day of prep at Sharon State School.

Having worked on the book for the past three years, the ladies bought their individual talents together to bring the book to life, with Janette as author and Margaret as illustrator.

Janette said, over the past 12 years, she had been giving prep students a first day gift but now they could personalise it with their own book.

“I have been giving a book and a ball to the preppies for a long time now, so for about 12 years now and it has become a tradition at our school,” Janette said.

“Marg and I decided we would like to do a book that we could give to the preppies instead of buying one that was relevant to our school.

“We decided to make Cato the main character in the story and bring him to life on his first day of school in the book.

“The book is aimed towards lower primary school as it mainly teaches prep students what to expect on their first day of school, in particular here at Sharon State School,” Janette said.

“It is aimed specifically for Sharon preppies, but it probably would be good for any student starting school in Queensland and it could be a great standalone story as well,” she said.

“It highlights the different things student may need to know as they start school including what will happen throughout the day and being a big kid at school.

“It aims to get the idea across that there are a number of things you can do yourself when you get to school, for example making new friends and if things do not work out, your friends around might be able to help you out.”

Currently the book is only available at Sharon State School, forming part of the prep enrolment package, although the teachers are looking at options to see the book shared with the wider community.

Janette has been a teacher at Sharon State School for over twenty years, with Marg a teacher aide also working at the school for many years.

Both ladies love the reward that comes from helping the students, saying every day is different.

You can find out more about Sharon State School here.

Council donates $50,000 to RFDS

Ashley Schipper

Bundaberg Regional Council has donated $50,000 to the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) which will help keep the vital service in the air.

Mayor Jack Dempsey said the funding was delivered as part of ongoing, annual support to local organisations which played an essential role in the region.

“Our wonderful RFDS Bundaberg team deliver emergency, lifesaving medical care to seriously ill and injured people within our region,” he said.

“Their service brings peace of mind to the community, knowing loved ones can be responded to quickly and efficiently.

“This donation is our way of saying thank you while supporting an organisation that does so much.”

Mayor Dempsey said Council had always been a proud supporter of the RFDS.

“In 2020 we were pleased to contribute funding to the new RFDS Bundaberg medical base situated on Airport Drive,” he said.

“We have also continued to support the organisation, along with RACQ Bundaberg Life Flight, through a number significant donations over the years.”

Royal Flying Doctor Service Chief Executive Officer Meredith Staib welcomed the funding announcement.

“In the past year, our Bundaberg crews transported 1,841 patients and flew hundreds of thousands of kilometres,” Ms Staib said.

“With funds going towards aeromedical retrievals and critical infrastructure, donations such as this are vital to keep the Flying Doctor in the air and providing life-saving care to regional, rural and remote communities - 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“We are incredibly thankful for this generous donation from Bundaberg Regional Council and for the continued support we receive from the whole community.”

Farm Shed Fruit Stall Childers adds coffee

Emma Turnbull

A passion for produce and love of the Bundaberg Region climate inspired John and Debbie Trimboli to renovate and expand The Farm Shed Fruit Stall Childers.

Located on the Bruce Highway, the quaint little roadside stall has been given a new lease on life.

Following the recent renovations the roadside stall now features a café to entice highway travellers to stop and taste the flavours of the Bundaberg Region.

Working in produce wholesale in Brisbane, John and Debbie know what people love when it comes to fresh fruit and vegetables.

The quality and variety of produce in the Bundaberg Region is what inspired them to invest in Childers.

“We purchased the 200-acre working farm about 12 months ago as we saw the potential for a family business to expand and do what we are passionate about,” John said.

“This is just the start, as we have a really big passion for tropical fruit, and as we are European we just love our coffee and so it was a must to add.

“We know the area well and the climate is the most diverse in all of Australia when it comes to growing produce.”

John said eight months ago the roadside stall was an awning with a dirt floor, but after some renovations The Farm Shed Fruit Stall at Childers was now up and running.

“We spruced it up with renovations, closed it in, added fridges and all the local produce we can get,” he said.

“Actually, we are blown away by the response we have had in the short time we’ve been open.

“Caravanners, in particular, ask if it’s local when they stop. We love the dynamics of it all and understand people want something fresh and locally grown, especially when they are visiting the region.

“We’ll commute to and from Brisbane, and long-term we envisage living in the area.

“We feel like we are locals already and we pride ourselves on selling local produce.

“Local growers can touch base with us if they want us to stock their produce there.

“We are really busy in our work in Brisbane but love getting away up there to this – it’s kind of relaxing to be honest.”

The Farm Shed Fruit Stall Childers is located at 27875 Bruce Highway, Isis River, and is open seven days a week.

To find out more check out the Facebook page.

Couple urges community to be stroke aware

Georgia Neville

Bundaberg residents Denise and Max McGaw have shared their personal experience with stroke to raise awareness of symptoms and prevention options.

Denise knows all too well how quickly action is needed in the case of a stroke, as her husband Max has suffered two strokes.

Max’s first stroke occurred while the couple was travelling in 2004, with his second one occurring in 2006.

“Unfortunately, when my husband Max had his first stroke we were about six hours out of Darwin as we were travelling in a van but he had no headache, no pain, no nothing,” Denise said.

“His second stroke was a crescendo stroke, which lasted a week and got progressively worse.

“I knew the stroke symptoms but he again had no headache and his blood pressure was normal, but it was only to the fact that we had the appointment with the specialist as he had trouble walking.

“The specialist looked at him and said, you have had another stroke and put him straight in hospital.”

While Denise was aware of the symptoms of a stroke, she said it was important people also took measures in their own lives to do what they could to prevent a possible stroke.

“It is very important for people to know the warning signs of stroke, while also doing what you can to reduce the risk of a stroke happening,” Denise said.

She said people should familiarise themselves with the F.A.S.T acronym - face, arms, speech, time - as it could save a life.

“When I was a StrokeSafe ambassador, I was always very shocked by how many people didn’t know the F.A.S.T. signs and speaking to people was something small I could do to change that,” she said.

“Things have changed so much that if you can catch early enough the treatment can be far more effective.

“It’s a simple, very easy acronym to remember and it could one day save a life.”

Thinking fast can be the difference between a person surviving a stroke or not and it can play a big role in whether that person has a good recovery of is left with long-term disability.

Denise said while catching a stroke early could change the outcome, supporting someone through the rehab process can be challenging, encouraging anyone who may be going through it to remain positive.

“It takes a lot of patience to support someone who has had a stroke, both for the person that has had the stroke and the family,” she said.

“Your whole life changes and it is not easy, rehab can take years, so do not give up after six months if it is not going as smoothly as you may have hoped.

“You have to keep a positive attitude.

"No two strokes are the same.”

Foundation encourages residents to be stroke aware

Recent research from the Stroke Foundation shows that only 22 per cent of the Hinkler population, around 27,404 people, are physically active in any given one-week period.

Physical inactivity can increase the risk of high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, and obesity, all of which are key risk factors of stroke.

Stroke Foundation Acting Chief Executive Officer Dr Lisa Murphy says while this level of inactivity is worrying, the good news was it could be changed.

She encouraged residents to get moving.

“Just a bit of physical activity each day can go a long way in reducing your risk of stroke and its associated risk factors,” Dr Murphy says.

“Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity on all, if not, most days of the week.”

While Hinkler residents currently sit behind other electorates when it comes to physical activity, the Stroke Foundation said they were improving significantly when it came to knowing the risks of stroke and being stroke aware.

Research has revealed the Hinkler electorate’s awareness of high blood pressure as a modifiable risk factor of stroke increased by 14 per cent and awareness of high cholesterol increased by 12 percent when compared to 2020 which is higher than Queensland overall.

“It is fantastic that Hinkler residents know the risks of stroke but they need to go one step further and reduce their risk by getting active,” Dr Murphy says.

“Exercise and eating healthily are two ways of lowering cholesterol and high blood pressure.”

The research also found 71 per cent of Hinkler residents could recall at least two of the F.A.S.T signs of stroke.

Click here for more information on F.A.S.T and the signs of stroke.

More information to be stroke aware and physical activity can be found here.

Japanese high school students visit the region

Georgia Neville

Twenty students from Hakuo High School in Japan will spend the next week learning about Australian culture through a buddy program with Bundaberg North State High School.

The school is the first in Queensland to welcome back international students since the Covid pandemic began two years ago, with Bundaberg North State High School Principal Robyn Kent welcoming the opportunity.

“We have welcomed back our first tour group since the start of the pandemic and we are actually the first school in Queensland to welcome back international students,” Robyn said.

“We are hoping that we are going to be able to give the students an experience about the beautiful Bundaberg city and some of the Australian culture.

“We are looking at opportunities to have the students take part in some English lessons while they are here but also experience places like Bundaberg Brewed Drinks and Snakes Downunder and also the everyday life of a student at an Australian high school.”

Robyn said the opportunity is beneficial for both the visiting students and the local students providing an opportunity to share cultures and meet new people.

“This is beneficial for both students, with the Japanese students coming to us they are hoping to improve their English and understanding of Australian culture.

“For our students, they will pick up a bit of the Japanese language for themselves and of course our students who are studying Japanese are going to also have those students coming into their classroom and helping to share their culture.

“It is a win-win for both sides and we are really looking forward to the experience.”

The group from Hakuo High School consists of 11 boys and nine girls aged between 14-17 years, along with three teachers and a tour guide who are accompanying them.

Mayor Jack Dempsey said it was very exciting for the region to be welcoming the students to Bundaberg North State School, with the close links that currently exist between Bundaberg and Japan.

“There are close links between Bundaberg and Japan through our language education classes, cultural exchanges and a sister city relationship with Settsu,” Mayor Dempsey said.

“These enduring ties bring us closer together, improve understanding and create lifelong connections.

“It is great to welcome the students of Hakuo to the region and we hope they enjoy their time here.”

Hakuo High School teacher Kazuhiro Aoki said he hoped the opportunity provided his students the chance to improve their English skills, while gaining an understanding of Australian culture.

“This is a two week studying abroad program where the student study English and science and we hope this provide students the opportunity to improve their English skills while also gaining knowledge of the nature in Australia.

“I hope the students are positive and able to learn something new while working towards being better English speakers.

“The students will spend time at Bundaberg North State High School, while also visiting the university and experience science experiments.

“I am really looking forward to enjoying being out in nature as this is something we don’t have in Japan.”

During their stay the students will be visiting CQU for three days of a STEM program as well as going to Snakes Down Under for the koala experience.

The remainder of their time will be at Bundaberg North State High School with two hour English lessons and integrated activities with the students.

What's on

Whole family chips in at Baldwin Produce

Georgia Neville

Farming family Baldwin Produce is sending Bundaberg potatoes across the country, supplying big chip brands like Samboy, Thins, Kettle Chips and Natural Chip Company.

Almost twenty years ago Tim and Brenda Baldwin got into potato farming, planting their first seed potatoes.

Now multiple generations of their family are chipping in on the farm and the potatoes they grow travel far and wide.

Tim said each season the farm produced thousands of tonnes of potatoes, which were used to make well-known crunchy snacks.

“We farm around four to four and a half thousand tonnes of potatoes which are then sent down to Sydney in semi-tippers,” Tim said.

“We will start our next season in August, which will run until about mid-November.”

On the farm they plant 100 hectares of seed potatoes which are freighted from South Australia to Bundaberg.

Each plant yields about 10 to 12 potatoes.

Tim said, while farming is in his blood, it had also been a big part of his wider families’ lives, with son Eric now following in his footsteps.

“I grew up on a farm about 10 kilometres down the road with my mum and dad, who have now retired,” he said.

“Brenda and I decided to venture out and bought some land, moved into potato production and the rest is history.

“Our son Eric has also taken up the farming and it is great to see the next generation here.

“Even our grandson is already loving tractors so we will see what happens!”

Tim said a love for farming was what had kept him in the industry for so long, especially when the whole family was involved.

“I have been on farms, and farming for as long as I can remember,” he said.

“It is great to have our whole family involved as farming isn’t a career you can easily change from, and when the wider family are involved it is great to keep working at it.”

The family farm provides great growing conditions for the potatoes, with fairly sandy soils suited for crisping potatoes.

Baldwin Produce also achieved its Hort360 certification in March.

The key purpose of a Hort360 Reef Certification is to provide a quality, credible certification pathway for horticulture growers to demonstrate their environmental stewardship and industry best practice standards in the Great Barrier Reef catchments.

You can find out more about the certification here.

Marilyn Murray miniatures on display in Childers

Georgia Neville

One hundred miniature paintings will make up Childers artist Marilyn Murray’s new exhibition.

The exhibition recently opened at Childers Art Space and is on display until 18 September.

With no work larger than 8.9 cm x 6.4 cm, the Meeting History in Miniature exhibition is a display of 100 framed paintings which take the viewer on a visual tour of South East Queensland.

Country churches, community halls, pubs and old picture theatres have all been immortalised in these beautifully executed miniatures.

Marilyn said the exhibition was initially going to be inspired from her travels around Australia but was adapted as travel plans changed.

“I painted my first painting for this exhibition in 2017 but the majority of the work has been completed in the past two years,” Marilyn said.

“Initially, my exhibition was going to feature buildings from all across Australia as we planned on doing the big loop.

“However, due to Covid and the inability to travel interstate for most of the past two and a half years, the exhibition features meeting places between Bundaberg and Brisbane and includes many little towns along the way.

“It is incredible how much inspiration is available from just this little portion of Australia.”

Marilyn said she had been painting miniatures for a few years now, documenting her travels wherever she went.

“I find them a wonderful way to document my life and travels and not take up too much space in my studio,” she said.

“Following on from my previous exhibition ‘Memories in Miniature’, I realised that I really enjoyed painting the architecture I came across in my travels so decided to expand on this theme and focus on the meeting places of old such as old churches, community halls, pubs and theatres.

“I feel in this day and age with much of our social interaction being online, the joy of interacting with our local communities is being lost.”

Marilyn Murray miniatures capture memories, emotion

Marilyn said the detail in each miniature painting clearly depicted the different locations and she hoped they would evoke emotion from those who visited the exhibition.

“I hope that my exhibition will trigger fond memories for people of days gone by,” she said.

“I imagine comments such as ‘Oh that is where my parents were married’, ‘I had a wonderful first date at that pub’ or ‘I had my 21st birthday in that hall’.

“As each miniature is a very detailed work of art, I am hopeful that my work will be recognised for its intricacy and uniqueness.”

Living in Childers since 2007, Marilyn said she had spent most of her visual arts and creative time in the local area.

“I have been painting since 2005,” she said.

“Visual art is not only my creative outlet but also a wonderful memory aid.

“Unlike photography, when I put a memory to canvas or paper, the feelings and emotions of that time stay with me.”

View the Marilyn Murray miniatures exhibition at Childers Art Space, 72 Churchill St, Childers.

Got You Covered library column

In Our Garage with Rod Christensen's 1974 Holden LH Torana

Morgan Everett

Rod Christensen has been working on his 1974 LH Torana since he bought it as a rolling shell around nine years ago.

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

 When I first bought the car, I bought it as a rolling shell, there was no motor or gearbox in there.

The paint work did not look too bad but then when I got it all sandblasted, I took it back to the bare metal and it was just full of bog and rust and all that sort of thing.

 So, it ended up being a bigger job than what I expected.

How long has it taken you to make the modifications?

I have probably had the vehicle about eight or nine years, and it's taken me that long to finish it up.

 What type of work have you done on the car?

 Well, the motor in it is an LS1 motor.

The transmission is a two-speed power glide like out of the older Holdens.

They use them mainly in drag cars at the moment.

 The diff in it is a forward nine inch.

 So, it is probably one of the better diffs I find that are around that, even though it is a Ford, I'll put it into a Holden.

How much time have you put into working on the car?

All the mechanical stuff I have sort of done myself and the motor was rebuilt myself, but the transmission that was sent away and done.

The diff I bought off another person.

 It has got a custom dash in it.

It is all 3D printed but pulling it all apart and putting it all back together, it is hundreds and hundreds of hours, you know, it was a big, big, big job.

What do you love about your car?

 I just love Toranas.

My first car when I first got my licence was an LJ Torana and then the next one after that was an LX Torana.

I like the old school cars and being a mechanic by trade I could work on it after hours if I felt like it or on the weekends.

 I love my Holdens, and I just love doing these ones up, but this is the last.

Do people notice the car when you are driving?

They certainly do you know, especially if you pass another old school car.

They all wave to you and sometimes you're driving down the street and people are sort of just looking at you.

 It feels pretty good.

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

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ASP Taekwondo students kick goals at states

Georgia Neville

Eleven ASP Taekwondo students have qualified for the National Championships after competing strongly at the recent state selection competition.

‘The competition, held last weekend in Brisbane, is the largest tournament on the Queensland circuit with around 400 martial artists competing for selection ahead of the national championships in Bendigo on December 3 and 4.

Head instructor at ASP Taekwondo Mitchell Archer said his students would receive extra training and learn a range of new skills after being selected on the state team.

“It is an excellent opportunity for us as a regional club to gain new skills and train with the best in the state,” Mitchell said.

“Being on the state team allows students to receive extra training from experienced, often international, coaches.

“A win at the National Championships can lead to competing internationally, which can ultimately culminate in Olympic qualification.”

Mitchell said having all eleven students qualify in 2022 was a fantastic achievement, with only two students competing at nationals last year.

“This year we have had a big increase in the number of students who qualified, with 11 students qualifying as opposed to two last year,” he said.

“I am satisfied that the culture of the club is shifting towards being competitive at this level.”

The ASP taekwondo students underwent intense training in the lead up to the state championships to ensure they were in the best shape possible ahead of the event.

“Training was intense and frequent,” he said.

“We train Monday to Saturday.

"Our hard sparring sessions are on Wednesday nights and Saturday mornings.

“Our main goal in the lead-up was building fitness and resilience.

“There have been a number of rule changes to Taekwondo recently that have essentially eliminated any stalling or rest time, so students needed to shift to a new level of fitness and be able to push through when they felt gassed out.”

Bailey Ward was voted Fighter of the Tournament by her fellow ASP taekwondo students and said while she was new to tournaments, she enjoyed competing.

“As it was only my second tournament, I was quite nervous, but excited at the same time,” Bailey said.

“Once I started fighting, I loved the feeling of accomplishing the win and the support of my club played a very big part in my win as well, cheering me along.”

Having only been training in Taekwondo for a little over a year, Bailey said it was very exciting to find out she had qualified for nationals.

“I felt very excited and happy to be able to go to nationals, it is a great privilege,” she said.

“I am looking forward to experiencing the atmosphere of nationals and just being able to compete against other fighters.”

You can find out more about ASP Taekwondo here.