Weekender: Siblings take to stage for Shrek

Turtle playground reopens with new matting

Emma Turnbull

The Bargara Turtle Playground has reopened with a durable new surface to combat rubber crumb pollution going into the local environment.

Earlier this month Bundaberg Regional Council closed off the coastal park to install a new surface around the popular Turtle Playground.

Rubber crumb from the previous flooring had become more apparent at the Turtle Playground in recent years and it increasingly required additional maintenance and repairs.

Creative Playground Surfaces and Play Matta worked with Council on a solution to help prevent the rubber crumb entering the environment.

Research has shown the tendency for the previous rubber softfall to disintegrate over time, leading to what is termed rubber crumb which can end up in the ocean.

The new Play Matta matting uses recycled plastics, including hospital IV bags and other products that can not be used for other purposes, and once it reaches the end of its life the matting can be recycled by Play Matta and remade into future product.

This matting is a first for the Bundaberg Region, and has been extensively used in other local government areas, including the Sunshine Coast.

It is growing in popularity throughout Australia especially where playgrounds are located near waterways.

Creative Playground Surfaces’ Julie Tate said the new matting was placed over the previous surface

“The way we lay Play Matta we ensure the previous floor cannot break up anymore,” Julie said.

“If we were to pull it up, we would not alleviate the problem, but rather just move the problem.

“Where it is now, it’s secure and not going anywhere.”

Play Matta Sales Manager Australia Mathew Waszak said he was pleased with the result of the project.

“The product is an interlocking system, which is 85 per cent recycled materials,” Mathew said.

“There was an existing surface in place that was starting to break down and the community had some concerns.

“We came up with a solution for Bundaberg Regional Council with Play Matta recover – we’ve been doing this in multiple countries for 30 years where we put our surface straight over the top securely.

“This is the best solution – we have left the existing surface in place so it’s the least damage to the environment as possible, without having to dump it.”

Mathew said Play Matta had done a lot of work to ensure the matting was environmentally friendly.

“Play Matta has done a lot of research into this and it’s the best solution here to keep the existing surface in place and recover it all to encapsulate it all,” he said.

“We believe we have given the best solution for the environment.”

Families did not waste any time in checking out the new matting at the popular turtle playground.

Local grandmother Noleen Naske took her grandson, Lachlan, 2, to enjoy the coastal playground and she was pleasantly surprised by the new feature. 

“I think this is great, its nice and soft and I like the holes that are in it – there’s a bit of bounce to it, so it’s nice and safe,” she said.

“It’s nice and level, and really pleasing to the eye, actually, and I like the colour a lot more than the old matting.”

Noleen said she was surprised by the fast turnaround of the project.

“I was impressed by the quickness of it all,” she said.

“It’s really fantastic and I know the kids are really going to enjoy the new look.”

Siblings on stage for Playhouse’s Shrek musical

Emma Turnbull

While Jacob and Bonny Treloar are no strangers to treading the boards together the siblings are set to take on two fearsome roles in Shrek the Musical, the Playhouse Theatre's biggest production of the year.

At the turn of the century Shrek sparked a motion picture phenomenon capturing the imagination of young and old, now the Bundaberg Region will have the chance to experience the live stage show as Shrek the Musical comes to the Playhouse Theatre.

Shrek the Musical will be the biggest production of the year for Bundaberg Playhouse Theatre, and there is sure to a be a belly full of laughs as brother and sister Jacob and Bonny take on two of the lead roles.

Jacob will portray the ogre Shrek, while his sister Bonny will play the role of the dragon.

For those who know Jacob, the role of Shrek comes as no surprise for the jovial 21-year-old.

“A lot of people when they hear I am playing Shrek say ‘of course that makes so much sense’, and at first I was like that’s pretty cool, but now – I guess it’s the ogre coming out in me, I say ‘how dare you’,” Jacob laughed.

“I feel it’s pretty cool, this is the first lead in a musical for me and there will be plenty of singing.

“Being a lead in a musical can be pretty daunting, but I have this incredible team behind me and so much support that it makes it less terrifying.

“It’s already been a tonne of fun in just the rehearsing, and I can’t wait for opening night.”

While Bonny, 19, isn’t new to singing in front of an audience, as she played one of the Divas in last year’s major Playhouse Theatre production, Priscilla.

“I will be singing Dragon’s song, while operating her mouth to be in lip-sync with it,” Bonny said.

“I originally set out to be in the choir, as when you’re in the choir you have so much fun, but then I got the role of Dragon and I really love it.”

Bonny said it was a dream come true to be in Shrek the Musical.

“Shrek does hold a bit of a place in my heart,” she said.

“It’s a movie that resonates with everyone, when your child you see the movie one way and then as you get older you watch it again and you get these jokes that you never realised before.

“It’s really great to be involved.

“I love being on stage with Grace Petersen, Jacob, Lachlan Davis and Sam Brisbane, as the other leads – they are so quick-witted and really the show is going to be so much fun.

“Jacob and I have shared the stage in countless Eisteddfods normally nudging each other with support, and Grace is my best friend, so it can’t get better than that.”

Shrek The Musical tickets on sale this weekend

One of the best loved movie characters, Shrek, will be live on the Playhouse Theatre stage for eight performances in March and tickets go on sale this weekend.

Director Rebecca Hutchins said Shrek was known and loved by generations, and there was a lot of pressure on her to make sure everything was picture perfect.

“Everyone knows Shrek,” Rebecca said.

“Young children love Shrek so there’s been a bit of pressure on me, compared to other Playhouse productions.

“I want every kid’s dream to come true when they watch this, and I don’t want anyone to be disappointed.

“We have an amazing cast, with sensational leads.”

Rebecca said Shrek on stage at the Playhouse Theatre promised to be a big and bright musical that would leave a warm feeling in the hearts of the community.

“Shrek the Musical brings to the stage all the beloved characters you know from the oscar-winning DreamWorks film as they embark on a big, bright, musical adventure,” Rebecca said.

“We invite Bundaberg audiences to join the unlikely hero Shrek and his noble steed Donkey as they endeavour to complete their quest for the evil Lord Farquaad, finding unexpected friendships and romance along the way.

“The original score and vibrant array of characters make for a toe-tapping night out for the young and young at heart.”

Shrek the Musical is on at The Playhouse Theatre for eight performances including: March 17, 18, 24, 25, 31 and April 1 at 7:30 pm, with matinees March 19 and 26 at 3 pm.

Tickets are: Adults – $35. Concession or groups of 10-plus – $30. 12 years and under – $25.

Subscriber bookings will open Saturday 25 February at 10 am. General Bookings open Sunday 26 February 10 am.

The box office will be open at the theatre, 2B Steffensen Street, weekends from 10 am – noon, in person or via phone 4153 1904 or online here.

Environment focus for Snap Send Solve award

Ashley Schipper

Bundaberg Regional Council has been named Snap Send Solve's Environmental Award winner after out-performing 90 organisations in Queensland with the quickest response to dumped rubbish reports.

The inaugural 2022 Solver of the Year Awards highlight the organisations that make a notable difference to their communities by utilising Snap Send Solve, a mobile app that allows residents to report faults and issues to Councils in a timely manner.

The app enables users to report incidents such as dumped rubbish, graffiti, illegal parking, trip hazards and more.

In 2022, up to 278 reports of dumped rubbish were sent through the Snap Send Solve app by residents and acted upon by Bundaberg Regional Council.

It equates to more than five illegal dumping clean-up jobs per week, consisting of piles of dumped tyres to trailer loads of dumped household waste in the region's natural areas.

Health, Compliance and Enforcement portfolio spokesperson Cr May Mitchell said the recent Snap Send Solve award was a fantastic result and a great example of the community and Council working towards creating a healthy environment.

“Illegal dumping is an issue that heavily impacts our environment with Council statistics showing that up to 33 per cent of dumping is done in the region’s natural areas,” she said.

“This has a major effect on wildlife and habitat and also creates an expensive clean-up job.

“Recognition should be given to those local illegal dumping officers who are on the ground each day responding to reports through Snap Send Solve as well as the community members who use the app and clearly feel our environment is worth protecting.”

Snap Send Solve founder and CEO Danny Gorog said Australians and New Zealanders prioritised community improvement in the year 2022, and that it was important to recognise those who want to take action for positive change.

“It is amazing to see the positive impact that our app has had on communities,” he said.

“The Solver of the Year Awards allow us to celebrate and thank the Solvers who have made community improvement a priority and taken action to bring positive change by consistently using the app.

“Our purpose has always been to be a part of the solution and to simplify the reporting of community issues, so to see communities come together for the greater good feels very rewarding and humbling.”

Find out more about Snap Send Solve, including how to download the app, here.

For those caught dumping rubbish illegally, Bundaberg Regional Council issues the following fines and requires offenders to clean the entire impacted site:

  • General Littering Infringement: $287 (up to a shopping bag full of rubbish).
  • Dangerous Littering Infringement: $575 (examples include: glass, lit cigarettes)
  • Dumping infringement less than 2500L: $2300 (up to a medium trailer load)
  • Dumping infringement more than 2500L: $2875 (more than a medium trailer load)

Catholic Women’s League cent sale fundraiser

Emma Turnbull

The Bundaberg Catholic Women’s League will be spreading the ‘luck of the Irish' at its annual St Patrick’s Day cent sale fundraiser.

For more than half a century Bundaberg Catholic Women’s League members have been supporting each other and the local community through their association.

Bundaberg Catholic Women's League president Maureen Ewing said the league would hold its annual fundraiser at Brothers Sports Club to coincide with the celebration of Ireland's patron saint on St Patrick’s Day.

“I’ve been in BCWL for well over 55 years and the group was established 57 years ago,” Maureen said.

“We strive to help the community and this cent sale aims to raise funds to help charities, and it’s also a social occasion.

“The cent sale started out once upon a time as a fashion parade, and it's bloomed and grown over the years.”

Bundaberg Catholic Women’s League member Olga Rosolen said everyone was welcome to attend the St Patrick’s Day cent sale with funds raised on the day going to local and Australian charities.

“It’s a massive cent sale with wonderful prizes including fruit and veggie trays and all sorts of things,” she said.

“The lovely Suellen Cusack-Greensill has helped us to organise St Patrick’s Day themed entertainment with children singing Irish songs, and a gentleman will play the bagpipes also.

“It will be a fantastic morning outing and we expect more than 120 people to attend.”

Olga thanked local community members and businesses for the support given through the donation of prizes.

“We have lots of generous locals and businesses who have donated magnificent prizes for the cent sale.

“Along with the cent sale, we will have four lucky Shamrock prizes, a Devonshire morning tea and raffle – it will be a great morning out.”

The Bundaberg Catholic Women’s League is a group of friendly, happy women who meet monthly at St Mary’s Community Centre. For more information email: mfewing@gmail.com

BCWL's St Patrick’s Day Cent Sale

When: 9 am on Friday 17 March
Where: Brothers Sports Club
Bookings are essential by phoning Olga on 4151 3397 or Helen on 4152 5365

Culture Bites shares community harmony

Emma Turnbull

Community members are invited to experience the taste of the Philippines through the Filipino themed Culture Bites event to celebrate Harmony Week.

Hosted by Bundaberg Neighbourhood Centre, Culture Bites aims to connect the community and celebrate the many cultures that make up the Bundaberg Region.

Bundaberg Neighbourhood Centre’s Praveen Mathew and Maggie Xu have organised the first Culture Bites event for the year which will take place during Harmony Week.

“The Culture Bites is primarily a multicultural food sharing event,” Praveen said.

“It is our regular flagship event that supports the multicultural community and recognises their value to our community. 

“As part of the Harmony Week celebrations, the Bundaberg Neighbourhood Centre is hosting this coming Culture Bites event on 18 March supported by Bundaberg Regional Council and Bundaberg and District Australian-Filipino Association Incorporated.”

Maggie said they were looking forward to sharing great food and flavours with a Filipino theme with the community.

“It’s a great opportunity to experience flavours and culture of Philippines, along with various cuisines from other cultures,” Maggie said.

“All community members are welcome to join us.

“The event will provide the opportunity for interaction and friendships to form between people with different cultural backgrounds.”

Culture Bites is a free event for those who bring a plate of food preferably from their culture to share or for the cost of $5 for those who don’t contribute.

Praveen said attendees were encouraged to wear their traditional dress.

“People can expect to see a variety of cuisines from different cultures at the event, as well as Filipino cultural performances and presentation.

“Culture Bites is a great opportunity to showcase and promote multiculturalism and harmony in the Bundaberg Region.

“This event gives members in the wider community a chance to get to know and appreciate different cultures while enjoying cuisine and making friends.”

Culture Bites:

When: 11.30 am – 2 pm on 18 March
Where: Bundaberg Civic Centre
RSVP: Phone 4153 1614 or email: info@bundabergneighbourhoodcentre.org.au

What's on

Burnett River Rocks subject of art exhibition

Emma Turnbull

First Nations petroglyphs once found along the banks of the Burnett River, and referred to as the Burnett River Rocks, are the subject of an extensive body of artwork by Taribelang and Gooreng Gooreng artist Dylan Sarra. 

Dylan’s research into the Burnett River Rocks commenced during his early studies at Griffith University, and what he uncovered has informed his nationally recognised arts practice. 

This practice has seen him awarded as a finalist in the prestigious Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Awards (NATSIA) for the last three years, and he is currently headlining an art installation at Queensland Museum as part of the World Science Festival. 

In recognition of the importance of Dylan’s artworks in telling this First Nations story of the region, Bundaberg Regional Galleries, supported by Bundaberg Regional Council, have acquired these artworks as part of its collection. 

“The story of the Burnett River Petroglyphs is of great importance as it is one of many locations along the river that our ancestors spent time at to share knowledges and maintain their way of living within the natural environment,” Dylan said.  

“This story is important to me as I have a direct connection to the area and my ancestors bore the same scarification marks on their chest as some of the carvings on the rocks.

 “Over the large area spanning the size of half a football field, a selection of stones were split, removed and left in various locations around Queensland.

“Not all the stones have been recovered although most are accounted for in where they now lay.

“Recovery and repatriation is a long arduous process that involves authentic discussions with all the right people.

“It’s my hope that the work I have been doing assists with this process by creating awareness to the story and its origins.”

Bundaberg Regional Galleries will host Dylan for a special artist talk on 16 March, where he will speak about his research into the Burnett River Rocks, and how his arts practice has helped to tell this story.  

He will also be joined by Gallery Director, Rebecca McDuff, to discuss the importance of the Gallery as a collecting institution for his work.

Dylan has also presented on The Burnett River Rocks at The University of Queensland as part of its UQ Reconciliation Action Plan.

Dylan Sarra: The Burnett River Rocks

When: Thursday 16 March – 5.30 pm to 7 pm

Where: Bundaberg Regional Art Gallery – 1 Barolin Street

Cost: $10pp – bookings required by clicking here.

Crafted miniature model railways on display

Emma Turnbull

Skilfully crafted miniature model railways and replica stations will leave both young and old in awe at the Bundaberg Model Railway Club's open day.

Community members are invited to spark their imagination with the hobby of miniature landscapes and trains as the club hosts its first open day for the year on 11 March.

For almost 50 years the club has been operating at full steam with passionate members from all walks of life, ages, and abilities, creating magnificent models for people to enjoy.

The smallest of details can be found spread around the hundreds of metres of miniature railway track as the trains chuff along. 

Founded in 1974, Bundaberg Model Railway Club is the second oldest model railway organisation in Queensland and the tiny replicas spark the imagination of more than its members.

The model railway open day is a chance for all of the community to pop into the clubhouse and see the magnificent creations where ingenuity has no limit.

Bundaberg Model Railway Club promotions officer John Bonnett said the club held two open days each year and both were always well attended by train enthusiasts and the wider community.

John said although the club started almost half a century ago it continued to grow in the Bundaberg Region today.

“It is a hobby that is still well and truly alive today,” John said.

“There are so many aspects when it comes to model railways.

“We have dedicated members who are very crafty, and they are really passionate about what they do.

“Then when you attend open days and you see the children aged between three and five years sitting and just watching the trains go passed in awe, they are mesmerised and it’s really special.”

John said there was a lot of skill involved in making some of the landscapes as local touches were often given to the scenes.

He said some scenarios included a miniature wheelie walker heading towards Walkers Point at Woodgate, and a man falling from the back of a truck, and if you wanted to know the story behind the situation it was best to ask the creators at the open day.

Bundaberg Model Railway Club open day:

When: Saturday, 11 March from 9 am to 3 pm
Where: The clubhouse at the old showgrounds, off Kensington Street, with free admission
For more information phone: John Bonnett on 4154 1448.

In Our Group with Quota Club of Bundaberg

Emma Turnbull

The Quota Club of Bundaberg has a proud 30-plus year history of supporting the local community.

Publicity officer Jas Haster shares details of how the group has benefited the community while following its motto of changing lives.

Tell us about Quota Club of Bundaberg?

Quota Club of Bundaberg is a volunteer organisation with clubs throughout the world.

Our members work together to assist disadvantaged women and children and the deaf and hard of hearing, as well as other local charities.

Members of Quota are diverse but we share a common goal of helping others and having fun doing it.

What significant events do you celebrate throughout the year?

We run a range of fundraisers as well as social and service activities throughout the year.

One of our regular service activities is our Student of the Year Quest.

Held during August it is a citizenship and public speaking quest open to year 12 students.

Students meet with a panel of judges and answer questions on a range of topics as well as discussing their interests and achievements.

Over a dinner that night students give a five-minute prepared speech on a topic of their choice.

The quest is immensely valuable for students, building confidence and interview skills but is also a wonderful evening hearing from a diverse group of wonderful young adults. 

The winner receives $500 with two other prizes also awarded.

Do you have any history about your group that you can include?

Quota was formed over 100 years ago and has clubs in many countries throughout the world. 

Each club is a separate entity but with common ideals.

Quota Club of Bundaberg was formed over 30 years ago.

Why is the group important to the Bundaberg Region?

Quota uses the motto “We Change Lives”.

We certainly make a difference to the women and children at the Edon Place Domestic Violence Refuge with our regular donations of care packs of toiletries and other essentials for residents who may arrive with nothing.

Each year we do a fundraiser to support RACQ LifeFlight Rescue Service.

Our Loud Shirt Lunch each year supports the Hear and Say Centre and helps them to change the lives of deaf children.

We also support Phoenix House, Make-A Wish Foundation, school breakfast programmes and many other predominantly local causes. 

We also make a difference to the lives of our members through friendships, personal development, and the satisfaction of helping others.

How can community members become involved?

Quota is a small but active group of women who wish to help the community while having fun.

We are always open to new members and welcome ladies who wish to come along to a meeting, fundraiser, or social function to find out more about our club.

Members attend meetings each month, assist with fundraisers and enjoy social events.

Members contribute in many different ways from committee positions, assistance at fundraisers, preparation for fundraisers or through links with the community groups that we support.

We believe that each member contributes to the club in a way that they are comfortable with.

When and where do you meet?

We hold a lunchtime meeting on the first Wednesday of each month in the meeting room at the Young Aussie Hotel, North Bundaberg.

Meeting starts at 12.30 pm sharp.

Lunch is available to order prior to meeting start if you wish.

We also hold a social function each month.

If you would like more information about Quota Club of Bundaberg and how to join or attend a meeting, information is available by calling Donna 0466 663 095 or Jas 0427 369 139.

Alternatively, you can email the club at bundaberg.quota@gmail.com.

How to YouTube

Local riders saddle up for state championships

Ashley Schipper

The 2023 Pony Club Queensland State Show Jumping Championships will soon be held in the region, giving local riders a chance to compete on their own turf against hundreds from across the nation.

The Bundaberg Horse and Pony Club will be hosting the event for the first time, from Sunday 2 April to Wednesday 5 April.

Secretary Jody Holt said around 300 competitors, plus their families and supporters from all over Queensland and New South Wales, were expected to descend on the Bundaberg Recreational Precinct.

“For four days competitors and their horses will compete in their individual age and height groups to find the best combination in Queensland,” she said.

“Competitors will range in age from under 12, right up to 25 years of age, and may be jumping up to heights of 140 cm.

“We expect at least 30 local competitors with at least a dozen more from the Burnett region.

“All up we hope to get at least 800 people, including competitors, their friends and families, to the Bundaberg Recreational Precinct.”

Jody said the event would consist of a range of competitions including jumping equitation.

“This is where riders and horses get marked for their style and technique while jumping over a round of show jumps with seven different height classes up to one metre,” she said.

“Then, the last two days is show jumping where riders and horses compete in three different types of jumping rounds.

“This competition has different height classes with the maximum height being 1.40 metres.

“There will be mounted presentation at the end of this competition in the centre ring of the precinct.”

Jody said the program would also include a category called Life After Racing.

“This will showcase the highest performing off-the-track thoroughbred in each class and discipline,” she said.

“It is a great addition as it highlights the many retired racehorses pony club members own and ride and we thank the Queensland Off The Track program for their sponsorship of these classes.”

Jody said the club was extremely excited to host the upcoming competition.

“Usually hosts get a year to plan this event but we have only five months,” she said.

“It's a lot of work but we are very excited to have this event come to Bundaberg and to show the wonderful facilities at the Bundaberg Recreational Precinct.

“We would like to thank the Bundaberg Regional Council who have come onboard to help us make this event possible through the facility hire and other support.”

Jody said not only would the competition be a fantastic opportunity for local club members to participate, it was also great news for the region as a whole.

“This event will bring an influx of families and relatives to Bundaberg during the school holidays,” she said.

“These families will be spending time and money in our local community from tourist attractions, fuel, groceries, stockfeed stores, saddlery stores, restaurants and much more.

“To our local club members it gives a lot of them the opportunity to compete in their own backyard without the expense of travelling away.

“It has made our riders, along with our Pony Club instructors, strive to get qualified for a Queensland state competition, plus so many friendships will be made during this event.”

2023 Pony Club Queensland State Show Jumping Championships:

  • When: Sunday 2 April to Wednesday 5 April
  • Where: Bundaberg Recreational Precinct, University Drive
  • This event is free for spectators to attend.