Weekender: VMR Bundaberg celebrates 50 years

Career opportunities showcased at Multiplex

Georgia Neville

Students and job seekers were this week offered the chance to explore a range of local career opportunities, with around 700 attending the Bundaberg Jobs and Careers Showcase.

The event was a partnership between Bundaberg Regional Council, Jobs Bundaberg, Local Jobs Program and Link and Launch.

Bundaberg Region Mayor Jack Dempsey said he was proud Council could assist in facilitating the showcase, which showed just how many fantastic opportunities were available within the region.

“The Bundaberg Region is only continuing to grow, with so many new career opportunities becoming available,” Mayor Dempsey said.

“It was great to see such a wide range of companies from different industries attend the expo.”

Local career opportunities on display

A number of businesses and organisations including CQUniverstiy, Palm Lake Care and Hinkler Park Plantations took part in the event.

Palm Lake Care’s Charmaine Brewer said the event provided the opportunity to share different opportunities available within the aged care industry.

“There’s a range of school students and members of the public that are interested in career opportunities in Bundaberg,” she said.

“We spoke to them about potential career opportunities within the aged care space, why they want to join aged care or what they are interested in.

“The feedback has been good, and a lot of people are interested in Palm Lake and what we offer as an employer.”

Hinkler Park Plantations Technical Officer Jennifer Hulme said the opportunity to bring the farm into the Multiplex through a display was fantastic.

“It was great to be able to talk to people about what we do as a business and the different roles they can come into,” she said.

“I know when I was in Year 10 I didn’t know what I wanted to do, so these sorts of events really help students in deciding what area they might want to study.”

You can find the full list of businesses and organisations which showcased local career opportunities at the Bundaberg Jobs and Careers Showcase here.

Five decades of VMR's search and rescue efforts celebrated

Ashley Schipper

From the high seas to flooding suburbs, the Burnett River and out to Fraser Island, the search and rescue efforts of Volunteer Marine Rescue Bundaberg has spanned every inch of the region and beyond during the past 50 years.

Those involved will celebrate the organisation's milestone anniversary next month, with past members and the community invited to join in on the festivities.

VMR Bundaberg was established on 1 November 1972 under its original title of Bundaberg and District Air Sea Rescue Squad.

The name was changed to Volunteer Marine Rescue Bundaberg in 1996.

Skipper Glenn Vertigan said the organisation was made up of a team of passionate volunteers who covered an area of 4000 square miles.

“Their roles include boat crew for our two rescue vessels, radio operators for our Limited Coast Radio Station which is part of the Queensland marine radio safety network, and support staff,” he said.

“The support staff includes training and education, administration, fund raising, and boat and building maintenance.

“Many of our volunteers perform multiple roles within the organisation.”

Glenn said over the past 50 years members had been involved in a range of significant events.

“During the floods of 2010/2011 and 2013, Volunteer Marine Rescue Bundaberg was called upon to effect rescues and assist the yachting community in the flooded Burnett River”, he said.

“We were awarded the Queensland Flood and Cyclone Citation for our efforts.

“There have also been many rescues that have taken up to 20 hours, including multiple searches and rescues of vessels from the other side of Fraser Island.

“One memorable rescue was of two people on a disabled yacht from the continental shelf, with the help of HMAS Melbourne.”

When they are not participating in life saving missions, Glenn said the team were proud locals who were always on hand to support the community, and the favour was always returned.

“Our major fundraising event, the Family Fishing Classic, has been running since 2006 and has been a huge success mainly because of the very generous support of our sponsors and the efforts of VMR volunteers,” he said.

“This event raises much needed funds to help replace and operate our primary rescue vessel.”

To commemorate 50 years of Volunteer Marine Rescue Bundaberg a Public Open Day will be held at the Burnett Heads base on Sunday 6 November.

“An anniversary book, which documents our history over 50 years, will be for sale at the event,” Glenn said.

“The day will also include displays by agencies that we work with, such as LifeFlight, Marine Safety Qld and Water Police.

“There will also be VMR Bundaberg memorabilia, a flare demonstration and our primary rescue vessel, Bundy Rescue 2, will be open for inspection.”

Glenn said a special dinner for past and present members would also mark the occasion.

He said the celebrations would come at a busy time for the crew, with plenty of activities happening on and off the land this year.

“This year has been the busiest for activations for five years,” he said.

“We are very proud of the way we have supported the boating community over the 50 years and are looking forward to continuing for decades to come.”

The Volunteer Marine Rescue Bundaberg base is located at 51 Harbour Esplanade, Burnett Heads.

Stories sought to shape commemorative spaces

Ashley Schipper

The stories and images of local veterans and service animals are being sought to help shape the design of the Anzac Park redevelopment’s commemorative spaces.

The consultation process was recently launched through local ex-service organisations with an online war history register now available for anyone to submit locally relevant information and imagery.

Collating the stories is the first step in creating a significant local Anzac tribute, with detailed design of a range of memorials and interpretive artwork to be undertaken as a separate engagement process.

Mayor Jack Dempsey said the Anzac Park redevelopment would feature commemorative spaces dedicated to the region's service personnel.

“It will consist of an Anzac Avenue memorial walk with opportunities to display names, locations or significant events involving local service personnel and service animals,” Mayor Dempsey said.

“I encourage anyone with information, stories, memories, images, documents and anything else related to the region’s service history to take part in this consultation process.

“We have such a rich history and it's one that should be showcased in a significant and unique way.

“Whether its information about your own service, the ex-service organisation you represent, or stories shared by family and friends, this survey will provide everyone with an opportunity to build upon our local history so that it will be forever remembered.”

The existing Anzac memorial will be relocated to provide a focus point for commemorative services and events proposed to be held in this space.

The redeveloped Anzac Park will seek to complement existing major memorial spaces throughout the region including the War Nurses Memorial.

The stories and information received throughout the consultation process will support the development of commemorative spaces within Anzac Park and could also be collated for a regional memorial guide or digital archive.

Commemorative spaces in redeveloped Anzac Park

Spread throughout the four main areas of Anzac Park, the redevelopment presents the following opportunities for memorials and/or commemorative art pieces:

• An entrance feature as an obvious statement identifying the park
• A series of smaller memorial stations
• Inlays in the memorial avenue
• Opportunity to use the existing memorial modifying it to raise its profile
• An opportunity for more of an interpretive piece displayed on the retaining wall that leads down to the riverside walkway
• Opportunities for memorials within gardens
• Opportunities for memorial or commemorative elements to be incorporated into park furniture

Niche engaged for commemorative spaces consultation

Through the engagement of consultant Niche Environment and Heritage, an online war history register has been made available providing residents the opportunity for online submissions.

Information including stories about war veterans, service animals, photos and more can be contributed as part of the consultation process.

Submissions will be cross-referenced with historical records before being utilised in the Anzac Park redevelopment.

Niche has undertaken work on a number of heritage projects, including work with local government.

Spokesperson Jane Austen said community consultation was a major part of the Anzac Park project.

“Our teams provide strategic advice and technical expertise to facilitate sustainable development and create positive outcomes for our environment, heritage and communities, and for our clients,” she said.

“We are engaged specifically to undertake the research and consultation to arrive at a set of topics and related stories to inform the development of memorials and commemorative elements/artworks.”

In addition to facilitating the community survey Niche is also responsible for engaging with local ex-service organisations and veteran groups.

Following an initial session in September, RSL Sub-Branch President Graham Crowden said he was looking forward to working with Council and the consultant to provide feedback on the project.

“ANZAC Park will provide a great expanse of commemorative space where we, the veterans of Bundaberg, on ANZAC Day and Remembrance Day in particular, will stand together to mourn the loss of friends and celebrate our own Service, the luck associated with returning to our families and the friends we brought home with us,” Mr Crowden said.

“Personally I believe that we’ve got the right people, these guys [Niche] really know what they’re doing, they’re good historians and they’ve obviously done this before.

“I’m looking forward to getting into the real consultation with regards to what’s going to be required by all three services [in the project’s design] to justify the name ANZAC Park.”

Access the project page and take part in the consultation process here.

Submissions close on December 16.

Bundaberg Rum Solera crowned Australia's best

Emma Turnbull

Bundaberg Rum Solera has been crowned Australia’s best rum at the Tasting Australia Spirit Awards.

With its rich flavour Bundaberg Rum Solera is crafted through a complex process to create a well-balanced premium spirit.

It has been awarded many accolades since it was first launched in 2015.

Bundaberg Rum Distillery Marketing Manager Duncan Littler said he believed Bundaberg Rum Solera was named Australia’s best rum because of its intricate flavours.

“Solera is an outstanding premium rum with great complexity, it is expressive, has appealing intensity and is complemented by an extended and enjoyable finish,” Duncan said.

“We are absolutely thrilled that Bundaberg Rum Solera has been awarded the accolade of Best Rum at the Tasting Australia Spirit Awards in 2022, and also very proud that this premium rum has previously been crowned the World’s Best Dark Rum at the World Rum Awards in London.

“Clearly it is not only Australian rum fans who think this is an incredible drop.

“It is great to see that rum fans from around the world also believe that some of the world’s great dark rum is made here in Bundaberg.”

This year’s Tasting Australia Spirit Awards attracted 328 spirits from 77 distillers across the nation, which was the highest number of entries and distillers to the awards since inception.

Bundaberg Rum Solera well-balanced drink

Duncan said he was proud of the achievement, and Bundaberg Rum Solera was the perfect drop for a number of reasons.

“The delicate flavour notes in Solera are not only delicious and well balanced, but something I love about this rum is that it really showcases the exceptional and highly crafted process that has been utilised to develop this outstanding liquid,” he said.

“Bundaberg Rum Solera has been crafted via a fractional blending and maturation process using rich port, sweet sherry and full-bodied bourbon barrels.

“This complex process enables us to create a complex, yet incredibly well-balanced premium rum that tastes incredible neat or over a little ice.”

In addition to bringing home the top rum accolade for Bundaberg Rum Solera, the team at Bundaberg Rum were also very proud to have been awarded medals at the Tasting Australia Spirit Awards for Bundaberg Rum Blender’s Edition, Small Batch Silver Reserve and Small Batch Spiced.

It follows on from the recently-launched Bundaberg Alcoholic Lemon Lime and Bitters.

Pets blessed at Burnett Heads

Georgia Neville

Three guinea pigs named Pyrus, Mystic and Jacob were part of a crowd of 12 animals blessed by St John the Divine Anglican Church in Burnett Heads recently for its annual Pet Blessing Service.

On Saturday 1 October the congregation welcomed 27 enthusiastic visitors who brought along nine dogs and the guinea pigs.

The service was led by Mother Kate Ross, Assistant Priest, Anglican Parish of Bundaberg and included a reading from a sermon of St Francis, the Patron Saint of the environment and animals.

Parish Councillor Neil Phythian said the event was a great way to engage different people while involving their pets in the service and celebrating family.

“The event is important because people engage with the church in a new way because they are bringing their pets to church,”” Neil said.

“Pets are members of our families and this is a special and unique way to celebrate the love of family.

“All the animals were well behaved and enjoyed the attention.

“Afternoon tea was provided, and each animal received a tasty treat and a blessing certificate.”

Church Warden Jo Leveritt said the pet blessing was open to the entire community, held annually at Burnett Heads.

“It is important for the church to find intersections where faith and real life meet,” Jo said.

“The Pet Blessing Service held annually at St John the Divine Anglican Church at Burnett Heads is one of those intersections, connecting people in a unique way.

“Open to the whole community, events such as this are advertised on the Anglican Parish of Bundaberg’s social media platforms and through community networks.”

Hilary Reed, who brought her champion show guinea pigs called Pyrus, Mystic and Jacob, said she enjoyed being involved.

“The blessing service was a delightful afternoon in the outdoors and a wonderful opportunity to thank God for the gift of animals,” she said.

At the conclusion of the service a collection was held to benefit local animal rescue organisation Red Collar Rescue.

This included a donation from the St John's Ladies Guild.

You can find out more about the parish here.

Get loud with Quota Bundaberg for deaf children

Emma Turnbull

Put on your loudest shirt and make some noise as Quota Bundaberg hosts a Loud Shirt Lunch to support children with hearing loss and their families.

Quota Club of Bundaberg publicity officer Jas Haster said the Loud Shirt Lunch would help the Hear and Say Centre provide early intervention to children with hearing loss.

Quota Bundaberg has been helping disadvantaged local women, children, hearing impaired persons and others for more than three decades.

Jas said for children with hearing loss getting the support they needed as early as possible would give them the best chance of minimising the long-term effects of their diagnoses, while also helping them reach their full potential later in life.

“Every year we encourage the Bundaberg community to get loud and support Loud Shirt Day,” Jas said.

“Swapping your usual shirt for a bright and bold shirt can go a long way.”

The Hear and Say Centre is Queensland’s specialised provider of audiology and speech pathology for all people with hearing loss. 

Jas said Loud Shirt Day was an opportunity for the community to wear its brightest clothes to raise money and help give the gift of sound and speech to deaf and and hearing-impaired children.

“This year, Loud Shirt Day will fall on 21 October and Quota Bundaberg will hold a fundraising lunch on Sunday 23 October at the Young Australia Hotel,” she said.

“There will be prizes for best dressed as well as a multi-prize draw to help raise money for children with hearing loss.”

To book a seat at Quota Club of Bundaberg’s Loud Shirt Lunch or if you would like information on joining Quota contact Jas on 0427 369 139.

What's on

Turtles showcased for Milbi Festival

Georgia Neville

Learning more about the sea turtles that call the region home will be a major feature in the upcoming 2022 Milbi Festival program, with plenty of opportunity to participate in workshops and activities.

Turtle-y Interactive and Turtle Hour are two free events that will highlight what the community can do to help protect the turtle species.

Turtle-y Interactive is an informative session where guests will hear from Dr Col Limpus, Chief Scientific Officer at the Department of Environment and Science, to find out all about the turtles that come back to the coastline each year.

Turtle Hour encourages residents to turn off their lights in support of Bundaberg Regional Council’s Reducing Urban Glow initiative, aiming to spread awareness about the negative impact artificial light has on nesting sea turtles and hatchlings.

Council’s Arts, Culture and Event portfolio spokesperson Cr John Learmonth said these events were a fantastic way to learn more about the species and ensure as a community, everyone was doing their part.

“The great thing about the Milbi Festival is the broad range of events on offer,” Cr Learmonth said.

“In particular, events such as Turtle-y Interactive and Turtle Hour provide us the opportunity to think carefully about what we can do to help the species.

“As a community we can come together to gain further understanding about why our region is so special and how our turtles continue to shape our wonderful ecosystem and environment.”

Turtle-y Interactive

Mon Repos supports the largest concentration of nesting marine turtles on the eastern Australian mainland and has the most significant loggerhead turtle nesting populations in the South Pacific Region.

Learn from Dr Col Limpus, Chief Scientific Officer at the Department of Environment and Science.

Hear about the unique journey marine turtles embark on from nesting to hatchling and the battle to survive in the big blue.

Admission is free.

Register your attendance today.

Event details:
When: Monday 31 October 2022
Time: 11 am to noon
Where: Moncrieff Entertainment Centre, Bourbong Street, Bundaberg

Turtle Hour

Residents and businesses are called on to flick the switch during Turtle Hour in support of the turtles for which the Bundaberg Region is world-renowned.

Anyone interested in being part of the annual event can easily get involved. Simply turn off your lights from 7 pm to 8 pm on 1 November.

To find out more about the ecological significance of turtles nesting in our region and how you can track light glow in our region, visit www.knowyourglow.com.au.

Event details:
Date: Monday 31 October 2022
Time: 7 pm to 8 pm
Where: Bundaberg Homes and Businesses
Cost: Free

Take part in Milbi Dreaming Stone Painting

Emma Turnbull

Local children will be immersed in the story of a turtle’s journey from Mon Repos when they take part in Milbi Dreaming Stone Painting.

First Nations artist and Wattle Woman owner Lili Jacobsen will teach children the significance of visual storytelling during the event as a part of this year’s Milbi Festival.

Lili said she was excited to share her knowledge with the community’s younger generation during the annual festival.

“We are going to be doing something creative, and promote arts in our community, by using the dreaming stones,” Lili said.

“We are going to be telling the story of the journey of Milbi the turtle down to Mon Repos.

“It will be very simple for the kids – it’s a really good way to connect and tell the story.”

Growing up in the Bundaberg Region Lili believes sharing the connection to Country with the community is important.

“It’s so important to connect with our local area, connect with the stories and specifically connect to nature,” she said.

“It’s really important to understand how special we have it here.

“We are really lucky here on the coast and its really good to involve the kids.”

Council’s Arts, Culture and Events portfolio spokesperson Cr John Learmonth said Milbi Dreaming Stone Painting would give children the chance to learn about and paint the journey of local turtles.

He said there would be four Milbi Dreaming Stone Painting events held at Bundaberg Regional Art Gallery Park over two days during the Milbi Festival.

“This is a great opportunity to teach children of our community the significance of visual storytelling,” Cr Learmonth said.

“By telling the story of Milbi and its journey to our local Mon Repos beach the children will learn a greater understanding of nature.”

To find out more about this year's Milbi Festival click here.

Milbi Dreaming Stone Painting details

Date: Saturday 29 October and Saturday 5 November

Time: 10 am to 11.30 am and noon to 1.30 pm both days

Location: Bundaberg Regional Art Gallery Park, 1 Barolin Street

Cost: $10 (five to 18 years)

To book click here.

Got You Covered library column

Family Fishing Classic to return to Lake Monduran

Georgia Neville

Keen anglers are being encouraged to take part in the Tackle World Bundaberg Lake Monduran Family Fishing Classic this month, with plenty of prizes up for grabs.

The event will take place on Saturday 22 October and Sunday 23 October with $1000 on the line for the biggest barra and biggest bass caught.

Secretary of Monduran Anglers and Stocking Association Amy Warmington said the event was taking registrations right up until its launch.

“We are looking forward to seeing as many people as possible head up to the lake for the weekend,” Amy said.

“You can still register for the event in person at Tackle World Bundaberg and in person on the weekend of the competition at Lake Monduran.”

Amy said the event would have something for everyone, with prizes on offer for those fishing and those who don’t.

“You don’t have to fish to win any of the prizes so you can actually register, get your ticket, come up and be in the chance to win any of the lucky draw prizes and raffles,” Amy said.

“We also have major prizes at the end of the weekend and one of them includes a boat and motor package, thanks to Adrian’s Marine Centre.”

Amy said the event was a great outing for the entire family, with a number of activities available for children.

“It is a family-friendly event and there will be activities for the kids,” Amy said.

“We have got coloured barramundi that will be placed around the dam and kids will receive tickets for how many they find and go in a lucky draw. “

“There is also a kids casting competition and plenty kids lucky draw prizes as well.”

Amy said there would be a range of food and beverage options at the lake throughout the weekend.

“We will have food and coffee vans at the lake during the weekend,” she said.

“One of the sports fishing clubs that are coming up will also do ordering for breakfast, so you can pre order the breakfast and they’ll cater for those who have ordered.”

You can find out more about the upcoming event here.

Registration costs are:

Adults – $30

Children (Under 16) – $5