Burdekin Region Entertainment News

Local Couples To ‘Take The Floor’

Local Couples To ‘Take The Floor’

The Ayr Surf Life Saving Club is proud to present Take The Floor 2024! This year, the club is inviting you back to the ‘Roaring 20s’ for a fantastic night out with friends. Take The Floor will be at the Memorial Hall on Saturday April 20 and will be hosting a live band 'Godfathers of Funk' to help add to the atmosphere along with the four couples for the evening. Couple Number 1: Mick Fraser and Shirley Marshall Recently engaged and living at Alva with their 3 boys, Mick and Shirley are ready

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Entries Open For 2024 Ephemera

Entries Open For 2024 Ephemera

Home Hill’s signature sculpture festival, the Canefields Ephemera, is back for 2024 and the Home Hill Chamber of Commerce is inviting all interested artists, schools, organisations or groups of fellow artists to be involved. The much loved and anticipated annual event is now in its seventh year and has continued to grow to its current standing as an outdoor sculpture exhibition which is sure to impress local and state artists exhibiting works. ‘Ephemera’ is defined by something that exists or i

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They Will Rock You Australia's Premier Queen Tribute Show Coming To The Burdekin

They Will Rock You Australia's Premier Queen Tribute Show Coming To The Burdekin

Following a hugely successful 2023 sell-out tour, Queen tribute act Bohemian Rhapsody are returning in 2024, bringing a set of the British rock band’s ‘Greatest Hits’ to the Burdekin Theatre alongside some of the most popular songs from their albums. Australia's longest running Queen tribute, performing since 1993, Bohemian Rhapsody stars the internationally acclaimed Thomas Crane and returns in 2024 with their brand new show, ‘Made In Heaven’. Prepare to be transported back in time as the grou

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April 4, 2024

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March 27, 2024

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March 21, 2024

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March 14, 2024

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A Room Full Of Infinite Love Laurie’s Love Gala Ball 2024

March 14, 2024

Caption: Photo credit: Sam Gillespie

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International Women's Day Breakfast At Burdekin Christian College

March 14, 2024

Caption: Photos supplied: Burdekin Christian College

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March 7, 2024

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February 29, 2024

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February 22, 2024

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Special Guests Excited To Mentor North Queensland’s Talent

February 22, 2024

The NQ Fast Track Talent Showcase is around the corner, and no one is more excited than the two special guests for 2024, Taylor Henderson and Ethan Beckton.

The two talented artists will not only perform live at the final showcase, but also attend a workshop with performers prior to them taking the stage.

Having both participated in television talent competitions, Taylor and Ethan know how much a talent showcase can mean for someone’s career.

Growing up in regional Victoria, Taylor Henderson was inspired by his father to perform music.

“He was always playing and singing around the house which sparked something,” Taylor said.

“As I got a bit older, I started to love guitar more, I started to play guitar and it was something that really spoke to me.”

Taylor and his father entered Australia’s Got Talent in 2010 when he was just 16, going on to appear on X Factor when he was 20 where he said his career really started, and he has since signed to a record label, released numerous albums, and toured the country.

“It was just a crazy experience,” he laughed.

“I’d just picked up a guitar, hadn’t had much experience, never had a lesson, I was just figuring out what I liked and having fun with it.”

Having recently played sold out shows in Queensland, Taylor will return to the Burdekin in March for the NQ Fast Track Talent Showcase which he said is a great opportunity for young performers to hone their craft.

“It’s a great place for you to get up and figure out what you’re like on stage,” he said.

“It’s a great chance to get out there, put something out that you feel confident in and that you’re excited to share with everyone.

“It’s a great opportunity for anyone to get up there, have a crack, see how you go and see if it’s for you, because it can be such an exciting career.”

Ethan had a similar journey, playing music and performing on the New South Wales Central Coast since he was 14.

Ethan went on The Voice in 2023 and made the grand final which he said really kick started his career.

“Being on The Voice, it opened my eyes to what the music industry is like at a higher level,” he said.

“It gave me a lot of industry perspective and knowledge and gave me the confidence to be able to pursue that.”

Ethan looks forward to using his experience on The Voice and contributing it to the NQ Fast Track Talent Showcase in March.

“For young artists, it’s a really great opportunity to put your foot in the door of the industry, see what it’s like and put your talent out there,” he said.

“Being on The Voice, I got coached and mentored, so I’m looking forward to do a similar thing from the coach and mentor perspective.

“I’m really excited to come up there and see all the crazy talent you have in the Burdekin.”

Open to every talent genre and age group, the NQ Fast Track Talent Showcase offers performers the chance to be mentored by talent scouts and special guests in a unique and fun stage experience.

The showcase will be split into 2-3 heats held from 10am on the morning of Saturday, March 16 with the top 20 performers from the heats to head into the Grand Final Showcase at 7pm that evening where over $5,000 cash and prizes are up for grabs.  

Special guest judges will also perform live during the final showcase.

To register for the showcase, email burdekin@fasttracktalent.com.au for more information.

Visit www.burdekintheatre.com.au to purchase tickets to attend the showcase as an audience member.

Caption 1: Ethan Beckton

Caption 2: Taylor Henderson

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February 15, 2024

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Get Ready For Footy Season With Local Footy History Book

February 15, 2024

The Burdekin boasts a remarkable rugby league history, with close to 20 internationals playing in the local competitions between the 1920s and 1980s, with this history and more captured in the book ‘A Short History of the Ayr, Home Hill and Burdekin Rugby Leagues’ which was written by rugby league historian Martin Grandelis and published in 2022.

Mr Grandelis grew up in the Burdekin in the 1960s in the heyday of rugby league in the Burdekin district.

From the great rivalries between clubs to the excitement of Foley Shield matches at Rugby Park, the book reflects on great memories for players, administrators and supporters.

“As a kid growing up in Parkside in the 1960s, Rugby Park was the place to be, particularly on Foley Shield days,” Mr Grandelis told QRL before the book was launched in 2022.

He said he was inspired to chronicle the history of rugby league in the district through the pages of a new book, and recalled how clubs were fertile hunting grounds for recruiters as well as big name southern players who came north as coaches for club and Foley Shield teams.

“The history of rugby league in the Burdekin district is such a fascinating and at times turbulent story,” he said.

“Ayr Football League formed following a break from the Lower Burdekin Rugby Football Union which saw matches of rugby league in Ayr from 1916 with Natives, Rainbows, Hornets and possibly Ramblers the foundation clubs.

“Across the river the Home Hill Football League was formed shortly afterwards and by the early 1920s, four clubs in Zambucks (named after a famous ointment), Osborne, Cities and Iyah made up a senior and junior competition”.

Over 760 pages, the book tells of controversies, club and representative matches, grand finals, recollections of players, referees and administrators, immortalising more than 350 stories on the page.

‘A Short History of the Ayr, Home Hill and Burdekin Rugby Leagues’ by Martin Grandelis is available to borrow from Burdekin Libraries in Ayr and Home Hill.

Rugby league historian Martin Grandelis. Photo supplied: QRL

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The Tale Of The Burdekin Night Writers

February 15, 2024

There are many groups throughout the Burdekin offering residents the opportunity to pursue and develop their creative pursuits, and one of these is the Burdekin Night Writers, a vibrant online writing group with roots dating back to 2007.

Founded by the visionary Cherelle Murphy, the group initially convened at her residence for a remarkable 15 years.

In 2019, facing the challenge of Cherelle's move to palliative care, the group seamlessly transitioned online to ensure her continued participation.

Even after Cherelle's passing, the Night Writers persevered, using messenger platforms to connect every fortnight, each session revolving around a carefully crafted prompt.

Tracy Liotis, a member since 2019, said the aim of the group is to improve each member's writing skills through group input, critique and discussion.

More than just a writing group, the Night Writers provide a space for collaboration and skill development.

“Being around other creative people seems to up your own creativity,” Tracy said.

“With the amount of technology and things like that, a lot of these skills are getting lost and if we don’t try and keep them going at a community level, where will people learn and practise?”

Tracy loves to write short stories, and other members specialise in non-fiction or poetry, but the group is also fertile ground for cultivating manuscripts and novels.

Current and former members have not only published works but also earned accolades in story writing competitions across Queensland.

The ‘Burdekin Creative Writers’ 2023 anthology, featuring contributions from Burdekin Night Writers and its sister group Burdekin Creative Writers, is available at the Burdekin Library in both Ayr and Home Hill.

Aspiring writers and literary enthusiasts are invited to join the Burdekin Night Writers and Burdekin Creative Writers.

Burdekin Night Writers meet fortnightly on a Tuesday evening from 7:00pm while Burdekin Creative Writers meet monthly on a Wednesday morning.

Email Burdekinnightwriters2023@outlook.com for more information.

Burdekin Night Riders would meet every fortnight to discuss their work before meetings moved online. Photo supplied

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The Little Mermaid; Showing At The Burdekin Theatre Now

February 8, 2024

Talk of the town right now, The Little Mermaid theatre production is charming audiences from across the region. With successful shows behind them and more to come this weekend, this high-quality local masterpiece is one to watch.


The Little Mermaid

Opening Weekend

Burdekin Singers & Theatre Company took audiences ‘Under the Sea’ as its production of Disney’s The Little Mermaid opened at Burdekin Theatre on Friday, February 2.

The local production was the product of months of preparation from local performers, crew and volunteers.

“I want to commend Burdekin Singers for their production of Disney’s The Little Mermaid – opening weekend was incredible and demonstrates the world-class talent we have in our beautiful, bountiful Shire,” said Burdekin Mayoral Candidate Lyn McLaughlin.

“It takes a lot to stage a production of this calibre: from the sets which were constructed by a dedicated team of builders and painted by some of our local artists, to the choreography, costuming, singing, and acting – immeasurable volunteer hours have been put into this show alone, which is testament to the passion and dedication of cast and crew.”

The Little Mermaid continues at the Burdekin Theatre this weekend with shows on February 9, 10 and 11.

Visit www.burdekintheatre.com.au for more information and tickets.

Photos supplied

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Dive Under The Sea With The Burdekin Singers And Theatre Company

January 25, 2024

A magical story of finding true love, Hans Christian Andersen’s classic animated film, Disney’s The Little Mermaid, has been transformed into a beautiful musical the Burdekin can enjoy under the talents of The Burdekin Singers and Theatre Company and community members this February.

The tale begins in a magical deep-sea kingdom where a young mermaid, Ariel, dreams of leaving her ocean home to live in the world above. With the help of her comedic companions, Flounder, Scuttle, and of course Sebastian, her journey becomes a heartwarming quest to find true love as a mermaid in a world full of humans.

With this lovable production live in the Burdekin Theatre from next week, the Burdekin Singers and Theatre Company along with volunteers, community support, and sponsors, have been working tirelessly to polish off what is set to be one of their best shows yet with audiences set to be blown away.

The Theatre Company’s production team is comprised of wonderful members of the Burdekin community who have generously given their time, knowledge, and skills to contribute to the overall success of this musical. Although The Little Mermaid has been produced by The Burdekin Singers and Theatre Company, President Lawrence Polga, advises this production stands as a whole community event, and we’re extremely lucky to live amongst such generosity.

“There are a lot of different people that have contributed in various ways, poured their knowledge, and hard work forward to help the Burdekin Singers in bringing this production alive,” expressed Lawrence.

With the beautiful sets and props carefully coming together under the watchful eye of Burdekin artists, Monica Licciardello has been directing a lively band of musicians comprised of young and experienced members from the Burdekin and surrounding communities. The opportunities presented to young musicians to be part of a live theatre production is something to be celebrated, and audiences will have the chance to experience their hard work and talents at the Burdekin Theatre next week.

The choreography team for The Little Mermaid production also includes the company’s young, rising stars with guidance from experienced members to create captivating performances in each scene. The production’s director, Pat Nuttall oversees each aspect of the show in each stage to ultimately produce a magical experience for audiences to enjoy.

The Burdekin Singers and Theatre Company’s junior productions have encouraged many young members to dive further into the world of theatre. In comparison to previous years, the audience can expect to see many more junior performers on the Burdekin Theatre’s stage in The Little Mermaid, which additionally stands as something to be celebrated across the community.

After the conclusion of the Burdekin Singers and Theatre Company’s 2023 largely sold our season of Shrek, chatter had begun into what the talented organization should take on next. After viewing which productions are available, the company took into consideration the musicals best suited to the Burdekin community as well as how they will adapt the production to reflect the magical talents of each person involved in the organisation. The Burdekin Singers and Theatre Company’s President, Lawrence Polga, assured this production will bring the mystical aura of the deep blue ocean to life in a new and unique way for audiences to enjoy.

“Bringing the dream alive in a different way was something we saw as an advantage with The Little Mermaid in the way of making the whole experience of feeling under the sea, as well as putting it across to the audience as a story book event,” explained Lawrence.

The magical approach the Burdekin Singers and Theatre Company have taken to the direction of The Little Mermaid will prove to be celebrated from their opening night on Friday, February 2. This production would not have been possible if not for the Burdekin community’s support, and the Burdekin Singers and Theatre Company wishes to express their immense thanks and gratitude and invites you all to sit back and enjoy this wonderful, under the sea experience next week.

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Relive The Magic Of CCR

January 25, 2024

Carter Entertainment invites you to a night of Creedence Clearwater Revival and John Fogerty at the Burdekin Theatre this February.  

Celebrating the music of one of the world’s most iconic bands– from the songs they wrote, to the songs covered, to the songs they wrote for others.

From their debut album in 1968 to their last album in 1972, Creedence Clearwater Revival was a juggernaut of phenomenal proportions.

No other band has created such an impact in such a short time.  

There's something about Creedence Clearwater’s music that just makes you want to put your arms in the air and sing along.

With their rootsy sound and incredible lyrics, CCR has produced some of the most unforgettable songs of all time: Have You Ever Seen the Rain, Fortunate Son and Bad Moon Rising are only a few of their iconic hits.

The Creedence Clearwater Collective brings to the stage a band that captures the unique CCR sound.

You do not want to hear through the grapevine that you missed out on this fun, hit-packed live concert.  

Join Creedence Clearwater Collective at Burdekin Theatre on Thursday, February 15.  

Please note: This is a tribute show.

WHAT: Creedence Clearwater Collective  

WHEN: Thursday, February 15 from 7.30pm  

WHERE: Burdekin Theatre

TICKETS: www.burdekintheatre.com.au

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January 4, 2024
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December 20, 2023
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A North Queensland Summer Holiday Things To Do In The Beautiful Burdekin

December 20, 2023

With summer well and truly upon us, most of us are enjoying everything the holidays has to offer. This often includes hosting visiting family and friends, entertaining the kids, or simply finding yourself with a bit of extra time on your hands. From the emerald fields of sugarcane to the magnetic allure of the Burdekin Bridge, the Burdekin beckons explorers to uncover a treasure trove of natural wonders and vibrant experiences. Whether you’re a traveller passing through, in town visiting family or you’re a local looking for something to do, consider these activities this summer.

Comb The Beaches

Nothings says summer like a day at the beach and the Burdekin is the gateway to plenty of stunning beaches. 20 minutes north of Ayr, Lynch’s Beach at Alva provides a relaxed location perfect for unwinding and exploring. At low tide, Alva makes for excellent exploring, with hundreds of solider crabs, endless shells and an abundance of birdlife. Outer sand bars create inshore lagoon areas popular amongst kitesurfers, paddle boarders and anglers. For those wanting to experience a truly secluded beach, Wunjunga Beach features 14km of coastline and a small community of permanent residents, holiday homes and beach huts. Located 35km south of Home Hill, Wunjunga is accessed by a bitumen and dirt road which travels through a cattle property and is a haven for local wildlife. 30km south of Home Hill in the Whitsunday region is Cape Upstart, a secluded national park accessible only by boat. Crystal clear waters, running fresh water streams and waterfalls from the mountain tops contribute to the serenity of the area which is dotted with holiday homes.

Climb Mount Inkerman

Mount Inkerman offers breathtaking panoramic views across the cane fields and paddocks of the Burdekin region. Experience the Burdekin's rich agricultural land and iconic Burdekin River from the district's best vantage point, just a short 10 minute drive south of Home Hill.

The Mount Inkerman Nature Trail, a well maintained but moderately challenging bushwalk, weaves up the mountain and will take approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes to complete. The mountain’s peak can also be accessed via a sealed road. Atop the mountain you’ll discover the Rotary lookout, a wealth of information on display about the significance to local indigenous tribes, BBQ facilities, picnic area, covered viewing decks, toilets and convenient parking.

Go Birdwatching

Lagoons scatter the Burdekin and are surrounded by cane and bushland, providing a paradise for a wide variety of birdlife. The Burdekin is a truly unique location for twitchers of all levels of experience. Pack the binoculars, camera and hat and go on an expedition of your own to one of the many birdwatching platforms, bird hides or habitats and enjoy a day in the outdoors while witnessing these curious creatures. Hot spots include Lilliesmere Lagoon, Nelson’s Lagoon, Groper Creek, Horseshoe Lagoon and Wongaloo/Cromarty Wetland.

Discover The History

Driving through the streets of the Burdekin, a particular charm to the architecture stands out. From the historic buildings found to the World War II history of Charlie’s Hill, the Burdekin was built on stories and there are plenty of opportunities for you to uncover them. The Gateway Visitor Information Centre, the former Home Hill Railway Station, tells the story of the Burdekin Bridge, or the ‘Silver Link’ as its affectionately known. You can find heritage buildings, memorials and monuments throughout the Burdekin, so take some time to learn about the rich history of the region.

Walk ‘The Silver Link’

Did you know the Burdekin Bridge is longer than the Sydney Harbour Bridge? A pedestrian walkway runs along the east side of the bridge and provides visitors with completely unobstructed views of the mighty Burdekin River. Pull off the highway on the Ayr side heading South, find a park near the stairs and walk up to the bridge access from there where you will find the pedestrian walkway onto the bridge and take on a truly unique Burdekin experience.

Make sure to make the most of your time these holidays and explore everything on your front door. For those taking the opportunity to travel, the Summer Holiday series will continue next edition with suggestions for ways to spend your holidays throughout north Queensland. Grab the January 4 edition of Burdekin Life to discover your next destination.

Alva Beach

Mount Inkerman

Charlie's Hill

‘The Silver Link’

Photos supplied

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Fast Track Fast Approaching

December 20, 2023

A spectacular showcase of local and visiting talent is coming to the Burdekin with Fast Track North Queensland 2024 fast approaching.  

This is the only Fast Track event in North Queensland featuring singers, dancers, musicians and more from across the state, taking place on March 16, 2024 at the Burdekin Theatre.  

Burdekin Shire Council Mayor Lyn McLaughlin said registrations for performers will open in early 2024, with limited spots available.

“It is fantastic to see a talent event of this scale right here in the Burdekin,” she said.

“In previous years performers have even travelled from interstate for the opportunity to take part in this fantastic event.

“Fast Track 2024 will boost our local economy and tourism, as we welcome visitors from near and far to enjoy our beautiful town as they participate in the showcase.

“This is a great opportunity for performers to bring along their entire family, there is something to see and do for everyone here in the Burdekin.  

“With over $5,000 of cash and prizes up for grabs and an opportunity of a lifetime, we are looking forward to welcoming the Fast Track scouts back to the Burdekin for another successful event.”

Fast Track 2024 is organised by the Burdekin Shire Youth Council and registrations open early in 2024.

For more information, email burdekin@fasttracktalent.com.au.

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Christmas Carols With Burdekin Catholic Parish

December 20, 2023

Photos supplied: Karen Keys

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Christmas Carols With Burdekin Uniting Church

December 20, 2023

Madison Magatelli Photography

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Rescue Pet Of The Week: Meet Bruce

December 13, 2023

Fast Facts:

Rehoming Fee: $450

DOB: 8/7/2020

Sex: Male

Breed: Kelpie Cross

Kid Friendly: Yes

Cat Friendly: Untested

Other Dogs: Yes

Fences: 6 Ft

This handsome smiley boy is Bruce, a fun-loving young man who loves going for walks and runs with his humans.

Immaculately house trained, Bruce walks well on his lead and knows his basic commands.

He loves splaying himself on cool tiles and loves roughhousing with his foster brothers.

Bruce is very food motivated and loves learning new tricks with treats.

He loves pats and any sort of attention and adores being in the company of his humans.

Bruce is very active and will need an active household to keep him stimulated and happy.

Bruce is desexed, micro-chipped, up to date on his vaccinations and is flea, tick and intestinal worm treated. Bruce is also on heartworm preventative.

To enquire about Bruce and schedule a meet and greet, complete and submit this form to Angel Paws:  https://www.angelpawsinc.com.au/forms.html

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Annual Community Christmas Carols Bring Festive Fun To The Burdekin

December 6, 2023

You’re invited to join the Burdekin Shire Council for a night of festive fun at the annual Community Christmas Carols on Sunday, December 10.  

This year, the event will be held at the Burdekin Touch Fields in MacMillan Street, opposite the touch clubhouse, from 5:30pm and is a free event for all to attend.  

“At this year’s Christmas Carols event you can expect a variety of food and drinks for sale, free face painting, a photo booth, a visit from Santa, and ending the night with a fireworks spectacular,” Burdekin Shire Council Mayor Lyn McLaughlin said.  

“There will also be local entertainment from The Burdekin Academy, Perform Music, Malia Ma’u and Uniting Church members and so much more.  

“The Carols are a great way to celebrate the spirit of Christmas and to bring the community together. We are very lucky to have such a strong supportive community.  

“The Carols are always a highlight of the festive season and I encourage everyone to come along and enjoy the evening.

“Whether you want to sing along to your favourite carols, watch the fireworks or just catch up with your friends, there is something for everyone at the Carols.  

“Remember to bring along a blanket and a chair, and we look forward to seeing you all there.”  

For more information phone Council’s Community Development Team on (07) 4783 9800.

WHAT: Community Christmas Carols

WHEN: Sunday, December 10 from 5:30pm

WHERE: Burdekin Touch Fields, MacMillan Street, Ayr

This is a free community event

Festive Fun at the Annual Community Christmas Carols

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Burdekin District Sportfishing Club Presentation Night

December 6, 2023

The Burdekin District Sportfishing Club celebrated a big year of big catches at their presentation night last Friday.

Many awards were presented across a variety of divisions and kids enjoyed a surprise visit from Santa while plans for 2024 were discussed amongst the club.

Join Burdekin District Sportfishing Club on Facebook for more information.

Results

Awards

Division Winner

Champion Angler Light Division (Senior Male) George McLees

Champion Angler Light Division (Senior Female) Simone Sutcliffe

Champion Angler Light Division (Junior Male) Rian Berryman

Champion Angler Light Division (Sub Jnr. Male) Kerby Brett

Champion Angler Heavy Division (Senior Male) Russell Sutcliffe

Champion Angler Heavy Division (Senior Female) Simone Sutcliffe

Champion Angler Heavy Division (Junior Male) Rian Berryman

Champion Angler Heavy Division (Sub Jnr. Male) Henry Sutcliffe

Champion Angler Heavy Division (Sub Jnr. Female) Ellie Sutcliffe

Champion Angler Open Division Patrick Brett

Champion Angler Junior Male Rian Berryman

Champion Angler Sub Jnr Male Kerby Brett

Champion Angler Sub Jnr Female Ellie Sutcliffe

Champion Angler – Runner Up Russell Sutcliffe

Weighmasters Encouragement Award Joshua Brett

Weighmasters Encouragement Award Isabelle Sutcliffe

Champion Female Angler Simone Sutcliffe

Champion Angler Overall George McLees

Wally Hicks Memorial (Threadfin Salmon) Laurie Brett (1.58kg on 3kg)

Bill Betteridge Memorial (Biggest Javelin) George McLees (2.26kg)

George Brett Memorial (Highest Points Fish – Heavy Division) Russell Sutcliffe (Mackerel Tuna - 2.28kg on 6kg)

Highest Points Scoring Fish

Line Class Winner

2kg Line Michael Berryman (0.9kg Mangrove Jack)

3kg Line Laurie Brett (1.58kg Threadfin Salmon)

4kg Line Patrick Brett (2.82kg Barramundi)

6kg Line Russell Sutcliffe (4.76kg Mack Tuna)

8kg Line Rian Berryman (2.6kg Batfish)

10kg Line Patrick Brett (2.96kg Threadfin Salmon)

15kg Line Russell Sutcliffe (4kg Gold Spot Cod)

Open Division Patrick Brett (2.18kg Coral Trout)

Most Meritorious Catch George McLees (Javelin – 2.26kg on 1kg)

L-R Kerby, Stephen, Laurie, Josh and Patrick Brett, Ryan Berryman, Russell, Ellie, Simone, Isabelle and Henry Sutcliffe, Michael Berryman and George McLees

Richard Berryman (Secretary) and Joshua Brett

Simone and Russell Sutcliffe (President)

Ron Berryman (Weighmaster), Richard Berryman, George McLees and Russell Sutcliffe

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Christmas Sale At Local Potters’ Club

November 29, 2023

The Burdekin Potters have been very busy the last couple of months, preparing for their Annual Christmas Sale.

A great range of locally crafted unique pottery gifts will be on offer for that “hard to buy for” or “someone special” for Christmas.

The local potters have certainly gone from strength to strength in the last few years, presently boasting a membership of almost 60.

Being very inclusive, their membership of both males and females range in age from 16 to mid-70’s.

The successful application of several grants has also seen the club expand its footprint recently, with more storage facilities in the works to cater for the growing membership.

Local potters from beginners to advanced will be showcasing a great and varied range of locally crafted pottery, all on sale for that last Christmas rush.  

The Pottery Club will be open this Sunday December 3 from 8:00am to 2:00pm to coincide with the Plantation Markets, as well as throughout the following week between 10:00am and 3:00pm, finishing on Saturday December 9.  

Drop in anytime you see the “Open” flag flying.  

Burdekin Potters are located behind the cafe in Plantation Park.

Contributed by Debbie Ferraris

Saraha, Judith and Matilda

Matilda and Debbie

Matilda and Judith

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Rescue Pet Of The Week: Meet Charlie

November 29, 2023

Fast Facts:

Rehoming Fee: $185

DOB: 19/06/2021

Sex: Male

Breed: Domestic Short Hair

Kid Friendly: Over 10 Years

Dog Friendly: Untested

Other Cats: Slow Introduction

Indoor/Outdoor: Indoors

While this boy is initially a little shy, he is very quick to warm up to his new home and humans. Charlie absolutely loves playing with anyone and anything, particular fetch with his very own ping pong ball, and as well running his claws down a scratching post and running through a tunnel.

No need for an alarm clock anymore, Charlie will be sure to wake you up demand head rubs and good belly scratches.

While he doesn’t love being picked up, he is quick to run through your legs, and even lay on you when watching a movie, and purring up a storm.

Charlie is desexed, microchipped, up to date on his vaccinations, and is flea, tick and worm treated.

To organise a meet and greet, complete and submit an animal enquiry form, https://www.angelpawsinc.com.au/forms.html.

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Sweet FM Takes Outside Broadcasting To New Heights

November 29, 2023

Sweet FM has improved its outside broadcast capabilities with the acquisition of new satellite technology.

Previously, the station would rely on mobile phone networks to broadcast from locations outside of the Home Hill studio.

“Typically, we’ve always used mobile phone coverage,” said Station Manager Charlie Scuderi.

“In this one particular location, the mobile phone system let us down.

“We were all set up to connect back to the studio and all of a sudden, we didn’t have enough bandwidth.

“Other people at this location said, ‘Why aren’t you using Starlink?’”

Starlink is a network of low earth orbit satellites launched by American spacecraft manufacturer and satellite communications company SpaceX intended to provide high-speed, low-latency broadband connectivity across the globe.

Starlink’s low earth orbit satellites orbit the planet at around 550km above Earth, while traditional satellites generally orbit at over 30,000km.

“Traditional satellites, while they’re fast, they have what’s called latency or response time, so by the time the signal gets out there and comes back to Earth, it makes it almost unusable for communications,” Mr Scuderi said.

“These low earth orbit satellites are brilliant because they’ve only got a relatively short distance to travel.

“It’s affordable and the speed is terrific.”

The new technology will allow Sweet FM to continue their dedicated history of broadcasting from locations and events throughout the region.

“Sweet FM has always been doing outside broadcasts and the gear keeps getting better making it easier to do,” Mr Scuderi said.

“This will give us the opportunity to do more outside broadcasts in more remote places.”

Sweet FM’s next outside broadcast will be on December 1 from the Christmas Lights party on the corner of Edwards and Darwin Streets, Ayr.

Email admin@sweetfm.com.au if you’re interested in Sweet FM broadcasting from your next event.

Sweet FM Station Manager Charlie Scuderi. Photo credit: Sam Gillespie

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Triple M Broadcasts From Brandon

November 29, 2023

As part of the show’s Tiny Towns Tour, Triple M’s The Rush Hour paid a visit to Brandon last week, broadcasting from the Iron Works Brewery on Thursday, November 23.

Brandon was the first stop on the tour which saw Townsville-based presenters AB and Elliot learn about local history and hear from local guests.

“We’re travelling around Queensland visiting the unsung hero towns, the ones that aren’t on the tourist maps, the ones with really small populations and short Wikipedia pages,” said AB.

“We spend a lot of time on air in the Burdekin, being close to Townsville, and Brandon was a town that we don’t think gets talked about enough.”

“The one thing we’ve noticed since doing our radio show, which broadcasts from Townsville all throughout the regions, is the callers from the regions are loose in the best possible way,” added Elliot.

“They’re fun, they’ve got the best stories and I think you’ll find that the smaller the towns are, the bigger the stories are.”

Elliot has been going on Tiny Towns Tours for the last year visiting towns across Queensland including Woodford, Biloela, Calliope and Weipa, and this was the first time AB came along for the ride.

Throughout the show, AB and Elliot invited local guests and heard local stories, including Mayor Lym McLaughlin who was put to the test on her knowledge of sugar products.

“We’re putting all the mayors to the test to see how well they know their towns,” said AB.

Meanwhile, Elliot was particularly intrigued by the story of the town’s namesake, Henry Brandon.

“I read about him for ages, he came over from the UK,” he said.

“The fact that he literally just subdivided a spot, wanted to put in a sugar mill and name the place after himself, I thought that was awesome.”

“We’re also going into the feuds between Brandon and Ayr in regards to which was going to be the main town outside of Townsville,” added AB.

“They were originally going to build the train track to here, but they decided to go to Ayr, so I think there’s always been a bit of animosity between the towns because of it.”

The Tiny Towns tour continued to Sarina, Clermont, Alpha and Longreach before wrapping up today in Muttaburra.

Triple M’s The Rush Hour producer Luke and presenters AB and Elliot

Burdekin Shire Council Mayor Lyn McLaughlin, Elliot, Mick the Canecutter and AB

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Rhythm Nation

November 29, 2023

Rhythm Edge Dance Studios took over Burdekin Theatre last weekend for two sold out Rhythm Nation dance concerts.

The shows saw the region’s dancing talent take to the stage, wowing crowds with a dazzling and professional production.

Photo credit: Keeara and Reece Photography

Rhythm Edge Dance Studios sold out two shows over the weekend

Acro students

Senior students

Junior and Inter students

Minis students

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Choral Society Travels Around The World In 20 Songs

November 23, 2023

After months of dedicated writing and rehearsal, the Home Hill Choral Society is preparing to take audiences ‘Around the World in 20 Songs’ with their new show ‘All Things Folk’ debuting next month.

The show is written and directed by Erin Brennan who felt inspired on a drive home from Townsville one day.

“I heard a folk music radio station and it was really great and really stirring,” she said.

“We’ve got folk songs from Australia, Italy, Ireland, and Scotland, a bit of everything.

“We weave songs into the show and try and do them traditionally and interweave little skits and fun puns in between.”

The cast have been rehearsing for almost two months and Erin said it usually takes her three to four weeks to write a show before coming together with Musical Director Cheryl Platt.

“I’m constantly reading books and getting ideas,” she said.

“I then share it with Cheryl, and we come together for the music.”

The Choral Society will be performing four shows with two already sold out.

Tickets are still available for shows on Saturday, December 2 and Friday, December 8.

“Everyone likes to come and sit back, relax and forget about their troubles for a couple of hours,” Erin said.

“If we make a mistake, they laugh with us, not at us.

“Don’t miss out, this is the last show of the year.”

To book tickets, contact Erin on 0428 822 091.

The Home Hill Choral Society has been active since 1931.

Following the four shows, the Choral Society will join the Burdekin Uniting Church and Burdekin Brass Band for Christmas Carols in the Park on Sunday, December 17.

WHAT: The Home Hill Choral Society Presents Around the World in 20 Songs: All Things Folk

WHEN: December 2, 3, 8 and 9

WHERE: The Vault, 93 Eighth Avenue, Home Hill

TICKETS: $35, contact Erin on 0428 822 091

The cast of Around the World in 20 Songs: All Things Folk

Writer and Director Erin Brennan and Musical Director Cheryl Platt

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McHappy Day In The Burdekin

November 23, 2023

The Burdekin turned on its charitable spirit last weekend with people donning their Silly Socks and Helping Hands for McHappy Day, the largest annual fundraiser for Ronald McDonald House Charities.

McHappy Day helps seriously ill and injured children and their families stay together while receiving medical care in a nearby hospital.

“Every year, we are blown away by the generosity of our customers who dig deep for McHappy Day and help us raise much needed funds for Ronald McDonald House Charities,” said Licensee for McDonald’s Ayr Paul Rissman

“The funds raised will go directly towards helping Ronald McDonald House Charities continue to make a real difference to the lives of seriously ill or injured children and their families across Australia.”

Burdekin Shire Council Mayor Lyn McLaughlin and Councillors Kaylee Boccalatte and John Furnell

Mayor Lyn McLaughlin and Councillor John Furnell

East Ayr State School held a fundraising pyjama day last week before school captains proudly took donations on the day

Local emergency services also got in on the fundraising fun

Photos supplied

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Rescue Pet of the Week: Meet Zeus

November 23, 2023

Fast Facts:

Rehoming fee: $545

DOB: 25/08/2020

Sex: Male

Breed: Border Collie Cross

Kid Friendly: Yes

Cat Friendly: Untested

Other Dogs: Yes

Fences: 5ft

If you’re looking for a ball of energy to join your home, look no further than Zeus. Intelligent and energetic, Zeus is a boy who loves a day of fun, from daily walks to playing with his toys.

A quick leaner, Zeus is always eager for a play, however he does occasionally forget his manners. When playing fetch, he often forgets to return the ball to his human, and the game of catch is on!

Still learning, Zeus is in training to not jump up on people and he loves playing tug-of-war, so he would be best suited to a family with older kids.

Zeus is also a great alarm, being able to give early warning when the family home is about to receive a guest and give pre-emptive barks.

Zeus is desexed and microchipped, up to date on his vaccinations, and is flea, tick, intestinal worm treated, and on heartworm preventative.

To organise a meet and greet, complete the animal enquiry here: https://www.angelpawsinc.com.au/forms.html

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Celebration Of Excellence At BCHS Academic Awards

November 23, 2023

Burdekin Catholic High School hosted annual Academic Awards on the night of Monday November 13.  Students, staff, parents and special guests gathered to celebrate the academic achievements of Year 12 students.  This significant ceremony acknowledges the hard work and dedication of their students throughout the year, not only academically but also as leaders withing the school and wider community. It also marked a significant milestone – 13 years of schooling. The evening was a proud and well-deserved acknowledgment for both the students and their families.

Major award recipients include:

Leo Previtera Award for Vocational Excellence – Charlotte Dal Santo

Ayr Rotary Club – Norm Perry Community Spirit Bursary – Sharlie Archibald

Ayr Rotary Club – Tertiary Education Bursary – Logan Flanagan

JCU Rising Star Scholarship – Tia Sorohan

The James Cook University Shield – Lily Thomason

The Year 12 Award for Outstanding Cultural Contribution – Faith Taylor

Ampol Best All Rounder – Kiel Keryk

CQU Award – Lachlan Cambruzzi

Br Lawrie McCane Fellowship Award – Benjamin Smail

RACI Qld Excellence in Chemistry – Logan Flanagan and Brigitte Davies

Townsville Catholic Education Deus Caritas Est Award – Brayden Rennie

ADF Long Tan Leadership and Teamwork Award – Brigitte Davies

ADF Future Innovators Award – Cameron Keys

Dawson Medal for Leadership – Isabella Moloney

Hansen Shield for Outstanding Leadership and Character – Brigitte Davies

Contributed by Burdekin Catholic High School

Charlotte Dal Santo

Sharlie Archibald

Logan Flanagan

Tia Sorohan

Lily Thomasson

Faith Taylor

Thomas Davies, Kiel Keryk and Benjamin Smail

Lachlan Cambruzzi

Brigitte Davies and Logan Flanagan

Brayden Rennie

Cameron Keys

Isabella Moloney

Shae Munro

Caitlin McDonnell

Photos supplied: Burdekin Catholic High School

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Burdekin Fashion On The Fields

November 16, 2023

The Burdekin Race Club pulled all the stops at their most recent race day, with an exciting Fashions on the Field culminating the event.

Lady of the Turf, Trendsetter and Man of the Turf fashion winners for the 2023 Burdekin Race Club Just Scott Memorial Derby Day. Photo credit: Saskia Photography

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Wearable Art Constructed By Students

November 16, 2023

Making Waves On Centre Stage

Two East Ayr State School students have participated in the coveted Australia Wearable Art Creative 2023 PSOE event, which is also part of the Festival of the Arts.

Year 6 students Savannah and Zenniece, with their teacher Mrs Nash, travelled to the event in Townsville in August to showcase two wearable art costumes, designed and constructed by East Ayr State School students.

Perfectly rehearsing their walk on Friday and Saturday, the girls modelled in the event on Saturday night.

During a 20-minute intermission, members of the public were welcome to meet with the girls, view the costumes up close and personal and ask questions.

Both girls were confident showcasing their costumes, took photos with community members and explained the significance of their costumes and how they were made.

Savannah and Zenniece were excited and thankful for the opportunity to showcase the costumes that were made by students from their school, as well as step out of the comfort zone, build their confidence and represent East Ayr State School.

Wearable Art Creatives is an organisation which aims to grow and promote wearable art as innovation and a creative form of expression.

East Ayr State School students Savannah and Zenniece showcasing wearable art in August. Photos supplied

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Poised And Chic - $85 And Under At Tasha’s

November 16, 2023

Close to 10 years ago, an opportunity arose for Tasha Smith, something that she could not pass up, and she has been reaping the benefits ever since.

12 years ago, Tasha accepted a job in a Burdekin boutique, a shop she fell in love with and two years later when the offer came up for her to purchase the business, she couldn’t turn it down.

A thriving boutique, Tasha’s Top Shop has continued to serve the women of the Burdekin, with every style, every size, and for every event.

“My mantra is that absolutely everything is $85 or under,” Tasha explained.

“There are not very many boutiques that you can just walk into and be able to pay under $85 for a great dress or a pair of shoes.”

A bargain for an extensive range, from coastal chic, rustic rural, lovely linen, and your next race dress or favourite pair of sandals, there is something everyone will love and cherish in their wardrobe.

“We have great pieces that will elevate your looks, great everyday pieces that are comfortable and fashionable,” Tasha said.

And coming into February 2024, Tasha and Tasha’s Top Shop are celebrating a massive 10 years in business, and everyone is welcome to the party.

Watch this space to hear more about the celebration!

Tasha’s Top Shop is open is open Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm, and Saturday 9am to 12.30pm, and with a comprehensive online shopfront, Tasha is keeping her customers dressed best, no matter the hour. Visit now at 93 Queen Street or online at tashastopshop.com.au.

The beautiful shopfloor of Tasha’s Top Shop. Photo supplied

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Home Hill Harvest Festival

November 16, 2023

Grand Parade And Street Party

Over 3,000 people lined Eighth Avenue last Saturday, November 11 for the Harvest Festival Grand Parade where businesses and organisations paraded down the street in floats of all shapes and sizes.

Celebrations continued at Watson’s Green for the Street Party where rides, food and live music kept guests partying on into the night.

Harvest Festival President Mark Vass said the committee was extremely happy with the event.

“The Harvest Festival committee was overwhelmed by the support the community gave in coming out in their droves to the Grand Parade and Street Party,” he said.

“We had a bumper crowd, and everything went off without a hitch.

“I found that the crowd stayed a lot later than usual listening to Luke Geiger and his band.

“We had the largest bar takings since I’ve been involved in the festival.”

Mark went on to thank his committee of volunteers, including Vice President John Woods, Treasurer Desley Musumeci, Secretaries Peta Anne Broadhead and Carlene Muilwyk, Sponsorship and Promotions Peta-Anne Broadhead and Debbie Simpson, Minutes Secretaries and Social Media officers Faith Swindley and Carlene Muilwyk and Setup Volunteers Greg Dwyer and Stephen Simpson.

“Without them and our fantastic sponsors, these events wouldn’t go ahead,” Mark said.

“We also welcome any community feedback on how to improve and if anyone is keen to get involved, please contact me.”

Ephemera winners were also announced on the night, with Uli Liessmann’s ‘Peace’ winning Judge’s Choice and “It’s a Colourful World” by Maree McKeough and Lorraine Lynch winning People’s Choice.

Photo credit: Sam Gillespie

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Home Hill’s Night Of Nights

November 16, 2023

Harvest Festival Rotary Ball

It was a weekend of glamour, dancing and celebration for the four Home Hill Harvest Festival Queen Entrants.

Friday night saw Dayna Linton crowned Charity Queen and Allie-Jo Farry crowned Personality Queen, although all four entrants were celebrated for the occasion.

Dayna raised $29,653.62 for Burdekin Netball Association, whom she was representing as an entrant.

The total raised by all four entrants was $48,911.15 with the money raised by Allie-Jo Farry and Zoe Oakes to go towards the organisations they represented, Home Hill – Ayr Lions Club and Home Hill Rotary Club respectively, and money raised by Kaitlyn Warren, who represented Home Hill Prawn Stop, to be donated to Burdekin Chaplains.

2023 Home Hill Harvest Festival Queen Entrants Zoe Oakes, Allie-Jo Farry, Dayna Linton and Kaitlyn Warren

Dayna Linton was crowned Charity Queen after raising $29,653.62 for Burdekin Netball Association

Allie-Jo was crowned Personality Queen

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A Pet-tastic Afternoon

November 16, 2023

Adorable pets of all shapes and sizes turned out to Watson’s Green for the Home Hill Harvest Festival Pet Show last Wednesday, November 8.

Dedicated owners brought along their animal friends, showcasing their talents and spreading happiness.

The pets stole the show with charm, grace, and talent thanks to generous sponsors My Pets and Hanson & Lawrence and the Home Hill – Ayr Lions Club supplying a barbecue.

Congratulations to the paw-esome winners!

Photos supplied: Home Hill Harvest Festival

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Basque Culture In The Burdekin

November 16, 2023

Pintxos, Paella and Postre were on the menu on Sunday, November 5 as North Queensland Basque Club hosted its Burdekin function at the Parish Hall in Ayr.

Generous members donated to the raffle prizes while the Arrate sisters celebrated their November birthdays.

North Queensland Basque Club shared a huge ‘eskerrik asko’ (thank you) to Mary Arrate and her team of helpers who prepared, cooked and served Sunday’s meal and drinks.

“We are so fortunate that our club has volunteers who work tirelessly to ensure that guests are welcomed and able to enjoy good food and excellent company,” the club posted on social media.

“The hard work continues long after the guests have left.

“You are all appreciated and valued - mil esker!”

North Queensland Basque Club consists of over 250 members, young and old, who attend social functions and promote Basque culture.

Visit www.basqueclubnq.org.au for more information.

Photo credit: Basque Club NQ

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Jarvisfield Christmas Fete

November 16, 2023

Jarvisfield State School hosted a Christmas Fete last Saturday, November 11, the first big event held by the newly reinvigorated P&C in many, many years.

“Our school community is extremely proud of the event that was held on the weekend,” said Jarvisfield State School Principal Lisa Bello.

“Without the help from sponsors, the school community, volunteers and staff, this event would not have been possible.”

Attendees enjoyed perusing market stalls, meeting with emergency services, petting the animals, sliding down the slide and getting their faces painted.

The school also received donated produce which almost all sold out.

Staff, students and parents contributed by helping to run student created stalls including face painting, bottle stall, bake stall, footy toss, hundreds board, raffles and much, much more.

“Santa photos were a real hit with families lining up out the door to meet the jolly fellow and many a Christmas wish was whispered in his ear,” Ms Bello said.

“Since the weekend, staff have received nothing but positive accolades about our school and our wonderful fete.

“Thank you to the local community for supporting our small and wonderful school.

“The P&C are eager to make next year's fete even bigger and better.”

Photos supplied: Jarvisfield State School

Photo credit: Sam Gillespie

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THE LEGACY AND VISION OF HARRY CUNNINGHAM

November 9, 2023

What is commonly known as the Scartwater Trust and Scholarships had its origins in 1917, when Arthur Henry Wickham Cunningham (Harry) conceived the idea of developing a cattle station in central Queensland to furnish means of rehabilitating servicemen returning from the First World. In March 1917, Mr Cunningham took up four selections of land on St Anne’s Station which became known as Scartwater (an old Scottish word scart or skarth named for cormorant- there were many of these birds on lagoons of the Suttor River which ran through the property.)  Harry Cunningham became the manager trustee of the property. Only returned soldiers were employed on the property. There were many donations from such as North Queensland Turf Clubs including Ayr and Home Hill as well cattle property owners of cattle and equipment for the running of Scartwater.  

Mr Cunningham, the founder of the scheme, desired that the funds be available for educational purposes and for the alleviation of distress for the returning soldier to secure and/or retain a means of livelihood. Accordingly, it was decided to establish two funds. Once the station was developed to the point of providing a reliable income, the Trust began aiding ex -servicemen and women by advancing interest free loans. As the need for assistance declined, a new scheme of scholarships to assist the children of ex-servicemen in their education was implemented. It is for this programme continuing to the present day of Scholarships that is most widely known.

Arthur Henry Wickham Cunningham was born on June 29, 1879, at Woodhouse Station near Ayr to Edward Cunningham and Caroline nee Hann. He married Nellie Maud Wharton of Birralee Station on May 12, 1910. They had four children, Mrs MacMillan,  Edward-known as Ted, John and Keith.  Harry passed away aged 62 in Townsville on January 8, 1942, as a result of an accident at Strathmore Station. His son Ted carried on as a Trustee of Scartwater.

Ted realised in the fifties that the soldiers had grown old and so the Trust took on building an establishment of the A H W Cunningham Memorial Home for ex-servicemen and wives in Bowen. Land was bought in 1961 and building began with finance from the Scartwater Trust. It came to pass that Scartwater Station was sold in 1979  and the money from that has been invested to  finance the Scholarships that still are carried on today as well the Bowen Cunningham Home. Ted married and had children and was a well-known figure in North Queensland circles. He met his death by a car accident near Strathmore in 1991. He was 80. He was survived by a son Edward Thomas Cunningham who died in 2008.  The Scartwater Trust still operates today, its Scholarships for tertiary education and the aged care in Bolton Clarke Cunningham Villars.

Many men and women in North Queensland have been aided in their education over the years. It includes many people from Ayr, Home Hill and the Lower Burdekin Region. What other Trust for the welfare of ex-servicemen and women who served Australian in wars has lasted from one man’s vision Arthur Henry Wickham Cunningham and his many trustees from 1917 to the present day of 2023. Today, there is the Scartwater Trust Scholarship awarded to students of Year 11 and 12, and the Cunningham Scholarship Tertiary Trust for university students. Contact for these scholarships can be made online to headquarters in Townsville.  The Scartwater Trust, may it live on in this troubled world of conflict.  Some good does come out of War.

Contributed by Glenis Cislowski

A H W Cunningham

Bowen Cunningham Homes 1971. Photos sourced from ‘The Story of Scartwater Trust’ by Anne Smith

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Business Community Gathers For Last Industry Breakfast of 2023

November 9, 2023

The business community gathered at Ayr’s Burdekin Theatre on Wednesday, November 8 for the last Burdekin Industry Breakfast of the year.

Hosted by Burdekin Shire Council Deputy Mayor Sue Perry and Councillor John Furnell, the breakfast connected local businesses with opportunities throughout the region.

With earthworks recently commencing for the Ayr Industrial Estate expansion, Burdekin Shire Council Mayor Lyn McLaughlin and Cadet Engineer Coralie Mannea officially launched the release of non-binding expressions of interest for land at the Industry Breakfast.

“We know that the Burdekin is recognised as having specialist skills in the broad areas of manufacturing, boiler making, fitting and turning, engineering and fabrication and I am proud that local engineers and fabricators are amongst the best in Australia, with some exporting specialised products worldwide,” Ms McLaughlin said.

“By creating more space for industrial activities, the industrial estate expansion project aims to allow existing businesses to expand and attract new businesses and investments, ultimately bolstering the local economy.”

Attendees also heard from Wandarra CEO Steve Tiley who spoek about the business’s development of a vertically integrated industrial hemp cultivation and whole plant utilisation enterprise in north Queensland.

Mr Tiley provided an overview of the company, the project, and the opportunities it presents for the Burdekin.

“This is a catalyst project for north Queensland,” Mr Tiley said.

“Our model is to be a part of the global supply chain.

“When we get going, we’re going to need lots of goods and services.”

Contact Burdekin Shire Council for more information.

Burdekin Shire Council Deputy Mayor Sue Perry, Wandarra CEO Steve Tiley, Mayor Lyn McLaughlin, Cadet Engineer Coralie Mannea and Councillor John Furnell

Paula, Mikaela, Candice, and Sue of Nutrien Harcourts McCathies

John Ferguson and Rian Swindley

Burdekin Shire Council Mayor Lyn McLaughlin

Burdekin Shire Council Cadet Engineer Coralie Mannea

Photo credit: Sam Gillespie

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Children’s Week At Playstars Playgroup

November 9, 2023

Last Thursday, Giru State School’s ‘Playstars Playgroup’ held a very special playgroup morning for Children’s Week.  

The two hour event took place at the school utilising the library, playground and outdoor facilities for an amazing morning of interactive play to celebrate the rights of children, their talents, skills and abilities.  

Playgroup facilitator Emily Hervey was lucky enough to win a grant from Children’s Rights Queensland to help fund and facilitate the morning to include a range of engaging activities and special guests, such as the Burdekin Library, to deliver a very special story time for all of the children.

The event engaged families from all over the Burdekin who stayed and played with their children for Children’s Week.

Contributed by Giru State School

Giru State School’s “Playstars Playgroup” celebrated Children’s Week in style last week. Photos supplied: Giru State School

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Australia’s Favourite Performer - Ian Moss

November 9, 2023

One of Australia’s favourite and most respected musicians, Ian Moss, is calling into Airlie Beach for the unmissable Airlie Beach Festival of Music in just under one weeks’ time.

Delivering smooth vocals and unforgettable tunes, the tenacity, clarity and resonating passion that is Ian Moss will ensure the best times for the Festival, both on stage and off.

Beginning his career on the backstreets of Alice Springs, Ian Moss was quick to head to Adelaide and mix in with the boys that would become Cold Chisel.

He travelled regional Australia with the boys in black, building their reputation and by 1980, Cold Chisel was a family name with their rock blues, resonating sounds and deep lyrics.

Despite the unfortunate closure of Cold Chisel in 1983, Ian was quick to launch his budding solo career, and released the phenomenal ‘Tucker’s Daughter’ in 1989. This immediate hit was well received across Australia and projected Ian into newfound solo stardom.

‘Tucker’s Daughter’, along with ‘Soul on West 53rd’, ‘Telephone Booth’ and many other hits on his album ‘Matchbook’, took Ian on a European Tour in 1990, before he returned home and started work on his second album ‘Worlds Away.’

It is no surprise that Ian Moss has evolved to become an Aussie icon, fuelling the Australian narrative since his Cold Chisel days, as he continues to headline across the globe.

And now 50 years on, Ian Moss continues to be an Aussie favourite, with Airlie Beach Festival of Music being one stop on his legendary celebratory tour.

Along with Ian Moss, both Dragon and Ross Wilson are also celebrating 50 years of rock, culminating in these massive Aussie icons calling Airlie Beach home for a weekend of unstoppable music.

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Creative With Clay

November 2, 2023

Last Saturday saw the Burdekin Potters hold its final Adult Beginner Hand-building course for 2023.

Seven enthusiastic ladies took part and enjoyed creating some unique handmade pieces.

Burdekin Potters Inc., located in Plantation Park, has seen a huge resurgence of interest in the art of clay, with membership soaring from around 10 four years ago, to almost 60 at present.

The Burdekin Potters was established in 1975 and will be celebrating 50 years in 2025.

Our youngest member is 16 with our most experienced potter aged in her mid-70s.

The club is very inclusive and caters to both men and women from the regional communities.

The Pottery Club will be holding a Christmas exhibition, beginning with the Plantation Markets on Sunday, December 3 through to Sunday, December 10.

Drop in during that week to pick up a locally crafted unique pottery piece for that special someone for Christmas.

Any time you see the “Open” flag flying, you’re welcome to drop in and have a browse, or register your interest in participating in a Beginner class next year.

Contributed by Debra Ferraris

Bev and Joanna

Suzie and Simone

Frances

Photos supplied

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Ayr State High School Academic Awards 2023

November 2, 2023

Ayr State High School’s annual Academic Awards was held on Thursday, October 19 at the Burdekin Theatre.

The night was a showcase of all the great work that students and staff do together every day to ensure our students have the opportunity to excel.

Students were acknowledged for their academic excellence and a range of prestigious Special Awards were presented.

The quality of our students made the selection process for many of these Special Awards a very difficult task this year.

The major award recipients from Sports Awards and Cultural Awards were also presented to provide the link between all three Awards ceremonies.

Our scholarship holders for Year 7 and Year 11 were also presented to the school community.

Jesse and Chelsea, School Captains, provided a showcase of the year that was, before the final presentations of the evening to the 2023 Student Executive, along with the announcement of the 2024 Student Executive who will lead our school next year.

Congratulations to all award recipients - we are extremely proud of your efforts and successes. We trust that you are too.

Contributed by Ayr State High School

Year Level Duxes

Year 7 Dux – Riley Dobe

Year 8 Dux – Kovi Cursio

Year 9 Dux – Ashlee Colls

Year 10 Dux – Sophie Robertson

Year 11 Dux – Ella Swaffield

Senior Dux – Chelsea Scalia

Special Award Recipients

Citizenship Awards – Caitlyn Cheyne (Junior), Macee Cursio (Senior)

All Rounder Awards – Ashlee Colls (Junior), Zavier Wood (Senior)

Indigenous Award – Wassie Ghee (Junior), Seanna Chapman (Senior)

ADF Long Tan Awards – Chloe Hook (Yr 10), Zavier Wood (Yr 12)

TAFE at School Award – Blake Walker

Ayr Rotary Club Vocational Education Award – Adam Prior, Tiffiny Pegoraro

JCU Rising Star Award – Chelsea Scalia

Excellence in Community Service Award

Sophie Robertson, Chelsea Scalia, Eddie Jones, Tiana Cameron, Noah Arboit, Sarah Shepherd, Caitlyn Cheyne, Zavier Wood, Amaya Boland, Macee Cursio, Chloe Hook, Chloe Becke, Bella Lawry, Briella Wassmuth, Brayden Becke, Layla Kelly, Ryley Sartori

Commitment to Community Service

Sophie Papale, Phoebe Lyons, Maddy Geitz, Lachlan Mills, Ashlee Colls, Ayden Barrett, Georgia Tomasetig, Matilda Wiseman, Max Kelly, Shaize Christie, Lincoln Innes, Addison Bonato, Jorja Ahern, Isla Chapman

Academic Excellence Awards

Year 7 – Chloe Becke, Meggan Laidlow, Sophie Papale, Jarred Laidlow, Parker Bonato, Lincoln Innes, Riley Dobe

Year 8 – Andrew Robertson, Nicholas Cathcart, Ryley Sartori, Amaya Boland, Kovi Cursio, Isla Chapman, Shaize Christie, Aja Olsen, Millie Lyne

Year 9 – Sally Laidlow, Kirryn Laidlow, Hunter Oats, Ashlee Colls, Caitlyn Cheyne, Kelsey Cox, Shae Laidlow

Year 10 – Jessica Boyd, Chloe Hook, Jack Power, Thomas Bach, Meg Fallon, Melody Curro, Addisyn Wiseman, Sophie Robertson

Year 11 – Layla Kelly, Chelsea O’Shea, Noah Arboit, Ella Swaffield, Emma Miller

Year 12 – Amelia Jerkic, Zavier Wood, Chelsea Scalia, Jessica Dolan

Year Level Duxes Riley Dobe, Kovi Cursio, Ashlee Colls, Sophie Robertson, Ella Swaffield, Chelsea Scalia

Citizenship Awardees Caitlyn Cheyne and Macee Cursio

All Rounder Awardees Ashlee Colls and Zavier Wood

Indigenous Awardees Wassie Ghee and Seanna Chapman

ADF Long Tan Awardees Chloe Hook and Zavier Wood

TAFE at School Awardee Blake Walker

Ayr Rotary Club Vocational Education Awardees Adam Prior and Tiffiny Pegoraro

JCU Rising Star Awardee and Senior Dux Chelsea Scalia

Photos supplied

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St Francis Tech Wizards Rev Up The Creativity

November 2, 2023

On Tuesday, October 24, some St Francis Catholic School TECH students participated in the annual Townsville Grammar School's LEGO Robotics competition.

The group of students were presented with an unfamiliar challenge and had to use their knowledge, teamwork and problem-solving skills as well as creativity to produce a moving car which they called the Next Generation Green Machine.

This challenge involved students not only designing the car but also building it with LEGO and programming it to move.

This was the first time that St Francis participated in this competition and the students did a wonderful job coming away with a trophy for their creativity.

It was an amazing opportunity for our students to take their knowledge and apply it in a new way and an experience they thoroughly enjoyed.

Contributed by St Francis Catholic School

St Francis Catholic School students Dylan, Chase, Lara, Sam and Harry travelled to Townsville to compete in Townsville Grammar School's LEGO Robotics competition. Photos supplied

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Bite Into The Past: Picnic With A View At Charlie’s Hill

November 2, 2023

Tucked away in the heart of the Burdekin, Charlie's Hill stands as a historical monument, offering locals a unique picnic experience that seamlessly blends nature and history.

Constructed in 1943, the No 211 Radar Station on Charlie's Hill played a pivotal role during World War II, serving as one of twenty radar installations along the North Queensland coastline. Its primary mission was to provide early warnings about approaching enemy aircraft, ensuring the safety of the region during challenging times.

For those seeking a distinctive outdoor adventure, Charlie's Hill is just a short six-minute drive south of Home Hill. As you journey along the Bruce Highway, keep an eye out for signs on the left side of the road. Turn onto Charlie's Hill Road, and after about 1.5 kilometres, the hill itself comes into view on the right. Access to the hill is straightforward, with an unsealed track leading from the road.

The historical remnants of the No 211 Radar Station can still be explored at Charlie's Hill. You'll find two above-ground semi-circular igloos constructed from reinforced concrete. These structures, known as igloos, were designed to offer bomb-proof protection for the radar equipment. The radar station played a crucial role in protecting the region, making it a site of historical significance.

While the wooden towers that once supported transmitting and receiving aerials have since been removed, the foundations of various structures near the igloos remain as a testament to the site's historical and military value. The physical remains of the radar station tell a story of dedication and resilience during a challenging period in history.

Visiting Charlie's Hill offers more than just a glimpse into the past; it's a chance to have a truly unique picnic experience surrounded by history.

From the summit of Charlie's Hill, visitors can enjoy breathtaking views of the nearby islands, including Rita Island and Peters Island, adding to the natural beauty of this unique location.

As you enjoy your meal and the peaceful surroundings, take a moment to reflect on the significance of this site and its role in preserving the safety and security of the North Queensland coast during World War II.

Photo credit: Tourism and Events Queensland

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Visit Lake Proserpine: Home Of The Big Barra

November 2, 2023

Known as one of Australia’s best Barra impoundments, Lake Proserpine is just a two-hour drive south of the Burdekin, and not only is it a favourite spot for avid fishers, it is also a popular destination for a range of outdoor pursuits.

For a modest $10 entry fee ($5 for children, or $25 for a two child, two adult family pass) Lake Proserpine can be yours to explore and enjoy for a weekend away in nature.

Owned and operated by the Whitsunday Regional Council, Lake Proserpine is a destination for the community to enjoy and visitors to discover.

Director of Commercial Businesses, Craig Turner, said that Lake Proserpine is a hidden gem in the Whitsunday region.

“The beautiful Proserpine Dam has been activated!” he said.

“We have bush camping for all size rigs, non-powered water sports, floating pontoons for fishing and fantastic glamping tents.

“This is an opportunity for everyone to enjoy nature-based activities at a very affordable price.”

The facility is also expected to incorporate motorised water sport by the end of the year.

Go Cats Whitsunday are launching specially designed two-seater boats that are similar to a jet ski but have a fishing pontoon on the front.

These versatile vessels are perfect for navigating the different areas of the lake.

Mr Turner says they are also hoping to introduce off-grid eco-cabins soon, the perfect “green footprint” for Council’s carbon neutral goals.

Nearby on-site facilities include toilet blocks, shower amenities and a kiosk operated by a friendly and knowledgeable team.

There are also three pontoons and a jetty installed for ease of access for boaties.

Visitors can stay for up to seven nights at the lakeside bush camping sites or indulge by staying in one of the glamping tents.

Last month over 150 families attended the inaugural Family Fishing Day, and Council now have plans to make this an annual event.

The lake is restocked with 20,000 Barra fingerlings each year, so both amateurs and experienced fishers know they are sure to reel in a good catch!

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Country Music Fans Listen! Tom Curtain Is On His Way

November 2, 2023

Perfectly planned to coincide with his fifth studio album, Tom Curtain, multiple Golden Guitar winner and Australian country artist, is making his way to the Ayr Showgrounds this Friday, for one night of mammoth country music and entertainment.

Bringing his award-winning rural Katherine Outback Experience Show as part of the Why We Live Out Here Tour, this is set to be a night of fantastic live country music and rural life love and passion.

Tom Curtain is a nationally acclaimed Australian singer-songwriter, touring with his newest album ‘Nothin’s Gonna Stop Us’.

The first release on this album received international success and it has stayed in the Top Ten of the Country Songs Australian Airplay Charts.

With him, on this tour, Tom is bringing the likes of Chris Matthews, Melissa Fraser, and Laura Frank, creating a night of powerhouse classic Aussie country music.

Tom is also an ambassador with Dolly’s Dream, choosing to spread messages of anti-bullying and donating proceeds gathered from his hit track ‘Speak Up’ featuring Sara Storer to Dolly’s Dream.

Tom’s Katherine Outback Experience blends regional farm life with a professional performance, showcasing real horse training, working dog demonstrations, live music, hilarious tales from the bush and tones of hands-on fun for the kids!

Typically based in Katherine in the dry season, from April to October, the show hits the road over the wetter times with Tom, bringing their passion for rural living across Australia.

What To Bring: Bring your own camp chair or picnic blanket and get comfy for this awesome night!

WHAT: Tom Curtain Why We Live Out Here Tour, with the Katherine Outback Experience Show

WHERE: Ayr Showgrounds

WHEN: Friday November 3, from 6pm

TICKETS: Available at the door on the night, and online: https://bit.ly/3s31gJX

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Lions Deliver Eye Screening To Home Hill Students

November 2, 2023

Students at Home Hill State School now have a clearer picture of the state of their vision thanks to the Lions Eye Health Program (LEHP).

The program brought trained Lions volunteers from across north Queensland to the school on Monday, October 30 to conduct a series of eyesight screens on students of all ages.

LEHP is an Australia-wide initiative that has been visiting schools across the country for eight years.

Irene Braddick is the LEHP Facilitator for the north Queensland region, travelling to remote and regional locations with a team of volunteers to complete the screenings.

“Kids don’t know, they think they see the same as everybody else,” Ms Braddick said.

“It’s so important to get to the regional schools because otherwise they miss out.”

Students are led through four different tests; one photographing their eyes with a Welch Allyn vision screener, one testing their ability to identify shapes, one testing their depth perception and one testing their perception of colours.

If volunteers identify anything that needs to be investigated further, the parents are referred to optometrists for further testing.

“We pick up one in five for a referral to an optometrist for a full eye examination and I do ask the schools to follow up those referrals,” Ms Braddick said.

“90 per cent of vision loss is preventable, it’s just a matter of going back for a screening.

“When we come back next year, then we might pick up something new because eyes alter all the time.”

It’s the first time the program has been in the region and Home Hill – Ayr Lions club member and Public Affairs Officer for North Queensland Nick Wiseman is eager to expand it into other schools.

“This is my first time volunteering but it’s something that I and our local Lions club are keen to get rolled out across the area, especially for the smaller schools,” he said.

“We all know kids and even adults get overlooked with all types of health issues, so identifying vision issues early on in their life is extremely important, so I’d love to see as many kids in the Burdekin as possible get the opportunity.”

LEHP Facilitator Irene Braddick and Home Hill – Ayr Lions club member Nick Wiseman

The eye screening involved a number of tests

Photo credit: Sam Gillespie

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Christmas Fete Next Weekend

November 2, 2023

It’s that time of year again when Jarvisfield State School invite the community to join their annual Christmas Fete which is due to be held on Saturday, November 11.

Organised by the school’s P&C, the event is a fundraiser which not only raises money for a good cause but also brings the region together in Christmas spirit and fun-filled family activities.

On the day, there will be market stalls where attendees can purchase a range of Christmas gifts for loved ones.

There will also be an emergency services display where kids can meet their favourite heroes and learn what it takes to work in the sector.

Live music will entertain the crowd and there will be a range of food and drinks stalls including a coffee van to give the parents a kick-start for the day.

The Jarvisfield State School Christmas Fete is also our opportunity to shop local and support small business, purchase a range of locally grown produce and buy handmade gifts.

With something for the whole family to enjoy, the Fete will include kids amusements and games and also the opportunity for families to get Santa Photos.

There will also be raffle prizes and other opportunities for attendees to donate to the school community.

So, put the date in your diary and head down to the Christmas Fete next Saturday.

WHAT: Jarvisfield Christmas Fete

WHERE: Jarvisfield State School

WHEN: Saturday, November 11

TIME: 8am – 1pm

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Trick Or Treat! Halloween At The Halloween House

November 2, 2023

Halloween captured the imaginations of young and old on Tuesday night, as the Edwards Street Halloween House became a hive of light, sound and activity.

Costumes varied from Wednesday Addams to Batman, with the exceptionally decorated home of Jeff Lund and Leon McCormack inciting wonder and fright in all attendees.

Snow cones, popcorn, fairy floss and a sausage sizzle from the Home Hill - Ayr Lions Club kept everyone fed on what was a spook-tacular evening.

Keep your eye on the house next month as Jeff and Leon turn their attention to Christmas decorations!

Photo credit: Sam Gillespie

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Celebrate History At Burdekin Machinery Preservationists Open Day

November 2, 2023

A last-minute appeal to a Federal Minister and a frantic effort by sugar mill workers to save the crushing are just two of the stories behind the amazing array of machinery that will be on display to the public at the Burdekin Machinery Preservationists’ (BMP) Open Day on 12 November. The Townsville and Mackay Machinery Clubs will also be there, ensuring the display is bigger than ever.  

Among the many attractions is the Marshall tractor.  Built in 1910, it was one of the tractors that replaced bullock teams, signaling a major advance in agricultural technology. When BMP took on the massive restoration task, the tractor had been exposed to 90 years of neglect and exposure. Some parts had to be machined from scratch by Club members. But it almost became a story of lost opportunity when a private collector identified the rare machine before it had been restored and had it packed for shipment to England. It took a last-minute intervention by the then Minister for Environment and Heritage to stop the shipment and refuse the application for export.  

Another popular attraction is the Walker No 1 Engine – the first engine manufactured by Walker’s Engineering in Maryborough in 1927 for Kalamia Mill. During emergencies, power from the engine could be fed down the mains along Beach Road to power the Ayr Hospital. This wonderful old engine last worked in the aftermath of Cyclone Althea to power the mill after the loss of mains power.  Tom Barton tells the story.  

“I worked at Kalamia on instruments between 1970 - 1975 for Hughie Smart and with Reg Edwards,” he said. “Bunny Smith was a senior engineer. Althea was a real test. We got caught with a yard full of cane and all of our steam powered electricity was knocked out. We used No 1 to slowly get our main steam boiler and unit up to restart the mill. We could only use one bagasse feeder or one fan, or one pump at any given time until we had sufficient steam and electricity. We were running around shutting off every use of power down to every light bulb to match load. Thankfully we got there or it would have been a major disaster for the mill and farmers to lose all that cane. No 1 came through!”

When no longer required, Wilmar offered the engine to the BMP.  Weighing around 25 tonnes (the flywheel weighs 7 tonnes), the Club disassembled, moved and restored the massive engine.  Make sure you see and hear this mighty engine at the Open Day.  

See too the steam engines, vintage tractors and Pioneer No 1 and Inkerman No 1 locos. Enjoy the sausage sizzle and appreciate the stories behind these impressive old machines. As you can imagine, the big engines consume a lot of fuel, so BMP is grateful once again to Liberty Rural for their generous support.

BMP was formed in 1984 to restore and preserve the Burdekin district’s machinery heritage and consists of a group of dedicated volunteers. As part of its working museum, the Club operates a fitting shop, a machine shop and a blacksmith shop.  The Club is always looking for new, enthusiastic members of any age so come along to the Open Day and if you would like to work alongside other machinery enthusiasts and learn new skills, ask about becoming a member.  Help to restore and preserve these magnificent machines and become a part of their stories.  

BMP Member Cathy McDonnell

WHAT: Burdekin Machinery Preservationists’ Open Day

WHERE: Brandon Heritage Precinct

WHEN: Sunday, November 12 from 9:00am to 3:00pm

ENTRY: Adults $10 adults, children free

The Marshall tractor. Photo supplied

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Ephemera Fever

October 26, 2023

Judging for Ephemera took place at the Lloyd Mann Gardens in Home Hill as part of the 2023 Harvest Festival on Sunday.

Inspired by a similar event in Townsville, Ephemera aims to bring the people of Home Hill and the Burdekin together to celebrate art in their region.

“What we’re looking for in the exhibition is ‘way out’ stuff, not the conventional, every day, smooth corners, it can be rough,” said Ephemera organiser and entrant Uli Liessmann.

“The best idea should win based on five criteria including idea, materials and so forth.”

Three judges, all unknown to Uli, completed judging last Sunday with the winner to be announced at the Harvest Festival Street Festival Grand Parade and Street Party on Saturday, November 11.

“I’ve got no idea who the judges are, I don’t even know if the judges know each other, so we’re trying to make it as fair as it possibly can,” said Uli.

Uli thanked the artists for their entries.

“I’m just really thankful that they’ve put the time and effort into it, because they’re all a fair bit of work,” he said.

The community will also have the opportunity to vote for their favourite piece to be awarded the People’s Choice award.

Read on to find out more about each of the entries and visit Lloyd Mann Gardens in Home Hill to see the installations for yourself.

Artist Lou Jezard with Ambush Predators

Name: Ambush Predators

Artist: Lou Jezard

Materials used: Timber and wire frame and two layers of palm leaves

Time spent on the installation: Started in May

Inspiration: “Barramundi is an iconic fish of the Burdekin for sport and table,” Lou said.

Artist Lou Jezard with Gossips

Name: Gossips

Artist: Lou Jezard

Materials used: Palm leaves and inflorescences over a wire frame

Time spent on the installation: Two weeks of “retiree hours”

Inspiration: “We have a plethora of gossips in Home Hill,” Lou said. “People say, ‘Who did you model it on?’ and I say, ‘Give me a name and I’ll tell you.’ I only ever got three names. Plus, Halloween is coming up at the end of this month, so I thought it was fitting.”

Artist Uli Liessmann with Peace

Name: Peace

Artist: Uli Liessmann

Materials used: Recycled wooden pallets

Time spent on the installation: Six months

Inspiration: “The verse says, ‘I saw many go and I saw few return’, so it’s a bit of a war thing that fits into what’s happening in Ukraine and now Palestine,” said Uli.

Artist Uli Liessmann with Whatever

Name: Whatever

Artist: Uli Liessmann

Materials used: Timber and paint

Time spent on the installation: “It takes longer to think about it than it does to put together, so probably a month.”

Inspiration: “Everyone seems to have problems, so I was having a shot at that,” said Uli.

Burdekin Art Society representative Ruth Rush with Looking for Lunch

Name: Looking for Lunch

Artists: Students of the Burdekin Art Society’s children’s classes

Materials used: Repurposed and recycled bottles, bottle caps, household items, paint and more

Inspiration: “With a focus on repurposing and recycling, the children’s imaginations in repurposing and recycling found objects led to the creation of these amazing pieces,” Burdekin Art Society representative Ruth Rush said. “Students had great fun and learnt many new skills in creating their individual pieces and spent many weeks creating their work ready for Ephemera.”

Artist Scotty Apelt with Cane is King

Name: Cane is King

Artist: Scotty Apelt

Materials used: Repurposed steel - “I’ve repurposed an old gas tank for the abdomen and used the same sorts of things the farmers use for their bores, so the bore cylinder, bore steel and a little bit of playing around and understanding how steel works,” said Scotty.

Time spent on the installation: Three weeks and three days

Inspiration: “We’re in the Burdekin; cane is king,” Scotty said. “I’ve got another surprise coming not next year but the year after, so I’ll keep everybody in suspense. I have what I’m going to do planned out for the next three years.”

Artists Maree McKeough and Lorraine Lynch with It’s a Colourful World

Name: It’s a Colourful World

Artists: Maree McKeough and Lorraine Lynch

Materials used: Acrylic wool and abandoned disability equipment

Time spent on the installation: “Hundreds of hours”

Inspiration: “We were both disability support workers,” said Lorraine. “Maree still is, and I’m now on disability myself, so we thought we wanted to try something different. The community will identify and will bring people’s minds into the modern disability world.”

Piper

Name: Piper

Artists: Home Hill State High School art teacher Simone Pitt and year 9 students Zaiden Coad and Kurt Robinson. Alan Styles assisted with the installation.

Materials used: recycled irrigation pipes, zip ties, a hammock and one plastic piece found on Alva Beach.

Time spent on the installation: six hours

Inspiration: The life size figure is based on Ms Pitt’s measurements.

Let’s Talk Peace

Name: Let’s Talk Peace

Artist: Sandra Milani

Materials used: Recycled Callistemon (bottle brush) timber, recycled fabric, copper wire, solar lights and a Hebel block.

Time spent on the installation: approximately 50 hours

Inspiration: “It came from everything that’s been going on with The Voice and reconciliation and people rewriting history the way they want it,” Sandra said. “I think we have to move on from today, you can’t rewrite history, you have to put that aside at some stage … we’ve got to have peace.”

Keep an eye on ‘Home Hill Harvest Festival’ on Facebook to find out how to vote.

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Birding In The Burdekin

October 26, 2023

On a sunny Friday morning, on the banks of a lagoon outside of Ayr, amateur birdwatcher Matt Killeen is counting birds, saying one breed he’d love to spot is a channel billed cuckoo.

Not 10 minutes later, two flew over the top of him, letting out a mighty screech, and Matt exclaimed with wonder.

Such is the joy birdwatching can bring, a joy he is sharing with the rest of the Burdekin region by starting Facebook group Burdekin Birding, a place for likeminded locals to share photos, tips and information.

Matt’s out on this Friday morning to complete his daily count for the Aussie Bird Count, an initiative of bird conservation organisation Birdlife Australia inviting citizen scientists to take a daily count of the birdlife in their backyard.

“All of that information goes back to the Birdlife scientists who crunch the numbers and get to see a snapshot of what’s going on,” Matt said.

“As well as collecting the data, it’s about trying to get people engaged and to appreciate birds.”

A relative newcomer to the hobby, Matt has been birdwatching for less than six months, but his passion and knowledge is undeniable, saying he’d go out birding most days.

“I’ve always been a bit of a nature lover, but I’ve really got an obsession with these birds now,” he said.

“I combine birdwatching with photography so I’m learning about both things at once.”

The Burdekin is a terrific place to learn about birds, with the region’s lagoons and wetlands attracting a plethora of various birdlife.

Matt’s recommendation for amateur birdwatchers is Horseshoe Lagoon near Giru where the council have constructed a bird hide.

“It’s nice and comfortable, you don’t have to worry about crocs or snakes, there’s always birds there and they’re always close enough to get a decent photo,” he said.

“The biggest thing is to get somewhere with a bit of nature, stand still, be quiet and observe.

“At first, you’ll think there’s no birds around but after a few minutes, you slow down, and you start to see things you couldn’t see before.”

Matt also encourages ethical birding, urging people to be careful not to disrupt birdlife or nests, not enter private property without permission and to be wary of crocodiles and snakes while birding.

The Aussie Bird Count ran from October 16 to 22 and counted over 3,600,000 birds Australia-wide.

Local birdwatcher Matt Killeen. Photo credit: Sam Gillespie

A White-faced Heron. Photo credit: Matt Killeen

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Follow Your Heart’s Desire For A Jewelled Beauty

October 26, 2023

There is a special, ever-lasting way to capture the journey of the heart and that journey begins with a unique jewelled beauty from Campbell’s Jewellery.

Whether you are celebrating a long-term love or embarking on a new romantic future, Campbell’s have a range of stunning pieces sure to make your loved one’s day.

Browse their extensive display in-store and, while you are there, explore the travelling roadshow, a collection of some special items that have been hand-selected from signature stores around Australia.

“It’s wonderful to see this incredible range of jewellery in the Burdekin,” said Campbell’s owner, Rose Papadimitriou.

“It shows that even though we’re a little town, we still show pieces that are from the bigger areas.”

Rose has been part of Campbell’s journey for the past 40 years, 30 of which she spent working with previous owners Kevin and Meryl Campbell, and the most recent 10 as the store’s proud owner, having bought the business in 2013.

Since taking the reins, Rose has held true to the traditions and exceptional eye for detail of the past, whilst bringing the business into the future by venturing online and exploring other technological advances.

Accompanied by a close-knit team of professionals, Rose credits her staff with being at the heart of the business.

Jane, Danae, Kate, Natasha, Ella, Lacey and in-house jeweller, Alan, are all integral members of the team.

“Come in and explore our range of beautiful diamonds, gold and gem-stone jewellery,” said Rose.

“Follow your heart’s desire for a jewelled beauty.”

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Kick Off The Conversation With Leading Legends

October 26, 2023

Sit down with Burdekin Shire Council and meet with footy legend Wally Lewis, for an afternoon of advocating for mental health and positive lifestyle.

Burdekin Shire Council Mayor Lyn McLaughlin says, “This first-class event is part of a range of community work that Council has supported over recent years where residents have been provided with practical take away tools and tips to stay motivated and strengthen mental health resilience.”

Stemming from a series of previous events promoting mental health and wellbeing, including the Ladies Long Lunch with Jules Sebastian, Farmers and Friends with Johnathon Thurston, and ‘Sing it Out’ Youth Workshop, Kickoff The Conversation hopes to shed light on the importance of resilience and avenues for support.

“Wally ‘The King’ Lewis will share his life experiences, how he has strengthened his mental health and resilience over the journey, and how to reach out to others you might know to offer practical support,” Mayor Lyn explained.

Wally will be joined by Kate Gaze, professional Australian basketballer, who represented Townsville in the Women’s National Basketball League, Warren Davies, from The Unbreakable Farmer, and an array of local speakers.

“You can expect to have fun, connect with like-minded people, and learn about how they keep optimistic and build mental health resilience, and of course be well fed and entertained,” said Mayor Lyn.

WHAT: Kickoff The Conversation with Wally Lewis

WHERE: Burdekin Theatre

WHEN: Saturday, October 28, from 6.30pm

TICKETS: Available from the Burdekin Theatre

Wally ‘The King’ Lewis to lead conversations at Council event. Photo supplied

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Opening Weekend A Success For Juniors

October 26, 2023

The opening weekend for Finding Nemo at the Burdekin Lighthouse came alive, with a spectacular under the sea performance by the juniors of Burdekin Singers.

Parents have worked diligently behind the scenes, and the junior performers have put in countless hours of rehearsals to bring Finding Nemo Jr to life.

The Burdekin Singers group stated, “It takes an entire school to put on a production like this.

“Opening night, our cast and crew were ready to adventure into the big ol’ blue!

“We would like to give a shout out to the most creative parents in the Big Blue World. A big thank you to everyone who came to the shows this weekend!”

This show is clearly one you don’t want to miss! Get in quick to secure yourself a ticket, because the last show available will take place on 3rd November.

Jump off the boat and dive into Finding Nemo Jr at trybooking.com

Sets being painted for the opening weekend

Parents working around the clock on prop designs

Junior group ready to 'just keep swimming' to their first show!

Credit: Burdekin Singers

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Home Hill State High School Celebrates Student Excellence At Awards Ceremony

October 26, 2023

Almost 300 parents, families, staff, students and invited guests filled the Burdekin Memorial Hall for the Home Hill State High School’s 60th Annual Presentation of Awards ceremony.

The school community reflected on the year that was and celebrated the achievements of its students with over 170 awards presented across academic, vocational, cultural, leadership, community service and sporting fields.

Congratulations to all students who received awards.

SPORTS AWARDS

Sports House Captains

UPSTART: Elayna Arboit & Elli Oakes

INKEMAN: Matilda Colls & Morgan Leard-Lamont

BEACHMOUNT: Alana Dobe & Jasmine Styles

Lloyd Mann Open Age Athletes of the Year: Jasmine Styles & Maliq Ogomeni

Carol Coutts Memorial House Spirit Trophy: Upstart

The Australian Olympic Change Maker Program: Jasmine Styles & Martina Bojack

Vince Toohey Memorial Junior Sportsperson of the Year: Arlow Brown

John Cook Memorial Senior Sportsperson of the Year: Jasmine Styles

Don McDowell Sportsperson of the Year: Jasmine Styles

SPECIAL AWARDS & BURSARIES

Rotary Club Home Hill Inc Shield (Year 9 Dux): Georgia Howie

Ampol Best All Rounder: Martina Bojack

Dale Cooper Memorial Bursary (Year 9 English): Faryn Poli

Dale Last MP Community Service Award: Martina Bojack & Jasmine Styles

NQ AUSImm Bursary (Year 11): Jacob Machin

Bendigo Bank Accounting Award (Year 12): Martina Bojack  

Zonta Girl’s Science Encouragement Award (Year 10): Grace Ogomeni

McDonald’s Award: Wesley Cooper (Year 12 ISK) and Jasmine Styles (Year 12 FDS)

Dawson Medal: Martina Bojack

Burdekin Art Society Award: Addison MacDonald

TAFE at Schools Award: Dean Kaminski  

JCU Encouragement Awards (Year 10): Grace Ogomeni and Cruz Torkington

Senior Cultural Award: Jasmine Styles

Junior Cultural Award: Lucy Young

North Queensland Instrumental Music Awards:  

Level 1 – Bass Guitar: Luke Blacklock

Level 2 – Clarinet: Medea Burr

Level 5 – Trumpet: David Kelly

Sunwater Agribusiness Award: Martina Bojack

The Sunwater Agribusiness Bursaries (yrs 7-9): Riley Chapman

The Sunwater Agribusiness Bursaries (yrs 10-12): Daniel Haynes and Matilda Colls

ADF Leadership & Teamwork Awards: Grace Ogomeni (Year 10) and Martina Bojack (Year 12)

ADF Future Innovators Award: Cruz Torkington (Year 10) and Joshua Machin (Year 12)

Indigenous Pride Award: Zaine Palmer and Blaize Palmer

Andrew Sherrington Award: Blaize Palmer

Junior Secondary School Captains: Georgia Howie

Indigenous School Captain: Matilda Colls

School Captains Awards: Martina Bojack & Joshua Machin

Student Council Executive: Morgan Leard-Lamont, Lily Jackson, Brea Betteridge, Jasmine Styles & Cooper Talbot

Rotary Club of Home Hill Inc Community Service Award: Elayna Arboit, Brea Betteridge, Martina Bojack, Talitha Carroll, Travis Crichton, Harmony Fletcher, Lily Jackson, Morgan Leard-Lamont, Joshua Machin, Rina Patane, Jasmine Styles, Cooper Talbot

Leadership Awards: Brea Betteridge, Martina Bojack, Harmony Fletcher, Lily Jackson, Morgan Leard-Lamont, Joshua Machin, Rina Patane, Jasmine Styles, Georgia Howie

Martina Bojack and Jasmine Styles

Zaine Palmer with JURU Enterprises Mr Ricky Dallachy

Blaize Palmer with Sergeant Andrew Sherrington

Georgia Howie and Meg Wilson

Grace Ogomeni with Zonta President Mrs Judy Sgarbossa

Addison MacDonald

Jacob Machin with AusIMM Representative Mr Cameron Skinner

Matilda Colls and Daniel Hayne

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Happy First Birthday Solutions @ ELA!

October 26, 2023

Solutions @ ELA celebrated one year of cleaning excellence last Sunday and invited the community to join in a massive morning of discounts, giveaways, and activities.

Photos supplied: Solutions at ELA

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Keeping Our Region Dressed Its Best

October 19, 2023

Wrangler, Ariat, Pure Western, Bullzye, and Thomas Cook, all the very best brands for the hardworking, dedicated regional people of Burdekin, and all available just a short stone’s throw away in Bowen.

Coral City 2 Country is your one stop shop for the best quality merchandise with a wide range of country clothing, ensuring the very best for the paddock, farm and all aspects of country living.

With over 600 square meters of uninterrupted floor space, the short drive to Coral City 2 Country is worth it for the whole family, with country clothing, women’s, men’s, and children’s clothing and accessories all available.

“We stock everything you’d ever need, all under one roof,” said Wendy Bickhoff, owner and operator of Coral City 2 Country.

“From your horse to your hat, we have absolutely everything you should need, and everything for the whole family.”

“You can walk in here with nothing, and come home with tonnes of new complete outfits, from boots to hats, and everything in between.”

Wendy and her team even have you sorted with a wide variety of hats, belts, and boots available to try on and purchase in store, with some of the biggest names: Ariat, Twisted X, Pure Western, and Roper.

Keeping the region well-dressed since 2009, Wendy has invaluable expertise, and a keen eye for detail.

“We initially started with the country clothing but expanded over time,” she explains.

Since then, Coral City 2 Country has built a reputation of quality fashion, so no one will leave the shop empty handed.

“We have customers coming from across the state visiting us, from Ayr and Home Hill to Airlie Beach, Moranbah, Collinsville,” Wendy said.

And the family don’t stop there, offering quick alterations for jeans, ensuring the best fit for the best look, with speedy turnarounds, while you wait.

Open Monday to Friday 8.30am to 5pm, and Saturday 8.30am to 12pm, pop in next time you’re in Bowen – 42 George Street, Bowen - or visit their extensively stocked online shop at  city2country.au

Wendy’s Top Tips To Get The Perfect Fit:

1. A quick way to test pant waist size is to hold the waistline to your neck. If the waist slightly overlaps, the pants will be a perfect fit.

2. Similar to the above, your elbow to your knuckle is the same width as your waist, so you can measure pant waist with your arm.

3. An easy hack to figure your hat size is to put on a too big hat and measure the distance with your fingers. One finger equals one centimetre.

4. When fitting a top boot, the heels should rise an inch, and the back should hit the heel cap, and then go down. If the heel cap doesn’t touch back, then boot too long.

The team at Coral City 2 Country, Wendy and Mark Bickhoff and Mary, Wendy’s mother

Wendy Bickhoff showcasing the fantastic variety at Coral City 2 Country. Photo credit: Bronte Hodge

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Feel Good And Look Great

October 19, 2023

Dominique’s Keeping Us Best Dressed

The Dominque’s brand has been synonymous with quality and success for over 15 years, since mother-daughter duo Jenny Papale and Dominique Gorey initially opened their florist in Queen Street, Ayr.

Since then, the name has gone through a few evolutions, including transitioning into an events team, before settling on a clothing boutique almost two years ago.

“For the last 15 years, Dominque and I have always worked together, since she graduated school,” Jenny explained.

“We are a great team, with the boys often helping with our events, and now Dominique’s three children helping around the shop in the school holidays.

“But we have a lot of fun with it!”

Stocking Adorne and By Frankie, plus so much more, there is absolutely something for everyone, and often modelled by Jenny and Dominique themselves.

“We find the modelling the least fun aspect of the job, but it’s helpful for our customers to see the clothing on real people.”

But alas, Dominique’s has become a beacon for affordable, smart casual fashion, prefect for a Burdekin lifestyle.

“We are conscious about being body positive, and we want everyone to leave the shop feeling great.

Fresh and fun social media is Dominique’s passion, regularly hosting live unboxings of new stock on Instagram, and modelling the new items for Facebook and their website.

And don’t forget, with an online store, you can order the newest stock instantly, with free click and collect, and even quick delivery times, with Jenny ensuring same day dispatch with a frequent 30min dispatch.

Visit dominiques.online/s/shop or visit their Queen Street store.

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Two Prongs To A Success Adventure

October 19, 2023

Dotty Daisy Flowers

It was an easy decision for Amy Munro 19-years-ago when the Dotty Daisy Flowers adventure began with her sister Katy, and since then a lot has changed.  

Amy is now the sole owner, and her and the Dotty team are proud of the blooming florist on Queen St in Ayr.

An entrepreneurial person, she has overseen an expansion in the business, welcoming more floral options, chocolates, gifts and even the new Sage and Clare brand of homewares into the compact and quaint shop front.

“We always have fresh flowers ready to go, and try to source the best variety,” explained Amy.

“And we offer delivery all across the Burdekin, Monday to Saturday at different times in the day.

“Dotty Daisy is a little shop, but we packed a lot into it, with our extensive range of homewares and gifts.  

“We also have an online flowers, gifts, and homewares, which makes ordering and shopping available 24hours.”

This one-stop-shop is always changing, but consistently lively, colourful, and fun.

Definitely check it out next time you’re on Queen Street.

Q Street Collective

Amy’s second business, Q Street Collective, is a new venture, taking that one on in July this year.

“It was just an amazing opportunity, the fit out was great, everything was fresh, I just had to walk in and with the existing Q Street girls and the Dotty girls have been enthusiastic and now just putting our own touch to it all,” Amy explained.

For her, fashion was something she always aspired to be involved in, and Q Street Collective was an opportunity she could not pass up.

“We have a bit of everything. Fashion for any event, for all ages and all lifestyles.

“It has all been well received by the customers, it has been amazing. There is always something new in store.”

With brands such as Country Road, Shona Joy, Daisy Says, Lokoa, and Liberty Jewellery, and so much more, Q Street Collective will have anyone dressed best for any event.

And with online ordering available, and the choice to pick up instore or shipping, you can ensure you won’t miss out on the newest stock. Visit shopqstreetcollective.com

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Ayr Doctor Takes On Kokoda Track

October 19, 2023

An Ayr doctor has returned from the adventure of a lifetime, completing the Kokoda track in just seven days in September.

The opportunity arose for Dr Ian Condon of Ayr Health Service when he was invited by his brother, Luke, who is based in Papua New Guinea as part of Australian Defence’s Defence Cooperation Program.

The trip was organised by the Australian Army and allowed Defence personnel to invite family and friends, forming a group of 18 to take on the challenge.

“It’s something I’ve always wanted to do but just never thought I’d get the opportunity, so I couldn’t say no,” said Dr Condon.

Led by ex-army reservist and military historian David Howell, the group walked from the north of PNG to the south, starting from Kokoda and finishing at Owers Corner.

“We walked all the way up to Mount Bellamy, so the first three days is up, and the last four days is down,” Dr Condon said.

“We did it in the dry season and they say in the dry season it rains every day and in the wet season it rains all day, every day, so we still got wet every day, but we had moments of sunshine.”

Dr Condon was deemed the unofficial team medic, although fortunately his skills weren’t required.

“As a doctor, I saw many disparities in the medical services and the lack of healthcare along the track,” he said.

“In regional PNG, it’s pretty much non-existent.

“It’s inspired me to get involved a bit more with medical donations and helping out overseas for people in need.

“I think we take a lot of things for granted in Australia and we probably overcomplicate things, so I learnt to really enjoy the simplicity of walking, drinking, having a dry roof over my head and making mates along the way.”

The trip fit into Dr Condon’s training schedule perfectly as he had completed the Townsville marathon less than two months prior.

“It’s definitely inspired me to do some more adventure-type stuff,” he said.

“It was a once in a lifetime opportunity, I’ll definitely remember it for the rest of my life.”

Luke and Ian Condon in Papua New Guinea. Photo supplied

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From Cane Fields To Turntables

October 19, 2023

Dveight Has A Sound To Share With The World

By Gracie Hosie

If you haven’t seen him on the field for Burdekin Football Club in a while, it’s because he’s dropped the ball for the bass. Nic Predabon has recently been invited to DJ in Paris and Lyon, and we don’t mean cue a Spotify playlist. Since the age of 17, Nic has been creating mixtapes and music, all whilst traveling to some of Australia’s major cities to share what he’s created. When he’s not on stage and in control of the speakers, Nic works casually on a local cane farm with his parents.

Nic Predabon, who’s stage name is Dveight, has dreamt of playing overseas since the minute he was able to get his hands on a turntable panel. Paris and Leon are only a couple cities on the list of places Nic plans on performing in, in fact his main ambition is to secure a working visa for America to further his name and possibly land a permanent position in the spotlight.

Since 2020, Nic has gained an abundance of experience, accolades and attention within the industry as well as signing to a management label in December of 2020 just before his first show. When beginning his journey as a DJ, Nic jumped at any opportunity to showcase his talent and network with others in the industry including PhaseOne who is a big inspiration for Nic and was fortunate enough to cross paths with at a gig in Mackay.

Within three years Nic has racked up a following across a number of platforms; with 4,624 followers on Instagram and over ten thousand on SoundCloud. It is truly astounding the platform and name Nic has made for himself within an industry that was heavily impacted by COVID-19.

For those who share a similar passion, Nic’s one piece of advice is to “find your driving force to be in the industry and your own sound as an artist and a performer”.

In the next couple of months, Dveight will be perfecting his sound, packing his bags and heading over to Europe on the November 7, playing Lyon on the 10th, followed by Paris on the 11th. Follow @Dveightmusic on Facebook and Instagram to keep up with his European adventures.

Nic Predabon (Dveight) playing at a show in Perth. Photo supplied

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Live In The Delta

October 19, 2023

Showcasing Regional Talent In The Burdekin

The inaugural Live In The Delta Festival has wrapped up, with hundreds of students, performers, and our youth taking to the stage in one of four massive productions.

Celebrating the amazing talent that is prevalent in the region, Live In The Delta showcases Burdekin Brass Band, Burdekin Singers and Theatre Company, Perform Studios, and Delta Music.

From the energetic Battle of the Bands, a fantastic performance of Wind in the Willows, and so much more, there was something for everyone at this brand-new event.

Burdekin students and youth take to the stage in a mammoth weekend of production and performance. Photos supplied

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Too Cool For School

October 11, 2023

It’s the annual event that years 11 and 12 students from across the Burdekin look forward to every year, and 2023’s Home Hill Harvest Festival Students’ Ball definitely delivered glitz, glamour and an ‘enchanting’ night out.

View the gallery here

Burdekin Christian College students arriving at the 2023 Home Hill Harvest Festival Students’ Ball in style. Photo credit: Hayden Menso Photography

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Burdekin Kids ‘Fintastic’ New Theatre Show

October 11, 2023

Coming live to the Burdekin Lighthouse in Ayr, the Finding Nemo Junior theatre production!

The Great Barrier Reef will come to life on a stage near you in October and November, from October 21 to 29 and November 4 to 5.

Based on the beloved Pixar film, the production will feature junior cast members from ages four to fifteen, who are ready to make a splash on the big stage! The show is set to take you under the sea and make you smile, laugh and even cry - with a story that everyone knows and loves.

Treasurer Jim Nuttall from Burdekin Singers commented on the upcoming show, “[Guests] will love it. I saw a bit of it for the first time the other day, it’s looking really good.

“We’ve been waiting for Finding Nemo to come out for the juniors for two to three years. I put the application in straight away; we are the first organisation to do it.

“There's no songs that have ever been done before, they're all new songs.”

The performers are busy with singing rehearsals three to four weeks before the school holidays, for two hours every Sunday.

Jim also comments that living in a tight-knit, small community, it is of dire importance that it is a family affair, with all hands on deck to pitch in and put on a spectacular show.

Parents take on a large role, from preparing food and cleaning, to costume alterations and set design.

This is the first time Burdekin Singers have used an online platform to sell tickets to their shows, with around 600 out of 800 seats sold, Finding Nemo Jr. is set to be a busy night for cast and crew!

Jump on the wave and grab your ticket to Finding Nemo Jr. at trybooking.com.

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Rescue Pet Of The Week - Meet Claude!

October 11, 2023

Claude is eager and ready for his forever home!

Coming to Angel Paws from Burdekin Pound, Claude is a cuddly purr machine.

Loving a good pat and fantastic chin scratches, Claude will not hesitate to make himself comfortable on his human’s lap.

Equally happy to curl up and watch a movie with his humans, Claude is also always up for a good play with his toys and his humans.

Being a young man, Claude is a ball of energy, so being with brother and sister cats, he will be at home.

Available for adoption, Claude desexed, flea, tick and worm treated, up to date of his vaccines, and microchipped, and ready for his forever home!

PS: Claude is a Manx cross breed and has no tail! Only adds to his charm!

Fast Facts:

Rehoming fee: $185

DOB: 1/03/2022

Sex: Male

Breed: Manx x

Kid friendly: Yes

Dog Friendly: Untested

Other cats: Yes

Indoors/Outdoors: Indoors

To enquire about Claude, or set up a meet and greet, submit the cat/kitten enquiry form here: https://www.angelpawsinc.com.au/forms.html

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More Than A Café

October 4, 2023

A welcoming atmosphere, diverse selection of fresh food and friendly and caring staff is what has established Cafelicious as a go-to meeting place for people across the Burdekin.

Centrally located in Queen Street, the vibrant café has been owned by Kristian Moretto for two years.

Kristian has a passion for food and a passion for his community, and Cafelicious allows him to serve his community in a personal way.

“I enjoyed being in a kitchen when I was a kid, and I developed a passion for opening something small that can accommodate people in a more intimate way,” he said.

“People are drawn to us and sometimes I feel like we’re a bit of a hidden gem.

“It’s vibrant, it’s loud and it’s very welcoming.”

Regulars visit Cafelicious expecting a high quality and unique style of food, the frequently changing menu bringing a variety of options.

Whether you’re looking for a freshly cooked breakfast, a rejuvenating lunch, or a quick bite to grab and go from the hotbox, there is something for everyone at Cafelicious.

Aromas of fresh coffee fill the space and their milkshakes and smoothies are a crowd favourite.

“I think customers understand that it’s all house made,” Kristian said.

“You can’t fool people with that, they know the quality, and I think it draws them back all the time.”

Kristian leads a tightknit team, instilling that customer and community service in everyone who dons the apron.

The passionate staff members are cross trained across all tasks at the café, eager to lend a hand with whatever the customer requires.

“The team is like an extension of the family,” Kristian said.

“The connection’s a lot deeper and we really appreciate that.

“When people come in, customers will feel it.”

A Queen Street staple, Cafelicious provides the community with fresh food and coffee and does so with pride and a smile.

“We love serving the community, it’s our passion, it drives us, and we’re here to stay,” Kristian said.

Find Cafelicious at 125 Queen St, Ayr.

Diane, Ornella, Kristian, and Meg of Cafelicious

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Kick Off The Convo With The Kings

October 4, 2023

Supporting community wellbeing and mental health, Burdekin Shire Council is encouraging all members of their community to the ‘Kickoff the Conversation’.

Tackling the hard questions and ending the stigma, the event sets to empower mental health and resilience.

“This event encourages conversations about mental health resilience and the importance of seeking support,” Mayor McLaughlin said.

“Tickets will be available to purchase on 3 October 2023 and the event is expected to sell out quickly so be sure to book straight away.”

The event will be hosted by influential keynote speakers, who have not only faced significant health and life challenges but have succeeded, inspiring all with their resilience and determination.

One significant speaker is the King Wally Lewis, an esteemed sports star and personality, who will share his health story, his sporting journey, and the importance of breaking down stigma and asking for help.

Joining Wally is Warren Davies who is well known as the Unbreakable Farmer and will share invaluable life lessons, focussing on resilience, persistence, determination, and wellbeing.

Warren and Wally will also be joined by a host of local guest speakers, who will add depth and diversity of the conversation.

Tickets officially go on sale through the Burdekin Theatre October 3, with the event expected to be sold out quickly.  

WHAT: Kickoff The Conversation

WHEN: Saturday, October 28, from 6.30pm

WHERE: Burdekin Memorial Hall

TICKETS: Available from Burdekin Theatre from October 3

The King, Wally Lewis, will join locals and other guest speakers at the Kickoff The Conversation event. Photo supplied

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Making Memories With Melanie Napier

October 4, 2023

Most recognisable with her camera in her hand and her eye behind the lens, Mel Napier is a passionate local photographer who loves capturing special moments and creating memories for both her own family and yours.

In love with “all things photography since a young age”, Mel pursued her craft as a side hustle for many years, beginning with scanning old photos and creating slideshows, photobooks and prints for her customers with her business Your Memories Crafted by Mel.

Despite this creative outlet, a passion for photography still ran deep and, with her husband’s encouragement she rebranded to Melanie Napier Memories and Photography, diversifying to officially become the photographer she’d always dreamt of being.

Since then, Mel has not looked back and, by working alongside a range of different customers, her experience has grown so that she now has a reputation for a range incredible photography, including family portraiture, pets, landscape and corporate.

She hopes to one day sell her stunning landscape images for prints to decorate local homes and one of her proudest moments was achieving champion print of the Burdekin Show this year, as well as her involvement with Marni Hine in Project Raw.

A born and bred Burdekin local, Mel is originally from Millaroo which ignited her passion for the outdoors and wildlife.

She has worked for the Burdekin Shire Council since 2008 and in the IT department for the past 13 years.

Mel has two adult sons with her husband of 30 years, Collin, and both the boys live close by.

She is also blessed to have a grand daughter who has just turned one.

A genuine and caring photographer, Mel is ready to capture special moments for you and your family.

She is also proudly working alongside Burdekin Life Newspaper having taken their first front-page photo and become their photographer of choice.

Local photographer, Melanie Napier. Photo supplied

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Gearing Up For Seniors Expo

October 4, 2023

The beloved Seniors Health and Wellbeing Expo is on again for 2023, with Burdekin Shire Council opening ticket sales.

Hosting a range of informative and engaging stallholders for all walks of life, the expo will be insightful, allowing the community’s seniors to build connections and be inspired.

Burdekin Shire Council Mayor Lyn McLaughlin said the event is aimed at promoting a healthy and fulfilling lifestyle.

“This event provides a platform for seniors to access valuable resources and connect with essential services, ensuring their wellbeing remains a priority in our community,” Mayor McLaughlin said.

Emceeing the event will be Ricky Romeo, who is ready to entice each and every senior.

The Luncheon will be host to REGIS bingo, live entertainment, prizes and giveaway, and be a wonderful event to build relationships.

Services already signed up for the expo include Ayr Amcal Chemist, Ayr Health Service, Burdekin Community Association, Burdekin Library, Burdekin Men’s Shed Association, Burdekin Neighbourhood Centre, Equip U, McCathies Furniture Plus, and so much more.

Burdekin Shire Council would like to thank major sponsor Regis Aged Care and all the stall holders for their contribution and support.

For more information contact Burdekin Shire Council on 4783 9800.

WHAT: Seniors Health and Wellbeing Expo and Luncheon

WHERE: Ayr Showgrounds

WHEN: Monday October 23, 10.30am to 1.30pm

TICKETS: $10 per person, available from the Burdekin Theatre

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Briefs Boys Air Their Dirty Laundry

September 27, 2023

After 10 years of selling out festivals worldwide, the boys from Briefs Factory International are back!

With their hills hoist poised, the Briefs boys are ready to air their ‘Dirty Laundry’ in this brand-new party cabaret you don’t want to miss out on.

Led by Fez Faanana aka Shivanana, and featuring a line-up of classic Briefs boys, as well as some shiny new boys and toys, ‘Dirty Laundry’ will take over the Burdekin Theatre on Saturday, September 30 for one very special night.

With more glitter stains and ballsy attitude than ever before, your favourite Briefs misfits give you a night of intoxicating physicality, gob-smacking comedy, unapologetic truths, and ridiculous showmanship.

The evening will kick off with an opportunity to enjoy a cocktail and “Meet the Queens” from 7:00pm before the main performance kicks off at 8:00pm.

The 10th birthday extravaganza has earned five-star reviews all across the country, with FRINGE WORLD 2019 calling ‘Dirty Laundry’ “The perfect blend of flesh, acrobats, dance, boylesque and brilliance.”

Out in Perth said, “Hilarious, jaw-dropping and heartfelt, the Briefs boys set out on a mission to celebrate every moment and don’t leave until they’ve made sure the whole audience is along for the ride,” while ArtsHub added, “The Briefs Boys know how to combine the serious, the ironic, and the naked.”

Glam Adelaide called ‘Dirty Laundry’, “the drag party you always wish you’d be invited to!” so make sure to get your tickets today and watch these boys tumble dry.

WHAT: Dirty Laundry presented by Briefs Factory International

WHEN: Saturday, September 30 from 7:00pm

WHERE: Burdekin Theatre

TICKETS: www.burdekintheatre.com.au

Dirty Laundry is coming to the Burdekin. Photo credit: Cecilia Martin

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Home Hill Harvest Festival Officially Launched

September 27, 2023

A stacked calendar of events was launched on Sunday with the Queensland Country Home Hill Harvest Festival just around the corner.

President Mark Vass officially launched the festival at the Crown Hotel, a festival that was one he always looked forward to growing up in the region.

“As a kid growing up here, we had the Home Hill Rodeo, the Home Hill Show and the Home Hill Harvest Festival – they were the things I can remember looking forward to most as a kid,” he said.

“The only one that’s left is the Harvest Festival and I’ve always been community minded, and I didn’t want to see it die so I got involved in 2015.”

Starting 61 years ago and originally only consisting of the grand parade and street party, the Home Hill Harvest Festival has grown to incorporate an array of events spanning across three months, with highlights including the Town of Origin cricket, netball and rugby league matches, derby day, pet show and gala ball.

“There are all sorts of different events we put on for the community, but the main one is always the grand parade and street party,” Mr Vass said.

“It’s always such a big event, we’re expecting over 3,000 people there.”

Mr Vass also introduced the four entrants for the Queen of the Home Hill Harvest Festival and their sponsors, including Allie-Jo Farry representing Home Hill Lions Club, Zoe Oakes representing Home Hill Rotary Club, Dayna Linton representing Burdekin Netball Association and Kaitlyn Warren representing Home Hill Prawn Shop.

Find a full calendar of events below and visit hhharvestfestival.com.au for more information.

Queensland Country Home Hill Harvest Festival Queens Dayna Linton, Allie-Jo Farry, Kaitlyn Warren, and Zoe Oakes

Queensland Country Home Hill Harvest Festival Committee: President Mark Vass, Treasurer Krystel Payne, Secretary Peta-Anne Broadhead, and Debbie Simpson. Absent: Vice President John Wood, Treasurer Desley Musumeci, and Minutes Secretary Faith Swindley

The Queensland Country Home Hill Harvest Festival was officially launched at the Crown Hotel on Sunday

Photo credit: Sam Gillespie

Queensland Country Home Hill Harvest Festival Events Schedule

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50 Years Of Burdekin Football

September 27, 2023

50 years of illustrious football history will be celebrated at the Burdekin FC 50 Year Gala Dinner in October.

The Burdekin Football Club is celebrating half a century, inviting life members, past and present players, committee members, coaches, managers, sponsors, and supporters along for a very special evening.

“It’s a very important celebration; 50 years is not to be sneezed at,” said Burdekin FC President Laurence Dal Santo, who first played for the club in 1987.

Football in the Burdekin dates back to the early 1900s when men would play informal games in Ayr and Home Hill.

Most of the players at the time were migrants from Scotland, Ireland, England, and European countries, playing without the formality of club or competition.

Clubs were eventually established in both Ayr and Home Hill, the towns playing against each other on most Sundays, although bonding and camaraderie were still the aim of the game.

In the early 1970s, another group of men from Ayr started to organise a formal senior soccer competition, with games again played on Sunday afternoons.

Over the years, teams would come and go, with only four teams in the competition at any one time, including Centrals, Comets, Crusaders, Easts, Grenadiers, Juventus, and Parkside Rangers.

In 1971, the Townsville based North Queensland Soccer Federation (NQSF) had seven teams in their first division and offered players of Ayr the opportunity to play in the competition against teams who had a bye.

Ayr accepted, with teams travelling to Townsville every three to four weeks to compete, and Townsville teams travelling to Ayr.

While some players were happy with the arrangement, others wanted more out of the competition, hoping to play in the elite NQSF competition on a more regular basis.

It was during the 1972 season that the idea to join the NQSF was officially raised and in 1973, the Ayr Senior Soccer Association competed in its first season, becoming the Burdekin Soccer Club in 1987, now known as Burdekin FC.

The club has celebrated many wins and triumphs over the years and produced local football stars who have gone onto big things, all of which will be celebrated on the night.

“The club punches above our weight, we go alright,” said Mr Dal Santo.

“A lot of players have come and gone, and we’ve got volunteers and parents with lots of stories to tell,” added fellow committee member Carla Dal Santo.

Prominent members of the club, both men and women, will discuss each decade of history with the club and 18 life members will be honoured on the night.

The 16+ formal event includes a three-course dinner, live entertainment, and guest speakers, with drinks available for purchase.

To find out more, visit Burdekin FC Inc on Facebook and find the Burdekin FC 50 Year Gala Dinner event.

WHAT: Burdekin FC 50 Year Gala Dinner

WHEN: Saturday, October 14 from 6:00pm

WHERE: Burdekin Memorial Hall

TICKETS: www.trybooking.com/CKUUN

Burdekin FC 50 Year Gala Dinner Sub-Committee Back L-R Ramon Oar, Laurence Dal Santo, Callan Sunderland, Joshua Valle. Front L-R Michael Taylor, Carla Dal Santo, Sian Reardon

Sub-Committee members Kyle Taylor and Maddison Dal Santo

50 years of Burdekin FC history will be celebrated at a Gala Dinner in October

Photos supplied

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Delivering The Best And Making Every Holiday Memorable

September 27, 2023

Booking your holiday directly with a local travel agent rather than risking the confusing minefield of online services is something that can transform your holiday experience from stressful and nerve-racking to positive, personal and above all; safe.

This level of personal service is something that the friendly team at Helloworld in Ayr pride themselves in; their knowledge, expertise and excellent customer service makes every customer feel relaxed in the competent arms of a professional they can develop a good relationship with.

For Rosemary Menkens, it was an easy decision to go to Pierina Dalle Cort at Helloworld Travel Ayr, and have her team handle all her travel bookings and essentials.

“I’ve been going through Pierina for everything for 20-something years now, and I’ve never looked back,” Rosemary explained.

Rosemary initially approached Helloworld when she travelled a lot for work, sometimes at a moment’s notice, however since her retirement, she has continued to see Pierina and Helloworld whenever she and her husband travel.

“Pierina handles everything for you, and nothing ever went wrong, and if something did, her team would solve it for you.”

Recalling a time when their flight was unexplainedly cancelled, Rosemary was thankful that Pierina and her team associated with the travel insurance claim, and even to the length of speaking to them.

“That experience really made me realise why you go to a professional and thorough travel agent and have insurance whenever you travel,” Rosemary explained.

Travelling multiple times a year, Rosemary always returns to Helloworld.

“Pierina has trained her staff beautifully and they are so knowledgeable and ready to assist. They have all of my respect,” Rosemary said.

Earlier this year, Rosemary and her husband Ray embarked on a 35-day cruise across the Pacific Ocean, with Helloworld ensuring the best possible accommodations, entertainment, and travel route.

Rosemary also completed a land tour of New Zealand, where she explored the Southern Island, and is already looking forward to jet-setting off for a holiday to Portugal with a friend sometime soon.

Looking back over her travels, Rosemary is thankful for Helloworld and the passionate team.

“Just thinking about everything that goes into booking and organising a holiday, from travel insurance, flights, accommodations, and experiences, Pierina and her team take all the pressure out of everything and made the entire experience seamless and amazing.”

To learn more, book your next holiday vacation, or see the fantastic details that Helloworld Ayr have on offer, ring 4783 2122, email ayr@hellworld.com.au or visit their shopfront at 131 Queen Street Ayr.

Rosemary’s best travel tip: Be sure to check your passport expiry date! Sometimes you can’t travel if you have less than six months left on your passport, so double check.

Rosemary and Ray Menkens on their travels to Scotland

Rosemary at Empress Catherine Palace in St Petersburg. Photos: Rosemary Menkens

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Friends Fur-Ever Meet Your Next Fur Baby!

September 27, 2023

Little Miss Sofie is available for adoption!

This very sweet and calm black and white kitten is ready to meet her perfect home.

Cuddly and playful, Sofie would best suit a calm and relaxing home, with older children.

Sofie is quick to turn into a snuggly purring machine and will become a permanent fixture in your lap.

She loves being cradled like a baby, and is eager for a play, either with toys, her human, or a cat tunnel.

Although more than comfortable with other feline friends, Sofie would positively thrive in a peaceful and relaxing environment, where she is the centre of attention.

Sofie is open and available for meet and greets, always eager to meet new humans and families.

Available for adoption, Sofie is up to date on her vaccines, flea, tick, and worm treated, is desexed and microchipped, ready for her forever home at a moment’s notice.

To enquire about Sofie, or set up a meet and greet, submit the cat/kitten enquiry form here: https://www.angelpawsinc.com.au/forms.html

Fast Facts:

Rehoming fee: $185

DOB: 01/11/2022

Sex: Female

Breed: Domestic short hair

Kid friendly: Older kids (12+ years)

Dog Friendly: Untested

Other cats: Yes

Indoors/Outdoors: Indoors

Location: Ayr, QLD

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Cheaper, Faster, Direct With Whitsunday Coast Airport

September 27, 2023

With highly competitive prices, a broad range of direct flights and an experiential fun-focussed terminal, Whitsunday Coast Airport is quickly becoming the airport of choice for people living in the Burdekin.

Airport Manager, Craig Turner, said that the Council-owned facility is “delivering seamless and cost-effective access” to a range of destinations.

Flying direct to Cairns, Sunshine Coast, Brisbane, Newcastle, Sydney, Melbourne and also the Gold Coast (as of December 7), the airport hosts Qantas, Virgin, JetStar, SkyTrans and Bonza airlines.

“The Whitsundays is a well-known holiday destination – this makes it cheaper, faster and direct!” said Mr Turner.

“Locals are also buying a seat next to a leisure passenger rather than when they travel from Townsville and are sitting next to a corporate or mine worker which drives the prices up.”

In addition to passenger travel, Whitsunday Coast Airport also has a dedicated Freight Distribution Centre – transporting fish, crabs, and pets all around the country.

They can also transit fresh local produce to population centres quicker than any road or rail transport.

“This is great for local farmers whose produce gets to market as fresh as possible,” Mr Turner explained.

“Not only is the produce worth more, it also looks fantastic!”

While the flights and the freight are definitely setting Whitsunday Coast Airport apart from other regional airports, it is also the terminal experience that has seen Whitsunday Coast win several awards this year.

“We unashamedly promote fun!” said Mr Turner.

From the Heart Reef inspired aquarium at the centre of the departure lounge to the free-form seating, augmented reality screen to entertain the kids and the Taste Whitsundays food and beverage offering – everything is an experience at Whitsunday Coast Airport.

Whitsunday Coast Airport is taking-off! Photo supplied

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Lions Celebrate 60 Years Of Serving Community

September 27, 2023

The Home Hill – Ayr Lions Club have a saying: ‘Where there’s a need, there’s a Lion,’ which sums up the work they’ve been doing throughout the Burdekin for the last 60 years.

The club is celebrating 60 years in November and inviting the community to celebrate their contributions and hard work.

“It’s time to sit back and look at what we’ve done, who we are and enjoy that with each other and the community,” said Home Hill – Ayr Lions club member and Public Affairs Officer for North Queensland Nick Wiseman.

“We’ve got members who have been in the club a long time and we’ve got some newer members as well.

“It’s going to be amazing to see and be a part of what Lions have been doing in this community for such a long time.”

The Home Hill – Ayr Lions Club most notably fundraise and donate money to organisations and causes locally and nationally.

Recent beneficiaries have included the Burdekin BMX Club, local schools, chaplaincy programs, cancer research and natural disaster funds, most recently Burketown floods.

The club maintains ongoing projects including the fruit park in Home Hill, located across the road from the Lions diorama.

The Home Hill – Ayr Lions Club have also sponsored Allie-Jo Farry, a 2023 Queensland Country Home Hill Harvest Festival Queen entrant who, with the club’s assistance, is fundraising through bake sales, raffles and events, with funds raised to be donated to a charity of her choice.

The club will also welcome the Lions Eye Health Project Coordinator to the region, visiting Home Hill State School on October 30 to conduct early intervention vision screening on school students.

The Home Hill – Ayr Lions Club is always looking for new members and assistance, meeting at the Crown Hotel every second and fourth Monday from 6:30pm.

To find out more about membership and the club’s 60th celebrations, email homehilllions@gmail.com.

WHAT: Home Hill – Ayr Lions Club 60th Celebration

WHEN: Saturday, November 18 from 6:30pm

WHERE: Brandon Tavern

TICKETS: $40pp

The Home Hill – Ayr Lions Club meet at the Crown Hotel twice a month. Photo credit: Sam Gillespie

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SES Prepare For Disaster Season At Open Day

September 27, 2023

With disaster season approaching, the emergency services of the region gathered at the SES Home Hill Open Day on Saturday to spread awareness ahead of Get Ready Week.

The Open Day came after the Burdekin Unit State Emergency Service won the Regional Unit/Group of the Year and more at this year’s SES Week Awards.

“We are a tightknit little group,” said Burdekin SES Deputy Local Controller Laurinda George.

“We do not have a lot of members, but we know how to pump out jobs, we trust each other, we know each other’s abilities, so we spread out and do what needs to be done.”

Local Controller John Winn attended the SES State Awards ceremony in Brisbane earlier in the month as a Suncorp Spirit of SES nominee.

“I’m pretty proud and the members are pretty proud,” Mr Winn said.

“It’s quite an impressive award for our small numbers.”

Last weekend’s Open Day welcomed SES, Fire Brigade, Ambulance, Police, Rural Fire Brigade and Council to engage with the community and share helpful information ahead of the summer.

“What we like to do is engage with the community so that they can become independent in times of trouble,” added Ms George.

“We’re here to educate them on how to help themselves so they don’t find themselves in a state of emergency, they’ve done it all before and they’re prepared, and today is a big part of that.”

Burdekin SES members meet every Monday evening from 7:00pm with depots across Ayr, Home Hill, Clare, Rita Island and Guru, all sponsored and maintained by the Burdekin Shire Council.

The organisation currently has 33 members across the region, some being with SES for over 30 years, but are seeking more interest from the community, welcoming people 16 years and above to join.

“We are a volunteer organisation so it’s what you can volunteer,” said Ms George.

“We just need people to want to support their community and by doing that we can support them.

“There is something for everyone.”

To find out more about joining SES, email SESNR.Admin@qfes.qld.gov.au.

Get Ready Week will take place across the region next month.

SES Week Awards

Burdekin SES Unit – Regional Unit/Group of the Year

Paul Haller Group Leader Ayr SES – SES Week Award

John George Deputy Group Leader Ayr SES – SES Week Award

Donn Thomson Deputy Group Leader Home Hill – Meritorious Service Clasp for 30 Years of Outstanding Service

Burdekin SES Deputy Local Controller Laurinda George, Deputy Local Controller Warren Francis, and Local Controller John Winn

Home Hill SES hosted an Open Day last weekend

Photo credit: Sam Gillespie

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Nuts About Four-Wheel Driving

September 27, 2023

A motorcycle mechanic by trade who has upskilled himself because of his passion for four-wheel driving, Riley Granshaw’s business RG Customs NQ was born when he started working on his friends’ cars from his parents’ shed in Mount Kelly.

“I’ve always been involved with four-wheel drives and mechanics, I grew up on a property so it’s in my blood to be on the tools,” he said.

“I’m pretty passionate about my four-wheel driving and I got more and more enquiries, so it started from there.

“It was all just word of mouth, and it was getting very, very busy.

“Flash forward to this year and I was getting ridiculously busy and running out of space.”

In June this year, RG Customs NQ moved into its current location on the corner of Queen and Parker Streets, conveniently located in the centre of Ayr.

Ironically, it’s the exact same building in which he completed his apprenticeship, taking over the lease immediately after his former boss relocated.

“It was a no-brainer, I’ve got the showroom where I can move into the retail side, which is coming, and the workshop out the back is just unreal, there’s plenty of room,” Riley said.

“I bought my toolbox when I started my apprenticeship here and brought the same toolbox back, it’s pretty wild.”

Specialising in custom fit outs, Riley’s satisfaction comes from the transformation of a stock standard vehicle into a four-wheel driving machine, sourcing and fitting bull bars, spotlights, snorkels, suspension, roof racks and all other four-wheel driving accessories.

“The best part about it for me is when the customer sees their car and they go, ‘how good’s that,’” he said.

“They bring it here completely standard, and it leaves completely different.”

An avid four-wheel driver himself, Riley frequents driving and camping spots along the Burdekin River and up the coast, recognising the market in the Burdekin and filling the niche four-wheel drive accessories and custom fabrication.

With the assistance of his mother Sue in the office, Riley hopes to expand the business and the team, growing RG Customs NQ’s services, retail display and reputation throughout the region.

Visit RG Customs NQ on Facebook to find out more.

RG Customs NQ Owner Riley Granshaw. Photo credit: Sam Gillespie

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