Burdekin Region Entertainment News

Event Guide 20 June

Event Guide 20 June

Monday 24 June ARC by ERTH Monday and Tuesday, from 6.30pm Showcasing exquisite puppetry, an enigmatic host, audience interaction and a world of rare and exotic animals, ARC is a profound experience that embraces the natural world and the creatures that cohabit this place we call Earth. ARC presents intimate, magical encounters with rare and vulnerable species, raising important questions about our collective and individual relationship with nature and loss. Renowned as innovators of physical

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Spread Some Love:  Write a Love Letter for Queensland’s Community Writing Competition

Spread Some Love: Write a Love Letter for Queensland’s Community Writing Competition

Entries are now open for the Love Letter to Queensland community writing competition. The competition is calling individuals to share their heartfelt stories and express their love for the magnificent state. The state is known for its breathtaking landscapes, vibrant communities and unique culture, and the competition wants to hear your individual experiences, memories and connections to Queensland, in the form of a love letter. How you construct your love letter is up to you. Whether thro

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The Burdekin Theatre To Stage Melinda Schneider’s A Farewell To Doris

The Burdekin Theatre To Stage Melinda Schneider’s A Farewell To Doris

On Wednesday 14 August, the Burdekin Theatre will be graced with the talents of Melinda Schneider as she returns to the stage to pay tribute to the legendary Doris Day. As part of the Burdekin Theatre’s Morning Melodies Series, this performance will encompass a nostalgic concert celebration as Melinda Schneider stages a heartfelt tribute to Doris Day. A legend of stage, screen and song, the world lost one of its biggest stars with the passing of Doris Day. Labelled “the girl next door” Doris

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50-Year School Reunion

50-Year School Reunion

Catching up with old school friends? How about catching up 50 years later? That's exactly what the ex-students from Marist Brothers and St Francis Xavier Convent High School did. Meeting at Hotel Brandon, around 42 individuals (pictured below), gathered to celebrate 50 years since they left school in 1974. Many of the alumni travelled a great distance to join the reunion, with some even travelling all the way from New South Wales. Attendees expressed how the evening was an extremely enjoyable

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Event Guide 14 June

June 13, 2024

Saturday 15 June
Perform Studios presents Rise
Saturday from 2pm and 7.30pm
Perform Music presents their annual showcase concert - RISE!
Burdekin Theatre

Wednesday 19 June

Home Hill Community Meeting
Wednesday, from 9am
Residents of Home Hill, particularly new residents and over 60s, are invited for a chat and cuppa to meet Labor Candidate for Burdekin Anne Baker. Raise your concerns and share your views, ideas and hopes for the community. Morning tea supplied.
Home Hill Community Sports Club

Monday 24 June

ARC by ERTH
Monday and Tuesday, from 6.30pm
Showcasing exquisite puppetry, an enigmatic host, audience interaction and a world of rare and exotic animals, ARC is a profound experience that embraces the natural world and the creatures that cohabit this place we call Earth. 
ARC presents intimate, magical encounters with rare and vulnerable species, raising important questions about our collective and individual relationship with nature and loss. Renowned as innovators of physical and visual theatre, for the past three decades Erth’s body of work has explored the depths of the past. With ARC, they look unblinkingly to the future, as this menagerie of animals transforms the stage before your very eyes.
Burdekin Theatre

Wednesday 26 June

Burdekin Show
Wednesday, from 10am
The Annual Burdekin Show hosted at the Ayr Showgrounds is an event for all ages. From exhibits to equestrian, sideshow alley and fireworks there is something for everyone and the true essence of country hospitality can be found. 
Ayr Showgrounds

Monday 1 July

Flipside Circus
Monday, from 9:30am
Flipside is bringing the circus to town with a fantastic range of workshops to supercharge school holidays.
Flipside Circus’s expert trainers work with young people to teach ground and aerial circus skills including juggling and manipulation, hula-hoop, acrobalance, minitrampoline,
tumbling, and trapeze.
The workshops are challenging and focus on; building self-confidence, physical skills, and fitness, as well as teamwork.
KINDY CAMP - 9:30AM - $10.00
2 - 4 years, 45min duration
FLIPPEROOS - 10:30AM - $20.00
4 - 8 years, 1.5hr duration
CIRCUS SKILLS - 1.00PM - $30.00
8 – 16 years, 3hr duration
Tickets Available 8 April 2024 - 3:00pm
Burdekin Theatre Auditorium


Saturday 13 July

The Sunshine Club
Saturday from 7.30pm
It tells the story of Frank Doyle, an Aboriginal serviceman who has come home from World War II to find that although the wider world may have changed, attitudes back home in Brisbane are just the same. Filled with a defiant energy and ambition for a better life, Frank starts The Sunshine Club, a place where black and white can meet and, most importantly, dance. Here he dreams of a future where he can dance in step with Rose, the girl next door, the girl of his dreams.
The award-winning Sunshine Club is a thought-provoking, vibrant and above all joyful night of theatre and music, featuring a talented cast of 11, including emerging and established First Nations artists, and a 5-piece live band. It is perfect for audiences seeking entertaining, socially relevant work, at a time of heightened social discourse on Indigenous Affairs, as Australia looks towards ‘incorporating’ the Indigenous Voice to Parliament by 2024.
Burdekin Theatre


Tuesday 16 July
Beginners Resin Art Class

Tuesday from 6.30pm
Learn the art of resin with our fun and hands-on Beginners Resin Art Class/Workshop—perfect for unleashing your creativity and creating stunning pieces.

Discover the mesmerizing world of resin art at our upcoming Resin Art Courses!

Whether you're a complete beginner or an experienced artist, our talented instructors will guide you through the entire process, from preparing your board to mixing and pouring the resin. You'll learn various techniques, including colour blending, creating stunning effects, and adding texture to your artwork.

This is not just a class, it's an experience! Immerse yourself in the magical world of resin art and unleash your inner artist.

Don't miss out on this incredible opportunity to expand your artistic horizons and create breathtaking masterpieces! Limited spots available, so book your place today! 

Malpass Hotel, Home Hill

Wednesday 14 August

Morning Melodies: A Farewell to Doris
Thursday from 11am
Melinda Schneider returns to the stage in 2024 to pay tribute to the legendary Doris Day.
The world lost one of its biggest stars with the passing of Doris Day. A legend of stage, screen and song, Doris died aged 97, leaving behind an incredible body of work, including iconic movies and unforgettable songs.
Doris Day, “the girl next door”, had millions of fans around the world, none bigger than chart-topping Australian singer songwriter Melinda Schneider, who has recorded two albums of Doris’ songs, co-written and starred in a theatre show based on Doris’ life, and done sell-out tours celebrating Doris’ work.
Melinda Schneider’s, A Farewell To Doris, is a heartfelt tribute to Doris Day. This nostalgic concert celebration will include timeless hits as well as a number of Doris’ big band standards.
Burdekin Theatre

Monday 2 September

Burdekin Art Society Art Exhibition
Monday to Saturday, 8am to 5pm
The Burdekin Art Society Annual Exhibition attracts lovers of fine art from near and far. Being a week-long exhibition allows people from other areas an opportunity to see this very popular event and draws entries from all over the state and further afield. 
The longevity of the event attests to the quality and popularity that the entrants and viewers alike enjoy.
Burdekin Theatre


Saturday 7 September

The Visitors
Saturday, 7:30pm
On a sweltering day in January 1788, seven clan leaders gather on a sandstone escarpment overlooking the harbour. The attendees, six of them Elders and one new initiate, catch-up, laugh together, share a meal and compare notes. But beyond the friendly banter, protocols, and hospitality, a momentous decision is waiting to be made. A mysterious fleet of giant nawi is amassing in the harbour and as they creep closer, these seven representatives must choose unanimously: whether to send these strangers on their way or welcome them?
TICKET PRICES
Adult $40.00
Concession $38.00
Friends of the Theatre $35.00
Youth under 30 $35.00
Burdekin Theatre


Saturday 14 September

Giru Show
Saturday, from 12pm to 6pm
The annual Giru Show highlights the community's talent with a variety of exhibits and stalls. From vintage machinery displays and live entertainment to games suitable for every child, there's something for everyone to enjoy. The Giru Show have recently added games to the schedule for all ages to take part in. The local bands will provide entertainment throughout the day. 
Brolga Park, Giru


Celtic Illusion
Saturday, from 7.30pm
Immerse yourself in the Irish Dance and Grand Illusion sensation that has taken Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Canada, and the USA by storm. Celtic Illusion is coming to a stage near you!

Even fans who have seen our previous shows won’t dare miss the 2024 tour that is set to raise the bar once again. This exhilarating production has broken barriers by fusing unparalleled art forms and is more spectacular than ever before. With new spellbinding illusions, entrancing music and choreography, Celtic Illusion is an awe-inspiring night of family entertainment.
Burdekin Theatre

Wednesday 2 October

Morning Melodies: Livvy and Pete
Thursday from 11am
Helpmann award winner Michael Griffiths and acclaimed cabaret darling Amelia Ryan celebrate the songbooks of Aussie icons Olivia Newton-John and Peter Allen. 
From their humble small-town beginnings to world domination in sequins and jumpsuits, revisit all of their sing-a-long classic from Rio to Tenterfield, all the way to Xanadu and beyond. As camp as maracas and tender as Pete's gift to Livvy "I Honestly Love You", there promises to be rollerskates, T-Birds, Pink Ladies, 80s jazzercise and an Oscar winning song to boot! Livvy & Pete made its debut in 2016 at the Ballarat Cabaret Festival, and Adelaide's Feast Festival. Since then it has delighted audiences at The Adelaide Fringe Festival (Garden of Unearthly Delights), The Hobart Spiegeltent, The Wollongong Spiegeltent, Vivaldi's Canberra, Slide Sydney, Adelaide Fringe Roadshow, and the Brisbane Cabaret Festival. 
Burdekin Theatre


Friday 11 October

Grinspoon ‘whatever, whenever, wherever’ Australian Tour 2024
Friday, from 7.30pm

Grinspoon’s 8th studio album titled ‘whatever, whatever’ will arrive on August 9. It’s an album of ferocity; an injection of adrenaline that marks a period of rejuvenation and a new peak for the band, who’ve spent recent years touring nationwide celebrating their untouchable seven album-strong discography and legacy to date. 

The band have also announced they’re heading out on an extensive 45 date ‘whatever, whenever, wherever’ tour across the country.
Burdekin Memorial Hall

Saturday 9 November

Home Hill Harvest Festival – Grand Parade & Street Party
Saturday from 5pm
Celebrate the sugar industry in Burdekin. The Home Hill Harvest Festival runs from September to November. The Festival culminates with the Mardi Gras including floats from festival queens, community groups and businesses and ends with a Street Party featuring entertainment, rides, food and activities for the whole family to enjoy.
Home Hill

Sunday 10 November

Burdekin Machinery Preservationists Open Day
Sunday from 9am
Located at the Brandon Heritage Precinct, 21-27 Spiller Street, Brandon, the Burdekin Machinery Preservationists have an open day. Witness the power of the working vintage machinery which includes the historic Marshall Colonial Tractor and the Walkers Engine No.1, which is just one of two working air blast fuel injection engines in Australia. Admire the other vintage tractors and stationary engines on display.
Burdekin Heritage Precinct, Brandon

Wednesday 4 December

Morning Melodies: Andrews and Bin Christmas Swing
Thursday from 11am
The Andrews & Bing Christmas Swing joyful, live, melodious Christmas Show is a stroll down memory lane with the beautiful 1940’s bright & engaging Christmas songs of the Andrews Sisters & the one & only “Crooner” himself, alias Bing Crosby. Three dynamic, harmonious, humble divas with their professional band, “The Miller Horns,” igniting the stage! Clap along to their iconic stylized “Jingle Bells”, listen to the enchanting best-selling song, “White Christmas” and all aboard the Christmas “Chattanooga Choo Choo”.
Burdekin Theatre

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The Japanese Film Festival

June 13, 2024

The Japanese Film Festival Online 2024 will brighten our television screens across Australia for another year from Wednesday 5 June until Wednesday 3 July.

The program for 2024 will showcase a dynamic collection of cinema and television released over the past 70 years as presented by the Japan Foundation. The festival celebrates the breadth and diversity of Japanese storytelling, serving as a cultural bridge connecting global fans of Japanese cinema.

The 2024 program will host a diverse selection of 23 films, 2 TV dramas spanning over 20 episodes each, and 4 selected horror shorts for audiences to enjoy. The curation covers a broad spectrum of themes and narratives, including LGBTQIA+ stories, intricate family dramas, and exhilarating adaptations of beloved Japanese manga.

To watch and indulge in all things Japanese cinema, those interested can sign up to watch the free streaming on the Japanese Film Festival Online 2024 website.

What: The Japanese Film Festival Online 2024.
When: Wednesday 5 June – Wednesday 3 July.
Where: Online / Televisions across Australia.
More Information: JFF Online 2024 - The Japanese Film Festival Australia

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The King Of Pups! Steven Elliot To Make His Burdekin Show Debut

June 13, 2024

The annual Burdekin Show will light up the Ayr Showgrounds on Wednesday 26 June, with a plethora of special guests scheduled to attend. One of Australia’s most inspirational and award-winning dog trailer and trainer, Steven Elliot, will make his Burdekin Show debut as one of the event’s special guests, and his story is nothing short of extraordinary.

Steven has led a celebrated career, and following a rodeo accident in Townsville in 2003, his life took a turn, leaving him confined to a wheelchair. Despite his accident, Steven has overcome numerous challenges throughout his professional lifetime.

From finding his niche in working to hand-craft cattle brands for cattle businessperson and mining royalty, Gina Rinehart, along with NRL coach Wayne Bennett, to passionately dedicating his time to the training of working dogs, Steven has created an impressive resume for himself.

Steven’s passion for training working dogs began in 2012, and over the past 12 years, his love for the industry has grown exponentially.

“We went to Mingela for our first dog trial and when we made it to the finals, we realized how much a dog could actually do,” explained Steven.  

Steven last visited the region 5 years ago and is eager to return to experience the Burdekin Show for the first time, accompanied by his promising pup, Indi.

“We’ll be running working dog demonstrations all day at the Burdekin Show to show people what a dog can actually do, and Indi, my TV star dog will be with me too, and the kids always love to get their photos and give her plenty of pats too,” explained Steven.

Steven’s demonstrations will involve sheep and cattle to showcase their dogs’ impressive abilities, and after all these years, Steven’s favorite part of the job is teaching puppies these skills from a young age.

“When you get a little pup who has so much desire for the herding instinct, watching them learn the skills is the most rewarding part of the trade.”

WHAT: Burdekin Show
WHERE: Ayr Showgrounds
WHEN: 26 June

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Event Guide 6 June

June 6, 2024

Thursday 6 June

Morning Melodies: Some Enchanted Evening
Thursday, from 11am
We have all heard their songs and we have all enjoyed their musicals. They were known as America’s most successful musical theatre writing team and their partnership has been called the greatest of the 20th Century.
Join us for a very special event paying tribute to the timeless music from the legendary Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II. Featuring your favourite tunes from Carousel, The King and I, South Pacific, The Sound of Music and many more, Some Enchanted Evening is truly an enchanted concert of exquisite songs from the golden age of musicals. 
In an intimate setting amongst the stars, come on a whimsical journey through song and dance, and be captivated by the beautiful music of ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’, ‘Younger Than Springtime’, ‘I Have Dreamed’, ‘Climb Every Mountain’, and ‘Oh What a Beautiful Morning’. With beautiful costumes, extraordinary dancing and a song list that also includes music from their partnerships with Jerome Kern and Lorenz Hart, Some Enchanted Evening is a magical, uplifting experience that is not to be missed.
Burdekin Theatre


Friday 7 June

The Fleetwood Mac and Stevie Nicks Tribute Show
Friday, from 7.30pm
Welcome to The Dreams Show – your ticket to experiencing the magic of Fleetwood Mac and the captivating solo career of their leading lady, Stevie Nicks. Since its launch in 2017, Dreams has gained massive acclaim, both from fans across Australia and from within Fleetwood Mac themselves. Dennis Dunstan, Fleetwood Mac’s Manager (1981-1999), applauded the show, stating, “The Dreams Show was a breath of fresh air when it comes to Fleetwood Mac tribute shows.. these guys deliver.. Big Time! Don’t miss this show if you’re a Mac fan!” Surrender to the enchantment of Dreams, as we recreate everything from their live show spectacle to clothes to choreography and  anecdotes to iconic songs of the legendary band. Enjoy monumental hits like ‘Go your Own way’, ‘Gypsy’, ‘Edge of Seventeen’, ‘Rooms on Fire’, ‘TUSK’, ‘Say you love me’, and many others. $59 tickets.
Burdekin Theatre

Sunday 9 June

The Cane Country Cup Pickleball Team Event

Friday, from 8.30am
Building on the success of the Sugar Bowl, Home Hill Tennis brings you the inaugural Cane Country Cup, a pickleball team event. Teams have been invited to the event from Mackay, Whitsundays, Bowen, Townsville, Charters Towers and Ingham. It will be unique on the pickleball calendar with mixed teams of 4-6 players, where every point won will go toward determining overall winners. It will be played in Competitive and Social Grades. The excitement around the event is building with teams from clubs committing to playing in the event. Pickleball is a fast paced, fast scoring racquet sport played on a small court. Organizers are expecting that sportsmanship, camaraderie and building friendships will be at the forefront of the event.
Home Hill Tennis Association

Wednesday 12 June

Ayr State High School: Year 10 Careers Morning
Wednesday, from 9am to 10am
The aim of the morning is to provide a broad view of careers and employment opportunities in our local area and surrounds.
The format includes display tables, 10-minute introduction of your organisation and an opportunity for students to ask questions. Students will move between organisations to gain knowledge about career options to support their subject choices for their senior schooling.  
Please use this link https://forms.office.com/r/rpaKQtFiK4 to register. It would be appreciated if each organisation representative could register for catering and workplace safety purposes.
Ayr State High School

Anthology Showcase
Wednesday, 10:30am
Writers from the “Burdekin Creative Writers” and “Night Writers” groups will read a selection of their pieces from the Anthology.
Home Hill Branch of Burdekin Library

Saturday 15 June


Perform Studios presents Rise

Saturday from 2pm and 7.30pm
Perform Music presents their annual showcase concert - RISE!
Burdekin Theatre


Monday 24 June

ARC by ERTH
Monday and Tuesday, from 6.30pm
Showcasing exquisite puppetry, an enigmatic host, audience interaction and a world of rare and exotic animals, ARC is a profound experience that embraces the natural world and the creatures that cohabit this place we call Earth. 
ARC presents intimate, magical encounters with rare and vulnerable species, raising important questions about our collective and individual relationship with nature and loss. Renowned as innovators of physical and visual theatre, for the past three decades Erth’s body of work has explored the depths of the past. With ARC, they look unblinkingly to the future, as this menagerie of animals transforms the stage before your very eyes.
Burdekin Theatre

Wednesday 26 June

Burdekin Show
Wednesday, from 10am
The Annual Burdekin Show hosted at the Ayr Showgrounds is an event for all ages. From exhibits to equestrian, side show alley and fireworks there is something for everyone and the true essence of country hospitality can be found. 
Ayr Showgrounds

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Ayr State High School’s Disco Inferno

June 6, 2024

Ayr State High School is set to stage the devilish hit 70’s musical, Disco Inferno this August and tickets went on sale for the production from Monday 3 June.

The musical will ignite the Burdekin Theatre with the talents of Ayr State High School’s students on show from its opening night on Friday 23 August. With a matinee and its closing night on Saturday 24 August, the region will be entertained with an extraordinary retro performance.

Disco Inferno transports audiences back to the 1970s where the dance floor was hot and the fashion was overflowing with flared trousers, platform shoes, and glitz and glam galore. Three words to describe the 70s musical showcase are “Faust with Flare” and is set to have audiences busting a move to groovy hits as they follow the tale of an aspiring musician.

Jack dreams of nothing more than to have his name up in lights and is prepared to go to whatever lengths necessary to achieve his limelight dreams. With his soul swiftly signed away, Jack soon discovers that all that glitters isn’t gold on the other side, especially if you’re all out of love.

Oozing nostalgia, tickets to Disco Inferno are available now from the Burdekin Theatre’s box office and online at www.burdekintheatre.com.au.

What: Ayr State High School’s Musical Disco Inferno
When: Friday 23 August to Saturday 24 August
Where: Burdekin Theatre
More Information: www.burdekintheatre.com.au

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Burdekin Community Association Inc Celebrates National Volunteers Week

May 30, 2024

Burdekin Community Association Inc celebrated their 20th National Volunteers Week celebration on Thursday May 23, recognising the vital work of their volunteers and simply saying “thank you”.
National Volunteer Week is Australia's largest annual celebration of volunteering, held from May 20 to 26.
This special event provides an opportunity to highlight the important role of volunteers in our community and invites people not currently volunteering to give it a go.
The volunteer event was centered as per the NVW theme, ‘Something for Everyone’ and recognises the diverse passions and talents everyone brings to volunteering.
Becoming a volunteer is an opportunity to explore the wealth of opportunities available, emphasising that there’s a place for everyone in our community for volunteering.
BCA came together for National Volunteer Week, embracing this theme to showcase the vast spectrum of possibilities and the impact that emerges when everyone finds their meaningful role in making a difference.
BCA volunteers connect with clients and community, through companionship, outings, arts and crafts, games, spiritually and with other community connections.
BCA Volunteer Manager, Rita Quagliata, expressed her heartfelt thank you to all her volunteers for their time, dedication, and commitment and how they truly make a huge difference.  
“In a time-poor world, volunteers bring the most precious gift, the gift of ‘time’,” Rita said.
“Life is short, everyone is busy and the short time that we are here, we should help make a difference.
“Consider making a difference, continue to help others in need with your time.”
Before the formalities were over, the cutting of the cake was drawn and the lucky volunteer to cut the cake was Rosa Torrisi.
Volunteering can help change everyone’s life.
It improves health and well-being, including increased longevity, adoption of healthy lifestyles and reduction in depression and stress.
It allows you to develop and use different skills that lead to establishing a real sense of achievement, develops confidence, builds self esteem and establishes new friendships.
Burdekin Community Association is constantly in need of volunteers.
Don’t hesitate, call in and have a chat with Rita Quagliata about volunteering or give her a call on 47833744.

Contributed by the BCA team

Back L-R: Bev Edwards, Dianne Noack and Rita Quagliata. Front L-R: Madeline Janiola, Jo Rodgers and Brenda Matthews
Stephen Tunbridge, Sam Caltabiano and Debra Cochran
Rosa Torrisi cutting the cake

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Rock On With Grinspoon

May 30, 2024

Prepare to rock n roll your way through the night of your life when the classic Australian rock band Grinspoon ignites the Burdekin Memorial Hall on Friday October 11.

The iconic rock band holds 13 ARIA Award nominations to their name and with over half a million records sold, it’s clear why. Grinspoon’s showstopping discography features much loved hits ingrained in Australian rock history, including Chemical Heart (2002), Black Friday (1998), and More Than You Are (1997). Playing their hits to audiences worldwide for over two decades, Grinspoon has embarked on a new creative chapter in their music career, developing their first new studio album in twelve years, ‘Whatever, Whatever’.

‘Whatever, Whatever’ has been described as an injection of adrenaline and stands as an album of great ferocity to signal Grinspoon’s monumental rejuvenation to which the band’s frontman, Phil Jamieson celebrates excitedly.

“Joe came up with the idea of each songwriter in the band all bringing to the table three or four songs each,” Phil explained,

“We ended up with the collection you now hear; a fairly broad smattering of what I consider to be Grinspoon’s strengths, with some of the heaviest stuff I think I’ve ever sung, and then also some of the prettiest stuff we’ve ever done.”

The band has developed a prestigious reputation as being influential contributors in the creation of the blueprint of Australian rock music due to their celebratory embracement of different sounds and influences. Grinspoon’s music reflects the band’s ability to perceive the versatility of rock music through a unique lens, further fostering a realm where heavy sounds co-exist with soulful driven blues.

Grinspoon will be rocking the stage at the Burdekin Memorial Hall this October as part of their Whatever, Whenever, Wherever tour extending across Australia, and fans can expect nothing short of the iconic Grinspoon sound. The band has been gracing stages across the nation, and their choice to visit the Burdekin region along with many other rural areas stands a spectacle each member is beyond excited for.

“We’re really trying to get to as many places as possible, it kind of harks back to the olden days of touring; 4 guys in a van with some guitars,” exclaimed Phil.

“With the release of new music, we wanted to give everyone the opportunity to see Grinners, and we’re going back to some venues we haven’t played in 20 years!

“To say we’re excited is a massive understatement!

“Our venues are suffering out there in the regions so we are bringing the show to them, and we can’t wait to see you all!”

Locals are encouraged to take advantage of the rockin’ opportunity to witness one of the nation’s most influential bands on the rock music scene and tickets are available now from the Burdekin Theatre’s box office or online at https://bit.ly/GrinspoonBurdekin.

What: Grinspoon
When: Friday October 11
Where: Burdekin Memorial Hall
Tickets: https://bit.ly/GrinspoonBurdekin

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May 30 Event Guide

May 30, 2024

Thursday 6 June

Morning Melodies: Some Enchanted Evening
Thursday, from 11am
We have all heard their songs and we have all enjoyed their musicals. They were known as America’s most successful musical theatre writing team and their partnership has been called the greatest of the 20th Century.
Join us for a very special event paying tribute to the timeless music from the legendary Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II. Featuring your favourite tunes from Carousel, The King and I, South Pacific, The Sound of Music and many more, Some Enchanted Evening is truly an enchanted concert of exquisite songs from the golden age of musicals. 
In an intimate setting amongst the stars, come on a whimsical journey through song and dance, and be captivated by the beautiful music of ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’, ‘Younger Than Springtime’, ‘I Have Dreamed’, ‘Climb Every Mountain’, and ‘Oh What a Beautiful Morning’. With beautiful costumes, extraordinary dancing and a song list that also includes music from their partnerships with Jerome Kern and Lorenz Hart, Some Enchanted Evening is a magical, uplifting experience that is not to be missed.
Burdekin Theatre


Friday 7 June

The Fleetwood Mac and Stevie Nicks Tribute Show
Friday, from 7.30pm
Welcome to The Dreams Show – your ticket to experiencing the magic of Fleetwood Mac and the captivating solo career of their leading lady, Stevie Nicks. Since its launch in 2017, Dreams has gained massive acclaim, both from fans across Australia and from within Fleetwood Mac themselves. Dennis Dunstan, Fleetwood Mac’s Manager (1981-1999), applauded the show, stating, “The Dreams Show was a breath of fresh air when it comes to Fleetwood Mac tribute shows.. these guys deliver.. Big Time! Don’t miss this show if you’re a Mac fan!” Surrender to the enchantment of Dreams, as we recreate everything from their live show spectacle to clothes to choreography and  anecdotes to iconic songs of the legendary band. Enjoy monumental hits like ‘Go your Own way’, ‘Gypsy’, ‘Edge of Seventeen’, ‘Rooms on Fire’, ‘TUSK’, ‘Say you love me’, and many others. $59 tickets.
Burdekin Theatre

Sunday 9 June

The Cane Country Cup Pickleball Team Event

Friday, from 8.30am
Building on the success of the Sugar Bowl, Home Hill Tennis brings you the inaugural Cane Country Cup, a pickleball team event. Teams have been invited to the event from Mackay, Whitsundays, Bowen, Townsville, Charters Towers and Ingham. It will be unique on the pickleball calendar with mixed teams of 4-6 players, where every point won will go toward determining overall winners. It will be played in Competitive and Social Grades. The excitement around the event is building with teams from clubs committing to playing in the event. Pickleball is a fast paced, fast scoring racquet sport played on a small court. Organizers are expecting that sportsmanship, camaraderie and building friendships will be at the forefront of the event.
Home Hill Tennis Association

Wednesday 12 June

Ayr State High School: Year 10 Careers Morning
Wednesday, from 9am to 10am
The aim of the morning is to provide a broad view of careers and employment opportunities in our local area and surrounds.
The format includes display tables, 10-minute introduction of your organisation and an opportunity for students to ask questions. Students will move between organisations to gain knowledge about career options to support their subject choices for their senior schooling.  
Please use this link https://forms.office.com/r/rpaKQtFiK4 to register. It would be appreciated if each organisation representative could register for catering and workplace safety purposes.
Ayr State High School

Anthology Showcase
Wednesday, 10:30am
Writers from the “Burdekin Creative Writers” and “Night Writers” groups will read a selection of their pieces from the Anthology.
Home Hill Branch of Burdekin Library

Monday 24 June

ARC by ERTH
Monday and Tuesday, from 6.30pm
Showcasing exquisite puppetry, an enigmatic host, audience interaction and a world of rare and exotic animals, ARC is a profound experience that embraces the natural world and the creatures that cohabit this place we call Earth. 
ARC presents intimate, magical encounters with rare and vulnerable species, raising important questions about our collective and individual relationship with nature and loss. Renowned as innovators of physical and visual theatre, for the past three decades Erth’s body of work has explored the depths of the past. With ARC, they look unblinkingly to the future, as this menagerie of animals transforms the stage before your very eyes.
Burdekin Theatre

Wednesday 26 June

Burdekin Show
Wednesday, from 10am
The Annual Burdekin Show hosted at the Ayr Showgrounds is an event for all ages. From exhibits to equestrian, side show alley and fireworks there is something for everyone and the true essence of country hospitality can be found. 
Ayr Showgrounds

Monday 1 July

Flipside Circus
Monday, from 9:30am
Flipside is bringing the circus to town with a fantastic range of workshops to supercharge school holidays.
Flipside Circus’s expert trainers work with young people to teach ground and aerial circus skills including juggling and manipulation, hula-hoop, acro balance, minitrampoline,
tumbling, and trapeze.
The workshops are challenging and focus on; building self-confidence, physical skills, and fitness, as well as teamwork.
KINDY CAMP - 9:30AM - $10.00
2 - 4 years, 45min duration
FLIPPEROOS - 10:30AM - $20.00
4 - 8 years, 1.5hr duration
CIRCUS SKILLS - 1.00PM - $30.00
8 – 16 years, 3hr duration
Tickets Available 8 April 2024 - 3:00pm
Burdekin Theatre Auditorium

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Star Studded Results Burdekin Junior Eisteddfod

May 30, 2024

After 12 talent filled days spread across numerous enormous weekends, the Burdekin Junior Eisteddfod has come to a close for 2024. This season marked the organisation's 40th anniversary of running in the region, providing both local and travelled youth an opportunity to stage their talents in a fantastic environment.

DANCE
5 YEARS & UNDER TINY TOTS
Gold: Gracie O’Brien
Silver: Kiera Wright
Bronze: Calayah Ferris

7 YEARS & UNDER DEMI CHARACTER SOLO
Gold: Lily Whybird
Silver: Gracie O’Brien
Bronze: Ayllah Ferris

ARDEN JANE RISING STAR AWARD MOST OUTSTANDING TINY DANCER 7 YEARS & UNDER
Gracie O’Brien

8 YEARS TAP SOLO
Gold: Olivia Meares
Silver: Ella Rose Cummings
Bronze: Annabelle Brooks

9 YEARS & UNDER LYRICAL DUO
Gold: Estelle Monney & Harriet Lawson
Silver: Alyssa Jeffries & Sophie Bailey

9 YEARS CLASSICAL SOLO
Gold: Layla Fielder
Silver: Zara Boldery
Bronze: Radha Haller

10 YEARS & UNDER TAP IMPROVISATION SOLO
Gold: Olivia Meares
Silver: Gracie Corowa
Bronze: Leighton Wynne

11 YEARS CLASSICAL SOLO
Gold: Peyton Prothero
Silver: Mia Bonaventura
Bronze: Aria Goldsack

12 YEARS & UNDER NOVELTY DUO
Gold: Lucy Clasie & Mia Perry

12 YEARS DEMI CHARACTER SOLO
Gold: Ruby Deguara
Silver: Halo-Wynter Ramsey
Bronze: Ava Pemble

RORY JORGENSEN MOST PROMISING DANCER 12 YEARS & UNDER
Olivia Meares

AMAYA CASTREJANA MOST OUTSTANDING DANCER 12 YEARS & UNDER
Peyton Prothero

13 & 14 YEARS TAP SOLO
Gold: Ella Richards
Silver: Ainsley Barber
Bronze: Emerson Heuir

LOUISE ANDREWS BALLET ENCOURAGEMENT AWARD 13 YEARS & OVER
Mackenzie Wotherspoon

JAYNAI SLATCHER MOST PROMISING TAP DANCER 13 YEARS & OVER
Adysen Ruddick

MELISSA LAND MOST PROMISING JAZZ DANCER 13 YEARS & OVER
Pania Corowa

ROCKWELL WILLIAMSON CLASSICAL BALLET AWARD AGGREGATE 13 YEARS & OVER
Demi Minns

14 YEARS JAZZ SOLO
Gold: Pania Corowa
Silver: Georgina Baira
Bronze: Klancie Coben

15 YEARS CLASSICAL SOLO
Gold: Demi Minns
Silver: Adysen Ruddick
Bronze: Ava Swindley

16 YEARS & OVER LYRICA SOLO
Gold: Mackenzie Wotherspoon
Silver: Grace Taylor
Bronze: Angelina Parliaros

LORI MACKAY ENCOURAGMENT AWARD – LOCAL DANCER
Bailey Hudson

RHYTHM EDGE DANCE STUDIOS MOST OUTSTANDING PERFORMER ALL AGES
Arden Mitchell

INTERMEDIATE GRAND CHAMPION DANCER
Ruby Deguara

MUSIC & INSTRAMENTAL
STRINGS SPECIAL AWARD
12 YEARS & UNDER STRINGS ENCOUARGMENT AWARD
Francheisca Dela Cruz
13 YEARS & OVER STRINGS ENCOURAGEMENT AWARD
Sofia Sarri
MOST OUTSTANDING STRINGS PLAYER AWARD
Keeley Ninnes

WOODWIND SPECIAL AWARD
WOODWIND & PIANO STUDIO OUTSTANDING WOODWIND AWARD
Gabrielle Penaluna
WOODWIND ENCOURAGEMENT AWARD
Sarah Flanagan

BRASS SPECIAL AWARD
OUTSTANDING BRASS AWARD
Cecilia Cason
ENCOURAGEMENT AWARD
Kaitlyn Penaluna

MUSIC SPECIAL AWARD
ACCOMPANIST GUILD OF QUEENSLAND BURSARY PRIZE
Sioeli Ma’u
SECONDARY SCHOOL CHIOR AWARD
Burdekin Christian College

VOCAL SPECIAL AWARD
OUTSTANDING VOCALIST AWARD 12 YEARS & UNDER
Zara Scovazzi
OUTSTANDING VOCALIST AWARD 13 YEARS & OVER
Riley Nosworthy
VOCAL ENCOURAGEMENT AWARD 12 YEARS & UNDER
Harper Nucifora
VOCAL ENCOURAGEMENT AWARD 13 YEARS & OVER
Piper Grogan

PIANO SPECIAL AWARD
PIANO ENCOURAGEMENT AWARD 12 YEARS & UNDER
Henry Stefanos
PIANO ENCOURAGEMENT AWARD 12 YEARS & OVER
Sofia Sarri
PIANO ENCOURAGEMENT AWARD OPEN AGE GROUP
George Stefanos
MOST OUTSTANDING PIANIST
William Jones

SPECIAL AWARD
PUBLIC SPEAKING
Popi Loizou
OUTSTANDING SOLO PERFORMER AWARD
Arden Mitchell
OVERALL GENRES ENCOURAGMENT AWARD
Arden Mitchell
MOST OUTSTANDING PERFORMER 12 YEARS & UNDER
Ryan Ferguson
SMALL SCHOOLS PERFORMING ARTS AWARD PRIMARY COMMUNITY AWARD
Clare State School

HIGHLAND DANCING
4 YEARS & UNDER 7 YEARS PAS DE BASQUES SOLO PRIMARY
Gold: Aylah Neven
Silver: Edith Ryan
Bronze: Georgiana Torrisi

4 YEARS & UNDER 7 YEARS PAS DE BASQUES & HIGH CUTS SOLO PRIMARY
Gold: Aylah Neven
Silver: Edith Ryan
Bronze: Georgiana Torrisi

4 YEARS & UNDER 7 YEARS FLING SOLO PRIMARY
Gold: Edith Ryan
Silver: Georgiana Torrisi


7 & 8 YEARS FLING SOLO BEGINNER
Gold: Harriet Lawson
Silver: Tijania Kimberly De Caux
Bronze: Ida Daley

7 & 8 YEARS SEANN TRUIBHAS SOLO BEGINNER
Gold: Harriet Lawson
Silver: Tijania Kimberly De Caux
Bronze: Ida Daley

7 & 8 YEARS SCOTTISH LILT SOLO BEGINNER
Gold: Harriet Lawson
Silver: Ida Daley
Bronze: Briar-Rose O’Donnell

9 & 10 YEARS SWORD DANCE SOLO BEGINNER
Gold: Eveline Cox
Silver: Isobel Littlefield
Bronze: Edith Innes

9 & 10 YEARS SOLO BEGINNER
Isobel Littlefield

9 & 10 YEARS FLING SOLO BEGINNER
Gold: Eveline Cox
Silver: Edith Innes
Bronze: Isobel Littlefield

9 & 10 YEARS FLORA SOLO BEGINNER
Gold: Eveline Cox

11 – 13 YEARS / 14 YEARS & OVER SCOTTISH LILT SOLO BEGINNER
Ruby Louise Antoniutti

11 – 13 YEARS / 14 YEARS & OVER FLORA SOLO BEGINNER
Gold: Ruby Louise Antoniutti
Silver: Torrance Tweedie

11 – 13 YEARS / 14 YEARS & OVER SWORDS DANCE SOLO BEGINNER
Gold: Ruby Louise Antoniutti
Silver: Torrance Tweedie
Bronze: Sophie Parsloe

11 – 13 YEARS / 14 YEARS & OVER SEANN TRUIBHAS SOLO BEGINNER
Gold: Ruby Louise Antoniutti
Silver: Sophie Parsloe

12 YEARS & UNDER OWN CHOICE CHOREOGRAPHY DUO
Gold: Karalee Davies & Scarlett O’Donnell
Silver: Ida Daley & Sophie Lane
Bronze: Maeve McBaron & Nicola Lane

16 YEARS & OVER PREMIER TITLE
Gold: Marnie Frost
Silver: Carla Martin
Bronze: Taylor Res

ALL AGES BROADSWORDS TEAM GROUP
Gold: Aviemore C

ALL AGES CHOREOGRAPHY GROUPS GROUP
Gold: Aviemore A

IRISH DANCING
6 YEARS & UNDER REEL SOLO BEGINNER
Gold: Emmaleigh Linke
Silver: Lucy Peres

7 – 9 YEARS REEL SOLO BEGINNER
Gold: Paige Hart
Silver: Margaret Wittle
Bronze: Lennyn Tanacha

9 YEARS & UNDER SINGLE JIG SOLO BEGINNER
Gold: Ariana Tanacha
Silver: Isabelle Linke
Bronze: Paige Hart

9 YEARS & UNDER SLIP JIG SOLO BEGINNER
Gold: Ariana Tanacha

7 - 9 YEARS LIGHT SLIP JIG SOLO BEGINNER
Gold: Ariana Tanacha
Silver: Isabelle Linke
Bronze: Paige Hart

10 YEARS & OVER REEL SOLO BEGINNER
Gold: Sophie Dalglish
Silver: Alayna Fleming
Bronze: Laynne O’Brien

10 YEARS & OVER SINGLE JIG SOLO BEGINNER
Gold: Tess Neary
Silver: Miya Neary
Bronze: Alanya Fleming

10 YEARS & OVER TREBLE JIG SOLO BEGINNER
Gold: Ismaya Hartono Young
Silver: Alana Fleming
Bronze: Tess Neary

10 YEARS & UNDER SLIP JIG SOLO BEGINNER
Gold: Tess Neary
Silver: Taylah Rush
Bronze: Alanya Fleming

11 YEARS & UNDER TRADITIONAL ST PATRICKS DAY SOLO PRIMARY
Gold: Abbe Pritchard
Silver: Alayna Fleming

11 YEARS & UNDER SLIP JIG SOLO PRIMARY
Gold: Mischa Anastasi

12 YEARS & OVER TRADITIONAL ST PATRICKS DAY SOLO PRIMARY
Gold: Finn Recklies Houlihan
Silver: Torrance Tweedie
Bronze: Kysah Clapham

12 YEARS & UNDER / 13 YEARS & OVER HORNPIPE SOLO INTERMEDIATE
Gold: Mia Rankin
Silver: Mischa Anastasi
Bronze: Lila Heron

14 YEARS & UNDER / 15 YEARS & OVER REEL SOLO OPEN
Gold: Amy Williamson
Silver: Abigail Manning
Bronze: Ruby Antoniutti

OPEN AGES 4 HAND REEL CEILI GROUP
Gold: International Dance Affair
Silver: Dalriada Irish Dancers 1

IRISH MAJOR AWARDS
CELTIC CONNECTIONS MOST OUTSTANDING OPEN IRISH DANCER 13 YEARS & OVER
Amy Williamson
IRENE BARTON MOST PROMISING INTERMEDIATE IRISH DANCER
Ismaya Hartono Young

The Burdekin Junior Eisteddfod Inc. expressed their gratitude on Facebook to conclude the milestone year.

“I couldn’t be prouder of all the Junior competitors that have taken the stage over the last 12 days. Each and every one of you should be so proud, I know we as a committee are. Well done and we will see you in 2025.”

Visit the Burdekin Junior Eisteddfod’s Facebook page to view the full results from the outstanding showcase.

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A Night Of Country Music In Home Hill

May 30, 2024

Not only have Lindsay Butler OAM and Shaza Leigh OWB been touring the nation for 30 years with their multi-artist roadshow but their record label, LBS Music, has also launched the careers of many of today’s crop of traditional country music stars.
Lindsay and Shaza have decided to celebrate their company’s 30th anniversary by hitting the road with a roster of LBS recording artists backed by an incredible six piece ‘Butler Showband’, coming to Home Hill in June.
The unassuming couple have quietly built a small country music empire over those past 30 years with recording studios, record labels with distribution arms.
Most recently, Shaza has built new foundational partnerships into marketing companies, radio stations and artist services to carry the LBS Music Group into the future.
Award winning session musicians in their own right, Lindsay and Shaza spearhead their band on lead and rhythm/bass guitar respectively.
Other musicians include long serving band member, the Queen of the Country Piano Peggy Gilchrist, young gun guitarist Anthony Baxter, multi-instrumentalist Rick Ferret playing Pedal Steel, Fiddle and Sax plus their son Lachlan Butler on Drums.
As the legendary guitarist Lindsay Butler commences his farewell to Australia, this may be one of the last opportunities to see this amazing Australian musician play.
This is a variety show for everyone and a concert not to be missed.

WHAT: LBS Music 30th Anniversary Celebrations
WHEN: Saturday, June 22 from 7:00pm
WHERE: Home Hill Community Sports Club
TICKETS: Phone 07 4783 4388

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Event Guide 23 May

May 23, 2024

Saturday 25 May

Burdekin Netball Junior Cup Carnival
Saturday and Sunday, from 7am to 5pm
The Annual Burdekin Netball Junior Cup Carnival will once again be held for teams from all over North Queensland to come and compete whilst having fun with their friends.
With an expected 400 competitors to prepare to take the courts, the Burdekin Netball Association welcomes all residents and visitors to their annual carnival held at the Home Hill Netball Courts. 
Burdekin Netball Association

Pre Crush Old Time Dance
Saturday, from 6pm
The Rita Island Progress Association is hosting a pre crush, old time dance at the Jarvisfield State School hall, along with the Jarvisfield P&C committee, on May 25. The night kicks off at 6pm with a BBQ dinner and showcase by the highland dancers, then Kiradon will entertaining the crowd until 11pm. This is a licensed event with an 18+ bar area, and don't forget to bring your cash for some amazing raffles on the night. $5 entry per person or $15 per family puts you in the draw for our lucky door prize, plus smoko and dessert. Please RSVP on the Facebook event for catering. We hope to see you with your dancing shoes on!
Jarvisfield State School Hall

Thursday 6 June

Morning Melodies: Some Enchanted Evening
Thursday, from 11am
We have all heard their songs and we have all enjoyed their musicals. They were known as America’s most successful musical theatre writing team and their partnership has been called the greatest of the 20th Century.
Join us for a very special event paying tribute to the timeless music from the legendary Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II. Featuring your favourite tunes from Carousel, The King and I, South Pacific, The Sound of Music and many more, Some Enchanted Evening is truly an enchanted concert of exquisite songs from the golden age of musicals. 
In an intimate setting amongst the stars, come on a whimsical journey through song and dance, and be captivated by the beautiful music of ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’, ‘Younger Than Springtime’, ‘I Have Dreamed’, ‘Climb Every Mountain’, and ‘Oh What a Beautiful Morning’. With beautiful costumes, extraordinary dancing and a song list that also includes music from their partnerships with Jerome Kern and Lorenz Hart, Some Enchanted Evening is a magical, uplifting experience that is not to be missed.
Burdekin Theatre


Friday 7 June

The Fleetwood Mac and Stevie Nicks Tribute Show
Friday, from 7.30pm
Welcome to The Dreams Show – your ticket to experiencing the magic of Fleetwood Mac and the captivating solo career of their leading lady, Stevie Nicks. Since its launch in 2017, Dreams has gained massive acclaim, both from fans across Australia and from within Fleetwood Mac themselves. Dennis Dunstan, Fleetwood Mac’s Manager (1981-1999), applauded the show, stating, “The Dreams Show was a breath of fresh air when it comes to Fleetwood Mac tribute shows.. these guys deliver.. Big Time! Don’t miss this show if you’re a Mac fan!” Surrender to the enchantment of Dreams, as we recreate everything from their live show spectacle to clothes to choreography and  anecdotes to iconic songs of the legendary band. Enjoy monumental hits like ‘Go your Own way’, ‘Gypsy’, ‘Edge of Seventeen’, ‘Rooms on Fire’, ‘TUSK’, ‘Say you love me’, and many others. $59 tickets.
Burdekin Theatre

Sunday 9 June

The Cane Country Cup Pickleball Team Event

Friday, from 8.30am
Building on the success of the Sugar Bowl, Home Hill Tennis brings you the inaugural Cane Country Cup, a pickleball team event. Teams have been invited to the event from Mackay, Whitsundays, Bowen, Townsville, Charters Towers and Ingham. It will be unique on the pickleball calendar with mixed teams of 4-6 players, where every point won will go toward determining overall winners. It will be played in Competitive and Social Grades. The excitement around the event is building with teams from clubs committing to playing in the event. Pickleball is a fast paced, fast scoring racquet sport played on a small court. Organizers are expecting that sportsmanship, camaraderie and building friendships will be at the forefront of the event.
Home Hill Tennis Association

Wednesday 12 June

Ayr State High School: Year 10 Careers Morning
Wednesday, from 9am to 10am
The aim of the morning is to provide a broad view of careers and employment opportunities in our local area and surrounds.
The format includes display tables, 10-minute introduction of your organisation and an opportunity for students to ask questions. Students will move between organisations to gain knowledge about career options to support their subject choices for their senior schooling.  
Please use this link https://forms.office.com/r/rpaKQtFiK4 to register. It would be appreciated if each organisation representative could register for catering and workplace safety purposes.
Ayr State High School

Anthology Showcase
Wednesday, 10:30am
Writers from the “Burdekin Creative Writers” and “Night Writers” groups will read a selection of their pieces from the Anthology.
Home Hill Branch of Burdekin Library

Monday 24 June

ARC by ERTH
Monday and Tuesday, from 6.30pm
Showcasing exquisite puppetry, an enigmatic host, audience interaction and a world of rare and exotic animals, ARC is a profound experience that embraces the natural world and the creatures that cohabit this place we call Earth. 
ARC presents intimate, magical encounters with rare and vulnerable species, raising important questions about our collective and individual relationship with nature and loss. Renowned as innovators of physical and visual theatre, for the past three decades Erth’s body of work has explored the depths of the past. With ARC, they look unblinkingly to the future, as this menagerie of animals transforms the stage before your very eyes.
Burdekin Theatre

Wednesday 26 June

Burdekin Show
Wednesday, from 10am
The Annual Burdekin Show hosted at the Ayr Showgrounds is an event for all ages. From exhibits to equestrian, side show alley and fireworks there is something for everyone and the true essence of country hospitality can be found. 
Ayr Showgrounds

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The Sunshine Club

May 15, 2024

On July 13, HIT Productions’ The Sunshine Club will light up the stage at the Burdekin Theatre.

Written and directed by Wesley Enoch and showcasing music by John Rodgers, The Sunshine Club is a vibrant, energetic, and thought-provoking musical set in 1946, telling the story of Aboriginal soldier, Frank Doyle as he returns home to Brisbane after serving in World War II. The musical follows Frank and his strong, ambitious desires to transform the attitudes and prejudices within his home as he establishes The Sunshine Club. The Sunshine Club is a hopeful place where people are welcome to gather to indulge in laughter, romance, and music as they dance the night away. Whilst working to change society for the better, Frank also sets out to win the heart of the girl next door, Rose, the girl of his dreams.

The Sunshine Club has been celebrated by The Australian as a “brilliant new landmark in Australian musicals”, and the award-winning production creates a joyful atmosphere for a vibrant night of theatre with the talents of 11 cast members, including emerging and established First Nations artists on show. 28 music pieces composed by the esteemed and celebrated John Rodgers will be performed by a 5-piece live band for audiences to enjoy, and writer and director, Wesley Enoch, believes the production communicates many valuable messages through song and dance.

Wesley Enoch has been described as an acclaimed creative force in Australian Theatre, and his production, The Sunshine Club, showcases his energetic and engaging writing and directing style. Wesley believes his production hosts a space where audiences can gather to form cultural connections and celebrate Australian history whilst acknowledging the need for Reconciliation in Australia’s future.

“I initially wrote this as a way of bringing people together, especially in the Reconciliation Movement, and this notion of black and white dancing together and the stories of our history, especially post World War II, and for me, seeing this play is about celebrating the idea of coming together,” explained Wesley.

“It’s also the idea of how plays can keep talking to their audiences year after year and in some ways creating classic stories through musical theatre is both an invitation for the audience to sit together, black and white, and also as a way of celebrating more Indigenous writing and Indigenous stories.”

Enjoy an extraordinary night of entertainment and purchase your tickets to The Sunshine Club for the July 13 at The Burdekin Theatre now from Tickets.BurdekinTheatre.Com.Au or at the Burdekin Theatre’s Box Office.

WHEN: The Sunshine Club
WHEN: 13 July 2024
WHERE: The Burdekin Theatre
TICKETS: https://bit.ly/SunshineClubBurdekin

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Event Guide 17 May

May 16, 2024

Saturday 18 May

Burdekin Growers Race Day
Saturday, from 11am
The Burdekin Growers Race Day is the Burdekin's premier 18+ social event of 2024 with thousands of locals and visitors flocking to the Home Hill Race Club. The event is not only about horse racing but also about fashion. The Fashion's on the Field is a hotly contested event amongst race goers. The day is filled with thousands of dollars worth of prize giveaways and every patron receives a free box of locally grown fruit and vegetables, so everyone goes home a winner! Live entertainment starts from 5:30pm til late. 
Burdekin Race Club

Sunday 19 May

Norm Perry Memorial Duck Race
Sunday, from 9am
The annual Duck Race by the Rotary Club of Ayr is one not to be missed. Hundreds of plastic, decorated ducks are released by a crane into Plantation Creek and race to the finish line. 
Two local causes receive donations from the Rotary Club of Ayr through money raised by selling ducks. Attendants will be entertained by the race, along with kids games, entertainment and a BBQ lunch. 
Ayr

Saturday 25 May

Burdekin Netball Junior Cup Carnival
Saturday and Sunday, from 7am to 5pm
The Annual Burdekin Netball Junior Cup Carnival will once again be held for teams from all over North Queensland to come and compete whilst having fun with their friends.
With an expected 400 competitors to prepare to take the courts, the Burdekin Netball Association welcomes all residents and visitors to their annual carnival held at the Home Hill Netball Courts. 
Burdekin Netball Association

Thursday 6 June

Morning Melodies: Some Enchanted Evening
Thursday, from 11am
We have all heard their songs and we have all enjoyed their musicals. They were known as America’s most successful musical theatre writing team and their partnership has been called the greatest of the 20th Century.
Join us for a very special event paying tribute to the timeless music from the legendary Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II. Featuring your favourite tunes from Carousel, The King and I, South Pacific, The Sound of Music and many more, Some Enchanted Evening is truly an enchanted concert of exquisite songs from the golden age of musicals. 
In an intimate setting amongst the stars, come on a whimsical journey through song and dance, and be captivated by the beautiful music of ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’, ‘Younger Than Springtime’, ‘I Have Dreamed’, ‘Climb Every Mountain’, and ‘Oh What a Beautiful Morning’. With beautiful costumes, extraordinary dancing and a song list that also includes music from their partnerships with Jerome Kern and Lorenz Hart, Some Enchanted Evening is a magical, uplifting experience that is not to be missed.
Burdekin Theatre


Friday 7 June

The Fleetwood Mac and Stevie Nicks Tribute Show
Friday, from 5.30pm
Welcome to The Dreams Show – your ticket to experiencing the magic of Fleetwood Mac and the captivating solo career of their leading lady, Stevie Nicks. Since its launch in 2017, Dreams has gained massive acclaim, both from fans across Australia and from within Fleetwood Mac themselves. Dennis Dunstan, Fleetwood Mac’s Manager (1981-1999), applauded the show, stating, “The Dreams Show was a breath of fresh air when it comes to Fleetwood Mac tribute shows.. these guys deliver.. Big Time! Don’t miss this show if you’re a Mac fan!” Surrender to the enchantment of Dreams, as we recreate everything from their live show spectacle to clothes to choreography and  anecdotes to iconic songs of the legendary band. Enjoy monumental hits like ‘Go your Own way’, ‘Gypsy’, ‘Edge of Seventeen’, ‘Rooms on Fire’, ‘TUSK’, ‘Say you love me’, and many others. $59 tickets.
Burdekin Theatre

Sunday 9 June

The Cane Country Cup Pickleball Team Event

Friday, from 8.30am
Building on the success of the Sugar Bowl, Home Hill Tennis brings you the inaugural Cane Country Cup, a pickleball team event. Teams have been invited to the event from Mackay, Whitsundays, Bowen, Townsville, Charters Towers and Ingham. It will be unique on the pickleball calendar with mixed teams of 4-6 players, where every point won will go toward determining overall winners. It will be played in Competitive and Social Grades. The excitement around the event is building with teams from clubs committing to playing in the event. Pickleball is a fast paced, fast scoring racquet sport played on a small court. Organizers are expecting that sportsmanship, camaraderie and building friendships will be at the forefront of the event.
Home Hill Tennis Association

Wednesday 12 June

Ayr State High School: Year 10 Careers Morning
Wednesday, from 9am to 10am
The aim of the morning is to provide a broad view of careers and employment opportunities in our local area and surrounds.
The format includes display tables, 10-minute introduction of your organisation and an opportunity for students to ask questions. Students will move between organisations to gain knowledge about career options to support their subject choices for their senior schooling.  
Please use this link https://forms.office.com/r/rpaKQtFiK4 to register. It would be appreciated if each organisation representative could register for catering and workplace safety purposes.
Ayr State High School

Anthology Showcase
Wednesday, 10:30am
Writers from the “Burdekin Creative Writers” and “Night Writers” groups will read a selection of their pieces from the Anthology.
Home Hill Branch of Burdekin Library

Monday 24 June

ARC by ERTH
Monday and Tuesday, from 6.30pm
Showcasing exquisite puppetry, an enigmatic host, audience interaction and a world of rare and exotic animals, ARC is a profound experience that embraces the natural world and the creatures that cohabit this place we call Earth. 
ARC presents intimate, magical encounters with rare and vulnerable species, raising important questions about our collective and individual relationship with nature and loss. Renowned as innovators of physical and visual theatre, for the past three decades Erth’s body of work has explored the depths of the past. With ARC, they look unblinkingly to the future, as this menagerie of animals transforms the stage before your very eyes.
Burdekin Theatre

Wednesday 26 June

Burdekin Show
Wednesday, from 10am
The Annual Burdekin Show hosted at the Ayr Showgrounds is an event for all ages. From exhibits to equestrian, side show alley and fireworks there is something for everyone and the true essence of country hospitality can be found. 
Ayr Showgrounds

Saturday 18 May

Burdekin Growers Race Day
Saturday, from 11am
The Burdekin Growers Race Day is the Burdekin's premier 18+ social event of 2024 with thousands of locals and visitors flocking to the Home Hill Race Club. The event is not only about horse racing but also about fashion. The Fashion's on the Field is a hotly contested event amongst race goers. The day is filled with thousands of dollars worth of prize giveaways and every patron receives a free box of locally grown fruit and vegetables, so everyone goes home a winner! Live entertainment starts from 5:30pm til late. 
Burdekin Race Club

Sunday 19 May

Norm Perry Memorial Duck Race
Sunday, from 9am
The annual Duck Race by the Rotary Club of Ayr is one not to be missed. Hundreds of plastic, decorated ducks are released by a crane into Plantation Creek and race to the finish line. 
Two local causes receive donations from the Rotary Club of Ayr through money raised by selling ducks. Attendants will be entertained by the race, along with kids games, entertainment and a BBQ lunch. 
Ayr

Saturday 25 May

Burdekin Netball Junior Cup Carnival
Saturday and Sunday, from 7am to 5pm
The Annual Burdekin Netball Junior Cup Carnival will once again be held for teams from all over North Queensland to come and compete whilst having fun with their friends.
With an expected 400 competitors to prepare to take the courts, the Burdekin Netball Association welcomes all residents and visitors to their annual carnival held at the Home Hill Netball Courts. 
Burdekin Netball Association

Thursday 6 June

Morning Melodies: Some Enchanted Evening
Thursday, from 11am
We have all heard their songs and we have all enjoyed their musicals. They were known as America’s most successful musical theatre writing team and their partnership has been called the greatest of the 20th Century.
Join us for a very special event paying tribute to the timeless music from the legendary Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II. Featuring your favourite tunes from Carousel, The King and I, South Pacific, The Sound of Music and many more, Some Enchanted Evening is truly an enchanted concert of exquisite songs from the golden age of musicals. 
In an intimate setting amongst the stars, come on a whimsical journey through song and dance, and be captivated by the beautiful music of ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’, ‘Younger Than Springtime’, ‘I Have Dreamed’, ‘Climb Every Mountain’, and ‘Oh What a Beautiful Morning’. With beautiful costumes, extraordinary dancing and a song list that also includes music from their partnerships with Jerome Kern and Lorenz Hart, Some Enchanted Evening is a magical, uplifting experience that is not to be missed.
Burdekin Theatre


Friday 7 June

The Fleetwood Mac and Stevie Nicks Tribute Show
Friday, from 5.30pm
Welcome to The Dreams Show – your ticket to experiencing the magic of Fleetwood Mac and the captivating solo career of their leading lady, Stevie Nicks. Since its launch in 2017, Dreams has gained massive acclaim, both from fans across Australia and from within Fleetwood Mac themselves. Dennis Dunstan, Fleetwood Mac’s Manager (1981-1999), applauded the show, stating, “The Dreams Show was a breath of fresh air when it comes to Fleetwood Mac tribute shows.. these guys deliver.. Big Time! Don’t miss this show if you’re a Mac fan!” Surrender to the enchantment of Dreams, as we recreate everything from their live show spectacle to clothes to choreography and  anecdotes to iconic songs of the legendary band. Enjoy monumental hits like ‘Go your Own way’, ‘Gypsy’, ‘Edge of Seventeen’, ‘Rooms on Fire’, ‘TUSK’, ‘Say you love me’, and many others. $59 tickets.
Burdekin Theatre

Sunday 9 June

The Cane Country Cup Pickleball Team Event

Friday, from 8.30am
Building on the success of the Sugar Bowl, Home Hill Tennis brings you the inaugural Cane Country Cup, a pickleball team event. Teams have been invited to the event from Mackay, Whitsundays, Bowen, Townsville, Charters Towers and Ingham. It will be unique on the pickleball calendar with mixed teams of 4-6 players, where every point won will go toward determining overall winners. It will be played in Competitive and Social Grades. The excitement around the event is building with teams from clubs committing to playing in the event. Pickleball is a fast paced, fast scoring racquet sport played on a small court. Organizers are expecting that sportsmanship, camaraderie and building friendships will be at the forefront of the event.
Home Hill Tennis Association

Wednesday 12 June

Ayr State High School: Year 10 Careers Morning
Wednesday, from 9am to 10am
The aim of the morning is to provide a broad view of careers and employment opportunities in our local area and surrounds.
The format includes display tables, 10-minute introduction of your organisation and an opportunity for students to ask questions. Students will move between organisations to gain knowledge about career options to support their subject choices for their senior schooling.  
Please use this link https://forms.office.com/r/rpaKQtFiK4 to register. It would be appreciated if each organisation representative could register for catering and workplace safety purposes.
Ayr State High School

Anthology Showcase
Wednesday, 10:30am
Writers from the “Burdekin Creative Writers” and “Night Writers” groups will read a selection of their pieces from the Anthology.
Home Hill Branch of Burdekin Library

Monday 24 June

ARC by ERTH
Monday and Tuesday, from 6.30pm
Showcasing exquisite puppetry, an enigmatic host, audience interaction and a world of rare and exotic animals, ARC is a profound experience that embraces the natural world and the creatures that cohabit this place we call Earth. 
ARC presents intimate, magical encounters with rare and vulnerable species, raising important questions about our collective and individual relationship with nature and loss. Renowned as innovators of physical and visual theatre, for the past three decades Erth’s body of work has explored the depths of the past. With ARC, they look unblinkingly to the future, as this menagerie of animals transforms the stage before your very eyes.
Burdekin Theatre

Wednesday 26 June

Burdekin Show
Wednesday, from 10am
The Annual Burdekin Show hosted at the Ayr Showgrounds is an event for all ages. From exhibits to equestrian, side show alley and fireworks there is something for everyone and the true essence of country hospitality can be found. 
Ayr Showgrounds

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Quack-tastic Fun For The Whole Family Don't Miss The Norm Perry Memorial Duck Race This Sunday

May 15, 2024

Offering a morning of bright yellow family fun, the Norm Perry Memorial Duck Race will return to Plantation Park this Sunday, May 19.
A bunch of family-friendly activities kick off from 9:30am and will run throughout the morning including the colouring in competition and novelty races, including egg and spoon and sack races.
Organisers are inviting attendees to dress themselves or their already-purchased ducks up as creatively as possible to enter the Best Duck Outfit and Best Decorated Duck competitions, with hundreds of dollars in prize money on offer to be judged from 10:45am.
There will be market stalls to peruse including your final opportunity to purchase a duck before the iconic race gets underway at 11:00am where the community will gather to watch hundreds of ducks race down Plantation Creek.
The Burdekin Brass Band will soundtrack the morning with their joyful tunes while Rotary Club of Ayr are running the barbecue which will offer steak and sausage burgers, hot chips and soft drinks, while coffee and ice cream vans will also be onsite.
The annual fundraising event is one the Rotary Club of Ayr’s major fundraising events of the year and, this year, funds raised will go towards Burdekin Combined Chaplaincy (BCC) and Burdekin Community Association (BCA).
“Fundraising is critical for us because times are pretty tough and we have organisations, especially like BCC and BCA, that need as much support as they can get, so we try and spread ourselves as much as possible,” said Rotary Volunteer John McVeigh, who is on the Duck Race Committee alongside Stacey Koia and Roger Timm.
“For the size of our club, we match any club in Townsville with what we do, and, in this case, we ensure the money returns to our community.”
As well as getting the Burdekin Brass Band, BCC and BCA involved, the club has also enlisted the support of Ayr State High School students who will assist with activities and stalls throughout the day and the Ayr Surf Lifesaving Club will be in the creek ensuring the smooth running of the race.
John Furnell will be behind the microphone emceeing the event, supporting an event close to his heart as event’s namesake Norm Perry’s son-in-law.
Norm’s wife Maureen Perry will also be there making the presentations, which will proceed after the race.
Ducks are still available from Burdekin Cleaners and Laundry and on the day for $50 each and if punters buy three ducks, they’ll get a fourth duck for free.
Raffle tickets are also on sale for $5 each to go into the running for a firepit built by Rotary member Mike Blakey.
To find out more, visit Rotary Club of Ayr on Facebook or contact John McVeigh on 0409 321 418.

WHAT: Norm Perry Memorial Duck Race
WHEN: Sunday, May 19 from 9:30am
WHERE: Plantation Park, Ayr
This is a free community event

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Barra & Boots Music Festival Where Country Music Meets Nature's Symphony

May 10, 2024

Nestled amidst the serene beauty of the Whitsundays region, an intimate new music festival promises an unforgettable experience for country music enthusiasts and nature lovers alike.
The inaugural Barra & Boots Music Festival is coming to the shores of Lake Proserpine on Saturday, June 15, and is sure to capture the hearts of attendees for years to come.
Drawing from the rich tapestry of Australian country music, the festival boasts a lineup that will enchant audiences all afternoon.
With established legends Adam Brand and Sara Storer headlining the event and rising stars Andrew Swift, Jayne Denham, Portia Clark and Billie-Jo Porter also joining the party, the lineup promises something for everyone.
What makes the Barra & Boots Music Festival even more special is its intimate atmosphere set amongst the beauty of Lake Proserpine.
“Our camp area at Lake Proserpine is magnificent,” said Director of Commercial Business for Whitsunday Regional Council, Craig Turner.
“You’re right there looking over the water, you’ve got the mountains, you’ve got the surrounds.
“It’s a beautiful location and you add to that the amazing Australian country music artists, the opportunity for people to hang out together with friends and family and spend a day or a weekend getting out and enjoying yourself.”
Day passes are available now, granting access to a day filled with music, camaraderie, and unparalleled natural beauty.
For those seeking a truly immersive experience, camping options abound; choose from bush camping nestled amidst the tranquil wilderness or lakeside camping offering breathtaking views of the water.
The stage is positioned within campsite grounds so, wherever you choose to set up, live music is never too far away, providing attendees with the rare opportunity to connect with their favourite artists on a personal level.
“You're literally going to be face to face with these artists," Mr Turner said.
“They're going to be right there.”
Food vans will tantalise taste buds, while attendees are welcome to bring their own food and drinks to enhance the festival experience.
With ticket prices set at $180 for adults, $99 for youth aged 11-17, and complimentary admission for children 10 and under, the festival ensures that everyone can partake in the magic.
Bush camping is priced at $200 per site per night for up to six people and lakeside camping at $300, allowing attendees to create lasting memories around crackling campfires under the starlit sky.
With only 600 concert tickets and 120 campsites available, the Barra & Boots Music Festival promises an exclusive experience for those fortunate enough to secure their place.
Don't miss your chance to be part of this extraordinary event.

WHAT: Barra & Boots Music Festival
WHEN: Saturday June 15
WHERE: Lake Proserpine Camping Ground
TICKETS: www.regfest.com.au/whitsunday-event-info.html

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First Release Tickets For Whitsundays Writers Festival

May 10, 2024

Early bird tickets for the revitalised Whitsundays Writers Festival are going on sale this week and organisers are expecting them to be snapped-up quickly with some of the most popular ticketed events capped at 100 seats.

Attracting an enticing range of highly-acclaimed authors, this years’ event will welcome big names such as Shankari Chandran, Garry Disher, Sally Hepworth, Kirsty Manning, Christos Tsiolkas, Anne Buist, Graeme Simsion, Karina Kilmore, Melissa Ashley, Jack Roney, Joy Damousi, and Nick Earls.  

The Early Bird ticket sales will open on Monday 29 April and include full-program 3-day tickets only.
An exciting line-up awaits with the Friday featuring an author keynote and conversations followed by Poetry Karaoke from 5pm at the Whitsunday Sailing Club.

Saturday commences with the Whitsundays Literary Heart Award presentations and author conversations at the Whitsunday Sailing Club.

This is followed by the Big Book Club High Tea at My Rainbow Bakery and then a lively Saturday Sundowner event in Airlie Beach.

The event culminates with a series of morning workshops at the Whitsunday Sailing Club on the Sunday, followed by the Local Author Long Lunch at the Whitsunday Marine Club.

The action-packed timetable offers attendees a range of diverse events that will not only stimulate the mind but also inspire a love of the Whitsundays, with venues hand-picked to offer stunning views of our region.

Festival Chair, Karen Jacobsen, said she is thrilled to see the event take-off again this year after an eight-year hiatus.

“It’s not often we have the opportunity to meet renowned national and international writers and at the same time, support our local authors,” she said.

“This will be a landmark event for the Whitsundays and a golden opportunity for regional Queensland to add a substantial literary gem to its arts calendar.”

Standard Early Bird tickets for the full program are $320 (plus GST) and $249 (plus GST) for concession card holders and students. Early Bird registrations close 31 May with ticket price increases taking effect 1 June.
Single day, single session, and special event tickets will be released at a later date.  
For ticket inclusions, terms and conditions, please visit the Festival’s website.

WHAT: The Whitsundays Writers Festival
WHEN: 6-8 September
TICKETS: On sale from April 29
www.whitsundayswriters.com

Some of the familiar faces appearing at the 2024 Whitsundays Writers Festival
Shankari Chandran
Garry Disher
Sally Hepworth
Christos Tsiolkas

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Event Guide

May 8, 2024

Saturday 18 May
Burdekin Growers Race Day
Saturday, from 11am
The Burdekin Growers Race Day is the Burdekin's premier 18+ social event of 2024 with thousands of locals and visitors flocking to the Home Hill Race Club. The event is not only about horse racing but also about fashion. The Fashion's on the Field is a hotly contested event amongst race goers. The day is filled with thousands of dollars worth of prize giveaways and every patron receives a free box of locally grown fruit and vegetables, so everyone goes home a winner! Live entertainment starts from 5:30pm til late. 
Burdekin Race Club

Sunday 19 May
Norm Perry Memorial Duck Race
Sunday, from 9am
The annual Duck Race by the Rotary Club of Ayr is one not to be missed. Hundreds of plastic, decorated ducks are released by a crane into Plantation Creek and race to the finish line. 
Two local causes receive donations from the Rotary Club of Ayr through money raised by selling ducks. Attendants will be entertained by the race, along with kids games, entertainment and a BBQ lunch. 
Ayr

Saturday 25 May
Burdekin Netball Junior Cup Carnival
Saturday and Sunday, from 7am to 5pm
The Annual Burdekin Netball Junior Cup Carnival will once again be held for teams from all over North Queensland to come and compete whilst having fun with their friends.
With an expected 400 competitors to prepare to take the courts, the Burdekin Netball Association welcomes all residents and visitors to their annual carnival held at the Home Hill Netball Courts. 
Burdekin Netball Association

Thursday 6 June
Morning Melodies: Some Enchanted Evening
Thursday, from 11am
We have all heard their songs and we have all enjoyed their musicals. They were known as America’s most successful musical theatre writing team and their partnership has been called the greatest of the 20th Century.
Join us for a very special event paying tribute to the timeless music from the legendary Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II. Featuring your favourite tunes from Carousel, The King and I, South Pacific, The Sound of Music and many more, Some Enchanted Evening is truly an enchanted concert of exquisite songs from the golden age of musicals. 
In an intimate setting amongst the stars, come on a whimsical journey through song and dance, and be captivated by the beautiful music of ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’, ‘Younger Than Springtime’, ‘I Have Dreamed’, ‘Climb Every Mountain’, and ‘Oh What a Beautiful Morning’. With beautiful costumes, extraordinary dancing and a song list that also includes music from their partnerships with Jerome Kern and Lorenz Hart, Some Enchanted Evening is a magical, uplifting experience that is not to be missed.
Burdekin Theatre


Friday 7 June
The Fleetwood Mac and Stevie Nicks Tribute Show
Friday, from 5.30pm
Welcome to The Dreams Show – your ticket to experiencing the magic of Fleetwood Mac and the captivating solo career of their leading lady, Stevie Nicks. Since its launch in 2017, Dreams has gained massive acclaim, both from fans across Australia and from within Fleetwood Mac themselves. Dennis Dunstan, Fleetwood Mac’s Manager (1981-1999), applauded the show, stating, “The Dreams Show was a breath of fresh air when it comes to Fleetwood Mac tribute shows.. these guys deliver.. Big Time! Don’t miss this show if you’re a Mac fan!” Surrender to the enchantment of Dreams, as we recreate everything from their live show spectacle to clothes to choreography and  anecdotes to iconic songs of the legendary band. Enjoy monumental hits like ‘Go your Own way’, ‘Gypsy’, ‘Edge of Seventeen’, ‘Rooms on Fire’, ‘TUSK’, ‘Say you love me’, and many others. $59 tickets.
Burdekin Theatre

Wednesday 12 June
Ayr State High School: Year 10 Careers Morning
Wednesday, from 9am to 10am
The aim of the morning is to provide a broad view of careers and employment opportunities in our local area and surrounds.
The format includes display tables, 10-minute introduction of your organisation and an opportunity for students to ask questions. Students will move between organisations to gain knowledge about career options to support their subject choices for their senior schooling.  
Please use this link https://forms.office.com/r/rpaKQtFiK4 to register. It would be appreciated if each organisation representative could register for catering and workplace safety purposes.
Ayr State High School

Anthology Showcase
Wednesday, 10:30am
Writers from the “Burdekin Creative Writers” and “Night Writers” groups will read a selection of their pieces from the Anthology.

Home Hill Branch of Burdekin Library

Monday 24 June
ARC by ERTH
Monday and Tuesday, from 6.30pm
Showcasing exquisite puppetry, an enigmatic host, audience interaction and a world of rare and exotic animals, ARC is a profound experience that embraces the natural world and the creatures that cohabit this place we call Earth. 
ARC presents intimate, magical encounters with rare and vulnerable species, raising important questions about our collective and individual relationship with nature and loss. Renowned as innovators of physical and visual theatre, for the past three decades Erth’s body of work has explored the depths of the past. With ARC, they look unblinkingly to the future, as this menagerie of animals transforms the stage before your very eyes.
Burdekin Theatre

Wednesday 26 June
Burdekin Show
Wednesday, from 10am
The Annual Burdekin Show hosted at the Ayr Showgrounds is an event for all ages. From exhibits to equestrian, side show alley and fireworks there is something for everyone and the true essence of country hospitality can be found. 
Ayr Showgrounds
Monday 1 July
Flipside Circus
Monday, from 9:30am

Flipside is bringing the circus to town with a fantastic range of workshops to supercharge school holidays.
Flipside Circus’s expert trainers work with young people to teach ground and aerial circus skills including juggling and manipulation, hula-hoop, acro balance, minitrampoline,
tumbling, and trapeze.
The workshops are challenging and focus on; building self-confidence, physical skills, and fitness, as well as teamwork.
KINDY CAMP - 9:30AM - $10.00
2 - 4 years, 45min duration
FLIPPEROOS - 10:30AM - $20.00
4 - 8 years, 1.5hr duration
CIRCUS SKILLS - 1.00PM - $30.00
8 – 16 years, 3hr duration
Tickets Available 8 April 2024 - 3:00pm
Burdekin Theatre Auditorium

Wednesday 14 August
Morning Melodies: A Farwell to Doris
Thursday from 11am
Melinda Schneider returns to the stage in 2024 to pay tribute to the legendary Doris Day.
The world lost one of its biggest stars with the passing of Doris Day. A legend of stage, screen and song, Doris died aged 97, leaving behind an incredible body of work, including iconic movies and unforgettable songs.
Doris Day, “the girl next door”, had millions of fans around the world, none bigger than chart-topping Australian singer songwriter Melinda Schneider, who has recorded two albums of Doris’ songs, co-written and starred in a theatre show based on Doris’ life, and done sell-out tours celebrating Doris’ work.
Melinda Schneider’s, A Farewell To Doris, is a heartfelt tribute to Doris Day. This nostalgic concert celebration will include timeless hits as well as a number of Doris’ big band standards.
Burdekin Theatre

Monday 2 September
Burdekin Art Society Art Exhibition
Monday to Saturday, 8am to 5pm
The Burdekin Art Society Annual Exhibition attracts lovers of fine art from near and far. Being a week long exhibition allows people from other areas an opportunity to see this very popular event and draws entries from all over the state and further afield. 
The longevity of the event attests to the quality and popularity that the entrants and viewers alike enjoy.

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Life-Like Puppets Come Alive At Burdekin Theatre

May 2, 2024

Be taken to another world at Burdekin Theatre with a puppet show like you have never seen before.

This unique performance offers audience interactions with the life-like puppets of real-life animals, you’ll feel like you have transported into a habitat, immersed into their secret world.

Explore alongside these exotic and rare creatures for a profound experience that embraces the natural world and the creatures that co-inhabit this place we call earth.

Brought to you by ARC Erth, this innovative and enchanting performance presents audiences with intimate magical encounters that feel real enough you could reach out and touch.

The show also raises the important question about our environment and fragile wildlife.

The work raises awareness for the protection of endangered species and the idea of extinction whilst at the same time offering a provocation of hope.

Erth are known as revolutionising physical and visual theatre with their innovating puppets.

In the past they have created creatures from throughout history, most notably their incredible dinosaur puppetry shows which were highly-acclaimed right across the country.

Erth are now turning their focus on the future and raising awareness about unique and endangered species, with an enchanting tale that is rich in colour and life.

For over 30 years Erth’s puppetry-based theatrical productions and innovative community projects have challenged and inspired audiences around the world.


WHAT: ARC by Erth
WHERE: Burdekin Theatre
WHEN: Monday 25 June, 6.30pm
Tuesday 26 June, 10am
Tuesday 26 June, 1pm

TICKETS: Adult - $35.00
Child 17 & Under - $30.00
Friends of the Theatre - $30.00
Family (2 Adults, 2 Children) - $120.00

Photo supplied

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Emma Donovan To Headline Burdekin Theatre’s First Foyer Session

April 24, 2024

Country soul queen and revered Indigenous singer songwriter Emma Donovan has released her highly anticipated new album ‘Til My Song is Done’ and is celebrating with a regional Australian tour bringing her to the Burdekin Theatre on Saturday, May 4.
‘Til My Song is Done’ is seen as a return home for Emma, getting back to the sounds of country and her creative and performing roots, conveying a musical journey from singing those big country numbers as a kid, to joining her family performing church songs at community funerals, to the kitbag of skills picked up her over later collaborations in funk, soul, and R&B.
Burdekin Life Journalist Chelsea Ravizza got the opportunity to ask Emma a few questions about the new album and her return to the Burdekin for Foyer Sessions.

What does having your new music recorded in Gumbaynggirr and Noongar languages mean to you as both an artist and an Indigenous woman yourself?
My newest solo album features a song sung in Gumbaynggirr. I translated ‘In The Sweet By & By’ with the help of members of my Nambucca community. I try to translate a lot of tunes this way in language, it helps me learn it more myself.
I never grew up speaking language, neither did my mother and her parents. It was my great grandparents that were fluent. It’s very empowering for my family to share our language and to share it with the wider Gumbaynggirr community as well. It’s my contribution to continue sharing language.

What led you to want to hold a regional tour? What pulled you to the Burdekin?
The tour came together through HIT Productions. I’m happy to tour any regional places as I grew up in regional country towns. So I know how important it is to travel to regional towns and play music. I’m grateful too for my music to be heard on regional radio.

How did you begin your music career and find your passion for sharing traditional languages through your work?

I grew up in a very musical family thanks to my grandparents, my Mum and my uncles who all played music. I’m very lucky and grateful for my family who raised us knowing music is a key to our life.
I began listening to artists like Angélique Kidjo and Salif Keita when I was very young. I enjoyed listening to songs in languages that I didn’t understand.
Later on, I listened to First Nations singer songwriters such as Frank Yamma and Christine Anu. Yothu Yindi was also a huge inspiration for me to include language in my music. All these artists opened the doors for sharing Indigenous languages in music.

What do you hope for your audience to take away from your Burdekin show?

Just joy, and for audiences to have a connection to my stories. I believe my songs have meaning and messages for all.

What are your future plans for your musical career and your passion for sharing traditional languages?

Sharing more, especially engaging in children’s songs & language. I didn’t have language growing up so I ensured that my own kids have the opportunity to hear and connect to my songs and story lines that share places and specific country that they have a connection to.

Emma will headline the first ever Foyer Session at Burdekin Theatre which will include her trademark soul/country songs and new music recorded in Gumbaynggirr and Noongar languages.
As one of the proud First Nations artists spearheading efforts to put traditional languages on the music map, she will share stories, providing her audiences with an understanding of Country and community.

WHAT: Foyer Sessions with Emma Donovan
WHEN: Saturday, May 4 from 7:30pm
WHERE: Burdekin Theatre
TICKETS: www.burdekintheatre.com.au

Emma Donovan is playing Foyer Sessions at the Burdekin Theatre on Saturday, May 4. Photo credit: Ian Laidlaw
Emma’s new album ‘Til My Song is Done’ is out now

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Event guide

April 24, 2024

Thursday 25 April
Anzac Day Open House
Thursday, 11:00am to 3:00pm
RSL Raemus Rover Off-Road Racing and Iron Works Brewery are joining forces to conduct an Anzac Day Open House for those younger veterans who don't feel comfortable in large crowds. Any veterans of the modern era and family members are welcome.
Iron Works Brewery, Brandon
Saturday 27 April

Burdekin Rags to Runway
Saturday, from 7pm
The Burdekin Rags to Runway, hosted annually by the Burdekin Artisans Community Association, showcases recycled clothing and accessories. The competition calls for entrants to exhibit their creativity by transforming used clothing into fashionable runway pieces in five categories: junior, racewear budget challenge, budget challenge, open section, and accessory section. 
Greek Hall, Home Hill

Sunday 28 April
Burdekin Sugar Rush
   • Sunday, from 6:30am 21km
   • 7:15am 10km
   • 7:30am 5km, Seniors and Juniors U16

The Burdekin Sugar Rush is the signature running event for the Burdekin Road Runners and Walkers Club. The event not only showcases the spectacular features of the Burdekin Shire, but also celebrates the role that fun and fitness has in the community.
The event attracts running enthusiasts from around the region (including Townsville, Cairns, Charters Towers, Whitsundays and Mackay) and also has a key focus of attracting first time competitors through the provision of a half marathon (21 kilometres), five and ten kilometre fun run, team challenge and kids fun run.
Ayr

Family Fun Day
Sunday, from 10am to 1pm
Enjoy markets, raffles, farm animals and a sausage sizzle at Hotel Brandon’s Family Fun Day!
Hotel Brandon

Saturday 4 May
Foyer Sessions with Emma Donovan
Saturday, from 7.30pm
Join us for our first ever Foyer Session at Burdekin Theatre to showcase the talent and the new work of celebrated, ARIA-nominated, award-winning Indigenous singer and songwriter Emma Donovan. This concert with Emma and her band will include her trademark soul/country songs and new music recorded in Gumbaynggirr and Noongar languages. Emma is proudly one of the First Nations artists, spearheading efforts to put traditional languages on the music map. She will also share stories, providing her audiences with an understanding of Country and community.
Burdekin Theatre

Home Hill Sugar Bowl
Saturday and Sunday, from 8am
The Home Hill Sugar Bowl is a tennis competition that has been held annually for 43 years. The event is hosted by the Home Hill Tennis Association and takes place over the May Day long weekend. The competition attracts teams from all over Queensland from as far as Mackay, Ingham and Charters Towers. You will find sportsmanship, camaraderie and friendships at the forefront of this weekend.  
The Home Hill Sugar Bowl is a truly iconic event to the region as players past and present and supporters celebrate another year with their tennis family. 
Home Hill Tennis Association

Wednesday 8 May
Burdekin Junior Eisteddfod
Wednesday to Sunday, May 19
The Burdekin Junior Eisteddfod showcases talented competitors in Contemporary Dancing, Drama, Music, Visual Art and Photography. Participants will take to the Burdekin Theatre stage over the course of this 12-day event.
Come along and see what the Burdekin has to offer, watch our local talent as well as talent from all over North Queensland perform.
Burdekin Theatre
Saturday 18 May
Burdekin Growers Race Day
Saturday, from 11am
The Burdekin Growers Race Day is the Burdekin's premier 18+ social event of 2024 with thousands of locals and visitors flocking to the Home Hill Race Club. The event is not only about horse racing but also about fashion. The Fashion's on the Field is a hotly contested event amongst race goers. The day is filled with thousands of dollars worth of prize giveaways and every patron receives a free box of locally grown fruit and vegetables, so everyone goes home a winner! Live entertainment starts from 5:30pm til late. 
Burdekin Race Club

Sunday 19 May
Norm Perry Memorial Duck Race
Sunday, from 9am
The annual Duck Race by the Rotary Club of Ayr is one not to be missed. Hundreds of plastic, decorated ducks are released by a crane into Plantation Creek and race to the finish line. 
Two local causes receive donations from the Rotary Club of Ayr through money raised by selling ducks. Attendents will be entertained by the race, along with kids games, entertainment and a BBQ lunch. 
Ayr

Saturday 25 May
Burdekin Netball Junior Cup Carnival
Saturday and Sunday, from 7am to 5pm
The Annual Burdekin Netball Junior Cup Carnival will once again be held for teams from all over North Queensland to come and compete whilst having fun with their friends.
With an expected 400 competitors to prepare to take the courts, the Burdekin Netball Association welcomes all residents and visitors to their annual carnival held at the Home Hill Netball Courts. 
Burdekin Netball Association

Thursday 6 June
Morning Melodies: Some Enchanted Evening
Thursday, from 11am
We have all heard their songs and we have all enjoyed their musicals. They were known as America’s most successful musical theatre writing team and their partnership has been called the greatest of the 20th Century.
Join us for a very special event paying tribute to the timeless music from the legendary Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II. Featuring your favourite tunes from Carousel, The King and I, South Pacific, The Sound of Music and many more, Some Enchanted Evening is truly an enchanted concert of exquisite songs from the golden age of musicals. 
In an intimate setting amongst the stars, come on a whimsical journey through song and dance, and be captivated by the beautiful music of ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’, ‘Younger Than Springtime’, ‘I Have Dreamed’, ‘Climb Every Mountain’, and ‘Oh What a Beautiful Morning’. With beautiful costumes, extraordinary dancing and a song list that also includes music from their partnerships with Jerome Kern and Lorenz Hart, Some Enchanted Evening is a magical, uplifting experience that is not to be missed.
Burdekin Theatre


Friday 7 June
The Fleetwood Mac and Stevie Nicks Tribute Show
Friday, from 5.30pm
Welcome to The Dreams Show – your ticket to experiencing the magic of Fleetwood Mac and the captivating solo career of their leading lady, Stevie Nicks. Since its launch in 2017, Dreams has gained massive acclaim, both from fans across Australia and from within Fleetwood Mac themselves. Dennis Dunstan, Fleetwood Mac’s Manager (1981-1999), applauded the show, stating, “The Dreams Show was a breath of fresh air when it comes to Fleetwood Mac tribute shows.. these guys deliver.. Big Time! Don’t miss this show if you’re a Mac fan!” Surrender to the enchantment of Dreams, as we recreate everything from their live show spectacle to clothes to choreography and  anecdotes to iconic songs of the legendary band. Enjoy monumental hits like ‘Go your Own way’, ‘Gypsy’, ‘Edge of Seventeen’, ‘Rooms on Fire’, ‘TUSK’, ‘Say you love me’, and many others. $59 tickets.
Burdekin Theatre

Wednesday 12 June
Ayr State High School: Year 10 Careers Morning
Wednesday, from 9am to 10am
The aim of the morning is to provide a broad view of careers and employment opportunities in our local area and surrounds.
The format includes display tables, 10-minute introduction of your organisation and an opportunity for students to ask questions. Students will move between organisations to gain knowledge about career options to support their subject choices for their senior schooling.  
Please use this link https://forms.office.com/r/rpaKQtFiK4 to register. It would be appreciated if each organisation representative could register for catering and workplace safety purposes.
Ayr State High School

Anthology Showcase
Wednesday, 10:30am
Writers from the “Burdekin Creative Writers” and “Night Writers” groups will read a selection of their pieces from the Anthology.

Home Hill Branch of Burdekin Library

Monday 24 June
ARC by ERTH
Monday and Tuesday, from 6.30pm
Showcasing exquisite puppetry, an enigmatic host, audience interaction and a world of rare and exotic animals, ARC is a profound experience that embraces the natural world and the creatures that cohabit this place we call Earth. 
ARC presents intimate, magical encounters with rare and vulnerable species, raising important questions about our collective and individual relationship with nature and loss. Renowned as innovators of physical and visual theatre, for the past three decades Erth’s body of work has explored the depths of the past. With ARC, they look unblinkingly to the future, as this menagerie of animals transforms the stage before your very eyes.
Burdekin Theatre

Wednesday 26 June
Burdekin Show
Wednesday, from 10am
The Annual Burdekin Show hosted at the Ayr Showgrounds is an event for all ages. From exhibits to equestrian, side show alley and fireworks there is something for everyone and the true essence of country hospitality can be found. 
Ayr Showgrounds
Monday 1 July
Flipside Circus
Monday, from 9:30am

Flipside is bringing the circus to town with a fantastic range of workshops to supercharge school holidays.
Flipside Circus’s expert trainers work with young people to teach ground and aerial circus skills including juggling and manipulation, hula-hoop, acro balance, minitrampoline,
tumbling, and trapeze.
The workshops are challenging and focus on; building self-confidence, physical skills, and fitness, as well as teamwork.
KINDY CAMP - 9:30AM - $10.00
2 - 4 YEARS, 45 MIN DURATION
FLIPPEROOS - 10:30AM - $20.00
4 - 8 YEARS, 1.5 HOUR DURATION
CIRCUS SKILLS - 1.00PM - $30.00
8 - 16 YEARS, 3 HOUR DURATION
Tickets Available 8 April 2024 - 3:00pm
Burdekin Theatre Auditorium

Wednesday 14 August
Morning Melodies: A Farwell to Doris
Thursday from 11am
Melinda Schneider returns to the stage in 2024 to pay tribute to the legendary Doris Day.
The world lost one of its biggest stars with the passing of Doris Day. A legend of stage, screen and song, Doris died aged 97, leaving behind an incredible body of work, including iconic movies and unforgettable songs.
Doris Day, “the girl next door”, had millions of fans around the world, none bigger than chart-topping Australian singer songwriter Melinda Schneider, who has recorded two albums of Doris’ songs, co-written and starred in a theatre show based on Doris’ life, and done sell-out tours celebrating Doris’ work.
Melinda Schneider’s, A Farewell To Doris, is a heartfelt tribute to Doris Day. This nostalgic concert celebration will include timeless hits as well as a number of Doris’ big band standards.
Burdekin Theatre

Monday 2 September
Burdekin Art Society Art Exhibition
Monday to Saturday, 8am to 5pm
The Burdekin Art Society Annual Exhibition attracts lovers of fine art from near and far. Being a week long exhibition allows people from other areas an opportunity to see this very popular event and draws entries from all over the state and further afield. 
The longevity of the event attests to the quality and popularity that the entrants and viewers alike enjoy.
Burdekin Theatre


Saturday 7 September
The Visitors
Satuday, 7:30pm
On a sweltering day in January 1788, seven clan leaders gather on a sandstone escarpment overlooking the harbour. The attendees, six of them Elders and one new initiate, catch-up, laugh together, share a meal and compare notes. But beyond the friendly banter, protocols, and hospitality, a momentous decision is waiting to be made. A mysterious fleet of giant nawi is amassing in the harbour and as they creep closer, these seven representatives must choose unanimously: whether to send these strangers on their way or welcome them?
TICKET PRICES
Adult $40.00
Concession $38.00
Friends of the Theatre $35.00
Youth under 30 $35.00

Burdkein Theatre


Saturday 14 September
Giru Show
Saturday, from 12pm to 6pm
The annual Giru Show highlights the community's talent with a variety of exhibits and stalls. From vintage machinery displays and live entertainment to games suitable for every child, there's something for everyone to enjoy. The Giru Show have recently added games to the schedule for all ages to take part in. The local bands will provide entertainment throughout the day. 
Brolga Park, Giru

Wednesday 2 October
Morning Melodies: Livvy and Pete
Thursday from 11am
Helpmann award winner Michael Griffiths and acclaimed cabaret darling Amelia Ryan celebrate the songbooks of Aussie icons Olivia Newton-John and Peter Allen. 
From their humble small-town beginnings to world domination in sequins and jumpsuits, revisit all of their sing-a-long classic from Rio to Tenterfield, all the way to Xanadu and beyond. As camp as maracas and tender as Pete's gift to Livvy "I Honestly Love You", there promises to be rollerskates, T-Birds, Pink Ladies, 80s jazzercise and an Oscar winning song to boot! Livvy & Pete made its debut in 2016 at the Ballarat Cabaret Festival, and Adelaide's Feast Festival. Since then it has delighted audiences at The Adelaide Fringe Festival (Garden of Unearthly Delights), The Hobart Spiegeltent, The Wollongong Spiegeltent, Vivaldi's Canberra, Slide Sydney, Adelaide Fringe Roadshow, and the Brisbane Cabaret Festival. 
Burdekin Theatre

Saturday 9 November
Home Hill Harvest Festival – Grand Parade & Street Party
Saturday from 5pm
Celebrate the sugar industry in Burdekin. The Home Hill Harvest Festival runs from September to November. The Festival culminates with the Mardi Gras including floats from festival queens, community groups and businesses and ends with a Street Party featuring entertainment, rides, food and activities for the whole family to enjoy.

Home Hill

Sunday 10 November
Burdekin Machinery Preservationists Open Day
Sunday from 9am
Located at the Brandon Heritage Precinct, 21-27 Spiller Street, Brandon, the Burdekin Machinery Preservationists have an open day. Witness the power of the working vintage machinery which includes the historic Marshall Colonial Tractor and the Walkers Engine No.1, which is just one of two working air blast fuel injection engines in Australia. Admire the other vintage tractors and stationary engines on display.

Burdekin Heritage Precinct, Brandon

Wednesday 4 December
Morning Melodies: Andrews and Bin Christmas Swing
Thursday from 11am
The Andrews & Bing Christmas Swing joyful, live, melodious Christmas Show is a stroll down memory lane with the beautiful 1940’s bright & engaging Christmas songs of the Andrews Sisters & the one & only “Crooner” himself, alias Bing Crosby. Three dynamic, harmonious, humble divas with their professional band, “The Miller Horns,” igniting the stage! Clap along to their iconic stylized “Jingle Bells”, listen to the enchanting best-selling song, “White Christmas” & all aboard the Christmas “Chattanooga Choo Choo”.
Burdekin Theatre

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Saturday 20 April Event guide

April 17, 2024

Saturday 20 April
Ayr Surf Life Saving Club presents Take The Floor 2024
Saturday, 6:00pm
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.
Burdekin Memorial Hall, Home Hill
Wednesday 24 April
The Boys From Oz
Wednesday, from 11am
Let's hear it for The Boys! Come celebrate the greatest songs from Australia’s greatest male singers.
Join JD Smith as he takes you on a journey through the pop, rock & country classics that have been the soundtrack to your life. From the unofficial national anthems of John Farnham's You’re The Voice, Daryl Braithwaite’s The Horses & Peter Allen’s I Still Call Australia Home; Supergroup classics by ACDC, INXS, Cold Chisel, Little River Band & The Bee Gees; the Poptastic stylings of John Paul Young, Rick Springfield & Leo Sayer through to iconic ballads from Savage Garden, Rick Price & Keith Urban…. you will be stunned by the powerhouse vocal versatility and charm that JD Smith brings to these songs on stage. (A lifetime performing around the world in musicals & most recently with the international vocal supergroup The Ten Tenors will do that.) The Boys from Oz will have you singing, dancing and cheering as you remember how much you love these iconic songs from Australia’s most iconic male performers!
Burdekin Theatre
Thursday 25 April
Anzac Day Open House
Thursday, 11:00am to 3:00pm
RSL Raemus Rover Off-Road Racing and Iron Works Brewery are joining forces to conduct an Anzac Day Open House for those younger veterans who don't feel comfortable in large crowds. Any veterans of the modern era and family members are welcome.
Iron Works Brewery, Brandon
Saturday 27 April
Burdekin Rags to Runway
Saturday, from 7pm
The Burdekin Rags to Runway, hosted annually by the Burdekin Artisans Community Association, showcases recycled clothing and accessories. The competition calls for entrants to exhibit their creativity by transforming used clothing into fashionable runway pieces in five categories: junior, racewear budget challenge, budget challenge, open section, and accessory section. 
Greek Hall, Home Hill


Sunday 28 April
Burdekin Sugar Rush
   • Sunday, from 6:30am 21km
   • 7:15am 10km
   • 7:30am 5km, Seniors and Juniors U16

The Burdekin Sugar Rush is the signature running event for the Burdekin Road Runners and Walkers Club. The event not only showcases the spectacular features of the Burdekin Shire, but also celebrates the role that fun and fitness has in the community.
The event attracts running enthusiasts from around the region (including Townsville, Cairns, Charters Towers, Whitsundays and Mackay) and also has a key focus of attracting first time competitors through the provision of a half marathon (21 kilometres), five and ten kilometre fun run, team challenge and kids fun run.
Ayr

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Local Couples To ‘Take The Floor’

April 11, 2024

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 to kick some goals on the dance floor. Mick is your local 'pool man' and is a Bundy Rum enthusiast, which he says will be an essential requirement before dancing in front of a crowd at Take The Floor. Shirley is a Speech Pathologist for Department of education and although it's been a minute since she dusted off her dancing shoes, she knows her way around a dance floor and has a pretty decent Irish jig and can work the Highland swords. Let's hope she can keep Mick in line with those swords.

Couple Number 2: Jimmy Hayllor and Rory Jorgensen
Jimmy is a recent transplant to the Burdekin and is more comfortable working with cane than putting on his dancing shoes. His most recent dance experience is busting a move in the rain on a roundabout in the main street of Ayr where timing was not his strong suit. Thankfully Jimmy has been paired with the master Rory, with 17 years dance experience, to assist with her very flat-footed apprentice. Rory is a local girl who can't remember a time she hasn't danced and has been involved with Burdekin Singers Musicals as well. She's hoping she can get Jimmy to remember his dance moves as, apparently, he struggles to remember what day of the week it is most of the time.

Couple Number 3: Leigh Ryan and Julia Nosworthy
Leigh currently resides in Townsville and is a podiatrist in high risk settings across remote and rural Queensland. Although feet are his livelihood, many say he has two left feet, and his only dance experience is falling over on the dance floor. Although he may go alright in a swimming pool, he may look like a fish out of water on the big stage. Thankfully Julia is a born and bred local who has been dancing since she was four and is ready to whip him into shape. She has choreographed four musicals for the Burdekin Singers Theatre Company and is currently completing a Cert 4 in Dance Teaching and Management and a NRL Cheerleader with the Cowboys.

Couple Number 4: Thom Pickersgill and Jane Olsen
Although they've shared the stage since 2019, they've never danced together! They've been involved in many Burdekin Singers musical productions, but Thom is definitely more confident with singing then dancing. Thom moved to the Burdekin in 2013 to begin teaching at Ayr High and enjoys being involved with school activities, Burdekin Singers and Debutant Balls, whilst Jane grew up dancing in the bountiful Burdekin since the age of six, she does her best work with a glass of bubbles in hand at many social events around town.

There is still time to grab your tickets, whether a table or individual, so contact Kellie Lawry on 0409 180 116 if you are keen to come along ASAP. It is sure to be a great night out.
This is an 18+ event.
Contributed by Kellie Lawry

WHAT: Ayr Surf Life Saving Club presents Take The Floor 2024
WHEN: Saturday, April 20 from 6:00pm
WHERE: Burdekin Memorial Hall, Home Hill
TICKETS: Contact Kellie Lawry on 0409180116

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Event Guide

April 11, 2024

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Entries Open For 2024 Ephemera

April 11, 2024

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 is enjoyed for only a short time, with the competition inviting local artists to create installations to be temporarily erected in Home Hill’s Lloyd Mann Park.
Once installed, Burdekin residents and visitors alike will be able to experience and enjoy the Burdekin’s Ephemera between Monday September 8 and Sunday September 22.
The Home Hill Chamber will be conducting the event this year and is already working on a project to be included in the Ephemera.
Put on your artist cap and be part of this exciting event in September 2024.
The event is open to anyone, only requiring the completion of an entry form and acceptance of the criteria to be part of the Canefields Ephemera 2024.
A first prize of $1,500 is up for grabs to be judged by a panel of independent judges with $500 on offer for the installation that receives the most votes on the Home Hill Harvest Festival Facebook page.
For more information and to request an entry form, contact Uli Liessmann on 0439 822 064 or Robert Antoniazzi on 0407 637 679.

Uli Liessmann’s ‘Peace’ won the Judge’s Choice Award at Ephemera 2023
‘It’s a Colourful World’ by Maree McKeough and Lorraine Lynch won the People’s Choice Award
Photo credit: Sam Gillespie

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

April 11, 2024

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 group recreates the visual excitement and electrifying energy of a Queen concert.
Audiences can expect an unforgettable night filled with Queen's iconic hits from the '70s to the '90s, including classics like ‘Somebody to Love’, ‘Another One Bites the Dust’, ‘Don't Stop Me Now’, and, of course, ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’.
The hit movie of the same name exposed Queen to a much wider audience, making the band’s music more popular than ever.  
Queen is amongst the greatest rock bands of the twentieth century and Freddie Mercury is hailed by many as the most charismatic and flamboyant performer in contemporary rock.
Thomas Crane as Freddie, alongside his talented band Bohemian Rhapsody, bring back to life the visual excitement, sound and stage energy as witnessed at a Queen concert.
You’ve seen the hit movie, now see the sensational family friendly show that everyone is raving about!

WHAT: Bohemian Rhapsody Made In Heaven Tour
WHEN: Saturday, April 13 from 8:00pm
WHERE: Burdekin Theatre
TICKETS: www.burdekintheatre.com.au

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Event Guide

April 4, 2024

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Event Guide

March 27, 2024

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Event Guide

March 21, 2024

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Event Guide

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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Event Guide

March 7, 2024

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Event Guide

February 29, 2024

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Event Guide

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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Event guide

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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Event Guide

January 4, 2024
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Event guide

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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