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Community notes: keeping you connected with events around the Coast

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Why Coast MP is backing nuclear energy

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Three local groups have received significant funding that expected to help them develop and deliver a diverse program of arts experiences.

The Eumundi School of Music, Anywhere Festival and The Sunshine Coast Chamber Music Festival are the latest beneficiaries of Sunshine Coast Council’s Creative Industries Investment Program. Council allocated $90,000 to support three creative initiatives across two years, following a rigorous application process.

“Ultimately, we want our region to be known for the local creation of inspiring content and where more arts practitioners can make a living,” Councillor Rick Baberowski said:

Eumundi School of Music received funding to help deliver its ‘Inspiring musical journeys for young artists’ initiative; a 10-week scholarship program offering free mentoring, stagecraft lessons, and live gig experiences to young musicians already playing music.

Anywhere Festival was funded for its ‘Creating performance makers Anywhere program’ which supports 10 emerging and established local independent performance making groups. And Sunshine Coast Chamber Music Festival will deliver an innovative program of bespoke events staged in stunning natural locations and intimate venues across the region.

Part of the The Forest Fellowship exhibition in the Rainforest Discovery Centre.

Meet hidden ‘heroes’ of the rainforest

Visitors to the Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve at Maleny have the chance to meet nature’s hidden ‘heroes’, thanks to a new interactive exhibition.

The Rainforest Discovery Centre exhibition, open seven days from 9.30am to 3.30pm, includes recycling superstars  earthworms and snails, along with strangler figs, vines and seed-spreading topknot pigeons.

These are the connectors, the recyclers, the providers, the elementals and the all-rounders. Together, these species function as a team to sustain the forest.

Sunshine Coast Councillor Winston Johnston invited those with a passion for nature to spend some time at the reserve.

“It takes teamwork for the forest to grow – and at Mary Cairncross, you’ll be able to learn about each member of that team,” he said.

An exhibition, featuring the works of local young artists, will be held for more than month.

40 Under 40 exhibition

An art exhibition showcasing 40 of the Sunshine Coast’s most exciting artists under the age of 40 will be held at the Cooroy Butter Factory Arts Centre next month.

The 40 Under 40 Exhibition & Art Prize words will be on show from January 12 to February 25. An opening event will be held on January 19.

Prizes will be presented to the top 2D and 3D artists. A People’s Choice award, voted by visitors, will also be awarded.

Organisers issued a media release that said the exhibition has garnered a reputation for building a community of young artists and introducing them to the Sunshine Coast and beyond.

The diversity of work in the show welcomes all art enthusiasts; from first-time gallery visitors to those looking to expand, or start, their art collection.

Introductory tai chi courses will be available at several locations in the region.

Healthy start to the year with tai chi

The Taoist Tai Chi Society is offering new courses in the martial art that has been lauded for reducing stress and pain, and improving balance, flexibility, and overall health.

Introductory courses will start at Buderim, Caloundra, Eumundi, Maroochydore and Nambour and will run weekly for three to four months.

Tai chi is a moving meditation that helps body and mind. The Harvard Medical School has stated that tai chi is one of the best exercises people can do.

The Taoist Tai Chi Society is a not-for-profit, charitable and volunteer organisation founded by Master Moy Lin Shin.

The sessions are designed for beginners and are open to all ages and health conditions. The first session is obligation free. Pre-registration is essential, email sunshinecoast@taoisttaichi.org or phone 1800 108 801.

The Peregian Carols included some classic carols and new Christmas music.

Longest-running carols as popular as ever

Organisers of the Sunshine Coast’s longest-running Christmas Carols say this year’s edition was one of the biggest yet.

Thousands of residents and holiday-makers attended the 59th Peregian Beach Carols on December 20, when performers delivered a range of traditional carols and new Christmas music to the crowd.

Leigh McCready, the president of Peregian residents’ association Peregian Family and Friends, said it was a grand occasion.

“We believe this is one of the biggest events yet, with around 3000 people attending the carols,” she said.

The event ran the gauntlet of thunderstorms and included a sky-diving and kid-friendly disco.

Dr Chris Lilley urged people to look after themselves during the break.

Focus on wellbeing during festive break

Sunshine Coast Health’s Mental Health and Specialised Services team reminds people to make time for themselves and their health and wellbeing, over the Christmas break.

Clinical Director of Mental Health and Specialised Services Dr Chris Lilley suggests prioritising wellbeing essentials such as getting enough sleep, considering nutrition, exercising, and getting outside.

“We are with our family and although we want that to be pleasurable, I think it’s possible that people can get into arguments being on top of each other a lot of the time, so I think it’s important for people to think about opportunities to have time for yourself, if necessary,” he said.

He also urges people to not get carried away and overindulge on alcohol.

“We’re trying to make sure people are not disinhibited through overuse of substances and it’s often in those times people will make irrational choices.”

Fire and Rescue Service personnel were recognised.

Honours for emergency services personnel

Fire and Rescue Service personnel were presented with medals, clasps and certificates for sustained or significant service, at a recent special service at Buderim.

Amid them, two officers were presented with the premier award for accomplishments in swift-water and floodwater rescue, the Higgins and Langley Memorial Award.

The Member for Nicklin Rob Skelton said: “The (honours’) recipients have made exceptional contributions to their communities and should be proud of everything they have achieved.”

QFES Chief Officer Mike Wassing added: “It is a privilege to recognise the exemplary service of those who go above and beyond their usual duties to support Sunshine Coast communities.”

“The number of recipients and the many years they have served in their local areas is a testament to their community spirit and their willingness to put their hand up when support is needed.”

The man in red makes a grand appearance at Mooloolaba every year on Christmas Eve.

Special guest in a surf boat

Santa knows his way around a sleigh, but what about a surf boat?

Jolly Old Saint Nick will make an impressive entrance onto the shores of Mooloolaba Beach not from the skies but from the sea.

In what has become a local tradition, Santa will arrive by surf boat on the beach in front of Mooloolaba Surf Life Saving Club on Christmas Eve at about 5.30pm. The man in red will be rowed in by the club’s under-19 girls crew, the Mustangs.

He’ll bring a sack full of treats for the children and stop for a visit before he sets off on his big flight later that night. Then, to see him off in style, the club will put on fireworks display to thank our community for their ongoing support.

Dicky Beach Surf Life Saving Club’s Pippies Nippers Aquatic Inclusion Program has received a welcome funding boost.

Christmas comes early for grants recipients

A diverse group of community organisations has been gifted a funding boost through Sunshine Coast Council’s Community Grants Program.

Among the 80 recipients to receive a total of more than $133,000 in the latest round, the Sunshine Coast Chinese Association received funding towards the purchase of dragon and lion dance equipment that will come to life in the annual Moon Fest and other multicultural activities.

Blackall Range Business and Tourism Association received funding to print free maps for distribution through information centres across the Sunshine Coast, helping tourists to explore the region, find accommodation, discover activities and support local businesses.

Dicky Beach Surf Life Saving Club was given a helping hand to purchase sporting and play equipment for its Pippies Nippers Aquatic Inclusion Program that focuses on beach and water safety for children and youth of all abilities.

View the full list of Minor Grant recipients on council’s website.

The shipping container outside Sunshine Castle is awaiting donations.

Donations needed for FNQ flood effort

A dedicated group of Sunshine Coast residents are asking for donations to help those affected by flooding in Far North Queensland.

Clayton’s Towing has provided a shipping container that has been placed in the car park at Sunshine Castle in Bli Bli ready for donations of bottled water, non-perishable food, toilet paper, nappies, toiletries, cleaning products, mosquito repellent, pet food, torches, batteries, first aid, basic tools, back-to-school gear and vouchers of any kind. The donated goods will be transported to the far north as soon as logistics allow.

Whites IGA and their network have started the ball rolling by donating pallets of bottled water, offering their continuing support to the local initiative as it progresses.

It is requested that donations come packed and labelled with contents, to help the process. Clothing, bedding and furniture are not required at this stage.

A GoFundMe has been set up for those preferring to make cash donations. For more information and updates go to Support for Cairns – NOW! on Facebook. A few volunteers are still being sought to assist with receiving and packing the donations as they come in. The Sunshine Castle is offering up the royal treatment with free coffee and cake for those involved.

The cabinet of curiosity calls

Do you dare to unlock the mysteries awaiting in the literary world of libraries?

From now until January 31, kids and teens are invited to join Sunshine Coast Council Libraries’ free interactive Summer Reading Club.

They will receive an exciting Cabinet of Curiosities challenge card, where they will engage in three explorations unlocking prizes along the way.

To participate, register at library.sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au or at your local library; pick up a copy of your Cabinet of Curiosities challenge card from your library; then collect your prizes as you complete the explorations.

Winners will be announced Friday, February 2. For more information and to register head to the library website.

Festivities at last year’s Peregian Beach Carols. Picture: Peregian Family and Friends Facebook

Return of long-running carols

The longest-running carols event on the Coast is returning, with the 59th annual Peregian Beach Carols being held on Wednesday.

Peregian Family and Friends Inc will be hosting the event, along with the Peregian Beach Business Association and the Peregian Beach Surf Club.

This year there will be live music and carols from local bands and soloists, food and artisan stalls, entertainment for the kids including face painting, Santa skydiving onto the beach (weather permitting) around 6pm and special surprises at the evening’s conclusion.

A $15 family donation is requested to go towards covering operating costs and entertainment. You can donate here.

The event is from 4-8pm on Wednesday, December 20, at Peregian Beach Park, Kingfisher Drive.

Boat parade heralded as success

A colourful boat parade through the Pelican Waters canals has been hailed as a success and is set to become a regular event on the festive calendar

Thousands lined the waterways to watch more than 45 vessels sparkling with Christmas lights and decorations cruising from the new Pelican Waters Marina to Pumicestone Passage and back.

Plenty of festive spirit was on display. Picture: Bluey’s Photography

The event was a collaboration between the Caloundra Coast Guard, Pelican Waters Marina and Night Eyes, with Coast Guard Commander Roger Pearce praising boat owners for their dazzling displays.

“The efforts they went to decorate their boats were amazing. Congratulations to everybody involved and thanks to all the sponsors and organisers for making the first of many such a success. There were no dramas and everything went smoothly. We will be happy to do it again next year,’’ he said.

Pelican Waters general manager of development Hamish Pressland added: “We thank everybody for getting into the spirit of the event and making it so memorable. We are already looking forward to next year.”

David Wood, Ian and Leanne Harrison, Kent and Dessi Roberts, Rod McKinnon, with the grant to help people find housing.

Grant to help vulnerable families

A $50,000 grant, from the Buderim Foundation Thompson Charitable Fund to Aus Living Support, is set to help vulnerable Sunshine Coast families find permanent housing.

Buderim Foundation chair Rod McKinnon said the group was eager to help address an escalating issue.

“Housing affordability and the cost-of-living are issues affecting more and more people in our community and the Buderim Foundation is pleased to be able to work with organisations providing real relief for the homeless and those at risk of homelessness,” he said.

Aus Living Support Ltd CEO Ian Harrison said the grant would assist about 200 families. Aus Living Support operates two Op Shops, in Maroochydore and Nambour, with the funds raised together with grants providing a rental supplement scheme.

“We provide up to $200 a week of rental or mortgage support for families for an initial period of up to three months,” he said.

Dylan Vivian, the Heavy Commercial Industries Apprentice of the Year.

Coast apprentices rewarded

Two Sunshine Coast men are among 14 Queensland high achievers crowned 2023 Apprentice of the Year in each of their respective trade categories.

Oliver Harrison and Dylan Vivian were in the spotlight at the prestigious 2023 TAFE Queensland SkillsTech CSQ Apprentice Awards, held at Howard Smith Wharves in Brisbane.

Oliver took out the title of Recreational Vehicle Apprentice of the Year. He is an employee of Suncoast Caravan Service in the second year of his apprenticeship, and is studying a Certificate III in Recreational Vehicle Service and Repair at TAFE Queensland.

Dylan was awarded Heavy Commercial Industries Apprentice of the Year, as a fourth-year apprentice employed by East Coast Diesels Pty Ltd. He is studying a Certificate III in Heavy Commercial Vehicle Mechanical Technology at TAFE Queensland.

The 14 individual winners were nominated by either their employers or teachers and were selected from a pool of over 10,000 apprentices who are currently in training across the TAFE Queensland SkillsTech region. For more information about the event click here.

Caloundra Arts Centre Association president Jonathan Jones (left) receives the award from MP Jason Hunt.

Art group claims award

Caloundra Arts Centre Association has been recognised as Arts Group of the Year at the Caloundra Community Awards 2023.

Club president Jonathan Jones welcomed Caloundra MP Jason Hunt to the Caloundra Arts Centre to formally present the inaugural award.

Mr Hunt then joined the management committee, group leaders and CACA members in enjoying a celebrational afternoon tea together.

Celebration of fly fishing

The Sunny Coast Fly Fishers Club presents the RISE Fly Fishing Film Tour on Saturday, December 16, at the North Shore Community Centre, Mudjimba, from 6pm.

This event will showcase a collection of short films that capture the beauty, challenge and camaraderie of fly fishing.

The films will take viewers on journeys to some of the world’s most stunning fishing destinations, and introduce viewers to a variety of fly fishing techniques.

Established in 1997, the Sunny Coast Fly Fishers Club is a non-profit organisation that is dedicated to promoting the sport of fly fishing in the local community. The club welcomes new members of all skill and experience levels and many members dedicate their time voluntarily to provide education and resources.

The RISE Fly Fishing Film Tour is a family-friendly event that is open to the public. Tickets are available here.

Graham Bowcock has a scan thanks to the HEART5 service.

Free lung health checks

Since its launch in February 2022, free checks on board Resources Safety and Health Queensland’s free lung health check program HEART5 have detected dozens of cases of mine dust lung diseases, like black lung and silicosis, in former mine and quarry workers across regional and remote Queensland.

HEART5 is fully equipped with state-of-the-art medical equipment to provide the required screening examinations, including a lung function test and chest X-ray, and any tests needed to investigate possible abnormalities, such as high-resolution CT scans.

“It’s better to find out it’s nothing than it’s too far down the track to do anything about it,” said Celia Bowcock, the wife of Graham Bowcock, whose doctor said he had no more than six months to live after he was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2020.

But Graham had emergency surgery to remove part of his lung just two days before his 71st birthday, and now he’s about to turn 74.

The service is coming to Sunshine Coast Stadium (car park off Nicklin Way) on December 12 and 13. To book phone 1300 445 715 or click here.

Mayor Clare Stewart and her children at the Tewantin Noosa RSL Club Christmas tree with gifts to be distributed to Noosa residents doing it tough this Christmas.

Mayor’s Christmas Appeal

The Noosa Mayor’s Christmas Appeal returns this year to help local charities brighten the festive season for those in need.

Wrapped gifts displaying the suitable age/gender of the child can be dropped off under the Christmas tree at Tewantin-Noosa RSL Club on Memorial Avenue, Tewantin, or delivered to the council chambers at 9 Pelican Street, Tewantin, by December 19.

Gift cards and non-perishable food donations are also gratefully received, as well as vouchers for enjoyable experiences or activities.

“Your contribution will help to ensure everyone receives a gift at Christmas and that those doing it tough have food on the table on Christmas Day,” Mayor Clare Stewart said.

The appeal supports the Salvos, St Vincent de Paul Noosa, Santa’s Classy Helpers, Sunny Kids, WomenKind and Youturn. For more visit council’s website.

The Sunshine Coast Business Women’s Network has an annual ‘Giving Tree’.

Businesswomen bringing joy

As the festive season approaches and homelessness continues to soar on the Sunshine Coast, the Sunshine Coast Business Women’s Network is aiming to gift a record number of presents to those in hardship this Christmas.

The network has been supporting Maroochydore’s Laurel Place for six years and the long-standing tradition brings comfort and joy to those facing challenging circumstances during a time traditionally associated with warmth and togetherness.

“As well as raising funds for Laurel Place through our raffle, we have an annual tradition to set up our ‘Giving Tree’ where members donate gifts to the amazing Laurel Place for their clients,” SCBWN community engagement portfolio lead Jeannette Allom-Hill said.

Laurel Place is a community-based, government-funded organisation that provides free therapeutic services, counselling, group programs, community education and more to survivors of sexual violence and their caregivers.

Kim Locklier and Lisa Mclean from Laurel Place will be speaking at the SCBWN Christmas Breakfast on Tuesday, December 12. If you would like to attend visit the SCBWN website. If you would like to donate a gift to Laurel Place phone on 5443 4711.

Maroochydore Surf Life Saving Club and Japan’s Shimoda Life Saving Club share a special relationship. Picture: Steele Taylor.

Surf clubs unite across the ocean waves

A contingent of 10 lifesavers and a chaperone from Japan will arrive on the Sunshine Coast this weekend to celebrate a special relationship and train on our beaches.

Maroochydore Surf Life Saving Club and Shimoda Life Saving Club will honour the 25th anniversary of their Sister Club Exchange Program with a dinner to be held in the Black Swan Function Room on Saturday, December 9.

The Shimoda group will be accommodated in the Maroochydore club dormitories for 10 nights and participate in several programs
and activities including surf sports training, dinners with host families, sightseeing and a visit to Surf Life Saving Queensland’s Sunshine Coast Branch headquarters.

The 2023 program is no different to past years, with lifesavers from Maroochydore SLSC having already travelled in August to the beaches of Shimoda City to patrol, train and participate in what has been a very beneficial cultural exchange program.

Dan Purdie and Melanie Ottaway with some of the donations that have already been made for the Urban Angels Christmas Hamper Appeal.

Call to support hamper appeal

People are being encouraged to support the Urban Angels Christmas Hamper Appeal, to help those less fortunate this festive season.

“The gift of giving and being able to bring our community together in a time of crisis is beyond words,” coordinator Melanie Ottaway said.

Urban Angels is a local charity providing nutritious meals for people who need support. Nearly 200 volunteers and a small number of staff deliver on average about 13,000 meals a month.

Locals are being asked to drop in their donations as soon as possible, to give the volunteers plenty of time to put them together and distribute before Christmas.

Donations of non-perishable items can be dropped off to Ninderry MP Dan Purdie’s office at 11 Heathfield Road, Coolum Beach, or directly to Urban Angels at Unit 4, 27 Service Street, Maroochydore.

Books can be donated for distribution to children in need.

Gift the joy of reading

Passionate readers are being urged to support an initiative that creates a positive new chapter in the lives of children in need.

Sunshine Coast Council Libraries is reaching out to the community to help spread the joy of reading this Christmas through the Books4Kids appeal.

“This wonderful initiative has made it possible for thousands of children across the region to unwrap the magic of books during the holiday season, with more than 12,000 books distributed to children in need to date,” Sunshine Coast Council Community Portfolio Councillor David Law said.

“From now until December 13 all Sunshine Coast Council Libraries will accept donations of new children’s or young adult fiction and non-fiction books.”

For more information visit Sunshine Coast Libraries website.

The show is a full-scale theatrical experience with a live band playing carols.

Christmas classic comes to life

Putting a fresh spin on the Christmas classic, Suncoast Church at Woombye presents an original adaptation of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol from December 7-10.

Giving new fair to the story synonymous with the Christmas season, the writers have put a female Scrooge in the title role.

“We’ve taken the heart of Dickens’ story and put our own spin on the classic tale,” director and co-writer Elliott Hynes said.

Featuring 11 Christmas carols all played by a live band, the production is a full-scale theatrical experience. There are more than 70 cast and crew involved with the show, ranging from actors, dancers, singers and band members.

The production is free to attend with food trucks available before each performance. To book click here.

Sunshine Coast Grammar School students with some of the backpacks for families facing hardship.

Students step up for charity

Students at Sunshine Coast Grammar School are once again stepping up to make a meaningful impact this festive season, partnering with The Shack Community Centre in Nambour.

The school has been affiliated with The Shack for more than 13 years and regularly holds donation drives throughout the year, as well as contributing to its Christmas donations through a Backpack and Hamper Appeal, to support families facing financial hardship.

This year, the school community surpassed previous donation records with 200 backpacks and hampers purchased.

“It’s all about showing just how fun and rewarding community action can be. We pride ourselves on this message here at Grammar,” the school’s coordinator of community and service Ben Princehorn said.

Catch Santa as part of the Christmas convoy through Noosa.

Christmas convoy ready to roll

Santa is hitting the streets of Noosa, along with local emergency services, in the fourth annual Connecting Noosa Christmas Convoy.

The convoy starts on Monday, December 4, taking in Boreen Point, Lake Cootharaba and Cooroibah. It visits the hinterland on Tuesday, December 5, followed by Tewantin and Noosaville on Wednesday, December 6, and wraps on Thursday, December 7, with the eastern beaches and Noosa Heads.

“The crowds grow every year and it is wonderful to see the joy it brings to many in our Shire,” Noosa Counil community connections manager Alison Hamblin said.

Maps of each night’s journey are available on council’s website and will be promoted on council’s socials.

For older news see here.

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