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Community notes: keeping you connected with events around the Coast

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Bridge carrying 21,000 cars a day set for upgrade

A bridge that carries more than 20,000 vehicles a day to Noosa’s Hastings Street precinct is set to undergo a $3.7 million revamp. The upgrade More

Exclusive look: Historic theatre ready to make comeback

Once considered the jewel in the crown of Nambour's CBD, The Vogue theatre is preparing to make a stunning comeback, starting next week. It was More

Buyers’ interest ‘flooding in’ for $30m development

Property buyers are homing in on a 'premium' residential development, amid a shortage of listings on the Sunshine Coast. There have been waves of interest More

Photo of the day: sunrise surfers

Lesley Evans captured this scene at Kings Beach. If you have a photo of the day offering, email photo@sunshinecoastnews.com.au. Photos must be horizontal/landscape and may More

Jane Stephens: why professionals need to ban booze

Ban the booze for our decision makers, those who the public depends on and the ones who are paid to be physically excellent for More

Community notes: classical concerts return

Another world-class season of classical music at Montville’s Lucas Parklands will kick off with the return of pianist Berta Brozgul and cellist Sam Lucas More

The Noosa community has helped Officeworks Noosaville provide essential education support to 12 children impacted by poverty, by raising more than $8100 for children’s education charity The Smith Family.

Officeworks Noosaville’s fundraising, from December 26 to February 11, has contributed to the total $1.3 million raised by Officeworks stores across the nation during the 2024 Back to School Appeal.

Funds will go to The Smith Family’s Learning for Life sponsorship program, helping children and families impacted by poverty afford the cost of their child’s essential school supplies like uniforms, books and excursions, as well as providing personal support and extra educational programs to help students stay motivated and connected to their learning.

Officeworks Noosaville Store Business Manager Tina Steel said they were proud to have raised funds, with the support and generosity of the Noosa community.

“I would like to thank each and every customer and team member who contributed to this year’s appeal and supported The Smith Family’s Learning for Life sponsorship program and the vital work it does in enabling all Aussie children to have fair access to education,” she said.

Sunshine Coast Council Young Leaders Academy members (from left) Nathaniel Audley, Daniel Gettis, Nathan Dowling, Kyla Saltner-Johnston, Alex Pennay, Amryn Pigeon, Stefanie Sestak, Annabell Jarrett and James Milne.

Young leaders emerge

Sunshine Coast Council has launched its inaugural Young Leaders Academy, with eight locals coming together to inspire and create a group to achieve community action.

Expressions of interest for the academy opened in October last year and following an extensive interview process, council offered places to the successful applicants, aged from 16 to 25 years.

Young Leaders Academy member Kyla Saltner-Johnston said the academy strived to make a real difference in the community, develop essential leadership skills and gain an understanding of council.

“Although we are in the early development stages, we have a very diverse and passionate group that really wants to drive sustainable and positive change in our community and be positive role models for our peers,” she said.

The group will be facilitated by council’s community development officer Daniel Gettis along with a community leader Peter Westoby and emerging Kabi Kabi leader, consultant and Traditional Owner Tyrone Bean.

Myeloma awareness walk

Patients, families and supporters of people affected by myeloma will walk together on Sunday, March 3, to raise awareness of the blood cancer.

Up until May 2023 awareness of myeloma in Australia was low, but that changed when media commentator and broadcaster Sandy Roberts made his diagnosis public.

Now in its third year, Myeloma Australia’s Greatest Walk is a grassroots campaign driven by communities that have been impacted by myeloma.

People are invited to join the walk to raise funds and awareness to support the 22,000 Australians living with the incurable condition.

Walks will take place across 30 Australian locations, with the Sunshine Coast’s event to start from Brightwater Park in Mountain Creek. For more information click here.

The Track to Tea Tree Bay (detail) by Peter Hudson. Picture: Richard Muldoon

Trio of new exhibitions

Noosa Regional Gallery has unveiled a trio of new exhibitions celebrating local talent and environments.

Renowned Sunshine Coast artist Peter Hudson is debuting his latest collection of works, Right Place / Right Time. Known for his deep connection to Australian history and the natural world, Hudson employs his signature ‘en plein air’ technique to capture the ephemeral beauty of the Noosa biosphere.

The second exhibition, Pressed Into Place, features the innovative work of Noosa-based printmaking collective, Press Gang. Comprising artists Gabi Dick, Giuliana De Witts, Judy Barras and others, the collective explores the region’s natural environments through a shared creative process.

Creativity Has No Limits, by Sunshine Coast-based artist Michele Rudder, is the third exhibition offered in this program, and invites viewers into a world where creativity transcends traditional boundaries.

The exhibitions run from February 24 to April 14. Entry is free. Visit www.noosaregionalgallery.com.au.

Clean Up Australia Day is on March 3.

How to help clean-up effort

No matter where you live, local groups will be happy to have your help on Clean Up Australia Day on Sunday, March 3.

Currimundi Catchment Care Group, Eumundi Rotary, Kawana Scouts, Night Eyes Water and Landcare, Twin Waters Residents Association and more are among the Sunshine Coast groups running events this year.

“Each year we have amazing schools, businesses and community groups all lending a hand,” council’s manager for waste and resource management John Hogg said.

“Last year around 1200 people picked up four tonnes of rubbish across 100 different Sunshine Coast parks, reserves and beaches.”

To register, visit www.cleanup.org.au/cleanupaustraliaday, select ‘clean up events’ then ‘join a clean up’ and search for an event nearby by entering your postcode or suburb. Registration is free and covers participants under Clean Up Australia Day’s public liability insurance.

Fans young and old at the Valerie Taylor book signing at Sunreef Mooloolaba.

Conservationist visits Coast

Legendary marine conservationist and filmmaker Valerie Taylor is collaborating with Sunreef Mooloolaba on a documentary focusing on the habitats of the critically endangered grey nurse shark.

Valerie is considered an Australian icon and world expert in marine conservation and underwater filmmaking, and Sunreef Mooloolaba was thrilled to hosted a special event with her recently.

The exclusive event included filming for Valerie’s new documentary and a book signing session.

The documentary follows the journey of the next generation of marine conservationists, carrying on Valerie’s legacy, including local cultural leaders, youth, and leading dive operators located along the east coast grey nurse shark migration path.

“Hosting Valerie Taylor was an absolute honour and privilege. Valerie is a true champion of the oceans, and we were humbled by the opportunity to team up on a documentary and impact campaign that aligns perfectly with Sunreef’s mission to celebrate and conserve marine life,” Sunreef Mooloolaba manager Jonny Fell said.

Buderim Foundation’s Nico Hansen, left, and David Wood, right, present vouchers to Chancellor State College’s Steve Redshaw.

Foundation helps with school expenses

The Buderim Foundation is supporting local families with back-to-school expenses, with $43,500 worth of vouchers.

The 570 vouchers were distributed through Chancellor State College, Mountain Creek State School, Mountain Creek State High School and SunnyKids, as part of the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal Back to School Program.

Buderim Foundation Chair Rod McKinnon said the Buderim Foundation has been participating in the Back to School program for the past 20 years.

“Since 2005, we have now distributed 5799 vouchers, with the total value of $304,950,” he said.

“Unfortunately, this is the last year the FRRR is running the Back to School Program, but we are very grateful that together we have been able to help provide some small but meaningful financial relief for local families.”

Jazz guitarist Libor Smoldas is playing at the Ginger Factory. Picture: Ondrej Kosik

Jazz after dark at iconic venue

Experience an unforgettable evening of jazz and dinner by candlelight at the Ginger Factory in Yandina.

As the sun sets, the park will come alive with the sounds of smooth jazz, soulful blues and modern classics reimagined by the Robyn Brown Quartet, with the masterful presence of jazz guitarist Libor Smoldas as the special guest.

Take the opportunity to wander the gorgeous gardens after dark in the venue’s very first night event, and savour a full menu, sip on refreshing Buderim Ginger beverages, indulge in delicious house-churned gelato at Gingerlatis and more.

Supported by the Glasshouse Country Christian College Jazz Ensemble, this will be a very special evening.

It is on Saturday, February 24, with doors opening at 5.30pm and the show from 6-9.30pm. Tickets are $35 and can be purchased through the Ginger Factory’s website. It includes entry into the event only. Food, beverages and train tickets will be available for purchase.

An upcoming field day is a chance to learn more about farm machinery. Picture: Shutterstock

Farm machinery on show

An agricultural field day is set to return to the Sunshine Coast, providing farmers, construction workers and contractors the opportunity to experience the latest technology and innovation in farm machinery.

Hosted at a strawberry farm in Beerwah, attendees to the Allclass Field Day will have the chance to test out the latest machinery from leading agricultural machinery providers and learn from industry specialists, followed by a barbecue lunch.

You can also learn more about GPS guidance data management for improved paddock efficiencies; reduced seed, sprays and fertiliser costs; reduced diesel consumption; improvements in soil health and more.

The hands-on field day follows the successful event launch in 2018, when the Allclass team welcomed about 300 attendees to showcase a wide range of products including tractors, excavator attachments and implements.

The event is at 205 Burys Road, Beerwah, from 8am to 4pm on Wednesday, February 28, and Thursday, February 29.

Nurse Erik Solari, nurse Hannah Lucas and nurse and midwife Rachael Wake.

Health graduates welcomed

The region’s healthcare services have received a welcome boost, with dozens of graduates launching their careers in the industry.

A total of 105 registered nurses and 18 midwives were learning the ropes at Sunshine Coast University Hospital, before starting in graduate positions in the coming weeks.

The graduates were undertaking orientation on Monday, February 19, before completing hospital-specific training over the next two weeks.

The nurses will then take to the wards to contribute to providing care to the Sunshine Coast and Gympie community in medical, surgery and a variety of specialties.

They will work at facilities across the region including Sunshine Coast University Hospital, Gympie Hospital, Nambour General Hospital and Caloundra Health Service.

Endeavour Foundation Maroochydore Business Solutions employee Carl Knobloch.

Workers put skills on show

Endeavour Foundation workers are calling on employers to see the “ability” in disability, and opened their doors recently to put their skills on show.

The disability service provider employs 1730 people with a disability across its social enterprise network, including 55 in Maroochydore, and is aiming to move the dial on employment.

Employees at Endeavour Foundation Maroochydore Business Solutions perform a range of tasks, including confidential document destruction, packing and forklift driving. They also have access to state-of-the-art Virtual Reality (VR) learning environments in the David Huxley Training Hub.

“Everyone’s nice and understanding at Endeavour Foundation and I get on well with all the other employees because they’re not judgemental,” forklift driver Carl Knobloch said. “People with a disability want things out of life just like other people and a lot of times they’ll be very determined to get them.”

Site manager Sarah Donoghue added: “Not only are we looking for more employees, but I’d also urge potential employers and businesses that want to make a difference in the lives of people with a disability to get in touch.”

The Dunga Derby will be held from August 15 to 18.

Dunga Derby gets into gear

Registrations are open for this year’s Dunga Derby Charity Car Rally.

The annual fundraising event is set to include 55 teams that will compete over four days and raise funds for Rally for a Cause, which supports locals affected by life-limiting medical conditions and/or whose lives have been disrupted by detrimental circumstances beyond their control.

Founder and Director Mick Irwin said the event will again be from “coast to country” and “the route will be a surprise”.

Since its inception in 2015, the Dunga Derby has raised more than $3 million and provided support to more than 300 families.

Funds raised have been used for things like mortgage payments, health expenses, rent, groceries, household bills, equipment and house modifications.

Kym Tabulo with her artwork in the Maroochydore CBD.

Artworks unveiled

Two bold new art pieces capturing the essence of the Sunshine Coast’s natural and urban landscape have been unveiled in the Maroochydore city centre, marking an exciting addition to The MET’s Creative Hoarding Program.

The first installation, Excited to See You Here, by the talented local mural artist Kym Tabulo, serves as a striking representation of Maroochydore’s evolving urban landscape.

Embracing the theme A Place for People, the work is 6.3m long and 2.1m high across three panels and explores the connections between humanity, modern architecture and the natural world. It is on display until May as part of your city. our story. initiative.

A second installation, titled Humans In Nature, is a testament to community collaboration and the rich diversity of the Sunshine Coast biosphere. This legacy piece from November’s BiospHERO Day is a collage of artworks celebrating the natural wonders and spirit of the Sunshine Coast community.

“We are thrilled to unveil these artworks, which celebrate community spirit and the diverse beauty of the Sunshine Coast,” SunCentral Maroochydore CEO Amanda Yeates said.

Sunshine Beach State School Year 1 and Year 6 students create Pocket Forest.

Forest project ‘pays it forward’

In a joint initiative between Noosa Landcare and the generosity of the Swanepoel family, Sunshine Beach State School has continued its annual Pocket Forest planting program.

The initiative fosters connection to nature and to each other, with students in Year 1 and Year 6 joining together to plant more than 200 native trees indigenous to the Sunshine Beach area.

The Pocket Forest is designed using the Miyawaki method and utilises native trees from the pre-clearing and remnant ecosystems. Plants are strategically planted in a dense arrangement intentionally to create its own sustainable ecosystem.

“I wanted to pay it forward and provide the students with a sense of ownership for creating a healthier planet,” Gary Swanepoel said. “I’m hoping in the future, these students will look back fondly and say, ‘I planted that tree’.”

This year’s Pocket Forest project was enhanced by the active composting program that the students of the school have embraced, aiming to reduce the amount of compostable rubbish ending up in landfill.

The Steps for STEPS charity walk is returning in March.

Charity walk supporting students

The annual Steps for STEPS charity walk is back Friday, March 8, when STEPS Pathways College students, trainers and volunteers will take to the pavement together and walk 30km to raise funds for the college.

Mark Darin and Caroline Hutchinson from 92.7 MIXFM will be walking alongside while recording their morning broadcast live, beginning at the MIXFM office in Maroochydore and finishing at the STEPS College Campus at George Street, Caloundra.

Funds raised from the event will go directly towards supporting the students at STEPS Pathways College, Australia’s only boarding college for young adults living with a disability and autism.

“The students are incredible humans, and I am so proud to walk beside them,” STEPS executive manager of business partnerships Michael Williamson said.

Visit www.stepsforsteps.com.au to read students’ inspirational stories and help them reach their fundraising goal.

SmartPups trains assistance dogs for children with special needs. Picture: Shutterstock

Festival to support assistance dogs

Musician, author and former TV presenter Andy ‘Phippsy’ Phipps losing his long blond surfie locks will be one of the highlights at the Noosa Marina Music Festival, in support of local not-for-profit group SmartPups.

Since 2015, the Sunshine Coast-based charity has provided more than 300 assistance dogs to children with special needs. It is dedicated to training and placing assistance dogs with children who have autism, epilepsy, diabetes and mobility conditions.

The family friendly event will also feature local songstress and media personality Nat McGregor, who will emcee the event, alongside Edward Dregg, Cash Only and DJ Steph.

Event-goers will be able to support the cause through a raffle, and meet, pat and interact with a Smart Pup.

The free festival is on Saturday, February 24, from 2-6pm at the Marina Bar Noosa. For more details and to donate click here.

Rising young nipper Jacob Martin.

Nipper focused on defending titles

Outstanding Met Caloundra nipper Jacob Martin has taken high-level competition in his stride, with his long list of achievements including winning the under 13 beach and flags titles at the 2023 Queensland titles, silver medals in both events at the nationals and taking gold and silver for the sprint and flags respectively representing Queensland at the recent interstate championships in NSW.

“I am currently focusing on the upcoming Queensland titles and then the national titles,” Jacob said. “I am looking to do well in the 70m sprint and beach flags, to hopefully defend by state titles and win the nationals in both events.”

Pelican Waters and Henzells Agency have contributed $500 to help Jacob chase his goals, with the support enabling him to purchase training equipment and clothing.

Pelican Waters also supports the Pelican Waters Caloundra Swimming Club, Pelican Waters Bowls Club, Pelican Waters Garden Club, local golf clubs and volunteer water and landcare group Night.

Jacob’s next major events are the State Life Saving Championships at Burleigh Heads from March 22-24, the National Life Saving Championships at Alexandra Headland from April 14-21, and the World Life Saving Championships on the Gold Coast from August 20 to September 8.

Adam Gerrie and his family ahead of the event.

Transplant community converges for triathlon

Transplant recipients, living donors, donor families, healthcare professionals, caregivers, and supporters will converge for the first Transplant Australia Wave will be held at the Caloundra Triathlon on Sunday.

The event, introduced, by Transplant Australia and The Event Crew, provides a chance for the transplant community to celebrate and showcase the benefits of the gift of life.

One such transplant recipient is local Adam Gerrie, who received a lifesaving kidney transplant in 2019.

After being diagnosed with stage 5 kidney failure in 2018, Adam’s health rapidly declined until his dad, Glen, gave him the ultimate gift.

“This will be my first triathlon and I’m so proud to be representing the transplant community. I hope we can show everyone the life changing impact that organ and tissue donation has,” he said.

Aged care service manager Ira Jahner, Olive Macgregor and board chairman Nigel King.

Retirement living milestone

Churches of Christ Little Mountain has celebrated its fifth birthday with staff, aged care and retirement living residents, and the local community.

About 250 people enjoyed home-baked treats for morning tea while enjoying the sweet sounds of the Ladybirds, a local ukulele group from the Sunshine Coast.

Kids enjoyed ice cream from Mr Whippy, balloons, face painting and the free petting zoo.

There was also stalls from local businesses, craft made lovingly by aged care residents and staff, and a showcase of chair yoga and zumba.

Among the guests were Beryl Jobe, who moved in when facility first opened, and Olive Macgregor, who at 102 is the oldest resident at the facility.

Sunshine Troupe is performing with musical theatre star Patrice Tipoki.

Musical star to join troupe on stage

Musical theatre international star Patrice Tipoki will take to the stage with the Sunshine Coast disabled dance group Sunshine Troupe Inc for an intimate evening designed to highlight all abilities in the performing arts.

On Thursday, February 8, Tipoki and musical theatre favourite Mark Doggett, Kylie Coulson from the Happy Families podcast and patron Rosanna Natoli will join the troupe to lift the profile of all-abilities performers.

Sunshine Troupe is dedicated to creating inclusive communities through their practice. They regularly perform at the STEPS Winter Gala, the Loud and Clear festival and Compass Institute Hoedown among others.

President Rebecca Larkin said the event would be an excellent opportunity to showcase the troupe’s mission.

“This will be a spectacular collaboration and it allows local businesses and community members to break down perceptions and stereotypes while appreciating the beauty of performing arts expression,” she said.

Maroochy Sea Serpents members take to the water. Picture: Facebook

Funding boost for local clubs

Seven local community groups will share in more than $216,000 in the latest round of the Gambling Community Benefit Fund.

Ninderry MP Dan Purdie said he was pleased to see this grant round dominated by local sports clubs, who will use the money to improve facilities and equipment for their membership.

Successful sports clubs include Coolum Colts rugby league ($18,944.33), Maroochy Roos Junior AFL ($32,062), Maroochydore AFL ($32,062) and Maroochy Sea Serpents dragon boating ($34,341).

The other successful recipients were Altitude Scholarships Ltd ($4210), Kanyini Connections ($34,997), and Youth with a Mission Sunshine Coast ($60,000).

“This is a great way for all these local clubs and organisations to start off the year, and a reminder to other groups to make sure you get your funding submissions in for the next round, Round 120, which is now open,” Mr Purdie said.

The cocktail-style gathering will see attendees treated to a sunset drink on arrival along with grazing platters, light canapes and entertainment.

Celebration of inspiring women

The achievements and journeys of inspirational women will be shared and celebrated in a special event for International Women’s Day 2024.

Held on Friday, March 8, from 6-9pm at Altitude Nine, on the top floor of Sunshine Coast City Hall in Maroochydore, three extraordinary local women will take centre stage and share their stories of success, resilience and empowerment.

Among them will be special guest Jordyn James, owner and artistic director of Burlesque L’amour, who through her business she has directed and performed in over 16 shows, supported and hosted five charity shows, created a DanceFit program for young adults living with a disability and been a finalist in both Australian of the Year in 2019 and Business Woman of the Year in 2021.

“The Sunshine Coast has an incredible community of inspiring women and what better way to share their stories and celebrate their resilience than with a dedicated event at a place of elevation and in a space designed to lift others up,” Sunshine Coast Council economic and community development group executive Greg Laverty said.

Tickets are $39.95 per person plus booking fee and are on sale now. More special guest speakers will be announced shortly.

Julie Jansen and son Ethan. Picture: Facebook

Mum and son release cookbook

Sunshine Coast local Julie Jansen has, together with her teenage son Ethan, self-published a cookbook called The Shared Apron: Everyday Cooking for Teens.

“As a home economist and recipe writer, I could see a gap in the market and was increasingly aware of the need to boost our teens’ confidence in the kitchen, expand their cooking and knowledge of food, and teach the life skill of cooking,” she said.

The Shared Apron is a unique, local cookbook, written and tested, photographed and printed locally on the Sunshine Coast.”

The cookbook features more than 65 easy and nutritious recipes, such as one-pot butter chicken, Mexican black bean burgers, rustic apple raspberry pie and passionfruit cheesecakes.

It is her second self-published cookbook, following the success of Apricots and Apron Strings. Find out more here.

Jamie Milne is ready to take on a daunting push-up challenge, for a good cause.

Gym owner aims for 1000 push-ups in an hour

Multiple Guinness world record holder and Warana gym owner Jamie Milne is looking to add to his list of records with a tilt at the Guinness world record for the most chest to ground push-ups in an hour.

The current record is 884 but “an even thousand is the goal,” he said.

Mr Milne’s last tilt at a Guinness world record, in November, finished with him narrowly missing the title for most burpees in an eight-hour period, but he raised $15,000 for struggling Sunshine Coast kids, through his chosen charity Inclusive Kids.

“The money Jamie was able to raise was critical to the establishment of the Inclusive Kids food program which keeps kids fed and engaged in schools,” Integrated Family and youth Service Marketing Manager Paul Morton said.

Mr Milne will attempt the feat at The Old Church Nambour (accommodation for at-risk children) on Saturday from 9am. Donations can be made via Inclusive Kids.

Rising Sunshine Coast band Ampersand.

Emerging band releases debut song

Sunshine Coast band Ampersand have released their debut single, called Originality.

The song features vocals, lyrics and melody by Katie Brown, 18, and Isi Semmler, 16, keyboards and chords by Jarrod Tutbury, 20, bass by Jed Green, 15, drums and percussion by Orlando Hamilton-Craig, 15, and guitar by featured guest artist Christian Hamilton-Craig, 49.

Recorded, engineered and produced by Scott Mathison and Justin Tresidder at Yama Nui Studios and mastered by Paul Blakey, the single’s creation was made possible by the Australian Government’s Regional Arts Fund, provided through Regional Arts Australia, administered in Queensland by Flying Arts Alliance.

The fully independent nu-funk/soul/retro pop fusion band have spent much of the past two years playing gigs, and have played at events such as the Caloundra Music Festival and Noosa Alive.

Listen to the single here.

For older news see here.

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