AT 22 years old, sports all-rounder Shaun McKee from Bracken Ridge has to decide whether he will represent Australia in cricket or athletics at the Special Olympics Asia Pacific Games in Newcastle in December.
Mr McKee has won a gold medal in Twenty20 cricket and Futsal AWD (Adults with Disabilities), he plays A Grade soccer and basketball and won bronze when he played soccer for Australia in Athens in 2011.
ONE hundred years of racing around Cabbage Tree Creek is detailed in a book which will be released this Sunday, April 28.
For the past two years, Shorncliffe resident Brian Hutchison has been listing the crews and racing results from 1912-2012 in a book, with the help of members from the Sandgate Yacht Club.
ASPLEY St John Ambulance cadet leader Alice Lovett recently clocked up more than 550 hours of volunteer service with the organisation.
As part of National Youth Week, St John Ambulance (Queensland) thanked its volunteers, including Ms Lovett and 400 others, for their enthusiasm and dedication to the lives of others.
For almost 10 years Ms Lovett has been part of the St John Youth Development Program based in Virginia.
“It’s really fun, I enjoyed it as a cadet and met my two best friends here,” she said.
“(Now) I teach the cadets and juniors and write the programs. It’s not just about first aid, it’s about knowing what you can do and how you can succeed.”
More than 31 percent of all St John (Queensland) volunteers are under 18 years and, annually, hundreds of young St John members freely donate their time to provide life-saving first aid support at public events such as concerts, local fetes and sporting events.
During training, cadets receive nationally-accredited skills such as advanced resuscitation and first aid to assist in public duties as well as everyday life.
The cadets work their way up the ranks of St John Ambulance while earning proficiency badges in a range of areas not exclusive to medical care.
Jasmine Cook, 13, said that since her first few lessons she has been ‘addicted’ to learning more through the program.
“When I grow up I want to be a doctor in emergency so if I want to do that I have to strive for it,” she said.
Samantha Meikle, 16, sees herself in a similar role in the future and was recently promoted to a cadet corporal.
“It’s a very good thing to have (these skills) because it gets you thinking. If I saw someone who broke their leg I’d know how to help them and that’s good to know,” she said.
Young St John members also regularly aid the organisation in providing emergency responses during disasters, such as staffing evacuation centres.
St John Ambulance state superintendent Darryl Clare said that without members donating their time to provide life-saving first aid support they would not be able to contribute as much as they do to the community.
SANDGATE’S Einbunpin Lagoon parklands will come to life with the inaugural SANDBAG Community Wellness Expo and Fun Run this Sunday, April 21 from 7am-2pm.
The popular green space will become a market place hosting inspirational music and stalls with a wellness focus, ranging from local therapists and food produce, to activities such as yoga and tai chi, and is open to all.
The day will start at 7am with a fun run covering 8km or 4km across a flat course following the shore of Moreton Bay. A children’s 1.5km marshalled course will also be set up around Dowse Lagoon starting at 9.30am.
The event continues with organic coffee, food and produce available in a relaxed space for enjoying the entertainment.
A range of guest speakers will present on the day, there will be fitness and wellness demonstrations and, for the younger attendees. there will be scheduled storytime, craft and activities.
Zoli Mauritz, director of the monthly Music By The Sea concerts, has volunteered his expertise to SANDBAG, programming an inspiring host of musicians, including an Indigenous ‘Welcome to Country’ by local Turrbal people.
SANDBAG has received significant funding sponsorship from Medicare Local.
SANDBAG Community Centres and Services has been an integral part of the North Brisbane community for more than 20 years.
In the past year SANDBAG has helped 924 women and children affected by domestic violence; 550 people in crisis; 122 people find work; and provided 3,672 hours of support to people with a disability.
For further information about SANDBAG or the event visit www.sandbag.org.au or www.facebook.com/SandbagIncorporated
THE newly-formed Aspley Leo Club is looking for young people who are interested in making a difference.
Member Isaac Parker, 17, said the club, which began at the start of the year, was a great opportunity for young people to become involved in the community.
“These clubs are started by local Lions clubs for people aged 15 to 25. We, the members of the Leo Club, are in control while the Lions Club provides guidance,” Isaac said.
“As well as monthly meetings and social functions which bring our club together, Leo clubs also create awareness of community needs, enhance community development and improve quality of life in the community.
“Typical Leo projects revolve around the environment, community service, welfare of the youth and elderly as well as school support.
“The benefits of joining a Leo Club are shown in its motto – Leadership, Experience, Opportunity. Warning: be prepared to enjoy yourself!”
The Aspley Leo Club recently held its first social function at Aspley 10 Pin Bowl.
“The afternoon provided a great opportunity to get to know others in the group in a relaxed environment,” Isaac said.
“It was a lot of fun and we all left knowing a little more about each other, as well as with improved bowling skills.
“We also undertook a clean-up – which was slightly less competitive than bowling – of the Lions Park before our monthly meeting.
“We enjoyed working together to improve the appearance of the park.”
Isaac is putting out a call to other like-minded young people to join the Aspley Leo Club, which meets on the third Monday of each month from 5pm at Aspley 10 Pin Bowl, 149 Albany Creek Road.
For further information contact Isaac Parker at firstname.lastname@example.org or Des Sawyer at email@example.com, or search ‘Aspley Leo Club’ on Facebook to like their page or leave a message.
TWELVE young adults have been working hard to prepare a day of sports, music and performances at the Zillmere Youth Festival this Friday (April 12).
The event for people aged 12-25 years will feature dance workshops, DJ sets, Minute to Win It games, a chill zone, sports competitions, food stalls and raffles during the day.
Then as the sun sets performers will take to the stage with headliners Mark Lowndes, Keina Finau, Junior Tuagalu and the Academy of Brothers.
This is all part of National Youth Week celebrations which have been sponsored by the Brisbane City Council.
However its the efforts of the young organisers that have really made the Zillmere Youth Festival possible.
Sixteen-year-old Ramari Marumaru from Bracken Ridge is part of this group and said it was great to create something for people her age.
“I’m doing this sort of thing because it’s fun and it’s good to feel like you’re getting involved in the community,” she said.
“We’re going with the theme ‘Be Active, Be Happy, Be You’ and we’re hoping to incorporate this.”
Council community development officer Roger Boum said the young people had taken control of the event.
“That’s the difference from this and any other event, they design it all, we just step back,” he said.
“They aren’t only learning how to run a festival, they’re learning how to work agreements between businesses, Brisbane City Council, write invoices, ABN statements and supply sheets.”
There are a number of activities like this being held during National Youth Week from hip hop lessons and live gigs, to circus and song writing workshops, with events spread throughout both the suburbs and the inner-city.
Lord Mayor Graham Quirk has sponsored the event so younger people can have fun and celebrate their contribution to the city.
“We want Brisbane to be a place that provides its youth with opportunities to have fun, achieve their goals and make a difference,” Cr Quirk said.
“This is about valuing the ideas and skills of Brisbane’s youth and their contribution to building a vibrant and creative city.”
Council has been involved with National Youth Week for 10 years, and the event has helped artists and musicians launch their careers and residents to re-connect with youth organisations in their community.
The free Zillmere National Youth Festival will be held at the Zillmere PCYC on 340 Zillmere Road. The day session runs from 2-5pm and the night session from 6-8pm. For details visit www.brisbane.qld.gov.au/youthweek
IN March SANDBAG held a forum to launch a report ‘No Wrong Door: investing locally for social and economic outcomes’ in response to the State Government cancelling funding for the Skilling Queenslanders for Work (SQW) Programs which helped local people find employment including those with significant disadvantage.
The report was commissioned by an alliance made up of SANDBAG, Deception Bay Community Youth Program, Pine Rivers Neighbourhood Centre, Deception Bay Neighbourhood Centre and Kubingui at Zillmere.
These organisations all delivered SQW programs to help approximately 1,800 disadvantaged community members. Most of these participants found a pathway forward either to school, training, further education, or employment.
The alliance wanted to ensure the State Government and other investors know that locally based community organisations value-add significantly to the economy by delivering employment related services in a holistic and integrated way to people.
SANDBAG president Ann Ingamells said the organisations all worked with local employers and training organisations to create good employment pathways for local people.
“The reference to No Wrong Door is because people often turn up at these organisation for different reasons,” Dr Ingamells said.
“It could be homelessness, domestic violence or simply loneliness. Then, as they feel supported, changes start to happen and they go on to get involved in employment programs, and often they end up with a job.
“Community members and organisations were very disappointed when the Queensland Government stopped the funding to the employment pathway programs so abruptly in 2012, just as an independent evaluation was published saying these programs were good policy, achieved good outcomes and actually returned significant value to the Queensland economy.
“The Get Set For Work (GSFW) program costs approximately $6,000 per young person to assist them to transition to further training education and employment.
“However, if a young person ends up in the criminal justice system, it costs $250,000 per annum to keep them in a juvenile justice centre, and that does not take into account the cost of the police and the judicial system in responding to the offence,” Dr Ingamells said.
Of the 1,800 participants who completed employment programs with job placements, it appears at least 65 percent went on to find employment. This was a significant result given the participants all experienced multiple barriers to economic participation.
Other positive outcomes for participants included better sense of self, improved relationships, better health and an improved housing situation.
Dr Ingamells said the important contribution of these local programs is too valuable to lose.
“We ask the State Government to develop a replacement, we ask people who are seeking employment to lobby State Government and we ask those agencies receiving federal jobs funding to consider subcontracting some work to locally based organisations,” she said.
The report will soon be available on the website of the Coalition of Community Boards www.cocb.org.au
For more information email Dr Ann Ingamells firstname.lastname@example.org
CONSTRUCTION on a bikeway link in Carseldine recently began so pedestrians can cross underneath Gympie Road near Graham and Zillmere Roads.
The $2.5 million connection will enable people to avoid busy roads and travel along Cabbage Tree Creek through Carseldine.
Cr Cooper said originally they hoped to go over Gympie Road and Cabbage Tree Creek, but it proved too costly.
“This area does flood but we’re building something that can be used 360 days of the year,” she said.
Instead the stage-three works involve constructing an additional 315 metre off-road link behind the Northern Suburbs Squash Club and Aspley Hypermarket.
It also links and extends the existing bikeway crossing Cabbage Tree Creek as well as creating a further 100 metres of link paths to Gympie Road.
“This upgrade will provide increased access for the local community to walk or ride to nearby destinations and facilities such as Council’s bushland and parkland areas, Aspley Hypermarket, and the surrounding schools,” Cr Cooper said.
“On completion of stage-three works, the local community will have access to more than five kilometres of continuous pathways across both new and existing facilities.”
The project was part of a $120 million Better Bikeways 4 Brisbane program, designed to create a better commuter network of bikeways that service major employment areas.
Work on the Cabbage Tree Creek bikeway link began in March and will take approximately four months to complete, weather permitting.
VARYING conditions tested crews racing in the Qantaslink Brisbane to Gladstone Yacht Race at the weekend.
In the 65th annual event line honours were given to Wild Thing which crossed the finish line at 4.06pm on Saturday, while the prestigious Courier-Mail Cup was awarded to Wedgetail, which was closely followed by Black Jack and Immigrant.
Race director Herb Prendergast said it was a very exciting race to watch – from light winds to torrential rain, it was a test to see who could make the best out of the situation at hand.
“A good example is Black Jack. She finished 22 minutes behind Wild Thing which is a terrific achievement given the difference between their water lines – Black Jack is 66 feet long and Wild Thing is about 100 feet,” Mr Prendergast said.
“It was one of the best races they’ve been involved in because of the range of conditions. There were very light and variable winds and there were the occasional severe rains across the fleet.
“The record (for the quickest finish is) is about 7.30 in the (Saturday) morning so she (Wild Thing) was about seven hours out.”
All hands were on deck helping out with the race including Deagon resident Russell Menere who has been in charge of the starter’s gun for the past few years.
“You’ve got to have a shooting licence for this but I’ve actually managed the race and done the race before so this is very close to my heart,” he said.
“I love it, it’s one of our premier events at the club (QCYC in Shorncliffe) and to be part of it you really feel like you’re contributing.”
Four gunshots went off before the race, with the Mayor of Gladstone Gail Sellers firing the official start as Vamp crossed the starting line first.
Back on land spectators had their binoculars out lining the shores at Shorncliffe’s Bluewater Festival at Lower Moora Park on Good Friday.
More than 8,500 people made their way to the festival to celebrate the start of the race and took advantage of the beautiful weather, the colourful stalls, delicious food, live entertainment, community groups, animals, rides and lots of art.
More than 5,000 people converged on Lower Moora Park on Thursday for an evening of entertainment and food at Bluewater Bayfire Night.
Bluewater Festival media co-ordinator Linda Holman said the festival was a resounding success.
“We were lucky with the weather and so many people said it was the best Bluewater Festival ever,” Ms Holman said.
“We had people telling us throughout the festival how fantastic it was, and we’ve had really positive feedback by email and comments on Facebook.
“The festival ran smoothly thanks to a fantastic team of committee members and volunteers.”
THE 2013 Petrie School Summit involved 112 participants from 24 local schools and businesses and community groups when held at St Joseph’s Primary School, Bracken Ridge last week.
The summit was implemented by Member for Petrie Yvette D’Ath six years ago to give young people and educators a voice.
The future of traditional media, the influence of drugs in sports and society, natural disasters, charity, bullying and anti-social behaviour, the youth of today, learning and what makes school interesting were some of the topics covered on the day.
St Joseph’s principal Gary Creevey said they were delighted to be able to host this year’s Petrie Summit.
“This summit provides a wonderful opportunity for all the children involved to have input into a range of issues, many of which may impact on their future,” he said.
“It was both a rewarding and enjoyable experience for all involved.”
St John Fisher College teacher Jan Gulliver said the summit was a great networking opportunity and a chance to hear how other schools were doing things.
McDonald’s Bracken Ridge owner Rod Chiapello facilitated a primary school group and said the students were extraordinary and expressed themselves in a clear and mature way.
Rev Daniel Berris from North Lakes Anglican Church said it was fantastic hearing from educators about the very real topics being discussed.
The notes from the summit will be compiled and submitted to Brisbane Lord Mayor Graham Quirk, Moreton Bay Mayor Allan Sutherland, Queensland Premier Campbell Newman and Prime Minister Julia Gillard.
- Jacqueline Husson