3 Corinda State High School Staff Recognised at Australian Education Awards

Corinda State High School in Queensland is celebrating after three staff members were named as Excellence Awardees in the prestigious 2024 Australian Education Awards.

Principal Helen Jamieson, deputy principal Tom Bates, and secondary school teacher Nicki Crerar have all been recognised in the awards, which are in their seventh year.

Photo Credit: Educator Awards

The awards span 29 categories and showcase the best of Australian education in 2024. Excellence Awardees will be formally recognised at a black-tie gala event on Friday, 9th of August at the Star Event Centre in Sydney. The awards recognise the outstanding achievements of Australian schools, principals, department heads, and teachers.

Photo Credit: Educator Awards

Jamieson, Bates, and Crerar were selected from a competitive pool of nominees across the country. The Corinda State High School staff members join other awardees from schools in New South Wales, South Australia, Victoria, and the Northern Territory.

Prime Super, an independent profit-to-members superannuation fund, is partnering with The Educator for the 2024 awards. 

Photo Credit: Educator Awards

Prime Super’s National Sales Manager, Corporate Super, Billie Atanasova, emphasised the company’s commitment to supporting members in the education sector, stating, “As a super fund, we have a strong affinity with the teachers, principals, and support staff in schools who are working every day to elevate the futures of others.”

Published Date 16-May-2024

2024 Barrio Fiesta Brisbane Set to Shine at Rocklea Showgrounds

The Filipino community across Australia is gearing up for a vibrant celebration of the 126th anniversary of Philippine Independence Day on the 12th of June 2024. 

With Filipinos being the fifth-largest immigrant group in the country, events are planned throughout all states and territories, showcasing the rich culture and heritage of their homeland.

On the 9th of June 2024, Rocklea Showgrounds will host the highly anticipated 2024 Barrio Fiesta Brisbane. This well-known event among Filipinos will feature a full day of festivities showcasing Filipino culture, music, food, and community spirit.

Photo Credit: Facebook/ BarrioFiestaBrisbane

Queensland Events

However, Queensland is set for a diverse range of festivities to mark the Filipino celebrations.

Kicking off the festivities is the Bayanihan Festival on the 1st June 2024 at the Kingston Butter Factory Cultural Precinct in Kingston. The Filipino Australian Brisbane Society Inc., which is hosting this event, promises a day full of cultural performances, food stalls, and activities.

Photo Credit: Facebook/  FilipinoAustralianBrisbaneSociety

Following this is a more formal affair: the 126th Philippine Independence Day Celebration on June 1st at the Pullman Cairns International Grand Ballroom in Cairns. The Philippine Cultural Society of Carins, Inc. is responsible for organising this gala event.

Photo Credit: Facebook/ PhilippineCulturalSocietyofCarins

The weekend of the 8th and 9th of June has a packed schedule. On 8th June, the Pasasalamat (meaning “thanksgiving”) event will be held at the Auditorium in Meridan Plains.

Event NameDate & TimeLocationHost
Bayanihan Festival01 June 2024, Saturday, 11 am – 6 pmKingston Butter Factory Cultural Precinct, Kingston QLDFilipino Australian Brisbane Society Inc
126th Philippine Independence Day Celebration01 June 2024, Saturday, 6 pmPullman Cairns International Grand Ballroom, CairnsPhilippine Cultural Society of Cairns, Inc.
Pasasalamat08 June 2024, Saturday, 5:30 pmAuditorium, 70 Springs Drive Meridan Plains QLD
2024 Barrio Fiesta Brisbane09 June 2024, Sunday, 9 am – 5 pmRocklea Showgrounds, Rocklea QLDBarrio Fiesta Brisbane

National Festivities

Across the rest of the country, similar celebrations are planned. The Australian Capital Territory will see the Philippine Independence Anniversary Ball on the 15th June, while New South Wales will hold the Philippine National Day Ball on12th June.

In the Northern Territory, a special event will be held at Parliament House, hosted by the Honourable Ngaree Ah Kit MLA, Minister for Multicultural Affairs.

Victoria offers a range of events, including a dinner dance in Warrnambool on 1st June, a gala and anniversary celebration in Melbourne on 8th June, and a grand fiesta at the Queen Victoria Market on 30th June.

Western Australia joins the celebrations with a ball in Perth on 8th June and a separate celebration in Mandurah on 1st June.

Tasmania will round out the national celebrations with The Grand Filipino Festival on 8th June.

This year’s Philippine Independence Day promises to be a vibrant and diverse celebration across Australia, showcasing the important contributions Filipino communities make to the cultural tapestry of the nation.

Published Date 07-May-2024

Woman Critical After Forklift Incident at Brisbane Markets

A woman in her 40s is in critical condition after being struck by a forklift at the popular Brisbane Markets in Rocklea early Thursday morning, May 2, 2024.

The incident occurred around 6:15am, when the woman, an employee of one of the businesses operating at the markets, was involved in a collision with a forklift. She suffered serious head and leg injuries in the incident.

Paramedics were called to the scene and the woman was treated before being transported to Princess Alexandra Hospital in a serious condition. However, her condition has since deteriorated and she is now listed as critical, according to the hospital.

Andrew Young, CEO of Brisbane Markets Limited which operates the site, released a statement saying the incident is being investigated by the company, Workplace Health and Safety Queensland, and the woman’s employer.

“The collision is being treated as a serious incident,” Young stated. “Brisbane Markets considers the safety of everyone working at the site to be our top priority and reinforces to all businesses the importance of adhering to safe work practices.”

He extended well-wishes to the injured woman and her family on behalf of the company.

A spokesperson for Workplace Health and Safety Queensland confirmed their organisation has an open investigation into the incident, but could not provide further details at this time.

The Brisbane Markets at Rocklea are a major produce market supplying fresh fruit, vegetables, and flowers to retailers across Queensland. The large site operates around the clock, leading to concerns about vehicle and pedestrian safety if proper protocols are not followed.

Workplace safety advocates are calling for a thorough investigation and review of procedures to prevent similar tragic incidents in the future at one of Brisbane’s industrial hubs.

Published 4-May-2024

Oxley and Sherwood Lead the Way as Brisbane Reclaims Flood Zones for Public Use

In the aftermath of the devastating 2022 floods, a silver lining has emerged for some of Brisbane’s hardest-hit suburbs – new public spaces are being created throughout the city, including in Oxley and Sherwood, and these are from voluntary buybacks of flood-prone properties.

Read: Home Buy-back Scheme Rolls Out In Oxley, Rocklea

The Queensland Government’s voluntary home buyback program, launched in response to the 2022 flood emergency, has seen Brisbane City Council acquire 285 residential properties across the city to date. This amounts to around 20.8 hectares of land – the equivalent of 25 rugby league fields.

The sprawling green spaces are taking shape in suburbs like Rocklea, Oxley and Sherwood as homes once inundated by floodwaters make way for new public recreation areas. Rocklea had the highest number of buybacks at 72 properties spanning over 50,000 square metres.

Photo credit: Google Street View

Council’s Environment, Parks and Sustainability Chair Tracy Davis said the newly-acquired land would be preserved as open space to improve long-term flood resilience.

The buyback scheme gave homeowners this difficult choice – pursue costly renovations to make their home more flood resilient, or accept the offer to have the property purchased.

So far around 110 of the acquired properties have been converted into open spaces and parklands, with Council set to complete the green space transition for remaining buyback sites in coming years.
The new parklands rival some of Brisbane’s most iconic recreational areas in scale, collectively larger than the 15-hectare New Farm Park or 16-hectare Roma Street Parklands.

Read: Bunnings Plans To Rebuild Oxley Store With Flood-resilient Features

For the flood-weary residents who took the buyback option, the creation of these new green lungs in the city, including Oxley and Sherwood, offers some consolation – their once-vulnerable homes making way for public spaces that could never be impacted by future inundation events.

Published 2-May-2024

Oxley Creek Common To Host Massive Tree Planting Event

Oxley Creek Common is gearing up for a green transformation as it prepares to host a monumental tree-planting event as part of National Tree Day.

On Sunday, the 28th of July 2024, Oxley Creek Common aims to plant over 1,000 native trees along the riparian corridor, thanks to a successful grant application to Planet Ark’s Seedling Bank. The initiative represents a significant step forward in the ongoing efforts to enhance the health of Oxley Creek and foster improved wildlife habitats.

Volunteers of all ages and experience levels are invited to roll up their sleeves and join this noble cause. Whether you’re a seasoned tree planter or a complete beginner, your contribution is invaluable. 

Photo Credit: Facebook/ Oxley Creek Catchment Association

Registration for the event is mandatory due to the limited space.

Participants will convene at the Red Shed adjacent to the car park at Oxley Creek Common, located on Sherwood Road, Rocklea. From there, volunteers will embark on a brief 500-metre walk along the walking track to reach the planting site. 

Photo Credit: Facebook/ Oxley Creek Catchment Association

To ensure comfort and safety, attendees are advised to bring a hat, a water bottle, and sun-safe clothing such as long pants and long sleeves, along with enclosed shoes. Although there will be sunscreen, gloves, and planting tools available, it is important to remember that all children must have a parent or guardian with them at all times. 

This collaborative effort emphasises the community’s commitment to creating a greener and more sustainable future for Oxley Creek and the wider environment.

Published Date 15-April-2024

Locals Applaud Netball Event at Faulkner Park, but Seek Solutions to Minimise Disruptions

The recent four-day netball carnival held at Faulkner Park in Graceville has generated mixed reactions from local residents, with concerns raised about the event’s impact on the community.

Read: Graceville Community Stands United Against Gym Development

The Western Districts Netball Association (WDNA) hosted the 2024 senior age championship event at Faulkner Park, drawing a significant number of participants and officials. The event was attended by around 198 officials and involved 55 associations, including Kingaroy, which participated for the first time.

Whilst the event was a success for the netball community, some local residents have expressed concerns about the aftermath. Residents have reportedly been battling issues such as noise, parking, and traffic congestion during the carnival.

Matt Petersen/Google Maps

According to reports, local residents have previously requested that the event be hosted elsewhere or spread across multiple venues, but their calls have gone unanswered. Additionally, the overflow parking at the nearby Gordon Thomson Park was affected by constant rain, making it difficult for the council to maintain the area.

In response to the issues, the park was later closed, and organisers had to issue refunds to parking pass holders.

It is worth noting that the 2023 junior state titles were held across multiple locations in Townsville, which some residents believe helped to minimise the impact and spread the benefits more evenly.

Photo credit: Gerard Cassidy/Google Maps

However, this is not a new issue for the community. Back in 2020, a State Government grant for improved lighting at the facility in Graceville has already angered the area’s neighbours. 

The organisation stated back then that the lights would actually be an improvement and that they had worked hard to minimise the impact on the neighbours, but the residents remained upset.

Read: To Build or Not to Build: The Debate Over a New Bridge from Chelmer to Indooroopilly

As the community continues to navigate these challenges, it remains to be seen whether the organisers and local authorities will address the concerns raised by the residents in the future.

Published 11-April-2024

Leadership Controversy Engulfs Prestigious St Aidan’s Anglican Girls School Amidst Staff Exodus

St Aidan’s Anglican Girls School in Corinda faces a crisis as allegations of a toxic workplace culture prompt a staff exodus and a vote of no confidence, significantly impacting student wellbeing.

The issue came into the spotlight when an email, allegedly representing 49 current employees, articulated a deep-seated disillusionment with the school’s leadership under Principal Toni Riordan.

This correspondence, addressed to the school council, catalogued a disturbing trend of 39 departures over the past year, encompassing senior leaders, educators, and support personnel. The email accused Principal Riordan of neglecting serious issues like bullying, thereby exacerbating the toxic environment.

In defense, the school’s spokesperson outlined that the turnover rate paralleled that of other independent schools, attributing departures to common reasons such as retirement and career progression. Despite this, the severity of the allegations has prompted a thorough review following the Complaints Management in Anglican Schools procedures, emphasizing the school’s commitment to the welfare of its community.

St Aidans Anglican Girls School
Photo Credit: Google Maps

Beyond the faculty, the instability has taken a significant toll on students, with reports of heightened anxiety, panic attacks, and therapy necessitation. Parents, having invested heavily in their children’s education at St Aidan’s, express profound disappointment and concern over the constant flux of teaching staff.

In March, a mother reported that one of her daughters experienced a panic attack, breaking down in tears due to the departure of yet another teacher, while her other daughter developed severe anxiety and is now on medication, attributed to the stressful environment caused by frequent teacher resignations. 

She expressed frustration over the loss of advanced maths, science, and English teachers, deeming it unacceptable given the school’s annual tuition of up to $28,000 per student. Additionally, the family has incurred an extra $30,000 in expenses for private tutoring to compensate for the educational gaps, despite their children previously being high achievers.

The discontent extends to the school’s recent appointments, with the selection of Kim Cohen as interim deputy principal raising eyebrows. Cohen’s arrival from Saint Stephen’s College in Upper Coomera, where she departed amidst controversy, has done little to quell the unrest among the faculty.

As the school council grapples with these complex challenges, the wider community watches closely, hopeful for a resolution that reaffirms the school’s commitment to excellence in education and the well-being of all its members.

Published 1-April-2024

Ready to Serve: Meet The Newest Watchhouse Officers Of QPS

After graduating from Oxley Police Academy, fourteen new watchhouse officers are prepared to begin their responsibility of enforcing justice throughout South-East Queensland.

After completing a rigorous five-week training programme, these watchhouse officers (WOs) —trained experts skilled at supervising individuals in custody within watchhouses—have improved their operational abilities, gained an awareness of legislative powers, and gained an in-depth understanding of custody procedures.

Lectures from a variety of speakers, including members from First Nations organisations, enhanced their education by highlighting the significance of cultural sensitivity and community engagement in their employment.

Paul Langley

Photo Credit: Website/ myPolice Queensland Police News

Paul Langley is one of the graduates who is eager to begin working at Pine Rivers Watchhouse and has served four years in immigration detention. While reflecting on the significance of his new role, Langley emphasised the crucial support watchhouse officers provide to the broader police force in terms of expediting officers’ return to patrol and guaranteeing the continuation of their community service.

Leona Kish

Photo Credit: Website/ myPolice Queensland Police News

Leona Kish brings a unique blend of academic prowess and practical ambition to her role. Currently pursuing a major in criminology and psychology, Kish sees her position as a watchhouse officer as a stepping stone toward her ultimate goal in forensic psychology. With a keen desire to enhance the workings of the legal system, Kish approaches her work with a strategic vision for the future.

Maddison Bignell

Photo Credit: Website/ myPolice Queensland Police News

Maddison Bignell eagerly accepted her position at Caloundra Watchhouse, driven by the prospect of a challenging career and a deep-seated desire to help others. Bursting with enthusiasm, she looks forward to applying her freshly acquired expertise and skills as a watchhouse officer, poised to effect tangible change in her community. Rejecting the confines of a desk-bound occupation, Bignell is ready to embrace the dynamic nature of her new role with open arms.

These recent hires show the Queensland Police Service’s commitment to growing its membership and adapting to the evolving needs of modern law enforcement. Across vital regions like Caloundra, Brisbane, Ipswich, and the Gold Coast, these watchhouse officers are prepared to serve, safeguard, and preserve the principles of safety and justice.

Photo Credit: Website/Queensland Police Service Recruiting

If their commitment to community safety and law enforcement inspires others to consider a career in law enforcement, more details about the Queensland Police Service are available at Queensland Police Service Recruiting.

Published Date 30-March-2024

Graceville Community Stands United Against Gym Development

Graceville residents are strongly opposed to a proposed multi-level gym complex on Graceville Avenue, fearing it will cause significant traffic and parking chaos. 

The community is dissatisfied due to a potential gym centre that only offers 37% of the required parking spaces as per City Plan 2014 guidelines.

This lack of parking spaces implies that most gym-goers will have to park on the surrounding streets, resulting in traffic congestion and inconvenience for residents and passers-by.

This issue was brought to light following a Council pre-lodgement advice dated 7 September 2022, which seemingly overlooked the need for sufficient parking for a gym of this scale.

Total Fusion Graceville gym development
Photo Credit: DA A006237386

The advice permitted a mere 150 parking spaces, starkly contrasted with the over 400 spaces required under the council’s policies for indoor sport and recreation facilities.

Total Fusion Graceville gym development
Photo Credit: DA A006237386

In March 2023, developers of the gym, Total Fusion, filed DA A006237386, which has been under assessment with the city planners. The DA has since received more than 770 submissions from the locals. 

Voices from the Community

The residents of Graceville are not only concerned about parking but also about their quality of life, safety, and preserving the character of their neighbourhood. Local forums and submissions to the Council reflect a deep-seated fear that the gym’s presence will exacerbate traffic congestion, reduce safety for cyclists and pedestrians, and strain already burdened infrastructure such as Oxley Road and the Walter Taylor Bridge.

Total Fusion Graceville gym development
Photo Credit: DA A006237386

Sally Symonds, a resident, believes that the gym is unsuitable for the area’s existing infrastructure and community fabric.

“It’s clear the proposed development does not fit into the space available, and the city does not have the infrastructure to support a facility of this size in this area,” Ms Symonds said.

“It is a destination business that needs to attract patrons from many suburbs away to compete in the area’s already saturated health and wellness market. Traffic and congestion will be a nightmare for everyone. “

A Call for Rethinking Development

Beyond traffic and congestion, residents point out that the development raises significant concerns about housing, environmental sustainability, and community well-being. 

“Graceville boasts a unique character with over 48% of its properties designated as residential and character residential. The introduction of a destination business of this magnitude threatens to disrupt the essence of our suburb,” another local said in the DA submissions.

“Approving such an expansive project sets a worrying precedent for larger and taller structures within our community. Historical trends have shown that such precedents tend to escalate over time. Our neighbourhood lacks robust public transportation infrastructure, compounding our concerns.”

Locals are urging Council to reconsider the development given the scale and scope of the property. 

Published 20-March-2024

Brisbane and QLD Communities Raise $1.78M at Women’s Day Fun Run

The 2024 International Women’s Day Fun Run was a resounding success, with a tidal wave of support sweeping across Brisbane and numerous regional communities in Queensland. This remarkable event rallied thousands of participants, united in their mission to combat breast cancer, raising an astonishing $1.78 million for the cause.

Read: Chelmer and Riverhills Mums Led Record-breaking Turnout for Brisbane Breast Cancer Fun Run

The streets of Brisbane’s CBD were awash with a “Sea of Pink” on March 10 as runners, walkers, and supporters donned pink outfits and accessories for the inspiring 5km and 10km events. 

Thousands more joined in at 14 “virtual” fun run locations from Bowen to the Sunshine Coast organised by Mater Foundation.

Photo credit: Mater QLD/Instagram 

Among the pink-clad masses were two incredibly inspiring women – Anna Finlayson and Anna Holland – both breast cancer survivors who embodied the event’s message of resilience, hope, and celebrating life.

Chelmer mother-of-two Ms Finlayson rallied her community from The Outdoor Club Graceville after receiving a shocking breast cancer diagnosis last year. Despite undergoing three surgeries including a mastectomy, her courage spurred them all to join the fun run.

Ms Holland, a teacher from Jamboree Heights State School, beamed with joy as she celebrated an incredible milestone – five years of being cancer-free after battling stage two HER2-positive breast cancer. 

Photo credit: Mater QLD/Instagram 

Her presence at this year’s Fun Run was a powerful testament to resilience in the face of adversity. Despite enduring a double mastectomy, gruelling rounds of chemotherapy, and radiation treatment, Ms Holland emerged as a true warrior, her spirit unbroken.

The record-smashing number of participants this year resulted in the event selling out within 25 days, despite organisers increasing the capacity by 3,000 spots to meet overwhelming demand.

Mater Foundation’s Chief Executive Andrew Thomas proclaimed this year’s International Women’s Day Fun Run as the largest in the event’s 33-year history. 

Photo credit: Mater QLD/Instagram 

“Queenslanders have supported this year’s fun run like never before – and we cannot thank them enough,” he said.

“Our supporters created a pink street party that stretched from South Bank to the Botanic Gardens – and beyond.

“It’s been a day of laughter and great memories – and a few tears too.

Read: New Fitness Opportunities in Sherwood Promote Health and Community

The $1.78 million raised through the fun run will bolster Mater’s efforts against breast cancer through funding critical medical research, procuring cutting-edge equipment, and offering more personalised patient services.

Published 14-March-2024