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

Push to Combat Red Imported Fire Ant Threat in Oxley, Other Suburbs

Efforts are intensifying towards a half-billion-dollar program addressing a persistent fire ant infestation impacting lives and the beloved Australian outdoor way of life in suburbs like Oxley, Seventeen Mile Rocks and Corinda.

Nearly 23 years following the initial infestation of the red imported fire ant at the Port of Brisbane, these ants have now infiltrated various areas, extending their reach from Brisbane to other locations. Councils have raised concerns over the disruptions that have been happening due to infestations.

Per the Fire Ant Eradication map, here are just some of the reported fire ant infestations in the last 12 months: 

Oxley 52

Seventeen Mile Rocks 49

Darra 35

Fig Tree Pocket 22

Corinda 18

Aside from Brisbane and the Gold Coast, isolated outbreaks have been detected in northern New South Wales, specifically in Murwillumbah and Wardell, which were likely propagated through the movement of infested topsoil from southeast Queensland.

Billions in Investment for Eradication

An additional half-billion-dollar investment is slated for the Queensland eradication effort by 2032, with a significant portion of federal funding allocated to nearly $300 million. 

Ashley Bacon, the program director of the National Fire Ant Eradication Program, remains optimistic about containment efforts, noting Australia’s comparatively slower spread rate of approximately four kilometres per year, in contrast to the United States and China.

However, scepticism persists among experts like Georgia Tech professor Michael Goodisman, who highlights the challenges posed by the ants’ rapid reproduction and resilience. Despite ongoing efforts, concerns linger regarding the efficacy of containment strategies.

While the eradication program primarily employs baiting methods to render fire ants infertile, the process is arduous and resource-intensive, with meticulous treatment spanning extensive areas surrounding infested sites.

Without intervention, the potential spread of fire ants could extend as far north as Bowen in Queensland, west to Longreach, and south to Canberra, posing substantial agricultural and environmental threats.

The National Allergy Centre of Excellence warns of staggering health impacts should fire ants become endemic in Australia, emphasizing the need for proactive measures to mitigate risks.

Why Worry About Fire Ants? 

Fire ants, originally from South America, first appeared in Brisbane in 2001, likely transported via ships docking at the Port of Brisbane. These tiny but aggressive insects, ranging from 2-6 mm, are known to swarm when disturbed and can hitch rides on various objects, including mulch and trucks. They’ve even been observed creating rafts from their bodies to navigate waterways.

Their copper-brown colouration with a darker abdomen makes them easily identifiable, with nests resembling mounds of dirt. Fire ants pose a significant threat to both humans and livestock, with encounters often resulting in painful stings. These stings can be particularly dangerous when multiple ants attack simultaneously, causing severe reactions and, in some cases, fatalities.

Fire ants can form super colonies with multiple queens and millions of ants. If you encounter a nest, it’s important not to spray it. Instead, photograph it from a safe distance and promptly alert the relevant authorities. For guidance on identifying nests and appropriate actions, visit

Veteran Officers Start New Tenure as First Year Constables at QPS

Eleven seasoned international and interstate police officers have commenced their tenure with the Queensland Police Service as the state’s newest First Year Constables. Their induction follows the successful completion of the Police Abridged Competency Education program, a rigorous 17-week training initiative held at the prestigious QPS Oxley Academy. 

This initiative caters specifically to applicants with frontline policing experience outside of the QPS within the past five years. Hailing from policing jurisdictions across the globe, including the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Victoria, New South Wales, and the Northern Territory, these officers contribute their experiences to the QPS. 

Their collective expertise in frontline policing, coupled with relevant studies in law, investigation, and public safety, promises to enhance the effectiveness of the Service.

Training Ground at Oxley Academy

The Police Abridged Competency Education (PACE) program in Oxley offers a blend of theoretical knowledge and practical skills training. Geared towards augmenting the existing policing background of participants, it equips them with the necessary tools and expertise required for effective law enforcement.

To facilitate their transition into serving the Queensland community, successful graduates of the PACE program are offered a generous relocation incentive of $20,000. This financial aid helps with easing the officers’ integration into their new roles within the QPS.

Warm Welcome 

Police Minister Mark Ryan extends a warm welcome to the 11 new officers, emphasising the value of their extensive policing experience in enriching the Service. He underscores the importance of investing in individuals and their skills to uphold the QPS’s commitment to community safety. Aspiring officers are encouraged to explore the diverse career pathways within the QPS and make a positive impact in their communities.

Assistant Commissioner Mark Kelly also extends heartfelt congratulations to the 11 new First Year Constables embarking on their policing careers with the QPS. He acknowledges the wealth of experience, core values, and skills they bring from their diverse policing backgrounds across Australia and overseas.

The newly inducted officers have been deployed to various regions across Queensland, ready to fulfil their commitment to ensuring community safety. From Mackay Northern Beaches to Cairns, Townsville to Brisbane City, they are strategically stationed to address diverse policing needs across the state.

A career within the Queensland Police Service offers a multitude of opportunities to make a meaningful difference. From protecting communities and responding to emergencies to investigating crimes and providing support, the possibilities are endless. Aspiring officers are urged to seize the opportunity to embark on a fulfilling journey in law enforcement by visiting

Published 15-Feb-2024

Rides, Games, and More! Oxley Community Festival Returns in 2024

Get ready for a day of family fun and entertainment at the Oxley Community Festival on 26 January 2024! This beloved community event is back and set to be even more exciting than previous years.

Read: Game Over Adventure Centre: A New Thrill Beckons in Oxley

Taking place from 1:30 p.m. until 8:00 p.m., the festival offers something for everyone. As always, entry and rides are completely free for all attendees. The evening will be capped off with a spectacular fireworks show at 7:15 p.m.

Some of the highlights at this year’s Oxley Community Festival include carnival rides, games, face painting, food trucks, live music, and more. New additions for 2024 include a petting zoo that is sure to delight children.

Photo credit: ClubOxley/Facebook

The event, to be hosted by Club Oxley (Oxley Bowls Club), is proudly supported by Brisbane City Council and local businesses like The Lion Richlands. As a premier hospitality venue in southeast Queensland, The Lion Richlands is a proud sponsor of community events like this.

Photo credit: ClubOxley/Facebook

Festivals require hard work and dedication behind-the-scenes. Volunteers are needed to help make the magic happen. If you’re interested in volunteering, be sure to sign up online.

Read: Meet the Sherwood Artist Behind the Brisbane Bin Chicken Trail

With free admission, activities, and entertainment, the Oxley Community Festival is the place to be on January 26th. Bring the whole family out for a memorable day celebrating community, capped off with stunning fireworks. It’s an event that keeps getting bigger and better every year!

Photo credit: ClubOxley/Facebook

Most importantly, the Oxley Community Festival is a family friendly event suitable for all ages. From carnival rides to face painting, there is plenty to keep the kids entertained. Parents can relax knowing this is a safe and fun environment for the entire family to enjoy.  

You can find Club Oxley at 24A Englefield Rd, Oxley. Visit their website for more details. 

Published 23-January-2024 

Record Number of Police Recruits in Training at Oxley and Townsville

A staggering 143 new recruits have commenced their training at Queensland Police Academies in Oxley and Townsville, marking the first intake for the year. This development has propelled the total number of police recruits to a historic high of 681, breaking previous records. 

The interest in joining the Queensland Police Service has surged, with nearly 2,000 registered recruit applicants hailing from Queensland, interstate, and overseas jurisdictions. 

This surge comes on the heels of the Queensland Police Service’s largest-ever recruitment marketing campaign, “Challenging, Rewarding, Policing,” launched in 2023, alongside a series of enticing incentives.

The State Government has announced significant measures to attract potential recruits, including a special cost-of-living allowance, free accommodation for recruits residing at police academies, relocation assistance of $20,000 for interstate and overseas applicants with policing experience, and financial support of up to $20,000 for eligible HECS debts for successful police recruit graduates.

Oxley Queensland Police Academy
Photo Credit: QPS/Facebook

Mark Ryan, the Police and Community Safety Minister, praised the Queensland Police Service’s recruitment efforts.

“The Queensland Police Service has intensified its recruitment drive, resulting in an unprecedented number of recruits. For the first time ever, close to 700 recruits are now undergoing training at Queensland Police Academies,” he said.

Assistant Commissioner of People Capability Command, Mark Kelly, expressed his astonishment at the strong interest in joining the Queensland Police Service, even in a highly competitive job market in Australia. He emphasized the importance of recruiting individuals who align with the organization’s values and are dedicated to ensuring Queensland’s safety.

Aspiring police officers are encouraged to visit to begin their journey towards a fulfilling career and contribute positively to their communities.

Published 21-Jan-2024

Uncharted Waters: The Top 10 Moments of John Oxley’s Historic 1823 Expedition to the Brisbane River

Did you know that 2023 will mark 200 years since the historic 1823 expedition of John Oxley to the Brisbane River, a venture that shaped the future of Queensland? Here are the top 10 moments that shaped the course of John Oxley’s journey and the future of Brisbane and its surroundings.

1. The Mission is Set (1823)

In 1823, Governor Brisbane presented John Oxley with a daunting task: to locate a suitable site for a penal colony for the most stubborn convicts. This mission set Mr Oxley on a path that would forever change the landscape of Australian exploration. 

Embarking on this journey, Mr Oxley was poised to uncover new territories and possibilities, venturing into what was then uncharted Australian territory. This expedition wasn’t just a geographical exploration; it symbolised a significant step in the colonial expansion and understanding of Australia’s vast landscape​​.

Who was John Oxley?

John Oxley was born on 1 Jan 1784 in Yorkshire, England. He joined the Royal Navy at a young age, embarking on a naval career that eventually led him to Australian waters. In 1802, Mr Oxley first arrived in Australia as part of a naval patrol, marking the beginning of his long-standing relationship with the continent.

By 1812, he had transitioned from his naval career to become the Surveyor-General of New South Wales, a role in which he excelled due to his keen interest in exploration and topography. His position as Surveyor-General placed him at the forefront of mapping and exploring the vast, unknown interiors of the Australian continent.

His other notable expeditions include his 1817 and 1818 journeys along the Lachlan and Macquarie Rivers, which were instrumental in expanding the European understanding of Australia’s inland regions. These expeditions faced significant challenges, including harsh terrain and the eventual realisation that the rivers did not lead to an inland sea, as many had speculated.

Mr Oxley is also remembered for his contributions to the agricultural development of Australia. He was instrumental in identifying and promoting fertile lands for cultivation, which aided in the colony’s expansion and self-sufficiency.

He was an advocate for the settlement and development of Australia. His reports and maps from his expeditions were invaluable in guiding future exploration and colonization efforts.

Mr Oxley’s health declined in the late 1820s, and he passed away on 25 May 1828 in Sydney. 

2. First Glimpse of the Tweed Valley

As Mr Oxley navigated the Tweed River and valley, he was struck by the area’s stunning natural beauty. The lush, rich valley, adorned with magnificent trees and the winding river, captivated him. His vivid descriptions in his reports and journals convey a sense of wonder and excitement that was palpable. 

This moment was not just about the beauty of the landscape; it was a crucial discovery that highlighted the potential for new settlements and the richness of the Australian terrain. Mr Oxley’s impressions of the Tweed Valley would later influence colonial perspectives on Australian geography​​. 

John Oxley lands in Tweed Valley
Photo Credit: NLA/The Border Star/1941

3. A Crucial Meeting at Moreton Island

The expedition took a pivotal turn when Mr Oxley encountered two escaped convicts living among Aboriginal people on Moreton Island. This unexpected meeting provided Oxley with invaluable local knowledge and guidance. It was a unique interaction that bridged cultural divides and proved crucial in navigating the local geography. 

These convicts led Oxley to one of his most significant discoveries, demonstrating how chance encounters can alter the course of history​​.

4. The Brisbane River is Named (December 1823) 

Guided by the escaped convicts, Oxley discovered and named the Brisbane River in honour of Governor Thomas Brisbane. This act of naming was not just a formality but a significant colonial gesture, marking the river as an important geographical and administrative landmark.

Governor Thomas Brisbane
Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Who was Gov Thomas Brisbane?

Sir Thomas Brisbane was a British Army officer and colonial administrator, born on July 23, 1773, in Ayrshire, Scotland. He served as the Governor of New South Wales from 1821 to 1825, a period marked by significant administrative reforms and expansion of the colony’s scientific and astronomical knowledge. Mr Brisbane was instrumental in promoting exploration and the development of infrastructure in the colony, including the establishment of a new currency.

John Oxley Names Brisbane River
Photo Credit: NLA

The naming of the Brisbane River was a key moment in the expedition, cementing Mr Oxley’s role in the European exploration of Australia and setting the stage for future settlements in the area​​​​.

5. The Strategic Decision at Wacol (3 December 1823) 

On 3 Dec 1823, Mr Oxley made a strategic decision to land and turn back at Wacol. This decision, whilst seemingly minor, was a critical juncture in the expedition. It demonstrated Mr Oxley’s ability to assess and respond to the challenges of exploration. This moment at Wacol marked not only a turning point in the expedition but also laid the groundwork for future exploratory efforts and settlements in the region​​.

6. Climbing Mount Ommaney

The ascent of Mount Ommaney was a key navigational and observational achievement for Mr Oxley. From this vantage point, he gained critical insights into the landscape’s layout, enhancing his mapping of the region. 

This moment was not just about the physical act of climbing but also about the broader perspective it offered. Mr Oxley’s observations from Mount Ommaney helped in understanding the region’s potential for settlement and navigation, furthering the colonial objectives of the expedition​​.

Oxley's memorial in Mt Ommaney
Photo Credit: Monument Australia

7. Rejoining the Mermaid (5 December 1823)

Reaching the Mermaid, their expedition vessel signalled the end of this exploration phase. This return was a moment of reflection and consolidation of the journey’s findings. The data and experiences gathered during this time were pivotal in shaping the future colonial policies and settlements. The journey back on the Mermaid marked the transition from exploration to the planning and execution of colonial expansion based on Mr Oxley’s findings​​.

8. Founding of Redcliffe (Post-Expedition)

The establishment of a convict settlement at Redcliffe, based on Mr Oxley’s recommendations, was a direct consequence of the expedition. This decision showcased the immediate and tangible impact of Mr Oxley’s exploration. Redcliffe’s founding represented a significant step in the colonial occupation and development of the region, a process that began with Mr Oxley’s mapping and exploration of the Brisbane River and its surroundings​​.

Redcliffe Memorial for Oxley
Photo Credit: Moreton Bay Library
Redcliffe Memorial for Oxley 2022
Photo Credit: Kerbray/Google Maps

9. The 1824 Follow-up Expedition

In 1824, John Oxley returned to the Brisbane River, accompanied by renowned botanist Allan Cunningham. This follow-up expedition allowed Mr Oxley to delve deeper into the region’s natural resources and potential for settlement. This journey was crucial in consolidating Mr Oxley’s findings from the previous year and further cemented his role in the development of the area. 

The 1824 expedition underscored the importance of continuous exploration and study in understanding and utilising Australia’s vast and varied landscape​​.

10. Oxley’s Lasting Impact on Brisbane

The city of Brisbane, as we know it today, owes much of its early development to Oxley’s exploratory efforts. His exploration and mapping of the Brisbane River laid the groundwork for the city’s formation. 

Mr Oxley’s journey went beyond mere discovery; it was instrumental in shaping the early urban and geographical identity of Brisbane. His legacy is a reminder of the crucial role that exploration and vision play in shaping the history and development of cities and regions​​.

Published 1-Dec-2023

Taskforce Guardian Achieves Significant Impact in Youth Crime Crackdown

The newly formed Taskforce Guardian of the Queensland Police Service, with its training headquarters in Oxley, marks a substantial stride in addressing high-risk youth offences.

Taskforce Guardian, a rapid response unit comprising dedicated Queensland Police Service detectives and expert Youth Justice workers, has been operational since May 2023. The taskforce’s unique composition allows for a comprehensive approach to youth crime, combining the expertise of seasoned law enforcement with the nuanced understanding of youth justice.

Since its inception, Taskforce Guardian has completed 21 deployments across Queensland. These strategic operations have led to more than 400 young people being arrested, charged with a total of 1,269 offences. The offences primarily include property crimes and bail matters, with specific counts involving unlawful use of motor vehicles, break and enters, bail breaches, and robbery.

The taskforce’s latest operation in Brisbane’s south resulted in the arrest of 13 young people on 101 charges. This 12-day operation is part of a broader, ongoing effort to curb youth crime. Similar deployments in Mount Isa, Logan, Cairns, Townsville, Rockhampton, and Toowoomba have ensured a high-visibility police presence in key locations.

Deputy Commissioner of Regional Operations and Youth Crime, Shane Chelepy, expressed satisfaction with the taskforce’s results. He highlighted the importance of combining local police efforts with Taskforce Guardian’s expertise to target recidivist offenders and engage at-risk youth effectively.

Taskforce Guardian’s strategy extends beyond arrests and charges. The taskforce collaborates with key support services and local resources to engage at-risk youth in various programs. These programs focus on health, education, disability services, and First Nations initiatives, offering a more comprehensive approach to youth crime prevention.

Looking ahead, Taskforce Guardian is expected to continue its operations across various Queensland locations. The Queensland Police Service remains committed to tackling youth crime from all angles, ensuring community safety through proactive and targeted measures.

Published 16-Nov-2023

Flood-Hit Bunnings in Oxley Remains Closed as Rocklea Outlet Reopens with Revamped Format

After incurring major damage during the February floods, Bunnings in Oxley seems nowhere near reopening but the Rocklea outlet less than six kilometres away is back in operation with a new format.

Whilst workers at Bunnings Oxley have been reassigned, the Rocklea location has been revamped with a new cafe, new kitchen design area, new bathroom displays, a Trade Desk section and LED lights around the playground for kids.

Jon Fenton, the manager for Bunnings Rocklea, said that the revamping should provide loyal customers with a better shopping experience. He is thankful for the community’s patience as the outlet had to shut down for more than three months so they could make the changes and improvements. 

Bunnings Rocklea had two short and simple events for the public last 18 and 19 June 2022 to mark the reopening.

Meanwhile, the future of the Oxley outlet’s reopening is still in the cards but there were projections that it could take a full year to revamp the site. Jason Doyle, the regional manager for Bunnings, said that their utmost priority is the safety and well-being of the workers. Thus, the Oxley store’s revamping will include flood-proofing and other considerations.

Bunnings in Rocklea and Oxley were also impacted by the 2011 flooding and closed for two months.  In 2017, the Oxley site also temporarily shut down after the minor flooding. 

Team Australia Nabs Bronze Medal in Sweden, Competes in Tasmania

The Australian Tenpin Bowling team, with Oxley talent Jamie Robinson, competes in Tasmania after winning the bronze medal at the men’s event of the International Bowling Federation (IBF) Under 21 World Championships in Helsingborg, Sweden in June 2022.

Robinson will be heading to Tasmania with team Australia for the Australian Open. The Oxley lad will also bowl at the South Australia and then Toowoomba for the East Coast Challenge Cup (ECCC) in September.

In the semi-finals, Team Australia gave Team USA some competition but it was the latter who ranked second after the Czech Republic. Nonetheless, Australia’s bronze medal win is still a major feat considering 46 countries competed for the top prize.

The team from down under is made up of Robinson, Bernie Grueso Jr (Victoria), Cameron Stein (Queensland), and Nixon Chan (New South Wales).

Photo Credit: Supplied

“I am very honoured to represent Australia in my first international tournament. The team of Australia did amazing and fought some tough games but we did it and came home with bronze,” Robinson said. 

“I would like to thank Geoff Bowness, our team coach, for all his hard work, Peter and Rosalee also, for all their hard work, and to my boss, Sue Long, at Zone Bowling for her support on and off the lanes.”

“To my parents, thanks for everything they do but also my community who helped with fundraising and awesome support,” Robinson said.

The IBF Under 21 World Championships was the first international bowling sports event since 2019. At the start of the game, Team Australia qualified at the 13th spot among the competing nations but the men’s team progressed all the way to the semi-finals. 

Former Ballerina Now Serving At The Canossian Daughters Of Charity In Oxley

Sr Monique Singh, who recently made her final vow as a full member of the Canossian Daughters Of Charity in Oxley, once had her heart set on becoming a world-class ballerina. Everything changed when she realised she had a higher calling to serve God.

Read: Oxley Man Excited to Retire Early and Live a Nomadic Life

To Sr Monique, dancing was not just a dream. It was her first love. In fact, after high school, she studied dance full-time at a school in Sydney. The only daughter of Barbara and Graham Singh from Taree in New South Wales, Sr Monique once dreamed of traveling the world as a ballerina. 

One day, whilst she was 16 years old, God spoke to her through a small book she was reading. It was at that moment when she first sensed a calling to religious life. At the time however, she could not picture how that would become a reality.

Eager to pursue her dream to dance, the young Monique moved to Brisbane to further her dance studies. Whilst studying choreography in a Brisbane university, she saw a flyer about a retreat organised by the Canossian Daughters of Charity. 

Photo credit: Canossians Australia/Facebook

That’s when she met the Canossian Sisters, whose joy profoundly moved her. Even though she subsequently explored other orders, Sr Monique felt that with the Canossians, her heart was at home. Eventually, she felt torn between pursuing dance and staying in touch with the Sisters.

“I surrendered the desire to control and allowed the Spirit to gently guide me to new possibilities and opportunities for growth that were beyond all of my imaginings. I was amazed at the journey and how, in letting God take the lead in this dance of life, a new perspective of the world unfolded,” Sr Monique shared.

Photo credit: Canossians Australia/Facebook

At 27, she entered postulancy in the Philippines, where she studied with other young women discerning religious life. Then finally, in July 2021, she made her final vows inside the Canossa chapel in Oxley led by Bishop Ken Howell.

“It has been quite the adventure so far – and the journey is just beginning. I am so very grateful for the people who were placed on my path, as God’s instruments, to help light the way,” Sr Monique said.