Monthly Archives: November 2014

Blue signs mark better waterways

If you see a flash of blue popping up on fences around Redlands, it’s literally a good sign…a really good sign.

Council’s highly successful Waterways Extension Program has recently launched new signs to promote participating properties.

The waterways extension program began in 2009 as a way of Council supporting people who owned properties with creeks, dams, ponds and gullies.

Since then, around 80 properties have been voluntarily signed-up, equating to more than 850 hectares of land in key catchment areas. Works include bank stabilisation, revegetation, controlling pest weed and animal species and even creating floating wetlands.

With more than 185 waterways projects under its belt, this program continues to go from strength to strength protecting local waterways.

For more information on Council’s environmental initiatives, and how to get involved visit

Waterways extension signs 1

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Exhibitions tell water tales 

Water is central to three exhibitions at Redland Art Gallery in February and March 2015. Transparent: Watercolour in Queensland 1850s–1980s and Connections to waters of Minjerribah will be on display at Redland Art Gallery, Cleveland while Passage: Pattie Murray and Sandra Pearce will visit Redland Art Gallery, Capalaba.

Transparent: Watercolour in Queensland 1850s–1980s is a QAGOMA regionally touring exhibition of 150 watercolour masterpieces from the past 150 years.

Connections to waters of Minjerribah sees the relationship the Quandamooka People have with sea and water translated into textile designs.

Passage: Pattie Murray and Sandra Pearce shares how Pattie Murray and Sandra Pearce have artistically responded to the tidal flows of local coastal areas.

For details on these and other upcoming Redland Art Gallery activities and exhibitions, visit

TKW Wirth_001

Image: LWK Wirth / Germany/England/Australia (1858-1950) / Saltwater lagoon 1911 / Watercolour on paper / Gift of Doug Ritchie through the Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art Foundation 2013 / Collection: Queensland Art Gallery.

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Got a great grant idea?

Council is now accepting round two applications for its Community Grants Program and the Regional Arts Development Fund (RADF). If you have a great idea or project that will benefit the Redlands’ community, now’s the time to share it.

Funding is available for arts-based grants as well as organisational support, project support and conservation grants.

Past successful applications have included art exhibitions, wildlife rehabilitation activities, community building renovations and strategic planning to keep clubs sustainable – and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

RADF and Community Grants applications close on Friday 27 February.

Council’s event sponsorship is also open for applications from Monday 16 February until Friday 27 March. This sponsorship is designed to support positive community-based activities and events.

Visit the Grants and Sponsorship page on Council’s website for details on how to apply go to


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Naomi’s just crazy about Christmas

Naomi Price admits that she’s already got her “Christmas crazy” on – despite a hectic Wrecking Ball schedule, her tree is fully decorated and traditional carols can be heard throughout her home.

“I just love the tradition this time of year, everything about it – the carols, the decorations and buying gifts … it makes me feel like a kid again,” says the 30-year-old star of the Miley Cyrus-inspired parody cabaret receiving rave reviews in Brisbane.

“And I’m never able to wait until December to start my shopping … although I do find it hard to stop buying more.”

Naomi is a long way from her childhood home of Brighton in the United Kingdom, to which she returned to visit her family and friends over the festive season last year.

She admits it’s sometimes tough being so far away from family but, after 12 years in Brisbane, she says she’s ‘definitely a Queenslander’.

“I’m really excited about Christmas by Starlight in the Redlands … it’s community events like this that remind me I have a new home now,” she says.

Naomi is one of the headline acts for the free Christmas by Starlight community concert at Capalaba Regional Park on Saturday December 6 – the Redlands’ biggest free event each year.

She lines up alongside former Ten Tenor Luke Kennedy and home-grown The Voice Kids Australia winner, Alexa Curtis, as well as a host of local musicians and performers.

Naomi says the favourite of the songs she will perform at Christmas by Starlight is without doubt ‘The Christmas Song’, immortalised in 1947 by Nat King Cole and, in 2004, voted the most-loved seasonal song for women aged 30-49.

Often subtitled ‘Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire’, this classic was actually written by Bob Wells and Mel Torme in 1944 to try to escape the summer heat.

“It’s a great throwback for me,” she says. “It reminds me of my English heritage … of Christmas surrounded by white snow.”

Naomi will also be singing ‘Santa Claus is Coming to Town’ … and did not hesitate when asked about the best present she had ever given: “It’s the VW campervan tent I bought my niece and nephew last year – it was very cool and they absolutely loved it.”

Concert producer and Deputy Mayor Cr Alan Beard said securing a versatile talent like Naomi Price – who has performed to wide acclaim in The Little Red Company’s smash hit Adele homage, ‘Rumour Has It’ as well as a string of other successful stage productions – was great news for the Redlands.

“This year is shaping up as a very special Christmas by Starlight and I’m really looking forward to seeing Naomi perform on stage in the Redlands,” he said.

Other key performers to be accompanied by both the Redland Sinfonia Orchestra and Redland City Choir include locals Jal Joshua, Adeline Williams, Kiara Rodrigues and Leah Lever.
The free all-age, family-friendly event opens to the public at 4pm with an afternoon of children’s activities including an animal zoo, jumping castles, rock-climbing, face-painting and a visit from Santa himself.

At 5.45pm a children’s Christmas show will be held, followed by a traditional carols concert and concluding with a spectacular fireworks display.

For more information visit Redland City Council’s website at

There’s no place like home for diminutive diva Alexa

Just days out from Santa’s arrival and Cleveland’s Alexa Curtis is deep in thought about “My Grown Up Christmas List”.

So what is it about this Kelly Clarkson composition that strikes a chord with this home-grown winner of The Voice Kids 2014, and makes it her personal favourite of the four songs she will perform at Christmas by Starlight at Capalaba Regional Park on December 6?

“It suits my voice,” shares this lively 10-year-old with the world at her feet. “And it tells a story for me … it reminds me that I know what I’m doing.”

It’s been a hectic two months since Alexa – who had no formal vocal training – was announced winner of the Nine Network’s The Voice Kids and immediately claimed as their own by a wide variety of organisations … in fact even the entire cities of the Gold Coast and Brisbane.

“It was pretty special,” she says of her whirlwind rise to stardom. “The day after the finale was televised was a public holiday and when I got to school on the Tuesday my entire year level came out front to congratulate me, waving placards, flying balloons and clapping.

“And then we went into the junior school area and there was everyone cheering … it was all so cool.”

Although she’s now a regular on the national stage, the Redlands College student admits she is excited about her home-town engagement in front of her family and closest friends.

“They just treat me normal,” she says of her friends. “And I like that … it reminds me of who I am.”

So what, specifically, is on Alexa’s “Grown Up Christmas List”? To extend her bedroom and build a recording studio, of course!

“One with a private door off my bedroom,” she says, shooting a quick glance toward her dad and self-confessed ‘delegated taxi driver’, Tony. “That would be cool.”

What else? “And a shopping spree – for new clothes and shoes … and a hair curler for my mum (Michelle). My birthday is straight after Christmas so I get half and half with presents – for my birthday I’d like some skates … and a spa pool!”

And who’s the “coolest” person she’s met since her mid-year blind audition for The Voice Kids, excluding Dad, Mum, brother (Aidan) … and, of course, the scribe asking her all these questions? “It has to be Delta (Goodrem),” she says of her very first vocal career coach, who she has described as being ‘like a Disney princess’.

“She’s treats me really nice and actually cares about ‘me’ – not what I look like … but who I really am.”

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said Alexa’s exceptional success was reflective of the depth of local talent spanning the entire spectrum of arts … and admits that even she is excited in the lead-up to the biggest free community event in the Redlands – Christmas by Starlight on December 6.

“Christmas by Starlight is shaping up as another great celebration of this very special time of year,” said Cr Williams.

“Preparations are well advanced and that is a real credit to everyone involved, especially Deputy Mayor and concert producer Cr Alan Beard, our dedicated council staff and all the volunteers who are involved.”

Alexa headlines the concert alongside former Ten Tenor Luke Kennedy and Wrecking Ball star Naomi Price, while other key performers to be accompanied by both the Redland Sinfonia Orchestra and Redland City Choir include locals Jal Joshua, Kiara Rodrigues, Leah Lever, Adeline Williams and Ali Crane.

“This free all-age, family-friendly event will open to the public at 4pm with an afternoon of children’s activities including an animal zoo, jumping castles, rock-climbing, face-painting and a visit from Santa himself,” said Cr Williams.

“At 5.45pm a children’s Christmas show will be held, followed by a traditional carols concert and concluding with a spectacular fireworks display – it’s going to be a fantastic night of entertainment.”

For more information visit Redland City Council’s website at

Local police on front line of domestic violence

As the Queensland Police Domestic and Family Violence Coordinator for the Bayside Patrol Group, Sergeant Sharlene McMahon sees all too frequently the impacts of domestic violence.

“As Police we often see the worst side of people’s behaviour and the negative impact domestic violence can have on individuals, families and children who experience domestic violence, which not only includes physical violence, but can include threats, harassment and intimidation,” she said.

“We see the physical injuries on people which can be quite severe and life threatening at times. We see the break down in families and the impact violence within the home can have on children.

“Police Officers in the Redlands and Bayside areas are called to incidences of domestic and family violence on a daily basis, which can be reported by the parties involved or by community members or neighbours who hear or witness the violence.”

In the lead up to Redland City Council’s Diner En Rouge later this month to raise awareness of domestic violence, Sergeant McMahon has supported the push for increased awareness of the issue in the local community.

“The Queensland Police Service recognises that domestic violence is a serious and complex social problem within our community and the Redlands and bayside, despite its idyllic location and surroundings, is not immune to this problem,” she said.

“The initial aim of police is to ensure the safety of all persons involved, including themselves, as situations can often be quite dangerous and volatile.

“Part of our role is also to ensure that the people who commit domestic violence are held accountable for their actions and a clear message is sent that the community does not accept or tolerate violence towards another person.

“The Redland City Council’s upcoming Diner En Rouge is a great opportunity for everyone in the community to get involved and help raise funds and awareness of domestic violence, so that we can work together to prevent or reduce domestic violence within our community.”

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said the special dining experience would be an opportunity to put domestic violence on the local agenda.

“This is a difficult topic, but it exists in the Redlands as it does in all communities, so it is important that as a community we start talking about it and look for ways to deal with it,” she said.

“To assist Council has combined with the Redlands Domestic and Family Violence Action Group and Zonta clubs to host Diner En Rouge on 29 November.

“This will be an evening of fine local food held at a secret location to help raise awareness of domestic and family violence in the Redlands.

“Domestic violence has the potential to touch everyone in the community, so everyone is encouraged to get behind this cause by attending this event.”

Beauty of the Redlands hides a dark secret

As a domestic violence counsellor for 23 years, Rosie (surname withheld) has witnessed firsthand the effects domestic violence has on families, effects that can sometimes be confronting and heartbreaking.

A DVConnect telephone counsellor for the state-wide support service, Rosie is one of the voices on the other end of the phone offering support and information for those trying to escape the cycle of domestic violence. 

“Our primary role is to help women and children escape domestic violence.  We are the leading agency for referrals to women’s shelters,” Rosie said.

“But While Domestic Violence services will always attempt to assist victims of Domestic Violence to access accommodation in a safe area, sometimes finding a place for someone can be difficult with a state-wide shortage of vacancies at shelters.”

It is the lack of such services in and around the Redlands that has prompted a push from Council and other community groups to raise money and awareness for domestic violence, with the ultimate aim of setting up a regional service in the Redlands.

This push includes the Diner En Rouge event being held 29 November, where local residents and businesses will join for a unique dining experience to raise money to support the cause.

According to Rosie, someone suffering domestic violence making the decision to leave is not only hard, it is just the beginning, with them then needing ongoing support to rebuild their life.

“While keeping these women and children safe is the most important thing, they also need support to get back on their feet.  Often they can only take what they can carry on public transport because a lot of them don’t have cars; so they have to leave a lot of things behind,” she said.

“They also may have to uproot their children, sometimes taking them out of school, so they may lose their support network, their friends and have to start from scratch.

“Just simple things like school uniforms and household cooking items; they often have nothing so they need support to start again.”

An alarming trend Rosie is seeing more and more is domestic violence against the elderly by their adult children and, in some cases grandchildren, who have moved home following a marriage breakdown.
“Often it is elderly women being abused by their adult sons who have moved back home after the breakdown of their own relationships.  These women are often very vulnerable because they are alone following the death of their own husband,” she said.

“One of the hardest things for a parent to do is say no to their child, so it puts these women in a very difficult situation and often they don’t even recognise that they are suffering domestic violence or that there is help out there.”
According to Rosie one in three women will experience some form of domestic violence in their life, a statistic that will only change if attitudes change.

“People need to stop turning a blind eye.  Remaining silent when you know someone is doing something wrong is essentially condoning it,” she said.

“If people hear men talking about giving their partner a ‘touch up’ or putting them down, they need to say something, neighbours who hear it happening next door need to call the police, we can’t keep quiet on this.”

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams agrees, saying that unfortunately the Redlands was not immune to the problem of domestic violence.

“Redland City is a truly beautiful place, but like everywhere else, we suffer from domestic and family violence,” she said.

“In fact Redland City accounts for about three per cent of all domestic and family violence protection orders applied for across Queensland.  That’s more than 600 a year or 12 victims per week.”

Cr Williams has been lobbying for years for more local domestic and family violence services, a cause that was boosted recently with the Redlands included in a State Government tender to provide these services in the city.

“We welcome the news that the Redlands is one of 12 locations across Queensland included in this State Government tender, but we still need locals to recognise this issue exists and start talking about it,” she said.

“To help tackle this issue Council together with the Redlands Domestic and Family Violence Action Group and Zonta clubs are hosting Diner En Rouge; a dining experience that will help raise awareness of domestic and family violence in the Redlands.

“This will be an evening of fine local food held at a secret location where it is guaranteed diners have never dined before.  All locals, particularly local businesses should get behind this event, so as a community we can put domestic and family violence on the agenda.”

Free tapas and entertainment

If you’re looking for a local spot to celebrate the festive season, look no further than Redland Performing Arts Centre’s (RPAC’s) Tapas Night No.4 on Friday 12 December 2014.

Redland City Council’s Community and Cultural Services spokesperson Cr Lance Hewlett said the event, the latest in a successful series of Tapas Fridays, would be a great option for pre-Christmas drinks and gatherings.

“Tapas Night No.4 will be a great mix of fabulous food, drinks and free live entertainment all set in RPAC’s outdoor plaza so it’s easy for people to socialise.

“With a range of public transport options only minutes away as well as ample onsite parking, Tapas Night No.4 will be a perfect way to get together with friends, family and colleagues, have a great time and get home easily and safely.

“We are thrilled that Tapas Night No.4 will be headlined by Adam James, who has just released his third studio album and recently toured nationally and internationally.

“Adam is a very gifted local musician and was the Aboriginal Peoples Choice Music Awards 2012 International Indigenous Artist of the Year.

“He will be joined by other local talents Joshua Williams, Breanna Fielding and Leah Lever.

“There’s no need to book, just come and enjoy the live music and atmosphere.”

A summer tapas menu, hot and cold beverages from Sundial Cafe and drinks from the RPAC bar will be available for purchase.
Event details- Tapas Friday No.4

When: Friday 12 December, 5 – 7pm
Where: RPAC Piazza, 2-16 Middle Street, Cleveland (Parking available on site)
What: bar, tapas, hot beverages and free live music

For more information on upcoming RPAC events, visit

Domestic violence robs Lyn of independence

Those who have escaped domestic violence and started a new life know how hard it can be; but for Lyn (surname withheld) the challenge was made even harder by the fact that she had to start afresh in a foreign country.

A Filipino national, Lyn married in Australia in 2010 and it wasn’t long before her husband’s abuse started.

But for Lyn it wasn’t just the physical abuse that took its toll, it was also her husband’s controlling nature that robbed her of her independence.

“He controlled me by depriving me financially.  We were co-signatories on our bank accounts but whenever we had a fight he would stop me from accessing them and would tell me I had to find a new place to live,” Lyn said.

“He would also tell me I had to take my daughter out of her school just because she wasn’t his real daughter.”

In the lead-up to next month’s White Ribbon Day Redland City Council is aiming to raise greater awareness of domestic and family violence in the Redlands.

This includes partnering with the Redlands Domestic and Family Violence Action Group and Zonta clubs to host Diner En Rouge on 29 November; a dining experience that will help raise awareness of situations like those faced by Lyn.

Lyn said her husband also began isolating her from her friends, making her new home country a lonely place.

“It started when my ex-husband wanted me to give him my passwords for Facebook and Skype.  At first I was hesitant to give my passwords but he told me if I truly loved him he should know everything,” Lyn said.

“After he got access he monitored everything.  One by one he started to block my male friends who he was jealous of and felt threatened by, so I could not chat with them anymore.”

While at first Lyn didn’t recognise her situation as a form of domestic violence, it eventually eroded her confidence to the point where something had to change.
“What made me say enough is enough is when I saw myself in the mirror and didn’t recognise myself anymore. My self esteem was gone,” Lyn admits.

After leaving her husband Lyn sought help from a number of community services including a women’s refuge in the Redlands; but even though she had left her husband, without permanent residency in Australia she still hadn’t fully escaped his reach.

“When I left him he went to the immigration department and told lies about me,” Lyn said.

“But I am proud to say that me and my daughter have just got our permanent visa last month.”

Now a permanent resident, Lyn and her teenage daughter, who is currently completing her final year of school, still live at the women’s refuge and hope to move into their own house next month.

But while her own situation had improved Lyn said more support is needed to help domestic violence victims.

“There’s a need for more support services like the women’s refuge so the victims can feel safe,” she said.

“Also the community needs to unite and work hand in hand for a common cause. A non-judgmental outlook is very important. Every member of the community should be aware that domestic violence is not on.

“I hope that my experience will be an inspiration to other women who are experiencing domestic violence. It just takes that one single step.  That step takes a lot of courage but once you’ve done it the world will be opened.”

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams has been lobbying for extra domestic and family violence services in the Redlands for years and said unfortunately stories such as Lyn’s were all too common.

“Most people think domestic violence is just physical abuse, but it can also include emotional abuse that robs people of their confidence and independence,” she said.

“The Redlands is not immune to this issue and that’s why Council is partnering with the Redlands Domestic and Family Violence Action Group and Zonta clubs to host Diner En Rouge, a dining experience that will help raise awareness of domestic and family violence in the Redlands.

“As a community we need to say enough is enough and this event is a chance for residents and businesses to come together to help put this issue on the agenda in the Redlands and beyond.”

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Bureau of Meteorology has issued a severe thunderstorm warning for DESTRUCTIVE WIND, HEAVY RAINFALL and LARGE HAILSTONES
for South East Queensland including Redland City.

Read the warning in full:

Destructive winds, heavy rainfall that may lead to flash flooding and large
hailstones are likely.

Golf ball hail and a 141 km/h wind gust has been recorded from Brisbane southern suburbs.

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services advises that people should:
* Move your car under cover or away from trees.
* Secure loose outdoor items.
* Avoid driving, walking or riding through flood waters.
* Seek shelter, preferably indoors and never under trees.
* Avoid using the telephone during a thunderstorm.
* Beware of fallen trees and powerlines.
* For emergency assistance contact the SES on 132 500.