International Women’s Day



“Invest in Women – Invest in the Future” is the 2019 theme for Queensland Women’s Week, running from 2nd March to 10th March and includes the annual International Women’s Day on 8th March. A day that celebrates the achievements of women all over the world who in their everyday lives are making a difference for the generations to come.

International Women’s Day (March 8) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity.

No one government, NGO, charity, corporation, academic institution, women’s network or media hub is solely responsible for International Women’s Day. Many organizations declare an annual IWD theme that supports their specific agenda or cause, and some of these are adopted more widely with relevance than others. International Women’s Day is a collective day of global celebration and a call for gender parity.

International Women’s Day is all about unity, celebration, reflection, advocacy and action – whatever that looks like globally at a local level. But one thing is for sure, International Women’s Day has been occurring for well over a century – and continues to grow from strength to strength.

One of the many aspects of life that is essential to growth and freedom is financial security. It is becoming increasing talked about that women, especially those in the over 65 years are fast becoming Australians leading group of homeless. Historically women have been the homemakers and not always been actively involved in making major financial decisions at home or business. Financial Literacy is an imperative key to help narrow the knowledge gap and provide independence and safety.

Some of the factors about women and money are well recognised, including lower average incomes, broken work patterns- usually for family reasons, lower participation rates when it comes to superannuation and in the end lose superannuation to live on in retirement. On average women also tend to live longer so that a women’s saving need to go further. There is absolutely no doubt that these are big issues for many women and their families, and they’re important to keep in mind in any discussion regarding women and money.

Education is a powerful tool. However, that education and information need to connect with those in the community that are most at risk. Our Moreton Bay region has a large culturally diverse and economically disadvantaged demographic. As the theme, “Invest in Women-Invest in the Future” implies by empowering our women now, we empower the generations that follow. Women from these cultural and linguistic diverse communities are interested in securing a better financial future for themselves ad families. They are passionate about ensuring the younger generations are more informed and proactive in financial literacy and decision making. This exchange of ideas and knowledge comes via storytelling and listening which is made especially relevant when told by someone from a similar background and situation.

Momey-money-money-its-a-rich-mans-world-iwdSoroptimist International Moreton North, SIMNI, is a local NFP, whose volunteer members are passionate about helping those in the community less fortunate than themselves. They have been successful in obtaining grant funding from Department Child Safety, Youth and Women to host a Queensland Women’s Week event. This event “Money, Money, Money – Not just a rich man’s world” is being held at North Lakes Sports Club on Saturday 2nd March from 3pm – 6pm. Admission is only $10 and helps to support SIMNI’s educational bursary programs.

Come along and enjoy a Q & A panel discussion on women’s financial disadvantage and economic insecurity, with women leaders in the field of financial literacy, listen to personal stories from women who have overcome challenges of relocation, language and gender to thrive in a foreign place, enjoy afternoon tea and refreshments and gain information from our trade displays.

The event will culminate in the 7th Annual SIMNI Be Inspired IWD Award ceremony celebrating the achievements of local women within our community who have stepped up and beyond to make a difference in other people lives.

Written by Marney Perna
Author, Women’s Health Educator and Natural Therapist
Secretary Soroptimist International Moreton North
0407 029943

01/03/2019 |

Introducing Norths Executive Chef: Ken Parry


Australian-born Ken Parry has been tantalising guests all around the Globe with his fine dining cuisine. Ken brings with him extensive skills and knowledge acquired whilst traveling the world working in such places such as: America, Australia and Europe.

From a young age, Ken was very passionate about creating classical marriages of flavour that boast a contemporary twist. His career as an apprentice chef began in the Wembley Hotel, Perth in 1992. After being classically trained in French Cuisine for 4 years, Ken decided to broaden his horizons and travel the globe, gaining all the knowledge and experience that the world had to offer. Throughout his travels Ken not only became the best Executive Chef he possible could, but he also gained the skills to create the finest cuisine.

Upon Ken’s return to Australia he had the pleasure of working for places such as: The Truffle Group (winning them a Gold Plate Award in Tourism and securing himself the prestige title of Event Caterer of the Year); David Jones Department Store; and The Avondale Golf Club where he had the pleasure of serving the then Prime Minister John Howard.

In 2005 Ken returned to Perth to be near his family and continued his cooking career at the Royal Perth Hospital as the Retail Catering Manager.

In 2016 Ken’s career took him and his Family to wonderful Hobart, where he had the pleasure of working in such places as: The Henry Jones Art Hotel and Wrest Point Casino.

Ken has recently relocated to sunny Queensland and continues to flourish and grow his career at Norths Leagues and Service Club as Executive Chef.

Ken Advises, “As chefs we are charged with the ultimate responsibility of creating an experience… a memory… something that can only be achieved by intensifying the flavours and textures of our ingredients to such a level that it incites an emotion.”


Executive Chef Ken Parry (second from left) with some of his team of Chefs.

Try Chef Ken’s delicious recipe!

Seared Duck Breast with Sautéed and Pickled Mushrooms, Pumpkin Seeds and Toasted Peanuts


Pickled Mushrooms:
• 100ml of white vinegar
• 25g of sugar
• 50ml of water
• 100g of chestnut mushrooms
• 100g of button mushrooms
• 100g of shiitake mushrooms

Duck Breast:
• 2 Duck Breasts

Pumpkin Seeds and Peanuts:
• 50g of butter
• 25ml of sunflower oil
• 50g of pumpkin seeds
• 50g of peanuts

• 25g of butter
• 150g of spinach leaves
• Season with a sprinkle of Sea Salt

• 1/2 tsp light soy sauce
• 50ml of sunflower oil
• 1/2 tsp honey


1. Preheat the oven to 200˚C/gas mark 6.
2. Start by pickling the mushrooms. Bring the water, vinegar and sugar to the boil, pour over the mushrooms and leave to lightly pickle for 20 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, to prepare the duck, trim off any sinew from the breasts and place skin-side down in a hot dry frying pan. Cook for 4 minutes on a medium heat – pour off any fat from the pan as it renders out.
4. Turnover and cook for a further minute then turn back on the skin-side for another 2 minutes. Repeat once more as this will render the fat, crisp the skin and take the breast to medium rare. Remove from the heat and allow to rest for 5 minutes in a warm place.
5. For the pumpkin seeds and peanuts, sauté the pumpkin seeds in oil until puffed up, drain from the pan and place onto absorbent kitchen towel. In the same pan add the butter and toast the Peanuts
until golden, drain and combine with the pumpkin seeds.
6. Drain the mushrooms out of the liquid (reserve 1 tsp for the dressing) and allow to dry on absorbent kitchen towel. Heat the butter in a large pan and sauté until lightly golden. Add the spinach to the pan to wilt and season with sea salt to taste.
7. Combine all the ingredients for the dressing, including the mushroom pickling liquid, and taste for seasoning and acidity (Adjust accordingly with more soy, or vinegar to your liking).
8. Place the duck breast into the oven for 3 minutes to reheat.
9. Spoon the mushroom mix onto each plate. Carve the duck breast and season with sea salt placing it onto the pickled mushrooms. Sprinkle the dish with pumpkin seeds and peanuts, drizzle with the dressing and serve immediately.



01/03/2019 |

Royal Australian Mint Celebrates 60 Years of Iconic Aussie TV Show Mr Squiggle


The Royal Australian Mint (the Mint) is commemorating 60 years of one of Australia’s most loved TV characters, Mr Squiggle, with the release of limited edition coins in Woolworths supermarket registers from today.

Four $2 coin designs, with one released each week, have been produced by the Mint with depictions of Mr Squiggle and his friends Gus the Snail, Bill the Steam Shovel and Blackboard.

Assistant Minister for Treasury and Finance, Zed Seselja, said “Since first appearing on TV screens across Australia in 1959, Mr Squiggle has entertained millions, including me when I was growing up, with his impressive drawings and inquisitive nature.”

“I am thrilled Australians will be able to celebrate Mr Squiggle through this collector coin series, a tribute to a character well-loved in Australian culture. The vibrant colours and intricate illustrations on the coins capture the fun and wonder that Mr Squiggle brought to Australian households for decades.”

Rebecca Hetherington, daughter of Mr Squiggle creator, Norman Hetherington said “lt’s such an honour to have the Royal Australian Mint and Woolworths immortalise my father’s work in this unique way.

“The coins perfectly represent Mr Squiggle’s fun and imaginative view of the world, attributes he shared with my father. I’m excited to share this opportunity with Australians who have grown up with him and remember him fondly, and also to introduce Mr Squiggle to a new generation.”

Woolworths General Manager of Programs, Rod Evenden said; “We are pleased to be able to help celebrate 60 years of such an iconic character loved by so many of our customers.

“The $2 coins will only be in our registers for a limited time, so as Blackboard says, ‘hurry up’ if you want to get your hands on your own piece of Mr Squiggle memorabilia.”

There will be a staggered release of the commemorative coins over the coming weeks, with the first $2 coin design to be released in Woolworths registers nationwide from the 12th of February 2019.

There will also be a limited release of a collectable coin album at a cost of $15, which in addition to the four $2 coins, will also include two $1 coins and a special 1 cent coin.


The release of the Mr Squiggle coin collection follows previous coin collections at Woolworths including Possum Magic, Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games and Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The Mr Squiggle coin collection is available for purchase 13 February 2019 on the Mint’s online store, Woolworths’ website or by phoning 1300 652 020.

01/03/2019 |

Awards are Great, but Employment is Greater to People with Disabilities


On January 17th, at an intimate morning tea of invited distinguished guests, along with very worthy recipients of various award categories, I was named Moreton Bay Region Citizen of the year 2019.

As honoured as I was to be nominated I never expected to win. I had my 15 minutes of fame long ago. I didn’t think it was necessary to be awarded for what I did.

I remember the first big media interview I did with King of Breakfast radio, Spencer Howson, on his breakfast show at ABC Brisbane. The producer asked what to call me? I thought Elisha was just fine but they wanted to know my title. Disability Advocate seemed to be the adequate description and from that day onward that’s what I became known as. Confession time… I never set out to be that. I just wanted to be able go out with my family and get out of my car safely without falling over. Just as accidental as my crusade to change the community attitude around disability parking, was my campaign to get my community to understand an inclusive community isn’t possible without disability access, and access is about so much more than ticking boxes and slapping a symbol on it. I didn’t set out to be anyone’s inspiration. I just wanted to be treated the same in my community as I was before my acquired disability.

It hasn’t been all morning teas, photo shoots and interviews though. It’s been work. Damn hard work. Research and deciphering legislation. Gathering and filtering data. Using the government’s own information against them. Despite that, I’ve built quite a profile for myself on this platform. It’s partly because of this profile though that I’ve felt an obligation to take on far more work than I should and none of it was paid. Volunteering is rewarding, but most of the time when people volunteer, they do something they enjoy, or want to do. For me it was reading legislation, meetings and quite often, confrontation. It was hours, sometimes days of preparation for a case at the ADCQ that someone had asked me to assist on that ended up being me doing all the work. It was having to explain to that person that sometimes their expectations were unreasonable and help them understand the definition of inclusion. I didn’t make many friends doing what I do. But I got stuff done. I persevered. That’s just who I am. I like to finish what I set out to achieve, and that’s why, after 5 years of canvassing my local council, presenting them with evidence for need and the mutual benefits it could provide, they finally agreed we needed a Disability Access and Inclusion Plan. A living document that showed intent. A set of guidelines that helped a community understand how to be inclusive and provide better access.


The day it was handed down at the council meeting I was invited along. At the time I felt like it was another obligation. It was a long way for me to travel and at the time I wasn’t very well. At that moment they declared it an adopted policy I was overwhelmed with emotion. I realised that 5 years of work, of battling the same obstacles day in, day out, of asking why not, had finally come to pass. I’d accomplished what I had actually set out to do. Now I could finally rest.

With this award though comes media coverage which renews interest of me in the community. Suddenly everyone who wants social change wants to speak to me. And so it begins. The flattery, the mission and then… the grab. We want you. You’ve got what it takes. We can’t do this without you. But you can. And you are going to have to. Because as flattered as I am that you think I’m the right woman for the job, I’m so very tired. I need a break.

What the media won’t tell you about the Citizen of the Year 2019 is that the week she was presented with the award, she was suicidal. Trying to understand what is going on with her Medically after re-diagnosis she felt like she’d been living a lie for the past 7 years. Still reeling from the breakdown of her marriage, from losing her home, her family, her life as she knew it, she was not the woman they have known in the past. She was broken.

I am broken. I am slowly putting the pieces of me back together and I promise you I’m not going to hurt myself. I have so many preventative factors right now. I have my incredible children and surrogate grandchildren. Amazingly supportive friends. A whole new life to plan out. I’m not going to sugar coat it for anyone though. I’m struggling. Last week I couldn’t afford to eat. If it weren’t for the generosity of my incredible sister I would have been living on pasta and gravy. She rescued me with a gift card to buy groceries. My friends dragged me out of the apartment to socialise. My GP checks in with me frequently and reassures me her door is always open. She’s absolutely amazing and tells me every visit how proud of me she is for fighting to survive this. I’m so grateful that she’s shared her similar personal story with me. I feel like I can survive because of others who show me that they have. The most important thing I know about this though is that it’s going to take time.

For so long my purpose has been fighting for everyone else. Right now the only purpose I can manage is to fight for myself. I’m tired. I don’t want to be your inspiration. It’s such a huge expectation to live up to. I don’t want to disappoint you.

I can’t help you with your project or campaign right now. You need to know though that you can do this. I did it and for the most I did it on my own. You’ll find support along the way in many places, but mostly it will be you doing the work. You need to be prepared for that, but nothing great has ever been achieved without hard work.

I’m grateful for the support I’ve had along the way but I’m also well aware sometimes that support had an agenda. Many people have raised themselves using my profile. Their recent absence has not gone unnoticed. Still I’m eternally grateful for every bit of help to get me there.

As a community we can do better. People with disabilities have a wealth of knowledge. It’s time to start paying them for that. Awards are great but they don’t put food on the table.
So right now, I’m not the right person for the job. You are. You’ve got this. Just don’t burn yourself out before you get there.

Written by Elisha Wright

To read more of Elisha’s blogs, click here

01/03/2019 |

Restaurant Dining Guide



North Lakes is home to some of the best restaurants around! Check out our selections, where you’ll be sure to enjoy delicious food and drinks with great company. Don’t forget to book your table in advance to make sure you don’t miss out!


Fusion Feature

Located in the heart of North Lakes, Fusion Brazilian Restaurant and Bar serves up traditional cuisine for customers who are willing to taste some South American flavour’s. Guests can savour a whole range of Brazilian dishes while enjoying a live Rio Carnival-inspired show every Saturday.

Come and join in the fun! Bring your family and friends! Open Tuesday to Sunday for TAPAS and Brazilian BBQ. The restaurant is also happy to host private events for as many as 50 participants.

 Unit 13/14-18 Discovery Drive. North Lakes, Queensland, Australia.
Open Daily 6:00pm to Late.
Lunch Fri, Sat, Sun 11:30am to 2:30pm
Call 1800 335 080



Groove Train Feature

Welcome to The Groove Train North Lakes, a full-service Restaurant, Café & Bar.

We have a wide offering catering to many tastes in a sit-down atmosphere, providing all the flavour & authenticity that comes with wood fired cuisine.

Be immersed in delectable dishes and laughter when you escape into our urban garden patio.

Late night drinks, award-winning coffee, and a menu packed with some of your favourites in addition to a few dishes you still have yet to try. There is something for everyone at The Groove Train North Lakes!

The Laneway, Westfield Shopping Centre 
North Lakes Drive, North Lakes
Open Sunday to Wednesday 8:00am to 9:00pm
Thursday to Saturday 8:00am to 10:00pm
Call (07) 32044039



Hogs Breath Feature

The team at Hog’s Breath North Lakes are open for lunch and dinner, serving up delicious meals, from the classic parmy and succulent fresh salad to their globally famous and mouth-watering 18hr slow cooked steak. Pair up one of these with a cocktail/mocktail, beer or wine and you are onto a winner.

Their heated outdoor area is perfect for all seasons. The large overheard fans ensure all guests are kept cool, even on the hottest of days! A brand new menu is being launched this month and we have been told that a few popular classics will be making a comeback.

See you at Hoggies!

Mango Hill Market Place, Halpine Dr North Lakes, Queensland, Australia
Open Daily, 11:00am to 9:00pm
Call (07) 3491 7875



Beach House Feature

Beach House Bar & Grill is a centrally located steak and seafood house themed to Australian Beach culture and cuisine.

Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, they offer customers a range of great steaks, seafood, burgers & salads and have a wide variety of daily and weekly specials.

Customers can enjoy a wide range of beer, wine, spirits & delicious cocktails from the bar.

Beach House Bar & Grill is a great casual dining experience in a relaxed family friendly environment.

The Laneway, Westfield Shopping Centre
North Lakes, Queensland, Australia
Open Sun to Wed, 8:00am to 9:00pm
Call (07) 3480 5292



NLSC Feature

North Lakes Sports Club is Queensland’s newest club, featuring two fantastic dining options open 7 days a week: Banyan Restaurant & Deck and Crave Café & Bar.

Banyan Restaurant & Deck offers a full a-la-carte dining experience with modern Australian cuisine. The restaurant has recently introduced a new range of chef’s selections which change every fortnight, so there’s always something new and fresh to try.

36-42 Flinders Parade, North Lakes
Open 7 days, 10:00am till late
Call 1300 006 572



Boardwalk Restaurant Feature

Sitting right on the edge of Lake Eden, the Boardwalk Restaurant is a one-of-a-kind destination in North Lakes, located at the newly opened Best Western Plus North Lakes Hotel.

The 150-seat restaurant, with a stunning outdoor lakeside terrace, indoor kids play room and private dining area offers a beautiful atmosphere and is the perfect place to meet your friends & family at any time of day for some delicious food & drinks overlooking the lake.

With fantastic function spaces available they can also cater to any size or type of event!

22 Lakefield Drive, North Lakes 
Open Monday – Thurs 7am to 9pm
Friday & Saturday 7am to 9:30pm, 
Sunday 7am to 8:30pm
Call (07) 3180 2888



Pastaissimo Feature

Serving up gorgeous Italian meals, Pastaissimo Italian Restaurant is an ideal venue for a group of friends, family or even a romantic dinner for two.

Ideally located opposite Lake Eden, Pastaissimo enjoys the views and open air atmosphere that you don’t get elsewhere in North Lakes and is open seven days for breakfast lunch or dinner.

Enjoy a traditional Italian beer or wine with your favourite pizza or pasta dish. Treat yourselves and enjoy some ‘time out’ at Pastaissimo today!

Shop 8, Lakeview Terrace
27 Discovery Drive, North Lakes, Qld.
Open 7 Days, 7:00am until Late.
Call (07) 3481 0751



Lonestar Feature

Mosey on down to Lone Star Rib House North Lakes to be treated to dose of good ol’ fashioned hospitality and flavours bigger than Texas.

We’ll crack the whip on some mighty fine vittles, from Big Ribs drowning in Texas butter (gravy) to the biggest ever Chili Dogs, topped with sauce of your choice. Or you might wanna try our famous Ol’ Dave Burgers. Just make sure you don’t go belly up before dessert, cause we’re fixin’ to give you a mighty fine time.

Y’all come back now, y’hear!

The Laneway, Westfield Shopping Centre
North Lakes, Queensland, Australia 
Open 7 Days, 11:30am until Late.
Call 0408 106 325



01/03/2019 |

Click on to Kanopy Streaming Video


Move over Netflix, a new streaming video service has arrived in Moreton Bay giving library members access to more than 30,000 films, kids programs and documentaries at their fingertips.

Spokesperson for Lifestyle and Amenity Councillor Denise Sims said Kanopy would add to the region’s libraries’ network of online resources.

“Our libraries offer a range of online resources. You can learn a new language, play educational games, borrow an ebook or audiobook or browse thousands of online resources. It’s all free to access anywhere, anytime,” she said.

“Now we are offering a fresh service to give library members more options for information and entertainment beyond books on shelves.”

Cr Sims said library members could stream Kanopy on any IPad, Android tablet, smart phone or computer.


“Residents can access ten films per month and once selected, each film may be viewed, paused, finished and viewed over a 72 hour period,” she said.

“All you need to do is download the Kanopy App from the App Store or Play Store, create an account using your name, email and a password of your choice and enter your library membership details.

“This is more than just offering a new free service to library members; it’s also about social inclusion giving residents and kids who have a medical condition and can’t go outdoors to have convenient access to entertainment.”

There’s also Kanopy for kids. Check out offer here – plus Kanopy for Kids –

01/03/2019 |

Beware of Fake Buyers!


Beware fake buyersScammers. Ugh. They seem to infiltrate everything!

We are seeing a disturbing trend of people being ripped off by scammers when selling things online. If you’re selling anything using an online platform, keep these tips in mind:
• Scammers will contact you via email or text, they will normally avoid speaking on the phone.
• Scammers will have a “story” of why they can’t meet you face to face, ie they’re working overseas so they need you to post the item and they’ll send someone to collect it.
• Scammers will arrange to direct deposit into your account and will send you a screenshot of the transfer and a copy of their ID as proof you can trust them
• Don’t be fooled – the screenshot is fake, and the ID is stolen, so beware and be in control. Don’t hand over the goods until you confirm directly with your bank the money is sitting in your bank account.

Scammers do a great job of impersonation – they have to, it’s their job. As you can see in the screenshot below the bank transfer looks legit but it’s not. The scammer will use any means possible to try to fool you, including using the names and logos of well known and trusted companies, banks and organisations to prey on your goodwill.

Ask yourself, R U InControl, take your time and do a few checks and never send your ID to anyone you don’t know.

01/03/2019 |

The Streets we Live in


We drive in our cars and walk around our neighbourhood, we are surrounded by signposts to our history.

Through the Moreton Bay Regional Council Heritage Collection, this exhibition connects us to the farmers, explorers and entrepreneurs who shaped our region. Take the time to absorb the individual stories that have created our communities. From creek-side camps and cab drivers, to beach refreshments and devastating fires, get to know the neighbourhood in a whole new way.

When: Friday, 8 February 2019 – Sunday, 21 April 2019
Location: Bribie Island Seaside Museum, 1 South Esplanade, Bongaree. 


Image credit: Wilf Cotterill and Arthur Bestmann clearing land on Bribie Island (detail), 1925. Bribie Island Historical Society.

01/03/2019 |

Calling on Shoppers to Paws for a Cause at IGA


When was the last time you changed someone’s life while you did your weekly grocery shopping?

Paws-for-a-cause-2019For the month of March, Guide Dogs Queensland and IGA stores across the state are teaming up for the IGA Paws for a Cause campaign!

An easy way for shoppers to lend a helping paw, the campaign aims to raise much needed funds to support two very special Guide Dog puppies and assist Queenslanders living with blindness and low vision.

Throughout IGA Paws for a Cause, IGA stores in Queensland will stock six limited edition collector cards available for just $2 each.

While $2 may not seem like a significant amount to each of us as individuals, every contribution adds up to make a big impact. With your help, IGA is hoping to raise enough throughout the month to fund the two year training journey of two Guide Dogs.

With over 30 people on the waitlist for a Guide Dog, your support for people who are blind or vision impaired can make a big difference. Make sure you march into your local IGA store to fetch your collector cards today!

Last year alone, the Community’s ongoing support added up to:
– 63 new puppies being born
– 24 Guide Dogs graduating
– 114 children benefiting from special programs just for kids
– 43 free vision clinics being held across Queensland to support people concerned about their vision
– 10,000 hours of support services provided to blind and vision impaired Queenslanders—helping them gain their freedom and independence.

If you would like to donate, volunteer or take part in the Guide Dogs Queensland lottery, visit for more information.

01/03/2019 |

Clean Up Australia Day is Fast Approaching


Change starts with you! There has never been a better time to take to our streets as Queensland still has a way to go to conquer its rubbish problems according to latest rubbish report.


Clean Up Australia is a not for profit community based organisation founded by Ian Kiernan AO in 1989 to inspire and work with communities to clean up, fix up and conserve our environment.

Beach-clean-up-north-lakesClean Up Australia is dedicated to developing sustainable solutions and addressing the critical issues that face us in the areas of waste, degrading waterways and landscapes. It provides a practical framework and support for all individuals to make a positive and effective contribution to the health of our environment.

For 30 years Australians have joined together to Clean Up Australia. During this time over 16 million Australians have donated more than 33 million hours, removing the equivalent of 350,000 ute-loads of rubbish from more than 178 thousand locations across the country.

Since 1993 millions of people around the globe have also heeded the call under the banner of Clean Up the World, the global initiative the United Nations asked Kiernan to create and oversee. This year-round campaign engages an estimated 35 million volunteers in 130 countries annually, making it the largest community-based environmental campaign in the world.

The 2018 Clean Up Australia Rubbish Report, compiled each year from data submitted by Queensland Clean Up volunteers, found that although there was improvement in many areas, food packaging was reported in higher quantities than the national average.

Plastic continues to be the #1 type of rubbish reported across the state.

Terrie-Ann Johnson, Managing Director of Clean Up Australia, warns that plastic – a material type which will not decompose, will, unless we take action today, continue to impact our environment, our natural heritage and ultimately human health.

Thirty years ago, Ian Kiernan AO predicted the problems that single-use plastics would pose. Since then we have seen ever-increasing dependence on plastic as a throw-away item – and that needs to change. The choice is simple, take action or plastics will continue to be a problem well into the future,” said Terrie-Ann.

The 2018 Report directly supports the need for us all to think about how we can switch from single use packaging.

Food packaging, as a percentage of all rubbish reported by Queensland clean up volunteers increased by 14.6% in 2018.

Comprising take away containers, food, chip & confectionery wrappers – this trend is alarming because it outstrips the national counts by nearly 10%.

“Change starts with you – and we need to make smarter choices every day.” said Terrie-Ann.

“We need to reduce the amount of rubbish we produce as individuals and take simple actions such as carrying our reusable bags, replacing single use beverage cups and choosing products that are not over packaged.”

Smokers also need to get smarter with cigarette butts coming up as the item most counted by Clean Up volunteers at 13.5% of the individual item count. While a welcome decrease of

19.6% over the previous year, it’s timely to remind smokers how cigarette butts impact our environment.

“Smokers need to understand that the core of most cigarette filters is a form of plastic called cellulose acetate which is very slow to degrade, taking anything from 18 months to 10 years to break up. These filters are also full of toxins, which can leach into the ground and waterways, damaging living organisms that come into contact with them,” said Terrie-Ann.

Park-clean-up-north-lakes“We all need to take responsibility for our choices.”

Parks were the most popular site surveyed in 2018, also recording the highest percentage of total waste. Non-identified sites yielded the highest average number of items across the state, closely followed by outdoor transport areas.

“We still have a way to go to Clean Up Australia, so remember change starts with you!”

To register or join a 2019 Clean Up site go to:

01/03/2019 |

Submissions Closing Soon for Regional Art Awards


Time is running out for artists to make submissions for the 2019 Moreton Bay Region Art Awards and with $18,000 in prize money up for grabs it is an opportunity not to be missed.

Artists are being encouraged to submit work for consideration across four categories including painting, works on paper, photo digital and 3D.

The Art Awards are now in their 26th year.


Clontarf resident Nadine Sawyer’s Inspiration Machine acrylic on canvas took out the Local Art Award last year.

Council Spokesperson for Lifestyle and Amenity, Denise Sims, said this year’s prizes included $8000 for the overall winner, four category winner prizes of $2000 and two supplementary $1000 prizes for a Local Artist and a People’s Choice Award winners.

“In addition to the generous prizes, this competition provides all finalists with a platform to have their work professionally hung as part of a beautifully displayed exhibition across two weeks in May,” Cr Sims said.

“The Art Awards are the biggest of their kind for this region and I would encourage artists to make a submission.”


Oils, Acrylic, Watercolour and mixed media

Works on paper
Any work on a paper substrate including but not limited to: Pen, pencil, ink, collage, mixed media

Photo digital
Any photographic works either digital or analogue including digital art

3D works
Including sculpture, ceramics, jewellery, wood work

Submissions close 1 March 2019. For more information, click here.

27/02/2019 |

Separation and Parenting Plans


For the parents of any separated family, reaching and sticking to agreements as to how to continue to raise their children is often one, if not the most important goal.


If the parents can’t agree, the dispute ultimately is resolved by a Family Court Judge who will make Orders effectively telling the parents how to parent their children. Thankfully in a large majority of cases, the parents are able to agree on mutually acceptable arrangements and so for these parents, the question begs, do we need to have any formal documents signed up to record what we have agreed to voluntarily do? In short there are two choices, a Consent Court Order or a Parenting Plan (P-plan).

Generally speaking, P-plans are recommended for low conflict families and are also attractive because they are a much cheaper and a more flexible option compared to Consent Orders.
For an Agreement to be a “Parenting Plan” it must be in writing, dated and signed by each of the parents. There are no other requirements (such as a special form, witnessing of signatures etc) except that the Agreement must be made free of any threat, duress or coercion.

The P-Plan can cover a wide spread of issues between the parents including:
– the “who” and “how” of decision making for the long term and day to day welfare of the child;
– where the child will live and/or spend time and communicate with the other parent;
– arrangements for special days such as birthdays, Christmas, Mother’s/Father’s day and the like;
– choice of schooling, participation in sport, cultural and other extracurricular activities;
– controls regarding overseas travel or moving away;
– religious upbringing; and
– arrangements for the financial support of the child.*
*Additional rules apply if child support arrangements are to be included.

The Agreement can, if needed, extend out to include step-parents, grandparents, adult siblings, and other persons participating in the child’s life.

If child support is being paid under the regular Child Support system, the Agency will use the living arrangements recorded in the P-plan to calculate the “night-count” necessary to work out how much child support is to be paid/received between the parents.

Importantly, a P-plan cannot be enforced in the way that a Court Order can. If one parent breaches the arrangements, the innocent party can apply to the Family Court to have the terms of the P-plan upgraded to formal (and fully enforceable) Orders however, the Court is not bound to do so and can instead make alternate Orders if it considers this to be more appropriate for the child’s welfare.

A P-plan can be varied between the parents at any time by simply signing up a new P-plan Agreement. If the parents can’t agree, then either parent (or both) can apply to the Family Court for formal Orders to set the new (or preserve the old) arrangements. On the hearing of that application the Court is bound to have regard to the terms of the previous P-plan but again is not bound to follow its terms and is free to make alternate Orders where suitable.

If the current child care arrangements are governed by a Court Order* the parents are free to agree on (and record) the new alternate arrangements by way of a P-plan however, the new P-plan will still downgrade to a non-enforceable arrangement. Consequently, if enforceability remains desirable the parents will have to re-apply to the Court for new/replacement Orders.

*provided the Order is made after 1 July 2006

Zande-Law-logoMichael Zande is a Queensland Law Society Accredited Family Law Specialist with over 25 years’ experience in the field. He is the principal at Zande Law Solicitors, Suite 7, Norwinn Centre, 15 Discovery Drive, North Lakes. To contact Michael for advice, phone 3385 0999.

The information in this article is merely a guide and is not a full explanation of the law. This firm cannot take responsibility for any action readers take based on this information. When making decisions that could affect your legal rights, please contact us for professional advice.


22/02/2019 |
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