Car Of The Year

Car Of The Year

At Home In Our Region Whitsunday Auto Group have a Christmas treat for our region, boasting plenty of stock of the 2023 Car of the Year. Named by Carsales.com.au, the MG4 took out the top spot last week, highlighting the new vehicle for its safety, speed, practical economics, and its unbeatable price point. Now what makes the MG4 stand apart from the rest? The MG4 is MG’s first completely electric performance machine, with a 5-star ANCAP safety rating it is extremely reliable with a sleek Europ

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Bowen Family Fishing Classic Is Back!

Bowen Family Fishing Classic Is Back!

After a three-year hiatus, the annual Bowen Family Fishing Classic and Wet Weekend is back and better than ever. Planning this mammoth weekend of non-stop fishing is Russ McCabbin, who is excited to see the event return. “Everything is back on track, and this will be an unbelievable weekend,” he said. The event takes place at the Bowen Foreshore and features a fantastic fishing competition with two chances to win big money in each category. With 14 different species of fish on the competiti

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Rocking Out For A Good Cause

Rocking Out For A Good Cause

T8T Fest Wraps Up For 2023 The fifth T8T Fest has wrapped up for Bowen, but the work isn’t over yet! For the Tait family who organise T8T Fest, the festival acts as a reunion and special celebration of life for their much-loved family member Nicholas Tait, who passed away in 2016 from Melanoma. At the age of 36, Nicholas was diagnosed with melanoma, and 16 short weeks later, he sadly passed away. “And in 2017, we held a reunion for everyone who knew Taity,” explained Amanda Tait, Nicholas’ elde

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Congratulations Mille and Kaylem on your graduation

Congratulations Mille and Kaylem on your graduation

Dear Kaylem, I know you will hate this, but I just had to do it! Dad and I are so proud of you and the amazing young man you have grown up to be. As this chapter closes and a new one begins, know that no matter what it brings Dad and I will always be here. Love Mum & Dad xxx Ps. Rent will be due next week! 😊 Photoshoot Location: Villa Botanica / Private Home / Shute Harbour Photography by: Norina Jane and R Jean Photography

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Whitsunday Cricket Sevens A Massive Weekend Of Cricket

November 16, 2023

The annal Whitsunday Cricket Sevens is back for 2023, and the Proserpine Cricket Association is more than excited.

This is one massive weekend of great cricket, perfect for every novice or avid fan of the sport.

Each team will have seven players a side, with players of all ages and abilities.

Each game with be short, to allow plenty of social time.

All weekend, there will be tones of music, fun, games, daily prizes and raffles, and even food and drink vans.

There will be three grades of teams, to ensure that everyone is able to get the most out of the day.

Be quick, as nominations for this social event close 5pm, November 30. To sign up, email Craig Brown on brownhouse003@gmail.com for a nomination form. Complete form and send it back to Craig by November 30.

Each team incurs a nomination fee of $100 per team, regardless of the number of players, to be paid prior to game day.

For any enquiries, feel free to ring Craig on 0427 764 828.

WHAT: Whitsunday Cricket Sevens

WHERE: Proserpine Cricket Grounds, Kelsey Creek Road, Proserpine

WHEN: Saturday December 9 and Sunday December 10, from 8.30am

SIGN UP BY: November 30, 5pm

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Rocking For A Cause

November 16, 2023

T8T Fest

Rockers of Bowen, get ready for one of the best rock festivals around. And this one has an extra special cause.

T8T Fest is a rock festival to remember Nicholas Tait, who passed away in 2016, following a diagnosis of an aggressive Melanoma. Nicholas fought the hard fight for 16 weeks before he passed away.

Nicholas was an avid musician who loved performing and rocking out, and so his family and friends got together to create T8T Fest.

The rock music festival is also a fundraiser for Melanoma research and the Australian Melanoma Research Foundation.

2017 was the first T8T Fest and now seven years on, the 2023 festival is gearing up to be hell of a show.

Here are the headliners:

Headrush, belting out the classic 70s, 80s, 90s and a few noughties heavy rock tracks.

Cameron Bartlett, specialising in old school blues, rock and 60s and modern country and pop.

The Fox, a high energy pop and punk cover band, with nostalgic flare.

Damon Leary, a youth solo acoustic artist who will be covering American country and classic pup rock.

And lastly, Gleezus, the up-and-coming youth rockers out of Bowen High, who are making waves in the rock scene.

How will you rock out this weekend?

WHAT: T8T Fest

WHERE: Bowen Sporting Complex

WHEN: Saturday November 18, from

TICKETS: Entry via donation at the door

T8T Fest organisers, at the inaugural festival in 2017. Photo supplied

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It’s A Rock And Roll Kinda Weekend With The Airlie Beach Hotel

November 16, 2023

Airlie Beach is welcoming music icons Dire Straits and Pink Floyd, under the guise of dutiful recreation and tribute by artists Money For Nothin and Crazy Diamonds, led by front man Terry McMahon.

Money for Nothin

Terry has been dedicated to perfecting his craft, becoming the epitome of Mark Knopfler, replicating his mystifying guitar riffs and techniques and vocal prowess with uncanny ability.

“The Money for Nothin show started over six years ago, because we wanted to make a show that we’re passionate about,” explained Terry.

“The show is all things Dire Straits!”

Terry had been playing guitar and performing in tribute shows for over 30 years, before he decided he wanted to branch out with a new show that he was passionate about.

“We all love Dire Straits, and all the boys in the band are seasoned professionals when it comes to recreating the songs,” Terry said.

You will be transported to the 70s and 80s, back into the clutches of a Dire Straits show, and be blown away by the unwavering perfection that is Money for Nothin as the Dire Straits.

“And lucky for me, Dire Straits are known for their music, not for a distinct look! They liked to play in whatever was comfortable that day, so no costumes or anything like that. However, Mark liked to wear his headbands, which always get a laugh out of the crowd when I ‘get into uniform’,” Terry laughed.

Not missing any of the ultimate classics, Money for Nothin will perform ‘Sultans of Swing’, ‘Romeo and Juliet’, ‘Walk of Life’, ‘Lady Writer’, ‘Your Latest Trick’, ‘Tunnel of Love’, and their namesake ‘Money for Nothing’.

Crazy Diamonds

Cut your teeth with this one and be ‘Comfortably Numb’.

Led by the ineffable Terry McMahon, Crazy Diamonds is a seamless recreation of the tracks of Pink Floyd, of the timeless, unbeatable and psychedelic classics that propelled the boys in pink to their initial and now long-lasting stardom.

With a track for everyone, this performance will keep the crowd dancing, and the enjoyment high.

“We pick the songs that everyone knows, even if they’re not fans, they’ll recognise the tracks. We just wanted everyone in the crowd to be happy and loving the show,” Terry said.

“Both shows are a tonne of fun, and we love having fun with the crowd, surprising them with the very best songs and letting the music do all the talking.”

WHAT: Money For Nothin: Dire Straits Experience

WHERE: The Pub, Airlie Beach Hotel

WHEN: Saturday, November 25, from 2pm to 5.30pm

TICKETS: Absolutely Free!

WHAT: Crazy Diamonds: Pink Floyd Tribute

WHERE: The Pub, Airlie Beach Hotel

WHEN: Sunday, November 26, from 2pm to 5.30pm

TICKETS: Absolutely Free!

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Get Festive! With Markets And Carols

November 16, 2023

Get into the festive spirit with the Proserpine Whitsunday Uniting Church and their annual Carols service.

A well-loved community event, the Proserpine Whitsunday Uniting Church annual Carols service brings the community together and ignites the Christmas celebrations in the region.

“It is always a popular event,” Jane Bettridge, Fundraising Chair of the Uniting Church said.

“Our church musos will play, and we have a few members with lovely voices, but we welcome the community to get involved and sing as well. The whole idea is that everyone gets involved.”

The combined event of the Christmas markets and the carols is a new update for 2023.

“Last year, we had the markets during the day, and the carols at night, and for this year, we thought to combine them into one big event,” Jane said.

The night begins at 5pm, with the market stalls, with the Minister beginning the Christmas Story at 6pm, and the carols afterwards, with fantastic live music and traditional carols.

“The Christmas story is always lovely. Putting the Christ back into Christmas, and we will be sharing the child-friendly version of the Christmas story,” Jane explained.

So, bring your picnic rug or a camp chair, set yourself up in the midst of all the action.

Jane recommends that all attendees bring plenty of cash, as there is limited EFTPOS available.

WHAT: Christmas Stalls and Carols

WHERE: Proserpine Whitsunday Uniting Church Grounds, Corner Herbert and Main Street, Proserpine

WHEN: Friday, December 1, from 5pm, with Carols beginning at 6pm

The Proserpine Whitsunday Uniting Church annual Christmas Carols and Markets. Photo supplied

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Winning By An Avalanche At Passport To Airlie Comp

November 16, 2023

Passport to Airlie for 2023 is done and dusted with a spectacular battle of the bands grand final last Thursday evening.

With eight bands from across the country culminating to the Airlie Beach Festival of Music main stage for one night, tensions were high and the music was electric.

Against the seven other regional winners, the Newcastle regional winners, Avalanche, won out top accolades on the night, with their head banging, heart thumping beats.

A four-piece band, comprised of Arthur Divas on rhythm guitar, Ryan Roma on drums, Steve Campbell as lead vocalist and bass, and Veronica Campbell on lead guitar, Avalanche bring the heavy rock.

Since their early days in the confines of an old steel factory in 2018, Avalanche have grown to create their own movement, supporting the likes of Buckcherry, Fozzy, The Iron Maidens, Dead City Ruins, and have been invited to tour with Rose Tattoo in 2024.

The Passport to Airlie Grand Final marked the beginning of an action-packed three day Airlie Beach Festival of Music, with Festival Founder, Gavin ‘Butto’ Butlin saying it was one of the best yet.

“We are thrilled with the success of the 2023 Airlie Beach Festival of Music,” he said.

“We had over 7,000 people over the weekend, amazing performances from our artists, and a fantastic atmosphere throughout the event. The support from our sponsors, partners, and the Airlie Beach community is greatly appreciated, and we are looking forward to next year’s festival already,”

2023 Passport to Airlie Winners, Avalanche from Newcastle. Photo supplied

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2023 Schoolies Fun

November 16, 2023

It’s that time of year again, with Schoolies celebrations prepped and ready for November 18.

Spanning one week of mammoth parties, excitement and fun, the Year 12 graduates across the state are saying goodbye to high school and cheering on the rest of their lives.  

Local year 12 graduates can get in on the fun here in the Whitsundays with Local Tickets available for all.

Event organiser, Margie Murphy, Director of Airlie Events said, “Last year we had such a great bunch of kids come and enjoy the event who were really well behaved”.

“These are Airlie’s future tourists so making them feel welcome and safe benefits everyone in the long run as they are sure to keep returning.”

Supported by Safer Schoolies Program, Whitsunday Regional Council, Queensland Police and Ambulance Services, with the Red Frogs and Whitsunday Youth with a Mission on the ground, the event is expected to see 1500 school leavers flow into Airlie Beach.

This years’ themes:

Saturday November 18 – Uniforms

Sunday November 19 – Pink

Monday November 20 – Thrift Finds

Tuesday November 21 – White Party

Wednesday November 22 – Festival Fits

Thursday November 23 – Rodeo

Friday November 24 – Tropical Vibes

WHAT: Airlie Beach Schoolies

WHERE: Airlie Beach Foreshore, Fairy Tree Park

WHEN: Saturday November 18 to Friday November 24

TICKETS: Locals Only Tickets, $150 each, for 7-nights available through airlieevents.com.au

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Celebrating 75 Years Of Camaraderie

November 10, 2023

Gargett branch of the Queensland Country Women’s Association will mark its 75th anniversary on 20th November, with a special luncheon reminiscent of times gone by.

This month, the children and grandchildren of those women will be at the centre of the branch’s anniversary celebrations, joining past and present QCWA members and people with links to the branch at a birthday luncheon at Gargett Hall.

A morning tea, as well as a display of photos through the ages will be a part of the itinerary, to assist in celebrating the milestone for the QCWA community.

The branch had its first beginnings on November 17, 1948, at a meeting held in Gargett’s Coronation Hall. One of the earliest photos, taken in the early 1950s, shows a group of women on the hall stage, which doubled as the town’s picture theatre.

The was the early meeting place for members before Gargett CWA opened its own hall in 1957.

Construction of the hall in 1957 remains one of the branch’s major achievements. Members held miniature deb balls, fashion parades, dances, fancy dress balls, concerts and more in the 1960s.

For 10 years during the 1960s and early 1970s, an annual Tourist Festival Ball was held at Gargett Hall, a highlight was the crowning of the Tourist Festival Queen.

Today, service to the community is a major focus, with members meeting monthly to work on numerous fundraising projects to keep the hall open and maintained, as well as boosting the CWA’s State Crisis Fund and financing local community support initiatives.

The 75th Anniversary Lunch starts at 10:30am. The cost is $20 to attend and RSVP is essential by 10th November to Secretary Loris on 0400 559 557 or lorisvwall@gmail.com.au.

This will be a joyous occasion for local women to celebrate the achievements of their beloved organisation and share in the spirit of community, as they do best.

Original members of the Gargett branch QCWA in early 1950s (L-R) Edie Omand, Ethel Bradshaw, Madge Bradshaw, Violet Kohler (later Martin), Thelma Cameron, Doris Voss (later Luscombe), Nell Webster, Elizabeth Henderson, May Millard, Ina Childs, Jess Launder and Elsie Nash

Celebrations for the opening of the new Mirani Bridge in 1959. CWA had a float in the procession

Tourist Festival Queen 1971. (L-R) Lola Dwyer, President Silvia Bourke, Winner Marie Louise Howie Secretary Glady Dillon, Treasurer Shirley Venton and Vice President Irma Forzatti

Photos supplied

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Experience The Magic Of World-Class Cinema

November 10, 2023

A brilliant line-up of highly awarded new films from around the globe will light up the big screen in Mackay at BCC Mount Pleasant, from 17th to 19th November, bringing exciting world-class cinema to sunny Queensland.

The Travelling Film Festival brings international and Australian film programs to venues and locations that would not ordinarily get to see the range of films on offer in a cinema setting.

Featuring six award-winning and nominated feature-length films and three award-winning Australian short films, the festival program promises absorbing stories from masterful filmmakers.

Filmgoers can enjoy an Opening Night welcome drink before the film starts, hosted by Film & Arts Mackay from 6:15pm on 17th November.

This year’s Opening Night film is Sundance Audience Award-winner ‘Shayda’, a stirring and inspiring drama about an Iranian migrant battling the legal system to protect her 6-year-old daughter in Australia.

The Travelling Film Festival will also feature showings of award-winning films such as ‘Anatomy of a Fall’, a tense psychological drama featuring an author accused of murdering her husband.

‘Riceboy Sleeps’, a warm and endearing shot-on-16mm treasure about a Korean mother and son’s migrant experience in Canada.

‘Fallen Leaves’ is an off-beat and quirky romance of a lonely supermarket worker and an even lonelier metalworker.

‘Perfect Days’ Tokyo-set, including classic rock tunes from the likes of Van Morrison and Prince.

‘Blackberry’ puts the invention of the first smartphone and the rise of “tech bros” under a savagely funny microscope.

‘Chum’ is an Australian short dark comedy of a blind woman who bonds with a stranger; but all is not as it seems.

‘Katele’ is set across a Far North Queensland and Torres Strait Island backdrop, spoken in English and Kala Kawa Ya.

‘Teacups’ is a poignant animation based on the true story of Don Ritchie, who’s calm and comforting intervention saved many lives near his cliff-top home.


Tickets to The Travelling Film Festival Mackay are now on sale. For more information and bookings, please visit www.sff.org.au/tff/program/mackay

The Travelling Film Festival Returns with an Award-Winning Lineup fromAround the Globe

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Event Guide

November 10, 2023

Friday 10 November

Keep the Speed off the Streets! (Test & Tune)

Gates open 3pm

Scrutineering opens at 4.00pm to 6.00pm Racing from 5.00pm to 9.00pm. $20 Spectator tickets available at the gate.

Palmyra Dragway

Paxtons Night Markets

4pm to 8pm

Mackay’s original and truly local handmade Night market. A unique shopping experience with quality stalls, live music, food and the best location on the river. | Free entry.

10 River Street

Friday Night Live Music

Every Friday from 5pm

Join us on Friday’s from 5pm for live music from our local favourites, good food and great company. | Free entry.

Boomerang Hotel

Friday Kirtan Meditation

2nd and 4th Friday of every month from 6:30pm to 8pm

Kirtan sessions weave live music with sacred yoga chants in a relaxed, uplifting atmosphere where you can easily experience spiritual connection. | Free entry.

CWA Hall

Annette Worthington (Live)

From 6:30pm

Don’t miss out on an evening filled with awesome music and non-stop dancing! | Free entry.

Seabreeze Hotel

Saturday 11 November

2023 PDRC Champs

Gates open 8am

Scrutineering shed open from 9:00am to 11:00am. Qualifying from 12:00pm. Racing from 4:00pm. Finals approx. 8:00pm. $20 Spectator tickets available at the gate.

Palmyra Dragway

WBBL: Heat vs Strikers

First Ball from 6:10pm

The Heat WBBL team are returning to their second home in Mackay for the highly anticipated match against the Adelaide Strikers!

Grab a bite to eat at the ground as you cheer on your favourite team.

Tickets available at brisbaneheat.com.au/wbbl-mackay

Great Barrier Reef Arena

Mackay Showground Markets

Every Saturday from 6am – 10am

Local Produce, Natural products, Seafood, Plants and much more.

Weekly event, held every Saturday. | Free entry.

Mackay Showgrounds

Falun Gong Classes

Every Saturday from 10am

Falun Gong offers you relaxation, meditation, inner peace and health through movement.

You’re invited to come along and experience a session in the beautiful surroundings of the Botanic Gardens.

Live Music Saturdays

Every Saturday from 2pm – 5pm

Enjoy good tunes and great vibes every Saturday from 2pm. | Free entry.

The Kooyong Hotel

Mackay Choral Society presents ‘A Glorious Christmas’

3pm and Sunday 3pm

Welcoming the music lovers of Mackay to what will be a world class performance, with choruses from Handel's Messiah and traditional Christmas Carols, filling the theatre with beautiful singing and orchestral music for over two hours (including a 20 minute interval).

Adults $35, Concession $30 and Children $20 | Tickets available at trybooking.com

CQCM Theatre - 151 Boundary Road, Ooralea

Mackay Nth Qld Babies & Kids Mega Christmas Market

From 4pm – 8:30pm and Sunday 12th November from 8am to 12pm

Over 50 Local businesses on display with all things babies & kids, as well as mum’s to be & new mum products.

Lucky door prizes, Jumping Castles, Face Painting, Free Bounty Bags.

$2 Adult Entry - Kids 17 years and under free. Tickets available at the door

Mackay Showgrounds

Significant Other (Live)

From 6pm – 10pm

Immerse yourself in an unforgettable night of live entertainment at the Garden Bar. | Free entry.

Harrup Park

Sunday 12 November

Troppo Markets

2nd Sunday of every month from 7:30am to 11:30am

This event will keep you coming back with a never-ending variety of items for sale and plenty of entertainment and amusements too. | Free entry.

Mount Pleasant Shopping Centre

Significant Other (Live)

From 2pm

A live music performance that you won’t want to miss - come along for a great afternoon! | Free entry.

Seabreeze Hotel

Sunday Bingo

Every Sunday from 7pm

Come along and you could win! | Free entry.

South Leagues Club

Monday 13 November

Trivia Night

6:30pm to 8:30pm

Trivia night on Mondays at Centro Restaurant.  There’s no excuse not to stretch the grey matter as it’s free to play so come along with your mates or we can put you in a team, each team can have 2-7 players.

Magpies Sporting Club

Tuesday 14 November

B2B Brews (sponsored by Travel Associates Mackay)

8am to 9am

This week’s brews are sponsored by Travel Associates Mackay. Enjoy your morning bevvie while hearing all about Travel Associates Mackay upcoming Travel Trivia Night on the 23rd of November. With amazing prizes to be won including a 12-night Norwegian Cruise for 2, this is a night not to be missed!

So come on down, grab your coffee and start fine tuning your travel knowledge!

Sprinkles and Love Cake Emporium

Chatty Cafe

Every second Tuesday of the month from 9:30am to 10:30am

Chatty Café is a global movement that aims to reduce loneliness and social isolation, connecting people over a cuppa to help improve health and mental wellbeing.

Chatty Café invites you to come along to connect, converse, and share ideas. Second Tuesday of the Month.

Access to free events is only one of the benefits of library membership. If you are not already a library member, please join at library.mackay.qld.gov.au/Montage/Join.aspx

Gordon White Library


9am to 3:30pm

An event in Mackay to INSPIRE + EQUIP women on their political journey.

The Women for Election EQUIP: Power Edition Program is a highly practical non-partisan workshop that provides women with the key knowledge of how to campaign at all levels of government.  You'll learn about the tools and techniques to enable you to run for office, be the best candidate you can be, or assist another woman with her political campaign.

Free event | Tickets at humanitix.com

Jubilee Community Centre

Wednesday 15 November

Teen Shed Mackay Teen Circle

Every Wednesday, 4:00pm to 5:30pm

Teen Circle is a place for all teens in the community to come together. It's a safe space for them to connect, heal and learn from each other. This gathering will be held every Wednesday, all teenagers are welcome to attend. It is a free event, but attendees are asked to register for numbers.

Kutta Mulla Gorinna Special Assistance School

Mackay Farmers’ Market

Every Wednesday, 6:30am to 10:30am

Shop fresh, shop local. The Farmers’ market is a showcase of our region’s amazing produce. Enjoy a morning beside the Pioneer River and buy direct from the farmer.

Bluewater Quay

Sugar City Rock and Roll Mackay Club Wednesday Night Lessons

Every Wednesday, 7:00pm

Why not come along and learn to rock ‘n’ roll in a friendly and fun atmosphere with the Sugar City Rock ‘n’ Rollers Mackay Club? Previous experience is not required. $8 for members and $10 for non-members after that. For further enquiries call 0408 983 911.

58 Macalister St, Mackay

Thursday 16 November

Mackay Riverside Market

Every Thursday, 3:00pm to 7:00pm

Come and meet your local growers, bakers and makers, chill on the lawn listening to some beautiful tunes and grab some delicious dinner and dessert.

Bluewater Quay

West End Readers Book Club

5pm to 6pm

Come along to the monthly book club and connect with people who enjoy reading and discover new authors. This event is for adults aged 18 years and older. | Free entry.

Access to free events is only one of the benefits of library membership. If you are not already a library member, please join at library.mackay.qld.gov.au/Montage/Join.aspx

Walkerston Library

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Dance Express Takes Centre Stage

November 10, 2023

Dance Express Mackay is thrilled to hit the stage on 19th November in a dance extravaganza like no other - No need to toss up which concerts to see in 2023, the concert of the year is right here!

The Dance Express kids will have you grooving in your seat from their larger-than-life Ready Set Dancers making a stage debut, to their Graduating Seniors taking their final bow.

A spectacle for the whole family, Dance Express concerts are known for their high energy and entertainment factor.

“After putting on my fair share of concerts over the years, what was once groundbreaking just doesn’t cut it anymore,” said Director of Dance Express, Karen Bishop.

“It is vital to keep innovating and pushing the boundaries to keep the audience engaged! Rather than the passive clap and awkward cough, we want a real party atmosphere.

“Our audience members are each given a glow stick to wave and dance within their seats. Seeing a sea of colour really gives the kids a boost and adds to the energy of the performance!” Ms Bishop exclaimed.

Gone are the days of long concerts with endless solos to slow the pace, Dance Express’ award-winning routines matched with the electric MECC atmosphere combine to create a show that is fast paced, exciting and fun!

A little bit of tap, a splash of jazz, a sprinkling of ballet, a drizzle of hip hop, stir in their cheer routines, top it off with some contemporary music, and you have the perfect ‘Concert Recipe’!

So, bring the whole family, lace up those dancing shoes and get ready to celebrate with Dance Express.

It is a dream for the performers to dance for a sold-out auditorium, and tickets are selling fast so grab yours today!

Visit themecc.com.au for tickets and more information

Watch the Dance Express kids light up the stage live at the MECC

Photo supplied

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Final Digital Marketing Workshops For 2023

November 10, 2023

Local businesses have the opportunity to learn essential digital marketing skills in face-to-face workshops this November.

Run by digital marketing agency Rebel Nation, the small group workshops allow participants to upgrade their marketing knowledge, learn new tools and ask questions specific to their business.

Rebel Nation head trainer Jade McAuley said the final 2023 workshops were two of her “favourite” topics because of “the massive impact they can have on your business, and anyone can use them!”.

“Our first is on Meta Ads – which I’d stake is probably the most cost-effective advertising platform available to businesses today,” Ms McAuley said.

“Learn how to use this platform and you can turn a $50 ad spend into 1000s of eyeballs on your business.

“I get that it can seem daunting – the idea of creating a digital ad – but that’s what these workshops are for. It’s a capped group so you can ask all your questions, get ideas and insights specific to your business and also learn from other business peeps.”

The Meta Ads workshops will run on November 16 and 17, and the second workshop on ChatGPT will run on November 21 and 22.

“ChatGPT is a free tool that makes writing social media copy, blogs, taglines, basically any kind of marketing copy so much easier, faster and better – when you know how to use it correctly.

“I know so many businesses who don’t have the time to do their marketing – ChatGPT is seriously a gamechanger here, the time it saves is immense.”

Spots are limited and bookings are $70 per person.

Bookings can be made at www.rebelnation.com.au/workshops-november.

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November 10, 2023

Mackay Regional Council's Australia Day event grants are now open and local community groups are encouraged to apply.

Mayor Greg Williamson said council was excited to offer the Australia Day event grant funding once again for 2024.

“Our 2023 Aussie Day community events had a record attendance of more than 2900 people, so we are looking forward to another exciting Aussie Day event line up,” Mayor Williamson said.

“Not-for-profit community groups can apply for up to $1000 to support their Australia Day event and celebrate what they love about our beautiful region,” he said.

“From beach games and park barbecues to awards ceremonies and morning teas, the events are a great way to highlight our community spirit.

“The events are held at various times throughout the day and are a celebration of the amazing region we live in.”

To be eligible for funding, events need to be held on Australia Day 2024 (Friday, January 26), be free for all to attend and held within the Mackay Regional Council area.

Organisers also need to be a registered not-for-profit group or have a letter of support from a registered group.

Applications are now open via the council website and will close midnight Monday, November 20.

Australia Day event grant application forms and guidelines can be found on the council website.

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November 10, 2023

Mackay Regional Council is on the hunt for unsung heroes, community volunteers, inspirational sportspeople and local legends of all ages.

Now is the time to nominate residents for the 2024 Australia Day Awards.

Nominations are now open for the following categories: Citizen of the Year, Young Citizen of the Year, Arts and Culture, Environmental Achievement, Lori Burgess Community Volunteer, Community Group, Senior Sports and Young Sports Award.

Mayor Greg Williamson said there had been so many tremendous nominations last year and our region was extremely lucky to have so many amazing groups and individuals that stepped up for our community.

“Police District Crime Prevention Coordinator Nigel Dalton is our 2023 Citizen of the Year and is a great example of a community member who goes above and beyond,” Mayor Williamson said.

“Nigel not only works hard to educate and keep our young people safe, he’s also a very active community volunteer who has worked with disadvantaged youth and men’s groups like Shed Happens,” he said.

Nigel was awarded the Queensland Police Liaison Officer Award in 2017.

His Police District activities are outstanding, particularly Choices and Safety Circus safety talks across various age groups.

“The judges were also blown away by our Lori Burgess Community Volunteer Award winner Jody Burrows,” Mayor Williamson added.

“Jody has volunteered with Mackay Riding for the Disabled for about 30 years.

“She has changed people’s lives.

“There are many amazing stories of rider progress, from nonverbal autistic children talking when on a horse to riders being able to develop enough strength in their back or core to support life changing surgeries.”

The 2023 Young Citizen of the Year was Keira Brown.

Keira is the current coordinator of the Valley District Youth Council. She has been instrumental in working towards the group’s main goals of giving a voice to Pioneer Valley youth, developing leadership and building a regional youth community.

Mayor Greg Williamson said nominating someone for an Australia Day Award took just minutes and was as simple as filling out a nomination form on council’s website or grabbing a hard copy at council’s customer service centres.

“Each year, the nominees always say just how much it means to be nominated and recognised for the work they do,” he said.

“If there’s someone you know who goes above and beyond for our community, then please recognise them today with a nomination.”

Nominations close January 4, 2024.

Online nominations can be found at mackay.qld.gov.au/australiaday

All award winners and nominees will be recognised at a special awards ceremony at the MECC on Thursday, January 25, 2024.

2022 Citizen of the Year Frank Cowell, 2023 Citizen of the Year Nigel Dalton, Mayor Greg Williamson and Vassie Comino of P.Comino and Sons at the 2023 Australia Day Awards Gala

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It’s Time To Rock With Sarah McLeod

November 10, 2023

It’s a good time to be alive, with Sarah McLeod and the enigmatic The Superjesus checking in for Airlie Beach Festival of Music, and ensuring great music, and fantastic vibe.

Sarah, lead singer of The Superjesus, says she is more than excited to return to the festival this year.

“We’re busy working, sleeping and drinking water, because once we’re in Airlie Beach, we won’t have any time for that; it’ll be non-stop music and checking out the scenes,” said Sarah.

Sarah, herself, has a busy job, being the official ambassador for the Airlie Beach Festival of Music, as well as on the judge’s panel for the 2023 Passport to Airlie competition.

“I was the unofficial ambassador for years; I just got really into it, and created my own role, but now this will be my third year as official ambassador,” Sarah explained.

As Ambassador, Sarah is busy ensuring the best experience for festival attendees.

“It’s a fantastic job and it’s pretty unique, just telling people about the best things that are happening in Airlie Beach.”

For Sarah, who will be busy across the weekend, performing as part of The Superjesus as well as a soloist, there is no better place than the Airlie Beach Festival of Music to reflect on 2023 and share her great musicality.

“And it’s not just the bands on the Main Stage, but the venues across the main strip. Everyone gets involved, and it’s just amazing. It’s non-stop music. From when you wake up to when you go to sleep, music.”

In particular for 2023, Sarah has just returned home following a massive tour with The Superjesus and their supporter, Perry Street Park, as well as releasing a sweep of new music.

“Perry Street Park are a great vibe, and they bring so much energy and joy. It’s one thing to just stand on stage and perform, and another to get involved and bring the vibes. And the boys of Perry Street, they bring the vibes.”

For The Superjesus set, there will be a bit of everything.

“Our classics with a handful of our best, and our happy new material.”

For Sarah’s solo performances, “It’ll be whatever I’m feeling, and how the crowd is looking. You never know what you’re gonna get with me.”

Branching out as a soloist was a big move for Sarah.

“I find joy in going solo. I’m an eclectic person, and I want to write what I want to write. With Superjesus, we have this specific sound that we can’t really deviate from, but I have a short attention span, and want to do everything.”

With the Airlie Beach Festival of Music, we get the best of Sarah, with The Superjesus and as the phenomenal soloist that she is.

“And there is nothing like the Airlie Beach Festival of Music elsewhere. You’ve got this amazing rock music, alongside the beautiful Whitsundays. You’ve got to experience it at least once.”

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Get Ready To Rock

November 10, 2023

At The 2023 Airlie Beach Festival Of Music

Town is pumped and the atmosphere is buzzing ahead of the 11th annual Airlie Beach Festival of Music which is kicking off as you read this!

Featuring more than 50 acts spread out across 15 different venues, live music will be emanating from pubs, clubs, restaurants, and cafes all weekend.

The main stage, located in the big top tent at the Whitsunday Sailing Club, will be a hive of activity with up to 4000 people expected to gather for four nights of entertainment.

Iconic music legends from across the country are headlining, bringing 150 years of Australian rock to Airlie Beach.

Leading the charge are outstanding performers such as Ian Moss, Ross Wilson, and Dragon.

On receiving the call “Wanna go play at Airlie Beach?” rock legend, Ross Wilson replied, “You betcha, vibe plus. Like, who wouldn’t?”

“I’m bringing my hot shot band The Peaceniks with me and we’re really looking forward to rocking out at The Whitsunday’s biggest, bestest music event the Airlie Beach Festival of Music. What are we gonna play? A bit of Daddy Cool, some Mondo Rock, and some newies too - it’s a festival!!”

While the Airlie Beach Festival of Music is renowned for bringing in the big acts, it also champions the smaller aspiring artists, giving them a chance to shine and play alongside some of their heroes.

Thursday night on the main stage was the Passport To Airlie Competition Grand Final which saw eight talented acts selected from heats across the country perform under the big top tent.

The winner received the opportunity to play on the main stage at next years’ festival.

WHAT: Airlie Beach Festival of Music

WHERE: Whitsunday Sailing Club and 14 other venues

WHEN: 9-12 November

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