Mackay Region Entertainment News



It has been more than 10 years since the iconic Misogyny speech by the 27th Prime Minister of Australia. And, as was predicted by those attending parliament that day, history was made.

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Event Guide

Event Guide

Friday SUN.sets Every Friday Evening From 6pm Knock off drinks, lakeside dinner, good friends, and LIVE MUSIC. Wake House Australia

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You wanna sing?  You wanna dance?  Let’s get ALL FIRED UP, Mackay!

You wanna sing? You wanna dance? Let’s get ALL FIRED UP, Mackay!

Take two regional creatives from Far North Queensland, Roz Pappalardo and Rachel Terry, inspiration from a series of rocking female 80's musicians, a few 'writing trips' to Port Douglas, and what do you get? A cranking and inspiring part rock concert / part 80's aerobics dance class / part theatre show, telling the story of one woman's epic midlife crisis solved by a touch of time travel and a close encounter with the favourite songs of her youth - All Fired Up.

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Adventurous Scouts Build Confidence

Adventurous Scouts Build Confidence

The Banksia Scout Group held an Open Day as part of Mackay Regional Council's Australia Day celebrations. The Fernleigh Avenue den in Andergrove was bustling with families joining in the activities promoting scouting in the community.

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Relive The Good Old Days

February 2, 2023

Following their sold-out national tour in 2022, Australia's new 'Kings of Variety Television' are back in 2023 with a brand-new show.

The Robertson Brothers are returning to Mackay with their new heart-warming and uplifting 1960’s Variety TV Show.

Geoff and Ben Robertson are back as your charming and cheeky hosts for this nostalgic night of entertainment as they pay tribute to the musical giants of the 1960’s - The Bee Gees, Simon & Garfunkel, Roy Orbison, Cliff Richard & The Shadows, Frankie Valli, The Everly Brothers, Neil Sedaka and The Seekers.

Simon Brook McLachlan (from the Original Australian cast of Jersey Boys) will return to the show in 2023 to thrill audiences with special tributes to Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons and Neil Sedaka, as well as a brand new Variety Show tribute to the much-loved 1960s superstar, Sir Cliff Richard.

Another bonus for fans is the addition of Australia’s internationally acclaimed #1 Roy Orbison tribute artist, Dean Bourne.

Dean will perform his very special Variety Show tribute to the one and only ‘Big O’ and his biggest hits from the 1960’s.

This 150-minute ground-breaking and interactive theatrical TV experience is filled with all the fun, music and long forgotten memories of the fabulous 1960’s.

Join the star-studded cast for an unforgettable trip down memory lane.

WHAT: The Robertson Brothers 1960’s Variety TV Show

WHERE: MECC Auditorium

WHEN: Friday March 3 from 7:30pm


Image: The Robertson Brothers return to Mackay in 2023

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Mackay Idols

February 2, 2023

Two Mackay musicians feature on the newest season of Australian Idol to show off their singing voices in a bid to go all the way and launch themselves into national stardom.

Noah Cookson and Damien Agius both auditioned for the show – which returns to screens after a 13-year hiatus - at the end of last year and will represent the Sugar City on national television in what Damien called “a childhood dream come true.”

The 27-year-old country musician let the cat out of the bag on Tuesday and said he could hardly keep his excitement a secret for the past few months.

Agius, who began singing at the age of eight in the Mirani Primary School Choir, grew up watching Australian Idol and said he auditioned after seeing an advertisement whilst at a local pub.

“The secrets out! I am so excited,” Damien said.

“Thanks, everyone, for your support [in Mackay]. It’s been a long wait but Idol is back!”

Agius will join fellow Mackay muso Noah Cookson whose episode premiered on Wednesday night.

Cookson, a talented bright star in the Mackay scene, showed off his talents on the episode and told the tale of choosing between playing footy and singing – an easy choice for the youngster who said music was his “absolute passion.”

Tune in to catch Damien Agius’ audition on Sunday, February 5 on Channel 7.

Damien Agius is one of two Mackay musicians to audition on the return season of Australian Idol

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Mackay Historian Shares South Sea Islander Story On TV

January 26, 2023

The Mackay region is home to the largest population of South Sea Islander people outside of the Pacific, their story seldom told until now.

‘Black Snow’, streaming on Stan, is a work of fiction created and written by Lucas Taylor and produced by Goalpost Television set in the fictional town Ashford but filmed in the sugarcane fields of Proserpine, producers saw an opportunity to tell the true story of the region’s South Sea Islander people.

Mackay resident Marion Fatnowna Healy has worked for over 30 years to share the history of the South Sea Islander people of the region, with her latest assignment being Cultural and Historical Consultant on the show.

The series follows a cold case investigation of the 1994 murder of seventeen-year-old Jasmine Baker, a crime that shocked the town and devastated Jasmine’s Australian South Sea Islander community.

“Because Lucas had that idea that he would feature this cold case in the cane fields, the opportunity then came for the story to be aligned with the Australian South Sea Islander community,” said Ms Fatnowna Healy.

“We got to tell a bit of our history and story through that via our families and you see it roll out.”

The first boatload of South Sea Islander people was brought into Mackay in 1867, seven years after John Mackay first discovered the region.

Over 62,000 South Sea Islander people were shipped to Australia between 1863 and 1904, mostly to Queensland, where they worked mainly in the sugar industry in poor-to-terrible conditions.

After 40 years of labour, as Australia moved towards federation, the White Australia Policy was introduced.

“The big push was to remove all the South Sea Islanders out of Australia, so they deported 7,000 and 1,000 were left behind,” said Ms Fatnowna Healy.

“They were left either by their choice, they had to plead to the government … or they hid, farmers hid them, and from that 1,000 you have us today.”

Ms Fatnowna Healy has worked in education for over 30 years, supporting Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and South Sea Island children and works to educate people on the untold history of South Sea Island people.

“We are the forgotten people,” she said.

“This year, we acknowledged that we’ve been in this country 160 years and the federal government only gave us recognition in 1994 and the Queensland Government, and I worked on it … we only got recognition in the year 2000.

“I have five children and we’re not even considered people of this country, but we helped build this nation.”

It’s Ms Fatnowna Healy’s rich knowledge of and advocacy for local and cultural history that got her the role of Cultural and Historical Consultant on ‘Black Snow’.

She was initially invited into the writer’s room to read through the completed script with Mr Taylor and other writers.

Ms Fatnowna Healy went on to workshop with the entire cast and crew, almost 170 people, telling the story of the South Sea Island people of Mackay.

“The commitment from Goalpost was … to educate everybody about the Australian South Sea Island audience,” Ms Fatnowna Healy said.

“People need to understand that it wasn’t all rosy, it definitely wasn’t rosy growing up.”

Working on the series for two and a half years, Ms Fatnowna Healy said she was honoured to share her culture’s story.

“What happened there was the feeling of compassion for us and the feeling of family amongst us, that we welcomed everybody into our community,” she said.

The cast features a large South Sea Islander contingent, many descendants of those who were brought over to the region in the 1800s and acting for the first time.

“We made sure that the application form gave the kids the opportunity to identify any which way they wanted, but when they did the lesson with me … many of those South Sea young people who were sitting at the table, it was the first time they were hearing their history,” said Ms Fatnowna Healy.

Less than a month after the show’s release, Ms Fatnowna Healy has already received glowing feedback from audiences.

“There’s been an amazing response from so many people, so it builds pride in me,” she said.

“Just like those young people not knowing who they were, it’s opened them up to start asking questions and having those conversations about, ‘Who are we? How do I find my history?’

“It’ll help those young ones, it’ll help my community, wherever they are, to have pride to be able to identify, ‘Hey, I’m a proud South Sea Islander and I matter.’”

In 2023, Ms Fatnowna Healy will continue to build her business Mer Bar Wakai Consultancy offering cultural and professional development workshops, leadership programs, cultural heritage awareness workshops, cultural activities and tours.

“I want our story to be told more further and further,” she said.

“I formed a business that brings in awareness and I’m available to anybody, private or public, to sit down and talk about our local history, so white history, black history, where we’re at and how we move forward.”

Ms Fatnowna Healy also runs the Kanaka Proud Cup with her brother Joseph Fatnowna, which Mackay is hosting from November 4 to 5 this year.

Caption 1: Mackay resident Marion Fatnowna Healy worked as Cultural and Historical Consultant on Stan series ‘Black Snow’

Caption 2: Black Snow was released on New Year's Day after filming wrapped up in the Proserpine region. Photos supplied

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A Masterclass In Speaking

January 26, 2023

Is improving public speaking one of your New Year’s Resolutions?

If so, take the first step to make your goal a reality by attending Mackay Toastmasters Club's Presentation Mastery Class on Tuesday, 7 February.

The class will run from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm and cover the essentials you need to plan and deliver a presentation.

“We know many people want to improve their public speaking skills and build their confidence,” Mackay Toastmasters Club member Megan Dillon said.

“However, they often struggle to believe that they can do something about it.

“If that sounds like you, come along to our class to learn some practical skills that will help you be confident in front of an audience.”

The class is suitable for anyone who would like to be able to improve their presentation skills. It will cover what goes into giving a presentation; from the first time you sit down to plan it to the moment you step out in front of your audience.

Tickets must be purchased to attend the event. The price of $24.95 includes refreshments and education materials.

Mackay Toastmasters Club is part of the worldwide network of clubs that make up the not-for-profit educational organisation: Toastmasters International.

Megan Dillon said Mackay Toastmasters Club offers people an opportunity to practise their communication and leadership skills.

“Public speaking is like any skill,” she explained.

“You can learn what to do, but you’ll only begin to see improvement when you practise.

“Toastmasters can speed up this process because we practise our skills then get almost instant feedback on how we could improve next time.

“Plus, we make our meetings fun, so our members want to keep coming back!

WHAT: Mackay Toastmasters Presentation Mastery Class

WHEN: Tuesday, February 7 from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm

WHERE: Jubilee Community Centre

COST: $24.95 including refreshments and education materials. Purchase tickets at

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January 26, 2023

Rebel Rebel The Bowie Anthology is a captivating live concert experience recreating the iconic sound of David Bowie.

This live rock performance set in a rockumentary format explores the journey of David Bowie's life and music.

From Bowie’s 1969 release "Space Oddity" to his last Album "Blackstar". This concert will have you cheering and wanting more, as vocalist Whalen Hughes together with an outstanding live band and a visually spectacular stage show, pays tribute to one of rock’s most influential performers.

Performing all of Bowie’s classic hits including” Starman", "The Man Who Sold the World", "Space Oddity", "Changes", "Ashes To Ashes”, “Ziggy Stardust", "Golden Years", "Fame", "Fashion", "Life On Mars", "Let’s Dance", "China Girl", and many, many more. This is a concert not to be missed, book now!

Please note - This is a tribute concert

WHAT: Rebel Rebel – The Bowie Anthology

WHEN: Saturday 18 February, 7.30pm

WHERE: MECC Auditorium


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New Swings For Eimeo

January 26, 2023

Eimeo residents are being advised that the swing set in Sunset Park will be out of action in February.

From Monday, January 30, Mackay District Council will begin work replacing it with a like-for-like swing set and soft fall sand surfacing. The work is expected to take four weeks to complete, weather permitting.

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Kucom Theatre Quick To Start 2023 With A Playful Quartet

January 26, 2023

Having successfully weathered 75 years as Mackay's longest-running community theatre company, Kucom Theatre is kicking off the new year with a season of four one-act plays - two of them written by local Mackay playwright Paul Vander Loos.

"Quartet", a season of one-act plays, is opening on 23 February.

The season includes:

“Murder Most Fowl” and “In Good Spirits”, by local author Paul Vander Loos, directed by Joe Clutterbuck and Brian O'Neill; “Putting Back the Fest”, by Australian playwright Michael Jeffrey, presented by Ken Sanders; and “A Lady of Letters”, from the “Talking Heads” series by Alan Bennett, presented by Tessa King.

What are they all about?

“Murder Most Fowl” centres around a neighbourhood disagreement over a prized rooster that ends with a surprising twist!

“In Good Spirits”, performed as a radio play, follows four friends on a stormy night in which they experience some supernatural events.

“Putting Back the Fest”: the one-act play festival is over. Now it’s time for the presentations - and tonight’s adjudicator is taking no prisoners!

“A Lady of Letters”: middle-aged Irene Ruddock observes the lives of those living around her, and writes letters of complaints to those whose behaviour she deems unacceptable.

Tickets are now on sale at the special price of just $20 each.

Just follow this link or scan the attached QR code to go to the bookings website:

For more information about Kucom Theatre, visit its website or follow on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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Morning Melodies Delivers Daytime Delights

January 26, 2023

Image: Lovely Day takes the stage as the first Morning Melodies performance of 2023

Each year, Mackay Entertainment & Convention Centre (MECC) presents the much-loved Morning Melodies season, featuring a stellar line-up of four captivating daytime performances programmed to bring music to Mackay's Friday mornings throughout the year.

Manager MECC & Events, Andrew Bobeldyk said “Our Friends of the MECC’s Morning Melodies season is a popular series of performances among the Mackay community, and we're excited about the line-up for 2023.”

Popular with the senior community and proudly sponsored by the Friends of the MECC, the Morning Melodies program offers four shows annually, celebrating musical hits and stars of the past, often with tributes or storytelling about the greatest musical stars of current and past generations.

“We have carefully programmed four shows that are sure to impress our music-loving audience and look forward to bringing them to Mackay in 2023,” Mr Bobeldyk added.

For the opening performance of the season, relive awe-inspiring musical moments from the past 50 years and let nostalgia flood your soul with Lovely Day. Lovely Day unites award-winning music theatre star Mat Verevis (Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, The Who’s Tommy) and soulful songstress Alisha Todd (Sisters Are Doing It For Themselves, Geniie Boy) for a captivating journey down memory lane. Immerse yourself in the soulful sounds of the past and relive inspiring musical moments from iconic artists such as Al Green, Stevie Wonder, Ray Charles, Otis Redding, Bill Withers, Jill Scott, Etta James, and Roberta Flack.

Promising soulful original arrangements, magical vocals, and a walk down memory lane, The Little Red Company’s Lovely Day will uplift and inspire.

"Lucky door prizes will once again take place during each performance. This year we have Whitsunday Biscuit Factory and Guardian Pharmacy Mackay supplying prizes. We're thrilled to have these two businesses on board," Mr Bobeldyk said.

The first Morning Melodies performance is on Friday, February 17th at 11am where patrons can enjoy a soulful morning of music with the opportunity to win exciting door prizes. There will also be complimentary coffee and morning tea before the performance, courtesy of the volunteer organization Friends of the MECC.

Tickets for Morning Melodies performances are capped at an affordable $15 per person thanks to the sponsorship The Friends of the MECC.

To avoid disappointment, the MECC strongly recommends booking in advance to secure your tickets and avoid the queues on the day.

WHAT: The Friends of the MECC’s Morning Melodies 2023 Lovely Day

WHEN: Friday 17 February, 11am

WHERE: MECC Plenary Halls


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Event Guide

January 26, 2023

Friday 27 January

Birdlife Mackay Monthly Surveys

Friday, 6:00am to 8:00am

Join Birdlife Mackay with their monthly bird count in the Botanic Gardens. If you are a keen bird watcher or just love birds and keen to find out more, come along! Meet at the Viewing Deck next to the Café, off Lagoon Street. Bring a hat, water bottle, camera and binoculars (if you have them). Bird counts are held on the last Friday of each month.

Mackay Regional Botanic Gardens

Friday SUN.sets

Every Friday Evening From 6pm

Knock off drinks, lakeside dinner, good friends, and LIVE MUSIC.

Wake House Australia

Significant Other Live at Souths

Friday, 6:30pm to 10:30pm

Join Souths on Friday for live music with Significant Other performing from 6:30pm-10:30pm. Come along for a great night.

Souths Suburban Bowls Club

Mango Junction @ Northern Beaches Bowls Club

Friday, 8:00pm

Shake off the working week with Mango Junction cranking out your favourite party tunes in the main bar 8pm.

Mackay Northern Beaches Bowls Club

Saturday 28 January

Broken Ballerina Inc. Fundraiser

Saturday, 9:00am

Catch Broken Ballerina Inc. at Mount Pleasant Centre for their first fundraiser of 2023. They will be at the top of the escalators selling cupcakes, Pete’s caramel slice and merchandise.

Mount Pleasant Centre

Saints Hottest 100 Countdown Party

Saturday, 9:00am

Everyone is invited to Saints for a big day of fun to count down the hottest 100. Club opens from 9am till late, the bar opening from number 100. There will be a waterslide from 9am to 1pm. BBQ lunch will be served. A big cricket game planned and more games throughout the day. Rock up in your best party shirt.

North Mackay Saints AFL Grounds

Triple J's Hottest 100 Party

Saturday, 11:00am

It's the hottest party of the year! Who is your number 1 pick? Harrup Park have Triple J's Hottest 100 countdown of 2022 live and loud in the Garden Bar from 11am. Live sport on the big screen, drink specials and live music after the countdown. Free Entry.

Harrup Park

Tiffany Grace at Red Dog Brewery

Saturday, 6:00pm to 9:00pm

Catch Tiffany Grace live at Red Dog from 6:00pm to 9:00pm.

Red Dog Brewery

VaMa Live at Souths

Friday, 6:00pm to 10:00pm

VaMa will be performing live in the Sports Bar on Saturday from 6pm-10pm. Come along for a great night.

Souths Suburban Bowls Club

Mango Junction @ Moss on Wood

Saturday, 9:00pm

Party time at Moss on Wood.

Moss on Wood

Sunday 29 January

Sunday Live Music – Viva Acoustics

Sunday, 2:00pm to 5:00pm

Music every Sunday from 2pm - 5pm. Head down to the Seabreeze Hotel this Sunday for some fresh tunes, delicious food, and ice-cold brews.

Seabreeze Hotel

Wednesday 1 February

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 & learn from each other. They can be seen, heard & understood with no judgement. It's a space to honour the uniqueness of each individual, everyone is equal. They will be able to speak from their hearts about things that trouble, annoy, frustrate them. 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

The market is a showcase of our region’s amazing produce 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. Everyone learns at their own pace and, even better, the first lesson is free on your way to learning the four step style of rock ‘n’ roll. $5 for members and $8 for non-members after that. The club caters for social activities for club members with regular dances with live bands in attendance and away trips. For further enquiries call 0408 983 911.

58 Macalister St, Mackay

Thursday 2 February

Wave Tank Workshop

Thursday, 11:00am to 1:00pm

See a wave tank in action when environmental consultants Alluvium visit our region. The wave tank simulates the ocean’s movements to demonstrate how different combinations of coastal defences and wave and tide conditions can affect issues such as wave overtopping and flood risk. Alluvium will be hosting four community workshops in February as part of the Mackay Coast Our Future program, which will include coastal erosion and storm tide inundation displays and maps, and opportunities to discuss possible adaptation options for the region. No bookings are required.

Jubilee Community Centre

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 desert.

Bluewater Quay

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Bee Gees Tribute With A Personal Touch

January 26, 2023

A child drumming protégé and an actor with three international films under his belt before he was a teenager, Colin Petersen didn’t realise he was to become the fourth Bee Gee when he met Maurice Gibb at a gig.

Maurice explained he was captivated by Colin’s film ‘Smiley’, in which he plays the titular character, and had begged his parents to move to Australia.

In 1966, Colin joined Maurice and his brothers, becoming the first official non-Gibb band member of the Bee Gees.

Essential to the Bee Gees sound, Colin was driving the evolution of the supergroup on stage and in the studio over four albums and #1 singles Massachusetts, To Love Somebody, New York Mining Disaster, I Started A Joke and many more.

Colin joins The Best of the Bee Gees Show, bringing a massive catalogue of mega-hits and first-hand stories to the Mackay Entertainment Convention Centre on Saturday, February 4.

“I add that extra image to it - ‘Hey, I was there, this is the dialogue that was going on between the brothers, this is where we were when we recorded a particular song,’ and give the audience some sort of idea of what it felt like to be in the band in that extraordinary part of my life,” Colin said.

“It just adds that extra layer onto it and adds depth to what we’re presenting.”

The Best of the Bee Gees has brought global audiences to their feet for more than two decades with Colin joined by Evan Webster (Barry Gibb), Russell Davey (Robin Gibb) and Greg Wain (Maurice Gibb).

Colin said he was blown away the first time he heard the band and had to get involved.

“I’m closing my eyes and I’m listening to it and it’s so close,” he said.

“(Evan’s) capturing little nuances, it’s not like he’s trying to superficially cover it, he’s got the emotion of it.

“They’re really great musicians, all of them.”

The band meld together to create an immersive Bee Gees experience, recreating hits like Saturday Night Fever, Stayin’ Alive, Spicks & Specks, To Love Somebody, Massachusetts, You Should Be Dancing and more.

“Those songs, they’ll live on forever, and you can see that with the audience,” said Colin.

“They sing along, and they know all the words.”

Tickets for The Best of the Bee Gees with Colin “Smiley” Petersen are on sale now, with a special Family ticket encouraging the little ones to come along and discover the music of the Bee Gees.

WHAT: The Best of the Bee Gees with Colin “Smiley” Petersen


WHEN: Saturday, February 4 from 7:30pm

TICKETS: On sale now through MECC Box Office 4961 9777 and

Image 1: Colin Petersen tells his stories of childhood fame, acting and drumming for the Bee Gees in The Best of the Bee Gees

Image 2: Photo credit: John Elliot

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January 19, 2023


Comedian Anh Do brings his best-selling memoir, The Happiest Refugee, to life in a ground-breaking stand-up show.

Performed at The Mackay Entertainment and Convention Centre for one night only in February, this moving, inspirational and unforgettable theatre experience combines humour, real life stories, photos and filmed pieces to retell Do’s amazing story.

Anh Do travelled to Australia in 1980 on an eight metre fishing boat with 47 other Vietnamese refugees. Sick with dehydration and one person already dead, the journey was the first of many struggles for a young Do, who overcame all manner of difficulties throughout his life to become a lawyer and, in 2008, Australia’s Comedian of the Year.

Today he is one of Australia’s most sought after stand-ups, as well as a talented writer, actor, producer and Star of the ABC1 TV’s ‘Anh’s Brush With Fame”.

The Happiest Refugee: A Memoir, charts his journey from starving refugee to one of Australia’s best-loved entertainers, and was described by Russell Crowe as “the most surprising and inspiring read I have had in years,”. It has been awarded Book of the Year with sales in excess of 450,000. Do’s struggles as a young refugee – his difficulties with English, divorcing parents, being bullied and broke, are brought to life in this hilarious but moving new stage show, garnering this happy refugee standing ovations across the country.

What: Anh Do, The Happiest Refugee – Live!!

When: Wednesday, 15 February 7.30pm

Where: MECC Auditorium


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Event Guide

January 19, 2023

Friday 20 January

Teeny Tiny Stevies – How to be Creative Tour

Friday, 10:30am to 11:30am

ARIA Award Winning Children's Artist Teeny Tiny Stevies are heading out on the road for their most comprehensive National Album Tour to date! Fresh off the back of their brand new album ‘How to be Creative’ the band will be touring both regional & capital cities of Australia throughout January & February. Performing a mix of fan favourites (I Ate a Rainbow, Boss of my Own Body, Sleep Through the Night, etc) and brand new material from their new album, the band will be leaving no stone un-unturned. Their show is based on the simple idea, that a great live band is compelling for any age group. They can't wait to see you there. A live gig for the whole family.


Conversations with Art

Friday, 1:00pm to 2:30pm

Conversations with Art is a free and enjoyable discussion led by Artspace staff as they look at images of traditional and contemporary artworks from Gallery and Museum Collections from around the world. It’s not an art theory lesson, it’s simply a casual conversation to talk about the art, deconstructing the works, considering themes, possible techniques used by the artist, and creating links with our own personal experiences.

Artspace Mackay

Friday SUN.sets with Ronny Croker

Every Friday Evening From 6pm

Knock off drinks, lakeside dinner, good friends, and LIVE MUSIC.

Wake House Australia

Saturday 21 January

Boo Seeka

Saturday, 7:00pm

Boo Seeka is jumping in the tour van and playing a HUGE run of shows around regional Australia. Having released his second studio album, 'Between The Head & The Heart' in 2022, there is a heap of new tracks to be heard, and many new memories to be made with your favourite vino in hand.

Seabreeze Hotel

Sunday 22 January

Sunday Live Music

Sunday, 2:00pm to 5:00pm

Music every Sunday from 2pm - 5pm. Head down to the Seabreeze Hotel this Sunday for some fresh tunes, delicious food, and ice-cold brews.

Seabreeze Hotel

Wednesday 25 January

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 & learn from each other. They can be seen, heard & understood with no judgement. It's a space to honour the uniqueness of each individual, everyone is equal. They will be able to speak from their hearts about things that trouble, annoy, frustrate them. 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

Australia Day Eve Pool Party

Wednesday, 4:00pm

Free entry to the public from 4:00pm with Croc Drop from 4pm - 6pm, games and activities from 6pm - 7pm, movie night from 7pm, sausage sizzle and market stalls.

Pioneer Swim Centre

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. Everyone learns at their own pace and, even better, the first lesson is free on your way to learning the four step style of rock ‘n’ roll. $5 for members and $8 for non-members after that. The club caters for social activities for club members with regular dances with live bands in attendance and away trips. For further enquiries call 0408 983 911.

58 Macalister St, Mackay

Thursday 26 January

Australia Day at Kinchant Waters

Thursday, 8:30am

Kinchant Waters Café and bar opens at 8:30am with Hannah Roberts performing live from 1:00pm.

Kinchant Dam

Banksia Scout Australia Day Open Day

Thursday, 10:00am to 1:00pm

Activities to include making damper, crate stacking, rope bridge, experiments, soft archery, thong throwing, sausage sizzle plus lots more. Banksia Scout Group invites families to come down to a safe environment with healthy outdoor activities. Fun activities for the kids and a great place to rest under the trees for the adults to supervise. BYO sunscreen, closed in shoes and chairs. Please remember that due to WHS, all activities require closed in shoes (crocs and sandals are not closed shoes). Bring a picnic or buy a sausage from our volunteers.

Banksia Scout Group

Australia Day at Harrup Park

Thursday, 10:00am

Food and drink specials, pie and lamington eating competition, live sport on the big screen, live music and meat tray raffles.

Harrup Park

Australia Day @ The Bowlsie

Thursday, 11:00am

The party kicks off at 11am with Mango Junction performing live on The Deck. Waterslide, jumping castle, face painting and competitions for the whole family!

Mackay Northern Beaches Bowls Club

Australia Day @ Hotel Mackay

Thursday, 11:00am

Join Hotel Mackay this Australia Day to celebrate what's great about Australia! Nite Johnston will perform live in the bar from 12pm to 4pm. Free Sausage Sizzle BBQ from 3pm. Prizes for Best Dressed Bazza and Shazza!

Hotel Mackay

Australia Day at the Seabreeze Hotel

Thursday, 2:00pm

Experience an Australia Day celebration like no other! On Thursday 26 January, you’ll be able to quench that thirst and bust that huge appetite with a number of Aussie bites and drinks. Then later on in the afternoon, we’ll be celebrating with live entertainment from Kapricorn from 2pm. Did we mention entry is free? To book a table ahead of time, call the friendly team on (07) 4955 1644.

Seabreeze Hotel

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 desert.

Bluewater Quay

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Event Guide

January 12, 2023

Friday 13 January

Friday SUN.sets

Every Friday Evening From 6pm

Knock off drinks, lakeside dinner, good friends, and LIVE MUSIC.

Wake House Australia

Karlie Wise Live At The Seabreeze Hotel

Friday, 7:00pm

Cap off your work week at the Seabreeze Hotel. Listen to the great tunes by Karlie Wise.

Seabreeze Hotel

3-Day Coaching Program with Joe Battleday

Friday – Sunday

Joe has competed in the biggest international competitions often finding himself on the podium and is a fantastic coach. If you want to learn a new rail hit, progress your riding skills or even how to put together a run for a competition - this is going to be awesome for you!

Wake House Australia

Ruby Sue Live At Souths

Friday, 6:30pm – 10:30pm

Join us on Friday 6th January for live music with Ruby Sue! She will be performing from 6:30pm-10:30pm. Come along for a great night.

Souths Suburban Bowls Club

Chair Yoga In Habana

Friday, 8:20am

Come & join us at the Habana Community Shed on the corner of Moohins Rd, every Friday morning. Bookings are essential!

What is Chair Yoga? It's a gentle form of Yoga that can be done while sitting or standing, using a chair for support, and includes mindful breathing & some meditation. You can secure your seat by texting your full name to 0434 940 300, or by messaging the Wellness With Deb Facebook page.

Habana Community Shed

Saturday 14 January

Gypsy Soul Tash Live at Harrup Park

Saturday, 6pm – 10pm

Gypsy Soul Tash are performing live at Harrup Park as part of January’s Saturday night gig lineup.

Harrup Park

Finley Smith Memorial Cup

Saturday, 10:30am

The Finley Smith Memorial Cup is an all-day cricket tournament which will entail teams competing in a round robin style competition, where the winning team will be awarded medals. This event will raise funds for Epilepsy Action Australia and honour Finley Smith who was taken too soon from friends and family by Epilepsy. Donate $30 to the cause to gain a ticket to the event online:

Harrup Park

Dixon Homes T20 Shootout

Saturday, 10:30am to 6:30pm

Don't miss a second of the action at Harrup Park as the 2022/23 Dixon Homes T20 Shootout begins for yet another thriller season! See four games on two ovals in an epic day of T20 cricket for rounds 5 and 6.

Harrup Park

Luke Miller Live At Souths

Saturday, 6pm – 10pm

Luke Miller will be performing live at Souths!

Souths Leagues Club

Dance Avenue Mackay Open Day

Saturday from 12:30pm

Everything from a magical fairy dance party for your little one, to a selection of our most popular class styles for your child to try. Children are welcome to try out all styles, or whichever one they prefer, the choice is totally theirs.

226 Victoria Street

Tuckshop Ft. RIOT

Saturday, 8pm – Sunday 2am

Israeli born and raised DJ duo RIOT, Tom Davidson and Daniel Magid, recently relocated to Los Angeles, CA to bring their mix of progressive melodies and heavy bass-lines to the music capital of the world! Their style mixes two extremes of electronic music which energizes their fanbase to make an immediate impression and memory that can last a lifetime. Tickets $20

McGuires Hotel

DJ Maarv

Saturday from 9pm

The Open Format DJ resides in Brisbane, QLD representing one of the city’s Busiest and highly sort after DJs. Residencies and special appearances include Kenjin Afterdark, Sucasa, Kittens, Maya Mexican, MVP & Yot Club.

The Rabbit Hole

Sunday 15 January

Mango Junction Live at the Seabreeze Hotel

Sunday, 2:00pm

Enjoy lunch and live music at the Seabreeze Hotel. Mango Junction is performing from 2pm.

Seabreeze Hotel

Urban Battlefield

Saturday, 3:00pm

URBAN BATTLEFIELD! Basic games and scenarios. 1 session time:

3pm sign in and briefings, 4-7pm games. $30pp prepaid or $35pp on the battlefield. Limited glow ready blasters are available for hire at $20 per blaster. BOOKING ESSENTIAL!

Mackay North State High School

Monday 16 January

The Women’s Circle – Chronic Pain Solutions

Monday 9am – 11am

The Women's Circle is a FREE monthly catch-up to support, nurture and understand the difficulties women face and figure things out together, even if listening is all we need.

Grab yourself a drink from the talented crew at Primal Coffee, and step into our circle of trust to share stories, breathe into a meditation and share the burden.

Primal Coffee

Tuesday 17 January

Pop-Up Pilates

Tuesday, 5:30pm

Pilates is a whole lot of fun, but Kerrie seems to make working out even more fun. This is a 45 minute class to kick start your weekend. If you have any injuries please consult your physician before the class or if you have any questions please Contact Kerrie on 0428524939.

Event by Tranquil Yoga Mackay.

6/37 Boddington Street

Wednesday 18 January

CQU TAFE Careers Expo

Tuesday, 2pm

Discover more about your training options at our CQU TAFE Careers Expo, Wednesday, 18 January 2023 from 2 - 5.30 pm at CQUniversity Mackay City, Sydney Street. Have your questions answered by our staff and learn about our flexible study, support services, apprentice, and trainee information, and how funding options for eligible applicants may dramatically reduce the cost of courses.

CQ University, Sydney Street

Thursday 19 January

Mackay Riverside Market

Thursday, 3pm – 7pm

Showcasing a variety of beautiful fresh produce and artisan goods from our local region.

Bring your tribe to chill on the lawn and grab some delicious dinner and desert from the food trucks. Watch the sunset and enjoy some beautiful tunes from open mic performers.

Bluewater Quay

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January 12, 2023

“I’ve never seen a more professional tribute to the Bee Gees with those beautiful harmonies which are so difficult to achieve. They have worked hard to reproduce the unique sound of my brothers. So tastefully done. Absolutely brilliant and I didn’t want to leave. If you’re a Bee Gees fan, this is the concert for you.” - Lesley Evans (Gibb)

The Best of the Bee Gees Show brings a massive catalogue of mega-hits and first-hand stories from original Bee Gees drummer Colin “Smiley” Petersen to the Mackay Entertainment & Convention Centre on Saturday 4 February at 7.30pm.

Colin was a child drumming protégé, an actor with three international films under his belt before he was a teenager, and the first official non-Gibb band member.

He shares screen time in multiple music clips (including America’s Ed Sullivan Show) and the 2021 Emmy nominated biopic, How Can You Mend A Broken Heart. Essential to the Bee Gees sound, Colin was key in driving the evolution of the supergroup on stage and in the studio over four albums and #1 singles – Massachusetts, To Love Somebody, New York Mining Disaster, I Started a Joke and many more.

“It’s wonderful that these incredible songs live on through this great show and I am thrilled to add another dimension by sharing my memories.” Colin Petersen said.

The Best of the Bee Gees has brought global audiences hustling to their feet for more than two decades and features Evan Webster (Barry Gibb), Russell Davey (Robin Gibb) and Greg Wain (Maurice Gibb). It would be a Tragedy to miss this ultimate tribute celebrating an iconic set list of soaring, three-part harmonies, and timeless classics – Saturday Night Fever, How Deep Is Your Love, Stayin’ Alive, Grease, Jive Talkin’, Spicks & Specks, Words, To Love Somebody, Massachusetts, I Started a Joke, I’ve Got to Get a Message to You, Too Much Heaven, You Should Be Dancing and others.

Tickets for The Best of the Bee Gees with Colin “Smiley” Petersen at the Mackay Entertainment Convention Centre on Saturday 4 February at 7.30pm are $79 Adults, $69 Concessions & Groups 6+, and Family $158 – 2 paying Adults with 2 accompanied children aged 3-17 free.

What: The Best of the Bee Gees with Colin ‘Smiley’ Petersen

When: Saturday 4 February 2023, 7.30pm

Where: MECC Auditorium


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Firebirds Delight Young Netball Players

January 12, 2023


Queensland Firebirds Donnell Wallam and Macy Gardner met young fans at Aurizon’s Jilalan depot in Sarina

As part of its three-year partnership with the Queensland Firebirds, Australia’s largest rail freight business, Aurizon, brought two top players to meet excited young players in Sarina.

The youngsters met Donnell Wallam and Macy Gardner at Aurizon’s Jilalan depot in Sarina and were treated to a tour of the wagon overhaul facility.

Aurizon’s Managing Director & CEO Andrew Harding said Aurizon was delighted to partner with the Queensland Firebirds, enabling them to bring players to regional communities.

“The Firebirds have shown what can be achieved through teamwork, excellence and commitment, and are inspiring young women to participate in netball and aim for the stars.

“Aurizon is committed to building a more inclusive, diverse team across our national operations and having a pipeline of young women leaders to support our future success. We see great alignment with the Firebirds in their championing of success and excellence in sport, with an ever-growing participation of young women in netball.

“With more than 80 per cent of Aurizon’s employees living and working in regional communities, we are also delighted that the Firebirds have a commitment to regional Queensland with community engagement across the state.”

Read More


January 12, 2023

Applications for $4000 worth of Artspace Mackay bursaries close today (January 13).

The $1000 Rick Wood Bursary is open to students in the Mackay region who completed year 12 in 2022.

While the $3000 Artspace Mackay Foundation Bursary is open to university students currently studying/enrolled in a recognised visual arts or creative industries tertiary course in 2023.

The money may be used for tuition fees, textbooks or equipment required as part of the student’s studies.

All young artists interested in applying for the bursary must provide Artspace Mackay with a letter outlining why they should be considered, a resume of artistic achievements and a memory stick containing a maximum of 10 high quality images of your work (digital videos and/or photos accepted).

Visit Artspace Mackay's website for more information on eligibility and how to apply.

The Hands On Bursary pays tribute to one of Mackay’s celebrated artists, the late Rick Wood.

The Foundation Bursary continues the legacy of the Artspace Mackay Foundation, a former independent, non-profit organisation whose mission was to strengthen financial support for Artspace Mackay.

Read More


January 12, 2023

Image: ARIA award winning children’s artist, Teeny Tiny Stevies are coming to Mackay

ARIA award winning children’s artist, Teeny Tiny Stevies are heading out on the road for their most comprehensive national album tour to date!

Fresh off the back of their brand-new album ‘How to be Creative’ the band are hitting the MECC stage on 20 January 2023. Teeny Tiny Stevies are a music group comprising of sisters Bethany 'Beth' and Sibylla 'Byll' Stephen.

Established in 2015, the much-loved duo offers songs to encourage children to overcome self-doubt, try new things, learn from mistakes, and work with others.

Performing a mix of fan favourites and brand-new material from their new album, the band will be leaving no stone un-unturned. The ‘How to be Creative’ tour is a ten-song masterclass in embracing the creative urge, overcoming self-doubt, trying new things, learning from mistakes, working with others, and the superpower that is perseverance.

Tickets for the Teeny Tiny Stevies: How to be Creative Tour available from the MECC Box Office and online at with a price of $30.90 per admission. A meet and greet will also take place after the show, where children and families can take photos with Byll and Beth.

Ages: Kids and Families

Duration: 1 hour

What: Teeny Tiny Stevies: How to be Creative Tour

When: Friday 20 January 2023, 10.30am

Where: MECC Auditorium


Read More

A Crafty Move To Sarina

January 5, 2023

Crafter Jill Tedman was delighted when she and her husband Paul moved to Sarina last year.

After regularly visiting their children Emily and Andrew from the Sunshine Coast since 2008, they decided to make the move north, and the Sarina Arts and Crafts Centre was a big factor in the shift.

Jill spends hours each day embroidering or sewing, which she started as a young girl.

“It’s a wonderful outlet to have here as there are obviously a lot of talented crafters in Sarina,” she said.

“It’s all very good quality and there is a wonderful variety of products – from crocheted tea coseys, table runners, art, wooden signs and toys, jewellery, bags, kitchen crafts, crocheted and patchwork quilts – you name it.

“The best thing is it’s all locally made, no Chinese imports.”

Jill started her interest in crafts at the age of five when her mum and aunt taught her sewing on a family treadle machine.

“I used to make dolls clothes; all my dolls were well dressed.

“As a teen I used to make my own clothes, sewing was one of my best subjects at boarding school in Warwick. I’d get an A for sewing but I wasn’t so good at some of the other subjects.

“Nowdays I try to embroider a few hours a day, I’ve always done it and it’s great for reducing stress.”

Jill has hand towels, applique cushions and handbags at the Craft Centre and says her new year’s resolution is to make an embroidered quilt.

The centre is open 9-1 daily except Sundays.

By Charlie Payne

Jill Tedman with her applique cushion and Dresden Plate purse at the Sarina Arts and Crafts Centre. Photo: Charlie Payne

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Steve-O’s Bucket-List Tour Is Coming To Mackay

January 5, 2023

Steve-O (a.k.a. Stephen Glover) was willing to do whatever it took to become famous, even if it meant stapling his ball sack to his leg.

After failing miserably at the University of Miami and couch-surfing with friends, he decided that in order to further his goal of becoming a stuntman he would enrol in Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Clown College. But, as he describes it, it was his relentless attention whoring that ultimately led to working with Johnny Knoxville on the stunt-based reality show called Jackass.

Since then, he's had continued success, as a New York Times best-selling author with the release of his memoir, 'Professional Idiot', as well as establishing himself in the world of stand-up comedy. With fourteen years of sobriety under his belt, Steve-O shows no signs of slowing down.

Steve-O regularly produces content for his YouTube channel which routinely racks up millions of views, and his 'Wild Ride with Steve-O' podcast has proven to be a fan favourite with guests like Post Malone, Demi Lovato, Shaq, Tom Delonge from Blink 182, and more.

He can currently be found selling out theatres across the world on The Bucket List tour, a multimedia stand-up comedy show like no other.


Every idea on Steve-O’s Bucket List was so ill-advised, he never expected to go through with any of them. Until it was time to prepare for this tour. Not only are the stunts more ridiculous than what you already know Steve-O for, he did them all, and made a highly XXX-rated, multimedia comedy show out of them.

Not for kids, or for the faint of heart.

What: Steve-O The Bucket List Tour

When: February 19

Where: The MECC


Steve-O, made famous by the stunt-based reality show, Jackass, is bringing his R18 style of comedy to Mackay in February

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Corker Events For A True Blue Australia Day

January 5, 2023

Council has approved funding for some ripper community events ready for 2023 Australia Day celebrations.

Funding ranging from $400 to $1000 will support 13 true-blue Australia Day celebrations by local not-for-profit groups.

Deputy Mayor Karen May said the wide range of events for 2023 was great to see.

“From barefoot bowls and live music at Seaforth to dinghy sailing and a sausage sizzle at Kinchant Dam, there really is something for the whole family,” Cr May said.

“The Australia Day events are spread around the Mackay region from Sarina to the Mackay City Centre, north to St Helens Beach and west to Kinchant Dam,” she said.

“Held at various times throughout the day and at 13 locations across the region, the events are an opportunity to celebrate what makes our region great.”

Steve Campbell, Mackay Junior Motocross Secretary, said the club was really excited to receive a grant.

“It’s the first time our club had applied for an Australia Day event grant and the committee was very excited when we found out we were successful,” Mr Campbell said.

“We would like to invite the community to come down to the riverside motocross track, located on Hume Street in the CBD, for our motocross come and try event,” he said.

“The free event will run from 8:30am to 1pm on Australia Day and will include a jumping castle, slip and slide and sausage sizzle.

“Thanks to the generosity of Bullet Bikes Superstore there will also be some demo motorbikes available for beginner riders to come and try.”

To be eligible for funding, all events had to be held on the Australia Day public holiday (Thursday, January 26), be free for all to attend and be within the Mackay Regional Council area.

A list of council supported Australia Day 2023 events can be found below, with more information available on the council website at

1. Armstrong Beach Progress Association – Australia Day Celebrations 2023, 2pm to 8pm, Llewellyn Hall, Armstrong Beach Road, Armstrong Beach

2. Eimeo Surf Lifesaving Club – A day at the beach, 11am to 2pm, Eimeo Surf Lifesaving Club, Eimeo Beach

3. Finch Hatton Progress Association – Finch Hatton Australia Day Celebrations, 10am to 3pm, Finch Hatton Showgrounds, Finch Hatton

4. Habana and Districts Progress Association – Australia Day the Habana Way, 3pm to 7pm, Habana Community Precinct, 1091 Mackay-Habana Road, Habana

5. Mackay Bowling Club – Go Oz with Lawn Bowls, 9am – 4pm, Mackay Bowling Club, Nebo Road, Mackay

6. Mackay Contract Bridge Club – Contract Bridge Aussie Day come and try, 10am – 3pm, Mackay Contract Bridge Club House, 414 Shakespeare St, West Mackay

7. Mackay Junior Motocross – Australia Day come and try, 8:30am to 1pm, Riverside Motocross Track, 2 Hume St, Mackay CBD

8. Mackay Sailing Club – Sail Away on Australia Day, 11am to 3pm, Sailor’s Corner, Kinchant Dam

9. Mackay Surf Life Saving Club – Australia Day Beach Party, 10am to 4pm, Mackay Surf Lifesaving Club, Mackay Harbour

10. Sarina Surf Lifesaving Club – Sarina Beach Australia Day, 1pm to 5pm, Sarina Beach Esplanade

11. Seaforth Bowls Club – Aussie Day at Seaforth, 1:30pm till late, Seaforth Bowls Club, Walsh Avenue, Seaforth

12. St Helens Beach Progress and Environment Association Inc – Aussie Day Celebration, 9am to 4pm, Repulse Esplanade, St Helens Beach

13. The Scout Association of Australia Qld Branch (Banksia Scout Group) – Australia Day Open Day, 10am to 1pm, Jaycee Park, Bedford Road, Andergrove

* Please note that two of the above events were carried over from 2022 due to COVID-19.

Emily Lovell (left) and Tyson Lovell (right) at the St Helens Beach 2022 Australia Day celebration

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Event Guide

January 5, 2023

Friday 06 January

Friday SUN.sets

Every Friday Evening From 6pm
Knock off drinks, lakeside dinner, good friends, and LIVEMUSIC.

Wake House Australia


Shanksy Live At The SeabreezeHotel

Friday, 8:00pm
Cap off your work week at the Seabreeze Hotel. Listen tothe great tunes by legend, Shanksy, from 8pm.

Seabreeze Hotel


Tiffany Grace Live At Souths

Friday, 6:30pm – 10:30pm
Join us on Friday 6thJanuary for live music with Tiffany Grace! She will be performing from6:30pm-10:30pm. Come along for a great night.

Souths Suburban Bowls Club


Chair Yoga In Habana

Friday, 8:20am
Come & join us at the Habana Community Shed on the corner ofMoohins Rd, every Friday morning. Bookings are essential!

Whatis Chair Yoga? It's a gentle form of Yoga that can be done while sitting orstanding, using a chair for support, and includes mindful breathing & somemeditation. You cansecure your seat by texting your full name to 0434 940 300, or by messaging theWellness With Deb Facebook page.

Habana Community Shed


Saturday 07 January


The Wild Sky Live at Harrup Park

Saturday, 6:30pm
The Wild Sky is a trioband. They are known for their fusion of blues, rock, soul and funk music.

Harrup Park


Dixon Homes T20 Shootout

Saturday, 10:30am to 6:30pm
Don't miss a second of theaction at Harrup Park as the 2022/23 Dixon Homes T20 Shootout begins for yetanother thriller season! See four games on two ovals in an epic day of T20cricket for rounds 3 and 4.

Harrup Park


Michael Scriha Live At Souths

Saturday, 6:30pm – 10:30pm
Michael Scriha will beperforming live in the sports bar at Souths!

Souths Leagues Club


Vision Board Collage Workshop

Saturday, 10:30am
Start off your year feelingcalm and inspired by spending a chill Saturday listening to music, drinkingcoffee, and creatively expressing yourself through collaging. Tickets viaEventbrite.

Bohemian Elyse


Live Music At The Kooyong

Saturday, 2pm
Enjoy good tunes and greatvibes every Saturday at the Kooyong from 2pm.

Kooyong Hotel


Sunday 08 January

The Wild Sky Live at the SeabreezeHotel

Sunday, 2:00pm
Enjoy lunch and live music at the Seabreeze Hotel. TheWild Sky is performing from 2pm.

Seabreeze Hotel


Urban Field Close Quarters

URBANBATTLEFIELD! Basic games and scenarios. Two session times:

11.30amsign in and briefings, 12.30-3.30pm games.
3.30pm sign in and briefings, 4.30-7.30pm games.

$30ppprepaid or $35pp on the battlefield. Limited glow ready blasters are availablefor hire at $20 per blaster. BOOKING ESSENTIAL!

Mackay North State High School


Monday 09 January

Back-To-School Pop-Up Shop
Monday- Thursday, 8:30am – 2:30pm

TheSchool Savvy pop-up shop is gearing up for the 2023 school year!

Offeringsecond-hand uniforms and essential booklist stationery at extremely low cost,families and children struggling to cope with the rising cost of back-to-schoolare welcome to purchase what they need regardless of their financialcircumstances.

PCYC, 33 Norris Road, North Mackay


Tuesday 10 January

Pop-Up Sunrise Beach Yoga

Intentionsetting with the sun energy, the earth's grounding, the air's support, thewater's flow and the metal element of our intention setting. This will be a45min journey.

Setat low tide we journey out onto the sand bar for a beautiful Hatha yoga class.

Meet at the car park Corner BinningtonEsplanade and Evans Street. Cost is $10. Class begins at 5:15am. Event by FindYour Groove.

Town Beach

Wake Park Day For Teen Shed

Enjoy a day out at the Wake Park. It's afull day of fun and includes lunch. Come make new friends or bring your friendswith you. Cost is $65pp, including the use of the wake park and lunch. Paymentcan be made on the day, but we do need to know numbers so please email us

Wake House Australia

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Local Talent Choreographs EVITA In Malaysia

January 5, 2023

From dancing in her living room to choreographing recent performances of EVITA in Malaysia, Central Queensland Conservatorium alumni Emma Goding is enjoying a varied career of entertainment.

Emma has been developing as a performer since the time she started dancing in the living room and has been able to pursue her love of performing professionally, most recently through the upcoming Western Australia Tour of Dale Pengelly’s Lounge Suite and the always entertaining children's parties, having been Cinderella and Emma Wiggle.

Having studied RAD ballet, contemporary, jazz, modern, neo-classical and tap, Emma has a wide range of dance experience that spans from performing, teaching and dance captaining.

Though starting out as a dancer, Emma has progressed to become a successful actress and singer by growing up in musical theatre through her studies at the Central Queensland Conservatorium in Mackay. There, Emma had the opportunity to perform the lead role of Ella in Bells are Ringing, perform in Sweet Charity (2018), for which she was dance captain for, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (2018), and The Mik-a-d-o (2017/18), both in Australia and Malaysia at Bentley Music Academy, Choices (2018), Catch me if you can (2017), and many more as well as being involved in the theatre community in Mackay.

During December, the Central Queensland Conservatorium of Music and Bentley Music Academy collaborated in one of the all-time great musicals, EVITA by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice.

Directed by Jason Langley and conducted by Kevin Field, this semi-staged concert performance was the third such event between BMA and CQU and featured emerging talent from Malaysia and Australia, side-by-side with the Orkestra Radio Televisyen Malaysia and dancers from Sri Wilayah Ballet Centre.

Emma performed two important duties for this production, as the Choreographer (Main Company) and Dance Captain (CQCM).

Emma Goding

Theatre, Music and Digital Media students were hard at work preparing for a season of performances of Evita, the Musical in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

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Are You Ready, Kids?

December 23, 2022

Image: The New Year’s Eve River Party will feature the soulful folk ballads of Matt Tandy

He spends most of his time in a pineapple under the sea, but Mackay families can catch him on New Year’s Eve at the Bluewater Quay.

SpongeBob SquarePants, along with his pink starfish friend Patrick, will be performing at the New Year’s Eve River Party.

The duo will be putting on two exciting stage shows and will also be available for a meet and greet.

The New Year’s Eve River Party will run from 6:00pm to 9:00pm and will also feature the blissful melodies of local songstress Tiffany Grace and the soulful folk ballads of singer Matt Tandy.

Mackay Regional Council Deputy Mayor Karen May said the River Party is a wonderful family-friendly event offering plenty of kids’ amusements, free face painting, food and market stalls.

“We also have the 9pm Key Solutions Group family fireworks display, which is always popular amongst those with children who like to see the year out with a bang before midnight,” Ms May said.

“This is a really lovely event that combines local musicians, spectacular fireworks, plenty of local food vendors and some family-friendly entertainment.

“The Mackay Festivals team do a lot of work over the holiday period to ensure everyone has a great time and they always go above and beyond.”

Festival and Events coordinator Sarah Porter said the River Party will also feature the traditional midnight fireworks display for those kicking on in the City Centre.

“The Bluewater Quay is a great venue to enjoy the last night of 2022 and Matt and Tiffany will create a really chilled vibe that’s perfect for families,” Ms Porter said.

For more information, including a full list of food vendors, head to

WHAT: New Year’s Eve River Party

WHERE: Bluewater Quay

WHEN: Saturday, December 31 from 6:00pm to 9:00pm

This is a free community event.

Entertainment Schedule

6pm - Welcome to Country

6.05pm - Mayor Welcome

6.15pm - SpongeBob Square Pants (show 1)

6.45pm - Tiffany Grace

7.15pm - SpongeBob Square Pants (meet and greet)

7.40pm - Matt Tandy

8.35pm - SpongeBob Square Pants (show 2)

9pm - Fireworks

12am - Fireworks

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Event Guide

December 23, 2022

Christmas Wrapping

9:00am to 4:00pm daily until December 24

SCOPE ladies and volunteers will be Christmas Wrapping at Home Co between Thrifties and Spotlight starting November 26 until Christmas Eve daily 9am to 4pm. Gold coin plus extra for over-sized gifts. All proceeds go to local charities including Samaritan House, Chances Op Shop (Australian Street Aid Project) and Mackay Animal Rescue Society.

Home Co between Thrifties and Spotlight

Gift Wrapping For A Great Cause

Daily until December 24

Get your Christmas gift wrapping sorted and help make a difference through a small donation to the Mackay Hospital Foundation. Our gift-wrapping elves will be located in front of the food court travelators, helping to make Christmas that little bit easier for all. Bookings not required.

Mount Pleasant Centre

Santa Photos

Daily until December 24

Santa Claus is coming to Mount Pleasant Centre.

Mount Pleasant Centre

Friday 23 December

Friday SUN.sets

Every Friday Evening From 6pm

Knock off drinks, lakeside dinner, good friends, and LIVE MUSIC.

Wake House Australia

Christmas Lights Ride

Friday, 6:30pm to 8:30pm

Light up the night and celebrate with a merry, festive and social ride! Add tinsel, baubles, stars and lights! Mandatory bike (and rider) dress-up! Average pace will be 23km/hr. Keep an eye on Corry Cycles’ Facebook page for an updated map of Mackay Lights.

Corry Cycles

Lucid Wings Live at the Seabreeze Hotel

Friday, 7:00pm

Cap off your work week at the Seabreeze Hotel. Dance the night away with duo Lucid Wings performing from 7pm - 10pm.

Seabreeze Hotel

Sunday 25 December

Annual No One Eats Alone Christmas Lunch

Sunday, 11:00am to 1:00pm

Roshni Indian Restaurant invites those doing it tough to join in on a Christmas Lunch. Volunteers are also welcome from 10:45am.

Roshni Indian Restaurant

Saturday 31 December

New Year's Eve River Party

Saturday, 6:00pm to 9:00pm

The ever-popular NYE River Party brought to you by the Mackay Regional Council is back at Bluewater Quay from 6pm - 9pm. This free community event is a favourite among locals and visitors alike. There will be non-stop entertainment for the whole family featuring amusement rides, face painting, food vendors, local musicians Tiffany Grace and Matt Tandy, as well as two exciting kids performances from special guests, SpongeBob Square Pants and Patrick! The NYE River Party will be topped off with the 9pm fireworks display brought to you by Key Solutions Group. Don't forget to head back to Bluewater Quay for the midnight fireworks as we celebrate the start of 2023!

Bluewater Quay

NYE22 Pyjama Party @ The Bowlsie

Saturday, 6:00pm

NYE22 @ The Bowlsie brings you the most epic pyjama party featuring The Feels live on the deck, outdoor cinema with popcorn, fairy floss, snow cones and sweet treat corner. Amusement Rides include Adrenalin Run, Mechanical Bull, Gladiator, Swing Chairs and Jumping Castle (unlimited ride armbands available for pre-purchase from Eventbrite for $25). Win a $100 Peter Alexander Gift Card for Best Dressed. Food & Beverages available all night!

Mackay Northern Beaches Bowls Club

New Year’s Eve in the Garden Bar

Saturday, 6:00pm

Join Harrup Park for this free event and celebrate into the new year with DJ Lambstar in the Garden Bar from 6pm. Bring on 2023!

Harrup Park

NYE Rock n Roll Party

Saturday, 6:00pm

Join Souths for the party of the year and a night of rock n roll! Enjoy an evening of entertainment from 7pm with the Ron & Deb band performing the hottest rock and roll hits until 12:30am. The kids can party the night away in the Kids Disco and free face painting from 6pm (kids welcome to stay until 12am). Food and drink specials available all night.

Souths Leagues Club Mackay

All That Glitters NYE Karaoke Celebrations & Karaoke Comp Grand Final

Saturday, 6:30pm

Join in with Souths Suburban Bowls Club and Karaoke Under The Stars for your favourite karaoke songs at their NYE Family Celebrations Party. This will be a night of singing, dancing, celebrations and fun to be had by all

Souths Suburban Bowls Club

New Year’s Eve @ The Grove

Saturday, 7:00pm

Join The Grove this New Year’s Eve. Awesome hourly giveaways from 7pm ‘til late, boogie with Nathan Kennedy from 7:30pm ‘til late, delicious chef specials and ice cold drinks all night long. Welcome 2023 with your Grove Family.

The Grove

Fiesta on Wood

Saturday, 9:00pm

Party 2022 away with a Mexican Street Party at Moss on Wood! Entertainment by G-Force and Viva from 9pm. Free entry. Street party games. Prizes for best dressed. Get your sombreros on and have a great night out!

Moss on Wood

Tuesday 3 January

Morning Melodies

Tuesday, 11:00am to 1:00pm

Enjoy a morning of fun, food and entertainment with Morning Melodies at the Leagues Club with Anette Worthington performing live once a month! The cafe will be open from 10am & the bistro from 12pm.

Souths Leagues Club Mackay

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Seniors Celebrate As ATAR Results Released

December 23, 2022

Image: L-R Ananya Sinha, Maddison Filtness, Charlie Webb and Pranav Sivanujan

Graduating year 12 students across the state eagerly jumped online last Friday morning as ATAR scores were released.

Sixty per cent of eligible Whitsunday Anglican School (WAS) year 12 school leavers received an ATAR score of 90.00 or above, their results the proof of years of dedicated study.

Pranav Sivanujan received the highest possible ATAR score of 99.95, the first Whitsunday Anglican School student to do so under the recently introduced ATAR system and one of 33 in the State.

Pranav’s result puts him in extremely good stead for his plans to study medicine at university next year.

“Over the last couple of years, just building that repertoire and getting support from teachers has really helped me,” he said.

“Putting in the hard work definitely counted for something now.”

48% of WAS students achieved an ATAR result of 95.00 or above and 26% of students achieved an ATAR of 99.00 or higher.

Departing School Captain and budding Air Force Engineer Charlie Webb was one of the 26% and said his score aptly reflects his efforts throughout his senior year.

“A lot of late nights, a lot of slogs at some points and the effort has paid off,” he said.

“I was over the moon when I opened it up this morning, it was fantastic.”

Ananya Sinha and Maddie Filtness also earned scores of over 99.00.

“I’m not talking about only myself when I say this, but I definitely think that everyone was working very hard and that’s because the cohort was there to support each other at all times, whether it was during exam week or at the start of the term,” said Ananya.

“I definitely think that everyone worked really hard, and that teamwork came into play during external exams.”

“I’m really happy that all the hard work paid off but a bit sad that school’s out, too, to be honest,” added Maddie

“Lots of late nights, especially with sport and work, it was really hard to manage it all but shows it’s all worth it.”

Both Ananya and Maddie are awaiting university offers with the hope of studying medicine.

“I reckon it’ll be a lot harder, but it should be okay, we should all adjust and get used to it,” said Maddie.

Ananya said that while a little bit of stress can be good, her advice to the senior year of 2023 is to not stress too much.

“Just stay focused and always rely on your peers and your teachers because they’re the ones who get you through the year,” she said.

Whitsunday Anglican School Principal Andrew Wheaton said results were testament to the Year 12s’ hard work in their final year, and a genuine commitment to academic growth, effort and improvement at the school.

“At Whitsunday Anglican School, our commitment to academic improvement allows us to support our young men and women to consistently realise their goals and aspirations – be that University, or a Trade or VET pathway,” he said.

Graduates following a tertiary education pathway now await university offers which are expected in January.

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Cash Lure On The Line In Fish’n’SIP$ Competition

December 23, 2022

Image: An Australian Bass caught in one of the 63 impoundments in Queensland’s Stocked Impoundment Permit Scheme. Credit: Department of Agriculture and Fisheries

Recreational fishers in parts of regional Queensland now have a cash lure to wet a line in five of the State’s favourite stocked impoundments.

Member for Mackay Julieanne Gilbert said Kinchant Dam is one of the locations where some of 100 tagged fish have been released as part of a competition.

“The first fifteen fish caught on a line and accurately reported to InfoFish will win a prize and the sooner you catch a tagged fish, the larger the prize will be,” Mrs Gilbert said.

“Kinchant Dam is a great place to go fishing, and we want even more North Queensland families to enjoy the experience.”

Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries and Minister for Rural Communities Mark Furner said $50,000 was on the line in the first-ever tagged fishing competition involving Queensland’s Stocked Impoundment Permit Scheme (SIPS).

“Thanks to the efforts of the Freshwater Fishing and Stocking Association of Queensland Inc, fishers can cast their lines and try their luck in the inaugural Fish’n’SIP$ competition for a good feed that will also net a cash bonus in time for Christmas,” Mr Furner said.

“A total of 100 legal-sized fish, including barramundi and bass, have been tagged and released in the five participating impoundments in the Wide-Bay Burnett, Central and North Queensland regions.

“Lake Tinaroo, Lake Proserpine, Kinchant Dam, Lake Callide, and Lake Cania are each breaming with 20 tagged fish that could be worth from $1000 to $20,000.

Mr Furner said the only catch was that fishers need to purchase a SIPS permit to tackle the five impoundments involved in the Fish’n’SIP$ competition.

“SIPS plays an important part in the Queensland Government’s overall Sustainable Fisheries strategy by helping to alleviate pressure on our wild fish populations,” Mr Furner said.

“Revenue from SIPS permits supports our volunteer partners in the program to stock impoundments with native fish species including golden perch, Australian bass, and barramundi specifically for recreational fishing.

“Fishing in Queensland’s 63 SIPS impoundments, which require a permit to fish with a line, also gives the economy an annual boost of approximately $100 million, with at least a quarter of that amount spent directly in regional economies.

“I encourage recreational fishers to get a SIPS permit which you can access on-line and hook into this exciting new tagged fishing competition.”

SIPS permits are available for purchase online, through the QLD Fishing 2.0 smartphone app, at 585 Australia Post outlets throughout Queensland and northern New South Wales or by phoning 1300 575 359.

Visit to find the nearest stocked waterway and buy a permit, or call 13 25 23 for more information.

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Arts And Crafts Festivities

December 23, 2022


1: Jenny Price and Helen Stewart at the Sarina Arts and Crafts Centre’s annual Christmas party. Photos: Owen Bromley

2: Lilian Brown and Di Proctor

3: Rhonda Payne and Jenny Costello

4: Rosemary Rowles and Marg Schwarzrock

5: Gayle Tomerini and Marg Hinrichs

6: Charlie Payne and Bob Neilsen

Christmas was in the air at the Sarina Arts and Crafts Centre when volunteers and crafters gathered to celebrate another year at their annual party on Saturday.

Chairperson Jenny Price thanked both the crafters and volunteers for their efforts during the year and praised the quality of crafts on offer at the centre.

“We have a wonderful array of crafts, all made locally by our talented crafters,” she said.

“Our volunteers do a marvelous job of ensuring that the centre is open to the public.”

By Charlie Payne

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Mackay Lego Masters To Represent Australia

December 23, 2022

Image: Mackay Lego robotics team The Golden Blocks are holding workshops to fundraise for their upcoming First Lego League Asia Pacific Open Championship Competition campaign. Photos supplied

It has taken plenty of trial and error, hours of dedication and piles of Lego but Mackay’s robotics team The Golden Blocks are getting ready to represent Australia at the First Lego League Asia Pacific Open Championship Competition.

The team recently competed in the National competition and took home first place for the Core Value Award and Robotic Performance Award.

One of the team’s coaches, Maighan Grant, said that the team had to code their robot to complete as many missions as possible in 2.5 minutes.

“In the competition they need to solve missions with their robot and attachments by coding it all,” she said.

“We achieved the highest score in Queensland at North Nationals at the end of November.”

Speaking about the upcoming international competition in June 2023, Ms Grant said that it’s an exciting opportunity for the students.

“They have really learnt a lot so far on this journey including critical thinking, teamwork, presenting, coding, planning and renewable energies,” she said.

“This next opportunity will be a big challenge for everyone but will be so rewarding for the students to grow as individuals.

“It is an honour to represent our country as coaches and team members.”

The community home-school team will compete against many teams supported by education institutions.

To support the students further and raise funds for the next competition, The Golden Blocks will be hosting robotics workshops over the school holidays.

Mrs Grant said the workshops are in partnership with a local Lego education company called Young Engineers Central Queensland.

“The team is excited to share their skills about robotics building and coding with students in the community,” she said.

The robotics workshops are open to 8-12 year old’s and no previous experience is necessary.

More information can be found on The Golden Blocks Facebook page and Eventbrite.

Contributed by Maighan Grant

WHAT: The Golden Blocks Robotics Workshops

WHERE: CQUniversity Ooralea Campus

WHEN: January 3, 6, 18 and 20, 2023

TICKETS: Eventbrite

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Council Facility Closures Over The Festive Season

December 23, 2022

Mackay regional council area residents are being reminded about the following council facility closures over the Christmas and New Year holiday period.

Call Centre 1300 MACKAY (622 529)

Council’s local call centre will be closed Saturday, December 24, to Monday, January 2 (inclusive) with an after-hours service operating during this time for emergency calls. For non-urgent requests and payments, visit

Customer Service Centres


Closed Saturday, December 24, to Monday, January 2

Reopening 9am, Tuesday, January 3


Closed Saturday, December 24, to Sunday, January 8

Reopening 9am, Monday, January 9


Closed Saturday, December 24, to Sunday, January 8

Reopening 9am, Monday, January 9

Artspace Mackay

Closed Saturday, December 24, 2022, to Monday, January 2, 2023

Reopening 10am, Tuesday, January 3


Closed from 2pm, Friday, December 23

Reopening 8am, Monday, January 9

Mackay Entertainment and Convention Centre Box Office

Closed from 3pm, Friday, December 23

Reopening 9am, Monday, January 9

Tickets for shows and events can be purchased online via during this time.

Jubilee Community Centre

Closed from 4.30pm, Friday, December 23

Reopening 8.30am, Tuesday, January 3

Aquatic facilities

Mackay ARC

Closed Sunday, December 25

Bluewater Lagoon

Open every day from 9am to 5.45pm

Closed Sunday, December 25

Memorial Swim Centre

Sunday, December 25 - Closed

Monday, December 26 - Closed

Sunday, January 1 - Closed

Mirani Swim Centre

Sunday, December 25 - Closed

Monday, December 26 - Closed

Sunday, January 1 – Closed

Pioneer Swim Centre

Sunday, December 25 - Closed

Monday, December 26 - Closed

Sunday, January 1 - Closed

Sarina Pool

Sunday, December 25 - Closed

Monday, December 26 - Closed

Sunday, January 1 - Closed

Mackay Regional Council Libraries

Closed 5pm, Friday, December 23

All libraries will reopen as normal from Tuesday, January 3.

Mackay Regional Botanic Gardens

Administration and Tropical Shade Garden

Closed from 4pm, Friday, December 23

Reopening 9am, Tuesday, January 3

Botanic Gardens Café and Lagoons Gallery

Closed from 3pm, Sunday, December 18

Reopening 9am, Wednesday, January 11

Museums and Historical Centres

Please note all museums and historical centres are currently closed and will reopen in 2023.

Greenmount Homestead

Reopening Monday, March 20, 2023

Museums and Historical Centres

Mackay Museum: Reopening Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Sarina Museum: Reopening Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Pioneer Valley Museum: Reopening Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Ken Burgess Orchid House

Closed 2pm, Sunday, December 18

Reopening 10am, Sunday, January 8

Sarina Sugar Shed

Open seven days a week, 9am to 4pm.

Closed Saturday, December 25, reopening 9am, Wednesday, December 28

Closed Sunday, January 1, reopening 9am, Tuesday, January 3

Sarina Youth Centre

Closed 2pm, Friday, December 23

Reopening 10am, Tuesday, January 3

Sarina Neighbourhood Centre

Closed 2pm, Friday, December 23

Reopening 10am, Tuesday, January 3

Waste facilities

Council’s waste facilities will only close for Christmas Day, except for Paget Waste Management Centre, which will be open for limited hours on Christmas Day from 6.15am to noon.

Waste collection services will continue to run routine pick-ups during the Christmas holiday period. Residents are reminded to leave their wheelie bins out as normal.

Incredable Ltd (Resource Recovery Facility – drop-off) will be closed from Saturday, December 24 until Thursday, January 5, 2023 (inclusive), reopening Friday, January 6, at 9am.

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School Holiday Guide

December 15, 2022
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Event Guide

December 15, 2022
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Event Guide

December 9, 2022

Friday 9 December

Christmas Wrapping

9:00am to 4:00pm daily

SCOPE ladies and volunteers will be Christmas Wrapping at Home Co between Thrifties and Spotlight starting November 26 until Christmas Eve daily 9am to 4pm. Gold coin plus extra for over-sized gifts. All proceeds go to local charities including Samaritan House, Chances Op Shop (Australian Street Aid Project) and Mackay Animal Rescue Society.

Home Co between Thrifties and Spotlight

Gift Wrapping For A Great Cause

From December 8 to 24

Get your Christmas gift wrapping sorted and help make a difference through a small donation to the Mackay Hospital Foundation. Our gift-wrapping elves will be located in front of the food court travelators, helping to make Christmas that little bit easier for all. Bookings not required.

Mount Pleasant Centre

Saturday 10 December

Garlands from the Garden

Saturday, December 10 to Friday, December 23

Bring your friends and family to Artspace Mackay during the December school holidays and learn to use different kinds of leaves to make beautiful, natural garlands for a wonderful sustainable Christmas! You can say no to plastic decorations this year - simply snip, fold, stitch and tie mango, eucalypt and coconut leaves together to create special handmade garlands to decorate your room. The possibilities are endless! This is a drop-in style activity with instructions and signage to guide you, parental supervision for children is essential. Stay for a few minutes or a few hours, no bookings necessary. Artspace Mackay opening hours are Tuesday to Friday, 10am to 5pm and Saturday and Sunday, 10am to 3pm (closed Mondays).

Workshop Room, Artspace Mackay

Fame Talent School presents ROYAL

Saturday, 11:00am

FAME Talent School presents its 2022 production of ‘Royal’. Starring Fame Talent School’s homegrown dancers, singers and actors, this production will have you tapping your toes, singing along and planning a trip to London.

MECC Auditorium

Highway No 1 Country Music Associations Christmas Breakup

Saturday, 6:00pm

Phone or text Betty 0434911712 as soon as possible if you will be attending. You do not need to be a Club Member to attend. Music will be supplied by the resident band and club members. Christmas Raffle will be drawn during the evening. There will also be a ½ ham raffle during the evening. Admission is free. We welcome you to join us for our last Country Music night for 2022.  

Metropolitan Hotel

Sunday 11 December

Mackay Country and Western Family Associations Christmas Breakup

Sunday, 10:00am

Please phone the President: - Charlie 0408 776 564 and let him know if you can attend as soon as possible for catering purposes. Everyone welcome.

Senior Citizens Hall

Sunday Live Music – Jax Morton

Sunday, 2:00pm to 5:00pm

Music every Sunday from 2pm - 5pm. Head down to the Seabreeze Hotel this Sunday for some fresh tunes, delicious food, and ice-cold brews.

Seabreeze Hotel

Santa Paws Pet Photos

Sunday, 2:30pm and 5:30pm

Everyone gets their time with Santa this season, including our furry friends! Your pet will get the su-paw-star treatment having their pic taken with Santa, making precious family memories for years to come. Bookings essential. To secure your spot, head to:

Mount Pleasant Centre

Monday 12 December

Tibbles Word Search

Monday to Friday, 9:00am to 5:00pm

Tibbles the friendly garden gnome is adventuring through the Tropical Shade Garden during the holidays. Find all the hidden gnomes to discover the secret code. Suitable for kids aged five to 12 years. Additional self-guided activity resources can be found online:

Mackay Regional Botanic Gardens Tropical Shade Garden

Tuesday 13 December

Nature Crafts

Tuesday and Wednesday, 9:00am to 10:00am

Create holiday-themed crafts, perfect for gifts or ornaments. Open to all ages, children must be supervised by an adult.

Mackay Regional Botanic Gardens Meeting Room

Holiday Card Creation

Tuesday and Wednesday, 10:30am to 3:00pm

Add a personal touch to gift giving this year with a handmade holiday card. Decorate a native fauna themed card and write a kind message inside. Open to all ages, children must be supervised by an adult.

Mackay Regional Botanic Gardens Meeting Room

Christmas Wreath and Flower Workshops

Tuesday and Wednesday, 11:00am and 2:00pm daily

For little and big kids alike, these Christmas craft workshops will be a real treat. Thanks to Flowers from Lisa’s, join us to create your very own Christmas wreath or table arrangement to take home and leave everyone in awe. Tickets $30 per person. Children and adults both welcome. Bookings essential. To secure your spot, head to:

Mount Pleasant Centre

Wednesday 14 December

Mackay Farmers’ Market

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

The market is a showcase of our region’s amazing produce direct from the farmer.

Bluewater Quay

Cookie Decorating Workshops

Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, 10:00am, 12:00pm and 1:00pm

The only thing sweeter than being on the nice list, is a ticket to our Christmas cookie decorating workshops! This is a chance to get creative with your festive decorating skills, and create a delicious treat to take home (or eat on the spot!) - thanks to Muffin Break.

Tickets $5 per child. Bookings essential:

Mount Pleasant Centre

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. Everyone learns at their own pace and, even better, the first lesson is free on your way to learning the four step style of rock ‘n’ roll. $5 for members and $8 for non-members after that. The club caters for social activities for club members with regular dances with live bands in attendance and away trips. For further enquiries call 0408 983 911.

58 Macalister St, Mackay

Thursday 15 December

Pot Plant Decorating

Thursday, 10:00am to 11:30am

Decorate a small pot and take home a plant from the Mackay Natural Environment Centre. Bookings required and spaces limited, phone 4952 7300 to book your spot.

Mackay Regional Botanic Gardens Meeting Room

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 desert.

Bluewater Quay

Bedtime Stories

Thursday, 5:00pm to 6:00pm

A fun evening for children from birth to eight years of age and their families. This session features nursery rhymes, stories, songs and a craft activity. Don’t forget to wear your pyjamas!

Gordon White Library and Dudley Denny City Library


Caption1: Christmas Wrapping

Caption2: Garlands from the Garden

Caption3: Fame Talent School presents ROYAL

Caption4: Nature Crafts

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Pipe Band Celebrates Caledonian Heritage

December 9, 2022

Image 1: The Mackay & District Pipe Band at the unveiling of of the plaque at Jubilee Park on Remembrance Day 2018

Image 2: Marching along River Street in 1987. Photos supplied

The Mackay & District Pipe Band are one community organisation keeping Mackay’s Scottish heritage alive and are sharing their history in a new book being launched this weekend.

The band are hosting the St Andrews Scottish Music Concert on Saturday, December 10, inviting aged care homes and members of the community to an afternoon of Scottish music.

The book “A Caledonian Heritage: The History of Mackay & District Pipe Band” will be launched at the concert, recounting the band’s 96-year history.

The Mackay Caledonian Association was formed shortly after the township of Mackay was established as a municipality in 1839.

In 1911, it was suggested that the Association form a pipe band, with the Daily Mercury reporting of a concert being held on Wednesday, June 14 of that year.

The Mackay & District Pipe Band was formed as an independent pipe band in 1926.

The band has marched in every Mackay ANZAC Day since 1928 and played at other historical events including the opening of Mackay Harbour in 1939 and the opening of the Forgan Bridge in 2011.

These days, the community band performs at weddings, birthdays and funerals as well as large annual events including ANZAC Day, the Robbie Burns Supper, Bluewater Fling and St Andrews Scottish Music Concert.

“Generally, everything’s followed by a ceilidh, which is a Gaelic word for party,” said band member Bryan Dobbie.

Mr Dobbie has been a member of the band for five years, with his children also getting involved.

“It’s in my blood, I guess,” he said.

“My dad’s played pipes since he was 12 and I didn’t start to learn until I was 40.

“It’s a family thing for us and we enjoy it.”

The band were able to compile the book telling the band’s history with the assistance of the Mackay Regional Council’s Regional Arts Development Fund and local editor Paul Vander Loos.

“There’s a lot of people there, a lot of connections to this region from 100 years of it, generations of it,” said Mr Dobbie.

The band meets and rehearses every Thursday at St Paul’s Uniting Church and welcomes new members of all ages.

Tuition is free and there are pipes and drums available to be borrowed.

The band will be joined by 3RAR Army Band, Kathleen Campbell and Piping MaD this weekend at the St Andrews Scottish Music Concert which will be followed by a ceilidh at Goosies.

WHAT: St Andrews Scottish Music Concert

WHERE: Mackay Christian College Powerhouse Hall on Ambrose Way

WHEN: Saturday, December 10 from 1:30pm

TICKETS: $5 donation

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New Graduates Are Prep Ready

December 9, 2022

Image 1: Graduating class of Prep-Ready Kids 2022. BACK ROW L-R Victoria Park State School representatives Kristi Elworthy, Riley Cousen, Katusha Lee, Logan Beale, Courtney Edwards. FRONT ROW L-R Led Francis Contreras, Precious Anderson, Jacob Mateo, Fatima Lopez, Gabriel Zarate, Patrick Buchanan, Isaac Soriano, Aviitausili Howman, Ela Maglente (Program Coordinator)

Image 2: A separate celebration was held for Andra Novri (son) and Indriani Indriani (mum). Photos supplied

Excited Prep-Ready Kids and their families celebrated their graduation last Monday, November 28, having completed the Prep-Ready Kids Program delivered by The Neighbourhood Hub.

Prep-Ready Kids Program is for children aged 3.5 to 5 years old and aims to prepare them for primary school. It allows children to learn some of the basic skills they will build on as they enter primary school including numbers, letters, listening, comprehension, cooperation, socialising, experiments, physical literacy, excursions and more.

Celebrations on the day included a visit from Santa, celebratory games, and watching a photo compilation of the group’s achievements over the year.

Special guest, Kristi Elworthy, Head of Department for Curriculum from Victoria Park State School, gave an inspiring message to the graduating children and their families.

The graduating children received their framed certificates and medals from student representatives from Victoria Park State School.

Ela Maglente, Program Coordinator has worked with the children throughout 2022 and says the group took a completely different approach in the program this year.

“We focused on increasing the children’s independence and focusing more on activities that do not require direct parental engagement,” she said.

“We decided to run the sessions as if they were happening in the Prep classrooms at school.

“The children have excelled in the new setup.

“This new setup also allowed us an opportunity to provide activities which focused on parents such as fitness sessions, information sessions, workshops, and other activities which the parents thoroughly enjoyed and, in the process, found friendship and connections with one another.

Ms Maglente said the end of the year event is a special one that families look forward to.

“This year is a celebration of the children and parents’ hard work and resilience during this unprecedented time,” she said.

“It was wonderful to see the families come together and celebrate what has been a challenging yet fruitful year for the multicultural families.”

The Prep-Ready Kids Program is taking expressions of interest for their class of 2023 and the Neighbourhood Hub encourages anyone who is interested – either of Australian or multicultural background – to email

Prep-Ready Kids is delivered at 43 Shakespeare St, East Mackay every Monday (school term only) from 9:30 am to 11:30 am.

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December 9, 2022

Image: Mackay educators were welcomed to the MECC with a catered high tea, goodie bags and an exclusive backstage pass. Photo: Supplied

Last Wednesday, the MECC invited more than 50 educators for a sneak preview of the performances in the 2023 lineup.

The annual MECC Educators Launch is an opportunity to assist local primary and secondary school teachers with lesson and excursion planning for the year ahead. The launch also informs educators of funding opportunities to help cover the costs of transport to the theatre, particularly for rural and remote schools.

Acting Manager MECC and Events, Jemma Carey said the Launch gives the opportunity to recognise the impact teachers have on a thriving arts community.

“Students develop a love and appreciation of performing arts early in life, they really are our audiences of the future” she said.

“We are so thankful for the support from our local schools, and of course our major sponsors BMA and Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal (DBCT).” she continued.

“This is our way to recognise their contribution towards the performing arts sector.”

Speaking on the day was Mackay-born singer and songwriter, Karen Jacobsen with an exciting announcement regarding a collaboration between herself, Queensland Symphony Orchestra and the MECC. Together, they will present the Australian premiere of ‘Misogyny Opus’ – an inspiring retelling of the famous misogyny speech by former female Prime Minister, Julia Gillard.

The MECC also showcased other select performances for the 2023 season, providing those in attendance an exclusive first look at what’s to come. Comprising of an array of genres, performances are chosen not only for their appeal, but for their ability to provide capital city experiences to regional areas such as Mackay.

Opera Australia and Queensland Ballet are returning to the MECC stage in 2023 with world-class stage performances, and kids favourites Possum Magic and Wind in the Willows are sure to enrich young minds.

All 2023 MECC season performances will be on sale in early December.

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Euphoric Queensland Man

December 9, 2022

Image: Bernard Fanning is bringing his sincerely Queensland songs to Mackay for Legends on the Lawn

He fronted the band that soundtracked a state and now Bernard Fanning is bringing his solo show to Mackay as part of next year’s Legends On The Lawn. The festival in Mackay caps off a tour of massive shows for Bernard and company and is the biggest tour the Brisbane icon will embark on since his Powderfinger days. Mackay Life journalist Sam Gillespie had a chat with Bernard about the scene that started it all, the movement it incited and what Mackay can expect next May.

Powderfinger are one of the first bands that come to mind when you think of Brisbane bands, what was Brisbane’s music scene like when you started playing music and first joined Powderfinger?

I think there’d always been a pretty strong scene in Brisbane but in the time when Powderfinger had started to come up, it really emerged a lot more quickly in the ‘90s than it had before. Prior to that, a lot of people left and went to Sydney or Melbourne or London or wherever else which was kind of a product of the Joh Bjelke-Petersen era government and what Queensland was like, how conservative it was and how closed it was to the arts and creativity and whatnot. I went to university the year that changed, I was in first year of uni in the late ‘80s, and the nature of how people thought in Brisbane was a bit different starting with my generation of bands and the idea that you didn’t need to leave, you could stay here and be part of something in Brisbane and then branch out elsewhere was new. It was an amazingly vibrant scene and very varied in terms of styling and the different types of bands that there were around. Powderfinger was a pretty traditional rock band but there was lots of other bands that were playing ska and metal and fusion and later hip hop and rap and dance music, so it all unfolded pretty quickly in the ‘90s.

What venues did you used to play in the early days?

We played at a place called the Orient Hotel, which is still there, actually, and lots of smaller places. The Zoo came along in the ‘90s which is about to have its 30th birthday and Dooleys, at the time, and later places like Metropolis, the Roxy and the Site, as bands got bigger. In the early days, there was lots of little pub-style venues that we used to do gigs at. We used to play at a biker club in the Valley called Club AC’s, when we first started out. We’d play Thursday to Sunday night from midnight 'til 4:00am. It was a pretty different time then but it was good for us as a band, it helped us to work out what we were doing, we got lots of practice.

I’ve noticed a wave of Queensland spirit over the last five years that involved XXXX Gold, the Maroons, the Brisbane River and also Powderfinger, did you notice that and what was that like from your perspective?

What was it? Euphoric Queensland Memes was where it started, right? It’s hilarious. It’s really funny. I think those guys tapped into something that was probably always there, but it was always taken too seriously, whereas those guys took the piss out of it and it made it much more fun. Then there were bands who were right in the middle of their big rise like Violent Soho and bands like that that tapped into it, wearing Broncos shorts on stage and all that kind of stuff as well which is awesome. It was great because Queensland and Brisbane had always been patronised for that stuff by, what will we say, the ‘southerners’, and that was just taking it right back to them. What I was saying before about not leaving Brisbane as a band, that was part of the beginning of that sentiment, just saying, ‘We grew up here, this place is actually awesome, so why would we leave?’ We’d been to Sydney and Melbourne plenty of times and we were like, ‘Why would you want to live here? This place sucks.’ I loved all of that Euphoric Queensland Memes stuff and obviously Betoota (Advocate) has exploded into something else. It’s been a phenomenon all of its own.

While your voice is quite iconic, your Powderfinger material and your solo material are quite different sonically – do you enter a different headspace or draw on different inspirations when adjusting to different projects?

Yeah, for sure. Powderfinger leaned more towards being a songwriting collective, so even if one of us came in with a song, it would be worked on by everybody and everyone had little bits of input whereas when I do my own stuff it’s really just me bossing everyone else around telling them what to do. So there’s that limitation, that it’s one set of ideas as opposed to four or five. Part of the reason that I wanted to make my own records was because I wanted to do other things, I wanted to make music that was a little bit gentler than what Powderfinger had been doing. I’d always written songs on acoustic guitar and pianos anyway, so that was just and extension of that really.

How excited are you for this massive tour finishing in Mackay for Legends on the Lawn?

Yeah, it’s massive, isn’t it? I’m really excited. The closer it gets, the more anxious I’ll probably become about the amount of shows there are and how much travel there is but it’s just so great to be able to go back on the road and do a really extensive tour. I haven’t done a tour like this since Powderfinger was around so it’s going to be great. And we’re going everywhere or within driving distance of almost everywhere, so it’s going to be really fun. I’ve never done a tour like this where none of the big six cities are on the itinerary so it’s going to be pretty different. The line-up’s phenomenal. It’s a pretty “iconic” line-up I guess you would say, having Paul (Kelly) at the top of it, especially. It’s really exciting, I’m really pumped about it.

And what can the Mackay crowd expect from your Legends on the Lawn set?

A bit of everything. A little bit of older material, some more recent stuff, possibly a new song or two. We won’t finalise exactly what we’re doing yet, we’ve got some rehearsals to do in January but we’ve got a fair idea. People can generally expect to hear what they’d like to hear. Not a huge amount of surprises but there’ll be some. A big part of that is trying to put on a show. After people have seen songwriters of that quality all day, you have to do something special to make it good.

WHAT: Legends On The Lawn 2023

WHERE: Harrup Park

WHEN: Saturday, May 20, 2023

TICKETS: On sale now via Ticketmaster

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Santa’s Breakfast Gives Back

December 9, 2022

The jolly man in red was popular indeed at last weekend’s Breakfast with Santa, held by Mount Pleasant Centre.

Up until Christmas Eve, the centre is set to host a series of events and activities that give back to the local community, making the holiday season that little bit merrier for all.

The Centre welcomed Santa last Saturday when he touched down from the North Pole for the special breakfast event. There was also a festive performance from Dance Express Mackay, and face painting to delight kids of all ages.

Proceeds will be donated to the Mackay Hospital Foundation.

Mount Pleasant Centre’s Centre Manager, Cathy Sullivan, said, “We know it’s been a tough year for so many, so it was important for us to give back this Christmas.

“We’re excited to be able to offer some free Santa photos to bring some extra joy to families, and our Santa’s Breakfast and charity gift wrapping will assist with raising much-needed funds for the Mackay Hospital Foundation – a critical resource for so many in our local community.

“Naughty, nice, or a work-in-progress – everybody is welcome to join in the festivities at Mount Pleasant Centre these holidays!”

Bookings are essential to most events, and they’ll book out faster than flying reindeers, so it’s recommended to head to early to secure your spot.

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Making Christmas Wrap A Snap

December 9, 2022

Image: Sheryl Cuttriss and Joan Williams were gift wrapping last week at Home Co. The ladies volunteer during SCOPE fundraisers to help the organisation raise money for local charities in need. Photo: Amanda Wright

The silly season is here, and with around 15 shopping days left until Christmas, gift wrapping can be one of those time-consuming chores left to the last minute.

Why not make life simple this year by taking a break, knowing your contribution will help a local organisation in need?

When the volunteers from Mackay’s SCOPE club wrap your gifts for a gold coin donation, the proceeds are donated to local charities. This year, proceeds will go to the Samaritan House, Chances Op Shop and Mackay Animal Rescue Society.

Simply take your shopping bags to the SCOPE ladies and they can wrap them on the spot. If you have many to be wrapped, enjoy some quiet time at the nearby café, or continue with your shopping and collect later.

Some helpful tips – try to separate gifts for specific people into separate bags, so once they are wrapped, you know who to label them for. Please be generous and include a gold coin donation for every gift, and larger gifts should be acknowledged with a larger donation. Also if an item is fragile or awkwardly shaped, consider putting it in a box first.

The SCOPE ladies and volunteers will be wrapping gifts at Home Co between Thrifties and Spotlight, every day until the 24th of December, daily from 9am until 4pm.

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Mt P JPs Welcome New Member

December 2, 2022

Image: L-R: Mandy Treloar, Jan Lindbergs, Mike Oakley, Gus Chetcuti, Russel McLean, Donna Seymour (new member), Morris Walburn, Ted Mullan, Gary Sorensen.

Members who could not attend: Anne Jennings and Angie Kidd. Photo supplied

They’re there when you often need them most, through births, deaths, marriages and even buying your first home.

JPs in the Community are local volunteers, trained Queenslanders who can witness and certify your routine legal documents. For example, wills, affidavits, statutory declarations and enduring documents.

The Mt Pleasant branch of JPs in the Community welcomed a new member last week with a social lunch at Goosies Sport and Recreation Club.

Volunteer JP Ted Mullan said the group would be taking a break over Christmas.

“Following a busy year witnessing all manner of documents for clients, the team will enjoy a well-earned break from 26th December to 2nd January,” Mr Mullan said.

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Radio Legend’s Lung Warning

December 5, 2022

Image: Paul “Campo” Campion

It’s been over one year since Paul “Campo” Campion lost his mother to Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).

These days, Paul can be heard across the southeast Queensland airwaves on Ipswich-based radio station River949, but he grew up in Armstrong Beach, near Sarina, and says his north Queensland childhood was wonderful.

“I’ve got many fond memories of growing up in Sarina,” he said.

“It was a wonderful time through the 80s, a lot of fun for kids.”

When Paul left Sarina State High School in 1987, he got a job at Mackay radio station 4MK, embarking on a career in radio that would take him to Sydney and Brisbane.

He has also become an advocate for COPD after watching his mother struggle with it for 20 years.

“There’s no real cure, it just keeps deteriorating,” said Paul.

“Your lung filaments die and it’s very slow.

“Your lungs just continually deteriorate as the years go by.”

COPD affects around one in 13 Australians over the age of 40 and is the number one cause of avoidable hospitalisations in Australia.

The lung condition worsens over time and leads to increasing breathing difficulty, disability and premature death, usually affecting people aged over 45 but often going unnoticed or undiagnosed for a long time.

Paul said COPD heavily affected his mother’s quality of life.

“As years went by, she couldn’t really leave the house because she was on the oxygen tank,” he said.

“It was very difficult to watch when we all came home for Christmas, all the kids were there, she could talk and everything but there was no getting up and enjoying life.

“Watching my mum, over the years, deteriorate and lose her quality of life, I think it’s enough for anyone to tell people to look after your lungs, look after your breathing, because once they’re gone, you’re stuffed.”

World COPD Day was held on November 16 and saw Lung Foundation Australia launch its blueprint calling on the state and federal governments to take urgent action to improve COPD care and outcomes.

“We urgently need to create pathways for lifelong prevention of COPD, earlier diagnosis, and improved awareness and treatment of this condition,” said Lung Foundation Australia Board Member and Respiratory Expert Professor Christine Jenkins AM.

“Much can be done to address these inadequacies of care delivery, and this Blueprint describes the innovations and changes in service delivery that could accelerate this.”

There are many ways to avoid COPD and Paul said not smoking and early detection is key.

“Anyone who’s sucking foreign substances into their lungs, there’s going to be issues later in life,” he said.

“If you’re starting to get short of breath, struggling to run or be active, starting to cough, you might want to check it out sooner rather than later.

“With early detection, you can have quality of life, but my mum was too far gone.”

Lung Foundation Australia have prepared ‘Making Lung Cancer A Fair Fight: A Blueprint for Reform’ to raise awareness about the burden of lung cancer in Australia and the particular challenges faced by people diagnosed with the condition.

To view the Blueprint, visit the following link:

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100 Years Young

December 2, 2022

Image 1: Gladys Smart turned 100 early last month

Image 2: 105 family and friends gathered to help Gladys celebrate

Image 3: Gladys’ grandson Dean couldn’t attend but sent his well wishes from Antarctica

Mackay resident Gladys Smart turned 100 years old on November 6, 2022, celebrating her milestone at her daughter Beryl and son-in-law John Ahern’s home in Mackay alongside 105 family and friends.

Son Bob and his wife Jan and their family travelled from Bowen and many other family members travelled from as far as Melbourne, Brisbane, Yeppoon, Blackwater and Calliope.

Gladys’ grandson Dean also sent his special greetings from Casey Station, Antarctica, where he lives and works.

A wonderful afternoon was enjoyed by all featuring a puppet show, pinatas and lots of delicious food.

Gladys’ family has grown from her twins, Bob and Beryl, to now include 7 grandchildren, 18 great grandchildren and 23 great, great grandchildren.

Gladys has received special congratulations from Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, Premier Annastasia Palaszczuk, Governor of Queensland Jeanette Young and Professor Graeme Nimmo, Governor General David Hurley and wife Linda, Member for Mackay Julieanne Gilbert, Member for Dawson Andrew Willcox and still awaits her letter from His Majesty King Charles.

Congratulations, Gladys!

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Banksia Scout Awarded Australian Scout Medallion

December 2, 2022

Image: Joanne Hamilton SL, Scout Liam Broadbent and DC Katrina Hoare

Banksia Scout Liam Broadbent was recently presented with the Australian Scout Medallion at a Special Ceremony to celebrate the event.

Liam joined Banksia Scout Group as a Cub Scout in 2016 and advanced to the Scout section in 2018.

Despite the challenges over the last couple of years with Coronavirus, Liam managed to complete the activities required for him to achieve this significant award.

Some of these are as follows: for his journey, Liam completed a 32km hike through Eungella visiting both Crediton and the Diggings before finishing at Sky Window, the elective Target Badge completed was Emergencies and his proficiency badges were Abseiling, Animal Keeper, Caving, Entertainer, Fire Awareness, and Information Technology.

He has been an important part of the Unit Council and completed his activities at a high standard.

Liam chose District Commissioner Katrina Hoare to present him with his Australian Scout Medallion and his father Colin Broadbent to present him with his ASM Badge.  

Region Commissioner Mr Dougal McWhinney was present to witness the presentation of this significant award.

Liam said the best activity he attended whilst in Scouts was Capture the Flag, where you get to stay up all night to do the challenges to achieve the goal, and most of all have fun whilst doing it.

He said the thing that has made him a better person by being in Scouting is, he enjoys helping the younger members, the Joey Scouts and Cub Scouts, as it makes him feel like he has accomplished something by encouraging them on their scouting journey.  

In the future Liam would like to gain paddling, archery and abseiling qualifications as he continues in his scouting journey.

BRAVO to Liam and congratulations on receiving this significant award and may you achieve all you set out to do in scouting.

Contributed by Joanne Hamilton

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Event Guide

December 2, 2022

Friday 2 December

Christmas Wrapping

9:00am to 4:00pm daily

SCOPE ladies and volunteers will be Christmas Wrapping at Home Co between Thrifties and Spotlight starting November 26 until Christmas Eve daily 9am to 4pm. Gold coin plus extra for over-sized gifts. All proceeds go to local charities including Samaritan House, Chances Op Shop (Australian Street Aid Project) and Mackay Animal Rescue Society.

Home Co between Thrifties and Spotlight

Morning Melodies 2022 presents Darren Coggan Home for Christmas

Friday, 11:00am

Season’s greetings music lovers, time to “Deck the shed with bits of wattle” and join award winning performer, Darren Coggan, as he celebrates the joy of being Home For Christmas, through a collection of songs and stories that embrace the festive spirit of Christmas in Australia.


City Heart Christmas

Friday, 4:00pm

The City Heart will come alive on December 2 with Christmas celebrations. Fifth Lane will brighten the city with markets, live music, face painting, roving performers and a Sensory Circus workshop. Enjoy late night shopping, art exhibitions and Santa will be in town. Great fun for all the family.

Mackay City Heart

Guided Bird Tour

Friday, 4:30pm to 6:30pm

Join birdwatchers Desley and Jenny as they go for a walk around our 1.4km track to discover what birds are about in the late afternoon/early evening. They have over 100 species recorded so far. Bring your own insect repellent and long clothes. Meet and greet from 4.30pm with walk starting at 5pm. $5 donation.

Wetland Walkabout

Exhibition Opening - Asia Pacific Contemporary: Three Decades of APT

Friday, 6:00pm

Mackay Regional Council and Artspace Mackay invite you to the official opening of Asia Pacific Contemporary: Three Decades of APT.

Artspace Mackay

Friday SUN.sets

Every Friday Evening From 6pm

Knock off drinks, lakeside dinner, good friends, and LIVE MUSIC.

Wake House Australia

Northlane + Windwaker & Arcade Stories

Friday, 7:00pm

Australian heavy trailblazers Northlane are taking their #1 album, Obsidian, on tour through regional Australia in November and December. The regional tour is set to cap off a stellar 2022 for Northlane. Earlier this year, the band released their acclaimed new album, Obsidian, which topped the ARIA Chart and has been streamed over 22 million times and climbing on Spotify. This fusion of metal and electronic music lent itself to some of the most mind-blowingly spectacular shows Australian venues have seen in recent times.

Seabreeze Hotel

Saturday 3 December

Mackay Art Society Christmas Market

Saturday, 10:00am to 4:00pm and Sunday, 10:00am to 3:00pm

Support local artisans at the Christmas Market featuring timber gifts, cards, botanical art, jewellery, pottery, plants, Christmas gifts, bags, bric-a-brac and beautiful paintings.

2 Snow Wright Court, Beaconsfield

Exhibition Floor Talk - Asia Pacific Contemporary: Three Decades of APT

Saturday, 10:30am

Join Simon Wright, QAGOMA’s Assistant Director of Learning and Public Engagement on a guided walking tour of Three Decades of APT. This exhibition profiles key moments from the gallery’s flagship exhibition series looking to contemporary art in the Asia Pacific Region. Works of art commissioned or collected from APT1 (1993) through to APT9 (2018-19, display APT’s embrace of contemporary art in all its forms— from the ceremonial to the conceptual, and the deeply personal to the resolutely social. This event will be Auslan interpreted & amplified for patrons with hearing difficulties.

Artspace Mackay

Carols in the Gardens

Saturday, 5:30pm to 8:30pm

This year, Carols in the Gardens will take place at a brand-new location, the Meadowlands Amphitheatre at the Mackay Regional Botanic Gardens. The event will feature many talented local performers who will ring out festive cheer with Carols and Christmas songs you know and love. This Christmas celebration wouldn’t be complete without Kids Adventureland thanks to McDonalds, Mini Eat Street featuring food vendors from the Twilight Markets thanks to RDO Equipment, Walz Group VIP Area.

Meadowlands Amphitheatre

Christmas Actually

Saturday, 7:00pm

Are you planning your work Christmas party? Or a festive night out with friends? The MECC presents Christmas Actually hits from iconic holiday classic Love Actually. The silly season is quickly approaching, and the MECC presents the ultimate end of year experience to get everyone into the Christmas spirit! Kicking off the night with the festive event of the year, from the creators of Rumour Has It and Lady Beatle comes Christmas Actually: the world’s most-loved movie soundtrack live on stage. The fun doesn’t finish after the show, the bar remains open as the festive cheer continues with a live band performing everyone’s favourites!



Saturday, 8.30am

Santa’s helpers have been hard at work to bring you something nice this year. Join us in welcoming Santa as he touches down at Mount Pleasant Centre for a special breakfast event. Get up close with Santa and friends, enjoy special guests, a festive performance from Dance Express Mackay, and face painting thanks to Let’s Just Face It Entertainment. All children receive a special gift from Santa.

Tickets $10 per child, with proceeds going to the Mackay Hospital Foundation.

Bookings essential. To secure your spot, head to:

Mt Pleasant Shopping Centre

Sunday 4 December

Sarina Country Music Associations Christmas Breakup

Sunday, 1:00pm

Bistro opens at 11.30am. Could you phone or text Betty 0434911712 as soon as possible if you will be attending to let the Club know for catering purposes. You do not need to be a Club Member to attend. Music will be supplied by our resident band and club members.  All other enquiries phone President Earl Burchardt on 049563330. Admission is free for this function. We welcome you to join us for our last Country Music afternoon for 2022.

Sarina Sporting and Services Club

Sunday Live Music – Ruby Sue

Sunday, 2:00pm to 5:00pm

Music every Sunday from 2pm - 5pm. Head down to the Seabreeze Hotel this Sunday for some fresh tunes, delicious food, and ice-cold brews.

Seabreeze Hotel

Tuesday 6 December

Morning Melodies

Tuesday, 11:00am to 1:00pm

Enjoy a morning of fun, food and entertainment with Morning Melodies at the Leagues Club with Anette Worthington performing live once a month.

Souths Leagues Club Mackay

Wednesday 7 December

Mackay Farmers’ Market

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

The market is a showcase of our region’s amazing produce 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. Everyone learns at their own pace and, even better, the first lesson is free on your way to learning the four step style of rock ‘n’ roll. $5 for members and $8 for non-members after that. The club caters for social activities for club members with regular dances with live bands in attendance and away trips. For further enquiries call 0408 983 911.

58 Macalister St, Mackay

Christmas Comedy Tour

Wednesday, 7:30pm

Get stuck into the Christmas spirits with four of QLD's favourite stand-up comics this December. Anna Brennan has performed at well over 100 stand-up shows, including a sold out ‘Queerly Beloved’ performance at Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Her comedy is observational, relatable and a little bit gross. Fresh from doing sold out shows at Sydney and Melbourne Fringe Festivals, Chris Southcote is cleverly camp and tantalizingly twisted.

Hosted by ex-Mackay local Reid Willoughby whose comedy is sharp, edgy and sweary. Headliner Georgina Humphries hails from a dairy farm in Far North QLD and moved to Brisbane to pursue her quirky and light-hearted style of comedy. Her first solo show, ‘Get Clucked’ sold out. Only suitable for 18+ audiences (and barely suitable for them).

Ambassador Hotel

Christmas Storytime With Mrs Claus

December 7, 8 and 9, 9.30am

Straight from the North Pole, Mrs Claus is set to share some of the most cherished classic Christmas stories with little ones these holidays. Located on the Food Court stage, you’ll make beautiful memories together as a family. Mrs Claus will also be available until 12.30pm to jump into any Santa photos. Bookings not required.

Mt Pleasant Shopping Centre

Thursday 8 December

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 desert.

Bluewater Quay


Image 1: Darren Coggan

Image 2: Guided Bird Tour

Image 3: Asia PacificContemporary: Three Decades of APT

Image 4: Northlane

Image 5: Carols in theGardens

Image 6: ChristmasActually

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Asia Pacific Triennial Brings 30 Years Of Contemporary Art To Mackay

December 2, 2022

Image: Tomoko Kashiki I am a rock 2012, synthetic polymer paint, masking tape on linen on plywood. The Kenneth and Yasuko Myer Collection of Contemporary Asian Art. (Photograph: Natasha Harth, QAGOMA)

A Pair of sculptural bulls made from branded corn beef tins, mythological paintings from the early 1990s and a witty moving-image work by Tracey Moffat are just part of a collection of high-profile artworks coming to Artspace Mackay this week.

The works are part of the Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art’s (QAGOMA) touring exhibition “Asia Pacific Contemporary: Three Decades of APT”, which will open in the Main Gallery, Artspace Mackay on December 2.

It will run until February 5, 2023.

QAGOMA director Chris Saines said Asia Pacific Contemporary: Three Decades of APT featured works of art commissioned or collected from APT1 (1993) through to APT9 (2018-19).

“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to tour this exciting exhibition profiling key moments from the Gallery’s flagship exhibition series, which has contributed so much to our audience’s engagement with and understanding of contemporary art and culture in the region,” Mr Saines said.

“This diverse travelling exhibition highlights internationally significant works by leading artists dating from the 1980s to the present day,” he said.

Asia Pacific Contemporary: Three Decades of APT includes works by Heri Dono (Indonesia), Lee Wen (Singapore), Tracey Moffatt (Australia/United States), Lorraine Connelly-Northey (Waradgerie people, Australia) and Michel Tuffery (Aotearoa New Zealand).

Reuben Keehan, curator, Contemporary Asian Art, QAGOMA, said the exhibition included works in a diversity of media including painting, sculpture, works on paper, video and performance.

“It reflects APT’s embrace of contemporary art in all its forms, ranging from the ceremonial to the conceptual, and the deeply personal to the resolutely social,” Mr Keehan said.

“These vibrant and innovative works encompass diverse customary practices and cultural encounters, and illustrate extraordinary social change over almost thirty years.”

Mayor Greg Williamson said also opening in Artspace Mackay on December 2 was an exhibition by local illustrator Ryan Vella.

“Ryan has been creating graphic style illustrations for more than two decades and gained national recognition in 2004 when he illustrated John Birmingham’s ‘He Died with a Felafel in his Hand’,” Mayor Williamson said.

“It’s tremendous to see a local artist gaining a following nationally, and it’s sensational to be able to showcase his works with an exhibition in his hometown,” he said.

Drawing on recent work, this exhibition, Underground Spandex, showcases Vella’s intricate line drawings of comic characters in graphic, narrative scenes.

Also opening at Artspace Mackay is Focus on the Collection: Formed and Niloufar Lovegrove: Too Little, Too Much.

Head to for more information.

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The Sound Of Missy Higgins

December 2, 2022

Caption: Photo credit: Emma Goodland

Missy Higgins is one of Australia’s most beloved singer songwriters. Classic songs like Scar, The Special Two, Steer, Everyone’s Waiting and Futon Couch, plus her unforgettable live shows, have made Missy an authentic household name. Earlier in 2022, Missy released mini-album Total Control, picking up themes of exploitation and female empowerment that run through the TV series of the same name and which also dominated real world headlines last year as a string of abuse allegations emerged from Parliament House. Sam had a chat with Missy before she brings her songs and her stories to Mackay for Legends on the Lawn in May.

Missy, going back to the start, how did the song ‘All for Believing’ come about and how do you think it winning triple j Unearthed affect your career trajectory?

‘All For Believing’ was pretty much one of the first songs I ever wrote, I was 15 or 16 in year 10. I wrote it about my boyfriend I had when I was in year 10, he was kind of my first love. It was a very tumultuous affair. I wrote it for a school music assignment and, as usual, I just didn’t do my homework so I did it at the last minute. I went into a room with a piano at recess on the day that it was due and I wrote that song and it just kind of came out. I was listening to a lot of Sarah McLachlan at the time so I can hear that on it. I recorded it and then a couple of years later, when I was in year 12, my sister sent the cassette of the recording to triple j and it won Unearthed. I didn’t even know what Unearthed was at the time but it was a really big deal and it ended up getting my song on the radio and I got a record deal out of that; it was really how the whole thing started, I have my sister really to thank for sending the cassette in in the first place, because I’m not sure how I would’ve got my start without that.

When I was in bands in high school, sending something to triple j was the absolute goal, what role do you think triple j and Unearthed plays in the Australian music scene?

I think it’s just a really great way to showcase Australian talent, especially regional talent. A lot of people from regional areas don’t have as much access to the industry bigwigs like they do in the city. Triple j is a huge national radio station with so much respect. Back in my day you, you only really heard the people that won or were the runners up but now there’s the whole section on their website dedicated to the lot of people who entered that you can discover yourself, so it really puts it into the hands of the listeners to find their own music, which I think is really great.

What was 15-year-old Missy Higgins’ song writing process compared to that of current day Missy Higgins?

I guess back then, I didn’t have much going on so I could spend a lot of time in my bedroom pouring my heart out. My process was like keeping a diary and when you’re a teenager you feel like you’re going through so many huge waves of emotion and life altering experiences because you’re feeling lots of things for the first time and experiencing things for the first time. All of that makes for really good song writing because it’s such potent emotion. It was just a way of processing the way around me. Now I’ve really got to make an effort to carve out the time because I’ve got kids now and that’s a bloody full-time job so I’ve just got to figure out how the hell to make the time for myself to write songs, so it couldn’t be more different, actually.

I read that music was your escape from the pressures of high school, was music always the plan at that stage?

Yes and no. I knew how much I loved music and I knew how much I always wanted to do music. My older brother was a musician and I just grew up watching him play in these bands, because he’s a lot older than me. I just wanted to do what he did and I also love jazz, I love singing jazz, so I just thought, ‘I just want to play music. I want to play piano and I want to sing. Either or and I don’t care how I do it, I just want to do it, I just want to perform.’ That was the extent of it, it wasn’t until later that I developed this longing to write my own songs and sing my own songs. I just wanted to perform, even it meant just singing other people’s songs. I knew it was definitely music for me, I just didn’t realise that my name would be on the front of the album.

Flash forward 20 years and you’re on the bill under Paul Kelly, which you have been many times before, on this huge tour before coming to Mackay for Legends on the Lawn, how excited are you for these shows?

I’m so excited. It’s just such an amazing group of people on this tour, most of which I know and love from over the years. It’s just so great to have such a big run of shows, I think it’s 26 or 27 shows with the same group of people so after a while you just become a bit of a family. You see them backstage every day and get to listen to each other and catch up with each other and most of us live in different cities so it’s the only chance we get to hang out with each other. Just to have these regular, consistent shows after a couple of years of the pandemic ruining live music for us and for everyone else, it’s a real relief and I think all of us are even more grateful than we ever have been to be doing what we do and to be able to play live shows

You’re no stranger to performing in the regions, are there any noticeable differences between performing in places like Mackay compared to the big cities?

It’s always really fun, going to the regional places. It’s a different vibe I guess because you guys don’t get as much access to live music as we do in the big cities, we get a bit spoilt. It’s always really fun, everyone’s super excited, it just feels like a special event and that’s just so nice. It feels really special to us but it’s even more special if we feel like everyone in the audience is super stoked to have us there.

Can you remember the last time you visited Mackay?

I think it was ages ago. I think it was 2014, I think I played at the Convention Centre. So, yeah, a really long time ago so I can’t wait to get back. I might bring my kids and go and have a look at the Barrier Reef this time, that’d be great.

Oh nice, yeah there’s plenty to see and do up here. And what can we expect from your Legends on the Lawn set?

I released an album earlier this year called ‘Total Control’, it’s a real feminist powerhouse album so we’re going to be playing a lot of songs from that album but we mix in a lot of old stuff too so there’ll be quite a few from the first album and a mixture of the subsequent albums and there’s always a few surprises in there too, we’re trying to work up a cover song at the moment, so it should be a lot of fun.

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More Legends Coming To Mackay’s Lawn In 2023

December 2, 2022

Image 1: Paul Kelly headlines Legends On The Lawn 2023

Image 2: Vika and Linda return for their second Legends On The Lawn

Image 3: Bernard Fanning headlines an impressive Legends of the Lawn lineup

After a sold-out inaugural event earlier this year, Legends On The Lawn will return in 2023 with an iconic all-Australian line-up.

Featuring Paul Kelly, Bernard Fanning, Missy Higgins, Mark Seymour, Vika & Linda and Ian Moss & Troy Cassar-Daley, the one-day festival is back in May and is guaranteed to sell out.

Mackay Mayor Greg Williamson said after the success of the 2022 Legends On The Lawn it was fantastic to see such huge names stepping out for the 2023 event.

“Legends On The Lawn will return again in May,” he said.

“With Australian music icons Paul Kelly, Bernard Fanning, Missy Higgins and Mark Seymour, as well as crowd favourites Vika & Linda and Troy Cassar-Daley, it’s certain to again be an epic live music event that will benefit our community and our economy.

“Legends On The Lawn is shaping up to be a major drawcard for our region, attracting visitors who will also have the opportunity to experience all of the natural attractions on offer, including platypus spotting, sunrise on the beach with kangaroos and exploring our pristine beaches and tropical rainforests.”

Great Barrier Reef Arena General Manager Adrian Young agreed.

“We’re extremely excited to be involved in one of the best line-ups ever assembled in North Queensland,” he said.

“This year’s event was outstanding and we expect 2023 to be even better.

“We can’t wait.”

Paul Kelly has been writing music and touring for over forty years.

Along the way he has released over 40 albums and collaborated with many other artists.

Paul’s live shows in recent years reveal a performer and band at the peak of their powers.

For the Legends On The Lawn, he will be playing a generous selection from his ever-green, ever-selling greatest hits record Songs From The South, as well as delving into a range of songs from his vast catalogue.

Similarly, Bernard Fanning has accumulated one of the most celebrated songbooks on the Australian rock spectrum.

The former Powderfinger frontman has collectively released 11 studio albums producing songs that have become ingrained in the Queensland psyche.

It’s fair to say Bernard Fanning has firmly cemented his position as one of Australia’s finest singer-songwriters and lyricists.

With over 20 years of touring, expect a rock show with swagger, entertaining banter, crowd interaction and a display of pure musical talent by a member of Australian rock royalty and his band who are the perfect accompaniment to his wide-ranging set list of heartfelt country - folk tinged charm and classic rock grooves.

Missy Higgins is one of our most beloved singer/songwriters and her acclaimed studio albums have sold more than two million copies.

Classic songs like Scar, The Special Two, Steer, Everyone’s Waiting and Futon Couch, plus her unforgettable live shows, have made Missy an authentic household name.

The stories Missy shares through songwriting come to life on stage as enjoyed by the thousands of fans who attend her concerts.

Read our interview with Missy on the next page.

Mark Seymour formed Hunters and Collectors in 1980 with a bunch of Uni friends.

The band became famous for its rhythmic power and very quickly became touted as the ‘next big thing’.

Mark Seymour is one of our finest songwriters, capturing our stories of love, loss, human courage and achievement.

Vika & Linda’s effortless harmonies and journey through rock, country, gospel, reggae, R&B, soul and blues, while always paying tribute to their rich Tongan heritage, has earned the respect and admiration of their greatest fans – the renowned Australian artists they’ve performed and recorded with, and whose work their voices have enhanced.

Paul Kelly says, “Their voices combined sound salty-sweet and have that elusive twinned quality you only get when siblings sing together ... They make the air beat in sync.”

Ian Moss and Troy Cassar-Daley, two powerhouse artists, joined forces in 2022 for one of the year's most successful tours.

A truly remarkable partnership, with simplicity proving to be a powerful vessel to tell a story and share a song, will delight audiences at Legends On The Lawn.

The 2023 Legends On The Lawn is guaranteed to sell-out – grab your tickets early to avoid disappointment.

Tickets for Legends on the Lawn go on sale at 9am QLD time on Thursday 1st December through Ticketmaster.

WHAT: Legends On The Lawn 2023

WHERE: Harrup Park

WHEN: Saturday, May 20, 2023

TICKETS: On sale now via Ticketmaster

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Fifth Lane Awarded As A Jolly Great Place

December 2, 2022

Image: Mackay City and Waterfront acting project manager Stacey Mills accepted the Great Place Award on behalf of Mackay Regional Council at the 2022 Awards for Planning Excellence. Photo supplied

Fifth Lane will come alive tonight for the City Heart Christmas event from 4pm to 7pm

A great place is one that attracts, inspires and motivates people – a place that people are proud of.

And the Mackay region has even more reason to be proud of Fifth Lane, which has won the Great Place category at the 2022 Awards for Planning Excellence.

Mayor Greg Williamson said while Fifth Lane was initially supported by council grants, the collaboration between council, property owners and businesses (including local artists) enabled the project to be a success.

“Fifth Lane is more than a capital project or a piece of public art; it has provided a managed event space that continues to deliver ongoing community benefit,” Mayor Williamson said.

“It has come a long way from an unused laneway space in 2018 to what we look at and enjoy today,” he said

“It is now a lively and attractive event space that complements adjoining commercial uses.”

The Queensland Awards for Planning Excellence program recognises individuals, teams and community groups for their innovation, leadership, excellence and commitment to good planning.

Mayor Williamson said, next week, Fifth Lane would be jam-packed with family fun, including Christmas markets, face painting and live music as part of the Mackay City and Waterfront’s City Heart Christmas event.

“City Heart Christmas is a chance for the local community to eat, drink, shop and embrace the festive season while enjoying late-night trading, roving performers and much more,” he said.

“There’s even a special surprise for the kids, with Santa stopping by.”

To stay up to date on City Heart Christmas and more exciting events planned for the City Centre, follow the Mackay City and Waterfront Facebook page.

City Heart Christmas

Friday, December 2, from 4pm to 7pm.

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Summer Mullets

December 2, 2022

Image 1: L-R Carter Marsh, Ryan Chatteris, Mr Alex Kertesz, Mr Andrew Wheaton, Mr Jamie Novosel, Mr Alex Barker, Noah Faa and Charlie Jackson

Image 2: Mrs Helle Smith. Photos supplied

mullets: Students and teachers lined up to participate in Mullets for Mental Health

In a true display of ‘school’s out for summer’ energy, four students and four staff members from Whitsunday Anglican School had their hair shaped into a mullet on the last day of school, all for a good cause.

Year 11 students Noah Faa, Charlie Jackson, Carter Marsh and Ryan Chatteris all decided to get mullets for Mullets For Mental Health, a cause raising funds and awareness for mental health research, and challenged the staff to get involved.

“I’m a bit of a barber myself and I was having a bit of banter with (Deputy Principal Jamie Novosel) saying, ‘You should let me give you a mullet,’” said Noah.

“Two terms later, at the end of the year, we’ve created a fundraiser, and unfortunately I’m not giving him a mullet, but at least he’s getting one.”

With the help of Amy and Tiffany from Moldielox Barber Shop, who donated their time and expertise, the four students, as well as Principal Andrew Wheaton, Deputy Principal Jamie Novosel and teachers Alex Kertesz and Alex Barker all started a party at the back, business at the front in front of a vocal crowd.

The boys raised over $7,000, surpassing their goal of $5,000, for a cause close to Noah’s heart.

“It’s something quite close to me and I know it’s probably something that’s skimmed over a lot and it’s something that’s very prominent, more than we can see,” he said.

Principal Andrew Wheaton said the occasion was a perfect opportunity to highlight mental health in a school setting.

“The ability to be able to talk about this and for our boys and girls to express their emotions is an issue we feel very strongly about and it’s great to see that our young men are taking up the baton in this very special cause,” he said.

One in five Australians experience symptoms of mental illness in any given year and roughly 60% of these people won’t seek help.

“Mental health is one thing that we’re very well attuned to for our young people who are moving through the pressures of their schooling,” said Mr Wheaton.

The previous week, Senior Mathematics Teacher Mrs Helle Smith shaved her head to raise funds for cancer with the help of her outgoing year 12 maths students.

Ms Smith raised close to $4,000 and said she hoped her fundraising will help many families that are affected by cancer.

Mrs Smith also believes in being a positive role model for her young students and to always be community minded, help wherever you can.

Visit the Whitsunday Anglican School’s Facebook page to donate to the causes.

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Holy Spirit College Winners Awarded At Speech Night

December 2, 2022

Image 1: Graduation Dux and Marist Sisters' Award - Jack Thatcher

Image 2: Year 11 Dux – Kaede Smyth

Image 3: Year 10 Dux – Demi Dennis and Lily Paul

Image 4: Year 9 Dux – Rory Franklin

Image 5: Year 8 Dux – Brayden Manttan

Image 6: Year 7 Dux – Sienna McEvoy

Holy Spirit College welcomed many special guests on Tuesday, November 15 as students were awarded for their efforts throughout the year at the College’s Speech Night and Presentation of Awards.

Students’ successes were celebrated and they were encouraged to continue to share their gifts and talents with the College and their local community.

The Graduation Dux is the highest academic honour that one can achieve at the time of Speech Night and is awarded to the student who achieves the highest overall Internal Assessment Results for the combination of their best 5 subjects that would qualify for the award of an ATAR.

Confirmed Internal Assessment results are available to the College at the time of Graduation for determination of the awarding of the Graduation Dux.

School Dux’s

• Graduation Dux – Jack Thatcher

• Year 11 Dux – Kaede Smyth

• Year 10 Dux – Demi Dennis and Lily Paul

• Year 9 Dux – Rory Franklin

• Year 8 Dux – Brayden Manttan

• Year 7 Dux – Sienna McEvoy

Other Major Award Winners Of The Night Included:

• Marist Sisters’ Award (Year 12) – Jack Thatcher

• Don Brown Memorial Bursary (Year 12) – Hamish Donnollan

• Mary Moore Memorial Award (Year 10) – Mia Cundell

• Gifts of the Holy Spirit in memory of Bobette Hazell – Natalie Doyle

• Excellence in Studentship Award (Year 12) in memory of Mark Camilleri – Mitchell Penfold

• Vocational Education & Training Award (Year 12) in memory of Mark Cowley – Annica Gibbs

• The James Cook University Rising Star Scholarship – Rorie McKinnon

• Ampol Best All Rounder Award (Year 12) – Patrick Mattes

• Macrossan & Amiet Charitable Foundation Award (Year 11) – Jorja Jurczyluk

• Catholic Education Diocese of Rockhampton Aspire to Teach (Year 11) – Courtney Brooke

• Catholic Education Diocese of Rockhampton Award (Year 10) – Nicholas Doyle

• Catholic Education Diocese of Rockhampton Scholarship for an Indigenous Student (Year 9) –

• Lincoln Heffington

• Australian Defence Force Future Innovators Award (Years 10 and 12) – Eleena Joe and Emma White

• Australian Defence Force Long Tan Youth Leadership and Teamwork Awards(Years 10 and 12) – Hannah Benjamin and Harrison Turner

• The Dawson Medal for Outstanding Community Service – Rory Franklin

Cultural And Sporting Award Winners:

The following awardees were initially presented their awards at the Celebration of the Arts and Celebration of Sports Awards Evenings held recently.

• Excellence in The Arts – Kira Atherton

• Most Promising Junior Arts Student – Rory Franklin and Liam Hyde

• Junior Sportswoman of the Year – Kiara Johnson and Elizabeth Lee

• Junior Sportsman of the Year – Lucas Haack

• Senior Sportswoman of the Year – Taynah McMurtrie and Preetika Vella

• Senior Sportsman of the Year – Cameron Wonnocott

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Holy Spirit College Farewells Year 12s

December 2, 2022

Image: Photos supplied

Holy Spirit College, a Catholic co-educational college for Years 7 to 12 in Mackay, celebrated their Year 12 Graduation on Friday, November 18.

The day commenced with a special Graduation Mass with Parish Priest Fr Stephen Hanly, presiding.

The HSC Community then welcomed all Year 12 Graduates onto the stage as they were applauded by their families, fellow students and College staff.

It was an extraordinary day to commemorate the end of thirteen years of schooling and the College wishes their graduates all the best for their bright and promising futures.

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Teen Shed Needs Your Bags

December 2, 2022

Teen Shed Mackay are holding a school holidays activity making mats for the homeless out of rubbish bags and need your help!

The teens require a lot more bags to make lots of these mats for this great cause.

If you have newly bought rolls of plastic bags, used shopping bags, large black bags, Coles/Woolworths bags, or large coloured rubbish bags, why not contribute?

Teen Shed Mackay will be at the Laneway Markets at City Heart Fridays tonight where you will be able to drop off your bags.

If you can't make it to the markets, message Teen Shed Mackay on Facebook to organise an alternative.

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North Queensland Bulk Ports Celebrates Year Of Achievements

December 2, 2022

Around 60 port industry and community stakeholders came together to celebrate their collective achievements at North Queensland Bulk Ports (NQBP) Stakeholder Function on Tuesday night.

This year the Port of Mackay celebrated a record-breaking 3.6 million tonnes for FY22 and NQBP delivered nearly $12 million in trade supporting infrastructure investments and maintenance works.

NQBP thanks all stakeholders for their support and acknowledges the commitment of NQBP’s people, port partners, customers, and port communities.

NQBP is a Queensland Government-owned corporation responsible for the ports of Mackay, Abbot Point, Hay Point, and Weipa in far north Queensland.


NQBP 1 – North Queensland Bulk Ports Board Directors Lynn Smart, Tony Mooney, Monica McKendry, Chair Jane McTaggart and Andrea Ranson

NQBP 2 – NQBP CEO Nicolas Fertin shared the port community’s collective achievements at NQBP’s Stakeholder Function on Tuesday night

NQBP 3 – Mackay Regional Council Cr Pauline Townsend, NQBP Board Director Monica McKendry, NQBP Community Reference Group Member Alison Jones, NQBP Board Director Lynn Smart, NQBP Board Chair Jane McTaggart, Yuwi Aboriginal Corporation representative Patricia Corrie and Cr Laurence Bonaventura

NQBP 4 – Regional Harbour Master Captain Jason Britton with Renae Harmsworth from DBCT, Tim Ffrost from Dalrymple Bay Infrastructure and Caroline Roche from the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority

NQBP 5 – NQBP’s Ash Sinha and Darren Brownsey with Les Rodgers from DBCT

NQBP 6 – Auriga’s Jaison Sebastian, with Petra Graham from NQBP, Damian Muscat of Crane Logistics and Chris Bugeja from Wisely Group

NQBP 7 – Evan Milne and Aaron Wood from Smit Lamnalco Towage with NQBP’s Luke Sorensen (centre)

NQBP 8 – NQBP’s Tim Lewis and Hossein Saadai with Danny Wisely from Wisely Group

NQBP 9 – Tim Magoffin representing the Resource Industry Network and Mackay Marina Run with NQBP Board Director Tony Mooney

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From Mackay To Matsuura

December 2, 2022

Image: It has been four years since Mackay last sent a delegation of youth ambassadors to Matsuura (pictured)

Since COVID-19 swept the world, youth ambassador tours to Mackay’s sister city Matsuura have been put on hold, but that’s about to change.

Mackay Regional Council is currently seeking applications from students in years 10, 11 and 12 (in 2023) to travel to Japan on June 23, 2023, returning on July 8, 2023.

The estimated cost of the trip is $3500 (plus spending money), and council will subsidise $1000 for each youth ambassador, directly to the travel agent.

Mayor Greg Williamsons said this was a tremendous opportunity for young people, especially those learning Japanese or with an interest in Japan.

“Being welcomed into the home of a Japanese family and having the chance to learn from, and be guided by, citizens of our sister city Matsuura is an opportunity of a lifetime,” Mayor Williamson said.  

“Add to that an exciting itinerary that includes a bullet train trip, a visit to Tokyo Disneyland and daily sightseeing activities, and this will be a trip attendees will remember for the rest of their lives,” he said.

Youth ambassador applications must be submitted to by Sunday, February 12, 2023.

Council is also seeking chaperones for the tour, whose costs will be covered by council.

Chaperones must be at least 20 years old, fluent in Japanese and English and have a first aid certificate.

Chaperone applications must be submitted to by Sunday, January 15, 2023.

Students and chaperones need to be vaccinated against COVID-19, as per travel requirements, and attend monthly/fortnightly cultural information sessions, which start in March 2023 prior to departure.

All applications are available online at

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Eisteddfod Honours For Mercy College Students

December 2, 2022

Image:  Mercy College Eisteddfod winners Lily Wardrop, Zoe Wardrop and Kayli Vormister with St Patrick’s/Mercy College principal and Mackay Eisteddfod Association President Janelle Agius

Mercy College students achieved a wave of success across all platforms at this year’s 75th Annual Mackay Eisteddfod.

The performing arts students claimed multiple ribbons in the Dance, Music, Speech and Drama categories – earning high praise from experienced judges as well as Mercy/St Patrick’s College Principal Janelle Agius, who is the widely respected President of the Mackay Eisteddfod Association.

Talented 15-year-old dancer and vocalist Sophie Reilly received the Mackay Discount Drug Store $200 Bursary for the Most Promising Performer 18 Years & Under in the Eisteddfod’s Vocal Section.

Sophie capped a memorable Eisteddfod by also winning the 14 Years Girls Vocal Solo as well as the 13- & 14-Years Song and Dance Solo categories.

She was the winner of Miss GTB Entertainment at this year’s Get the Beat Competition in Mackay; attended the Brisbane Performing Arts Challenge and was a finalist in the Musical Theatre Scholarships.

At the annual Queensland Asia-Pacific Grand Internationals National Cheer and Dance Competition held recently in Brisbane, Sophie was part of the Mercy/St Patrick’s College team that were crowned National champions in the Junior Lyrical category and also brought home the Highest Points Scoring for a School trophy.

Year 10 dancer KAYLI VORMISTER picked up the 13-14yrs Lucy Bishop Encouragement Award after impressive performances in jazz, tap, lyrical, contemporary and duo.

She featured in ten solos,  finished runner up in Jazz and Duo and a Highly Commended in lyrical.

Kayli has performed at local Eisteddfods since 2013 when aged six and is a promising student of Demi Reck at Dance Avenue.

EVA BISHOP won Most Outstanding Jazz Solo in 11yrs and under plus the Jazz Modern Aggregate for 11-12yrs.

She competed in 14 solos in jazz, tap, ballet, contemporary, lyrical and Championship Jazz and won the Ballet and Jazz solos, Waltz Tap, Speed Tap, Dance Improvisations and Demi Character.

Year 7 student Eva has honed her skills at the Leisa Payne School of Dance in Mackay since the age of 4.

Siblings ZOE WARDROP, 14 and LILY WARDROP, 15 turned in classic performances and brought home a swag of awards in Contemporary, jazz, ballet, National and Championship.

Zoe won the Jazz Modern Aggregate Award as well as Contemporary and Jazz sections and impressed in the Teams events.

Lily won the Mary Haughton Memorial Trophy for 15yrs-18yrs Impromptu Story Telling and achieved top two placings in Lyrical, Drama, Characterisation, Mime, Shakespeare,Verse, Verse by Australian and Prose Reading.

She also received the Venebles Trudgion Encouragement Award.

MACKENZIE WOTHERSPOON impressed in solo Dance – tap, jazz, ballet, lyrical and won the Modern Championship and collected four top places in jazz solo, lyrical solo, tap and ballet improvisation.

She also gained second place in speed tap and five thirds in Waltz tap, Classic Tap, Ballet solo, tap solo and jazz.

MYAH ROKIC won the Joyce Caldwell Memorial Perpetual Trophy with top performances in the 12-14ys Piano and Forte.

Talented Irish Dancer AVA PEARL continued her superb achievements at competition level with brilliant displays at this year’s Eisteddfod.

Ava – who has danced since she was aged 4 – has joined a new dance school and is currently performing with International Dance Affair.

Despite having to learn all new dances this year and considering she had a six-month restyling ban from competition, Ava has risen to the challenge.

Her team have been super proud of her resilience and placings this year with superb results at the NQ Premierships, IDA Feis and Eisteddfod.

ADYSON BAYLISS shone in the Piano category – finishing second in the 13yrs Modern and third in the 14yrs Modern.


By Chris Karas

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Crossroad Arts Opens New Exhibit

December 2, 2022

Image 1: Artist Emma Pattemore showing exhibition visitors her work. Photo Credit: Crossroad Arts

Image 2: Artist Sue Nami with their work. Photo Credit: Crossroad Arts

Image 3: Cynthia Gregg and Exhibition Visitors. Photo Credit: Alison Richardson

Crossroad Arts has again thrown open their doors to the community with their walls adorned by the art of a number of talented local artists.

Artists including Emma Pattermore, Cynthia Gregg, Hahn Izard, Sue Nami, Bonnie Keam, Jewels Ibby, and Carly Lange are displaying their works at the Street View Gallery which opened on November 21 and will welcome visitors through to December 12.

The exhibit is open to the public Monday to Friday from 9am - 5pm at 55 Wood Street, Mackay.

The Street View Gallery addresses a gap in the Mackay artist community for emerging artists and those living with disability to exhibit their work.

Artists with mental health conditions, neurodivergence and those who identify as First Nations or LGBTIQA+ were also encouraged to apply to the three exhibitions across the year.

Artist Emma Patterson describes what an opportunity like the Street View Gallery means to her as an emerging artist.

“I would say the main thing I have been wanting is to be more involved in the art community and having the experience of exhibiting,” Emma said.

“I have never exhibited my recent work before.”

If people are unable to attend the gallery during business hours, they can enjoy the works projected on the Crossroad Arts Window Gallery each weekday evening.

The front windows of 55 Wood Street come alive at night with projections of the artists’ works from 5pm for the duration of the exhibit.

A special free event will be held to coincide with the City Heart Fridays event program tonight with the exhibit open 4:30 - 7:30pm with wine and nibbles.

WHAT: Street View Gallery City Heart Fridays Event

WHERE: 55 Wood Street, Mackay

WHEN: Friday, December 2 from 4:30pm to 7:30pm

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Leisa Payne School of Dance

December 2, 2022


The Power of Dance

Leisa Payne School of Dance features the cream of Mackay dance talent in a non-stop variety of Classical Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Contemporary and Cabaret.

Be entertained by performers ranging from 2 years to pre professional.

For only one show, these spectacular dancers and routines are sure to entertain everyone!

Saturday 3 December, 2pm


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Mural To Encourage Uni Students To Dream Big

December 2, 2022

Image: The Bidyiri Woorwaya cultural precinct at CQUniversity Mackay will include an Indigenous mural thanks to the latest round of RADF grant funding

Bidyiri Woorwaya means “to dream big” in the YUWI language.

It’s fitting that this is the name given to the cultural gardens and yarning circle at CQUniversity's Mackay Ooralea Campus.  

To dream big is also set to be the theme of a wall mural at the site thanks to $8000 in funding approved in the Regional Arts Development Fund (RADF) round one of grants.

RADF Committee chair Cr Fran Mann said the grant would be used to source and employ a local Indigenous artist to complete the mural, who was also ideally a Traditional Owner.

“The committee was very supportive of the theme of the mural and hoped it would inspire students, staff and the community ‘to dream big’ and achieve their dreams,” Cr Mann said.

“The committee was also very pleased to see the collaboration with YUWI to ensure this site complimented and respected the culture of our region,” she said.

The applicant, Mellisa Taggart, CQUniversity’s Indigenous student wellbeing project officer, said research showed that establishing culturally appropriate spaces and places to empower Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students had wide ranging benefits.

She said it helped them to feel welcome and encouraged them to participate in tertiary education and achieve positive outcomes.

“Our vision is to develop cultural safe spaces at each campus to welcome, engage, support and promote the social and emotional wellbeing of Indigenous students and staff,” Ms Taggart said.

Also receiving funding to the tune of $3211 was a project by Shelley Engwirda that looks at how the "ordinary", everyday experiences of women are recorded so that their contributions to society can be recognised, valued and not forgotten.

Also funded in this RADF round were:

• Nature Clay and the Things Inbetween by Fiona Flohr - $4320 to allow two interregional artists to investigate and explore ideas for new artworks to be exhibited in June 2023

• Georgina Baira EP Debut - $5500 for the recording of a five track EP, with release and management to streaming services, artist development and a launch event in Mackay

• Mackay Art Society 2023 Workshop Program - $5900 to deliver Artist Development Workshops across a variety of mediums to both society members and artists from the local community.

The Regional Arts Development Fund is a partnership between the Queensland Government and Mackay Regional Council to support local arts and culture in regional Queensland.

Minister for the Arts Leeanne Enoch said as part of this successful, long-term collaboration, the Queensland Government will provide $2.13 million for RADF 2022–2023 to a total of 59 local councils, who will contribute a co-investment amount of over $1.9 million

“Established in 1991, RADF is a long-standing success story between the Queensland Government and regional councils, enabling local artists and arts workers to tell their rich and unique stories, boosting regional employment opportunities and other positive economic outcomes,” Minister Enoch said.  

“For 31 years RADF has provided a legacy of creating new art and cultural experiences for Queensland audiences and communities, and a platform for professional development and growth across the regional arts sector,” she said.

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“Confidence Is Your Best Accessory”

December 2, 2022

Image 1: Emersen Lamb’s evening wear for the Miss Diamond Finals in Brisbane

Image 2: Emersen won Miss Junior Teen Diamond International 2022 and five other awards. Photos supplied

Miss and Mr Diamond is more than just a beauty pageant.

It’s a program for men and women across the world from different walks of life, celebrating inclusivity and diversity and giving contestants the opportunity to raise awareness and funds for any charity of their choice.

Emersen Lamb came across the program last December, entered and, almost 12 months later, was crowned Miss Junior Teen Diamond International 2022.

“Looking back, I’m so glad I did,” Emersen said.

“Miss Diamond has changed my life and opened my eyes to a whole new world.

“I want to empower girls around the world to take action and chase their dreams.

“Confidence is your best accessory.”

Emersen travelled to Brisbane for the Miss Diamond finals held from November 18 to 20, participating in a boot camp, boat party, picnic in the park, photoshoot, gala dinner and the big night on Sunday night where she was crowned Miss Junior Teen Diamond International.

She was also awarded five other awards including Miss Diamond Social Media Queen, Pageant Planet People’s Choice Award Winner, Miss Diamond Runway Queen, Miss Diamond Congeniality and Miss Diamond Charity Queen.

While Emersen’s campaign was a fruitful one, she says the experience and the friendships she made were the ultimate incentive.

“I made so many new friendships that I will forever hold close to my heart,” she said.

“It was just one big family, it felt like you’d known everyone forever because everyone’s just so nice there.

“My experience at Miss Diamond is unforgettable, it has changed my life.”

Throughout Emersen’s campaign, she advocated for her chosen charity Broken Ballerina Inc., raising $2,000 for the charity that assists and supports victims of domestic violence.

“Broken Ballerina is an amazing charity,” said Emersen.

“They give back to people who are going through hard times in their life.

“I’ve met Jules (Thompson, Founder) and I’ve seen how many amazing things she does.

“She goes and supports them in court, she gives them money to buy groceries, she helps out the families, and I’m so happy that I chose to advocate for this charity.”

Emersen will hold the title of Miss Junior Teen Diamond International for the next 12 months before returning next year to crown the new winner.

“While in my reign, I will continuously advocate for my charity,” she said.

“It’s pretty much doing the same thing as you were as a finalist but now, I’m a titleholder so it’s a bit more special.”

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Local Dancers Gear Up For That’s Entertainment 2022

December 2, 2022


Mercy College student Alyssa Battaia and St Patrick's graduating dancer Lucy Crust will perform in the Centre Stage Dance Concert on December 5-6 at Mackay Entertainment & Convention Centre

St Patrick’s and Mercy College Mackay students feature prominently in Centre Stage Dance Company’s upcoming That's Entertainment 2022 Concert next Monday December 5 and Tuesday December 6 at the Mackay Entertainment & Convention Centre (MECC) starting at 6pm.      

Eight seniors, who have developed their dancing at Centre Stage under the tutelage of experienced dance teacher Cassie Craig since they were 2-3 years of age, will be graduating this year.

These include current St Patrick’s College Girls Captain Sophie Novosel and students Lucy Crust, Amber Roscher and Ella Newman.


That’s Entertainment 2022 includes young dancers from 2-18 years of age with first half of the concert showcasing a pantomime based on a family favourite, Peter Pan.  

Come fly through Neverland and meet the Lost Boys, Mermaids, Indians, Pirates and many more characters as Peter shows Wendy what it's like to never grow up!  

Second half features a smorgasbord of dance routines in Jazz, Tap, Hip Hop, Boys Hip Hop, Contemporary, Ballet, Cabaret and Showgirl.

This show is for all ages and is only group routines with no solos.

Tickets $48 adults, $35 concession or $24.50 children under 12. Enquiries (07) 4961 9777.

By Chris Karas

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Tia In The Big Apple

November 24, 2022

When Tia Gostelow visited Times Square for the first time earlier this year, she never imagined her face would be displayed across the towering electronic billboards mere months later.

The indie-pop darling, who started her music career in Mackay, was spotted on the iconic big screens of New York City over the weekend after being selected in YouTube’s Black Voices Class of 2023.

The US$100 million multi-year initiative was introduced by YouTube Music in 2020 to provide emerging Black creatives with resources needed to maximise their success on the platform.

Only 40 musicians were selected in the class of 2023 and only three from Australia: A.B. Original, BLESSED and Tia.

“You never really think you’ll get into things like this, so it was pretty unreal to be selected,” said Tia.

“Being able to work directly with YouTube and learn all of their tips straight from the source is probably the most exciting part.

“We also get to do co-writing, so being able to write with people from the States and people I probably wouldn’t have been able to meet or do a session with, that’s also an extremely exciting part of it.”

Tia’s face appeared on the New York City billboard as part of the initiative and will also appear on billboards in Los Angeles, Atlanta, Miami and Nashville.

“It was insane,” she said.

“After going there, and then actually seeing my face up on the billboard in that photo, I could realise how big of a deal it actually is.

“It’s something that I never thought my face would be on, to be honest.”

Tia posted a photo of the billboard on her social media and received supportive messages from far and wide.

“The reaction from everyone, especially people in Mackay, people that have supported me for so long, it was really overwhelming,” she said.

“Just seeing how far it spread and all the people that were messaging me and responding, it was just a great feeling.”

Tia says the selection comes at a great time, as she has recently finished recording her third album and looks forward to utilising the platform in the album’s release.

“I’m about to release a single as well, so being able to get these one-on-one sessions with someone from YouTube, showing me how to market everything properly and make the most out of releases, it’s just a really exciting part,” she said.

“The end half of this year has been really productive compared to the last three years, so it feels like things are starting to move and releases are coming, so I’m really excited for what next year holds.”

‘Say It To My Face’, the first single from Tia Gostelow’s third album, will be out on Thursday December 1.

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Locals To Finish Big Year Of Bull Riding In Townsville

November 24, 2022

With the PBR Australia 2022 season finale happening this weekend, a couple of Mackay locals will once again take centre stage at the toughest sport on dirt.

Shane “Maddog” Simpson and Jason Dittmann are two of Mackay and the Whitsundays most famous names in bull riding and will be joining the 22 riders in the arena at the Townsville Entertainment and Convention Centre.

Mr Dittmann is the man behind the powerhouse operation, Dittmann Bucking Bulls, which has dominated the PBR arena with a strong stable of bucking bulls.

“It’s been a solid season and we’re lucky to have a handful of young bulls coming through that have been on the tour for a couple of years and are really starting to hit their straps,” Mr Dittmann said.

Mr Dittmann is set to take a sweep of awards at the Grand Finals in Townsville next week with Bull of the Year, Contractor of the Year and Highest Earning Bull seemingly already stitched up by the Bloomsbury local.

“We are really excited to hit Townsville for the Grand Finals,” he said.

“It’s one of our favourite events of the year.

“We have had some unforgettable memories in that arena so hopefully all the boys do their job.”

As one of the sport’s most decorated Protection Athletes, Mr Simpson returned to the PBR arena in 2021 after an eight-year hiatus.

In 2022, he played a pivotal role protecting the human athletes from the bovine athletes at 10 different events and looks forward to returning to Townsville for the Grand Finals.

“I just love what I do,” Mr Simpson said.

“Being in there, fighting bulls with great blokes makes the job so much easier.

“I also love the physical challenges of the sport.

“I think the finals this year are going to be off tap with a lot of energy and great bull rides.”

With a career spanning three decades, Mr Simpson remained coy about whether he will be making a return in 2023.

“It might be the last time you see me… but I’m not 100 percent on that yet,” he laughs.

Mr Dittmann and “Maddog” will take to the ring at the PBR Monster Energy Tour Grand Finals this weekend, November 25 and 26, at the Townsville Entertainment Centre.

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Crafty Christmas Party

November 24, 2022

The Valley Spinners and Craft Group held its Christmas function recently at the Railway Hotel in Marian.

The special day was made more personal with members exchanging hand-made craft gifts.

The group has been a local favourite for sharing craft techniques for more than four decades. In 2024 it will celebrate its 45th year. Members meet on the first Monday and the third Saturday of each month.

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The Man About Town

November 24, 2022

A Mackay entrepreneur made his red-carpet debut at the premiere of his documentary at BCC Mount Pleasant last Thursday.

Adam Broadstock is the star of ‘The Man About Town’, a short documentary about carving a career through his business ‘Adam’s Special Deliveries’, a play on the acronym for ‘autism spectrum disorder’, the condition Adam lives with.  

“When Adam was ready to leave school, about the age of 18, we had no idea what he was going to do, there was nothing available for him, and we were a little concerned about his mental wellbeing as well as his social life,” said Adam’s mother Paula Broadstock.

Adam was given a small mail run which continued to grow and grow, eventuating to the small business he runs today.

“He likes driving and he likes meeting people, he likes being social,” Ms Broadstock said.

The film is one of six in the fourth season of the ‘Fearless’ series by Feros Care, shining a light on the value of diversity in the workforce.

“We want to be able to start a conversation within the community about more people in the workforce with disability,” said Feros Care Executive Manager of Disability and Community Development Jo Field.

“When people with disability can overcome the barriers to get employment, it absolutely adds value both to their life and to the life of their employers or companies.”

Ms Field is concerned about the statistics, saying 20% of Australians live with a disability however only 9% of workplaces in Australia employ people living with disability.

“We’re out to change that and we’re out to challenge those stereotypes that prevent people with disability getting into employment,” she said.

“We want him (Adam) to be an inspiration, a role model, a motivator for lots of others.”

The fourth season is the first involving people with disability both in front of, and behind, the camera, however it is not the first time Sydney-based filmmaker Julian Neuhaus of Ironbark Films has worked on an inclusive set.

“When I step onto any project, particularly if it’s been done by someone else before, my inspiration is to try and bring something new to it, something different, and we’ve done that through the inclusive filmmaking aspect,” Mr Neuhaus said.

“They’re gaining experience but they’re actually helping out in the crew and they’re actually in a valued role and contributing to the project.”

Mr Neuhaus directed and produced all six films in season four alongside film students who were in paid employment roles.

“You do all sorts of different projects but making content that not only people want to watch but content that I like to think will make the world a better place is really the stuff you like doing the most because there is value in it,” he said.

Alycia Staples is a film student with Bus Stop Films and was flown from her home in Brisbane to Mackay for both the filming and the premiere of ‘The Man About Town’.

“I’d heard of Julian because he was a teacher at Bus Top Films in Sydney so when I heard about him, I was like, ‘Okay, he seems pretty awesome, sign me up!’” she said.

“It was just one of the best experiences I’ve ever had because, one, I got to work with a different organisation and, two, I got to meet new people in the organisation.

“I learnt a lot from Julian and from the other people in the organisation.”

Fearless Films Season Four, named ‘People With Disability Carving Careers’, will be officially launched online on December 2 ahead of the International Day of People with Disability on December 3.

View the trailer and sign up for the full series premiere at

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Event Guide

November 24, 2022

Friday 25 November

A Night With The Firebirds

Friday, 5:30pm

Join for a night with the Queensland Firebirds to go behind the scenes with Head Coach, Rebecca Bulley and star players including Kim Ravaillion and Gabi Simpson. A night not to be missed in Mackay where you will hear first-hand on the season ahead and also unique stories from all. $65 for this money can't buy experience which includes dinner and drink on arrival.

Souths Leagues Club Mackay

Friday SUN.sets

Every Friday Evening From 6pm

Knock off drinks, lakeside dinner, good friends, and LIVE MUSIC.

Wake House Australia

Saturday 26 November

Mackay Netball Clinic

Saturday, 8:00am

Join the Queensland Firebirds for a morning full of Netball! Meet and greet with the Firebirds followed by skills and drills lead by the Netball Queensland team. This clinic is open for boys and girls aged 7+.

Mackay Netball Association

Sports Trainer Course

Saturday, 8:30am to Sunday, 1:00pm

The Level 1 Sports Trainer course covers how to manage emergency situations and apply first aid in a Rugby League environment as well as injury management, crisis management, concussion management, sports taping and transporting an injured athlete.

BB Print Stadium

QCWA Hoy And Cent Sale

Saturday, 1:30pm

Mackay Branch of the QCWA invite you to their Hoy and cent sale, Saturday November 26 from 1:30pm at the Mackay Branch Hall. Admission is $1 per playing card board including afternoon tea. Door raffles and cent sale tickets available with great prizes.

QCWA Mackay Branch Hall, 43 Gordon Street, Mackay

Celtic Stars

Saturday, 3:00pm

Claddagh School of Dance Annual Concert. A mix of modern and traditional Irish dancing performed by Jump'n Jig dancers through to Adult Celtic Dance Class. Beginners through to the World Championship 2023 Team - come celebrate Claddagh School of Dance’s achievements and progress in 2022

Mackay Northern Beaches State High School

Mackay Twilight Market

Saturday, 4:00pm to 9:00pm

Mackay Twilight Market at the Mackay Showgrounds in the big shed! $2 adult entry (kids 17 and under free). Entry fee collected at the door on your way in. Market stalls, Mini Eat Street, Local Musicians, Jumping Castles (Free) and Face Painting. Come browse the many local small business market stalls than have a seat listen to local musicians all while enjoying the yummy food Mackay food trucks have to offer. ATM on site for customers convenience. Enjoy a night out with your friends & family. It's not just another market, it’s a great night out.

Mackay Showgrounds

Suncorp Spirit Cup

Saturday, 7:00pm

Queensland Firebirds and Sunshine Coast Lightning are excited to announce the inaugural Suncorp Spirit Cup will take place at the Mackay Multisport Stadium on Saturday, November 26. The pre-season match, proudly supported by Suncorp, means an early Queensland derby for both teams ahead of the 2023 Suncorp Super Netball season.

Mackay Basketball Stadium

Mackay Mazda Mavericks vs Mulgrave Vikings

Saturday, 7:00pm

Get down and enjoy some gridiron while supporting the Mackay Mazda Mavericks in their last home game of the season.

Wests Leagues Club Mackay

Sunday 27 November

Sunday Live Music – VaMa

Sunday, 2:00pm to 5:00pm

Music every Sunday from 2pm - 5pm. Head down to the Seabreeze Hotel this Sunday for some fresh tunes, delicious food, and ice-cold brews.

Seabreeze Hotel

Monday 28 November

Trivia Night

Every Monday, 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 you can be put in a team - each team can have 2-7 players. Registrations from 6:30pm, starts 7pm. Book your table to avoid disappointment by calling 4965 6100.

Magpies Sporting Club Mackay

Tuesday 29 November

Santa Photos

Tuesday, 5:00pm to 7:00pm

Santa Claus is coming to Magpies! Meet Santa and get your family photos for free at Magpies reception. Bring your phone or camera to capture the memory. A gold coin donation is welcomed, all money will be donated to 'Make a Wish Foundation'.

Magpies Sporting Club Mackay

Wednesday 30 November

Mackay Farmers’ Market

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

The market is a showcase of our region’s amazing produce direct from the farmer.

Bluewater Quay

TVS Presents "This Is Me" Showcase

Wednesday, 6:30pm

It’s time for the Thompson Voice Studio end of year 'This is Me' Showcase! Thompson Voice Studio is excited to present soloists and groups performing their favourite personal style for you all. On the Conservatorium stage, you will be entertained by children, teens and adults singing their hearts out, doing what they love to do! You will be impressed by the sounds and the talent of these special performers. Bring the whole family and your friends to support these wonderful local artists at an unbelievable evening of entertainment.

Central Queensland Conservatorium Of Music

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. Everyone learns at their own pace and, even better, the first lesson is free on your way to learning the four step style of rock ‘n’ roll. $5 for members and $8 for non-members after that. The club caters for social activities for club members with regular dances with live bands in attendance and away trips. For further enquiries call 0408 983 911.

58 Macalister St, Mackay

Pauly Fenech's Fighting Authority

Wednesday, 7:00pm

Pauly Fenech's new show Fighting Authority will be appearing at the Seabreeze Hotel in Mackay on Wed 30 November. Doors Open 7pm. Show details and tickets available from the venue website

Seabreeze Hotel

Thursday 1 December

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 desert.

Bluewater Quay

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School’s Out

November 24, 2022

Image: A bittersweet end to their schooling years for 56 Whitsunday Anglican School students. Photo credit: Sam Gillespie

One chapter ends as a new one begins for 56 year 12 students at Whitsunday Anglican School.

The students sang the school song for the last time last Friday, November 18, before walking through a ‘Walk of Honour’, bringing a close to their schooling years.

School Captains Medha Dammalapati and Charlie Webb said the occasion was “extremely bittersweet”.

“All of the memories left behind but also the freedom of the new world,” said Medha.

“You’re leaving behind all these memories and all of these people you love and you’ve grown up with.”

“It’s exciting, scary, all of the above,” added Charlie.

“A whole new chapter of our lives has just been unlocked and we’re excited to take on what the world has to offer.”

The students began their senior year virtually as the pandemic restricted school attendance.

“They’ve been able to move through the many challenges and trials and tribulations and through the adversity and they’ve been outstanding the whole way,” said Whitsunday Anglican School Principal Andrew Wheaton.

“They’re an outstanding cohort.

“Each and every year we continue to be absolutely astounded by what our students achieve.

“The best advice that we can give our students is to really just be themselves and to follow their passions.”

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Mackay Christian College Graduates of 2022 Formal

November 24, 2022

Mackay Christian College Graduates of 2022 Formal

Photos: Supplied by Mackay Christian College

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Help Make Someone’s Christmas Special

November 17, 2022

For many, Christmas is a time to celebrate the festive season and enjoy the companionship of those closest to them.

For others less fortunate, it can be a lonely and stressful time of the year.

Each year, The Neighbourhood Hub delivers numerous activities to ensure that vulnerable community members of Mackay can experience a wonderful Christmas festive season.

This year, The Neighbourhood Hub is calling out to the Mackay community to assist with the purchase of vouchers and non-perishable food items to help us support vulnerable Mackay community members this Christmas.

Hampers will be distributed from the 4 George Street Centre to support local individuals and families in the lead up to Christmas.

Here is what your donation can provide:

• $20 can provide a meal for an individual

• $50 can feed a couple on Christmas day

• $100 can feed a family of four on Christmas day

With your help, Neighbourhood Hub is aiming to raise $5,000 to help make Christmas a special one for those who need it the most.

If you would like to donate to Neighbourhood Hub’s Christmas Community Appeal for 2022, please email for more information.

Please note that The Neighbourhood Hub is a recognized deductible gift recipient (DGR) for tax purposes.

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Preparing For High School

November 17, 2022

Life can’t get much busier than end of year at work, with holidays coming up plus Christmas shopping. Although, there’s one more factor our family can throw in, high school starts next year.

Where did the year go, that my boy us suddenly off to high school? If you remember the night of cyclone Yasi, that’s when he came along. We were in the Mater and I was looking out the window over the Ron Camm Bridge at how nasty it looked outside.

Daycare and Kindy seem like just a few years ago, but the reality is, in just over a year I have a teenager.  

The other thing with high school is it’s really expensive, and that’s just getting ready for it, because there’s no reusing last year’s uniform this year. Shirts, shorts, socks, sports uniform and then there’s the book list.  

I think there might be a computer involved this year or next too.

The best way to go is get it sorted early. From my experience, if you wait until January then something won’t be available, the socks won’t be in supply, the shoes won’t be the right size … I guarantee, something won’t be there, and then you get stressed.

I’m also wondering if this means I need to step up the lunchbox game?

I’m the home cook and sandwich maker, perhaps the days of vegemite sandwiches, ham and cheese will make way for avocado and something (if he branches out from being a slightly fussy eater).

So much to sort out right now before we have a holiday, plus Christmas shopping, but that can wait until December 24 … like every year.


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International Cinema Travelling To Mackay

November 17, 2022

Travelling Film Festival will bring an enthralling program of Australian and International cinema to Mackay this weekend from November 18-20 at BCC Cinemas Mackay Mount Pleasant.

The carefully curated line-up showcases some of the early contenders for the 2023 Academy Awards Best International Feature Film, including Cannes 2022 Grand Prix winner and winner of the Sydney Film Prize ‘Close’ and Kore-eda Hirokazu’s newest masterpiece ‘Broker’.  

“We are excited to come back to Mackay with a fresh, exciting, fun program this November for everyone to enjoy,” said Travelling Film Festival Manager Sanam Rodrigues.

“The program includes the Kiwi comedy Millie Lies Low starring the newly talented actress Ana Scotney as well as The Good Boss, featuring a riveting lead performance from Javier Bardem.

“Don’t miss out!”

Opening the Festival on Friday is ‘Broker’, directed by Japanese auteur Kore-eda Hirokazu, set in Korea where a laundry shop owner pairs up with an employee to go on a delightful and heartbreaking journey to find a good home for an abandoned child.

The festival will close on Sunday with Kiwi comedy ‘Millie Lies Low’ from director Michelle Savill, a cringe-inducing yet thoughtful exploration of imposter syndrome.

Other highlights of the program include the wildly funny and unnerving Spanish dramedy ‘The Good Boss’, where an invasive and controlling factory CEO pursues a prestigious industry award by any means necessary; Slovenian-Australian filmmaker Sara Kern’s debut feature ‘Moja Vesna’, with a magnificent young cast, alongside Australian legend Claudia Karvan, delivering a beautiful story about hope and the importance of family in the midst of overwhelming tragedy; and an inspiring Irish documentary, ‘Young Plato’, where a Northern Ireland primary school teacher changes the lives of his pupils through classical philosophy such as Plato, Socrates and Aristotle.

International festival favourites in the program include ‘Close’, a beautiful examination of an intense teen friendship torn asunder, with tremendous lead performances, stunning cinematography, and a pure cinematic tendency to convey emotion without dialogue; and The Passengers Of The Night, a warm family drama set in 1980s Paris where Elisabeth’s life turns upside down until she meets the free-spirit Talulah who’s inspiring confidence has a lasting impact on each of the family members.

Tickets to Travelling Film Festival Mackay are now on sale, with a Flexipass and Full Subscription allowing patrons to watch the whole program and save up to 30%.

For more information and bookings, please visit:

‘Broker’ will open the Travelling Film Festival in Mackay tonight

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Emerald Student Wins Illustrious ANZAC Experience

November 17, 2022

Eight Queensland students and two teacher chaperones have won the educational trip of a lifetime, awarded the Premier’s 2023 ANZAC Prize, with one of the gifted students coming from Emerald State High School.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said she was delighted to announce the winners will visit some of Australia’s most important and historical war sites in Europe.

“This year’s announcement is special,” the Premier said.

“It will be the first group to travel overseas since the Covid-19 pandemic began in 2020.

“It’s wonderful to see the travel component return and for our students to visit sites in London, Prance, and Belgium.

“It will allow the group to see and hear first-hand the ANZAC tradition and become Ambassadors for the ANZAC legacy when they return.”

Education Minister Grace Grace said the winners were chosen from 40 high-quality applicants.

“The students will be in years 9 to 12 when they travel in April,” Ms Grace said.

“This really is a life-changing experience.

“It’s an opportunity to deepen their knowledge and appreciation of our ANZAC history, and to experience the world, and share those experiences with their friends and fellow students.”

Anastasia Maher said she was inspired by her own family’s history.

“My great grandfather, Edward Harold Waters, had also served in Gallipoli and on the Western Front, and a close family friend, Roy Savage, had served with distinction in Vietnam,” Anastasia said.

“These experiences and family ties meant I’ve had a strong connection to the ANZACs my whole life, which in turn motivated me to apply for this exciting opportunity.”

She said she is amazed at how the ANZACs stayed optimistic in horrific circumstances.

“My great grandfather’s involvement in World War I is a part of the ANZAC story that resonates with me. Reading his diary in particular was very moving, knowing that someone so close to me had to endure such hardships,” Anastasia said.

“On this trip, I am looking forward to learning more about the ANZACS with other young Queenslanders who share my same passion.

“I can’t wait to build lifelong friendships and everlasting memories through this once-in-a-lifetime experience.

“I am also very eager to visit the places that my great grandfather has written about in his diary over a hundred years ago.”

The 2023 Premier’s Anzac Prize is presented in partnership with RSL Queensland, a platinum sponsor for the next three years.

Anastasia Maher, Emerald State High School

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End The Year With Christmas Cheer

November 17, 2022

From Finch Hatton to Sarina, Dows Creek to Calen, there are a plethora of performances and events to awaken the Christmas spirit.

Mackay Regional Council has kicked in $7,750 to boost festive celebrations in regional areas like Eungella and Habana.

From carols to community barbecues, movie nights to festive markets and everything in between – the Mackay region will be buzzing with festive fun.

As well as 10 exciting events, Mackay City Band received a $750 grant to perform at a number of community carols and Christmas events like the Rotary Christmas Fair, Habana carols and various retirement village performances.

To qualify for the grants, applicants needed to be not-for-profit organisations and the celebrations had to be open and welcoming to everyone.  

Events supported include:

• Mackay Baptist Church's free community Christmas carols event at Mackay Central State School on Sunday, November 27.

• Finch Hatton Progress Association's community Christmas gathering barbecue including Christmas craft for kids, festive light displays and tree on Wednesday, December 7, at Finch Hatton Park from 4pm to 8pm.

• The Neighbourhood Hub Christmas movie night at either the MECC precinct or Jubilee Park grounds on Saturday, December 17, from 6.30pm to 9pm.

• Mackay Riverside Market with live music, Santa and a Christmas cookie decoration workshop at the Bluewater Quay on Thursday, December 15, from 3pm to 7pm.

• Eungella Community Development Association’s Christmas party for members and families at the Eungella Community Hall on Saturday, December 10.

• Habana and Districts Progress Association’s Carols under the Stars on Saturday, December 17, starting at 7pm. They will also have Christmas tree decorations and crib set-up on Sunday, November 27, from 7.30am.

• Mackay Northern Beaches Neighbourhood Watch will host a Community Christmas Party with barbecue, music (ukulele group) and visit from Santa at Shoal Point Park on Friday, December 9, at 5.30pm to 7.30pm.

• Calen District War Memorial Hall Association is running a Christmas party with Santa, a bar, barbecue, mini cent sale, free face painting and live music at the Calen District State College on Saturday, December 3, from 6pm to 9pm.

• Dows Creek Hall Committee Inc will have a community Christmas fun afternoon with Christmas Carols Under the Stars with local children in the choir. There will also be children and adult games, water slides, barbecue, snacks and sweets, movie night and a ham wheel. To be held at Dows Creek Hall on Sunday, December 11, from 2pm to 9pm.

• The Mackay Presbyterian Church will run an event including Christmas craft stations, a petting zoo, a sausage sizzle and non-alcoholic drinks, followed by a Christmas concert at the Sarina Presbyterian Church on Sunday, December 4, from 2pm to 5pm, with the concert to run from 5.30pm to 7pm.

Mackay Regional Botanic Gardens along with Star 101.9 will also be hosting Carols in the Gardens on Saturday, December 3, from 5.30pm to 8.30pm, at the Meadowlands Amphitheatre.

This year’s event is a combination of Carols in the City and Christmas in the Gardens.

There will be an amusement area and a variety of food stalls to enjoy. Residents are welcome to bring chairs or a blanket and enjoy a picnic.

As the event is being held in the Botanic Gardens, this is an alcohol-free event.

Carols in the Gardens will be held on Saturday, December 3, from 5.30pm to 8.30pm, at the Meadowlands Amphitheatre

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Cowboys Milk Delivers Fresh Opportunities

November 17, 2022

You might’ve noticed the logo of your favourite footy club in the milk fridge of the supermarket lately.

The recent collaboration between the North Queensland Cowboys and Kenilworth Dairies has shaken up dairy cabinets in Coles stores throughout north Queensland from Mackay to Cairns.

Cowboys Milk debuted late last month as the National Rugby League’s first officially licenced milk, available from over 20 Coles and Coles Express stores in North Queensland.

Cowboys Chief Executive Jeff Reibel said the first-of-a-kind deal would see the club’s iconic logo appear on two litre Cowboys Milk products, with a percentage of profits donated to the Cowboys Community Foundation.

“The cornerstone of this deal is Kenilworth Dairies commitment to support our Cowboys Community Foundation’s work to improve education, health, employment and social outcomes for disadvantaged young people,” Mr Reibel said.

“A percentage of sales from Cowboys Milk will go directly to our youth programs such as supporting more than 100 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students who access quality secondary education at our NRL Cowboys House boarding facility.

“The cream on top is that Cowboys Milk will see our brand take pride of place on family dining tables throughout the North.”

Kenilworth Dairies’ Managing Director John Cochrane said the development of Cowboys Milk in collaboration with North Queensland’s football club “just made sense”.

“For over four generations, our family has passionately focused on creating high quality dairy products from milk supplied by family-owned farms in our regional community,” he said.

“This commitment to quality, dependability and community values are qualities we believe Kenilworth Dairies shares with the Cowboys, so it means the world to me to release this product to support the club and the amazing work of its Cowboys Community Foundation.”

“There’s not many things in life that have grown with me from being a young boy to a proud grandfather, but during this time I’ve consumed milk and footy in equal measure which makes our brands a perfect partnership.”

Whip down to selected North Queensland Coles stores to tackle a two litre bottle of full cream or lite Cowboys Milk today.

Cowboys milk is available across north Queensland. Photo supplied

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Students Racing To F1 In Schools National Finals

November 17, 2022

Three students from Holy Spirit College (HSC) are gearing up to compete in the REA Formula 1 (F1) in Schools National Competition in Penrith in March 2023 following success in the recent State Finals.

F1 in Schools mimics the world of a Formula One team with groups of students following a pathway of engineering manufacturing disciplines to develop the world’s fastest miniature F1 car.

From Monday, October 31 to Wednesday, November 2, two teams from Holy Spirit College competed in the REA F1 in Schools State Finals held at Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane.

Team Syphons, comprising of year 10 students Lucas Clelland, Luke Eldridge and Tyler Smith, placed first in the Professional Class – Secondary Senior and qualified for Nationals next year.

Syphons Team Manager Luke Eldridge said F1 has opened up plenty of opportunities for him and his teammates.

“What I really enjoy about the competition is the fact that you can meet people with the same interests in the same area,” he said.

“It’s exciting but there’s definitely a lot of hard work that’s going in.

“We’re hoping to get the most out of what we’ve learnt this year and previous years and really put that all together to get the best experience possible at Nationals.”

Syphons teammate Lucan Clelland said the opportunity has given the team a set of highly desirable and transferable skills.

“Although it is a very educational experience, it is also a highly rewarding and a positive chance to get a glimpse into other schools across the state and the nation, building friendships and having a great time whilst competing.,” he said.

Year 8 students Riley Barretta, Hayden Blines and Henry Lawrence competed for the first time as Team Speed of Light (SOL), finishing fourth and achieving the Chair of Judges Recognition of Achievement for Development Class – Secondary.

Team SOL Chief Marketing Manager Hayden Blines said they learnt a lot from the experience and have high hopes for the future.

“Next year we’re aiming for nationals just like the older boys,” he said.

“We did really well at states, but we’ve just got to improve a few things.

“(Team Syphons) have really shown us the way to do things, especially with sponsors and marketing.

“Most of our team members are aspiring engineers and the STEM field is amazing, there’s plenty of opportunities.”

Peter Mallet, HSC Design & Technologies Teacher, said the school is proud of both teams.

“There is so much more to F1 in Schools than just designing and racing a miniature car and these students have worked so hard to achieve this success,” he said.

“We wish Syphons all the best as they progress to the National Finals.”

Holy Spirit College has been competing in the F1 in Schools Challenge since 2016 and students have now progressed through to National Finals two years in a row.

Team Syphons L-R Tyler Smith, Luke Eldridge and Lucas Clelland with their F1 car

First time competitors Team SOL L-R Hayden Blines, Henry Lawrence and Riley Barretta. Photo credit: Sam Gillespie

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Dancing Away From Being Broken: The Brave Ballerina Tells Her Story

November 17, 2022

After suffering for decades through the hands and words of others, Broken Ballerina Inc. Founder, Jules Thompson, said the lowest point in her life was having her children taken away from her.

“When I finally fled domestic violence in 2012 and had my two little boys with me, it was a turning point,” Jules said.

“But a few months later through dealing with the trauma I had a breakdown, I was institutionalised and thrown in a psych ward in a mental health unit.

“My children were taken away from me and my rights as a parent taken away,” Jules said.

“I was mislabelled, misjudged, drugged, and my children were handed back to our abuser to be re-abused.

“That was my lowest point, losing my children and having nothing left in this world.”

Her book, Broken Ballerina, covers her history of abuse through domestic violence and how she fought her way out of the lowest point of her life. Jules celebrated her book launch last weekend at the Mt Pleasant Shopping Centre and says it does have a happy ending.

“My book is full of lessons learned and I hope it empowers people,” Jules said.

“I want to show people that whether they struggle with drugs or alcohol, if they are being abused or dealing with another traumatic situation, there is hope and there is help.

“I’m proof that you can turn your life around and become whatever you choose to be.”

Jules wrote most of the book in 2016 and then recently added to it before it was published.

“I came up with the title in a Kenworth truck that Pete was driving as we travelled through the middle of Australia. The name Broken Ballerina, it just came to me in a moment.”

Jules Thompson launched her book, Broken Ballerina, last weekend at Mt Pleasant Shopping Centre. Photo: Amanda Wright

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Generous Staff Grant Helps Domestic Violence Charity

November 17, 2022

Mackay’s Broken Ballerina is able to dance another day thanks to a generous grant from CommBank.

The local Mackay not-for-profit which supports victims of domestic violence was one of 200 community organisations set to receive a $10,000 donation from CommBank as part of the CommBank Staff Foundation’s Community Grants program.

The $10,000 grant will allow Broken Ballerina to continue offering this vital local service and assisting those who are re-starting their lives after getting out of an abusive relationship.

The multi-million-dollar pool is made up of regular contributions by CommBank staff which are matched by the bank, and this year’s program builds on CommBank’s 100+ year history of supporting the community.

Through its Staff Foundation, CommBank employees nominate the charities they’re most passionate about to receive funding.

Liz Geisler, Branch Manager at Commonwealth Bank in Caneland Shopping Centre said, “We’re incredibly thankful to these inspiring organisations that are creating a brighter future in communities across Australia.

“The CommBank Staff Foundation is proud to support them to continue the amazing work they are doing and driving positive change.”

Jules and Pete Thompson from Broken Ballerina celebrated a $10,000 donation from CommBank with Liz Geisler (Branch Manager) and her team from CommBank Caneland Branch

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Area 14 Toastmasters Step Up For Conference and Speech Contests

November 17, 2022

The 2022 Annual Area 14 Toastmasters Conference and Speech Contests were hosted by Calen Canefields Club and held at Calen District State College Library on Saturday November 12, 2022.

Eyeopeners, Mackay, Mackay Regional Council, Pioneer and Calen Canefields Clubs participated in the speech contests with the theme of the conference being “Stepping Up”.

There were four speech contests: Table Topics and Evaluation that are not prepared speeches, and International and Humorous are 5-to-7-minute speeches.

Content is your own choice but must be original.

Lynne O’Neill won the Evaluation Speech Contest representing Eyeopener Club and the International Speech Contest representing Calen Canefields Club.

Bert Pulman representing Pioneer Club won the Table Topics Speech Contest and Savannah Vella won the Humorous Speech Contest representing Mackay Regional Council Club.

All speeches were closely contested and were of a high standard with varied content and were a delight and entertaining to listen to.

Trophies were presented to Lynne O’Neill representing Calen Canefields Club as winner of the International Speech Contest, Pioneer Toastmaster Club as the overall winner of points and Mackay Regional Council Club as winner of the travel trophy.

The winners from Area 14 will now compete at the Northern Division Conference which will be held in Mackay on April 1, 2023.

Contributed by Gary Minter

Lynne O’Neill accepting the International Speech Contest Ken and Norma Stewart Trophy from Area Director Gary Minter

Second from the left Bert Pulman won the Table Topics Contest

Middle Savannah Vella won the Humorous Speech Contest

Members from Eyeopeners, Mackay, Mackay Regional Council, Pioneer and Calen Canefields Clubs participated in the contests. Photos supplied

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A Twist On A Christmas Classic

November 17, 2022

Mackay locals are set to unwrap a special Christmas celebration at Mackay Entertainment and Convention Centre (MECC) this year.

Christmas is only just around the corner, and that means one thing: it’s acceptable to play Love Actually on repeat.

But this year, The MECC is offering a twist on the classic film, wrapped up into a must-see live experience.

On Saturday 3 December, The MECC will be home to “Christmas Actually”, a live concert experience delivering hits from the 2003 British Christmas-themed romantic comedy ‘Love Actually’.

Featuring an all-star cast led by Australian cabaret icon Libby O’Donovan OAM, the performance includes smash hit songs by Mariah Carey, Joni Mitchell, Kelly Clarkson, The Beach Boys and The Beatles, brought to life by a band of Australia’s top musicians and superstar vocalists.

“We’re so excited to bring a celebration of an iconic Christmas classic to Mackay,” said acting Manager of MECC and Events, Jemma Carey.

Described by Limelight Magazine as “a sure-fire hit that has kept audiences coming, and returning for years”, the show has high-energy performances that will fill your soul with warmth and Christmas cheer.

“We wanted to create a unique Christmas celebration for friends and work colleagues to wrap up the year,” Miss Carey said.

“Airlie Beach band, Flying Double Front Kick will provide the post show entertainment that will have you dancing the night away”, added Miss Carey.

Along with individual tickets, tables of four, eight and ten are available with the option to purchase catering selections during the show.

For a little extra fun, a Christmas package is available where patrons receive a glass of champagne and an array of festive food selections with their tickets.

What: Christmas Actually

When: Saturday 3 December 2022, 7pm

Where: MECC Plenary Halls Civic Precinct Alfred Street  


A dazzling premiere at the Sydney Opera House in 2019. Photo Credit John McRae

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Embrace Difference And Celebrate Diversity

November 10, 2022

Returning to the MECC for 2022, LOOSE ENDS will be an eclectic evening of art, music and performances by local artists and performers.

The performance is set to be a quirky night of entertainment, giveaways, fundraising, socialising and more as Crossroad Arts aim to heighten awareness for the International Day of People with Disability.

Crossroad Arts has initiated LOOSE ENDS to address the gap for young people with disability to go out in the CBD and know that the venue and facilities are accessible, and the attitudes of staff and clientele is open and inclusive.

Acts include Billy Dyer, Maddison Hunt, Groove Movers, With One Voice, Choir of Unheard Voices, Strictly Wheelchair dance group, Sacha Davis and Crossroad Arts Crew and more!

Crossroad Arts’ Artistic Director Alison Richardson says, “We are really excited to have such an array of acts on the evening in a fully accessible venue.

“We’re keen to address the need for an inclusive social performance evening for everyone, so I encourage people to come along, have a drink, meet a new friend and enjoy some entertainment!

“This is also one of our fundraisers for the year so we are keen to see people come out in support of what we’re trying to achieve here at Crossroad Arts - visibility and recognition for the talent we have in the region."

LOOSE ENDS is an Auslan interpreted event and the venue is accessible (toilet and level access) and is an official event of International Day for People with Disability.

WHEN: Friday November 25, 2022 7pm- 9:30pm

WHERE: North Foyer, The MECC Alfred St Mackay

TICKETS: $15 - $25 Bookings essential: (07) 4961 9777 or online via

Companion cards accepted

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Event Guide

November 10, 2022

Friday 11 November

Estate Planning for Older People

Friday, 9:30am to 11:00am

Free seminar for your financial future delivered by Services Australia.

Gordon White Library

Ananse Stories Performance

Friday, 3:45pm to 4:45pm, Gordon White Library

Saturday, 10am to 11am, Dudley Denny City Library

Sam Derchie uses an engaging blend of storytelling, song and drumming to introduce children to Ananse, a spider from the folklore of the Ashantie people of Ghana in West Africa. His stories, with their messages of co-operation, empathy and the joy of learning, are interspersed with music, drumming and song and provide numerous opportunities for children to get hands on and participate.

With his colourful Ghanaian clothing, his many African percussion instruments and his years of performance experience, Sam holds his audience from beginning to end, leaving children with a lasting impression of his African culture. For children aged five to 12 years.

Friday SUN.sets

Every Friday Evening From 6pm

Knock off drinks, lakeside dinner, good friends, and LIVE MUSIC.

Wake House Australia


Opening Friday, November 11 running until Sunday, November 27, 7:30pm

A combination of sexy circus acts, raunchy dancing and cheeky comedy will have you crying with laughter. Infamous is an 18+ event encompassing delicious treats and snacks, VIP table service with a choice of alcoholic beverages for a never-seen-before circus cabaret vibe. At every Infamous show you can be assured of an intimate and unique setting when you arrive under the Spiegel Big Top. For all those who are over 18, this is a fresh and new offering to sit back to and enjoy the Infamous story, the costumes, the outrageous performances by a bevy of stunning superstars.

Mackay Showgrounds

Saturday 12 November

Jules Thompson book launch of ‘Broken Ballerina’

Saturday, 10:00am to 2:00pm

Come and see Jules at Mount Pleasant Centre on centre stage and purchase a signed copy of her autobiography ’Broken Ballerina’. A percentage of the sales will go to Broken Ballerina Inc.

Mount Pleasant Centre

De Goey Contractors Mackay BBQ and Beer Festival

Saturday, 11:00am

Enjoy a day out in the sun with friends listening to live music, eating some great BBQ Food and drinking your choice of over 50 Australian and International Beers!

Harrup Park

Theatre Arts Mackay Dance Excellence presents Showcase Gala 2022

Saturday, 4:00pm

Showcasing the very talented and diverse students from Twinkle Stars through to the elite Senior Students.  This show is sure to entertain with performances in all genres of Dance/Acro/Drama and Musical Theatre.


Sunday 13 November

Mackay Nth Qld Babies & Kids Market

Sunday, 8:30am

Over 50 Local businesses on display with all thing’s babies and kids, as well as mum to be and new mum products. The morning is set to be amazing, with lucky door prizes handed out throughout the market, jumping castles, face painting, free bounty bags. Don't forget you can get your coffee fresh and hot at the event to have while you’re shopping. Come join our amazing market morning to see all the amazing local small businesses under the one roof.

Mackay Showgrounds

Sour Sunday at Red Dog Brewery

Sunday, 1:00pm to 6:00pm

For the sour lovers - this one's for you. Ballistic Whitsundays will be joining Red Dog Brewery and celebrating all things Sours. The Ballistic beer trailer will have classics and some limiteds: Water Me Lawn, Twang Guava and Passionfruit, Twang Blackberry and Berliner Weisse.

Red Dog Brewery

Sunday Live Music – BarbsWired

Sunday, 2:00pm to 5:00pm

Music every Sunday from 2pm - 5pm. Head down to the Seabreeze Hotel this Sunday for some fresh tunes, delicious food, and ice-cold brews.

Seabreeze Hotel

Choir rehearsals: Christmas at St Paul’s

Sundays 4pm for four weeks

A four-week rehearsal schedule for the choir for Christmas at St Paul’s starts today at 4pm at the church. Have fun, make friends, and help lead worship at Christmas time in the beautiful acoustics of St Paul’s Uniting Church. It doesn’t matter if your voice is a bit squeaky, just turn up and sing!

St Paul’s Uniting Church, Macalister Street

Paul Hayman presents Cloudland the Musical

Sunday, 6:00pm

Cloudland the Musical tells the story of a culturally significant venue on top of Bowen Hills overlooking Brisbane that played an integral part of the most defining decades of popular music. Its overnight demolition in 1982 stunned not just the locals but people from all corners of the globe who had attended the venue during its lifetime. The story is filled with drama and controversy and comprises of a blend of original compositions and works from iconic artists that played at the venue including The Bee Gees, Buddy Holly, The Angels, Jerry Lee Lewis, Cold Chisel, Johnny O’Keefe, Midnight Oil, Australian Crawl, Normie Rowe, Mental as Anything, Bill Haley, Split Enz and more. Cloudland was no ordinary venue.


Tuesday 15 November

BMA Kidspace

Tuesday, 10:00am to 2:00pm

Join local artists and performers for creative art activities designed for toddlers and their adults. Drop-in anytime between 10am and 2pm (live children's music from 11.30am to 12.15pm). BMA Kidspace, Artspace Mackay’s free and ever popular toddler’s program, gives children under five a chance to explore and have fun with art in a climate of co-operative learning. The program includes free artist-run craft activities in two sessions, Sess1: Anytime from 10 to 11:30am; Sess2: Anytime from 12:15 to 2pm with live musical entertainment 11:30am to 12:15pm. Bring your children along for a fun day of art-making, singing and dancing. Proudly presented by BHP Mitsubishi Alliance.

Artspace Mackay

Musical Bingo at the Seabreeze Hotel

Tuesday, 7:00pm to 9:00pm

There’s only one thing better than bingo, and that’s Musical Bingo. Every Tuesday join us in the Bar from 7pm where you can show off your musical knowledge in Musical Bingo. Prizes will be on offer for our winners each and every week so make sure you’re on the ball as we drop the beats! Oh, and entry is FREE! Registration opens from 6pm, with all the action kicking off from 7pm. So music buff or not, make sure you clear your schedule each Tuesday evening for Musical Bingo at the Seabreeze Hotel.

Seabreeze Hotel

Wednesday 16 November

Mackay Farmers’ Market

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

The market is a showcase of our region’s amazing produce 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. Everyone learns at their own pace and, even better, the first lesson is free on your way to learning the four step style of rock ‘n’ roll. $5 for members and $8 for non-members after that. The club caters for social activities for club members with regular dances with live bands in attendance and away trips. For further enquiries call 0408 983 911.

58 Macalister St, Mackay

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November 10, 2022

Immerse yourself in one of the most unique productions touring the world.

Celtic Illusion, the Irish dance and Grand Illusion sensation that has taken Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Canada and the USA by storm and will tour nationwide in 2023.

Even fans who have seen our previous shows won’t dare miss The Magic Returns tour that is set to raise the bar once again. This exhilarating production has broken barriers by fusing unparalleled art forms and is more spectacular than ever before.

A breathtaking array of experiences, fusing Irish Dance, Magic and influential flavours of Fosse, Michael Jackson, with a Broadway style. Celtic Illusion is a show like no other.

The Reimagined tour features new spellbinding illusions and choreography, alongside a musical score that will either make you cry or send shivers down your spine.

Starring the multi-talented former lead dancer of Michael Flatley’s Lord of the Dance and Star Illusionist Anthony Street, with Georgia May, a marvel in both dance and Illusion. These impeccable performers lead a cast of champion dancers recruited from renowned productions across the world, such as Lord of the Dance and Riverdance, into a theatrical masterpiece that will have you mesmerised from the moment the curtain is raised.

Celtic Illusion will surpass your expectations and leave you wanting more.

Don’t hesitate, and book now to know the hype of one of the largest and most unique Dance and Illusion shows in the world.

Secure your seats today and experience an evening you will never forget!

What: Celtic Illusion – The Magic Returns

Where: The MECC

When: 20 April, 2023

Tickets: Available from the MECC, starting from $69.90

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Day For It

November 10, 2022

Harrup Park is heating up the barbecues.

After a huge turnout in 2021, the De Goey Contractors Mackay BBQ and Beer Festival is back again in 2022 this Saturday November 12 from 12pm.

It’s the perfect opportunity to enjoy a day out in the sun with friends listening to live music, eating some great food and drinking your choice from more than 50 Australian and international beers on offer.

In 2021, the Mackay BBQ and Beer Festival worked with the Australasian Barbecue Alliance to bring an official round of the Australian Barbecue Championships to Mackay.

The competition was named ‘The BBQ Battle’ and saw 20 teams travel to Mackay to compete in the lucrative Barbecue Championship Round with $9,500 in prize money.

This year, they’re doing it again, looking to bring back all the big names.

Watch local legends battle it out to win Mackay’s Best Beard and Mullet Competitions.

Entry is free to anyone on the day and there is still plenty of time left to grow a winning mullet or beard.  

It wouldn’t be the Mackay BBQ and Beer Festival without the famous Chilli Eating Contest.

Can you handle the heat?

Applications can be found at Harrup Park’s website.  

The event will feature live entertainment from Kyle LIONHART, French Press, The Wild Sky and more throughout the day.

Harrup Park General Manager Adrian Young said he’s extremely excited to have the event back in 2022.

“It was a great experience to have a sanctioned ABA event in Mackay with teams traveling across Queensland to compete on our grounds,” he said.

“This year we’re also making an effort to get more independent breweries on board to help showcase their beers.”

WHAT: The De Goey Contractors Mackay BBQ and Beer Festival

WHERE: Harrup Park Country Club

WHEN: Saturday, November 12 from 12:00pm to 8:00pm


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Music Festival Announces Australia’s Brightest Rising Band

November 10, 2022

The Airlie Beach Festival of Music brought thousands of people together for one wild weekend of live tunes and awesome beats, from its central main-stage tent at the Whitsunday Sailing Club right through to the 16 venues spread right across the town.

A highlight of this years’ event was the nationally acclaimed Passport to Airlie Competition which saw eight talented representatives from all around Australia compete for the chance to win a spot in next year’s main-stage line-up.

The competition received hundreds of entrants and heats were carried out in Darwin, Mackay, Melbourne, Newcastle, Sunshine Coast, Byron Bay and Cairns – whittling the finalists down to one representative from each region.

The grand final took place last Thursday night and Perry Street Park from Brisbane were announced the overall winners.

The Neo, Abi Muir, Weathered, Karly Jewell, Dande & The Lion, Sunday Lemonade & Owls of Neptune also made the finals.

Perry Street Park said they were stoked to win.

“The talent pool was so deep this year, so we feel absolutely honoured," they said.

"For an up-and-coming band to be a part of a festival this size is a huge opportunity to get exposure and build the chops for a career in the industry, and now to be crowned the winners and come back again next year is incredible," added front-man Benny.

The evening saw a huge crowd come to support the artists and the night was topped-off with a stunning acoustic performance by Passport to Airlie competition judge Sarah McLeod from The Superjesus.

“A chance to be heard in a professional environment and to receive advice from established artists - I would’ve jumped at this opportunity when I was young. Feedback from industry professionals goes a long way,” said Sarah.

Brisbane band, Perry Street Park win Passport to Airlie competition

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New Committee For Orchid Enthusiasts

November 3, 2022

The Mackay & District Orchid Society Inc. held its Annual General Meeting at the Sporting Wheelies Hall last month where a new committee was selected.

The incoming committee for 2023 is:

President: Dennis Farlow

Vice President: Roger Clark

Secretary: Ros Farlow

Treasurer: Eve Penningh

Committee Members: Ron Laird; Veanna Joiner; Debbie Clark

A presentation was made to the Club Patron, Mayor of Mackay, Cr. Greg Williamson and his wife Annette.

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Man Of The Year To Be Announced At Men’s Day Breakfast

November 3, 2022

Four years ago, Shed Happens Mackay started to celebrate International Men’s Day with a fundraising breakfast, aiming to lift up the men of Mackay.

The 2022 edition of the breakfast is nearing where the Mackay Man Of The Year will be named from nine proud nominees.

Shed Happens Mackay Convenor Frank Cowell said being nominated is an honour.

“We don’t lift up and celebrate the positive things a bloke does very often,” he said.

“The average bloke in the street who does his very best at being a dad, a husband, a provider, that’s not very often celebrated, and the idea of Man of the Year is for that to be celebrated and for people to nominate blokes who might not make the cut, but it identifies their qualities.”

International Men’s Day is structured around six pillars and Mr Cowell said these pillars are qualities a man can aspire to.

Man of the Year nominees provide a written submission which is compared alongside these pillars before an interview takes place.

“When we do the verbal interview, we cover every aspect of a bloke’s life: family life, what he does in the community, what’s his definition of a man,” Mr Cowell said.

“We ask about his history, any awards he might’ve got, those sorts of things.”

Sponsored by DGH Engineering, all proceeds from the International Men’s Day fundraising breakfast will be donated to local groups on the day, to assist them to carry on the valuable work they do in our community.

As with other years, table discussions will be held within the groups seated together, and the results of the table discussions will be disseminated and discussed with the attendees.

As well as the Mackay Man Of The Year Award announcement, there will be raffles drawn throughout the morning.

Tickets are $60.00 per person including breakfast, or $550 for a table of 10, and are available via the Shed Happens Mackay Facebook page.

WHAT: International Men’s Day Breakfast

WHERE: Ocean International Resort

WHEN: November 18, 2022 from 6:45am to 9:45am

CONTACT: Frank Cowell - 0434 908 968

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Event Guide

November 3, 2022

Friday 4 November

Public Art Walk

Friday, 4:30pm

A free afternoon guided walk exploring Mackay’s public art. Hosted by Artspace Mackay Director Tracey Heathwood, the free city art walk for all ages begins at Artspace Mackay and takes you through the city centre. Along the way, participants will learn about Mackay’s iconic public art installations, and the local, and internationally-acclaimed artists who created them. Whether you’re an artist, art lover, local or visitor to our lovely riverside city, you’ll find this late afternoon public art walk a thoroughly enjoyable experience. Bring friends, family members, or come by yourself - wear a hat, comfortable shoes, bring a bottle of water, and arrive promptly to Artspace Mackay as the group will depart on time.

Artspace Mackay

Ninja Hub Teen Shed Event

Friday, 6:00pm

After their first fun filled Teen Shed event, the teens have asked for more. The Teen Shed event will be back on the first Friday of each month. Event runs from 6pm - 8pm ages 12 to 18. Everyone is welcome. Bookings are required. Cost includes 2 hours non-stop Ninja fun, pizza and drink for $25.

The Ninja Hub

Friday SUN.sets

Every Friday Evening From 6pm

Knock off drinks, lakeside dinner, good friends, and LIVE MUSIC.

Wake House Australia

Creedence Clearwater Collective

Friday, 8:00pm

Creedence Clearwater Collective invites you to join in for a celebration of Creedence Clearwater Revival, as they walk through the life and music of one of the world’s most iconic bands – from the songs they wrote, to the songs covered, to the songs they wrote for others.  The Creedence Clearwater Collective brings to the stage a six piece band – with a guest Saxophonist and a vocalist that emulates John Fogerty’s distinct vocals – to capture the unique CCR sound. You do not want to hear through the grapevine that you missed out on this hit-packed production.


Saturday 5 November

Mackay Woodturners Christmas Expo

Saturday and Sunday, 9:00am to 3:00pm

Featuring demonstrations and sales of woodturning, scroll sawing, intarsia, wood carving and pyrography. This is a great opportunity to purchase unique, locally handcrafted gifts for Christmas such as bowls, clocks, pens and toys. All welcome. Contact Frank on 0417 625 818 for more information.

Snow Wright Court, Beaconsfield

RADfest '22 Junior Roller Derby Bootcamp

Saturday, 12:00pm to 8:00pm and Sunday, 8:00am to 1:00pm

Mackay City Rollers is hosting the first ever RADfest. Why RAD? Well, it’s all about Regional Alliance Derby, providing an opportunity for regional junior skaters to meet, develop and just have a RAD time skating together. Open to Junior Skaters 8 - 17 years of all skill levels. Featuring special guest coaches to be announced on the event page, on and off skates training sessions, short track and WFTDA rules scrimmages, ramp skating demos and a whole lot of fun in the gorgeous tropical Queensland setting of Mackay. $40 weekend pass, go to the Facebook event to register.

Mackay PCYC

Last Latin Night for the Year

Saturday, 7:30am

Latin dance fusion with Indigenous dance. Maria Eugenia Alvarez with special guest Patrick Thaiday will perform together for the first time in Mackay for this special night. An incredible night for all to be part of this experience.

Palace Hotel

Chess the Musical

Saturday, 8:00am to 10:00pm and Sunday, 2:00pm to 4:00pm

As another chess drama plays out in the real world, join Mackay Choral Society as they present the exciting Chess the Musical at the wonderful Conservatorium Theatre.

Central Queensland Conservatorium Of Music

Sunday 6 November

Sunday Live Music – Leyon Milner & Zoey Mills

Every Sunday, 2:00pm to 5:00pm

Music every Sunday from 2pm - 5pm. Head down to the Seabreeze Hotel this Sunday for some fresh tunes, delicious food, and ice-cold brews.

Seabreeze Hotel

Monday 7 November

National Recycling Week recycling facility tours

Monday to Friday, 12:30pm to 1:30pm

Would you like to learn what happens to your recyclables when they reach council’s Materials Recovery Facility? Book a tour any day during National Recycling Week (November 7 to 11) from 12.30pm to 1.30pm.

Materials Recovery Facility, Paget

Founders Allegiance

Monday, 5:30pm to 7:00pm

Free business start-up support and assistance. If you are a budding entrepreneur, monthly check-ins are a fantastic way to keep up to date with business trends and create business opportunities and relationships. You will have honest conversations about your business dreams, strategies and goals. Split Spaces wants your business to succeed and has the networks to help get you there. This is a monthly check-in designed to help you maintain your goals and stay on track. This group will help you troubleshoot your hurdles and connect you with industry members and opportunities to connect with fellow entrepreneurs.

Split Spaces

Tuesday 8 November

Be Storm Ready - a workshop for the Mackay Multicultural community

Tuesday, 10:30am

Are you from the Mackay Multicultural community and have you lived through a storm season, cyclone or natural disaster in Mackay? Would you like to know more about what the recently announced La Nina weather event will mean for the Mackay region this spring/summer season? Do you want to be able to work through a plan for your own family with resources to take home and use to prepare for storm, flood, cyclone and other natural disasters? You’re invited to attend this session which will be run by the Mackay Regional Council Disaster Preparedness team along with the State Emergency Service (SES). You will have a chance to talk to you about your own experiences, ask questions and what it means to prepare fully for a storm season in North Queensland. Lunch will be provided. Children welcome. RSVP: by Friday November 4 for catering purposes.

The Neighbourhood Hub

Wednesday 9 November

Mackay Farmers’ Market

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

The market is a showcase of our region’s amazing produce direct from the farmer.

Bluewater Quay

Healthier Parents Program – Activate Mackay Region

Every Wednesday, from 9:30am

Following the success of the recent pilot program and overwhelming interest, the Healthier Parents program has become part of Activate Mackay Region and will continue to be conducted at the Andergrove Hall by Lauren Neill of Women’s Health Physio Mackay. The subsidised class is part of Activate Mackay Region at a cost of $5 paid directly to the service provider. To find out more about these classes, visit council’s website.

Andergrove Hall

Soul Jam Wednesdays at The Kooyong Hotel

Every Wednesday, 6:00pm to 9:00pm

Soul Jam has an intimate room where they will be hosting another friendly space to share your originals, jam with others and experiment with music. Supplied is a drum kit and bass guitar. All artists welcome including slam poets and comedians.

The Kooyong Hotel

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. Everyone learns at their own pace and, even better, the first lesson is free on your way to learning the four step style of rock ‘n’ roll. $5 for members and $8 for non-members after that. The club caters for social activities for club members with regular dances with live bands in attendance and away trips. For further enquiries call 0408 983 911.

58 Macalister St, Mackay

Call for singers: Christmas at St Paul’s

Register today for the choir for Christmas at St Paul’s. Have fun, make friends, and help lead worship at Christmas time in the beautiful acoustics of St Paul’s Uniting Church. It doesn’t matter if your voice is a bit squeaky! Join the St Paul’s Singers by contacting the church today on 4957 3557 or

St Paul’s Uniting Church, Macalister Street

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Locally Produced Short Film In International Competition

November 3, 2022

A Mackay-based filmmaker has entered her short film into an international competition, asking for local support to put Mackay on the filmmaking map.

Writer, director and producer (among many other duties and talents) Alle Segretti has been making films for over 20 years, her films winning awards and screening at festivals all over the world.

‘Golden Hour’ is currently running in the Zhiyun Annual Short Video Contest and stars Damien Thomas and Laura Galley as a couple throwing items at the sun, attempting to induce a sunset.

Filmed on a property south of Mackay in August, ‘Golden Hour’ was made for the Sydney Underground Film Festival’s 48-hour film competition TAKE48, tasking filmmakers with incorporating a particular object, honey, and a line of dialogue, “This is your last chance,” into their films.

“We’d been having these really amazing sunsets, which were caused by the Tongan volcano,” said Alle.

“I thought, ‘Sunsets, golden hour, honey, it all makes sense. Why don’t we just have someone throwing something at the sun trying to turn it into a sunset?’”

Shooting wasn’t without drama, with solar mass ejections causing equipment faults.

“At the particular time of day that we were shooting to get the sun at the right angle, we actually had equipment fails,” said Alle.

“The drone went off in its own direction, the camera stopped working, radio mics stopped recording.

“All of this was happening at exactly the same time on both days.”

‘Golden Hour’ has been entered in the Narrative category of the Zhiyun Annual Short Video Contest, with five judges of varying professional backgrounds to announce the winners on November 20.

“If we could get a good range of people watching that film and hitting that like button, then that’s going to influence those judges to say, ‘Hey, we need to look at this and give it a bit more attention,’” said Alle.

Alle said she often experiences cast and crew shortages when making films in Mackay, with ‘Golden Hour’ stars Damien being a local friend and Laura coming from Rockhampton.

“He (Damien) actually says that acting is harder than working in the mines on a 12-hour shift and I had to bring Laura up from Rockhampton because I couldn’t find anyone locally,” she said.

Alle said she is addressing these shortages by taking interested filmmakers on board for projects.

“I am very willing for people to come out and work on what I call ‘gateway projects,’” she said.

“Over two or three projects, not only do you get a bit of training, but we get to find out where your talent lies and give you access to the equipment and resources necessary to actually make a film.”

Those interested are asked to email and to view ‘Golden Hour’, visit

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Strong Leadership Recognised For Local Scouts

November 3, 2022

Each Year on World Scout Day, (August 1), Scouting Leadership Awards are announced. The Awards are presented at Government House. If recipients aren’t able to go to Brisbane to receive their award, they have the option of it being presented at a suitable function in their own District.

The Hibiscus Coast District (HCD) awards were presented at a special parade which was held on Saturday 15th October at the JOTA JOTI weekend at Rowallan Park when there were many youth members and leaders present to join in celebrations.

It was announced that former Banksia Venturer Scout Leader Mrs Joann Brzozowski would be presented with the Silver Emu Award for contributing significantly to the Wellbeing of Scouting. Joann has been instrumental in having a large number of Venturer Scouts achieve their peak award which is the Queen’s Scout Award.  Joann will be presented with her award at a suitable time. Joann is now a Qld Branch Advisor to the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme with Scouting.

The Silver Koala Award for a high level of distinguished service were presented to Greg Milne and Dougal McWhinney. Central Coast Region Commissioner Dougal McWhinney received his award prior to the presentation at Rowallan Park, however Greg Milne, Group Leader of Mackay City Central Scout Group received his award at the special parade at Rowallan Park.

Silver Wattle Awards for 10 to 12 years performing at a consistently high standard, were presented to Rowan Cahill, District Scout Leader HCD and District Commissioner HCD Katrina Hoare. Assistant Region Commissioner Jason Hazell was absent from the District when the awards were presented so a suitable time for his presentation will happen in the near future.

Special Service Awards for Noteworthy contribution to supporting, developing and management to the Scouting Movement were presented to three Rover Scouts who regularly support leaders at group and at District Events as well as planning and carrying out the activities. They were Kaitlin Allen, Jim McIntyre and Tristan Archibald.

Two Venturer Scouts, Ethan Cahill and Emily McVeigh, who received their Queen’s Scout Awards late last year were presented with their certificates which are usually presented at Government House.

Congratulations to all leaders and Rover Scouts in particular the ones who have performed above and beyond what is expected of them. Scouting is in Good Hands with the standard and qualifications that is required of the Scouting Leaders of today.

Contributed by Mary Wallace

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Next To Normal

November 3, 2022

Don’t miss the opportunity to see Mackay Musical Comedy Players’ final production of the year!

With a haunting contemporary score, NEXT TO NORMAL is an emotional powerhouse of a musical about a family trying to take care of themselves and each other.

This deeply moving piece of theatre addresses such issues as grieving loss, ethics in modern psychiatry and suburban life.

NEXT TO NORMAL's themes of mental health and our human need for connection are still relevant in 2022. Despite some of the emotional darkness, the musical offers hope and light – two things we need more than ever today.

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Fair Dinkum Funding Available For Aussie Themed Events

November 3, 2022

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 2023, especially considering the COVID-19 event blues of 2022.

“We had a number of events postponed earlier this year, due to COVID-19 event restrictions, so we are looking forward to a full lineup of exciting Aussie Day events in 2023,” 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 region,” he said.

“From beach games and park barbecues to awards ceremonies and morning teas, the events are a great way to lift 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 2023 (Thursday, 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 Sunday, November 20.

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

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Artists Descend On North Queensland

November 3, 2022

Bradley Short, owner and gallerist at Milton House Gallery, has a love for plein air painting, the practice of experiencing painting and drawing in the landscape, which he shares with fellow artists; Tim Allen, Rhett Brewer, Chris Langlois, Steve Lopes and Ron McBurnie.

Having painted with these artists around Australia for the last 12 years, Mr Short welcomed them, most from Sydney, to the Mackay region last year.

“I get to travel all around Australia and I thought I’d bring them to our country up here to give them a taste of our area, a very different landscape to what we’ve painted down south,” Mr Short said.

The group travelled to Seaforth from which they spent four days exploring the islands by boat in resplendent north Queensland sunshine.

“We just travelled around, finding spots and just dropping the guys off to paint and they would just spend the day making art on location,” Mr Short said.

Mr Short said the artists were blown away, walking away with a whole new respect for the area.

“As artists, we just spend the whole day looking,” he said.

“You just sit and look and appreciate and study what you’ve got in front of you as a plein air painter.

“I think they just thought it was amazing, they’ve absolutely raved over it.”

The result of the trip is ‘A Bit Further North’, on show until mid-November at Milton House Gallery.

The exhibition’s opening night saw a large crowd of excited art lovers and creatives from all corners of Queensland make their way to Mackay.

The exhibition was officially opened by Member for Whitsunday Amanda Camm and with a live performance by local country music legend Graeme Connors, who was also a part of the travelling group of artists.

The artists were all in attendance, sharing tales from their trip and the inspiration behind their work.

“The really important part is bringing artists into our area,” Mr Short said.

“It’s great to have fresh art coming into our area and presenting fresh art to Mackay artists, too, and seeing other people’s takes on our area.”

The exhibition is open to view until November 16 at Milton House Gallery, Milton Street Mackay and online at

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The Ultimate Variety Show

November 3, 2022

A circus like no other is coming to Mackay next week bringing sexy circus acts, raunchy dancing and cheeky comedy that will have you crying with laughter.

Infamous combines the energy and excitement of the circus with the intimate and unique setting of a cabaret show.

Performer Bekki Ashton is a sixth-generation circus performer, with her family ties to the circus reaching back to 1850, and has performed in Infamous since it was conceptualised by her brother six years ago.

“We used to have a family-style circus and five or six years ago we thought we’d give this a crack, doing it just for adults, by incorporating a bar and making the numbers a bit sexier,” she said.

“I call it sophisticated.

“It’s just that little bit teasy, raunchy, that you don’t want the kids to see, and the comedy’s a little bit more adult than the usual.”

In the current iteration of the show, Bekki performs a flying trapeze trick and a duo aerial act alongside her sister, saying aerial tricks are her speciality.

“I’d like to say the flying trapeze, but any aerial act has been my main profession,” she said.

“It doesn’t matter what you do in the circus, everybody chips in and does a little bit of everything.”

The show also incorporates a wheel of death, acrobats, contortionists, art acts, dancers and comedy.

The 18+ event also encompasses delicious treats and snacks, VIP table service and a choice of alcoholic beverages.

“There’s something for everyone and a little bit more for others,” said Bekki.

“There’s not one moment in the program where you’re twiddling your thumbs waiting for something to happen.”

This will be the show’s third visit to Mackay and the last time anyone in Queensland will see this tour and Bekki urges everyone to check it out whether you’ve been before or not.

“If you have seen the show before, you will notice some new acts and new faces, but all your favourites are still in there,” she said.

“We’re always changing things up so if you’ve seen the show before, don’t be shy to come back.”

WHAT: Infamous

WHERE: Mackay Showgrounds

WHEN: Friday, November 11 to Sunday, November 27


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Putting Together The Pieces

November 3, 2022

On a mission of making a difference in the lives of victims of domestic violence and disadvantaged people in our society, Jules Thompson, founder of Broken Ballerina Inc. is partway to putting together her own pieces.

Describing herself as having been that broken ballerina, Jules turned her trauma into triumph, taking hands that once inflicted damage upon her and turning her own hands into a welcoming refuge for those in our society fleeing domestic violence abuse.

At the Broken Ballerina Ball held last weekend, Jules unveiled her long awaited autobiography with a stunning one-off handmade copy presented to her by her book editor, Miki Ponting-Boyd, which was auctioned for charity.

Thanks to the generosity of the Lamb family, the copy sold for an incredible $3,000, which will help countless people in their time of need.

Jules is hosting her book launch at Mt Pleasant Shopping Centre on the centre stage on November 11 and 12 from 10am until 2pm. A percentage of sales will be donated back to Broken Ballerina Inc.

1 Image: Jules Thompson’s handmade autobiography was auctioned at the Broken Ballerina Ball for $3,000. Pictured are Jules’ husband Pete Thompson, winning bidder Max Lamb Snr, Max Lamb Jnr, Jules Thompson, Kim Tower, and book editor Miki Ponting-Boyd

2 Image: A great time was had at the Broken Ballerina Ball, hosted by Jay and Dave from Triple M, which embraced an 80’s theme

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Award Caps Off Massive Year For MECC

October 27, 2022

After years of pandemic-induced inaction, the Mackay Entertainment and Convention Centre (MECC) is about to wrap up an amazing 2022 which was recently recognised at the Mackay Isaac Tourism Awards, winning Best Business & Event Venue.

On a night celebrating the whole community, MECC Acting Manager Jemma Carey said the award comes off the back of months of hard work from the whole team.

“It’s a really exciting time for the team to be recognised by the award,” she said.

“It’s been a huge effort from everyone right through from the cleaning team to everyone working behind stage and delivering all the productions throughout the year and the huge range of events.

While the region experiences staffing shortages, Jemma says she’s been able to rely on the team at the MECC wholeheartedly.

“We’ve been really lucky to have such great staff that have been able to deliver,” she said.

The MECC has delivered a huge calendar of concerts, conferences, exhibitions and balls this year, and Jemma says each event is important to the MECC as the last.

She cites the Planning Institute of Australia and IPWEAQ (Institute of Public Works Engineering Australasia) Conferences as particular highlights.

The venue also welcomed music superstars Goanna, Amy Shark, Ross Noble, Troy Casser-Daly and Ian Moss to the stage as well as a huge variety of local and touring theatre productions.

The MECC is the go-to venue for local organisations to host functions, with the space regularly hosting the Mayor’s Ball and the RACQ CQ Rescue Charity Ball.

“They’re the ones that come through regularly and we love them to bits,” said Jemma.

“They all have a really great turnout, so it shows that there’s a lot of support for the arts in the community.”

The MECC has a line-up of in-house productions to wrap up a massive year including Jane Eyre and Morning Melodies with Darren Coggan, and they’ll also be helping plenty of people celebrate the year that was, hosting Christmas parties, graduation ceremonies and formal dinners.

Jemma says the team was extremely ecstatic to win the award, especially given the calibre of other venues nominated.

“Given that Harrup Park has been doing some amazing things with the WBBL and AFLW, we knew that we had our work cut out for us,” she said.

“I think it’s a positive thing that there are some really strong venues doing really exciting things in the region.”

Jemma says the Mackay Isaac Tourism Awards was a night to celebrate Mackay as a region and the rapid growth of its events, tourism and arts sectors.

“Recognition amongst your colleagues and peers and then the wider network around Queensland as well is hugely important, particularly in an industry that’s still recovering from the Covid impact,” she said.

“It’s a huge achievement for everybody and it shows what’s happening in Mackay.

“When you look around all of those categories, it shows what comes out of this region and that it’s definitely the place to be.

“Everybody’s working together to bring the best out of the region, from the venues like us, all of the accommodation providers and the dining and tourism operators, we are all really coming together.

“From where we were ten years ago, it’s really exciting.

As humble as she is, Jemma says the award is one to be celebrated by all involved in the MECC.

“A huge congratulations to our team,” she said.

“We couldn’t do it without our people so congratulations to all of our people, staff and volunteers.”

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Event Guide

October 27, 2022

Friday 28 October

FMS Hydrofoil Pro Tour

Friday, October 28 to Sunday, October 30

Mackay will welcome a fleet of the world's fastest kite-hydrofoil racers set to battle it out for the coral crown. With speeds on the water up to 70 kilometres per hour, kiters will foil around the bay, hovering above the water as they fight with challenging conditions. On the shoreline, sponsor tents, equipment demos, and chill-out areas will provide some entertainment between the thrill of the race!

Lamberts Beach

Mackay Enrolment Drive

Friday, 9:30am to 12:00pm

Find out about Mackay services that can provide you support to: access daycares, playgroups, Kindy & schools; early childhood development and early intervention; training, courses, study, employment & school leaver programs; Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander family programs; CALD support; disability, health & youth support; financial supports & benefits; parenting & family support & counselling; well-being & mental health supports. This free event includes a lucky door prize, free sausage sizzle and giveaways.

CQUniversity Mackay City

World Community Day

Friday, 10:00am

Men and women, old and young, everyone is invited to attend the Australian Church Women annual World Community Day church service featuring guest preacher the Rev. Lyn Burden, former Superintendent, Wesley Mission Queensland, and the Whitsunday Anglican School Choir, grades 3-6, conducted by Ms Susie Fredline. Offering to the Fellowship of the Least Coin, a collection of the smallest coin in a given currency, which even the poorest person can afford. Morning tea to follow prepared by The Care Kitchen. All welcome.

St Paul’s Uniting Church, Macalister Street

Sew Centre Open Day

Induction - Friday, October 28, 2pm to 2.45pm

Open Day - Saturday, October 29, 9am to 1pm

Come along to a Sew Centre Open Day and access the sewing machines, overlockers and dressmaker mannequins for your own projects. You will need to know basic sewing techniques and be able to work without supervision.  A short induction is required to be completed prior to attending an open day. Book online to attend the induction and open day. The Sew Centre is for adults aged 18 and above.

Gordon White Library

Sarina Sugar Shed Halloween Party

Friday, 4:00pm to 8:30pm

Delight the senses while enjoying a spooktacular evening out with the family at the Sarina Sugar Shed for this year’s Halloween party. Free entry, kids’ activities and live entertainment with mysterious morsels and creepy cocktails in the café bar. Ticketed events are also included with Paint & Popcorn sessions with Bottletops & Brushes for all ages and supernatural Cocktail Masterclasses for adults.

Sarina Sugar Shed

Friday SUN.sets

Every Friday Evening From 6pm

Knock off drinks, lakeside dinner, good friends, and LIVE MUSIC.

Wake House Australia

Reclaim The Night Rally

Friday, 5:30pm

Join at 5:30pm for the Reclaim the Night rally in Mackay. Women have the right to walk the streets at night. Be part of the solution, stop the violence.

Bluewater Quay

Mackay West Rotary Christmas Fair 2022

Friday and Saturday, 5:30pm to 9:00pm

Join in for the first fair of the Christmas season and have a fun night out for the whole family! Free entry. Get your photos taken with Santa or watch the D&M Electrical fireworks spectacular each night PLUS ham and meat tray wheel, cent sale, pick of the shelf, bottle & sweets stalls, jumping castles, animal petting farm, cup and saucer ride, dodgem cars, merry go round, face painting and food and drinks. Mackay West Rotary is a community service organisation and all proceeds go to local charities. Join the festivities and support your local community by supporting the Christmas Fair!

Mackay Showgrounds

Saturday 29 October

Harvest Music Development Program – Workshop 2: The Art of Music Promotion & Publicity

Saturday, 10:00am to 2:00pm

The Harvest program provides the opportunity for local emerging and established performers and music industry practitioners to develop, extend on and improve their professional industry skills through a range of free workshops being held at various locations in Mackay until Thursday, November 3. This weekend will be Workshop 2 – The Art of Music Promotion & Publicity and it will unpack the key elements involved and provide the tools needed to reach your audiences. Register online to attend.

Lynette Denny Space, The MECC

Mackay Rainbow Pride Family Fun Day

Saturday, 4:00pm to 8:00pm

Come together for colourful fun to celebrate pride, diversity and community with a parade around Queens Park followed by music, entertainment, games, stalls, food and coffee vendors and local support organisations. The free event is intended to support and increase awareness and visibility of the LGBTQIA+ community in Mackay.

Iconic Shelter, Queens Park

The Wild Sky @ Red Dog Brewery

Saturday, 6:00pm to 9:00pm

Join The Wild Sky for a night of sweet music and tasty local beer.

Red Dog Brewery

Broken Ballerina Ball

Saturday, 7:00pm

Dedicated to raising money and awareness for domestic violence, the Broken Ballerina Charity Ball invites guests to dress up in anything from cocktail outfits to fancy dress with 80s theme. All money raised from the charity ball will go directly to local projects that actively help families living in the area. Tickets include nibbles and a two-course meal, a drink on arrival, guest speakers, a charity auction and a DJ playing hits from the 80s. Email for tickets.

Mackay Northern Beaches Bowls Club

The MECC Presents Jane Eyre – A Shake & Stir Theatre Co Production

Saturday, 7:30pm

Witness one of the most iconic pieces of English literature retold in a faithful yet fiercely original new stage adaptation from the nationally renowned Shake & Stir Theatre Co (Animal Farm, Dracula). This stunning new production of a spirited orphan in search of love, family and a sense of belonging will set a fire blazing in your soul.

MECC Auditorium

Sunday 30 October

Sunday Live Music – Viva Acoustic

Sunday, 2:00pm to 5:00pm

Music every Sunday from 2pm - 5pm. Head down to the Seabreeze Hotel this Sunday for some fresh tunes, delicious food, and ice-cold brews.

Seabreeze Hotel

Wednesday 2 November

Mackay Farmers’ Market

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

The market is a showcase of our region’s amazing produce 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. Everyone learns at their own pace and, even better, the first lesson is free on your way to learning the four step style of rock ‘n’ roll. $5 for members and $8 for non-members after that. The club caters for social activities for club members with regular dances with live bands in attendance and away trips. For further enquiries call 0408 983 911.

58 Macalister St, Mackay

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Crafting Connections Across Generations

October 27, 2022

Twenty excited children from Gargett, Eungella, Mirani and places in between attended the Crafty Hands Holiday Workshops for Valley Kids held recently at the Gargett CWA hall.  

Aged from nine to 17, these local kids settled eagerly, and in some cases, nervously, into knitting, crochet, sashiko and basket weaving groups led by members of the Valley Spinners and Crafts Group.

Over the two days, the children progressed from knowing nothing, or very little, to mastering the basics of their chosen craft.  

This holiday event was a great opportunity for Valley kids to make new friends and have fun.  

Valley Spinners have staged many events over the years, but these children’s workshops were a first for the club.  

Amongst the members, there is an incredible wealth of creativity and talent in the four workshop crafts as well spinning, loom weaving, lace-making, tatting, felting, embroidery, dyeing and others.  

For many members, crafting is a lifelong love.

Ann Dittmar-McCollim, who first suggested the idea for this event said it was wonderful for the club to share skills with younger ones and to show them how much crafting means.

“It’s not just a skill or creative avenue for us, but also a wonderful way to build and sustain friendships,” she said.

Event co-ordinator, Cheryl Johns was very heartened to see kids return for the second day even more excited than they were the previous week.  

“By the end of day two, everyone had items finished or well-and-truly in progress that they could proudly ‘show and tell’,” Cheryl said.  

“Edges were crocheted, baskets woven and samplers knitted or stitched.

“The children’s enthusiasm, focus and behaviour were a credit to themselves, their families and teachers.”

According to the exit survey, all the children felt they had learnt a lot, many had made new friends and most were keen to pursue crafting further.

“The extremely positive feedback we received from the children, parents and other community members made the many months of planning worthwhile,” said club president Margaret Borg

“I think our members came away feeling that they had learnt one or two things from the children.  

“We have already been chatting about similar events we might run in the future.”

This project was generously supported by the Regional Arts Development Fund – a partnership between the Queensland Government and the Mackay Regional Council to support local arts and culture in regional Qld.

Contributed with thanks by Cheryl Johns

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Community Garden, Community Spirit

October 27, 2022

The sun shone on the Mackay Community Garden on Sunday as the inaugural Food Forest Fest delivered delightful tunes, delicious food and outstanding vibes.

Attendees were treated to live music from Jax and Dani, live art from Celeste, Cynthia, Brooke, Ruby and Sue Nami, sound healing, niche markets, children’s activities and a serving of delectable dahl for lunch.

The markets showcased the hard work of the volunteers in maintaining a haven of gardening and permaculture and is hoped to be held seasonally.

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Lash78 - Band Of Sisters

October 27, 2022

After winning Passport to Airlie in 2019, Lash78 will make their triumphant return to the Airlie Beach Festival of Music this year, bringing an evolved sound but the same enthralling energy.

Hailing from Melbourne, Lash78 combines the vocal talents of sisters Lauren and Sheridan Harvey who, with family members entrenched in the music scene, were destined to perform.

“Growing up, we attended rock concerts together and that was from the time that we could walk, really,” said Sheridan.

In late 2008, Lauren joined the cast of ‘Billy Elliott the Musical’ taking on the role of ‘Debbie’ for the shows Melbourne run.

Meanwhile, Sheridan was developing and showcasing her skills, getting into the busking scene and performing at festivals, conventions and on radio.

At the ages of seven and eight, the sisters joined forces and busked together for the first time at Tamworth Country Music Festival, hence the name Lash78.

“Post-Lauren being on Billy Elliot, we just kept busking because it was such a phenomenal opportunity,” said Sheridan.

“We connected with councils, we were getting council gigs, getting flown to Queensland and Adelaide for a couple of conventions, so the experience and the contacts we got out of that, you couldn’t put a price on that.”

17 years later, Lash78 have an EP to their name and a wealth of experience on the stage, performing with the likes of Lee Kernaghan, The McClymonts, Adam Harvey, Russell Morris and Mahalia Barnes.

Throughout it all, Lauren and Sheridan have remained true to themselves and true to each other.

“We’re really authentically us all the time,” said Sheridan.

“It’s really chaotic sometimes but we’re also able to snap it back together when it comes to crunch time.

“We’re very lucky that we get along most of the time which helps the dynamic,” added Lauren.

“We’ve been raised to have each other’s backs.

“It’s amazing, we’re very close, we’re very present in each other’s lives.”

“But also, we’re able to challenge each other to take that next step musically,” said Sheridan.

“We can probably push each other more than friends can because, at the end of the day, we’ll still have to have a family dinner together,” said Lauren.

The music industry has changed a lot since Lash78 last performed at the Airlie Beach Festival of Music and Lauren and Sheridan say their sound has too; a fusion of every genre they grew up listening to.

“We’ve always had the same vision for our music,” said Sheridan.

“We started in the country market and made our way into pop and that rock pop side came in as well.

“That was an emergence of every single thing that we’d grown up with.”

“For the people who were at the festival in 2019, they can expect a surprise,” added Lauren.

“We’ve gone in a completely different direction to what we did as a duo and we’ve really amped it up and we’re ready to melt some faces.”

Favourite bands of all time: Foo Fighters, Paramore, The Poor, P!nk, The Veronicas, Heart

Least favourite song: Cheerleader by OMI

Favourite song to play: “We’re very original focused but a crowd-pleaser that always goes off is AC/DC - Long Way To The Top,” said Sheridan.

Last song you listened to: Karma by Taylor Swift

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Event Guide

October 20, 2022

Friday 21 October

Guided walks in the gardens

Friday, 10:00am

Discover the gardens with a volunteer guide on this free guided walk around the botanic gardens. Find out what's flowering, local wildlife and the history of the gardens. Group bookings are welcome. To book your spot and find out more, phone the gardens on 4952 7300 or email

Mackay Regional Botanic Gardens

Ladies in Black

Friday, 10:30am and 7:30pm, Saturday, 2:00pm and 7:30pm, Sunday, 2:00pm

Based on the 2018 film, Ladies in Black is a coming-of-age story encouraging you to follow your dreams without ignoring the opportunities in life that appear in front of you. A studious young woman with dreams of attending university takes on a summer job in a sophisticated department store. Full of colourful characters and spectacular fashion, the ladies of the store open her eyes to the world and encourage her to believe in herself and her future. This laugh-out-loud story includes songs by award-winning composer Tim Finn. This comedy is one not to be missed. Tickets available at the door or at

Central Queensland Conservatorium Of Music

Conversations with Art

Friday, 1:00pm to 2:30pm

Join a casual conversation about art, deconstructing the works, considering themes, possible techniques used by the artist, and creating links with your own personal experiences. Whether you’re an artist, an art and language lover, beginner, or expert, you are invited to attend this free, interesting, thought provoking and extremely enjoyable discussion.

Artspace Mackay

Friday SUN.sets

Every Friday Evening From 6pm

Knock off drinks, lakeside dinner, good friends, and live music..

Wake House Australia

A-List Entertainment presents Multicultural Comedy Gala

Friday, 7:30pm

Join Australia’s favourite and emerging comedic talent as they touch on cultural identity in a concoction of comedy that pokes fun at what makes us all different but very much the same. The star-studded line-up includes Dilruk Jayasinha, Akmal, Steph Tisdell, Urvi Majumdar, Ting Lim and Simon Taylor in a hilarious celebration of Australia’s multicultural diversity.


Saturday 22 October

Jumble Sale at the Marian Bowls Club

Saturday, 7:00am to 1:00pm

Lots of bargains plus plants, cake and craft stalls and a sausage sizzle. Also, morning tea available. All welcome. All proceeds to the Bowling Club.

Marian Bowls Club, Reg Smith Street, Marian

Global Grooves 2022

Saturday, 3:00pm to 8:00pm

Travel the world in a single afternoon and celebrate our diverse cultural communities that together make up our proud Mackay region. The annual community event will feature an array of performances from multicultural artists, local community groups, and a range of talented musicians. Get your groove on or take part in the many activities and workshops on offer. Browse the market stalls or tantalise your tastebuds with a range of both local and exotic foodie delights. This event is not to be missed! Find out more, visit Mackay Festivals Facebook page.

Queens Park

Pocket Sessions - Spring 2022

Saturday, 4:00pm to 11:00pm

Join in for the second live, original music event set in the lush rainforest of Cameron's Pocket. Featuring The Basecoats, Weathered, David Flower Band, Gypsy Rambler, Woodbridge Music and Aaron Preston with a special guest appearance by Tattyfaez Ablaze!

Tickets on sale now!.

Camerons Pocket Rd, Calen QLD 4798, Australia

Sunday 23 October

Food Forest Fest

Sunday, 10:00am to 3:00pm

Mackay Community Gardens presents Food Forest Fest. Join us in the celebration of the life of spring. This gathering is centred around the region's diversity, permaculture, music, healing, food, and local handcrafted and homegrown market stalls. This is a family event with lots of education, creating, and play.

Mackay Community Gardens

Pioneer Bonsai Mackay Workshops

Sunday, 1:00pm to 4:00pm

Pioneer Bonsai Mackay hold their monthly bonsai workshops at the Botanic Gardens Meeting Room. If you enjoy the fellowship of bonsai or are interested in learning more, please come along. New members are welcome. For more information, please contact Michael Watt via email

Mackay Regional Botanic Gardens

Sunday Live Music

Sunday, 2:00pm to 5:00pm

Music every Sunday from 2pm - 5pm. Head down to the Seabreeze Hotel this Sunday for some fresh tunes, delicious food, and ice-cold brews.

Seabreeze Hotel

BABBA – An International ABBA Spectacular

Sunday, 5:00pm

For 26 years BABBA have been thrilling audiences worldwide with their superb recreation of 70s super group ABBA and the legacy of hits they gave us. Bring your dancing shoes, dust off your flares and join the party as we celebrate all the iconic hits of ABBA.


Tuesday 25 October

United Nations Day - Celebrations at World Cafe

Tuesday, 10:00am to 12:30pm

This year’s United Nations Day theme is "Resilience of Older Persons in a changing world".

People all around the world will come together and celebrate the day with ceremony and show in various cities in different countries and the Neighbourhood Hub will be doing exactly that with national costumes, flags, food, dance, culture and sharing stories. Wear your national costume/dress/attire and bring along a national artifact to share with the group. Come and celebrate - RSVP to for catering purposes.

The Neighbourhood Hub

Wednesday 26 October

Mackay Farmers’ Market

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

The market is a showcase of our region’s amazing produce 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. Everyone learns at their own pace and, even better, the first lesson is free on your way to learning the four step style of rock ‘n’ roll. $5 for members and $8 for non-members after that. The club caters for social activities for club members with regular dances with live bands in attendance and away trips. For further enquiries call 0408 983 911.

58 Macalister St, Mackay

Thursday 27 October

Halloween Scavenger Hunt

Thursday, 4:00pm to 7:00pm

Join for a self-guided Trick or Treat Scavenger Hunt around the Centre this Halloween. Bring the kids along and hunt treats at your own pace, simply choose a time slot that suits your family. Bookings are essential and we will provide you with a Halloween map of participating stores and goodie bag for each person booked. Parents are not required to book a spot for themselves! Limited spaces available, booking is essential, book your spot now. For any enquiries, please contact our Customer Desk on 07 4944 7111.

Caneland Central

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The Sounds Of The Surf

October 20, 2022

Photo credit: Sam Gillespie

The inaugural Beach Sounds Music Festival saw Hawaiian shirts and pluggers flock to the Mackay Surf Life Saving Club to enjoy a beautiful day of live music.

The festival brought musicians from all over Australia including Dallas Crane, The Double Happiness and Mackay’s Bella Mackenzie.

The event raised funds for the Mackay Surf Life Saving Club and is hoped to be the first of many.

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Just Bead It

October 20, 2022

Using over 100,000 beads, local artist Louise Carter has created a wide variety of artworks for her new exhibition Seed Beads.

Seed Beads opens today, October 21, at the Jubilee Community Centre on what happens to be Louise’s birthday and runs until November 1.

The exhibition features a variety of sculptures made entirely from beads and thread.

“Almost all of my sculptures are self-supporting and are contemporary geometric forms, so there’s a lot of 3D shapes,” Louise said.

The exhibition will feature her shape series in which she attempts to create as many different shapes as possible.

There will also be an interactive element to the exhibition, with Louise creating a ‘stargazer’ out of silver and gold beads creating the effect of the night sky when looked into.

There will also be small geometric shapes that move similar to fidget spinners called kaleidocycles that Louise has created as well as miniature dresses.

Louise has always been creative but discovered beading in her late teens through workshops at Spotlight, later discovering a 3D bead ball on the internet and deciding to give it a go.

“It was a bit of a challenge, but it was really cool trying to figure it out, so that’s how I got started,” she said.

Louise has used the last 14 years or so to hone her craft and diversify her skillset.

“I really like figuring out the form and experimenting and exploring where things will go,” she said.

“A lot of people work out a pattern beforehand and I just have an idea and go from there and sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn’t.”

Louise is involved in an international group called the Beadworker’s Guild and is the Guild’s youngest guest ambassador to date.

She is running an international art project through the Guild which involves over 100 participants.

“Everyone’s making 2D pentagons which I’ll then make into a big, large shape so I will actually have some of the pentagons on display at the exhibition,” she said.

It will be a taste of what people can expect when Louise displays the final product of the art project in her second exhibition in June next year.

WHAT: ‘Seed Beads’ Art Exhibition

WHERE: Jubilee Community Centre

WHEN: Friday, October 21 to Monday, November 1

This is a free event

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