Whitsunday Region Entertainment News

Get Thinking  At The Meals On Wheels Trivia

Get Thinking At The Meals On Wheels Trivia

The annual trivia fundraiser is back, and Meals on Wheels Proserpine is excited. All fundraising is directly fed back into the organisation and to local clients.

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The Glory Days Are Back With Springsteen

The Glory Days Are Back With Springsteen

In an exciting move, Bruce Springsteen is coming to Airlie Beach and with him is massive powerhouse Pat Benatar.Over two high energy and high-octane performances Springsteen will bring his charm and charisma to Airlie Beach and with the formidable Pat Benatar making special guest appearances, this will be a once in a lifetime show.

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Calling Local Man-Lovers, The Sydney Hotshots Are Here!

Calling Local Man-Lovers, The Sydney Hotshots Are Here!

For one night only, the hunks of Sydney Hotshots are coming to Proserpine with a fantastic new show. One for the ladies (or the guys!), this 2-hour performance will have everyone hot and heavy, with sensual choreography and amazing visuals, in more ways than one!

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Fast X

Fast X

The cult classic is back in cinemas and fans could not be more excited. Addressed to both new and old fans, this 2023 instalment of the massive franchise is a welcome reprise to much loved characters and sees the ending of the chapter beginning.

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‘Let’s Do Latin’ Announces Artwork Auction

June 4, 2023

The upcoming Havana Party ‘Let’s Do Latin’ just got even more exciting with the announcement that the evening’s art auction will include a commissioned piece by a local Cannonvale artist, Trudy Hastings.

This respected artist has worked on various major projects overseas and nationally overseeing conceptual design, exterior finishes, and art pieces.

She now shares her creative talent in her latest piece ‘Tiny Homes, Big Heart’, inspired by the fundraiser’s beneficiary – the Tiny House Project - which aims to fund four ‘tiny homes’ in Proserpine for homeless women over 55.

It is this demographic that are particularly susceptible to homelessness.

“Elderly women living amongst us are valued so little that no one will provide them with a safe place to sleep, eat or live,” Fundraiser Fiona Donnellan said.

“A place where they can be surrounded by the memories and possessions they have gathered over a lifetime”.

Fundraising Coordinator for Whitsunday Housing, Sandy Clark, said that it has taken a band of compassionate local women to join forces to make a difference.

“Things will be different now, because women with love and compassion have teamed up as volunteers to bring about change,” she explains.

“The art depicts the love and joy taking place in the very roots of the foundations of the tiny homes.

“The power of love can be seen springing up through the earth and giving birth to new lives in bright happy houses, creating the hope and dignity elderly women deserve.”

Tickets for this event are $125 each available from Airlie Events.   Link:  https://bit.ly/Lets-Do-Latin

WHAT: Havana Party ‘Let’s Do Latin’ – Ting Homes Project Fundraiser

WHEN: Saturday, July 8

WHERE: The Whitsunday Sailing Club on the lawns

This stunning artwork with be on auction at the Tiny Homes Project, Havana Party ‘Let’s Do Latin’

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Beatlemania Is Alive At The Airlie Beach Hotel

June 1, 2023

For over 35 years, The Beatnix has been bringing the best of The Beatles to audiences all around the world, and now it’s Airlie Beach’s turn once again.

Performing the best of the best from The Beatles discography, this intimate and authentic tribute act will run true for any Beatles fan.

The Beatnix has envisioned and embodied the sound of The Beatles and will perform the boldest and the best tracks from all 12 Beatles studio albums at the Airlie Beach Hotel next weekend.

Formed in Perth by front man Tony Dean in 1980, The Beatnix is the world’s longest standing Beatles tribute act, and are often regarded at the best tribute show in Australia.

Formed just eight months prior to John Lennon’s death, The Beatnix speaks to the impressive ingenuity of The Beatles, of their stage presence, of their influence over music and pop culture at the time and continues their legacy across Australia and the world.

Authenticity is at the heart of The Beantnix’s members, with authentic instruments, props, and costuming.

“We try to recreate what it would be like watching The Beatles live, complete with costumes, accents, and everything,” said David Stanley, who plays the iconic role of George Harrison.

David is a guitar superstar in his own right, with his own recording studio and has toured the world on various productions and shows.

“Of course, we play songs like Hey Jude, Come Together, Help, I am a Walrus, I Feel Fine, I saw her Standing There, Here Comes the Sun, and many more.”

Even the ever-iconic Sergeant Peppers attire and costumes will make an appearance, impressing all die-hard fans of the infamous band.

The Beatnix will not let Airlie Beach down, bringing the yellow submarine and all the bells and whistles they can fit on stage.

There is sure to be the cool bass that sways the crowd, amazing vocals, and fantastic on-stage interaction.

“The best part of the show is always the audience interaction.

“We have played this show hundreds of times, but it’s always different due to the audience,” explains David.

“The best part is watching people around you have the best time of their lives while celebrating the music of The Beatles together.”

This sensational show is not one to miss, and with two massive shows over two days, the Airlie Beach Hotel has catered to every schedule and will chase away your winter blues.

“We look froward to coming to Airlie Beach all year,” David said.

“The audience is so full of enthusiasm and loves to have fun.

“The atmosphere is electric with people that have come from all over.”

David added, “It’s also great to leave freezing Sydney.”

“This time, we might make it on a tour of the reef!”

WHAT: The Beatnix Live at Airlie Beach Hotel

WHERE: The Pub, Airlie Beach Hotel

WHEN: Saturday 10 and Sunday 11 June, 2pm – 5.30pm

Fans of the legendary Beatles will be blown away by this fantastic tribute band

Performing for over 35 years, this show has all the greatest hits and the best of each album

Celebrating The Beatles with exciting accuracy, no fan will be left disappointed. Photos supplied

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Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse

June 1, 2023

The fantastic sequel to the 2018 Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse hit, this new release has been highly anticipated by excited fans.

In this continuation, Miles Morales is one member of a new cast of other ‘spider-people’ each from their own universe.

One already fan favourite is Pavitr Prabhakar, an Indian spiderman, who finds being spiderman to be easy.

Travelling through numerous universes and meeting countless ‘spider-people’ is a big task, one which the directors Joaquim Dos Santos, Justin K Thompson, and Kemp Powers have executed with perfect precision.

Each universe has its own specific artistic style, differentiating between the worlds with ease.

This is most notable with Miles’ universe, which is more comic-book style, while Gwen’s home is more impressionistic, with directors describing it more like a mood ring of colours.

This is a masterpiece in animation and art techniques, with something for everyone, no matter the artistic direction that people prefer.

The villain of the story is The Spot, also known as Johnathon Ohnn, a lesser-known marvel villain whose backstory encompasses an experiment to mimic another superhero, but something goes wrong, and his body is covered in black spots.

Johnathon then realises that the spots are portals to other universes and begins traveling across the dimensions and causing havoc.

With the infinite possibilities of the story, the plot will take place centrally in six spider-person universes, an Indian-inspired landscape, Nueva York, Miles’ universe, Gwen’s world, Spider-Punk’s new London world, and another final universe which has been tightly hidden away for audiences to be surprised with.

Ultimately, the film discusses superhero-ness and what is means to be a superhero, with Miles pitted against other spider-people in this new civil war across dimensions.

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse is opening in the Bowen Cinema Friday 2 June.

Reprising the role, Miles’ Spiderman is set to entertain audiences

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The Need For Speed Mr Toad Comes To The PEC

June 1, 2023

The loveable childhood classic, The Wind in the Willows, is coming to the Proserpine Entertainment Centre, in an exciting new theatre production set to impress and entertain the whole family.

Produced by RAVA Productions, The Wind in the Willows follows the charismatic cast of four animals - Moley, Ratty, Badger, and Mr Toad.

Mr Toad becomes obsessed with motor vehicles and has a need for speed, which only leads to danger and reckless behaviour.

Moley, Ratty, and Badger work together to show Mr Toad the errors of his new obsession, however, Mr Toad is shocked from motor cars when a series of wild-wooders invade his beautiful home, Toad Hall, and take up residence.

Now, Mr Toad and his friends must go into battle against these invaders and reclaim Toad Hall.

Exploring the theme of friendship, The Wind in the Willows is a touching story of the need for friendships, or people that are always willing to help in a pinch.

This RAVA Production is directed by Alison Vallette and produced by Ruth Atkinson and is set to keep all members of the audience pinned to their seats with excitement.

With powerful original music and imaginative characterisation, costuming and staging, The Wind in the Willows is fun for the whole family.

WHAT: The Wind in the Willows Production

WHERE: Proserpine Entertainment Centre

WHEN: Friday June 9 and Saturday June 10

TICKETS: proserpineentertainmentcentre.com.au

Mr Toad and his loveable friends bring their antics to Proserpine. Photo supplied

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Flavours of Bowen This Queensland Day

May 25, 2023

This Queensland Day, visit Bowen for the Flavours of Bowen Festival and experience the best that the region has to offer.

As part of the region’s 2023 Queensland Government’s Queensland Day celebrations, Bowen’s Flavours of Bowen Festival will be held on Saturday, June 3, and showcase the best local produce, food and drink vendors, workshops, light entertainment, and cultural dancing.

The festival itself is hosted by Bowen Gumlu Growers Association and has support from Bowen Tourism and Business, and the Whitsunday Regional Council.

The festival is set to further community connections and attract visitors to the region, according to Chief Executive Officer of Bowen Gumlu Growers, Ry Collins.

“It will highlight our region’s rich agricultural history, producers and multicultural influences,” Mr Collins said.

“We saw this as a great opportunity to celebrate Queensland Day by highlighting everything that is great about our fresh produce.”

Bowen and Whitsunday farmers employee more than 3,500 skilled and unskilled workers and has an influence of $450 million in economic output.

Chair of Bowen Tourism and Business Jenn Honnery said, “The people who come here to work, short and long term, obviously want to enjoy the beauty of the region.”

The Flavours of Bowen Festival aligns with the iconic Big Mango’s 21st birthday taking place just nine days afterwards.

“This gives us another chance to promote Bowen as a wonderful holiday destination and offer visitors the opportunity to discover the vibrant horticultural industry that really brings our town to life,” she said.

WHAT: Flavours of Bowen Festival

WHEN: Saturday, June 3, 11am to 4pm

WHERE: Bowen Soundshell

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“Rumble at the River” Bowen Rodeo Is A High Octane Event

May 25, 2023

With a massive lineup spanning three and a half days, the 135th Bowen River Rodeo is gearing up to a weekend of fun, excitement, and high energy acts.

“People from all over Australia make the travel to come to this event,” said Kim Whalan, secretary and Treasurer of the Bowen River Committee.

The weekend will begin with the campdraft, scheduled half a day earlier than usual because of high competitor registrations.

Friday will have the special guest competition of Xtreme Broncs and Xtreme Breakaway Roping while on their tour, showcasing the best of the best in horse riding and racing.

Friday night will have headliner Wade Forster, Winton local and rising country and western musician play the night away.

Saturday will mark the start of the full APA rodeo, with three arenas showcasing all the action, with more live entertainment and performances through the evening.

Every member of the family will be covered with entertainment with a wide variety of market stalls and vendors, and tonnes of food and drink vans and face painting for the kids.

The Bowen River Rodeo is celebrating its 135th year, which has the committee excited for the 2023 event.

“It’s pretty good that the rodeo has been going on for so long,” said Kim.

“The Rodeo has kept going, and people still come out, which is great.

“And we’ve put more things in place to keep it going.”

With the 2022 event selling about 3,000 tickets, there are high expectations for the 2023 event.

So grab your Cowboy hats and your leather boots, and bring your friends and family to one of the biggest local events of the year!

WHAT: Bowen River Rodeo and Campdraft

WHERE: 41 Mount Wyatt Road, Collinsville

WHEN: Thursday 8 June to Sunday 11 June

TICKETS: Whitsunday Tickets

Expect high thrills and good energy at the 2023 Bowen River Rodeo

Fun for the whole family, with full APA rodeo

The 135th Bowen River Rodeo and Campdraft is not an event to miss

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Calling All Car Enthusiasts - Cruisin’ Whitsunday Show And Shine

May 25, 2023

The last weekend of May is turning out to be jampacked, with the Whitsunday Cruisin Car Club holding their annual Cruisin’ Whitsunday Show and Shine Car and Bike Show.

The day is free for everyone and has something for the entire family, including food and drink vendors, kids’ entertainment and activities, and live music from local musician, Paul Berger throughout the day.

Set to the backdrop of the Coral Sea, the Car and Bike Show will showcase the best of the Car Club, with the parade through Airlie Beach to the Coral Sea Marina Gardens from 8am.

Excitingly, there will also be a Kids Show and Shine, so even the youngest car and bike enthusiast can show off their ride to an eager crowd.

With multiple prizes, including the hot ticket item five nights stay at the Coral Sea Marina Resort, on offer, be sure to register your car or bike and not miss out.

Entry is free but anyone who donates $5 or more go into the draw for more fantastic prizes.

And all money raised from the event will be donated to the Queensland Country Women’s Association Proserpine and Whitsundays branch.

This is sure to be a day with fun in the sun, so bring your picnic blanket and take it all in.

WHAT: Cruisin’ Whitsunday Show and Shine Car and Bike Show

WHERE: Coral Sea Marina Gardens, Coral Sea Marina

WHEN: Saturday, May 27, 8am to 3pm

The Cruisin’ Whitsunday Show and Shine is the place to be this weekend

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Local Artist Exhibition In Secluded Hydeaway Bay

May 25, 2023

Venture to Hydeaway Bay this July and experience the amazing art created by amateur and professional artists, local to Hydeaway Bay, Dingo Beach, and Cape Gloucester.

Taking place only every two years, the Gloucester Hidden Talent Art Expo is a perfect show for a quiet weekend.

While showcasing the beautiful art of locals, including pottery, textile pieces, quilting, photography, woodworking, and jewellery making, there will also be craft demonstrations and workshops, shopping alley, and kids craft space.

Children can be a part of the Rock Art Creations workshops hosted by Jenny Hock, to learn the hidden talent of rock painting and art.

Be sure to bring a shopping bag because the shopping alley will entice all with a large variety of handmade goods and items available for purchase.

Only open to artists who either live or participate regularly in the Gloucester artist movement, this expo is sure to showcase many projects and design never seen to the public before, that are sure to surprise many.

However, you might recognise a few exhibitions from artists whose pieces are regularly displayed and exhibited in galleries and art spaces around Australia.

Come along in July and be immersed in the hidden talent that is in our region.

WHAT: Gloucester Hidden Talent Art Expo

WHERE: Gloucester Sport and Recreation Association, 417 Hydeaway Bay Road, Hydeaway Bay

WHEN: Saturday July 1, 9am to 4pm, and Sunday July 2, 10am to 3pm

ENTRY: $5 adult, $2 child (children under five free)

Gloucester Hidden Talent Art Expo showcases only local artists

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Second Annual Golf Day Supporting Local Charities

May 25, 2023

Following on from the massive success of the inaugural 2022 event, the Lions Club Charity Golf Day is back this June!

Businesses and members of the community are encouraged to get together a team, no matter the skill level, enthusiasm is the main ingredient needed for a great day on the green.

There will be prizes awarded to players throughout the day and community raffles on offer.

There will also be live music in the afternoon, food and drink vendors and raffles for spectators and players alike.

The 2022 event raised over $10,000 for the Proserpine Hospital.

“We were quite surprised with the amount we raised last year,” said Allan Gravelle of the Whitsunday Lions Club.  

The funds were spilt between the maternity ward, the children’s ward, and the palliative care ward, with $6,000 being used to purchase chairs for patient families.

“One of the major items was chairs that convert into beds worth $6,000, mainly used by parents when their children are being treated in hospital. They are being well received,” said Mr Gravelle.

For the 2023 event, the Lions Club will distribute the funds to local causes and charities throughout the year, with Proserpine Hospital a likely recipient once again.

“We hope for good weather and good involvement, considering what a great turnout we had last year.”

Be sure to register for the event and not miss out!

WHAT: Whitsunday Lions Charity Golf Day

WHERE: Whitsunday Green Golf Club

WHEN: Sunday, June 11

REGISTER: 64.com.au/lionsgolfday

The 2022 event had unprecedented support, with expectations high for 2023. Photo supplied

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INXS VS AC/DC Grudge Match At The Airlie Beach Hotel

May 25, 2023

Two of the biggest Aussie legends are gracing the Airlie Beach Hotel stage next weekend, in a powerful classic rock grudge match not to miss.

Led by talented front men of the widely popular and energetic tribute acts, this battle of the legends will rock audiences, leaving them thunderstruck and mystified.

On the INXS side of the ring is the Australian INXS Show, led by Dellacoma Rio with his six-piece band bringing the big guns and taking the audience on a journey through the INXS classics and hits that pushed the band into all-time stardom and infamous notoriety.

Dellacoma has been a faithful tribute to Michael Hutchence for over 15 years, with his uncanny resemblance and powerful vocals, and is prepared to represent INXS on the Airlie Beach Hotel stage.

The classic sounds of the Aussie rock band bring the good times and the Airlie Beach Hotel are ready to ease audiences into the weekend.

“This show will have tonnes of energy,” said INXS front man Dellacoma Rio.

“It will be our first time performing with Adam Spizzo and the show was specifically designed for the Airlie Beach Hotel, and with Adam Spizzo, there will be a lot of energy and so much more audience interaction and surprises.”

On the other side of the ring is Adam Spizzo, from High Voltage – The AC/DC Experience.

Adam does the dirty deed, and he does it well, encompassing the passion of AC/DC and of Angus Young.

His heart-pounding and blood-churning performance blends perfectly with INXS, in the best grudge match of the year.

Adam is no newcomer to Airlie Beach, growing up in Mackay and often trekking to Airlie Beach for a weekend of fun and high energy.

“For the past four months, I have been jumping with excitement,” said Adam Spizzo.

“I am super excited to perform with Dellacoma on the Airlie Beach Hotel stage.

“He is an absolute monster on the stage.

“There will be an hour of the best AC/DC, an hour of INXS, and then an hour of classic Australian rock.

“It will be an absolute blast.”

This breathtaking Australian made show of classic Aussie legends is perfect for a cool Autumn afternoon, with intensity and energy sure to erupt on stage and into the audience.

Adam and Dellacoma are renowned for their passion and enigmatic stage presence, dominating crowds with guns in the sky on the highway to hell and this is not a show to miss at the Airlie Beach Hotel, Saturday and Sunday, June 3 and 4.

“Airlie Beach is like a second home for us, and we’re excited to be coming back,” said Dellacoma.

“All I can say is that Airlie Beach, we’re coming for you!” Adam said.


WHERE: Airlie Beach Hotel

WHEN: Saturday June 3 and Sunday June 4

TIME: 2pm to 5.30pm both Saturday and Sunday

INXS with AC/DC are coming to the Airlie Beach Hotel for the grudge match of the year

Adam Spizzo represents AC/DC and his sound is powerful and energetic on stage

Airlie Beach Hotel bringing the biggest Aussie legend tribute bands to the area

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The Little Mermaid

May 25, 2023

In the next instalment of Disney’s live action remakes of childhood classics is The Little Mermaid.

In this remake, Ariel is played by 23-year-old Halle Bailey, and Melissa McCarthy as Ursula, with Jonah Hauer-King as Prince Eric, and the voices of Daveed Diggs as crab Sebastian and Jacob Temblay as fish Flounder.

The Little Mermaid follows the story of Ariel, a mermaid who wishes to explore the human world. One day, she saves the human Prince Eric from a shipwreck and falls deeply in love with him.

This furthers her determination to explore the human world, against her father’s wishes, the kingdom Atlantica’s ruler King Triton.

She runs from her father’s disappointment and fear, and becomes entangled with Ursula, a manipulative sea witch, who wishes for the demise of King Triton.

She convinces Ariel to trade her beautiful voice for a pair of human legs, so that Ariel can go onto land and be with Eric.

This is when the trouble begins for Ariel, as she attempts to impress Prince Eric and is encompassed by Ursula’s greed and her father’s worry.

This live action remake is incredibly faithful, professional, and whimsical all at once.

Old fans of the childhood classic, and new fans discovering the character for the first time will fall in love with Ariel and her antics, as she balances her new world, her secret, and the inability to speak with the love of her life.

The CGI is convincing and retains the heart of the original film.

The entire cast are faithful to the tale but give the characters a human touch and human connection that the original film was missing.

Perhaps because it is live action rather than animated?

Who knows, but rest assured audiences will be glued to their seats watching this remake, one of Disney’s best.

The Little Mermaid opens at the Bowen Cinema Friday, May 26.

The Little Mermaid, great for new and old fans

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Multicultural Festival At The Whitsunday PCYC

May 26, 2023

Our unique and diverse cultures were celebrated at the Multicultural Festival on Sunday with hundreds of people enjoying free activities that offered them the opportunity to learn more about different countries and communities.

From food stalls inspired by cuisine from around the world, indigenous workshops using native flora, handbags crafted using traditional techniques and authentic Ukrainian headdresses – the event gave an insight into the diverse range of cultures in our region.

This was the third event of its kind and the first year that the Whitsunday PCYC collaborated with the Whitsunday Regional Council to host the event.

The addition of a Citizenship Ceremony was a popular choice.

“It was wonderful for new citizens to see we are a multicultural country,” said Sergeant Billy Li from Whitsunday PCYC.

“The event was a great success!”

Photo credit: Rachael Smith

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Be Inspired By The Coral Sea Academy

May 18, 2023

Locals and cruising yachties are invited to enjoy a packed calendar of social events at Coral Sea Marina thanks to their unique edu-tourism workshops and experiences that are free for both customers and the broader community to enjoy.

The first in the series, Cruising the Whitsundays, is due to take place tomorrow at the marina’s Lookout Lounge.

All are welcome to attend this free event featuring presentations from guest speakers who will be shining a light on what to expect when out on the water this season.

Guest speakers include Master Reef Guide Crystal Lacey, on behalf of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, Fiona Broadbent from Queensland Parks and Wildlife, the Whitsunday’s own local sailing guru, Sharon Smallwood, to share her hidden Whitsundays gems, and Olivia Brodhurst on behalf of the Whitsundays Whale Heritage Committee.

Attendees will learn about the history of the islands, whale migration, the Eye on the Reef, newly opened island trails, top spots to visit and local sailing tips.

There are several other events coming up at the marina this winter.

Mainstay Sailing and Volunteer Marine Rescue Whitsundays host the “Better Boating” series of free maritime training which provide the perfect opportunity for attendees to brush up on their boating skills or learn something new in a relaxed and informal environment.

In addition, the Coral Sea Academy will host monthly Art Classes, multiple Women in Boating networking and training opportunities, as well as environmental information workshops on the Great Barrier Reef and conservation volunteer opportunities.

WHAT: Cruising the Whitsundays

WHEN: Saturday, May 20 from 10am

WHERE: Coral Sea Resort, Lookout Lunch

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Circa Comes To The PECC

May 22, 2023

This world-wide sell-out production by Circa, a front runner in performing arts and acrobatic illusions, is coming to the Proserpine Entertainment Centre (PEC) this Saturday, May 20.

On by Circa is the newest creation for the powerful acrobatic and circus company, expanding their repertoire to include a hauntingly beautiful tale of a chance encounter, and an intimate touch for eight strangers.

Taking place in an apartment block courtyard, On by Circa explores an impossible connection for these eight strangers of the love, loss, and longing of a shared existence.

The audience is pulled through the performance with powerful acrobatic skill and beautiful light show which is timed perfectly with elegant and touching music.

Creator of On by Circa, Yaron Lifschitz, depicts the beauty of human connection, the delicate nature and intricacies of the performing arts and the circus craft, in a powerful display of human strength and ability.

Since 2004, Circa has been dazzling audiences with their perfect craft, becoming the leader in circus performing arts and acrobatics.

Circa has travelled to 40 different countries, performed to over 1.5 million people, with numerous sell-out productions.

Circa productions always contain a massive range of acrobatic and circus acts, with performances including large scale opera, fantastical choreography, and beautiful instrumentals.  

On by Circa will be at the PEC for one night only. This is not a show to miss.

WHAT: On By Circa

WHERE: Proserpine Entertainment Centre

WHEN: Saturday, 20 May 6.30pm

TICKETS: proserpineentertainmentcentre.com.au

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Annette Kellerman - A Mermaid in our Midst

May 22, 2023

An extroverted Australian swimming and diving champion of the early 1900s, Annette Kellerman raised many an eyebrow with her exploits in world swimming circles and for her risqué appearances in films depicting her as a mermaid.

Born in 1887 in Sydney, as a child she suffered from rickets and had to wear calipers to assist her to walk until it was suggested she take up swimming. This not only fixed her problem but led to her being declared a perfect physical specimen. Thereafter, she made a career of swimming and became quite a celebrity in Australia, America, England and Europe where she travelled widely, giving swimming and underwater ballet displays, diving exhibitions and lecturing on physical development. She was the first woman to attempt (unsuccessfully) a crossing of the English Channel and completed marathon swims in the rivers Yarra, Thames and Seine.

Ultimately, she attracted the attention of Hollywood and appeared as a mermaid in two silent films, “Neptune’s Daughter” (1914) and “Daughter of the Gods” (1916); films which scandalised some because she appeared topless though long hair was appropriately draped to preserve a degree of decency. In 1907, she was arrested in Boston (US) for wearing a ‘revealing’ swim-suit in days when women wore neck to ankle bathers.  

During those heady days, she married American film agent, Jimmy Sullivan. Contrary to the usual Hollywood culture, the marriage was lasting - until Annette’s death in 1975 at Labrador, Gold Coast.

Readers might now be wondering just why this story belongs in the Whitsunday history section.

The point is that nowhere, in all the publicity about her, is there any mention of the fact that Annette Kellerman graced Whitsunday waters with her presence for nine months in 1933/4.

In August 1933, Annette and her husband came to Lindeman Island which they used as a base while making a movie about coral with Annette swimming among it as a mermaid, complete with fish-tail. Much of their time was spent camping on adjoining islands such as Cole, Maher and Seaforth. While on Cole Island in August 1933, a party from HMAS “Moresby” landed there to make survey sketches. This must have been quite a treat for a ship-load of virile sailors.

Originally planning to stay for only three months, unfavorable weather delayed filming and extended the stopover. Annette’s sister, Marcelle, was married to Frederick Charles Wooster who began a small resort on Newry Island in those years. Annette and her husband spent time there in a hut built for the purpose, the foundation of which still exists today.

During her stay at Lindeman, Miss Kellerman entertained guests, particularly over the Christmas holidays of 1933. She organised fancy-dress balls on Christmas and New Year’s days as well as water sports and other entertainment.  She had a diving tower of rough bush timber built off the beach to give displays and encouraged visitors to do likewise. At the time, the couple were camped on Seaforth Island and guests on Lindeman Island were invited there for a ‘jazzarino’ as Annette called it. She was ‘the life of the party’ - her presence was quite an event for those staying on the island.

In April 1934, the couple left for Europe after a farewell trip among the islands in the “Cheerio”, a tourist launch owned and operated then by local identity, Bruce Jamieson.  

Such was Annette’s fame that, in the 1950s, Hollywood produced a film of her life, “Million Dollar Mermaid”.  

Thus, our island area can notch up another item of fame in its historical records.

Story and photo courtesy Proserpine Historical Museum and thanks to the late Ray Blackwood.

Caption: Annette Kellerman was a famous actress and swimmer. Photo supplied

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100 Years Of ‘Sconversation’

May 18, 2023

The Queensland Country Women’s Association (QCWA) of Proserpine is celebrating 100 years this July and, to coincide with their big centenary, they are hosting one of their famous Devonshire Teas in August.

The passionate group of homebakers and conversation makers are looking forward to offering freshly baked scones to their guests and serving steaming pots of tea using their colourful teapot collection.

“Grab your buddy, get a group together and start a "sconversation" at our

Devonshire Tea morning!” said QCWA Proserpine Secretary, Kerrie Southee.

“We’ve got some beautiful tea pots that we’ve collected over the years and of course the scones are all home baked.”

While Kerrie is thrilled the QCWA Proserpine is celebrating 100 years this year, she is also eager to use this important milestone to invigorate the group and encourage new members.

“We need your support to keep going for another 100 years!” she explains.

“Without new members the whole thing would fail and that would be terrible.”

Everyone is welcome to come along to the Morning Tea, which is due to be held at the QCWA Hall, 4 Faust Street, Proserpine on Friday, August 11.

Guests can either drop in and grab a takeaway on the day or sit down and enjoy the ‘sconversation’.

WHAT: Scone Day: Devonshire Tea Morning

WHERE: QCWA Hall Proserpine

WHEN: Friday, August 11

TIME: 9.30am to 11.30am

Join the ‘sconversation’ this August

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St Catherine’s Catholic College Under 8s Day

May 22, 2023

Set to the backdrop of a beautiful Autumn Day, the St Catherine’s Catholic College Under 8s Day was a massive success.

There was face painting, cookie decorating, a teddy hospital, drone flying, local firefighters and police officers, plus ice cream to round out the day.

A day dedicated to children under eight-years-old in the community, everyone was welcome to the junior campus playground and many senior students took the helm at various activities and games that entertained the younger ones.

Photo credit: Bronte Hodge

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Baby, I Don’t Care, You’re The One That I Want

May 18, 2023

Legends Elvis and Olivia Newton-John to Perform at Airlie Beach Hotel

Over two days of powerful music, the Airlie Beach Hotel is bringing two massive powerhouses to the Whitsundays.

This tribute show is unlike any other, with world class act Anita Spring as Dame Olivia Newton-John coming to Airlie Beach for the first time ever and performing alongside Brendon Chase as Elvis Presley.

The pair will each be guests to the other’s headline.

Brendon Chase as Elvis Presley is up first, with special guest appearance, Anita Spring’s Olivia Newton John, on Saturday, May 27.

Audiences can’t help but fall in love with the magic of the performance, of the ‘jailhouse rock’ and the ‘burning love’ that is Elvis.

You will ‘always be on my mind’ with powerful vocals and expressive and extravagant costuming.

This Elvis tribute is an authentic show delivering the best of Australian talent, with Brendon himself being awarded the Best Elvis Tribute Artist in multiple competitions.

His enigmatic show will shine even further with the special appearance of Olivia Newton-John and her powerful vocals and fantastic stage presence.

“Elvis never sang on stage with anyone else because Col Parker didn't think the fans wanted it,” Brendon said.

“However, in my opinion, the concept is brilliant.

“Who better to sing with than one of Australia's most well-known and talented artists?

“It also helps that Anita, who performs Oliva's Tribute, is one of the best in the business.”

Next up, is Anita Spring, as Olivia Newton-John, with special guest Elvis making an appearance.

Anita pays homage to the star, in her Forever Olivia show, performing at the Airlie Beach Hotel on Sunday, May 28.

Anita brings her all, performing all of Olivia’s biggest hits, from ‘Physical’ to ‘I Honestly Love You’.

Her seasoned and powerful country music vocals lend themselves well to the star’s hits, reminiscing and remembering Olivia in a touching and beautiful tribute performance that all Olivia Newton-John fans will appreciate.

She will leave audiences hopelessly devoted and suspended in time.

"The audience should come with their voices ready to be exercised!” Anita said.

“They will be singing along from the very start to so many classic songs we have all come to love over many decades.

Worldwide headliners in Airlie Beach together for the first time

Elvis Presly and Olivia Newton-John will be appearing on the Airlie Beach Hotel stage

Anita Spring as Dame Olivia Newton-John performing in Airlie Beach for the first time

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Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3

May 18, 2023

Finally returning to their own franchise after six years, Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 is stunning audiences with beautiful CGI and touching storylines.

Following the rag-tag team of mercenaries that protect the galaxy, Volume 3 primarily showcases the band’s smallest team member, Rocket, voiced by Bradley Cooper, a raccoon with a questionable moral outlook and keen obsession with prosthetic limbs, and his unfortunate backstory.

Volume 3 introduces new intergalactic villain named Adam Warlock, played by Will Poulter, who is tasked to retrieve Rocket for a mad scientist, who is hell-bent on recapturing his most successful experiment.

The film also revives loved character Gamora, played by Zoe Saldana, who was sacrificed in 2018 film Avengers: Infinity War so that Thanos (Josh Brolin) could gather another Infinity Stone.

Filled with heart and heartache, audiences are introduced to Rocket’s childhood family, an otter with prosthetic arms named Lylla, a walrus with wheels, Teefs, and a rabbit with multiple mechanical arms called Floor, in a series of short flashbacks.

Surprisingly dark themes are counterbalanced with light-hearted bickering and touching family moments, which only pull the characters together as a family.

The actors have embodied their characters once again, with Dave Bautista, playing Drax, and Pom Klementieff’s, Mantis, chemistry a highlight throughout the film.

Also, Zoe Saldana’s ability to completely reinvent Gamora following the events of Avengers: Infinity War.

One standout scene that comes to mind is when Groot, the team’s walking tree, speaks and the group are finally able to understand what he has been saying.

Director James Gunn has proven himself an inspired director, bringing the audiences to tears at multiple stages in the film, and reaffirming the loveable nature of these interesting characters.

At two and a half hours, this is a heart wrenching conclusion to the trilogy, and the character interactions will be missed on the big screen.

Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 (PG 13+) is currently showing at the Bowen Cinema.

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Queensland Orchestra Plays At The PEC

May 18, 2023

Queensland’s Chamber Orchestra is embarking on a tour of the state and their show – Camerata – will be showcased at the Proserpine Entertainment Centre later this month.

Camerata in Concert will feature a joyous program featuring works by Dvorak, Vivaldi and more, featuring Camerata’s Rory Smith as cello soloist, and a brand-new composition by Camerata’s 2023 Emerging Composer-in-Residence, Ray Lin in a performance that the whole family will enjoy.

Ray Lin’s piece is an evocative work that was inspired by his recent trip exploring the Whitsundays and he looks forward to playing it in the region for the first time.

While on tour, the orchestra will connect with the community through many avenues such as workshops with schools and local musicians, performing specialised programs for kindergarten children, and presenting concerts for aged care and respite care residents.

Camerata is a two-time Helpmann Award nominated ensemble and performs entirely without a conductor.

Known for innovative and adventurous programming and thriving on collaborations with artists across a range of artforms, the performance empowers artists, inspires audiences, and enriches communities through music.

The regional tour will also head to Ingham and Mossman, before finishing up with their debut at the Sunshine Coast Chamber Music Festival at Buderim Memorial Hall.

WHAT: Camerata – Queensland’s Chamber Orchestra

WHERE: Proserpine Entertainment Centre

WHEN: Wednesday, May 31 from 6.30pm

TICKETS: camerata.net.au

Camerata in Concert will be performing at the Proserpine Entertainment Centre later this month. Photo supplied

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Relaxed Yet Refined Sunday Sessions At The Belvedere

May 11, 2023

Renowned for its contemporary flavours, sophisticated cuisine and Mediterranean-style small plate menu, The Belvedere in Airlie Beach has redefined fine-dining in the Whitsundays, creating a classy yet casual feel for all to enjoy.

A popular, highly sought-after dining experience, the restaurant is fully booked most weekends and its owners are now launching an exclusive Sunday Sessions afternoon.

Guests can enjoy a more relaxed and flexible tasting menu, sitting back to marvel at the stunning ocean views and accompanied by the sweet tunes from a variety of local artists, with the delicate notes of the grand piano a central feature.

Owners Tayla and Nate Parker opened the doors to The Belvedere just over a year ago and are thrilled with how well their concept has been received.

“We give good service, but not pretentious service,” explains Tayla.

“We just want people to feel like they are walking into someone’s home, somewhere relaxed and comfortable with yummy food, different flavours and you know . . . a bit of a community on the table – a bit of fun!”

Sunday afternoons will be a relaxed and approachable experience.

“Sundays will be a little bit different to what we normally do and a lot more relaxed and casual,” said Nate.

“You can just walk up, grab yourself a cocktail and a cheeseboard and listen to some music.”

On Sundays, guests will have the option of ordering the full tasting menu or they can order individual a la carte dishes.

The knowledgeable waitstaff will be able to recommend a quantity of tasting plates to order to suit the size and appetite of your group.

“We always have a cocktail special and at the moment we have a Dragon Fruit Daiquiri which is super refreshing and great for Sunday lunch,” said Nate.

Tayla and Nate are originally from the Blue Mountains, and they previously operated a successful Asian Fusion restaurant in the area.

When they arrived in Airlie Beach they fell in love with region and felt inspired to create a Mediterranean style menu especially for the The Belvedere.

The couple now invite you to enjoy their Sunday Sessions afternoons – a relaxed, refined, and resplendent dining experience at The Belvedere.

Owners of the Belvedere, Nate and Tayla Parker, invite you to enjoy a Sunday Session. Photo credit: Rachael Smith

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Meet The New Executive Chef At Paradiso

May 11, 2023

Whitsunday shores were calling Jesse Reynolds and his family who have just arrived in the region and are looking forward to being part of our lively local community.

In the job for just 10 days, Jesse says he is thrilled to take on the new position and that he is already impressed with the menu.

“One of the biggest selling points of this job was when I flew up here and had dinner on the first night,” said Jesse.

“Everything was en point – the food here doesn’t need to be touched and the restaurant has a great reputation – obviously that makes it more straightforward for me coming into the business.

“It also means that it is easy for me to tweak and refine – my style of food is more contemporary and upmarket – I am also looking forward to introducing more locally caught seafood like coral trout to the menu.”

Originally from Toowoomba, Jesse knew he wanted to be a chef when he was at primary school, after watching his uncle create incredible dishes – he was mesmerised.

As soon as he finished school at 16, he became an apprentice with Steven Simon, a well-known and very tough head chef who Jesse attributes to teaching him the work ethics he lives by to this day.

Upon completing his apprenticeship, Jesse’s talents were soon noticed, and he spent a few years in Brisbane and Stanthorpe, before becoming an Executive Head Chef for Accor in Gladstone.

More recently, Jesse was the Executive Head Chef at the Caloundra Events Centre, where his team would frequently serve over 4,000 meals per week.

He is now Executive Head Chef for Paradiso, La Marina, and La Marina Express in Airlie Beach.

Jesse has two children, a nine-year-old son called Harry and a 16-month-old called William.

In his spare time, he likes to meal-prep for his family, and he is also looking forward to taking Harry fishing when he gets settled into the job.

Secret to being a great chef?

Consistency. If you don’t give consistency people don’t feel safe to come in and trust what they are going to experience. Consistency is the most important part of the job for me!

Signature Dish:

Seared scallops with white truffe cauliflower puree, chorizo, and fried leek.

Jesse Reynolds, Executive Head Chef at Paradiso, La Marina and La Marina Express. Photo credit: Rachael Smith

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‘Let’s Do Latin’ Fundraiser For Tiny Homes

May 11, 2023

The team behind the Tiny Homes Project have released details about their next fundraising event.

Tiny Homes Project is an initiative to build four tiny homes for women aged 55 and over, who are experiencing homelessness.

This next event, Let’s Do Latin, set to be held on Saturday, July 8, will “be fabulous”, says event organiser Sandy Clark.

The event will be held on the grassed area next to the Whitsunday Sailing Club, overlooking the Coral Sea.

“It’s the pick of spots in Airlie for a big party style event, and this time we can fit over 200 guests in the area, which is great because all of our previous fundraisers were sold out weeks before the event.”

Featuring Viva Acoustic and her Latino Fiesta Band, event attendees will have the dance floor to themselves, with a limbo competition and other activities happening on the night.

Whisper Gin Bar and Restaurant will be catering an array of Latino food, including Mexican-style paella and canapes.

On the night, there will be a raffle and auction, conducted by Paul Skinner of Ray White.

Sponsors for the event include Taylors Property Specialists, The Garden Bar, Mick’s Mobile Computer Services, Slinkylinks, Airlie Tiles, Green Fox Studio, and Fat Frog Café.

Tickets are available from Airlie Events, another sponsor for the night.

Tickets are $125 per person and include a cocktail on arrival, plus amazing Latino food.

WHAT: Let’s Do Latin Fundraiser

WHERE: Whitsunday Sailing Club Lawn

WHEN: Saturday, July 8

TICKETS: $125  https://bit.ly/Lets-Do-Latin

The Tiny Homes Project to hold another event to raise funds for construction of four tiny homes for homeless women. Photo supplied

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Power Partnership For 2023 Whitsunday Multicultural Festival

May 11, 2023

The upcoming Whitsunday Multicultural Festival has been backed by big players, with the Whitsunday Regional Council and the Whitsunday PCYC partnering up for the event.

The Whitsunday Multicultural Festival celebrates the 83 different ethnicities and cultures prevalent in the Whitsundays region, and now with the PCYC, the festival will also celebrate 38 new Australian citizens who will be officially sworn in by Mayor Julie Hall.

“In our multicultural society, we find strength in our differences and inspiration in our shared humanity, said Mayor Hall.

“Together, we can build a community that is inclusive, compassionate, and united,”

The Multicultural Festival includes family fun, with a jumping castle, food tastings from around the world, traditional dancers and musicians, a cultural dress parade, cooking classes, face painting, and a multicultural art workshop.

“This is an opportunity for our Whitsunday community’s wide-ranging cultures and ethnic backgrounds to come together and celebrate their unique differences by sharing food, entertainment, and conversation.”

The festival began in 2019, following the devastation of Cyclone Debbie, as an effort to get the community to come together and reconnect, and celebrate the diversity that runs through the Whitsundays.

“As we enjoy the music, dance, food, and traditions of various cultures, let us remember that diversity is not a challenge to be overcome, but an opportunity to be embraced,” Mayor Julie said.

The 2023 Whitsunday Multicultural Festival will be held at the Whitsunday PCYC location in Jubilee Pocket, on Sunday, May 21, from 10am to 2pm.

The Citizenship Ceremony is scheduled to begin at 10am on the main stage of the PCYC, and a Smoking Ceremony will follow at 10.45am.

“Let us use this festival as a reminder that our differences make us stronger and that together, we can create a future that is vibrant, diverse, and filled with boundless possibilities.”

WHAT: Whitsunday Multicultural Festival

WHERE: Whitsunday PCYC at Jubilee Pocket

WHEN: Sunday, May 21

TIME: 10am to 2pm

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Future Stars Perform At Proserpine State High School

May 11, 2023

2023 Production of Sweet Charity

The latest edition of the Proserpine State High School theatre production is an amazing rendition of the classical musical Sweet Charity, based on the book by Neil Simon, music by Cy Coleman, and lyrics by Dorothy Fields.

Sweet Charity follows Charity Hope Valentine, a young dance hall hostess in New York City. Charity has a series of relationship mishaps before she stumbles upon Oscar Lindquist, a shy accountant. The pair become close, engaged, before Oscar panics about Charity’s profession, and declares the wedding off. The production finishes with Oscar pushing Charity into the lake and running off.

The Proserpine State High School student participation in the 2023 production meant that two lead casts were created, a Senior Lead Cast, with Year 11 and 12 leads, and a Junior Lead Cast, of Year 9 and 10 students.

The Junior cast was led by Allegra Bradley, playing Charity, and Blake Hanks, as Oscar. This pair were energetic on stage, commanding the attention of every member of the audience with every piece of dialogue.

Allegra’s vocal prowess shone through the production, dominating every solo perfectly and highlighting her dedication to the theatre arts.

Allegra and Blake first performed on stage in Year 6, in the Cannonvale State School’s production of Aladdin, with Allegra as Jasmine and Blake as Aladdin. For both leads, this production sparked a passion for theatre and performing arts.  

Allegra and Blake are joined with a host of other classmates, including Hayden Hudak as Herman, the dancer hall owner, Arwen Edwards-Bland and Ebony Crighton as Helene and Nickie, Charity’s two close friends, and Wiremu Tairaki as Daddy.

Wiremu’s Daddy is a titular character, the leader of the Rhythm of Life Church, and for Wiremu, Sweet Charity was his first musical.

The star said it was very surreal.

“I don’t always act like [my character] daily, but I feel like it’s good to harness this part of myself and let it out on stage,” he explains.

Proserpine State High School’s dedication to set design and characterisation is to be applauded, with Daddy’s car, a hippie-esque rainbow car, making only one appearance in the actual show, but being beautifully decorated and presented on stage.

This goes hand-in-hand with the 23-person orchestra, made up of students, teachers, and members of the wider community.

“To put together a live orchestra is something very special,” said Don McDermid, the School Principal.

Artistic director, Jenny Napier has been a part of Proserpine State High School’s musicals for years, helping students prepare for the productions in every way.

“The students have risen to the challenge and performed with the professionalism for which Proserpine State High School is renowned,” Jenny said.

This was an incredibly professional performance, and all students who were a part of the show, either backstage, with costuming, makeup, lighting, and music, or on the chorus should be incredibly proud of themselves for the fantastic production.

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Tourism Workshop For Eco Neutral Future

May 4, 2023

Tourism business owners and anyone working within the sector are invited to attend a free workshop which will provide helpful tools and sustainable initiatives to offer a pathway towards creating low carbon tourism across the Whitsundays.

The workshop is due to take place at The Reef Gateway Hotel on Wednesday, May 10 from 2pm until 4pm.

The event is part of a larger four-year program which began by educating 37 tourism businesses on sustainable working practices back in 2022.

Since then, the Healthy Heart Project has shown these businesses how to help the environment and save money at the same time.

The latest workshop is dedicated to recruiting more tourism businesses to the program and during the event, participants will hear real life accounts from other businesses who have experienced success through adopting the key principals.

EcoBiz Sustainability Auditor Fiona Sleight will be presenting alongside Lee Hawkins who will give a broader description of the role of the Health Heart Project in our local region.

“The rise of environmentally conscious travellers is rewarding tourism businesses that are making an effort to reduce their carbon footprint,” said Ms Hawkins, Climate Change Resilience Officer.

“More visitors are looking for eco-tourism options that have a low, or even non-existent environmental impact.”

During the afternoon, further topics will include consumer behaviour, climate change and pathways to create a Sustainable Destination Accreditation for the Whitsundays.

Attendees will also receive an online carbon calculator demonstration and afternoon tea will be provided.

WHAT: Tourism Workshop: Moving Towards Low Carbon Tourism

WHERE: The Reef Gateway Hotel

WHEN: Wednesday, May 10 – 2pm-4pm

COST: Free

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Airlie Beach Hotel Offering Sex And Chocolate On Mother’s Day Weekend

May 4, 2023

The boys from Sex and Chocolate are back and ready to work their magic in Airlie Beach over this Mother’s Day weekend, at the Airlie Beach Hotel.

With their intimate Motown II Millennia show, the Sex and Chocolate boys are ready to give Airlie Beach a show not to be missed.

With smooth tunes and unforgettable dance moves, Sex and Chocolate draw inspiration from classic Motown, R&B, and soul, with hits from Stevie Wonder, The Temptations, The Spinners, Earth Wind and Fire, Prince, Bruno Mars, Outkast, and Bill Ocean, there will be something for everyone.

Featuring the vocals and appeal of Paul Thompson and his team, Mikey, Wilz, and Maihi, three award-winning sensations that dominate, the boys will perform this personal show to a crowded dance floor.  

With every rendition of this up-close and personal show, the boys of Sex and Chocolate have perfected their craft, wowing audiences throughout the two-hour show, and leaving every single person entertained and entranced.

The boys have shared their excitement to be performing to the Airlie Beach crowd once again, wanting to make sure the ladies feel extra special on the day.

Airlie Beach and the Whitsundays has become a favourite for the group, returning for the umpteenth time to entertain the unforgettable Airlie crowd, their classic temptations of sex, charisma, and romance leading the show.

With over 20 years’ experience in the entertainment trade, these boys have perfectly smooth harmonies and sensual dance moves and are always ready to serenade the crowd through the two afternoon shows.

And the Airlie Beach Hotel is looking after you - any table booked at the Airlie Beach Hotel for Mother’s Day will receive a complimentary gift of Devils Corner Rosé, so be sure to make a reservation and treat your mum right this Mother’s Day.

While, yes, Sex and Chocolate are very popular with the ladies – there’s no denying that - but all are welcome to this charismatic show, where the only stripping is the boys’ smooth harmonies and powerful dance moves.

Indulge in this Mother’s Day weekend special at the Airlie Beach Hotel and experience the most romantic show of the year, with the highly sought-after boys as they travel Australia, sharing their love.

Expect to be swooned by smooth talking, engaging tunes that will ease the workday blues right out of you.

WHAT: Sex & Chocolate presents Motown II Millennia

WHEN: May 13 and 14, from 2.00pm to 5.30pm

WHERE: Airlie Beach Hotel

The boys are back and ready to serenade all through this Mother’s Day weekend

Airlie Beach Hotel has the perfect free shows for the weekend

Sex and Chocolate will be at the Airlie Beach Hotel, May 13 and 14, ready to bring their Motown charm

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Mafia Mamma

May 4, 2023

To imbue this review with the spirit of “Mafia Mamma”, I refuse to refer to the film as pastiche – instead, I dub it a “pasticcio”. Please: cue the weeping strings, the long, drawn-out horn, and “leave the gun, take the cannoli.”

Mafia Mamma is, at its purest, a fish-out-of-water comedy where the fish has been dropped into a nice Napoletana Sauce; it is unabashedly inspired by every mafia trope ever from every mafia film ever (Especially “The Godfather”). There’s a premise and a promise of goofiness in that. And being directed by the talented Catherine Hardwicke – whom audiences would vaguely know from her directorship on “Twilight” – though, ever since then, she’s flitted between television and film directing; notably in “This Is Us” and “Guillermo del Tor’s Cabinet of Curiosities” – the offer to see Mafia Mamma seems to be one audience can’t refuse.

Hardwicke again directs Toni Collette, having worked with the star in 2015’s “Miss You Already” (A brilliant performance from Collette, as ever). And here, she portrays the self-effacing American helicopter-mom Katherine, and inherits her grandfather's mafia empire in Italy – becoming the eponymous Mafia Mamma. And she carries the film with her charm, despite an often-flailing script that seems torn between mafia motifs and Hallmark travel films. Based on a short story by French novelist Amanda Sthers, Mafia Mamma has some deft flourishes to it.

So, guided by the firm's consigliere, Bianca (Monica Belluci), Collette attempts to defy everyone's expectations as the new head of the family business. A sort of female-empowerment narrative ensues – the lacking in confidence Collette tries to find her feet in Italy in an “Eat, Pray, Copulate” approach -- but the film seems remiss to commit to it wholeheartedly. Despite the detractors, Mafia Mamma cuts a goofy figure worth the watch.

Mafia Mamma (R) is playing at the Proserpine Entertainment Centre this Sunday, May 7.

Review by Declan Durrant.

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April 27, 2023
AANS Lieutenant QX 48901 (Q143344)
(08.02/1913 – 16/11/1999)

Madge Holmes was born on the 8th February, 1913 at Nurse Fraser’s home, positioned near the water tower in Proserpine.  When she was eighteen, she worked at the Mt Alma Private Hospital at Charters Tower which was run by her aunt.  In 1932, at the age of 19, she started three years training at the Charters Towers General Hospital.  

Sister Holmes started nursing at the Proserpine Hospital in June 1935.  There she stayed until July 1936 when she moved to the Queen Alexandra Hospital in Hobart to do obstetrics training. After finishing this training, she went to Campbelltown where she nursed scarlet fever patients.  Madge stayed at this hospital in charge of the Maternity Ward for two years and was also on call for Theatre and General Ward work. When war was declared in 1939, Madge decided to go home to Proserpine, working again at the Proserpine Hospital where Matron McGrath was in charge, Dr George was the hospital doctor and Dr Stevens was the private doctor.  

On January 5, 1943 Madge was called up by the army, enlisting as a Lieutenant attached to the 112th A.G.H* where she nursed the first Milne Bay casualties at the Greenslopes Military Hospital.  After working for several months there, she was sent to Charters Towers to the 116th A.G.H. The Mt Carmel and All Souls Schools were used as temporary hospitals and patients were brought in on hospital trains. It was then off to Cairns for a short time before returning to Charters Towers to wait for a boat to transfer her to Bougainville.  Madge was assigned to the 109th C.C.S.* and was one of six sisters. Seventeen sisters were in the 2nd 1st A.G.H. that also sailed on the U.S. ship taking them to Bougainville.  

Her first posting was Torokina Bay. Upon arrival, the nurses commenced work immediately while A.G.H. set up the hospital of 1000 beds.  As soon as it was functioning, the C.C.S. closed down and moved 70 miles to a 200 bed C.C.S. at Motupena Point on the south of the island.  After initial treatment there, patients were sent back to Torokina Bay by barge. For several weeks, the C.C.S. sisters were held at A.G.H.  During that time, Madge was working in the Blood Bank where they took and gave blood and made up penicillin for the wards.  At one stage, she worked for the 21st A.G.H which was only 11 miles from Mt Bagana, an active volcano. The medical staff were always in readiness with ports packed for a quick evacuation if Japanese invasion threatened.

When the war ended, the C.C.S. closed down and joined the A.G.H.  Some nurses were sent home. Madge remained for nearly 13 months before returning home, docking at Bowen and then travelling to Brisbane by train. The nurses were then sent home on leave.  After returning to 102 A.G.H. in Brisbane, Madge was finally discharged on 22nd August, 1946.

Early the next year. Madge went to Sydney to Karitane to study for a Child Welfare course and stayed on the staff for some time.  Upon her return to Proserpine, she was asked by Dr Courtice to work as acting Matron as Matron McGrath was unwell and was taking 6 months leave. She then relieved at Bowen Hospital while their Matron was on leave.  And there, ended Sister Madge Holmes’s nursing career.

Sister Margaret Holmes died on November 16 1999 and was laid to rest in Proserpine Cemetery.


*A.G.H. - Australian General Hospital      *C.C.S. - Casualty Clearing Station

Story and photo courtesy Proserpine Historical Museum

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Campfire For A Woman’s Heart

April 27, 2023

The second book in an inspiring series about resilience and overcoming adversity has just been released by local author, Natalie Stockdale.

Campfire For A Woman’s Heart includes personal recounts of challenges overcome and an inner spirit rising from within, as Natalie interviews dozens of women who have that one attribute in common.

“Imagine sitting around a campfire with a Paralympian champion, a gutsy barrister who stood up to ICAC, a brave young student from Afghanistan, a mother from war-torn Ukraine and many other extraordinary resilient women,” said Natalie.

“Sitting around a metaphoric campfire, women share how they have overcome their worst nightmares and while most storytellers are unknown heroes of their personal journeys, others are well-known champions of resilience.”

Natalie captures the essence of what it means to survive and learn how to thrive again by interviewing a diverse range of women whose words and stories fill the pages of her book.

From the tragic loss of children to the coalface of war, Taliban terror, homelessness, violence, illegal imprisonment, disease, divorce, injuries, and more, every subject is impactful and the survival story empowering.

Natalie is inspired to bring these stories together after enduring her own survival battle which included droughts, divorce, and disease.

Upon recovering, she woke up to the importance of resilience for our mind and body, resigned from a corporate position and decided to pursue a career in wellness.

She is now on a mission to help make happier more resilient people.

“By learning how other people have recovered from life’s tragedies and traumas, we can be inspired and empowered to recover from ours,” she explains.

In this book you will discover what a mother from war-torn Ukraine, a survivor of the Port Arthur massacre and a former First Lady of Timor Leste have in common.

“They all share a resilience and relentless determination to rise despite devastation and challenges,” said Natalie.


Local author Natalie Stockdale has just released her second book. Photo supplied

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Give Me Your Love

April 27, 2023

As passionate about music as he is about life, multi-instrumentalist Simon Briley, has been busy writing and producing a swath of new music and is now ready to show the world.

Simon says that his first single, Give Me Your Love, is an alluring pop song, painting a picture in words of a love so strong it can move men to war.

“It speaks about the kind of love that intoxicates you, making all other feelings dull in comparison,” he said.

Originally from a small town called Maidstone in Southeast England, Simon comes from a musical family and has grown up with music all around him.

In primary school he enjoyed singing and it wasn’t long before he was selected to perform in national choirs.

At age seven, his dad bought him his first guitar, but ever since watching his uncle play drums, Simon had dreamt of having his own drum kit.

He was 13 when that wish eventually came true.

From here, he grew up playing in bands and was part of a well-known band called Bandicoot for many years.

Together they toured the world, signed record deals, and travelled internationally for almost a decade before deciding to part a few years ago.

While they were touring, Simon met a few Australians and came to the country to travel, eventually finding his way to the Whitsundays with his partner.

Since then, he has enjoyed playing gigs across town – from weddings to parties, pubs, and clubs – he is a well-known face on the music scene.

He is also now part of a band called Flying Double Front Kick with two other well-known musicians – Kaeden McCarthy and Nick di Gregorio.

Together they have been busy recording songs, performing music and are set to release four EPs this year.

In his solo gig, Simon has several other releases coming out soon with an album expected by the end of the year.

Each song is more instrumental than the last and Simon plays each instrument himself, from piano and keyboard to bass and drums.

You can check out this talented musician by looking him up on Amazon Music, Spotify, or Apple Music.

Or follow him on Facebook, Instagram or Youtube.

Alternatively, listen out for him playing at a local venue near you!

Talented local musician Simon Briley releases first single. Photo supplied

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State High School’s ‘Sweet Charity’ Debuts Next Week

April 27, 2023

The Proserpine State High School’s performance of ‘Sweet Charity’, a celebrated Broadway show with a cast of 100 students, will launch next week on May 3.

Following Charity Hope Valentine, the long-running musical’s namesake and a taxi dancer living in New York in the swinging sixties, Sweet Charity is an ambitious production for the school.

Featuring groovy costumes, exceptional signing, and the era’s patented gaudy fashion, the show will be backed by a 28-piece orchestra comprised entirely of students.

The musical is led by Artistic Director and Proserpine State High School Head of Drama, Jenny Napier, who said her students were eager to show off their abilities in the school’s first musical since its highly successful play, ‘We Will Rock You’, in 2021.

The show includes students from Grades 8 to 12 and runs with a ‘double cast,’ meaning some characters will be played by a new set of actors on alternative nights.

It will be held at the Proserpine State High School Performing Arts Centre on May 3, 4, 5, and 6 from 7.30pm each night, with an additional matinee performance at 1pm on May 6.

Tickets are available at www.ticketsearch.com

What: Sweet Charity

When: May 3, 4, 5, and 6 from 7.30pm, with an additional matinee on May 6 at 1pm.

Where: Proserpine State High School Performing Arts Centre

Tickets: ticketsearch.com

Sweet Charity, a Broadway-style play, follows Charity Hope Valentine, a girl “looking for love”

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Raise Your Glass And Just Dance At The Pub

April 27, 2023

“Right, right, turn off the lights,” because - in a weeks’ time - the Airlie Beach Hotel will see “all of the people start to rush” and gather round its Bar-Top Stage when P!nk takes on Lady Gaga in one of the country’s ultimate tribute shows.

The Australian P!nk Show will bring its epic face-off between Rock Goddess P!nk and the Queen of Pop, Lady Gaga, to The Pub for two back-to-back shows on May 6 and 7.

Put on your best Poker Face for this spectacular tribute show where rock versus pop and P!nk Vs Gaga – a battle between two of the world’s biggest artists.

In the red (pink?) corner, with countless top 10 singles, sold out tours, and record breaking attendances, is P!nk, without doubt the most popular female rockstar of her generation, having dazzled the international music scene for almost two decades.

Mount Isa born singer and musician Kim Boath steps into P!nks shoes -- a powerful performer in her own right, accomplished and versatile with outstanding vocal talent.

She and her co-star are complimented by some of Queensland’s best musicians, the Australian Pink Show band. Consummate professionals, all with international touring experience.

And her opponent in the blue corner, having sold 27 million albums and 146 million singles, Gaga is among the best-selling musicians of all time. Known as the “Queen of Pop”, the Australian P!nk Show’s Gaga is a perfect encapsulation of the artist.

From their old favourites, like ‘Bad Romance’ or ‘So What’, to newer hits like ‘Trustfall’ and ‘Hold My Hand’, the Pink Vs Gaga show covers all its bases and more.

The Australian Pink Show has credentials unlike other tribute shows: its six-year history has seen it booked for high profile events like the opening celebrations at the Gympie Muster, closing the Tumbafest Festival, and the main act for the Mount Isa Camel Race, better known as the Outback Melbourne Cup.

They’ve been televised worldwide, performed large-scale shows in Papua New Guinea, and toured through Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania, the Northern Territory, and internationally.

This tribute to two of the most influential female artists of all time is “like no other,” packed with two and a half hours of pure entertainment, costume Changes, and two Stunning performers ―’Raise Your Glass’, it’s time to ‘Marry the Night Away! At The Pub.

What: Pink vs Gaga

When: Saturday, May 6, and Sunday, May 7, from 2.00pm to 5.30pm

Where: The Airlie Beach Hotel

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The Pope’s Exorcist

April 27, 2023

‘The Pope’s Exorcist’ deploys the tactful horror foreword of “inspired by.” Julius Avery’s film is “inspired by” actual files. It is “inspired by” a centuries-old conspiracy that the Vatican is trying to keep hidden. And that “inspired” gives it wiggle room, and, probably, is why it works.

Turning the real-life figure of the late Father Gabriele Amorth, an exorcist of the Diocese of Rome, into Russel Crowe, Avery’s film has a lot to contend with off the bat. First: the greatest exorcism film ever made already exists: The Exorcist (the real possessive demon haunting every attempted exorcism movie since 1973).

And second: exorcism is an oft-treaded track; it’s nothing new. The film is contending with a whole host of art that’s delved the topic and even a recent oversaturation.

It’s ground so pilfered that mathematic theory has even had a swing at it. There’s a formula for performing an exorcism: Vade Retro Satana, or “Begone Satan”. But I prefer the more modern expression of it - “Back off, Satan”, which, to me, comes across as bit of light teasing; sort of a ‘stop-it-you’ type expression. You might say it to your annoying cousin, perhaps.

The origins of “casting out” demons are somewhere between the early pages of the Book of Mark and when the Apostle to the Apostles, Mary Magdalene, had seven devils driven out of her by Jesus. If the Bible and William Friedkin have already done exorcism so well, what hope does Avery have?

How do you differentiate yourself in a demon-soaked world? Well, let’s take the truth and play a little creative license.

Taking Father Amorth’s real-life character – a man famously jovial, despite his profession – Crowe and Avery instead turning him into a laconic and melodramatic version of himself. And the Oscar-winner makes it work.

And his performance is helped by what is undoubtedly a gorgeous film. Avery and cinematographer Khalid Mohtaseb put to screen a filmic version of Goya’s ‘St. Francis Borgia’s Helping a Dying Impenitent.’

Crowe and the dark, infernal, and diaphanous quality of filmmaking make it stand out more than it deserves. They elevate a standard horror fare into something worth watching. You won’t be surprised by it, but you’ll be glued to the screen.

The Pope’s Exorcist is playing at the Proserpine Entertainment Centre next month.

The Pope’s Exorcist is a “filmic version of Goya’s ‘St. Francis Borgia’s Helping a Dying Impenitent’” in terms of its gorgeous cinematography

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The Songbook Of Queensland Comes To The PEC

April 27, 2023

The soundtrack of the Sunshine State will be laid out at the Proserpine Entertainment Centre as part of the Opera Queensland ‘Lady Sings the Maroons’ tour in May.

On May 11, the Whitsundays’ music fans will be treated to a unique program inspired by artists including The Saints, Powderfinger, Gladys Moncrieff, Savage Garden, Joe Geia, Kate Miller-Heidke, and Harold Blair.

A cross-genre love letter to Queensland, Lady Sings the Maroons will showcase the art behind making a great song, and those who write them when they roll into Proserpine for a two-hour show.

Directed by Laura Hansford, and starring renowned vocalists and artistic collaborators, Jess Hitchcock, Irena Lysiuk, and Marcus Corowa with Musical Director, Luke Volker on keys, the production traces the roots of our music to regional Queensland.

Sharing the inspiration behind the production, Ms Hansford said music from Queensland had the power to transport an audience.

“My Queensland, your Queensland and the next person’s Queensland are vastly different things, and that’s reflected in the music that’s come out of this state,” she said.

“On this tour, we are debuting a show that sings about the diversity of this state and its people as we try to capture ‘our Queensland’.

“Lady Sings the Maroons holds a mirror up to our extraordinary state with pride.”

And as part of the show, Opera Queensland is inviting local singers and musicians to join the cast for the performance.

Tickets to Lady Sings the Maroons are on sale now. To find more information, visit https://www.proserpineentertainmentcentre.com.au/events/event/42/opera-queensland-presents-lady-sings-the-maroons

The Opera Queensland performance of Lady Sings the Maroons will arrive in Proserpine on May 11

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BE ENCHANTED With St Cath’s School Musical

April 27, 2023

Everyone in the community is invited to sing along to some Disney classics at this year’s St Catherine’s Catholic College musical performance of Beauty and the Beast.

The 1999 Disney movie was one of the fairy tale’s most loved renditions with a host of memorable characters that are all re-created in this high-quality school performance.

Children of all ages will enjoy the show while proud parents watch their little ones turn into stars for the evening.

There are more than 25 students ranging from Year 7 to Year 12 participating this year – with the ensemble taking on a range of roles including playing instruments, being cast in the dance troupe, or shining in a lead role.

Musical Director Mrs Betsy Atkinson praised the work of the many students and staff involved in putting together the production.

"The cast and crew as so excited to present 'Beauty and The Beast' at the PEC," she said.

"We have had an absolute blast putting it together and would love for our community to come "be our guest" and enjoy the show."

College Principal Mr Luke Thomson said events such as college musicals were important as it is another way the College aims to provide every student with the opportunity to shine.

"The opportunity for our students to perform at such a professional venue is one that our students will treasure and look back on with great pride for years to come."

WHAT: St Catherine’s Catholic College performance of Beauty and the Beast

WHERE: Proserpine Entertainment Centre

WHEN Friday April 28 and Saturday April 29

TICKETS: proserpineentertainmentcentre.com.au

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You’re Invited! To the Premiere Of The Misogyny Opus

April 20, 2023

After much preparation and anticipation, Karen Jacobsen’s pop-orchestral masterpiece entitled The Misogyny Opus, is ready for its world premiere, which is due to take place at the Mackay Entertainment and Culture Centre (MECC) next weekend.

Karen is passionate about giving everyone in the community an opportunity to feel inspired by the words of Australia’s first female prime minister, Julie Gillard, who delivered her famous misogyny speech in 2012.

By setting these powerful words to music and performing the speech in its 55-minute entirety, Karen hopes to raise the issue of equality and draw our attention to how, despite substantial developments, we still live in a world of gender discrimination.

She believes this is an important message we need to share with our children and hopes the song will spark conversation within our boarder communities.

Joined on stage by the world class musicians from the Queensland Symphony Orchestra, the performance is set to be both transformational and enlightening.

Cellist Craig Allister Young, who brings with him over 30 years of experience in arranging and orchestrating music, said he was deeply moved during the process of orchestrating the piece.

“During the (orchestral) process, I found myself feeling angry that this type of behaviour was present in our highest offices, not in a distant past but at a time where Australia is moving towards a more equitable society,” he said.

Any Whitsunday residents who wish to attend the event are invited to book a seat on the dedicated minibus which will take you there.

WHAT: The Misogyny Opus


WHEN: April 28-29

TICKETS: themecc.com.au

Karen Jacobsen performs The Misogyny Opus, Not Now, Not Ever at the MECC next week. Photo supplied

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Dog Walk For Change

April 20, 2023

Help fight animal cruelty at the upcoming Million Paws Walk, Sunday May 28.

Million Paws Walk is an RSPCA initiative, raising funds and awareness for animal cruelty.

In this national event, almost 4,000 dogs and their owners have participated, with over $185 thousand raised to fight animal cruelty, funding over 5,000 days of shelter care for dogs in need.

The Whitsunday Marine Club has signed up for the challenge, calling for local dog-lovers to bring their pooch down to the Whitsunday Marine Club for a walk along the boardwalk to Cannonvale Beach, to help a good cause.

Keeping every member of the family happy, there will also be food vans, market stalls, raffles, and competitions following the walk, all supporting the RSCPA and Million Paws Walk cause.

Money raised will go towards funding community outreach programs, ending animal cruelty, and maintaining RSPCA shelters and care homes.

Registration is open, with the walk kicking off from 8am on Saturday, May 28.

WHAT: Million Paws Walk

WHERE: Whitsunday Marine Club

WHEN: Sunday, May 28, from 8am

REGISTRATION: millionpawswalk.com.au

Walk your dog and fight animal cruelty. Photo supplied

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“If We Screen It, They Will Come”: Movies At The PEC An Early Success

April 20, 2023

A growing audience of locals have enjoyed ‘the pictures’ at The Proserpine Entertainment Centre (PEC) over the first three months of the site’s cinema operations.

Movie screenings returned to Proserpine for the first time in almost four decades when The PEC officially launched its cinema arm on December 12, 2022 - the first-time relatively new releases played in Proserpine since the El Dorado Picture Theatre’s closure in 1984.

Manager at Proserpine Entertainment Centre, Kate Boyd, said the cinema has been a budding success, and is offering the Whitsunday town something extraordinarily special.

“To have a cinema, living in small town, it can be a huge thing,” Ms Boyd said.

“Having something else to do, to be able to get out, it has huge benefits. And people are coming more often, they’re realising that we’re back and functioning, that we have state of the art facilities, and a full front of house.”

With more support, The PEC hopes to receive newer releases from distributors.

Movie sessions have been held weekly - with a small break in February – on Sundays and Mondays and have included new releases and Nostalgia Screenings of films like Back to the Future, E.T., and The Goonies.

“It’s part of our plan to be continually trialling things, trying to give people what they ask for,” Ms Boyd said.

“What we’re seeing is a building of momentum that we’re hoping to continue.”

The Proserpine Entertainment Centre is building a budding audience of cinemagoers and hopes to continue the growth with more support from the town

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Local Markets Support Cancer Crusader

April 20, 2023

Just in time for Mother’s Day, head down to the Proserpine Community Markets (PCM) on Sunday, April 30, and grab some handmade goodies.

Taking place on the old St Catherine’s Campus, the Proserpine Community Markets is home to a diverse range of local and handmade stalls, with food vans galore, face painting, raffles, local buskers, and live music and so much more, always supporting a local charity or cause.

The upcoming markets, on Sunday, April 30, will be supporting local Proserpine mum, Jenn Johnson, a breast cancer battler.

Jenn is a 30-year-old single mother, and she was diagnosed with grade three breast cancer in her right breast and lymph nodes in late January, after finding a lump in her breast back in November.

Currently, Jenn is undergoing her second round of chemotherapy, and proceeds will go towards supporting her lengthy journey.

The upcoming market is a great opportunity to support a local family and also many small businesses in the region.

There will be a sun catcher making workshop with Whitsunday Creations, and a Mr Poppas Balloon making workshop and much more so make sure you have the markets on your radar for Sunday.

PCM is held quarterly and open for all local makers to participate in.

WHAT: Proserpine Community Markets

WHERE: 69 Marathon Street

WHEN: April 30, from 8.30am to 12.30pm

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Airlie Beach Hotel Or ‘Morrison Hotel’?

April 20, 2023

For two nights at the end of April, the poetic and eclectic sound of one of the biggest bands of all time will revive in two back-to-back tribute shows setting “the night on fire” at The Pub.

Unlocking The Doors, a mesmeric, hedonistic tribute to the provocative music of Jim Morrison and The Doors, will play on the Bar Top Stage at local’s favourite local on April 29 and 30 in two free shows.

The Airlie Beach Hotel is bringing one of Australia’s most authentic tribute shows to audiences for a second year running – what The Pub is calling a ‘Full Circle’ return of The Doors mayhem and psychedelic ‘60s aura.

The renowned tribute runs through a select repertoire of the Rock Hall of Famer’s 50-year history, right back to their self-titled debut album up to the post-Jim Morrison years of An American Prayer, all for free at the Airlie Beach Hotel.

Unlocking The Doors is led by Wollongong musician Richie Mikic, a long-time apostle of the American-band, who delivers a heartfelt performance in channelling the mystical command once held by the man at the iconic heart of the band – Jim Morrison.

“We take people back in time to when ‘The Lizard King’ ruled,” Richie said.

“Showing people how brilliant The Doors were and how intoxicating Jim Morrison was on stage drives us.”

Formed in Wollongong, the tribute band has travelled across the country to an ever-growing legion of fans and critical acclaim, with each member expertly reproducing the unique sound.

“Capturing the shamanistic presence of Jim Morrison, the hypnotic bass lines and swirling keys of Ray Manzarek, Robbie Krieger’s legato blues inspired guitar modality and John Densmore eclectic fusion of jazz, rock and Latin drumbeats, is our absolute pleasure,” Richie said.

There’s Sandy on organ and keyboard bass, who holds the key to reproducing the authentic live sound of Ray Manzarek. While fellow band-member Mick draws on his classical guitar and rock background to play his Gibson SG standard in finger-picking style to emulate Robbie Krieger’s beautiful legato tone.

And completing the line-up on drums is Lee, who unlocks John Densmore’s original style, providing the backbeat so vital when paying tribute to their signature melodies.

Unlocking the Doors reprise the energy from the band’s catalogue of classics - ‘People Are Strange’, ‘Break On Through (To The Other Side)’, ‘Riders On The Storm’ – and their back catalogue like ‘Spanish Caravan’ and ‘Hyacinth House’.

It’s a celebration of the band which marked an age when the American rock underground of the ‘60s came crashing into the mainstream. One which changed music forever – and it will have you singing “I’d really like to stay here all night”.

What: Unlocking The Doors

When: Saturday and Sunday, April 29 and April 30, 2.00pm to 5.30pm both days

Where: The Airlie Beach Hotel

The Airlie Beach Hotel is bringing back one of its favourite shows, Unlocking The Doors, a tribute to one of America’s biggest bands

Richie Mikic takes on the role of Jim Morrison in this revival show for the ages coming to the Whitsundays in late April

Unlocking The Doors is a perfect capsulation of the energy of the band that changed music forever

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The Super Mario Bros. Movie

April 20, 2023

To the outsider – that being anyone who hasn’t played a thousand hours of Super Mario Galaxy 2, at least - nothing in The Super Mario Bros. Movie makes any sense. Is that a problem for mainstream audiences? Apparently not.

It has scored the most successful global opening ever for an animated film. I suppose everyone knows Nintendo, everyone knows Mario - and especially kids know Mario. But, although it’s been a financial success, have directors Michael Jelenic and Aaron Horvath made a filmic success? Can anyone turn to anyone else in their plush cinema seats and say: “You know that Mario thing? Pretty darn good in a filmmaking sense.”

Certainly, The Super Mario Bros. Movie has the look down pat. If you were to bring in your handheld Nintendo DS to the theatre, flick your eyes from the small screen to the big and back, you’d be impressed by the acuity.

If it looks like a Mario, jumps like a Mario… does it quack like a Mario?  It might be a Mario if it does. On voice performances, the internet was broiling with sarcasm when Chris Pratt was announced as voicing the eponymous character – but the Jurassic Park and Marvel star has managed to portray Mario in surprising fashion; he’s genuinely done a stand-up job.

And so do the rest of the cast: Jack Black as chief antagonist Bowser, comedian Charlie Day as Luigi, and Seth Rogen as Donkey Kong. Audiences seem to have been asking for a joyful adaptation with references galore, which is what The Super Mario Bros. Movie delivers. It may lack in a meaningful thematic throughline, but it’s Mario, after all – we’re not here for Bong Joon-Ho’s Parasite.

It’s fun. Let’s hope for a bit more than just fun next time – let’s get Mario doing an adaptation of Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House or something insane like that. I’d pay to see it.

The Super Mario Bros. Movie is playing now at the Bowen Summergarden Cinema.

Review by Declan Durrant

Let’s-a-go! Mario and Luigi hit the big screen in The Super Mario Bros. Movie

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Bourbon-Soaked Blues Live, Juke Joint comes to Proserpine Golf Club

April 20, 2023

Describing their sound as ‘bourbon-soaked blues’, it is not hard to see the appeal of Juke Joint’s music.

With an eclectic sound and energetic stage presence, Juke Joint performs with music that hits right on a barmy Wednesday Autumn afternoon.

Juke Joint will be on stage 6:30pm, Wednesday April 26, at the Proserpine Golf Club, starting the first leg of their North Queensland Tour.

Darren Griffis leads the charge, on lead guitar and vocals, with Gary Schieve on drums, Roy Bentham on guitar, banjo and slide guitar, and Gary Graham on bass and the harmonica.

This rag-tag range of instruments lends itself to a Southern American blues inspiration, with Gary Graham often playing the bass and harmonica at the same time.

Headlining the show will be their most recent release, Swivel Neck Boy, plus other original music, and everything from blues to classical rock and funk.

The Club looks forward to promoting more events in the future, as well as promoting their facilities for private functions. Affordable and inviting function facilities, with perfect photo opportunity locations on the beautiful Golf course.

Juke Joint will be performing at the Clubhouse courtyard, overlooking the course in the cool twilight of the evening.

Juke Joint is open for all ages, with tickets only $10, available at the door, at Whitsunday Computers and Stationery and online at Try booking.  A curtesy bus is available, ring 049 834 0848 to organise pick up.

WHAT: Juke Joint – Bourbon Soaked Blues – North Queensland Tour

WHERE: Proserpine Golf Club

WHEN: Wednesday, April 26, from 6.30pm to 8.30pm

TICKETS: trybooking.com

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Musical Festival Announces First Line-Up

April 13, 2023

Music lovers across the region will be excited to discover that the first line-up for this year’s Airlie Beach Festival of Music has been announced.

Now in its 11th year, the award-winning festival will take place at the Whitsunday Sailing Club from November 9-12.

The four-day festival extravaganza will feature some new and exciting acts but will also include some of the crowd favourites who have been invited back to perform.

The first release for 2023 sees the announcement of Ian Moss, Frenzal Rhomb, The Superjesus and the Pierce Brothers.

Ian Moss is respected as one of Australia’s most iconic musicians, delivering an unforgettable sound, he is a talented soloist on guitar with a silken voice, ringing with clarity and resonating with pure soul.

Meanwhile, Frenzal Rhomb formed in the early nineties and has gone on to bless stages everywhere over countless world tours where they performed alongside the likes of NOFX and Nickleback.

Next up, are twin brothers Jack and Patrick Pierce who are returning to the festival for a second year.

The Pierce Brothers are a high-energy duo who have captivated festival goers and headlined sold-out venues the world over, including most recently a sold-out European and UK tour in 2022.

The Superjesus are also returning this year - one of Australia’s most respected rock outfits, this band won three ARIA Awards and released three platinum albums.

Frontwoman, Sarah Mcleod, will also be the festival ambassador for the second year in a row.

Completing the first line-up announcement for 2023 are festival favourite Matty Rogers, last year's Passport to Airlie winners Perry Street Park and Buskers by the Lake winner Tanya George.

WHAT: Airlie Beach Festival of Music

WHERE: Whitsunday Sailing Club

WHEN: November 9-11

TICKETS: airliebeachfestivalofmusic.com.au

Ian Moss will be performing at the Airlie Beach Festival of Music this year. Photo supplied

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Country’s Top Comedian Coming To Your Favourite Local

April 13, 2023

One of Australia’s funniest comedians is coming to The Pub for a gut-busting session of incisive and derisive, cynical, and sardonic comedy at the beginning of next month.

Lawrence Mooney – renowned Aussie stand-up comic, radio broadcaster, and television host – will perform at The Airlie Beach Hotel in a once-in-a-lifetime show on Wednesday, May 3.

The seasoned stage performer has regularly toured the country to packed houses, been nominated for The Barry Award at The Melbourne International Comedy Festival, and won Best Show at The Sydney Comedy Festival, as well as being named as Best National Act at the Perth Comedy Festival and Best Comedy Act at the Melbourne Fringe Festival.

Called the funniest comedian in Australia by New Idea, Mooney is a familiar voice to Queensland audiences, having taken Triple M Brisbane’s breakfast radio show to number one and winning an Australian Commercial Radio Award (ACRA) for Best Entertainment Presenter in a metro market.

And he’s no stranger to television: Mooney is well known for hosting Dirty Laundry Live that ran for three seasons on ABC, as well as his work on ‘Agony Uncles,’ ‘Agony of Life’ and ‘Modern Manners.’

To have him bringing the laughs at the Airlie Beach Hotel – when his touring circuit usually sees him fill up major theatres – is an extraordinary boon for the Whitsundays.

He’s been a regular on ‘The Back Page,’ and as a hand-picked host for the new comedy-driven footy show, Up The Guts, on Fox Sports following on from Friday Night Footy.

The regularly touring humourist will be joined on the Sports Bar Stage by Andrew Barnett, the Fox-Sports-famous comedian and presenter on Sunday Night with Matty Johns and The Back Page.

Barnett, with his relaxed, affable style which belies a razor sharp wit, has a comedic ability brimming with insightful observations and witty anecdotes – he’s an absolute crowd favourite wherever he performs.

With Mooney as the main act, he’ll be pulling material from his anti-self-help book, Embracing Your Limitations, coming fresh off the back of the Brisbane Comedy Festival – he’s ready to transform you through laughter.

“The world is full of self-styled gurus, Svengalis, mind coaches and horrific influencers. Are you sick of the world? Are you tired of your own bulls**t?” Mooney said.

“I’m here to help you to quit, embrace your inner loser and win at life.”

The Airlie Beach Hotel will turn into a barrel of laughs courtesy of one of the country’s top comedians in May – don’t miss your chance for a festival of laughter.

What: A Night of Comedy with Lawrence Mooney

When: Wednesday, May 3.

Where: The Airlie Beach Hotel

Aussie comedian Lawrence Mooney is coming to The Airlie Beach Hotel on May 3 for an evening of laughs

He’ll be joined by Andrew Barnett, the famed Fox Sports stand up comic

Mooney will be running through his playbook of hilarious jokes from his “anti-self-help” book

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Cocaine Bear

April 13, 2023

On a pleasant day in 1985 outside Tennessee in the United States, within the confines of the Chattahoochee National Forest, a 175-pound black bear, having literally packed his stomach “to the brim” with cocaine, died.

You read correctly: The 2023 horror-comedy Cocaine Bear is based on a real event – well, loosely. Cocaine bear existed, though fleetingly. He never rampaged, as he fictitiously does in the Elizabeth Banks film. Instead, he burned bright and quickly, overdosing on $2 million worth of 40 kilograms (roughly $55 million USD) of pure, white, Columbian marching powder. What a way to go. To quote Shakespeare: “Out, out, brief candle!”

For all that, he earnt him an immortal place in Kentucky folklore -- and a prime spot in Lexington mall. Taxedermied in an eternal vigil between vending machines and mechanical rocking horses. Locals dance between the nicknames of ‘Pablo Eskobear’ or ‘Cokey the Bear’.

Now, his legacy has transcended to the big screen. This time, he’s 500-pounds, this time, he doesn’t die when he consumes an ‘80s Stephen King’s helping worth of cocaine, he goes on a drug-fuelled riot. Much like predecessors of its kind (Snakes on A Plane comes most clearly to mind), the film is an excuse for gory ultraviolence, but unlike the 2006 film it shares a high concept with, Cocaine Bear is here for the laughs.

The bear stumbles across a cartel’s lost packages of cocaine and goes manic -- it’s pure B-Movie (bear movie, perhaps?) schlock, and it’s outrageously fun for it. Head to the cinema expecting a massive animal on cocaine and you’ll leave with expectations met. It fulfills its title promise with aplomb.

Cocaine Bear (MA15+) will begin screening at The Bowen Summergarden Cinema on April 22.

Director Elizabeth Banks’ film Cocaine Bear is majestically absurd and how couldn’t it be?

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Open Air Cinema For Families

April 13, 2023

Bring your friends and family to the Airlie Beach Foreshore for the upcoming outdoor cinema screening, this Friday, April 14, from 6pm.

Showcasing a double feature, this evening will be fun for the whole family, with various food vans offering delicious meals and treats throughout the evening, to keep families well fed.

The first film is ‘Shark Tale’, which follows the story of a bluestreak cleaner wrasse, Oscar, as he struggles to become ‘top of the reef’ and becomes tangled in messy gangster business.

This is followed by ‘Oddball’, an Australian film about a chicken farmer who trains his dog, Oddball, to protect a penguin sanctuary from foxes, saving the small town in the process.

From 4pm, the Foreshore will also have various pre-event activities on offer, for families to enjoy prior to the screening.

The Whitsunday Lions Cruise Ship Markets are also being held on the Airlie Beach Foreshore on Friday, April 14, from 8am.

So, make a day of it at the Airlie Beach Foreshore, exploring the Cruise Ship Markets, before enjoying the sunset with free, fun, family entertainment.

Don’t forget your picnic blanket!

In the event of poor weather, the outdoor cinema will be postponed.

Please note, this is an alcohol-free event.

WHAT: Outdoor Cinema

WHERE: Airlie Beach Foreshore

WHEN: Friday, April 14, from 4pm


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Mr Stink Comes To The PEC

April 13, 2023

Prolific children’s author and comedian, David Walliams’ masterful creation, ‘Mr Stink’, is coming to the Proserpine stage.

As part of the show’s national tour, this Australian adaption will be in the Proserpine Entertainment Centre (PEC) on May 2 and 3.

Mr Stink follows the tale of Chloe, one of the loneliest girls in the world, who makes unlikely friends with Mr Stink, the local tramp.

Yes, he smells, but he is the only person who has ever been nice to Chloe. And when he needs a place to stay, Chloe offers him her families garden shed.

However, Chloe must now keep Mr Stink a secret in her garden shed, while learning that some secrets have a way of leading to disaster.

“Boisterous fun…the young audience…thoroughly enjoy[ed] this quality production,” The Daily Telegraph said.

‘Mr Stink’ comes off the back of extensive renovations to the PEC, having been left damaged by Cyclone Debbie in March 2017.

Now, newly renovated, and open to the public, the PEC is quickly becoming the landmark community facility for Proserpine once again.

‘Mr Stink’ is brought to the PEC by CDP Theatre Producers, who are behind other award-winning productions including David Walliams’ ‘The Midnight Gang’ and ‘The 91-Storey Treehouse’, as well as Australian productions of ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show’ and ‘The Gruffalo’.

This charming and hilarious adaption is fun for the whole family.

WHAT: ‘Mr Stink’ – Live on Stage

WHEN: May 2 and 3

WHEN: Proserpine Entertainment Centre

TICKETS: proserpineentertainmentcentre.com

‘Mr Stink’ Live on Stage

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John Wick: Chapter 4

April 5, 2023

John Wick: Chapter 4 is bit like Christmas lunch: every year, you go round to your parent’s place, you sit down, and somehow, every succeeding course is better than the last.

The entrée, some sort of delectable prawn-type thing, is exquisite (The first John Wick). She brings out the next course – astounding – and that’s John Wick Chapter 2, with its sweep of world-building. And you’re thinking: “Surely this can’t get better. I’m positively stuffed.” Somehow, it does get better. John Wick Chapter 3: Parabellum is absolutely drenched in this to-die-for sauce. Mwah, magnifique.

Then, mum (Who in this scenario is Chad Stahelski, former kickboxer and director of John Wick: Chapter 4 and all previous John Wick films) asks: “Desert; it’s only wafer thin?” And you’re feeling like Mr Creosote in Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life, as if you’re about to explode. There’s no possibility that a) you could fit it in; or b) it could be better than the preceding masterclasses in modern action cinema.

Well, bravo Stahelski. John Wick: Chapter 4 has continued the upping the ante trend set by each of the previous iterations of this franchise. A continuous raising of the bar sees Wick (Keanu Reeves) uncover a path to defeating ‘The High Table’ – the criminal organisation hunting him across the globe. But before he can earn his freedom, he must face off against a new enemy with powerful alliances and forces that turn old friends into foes. The additions of Bill Skarsgård and Donnie Yen - as garnishes to a now-seasoned franchise - are absolute deserts in themselves.

John Wick: Chapter 4 is a remarkable series of set pieces from one of modern cinema’s best action directors. It’s arrestingly gorgeous in its cinematography and mind-bogglingly complex in its choreography.

John Wick: Chapter 4 begins screening at the Bowen Summergarden Cinema this month.

John Wick: Chapter 4 is “arrestingly gorgeous” says our reviewer Declan Durrant

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Cracklin’ Rosie, Get On Board At The Pub

April 5, 2023

“Hands / Touchin’ hands / Reachin’ out / Touching me…”. Don’t say you didn’t start humming along; everyone knows the words.

Get ready to belt those legendary lyrics out alongside ‘Nearly Neil’, The Ultimate Neil Diamond Legacy show arriving at The Pub in two days of massive performances in mid-April.

Coming direct from Canada to the Airlie Beach Hotel, Bobby Bruce and The Solitary Band will play two shows on Saturday and Sunday, April 15 and 16, from 2pm to 5.30pm at local’s favourite local in a legacy show unlike any other.

The Vancouver-based band have been bearing the name and the heritage of Neil Diamond for almost two decades as The Ultimate Neil Diamond Legacy show, being led by superb singer Bobby Bruce.

His Happy Tunes have astonished and amazed packed houses across America, Canada, Europe, New Zealand, and Asia – and now he’s touring Down Under, stopping in at Airlie Beach for a double-header of shows.

“Passionate, exhilarating and vocally brilliant,” Bruce and his band are a five-star salute to the music of the Brooklyn-born singer and one of the best-selling musicians of all time.

The power and purity of Bobby’s voice have put him in a legacy league of his own, making his performance much more than a tribute – it’s a revival.

It’s as close to the authentic experience of sitting front row at a Diamond concert as you can get – particularly in the case of the strutting theatrics. Bruce glides through a powerful package of Diamond hits in his completion of the famed-singer’s repertoire: from Cracklin’ Rosie and Kentucky Woman to Cherry Cherry and everyone’s favourite, Sweet Caroline.

Bobby Bruce has continued to “stretch the meaning of tribute band”, bringing an unrivalled flair to his shows which have led him to enjoy the best numbers he’s ever seen in his ‘Down Under’ tours.

Australians have increasingly recognised the talent - Bobby’s mastery of music - and its little wonder he has been nominated two years running for the best international touring artist for the Australian ACE Awards.

Decked out in rhinestone dress trousers and white, beaded fringe shirt, Bruce meets Diamond’s raspy stridency in such favourites as Solitary Man and I Am I Said. His passion and energy connect him with the audience and his infectious warmth sets him in a league of his own – don’t miss him when he arrives at the Airlie Beach Hotel for two free shows.

What: Nearly Neil, The Ultimate Neil Diamond Legacy

When: Saturday and Sunday, April 15 and April 16, from 2pm to 5.30pm

Where:  The Airlie Beach Hotel

Nearly Neil The Ultimate Neil Diamond Legacy show is coming to the Airlie Beach Hotel on April 15 and 16

The world-class performance is led by a world class performer, Billy Bruce

Head to The Pub for the free show in just over a week’s time

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Cruisin’ Whitsunday Show and Shine

March 30, 2023

Avid motorists are gearing up for the seventh annual Cruisin’ Whitsunday Show and Shine which is due to be held at the Coral Sea Marina Community Gardens at the end of May.

This year will be a whole weekend spectacular with events scheduled to entertain and delight visitors from across the state.

These include a themed dinner on Saturday night and a recovery breakfast on the Sunday.

Set to the backdrop of the Coral Sea and amongst the flotilla of vessels in the marina, the event is visually impressive and it is expected that over 200 vehicles will exhibit.

The event is hosted by the Whitsunday Cruisin Car Club, a non-profit organisation which was started in 2012 by a small group of Whitsunday locals.

Since then, they have become one of the largest car clubs in the area, consisting of over 60 individual members and their families that have a passion for everything automotive.

The group take part in many events throughout each year, but this is their largest community gathering.

The main event will take place on Saturday, May 27 and the whole family is invited to come along and marvel at the array of colourful vehicles.

For the first time this year, organisers are introducing a special kid’s show and shine event.

Children are invited to show their ‘Pride and Joy’ – pedal car, go-kart, scooter, electric motor, bike trike or homemade creation.

“The Kids Show and Shine has been introduced to get the local kids involved and outdoors,” said organiser Keri Southee.

“All money raised this year from the entry goes to the QCWA Proserpine

Branch toward the maintenance and upkeep of The Airlie Beach Cottage.”

WHAT: Cruisin’ Whitsunday Show and Shine

WHERE: The Gardens, Coral Sea Marina

WHEN: Saturday, May 27

TICKETS: $5 from whitsundaytickets.com.au

Over 200 vehicles are expected to exhibit at this years’ Cruisin’ Whitsunday Show and Shine

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Speechie Talks Free Support Program

March 30, 2023

Parents will soon have the opportunity to engage with a Speech Pathologist at a series of free educational sessions due to be held in a relaxed and social setting at our local libraries.

‘Speechie Talks’ is open to parents and carers of children aged zero to five years and will be led by Whitsunday Community Health’s speech pathologist Kelly Rodgers who will host weekly sessions for eight weeks.

Families will benefit from information on how to support early childhood communication development and topics will include early language, speech sounds, social communication and early literacy.

“We conducted a survey in 2022 seeking feedback on speech pathology programs for children aged zero to five years in the Whitsunday region,” Kelly said.

“More than 80 per cent of respondents indicated that they would like to see the Community Health service offer group education sessions on specific topics to assist parents with their child’s communication.”

Each session will start with a 20-minute presentation on the weekly topic followed by a Q&A session about anything speech pathology related.

Kelly said she is excited and looking forward to presenting Speechie Talks to Whitsunday region families.

“The library setting allows families to drop in with their children and connect with a speech pathologist to ask questions without having to go through a formal referral process,” she explained.

“We can also guide parents and carers on support pathways if parents are concerned about their child’s development.

“As speech pathologists, we want to share our knowledge with families on how to build and support their child’s communication to ensure they receive the best possible start.”

WHAT: Speechie Talks program

WHERE: Cannonvale and Proserpine Libraries

WHEN: Weekly from Monday, April 17 (alternating between the two libraries)

TIME: 9.30am to 10.30am

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Get ‘Geed Up’ For Easter

March 30, 2023

‘The Boys’ are back in town for an enormous Easter Weekend of three back-to-back-to-back shows at The Airlie Beach Hotel in what they promise is “a performance like no other.”

The Pub is becoming one of Brisbane band Geed UP's regular stomping grounds – and they’re becoming one of the region’s all-time favourite shows.

They’re ticking off the list of events: Already, Geed UP have rocked it out on New Year’s Eve, rode the stage on Melbourne Cup Day, and they’re tackling Easter this year.

Arriving in Airlie Beach for a massive Weekend, Geed Up will rock out to rapturous applause – as they have time and again with local’s favourite local hosting them for three world-class performances.

Comprised of Khan, Stevie, and Mat - who first met when they formed a casual singing group on the Gold Coast almost 20 years ago – Geed Up lines up these three New Zealanders who cater to every crowd with show-stopping dance moves guaranteed to bring down the house.

For the fifth time at the Hotel, The Boys are getting set to show off their vocal versatility when playing all afternoon long in three separate inspiring (and Geed up) performances for the crowds.

“We’re no regular singing trio,” Khan said.

“What’s different about us is we’re high-octane, performative. We incorporate percussion, saxophone, keys and guitar, explosive breakdancing choreography and comedy - I like to think we’re special; we do it better than anyone.”

The high-energy choreography is weaved into the performance’s base musicality – making it a truly show-stopping treat of electrifying movement and foot-tapping tunes that can’t help but inspire audiences to groove along.

With every Geed UP show a new and unique one, expect no different here: This Easter Weekend will mix some of the old and the new; from laid-back music to fill the dance floor, this trio will deliver it all.

The International-level performers, known for their polished three-piece harmonies, blending their unique vocal styles into a fusion of soul, funk, edge, and class, will have the audience speechless all afternoon.

Influenced by all genres of music and their New Zealand culture, there is nothing that the boys of Geed Up can’t cater for.

Expect plenty of surprises with a brand-new trick or two up their sleeve for this Easter. Don’t miss these three very special and free shows.

What: Geed Up! Easter Weekend

When: Good Friday, April 7, Easter Saturday, April 8, and Easter Sunday, April 9, from 2.00pm to 5.30pm each day.

Where: The Airlie Beach Hotel

Geed UP Music are back in Airlie Beach for an Easter Weekend like no other, courtesy of The Pub

The incredible trio will set the bar-top stage alight at The Airlie Beach Hotel with three separate afternoon performances

Geed Up will bring comedy, charisma, and choreography to Airlie Beach for their fifth-ever performance in the Whitsundays

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Cheese, Wine, And Art Auction

March 30, 2023

Art lovers and passionate community members are invited to a special cheese and wine evening due to be held at the 3 Little Birds Espresso Bar in Airlie Beach tonight.

The evening is dedicated to fundraising for mounting costs needed to facilitate the ongoing legal battle against the approved high-rise development at Port of Airlie.

Local action group, Save Our Foreshore, are heading to the Planning and Environment Court next month to ask that the 47.7-metre high-rise planned for the site is replaced with the three to five storey resort that adheres to the town plan.

Many local artists have shown their support for the cause by donating artwork which will be auctioned at this evening’s event.

A range of artworks are available, including paintings, a voucher for a portrait, ceramic vases, sculptures, a cast iron wall decoration, and a picture framing voucher.

All proceeds will go directly towards paying for upcoming legal costs.

“It will be an auction of a collection of fabulous art and craft works donated by Whitsunday artists, residents and friends of Save Our Foreshore,” said organiser Faye Chapman.

“We would like to thank all those wonderfully talented artists and craftspeople, and individuals who have generously donated works and their time for our auction.  

“Your support is vital for an event such as this. Thanks to you all.”

WHAT: Arts and Crafts Exhibition and Auction

WHEN: Friday, March 31

WHERE: 3 Little Birds Espresso and Creative Arts Hub, Airlie Beach

TIME: 5.30pm – 7.30pm

TICKETS: Entry by donation

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Empire of Light

March 30, 2023

Sam Mendes’s ‘Empire of Light’ is beguiling, undoubtedly, eventually finding a flow after its early portions, which can often feel overwrought or anxious.

Directing and penning the film, Mendes has a deal to contend with. Though, with his credentials, audiences can back him. He has an immense and startling array of talent at his disposal – the invariably praised cinematographer Roger Deakins; the presently-deified (and justifiably so) Olivia Coleman. Yet, despite everything, the film begins in a woozy malaise, not knowing what it wishes to be. Ode to Cinema? Love story? Political and social commentary? An admixture of all?

Set against the backdrop of a post-Margaret Thatcher ‘80s Britain, the rheumy-eyed Hilary Small (Coleman) returns to, what is for her, drab work at a local cinema within her coastal township after her stay in a mental health institution.

Luckily, as is the case with Coleman’s Hilary, the film’s feeling of ennui subsides as hers does, and Empire of Light finds its feet through performances from Toby Jones, Michael Ward, and Coleman herself, as well as the faultless Deakins. At times, his cinematography is painterly: its landscapes remind of the piercing, evenly lit outdoor works of Edward Hopper; its interiors eerily akin to the painter's 'New York Movie'. Empire of Light is more of an art-deco-infused pastiche, with Deakins’ propensity for the gloriously long, drawn-out shadows.

Hilary is drawn out from her depression by the young, handsome, and black Stephen (Ward), a new hire at the cinema who rejuvenates her. I mention his race as it becomes the film’s central political treatise: The Thatcher-fuelled small town despises him, causing more misery for Hilary.

At its end, we are left with a question. Will their romantic tryst pull Hilary from here tristesse? That remains ambiguous. For most viewers, though, they may be dubious: the ending echoes Anton Chekov's The Lady with the Dog, only far more saccharine. There is a gesture towards hopefulness in its closing narration – a reading of Philip Larkin’s poem The Trees. We wonder, will love begin “afresh, afresh, afresh?”

Often moving, Empire of Light makes a grandiose sweep at love and loneliness with the help of a cinematographer at his zenith.

Empire of Light (MA15+) opens at the Bowen Summergarden Cinema on Tuesday, April 4.

Review by Declan Durrant

Sam Mendes’s Empire of Light is a film of exquisite beauty courtesy of seasoned cinematographer Roger Deakins

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Sidewalks And Skate Parks, Aerials And Varials

March 30, 2023

No skater starts knowing how to ollie, kickflip, or even just move forward on the board – and that’s where Bowen PCYC’s free Skateboarding Workshop comes in.

The local not-for-profit organisation is inviting enthusiasts of all ages and all abilities to head to Queens Beach Skate Park this weekend for live demonstrations, tutorials, and a free sausage sizzle.

The Skateboarding Workshop will begin Saturday for beginners from the ages of 5-17 from 2.00pm to 3.15pm, then invites Intermediates from age eight upwards to join on the same day from 3.45pm to 5.00pm.

On Sunday, the park is welcoming all abilities and all ages of skateboarders from 9.30am to 11.00am before a live demonstration from a group of high-level skateboarders from ‘Rumble on the Reef’ -Mackay’s annual national skateboarding festival and competition.

Bowen PCYC Branch Manager and Police Sergeant Michelle O’Regan said they are excited to be able to continue working alongside the Rumble team to bring these workshops to Bowen.

“Donny Fraser, who is a part of the Australian Skateboarding Community Initiative, and the Rumble Team have a wealth of experience to offer for our skateboarders in Bowen,” Sergeant O’Regan said.

“We are extremely lucky to have them – it’s even made me consider jumping on a skateboard!”

The Skateboarding Workshop is currently the last of its kind planned for 2023, though Sergeant O’Regan said more were “in the works” and the PCYC will host a skateboarding competition in June.

What: Skateboarding Workshop

When: Saturday, April 1 from 2.00pm, and Sunday, April 2 from 9.30am

Where: Queens Beach Skate Park

Bowen PCYC will host a Skateboarding Workshop at Queens Beach Skate Park this weekend

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March 23, 2023

See Gallery here

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Movie Review

March 23, 2023

Dungeons And Dragons: Honour Among Thieves

If you put all the prosaic fantasy stuff into a soup (all the goblins and taverns and caverns, magic whatsits and wyverns and wizards) then served it in the Witch King’s helmet, you’d have this ghoulish goulash they call Dungeons and Dragons. An apocryphal, derivative, generic fantasy thing -that ends up, somehow, surprisingly edible -- in fact, it’s quite delicious.

I jest, though, in some respects. Dungeons and Dragons is not so simplistic and thieving as that. Because all those fantasy genre tropes, those cliches and old chestnuts, either came into being through the famed boardgame or were brought back in fashion by it.

For almost 50 years, Dungeon’s and Dragons has been a cultural touchstone for fantasy nerds everywhere, whether you’d played it or not. And now, for the second time in two decades, it has received a big-screen adaptation: “Dungeons and Dragons: Honour Among Thieves”. This time, it’s courtesy of John Francis Daley and Jonathon Goldstein who took pointers from the start of this review: they packed the whole kit and kaboodle into this one.

They knew they didn’t need to reinvent the sword to make a good Dungeons and Dragons film. Stack in the traditional elements, throw in a few comedically charged dragons and singing, and watch the dice fly.

We follow the charming thief (and singing bard) Edgin, played by Chris Pine, and his band of unlikely, motley adventurers as they embark on an epic quest to retrieve a long-lost relic. What could be more regular than that? It would be strange if their charming adventure didn’t go dangerously awry (which it does) and they didn’t run afoul of the wrong people (tick that box there).

By definition, this kind of film needs to look and be somewhat run of the mill. What Goldstein and Daley do to mitigate that is to throw in some curve-fireballs, a few D1 and D20 rolls on the dice, and some heartful moments punctuated by quippy humour. It all adds up to make Dungeons and Dragons: Honour Among Thieves, a ridiculous romp of fantastical proportions.

Dungeons and Dragons: Honour Among Thieves is showing from March 31 at the Bowen Summergarden Cinema

Review Written by Declan Durrant

Chris Pine, Michelle Rodriguez, and Justice Smith in ‘Dungeons And Dragons: Honour Among Thieves’

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Australian Idol And X Factor Finalists To Play Airlie Beach Hotel

March 23, 2023

Two tantalisingly talented Aussie television darlings of the early and mid-2000s will make a combined eight appearances at The Airlie Beach Hotel across April and May, rolling back the years to when they captured the hearts of the nation as finalists in X-Factor and Australian Idol.

As part of The Pub’s patented Acoustic Sessions – which weekly feature Whitsunday musos – the smooth songs of Idol Top Four finisher Dan England and X-Factor runner-up Andrew Wishart will take to the Bar Top Stage.

England, who shot to stardom in 2005 as one of Australian Idol’s most popular finalists, will play on Friday, March 31 to April 3, in a solo-act showing, with Wishart – a storied career vocalist with X-Factor credentials – playing The Pub from May 4 to 7.

In the early oughts, England could be spotted for his trademark dreadlocks during his remarkable time on Australian Idol, where he was eliminated from the show by a mere 27 votes – the closest ever in Idol history, and not without its controversy.

After the highly successful run on air, England continued creating his remarkable story, honing his songs and playing to tens of thousands of people in towns and cities across Australia, and now he’ll be at The Airlie Beach Hotel for the first time.

England, a Queenslander through and through, said he’s excited to be heading up the coast to bring his smooth acoustic rock to the Whitsundays.

“What Idol gave me over the years was more than I could ever imagine,” Dan said.

"To be able to still perform after almost 20 years, putting smiles on people's faces with classics and current hits, there’s nothing like it. I can’t wait to bring that to Airlie Beach.

Then Melbourne-based singer-songwriter Andrew Wishart will arrive at The Airlie Beach Hotel to entertain the crowds as he has around Australia for more than 25 years.

With his mixture of classic songs from the ‘70s onwards, Wishart will remind audiences why he beat out more than 30,000 plus hopefuls to be Runner Up on the top-rating reality show, The X Factor.

He’ll smash out some of his tunes from ‘It’s Never Too Late’, which went top 15 in the Australian Aria charts, and all of the classics he’s mastered since the early days of his musical journey at the age of 14.

Wishart said he “lives and breathes music, playing the guitar, and wowing crowds” with his dynamic vocals, interpretations, stage wit, and engagement.

Don’t miss these superstars when they arrive at The Airlie Beach Hotel over the next two months.

What: Australian Idol top four finalist Dan England and X-Factor Australia finalist Andrew Wishart

Where: Airlie Beach Hotel


Thurs Mar 30: Solo 6.30pm - 9.30pm – Dan England

Fri Mar 31: Solo  7-10pm Dan England

Sat Apr 1: Solo  7-10pm Dan England

Sun Apr 3: Solo  7-10pm Dan England

Thurs May 4: Solo  6.30pm - 9.30pm – Andrew Wishart

Fri May 5: Solo  7-10pm Andrew Wishart

Sat May 6: Solo  7-10pm Andrew Wishart

Sun May 7: Solo  7-10pm Andrew Wishart

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Politics, Plots And Publishing

March 17, 2023

Author Talks With Richard Evans

A local author, who has published eight political crime thrillers, is launching a series of talks at our local libraries and he is inviting the whole community to come along.

His inspiring and engaging talks will give attendees an insight into the ‘behind the scenes’ of his creative writing process and will also include some light entertainment with humorous political anecdotes from his time as a federal member of parliament.

At the event, you'll be enthralled by Richard's examination of parliamentary corruption, integrity, equity and inclusion, Aboriginal sovereignty, euthanasia, capital punishment, and the manipulation of election campaigns.

He shares his insider experiences in politics and business which inspire a driving energy in his fictional novels and makes each hard-hitting topic fresh and exciting with his quick wit and charismatic manner.

During the talk, Richard will also provide first-hand commentary on the challenges and successes of his traditional and self-publishing journey – giving both insight and encouragement to other aspiring authors.

One of the main organisers of the Whitsunday Writers Festival which, after a six-year hiatus is due to be revived in 2024, Richard will also be available to discuss the next event and answer any questions on the day.

The library author talks are free events and light refreshments will be provided.

Don't forget to bring cash or card to grab a signed copy of Richard's books for just $20.

Bookings are required through the library, so make sure to secure your spot by visiting libraries.whitsundayrc.qld.gov.au.

WHAT: Richard Evans’ Author Talks

PROSERPINE LIBRARY: Friday, March 24 at 10am

COLLINSVILLE LIBRARY: Thursday, March 30 at 10.30am

BOWEN LIBRARY: Thursday March 30 at 2pm

CANNONVALE LIBRARY: Friday, March 31 at 10am

Richard Evans has published eight political thrillers

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Connecting Cultures At The Multicultural Festival

March 17, 2023

The Multicultural Festival is due to take place at Whitsunday PCYC in May and organisers are looking forward to their new partnership with Whitsunday Regional Council in hosting the third iteration of this bi-annual event.

This is an opportunity for our community’s wide-ranging cultures and ethnic backgrounds to come together and celebrate their unique differences by sharing food, entertainment and conversation.

This year, organisers are planning for a jumping castle, tastes of the world food stalls with free taste testing, traditional dancers and musicians, a cultural dress parade, storytime, multi-cultural art workshops, raffles and more.

The festival first took place in 2019 and was started by Sergeant Billy Li from the Whitsunday PCYC in an effort to get the community back into the facility following lengthy repair works post Cyclone Debbie.

Sergeant Billy was familiar with hosting cultural events following his time in Brisbane and saw an opportunity to introduce one here.

The festival has since become a huge success with upwards of 500 people attending each event.

For the first time this year, they are in partnership with Whitsunday Regional Council and are looking forward to expanding the event further.

“The festival is a fantastic way for people to connect with each other,” said Sergeant Billy.

“And it’s good for us all to see that we live in a very diverse community, learn from each other and experience difference.”

If you are interested in showcasing your culture as a stall holder, vendor, educator, workshop facilitator, artist, musician or dancer you can lodge your expression of interest by going to the Your Say page on the Whitsunday Regional Council website.

WHAT: Whitsunday Multicultural Festival

WHERE: Whitsunday PCYC

WHEN: Sunday, May 21 from

TIME: 10am – 2pm

Did you know that our community is made up of over 83 different ancestries with over 6,000 residents born overseas?

The Multicultural Festival is looking for performers and stall holders to participate in the event

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Share Your Story On World Storytelling Day

March 17, 2023

Monday is World Storytelling Day and local author, Natalie Stockdale, is inviting the community to come together and celebrate this ancient ritual by sharing personal anecdotes on a series of topics.

“Sharing stories brings a sense of connectedness, a sense of belonging,” said Natalie.

“This is an opportunity for people to feel seen, heard and valued – it is also really good for your wellbeing and resilience.”

This is the third time Natalie has hosted one of these events, but the first time in the Whitsundays.

Natalie is the author of two books that share stories of individuals overcoming life’s challenges.

By sharing their stories, she hopes to inspire others and show readers how to build resilience.

At the storytelling session, Natalie will draw on her experience working with others to create a fun and interactive morning where people share their reflections on key topics.

The topics include light warm-up exercises, and answering questions like whether you prefer dogs or cats – she will then move on to your proudest moment and your experience with random acts of kindness, among other inspiring themes.

Celebrate Storytelling Day this Monday by attending this nourishing and invigorating event where you can meet other like-minded people and feel connected to our broader community.

The tickets are $20 cash and a morning tea is included.

Reserve your space by emailing natalie@stockdalewellbeing.com.

WHAT: Storytelling Morning

WHEN: Monday, March 20 from 9.30am – 12pm

WHERE: Whitsunday Neighbourhood Centre

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Filmmaking In The Whitsundays

March 17, 2023

While on set at Sinclair Bay, filming sea planes gliding across crystal clear, deep blue water, film producer Steve Jaggi took a break from shooting his latest production Love is in the Air to have a chat with Whitsunday Life about making movies in the Whitsundays.

How did Love is in the Air come into being and what was your role in that?

It’s a concept that we came up with a few years ago and we knew it’d be something really special. We worked with a series of writers on developing and brought on board Adrian Powers who’s the director, who we’ve worked with a few times before, a fantastic director. We’ve shot a lot of content in north Queensland before, but we’ve never had the opportunity to shoot in the Whitsundays. It’s always something I’ve wanted to do, I just find it so spectacularly beautiful up here. What’s unique with this film, compared to some of our other recent films, is this film is really targeted 100% at a domestic audience; set in Australia, for Australians, with an Australian cast.

What I find interesting as somebody who isn’t from Australia originally, in my travels over the last couple of years, particularly down south, is how few Australians have been to the Whitsundays which I find astounding because it is really one of the best places in the world so I thought it’d be really great to set an Australian film in the Whitsundays and show Australians how amazing and unique it is here. Not just the reef but the islands themselves, the topography of the islands, the people who live on the islands, how you get between the islands. The ecosystem up here is really appealing for a story and a great place to set an adventure rom com.

What is it about the north Queensland that keeps you coming back?

It’s the aspirational nature of being up here. For me, with my creative hat on, I know my specialty is making aspirational stories, making films and TV shows that people watch, and it transports them to somewhere they’d rather be, somewhere they can aspire to be. There are very few places on earth that are more aspirational than north Queensland.

What’s your opinion on the state of the film industry in Queensland?

I think it’s very healthy … Entertainment is a big part of the Queensland economy and it’s growing, with more and more streaming services and more access to content and because of the number of streaming services, the demand for content keeps rising.  The standard of living is rising, and more and more people are getting access to content, and they want to see new stuff, they want to see stuff that’s made in Australia.

We’ve had a lot of action in the Whitsundays lately, do you think we’ll see a peak in films being shot here?

I think it’s a steady incline. Now the pressure is on both the federal and state government to keep that there. I think the state government does such a spectacular job of incubating both foreign companies to come here but also helping domestic companies like ours to make content which is phenomenal. Now we just need to make sure the federal government continues to see value in entertainment rather than mining.

Are you taking any time off to see the sights?

It’s obviously tough being the producer and being on 24/7. Right now, in Sinclair Bay, it’s pretty bloody amazing. Some people would say that every day is a holiday for me – I would counter that and say it’s a very stressful time even though I’m spending my time in some beautiful locations … Once we wrap the film, I’ll stay up here another week and spend some time getting around the islands and checking things out.

Your IMBD paints you to be a very busy man, what’s next for you?

We are really busy, and I think that’s indicative of the film business. I can tell you that our production slate for the next three years is fully financed. We’re doing four more films this year and I think a lot of Australian companies are like that. If you went back before Covid, no company knew what they were doing six months into the future let along two years, so I think Covid has really changed the fortunes of domestic production companies.

Interview by Sam Gillespie.

Steve Jaggi owns Jaggi Entertainment, a Logie and AACTA-nominated company responsible for producing Love is in the Air

L-R Roy Billing, Steph Tisdell, Director Adrian Powers, Delta Goodrem and Joshua Sasse on the set of Love Is In The Air. Image supplied.

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Local Author Releases New Children’s Book

March 17, 2023

An educational yet engaging children’s book has just been released by local author, Sofia Fortunato, who shares the journey of her own science-based career and teaches young readers that any type of future is possible.

Entitled “Magic big sister”, the book is authored and illustrated by Sofia Fortunato and is the fifth in a series of books that teach about science and connect with nature.

The initial idea to write the book came four years ago while observing her children playing with cardboard boxes.  

“Which kid doesn’t like cardboard boxes? Right? Sometimes you just give them toys but then they would use their creativity and take a cardboard box to a whole new level, and that's exactly what this book is all about - creativity,” Mrs Fortunato said.

“Creativity is an important part of children's playtime and so it's for Science disciplines. In this book two sisters take you into their playtime while turning their games into exciting science adventures, using cardboard boxes.”

Magic Big Sister took four years for Sofia to finish.

“When I initially had the idea and wrote it, the story didn’t feel ready. It never felt ready,” explains the author.

“I wasn’t a perfectionist or anything like that, I was just certain that the story was missing something, and that something was the STEM educational part of it, the missing part was to teach my own background to children, Science careers!”

Sofia will be reading Magic big sister at the local libraries during the first week of the school holiday and will also have an official book launch at 3 Little birds, Airlie Beach, on April 5.

Magic Big Sister is the fifth book released by local author Sofia Fortunato. Photo supplied

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‘Delta, Meet Delta’: Airlie Local Stars As Goodrem In New Film

March 17, 2023

A lucky Airlie Beach local was chosen to portray the young version of Delta Goodrem in the upcoming Netflix movie ‘Love Is In The Air’ currently filming in the Whitsundays.

Proserpine State High School student Lola Keyte was picked by producers to play a young version of Goodrem’s character Dana Randall, a seaplane pilot flying the tropic who finds herself falling for the man sent to sink her business.

Filmed across the Whitsundays – including at Whitsunday Coast Airport – the six-week production was in desperate need of a young Goodrem lookalike for a “prominent part of the film”.

Lola’s mother, Amy Keyte, said her 12-year-old daughter was picked by pure chance.

“I had sent a photo of myself to the production team hoping I would get a role and Lola was in the image,” Amy laughed.

“Then they called me up quick and asked if she could play the part of Delta as a child for a polaroid snapshot used in the film.”

The polaroid is a major part of the film with Delta continually referring back to it throughout the romantic comedy’s runtime, according to crew members.

“It was funny when we arrived, I don’t think Lola realised until we got there how serious it was,” her mother said.

“They put her in full hair and makeup and she was looking over at me making a face that just said, is this happening?

After taking the photo for the film, the crew introduced Lola to Delta: “Meet yourself as a 12year old girl.”

“Delta was just so lovely, and we really can’t wait to see Lola up on the big screen,” Ms Keyte said.

Delta Goodrem met Airlie Beach local Lola Keyte who plays a younger version of her in the currently filming in the Whitsundays movie ‘Love Is In The Air’

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Food Is In The Air

March 17, 2023

Local Caterers, Simply Yum, were asked to provide breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea to the Love Is In The Air cast and crew which consisted of 50 people.

Owners Kristel and Ivan Risteski were on-site every day with their food van which was able to travel between destinations and supply hot food whenever filming paused.

“It was an amazing experience and exciting to see how the movie was produced,” said Kristel.

“I can’t wait to see it all come together on-screen!”

The couple catered for the whole event and said it was an exciting but also demanding schedule where they had to be ready to serve and flexible with times, often receiving messages late in the evening and changing plans for the next day.

“I was very proud of my husband,” said Kristel.

“He served up amazing meals for 15 days straight and he didn’t cook the same thing twice!”

Each day the cast and crew were given a different themed meal – from Mexican to Asian – and all dietary requirements were catered for.

“It was just the two of us but we had such a great time – most of the filming was done either at Sinclair Bay or Shute Harbour Airport and we had great fun working on the airstrip,” said Kristel.

“It was nice that they sourced so much from local suppliers.

“They said there will be a couple more films coming up here this year – possibly one big one – and we are excited about that too!”

Delta Goodrem, Kristel and Ivan Risteski and Joshua Sasse. Photo supplied

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Collinsville Gets Active!

March 17, 2023

The first of the region’s four planned ‘Get Active Family Fun Days’ for the year took place last Saturday at Collinsville Lions Park.

The successful Whitsunday Regional Council facilitated mental health and wellbeing event invited the community out to enjoy workshops, fitness activities, games, food, information, and entertainment from local organisations.

Parents were provided with some relaxing time as their children headed for the jumping castle and “foam party”, employed their artistic skills with crafts, or braved a meeting with some of the Whitsundays’ local wildlife in a “meet and greet”.

Free sports workshops were a hit, including an obstacle course, archery and kinder gym – but nothing could steal the limelight of the ever-popular facepainting provided by Bowen Police Sergeant and PCYC Bowen Branch manager Michelle O’Regan.

Local service providers and organisations from Bowen and Collinsville chipped in with their own activities and raffles. Those present included: Disability and Aged Care service provider Stella Life Care; Wattlewood Nature Play; Bowen PCYC; Bowen Hockey; and the Collinsville Lions Club.

Whitsunday Regional Council Mayor Julie Hall – who enjoyed the day immensely, even hopping in the foam party with the PCYC’s R.U.B.Y Crew - said the first 2023 Get Active Family Fun Day was “an absolute ball”.

“It was fantastic to see the community of Collinsville having so much fun,” Mayor Hall said,

“This was extremely successful and to have the community response we have, that is excellent, and we thank Collinsville for that – an event is only as successful as the community which shows up to it.

“They always do community well in Collinsville. And the word is out now for the rest of the region; I would expect our Bowen, Proserpine, and Airlie Beach Get Active Days will be just as successful.”

Council will host Get Active events in each major township: Proserpine, Sunday March 26; Airlie Beach, Sunday, April 2; and Bowen, Saturday, April 15.

The Get Active Family Fun Day initiative is funded by the Queensland Government, Mental Health and Wellbeing Community Package under Queensland's Economic Recovery Strategy.

Whitsunday Regional Council facilitated the Collinsville Get Active Family Fun Day last Saturday

The Collinsville Lions Park filled with activities, including wildlife a meet and greet

There were plenty of arts and craft stalls too for local children, with the event’s goal to promote mental and physical wellbeing

Facepainting was the most popular stall of the day, with a fair few spidermen, pirates, and fairies out and about

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Calling Bowen’s Young Singers

March 17, 2023

A Bowen venue is offering local up-and-coming musicians the chance to turn their passion into a career with a Young Talent Program to get them “starting gigging”.

The Original North Australian hopes to provide an “opportunity for young talent in our community to build on their confidence and performing ability.”

The Talent Program hopes to entice 17- to 30-year-old artists – either solo performers or duets – to perform at the local pub by giving them the “perfect platform” to begin.

The Original North Australian Duty Manager Jenna Johnson said she came up with the program  to help Bowen’s burgeoning artist find a platform.

“I’m an amateur musician who grew up with a love for singing and dancing, and I thought: How can we help our young musicians?” Ms Johnson said.

“There’s not a lot of artists in town and if, when they’re young, they only had a platform and experience, they could get to a place where they can paid for their work.

“In a small town like Bowen, how do you make that progression from amateur to paid gigs? That’s where this program is going to come in.”

Ms Johnson said the program has two singers already but needs four to begin, with the artists set to play on Tuesday nights on a rotational roster in the pub’s main restaurant.

“And there’s no pressure here,” she said.

“It’s about building your confidence and experience; it’s not a competition.”

Interested singers between 17 and 30 may call or email The Original North Australian to find out more.

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Movie Review

March 17, 2023

Creed III

Michael B. Jordan splits his time in Creed III in front of the camera as the eponymous Adonis Creed and working behind it for his directorial debut.

He takes the reins of what has become a dependable franchise, one which, startlingly, is now seven years old. At the helm, he continues the good work of the franchise which is steadily building a life away from Rocky, although not too far away – it still adheres to Rocky’s tried-and-true formula.

The oft-plundered, time-tested themes of Rocky have always packed a solid thump, and that’s no different here. There may be no sucker-punch surprise in where Creed II ends up, but it is nonetheless a pleasing film. Instead of opting for another generational bout against a Drago or a whatsit, we instead have an explosive confrontation of ex-friends: Adonis Creed and Damian Anderson (Jonathon Majors).

These once-scrappy kids who sought boxing stardom were like brothers in 2001, before Anderson found himself in prison and Creed went on to become the heavyweight champ of the world. Creed is living the dream, Damian living an 18-year stint in prison.

When they rendezvous in Creed III, former friends turn sour. Damian– a now hard-as-nails, big-hitter – is seeking a matchup in the boxing ring, and although Creed is less-than-happy to oblige, he begrudgingly comes out of retirement for “one last fight,” as is the cliché.

Despite the often-mechanical script, the film hits its mark thanks to the thrilling, visceral fight sequences and performances, especially of Jonathon Majors. Majors emanates a charismatic brilliance in his role, and despite it being the first of eight follow-ups without Rocky Balboa, Creed feels no less Rocky for it. This franchise is proving to be Rocky reborn, battling equally complex circumstances and equally tough demons of the past and present.

Creed III is showing from now at the Bowen Summergarden Cinema

Review by Declan Durrant

Creed III is showing now at the Bowen Summergarden Cinema

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Greatest Shave At The Grand View

March 17, 2023

Six staff members from the Grand View Hotel in Bowen are participating in this year’s Greatest Shave and everyone in the community is invited to come along and cheer them on.

The 2023 World’s Greatest Shave marks the 25th year of one of Australia’s most iconic fundraising events - over two million people have taken part since its inception and an estimated 39,000 kilograms of hair has been removed.

The Greatest Shave raises much-needed funds for the Leukaemia Foundation by challenging people to shave or colour their heads or beards.

This year, the Grand View Hotel’s management team are getting together to host the event and raise money to support this worthy cause.

“At the Grand View Hotel, we believe in giving back to the community, and this event is just one way we’re doing our part,” they said.

“So come along and show your support for our team and help us raise funds for the Leukaemia Foundation.

“Together, we can make a real difference in the lives of those affected by blood cancer.”

Anyone who donates will receive a ticket to enter a draw for a chance to win a hamper and dinner prize valued at over $300.

WHAT: World’s Greatest Shave

WHERE: The Grand View Hotel, Bowen

WHEN: Sunday, March 19 at 10am

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If You Like Pina Coladas…

March 17, 2023

I hear the drums echoing tonight, there’s a smooth sailing octet on its way to the Whitsunday shores for its second appearance at The Pub, ready for a back-to-back tribute weekend of the ‘70’s best soft rock.

The Yacht Rock Revival tribute show will perform at the Airlie Beach Hotel on April 1 and 2, bringing with them the definition of light rock to ‘meet you all the way’ at local’s favourite local.

What is Yacht Rock? Band frontwoman Susan Marsden said it’s akin to the “soulful, well-constructed groove of the Doobie Brothers.”

“Bands like that are the definition of ‘70s soft rock,” Marsden said.

“And what we do is get all the unforgettable yacht rock hits together in one show for the first time in Australia; songs from Boz Scaggs, Hall and Oats, Steely Dan, Jackson Browne, and Christopher Cross, and pack it together for Airlie Beach audiences’ pleasure.”

The Melbourne-based band recapture the time when music mellowed out and smooth sounds and sun-kissed melodies took over the airwaves.

When that foghorn blows, hold onto your captains' hat because there’s set to be some effortless cool flowing through The Pub, like bars of light from the sunset across Santa Monica pier.

A collection of your favourite sounds, songs, and grooves from an era when ‘smooth’ meant everything. When artists like Fleetwood Mac, Hall and Oates, The Eagles, and America were kings and queens of the charts.

Marsden, who alongside her eight bandmates decks out in retro, ‘70s nautical costumes, said the band can’t wait to be back in Airlie Beach.

“If there’s anywhere that sings yacht rock and smooth ‘70s tunes, it’s the Whitsundays,” she said.

“Be ready for songs that are slicker than slick and enormously well-played, from the melodically clever to the harmonically unexpected.”

Bring your matching gold-tone bracelets, hold your girl's hand, and feel the ocean breeze caress your moustache for this April 1 and 2 show. By the end of it, you’ll be singing: “Ooh-ooh-hoo, no, Baby, please don't go.”

What: Yacht Rock Revival

When: 2.00pm to 5.30pm Saturday, April 1, and Sunday, April 2

Where: Airlie Beach Hotel

Yacht Rock will sail the  Whitsunday waters to perform at the Airlie Beach Hotel in April for a second time ever

The groovy, Melbourne-based band will be performing the very best of Fleetwood Mac, Hall and Oates, and more

They’ll be soft-rocking out at The Pub on Saturday and Sunday, April 1 and 2

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Peking Duk To Play Magnums In March

March 9, 2023

One of Australia's most beloved electronic music duos will arrive in Airlie Beach at the end of March, hitting the road on tour for the first time since late 2018.

Peking Duk – the “most bonkers” electro-house titans – will play across North Queensland in a massive Australian headline tour, including Magnums Airlie Beach on March 24.

With over a decade of consecutive “bangers” in their repertoire, the ARIA Award-winning pair of Adam Hyde and Reuben Styles are headed regional for the first time, hitting spots they’ve never played before.

Since they garnered attention in 2012 with the release of a Passion Pit bootleg mix, Peking Duk have been experts at getting the party started for close to a decade – and now they’ll be dropping into the Whitsundays.

From their four-times platinum single ‘High’, to the triple-platinum witching hour anthem ‘Stranger’, the duo have racked up over 530 million streams and played to fans worldwide.

With their solo projects behind them, Peking Duk have reunited and released their new hit ‘Spend It’ featuring Circa Waves – a release which urged them on tour, to the benefit of fans, for the first time since their 2019 ‘Biggest Tour Ever.’

Through March and April, they’re guaranteeing that Peking Duk not only tastes good but also sounds even better.

Don’t miss them when they arrive in Airlie Beach with a whole new set of tunes.

WHAT: Peking Duk 2023 Australia Tour

WHEN: Friday, March 24, from 8.00 PM

WHERE: Magnums Airlie Beach

Electro-house duo Peking Duk’s regional tour will ride into Magnums Airlie Beach on March 24

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Shake Your Tail Feather At The Pub

March 9, 2023

‘Hey Bartender,’ have you heard the news? The Blues – and some pop - are coming to ‘The Old Landmark’ in Airlie Beach this month for a “Movie Marathon Weekend” of two shows.

For the first-time ever, The Soul Men Blues Brothers Show will present their brand-new tribute to another cult-classic film. They’ll introduce Airlie audiences to their ‘Tribute To The Commitments Show’ on Saturday, March 18.

Performing music from the movie, complete with horn section, trio of female backing singers, and powerhouse front man, the Soul Men will cover the rock, the soul and the pop classics from the 1991 musical-comedy. Listen in for Mustang Sally, I Can’t Stand the Rain, A Little Tenderness, and more.

Then on Sunday they’re back in their regular Blues Brother outfits to play The Pub on March 19, continuing the legendary legacy of the hit 1980s musical-comedy featuring the not-quite-real and not-quite-pretend musical duo of Jake and Elwood Blues.

Greg Mulvhill, a lifelong Blues Brothers fan who’s donned the shoes, sunglasses, and trilby of Jake Blues for more than two decades, and Brent Moetara, a vocal powerhouse as his brother Elwood, are returning by popular demand to the Airlie Beach Hotel.

The pair will croon onto the Bar Top Stage at locals’ favourite local for a free show afternoon taking audiences through the repertoire of the film’s soundtrack, capturing the infectious humour and rampant, rollicking spirit of the Blues Brothers like no one else while they do it.

The Soul Men have a more-than-reverence for the red-hot soul, rhythm, and blues that they embody as the Brothers -- they’ve taken their band all around Australia on a ‘Machine from God’ to share the pleasure that comes with the Blues Brothers' exuberant music and love for life.

Speaking of music, there’s plenty to look forward to: Both shows will comprise the Airlie Beach Hotel's biggest-ever band, a 12-piece, miniature orchestra with phenomenal rhythm and horn sections producing a more-than-energetic performance. And there’ll be the smooth voice of Mulvhill and the harmonica wizardry of Moetara to listen out for too.

It’s like a “time machine to an era when dropping the bass meant dropping your bass guitar and they shouldn’t be missed,” said Mulvhill.

“Every member of The Soul Men knows their music and what it takes to bring the house down - in the best possible way,” he said.

Don’t miss the songs from Soul Man to Rubber Biscuit, Sweet Home Chicago to Gimme Some Lovin’, Rawhide, and more. It’ll be a night of laughter and foot-stompin’ fun that will have Airlie Beach going crazy.

The Soul Men will combine the comedy, music, and mayhem of both The Commitments and the original Blues Brothers on March 18 and 19 in two free shows at the Airlie Beach Hotel.

WHAT: The Commitments Tribute Show and The Soul Men Blues Brothers Show

WHEN: Saturday, March 18, and Sunday, March 19 from 2.30 PM to 5.00 PM

WHERE: The Airlie Beach Hotel

The Soul Men Blues Brothers Tribute Show is back at the Airlie Beach Hotel in mid-March

Greg Mulvhill and Brent Moetara will lead two shows at locals’ favourite local, with the first a brand-new tribute to 1991 film The Commitments

Don't miss them when they arrive at The Pub for a free "Movie-Marathon" performance

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Karen Jacobsen Releases Misogyny Opus

March 9, 2023

Perfectly timed to coincide with International Women’s Day, the powerful orchestral masterpiece composed by local musician, Karen Jacobsen, was released on Wednesday to great acclaim.

The Misogyny Opus full album aims to address issues of equality by using the famous misogyny speech given by Prime Minister Julia Gillard ten years ago.

Jacobsen has taken these words and transformed them into an engaging and enchanting song, the music video featuring many well-known faces who have since come out in support.

“10 years have passed since the iconic speech by the 27th Prime Minister of Australia and as predicted by those attending parliament that day, history was made,” said Karen.

“Julia Gillard’s justifiable anger at the shocking misogyny she had experienced during her leadership, exploded into a speech which has survived the test of time.”

With the world premiere taking place at the MECC in Mackay in April, it is also anticipated that the musical rendition will create positive impacts for generations to come.

This ground-breaking work, which is part of Australian history and Australian women’s history, will be performed with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra which is a huge coup for our region.

“Let’s get behind this momentous occasion, and share the message of the importance of equality, while experiencing an exceptional original musical work in concert,” said Karen.

There will be buses available to transport Whitsunday audiences down to Mackay for the premiere and all locals are invited to this share this opportunity to support a fair and equal world.

WHAT: World Premier of The Misogyny Opus

WHO: Composer Karen Jacobsen with The Queensland Orchestra

WHEN: 28-29 April

WHERE: The MECC, Mackay

TICKETS: themecc.com.au

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Movie Review - The Whale

March 9, 2023

The Whale director Darren Aronofsky has somewhat perfected the harrowing character study.  Sometimes, he’s done so through magical realism, as in Black Swan with its expertly tantalising verisimilitude, blurring the real and unreal. Other times – and this is where The Whale tends, like the lilt of a dead flower – he has done so through a torturous, unfettered, rending realism, exemplified in the agonising watch that is Requiem for a Dream.

And the secret to that reifying of life's most painful abstractions is Aronofsky's ability to elevate his performers. Somehow, he has continued to lift the bar, as it were. How is it that someone with the credentials of Brendan Fraser – relegated to roles as an action hero or a himbo – can put to screen such a heart-wrenching performance as he gives in The Whale? Part of that may be the years of pent-up frustration on Fraser’s part after being blacklisted by Hollywood in an alleged sexual-assault scandal (Fraser the victim, it must be noted), but that, for this film, is neither here nor there. For Fraser, this isn't a return to form – he's never shown this dramatic range before - it's a pioneering foray into this new acting territory.

As the reclusive, morbidly obese English teacher Charlie, Fraser attempts to reconnect with his estranged teenage daughter, played by girl-of-the-moment Sadie Sink of Stranger Things fame. Here, Fraser the performance of not only a lifetime but of any actor anywhere in the last ten years. It's no going out on a limb to say that he'll be duly rewarded with Best Actor at this year's Academy Awards.

Watching The Whale, one is stunned by his deeply touching embodiment of the role, which lifts everything around it, including Aronofsky’s film – an at times melodramatic and ordinary picture. Brendan Fraser makes The Whale worth watching.

The Whale will arrive at the Bowen Summergarden Cinema on Saturday, March 25.

Brendan Fraser gives the performance of a lifetime in Darren Aronofsky’s The Whale

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St Cath’s Presents Beauty And The Beast

March 9, 2023

The community are invited to “be enchanted by the talents of St Catherine’s Catholic College students” as they take to the stage for their upcoming College musical Beauty and The Beast.

Students have been busy in rehearsals learning lines, dance routines, singing, and perfecting the musical score for the upcoming production set to hit the stage in April.

The College invites the community to come and sing along to their production of the 1991 Disney romantic fantasy film.

More than 25 students ranging from Year 7 to Year 12 make up the ensemble playing instruments, being cast in the dance troupe, or shining in a lead role.

College Cultural Middle Leader P-12 and Musical Director Mrs Betsy Atkinson praised the work of the many students and staff involved in putting together the production.

"The cast and crew are so excited to present 'Beauty and The Beast' at the PEC," she said.

"We have had an absolute blast putting it together and would love for our community to come "be our guest" and enjoy the show."

College Principal Mr Luke Thomson said events such as college musicals were important as it is another way the College aims to provide every student with the opportunity to shine.

"The opportunity for our students to perform at such a professional venue is one that our students will treasure and look back on with great pride for years to come,” he said.

Tickets are now on sale and are selling fast so be sure to book now via the Proserpine Entertainment Centre website or by phoning them on 4945 0405.

WHAT: Beauty and the Beast, Presented by St Catherine’s Catholic College

WHEN: Friday, April 28, and Saturday, April 29

WHERE: Proserpine Entertainment Centre

TICKETS: proserpineentertainmentcentre.com.au

The two leads, William Smith and Brianna Ninnes who play 'Beast' and 'Belle'. Photo supplied

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Who’s Got The Magic? The Pub Does

March 2, 2023

Ladies. Fellas. It’s getting hot at The Airlie Beach Hotel – so hot – as a cabaret show like no other arrives in the Whitsundays for one night only, promising top-tier entertainment from the "biggest and baddest" crew around.

The Magic Men are ready – are you? One of the country’s best male revue shows is bringing its exhilarating dance moves to The Pub on March 23, serving up some eye candy on stage.

Chuck on the heels and round up the girls for this one, it’s going to be “the ultimate night out in Airlie Beach.” They’ve got the blood-pumping, hip-thrusting gyrations audiences won’t help but fawn over – and daydream about for weeks to come.

Grab your gang and enjoy an epic girl’s night out, be treated like a queen, and experience fun, laughter, and plenty of opportunities for ogling.

Expect a spellbinding performance from the Magic Men’s all-star cast of expert dancers, hunks decked out in uniforms for every fancy. Each outfit highlights the performers' best assets, leaving little to the imagination.

The Airlie Beach Hotel will be home to the best hunks this show has lined up – all with gorgeous faces and chiselled bodies ready to bring the house down in a one-of-its-kind performance. It’s not often the Airlie Beach Hotel brings in a private show, and certainly not like this one.

Magic Men features a cast of talented performers, each a specialist in a range of disciplines: dance and acrobatics, fire-eating and burlesque. The Men are singular in their stylish, unique in both personality and perfection – there’s something for everyone in the audience.

And best of all, TikTok sensation Will Parfitt will be performing alongside the Magic Men in the Airlie Beach Hotel show – a superstar with over 6.9 million followers on the platform.

He’ll be heating up the Whitsundays, serving up a heart-stopping live performance, alongside some of the most talented male dancers, they’ll tear up the stage.

What can you expect? Hunky men, drop-dead gorgeous waiters and eye-catching costumes. With a one-of-a-kind show that is guaranteed to make you Feel the Magic, it’s set to be a night out to remember.

Fully choreographed, the Magic Men have perfected their bodies and their routines, and it shows. From the moment they step onto the stage, they command attention – the kind that leaves you breathless.  

Grab a cocktail at The Airlie Beach Hotel for this hot, sizzling, adults-only event where the doors open at 7.00 PM.

Get your tickets now and see for yourself what makes these guys the talk of the town.

WHAT: The Magic Men Take Over Airlie Beach

WHEN: Thursday, March 23, from 7.00 PM to 10.00 PM.

WHERE: The Airlie Beach Hotel

Magic Men is bringing its exhilarating dance moves to The Pub on March 23

Don’t miss these hunky fellas as they make their way to the Whitsundays for a one-night showing

TikTok sensation Will Parfitt will be performing alongside the Magic Men in the Airlie Beach Hotel show – a superstar with over 6.9 million followers on the platform

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Women’s Day Luncheon

February 23, 2023

At Coral Sea Marina Resort

Attendees are asked to “expect the unexpected” at this year’s International Women’s Day lunch hosted by the Zonta Club of the Whitsundays and held at Coral Sea Marina Resort.

The theme of the day is ‘Cracking the Code’ and the dress style is ‘Rainbow’.

All women are invited to be colourful and creative with their outfit choices, the more vibrant and dazzling the better for your chance to win a prize for best dressed.

“Zonta has the reputation of holding fabulous events and we are hoping this will be as good if not better than our past performances,” said Marlene Reiffel from Zonta.

“Coral Sea Marina Resort, as you know, is a fabulous venue.”

This year’s guest speaker is Dr Kerry Reid-Searl AM who is an engaging presenter and Emeritus Professor.

As always, there will be a range of opportunities to win prizes and donate money – from the lucky door prize to rolling raffles, a major auction and the popular silent auction.

Melinda Butcher from Taylors Property Specialists is the auctioneer on the day and she will provide a lively commentary on all the action.

Zonta would like to thank all the local businesses for their kind donations.

Another highlight of the day is a delightful dining experience with a two-course meal included in the ticket price, as well as a glass of champagne on arrival.

There will also be live entertainment and the room will be decorated in the over-arching rainbow theme.

WHAT: Zonta Club of the Whitsundays, International Women’s Day

WHERE: Coral Sea Marina Resort

WHEN: Saturday, March 4 from 10am

TICKETS: $89 from whitsundaytickets.com.au

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What's On

February 23, 2023


24 Tastes of the Top Shelf Dinner at Whisper Restaurant (ticketed event)


1 Kinder Gym at Bowen PCYC (Mon & Wed)

1 Cape Gloucester Community Catch-Up at Dingo Beach Comm Centre

4 Race Day at Ben Bolt Park, Bowen

4 Disney Sing-Along: Encanto at PEC Cinema

6 Kinder Gym at Bowen PCYC (Mon & Wed)

7 Sailability Whitsundays from 9am at Whitsunday Sailing Club

8 Bowen Zonta Club's International Women's Day at the Grand View Hotel from 5pm

10 Conversations with Spirits (Chantal Miranda) at PEC

11 Ocean Film Festival: World Tour showing at PEC

12 Disney Sing-Along: Moana showing at PEC Cinema

12-20 Antman & The Wasp showing at PEC Cinema

12-20 Magic Mike’s Last Dance showing at PEC Cinema

16 Zonta meeting every 3rd Thursday 6-9pm at VMR

18 Aussie Pub Komedy Tour at Original North Australian (ticketed event)

18 Disney Sing-Along: The Lion King showing at PEC Cinema

19 Lior & Domini: Animal In Hiding performing at PEC

21 Sailability Whitsundays from 9am at Whitsunday Sailing Club

23 Blue Bayou performing at PEC

25 Young Vocalist performance at Dingo Beach Hotel

25 Disney Sing-Along: Frozen showing at PEC Cinema

25-27 Creed III showing at PEC Cinema

26-27 Scream VI showing at PEC Cinema


3 Kinder Gym at Bowen PCYC (Mon & Wed)

4 Sailability Whitsundays from 9am at Whitsunday Sailing Club

4 Fitter For Life Over 50’s at Bowen PCYC (Tues & Thurs)

5 Kinder Gym at Bowen PCYC (Mon & Wed)

6 Fitter For Life Over 50’s at Bowen PCYC (Tues & Thurs)

20 Zonta meeting every 3rd Thursday 6-9pm at VMR


2-3 Mr Stink production at PEC

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Movie Review

February 23, 2023

The Banshees of Inisherin

Coastline cliffs with a wine-dark sea below, long fields of warn-green, windswept grass, desolate and marked only by some lonesome cottage and a grey, etherised sky. Quaint people and quaint villages, cut off from the main and the problems of life.

This storybook ideal of early 20th century Ireland, Martin McDonagh’s newest film The Banshees of Inisherin tells us, is a lie.

On the remote island of Inisherin, Pádraic Súlleabháin (Colin Farrell) is devastated when his buddy, Colm Doherty (Brendan Gleeson), suddenly ends their lifelong friendship. It echoes what's happening on the mainland, where Ireland is not doing so well – it is raging in Civil War, and those drumbeat sounds of distant cannons and brother fighting brother can be heard from across the sea in little Inisherin.

That is the simplest layer of McDonagh’s film, an allegorically dense work that balances tragedy and comedy only as a playwright could; it is outrageously funny in its pure absurdity, yet desperately plaintive. That humour derives from McDonagh's stylistic choices as a director and his abilities as a writer, and those sadder notes present sides to a truer story of a place trying to leave the shadow of colonialism – but one that might miss the point with its simpler caricatures of Irish people.

In James Joyce’s Ulysses, Stephen Dedalus remarks of a damaged mirror: “It is a symbol of Irish art. The cracked lookingglass of a servant.” For Irishman, their art was often doomed to one reading: a reflection of the outside reader – a non-Irish person - only worse because they believe Irish art to be broken in nature because they believe the Irish are broken in nature.

A century on from Ulysses, we still point at the warn-green grass, the simple, peasant Irishman drunkard, and we laugh. Dublin isn't a cosmopolitan city, no – we don’t see the real Ireland; we diminish Ireland.

Despite the diminishment, The Banshees of Inisherin is an immensely enjoyable film. It alights on dreadful, tragic feelings, whilst composing an Irish Civil War story with humour and pathos which brings its audience into a contemplative mood – "do I understand Ireland better? Perhaps. Do I want to know more? Certainly."

The Banshees of Inisherin is showing this weekend at the Bowen Summergarden Cinema

Review by Declan Durrant

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Gig Guide

February 23, 2023

Friday 24th Feb

• The Pub: Acoustic Sessions, Andy Mammers (7-10pm)

• Paradiso: Nick DeGregario (7-10pm)

• Grandview Hotel, Bowen: Rebelquin (from 8pm)

• KC’s: Aaron Saxon (8pm-late)

• Hotel Metropole: Live Entertainment (8pm-late)

Saturday 25th Feb

• The Pub: Songs of Jack Johnson (2-5.30pm)

• The Pub: Acoustic Sessions, Andy Mammers (7-10pm)

• Paradiso: Tasman (7-10pm)

• KC’s: Shaun Diver (8pm-late)

• Hotel Metropole: Live Entertainment (8pm-late)

Sunday 26th Feb

• Paradiso: Aaron Saxon (1-4pm)

• The Pub: Boys of Summer (2-5.30pm)

• The Pub: Acoustic Sessions, Lloyd Saunders (7-10pm)

• KC’s: Aaron Saxon (8pm-late)

Monday 27th Feb

• KC’s: Sam McCann (8pm-late)

Tuesday 28th Feb

• KC’s: Erin Reus (8pm-late)

Wednesday 1st Mar

• KC’s: live music (8pm-late)

Thursday 2nd Mar

• Paradiso: Aaron Saxon (6.30-9.30pm)

• The Pub: Acoustic Sessions, Chris Booroff (6.30-10pm)

• KC’s: Erin Reus (8pm-late)

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Sitting, Waiting, Wishing For A Day At The Pub

February 23, 2023

“You win, it’s your show now. So what’s it gonna be?” – The Airlie Beach Hotel has handed over the reins, they’ve turned it ‘Upside Down’ and given their patrons what they’ve been asking for: A day of beachy, Hawaiian rock in a Jack Johnson-themed double event.

A cobbled-together band comprising members of California Kings and the Smashed Crabs Gold Coast – both Australian tribute show royalty – are coming ‘From Here To Now To You’ at The Pub this weekend on Saturday and Sunday.

On Saturday, they’ll drop in with some tunes from Jack Johnson – ‘Better Together,’ ‘Banana Pancakes’, ‘Upside Down’, and more classics – then some iconic, reggae-flavored tunes. And they’re being joined by local legend Aaron Saxon who’ll be putting the beach in Airlie Beach.

The Centre-Dining Stage will be dressed up in Island Theme, alongside the whole venue, and pubgoers can don their Hawaiian shirts and shorts and party Whitsunday style – they’ll even get a free lei on arrival (a traditional Hawaiian flower necklace).

Once they’ve gone ‘On And On’ and worked their way through Johnson’s catalogue of acoustic works, the day will conclude with hits from artists like Bob Marley, Jimmy Cliff, Peter Tosh, and 10cc.

Then on Sunday, the collaborative band will return as Boys of Summer – a fresh, surfy Sunday Session Beach Party playing all the favourite summer festival songs from artists like Ben Harper, Xavier Rudd, Donovan Frankenreiter, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, John Butler Trio, and more.

It’s ‘Times Like These’ at The Pub that we’re all ‘Sitting, Waiting Wishing’ for – so drop in tomorrow and Sunday for this free show.

WHAT: The Songs of Jack Johnson Plus Reggae Flavoured Classics, and Boys of Summer

WHEN: Saturday and Sunday, February 25 and 26, from 2.00pm to 5.30pm

WHERE: Airlie Beach Hotel

The Airlie Beach Hotel has heard your requests and is hosting a beachy Jack Johnson-themed double event this weekend

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Bring Your ‘Chiquititas’ To The Airlie Beach Hotel

February 23, 2023

Gimme, gimme, gimme that synth and soprano coming to The Airlie Beach Hotel in mid-March – I can hear the distant drums and bugle sounds closing in on the Bar-Top Stage.

SOS - A Tribute to the Songs of ABBA arrives in the Whitsundays, bringing Bjorn, Benny, Agnetha, and Freda back to town and ‘As Good As New’ in a perfect recreation of the iconic ‘70s band.

The Airlie Beach Hotel has become a perfect sojourn for this group of super-fans of the Swedish super-group, who for years has been leading a double life: by day, they’re mild-mannered Australian musicians, but by night, they’re crazy ABBA fans.

The Melbourne-based band came together to obsessively re-create the sound, music, and look of the Swedish pop sensation they loved so dearly. Now, they walk out on stage, leaving behind their everyday lives and transforming into rock stars at The Australian ABBA Tribute Show.

Armed to the teeth with fantastic costumes, incredible vocal talents, animated ABBA dance moves, and Swedish accents, the SOS Tribute to ABBA show is back and better than ever.

Sam Bennet, who fills the shoes and takes up the pick as SOS’s Bjorn, said that audiences in the Whitsundays had given them a huge reception when they were last at The Pub in August and were hoping for even better this time out.

“We’re so excited to be back; it was so incredible and amazing last time,” Sam said.

“We’re excited to be giving people that feeling of seeing ABBA live because you can tell how much it means to people – there’s always a song in the set where there’s a twinkle in their eye that they’re remembering a moment in their life.

“Whether that be heartbreak or love, it's a real honor to perform that music."

Sam said the group doesn’t just perform to emulate the records, they match the energy that audiences saw when ABBA played at Wembley or the Sydney Mine Music Bowl.

“We match that energy and the arrangements we use are often based on those live performances rather than the records,” Sam said.

“The one thing we try and do is give the audience an experience of what ABBA was in the 70s and 80s.”

Patrons at The Airlie Beach Hotel are in for two free shows (that's right! For absolutely no Money, Money, Money): one on Saturday, March 11, and (Mama Mia, here we go again) another on Sunday, March 12, when SOS take the Bar Top stage again.

Put On Your White Sombrero for their afternoon shows from 2.00pm to 5.30pm!

What: SOS – The Australian ABBA Tribute Show

When: Saturday and Sunday, March 11 and 12, from 2.00pm to 5.30pm both days

Where: The Airlie Beach Hotel

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Plug In And Connect With Gary Greenhill

February 16, 2023

People come to see Gary Greenhill for one reason: To connect with the world.

For computer-literate generations who were either born with iPads in their hands or, perhaps, introduced to them in a professional sense, computers are simple. They are taken-for-granted tools; they broaden our world whilst miniaturising it – everything at your fingertips.

For older generations of Australians, that is not so; computers are alien, fragile technology. And that is where Gary comes in.

Gary volunteers his time at Whitsunday Neighbourhood Centre once a week to help seniors with their tech, getting them up to speed on email, Facebook, text messaging, you name it.

In one-on-one lessons, Gary teaches the art of devices and software, and in turn brings the residents of the Whitsundays into a modern, expansive world. It might seem scary, but underneath all the wires, the world and its people are just the same as the old one – we all want to connect with other people.

“My interest in computers began when I helped install them at my ambulance station out west when I was a young paramedic,” Gary said.

"Teaching older Australians about computers is something I enjoy; I enjoy helping people like this. It gives me a sense of purpose, especially watching people go: 'That is fantastic' because it opens a whole world for them. It allows them to connect with their family, but it’s a social outing that they and I enjoy. We bond over this learning, social outing.”

Gary, who has experience professionally building websites and coding, is a certified computer whiz. He has been running computer literacy classes for almost two years at the local not-for-profit because he said "we cannot know enough people."

“I have met so many interesting people and helped them reconnect to the world,” Gary said.

“The most common thing people come in for is email, text, Facebook, messaging, using their phone. It is to keep in contact, to be social. To help them makes me feel excellent.”

Gary said he soon plans to begin group classes focused on internet scams, teaching anyone what to look out for and avoid.

For more information on Gary’s Computer Literacy Class, ring the Whitsunday Neighbourhood Centre.

Gary Greenhill (R) teaches computer literacy classes at the Whitsunday Neighbourhood Centre one day a week to help people connect with the world

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Graduates Get Set For Work

February 16, 2023

The Whitsunday PCYC Get Set For Work program hosted its first cohort of graduates to celebrate the completion of the intensive employment and training assistance initiative on Friday last week.

The local community organisation hosted a ceremony to end the skills program which began on November 14, 2022, and congratulate its four debut alumni.

The state government project ran for 10 weeks, inviting 15- to 19-year-olds to attend and gain valuable skills and work experience, with the participants either no longer enrolled in schooling or struggling to find employment.

Program Coordinator Scott Lynch said he was extremely proud of his four graduates for their diligence throughout the Get Set For Work program, which has already paid off for one of his star pupils.

"I had the pleasure of witnessing firsthand how far these boys have come in such a short amount of time," Mr Lynch said.

“I am extremely proud of our graduate Levi Harrison, who has secured an apprenticeship. It is fair to say that these boys are set up and ready to go for the workforce.”

Over the length of the program, the graduates undertook several work placements at locales across the Whitsundays, including on Hamilton Island, with Bredl’s Wild Farm, Woolworths, volunteering at Whitsunday Neighbourhood Centre, Master Butchers Whitsunday, and many more.

Upon completion, three of the four graduates attained a Certificate II in Skills For Work and Vocational Pathways, as well as several other achievements and accreditations, including first aid certificates, white cards, completion of the Responsible Service of Alcohol Course, and the shipboard safety skillset course.

State Member for Whitsundays Amanda Camm, who attended on the day, applauded the graduates for their commitment to the program.

“It is not easy to get up every day and make a commitment,” The Member for Whitsundays said.

"Participating in something like this helps you grow, helps you change, and expands your thinking about things. These graduates can do anything they put their minds to and on behalf of our community, we are very proud of you. This is just the start."

The course is now opening for its next intake, which is planned to begin on April 17 and is hoping to field an even larger group, including from Proserpine with conversations for transport undergoing.

For more information, contact Scott Lynch at scott.lynch@pcyc.org.au

Whitsunday PCYC Branch Manager and Police Sergeant Billy Li, Whitsunday Regional Councillor Jan Clifford, PCYC Youth Worker Declan Coull, graduates Bradley Basset, Reon Grant-Iramu, Levi Harrison, and Nicholas Wright, and Get Set for Work Program Coordinator Scott Lynch, and State Member for Whitsundays Amanda Camm at the Get Set For Work graduation

Declan Coull, Reon Grant-Iramu, and Scott Lynch

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Men’s Shed – Saving Lives And Starting Conversations

February 16, 2023

Down at the Airlie Beach Men’s Shed, there is a steady flow of blokes coming and going, of projects in various degrees of completion and a hot jug always ready to fill a cup and fuel a conversation.

Since 2012, the local Men’s Shed has provided a safe place, a social network and a feeling of purpose for many men within our community.

There are over 1,200 Men’s Sheds in Australia, some of which began as early as the 1980s.

They first originated because there was a growing concern within society that men would not talk about their feelings, ask for help or take care of their health.

By providing a warm and welcoming place for men to connect in a positive and productive environment, there was a space for men to discuss important issues.

Locally, at the Airlie Beach branch, they have seen this firsthand in the open conversations the guys have about Prostate Cancer.

“More than half of our 22 members either have or have had Prostate Cancer,” said Airlie Beach Men’s Shed President Don Campbell.

It was in 2016 when Don received the diagnosis himself.

By completing his routine six monthly blood tests, which are recommended for anyone in his age bracket, the rapidly increasing PSA levels were flagged, and he was sent to a specialist.

When they conducted scans, the doctors found not only Prostate Cancer but also an issue with his Aorta which could have resulted in a heart attack, likely within the next month.

“The scan saved my life!” said Don.

With both medical conditions treated, Don's health was restored, and he now leads a full life once again.

He is now proud to be able to help others with their health problems and says the group often talk about matters that could potentially lead to life-saving decisions.

Of course, central to the Men’s Shed is also the numerous projects they work on.

Don has spent several months restoring an 18th-century sewing machine, his mate Coll has been working on a beautiful timber cabinet and Alan has just started fixing up a model of a classic sailing ship.

While projects are always encouraged, Don says there is no pressure to contribute, guys are more than welcome to simply come along

“You can do what you want down here,” he said.

“You don’t have to do any work, you can just come in and talk to people, have a coffee and socialise.”

Two men that learnt that firsthand are Peter Hallsy and Alan Bourton.

Both of them have only been coming along for a few weeks and laughingly say that their wives told them to get out of the house, but it is evident they are simply enjoying being in the calming presence of other men.

While most members are retired, there is no age barrier.

In fact, Andrew Patterson, who is 42 years old, regularly attends and says he enjoys getting guidance from the older men.

Airlie Men’s Shed is open every Tuesday and Thursday from 8am until lunchtime.

You simply need to attend three times and then pay your annual $25 membership to join.

There are plenty of tools if you want to get involved with a project of your own or help with one they have on the go.

Airlie Men’s Shed is located at 11 Salmon Street, Cannonvale.

They are currently looking for new members and are happy to consider opening on Saturdays if there was interest.

Coll Pritchard, Peter Hallsy, Alan Corney, Don Campbell, Alan Bourton and PJ Tell from the Airlie Beach Men’s Shed. Photo credit: Rachael Smith

Coll Pritchard and his cabinet

Don Campbell and his restored sewing machine

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A Cultural Home In The Whitsundays

February 16, 2023

A full house crowded into the Creative Hub at 3 Little Birds Espresso on a quiet Tuesday morning in Airlie Beach in late January.

This assortment of local creatives were all looking to connect and become inspired by successful Mackay artist Margaret Burgess who preached the merits of collaboration, community and culture.

The event was organised and funded by CQ RASN, the Regional Arts Service Network and CQ University, who are dedicated to invigorating the local arts community and finding avenues to help artists progress.

This workshop is the latest in the series of sessions hosted by CQ RASN.

In November a Free Sponsorship Masterclass was held during the Airlie Beach Festival Weekend and attendees heard from well-respected Marketing Manager, Zoe Ottaway, who shared her wisdom on how to create strong partnerships with sponsors.

Then, in January, Margaret Burgess gave an inspiring, informal talk on uniting artists through a variety of community initiatives.

During the workshop, she enthralled guests with a range of case studies including the Artist Collective in Canelands, Plastic Boutique and the Great Barrier Reef Festival Immerse Sculpture Project.

Coming up in the next few months is a Grant Writing and Project Development workshop which aims to give aspiring artists the tools with which to seek funding for their creative endeavours.

As part of their initiative, CQ RASN is also producing an Arts and Culture Heritage Plan for the Whitsunday Regional Council.

By conducting a series of public consultations, they are producing a report which outlines the existing cultural activities and our regional challenges to create a roadmap to boost and strengthen the local arts community.

So far, the organisation has been thrilled with the response from all their activities and is excited to see a thriving arts community here in the Whitsundays.

“Through all consultations it was identified that the Arts Sector across the Whitsundays is dynamic, self-determined and for the most part, operating independently of Council,” said the report.

CQ RASN suggests that Airlie Beach could become the only Special Entertainment Precinct in Northern Australia if a Live Entertainment/Music Precinct was present.

The report also suggests more galleries and venues would add to the general cultural offering, giving a creative ‘home’ to both large and small events.

If you would like to add a comment to the report, go to Whitsunday Regional Council’s Your Say website to participate.

Lara Russell and Wanda Bennett from CQ RASN organise a series of arts workshops in the Whitsundays. Photo credit: Rachael Smith

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Ocean Film Festival Coming To The PEC

February 16, 2023

A three-hour film festival will showcase the “mysteries of the big blue” at Proserpine Entertainment Centre in early March.

The 10th anniversary Ocean Film Festival World Tour is bringing the salt spray, the crest of waves, and the mesmerising power of the ocean to Proserpine on March 11.

In a series of short films, comprised of “sublime footage taken above and below the water’s surface,”   the Film Festival will bring its celebration of divers, surfers, swimmers, and oceanographers who live for the sea to local audiences.

The Festival is brimming with captivating cinematography, awe-inspiring underwater scenes and fast-paced wave sequences, and inspiring and thought-provoking footage complete with touching interviews and insightful narrations.

Festival founder Jemima Robinson said the message of environmental conservation may be a universal one but it was all the more relevant to audiences in the Whitsundays.

“With a personal passion for film and all things ocean, I wanted the Ocean Film Festival World Tour to become an avenue for promoting ocean conservation and bringing people together to celebrate mother nature,” Ms Robinson said.

“We have done this through sharing unique stories by independent filmmakers from around the globe, reaching many exciting milestones, and now we set our sights towards the next 10 years of making an even greater impact”.

The two-and-a-half-hour program showcases several films from independent filmmakers worldwide and has been hosted annually in 14 countries over 10 years, touching countless lives in and out of the ocean with 325,670 attending it thus far.

Tickets can be purchased from $26 at the Proserpine Entertainment Centre website.

WHAT: Ocean Film Festival World Tour

WHEN: Saturday, March 11, 7.00pm to 10.00pm

WHERE: Proserpine Entertainment Centre

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Movie Review Magic Mike’s Last Dance

February 16, 2023

French philosopher Albert Camus believed the underlying reality was this: life is absurd. Now, how does that relate to Steven Soderberg’s Magic Mike’s Last Dance? I would think that is manifest, self-evident, although I am more than happy to explain; we are in a world in which Academy Award Winning directors helm – not just once but thrice - films about male strippers.

I am not espousing that Magic Mike cannot exist – nay, all life is rife for the pilfering when it comes to artistic expression, including male strippers - I am purely stating the illogical, bizarre, incongruous fact of someone with Soderberg’s resume being attached to such a project on three occasions spanning 10 years.

And more: did we need three Magic Mike films? Were we asking for it? I suppose the answer must be yes. The buying power of middle-aged women who enjoy shirtless Channing Tatum (as the titular Magic Mike) and contrived, predictable love stories is a great and terrible thing as ancient as time itself.

Absurdity aside, where does it all leave us? How does Magic Mike’s denouement, his coda, match up to the rest? For one thing, it’s starkly different from its former outing – Magic Mike XXL – and the original. Each is somehow a different genre from the last in another nonsensical turn.

We start with Mike Lane as he takes to the stage once again, hoping for one last hurrah in London alongside a wealthy socialite (Salma Hayek as Maxandra) who lures him with an offer he can't refuse – think the Godfather in England but with pectoral-pumping dudes dancing every five minutes (No, it’s not really like that).

There are interesting riffs on power and wealth and we end up with Mike leading a show in London that’s more cabaret-infused-lap-dance than it is classic bar-top grinding. The change of scenery and genre does prove a shot in the arm for what could be a tired formula and that’s all you can really expect, surely – a bit of fun.

In fact: no one is going to see Magic Mike’s Last Dance looking for any meaning, any sort of philosophical bent or take-away.

That would be absurd.

Magic Mike’s Last Dance is playing at the Bowen Summergarden Cinema now.

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Gig Guide

February 16, 2023

Friday 17th Feb

• The Pub: Acoustic Sessions, Andy Mammers (7-10pm)

• Paradiso: Mike Duff (7-10pm)

• Grandview Hotel, Bowen: Sam McCann (from 8pm)

• KC’s: Aaron Saxon (8pm-late)

• Hotel Metropole: Live Entertainment (8pm-late)

Saturday 18th Feb

• The Pub: Divine Blonde Tribute (2-5.30pm)

• The Pub: Acoustic Sessions, Andy Mammers (7-10pm)

• Paradiso: Ash Smith (7-10pm)

• Grandview Hotel, Bowen: DJ Pirate (from 8pm)

• KC’s: Retro Joe (8pm-late)

• Hotel Metropole: Live Entertainment (8pm-late)

Sunday 19th Feb

• Paradiso: Aaron Saxon (1-4pm)

• The Pub: Divine Blonde Tribute (2-5.30pm)

• The Pub: Acoustic Sessions, Chris Booroff (7-10pm)

• KC’s: Retro Joe (8pm-late)

Monday 20th Feb

• KC’s: Sam McCann (8pm-late)

Tuesday 21st Feb

• KC’s: Erin Reus (8pm-late)

Wednesday 22nd Feb

• KC’s: Lloyd Saunders (8pm-late)

Thursday 23rd Feb

• Paradiso: Aaron Saxon (6.30-9.30pm)

• The Pub: Acoustic Sessions, Chris Booroff (7-10pm)

• Grandview Hotel, Bowen: Rebelquin (from 8pm)

• KC’s: Lloyd Saunders (8pm-late)

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A Barrel Of Laughs In Bowen

February 16, 2023

A nationally touring adults-only comedy show is jamming two of its best comics into the car for a North Queensland Tour arriving at the Original North Australian in mid-March.

The Aussie Pub Comedy Tour will arrive in Bowen at one of the state’s oldest pubs on March 18, bringing comedians Chris ‘The Bloke’ Franklin and Evan Hocking with it.

Franklin and Hocking are both classic Aussie comedians to their core – crass, crude, rude, and lude – and excellent humourists with a finger on the pulse of bloke culture; especially Franklin, who is most famous for his number one song ‘Bloke’, which debuted in 2000.

“I’m a bloke, I’m a yobbo, and me best mate’s name is Robbo”, Franklin sang in his famous song, which sold more than 120,000 copies and was the third biggest single released by an Australian that year, launched his comedy career to soaring heights.

In the eyes of true-blue Aussies, the parody song became a strong candidate for replacing Advance Australia Fair, capturing bogan cliches that still ring true.

Alongside Hocking – a renowned comedy podcaster and stand-up comic – the pair are ready to “sweat bullets” in the Far North for the Aussie Pub Comedy Tour, a concept conceived in late 2017 with the vision of bringing quality comedy shows to regional pubs and venues.

Don’t miss the ‘The Bloke’ and Hocking at the Original North Australian soon.

Tickets can be purchased online through www.trybooking.com

WHAT: The Aussie Pub Comedy Tour

WHEN: Saturday, March 18, from 8.00pm

WHERE: The Original North Australian

Chris ‘The Bloke’ Franklin is just one of two comedians coming to Bowen as part of the Aussie Pub Comedy Tour

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I See The Bad Moon Risin’

February 16, 2023

‘Good Golly Miss Milly’, there’s a ‘Travelin’ Band’ cruising to The Airlie Beach Hotel to take over the whole first weekend of March – it’s sure to cause a ‘Commotion’.

The Australian Creedence Clearwater Revival show, Ramble Tamble, will take over the Bar Top Stage ‘Down On The Corner’ at The Pub on Saturday, March 4 and 5 in a free show featuring all the best of CCR.

Getting to see this world-class four-piece tribute band from Melbourne is a treat for any ‘Fortunate Son’ – these boys have a pedigree of performing as the band from El Cerrito, starting back in 1989, they’re the certified deal, experts of that American music.

Creedence tapped into the rich, traditional seam of the United States’ sound when they emerged in the ‘70s - only for a short time – and wrote their page in the Great American Songbook. With Ramble Tamble bandmates Rob, Bren, and Richard, there is a reverence for that which made CCR so phenomenal.

The boys take on the roles of the Fogerty brothers and their bandmates, capitalising on their own years of experience touring alongside some of the world’s top recording artists and tribute shows nationally and internationally.

For them, it comes down to one thing: detail.

In producing their tribute to America’s greatest rock ‘n’ roll band, they made sure it was an experience no die-hard CCR fan would be disappointed with – it’s like they were ‘Born on the Bayou’ with how completely they replicate every facet of them, like a true ‘Chameleon’.

It is a “tribute in the true sense of the word.” They delve into all seven of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s seven albums showing respect, veneration, devotion, and some damn hard work, they "ain’t never had no day off”. It’s about reproducing the sound of the iconic American roots band as if you’re back in the late ‘60s. That ‘Pendulum’ never stopped swinging.

Every show is an event, a miniature concert comprised of two acts: on Saturday, Ramble Tamble will show off their Creedence Show before heading into The Best of Die Hard Creedence classics. They’ll hit all the bests and then head ‘Up Around The Bend’ and back again. Everything from ‘Have You Ever Seen The Rain’ to ‘Proud Mary’.

Then on Sunday, there's Ramble Tamble’s Cosmo’s Factory, the entire album from start to finish

, and afterward their "The Creedence Influence”, a mixture of songs from the era that influenced the Californian band.

Don’t miss them when they arrive at the Airlie Beach Hotel for two days of free shows in March.

WHAT: The Australian Creedence Show Ramble Tamble

WHEN: Saturday, March 4, and Sunday, March 5, from 2.00pm to 5.30pm

WHERE: The Airlie Beach Hotel

The Australian Creedence Show, Ramble Tamble, is coming to the Airlie Beach Hotel in March

The Melbourne-based tribute show recreates the sound of the iconic American Band in a pitch-perfect emulation

Don’t miss them in a full weekend of shows at The Pub

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Young Vocalists Perform At Dingo Beach

February 16, 2023

Young and aspiring musicians performed in front of 200 people at the Dingo Beach Hotel over the weekend as part of the Music Evolution Project’s Young Vocalists showcase.

From midday through to 9pm on Saturday evening dozens of young performers exhibited their well-rehearsed songs, many taking to the stage for the first time in their lives.

Mentor and teacher, Lisa Stanley, said she was very proud.

“I was so so proud of their efforts,” she said,

“They were all so good and so professional, it was a huge success and Dingo Beach Hotel have already invited us back!”

The Music Evolution Project is dedicated to helping young people express themselves through music, giving those that might not otherwise have access, the opportunity to learn and perform.

At its core, the project aims to help improve mental health through music.

Over 30 performers took to the stage on the day.

These included Meg McKeon, Destiny, Ella Kelly, Dominik James, Amber Hinschen, Chloe Kaddatz, The Microns and Tanika Lulham.

The two pianists were Maddy Hughes and Fitia Steel-Gaby.

The next Music Evolution Project performance will take place on Saturday, March 25 at the Dingo Beach Hotel.

WHAT: Music Evolution Project Young Vocalists

WHERE: Dingo Beach Hotel

WHEN: Saturday, March 25

Some of the Young Vocalists that performed at the Dingo Beach Hotel on Saturday. Photo credit: Crissy Bottrell

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Dining Decadence With Tastes Of The Top Shelf

February 16, 2023

You are invited to an evening of decadence and six-course degustation at Whisper Restaurant and Gin Bar, home of dining experiences that blow your mind and your palate.

Food lovers from across the region are still talking about the five-course gin-inspired degustation held at the venue last month and, with the next event highlighting premium drinks and cuisines from around the world, tickets are selling fast.

Each course is matched with a top shelf liqueur or wine that has been hand-picked by the Executive Chef to pair seamlessly with the flavours and bring out each tantalising taste to its full.

Think caviar and ceviche, truffles, wagyu steak and more.

There will be a creative blend of flavours to enhance and complement each drink.

Palate cleansers between courses will allow you to really assess and enjoy the unique and subtle nuances of each course.

Taste the highest quality Tequila from the agave fields of Mexico, smooth Italian Rose, premium gins from the fields of England, limited edition rums of the Caribbean and rare Japanese Whisky, finishing with a perfect French Cognac.

The talented team of chefs and mixologists have put together a menu that will be sure to tantalise the taste buds and other senses as you relax in 5-star comfort.

An intimate dining experience like no other, book your tickets and immerse yourself in a dining experience of decadence and delight.

Limited seats are available.

The ticket price also includes a courtesy shuttle pick up and drop off.

WHAT: Tastes of the Top Shelf Degustation Dinner

WHERE: Whisper Restaurant and Gin Bar

WHEN: Friday, February 24 – 6pm to 10pm

TICKETS: whisperginbar.com

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What's on

February 10, 2023


13 Kinder Gym at Bowen PCYC (Mon & Wed)

13 Breathing Classes every Monday at Dynamic Health & Fitness

13 Breathing Classes every Monday at EvoPrime Fitness

14 Fitter For Life Over 50’s at Bowen PCYC

15 Kinder Gym at Bowen PCYC (Mon & Wed)

15 Wednesday Night Trivia at The Met

16 Lovely Day performance at Bowen PCYC

16 Fitter For Life Over 50’s at Bowen PCYC

16 Whitsunday Chamber of Commerce Special Guest Speaker (tickets via WCCC website)

16 Zonta meeting every 3rd Thursday 6-9pm at VMR

18 Pink Stumps Day at Bowen Sporting Complex (ticketed event)

21 Sailability Whitsundays from 9am @ Whitsunday Sailing Club

22 Wednesday Night Trivia at The Met

23 Tourism Whitsundays Networking Night at Kipara Tropical Rainforest Retreat


1 Kinder Gym at Bowen PCYC (Mon & Wed)

6 Kinder Gym at Bowen PCYC (Mon & Wed)

7 Sailability Whitsundays from 9am @ Whitsunday Sailing Club

10 Conversations with Spirits (Chantal Miranda) at PEC

11 Ocean Film Festival: World Tour showing at PEC

19 Lior & Domini: Animal In Hiding performing at PEC

21 Sailability Whitsundays from 9am @ Whitsunday Sailing Club

23 Blue Bayou performing at PEC


2-3 Mr Stink production at PEC

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Airlie’s First Patisserie Opens Its Doors

February 9, 2023

The decadent food offering in Airlie Beach has reached a whole new level with the recent opening of Gelatiamo Dolce Patisserie and Gelato store on the Esplanade in the centre of town.

Passers-by will have noticed the vibrant fridge display boasting an array of colourful cakes which beckons in those looking for a sweet treat for morning tea or perhaps a sumptuous dessert to finish off a perfect evening.

A vision of Joe and Deanna Panuccio for many years, the concept began with traditional Gelato made with ingredients sourced directly from Italy.

This soon turned into the new addition of a Patisserie, which was made possible with the creative magic of head pastry chef Andrea Manna.

Meanwhile Joe’s sister, Vanessa, is the backbone behind all of the stunning gelato flavours and products in the store.

Having arrived in Australia one year ago, Andrea is astounded by the opportunities presented to him in a country he has now decided to make his own.

A fortuitous Facebook post saw Andrea and Joe connect over a shared passion for creating exciting desserts and cakes.

“Joe asked me if I wanted to open a pastry shop in Airlie Beach, so I booked a flight!” recalls Andrea.

That was six months ago now, and the pair have not looked back.

Initially introducing a small display fridge and extended dessert menu at his nearby restaurant, Paradiso, Joe quickly saw the demand and was thrilled to refit and re-brand his gelato shop to create Gelatiamo Dolce Patisserie and Gelato late last year.

Originally from northern Italy, Andrea grew up in his parent's restaurant, a business his family owned for over 50 years.

After working at the restaurant for five years he knew that “pastry was my life” and moved to Padua where he studied the craft at Hangar 78.

“I learnt all the skills from so many chefs from all over the world,” said Andrea.

“And now I am bringing them here to Airlie Beach.”

So far, Andrea has introduced the popular Cannoli which is made with puff pastry and house-made own custard, the signature Hazelnut and Chocolate Dome, the Lemon Meringue Pie made with tangy lemon curd, a New York Style Cheesecake with fresh strawberries and, most recently the stylish Mille Feuille.

Every pastry, sauce, cream, ganache and decoration is made from scratch and with love in the dedicated pastry kitchen.

Each individual cake in the display fridge is a treat for the senses - they are exciting masterpieces to behold, fashioned with intricate craftsmanship, and backed up by taste - giving every customer a sensational experience, they will always remember.

Gelatiamo Dolce Patisserie and Gelato are also introducing a selection of pre-order birthday cakes based on a traditional French recipe which involves layers, mousse, and texture.

“They are very fresh and very summery, more like a mousse cake instead of a sponge,” explained Andrea.

“There are lots of layers with different flavours like vanilla and raspberry or pistachio and passionfruit – different textures like a crunch or a mousse – they are so good and my favourite to make.”

Gelatiamo Dolce also have plans to launch a wedding cake selection soon, as well as the exciting news of branching out and opening a new store in Townsville.

Whether you are looking for a refined morning tea, a sweet treat takeaway or a classy dessert bar, Gelatiamo Dolce Patisserie and Gelato is Airlie’s brand-new offering that is setting a new benchmark in the industry.

Caption: Andrea Manna, Head Pastry Chef at Gelatiamo Dolce Patisserie and Gelato in Airlie Beach. Photo credit: Rachael Smith

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Movie Review

February 9, 2023


Australian actor-turned-director Frances O’Conner, with her debut film Emily, has managed to create something interesting and thoughtful – beautiful in its own right – yet something more akin to our modern sensibilities than it is to the time of the Brontë sisters.

Cobbling together some old things, placing them into a new form, and wiggling them around a bit, O’Connor has put to screen a well-constructed debut that muddles with the factual parts of history. Although, there is not too much known about the middle Brontë – so it is a land rife for creative imagining - other than her penning of what is one of literature’s finest, wildest romantic stories: Wuthering Heights.

In Emily, O’Connor uses a great deal of artistic license to imagine the transformative, exhilarating, and uplifting journey to womanhood of who she envisages as a rebel and misfit. It is ostensibly a recreation of Wuthering Heights where its creator plays the main role. “How did you write Wuthering Heights,” Emily’s sister, Charlotte -the famed writer of Jane Eyre – asks in the film. Well, this fever-dream film proposes that she lived it.

Someone who was historically reclusive, the Emily we see here is instead transposed with a sardonic, “I-won’t-play-your-game” archetype of the tortured artist who eventually becomes one of the world's most famous, enigmatic, and provocative writers.

Certainly, this will not be the last time the Brontë sisters are “reinvented” for contemporary audiences. This writer believes it is a reductionist way of viewing a group of complex women to reflect ourselves, rather than allowing them to be who they are, to teach us things.

It is not purposefully harmful, trying to package them within the constraints of our modern life and sensibilities, yet it still is. Emily still has its merits belied by O’Connor’s message: do not conform, express your creative freedom, even in the face of ridicule.

For a rainswept period piece and a romantic fairy-tale with visual brilliance in its cinematography, Emily is worth the watch – just remember it’s hardly true.

Emily will show at the Bowen Summergarden Cinema from February 18.

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Gig Guide

February 9, 2023

Friday 10th Feb

• The Pub: Acoustic Sessions, Andy Mammers (7-10pm)

• Paradiso: Tasman (7-10pm)

• Grandview Hotel, Bowen: Tim Griffin (from 8pm)

• KC’s: Aaron Saxon (8pm-late)

• Hotel Metropole: Live Entertainment (8pm-late)

Saturday 11th Feb

• The Pub: Green Day/Blink 182 Tribute (2-5.30pm)

• The Pub: Acoustic Sessions, Andy Mammers (7-10pm)

• Paradiso: Mike Duff (7-10pm)

• KC’s: Sam McCann (8pm-late)

• Hotel Metropole: Live Entertainment (8pm-late)

Sunday 12th Feb

• Paradiso: Aaron Saxon (1-4pm)

• The Pub: MTV Unplugged (2-5.30pm)

• The Pub: Acoustic Sessions, Lloyd Saunders (7-10pm)

• KC’s: Aaron Saxon (8pm-late)

Monday 13th Feb

• KC’s: Live music (8pm-late)

Tuesday 14th Feb

• KC’s: Live music (8pm-late)

Wednesday 15th Feb

• KC’s: Live music (8pm-late)

Thursday 16th Feb

• Paradiso: Aaron Saxon (6.30-9.30pm)

• The Pub: Acoustic Sessions, Lloyd Saunders (7-10pm)

• Grandview Hotel, Bowen: Sam McCann (from 8pm)

• KC’s: Live music (8pm-late)

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Call Me To The Pub

February 9, 2023

Wake up, ‘Sleeping Beauty’. This ain’t no ‘Science Fiction’, you can believe your eyes – a match made in ‘80s pop heaven is making its way to Airlie Beach in mid-February for a performance of epic proportions.

It’s time to get to The Pub – ‘One Way Or Another’, however you can - because nobody can miss this tribute mash-up of the Divinyls and Blondie, some of the Me-Decade’s biggest female success stories on the world stage.

The Divine Blonde tribute show brings together these two icons of the era in a set of doubleheader shows arriving express from Melbourne to the party paradise of the Whitsundays.

Broken up into two performances back-to-back on a single day, Divine Blonde brings the memories of the ‘80s flooding back – the ‘Pleasure and Pain’ from that Decade of Greed.

First up, Divine Blonde’s lead vocalist, Danni, pays tribute to the late great frontwoman of Aussie rock, Christina Amphlett – that brash, bold brunette – before taking on the role of Blondie’s captivating, punk rock frontwoman Debbie Harry (a beautiful blonde bombshell, to be sure).

As Amphlett, Danni captures the bombastic, wild-child nature of the Sydney singer at her best, taking to the stage in school uniform and fishnet stockings for the complete look, embracing the aggression of a particularly Australian brand of punk rock.

Then, embodying Harry, the Melbourne singer brings the sound of American new wave punk in the ‘70s back to life, expressing its vibrancy, angst, anger, and expression in ‘Atomic’ fashion – it’s like Harry is on stage. Blondie’s sound was the sound of a more motley decade than most – the ‘70s had no sound to pin itself down and Blondie encapsulated that most. Reggae, progressive rock, new wave, punk, post-punk. Blondie did it all.

Danni runs the repertoire of these incredible artists, singing all their greatest hits: Boys in Town, Only Lonely; Atomic, Hanging on the Telephone, Call Me, Heart of Glass, and all the rest.

‘Picture This’: One of Melbourne’s hottest acts bringing two female icons ‘In The Flesh’ together in one heart-stopping show, then backing it up the very next day on Sunday. It’s a double salute to two iconic women of song, showing off their pioneering power in the ‘80s for women in a heavily male-dominated music industry of the ‘70s and ‘80s.

Divine Blonde, the Blondie and Divinyls Show Doubleheader, arrives at the Airlie Beach Hotel on Saturday, February 18, before crashing back onto the Bar Top Stage on Sunday, February 19, to do it all again in back-to-back free shows.

Get ready to hear ‘The Disco Song’ live and loud in this tribute show at The Pub.

WHAT: DIVINE BLONDE! Blondie & Divinyls Show – Double Header!

WHEN: Saturday, 18 February, and Sunday, 19 February, from 2pm to 5.30pm.

WHERE: Airlie Beach Hotel

Caption 1: The Airlie Beach Hotel is getting set for its Blondie and the Divinyls tribute show starring one of Melbourne’s best singers

Caption 2: Danni takes on the roles of both Christina Amphlett and Debbie Harry in this doubleheader show

Caption 3: Don’t miss all of their best songs from Boys in Town to Only Lonely, Atomic to Hanging on the Telephone, Call Me, and Heart of Glass

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Bali Hai Fundraiser

February 9, 2023

On Saturday night, it was another sold-out charity event hosted by  the group of dedicated local volunteers who are raising money to build homes for homeless women over 55. Held at Waters Edge Resort in Airlie Beach, 100 people attended the event dressed in Bali-inspired attire.  

Photo Credit: Will Finley

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