Old Article Archive

Fraser Island Shark Attack

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A 36yr old man died from a from a shark attack off Fraser Island last Saturday afternoon (4th July).

Matthew Tratt, a father of two from the Sunshine Coast and a keen fisherman was with his brother spear fishing on the northeast of the Island at Indian Head.

It is known to locals and to the police that the area is a hot spot for the great whites as they travel north to this area during the winter.   “We know this yet there aren’t any warnings on the island”. – Vic Hislop.

The shark attack happened around 2pm, causing significant injuries to his leg.  He was already unconscious as his brother (Rob) managed to bring him up onto rocks.  One of the bystanders was an off-duty nurse who started performing CPR.

A RACQ Lifeflight Rescue helicopter flew in from the Sunshine coast, winching down and a doctor and paramedic.  They worked to save him for more than an hour before he died at the scene just after 4.30pm.

The Lifeflight helicopter brought his body over to Hervey Bay.  Police are preparing a report for the Coroner.

Matthew had previously saved a young man’s life from drowning at the Gold Coast in Jan 2017.

Matthew leaves behind his wife Kayla, and two children Sienna and Taj.  “Matt was an amazing dad and an amazing husband”.

It’s the fourth shark-related death in Australia this year.  A wildlife ranger Zachary Robba, 23, was also killed by a great white shark in the same location in April.

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A Cappella

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A Cappella – it’s all about harmony and sisterhood

Story by Marianne Kresse,  Photos supplied by Armella Pratt

Did you know that Hervey Bay has its own A Cappella Chorus? If not, let me take this opportunity to introduce you to this rather remarkable group of women who are about to represent the Fraser Coast in one of the largest and most exciting endeavours of their Choruses’ singing history.

I recently had the pleasure of meeting this very vibrant and energetic group of ladies as they were  rehearsing at Hervey Bay RSL in preparation for competing in a national A Cappella competition being held in Hobart on May 17 and 18, 2019. The group is associated with the international Sweet Adeline Group of quartets and choruses with Australia being part of its Region 34. The convention in Hobart is a celebration of Region 34’s, thirty years of being part of the larger world group and the event is stacking up to being a big one. The A Cappella Bay Singers will be competing in both the Chorus and Quartet competitions. The group’s quartet name is Attune.

Judges look for showmanship, sound, music and expression.

With 25 quartets and 17 choruses registered to compete, there will be 700 individuals participating in the huge event being held at Hobart’s Wrest Point Casino. It is expected that the in house audience will be as many as a thousand people. The magnitude of the event has naturally got our own girls from The A Cappella Bay Singers both excited and nervous. They will sing two songs and be on stage for around seven minutes. But to get here has been hard work.

“Preparation for this has been two to three years in the making,” Chorus Director Helena said.

A Cappella Bay Singers were previously known as Seabelle Singers who has been going for over 10 years.  The current Group A Cappella Bay Singers is now a collaboration of Seabelle Singers and Soundwave Chorus.  The two choruses have amalgamated into one huge family.

“We’ve become a blended family, a sisterhood of harmony,” they all agreed in unison.

The group is made of 25 singers plus their director Helena, with ages ranging from girls aged 13 to women in their seventies. Songs range from the classical including ‘Where is your Heart’ and ‘Amazing Grace’ to pop hits such as Abba’s ‘Dancing Queen’. A Cappella singing is all about harmony without using musical instruments. To achieve this the chorus is divided into four groups: tenors, leads, baritones and basses with each group needing to learn their own parts. Each week, each group has its own 90-minute rehearsal in preparation before joining the whole group in a demanding but very fulfilling two-and-a-half-hour session every Monday.

“It’s hard work!” new member Betty Kimber said.

“It takes a lot of concentration and focus to learn how to breath the right way especially when holding the long notes.”

Jodie Kimber, Betty’s daughter, who joined the group in January this year said “It’s actually quite a workout and can be exhausting!”

Betty laughed and added, “We all get rather hot!”

“You learn your notes, then your words and then how to breathe.”

The A Cappella Bay Singers currently has three tenors, five baritones, eight basses and the remainder leads which is a good mix, though a few more basses would be welcome.  The group is not made up of experienced singers and openly welcomes anyone who loves to sing and wants to be part of something fun as well as social. To join the group you need only do an audition that consists mainly of singing the scales and from this it is determined which of the four groups you belong.  There is no judgement as to whether you can sing or not. It is a very supportive group that have grown together and spend their time helping the community by doing fundraising and attending social events such as singing in nursing homes and performing at the RSL. They have also been invited by Dean from Café Balaena in Urangan to sing at Christmas or at birthday parties.

You can watch their performances live through webcast at



You can catch them at :

  • 28/04/19 – Family and Friends Concert  from 1pm to 2pm St John’s Anglican Church Hall, cnr Dooling and Gilston Road
  • 07/05/19 – Biggest Morning Tea and Sing Out.   Hervey Bay RSL
  • 11/05/19 – High Tea Fundraiser from 2pm to 4pm St John’s Anglican Church Hall, cnr Dooling and Gilston Road

If you would like to book them for future events or are interested in joining please contact their team coordinator Christa Leeb on 0414 256 178.

Hervey Bay Neighbourhood Centre Art Auction

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The Hervey Bay Neighbourhood Centre’s inaugural art auction took place on Friday, April 19.  Hervey Bay Neighbourhood Centre CEO Tanya Stevenson thanked local auctioneer Craig Winter for orchestrating the event and helping raise more than $2000 for various homelessness initiatives throughout Queensland.

“Craig had 95% of the art on hand and we were just waiting for the right event to attach it to. The opening of the Wandering Teapot and Kindness Garden was the perfect opportunity,” Tanya said.

“We had such a wide variety of art, from eighteenth century through to modern eclectic art.  There was something for everything and everything was very reasonably priced.”

Tanya said the Hervey Bay Neighbourhood Centre hoped the art auction would become an annual event which would be held around Easter each year.

Remembering Our Anzacs

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Background Image: Statue of Duncan Chapman in Queens Park, Maryborough. The first man to have stepped onto the shores of Gallipoli in World War I.


Anzac Day is the annual commemoration of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) on 25 April. Two types of morning services are hosted by the Returned Services League (RSL) Club throughout the Fraser Coast region. The dawn service is a solemn service where the local war veterans reflect upon the landing on the beach of Gallipoli in April of 1915. The general public are welcome to attend the main service and parade where wreaths are laid and citizens pay respects to those who have fought for our freedom.

President of the Hervey Bay RSL Sub-Branch Brian Tidyman and secretary Kevin Collins are primary organisers for this year’s Anzac Day in Hervey Bay. They host many events to support local veterans including Remembrance Day, Korean Veterans Day, Peacekeepers Day, Vietnam Veterans Day, and a Digger’s lunch for 80 or so members. Brian explained how the welfare team looks after the veterans who are ex-service people. Their new location will be at 1 Bryant Street, Pialba.

“Our doors are always open, you can come and see us anytime,” Kevin said.


In February, 1916 the Australian Imperial Force (AIF) raised a new military unit called the 47th Battalion for the doubling of the infantry during World War I. The unit consisted of men mostly from Queensland and Tasmania; approximately half of new recruits were Gallipoli veterans. They adopted the title Wide Bay Regiment in 1927. Their motto defendere non Provocare means to defend and not to challenge, and their unit colour patch was a blue and brown. The Battalion headquarters was located in Maryborough and various depots were situated throughout the Wide Bay-Burnett region.

The infantry fought in the Western Front trenches in Poziѐres, France and later switched to the Ypres sector in Belgium, taking part in the battles of Messines, Passchendaele and Bullecourt. The Battalion disbanded in May 1918. Leonard Joseph McDonald was the last custodian for the 47th Battalion of Maryborough and Buderim, who passed away in late January this year at age 99. The 47th Battalion rugby league football match is hosted annually at the Central Division 47th Battalion carnival in commemoration of the army unit.

An officer from the Battalion, Sergeant Stanley McDougall (23 July 1889 – 7 July 1969), was awarded the Victoria Cross in 1918 by King Henry V at King George Castle. The Victoria Cross is the most prestigious award given to members of the British Armed Forces and can also be awarded posthumously as a military declaration of gallantry in the face of the enemy. It was during World War I when MacDougall single-handedly attacked the enemy, killing several men. He captured an enemy machine-gun and turned it against them. Utilising the enemy’s guns, he killed many more men, including an officer, and made it possible for over 30 enemy prisoners to be held hostage. His actions prevented the enemy line from advancing, as well as saving his own line.

Books by the Sea

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Cate Akaveka from Books by the Sea, formerly Mary Ryan’s, has given the shop a new look at their new location on the Esplanade in Hervey Bay

The book shop stocks a range of eclectic books that you wouldn’t be able to find in big department stores as an alternative option for local customers. They also provide a service that they will find and order you any book you are looking for as long as the book is available in print form.

It is important for an area like the Fraser Coast to support local shops to keep them in business. The development of big shopping centres brings large retail stores that local stores can’t compete with.

“Every town needs a book store and if it’s not supported it won’t be here anymore,” Cate said.

Many towns across Australia are being left without independent book stores that put time and passion into books and ensuring that locals have an opportunity to read. Books by the Sea is making sure that they are also helping support locals in every way possible as they have recently changed their coffee to a local company. Having a coffee shop attached creates an ambiance that allows people to come and have tea or coffee around books. Rainy days and weekends are the best days for reading a book with a hot drink. The atmosphere is calm and pleasant and great for people to come in alone and not feel alone.

Books by the Sea provides many events for locals as well. You can attend book clubs, ‘Brilliant Women’ talks, children’s events, Coffee Tea philosophy group and kids’ workshops that run through school holidays. Books by the Sea does a lot of work with the local libraries like being heavily involved with the Lines in the Sand Festival each year. Recently they had Meg Keneally attend a Lines in the Sand talk and are now stocking the latest of the Keneally books as well as being able to get copies of the previous books in the series if you have not read them already.

Cate said that the biggest support of printed books is children and teenagers. They enjoy the time of not being on screens when the rest of their lives are. Half an hour of reading before bed has been said to drastically improve sleep and ensure you wake up well rested. Books by the Sea hopes that all ages will find or re-find their love for reading by coming in and having a local coffee and a good read.

Common Dream Meanings

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Every night when we lay down to bed our brain is busily creating situations from our unconscious. Dreams are a way of relieving stress and bringing to light what we are really feeling but have to decode the dreams before you can really understand what your subconscious is telling you.


Dreams, where you are falling, can be interpreted as a sign of lack of control in your life. It is thought that falling is the most common of dreams that people share and experience in our lives. Many believe that the dream signifies that your life isn’t going to plan and suggest that you rethink a choice or consider a new direction in an area of your life to improve your waking life as well as dreams.


Being naked in public

Dreaming of being naked in public or in front of peers is a type of dream many people experience throughout life but it can be indicating that you may feel like a phoney, insecure, humiliation, shame or might be afraid of revealing your imperfections. It is suggested that you may want to get a taste of freedom or break out of your chains in your waking life to relieve these dreams.


Being chased

Being chased in a dream can mean that you are trying to escape your own fears and desires but can have a few different interpretations and it stems from who or what you are being chased by. If you are being chased by an animal then it could mean that you are hiding from your own anger and feelings. If you are being chased by an unknown figure then it could imply that you are running from past trauma. If you are being chased by someone of the opposite sex then it could suggest you are afraid of love or running from a past relationship in life. It is likely that you are having these dreams as a way of your subconscious trying to tell you to address issues and problems head-on in life.


Losing teeth

When dreaming you may lose a tooth or you may have a constant flow of teeth falling out and that can indicate that you are worried about your appearance to others and your attractiveness. It can also signify that you may be worried about your ability to communicate with others or even that you might still be holding on to something you said that was embarrassing.



Dreaming of flying can either mean you are feeling free and independent or can indicate that you want to flee or escape. Some flying dreams are actually lucid dreams which mean you’re aware that you’re dreaming while asleep. You can take control of this dream and do anything you can imagine until you wake up.