Old Article Archive

Bayside Transformations

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From Gutter to Glory

Success stories from Bayside Transformations

Ice destroys lives. It tears families apart. But Joshua Alsop and Zack Walthall are living proof that the destruction caused by a methamphetamine addiction does not have to be the end of the line.

The two Hervey Bay men both checked in to Bayside Transformations Rehabilitation Centre during 2018 and have successfully ditched their addictions and turned their lives around. Both men have reconnected with their loved ones, citing a love for their families as the driving force behind their recovery.

Zack and Josh share a story of hitting rock bottom and losing everything important in their lives, but the two men had very different paths leading them through the gates of Bayside Transformations.

Zack, 24, came from a stable home and with consistency and routine.

“I had everything that a kid would need to stay on track. Despite this, I always had a sense of not fitting in. I lived and breathed rugby league, but I always felt I had to perform to feel like I belonged.”

Zack said he started smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol in the early years of high school and dropped out of school in Year 9. A few years later he’d given up everything, including sport, for drugs.

“I first touched methamphetamines when I was 16. At the time it was a good uplift, I could socialise, I was more confident, but this was only short-lived. A couple of years down the track, I was in jail and had lost all my family. I had DVOs from my mother who was the biggest support in my life. I was stealing from my brothers and my dad – my whole moral compass was lost through the drugs.”

Zack said he first came into the Bayside Transformations program in 2016 but left prematurely after 8 months.

“I went back out there and the drugs got worse and worse. It got to point where I didn’t care who found out, I’d lost my sense of worth completely.

“Now I’m here for the second time and I’ve been awakened to what’s important in my life – my family, myself, and people who are lost in the world.

“What I put my family through is horrific, I wish it never happened but I can’t go back in time. They’ve forgiven me and I’ve forgiven myself.”
Zack said he was in the last two stages of the program which were about serving and helping others.

“Addiction robs you blind, it robs who you are and your family. I can see it from the outside now and I won’t go back to that. I’m passionate about helping people come out of what I’ve been through.”

Josh, 35, is one of Bayside Transformations’ most recent graduates. In contrast to Zack’s story, Josh said he came from an unstable home after his father left and his mother partnered with an abusive alcoholic.

“I didn’t want to be at home so I stayed out. I started smoking at 9 which lead to smoking pot at school at 13,” Josh said.

“I was selling pot at school and was kicked out of school at 14. My family put me on a trawler which is the worst thing they could have done. I got into methamphetamines and hid that through my job.

“I had a relationship and kids. She was a good partner, not a user, but I turned into that devil stepfather I had. She stayed with me as long as possible but left, and through my addictions I lost my kids to child safety.

“I was a single father to one of my girls, but I was producing methamphetamines in my own house and was raided. They took my daughter away from me, which was fully understandable.

Josh said at this point he’d lost everything.

“I’d worked so hard to get my daughter. Only 18 months ago I was in hospital weighing 52kg. In hospital they said to ring here, I had been to Bayside Transformations in 2015 but only lasted four days. But they had planted a seed and I returned.

“I was still rattled but I fully surrendered to the process. I needed that help, I was broken and out of control. What God has done in my life, what this place has done in my life – I’ve now got my kids back in my life, I’ve got my licence and I’m completing a Diploma in Alcohol and Other Drugs. This is opening doors to paid jobs, but for now I’m happy to volunteer and give back to what saved my life.

“To have my family back in my life and rebuild those relationships is the biggest thing for me. It’s heartbreaking to see the damage we have done but when we are stuck in addiction we don’t see it because we are numbing the pain.”

Josh is now Bayside Transformation’s House Supervisor. He stays on the premises and looks over the guys.

“One the greatest thing about Bayside Transformations is watching people change. We see them come in broken and watch them blossom like a flower. They find out who they really are. The DVOs get lifted, families start strolling in and they start rebuilding those relationships,” Josh said.

Zack said the term ‘from gutter to glory’ rang so true in the rehabilitation program.

“People come straight off the street, they are spiritually, mentally and physically spent. Some of the transformations we see are just inspiring – we see people take accountability for their own lives and want change for themselves,” Zach said.

“These transformations are from the inside out. You’ve got to start on the inside and only then will you start to the exterior change around you as well.”


By | Art | No Comments

Tori-Jay Mordey is a 24-year-old local Indigenous artist who began drawing when she was very young. She was raised in the Torres Straits on Thursday Island but spent a majority of her childhood in Hervey Bay. Her knowledge and experience from her diverse upbringing is reflected in her art. Tori’s understanding of self-identity, physical appearance, and racial identity played a significant role during her studies at Queensland College of Art at Griffith University.

Art has always been Tori’s greatest passion – after expressing creativity early in her years, art has played an essential role in her life ever since. She is multi-skilled artist who uses a wide range of supplies and tools. One of her devices is a Wacom drawing tablet which assists in digital drawings. She mainly works with paints and pencils but has also experimented in printmaking, specialising in copper etchings.  Her other hobbies include film and photography.

As a growing artist, she’s keen to experiment with different mediums. Each work could take from an hour through to a month to complete. She aims to space out her time and take step back and breathe, rather than engulfing herself in the work that she thoroughly enjoys.

It was in her final year of high school when both Tori-Jay and her Aunty Jillian Boyd entered the national Black&Write competition in 2012 for their story “Bakir and Bi”. It was the first official children’s book which she illustrated. They won the competition which led to Tori-Jay being employed by Magabala Books, an indigenous book publisher from Western Australia. Since then, her career has skyrocketed. Without these opportunities and generous help from the Black&Write team and Magabala Books, she would not be where she is today.

The painting of the 2014 G20 Brisbane sign (top of page) was another significant artwork which remains as a popular tourist monument in South Bank, Brisbane.  While studying a Bachelor of Contemporary Australian Indigenous Arts she became head designer and, alongside her fellow students, contributed to painting the ‘S’ for the BRISBANE sign.

SBS – K’GARI Interactive Website (2017)

In 2017, Tori-Jay designed concept art for K’GARI, an SBS interactive web documentary which can be access via their website: http://www.sbs.com.au/kgari/ which collaborated with renowned Butchulla artist Fiona Foley. It became a finalist in the UNNA Media awards and two prestigious web design awards, the Awwwards and the FWA. In addition, they showcased the documentary at the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA).

More recently, Tori-Jay was honoured to become the illustrator for Cathy Freeman’s portrait in “Shout Out to the Girls” which was published last year by Penguin Random House Australia. This book features easy-to-read biographies of influential women from Australia’s past and present, as well as including portrait illustrations from an all-female artist’s line-up.

Tori-Jay says her greatest aspiration is to become a more renowned illustrator.

“In the next five years, I hope to have my own cool artsy studio apartment, to expand to reach overseas, and to be able to work on more books alongside different publishers,” Tory-Jay said.

She hopes to inspire others with her storytelling as an Indigenous illustrator and to become an example of where dedication and practice can take you.

Earth Hour – 30th March

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Earth Hour 2019

8:30pm to 9:30pm

Every year, for one hour, a movement of people turn out their lights in recognition of climate change.  This is a global event that first started in Sydney Australia which reduces global power by over 1 gigawatt saving thousands of tons of carbon dioxide entering the atmosphere.

Australia made some strong promises at the 2015 Paris Agreement, but Australia will miss its 2030 targets.

Climate Change is real, and Australia needs to demonstrate to the world that it’s serious about the transition to a zero-carbon economy.

Human activities have caused global CO2 to rise to its highest level since the Tertiary period, over 3 million years ago.  Stopping the CO2 levels rising further is an almost impossible task since we need to make radical changes to industries and how we live.

Records show that global temperatures have been rising steadily since the 1950s, and marine records show that the sea level has also been steadily rising throughout the last century.  Scientists have linked the causes of rise to our CO2 output.


Read more from our Environmental section.. 

Dial A Driver – A story of Irony

By | Local Business, Local Life | No Comments

Dial A Driver (D.A.D) is a company created by owner Rob Braddock that has been servicing Hervey Bay and Maryborough since 1984. It is currently in the process of setting up franchises, hoping to introduce its remarkable service Australia wide, with the first franchise starting soon in the Sunshine Coast. The companies core business is keeping drivers who are over the limit off the street by letting one of his D.A.D drivers drive the customer home in their own vehicle. A second employee follows in a D.A.D car ready to pick up their partner once the customer is safely home. The service differs from Uber or taxis as it aims at not only getting the driver home safely but also their car. The convenience of this service is undoubtable as it also prevents the hungover customer from driving the next day to pick up their vehicle while still quite possibly over the legal limit.

On 12th January 2019 one of the Dial A Driver cars was written off in what could only be called a horrific accident. The irony of the accident was that the person driving the 4WD vehicle that ran into the driver side/back of the small D.A.D vehicle was allegedly way over the limit and should not have been on the road driving. The impact of the accident compacted the Kia to the point that the back seat of the car was rammed up against the drivers with the drivers door inoperable. The driver of the D.A.D vehicle a woman over six feet tall was lucky not to have sustained serious injury to her legs as she was crushed up against the dashboard. As it is, her shoulder is still being treated, months after the event. The passenger also a D.A.D employee was also lucky to sustain minimum injury though both driver and passenger suffered shock over the incident.

This story is not a new one, but it never ceases to amaze that no matter how many warnings governments advertise, no matter how many fines and penalties the police and government enforce, the message still eludes a small minority within our community. That the ignorance and selfishness of a few has the ability steal the life of a mother from her children, a daughter from her parents, a loved one from their family is beyond acceptable.

It was shear luck that no one died in this accident, but the warning is clear,

If you drink, do not drive!

Drive Smarter – Dial-A-Driver

Rabbit Pattern

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Download Pattern

To start off with, I decided to make the bunny out of easy obtainable items found in your nearest Spotlight store. He has been made with a white synthetic fabric with contrasting linen fabrics to add a little colour and personality. There’s no rules to type of fabric you make your bears and rabbits, it’s all according to your taste – faux fur, mohair or strong cotton fabric … one colour or multiple. The main thing is to have fun with it.

When using fur fabrics, please be aware of the direction on the fur. The pattern pieces have been marked to show the direction they should go and whether the pattern needs to be reversed.

As for preparing the fabric before sewing, I’m a fan of anti-fraying the edges, no matter what fabric I am using – better to be safe than sorry. For those who do decide to use antifray, tracing your pattern pieces on fabrics with pen can make the ink run, so when using a light fabric, a lead pencil is ideal.

What you will need:

  • WHITE FOX FUR – OPTIC WHITE – this fabric is very good quality and has little stretch.This fabric is 148cm in length, I used around 30cm but if your inexperienced maybe purchase 40cm to be sure. (I purchased my Fabric from Spotlight)
  • Contrasting fabric if desired*
  • Good quality cotton for sewing
  • Upholstery cotton for heavy duty tasks
  • Embroidery cotton for the nose
  • Polyester filling for stuffing
  • Sharp pointed scissors for cutting
  • Narrow long nose pliers
  • Doll needle
  • Needles and pins
  • Leather or felt for the backing of the eyes ( optional )
  • Cardboard for template ( optional )
  • 12mm hooped glass eyes
  • Timber joints 30mm discs set ( I recommend the cotter pin as it is easier. )

Photo copy the pattern and cut the pieces out.  I recommend tracing the pattern on a piece of cardboard to preserve the template.

Please take notice: virtually all the pieces have REVERSE pieces.

Let’s get started!

Lay your fabric out on a flat surface with the pile going down and start laying your pieces on the fabric. When using a contrasting fabric for the ears you will need 2 fur ears and 2 Reverse contrast ears. Contrast foot pads will be traced on the alternate fabric.

Play around a little with the pieces to work out how to get the most of your fabric. Once satisfied, trace around your template onto the fabric, matching the arrows to the pile of the fur. When adding the markers, place the marker on the outside of the pattern, this will prevent movement of the template. Once you have traced a piece onto the fabric, put the markers on the inside of the pattern, this way the markers are there after you cut your pieces.

It’s important to take care when cutting the fabric. Only the back should be cut. If you rush through this stage, there is a greater chance that you will cut the fur.

Using sharp scissors, carefully cut the fabric. At this point, I would trim/shave the nose area on the head gusset.

If you have chosen fur for the inner ear and foot pads then I would do those too.


Pin the head sides pieces together from A to B – tucking the fur in as you go, this will make sewing easier. Then sew.

Now pin the head gusset in place A to B, sew one side of the head first from the nose down to the neck. Repeat for the other side, from nose to neck. Myself, I hand sew all my bears – sewing machines and I don’t get along very well. So, this part might be a little difficult for a novice, I would recommend a quick hand stitch around the nose area to keep the fabric in place, machine sew and then unpick your hand stitches. This will help to keep the face proportioned.

Turn head right side out and fill with stuffing. Loose fill for a toy or firm for a collectable – the choice is yours. Though as you are going to embroider a nose, a firmer fill in the nose area will make embroidering easier. Now using your upholstery cotton, sew a gathering stitch along the base of the neck opening. Pull the gathering threads without knotting, here you can test to see if your happy with the shape and the amount of filling in the head.

Timber joint

Slip the metal washer, then the timber disc onto the cotter pin. Put the head of the cotter pin and disc into the neck area, pull gathering stitch tightly close to the disc and knot very securely. You don’t want this knot to break or come loose, so I knot on one side of the pin, then the other side and repeat. Last thing you want is the head coming off. You should have most of the cotter pin sticking out. Put head aside for later.


Pin the body together, using markers and sew from A to B and C to D. The gap between A and D is only small, it needs only to be a little bit bigger than the cotter pin, enough for movement. Keep the body inside out for later.


Same as body. Pin together using markers, sew from A to B. Leaving a gap for joint and stuffing.


Pin together using markers. Sew from A to B and C to D.

Foot pads – pin A foot pad to A leg piece. Once again, I would recommend a quick slip stitch or hand stitch if possible, a foot pad is very visible when the fur is brush away. You want a neat finish.


You should have marked where the joints should go. You need to create a hole where the markers are. Preferably, you don’t want to cut the fabric, this is an area where movement will continuously occur, you don’t want to weaken the area. Using a skewing stick, gently push the point of the stick through the marker, leaving the threads in tack. Rotate the stick to enlarge the hole. Time to turn the piece right side out and insert your joint from inside the limb (this applies for both arms and legs). Once all the joints are in you can begin stuffing. Myself, I prefer to put a little filling in the area where the joints are first to ensure they don’t pop out. Finally ladder stitch the opening.


Pin together using the markers. If you’re a little worried about not getting the tips to meet perfectly, then I’d recommend sewing from B to A to B to A. Otherwise, if you’re confident, just sew from A to B to A. Turn right side out and stuff. Leave end open for now.


Ok, at this point you need to be very patient as this can be time consuming. You now need to separate the fur on the muzzle from the fur on the side of the head. Lie your head flat on the table with the nose pointing to the ceiling, gather the fur on the muzzle and brush it up away from the head fur, brush the head fur down. When looking from the top of the muzzle, you want to see a nice round circle. If it’s not quite round, use a skewing stick, large needle to shape the fur more accurately. As pictured below. Once happy with the shape, with shape scissors, trim the fur about 3mm wide between the face fur and muzzle. Next step is to trim the fur between points A and B, again around 3mm. Trim the area where the nose will be embroidered, you should be able to notice the rounding of the cheeks forming now. Turn the head around so you can trim where the mouth will be. Trim the same shape you made for the nose, this should give you your round shape for the cheeks.

First step is to cut those peaks off the cheeks and start trimming, with very small snips until you have those puffy round cheeks. The closer you get to what you desire, the finer the snips. The pattern piece may help you here.


The nose shape can be your choice, some people like the square nose while other enjoy the triangle. Looking at my photo, a triangle shape would be more suitable. If you’re a novice to embroidery, I would make a template, make it a smaller than you want and position it on you rabbit face and trace it on lightly. Myself, I like to embroider the outline of the nose and then start embroidering from the centre to the sides. I feel that starting from the centre gives you a guide line, so you can work side to side until you have the desired finish. Myself, when finishing off my noses I like to exit on the left corner of the nose, run a long stitch along the top of the embroidered nose as an outline and enter in the right corner nose. This will give a neat finish to the top of the nose. Now you have entered the right nose, exit at the bottom tip for the nose  and enter the needle into the seam about an inch down from nose and exit where you would like the mouth to end, then slide the needle under the embroidered stitch on the centre seam and enter the point the opposite side of the mouth. Using this technique you have a perfect finish in the middle and will make it easier for you to mirror the angle and length of the mouth. Now head back up to the closest corner of the nose, run a stitch under the nose and exit to the other corner of the nose, repeat and cut – this way the mouth won’t undo itself.


Using the template for the eye backing, trace on the fabric you want closest to the eye and cut out. Using the marking on the template, use the doll needle to pierce the marking to make a hole for the eye and push the eyes into their backing. Check to see if you like the positioning. You may like to have a larger backing, this will make the bear look younger and more feminine – if that is what you’d prefer, just make a slightly larger circle temple, make it into a tear drop and repeat instructions. If you’d like the second backing. Just trace the template to a contrast fabric and pierce the hole higher than the marker, this will give you a small outline on the outside of the eye.

Glass eyes

Time to get your upholstery cotton and cut a long piece. Thread one end into your hoop of your eye, repeat for the second eye. Using pins, preferably the ones with the coloured balls on the end, pin them into your bear to where you think you want your eyes. Do not position the in seam as this will weaken the area. Now check where you would like your ears to be positioned, once happy mark the spot with a pin. Using your use you doll needle with eye attached and enter your chosen position and exit on the opposite side of the head to where you marked your ear position. Remove one end of the thread from the needle and enter your needle in the same hole it just came out and exit 2mm left or right. This will separate the two threads making it possible to secure the eye with a tight knot.  Repeat for the other eye. Check that the eye positions are correct and level, also checking the backings are in the right position. With everything in the right place, slightly push the eye in, pull your threads and knot tightly. Rethread your doll needle with both threads, enter where the knot is and exit on the other side of the head and cut thread.


Nearly done!  Take your skewing stick and create holes for the legs and arms. While the skewing stick is in the fabric, grab a pencil and mark the spot on the fur side, this will make finding the hole easier. Don’t worry the arm and legs will hide the marks – turn the body right side out. The head is the first piece to get attached as it is in a difficult spot to reach when everything is attached. Have your discs, washers and pliers ready. Push the head cotter pin through the top body opening, slip the timber disc on then the washer. Using your pliers, separate the two prongs of the pin. Take the pliers and firmly grasp the prong and begin to loop down until it touches the timber disc- this needs to be tight. Now loop the second prong. Repeat for arms and legs. Time to stuff the body and ladder stitch the back.


Feeling the side of your head, you should feel two dents where your eyes were knotted. These are the positions you marked for your ears. Pin your ears on and using your upholstery cotton sew the ears in place. Be aware, this will get messy as when you pull the cotton, you’ll drag in the fur. Keep brushing the fur away from the area you are working in as it is quite hard and annoying trying to pull the fur out when the cotton has been pulled tightly. Once the ear is sewn on, knot securely, enter the needle into the side of the head and out the other side, cut thread.


Download Pattern

Now for the final touch, take your tail piece and sew a gathering stitch around the edging with a long piece of upholstery cotton. Tighten but do not knot. Take some filling a stuff the tail, when happy, pull the threads, make one thread long and the short, pull tight, secure. Thread the short cotton into the needle and simply enter one end to the other and cut. Thread the long piece of cotton to needle. Pin tail into position sew tail on securely and knot. Enter needle into bunny, exit and cut.

And as a finishing touch, dress him/her with a ribbon.

Thank you

Hervey Bay School Strike for Climate

By | Community, Environment | No Comments

You are never too small to make a difference

A group of Hervey Bay children and adults have become part of a global grassroots network calling for climate change action. On Friday, March 15, local families and other concerned members of the community joined an estimated 1.5 million young people in 125 countries calling for world leaders to move away from our fossil fuel dependency and transition to renewable energy.

The global strikes were inspired by 16-year-old Nobel Peace Prize nominee Greta Thunberg who has protested outside the Swedish parliament every Friday since August 2018.

At a local level, our school strikers have three demands for Australian political parties: stop the Adani coal mine in 2019, commit to no new coal and gas projects, and transition to 100% renewable energy by 2030.

Organiser of the Hervey Bay strike Charmaine Savage, who is not aligned with any political party or environmental group, said time was running out for politicians and parties to rise above their differences and listen to the climate scientists.

As an applied scientist with a career in environmental management spanning more than 26 years and a Masters in Climate Change Adaptation, Charmaine said she felt compelled to step up to help the children.

“I can’t look at this next generation of people and not do anything. Adults and politicians need to listen to our young people’s demands, otherwise we are leaving it to them to fix our mess,” Charmaine said.

“Modern young people have unlimited access to information and many are aware of the effect that the burning of fossil fuels, current agricultural practices and land clearing are having on our environment.”

A 2018 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change stated human activity had already caused 1°C of global warming. The IPCC’s team of climate scientists have outlined the climate impacts resulting from a 1.5°C increase and the significantly more severe impacts resulting from a 2°C increase. The IPCC believes at the current rate, and doing business as usual, the planet’s temperature will sail past the 1.5°C limit by around 2040.

“We are already experiencing the effects of global warming. In Australia, a 1.5°C increase will result in more extreme weather events, including heatwaves, droughts, bushfires and storms, plus rising sea levels. At this point, 80% of coral reefs will have disappeared.”  

In 2015, Australia joined almost 200 other countries to sign the historic Paris Agreement, making a commitment to keep global warming well below 2˚C above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit the increase to 1.5°C.

“The IPCC believes limiting warming to 1.5˚C is possible but this would require a global shift towards renewable energy sources. It’s an unprecedented challenge but it is possible if we take action now,” Charmaine said.

“It’s heartening to see the groundswell of support lead by community, but unfortunately we’re not seeing enough action from our government. Ten years ago we appeared to be moving towards renewable energy sources, but I thought we would have implemented more changes by now.”

Countries such as Sweden, Germany, Scotland, Costa Rica and Nicaragua are leading the way by embracing solar, wind and geothermal energy. Sweden is on track to achieve its goal of eliminating fossil fuels from electricity generation by 2040, while Costa Rica has produced 95% of its energy from renewable resources over the last four years.

“Obviously Australia is much larger than these countries and we would have to adapt differently, but we have our own unique geography – we just need our government to make a commitment to our environment,” Charmaine said.

“The young people who are taking part in the strikes have done their homework and are wondering why we aren’t limiting fossil fuel and moving over to renewable energy.”

Our young people are just getting warmed up – the 2nd Global Strike For Climate is scheduled for Friday, May 24, 2019. Community members of all ages are invited to attend.  Follow the School Strike 4 Climate Facebook page for more details.

Vox Pops – Why is this strike important to you?

“I want our planet to survive and be healthy.” Sam, 10

“I think it is important to let politicians know about climate change so we can change the future and make sure it doesn’t get worse.” Iluka, 9

“I am going to be a vet and I care about all creatures. We need to help the world’s creatures and also cut down on plastic use.” Tahlia, 9

“I care about animals and I want to help them.” Jemima, 9.

“I think it is ok to use plastic now and again but we need to be better people.” Dailigh, 12

“Plastic doesn’t break down and its around for a long time.  If it gets inside turtles they die.” Taliesin, 10