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Lisa Allan

Remembering Our Anzacs

By | Community, Local Life | No Comments
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.


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: 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.

Aloe Vera

By | Health | No Comments


Over 250 species of aloe exist on earth. Aloes are very low maintenance succulents. The most cultivated species is the Aloe Vera Barbadensis in North Africa. Preceding 1700BC, the Ancient Egyptians discovered the many health benefits of this plant. They used it in creams, encouraging anti-aging through cell regeneration, and discovered the anti-viral properties and cleansing aspects of the aloe. They called it the “Plant of Immortality” for this very reason.


The features of the aloe vera plant are the clear gel, resin, aloin, and latex (the underside of the skin). It also consists of 96% water and many vitamins, such as B12 and C, and minerals such as potassium, iodine, zinc, and manganese. Aloe vera consists of amino acids, which are beneficial when applied topically (on the skin), as it is an anti-inflammatory, and relieves muscle and tendon pain.


Aloes are not to be ingested as a whole. Commercially-sold aloe vera is the best to ingest, as it does not contain latex, the yellow substance found just underneath the skin. The latex causes a laxative affect and should only be applied topically.


Like other succulents, aloes grow best when planted in cactus potted soil mix or regular potting soil with additional perlite sand. Each spring, fertilise the plant with phosphorus-heavy, water-based fertiliser. For indoor aloes, place near south or west-facing windows for proper lighting. Dry conditions are ideal for aloes, so water once the soil is completely dry and have drainage holes to allow water to move through – this prevents standing water from drowning the plant.


The larger aloes need to be repotted, and baby plants (offshoots from the mother plant) need to be repotted separately. This reduces the droopiness of the mother plant and allows smaller plants to have adequate room to grow. When removing the small aloes, pull by the main root mass. If the roots are tough, use a knife to cut them. Leave plants that have been divided separate overnight in a warm, dry place to help recover any root damage, then replant them.

Dignity First

By | Community | No Comments

Helping unemployed and homeless youth

What is Dignity first? Dignity First is a funding that supports projects and services helping people experiencing homelessness to live with Dignity. Since 2016 more than 50 projects have been funded. The Dignity first fund aims to prevent and reduce homelessness and assist people experiencing homelessness to live with Dignity.

The Queensland Government established the Dignity First Fund in 2016. Each year a total of $2.5 million is allocated across multiple approved applications. There were 24 applications in 2016 and 29 in 2017 and in 2018 a total of $2.5 million was allocated across 42 approved applications.

The Hervey Bay Neighbourhood centre received a funding to the Wandering Tea Pot social enterprise café and to upgrade the comfort kitchen located in the Hervey bay Neighbourhood centre that provides free meals to people experiencing homelessness in Hervey Bay. The funding will also be used to provide trainees to work in the new local magazine (The Beacon) and to purchase tea bagging machine. The funds main aim is to recruit and train young people in WHS and food safety, sales and ongoing marketing of the Wandering Teapot Black Tea with the intent for them to become self-reliant and able to afford their own housing.

Dignity First has help me get a part time job (cert 3 in Business) with the Hervey Bay Neighbourhood Centre working within the Reconnect Centre. I am now able to work 4 days a week with The Beacon making and writing stories for a magazine. I am so grateful to be given this opportunity and be able to work with amazing people.

Dignity First also helped a young lady, Lisa, who is also been hired in a part time position because of dignity first fund. Lisa was unemployed before the Dignity first program and not only assisted her financially but also help her establish new bonds with the other staff members. Lisa likes that she is able to write her own article and go out side of work and get her own stories. She enjoys interviewing other people and finding out interesting facts that relate to local community. Without Dignity First, Lisa says she would still be unemployed and with no real opportunities and no reliable income.

$2 million in a one-off funding was available across 3 categories.

The first one was starting up fundings for social enterprise with real world ideas to help maximise social effect through real world ideas and solutions helping those most in need.

The second one is innovation funding for organisations already servicing those in need but need to expand and develop projects that provide dignity to people who are homeless.

And lastly a small capital grant for existing organisations to upgrade their facilities allowing them to  develop means  to reduces the impact of homelessness in our community.

First Nations Cultural Tour

By | Community | No Comments

In the first month of 2019 Bill and Judith Speedy hosted the First Nations Culture Tour

Bill runs Outback Pride, selling items on behalf of eight local indigenous artists and providing opportunities for small businesses to grow.

The purpose of the tour was to inform and entertain, and to teach the importance of appreciating the history and culture of the traditional owners of the land. Bill taught how to respect one another, for example by using hand gestures rather than eye contact to communicate with Elders.

Out of the 24 million people in Australia, less than 800,000 are from the First Nation, and only 10% still speak their original language. There are over 250 groups and over 500 dialects. The Butchulla people are the traditional owners of K’Gari (Fraser Island), the Great Sandy Region.

The three common Butchulla lores (laws):

  • What is good for the land comes first
  • You must not take what does not belong to you
  • If you have plenty, you must share

We took a stroll around the Cultural Centre and Bill introduced us to the local plants and explained how local plants could be safe to eat. He said nothing native was poisonous, only plants and animals which have been imported. All native Australian plants require a bushfire in order to break open the nuts and seeds to reproduce.

The Djaga, also known as “grasstree”, only comes out after rain and was a very useful food source for the First Nation people. Another nut that comes out seasonally is the Boab nut. It contains a soft, whitish, powdery substance which the Elders of the community would solely consume for four to six days to clean and heal the gut of toxins. It is similar to sherbet and has a light lemony flavour, but is bland, not sour.

Wattle is another excellent plant which increases healing for abrasions. And eucalyptus, also known as the gumleaf, is an antiseptic and can be used to clean hands before eating, which is exactly what we did before trying the delicious bush food and drink.

Pigweed, one of the local succulent plants, has a toxicity which can irritate the skin, so it should be tested on the lips before consuming. When it is in bloom the First Nation people knew when to catch a certain fish. They also knew that when the Southern Cross is faced on its side that would be the time they would search for emu eggs. Emus lay large blue eggs weighing approximately one kilogram. Emus have been hunted for their oil, meat, eggs, feathers and skin. Their skin is worth around $300, which is sent to Asia to be tanned and exported to France and turned into garments, selling around $5,000. Their feathers are unique from any other bird’s feather, as each split into two feathers.

The emus have an interesting ritual for caring for the eggs. It takes two days for the mother to lay each egg. During this time, the male hunts for food. He then rounds up all the eggs and rotates them every two to three days. The female deserts him to find food and the male stays to protect the chicks from predators. This is the time to stay clear as the male has he is agitated from spending almost a month and a half on the eggs without food or water.

We had a session inside where Bill demonstrated how to play the didgeridoo, which in the First Nation’s language is the yidaki. It is usually played with clapsticks, also known as river sticks. It originated from the north Australia. It took five days to make the yidaki. Termites eat out the inside of the wood, which is then cleaned out with hot coals and sanded back to a smooth finish. When playing, a special technique is required to regulate breathing and producing those unique sounds takes many hours of practice.

Everyone works as a team to survive in the outback. In the past indigenous women used a wooden coolamon which balanced on the head and used as a shopping basket to hold food like berries and leaves. At first, it is quite difficult to maintain balance, as it was discovered by some of the tourists who attempted to wear it. The First Nation men hunted using one of the most well-known indigenous weapons, the boomerang. The large boomerang was for hunting and the smaller used for defence. Occasionally indigenous instructors teach the kids from their local schools how to use them. It helps improve hand-eye coordination. Although it can be dangerous, it is a lot of fun.

Along with scavenging and hunting, the First Nation people would enjoy the arts. They used pure oils from the fat of the animals which they hunted to preserve their artistic work with rock oaka painting. Dance was also form of artistic expression. At the tour, everyone participated in the dances. The men performed the kangaroo, goanna, and lizard, while the women did the emu and brolga.

The family-friendly First Nations Culture Tour is a great way to learn more about the First Nations Peoples tradition.  Tours take place at the Fraser Coast Cultural Centre – call 4197 4206 to make a booking.

Food ‘n’ Groove

By | Community | No Comments

Food ’n’ Groove Fridays is officially a hit in Hervey Bay. The celebration of our best local musicians combined with flavours from our region’s most popular food stalls and a licensed bar has proven to be just what the Hervey Bay community ordered.  

The event, which started out as a weekly celebration during the summer school holidays, takes place on the first Friday of each month.  The family-focussed celebration is also home to market stalls, jumping castles, laser tag and children’s rides. Each month, different bands or individual artist take to the stage, including popular local acts Soul City, Dogwood Crossing, Red Betty and Dicky Switch.

Food ‘n’ Groove Fridays is coordinated by the Hervey Bay Neighbourhood Centre and assisted by Wide Bay Sound. Check out the Food ‘n’ Groove Fridays Facebook page for details of the next event.