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.

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.”

Dial A Driver – A story of Irony

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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

Steampunk makes a home on the Fraser Coast

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If you haven’t heard the term ‘steampunk’ before, or not sure what it means, don’t worry – you’re not alone.

If you have seen Hugh Jackman’s ‘The Greatest Showman’ or one of the recent Sherlock Holmes movies you would understand the style of dress. Edwardian costumes with plenty of gadgets and imagination thrown in for good measure.

And if you’ve caught yourself thinking, “That jacket’s awesome!” or “I’d love an excuse to wear that dress,” then you could soon be in for a treat.

Steampunk Persona is a new business which aims to satisfy those looking for a style that is a bit out of the ordinary, and in some cases, straight out of the movies.

Operating out of the Wandering Teapot at Stockland Hervey Bay, it’s a social enterprise that provides period and steampunk clothes and accessories, often seen these days in blockbuster Hollywood movies and pop videos.

But it’s a style that is all about imagination, quirkiness and fun! Sometimes it’s nice to ask: “What if?” In this case, what if I could wear that Edwardian Jacket with my latest edition phone and still get away with it?

Well now you can, according to Steampunk Persona’s owner and operator Maggie John.

Huge steampunk events are held around the world attracting many people keen to show off their costumes and fantastical creations. One such event is the Goth/Steampunk Picnic in the Park in Germany which attracted about 20,000 visitors last year from as far away as Argentina, Australia, Peru and Japan.

Maggie said the Fraser Coast was an undiscovered treasure for steampunk enthusiasts with the potential to host similar large-scale events.

“Queens Park in Maryborough is the perfect location for a steampunk event. This park has a Victorian-era bandstand, a model steam railway and even the Mary Ann, a full-size replica steam train which carries passengers through the park.

“The displays are fabulous, visually stunning and well crafted. We’re about to get even more of them with the Mary Poppins Festival fast approaching and new displays opening soon in Maryborough.”

Maggie said fabulous venues like Maryborough’s Bond Store and Hervey Bay’s Historical Village provided great photo opportunities for steampunk enthusiasts.

“For Dr Who buffs there’s even a time machine at the Bond Store! An imaginative interactive display sure to spark the interest of even the most casual observer.

“A fun way to learn about history is to adopt a steampunk persona. Become a fictional character and learn more about the history and environment surrounding that person.

“As a region, we work very hard to promote our history. Fashion has a way of turning full circle, so with all our history and story trails we believe the Fraser Coast is set to become one of the coolest and most fun places in Australia.”

Our coal mining and engineering history, paired with local events and existing promotions such as the time cannon costumes, the Mary Poppins festival, the Historical Village and the Heritage Markets make this region the perfect home for steampunk in Australia.

Visit us at Community3 Stockland Hervey Bay or contact us via the Steampunk Persona FaceBook page.

HATCH Design and Creative

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HATCH Design and Creative Store is a delightful shop found in a most scenic part of Hervey Bay, at 1 Pier St Urangan. HATCH gift store was the brainchild of its creator and owner Nathalie Albouze and sells the most wonderful and unique “local creations amongst others”. With Nathalie’s background being in the field of graphic art, the shop highlights not only the owners own creative flare with the fantastic and colourful displays of the goods sold, it also is quite apparent in her selection of excellent local artistry.

Nathalie came up with the idea for her shop and after 12 months of preparation, found a location, a few weeks of renovating and opened the doors in August 2018. Nathalie identified that there was a need to help local artists in all fields and handcrafts to find an effective way to market their creations in a professional retail forum. The shop provides shelf space at reasonable rates with Nathalie using her experience in retail and marketing, to promote these products using her expertise.

I must admit the shop is a delight to walk around and browse. The range of crafts range from paintings to jewellery with so much to see you will not be disappointed. The store even boasts a terrific skincare range made here in Hervey Bay, and is all natural and quite luxurious. Nathalie is always up for a chat and with excellent coffee facilities on hand, one could make themselves quite at home while they decided which gifts most took their fancy.

I needed to circle the shop several times and each time I found something that I had missed in my previous round. The store is a credit to its owner and the artists whose work fills it.

If you are looking for that unique and special gift at reasonable prices and love things that are handmade HATCH Design and Creative Store is definitely the shop for you.

Drop in and give Nathalie a visit, her wonderful shop will definitely not disappoint.

Shop address: 1 Pier St, Urangan, Hervey Bay
Visit their Facebook page:

Tres Salsa

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Jemima fell in love with hospitality when she was just 14 years old and has been working in the industry for 15 years. She always knew hospitality was her passion and dreamed of opening a café in Hervey Bay but quickly realised that it was a market that had already been cracked. She spent the last few years saving away on minimum wage to make her dream into a reality.

It was while she was in London refurbishing and managing a café turned Mexican restaurant tequila bar that she fell in love with the food, people and culture. She decided to save up and travel to Mexico.  Staying in Mexico for two months and loving every second of it. Eating, drinking and researching as much as she could, soaking up all of the Mexican culture.

When she returned to Hervey Bay she realised that a traditional Mexican cantina is just what the region was missing. While there are already a few Mexican restaurants Jemima says they are the same cuisine but slightly different. Jemima wanted to create a restaurant that provided locals with affordable but good quality Mexican meals with great local produce. Tres Salsas opened its doors on the 13th of December and has been doing well ever since, serving happy locals and visitors to the region.

Tres Salsas delivers simple, delicious and healthy Mexican meals for the whole family in a great atmosphere right on the esplanade. The salsas all made from scratch in house and the meats are all marinated on site. Jemima created the menu from her time in Mexico and collaborated with a Mexican friend to ensure it had that traditional twist. Portions of food are generous and simply delicious!

Tres Salsas offers different levels of heat for all customer preferences – they understand that everyone has different levels of spice tolerance. They range from full of flavour but totally safe, to let’s go a little touch of heat, ending with a blow your mind and taste buds sensational heat. What a wonderful solution to adding just the perfect touch to enjoying your meal just the way you like!

Tres salsas is open 7 nights for dinner and Thursday through to Sunday for lunch from 11am. They welcome you to pop in and immerse yourself in the passion.

Address: 13/416 The Esplanade, Torquay Hervey Bay
Phone no: 07 4125 6237