High School Sporting Achievers Shine in The Gap and Other Suburbs

The Gap State High School (SHS) is a fertile ground for exceptional sporting talent, with students achieving remarkable success across various disciplines. From gymnastics to athletics and volleyball, these young athletes are making their mark on national and international stages.

Kaley Croot: A Multifaceted Athletic Prodigy

Photo Credit: Gap State High School

Year 8 student Kaley Croot boasts an impressive array of athletic accomplishments. A consistent school athletics age champion from 2018 to 2023 and the 2023 Sportsperson of the Year, Croot has excelled in various track and field events. She has claimed first place in the 100m, 200m, and long jump while representing Met North in her age group. Croot secured second place in the 100m and 200m finals at the Queensland School Sport Track and Field State Championships last season.

She has also represented The Gap at the Little Athletics State Championships and Queensland at the National Track & Field Championships, showcasing her speed and agility. Croot’s sporting prowess extends beyond athletics. She has also demonstrated outstanding touch football skills, earning a spot on the Met Northside team that competed at the state championships.

Eli Pullen: Gymnastics Star on the Rise

Year 12 student Eli Pullen is a force to be reckoned with in artistic gymnastics. As a Junior International gymnast, Pullen secured first place at the regionals earlier this year, amassing four gold, one silver, and one bronze medal on individual apparatuses for the Boys Grammar Club. 

His achievements extend to the international arena, where he contributed to Australia’s fourth-place finish at the Austrian Future Cup and a triumphant first place at the Olympic Hopes Cup as part of the Junior Australian team.

Harvey Schutte, Nicoleta Kioupelis, and Caitlin Clarke: Volleyball Virtuosos

Photo Credit: Gap State High School

The Gap SHS also fosters a thriving volleyball programme, with three students participating. Year 12 student Harvey Schutte, a Queensland Academy of Sport Volleyball scholarship holder, has ascended to the Queensland beach team and the Australian Junior Indoor team, which recently toured Thailand. Schutte aspires to play for the Australian Senior Men’s indoor team and pursue volleyball opportunities overseas.

Photo Credit: Gap State High School

Year 8 talent Nicoleta Kioupelis, emerging from the QAS emerging talent programme, has made the Queensland beach volleyball and indoor state teams. Kioupelis acknowledges The Gap SHS’s instrumental role in nurturing her volleyball journey.

Photo Credit: Gap State High School

Caitlin Clarke, a Queensland beach representative and Australian Junior Indoor team member who represented Australia at the 15th Asian Women’s U18 Volleyball Championship in June, also credits The Gap SHS’s support for her success. She values the school’s volleyball community and aspires to compete for Australia at the 2032 Brisbane Olympics in Beach Volleyball.

The achievements of these remarkable students are evidence of Gap State High School’s commitment to fostering sporting excellence. As they continue to pursue their athletic passions, they inspire their peers and testify to the school’s dedication to providing a supportive environment for young athletes to flourish.

Published Date 19-July-2024

Major Ed Orszulak from Upper Kedron Begins Epic Trek for Camp Quality Fundraiser

Major Ed Orszulak from Upper Kedron is on an epic journey, demonstrating the resilience and determination required to support children battling cancer.

On 23 July 2024, Major Orszulak, alongside ACT Fire Rescue senior firefighter Sebastian Boehm, started walking in Brisbane and will aim to complete 2,720 kilometres over 70 days to reach Melbourne’s Federation Square. This ambitious expedition is part of Camp Quality’s annual Big Walk for Little Kids fundraising campaign.

Major Orszulak, a dedicated volunteer for Camp Quality for 11 years, views this challenge as minor compared to the struggles of children dealing with cancer. His inspiration came from a friend who spoke highly of Camp Quality’s positive impact on young lives. In 2016, he was part of a group that climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, raising $35,000 for the cause. This time, the goal is significantly higher at $250,000.

Logistical Planning and Support

Photo Credit: Australian Government Defence

The journey is meticulously planned. Major Orszulak and Boehm aim to cover 48 to 50 kilometres daily, including 13 rest days. Their route will rely on Army Reserve depots and accommodations offered by volunteers. A support crew, potentially including an Army Reserve cook and a medic from the 2nd Brigade, will accompany them to ensure their needs are met.

Physical Challenges and Preparation

Major Orszulak is determined to complete the trek despite recent surgical procedures, including a hip replacement and knee surgery. His surgeon is confident in his recovery, assuring him that his hip is stronger than ever. 

Major Orszulak acknowledges that his biggest personal challenge will be managing his physical condition, especially his feet. With the support of Injinji Performance Products, which provides high-quality toe socks, he hopes to mitigate potential foot problems.

Community and Family Support

The journey would not have been possible without the robust support of the chain of command at Headquarters 1st (Australian) Division and his family. Karen, the partner of Major Ed Orszulak, and his family will actively support him, increasing awareness through social media and joining him for parts of the trek. His son is also expected to participate during the final week of the journey.

Published Date 18-July-2024

Bureaucratic Delays Stifle Suburban Growth in Upper Kedron: The Unopened Bridge

Residents in a fast-growing housing estate in Upper Kedron are facing significant disruptions due to bureaucratic delays that have kept a brand-new bridge closed to the public for over six months.

Daily Inconveniences

The bridge, built by developer Cedar Woods Properties and dubbed by locals as the “Never Never Open Bridge,” was intended to provide a second entry and exit point for the estate, easing commutes and reducing travel time for local residents. The prolonged closure of the bridge, currently barricaded, has forced residents to take longer routes, increasing travel times and causing daily inconveniences. 

Local businesses are also feeling the pinch. The delayed bridge opening has meant less foot traffic and fewer customers for shops and services within the estate. Business owners are concerned that prolonged delays could lead to a decline in revenue and ultimately affect the viability of their operations. 

The community feels the absence of this critical infrastructure in their daily lives, and the economic repercussions are becoming more apparent.

Safety concerns are another issue arising from the delay. With only one entry and exit point, emergency response times could be affected, posing a risk to residents in emergencies. The blocked bridge also forces more traffic onto the existing routes, increasing the likelihood of accidents and congestion.

Timeline of Administrative Delays

October 2022

  • The Queensland Department of Resources provided pre-lodgement advice to relevant stakeholders, highlighting the requirement to submit an application to dedicate state land as a road.

November 2023

  • Cedar Woods Properties lodged an application with the Brisbane City Council to create a road reserve for the newly constructed bridge.

April 2024

  • The Department of Resources received the application from Brisbane City Council, despite regulations being highlighted two years prior.
  • Brisbane City Council completed the application to the Queensland Government for consent.

June 2024

  • Approval for the land transfer was received from the State Government.
  • Brisbane City Council insisted that all required documentation to open the bridge was supplied to the developer two years ago, but the developer only finalised it this year.
  • The Department of Resources expedited the application process and is now working with the Brisbane City Council to finalise it.

Expected Timeline

  • Registration and opening of the bridge are anticipated to take 4-6 weeks from June 2024, once the administrative processes are completed.

Proposed Solutions and Reforms

Comparing Upper Kedron’s situation to other suburbs facing similar issues provides insight into how such problems can be addressed. In other regions, streamlined processes and better communication between developers and government agencies have helped expedite approvals and reduce delays. 

Experts suggest several solutions to mitigate such delays in the future. These include:

Improved Coordination: Enhancing coordination between developers, local councils, and state governments to ensure all parties are aligned.

Streamlined Approval Processes: Simplifying and speeding up approval processes to prevent prolonged delays.

Transparent Communication: Keeping the community informed about the status of projects and any issues that arise to maintain trust and cooperation.

Accountability Measures: Implementing accountability measures to ensure that delays are promptly addressed and resolved.

The residents of Upper Kedron remain hopeful that the bureaucratic hurdles will soon be overcome, allowing them to fully enjoy the benefits of the new bridge and the improved connectivity it promises. 

Published 8-July-2024

The Gap Stalwart Joshua Pope Heads to Ireland for Under-17 Cricket Selections

Joshua Pope, a teenage cricket stalwart from The Gap, is set to compete in the upcoming Under-17 Provincial Championships in Belfast, Ireland. The young all-rounder, currently playing for Valley District Cricket Club, has been selected by Cricket Ireland for their Provincial Carnival—a selection competition—starting July 8.

Read: Honeybee Haven: Sweet Start to Community Building in The Quarry

Shane Warne connection and legacy

Pope’s journey is particularly noteworthy due to his connection with the late Shane Warne. Growing up in Blackrock, Melbourne, just two blocks away from the cricket legend, Pope, 14, developed a passion for spin bowling inspired by Warne’s iconic style. This influence has shaped Pope into a left-arm wrist spinner known for his aggressive shot-making.

Pope’s trip to Belfast carries additional significance as he will represent the Shane Warne Legacy. The organisation plans to conduct health checks for stadium spectators during the event, commemorating Warne’s game in Belfast 23 years ago.

This initiative aims to raise awareness about heart health, reflecting the legacy Warne’s family has created following his untimely passing.

Joshua Pope prepares for the selection

Before the championships, Pope plans to hone his skills by playing for Ampthill and Cople cricket clubs in the Bedfordshire County Cricket League. This competition has been a starting ground for several English cricket stars.

Nathan Hauritz, Pope’s mentor at Valley District Cricket Club and former Test spinner, expresses confidence in Pope’s skills and mental preparedness for the challenge ahead.

Read: Upper Kedron Residents and Minister Exasperated by Delays in Ellendale Bridge Opening

Pope’s eligibility to play for Ireland stems from his father’s Irish heritage. The young cricketer initiated this opportunity himself, inquiring about the possibility of representing Ireland. This chance arose after Pope narrowly missed the age cut-off for Queensland’s Taverners Under-17s representative competition.

Published 22-June-2024

Honeybee Haven: Sweet Start to Community Building in The Quarry

Frasers Property Australia’s $500 million master-planned community, The Quarry, in Keperra is creating a buzz with its first inhabitants – not homeowners, but honeybees. With The Quarry Bee Project, approximately 240,000 European bees have taken up residence in the development, marking an innovative approach to community building and environmental stewardship.

Read: The Quarry in Keperra Unveils ClubQ: A $5 Million Oasis for Residents

The Quarry Bee Project takes flight

The Keperra Quarry Bee Project, managed by urban beekeeping group Bee One Third, has installed eight European beehives at The Quarry. Jack Stone, Director of Bee One Third, explains, “These industrious bees are integral to the local ecosystem and venture up to 5 km from their hives at The Quarry, pollinating gardens, parks, forests, and supporting the blossoming Keperra community.”

The bees are expected to produce between 200-300 kg of honey annually, creating a unique local blend that reflects the area’s biodiversity. This initiative serves multiple purposes:

  1. Supporting local pollination
  2. Producing distinctively local honey
  3. Contributing to ecological health
  4. Enhancing community engagement
  5. Aiding in environmental monitoring

Community engagement and education

The Quarry - School Holiday Program 1
Photo Credit: Supplied

The Quarry is leveraging the bee project for community outreach. Recent school holiday programs have featured the bees, offering families educational activities such as beeswax candle crafting and watercolour painting. The honey produced is being donated to local schools for fundraising and to the nearby Keperra Sanctuary Aged Care facility.

The Quarry - School Holiday Program 2
Photo Credit: Supplied

Scott Ullman, General Manager Queensland Development at Frasers Property Australia, reports strong interest in The Quarry since its launch in Winter 2023. The first release of 29 lots has sold out, with subsequent releases also selling rapidly. When complete, The Quarry will feature approximately 500 residences and extensive amenities for residents.

Looking ahead

The Quarry
Photo Credit: Supplied

As the Keperra Quarry winds down its 60-year granite mining operation, the new development is set to transform the area. Located just 9.5 kilometres northwest of Brisbane’s CBD, The Quarry aims to become a vibrant community that balances modern living with environmental consciousness.

Read: Urban Transformation: A New Chapter for Keperra Quarry

The introduction of beehives as The Quarry’s first residents symbolises the development’s commitment to sustainability and community integration. As human residents prepare to move in, they can look forward to being part of a unique ecosystem where urban living and nature coexist harmoniously.

Published 22-June-2024

Upper Kedron Residents and Minister Exasperated by Delays in Ellendale Bridge Opening

Residents in Upper Kedron are outraged by a prolonged two-year delay in obtaining approval to open a new bridge in the rapidly growing Ellendale estate. 

Locals of the burgeoning northside community are currently compelled to take a 5-kilometre detour to visit relatives mere hundreds of meters away, due to the prolonged delay in securing a road reserve permit. 

One local shared that she has to take a long detour to visit her son-in-law who lives on the other side of the bridge. Max Crane, a spokesperson for the Ferny Grove & Upper Kedron Residents Association, criticized the project’s applications, which have led to inefficiencies and real-life consequences for residents.

The Brisbane City Council, however, attributes the delay to the developer, Cedar Woods Properties (CWP), for not submitting necessary plans and certifications promptly. CWP has responded by stating it expects the bridge to open within six to eight weeks following a fast-tracked approval process by the Department of Resources.

Ellendale Bridge
Photo Credit: BCC

The company also confirmed the recent opening of Levitt Rd and Minnie St, following upgrades linked to the bridge construction. The company emphasised that the Brockman Rd bridge serves as a secondary, not primary, access point to the estate, underscoring their commitment to safety by installing bollards to restrict access during the approval process. 

Agriculture Minister Mark Furner has echoed the frustration among the community members. He has openly criticized the Council for its sluggish response in applying for the necessary approvals. According to him, the delay could have been avoided had the Council acted more promptly. Despite the Council’s claim of persistent reminders to CWP, the essential application for road reserve was only lodged in late April 2024, long after the bridge’s construction was completed.

Meanwhile, a spokesperson from the Department of Resources acknowledged the application’s receipt and emphasised its priority status. As the administrative processes for registering the new roads and bridges near completion, CWP, in collaboration with the Council, is gearing up for the eventual bridge opening.

Published 17-June-2024

Australian Cancer Atlas Data: The Gap Among Queensland’s Best for Cancer Survival

Did you know that Australian cancer atlas data shows that The Gap ranks second among Queensland suburbs for the best 5-year cancer survival rates across all cancer types from 2010 to 2019?

Read: Why Residents Hardly Leave The Gap & Other Brisbane Suburbs

According to startling new data from the Australian Cancer Atlas, The Gap, along with other affluent suburbs such as St Lucia and Brookfield, shows significantly higher cancer survival rates compared to Queenslanders living in Indigenous communities.

Photo credit: atlas.cancer.org.au

The suburb boasts a 40% cancer survival rate, just behind St Lucia, which leads with a 48% survival rate. This means residents of The Gap have a 40% better chance of surviving cancer compared to the national average.

The Role of Socioeconomic Factors

Whilst these figures highlight pockets of exceptional survival rates, they also underscore the stark disparities in cancer outcomes across Queensland.

The Australian Cancer Atlas data shows that in some regions, people are nearly 60% more likely than the average Australian to be diagnosed with cancer. Unfortunately, the research indicates that the inequalities faced by Australians in regional and remote areas have not improved over time.

Photo credit: Thirdman/Pexels

Several factors contribute to these disparities, including the behaviours of people living in these areas and the availability and access to health services. Wealthy suburbs like The Gap benefit from better healthcare infrastructure, more accessible services, and possibly healthier lifestyles, which collectively enhance survival rates.

Source of the Data

The data for these findings comes from the Australian Cancer Database, which includes all primary invasive cancer cases (excluding basal and squamous cell carcinoma of the skin) reported to cancer registries across Australia. Notifications to this database come from various sources, including hospitals, pathology laboratories, general practitioners, cancer screening registers, and nursing homes in some states and territories.

A Tool for Future Research

The world-leading Australian Cancer Atlas, developed through a collaboration between Cancer Council Queensland and the Queensland University of Technology, is a crucial tool for researchers. It will be instrumental in understanding why diagnosis and survivability rates vary so dramatically across different areas.

Read: The Gap Gets First Downsizer Housing Project with Nature’s Edge

The insights from the Atlas are not just numbers; they represent lives and highlight the critical need for targeted health policies and improved healthcare access to bridge the survival gap between affluent suburbs and disadvantaged communities. As The Gap exemplifies high survival rates, it also serves as a reminder of the work needed to ensure that every Australian has the same fighting chance against cancer.

Published 13-June-2024

Free Family Fun at The Quarry’s Winter School Holiday Program

Looking for something fun to do with the kids these winter school holidays? Mark your calendars for Sunday, June 30th as The Quarry in Keperra is hosting a free Winter School Holiday Program from 9am to 12pm that is open to families across Brisbane.

The event will take place at The Quarry Sales & Display Centre at 1004 Samford Road, Keperra. Frasers Property, the developers behind The Quarry master planned community, are inviting children and their parents to enjoy a morning packed with activities and entertainment.

Kids will have the chance to get their hands dirty with some flower planting, try their skills at being “little builders”, get their faces painted, and burn off some energy with lawn games. Each child will get to take home their very own miniature house creation and flowers they planted.

Photo Credit: Supplied

Children will be given a fun experience learning about woodworking, caring for the environment, and how The Quarry is transforming this former granite quarry site into a fantastic new residential neighbourhood.

Photo Credit: Humanitix

The little ones will be treated to sandwiches and juice, while the parents can enjoy complimentary barista-made coffee and gourmet wraps throughout the morning’s festivities.

Spots are limited, so families are encouraged to RSVP by June 21st to secure their attendance for the free Winter School Holiday Program.

With such an exciting lineup of free, family-friendly activities, this promises to be one school holiday event you won’t want to miss out on!

Published 10-June-2024

Ferny Grove Markets Shutter Again, Community Heartbroken

The Ferny Grove Markets have closed their stalls for the second time since their establishment in 1963, leaving residents and stallholders disheartened.

Ferny Grove Markets
Photo Credit: Screengrab from Google Map

The markets, once a bustling hub held every Sunday at the Ferny Grove train station car park, had recently relocated to the Brisbane Tramway Museum following a hiatus and redevelopment at the original site. The revived markets, held on the first Saturday of each month, offered a diverse range of goods and served as a cherished gathering place for the community.

However, after a brief revival, the markets closed on the 1st of June 2024.

Colin Smith, the president of the market’s organising committee for four decades, cited a combination of factors leading to the closure, including the aging committee’s difficulty with early morning set-up, increased rent at the Tramway Museum, and logistical challenges with accessing the museum grounds early in the morning.

Photo Credit: Screengrab from Google Map

The Ferny Grove community is mourning the loss of the markets, with many people expressing their sadness over the loss of a weekly gathering place where friends and neighbors could interact.

Residents like John Goodship emphasised the markets’ role as a social hub, while Rosalie Matthews lamented the loss of the revived market experience.

Photo Credit: Screengrab from Google Map

Despite the setback, Mr Smith remains determined to find a new location for the markets, vowing to continue the search for a suitable home where the Ferny Grove Markets can once again thrive and bring the community together.

Published Date 04-June-2024

Petition Calls for Logan-Style Verge Parking in Brisbane’s Narrow Streets

As Brisbane’s population growth outpaces infrastructure development, a local resident from Upper Kedron has launched a petition seeking to adopt parking regulations similar to those in Logan, which allows verge parking. The aim is to alleviate the mounting parking woes plaguing the city’s narrow residential streets.

Read: New Parking Garage Opening at Ferny Grove Station, But Traffic Flow Will Be Altered

With more residents per household due to the housing crisis, the competition for on-street parking has intensified, creating safety hazards and equity concerns. The resident who started the e-petition stated that the prevalent zigzag parking pattern obstructs traffic flow and poses severe risks for emergency vehicles attempting to navigate these tight corridors.

“The current parking restrictions on streets narrower than 6 metres severely limit access for emergency vehicles, potentially delaying critical responses,” the resident explained. “Additionally, with vehicles parked along curbs, the remaining road space becomes insufficient for safe two-way traffic flow, creating a hazard for all road users.”

Photo credit: Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner/Facebook

Beyond the safety implications, the resident highlights how the existing parking constraints disproportionately impact women, forcing them to park further from their homes and increasing their exposure to potential risks, particularly during late hours.

To address these challenges, the petition proposes amendments akin to Logan City Council’s approach: allowing partial or full parking on residential verges, provided that specific conditions are met. 

These include maintaining a clear 1.2-meter footpath for pedestrians and mobility access, ensuring access to mailboxes, utility covers, and fire hydrants, and requiring parallel parking in the direction of traffic flow adjacent to the kerb.

Canvey Rd, Upper Kedron (Photo credit: Google Street View)

The resident further notes that Brisbane has been fining residents for verge parking, a practice permitted in Logan, exacerbating the financial strain during the ongoing cost-of-living crisis.

In Brisbane, it is prohibited to park your vehicle on footpaths, footways, or verges (the strip of grass between the footpath and the road). This restriction extends to residential driveways where they cross over footpaths, footways, and verges.

Some drivers resort to parking on the footpath in an attempt to create space for other vehicles to pass by on the road. However, this practice is illegal, and offending motorists may receive a warning or be issued a fine by authorities.

In Logan, a motorist can park their vehicle partially or fully on verge or a nature strip if there is no other safe option, provided certain conditions are met. They can do so if the road is narrow, less than 6 metres wide and they do not block the footpath and leave a minimum gap of 1.2 metres to allow pedestrian or mobility access. 

Other conditions include not blocking access to a mailbox or park over utility covers or fire hydrants and that vehicles must be parallel parked when on the nature strip, facing the same direction as traffic flow, directly adjacent to the vehicle.

Read: The Gap Property Market Shows Steady Growth, Consistent Demand

So far, the e-petition has garnered 149 signatures from concerned residents, with the deadline for signing set for 10 August 2024. As the debate over parking solutions intensifies, the call for change underscores the need for a balanced approach that prioritises safety, accessibility, and equity for all residents.

Published 23-May-2024