Alive Magazine - Edition 30 - January 2023

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JANUARY 2023 EDITION #30 Magazine WIDE BAY alive 01 Alive Magazine Wide Bay | www.alivemag.com.au ALIVE& FREE HITTING ALL THE RIGHT NOTES Meg’s musical language Full story on pages 04-07 A life of entertaining Theatre volunteer in the spotlight Full story on pages 11-13 ONLINE MAGAZINE - WWW.ALIVEMAG.COM.AU FOLLOW US @ALIVEMAGWIDEBAY 100% LOCALLY OWNED & OPERATED
Art Edition
Cover photo by Michael Carrello
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Photo by Michael Carrello

intention and in turn create an emotion experience for the audience.

I understand further the selfless embodiment of music that makes Meg so inspiring when she talks about the irrelevance of what the performance is, it all matters the same.

From performing as the orchestral lead to a full house, to playing a small cafe, to teaching kids, the music is the real hero of the story in her eyes.

“Where do you see yourself in 10 years?” My question created a deep pause for reflection. Her answer showed me it’s not something she thinks about often.

It wasn’t fame, it wasn’t fortune. It wasn’t personal recognition, sold out tours or platinum albums. Her answer was much more humble and in my opinion, beautiful. She just wants to “keep getting better at whatever I can get better at”.

I loved that her intentions are to understand and honour the music itself as much as possible. To me, this is the purist form of being an artist, which Meg Burstow undeniably is.

To learn more about Meg, to book her, or explore her body of work, head to www.megburstow.com.

“The three basic material rights – continuity, mutual obligation, and the pursuit of happiness.”
Esplanade, Hervey Bay | 1300 636 212 | www.milburns.com.au 07 Alive Magazine Wide Bay | www.alivemag.com.au
- David Brin, Tomorrow Happens
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FUTURE PROOFING THE PERFORMING ARTS

The saying one man’s loss is another man’s gain rings true for one Hervey Bay dance teacher, principal and director. Except, the gain is now taken by up to 26 teenagers who can attend the Hervey Bay Performing Arts College each year.

Jonathon Heeley, 30, has lived and breathed performing arts for as long as he can remember but sadly, due to living in reginal Queensland, missed an opportunity to attend a dance high school in Sydney where the road to fulfilling big dreams as a professional dancer could have been realised a lot sooner.

Instead, hard work and perseverance led to tap dancing professionally for Raw Dance Company in Brisbane many years later.

Jonathon met many influencers and inspirers while performing around Australia including some Sydneybased friends who had started their own Performing Arts College.

It incorporated a focus on intensive dance programs as well as high school studies for students in Year 6 to 12.

It was then that Jonathan made big plans to bring the same opportunity to performing arts students in Queensland.

Jono, as he is affectionately known to his students, purchased Hervey Bay Dance School on Thomas St in Pialba in 2015 and by 2017 had transformed it into the Hervey Bay Performing Arts College.

In collaboration with Cairns School of Distance Education, Jono said the staff of seven teachers strive to provide students with the best possible alternate Grade 6 and High School experience.

“I wanted to give this opportunity to regional Queensland, so I gave it a hot go to see if there was any interest,” Jono said.

“There was nothing like this around. The closest schools at the time was Gold Coast and then Sydney.

“We started with three kids in 2017 and now have 17.

“They never would have had this opportunity otherwise.

“The parents love that the kids can still be passionate about performing arts while still getting their education.

“They love what we do and wouldn’t want them anywhere else.”

At 24-years-old, Jono won the Cultural Award on Australia Day from the Fraser Coast Regional Council for his contribution to the development of dance in the region.

The top of the Thomas Street building has been transformed into a learning hub with individual study nooks.

The lower floor is where all the action happens while training in performing arts, drama, dance, singing, tap production, choreography and fitness.

“Normally, depending on the days, the students will go for two days where they do full schoolwork and the other days, they will do half days academic and half days performing arts,” Jono said.

“We have a really versatile program.”

The students are also well versed in travel having been to competitions in Brisbane, Gold Coast and taking out national and state championships around Australia.

In 2019, a team of nine students competed in the Australian All Star Cheer Foundation WinterFest on the Gold Coast where they placed first in the senior lyrical/ contemporary section as well as second in the senior hip hop.

They also placed second overall in Queensland for Senior Lyrical and won the bid to attend the exclusive Australasian Cheer and Dance Pinnacle in Melbourne.

They entered the Maryborough Eisteddfod for the first time a month later and the school’s team won the majority of dance sections for Years 10-12.

The girls, aged 12 to 17, finished top of the podium for jazz and contemporary, also claiming highly commended for a second performance in the same contemporary section.

They have also performed for appreciative audiences locally at the Brolga theatre many times.

The college’s latest greatest achievement, Jono said, was 11 of the students being chosen to compete in the Varsity Summit Dance Championships in Orland, USA, this year.

“The students will be in a junior division world competition where they will compete for Australia against other countries.

“They will be competing in hip hop and lyrical routines in Los Angeles as well.

“It’s set to be a really fun trip with two weeks staying at Disney World in Orlando.”

It’s this kind of opportunity that the talented dance students would never get if they were in mainstream education, Jono said.

“We travel a lot of with the kids; we go to Sydney every year to other high schools, Gold Coast and Melbourne.

“They get experiences they may never would have had otherwise.”

Jono is proud of what has been achieved in the past five years.

“The college helps the kids do what they really want to do and we provide an environment where the feel supported and nurtured.

“We just want them to keep working towards what their vision is and achieve their dreams.

“That is my biggest hope for all my students.”

Parents who would like to find out more can visit the HBPAC website at www.hbperformingarts.com.

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11 Alive Magazine Wide Bay | www.alivemag.com.au COMMUNITY CONNECTION

It was nine years ago that Trish Milne become part of the Brolga Theatre volunteer family and what an incredible journey it has been.

The 75-year-old Maryborough resident is more than at home working in and around the stage, props, the Box Office and auditorium getting to see some of the best performers in the world.

It has been very much part of her life since retiring.

Trish’s first time in the spotlight was as baby Jesus alongside her family in a Christmas performance at their local church in Manchester, and there’s been many, many other performances over the years.

“I remember the Christmases; the fetes, fairs, concerts and performing ‘I saw Mummy kissing Santa Claus,” Trish said with a laugh.

Trish’s faith has played a big part in her life’s journey which led her to become a Chaplain at St Stephen’s Hospital and Maryborough Correctional Centre

However, between work, raising two children and being a long-time volunteer for Nursing Mothers, Schools P&C Assoc and Joey Scouts, all roads have always led back to the performing arts.

Whether that has been poetry and performances with the Maryborough Choral Society or reciting her grandfather’s monologues at church events, the stage is where Trish feels alive.

Since becoming a volunteer at the Brolga Theatre, she has appeared in countless productions (playing the role of the ageing PL Travers at Mary Poppins Festivals and Story Bank), Anzac Day, Under the Banyan Tree (literally in Queen’s Park), Witches Abroad, Wind

in the Willows, My Fair Lady and a cameo role in Mary Poppins the Musical.

“I just love being on stage,” Trish said.

“However, the performing arts is about much more than getting out there having fun and entertaining!

“It’s there to tell somebody’s aspect of a truth or a view, imagination in a story that’s going to educate, inspire or thrill.

“Some of the performers who come to the Brolga would have their audience dancing on the stairs if they were allowed to… such is the energy created or the memories recalled.

“Other times you can hear a pin drop. It’s wonderful.”

After making the move to the Heritage City in 1986, Trish was very dismayed by the lack of equipment and resources for the performing arts sector.

“When I came in ’86, I saw a few performances in the Town Hall and coming from Newcastle upon Tyne Theatre roots, the facilities were so woefully inadequate.

“But knowing that Maryborough needed something, in 1999 there was talk of the Brolga being built and the response of the community was amazing!

“So, they put their money where their mouth was and built this amazing place.”

The magnificent Brolga Theatre opened its doors to a new world and new level of entertainment in 2000.

“Now we have this wonderful state-of-the-art regional facility.”

Trish recalls many wonderful performances since

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then; Comedians, Pop and Country, Opera and Ballet, Tribute Bands and sell outs for Celtic Thunder, The Ten Tenors, Guy Sebastian, Petula Clark, Bluey and the Wiggles.

However, one of the most memorable events was the world premiere screening of Saving Mr Banks.

“With the permission of Disney and PL Travers Trust (through the work of the Proud Marys), the screening was quite a scoop!”

The Brolga Theatre is now the premier entertainment and conference venue on the Fraser Coast and the volunteers play an important and integral role in offering the best possible experiences for performers and guests.

The theatre plays host to everything from national and international performers to community theatre groups, many school functions, awards, talent shows, eisteddfods, conferences, meetings, expos and even funerals and weddings.

Trish is one of about 70 volunteers who work as Door Keepers or Ushers, welcoming and assisting guests as Foyer Attendants, working as Coffee Bar or Liquor Bar Servers or assisting in the Box Office with ticket sales and administrative activities.

The volunteers collectively gave almost 6000 hours last year.

Trish can spend anywhere from 12 to 15 hours a week covering any one of these roles and was even delightedly charged with conducting backstage theatre tours.

All new volunteers are inducted and orientated by Brolga Theatre staff and initially paired with experienced volunteer in a buddy system to ensure they become confident and competent in their roles.

Trish said the Brolga team are her second family.

“Everyone here is just so warm and welcoming, and everyone wants you to feel comfortable in your role and appreciated.

“You can volunteer when it suits you; during the day, evening or weekends and you can always so ‘no’ so

you can keep a good volunteer-family life balance.

“Like many Organisations the Brolga couldn’t afford to run as effectively and efficiently as it does without its volunteers.

“They need at least 15 people for most performances. An enterprise like this needs volunteers and volunteers need to be needed; and isn’t that lovely match.”

Another key part to Trish’s volunteer role was being on the committee of Friends of the Brolga, charged with helping to raise funds for equipment and special projects.

There’s been many Melbourne Cup Day fundraisers, raffles, recycling cans and bottles and collection of annual membership fees to pay for various pieces of vital theatre equipment.

Some of the biggest purchases have been a grand piano, electronic frontage signage, stage dance matting and digital drums.

During Covid another one of those items purchased was a live streaming outfit used by the schools at their talent shows.

“The Friends bought the equipment during Covid so that the students could still perform on stage, being Covid safe without an audience.

“It was streamed to parents and other performances were also screened to aged care facilities.

“There is always a huge sense of community here at the Brolga.”

A visit to the Brolga Theatre is a must this year with plenty of incredible shows already set to entertain including the Crucible – NT Live, Anh Do -The Happiest Refuge Live, Leaving Jackson: (The Johnny Cash and June Carter Show), and so much more.

Visit brolga.ourfrasercoast.com.au to find out more.

If you would like more information about becoming a Friend of the Brolga or a volunteer, please contact the Box Office Admin on 41226050 or ask for their info pack.

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IN HARMONY WITH NATURE PAUL PETTERSSON

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LOCAL ARTIST

Paul Pettersson is a humble fellow, gently spoken with a peaceful, calm energy. It is this quietness that echoes through his artwork and flows through his brush strokes. A hazy, dreamy quality filters through old trees, dappled light plays on painted leaves and streams through deep, clear water.

From across the busy car park at Pialba Place shopping centre in Hervey Bay, the giant-sized painting “Bay and Beyond” reaches along the playground wall and beckons you to enter the beautiful Australian bushland. An award-winning artist, Paul painted the immense piece after his incredible Urangan Pier mural at the Tourist Information Centre was unveiled. These are monumental pieces covering huge areas. The Pialba Place mural spans 60 metres long and 160 square metres alone! Paul’s artwork softens the hard edges of the modern buildings and allows the viewer to escape the rat-race for a moment.

Paul’s ability to paint nature comes from years of absorbing himself in the “real world” of the natural landscape with his life-long love of escaping to the bush and beach to recharge and feel complete. He often disappears into nature to trek the bush or kayak the clear waters of the Fraser Coast where he has lived for 30 years.

An intrinsic observer, Paul has over the years become so at one with nature he has developed an almost photographic memory of the wildlife he is captivated by. Most of his art is painted without the use of reference photos and he remarkably picks out the tiny details from his mind’s eye and skilfully produces them in three-dimensional form.

His connection to the land and sea has given him a strong appreciation of the local indigenous people and he realised the importance of including authentic artwork in his recent mural.

Butchulla artist Aaron Henderson contributed to the piece with striking art along the rockface where tiny wallabies and native creatures peer from behind grasses, much to the delight of the children playing in the area. Further along in the more surreal midsection of the mural, Aaron is pictured as a fire spirit emerging from the bark of an old gum. It’s a beautiful interpretation of how Paul feels entwined in nature at its deepest core.

For Paul, to become so absorbed in his artwork is to disappear into the depths of the bushland, to dive into the cool aqua waters of the ocean and to focus on the tiniest detail of a natural form. It’s how he survives, as he lives and breathes, and as long as he is among it, he is in harmony with it.

The Regional Arts Development Fund (RADF) is a community funding program for arts, culture and heritage on the Fraser Coast. Visit our website to find out more information about funding for your creative idea.

www.ourfrasercoast.com.au/RADF

The Regional Arts Development Fund (RADF) is a partnership between the Queensland Government and Fraser Coast Regional Council.

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Alicia is a mum to her beautiful daughters, a mum to her foster daughter, a mum to the OzTag family, Touch Football and dance family and to her pet family. Working at a local school she mothers and supports that beautiful cohort as well. Alicia is also mum of a young man named Jayden Fisher.

It was February 2021 and Jayden was 16 years old when Alicia received the phone call no parent ever wants to receive. There had been an accident and Jayden was involved. Within days, the family was faced with the unbearable reality of Jayden’s sudden death.

Throughout this dark and confusing time, as she tried to navigate a new life, it became very clear that this was a journey that Alicia would take alone.

Being a bereaved parent of a young person is a heartbreaking and soul crushing experience and one that is lonely because (thankfully) she is one of only a few.

Families like Alicia’s harbour their feelings to protect others because they do not want to burden anyone else with the darkness and sadness of reality. It is a lonely truth that no one knows the extraordinary emotions of a bereaved parent unless they too have experienced loss.

Alicia is also a Dunga Derby team member and has loved being part of the phenomenon that Dunga is within our community and raising funds for Rally for a Cause. That relationship and commitment made Rally for a Cause the ideal charity partner as they already work with families going through difficult circumstances.

This is what led Alicia here…

In December 2022, Angel Families was founded to provide support to bereaved families on the Fraser Coast.

Angel Families will be an informal community where people can support each other through the difficult times ahead. A place where they can just be. A place to chat, cry, laugh, remember, be angry or sad and everything in between. It is a peer group of people who have experienced the death of children who were under 21.

Our Fraser Coast community has experienced so much loss of our young ones over the last couple of years and families have been struggling through the process of grief on their own due to a lack of support services.

Over the last couple of months, Alicia has been quietly working behind the scenes to ensure this group will provide support to local families and with her hard work it has the backing of Rally for a Cause, a well known local charity.

Angel Families is based on an informal communitybased peer support model. Research shows that most people who have experienced the death of an important person in their life greatly benefit from peer support. Angel Families peer support model consists of bringing people together in groups where they participate in activities to promote discussion, learning and exploration. Our group creates a safe environment for families to remember and share their grief story and develop a sense of possibility and hopefulness for the future.

Informal peer support programs like Angel Families are widely accepted as the most effective way to promote post-traumatic growth and reduce the stress associated with grief and loss. This peer to peer support style addresses the needs of the whole person by breaking down isolation and stigma, equipping families with coping strategies and communications skills and promoting good mental and physical health. It will help children and families face their grief from the start and provide tools, connections and information they can use for the remainder of their lives.

Grief does not have a timeline. That doesn’t mean the intensity of the experience will last forever. It will evolve and reemerge throughout a person’s development. Grief becomes more manageable and less intense with support systems and a caring community of family and friends.

For more information, the group can be found on Facebook or by contacting Alicia on 0447 492 857 to find out more.

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FRASER COAST’S ICONIC SHOE SHOP

Langers Broadway Shoe Store is celebrating the shop’s 97th birthday on the 12th of January 2023. Langers Broadway Shoe Store opened in 1926 by Henry William Langer and his wife Mary. After Henry’s death the business was passed down to Henry James Langer and his wife Edna in 1953. Bill Langer is the 3rd generation of the Langer family; he started working at Langers shoe store in 1971 at the age of 21. Bill married Joan Witt in 1977, but sadly Joan passed away in 2015.

Bill Langer is a respected businessman throughout the Maryborough community. He has donated to various charities as well as sponsoring the woodturning event at the Fraser Coast Show annually. His leisure activity of choice is woodturning. Quite often you can find him out the back of Langers on his lathe, crafting pens, cheese knives and making clocks.

Another hobby of Bill’s is being part of the Granville

Indoor Bowls Club. His commitment to this has led to the role of ‘President’ for over 40 years.

Langers is a small independent shoe store with a wide range of orthotic friendly and comfort line shoes. Some of the most popular brands are Ziera, Klouds, Zeta, Arcopedico, Taos and Comfort Leisure. Over the years they have also branched out into selling men’s and women’s leather wallets, plus a selection of bamboo socks.

Val Flick and Dianne Stevens long term employees are known for their friendly customer service, which keeps their loyal customers coming back time after time. Previous employees Cheryl Bolderrow and Merryl Taylor also worked for Bill for many years.

Bill’s passion and drive for his business has kept him motivated to keep going. He would dearly love to reach the milestones of 100 years of Langers Broadway Shoe Store.

Alive Magazine Wide Bay | www.alivemag.com.au 18 LOCAL BUSINESS
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SEEING THE BIGGER PICTURE

rt can uplift, provoke, soothe, entertain and educate us. At its most profound level, it takes us from the everyday to a place of introspection and contemplation, to see the bigger picture of the human condition.

Creating a piece of art, no matter how well or badly, is a way of expressing your own unique character and personality. There is no shortage of artists in the Fraser Coast who are not only contributing to their own income, but who support local galleries, fundraising events and their community.

This month, we are showcasing the work of Ashleigh Manley. His artwork ranges from small reproduction prints, through etchings, limited edition silk screen prints as well as original watercolours and acrylic paintings. Ashleigh says, ‘Art is both a talent and a skill that can be learned. If you were to paint say, daisies, all the time, there is no doubt you would get better at that subject.’ So what is stopping you. Get started even in a small way by carrying a sketch book around with you all the time to jot down ideas and visual inspiration.

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LIFE CHAT WITH MICHELLE

THE SECRET INGREDIENT IN WELLBEING

Welcome to Life-Chat in 2023. I hope this year brings you joy, love, and your highest level of wellbeing.

It was while pondering thoughts about my own wellbeing that I had a light-bulb moment.

I realized how easy it is to slip into unhelpful language when we are trying to change a habit band January seemed the right month to talk about this issue. The beginning of a New Year often brings reflection and perhaps goal setting around our health and lifestyle. Yet, so often, good intentions are like sparklers on a birthday cake. They blaze brightly, fueling our hopes and motivation for a short while but fizzle out all too soon.

My light-bulb moment was this: Unless we genuinely believe we are worthy of self-kindness, how can we ever treat ourselves with the respect we need to create happiness and wellbeing?

Believing that we are worthy of self-kindness means we want to look after our physical, emotional, mental and spiritual health. We will easily and consistently choose habits, behaviours and thoughts that promote balance and wellbeing each day.

Rather than thinking: “I have to lose weight. I must stop over-eating and give up all the treats I enjoy”. We should think: “I love the way my body feels when I eat light, nutritious foods. I have heaps of energy and feel great”.

Rather than thinking: “I have to stop smoking this

year. My kids won’t stop nagging me”. We think: “It’s time for me to honour my lungs and my body. I deserve to live a healthy life. I am completely committed to being smoke-free for the rest of my life”.

How we frame the messages we give ourselves makes all the difference between enjoying a positive choice (that we have freely made) and feeling like we are being punished by our choices (but have to do ‘the right thing’ anyway. Grr.)

With any change in behaviours and habits, the key ingredient for success is long-term consistency. Small slip-ups are not huge failures and are never an excuse to give up. However, as I realized in the wee hours one morning recently, believing that I deserve kindness and that I am the person most responsible for offering that to myself, is the most powerful motivator for change I can think of.

Without believing we are worthy of kindness, health and happiness, every attempt to make a significant change in our lives just feels like hard work. Wishing you oodles of self-kindness and positive thinking this month and always.

Until next time, have a wonderful month. Remember, if you would like to stay connected with me to receive positive tips for life each morning, feel welcome to join my free Facebook group “Your Intuitive Gifts At Work.” Here is a direct link where you can join my group https://www.facebook.com/ groups/yourintuitivegiftsatwork

www.facebook.com/groups/yourintuitivegiftsatwork

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