Your Time Brisbane July 2024

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Mobility Scooters

Achange of scenery. A change of pace. If you’re considering either of these, do we have a magazine for you this month!

I jumped in the car recently and, in under three hours, I was transported back to my youth in northern NSW.

But while beautiful beaches and fewer people on them (believe it or not) were the attraction back in the day for long weekends spent in Brunswick Heads, New Brighton, Ocean Shores and Lennox Head, this time the Byron hinterland, new foodie experiences and a relaxing farmstay beckoned.

The leafy drives in the countryside connecting the dots of once-sleepy villages, the modern conveniences and glorious rural outlook of our Heartwood Farm cottage, and the chance to tick off a bucket-list restaurant indulgence at Three Blue Ducks on The Farm Byron Bay were a treat for the soul.

While those relaxing three days relatively close to home make up this

month’s destination travel article, the Our People section features a 92-year-old woman who has gone to the ends of the earth, literally, to find her mojo again.

Dorothy Stringer undertook a solo journey to Antarctica, defying stereotypes of ageing and living her best life.

She’s an example to us all for why it is so important to bust through the limitations we sometimes place on ourselves on the road to fulfilling long-held dreams.

But if your ‘change of pace’ is more work-related, journalist Carrol Baker breaks down the rules and regulations in plain English so you know how you can retire and still offer your services and experience to the community in a paid role, or severely cut your hours behind the desk or counter to still receive the pension and not run the gauntlet of the Australian Tax Office.

If you are thinking of rejoining the workforce, or coming up to pension age but might enjoy the odd rostered shift, our cover story this month is essential reading.

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PUBLISHER Michelle Austin, 5493 1368. EDITOR Shirley Sinclair,



Shirley Sinclair Editor

Recruiting for the new grey army of ‘unretirees’

CARROL BAKER speaks with seniors who have not only returned to the workforce, but are also enjoying new roles in different fields.

They march along in solidarity, some smiling with heads held high, while others forlornly drag their feet.

Aussie retirees are returning to the workforce in droves, and many feel as if they have no choice: their decision is linked to cost-of-living pressures.

Others go back to work because they’re missing social connection and feeling fulfilled or useful.

Research by National Seniors Australia reveals 16 per cent of age pensioners have returned to paid work since retiring, while another 20 per cent are considering it.

With staggering household bills,

rental increases and petrol prices, returning to work has become a necessity, just to put food on the table.

Michelle Marquardt, ABS head of prices statistics, says that increases in living costs in the March 2024 quarter ranged from 0.7 per cent to 1.7 per cent.

From March 20, aged pension payments have increased by a paltry $19.60 per fortnight for singles, with combined payments for couples up by $29.40. The maximum single pension rate is $1116.30, and couple combined is $1682.80. These figures include maximum supplements.

AJ Financial Planning founder Alex

Jamieson says many people are struggling to make ends meet – and he’s coined the term the ‘unrets’.

“While I have helped many Aussies retire and enjoy retirement, I am also being approached by a lot of Australians who have retired and are wondering how they go about unretiring,” he says.

“Sadly, if your retirement plan hasn’t been created taking into account inflationary pressures like the type we are experiencing today, then you don’t have a lot of options.

“You can try and cut back costs and live with it, or you can look to get back into the workforce to start bridging the financial gap.”

Kevin Davis, 63, retired from his teaching career a couple of years ago, but found himself back in the workforce when some of his investments took a hit because of COVID.

Now he’s working part-time as a carer through NDIS for his client John Beard, and he couldn’t be happier.

“My job as a teacher was very stressful at times. This is really enjoyable,” he says.

“No two days are the same. John and I might grab a bite to eat and head to Bunnings to buy gear to do projects around John’s house. Other times, we’ll just have a coffee and chat.”

For John, whose health took a turn a few years ago, having Kevin onboard has been a game changer.

“I’ve now got camaraderie and support,” he says.

“I’m a plumber by trade. Without Kevin, I couldn’t do projects – I’d just be staring at four walls and twiddling my thumbs and not getting out much.”

When you are considering returning to work, don’t feel as though your former career or job is your only option. Not having basic digital skills, however, can be a barrier to some types of employment. So, sign on at your local community centre or library for free introductory computer courses. If you need to upskill in other areas, there are plenty of short courses through U3A that won’t break the bank.

If you do decide to get back into the saddle after retiring, your employer has to make 11 per cent super contributions on your behalf. This is set to progressively increase to 12 per cent in 2025. It’s a way to boost the kitty, so when you decide you’ve had enough of work down the track, you’ll have more in your super fund.

If you do go back to work, the business you work for will benefit in more ways than one.

Age diversity is good for business. The Willing to Work report by the Australian Human Rights Commission states that having a diverse workforce can create innovative and dynamic workplaces. Older workers bring with them a lifetime of learning. A workplace survey by Australian National University showed positive stereotypes of older workers include being less likely to leave the organisation, being reliable and better at problem solving and dealing with customers.

Despite the fact that many seniors are successfully securing employment, there’s no denying that ageism does rear its ugly head.

The 2023 Employing and Retaining Older Workers Survey by the Australian

HR Institute and the Australian Human Rights Commission found one-in-six organisations wouldn’t consider hiring a worker over 65, and only a quarter were open to it “to a large extent”.

The Age Discrimination Act came into force in 2004. It makes it unlawful to treat people unfairly based on their age in different areas of public life – for example, at work.

Two decades on, some might argue the Act is a bit of a toothless tiger. A potential employer can rule out an older worker by simply plucking another excuse out of thin air. If you feel that you are being discriminated against, you can try to raise the issue with the potential employer or make a complaint to the Australian Human Rights Commission.

Even though discrimination does exist, there are still plenty of opportunities for older workers to secure employment.

Services Australia gives the example of business owner Jeff who operates a busy café in a country town. He draws on

“There’s no KPIs, no targets, no tap on the shoulder. It’s pretty cruisy”

the local community to help during busy school holidays. A former employee, Sally, 68, returned to work recently to supplement her income.

“I wanted to work a few hours a week, mainly for social reasons, but the extra spending money didn’t go astray,” Sally says.

Jeff’s happy that Sally’s come back to the fold and says there are plenty of good reasons to hire an older worker.

“I’ve always found older workers are switched on and have an amazing work ethic and this has a multiplier effect on the younger workers,” he says. “Things like the Work Bonus are a great incentive

to nudge those who may have retired into trying this type of thing.”

So, what is the government Work Bonus incentive? It was introduced to combat cost-of-living increases and means Aussies can now hang onto more of their pension if they return to work a few hours a week. The first $300 of your fortnightly income isn’t assessed as income, under the pension income test.

The good news is, Work Bonus it’s not a ‘use it or lose it’ scenario, either.

Any unused portion of the fortnightly $300 Work Bonus accumulates, up to a maximum amount of $11,800. If you are a new age pensioner, the government will even kick off your Work Bonus bank balance with a one-off $4000 at the start of the year.

Work Bonus was supposed to be a temporary measure, but to ease cost-ofliving pressures, the government decided to make it permanent - for now.

If you are retired and always wanted a side hustle to put a little more cash in your pocket, Work Bonus is an opportunity to do just that. Tap into your creative side and get a market stall going or set up an Etsy shop. Become an Uber driver, or a pet sitter or walker. There are so many possibilities.

Returning to work can not only boost your cash flow, it’s also a way to connect with others.

Being in the workforce keeps you active, and offers opportunities to contribute to society. There’s also value in spending time with others.

Kevin is enjoying the social benefit: “Most of my peers are still working or just coming up to retirement, so there wasn’t a lot going on. Now, I’m helping my mate and finding it very rewarding.”

While people such as Kevin and Sally are returning to the workforce after retirement, some older Aussies never left.

Ian, 74, spent a lifetime in magazines and newspapers as an advertising rep.

“After my marriage went belly up, I had super, but it’s the old story: how much is really enough?” he asks.

He now works a 38-hour week driving a courtesy bus for Cricks.

“It keeps my brain active and puts a bit of money in the ‘skyrocket’,” he says.

“There’s no KPIs, no targets, no tap on the shoulder. It’s pretty cruisy.”

Ian says he doesn’t see himself stopping any time soon.

“I have a little chat to myself every December to ask, ‘Mate, how you going health-wise – are you okay?” he says.

So far, so good and Ian enjoys his job.

“I love return customers. We build rapport,” he says.

Returning to work after you retire impacts the aged pension and your superannuation. If you receive an aged pension and return to work, you need to let Centrelink know within 14 days.

If you aren’t sure about the pension income test and how Work Bonus will impact you, Centrelink has a financial services department where you can make an appointment and chat in person.

Rules around superannuation and returning to work

From age 60, you can:

• access your superannuation

• use your super to commence a transition to retirement pension

• access between four and 10 per cent of your super, even if you are working full-time.

At age 65, you can access your super without any restrictions – and you don’t even have to be retired.

Job hubs

Visit and for more information.

Ian Brittain has newfound drive with his current role

What’s hip

What’s a big deal

THE nation’s most famous ‘big thing’, the Big Pineapple – standing tall at 16m high – has reopened at Woombye. The first stage of the Big Pineapple regeneration includes the launch of a new café, children’s playground and viewing platform. The Plantation Train has been fully restored, along with its carriages and the track, to bring it up to current safety standards and certification requirements. The extensive renovation project has been undertaken by owner Peter Kendall and his company CMC Property. Situated on a 165-hectare site, the Big Pineapple was originally launched on August 15, 1971. It quickly became a food and tourism icon, showcasing and celebrating Queensland’s worldclass produce. In its heyday, the Big Pineapple lured over one million visitors annually – including the likes of Prince Charles and Princess Diana, who visited in 1983.

Where to go

IF YOU love bacon as much as TV’s Homer Simpson, you need to plan a trip to the South Burnett. Bacon lovers are already sizzling with excitement over the news that the Kingaroy BaconFest is back on the local food festival menu for another year. Scheduled to tantalise the tastebuds from August 16-18, the festival includes celebrity chefs (Alastair McLeod, Justine Schofield, Matt Golinski and Dan and Steph Mulheron), a BaconFest-themed beauty pageant, bacon-eating competition, smoke-off contest and the Rasher’s Run through the South Burnett Rail Trail. Go to

What to watch

ANYONE who has an affinity with the ocean and big-wave surfing should tune into Hawaiian: The Legend of Eddie Aikau. This sports documentary on Disney+ is a lesson in Hawaii’s history, the ancient tradition of wave riding and how the North Shore of Oahu was conquered, as much as it is devoted to the life and times of the man behind the notorious phrase: “Eddie Would Go”. The ocean was a spiritual place for Eddie Aikau – somewhere he could be at one with nature and feel the ‘mana’ (the Hawaiian word for ‘energy and life source’). But November 19, 1967, changed his life when the world first saw him as the Hawaiian coming down the face of monstrous surf, as Waimea Bay maxed out at 40ft. His superhuman efforts eventually led to him becoming the first life guard to officially patrol the North Shore. Having performed more than 500 rescues over his 31 years, he gave himself the role of protector of sacred human life. It was a role he played right up to his tragic end at sea in 1978, seeking assistance for fellow crew members after the voyaging canoe Hokulea capsized during a storm.

Back in the day…

JULY 6 marks the 30th anniversary of the release of Forrest Gump in US cinemas. Not only was it a major box office success, the film triumphed at the 67th Academy Awards. Tom Hanks won the Oscar for Best Actor in a Leading Role, and Forrest Gump also picked up Best Picture, Best Director for Robert Zemeckis, Best Visual Effects, Best Adapted Screenplay by Eric Roth and Best Film Editing. It may not have as much action-packed adventure as the Marvel Universe, but the film remains as endearing as its main character, whose quote: “My mama always said life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get” has been ranked by the American Film Institute in the top 50 greatest movie quotes.

What to book

QUEENSLAND’S first permanent interpretive light show installation comes to K’gari (Fraser Island) from September. The island’s four-star ecotourism property Kingfisher Bay Resort has announced Illumina, set amid the natural beauty of the resort’s wallum wetlands. The innovative installation aims to enhance visitors’ experience and provide a unique night attraction, exclusive to resort guests. Illumina will showcase the world’s largest sand island with the Return to Sky exhibition: a journey of discovery, regeneration and growth, told in one mesmerising 20-minute light show. The resort has engaged Melbourne-based international light artist Bruce Ramus and his team from Ramus Illumination, renowned for creating symphonies of light and colour at various destinations around the world, including Wintjiri Wiru at Uluru – an Aussie tourism first. Watch the light show unfold at

Bouncing into a new era of life, retiree GARRY REYNOLDS shares his thoughts on the world around us.


RECENTLY, the first Australian was frozen in the hope of having a chance at a ‘second life’ from revival as a result of future medical advances.

His actions reflect the wishes of thousands of people around the world who have signed up to be cryopreserved after their death. However, a minefield awaits as a person must be declared legally dead before their body can be cryopreserved.

New challenges arise from a successful reanimation creating a second legal life.

Kate Falconer, lecturer in law from the University of Queensland, asks what happens to the legal obligations you undertook in your first life when you awaken in your second?

Will you still be bound by your phone contract and own your home? What are

It was falsely claimed that Mickey Mouse creator Walt Disney (whose likeness is preserved here in wax) arranged for his body to be frozen after death

the implications for those who inherited the estate?

Kate says short of radically rewriting our succession laws if someone is successfully reanimated, none of the wealth or belongings they previously enjoyed will be available to them.

This creates the possibility of ‘cryonic refugees’: people who wake from cryopreservation with no social or community ties to rely on and no funds to live off unless a trust created beforehand is accepted.

There are already examples of cryonics facilities threatening to remove patients from suspension unless outstanding storage bills are paid. Would such an action constitute murder? Can you kill someone who is already dead?

To reach an answer, the law will probably require a test case. Meanwhile, I’ll concentrate on the challenges and joys of this life.

Remembering Cloudland Ballroom

CHRIS CURRIE waltzes through the State Library of Queensland collections to relive memories of a much-loved venue.

At 4am on November 7, 1982, one of Brisbane’s most controversial demolition projects took place.

Despite a National Trust listing, public protests and a lack of permits, Cloudland Ballroom was reduced to rubble in under an hour, marking the end of more than 40 years of dates, dances, music and memories made beneath the building’s colonnades.

The site of Cloudland was purchased in 1938 by selfdescribed ‘international amusement designer, engineer and executive’ T.H. Eslick, with a view to creating a modern amusement park called Luna Park (named after the Melbourne venue of the same name). It would include a grand entertainment space based on California’s La Monica Ballroom (both projects designed and built by the enterprising Eslick).

Plagued by construction delays, union in-fighting, destruction of its uninsured

funicular railway and various break-ins, Luna Park’s Cloudland Ballroom nonetheless opened its doors for the first time on Friday, August 2, 1940. As the spectre of war loomed, however, the crowds fell. By January 1941, the entire complex had closed, and T.H. Eslick all but disappeared.

It was wartime that gave the site its next life, when it was requisitioned by the US military from 1942-45, becoming ‘Camp Luna Park’. Despite some personnel regarding their location as “a magnificent, jerry-built, unsuccessful Coney Island”, the US military did, upon leaving, restore the distinctive spring-mounted flooring, repaint

the interior, and return all pre-war furnishings to their rightful places.

In 1947, the site was purchased by two sisters, Mya Winters and Francis Roach, and reopened as Cloudland: a space reinvigorated through a lively program of music and dancing.

Through three owners and across three decades, Cloudland’s dancefloor, private alcoves and spacious galleries played host to every type of event – from debutante balls and state receptions to weekend markets and student exams.

One particularly interesting item held in State Library archives is an original Cloudland

‘telephone directory’ from the 1947 Post Office Ball. The short pamphlet lists the extensions of every Cloudland alcove, allowing potential partners to literally call on each other to dance.

Cloudland’s semi-circular bandstand played host to some of the largest names in entertainment over the next 30 years, including Buddy Holly, the Bee Gees, AC/DC, The Clash and the Go-Betweens. Despite its lauded history and generations of collective public fondness, Cloudland would not survive the turbulent social, economic and physical landscape of the Bjelke-Petersen era of Queensland politics.

The building was deemed a hazard and wiped from existence that fateful November morning in 1982, to make way for apartment buildings.

If you have any significant material relating to Cloudland and would like to donate it to John Oxley Library, contact


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THE 2024 History Day, convened by the Enoggera and District Historical Society and held on May 26, was an outstanding success.

In excess of 70 people attended the event, in the 99-year-old Soldier’s Memorial Hall in Trundle Street, Enoggera.

They were entertained and informed by 10 speakers presenting 14 papers of varying length and on a wide variety of topics.

In a break away from the usual, four papers submitted by historical societies outside the metropolitan area were read as part of the program.

The next event to be held by the Enoggera and District Historical Society will be the Open Day in the hall on Sunday, September 15, from 10am to 3pm.

The topic is: ‘Our History, Your Story’. The society is looking for people to tell stories of more recent times.

For more on the Enoggera and District Historical Society, visit


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HAVE you ever been aware of how some sounds really grate on your nerves while others have a calming effect?

Sound is a form of energy produced by the vibrations caused by the movement of particles and can be detected either through our hearing sense or through our physical bodies. It also has a serious impact on a person’s brain activity and engages many different parts of the brain.

It has even been reported that ambient noise, played at a low-to-moderate volume, can increase creativity and, in some instances, music can have a distinct effect on many biological processes.

Indigenous communities have beaten drums and clapped hands for centuries, singing and dancing to inspire a range of emotional responses – from healing an individual to motivating a group.

Various sounds and rhythms have been found to elicit different emotions. Consider how you respond to the sound of church bells celebrating a wedding, compared with those mourning a death.

Music, when used as a healing influence or to affect behaviour, is said to be as old as Aristotle and Plato. The earliest reference to music therapy appeared in 1789 and by the early 1800s, medical dissertations appeared on the therapeutic value of musicians. After World War I and II, community musicians travelled to the veteran hospitals to play for thousands

suffering physical and emotional trauma.

It wasn’t long before the medical professionals realised the health benefits for their patients and, by the 1940s, music therapy became an organised clinical profession. Even simple wind chimes, that produce tones that are calming, have a healing benefit. These days, sound therapy is used to treat conditions such as stress, anxiety, depression and autism.

Did you know that chanting a mantra (such as “om”) is even used to help improve the memory function of Alzheimer’s patients? Why not give it a try. Sit quietly, with your hands comfortable in your lap, and focus on your rhythmic breathing while relaxing your neck and shoulder muscles. On initial exhales, chant out loud, and then more softly with each subsequent breath, until you are chanting, in your mind, a long, slow rhythmic “ommmm”.

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Life in the slow lane

CHOCOLATE. Does the word conjure up feelings of happiness or memories of a special occasion? I bet it does.

What is so special about a bit of something sweet – a bar or square of a brown substance that melts in your mouth? What makes it universal? To the best of my knowledge, chocolate has the same effect all over the world.

A box of chocolates is the ideal present for all occasions and, really, all ages apart from tiny babies.

However, even youngsters soon discover the wonder of chocolate as they grow and love to smear brown goo all over their faces.

Chocolate is everywhere in many forms and shapes – bars of milk chocolate or blocks mixed with nuts and raisins. They also come in many different flavours, not to forget the pralines with liqueur in them. Then there is white chocolate. The lovers of dark chocolate might dismiss the milk-chocolaters (I made up that word) because dark chocolate is better for your health and makes you feel

sophisticated. I also read somewhere that white chocolate is actually not considered real chocolate as it has no cocoa in it. Which chocolate we buy is often dictated by what is advertised on TV. Those chocolate ads are the death of all good intentions, having declared war on Weight Watchers and all other weight-loss companies. They show chefs in pristine white hats and aprons, pouring a creamy brown substance into a gleaming vat, chandeliers sparkling and waif-like models (I bet they don’t eat chocolate) gliding through the air, veils trailing behind them, their faces mirroring ecstasy.

The effect of chocolate is a bit like taking a calming medication. It creates feelings of relaxation, let’s us forget a bad experience, and even might help us overcome rejected or unfulfilled love. I am thinking of The Vicar of Dibley and seeing how Geraldine Granger deals with a love rejection. If you watch the episode, it absolves you from all guilt feelings where chocolate is concerned.

Chocolate, of course, has the advantage over other ‘calming’ and ‘making happy’ products such as wine. You don’t need a bottle or flask. You can have your chocolate

with you, even in a small handbag or pocket. A square of chocolate fits into the smallest of places and can be retrieved unobtrusively. No glass of water needed to swallow it.

There is just a teeny-weeny problem when you keep the chocolate too long in a pocket –especially on a hot day: you end up with a brown mess of melted goo.

There is an endless variety of what to do with chocolate: putting it into cakes, decorating any kind of fruit, pouring it like a fountain into a basin. I like to drop a small square of the brown stuff into a cup of coffee. But beware of this: it is totally addictive.

People have great problems admitting that they are alcoholics but most people gleefully tell you that they are chocoholics.

May you enjoy chocolate of any kind.


an adventure

THERE are times when it’s hard enough to climb stairs. So, I’m not sure what I was thinking when I decided to climb walls.

My son, who is obviously younger and fitter than me, has taken up indoor bouldering and invited me to join him.

Bouldering involves scaling a wall using foot and hand holds of various shapes and sizes without the use of aids such as ropes or harnesses.

For my first attempt, he took me to Flow Bouldering Gym at Forest Glen.

Inside, there are white walls with plastic mouldings of different colours attached. At the bases of each wall are padded decks, which are soft enough to cushion a fall.

Newbies, like myself, must watch a short training video and learn how to fall to minimise injury. I always assumed that as I aged, falling would be the last thing I’d need a lesson for.

I donned special, bouldering shoes which can be hired onsite. As far as attire goes, the shoes are a must, but the only other recommendation is comfortable, gym-style clothing to allow ease of movement.

A friendly staff member demonstrated the correct landing technique.

“Try to land on your feet and roll smoothly onto

your back. Keep the elbows tucked in.”

When I had to show I had mastered that move, I somehow scraped skin from my elbow and I hadn’t actually climbed anything. I chose a climb with yellow holds or ‘grips’ as the plastic protrusions are called.

At Flow, yellow signifies the easiest climb, also known as a problem. Generally, I try to avoid problems, but that’s the term used in bouldering-speak.

Interesting trivia: the problems (climbs) are rated using the ‘V’ scale. The scale was named for its inventor, climber John Sherman, whose nickname was Vermin (thus, the V). Numbers indicate level of difficulty from V.0 to V.17.

You don’t need to know all the technical terms to give it a try, but I learnt that a ‘jug’ is a hold big enough to wrap your hands and fingers around. A ‘crimp’ is just big enough to cling to with your

fingertips. The idea is to climb the holds of one particular colour until you can touch the topmost one with both hands. Once done, you carefully climb down again.

There are extra grips which can be used to aid the descent, but you do not use these to ascend. I don’t know if the bouldering police kick you out if this rule is broken, but I guess the problem is meant to be a challenge and finding an easier way is probably cheating.

The yellow routes were simple enough. So, I moved to the next level, which was blue. Even though the walls are not terribly high, I had a fear of falling and wanted to avoid it.

Not all of the walls are at 90 degrees to the floor and the varying slopes make it tricky. The variety of holds and distance between them gives more than just a physical workout. Deciding the best route up the wall is good mental exercise.

Hauling your own body weight up a wall is surprisingly tiring, which may have been why I plunged to the padded floor when I tackled level 3. The correct landing position promptly slipped my mind and I sprawled out like one of those dead-body outlines on a crime show.

If I’d been climbing actual boulders, the outcome may have been worse, but this indoor alternative was pretty safe.

I really enjoyed bouldering, but for now, I’ll just keep climbing out of bed.



IN A world where connections can often feel fleeting and digital interactions replace face-to-face engagement, Here’s to Life (H2L) stands as a beacon of community spirit, joy and personal enrichment.

Its motto: ‘Fun, friendship and fitness’ not only encapsulates the essence of what it does but also highlights the transformative power of participation and community involvement.

Members eagerly volunteer to perform at various community venues, such as retirement villages, hospitals and local fundraising events.

Maree Rossetto, whose mother eagerly anticipated H2L performances, says, “When I still had mum, her anticipation of a morning of entertainment and the joy she had during the show was a bright part of her day.”

One performer highlighted the personal rewards of this engagement: “One of the most rewarding things we do at Here’s to Life is to perform at local nursing homes and retirement villages. Nothing brings us more joy than spreading a little love and laughter into someone else’s life.”

This sentiment is echoed by the support team, who marvel at the transformative effects shows have on their clients, often seeing them join in and express themselves in ways they never

have before. The benefits of performing are multifaceted, encompassing personal growth, social connections, cognitive development and physical health.

The diverse range of programs –including jazz, tap, singing, buff bones, drumming, classical ballet, and disability programs for art/craft, drumming/ percussion and dancercise – are meticulously designed to nurture these aspects, offering a well-rounded and fulfilling experience for all members.

Based at the Redlands Memorial Hall in Cleveland, H2L’s programs are accessible and welcoming, fostering a supportive environment where everyone can thrive. Whether it’s a free lesson or a regular class, each session is an opportunity to connect, learn and grow together.

H2L will be holding its annual Variety Charity Concert on Saturday, September 14, at 2pm in the Concert Hall at the Redlands Performing Arts Centre. Contact Renee at 0408 717 342 or visit

A guide for staying safe on social media

EDIN READ offers simple steps to ensure your account is secure and you develop positive connections on platforms such as Facebook.

In our digital age, social media is a fantastic tool for staying connected with loved ones, sharing life updates and even discovering new interests.

However, as much as social media opens up a world of opportunities, it also presents some risks, especially for seniors who might not be as familiar with the potential pitfalls.

Today, I’ll walk you through some essential safety practices to keep your social media experiences positive and secure. I have Facebook in mind when writing this, but it’s applicable to whichever platforms you use.

First and foremost, let’s talk about safeguarding your accounts. Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) is a must, and I cannot stress this enough.

It’s like a double lock for your digital doors. With 2FA, even if someone gets hold of your password, they can’t access your account without the second key, which is typically a code sent to your mobile phone or email. It’s a simple step that

adds a significant layer of security. Setting this up is straightforward: go to the settings of your social media accounts, look for ‘Security settings’ and you should find an option to enable 2FA – you might have to search for it. This one minor step today could be the barrier that keeps out intruders even tomorrow.

It’s all too common to see, on my own Facebook feed, people’s accounts who have been ‘hacked’ and start posting get-rich-quick schemes. This can all be avoided.

Another common pitfall on

social media is accepting friend requests from people you don’t know. It might feel polite to accept, but remember: not everyone’s intentions are good. Scammers often create fake profiles to gather personal information or spread malicious links. A good rule of thumb is: if you don’t recognise the person, or if their profile seems newly created with minimal activity, it’s best to decline the request, or hold off until you can give them a call and confirm.

A particularly cunning tactic that scammers use is impersonating your friends or

family members. You might receive a message that seems to be from someone you know, asking for financial help or claiming to be in an emergency. However, these messages are often scams. Before you even consider responding, pick up the phone and call the person directly to verify their story. It’s always better to be safe and check twice rather than lose money to a fraudster.

Keeping your profile private is an effective way to shield yourself from the prying eyes of scammers and hackers.

By restricting your profile visibility to only your friends, you limit the amount of personal information that’s accessible publicly.

Check your privacy settings to ensure that your posts, friend list and personal details like your email or birthday are not visible to the entire internet.

It’s about keeping your personal information exactly that: personal.

Be cautious if you receive a

friend request from someone you’re already connected with. This is a common trick where scammers create a duplicate profile of someone you know. Always verify by checking your friend list or contacting the person directly before accepting such requests. It’s possible that your friend’s identity has been mimicked to target you and possibly other mutual contacts.

Navigating social media safely is crucial and by following these tips – enabling two-factor authentication, being selective with friend requests, verifying unusual pleas for money, keeping your profile private, and double-checking duplicate friend requests – you’ll create a secure and enjoyable social media experience.

Remember: if you ever feel unsure about any interaction on social media, feel free to reach out to us at Greyology.

Edin Read is founder and chief technician at Greyology Tech Support for Seniors. Visit

A Bra For Every Woman

Now stocking more brands and the largest size range from AA to K.

Great news for the women who struggle to find a great fitting bra. Our new bigger brighter store has enabled us to expand our range to include sports bras, full figure and maternity as well as our traditional post mastectomy wear. Our goal is expertly fit your bra so you feel amazing in your clothes. Visit our new store and experience the Tracey G service.


Dampening the flames of inflammation

KAILAS ROBERTS looks at what we can do throughout our lives to possibly minimise the threat of Alzheimer’s.

Despite over a century of study, Alzheimer’s remains a mystery when trying to determine its cause.

This is probably because, in fact, there is no one cause, and that many roads lead to the symptoms of the disease – including memory loss, deterioration in other thinking skills, psychological difficulties and ultimately physical changes, too.

The consensus among experts is that two proteins, amyloid and tau, are involved in the evolution of the condition, but there are likely other influential factors. This notion is supported by the fact that postmortem studies of the brains of those without dementia or clinical symptoms often show that the proteins are present in brain tissue. So, the mere presence of these proteins is necessary but not sufficient to cause symptoms.

Inflammation is one of the other variables, it seems. When amyloid and tau are accompanied by inflammation of the brain (so-called neuroinflammation), the chances of having symptoms increases significantly. Now, the proteins themselves can cause inflammation, but there are probably other things that do, too. This finding is a hopeful one, in my opinion, as perhaps we have some control

over this inflammatory process. We know there is a link between general chronic inflammation and immune system changes in the body (which we can measure, to an extent) and the development of neuroinflammation. Infections can cause inflammation (and our body needs to become acutely inflamed to fight them off) and some autoimmune conditions are associated with an increased risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia.

It may be tricky for us to avoid these infective causes, of course, but chronic inflammation can also be created in ways that are more within our control – through a process termed ‘sterile inflammation’. So, how can we dampen the flames of inflammation? Well, diet is important: eating too many inflammatory foods will not help. These are the usual suspects of heavily processed foods, sugar, saturated

fat and refined carbohydrates. A balanced diet with a variety of fruits and vegetables will provide antioxidants which can fight inflammation.

Carrying too much weight is also a problem – fat, especially internal fat, is inflammogenic. Alcohol in excess is also a culprit for inflammation and, interestingly, poor oral health has a special connection with neuroinflammation and dementia. So, ensuring you brush and floss and see your dentist regularly is advised.

Poor sleep also promotes inflammation. Prioritising your ‘Zs’ is very important, and if you are having chronic difficulties, you should consult your doctor. Then, there’s exercise. Although in the short term this increases inflammation, over the long term it has an anti-inflammatory effect. Regular readers of my column will know how much I rate exercise as a tool for promoting

brain health and this is one of the likely mechanisms. Looking after your mental health and reducing stress may also help, as cases of long-term depression and anxiety have been associated with raised inflammatory markers in the blood stream. Finally, although certainly not a substitute for all the above measures, there is evidence that certain supplements may help. I am an advocate of curcumin, the chief ingredient of turmeric. If you’re not a fan of the spice, then you can get curcumin in pill form. A particular brand, Theracumin, seems especially absorbable by the body.

I also often recommend omega-3 fatty acids. These are chiefly found in fish, but also come in the form of fish oil and krill oil capsules and you can get algae-based ones if you’d prefer. These fatty acids can help resolve inflammation. You should talk to your doctor before starting these, however, as they can cause side effects for some.

Kailas Roberts is a psychogeriatrician and author of Mind Your Brain: The Essential Australian Guide to Dementia, now available at all good bookstores and online. Visit or

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Testing the waters of road tripping in the great outdoors

BRUCE McMAHON offers some good advice for newcomers to the camping, caravan and motorhome scene.

Thinking about taking to the highways and byways for a solo adventure? For well-prepared and dauntless trippers, these days there’s a fresh, cost-effective option for heading out with a hire caravan or motorhome to explore the country.

Camplify is a peer-to-peer platform that allows owners to rent out recreational vehicles (basically anything on wheels that has beds) when not in use.

And it’s a win-win, Camplify’s Justin Hales says, with owners enjoying the delights of van, campervan and motorhome ownership while also earning from hires. Hirers get the use of an RV without ownership costs or the hassle of storage or maintenance.

So, once the hire van or motorhome’s been sorted and booked, it’s time to plan the trip. When moving out solo, it takes a little more thought, beginning with a rough plan of where you’re headed. It’s easier to know which way to head and better to sort out rest and camp breaks. Before leaving, carefully research the route. If driving solo, there won’t be anyone to help with maps: make sure maps and GPS navigation are set up beforehand. Camplify also recommends letting

someone know your itinerary and expected arrival times. This will take the pressure off having to message them once you arrive in camp.

It’s important, especially if out on your lonesome, to pack a safety kit with first-aid supplies, maybe a couple of cans of baked beans or such, plenty of water and basics including a torch and tools.

Leave travel plans with someone back around home base and keep in touch with the family, while being ready to make some new mates along the road.

Pack reasonable gear for any outdoor activities (thongs are great for communal shower blocks, but no good for mountain climbing), sort out a music playlist, and maybe grab some audiobooks and podcasts to help on long stretches.

If there’s no one to share the drive, Camplify recommends regular breaks as fatigue while driving can be quite dangerous. Avoid driving late at night and try to get a full seven to eight hours of sleep before setting out on a long drive.

Before heading off, make sure there’s a

good amount of charge on your phone. Most of Camplify’s vans will come with car chargers to use while driving. So, before hitting the road, find this within the hire vehicle and put it somewhere easily accessible while driving.

Use the phone, texts and emails to regularly check in with family or friends to update them on your whereabouts. If possible, share your location with a friend or family member so they can keep up with where you are, even when you might struggle to connect in remote areas.

While the Camplify crew suggests “embracing the spontaneity and flexibility of any solo travel, remaining open to new experiences, new friends and opportunities”, there’s also the recommendation to keep van doors locked, even when driving or inside the vehicle. If stopping overnight, stay in a secure camping location and, if camping off road, make sure to share your location with someone before setting off to sleep. If feeling that something isn’t right when parked up for the night, take precautions to ensure you stay safe. If feeling unsafe, find somewhere new or make contact with someone near to you.


The Mercedes-Benz-based EarthCruiser G-Pro Escape for an all-Australian adventure


IN RECENT years, the rising cost of living has emerged as a significant stressor.

Peak psychology bodies say that financial worries stemming from rising costs of everyday essentials have surpassed other stressors, even global uncertainty and health crises. This is not only affecting our health but also how we go about achieving a fulfilling life.

Understanding how your financial health links to your overall wellbeing is vital. Smart money management and following the ‘5 Ds’ can help us lead the life we want, ensuring we cover our basic needs while still chasing our dreams.

Financial wellbeing will look different for everyone, but essentially it’s having sufficient funds for your chosen lifestyle at a given point in time. Sufficient for you is about defining what your ideal life looks like, then creating and implementing a plan to make it happen. Let’s take a look at the five important steps on the road to sufficient funds:

Define –Define what a fulfilling and successful life looks like to you. The more you align your money decisions to this definition, the more clarity you’ll gain, the more confidence and momentum you’ll build and, ultimately, the happier and more fulfilled you’ll be. This is about setting the right mindset and mapping out your definition of ‘sufficient funds’.

Money is a repeat offender in creating

limiting beliefs. It causes us to worry at the outset that we can’t achieve goals or won’t ever be able to afford something.

So, park your worries about debts and savings and give yourself time to focus on your dreams. Sit down and map out your goals and be as specific as possible. Once you’ve defined sufficient and you’re clear on why you’re doing this, you can then make your money work for you.

Declutter – It’s time to Marie Kondo your money. You need a fail-safe system to remove money waste from your life, so you can smash out smarter money decisions, including automating these so you have less decisions to make.

Most of our inability to take action is due to being disorganised, unintentionally allowing things to get in the way right

when we’re ready to leap. Review your bank accounts and plug any leaks, such as excess credit card charges and old subscriptions. Aim at reducing costs across providers including utilities, bank fees and health insurance.

Two crucial aspects here are reducing debts and creating a spending plan on cruise control: know where your money comes in and automate bank accounts to distribute funds aligned to your definition of sufficient funds. Even if you feel your current savings/spending system is working, realigning this to your definition of sufficient, removing any excess, will provide ultimate financial clarity.

Develop –This is where you develop your growth strategy. True happiness and fulfillment comes from progress and growth. After decluttering, you’re on cruise control with your spending plan and clear on how much should be left over. You now move from simply counting your chips to strategically building ‘mad stacks’ that link directly to the goals and values you defined earlier.

Whichever investment options you choose, it’s important that you align these to your definition of sufficient. You’re going to need to do your research, weighing up which options are right for you, or rely on a financial adviser here.

Defend –Life can at times be completely unpredictable and totally

unplannable. Once you’ve built your mad stacks, you’re going to want to shield yourself and your family from inevitable bumps in the road.

This includes using your safety buffer and protecting yourself against the unplannable with insurance.

Over the years, I’ve seen endless numbers of clients facing unforeseen difficulties: a serious medical diagnosis, tragic loss of a partner, being laid off or a relationship breakdown.

No one anticipated these events. They had to change their plans, rethink goals and adjust timelines. None of this means your definition of ‘sufficient’ needs to change, but your plan for achieving it may need some tweaks.

Deliver –This is where you need to stay on track and stay motivated. It’s about commitment: staying true to your values, keeping motivated and regularly tweaking your definition of what sufficient funds means to you.

– An edited extract from financial advisor James Millard’s new book, Insufficient Funds

Disclaimer: The information in these articles is of a general nature only and does not constitute personal financial or product advice. Any opinions or views expressed are those of the authors and do not represent those of this publication, or people, institutions or organisations they may be associated with in a professional or personal capacity unless explicitly stated.

Electronic conveyancing makes property settlements easier

Those of us who have bought and sold properties over the years would be familiar with the traditional way a settlement happens.

All the parties, usually through solicitors and the banks, meet in a room and hand around signed transfer and stamp duty documents, new mortgages, old mortgage releases and bank cheques to make the settlement happen.

Once that occurs, the physical documents are sent off to the Titles Office for lodgment and registration, and the parties rush off to the bank to deposit their cheques before the banks close for the day. Not anymore.

Transfers of real estate are now handled via an electronic platform known as Pexa.

Until recently, electronic settlements were optional, but now are compulsory.

The easiest way to imagine it is


WITH more than $1 trillion tied up in home equity, many of today’s retirees are asset-rich but cash-poor, especially in the face of rising living costs and interest rates. Traditional bank loans are often out of reach for those on pensions or not able to make regular mortgage repayments, if they need funds for home renovations, living expenses, debt consolidation, aged care or to assist children with property purchases. But home equity release loans, or reverse mortgages, can provide a smart alternative to supplementing retirement income without downsizing or selling.

that instead of a physical meeting in an actual meeting room, all the parties meet electronically in a virtual meeting environment.

All the parties join in to the Pexa workspace in advance of the agreed settlement date and time, then input the requisite details – who is transferring to whom and who is being paid what.

The transfer, release of mortgage, new mortgage etc are electronically shared with the Titles Office for registration.

Payments are made into the nominated account as clear funds – so, no more waiting three business days for a bank cheque to clear.

But what about cybercrime? Will the money end up in Nigeria?

Our experience is that Pexa is incredibly security conscious.

Getting registered to operate in Pexa is quite a laborious process of ID proof and

Unlike a traditional home loan, home equity release loans do not require customers to provide proof of income or make regular repayments. Funds can be accessed as a lump sum, regular monthly income payments or a line of credit, with interest only applying to the outstanding balance. This flexibility ensures that retirees have funds available for emergencies without the burden of regular repayments.

All reverse mortgages also come with government protections such as the ‘no negative equity guarantee’ so that borrowers can never owe more than the value of the property. Customers can repay all or part of the loan at any time and draw back these funds later, if needed.

“Our research has found that people over 55 want access to cash now but may not be quite ready to downsize or they want to stay in the home and community they love,” Inviva co-founder and CEO Andre Karney says.

Visit or call 1300 222 223.

independent confirmation. Tens (perhaps hundreds) of millions of dollars go through the system daily.

It is essential that the Pexa electronic environment is as secure as is possible and it is being constantly updated in relation to cyber threats.

An example is that to direct funds to an account that hasn’t been used before in Pexa (as in the case with many of our clients selling their home after many years), the destination account must be

input three times, and all match, to be allowed to proceed.

Having operated for more than 30 years in the paper-settlement world, we can say that the electronic-settlement process is quicker, simpler and definitely better for clients and lawyers.

Brisbane Elder Law specialists in retirement village purchases, and the selling of homes to fund that purchase. Call 1800 328 952 or visit

Asbestos & Silica Related Disease Compensation Experts

National Pain Week is Australia’s annual awareness event for chronic pain, held this year from July 22-28.




IT IS insidious, invisible and complex, and it affects more than three million Australians.

Chronic pain can be described as persistent or intermittent pain that lasts for more than three months. Everyone experiences it differently. And while the pain can range from mild to severe, the individual usually lives with its effects most days. says that chronic pain can be brought on by illnesses, musculoskeletal problems, injury, surgery and cancer. But sometimes, there no obvious cause for the pain.

Chronic pain can affect mood, sleep and mental health, and sometimes leads to other conditions such as anxiety and even depression.

Treatments such as medicines, physiotherapy, psychological therapy and relaxation techniques can help manage it, but there is no known cure.

“For many people, chronic pain cannot be cured,” Health Direct says. “A management plan for chronic pain aims to prevent

pain from interfering with your daily life. This can help you get back to socialising, working and being active.

“Medicines alone are not usually enough to manage chronic pain. If you have chronic pain, you will also need other treatments, such as: selfmanagement activities (such as daily stretching, relaxation or sleep techniques); physical activity; psychological approaches (such as cognitive behavioural therapy or mindfulness). People with chronic pain who actively and regularly manage their pain do better than those who rely on passive therapies, such as medicine or surgery.”

Being proactive and selfmanaging treatment might lead sufferers to a range of different professionals and treatments: • seeing a psychologist or using online self-help sites

• seeing a physiotherapist or exercise physiologist

• activity pacing

• relaxation techniques, such as meditation

• exercise including walking, swimming, cycling or tai chi

• improving your sleep.

Health Direct says to talk to your doctor about developing a plan for managing your chronic pain and to seek advice and support from a few different types of health professionals.

Chronic Pain Australia ( is the voice of Australians living with the debilitating condition. It conducts the annual National Pain Survey, asking Australians about the challenges they face in managing their condition.

The organisation wants to draw attention to Aussies’ experiences in an effort to reduce the social and other barriers related to living and managing chronic pain.

By raising awareness of the lived experiences faced by people with chronic pain, the National Pain Survey has become a trusted source of information, contributing to national healthcare discussions.


ARBORVITAE comprises natural ingredients, including Pycnogenol (French pine bark extract), aloe vera, papain enzyme and honey.

A recent clinical study on Arborvitae Joint Health has shown some exceptional results with pain relief (66 per cent decrease in pain test scores), a 50 per cent increase in walking distance and a 56 per cent decrease in inflammation in blood tests (CRP).

“The customer feedback we receive also demonstrates the product’s efficacy and enables us to provide real examples of its success across a broad range of conditions when speaking with customers,” Arborvitae director Brendan Howell says.

The company’s main product is Arborvitae Joint Health which helps to provide relief from the symptoms of mild-moderate arthritis, joint pain, inflammation, soreness

and stiffness. The other stars in the range are Arborvitae Health and Wellbeing Supplement for blood glucose, cholesterol and the immune system and Arborvitae Cognitive Function, Memory and Eye Health.

Arborvitae Health and Wellbeing is a family-owned Australian company founded in 2014 and based on the need to develop a solution for chronic inflammation.

Mr Howell says the natural anti-inflammatory comes in an easy-to-take daily liquid supplement that has been designed to reset the immune system and bring down inflammation in the body quickly and efficiently.

The inflammation reduction of 56 per cent at the cellular level is also confirmed by the CRP results in the clinical study.

This reduction in inflammation alone is considered significant.

To find out more on the clinical study and Arborvitae’s health supplements, visit or call 1300 879 863.

How to build a bridge to get over (most) of our stress

CHARLIE GRIFFITHS has a plan to help chronic pain sufferers maintain a ‘Circle of Control’ over their condition.

WE’VE undergone so many blood tests that if we over-hydrate we leak, and our private parts are now a matter of public record. That shouldn’t cause angst, anxiety, frustration, fear, desperation or overwhelm, should it?

We’ve just been diagnosed with a chronic condition, a serious illness or injury for which there is no known cure.

Now, we add anger, confusion, resentment, disempowerment, guilt, loss and regret. Unrelenting exposure to these emotions eventually impacts our physiological, psychological and emotional wellbeing. Blood tests don’t pick this up, but how we feel is real.

Whether we consult Dr Google or our trusted GP, we get the same fool-proof advice: “Reduce stress”, “stop worrying” and “stay positive”. All the negative emotions are the product of stress. So, when we reduce stress, all will be well.

Of course! How could we have missed it? Just get rid of the root cause and all the symptoms go away. The trouble is, stress isn’t the root cause. Our chronic condition is. And we’ve just been told that it won’t go away – ever. That’s not stressful, is it?

So, we have a chronic condition that triggers stress, that evokes negative emotions, that makes us feel unwell.

The bottom line is that we want to feel well. So, how do we achieve this?

Phew. Time out. Make a cuppa and grab a good book. Ah, here’s one: Ancient Stoic Philosophers. Open to a random page and here’s good old Epictetus declaring: “Happiness and freedom begin with a clear understanding of one principle: Some things are within our control, and some things are not.”

Finish cuppa and continue ... If we acknowledge what we can’t control, and

focus on what we can control, we’re in with a big chance of achieving fulfilment and happiness. We can’t cure our chronic condition, but we can manage it. We can take a sensible cocktail of drugs, do strengthening and relaxing exercises, eat well and (probably the hardest of all) be kind to ourselves.

We can’t help feeling negative at times, but we can embrace the positives, be grateful that we’re still around, be optimistic about our future, soak up the love and encouragement of our support network, get excited about our achievements and, most importantly, be bold. All this is possible, even probable, with an indomitable mindset.

I believe that the essays of Epictetus should reference the ‘Bunnings phenomenon’. When someone is feeling down, an Aussie friend may suggest they “go to Bunnings”.

“What for?”

“To buy some wood and some nails.”

“What’s that for?”

“To build a bridge and get over it!”

I propose that mindset is a bridge that takes us safely and surely to our

destination. It traverses all dangers and distractions and is the shortest path to victory. It is the infrastructure on which we build our goals.

Now, let’s summarise how we will make our complex life-long battle winnable. Start at the base with a positive mindset. We can only achieve what we believe we can achieve. So, let’s believe big. Next, focus only on things we can control and make them work for us. Remember, we are all constantly under fire from volleys of stressors. Most will miss us anyway and the idea is to dodge as many as we can. Those that miss we can’t control, so no loss. The few stressors that stick are our challenges. They’re our captives and we’ll deal with them how we see fit. Although painful at times, life would be pretty boring without them. If this resonates with you, contact me at

Charlie Griffiths is a certified life coach and Neuro Linguistic Programming practitioner dedicated to helping fellow professionals refocus after being diagnosed with a chronic disease.

If you have pain & inflammation


THIS family-owned Australian company founded in 2014 is based on the need to develop a solution for chronic inflammation at the cellular level, a main contributor to many health conditions.

Arborvitae Health and Wellbeing manufactures and sells health supplements online via their website and in store through more than two thousand chemists and health food stores Australia-wide.

The main product is ‘’Arborvitae Joint Health” which can provide relief from the symptoms of mild arthritis, joint pain, inflammation, soreness and stiffness.

‘’Arborvitae’s formulation results in a potent natural anti-inflammatory and antioxidant supplement that helps with inflammation at the cellular level and accordingly assists with a broad range of health conditions,” director Brendan Howell of Arborvitae said.

“The natural anti-inflammatory comes

in an easy to take daily liquid supplement that has been designed to quickly and efficiently reset the immune system and bring down inflammation in the body.”

Research published in September 2020 has supported claims that Arborvitae Joint Health can assist in relieving the symptoms of mild osteoarthritis.

The study, published in the Journal of Orthopaedics and Traumatology, compared the effectiveness of Arborvitae Joint Health in the supplementary management of mild to moderate osteoarthritis.

It showed that after 3 months, participants using Arborvitae Joint Health had a 66% decrease in pain test scores; a 50% increase in walking distance without pain; a 50% improvement in quality of life scores ; and a 78% reduction in their use of rescue medications.

Over the years the company has focused on formulating and testing their health supplements in an effort to bring the best natural products to the market.

“Arborvitae is a natural potent antiinflammatory and antioxidant supplement,” Mr Howell said.

“Its main ingredients are Pycnogenol (French mant1me pine bark extract), aloe vera, pa pain enzyme and honey.

“Each of Arborvitae’s supplements are listed with the Therapeutic Goods Administration and are manufactured in Australia under Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP).”

Arborvitae’s best-selling supplements include Arborvitae Joint Health (Arthritis & Pain Relief) and Arborvitae Health & Wellbeing Supplement (Blood Glucose and Cholesterol).

Brendan Howell is thrilled with the success of Arborvitae sales both in stores and online and is pleased that these products are making a difference in people’s lives.

“The feedback we receive from customers is amazing and provides us with

the confidence to sell our products,” he said.

For more details on Arborvitae supplements, phone 1300 879 863 or visit

AUSTRALIAN cricket legend

Merv Hughes was diagnosed with severe obstructive sleep apnea and stopped breathing on average 76 times per hour.

After 25 years of snoring, he now breathes easy at night and sleeps silently.

Merv is CPAP Direct’s brand ambassador and strongly advocates a positive customer experience.

“The CPAP Direct staff just made it so easy and a really pleasant experience,” he says.

“They are so knowledgeable and experienced with an answer for all of my questions, no matter how stupid they may seem.”

Sleep is the pillar of health impacting our physical, emotional and psychological wellbeing. But often, patients with undiagnosed sleep apnea do not realise they are not getting the quality of sleep required to function effectively.

Correlating with comorbidities such as obesity, sleep apnea unsurprisingly is on the rise in Australia.

Sleep apnea affects men and women. However, recent research suggests that up to

49 per cent of men in the 40 to 69-year-old category may be affected.

“Patients may complain about feeling constantly tired but it’s not until their cranky partner demands they do something about the incessant snoring that they take action. If only they knew how good they will feel after CPAP therapy and a good night’s sleep,” CPAP Direct and Sleep Testing Australia managing director Bryce Perron says.

This starts with an affordable ‘in-home’ sleep test to assess the severity of the problem and then moving on to a CPAP trial, purchase and ongoing support. This process makes the patient’s journey holistic, affordable and easy.

“We have 120 highly trained and accredited staff across the business nationally, including pharmacists, sleep technicians, sleep scientists and nurses,” Mr Perron says.

“I wanted the entire team to have first-hand experience of wearing a CPAP mask. So, it is mandated that all staff take home and use the different CPAP masks and machines.

“We have found that it provides great insight into the patient experience and encourages empathy and understanding.”

All 20 stores across Australia are focused on providing a 5-star service and helping their patients achieve the best result.

They have a house call service for veterans, NDIS and home care package patients, as well as a range of affordable options for diagnosis and treatment for the general public.

Regardless if you’re an existing CPAP user or someone who would like some advice on how to take the next step, you can take the first step by visiting or emailing


ADJUSTABLE beds have come a long way in the past 10 years.

They are now not only used in hospitals and facilities, but also many of the general population utilise them for their benefits.

This can be purely for comfort and convenience, or for increased independence in their day-to-day lives.

Some people simply use their adjustable beds to better watch TV or read; others to have a cup of tea in comfort.

But adjustable beds can aid in the relief of a number of conditions including asthma, reflux, sleep apnoea and arthritis, just to name a few.

Each user can adjust the bed in endless ways to increase comfort and gain relief. Whether

that be raising the back rest to relieve pressure on the airway or raising the foot end of the bed to increase blood flow and help to decrease inflammation from arthritis, there are endless benefits available.

Some beds also raise and lower height-wise, which can make it easier to get in and out or transfer into other mobility aids where needed.

The modern adjustable bed also looks more like a normal bed, so there is no stigma involved with having a ‘hospital’ bed in your home and can be a great addition to your life.

WORDS: Kaitlyn Bishop, manager, Sleep Electric. Call 0409 891 795 or email

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Seasonal depression can take its toll

CAITLYN HUTH understands the ‘heaviness’ of winter can be hard to shake but it’s worth it for our bodies to continue exercising.

As the mercury begins to take a dive and clouds start looming over a little more regularly, it is obvious that winter is here.

Along with this, we can’t help but find ourselves really digging deep for motivation to get moving or even searching for a good ounce of productivity throughout the day.

Changes in the season very much still have an impact on our biology, despite the change in our culture and increased everyday busy-ness of our lifestyles.  And while this is something that will impact most of us, those already dealing with the weight of depression may expect to feel a greater heaviness with this.

The science behind it? Part of it is attributed to the primal times where winter meant food was scarce, environments were harsh and it was a time to focus on shelter and survival. This part is still wired in our brain all these years later.

Another part comes with the signals we receive from the sun that regulates our circadian rhythm.  The blue light from the bright, blue sky signals cortisol (our ‘be alert’ button), so we are more inclined to be active.

So what can you do to shake the heaviness this season?

Seeking natural light exposure is an effective way to signal the body to regulate energy, encourage Vitamin D production (which supports the immune system – a muchneeded function in this season)

and bring a mood boost.  This counts on cloudy days.

Activity fuels activity –whether it’s a 30-second, whole-body shake, a 20-minute walk or dancing to your favourite songs.  A dose of activity amid the stillness will encourage metabolic activity, providing your cells with momentary energy, along with bumping up heart rate and giving your brain a break from the sluggishness.

While these sound temporary or in the moment, more frequent bouts of this exposure throughout the day and weeks have a greater compound effect on our health.

Sure, it’s not groundbreaking, but this may be the thing you can easily implement to give a little extra energy here and there that carries you through those dreary, cold days.

Caitlyn Huth is an exercise physiologist at Full Circle Wellness. Call 5456 1599 or visit

FIT HAPPENS with Tom Law


YOU know the warmer weather has gone because so, too, have some of the people – I mean, from exercise.

On the Peninsula at Redcliffe where I live, there are other indicators of the cooler weather: the mullet are on the run, the waters of Moreton Bay are calmer and clearer and the calendar tells me winter is here.

From a personal trainer’s perspective, numbers of attendees at classes and sessions drop in direct proportion to the weather.  Even when I managed a gym, the numbers of members who came along or gym attendances generally would drop. Numbers would start to come back up to peak attendances around AugustSeptember, in conjunction with the warmer weather.

Of course, we know that bears hibernate in winter –sleeping most of the time, not eating or drinking – and many humans do the same (minus the eating and drinking part). Good health is about being consistent

with good, healthy habits.  Eat well and clean, take in plenty of fresh water and exercise regularly.

Is it harder to get up in the morning during cold wet and wintery weather? Yes, of course, and many of us might want to spend a few more minutes in bed before greeting the day.

But, good health and healthy habits, including regular exercise, cannot take an extended break like bears do. So, if you have a solid exercise regime, then you should continue that all year, only taking regular exercise breaks as per your program or when the weather is extreme or dangerous.

Those of you who attend a gym or warm, covered exercise area are not really affected by changing weather conditions. For those who rely on outdoor pursuits for regular exercise, I like to quote the comedian Billy Connolly who once said: “There is no such thing as bad weather –simply inappropriate clothing”. Tom Law is the author of health and exercise-related books. Visit’sLaw


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CLOSE to the best the city has to offer and yet surrounded by nature, GemLife over-50s lifestyle resort’s first split-level display home showcases an unprecedented lifestyle opportunity on the northern Gold Coast.

The display is one of 39 architecturally-designed, premium homes to be built, with some boasting city skyline views.

Four designs are available, and each offers a spacious, open-plan layout with two bedrooms plus a multipurpose room, ultra-high ceilings, large rear yards, two al fresco areas, louvred shade systems and designer kitchens with European appliances.

GemLife Gold Coast sales manager Ashleigh Murtagh says the premium homes raise the bar for over-50s living, providing luxury inclusions as standard, lovely outlooks, as well as maximising natural light and breezes.

“The split-level homes

feature a generous 326 sqm to 351 sqm of living space with a master suite located on both levels, providing plenty of privacy when guests stay or the option for dual living,” she says.

“Each home features outdoor entertainment areas on both the upper and lower levels, plus an al fresco kitchen, complemented by a built-in bar area and wine fridge inside, making them ideal for those who love to host family, friends and neighbours.”

The luxury split-level homes, priced from $1.2 million, are among GemLife’s most premium to date.

“Demand has been extremely strong for homes across the board, and we already have a large wait list for Stage 3. When they’re released later this year, we’re expecting the more than 100 homes to sell within weeks of hitting the market,” Ashleigh says.

“The new split-level homes offer a rare opportunity, with only a limited number of these designs to be released in future stages.”

For more on GemLife Gold Coast and the new split-level homes, call 1800 325 229 or visit the website.



WITH diabetes, heart disease and dementia on the rise, it has never been more important than it is now to engage in regular physical activity.

Sadly, only 25 per cent of Australians aged 65 years and older are meeting their recommended daily exercise quota.

Don’t get me wrong – I understand the last thing anyone feels like doing is popping the sneakers on for an inevitable mundane, taxing and painful experience. But exercise for seniors is no longer considered a strenuous chore or reserved for the avid marathon runner and medal-wearing cyclist.

A recent site visit to our Seasons Living communities brought a world of good to my

soul when I saw residents actively participating in our lifestyle programs. Whether they were making a splash in the pool during a water aerobics session or showing off their best moves in a Zumba class, the smiles on their faces were contagious.

Benefits for residents who have taken advantage of the Seasons Lifestyle Calendar have been abundant, offering a way to keep fit, boost mood and strengthen social connections.

Witnessing the enjoyment residents gained from these activities made me realise the barriers older generations are

continuing to face when it comes to accessing ways to keep up their physical activity.

It is crucial to engage older Australians through positive encouragement and by appealing to their interests and specific needs – a redefining strategy which Seasons has adopted into its lifestyle model.

WORDS: Rhylea Thompson, marketing coordinator, Seasons Living.

For more information about the Seasons Living Lifestyle Calendar, visit seasonsliving. or email info@


‘MOUNTIES’ often sparks curiosity about its origin.

The name comes from Mount Pritchard: the Sydney suburb that was home to the original Mounties club.

The parent company’s mission is to serve its members and communities, now extending to healthcare and mobility and independence aids. This mission led Mounties to Queensland, where five locations have been launched for the mobility and independence division.

The company enhances quality of life with essential equipment such as wheelchairs, rollators, mobility scooters and adjustable beds. Central to the service is the strong relationships built with clients and caregivers, ensuring personalised and

effective mobility solutions.

“We’re revitalising existing stores with strong community ties and providing them with more resources,” general manager Peter Cole says. “This means a broader product range at more value-for-money prices.”

Peter and many on the care team are industry veterans who have witnessed significant technological and cultural shifts.

“There’s greater understanding and acceptance now,” Peter notes, emphasising the impact of community outreach. Efforts include free workshops and training sessions at universities and nursing homes and with occupational therapists.

Mounties seeks to remain committed to consistency and

reliability in its health services.

The equipment range has expanded significantly. It offers ultra-portable mobility scooters and wheelchairs, adjustable beds with programmable postures for increased comfort and easier transfers, and innovative kitchen aids that simplify daily tasks.

Visit mountiescaremobility.


WHEN it comes to residential aged care, there are often many factors to consider when selecting the right provider or service.

“If you are exploring options to make the transition into aged care, it is good to do an in-depth search of centres that suit you and your loved one requiring care,” explains Aileen Rendon, centre manager of The Cairns Aged Care Centre (The Cairns) in Chapel Hill, run by The Salvation Army Aged Care.

“It’s important to take a tour of your chosen centres and meet with their care teams to discuss the requirements of the person that needs care.

“When they and/or their family member/s work hand in hand with the care team, this can help to get the best result.”

The first step in sourcing residential aged care is to obtain an ACAT assessment.

As well as permanent care, many aged care centres offer the option of respite care, which is often used for temporary,

short-term care and also for an indication of what it’s like to live at an aged care home before deciding on permanent care.

At The Cairns, the care team has formal meetings with new residents and their families.

Team members regularly check in on new residents as they settle into the centre.

Regular communication and reviews are important throughout a resident’s stay, for permanent and respite care.

There is also the opportunity for the resident and their family to provide feedback at any given time.

“We collaborate with the family to know the resident’s lifestyle and usual activities at home,” Aileen says.

“We then link them with the allied health team to provide a structure of their support for them to maintain their independence.

“In terms of decision making, we always make sure that they are involved.”

WORDS: Emily Young, marketing coordinator, The Salvation Army Aged Care. Visit for more information.


will receive personalised service, tailored for you, with

xed rates and no hidden fees.


DOROTHY Stringer OAM has defied every stereotype of ageing.

Only very recently did she ‘retire’, working up until her late-80s as president (and founder) of Brain Injured Children’s Aftercare Recovery Endeavours (BICARE) which was formed in 1992.

Dorothy and her team of volunteers raised over $1 million for children’s health over the years.

At 92, Dorothy still has a twinkle in her eye and a wicked sense of humour. Her spirit remains undeterred.

Dorothy’s recent solo journey to the remote wilderness of Antarctica, albeit with the aid of a walker, is a testament to her indomitable will.

Embarking on a remarkable expedition cruise with Hurtigruten Expeditions has almost certainly made her one of the oldest adventurers to ever set foot on the icy continent.

Of course, the expedition itself offered Dorothy a frontrow seat to the breathtaking

landscapes and unique wildlife of the Antarctic but she also formed strong bonds with the crew and other passengers.

In fact, Dorothy ‘found’ herself again, such is the transformative nature of the Antarctic but also a benefit of having a change of scenery, both in the literal and figurative sense.

“Hurtigruten Expeditions (HX) was thrilled to have Dorothy on board to experience the remarkable seventh continent,” a HX representative says.

“We are proud to have had the opportunity to showcase this life-changing destination for her and are honoured that she chose to travel with us. Dorothy truly represents the spirit of adventure that HX has embodied since 1896.”

This solo journey was more than just a physical venture.

It was a symbolic defiance against the conventional expectations of ageing.

Dorothy’s adventure challenges us all to rethink what is possible as we age, and to maintain our curiosity and zest for life – no matter our circumstances.

It’s never too late to embrace new experiences and to live our dreams. Don’t let age define what you can or cannot do, nor being a solo traveller deter you.

As Dorothy’s travel advisor, I wanted to share her extraordinary tale, and hope that it ignites a spark in all of us to pursue our passions with courage and enthusiasm – to never stop exploring, dreaming and embracing life with open arms. In a world that often overlooks the elderly when it comes to adventures and new experiences, Dorothy stands as a shining example that age is just a number.

WORDS: Sarah Webster, Wayfinder Travel and Cruise. Visit wayfindertraveland

● Fixed rate with no hidden fees

● Fully licenced Property Manager

● Regular routine inspections with photo reports

● Flexible owner payments, and same day statements

● Strict property application processes with thorough tenant checks

● Limited number of managed properties to ensure top quality service


• July 1-31 Dry July; National Sleep Awareness Month; Christmas in July

• July 2 World UFO Day

• July 1-7 NAIDOC Week

• July 4-7 Queensland Garden Expo

• July 7 World Chocolate Day

• July 9 Australian Constitution Day

• July 14-21 National Diabetes Week

• July 20 International Chess Day

• July 21 National Lamington Day

• July 22-28 National Pain Week

• July 26-August 11 Paris Olympic Games

• July 28-August 4 DonateLife Week

• July 28 World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly

• July 30 UN International Day of Friendship.

WARM up the cockles of your heart with this slightly spicy take on traditional pumpkin soup.



• 2 tbsp (56g) red curry paste

• 500g pumpkin, peeled and chopped

• 400g can coconut milk

• 4 tbsp (20g) coriander.


In a large non-stick frying pan, saute the red curry paste for 30 seconds over a medium heat. Add the pumpkin and toss to

coat. Add coconut milk and 1/3 cup water. Bring to a gentle boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes, or until the pumpkin is tender. Cool for 10 minutes. Using a stick blender, blend until smooth. Divide evenly across four bowls and serve scattered with fresh coriander.

This recipe is from 4 Ingredients’ The Easiest One Pot Cookbook Ever, on sale for $24, including free postage Australia-wide. Visit products/4-ingredients-the-easiest-one-potcookbook-ever


BRISBANE-born production house Strut & Fret is thrilled to announce a permanent 400-plus seat theatre in West End: The West End Electric.

The bespoke new live entertainment space will open with the Brisbane Festival on August 29, premiering Strut & Fret’s smash-hit circus-cabaret spectacle, Limbo – The Return.

This show of otherworldly proportions features an international cast of circus performers and the music of New York’s Jank maestro Sxip Shirey.

This jaw-dropping spectacular reimagines the original Limbo which toured 17 countries, wowing audiences from Brussels to Bogota with its stunning fire-breathing and gravity-defying stunts. WHERE: The West End Electric, 125 Boundary Street, West End. WHEN: From August 29 (various times). TICKETS: From $59, via


FROM a childhood spent on outback cattle stations to world tours and serendipitous moments in the sun, the extraordinary life of First Nations Australian David Bindi Hudson is at the centre of the exciting production From Campfire to Stage Light.

The known and loved cultural leader and global ambassador for Indigenous Australia is the ultimate storyteller, singer-songwriter, dancer, visual artist and actor.

From Campfire to Stage Light, presented by Redland Performing Arts Centre in association with JUTE Theatre Company and Didge-Ralia, is laden with yarns and jewels of Hudson’s life. These include his musical art and popularising the didgeridoo, performing in a world


YOU’RE never too old to enjoy David Bowie’s musical legacy, so prepare to get your rock chick on and the party started.

The lads of Soft Treadly, formerly known as The Jensens, were all brought up on a very healthy diet of rock. As well as their own success with original music over the past decade, the band members have been reliving their parents’ youth with tribute tours and shows covering The Cure, Talking Heads and Guardians of the Galaxy for 18 to 80-year-olds.

Now, they’re venturing into the much-loved territory of legendary Bowie hits including Space Oddity, Let’s Dance, tour with Greek composer Yanni, his passion for educating people about First Nations’ culture, and success in cofounding the award-winning dance troupe and Australia’s longest-running theatrical production Tjapukai

The stories take us from traditional lands to the international mega stages as Hudson traversed the world musically, educating people about his culture. This epic journey toward self-determination and Indigenous pride is brought to life through storytelling, songs and extraordinary visual design.

WHERE: Redland Performing Arts Centre, 2-16 Middle Street, Cleveland.

WHEN: Saturday, July 13, at 7.30pm.

TICKETS: Visit or call the Box Office on 3829 8131.

Heroes and Changes

WHERE: Royal Quarters, 1259 Sandgate Road, Nundah

WHEN: July 27 at 8pm.

TICKETS: Via and search for ‘Soft Treadly’.


“...the frank and hilarious account of an immigrant girl who follows her German lover from Cologne to the end of the world.”

Bastard Beautiful is testimony of the fact that Mocco Wollert ticked all the boxes, with one extra component in the mix: a healthy sense of humour. Friends were the only support system at the time Mocco set foot on Darwin’s primitive tarmac. She and her husband soon found good people between the motley crowds that were Northern Territory’s population in the late fifties, many who’d become friends for life. For me, the book is a page turner. I’d like to recommend it to all who are interested in Australia’s living history.

– Helga Parl



IGNITE and uplift your soul with the infectious melodies of a Celtic music spectacular.

Let your spirit dance to the beats of bodhráns and feel the heat of fiery fiddles, flutes and more as the rich heritage of Celtic music is celebrated.

Experience the magic of Celtic culture brought to life through electrifying musical performances, weaving together tradition and innovation in a spellbinding tapestry of sound.

Whether you’re a seasoned Celt or a newcomer to the wonders of Celtic music, this 90-minute show promises an unforgettable journey through the heart and soul of the Celtic lands. Don’t miss this opportunity to be part of an evening filled with passion, energy, and pure musical joy.

WHERE: Redland Museum, 60 Smith Street, Cleveland.

WHEN: Saturday, July 27, 6pm (curtain up 6.30pm).

TICKETS: $30, via or call 3286 3494.


A new specialist venue has come to Brisbane, open to all motoring enthusiasts, clubs and groups.

The Brisbane Motor Museum is a hub featuring: a club, function and meeting area, cafe, motoring library, gift shop, model and arts display and on-site undercover parking.

Exhibits showcasing the best in motoring history in Australia and the world change every two to three months.

The rotating exhibits will include celebrated marques, motoring clubs’ milestones, themed displays, artworks and motoring materials, a library, gear and much more.

Every marque has a story, but rarely as extensive as this current exhibition.

Jaguar Stories features a grand selection of some of the finest historic, sporting and modern Jaguars Brisbane has to offer.

Don’t miss this short-term exhibit of luxury, design, power and speed.

WHERE: The Brisbane Motor Museum, 959 Nudgee Road, Banyo.

WHEN: The museum is openMonday to Sunday, 8am-3pm, and Jaguar Stories continues until July 28. You can see nearly all of the museum’s facilities for free. A ticket is only needed to enter the museum’s exhibit space.

TICKETS: Via brisbanemotormuseum.


AUSTRALIA’S acclaimed world music sensation, MZAZA, is set to unveil its spectacular production The Birth and Death of Stars.

Based on the award-nominated album of the same name, The Birth and Death of Stars draws inspiration from history’s philosophers and astronomers, leading us on a surreal voyage through the ether to explore what links us to each other and the world around us.

Guided by enchanting French vocalist Pauline Maudy, a remarkable ensemble of musicians and songwriters hailing from diverse corners of the globe will ensnare your senses with their spellbinding performances. Prepare for an exquisite fusion of accordion, violin, shah kaman, percussion, double bass and guitar, as these virtuosos mesmerise and transport you beyond the ordinary.

WHERE: Redland Performing Arts Centre, 2-16 Middle Street, Cleveland.

WHEN: Friday, August 2, at 7.30pm.

TICKETS: Via or call the Box Office on 3829 8131.

TINA – The Tina Turner Musical celebrates the life story of the ‘queen of rock ‘n’ roll’, who didn’t just break the rules, she rewrote them.

Produced in association with the late Tina Turner herself, this story features more than 20 of her hits including River Deep, What’s Love Got To Do With It and Proud Mary.

This smash-hit musical is bringing Australian audiences to their feet, night after night, with critics calling it “simply the best” and “an absolute joy”.

WHEN: Until August 23, various times. WHERE: Lyric Theatre, Queensland Performing Arts Centre, corner Grey And Melbourne Street South Bank, Brisbane. TICKETS: $69-$229 (a transaction fee of $7.20 applies).

Redland Performing Arts Centre and Human Symphony present
Human Symp


HERITAGE Day celebrates the rich cultural traditions of the past.

Watch craftsmen and craftswomen demonstrate traditional skills such as quilting, wool spinning and blacksmithing.

Discover the beauty of machinery from a bygone era and marvel at vintage cars and motorcycles.

Some of the featured displays and demonstrations include: vintage and veteran cars, motorcycles, a luthier (guitar maker), clock and watchmakers, family history groups, lace making, knitting, felting, quilting, preserves and jams, the artisans’ guild, military displays and a vintage market with steampunk paraphernalia, handmade soaps, oldfashioned candy and fudge.


Live entertainment will include Celtic and classic Australian ballads, Scottish traditional bagpipes, 18thcentury country dancing and bush poetry readings.

Many volunteers and guest exhibitors will step out in style in traditional dress, adding to the bygone atmosphere.

This year, children are encouraged to rediscover the charm of traditional games from croquet and knuckles, to tin can knockdown and hopscotch.

Youngsters can get hands-on with interactive activities, making it a fun and educational experience for the whole family.

Keep up to date with information on the Caboolture Historical Village Facebook page.

WHERE: Caboolture Historical Village, 280 Beerburrum Road, Caboolture.

WHEN: August 4, 9am-3pm.

TICKETS: Adults $10, children aged 6-16 $5, under-5s free. Visit historicalvillage.

The WORLD in Your Hands Travel in Your Time

Filling hearts and stomachs with joy over the border

My bleary eyes catch the distant glow streaming through the glass sliding doors and I move forward to investigate.

The vision of the golden orb kissing the horizon hits me like a splash of cold water on my face. Together with the foggy veil laying low near the thick treeline and light dew glistening on the soft, thick carpet of grass, this ethereal beauty is like a scene from a movie, or perhaps a country music video clip.

For any urbanite, embracing country comforts is always good for the soul. And now I am awake to the charms of the Byron Bay hinterland of NSW.

Craig and Nicole Spencer’s 41 ha Heartwood Farm (heartwoodfarmbyron in Federal proves to be just the tonic I need to relax, recharge and reset.

And the circular plunge pool on the deck beside the back patio calls our names from the moment we step out of the car on a scorching-hot day.

We immerse up to our necks for a good half-hour until, with wrinkly fingers, the comfortable outdoor lounge beckons and I oblige – curling up with a historical

romance novel in between throwing the ball to our new best friends and resident kelpies: Levi and Rippa.

Every now and then, I put down the book and look out over this idyllic setting ... big skies, undulating hillsides with cows grazing in paddocks, and the occasional warbling magpie and far-off kookaburra.

As if to punctuate the quintessential rural setting, a couple of chooks appear around the corner for a brief scratch around.

It would be enough to spend our entire two-night farmstay here without venturing anywhere else.

The Spencers, who run their own renovation business, saw something special in the rundown main house on the hill and old farm cottage with majestic views when they bought the property in 2018.

The land was selected by John Fowler (after whom nearby Fowlers Lane, Bangalow, was named) in 1905.

His great granddaughter dropped by a while back to share stories of her family and a little of the farm’s history with Craig and Nicole.

“A lot of white and red cedar was milled

in the Byron hinterland of NSW.

at Bangalow from this property,” Nicole says on her brief welcome visit.

Our humble abode here was little more than a shed before the Spencers created the light and airy interior by putting in the gabled roof, then stripping the interior back to its bare bones, installing a floating timber floor and undertaking a full renovation.

Covered and uncovered patios were added at the front and back to make the most of sunrise breakfasts and sunset drinks.

There’s even a firepit, with marshmallows supplied in the pantry.

Nicole has plundered local secondhand and vintage shops for special finds, and sourced quality furnishings from around Australia and the world to carefully curate the interior of the renovated two-bedroom country cottage that embraces the style of yesteryear but with all the modern conveniences.

A highlight is the locally handmade glass tile splashback wall in the kitchen, and I definitely wanted to take home the blue-and-white floral ottoman in the lounge.

Everything you could need for a serene and relaxing getaway is provided, including Maxima ground bean sachets (Maxima


The microwave, dishwasher, free wifi, ceiling fans and Weber Q barbecue mean guests can truly unwind, while a basket, rug and Marshall Bluetooth speaker are ideal for picnics by the Wilson River, which forms the property’s northeastern boundary. The river also opens up opportunities for kayaking, fishing and dips in the secluded swimming hole.

And the clawfoot bath or rainhead shower in the cottage bathroom will welcome you back with open arms for a good soak afterwards.

At the end of the day, we could luxuriate in air-conditioned comfort while we watched the 55" LCD Smart TV with Netflix before sliding under the Cultiver Linen sheets on our choice of two queensize bedrooms.

And if we so desired, there also is a host of services ready, willing and able to meet our needs – from a private chef to cook us

SHIRLEY SINCLAIR reconnects with fond memories of her youth while on a relaxing farmstay
Roasters is owned and run by Nicole’s brother Luke and his wife Judy) and a French press to delight
coffee snob.
The Chirashi bowl at Doma Cafe
Three Blue Ducks
Wake up to this 'morning glory' from Heartwood Farm's back patio

The Eltham Hotel

dinner or lunch, to a yoga and physical training instructor or beautician and massage therapists.

We have taken advantage of a Platter Me Beautiful charcuterie grazing box (with cured meats, cheeses, hummus, fruit, nuts, lollies, chocolate and crackers), ordered and delivered straight to our fridge. That has our stomachs sorted for dinner on the first night – with enough leftover nibbles to last the weekend.

But our adventurous nature makes us want to explore roads less travelled.

Our mid-week retreat is only a hop, skip and jump away from memories of long weekends in our youth spent in Brunswick Heads, New Brighton, Ocean Shores and Lennox Head.

As we pass stone entry statements covered in bougainvillea and opening to palm-lined driveways, I wonder just how many tree-changers – with myriad skills

and creative bents – in recent years have joined the long-time farming families who put down roots in the rich volcanic soils.

Certainly, visitors can observe a smattering of new restaurants, galleries, boutiques and homeware stores in just about every village, town and hamlet that lie behind Byron Bay’s world-renowned beach mecca.

We soon discover that while this luxe farmstay is far from the madding crowd, it is a short drive to all the fresh food and beverage experiences of this cosmopolitan region.

A paddock-to-plate indulgent lunch at The Farm Byron Bay ( in Ewingsdale certainly lives up to all the hype and expectations. Apart from the open spaces, feelgood vibe and rustic charm, the working farm houses several micro businesses that live and breathe its mantra of “grow, feed and educate”, including the celebrated Three Blue Ducks restaurant (

The Feed Me set shared menu is ideal for two hungry adults wanting to try a selection of dishes offering flavour explosions and the dynamite freshness of locally sourced ingredients.

From sweet potato hummus plus kingfish ceviche (a mix of candied macadamia and coconut balanced by a kick from sriracha flakes), we move on to the hero dish: 12-hour slow-cooked beef brisket that falls away with the touch of a fork,

teamed with perfect jacket potatoes.

While this is the highlight of our foodie tour de force, hitting the country roads delivers many support acts.

The quaint village of Federal, just four minutes away from Heartwood Farm, is home to the Japanese-inspired Doma Café (, where we share a deliciously fresh and tasty seafood Chirashi bowl, next to the historically quirky Federal General Store.

Harvest Café, Deli and Bakery (harvest., inside a converted Queenslander in nearby Newrybar, grows many of its kitchen ingredients and serves up a welcome espresso and cinnamon doughnut for morning tea. Its shelves display a range of the best artisanal and local products

from the region, while breads and baked goods cooked in the 120-year-old woodfired oven are bestsellers.

Slow drives on country roads shaded by arbours of camphor laurels and the like bring us to the business hub of Bangalow.

We are too early for the Bangalow Markets, held on the fourth Sunday of each month and raising funds for local community groups. But we meander on foot, up and down the main street, admiring the historic architecture and public artscape on the Bangalore Heritage Walk, before dropping by popular Café Woods: a vegetarian and plant-based cafe just off the main street in Bangalow’s Arts Precinct where conversation under the leafy pergola flows as easily as the coffee.

Meanwhile, the friendly Eltham Hotel’s popular beer garden (, ‘no dickhead policy’ sign on the public bar wall and ‘Middle of nowhere, centre of everything’ slogan on its T-shirts endear it to locals and visitors alike. The menu also proves this is no ordinary country pub, with Wild Boar Ragu (paccheri pasta and pecorino), Pig’s Head Sausage (Yorkshire pudding and onion gravy), Fried Silken Tofu (mushroom broth, torch ginger and chilli) and Smoked Eel Dip (potato gems, pickles) among the varied offerings.

So much to see, do and eat. So little time. And not a beach in sight.

*The writer was a guest of Heartwood Farm but paid for all other expenses.

JULY 2024

Mystery Escape (4 Days)

Christmas in July (1 Day)

Lightning Ridge (7 Days)


Carnarvon Gorge & Wallaroo Station #2 (7 Days)


Carnarvon Gorge & Wallaroo Station #3 (7 Days)

K’gari (Fraser Island)

Whale Watch (4 Days)

Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers (4 Days)


Tasmania (14 Days)

O’Reillys Rainforest Retreat (4 Days)



MARCH 2025

O’Reillys Rainforest Retreat (4 Days)

APRIL 2025

Norfolk Island (8 Days)

MAY 2025

Alpine High Country to the

Murray Delta (12 Days)

Red Centre & Top End: Adelaide to Darwin (18 Days)

JUNE 2025

North Queensland Savannah Way (11 Days)

JULY 2025

South West Corner Queensland (12 Days)


Lightning Ridge (7 Days)


Carnarvon Gorge & Wallaroo Station (7 Days)

Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers (4 Days)


Flinders Ranges (11 Days)

Murray Princess and Kangaroo Island (11 Days)


O’Reillys Rainforest Retreat (4 Days)



Creature comforts at Heartwood Farm


IMAGINE sipping your morning coffee while taking in sweeping vistas of Fiordland in New Zealand, riding the elevator with views of the Tahitian blue waters or relaxing in the hot tub with a view of Tokyo.

This may sound like a dream, but it could be your next holiday. For the second consecutive year, Australia welcomes a new cruise ship making its debut. This time, it’s Silversea introducing one of its newest vessels, Silver Nova, heralding a new era in ultra-luxury cruising.

With state-of-the-art amenities and sustainable design, Silver Nova promises an unparalleled experience for travellers, changing your perspective on places you’ve always dreamed of seeing.

Picture yourself aboard this innovative ship, where breakthrough design blurs the boundaries between the vessel and the

surrounding environment. With decks that open up to the world, you’ll be brought closer to your destination, enjoying endless views and an abundance of natural light.

When you step into the world of Silver Nova, her revolutionary, asymmetrical design offers breathtaking outdoor panoramas and uninterrupted vistas from every venue, creating a deeper connection with your destination and an unprecedented sense of space. This ship is unlike any other you’ve experienced before and stands as Silversea’s most environmentally friendly vessel.

Silver Nova offers a range of luxurious amenities designed to enhance your cruising experience. Unwind in elegantly appointed suites that boast sophisticated decor and modern comforts. Each suite provides a personal sanctuary, complete

with stunning ocean views and attentive butler service. Indulge in world-class dining with Silversea’s immersive culinary experiences. Learn about local cuisine through interactive cooking lessons that connect the food to the region you’re exploring. Enjoy gourmet meals crafted by renowned chefs, featuring fresh, local ingredients that reflect the flavours of each destination.

For those seeking relaxation and rejuvenation, Silver Nova features a state-of-the-art spa and wellness centre. Pamper yourself with luxurious treatments or maintain your fitness routine with cutting-edge equipment and classes. The ship also offers a range of enrichment programs, from expert-led lectures to hands-on workshops.

Silver Nova’s itineraries include a series of Australian voyages, from Brisbane to Sydney, Melbourne to Darwin, and many more. From exploring the arts scene and landmarks of Sydney to discovering the natural splendour of the Great Barrier Reef and the rugged landscapes of Tasmania, each destination provides a wealth of experiences. You can delve into the rich Indigenous history in the Northern Territory and witness the scenery of the Great Ocean Road.

Silversea is inviting guests to enjoy savings of $3000 per suite on port-to-port fares. Contact your local Travellers Choice agent before July 31.


BEWARE AI-generated photos that are creeping into our social media feeds and trying to hoodwink us.

But this photo is not one of them.

I can vouch for it because I was there, though I was in disbelief that the aquamarine colour of the glacier-fed lake in Banff National Park, Canada, could be real.

Lying 40km north of equally stunning Lake Louise, Peyto Lake is a popular stop on the Icefields Parkway tourist drive in Alberta.

Those who make the short walk from the carpark often give a collective “ohhh” on first sight of the water, surrounded by sub-alpine forest, before lingering a while at the viewing platform to enjoy the (hopefully!) quiet ambience.

If you have a gob-smacking photo from your holidays, send it in with details for consideration in our travel pages. Email

Embrace safari experiences on land, sea and air

Safari guide SEAN LUES, of Journeys Worldwide, shares the reasons why Africa appeals to so many different travellers.

Embarking on an African safari is a dream for many, and it’s an ideal opportunity to combine adventure with comfort, and discovery with relaxation.

1. Walking safaris. Led by experienced and well-trained guides, you’ll explore the African bush on foot, learning about the flora and fauna up close. This slower-paced journey allows you to appreciate the smaller details that are often missed on vehicle safaris, such as tracking footprints, identifying plants and understanding animal behaviour. It’s a great way to engage your senses and feel truly immersed in the wild.

2. Night game drives. Night game drives offer the chance to see nocturnal animals in action. Using spotlights, guides can help you spot elusive creatures such as leopards, hyenas and aardvarks. The thrill of navigating the wilderness under the starry African sky, with the sounds of the night all around, adds a new dimension.

3. Photographic safaris. These safaris are led by professional wildlife photographers who provide expert guidance on capturing a great shot. You’ll visit prime locations during the best times of day for lighting, and learn tips and

techniques including anticipating certain interactions or behaviours.

5. Canoe and boat safaris. Canoe safaris in places such as the Okavango Delta allow you to glide silently through crystal-clear waters, getting close to animals such as hippos, crocodiles and a myriad bird species. Boat safaris on rivers including the Zambezi or Rufiji provide an opportunity to see animals coming to the water’s edge to drink, and perhaps witness the spectacular sight of elephants swimming across.

6. Cultural safaris. Engaging with Maasai warriors in Kenya, Himba tribes in

Namibia or San (Bushmen) in Botswana provides a deeper understanding of the rich cultural tapestry of Africa.

7. Horse-riding safaris. This unique perspective lets you get closer to wildlife without disturbing them, as animals are less wary of horses. Riding through diverse landscapes, from savannahs to woodlands, you’ll feel a deeper connection with nature.

8. Fishing safaris. Fishing safaris in places such as the Zambezi River offer the chance to catch tiger fish, bream and catfish while surrounded by breathtaking scenery. These safaris often include expert

guides, ensuring a rewarding and enjoyable experience whether you’re a seasoned angler or a beginner.

9. Yoga safaris. For those seeking a holistic experience, yoga safaris blend the tranquillity of the African wilderness with the rejuvenation of yoga. These safaris typically include wellness-focused activities, nutritious meals and luxurious accommodation, providing a balance of adventure and relaxation.

10. Team-building safaris. Ideal for corporate groups or families, team-building safaris incorporate activities designed to foster cooperation and camaraderie. From problem-solving challenges to group adventures including bushwalking or conservation projects, these safaris create a bonding experience against the backdrop of Africa’s stunning landscapes.

11. Hot air balloon safaris. Imagine floating silently above the vast savannah as the sun rises, casting golden hues across the landscape. From this vantage point, you can witness the great migration of wildebeest in the Serengeti or observe herds of elephants in the Masai Mara. Call 32214788 or visit for more information and to book.



Experience all-inclusive ultra-luxury cruising with Silversea, where you’ll enjoy immersive and authentic experiences, personalised service, shore excursions, gourmet dining and premium beverages all included.

Tokyo & South Korea Discovery

Embark on a 10-day voyage aboard Silver Muse to discover the sights of Japan and South Korea, where lush mountains, ocean vistas and ancient temples await.

Highlights: Tokyo • Kobe • Busan • Kanazawa • Hakodate (Hokkaido) • Yokohama (Tokyo)

Cruise departs 26 September 2024

Vista Suite from $10,550*pp

French Polynesia

Set sail to the islands of French Polynesia for an 11-day cruise, where white sand beaches and swaying coconut palms await, along with superior service aboard Silver Shadow

Cruise departs 26 March 2025

Highlights: Papeete (Tahiti) • Fakarava • Atuona • Nuku Hiva • Rangiroa

• Bora Bora (Society Islands) • Raiatea • Moorea Island

Singapore to Tokyo

Classic Veranda Suite from $10,800*pp

Take a luxurious 16-day voyage aboard Silver Muse, where you will immerse yourself in the rich tastes and captivating aromas of Southeast Asia.

Highlights: Singapore • Ho Chi Minh City • Hong Kong • Jeju • Incheon (Seoul) • Kagoshima (Kyushu Island) • Tokyo

Cruise departs 06 March 2025

Vista Suite from $13,100*pp

Sydney to Auckland

Experience a 16-day ultra-luxury voyage aboard Silver Nova and discover the beauty of New Zealand, from its majestic mountains to its serene coastline.

Highlights: Sydney • Hobart • Milford Sound • Doubtful Sound • Dunedin (Port Chalmers) • Lyttelton (Christchurch) • Picton • New Plymouth • Wellington

• Napier • Gisborne • Tauranga • Auckland

Cruise departs 04 December 2024

Classic Veranda Suite from $13,800*pp


Reviewed by Jan Kent

FROM this much-loved and acclaimed writer comes another enthralling crime thriller which hooks you right from the title.

What happens when a beautiful wife and mother fails to arrive at her husband’s 50th birthday party, vanishing without a trace?

The search to answer this question leads the reader on a path through shattered lives, accusations and recriminations for the residents of one of those classic English villages that have become central to many novels over time, typified by meddlers and bumbling policemen.

This book is written in three parts, separated by a time span of 30 years from when Charlie disappeared. Enter Detective Inspector Maud O’Connor in Part 3, sent from London to look at the cold case ‘with fresh eyes’, into the fray caused by two brothers producing a podcast, which has stirred up a hornet’s nest of fresh blame and hurt.

While a little slow to move in Part 1, the intrigue and red herrings are enough to keep the reader engrossed to the somewhat (for me, anyway) unexpected conclusion. It’s well worth reading, if only to see if you are better at solving mysteries than I am.


FOR the first time, I have reviewed this book after listening to the story on Audible, and that is quite a different experience.

David Baldacci is one of my ‘go-to’ authors and, this time, he introduces a new heroine in Mickey Gibson.

Gibson is an ex-detective with two small children from a failed marriage, now working from home for a global investigation company specialising in debt and asset recovery.

Gibson is targeted and tricked into a private murder investigation and hunt for missing money because of her exceptional computer skills.

Initially, the storyline is difficult to follow and confusing at times – especially parts dealing with the changing persona of main characters, money laundering, crypto currency and other methods of hiding a money trail.

A good story after the true characters emerged.


GIVEN the book title, I expected a Brassed Off or Calendar Girls-style romp.

But this is a very different, very Australian story, over a timeline spanning 1973 to the present day. And issues of homelessness and the ‘other stolen generation’ of forced adoptions in the 1970s-’80s are at its core.

Now Sydney-based and a prolific writer of similarly quirky novels (the best-selling The Wattle Island Book Club and The Redgum River Retreat, for example), Sandie Docker weaves a

deeply moving tapestry of words using the often-traumatic threads of three women’s lives.

Sisters Eleanor and Maggie are at its heart, now running a federation-style boarding house for lonely and lost women, where their Lyrebird Lake Ladies Choir has taken on the All Voices Championship challenge. Single mum Hannah appears on their doorstep after being widowed: a semi-professional singer with an angelic voice.

The lyrics of a lullaby, however, threaten to reopen the wounds of dark family secrets.

Well worth a read for the messages of hope and home, and women finding their voice.


WHEN Lisa Curry was growing up, her family rarely ate together.

Today, the former Olympian enjoys nothing more than gathering her loved ones around the dinner table and teaching her grandchildren how to help their ‘Mummy Morgan’ in the kitchen.

“As a kid, we rarely sat down for a meal together, between myself and my swimming and my brother and sisters’ activities, mealtimes were a juggle,” Curry says.

“Because of that, I wanted a different mealtime for our kids, but it was still so hard with everyone’s activities.

“Now that mealtimes are not so busy, when my kids and grandbabies come over for a visit, we make an absolute effort to all sit together … it’s wonderful.”

As a teenager, the promising young swimmer started her day with devon and Vegemite on toast, delivered by her mum poolside after training, along with a cup of Milo milk. On a good day, dinner was a serving of corn fritters –Curry’s favourite.

Some five decades on, times have certainly changed. Queensland’s ‘golden girl’ and Order of Australia Medal recipient has released a recipe book aimed at healthy eating and bringing the family together.

JENNIFER Saint is the author of Ariadne, Atalanta and Elektra – three wonderful novels set in Greek mythological times, and focusing primarily on the female characters.

“Our Happy Healthy You Recipe Book has been a passion project for my business partner Jeff Butterworth, myself and our wellbeing team,” admits Curry, who is now a proud wellbeing entrepreneur.

“If you don’t look after your health, you can’t look after others.”

As Curry watches her daughter Morgan manage three boys under the age of six and takes time to reflect on her late mum Pat and the hard work she put in when Curry and her siblings were little, she suggests that if families were committed to giving mum a night off at least once a week, it would make a huge difference.

Happy Healthy You Recipe Book, which has been published by Harpers Collins, outlines the four pillars of health: sleep, diet, movement and mindfulness – and features more than 100 nutritious recipes and wellness tips.

The book is available for purchase in Big W stores and QBD bookstores nationally.

Her new novel Hera is the enthralling tale of the queen of the gods: a powerful and sometimes terrifying character who appears in almost every tale from the Greek myths.

In this retelling, the author humanises

Hera, showing her compassion, strength and ambition to create a better world, replacing the violence and cruelty perpetrated  by Zeus and the other male deities through the aeons.

For the lovers of Circe by Madeline Miller and The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker, this is a compelling escape into a world of gods and mortals, but with a very human story.

Security, Independence & Peace of Mind

Reviewed by Shirley Sinclair
By Jennifer Saint, Historical fiction Reviewed by Annie Grossman.

With Quizmaster Allan Blackburn

1. What is the main language spoken on the island of Honshu?

2. What disease is the concern of an oncologist?

3. In what sport did Ken Rosewall gain renown?

4. Of what country was Louis XVI the king?

5. True or false: Big Ben is in the Tower of London.

6. Niagara Falls is part of the border between which two countries?

7. What day is celebrated on March 17?

8. Thursday Island is part of which Australian state or territory?

9. What colour berets do United Nations military personnel wear?

10. What is the verb in this sentence: The gambler contemplated his opponent.

11. In relation to jewellery, what does the abbreviation ‘ct’ stand for?

12. To which continent is the okapi native?

13. In rhyming slang, what does ‘bag of fruit’ mean?

14. On what part of the body is a scrunchie worn?

15. What is the Christian ceremony where a person is sprinkled with or immersed in water?

16. How many 20-cent coins are worth $88?

17. What sort of musical instrument is a tom tom?

18. How many cards is each player dealt in bridge?

19. Since the late 1940s, the name George Hartnett has been associated with what business in Queensland?

20. Which of these elements is not a metal: sodium, silicon, magnesium and tin?

Baptism. 16. 440. 17. Drum. 18. 13. 19. Funeral directors. 20. Silicon.

Queensland. 9. Blue. 10. Contemplated. 11. Carat. 12. Africa. 13. Suit. 14. Head, specifically the hair.

Japanese. 2. Cancer. 3. Tennis. 4. France. 5. False. 6. US and Canada. 7. St Patrick’s Day.




1 Give support to team that’s bottom(8)

5 Deep yellow tropical reptile associated with big country(6)

9 Flashes in the sky frighten old king badly(6,9)

11 Ring writer with landlord’s public message(4,6)

12 Shark, man cut down with a powerful blow(4)

14 Famous physicist added to presentation at the end(6)

16 Escape a recent increase in intensity(8)

18 Settler left working with one covered in coal(8)

19 Nurses are restricted in unoccupied clinics?(6)

22 Want what a masseuse can do orally(4)

23 Bully battered boarder in an exposed state(5,5)

26 Fisherman, say, cooked ripper Murray cod(7,8)

27 Stitched across back of frock on an angle(6)

28 Stand by arch cracked


1 Enthusiast loves focus of stand-up comic(7)

2 Remedy injected by one great scientist(5)

3 Period before spring fascinated(10)

4 I had turned up instrument to make more liquid(6)

6 Nonsense put on a list of those scheduled for duty(4)

7 Porcelain feature on the ball(9)

8 Several initially fail to notice Italian man(7)

10 Gross piece of cake is oily(6)

13 Hard wood a man used in complicated design of cradle(10)

15 Glutton and wild lover tucked into wine(9)

17 Air breathed in by pilot pretty well(6)

18 Can musical work with bright star?(7)

20 dirt, say(7)

21 Rank a number of renegade greenies(6)

24 Individual stepped around copper at the right moment(2,3)

25 Decline an ironclad promotion?(4)



Today’s Aim:

30 words: Good

55 words: Very good

70+ words: Excellent

Every row, column and 3x3 outlined square must contain the numbers 1 to 9 once each.

1 Japanese dish(5)

4 Female killer(9)

9 Rude(7)

10 Persuaded(7)

11 Devalued(7)

12 Approve of(7)

13 Books of memoranda(9)

15 Sit for an artist(4)

17 Alcove(4)

19 German city(9)

22 Do away with(7)

25 Accomplish(7)

26 Tableland(7)

27 Worship(7)

28 Key maker(9)

29 Asian sea snake(5) DOWN

1 Driven by the wind(8)

2 Old type of trombone(7)

3 Incapable of being seen(9)

4 Tuneful(9)

5 Elevate(5)

6 Finished(5)

7 Accompanies(7)

8 Australian city(6)

14 Prudish(9)

15 Conglomeration of fabric scraps(9)

16 Sharpest vertical angle(8)

18 Ordinary; unromantic (of writing)(7)

20 The A of USA(7)

21 Online money transfer service(6)

23 Articles(5)

24 Beautiful woman in Muslim paradise(5)

Using the nine letters in the grid, how many words of four letters or more can you list? The centre letter must be included and each letter may only be used once. No colloquial or foreign words. No capitalised nouns, apostrophes or plural words ending in “s”.


Complete the list by changing one letter at a time to create a new word at each step. One possible answer shown below.



Tech Support for Seniors.


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Our vision to create a revolutionary, nature-inspired community at Greenwood Forest Glen has become a reality. This meticulously designed enclave has set an exemplary standard for living in the over 50s category. The recent success of the ‘Heights Precinct’ has prompted a limited release of just 14 exquisite residences. Whether you’re looking for a single storey, 2-bedroom home priced at $961,000 or a huge 2+ bedroom double storey residence from the prestigious Platinum Collection, there’s a property to satisfy the tastes of the most discerning individuals.

What residents love about living at Greenwood Forest Glen

• Club Eden. Think of it as your own private country club with its 25-metre swimming pool, event space, tennis, bowls green, games room, bar and dining area.

• Residents-only conservation reserve. Enjoy the peace and serenity of 5 hectares of rainforest reserve with its interconnected walking trails.

• Community garden. Extensive vegetable garden and orchard with dedicated event space.

• Neighbourhood shopping. Take a short stroll across the road to experience the brand-new Forest Glen Village Shopping Centre featuring a Super IGA supermarket, takeaway, medical and dental facilities, chemist and more.


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