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When you’re a kid every step counts…but what if you can’t?

Every Step Counts

When you’re a kid every step counts, every skip, run and jump but what if you can’t?

Well amazing Brisbane Mum, Christine Meyer, decided that “no” was not in her vocabulary when it came to her son James. Christine and husband Darren, decided to fundraise for life changing neurosurgery for James who was told that he would probably never walk independently due to Cerebral Palsy. The fundraising was for James to undertake SDR surgery in the US at the end of last year. With the support of Every Step Foundation James has now taken his first steps and is well on his way to walking independently.

Every Step Foundation

How cute are these three stars in the featured photo here? Josh, Harry and James, three friends all living with Cerebral Palsy and a part of the Every Step family.

Every Step Foundation is now headed by Christine and two other local mums, Rebecca and Miranda, whose lives have also been touched by Cerebral Palsy and who have a joint strong drive to help other children living with a physical disability.

Every Step Foundation supports children with physical disabilities and their families in achieving their goals. This year they are focused on funding intensive therapy blocks, such as physiotherapy, hydrotherapy and occupational therapy. Intensive therapy blocks are proving to be highly effective, particularly in children with Cerebral Palsy, in developing strength, improving balance, reducing tone and associated pain and achieving valuable long term functional gains. Often these intensive blocks cost in excess of $5000 each which can make them prohibitively expensive for families. The Foundation supports Brisbane and surrounds and hopes to geographically expand their support network in the near future

This year Every Step Foundation aims to raise enough funds to support six children through an intensive block of therapy of their choice. In the long term, they hope to be a major Australian not for profit charity who can support children with disabilities and their families to achieve their goals.

The Foundation and these incredible mums want people to know that they are not alone in their journey with disability and they encourage people to join their support network through their Facebook page, Every Step Foundation. They want everyone to know how they can support their cause and how we all might be able to support them or their loved one. In particular, that ALL funds raised through Every Step Foundation are spent DIRECTLY on children living with disability. This year money raised will directly fund intensive blocks of therapy for children who are working hard every day to achieve their goals and improve their mobility and function.

Every Step Foundation is a proud northside charity and they love the disability support network we have here within easy reach of the CBD.

Every Step Foundation has their upcoming Annual Ladies Luncheon which is their major fundraiser on 6 October 2018 at Hillstone St Lucia Golf Course. This a beautiful and fun filled day is for ladies to enjoy a two-course lunch including wine, live music, games, raffles and a silent auction with some amazing prizes! Tickets are selling fast so get in quick if you don’t want to miss out https://www.trybooking.com/VTVP. Donations can also be made directly to their Give Now fundraising link https://www.givenow.com.au/everystepfoundation and if you wish to give any donations of auction or raffle prizes for their upcoming major fundraiser please contact Rebecca at rebecca@everystepfoundation.org.au.

Written by Robyn Baker, Busy Connecting

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Retail First Announces Kmart to open at Stafford City Shopping Centre.

Stafford City Shopping Centre has just announced that Kmart will be joining the centre in late 2019.

The VillageBuzz is so excited to see this retainer join the Stafford family. There are quite a few boutique local businesses in this centre that really need our support. Hopefully, Kmart will attract more customers to the centre.

Stafford City Shopping Centre has today announced the introduction of Kmart, due to open mid to late 2019 as part of a strategic move to meet the changing needs and wants of the shopping centre’s customers.

The new store will showcase Kmart’s latest store layout that is being rolled out nationally, in a commitment to an improved shopping experience for customers, and will occupy the current Big W site which is due to close early 2019.

Stafford City Shopping Centre has been a busy local shopping ‘hub’ since opening in 1984, but with the changing customer in the area it was identified that the current retail offer and experience needs to be improved to better meet the market.

Centre Manager, Mrs Cynthia Gleeson said that the introduction of Kmart is a key factor in Stafford City’s ongoing efforts to better suit the customers’ expectations.

“We know that the trade area is growing in wealth and population, with a strong representation of families and younger people,” Mrs Gleeson said. “Customers tell us that they like the grocery and fresh food experience at Stafford City with Woolworths’ upgrade, cross-shopping at Aldi and an extensive specialty fresh food offer.  They also love the enriched cinema experience at Hoyts with recliner chairs and low-cost admissions. We know that our customers want more from their local shopping experience and Kmart will be a strong inclusion to our retail mix.”

Mrs Gleeson said that Kmart was committed to the long-term strategy of Stafford City Shopping Centre, and their vision for the store was in line with the future direction of the shopping centre.

Further updates will be released via the Stafford City website and Facebook page as information becomes available.

Stafford City Shopping Centre is owned by YFG Shopping Centres and managed by Retail First Pty Ltd.

Originally Published: www.staffordcity.com.au

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Please join us for a fun and exciting night of trivia to raise funds for the P&C.

This is a community event; friends, family, neighbours are all welcome to attend this adults-only night.

Grab a group of the best trivia minds and book a table of 8!



The rebuild and refit of our Tuckshop facilities.

Grovely Grub – Grovely State School’s Tuckshop – is dedicated to preparing high quality and fresh food at good prices. Over the last few years the student numbers have grown at Grovely State School and the facilities in the current Tuckshop are not adequate to maintain the level of service we aim to achieve. To help ensure our Tuckshop can continue to deliver delicious and nutritious food to the school community, the P&C has decided that its current fundraising goal is a full rebuild and refit of the Tuckshop facilities.

This is a big target and we appreciate all your support in helping us achieve it.


DATE: Friday 3rd August, 2018

TIME: Doors Open At 6.30pm, Trivia Starts At 7pm – 9.30pm

VENUE: GPAC – Grovely State School Hall
200 Dawson Parade, Keperra QLD 4054

$15 per person (Max 8 people per table)

Mitchell Bidner

Pay using the Qkr! App or online at http://grovelyschool.com.au/pay
(Non-members of the school community can create a guest account)


Bank: Commonwealth
BSB: 06 4171
Account Number: 00901469
Reference: You must use your surname as the reference


Team registrations close Wednesday 1st August, 2018.
Team registration must accompany the purchase of a table ($120). Maximum 8 people per team.
To register your team, email info@grovelyschool.com.au with your Team Name and Table Captain.


Pay to play at $15 per person and be grouped on the night to form impromptu team tables of 8. What a wonderful way to meet new trivia minds!



The school hall is wheelchair accessible.
EFTPOS will be a $10 minimum spend.
Please bring your ID with you.
Free tea, coffee and tap water will be available.

 Click here to visit our Facebook Page for details



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The end of an era as Everton Park’s Luv A Coffee closes

Pictured: Annette and Colin Thwaites behind the counter at Luv a Coffee where they have greeted customers over the years and prepared umpteen cups of coffee. Photo By Sheree Lenton


July 21, 2018, will mark the end of an era in Everton Park when Annette and Colin Thwaites open Luv a Coffee in Everton Park Plaza shopping centre for the very last time.

The Kiwi couple first opened their doors 12 years ago when there were few places in the neighbourhood to get a coffee and a meal. At Luv a Coffee’s peak Annette and Colin would serve 140 breakfasts on Saturday mornings and an average of 200 cups of coffee every day. 

The venue became one of the mainstays of the centre with shoppers and staff stopping by at all times of the day for to socialise over their favourite refreshments. It was particularly popular with people visiting the Australia Post shop to pay their bills, collect mail or post letters and parcels.


Colin Thwaites making coffees for Madeleine Hicks Real Estate's entire team!


Other longstanding regulars were mums with children at the dance school and the Everton Park Business Club which has been meeting there for breakfast first thing on Wednesday mornings for nearly 10 years.

Luv a Coffee’s business started to decline when Australia Post closed and, while it will be a relief to finally shut up shop, the couple do have mixed feelings about that. They have become a part of the community, seen customers’ children grow up around them and they will undoubtedly miss that community connection.

Annette and Colin were already coffee shop veterans when they arrived in Everton Park having started BB’s coffee shop in Brookside Centre twenty years ago. Colin reckons he’s made over a million-and-a-half cups of coffee since then and we’re sure they are going enjoy a rest before going on to something else.

Lovingly written by long-term coffee drinker - Allan Jackson, Allan Jackson Communications.


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Simple ways to cut your energy bill and save money

Simple ways to cut your energy bill

A Newspoll survey conducted late last year showed many Australians plan to keep rising energy prices in check by closing curtains, washing clothes in cold water and taking shorter showers – but how much does any of that actually affect the average power bill? Apparently, quite a bit.

By matching the five most popular energy-saving strategies with some ballpark dollar savings based on the National Australian-Built Environment Rating System (NABERS), it was found the average three-person household can save hundreds of dollars a year.

Put simply – simple changes can lead to big savings on your power bill.

Of course, all of this varies depending on which state you live in, how you use power, and exactly how you implement each strategy in your home. But whichever way you look at it, there are plenty of opportunities to reduce your utility bill with just a few behavioural changes.

1. Closing curtains/blinds: $55 p.a.

Windows are a home’s biggest sources of heat in summer (and cold in winter) so the 89 per cent of Newspoll respondents who plan to close blinds and curtains can expect to save around $55 this year according to the NSW Government’s Save Power website.

Effective window insulation includes:

- Shading windows and skylights during the day as much as possible

- Lined curtains and close-fitting Holland and/or Roman blinds instead of vertical blinds, conventional or timber Venetians

- External blinds or awnings on north, east and west windows

- Keeping doors and windows closed during the day as much as possible

- When the temperature drops at night, opening doors and windows up.

With window glazing, you can save even more. If the cost of double-glazing looks a bit steep, consider secondary glazing (fitting a membrane to the window) instead.

Heating or cooling the whole house can be expensive. Where possible, shut doors to areas you are not using and only heat or cool the rooms you spend the most time in.

Make sure your curtains or blinds seal your windows properly, and keep your curtains closed at night, and during the day when there is a heat-wave. Block draughts around doors and windows to stop air leaking out, or in.

Of course, it helps if you’ve got effective house insulation. Energy retailer AGL estimates efficient insulation can bring the temperature down by up to 7 degrees in summer, and increase it by 10 degrees in winter, slicing more than $100 off your power bill every year.

Simple ways to cut your energy bill

2. Washing clothes in cold water, drying on line/rack: $380 p.a.

Washing your clothes in cold water can save $115 per year

AGL says that cold water has been ‘scientifically proven’ to be just as effective as hot water when it comes to washing clothes, and Save Power calculates the cost saving at $30 or more per year.

You can save another $30 per year if your machine is a front-loader with a 5-star energy rating.

But the real savings kick in when you cut back on clothes dryers. These energy thieves can use more power over the course of a year than a reasonably energy-efficient fridge, and cutting them out can save a whopping $350. Dry outside or on a rack instead – apart from being budget-friendly, it’s a whole lot kinder to your clothes too.

If you do need to use the dryer, AGL recommends setting it to warm rather than hot – it takes a little longer but uses less energy.

Bear in mind the cold water rule doesn’t apply to dishwashers – hot water is more efficient when it comes to dishes.

3. Being quick in and out of the fridge: $25 p.a.

Running your fridge efficiently can save about $25 per year. That means making sure it’s set to the right temperature (fridge at 4°C, freezer at -18°C), has decent sealing and is kept closed as much as possible.

Fridges use more power when they’re empty than when they’re full so if you’ve got a second fridge, turn it off and leave the door ajar when you don’t need it. Giving it a rest for six months of the year could take another $130 off your bill.

And if it’s time to upgrade, you’ll find an energy-efficient model pays itself off before long by reducing power bills by about $145 per year.

Your fridge is always on, making it one of your most expensive appliances. Make sure the door seal is tight and free from gaps so cold air can't escape. An ideal fridge temperature is 4 or 5 degrees and an ideal freezer temperature is minus 15 to minus 18 degrees Celsius. If you have a second fridge or freezer, only turn it on when you need it.

4. Taking shorter showers: $105 p.a.

Shaving three minutes off shower times can save a three-person household about $105 a year – or much more if your house is still running an electric water heater.

“Electric water heaters account for around 25 per cent of a household’s energy use,” says Stephen Cranch from Solahart, an Australian solar water heater manufacturer.

“Switching to a solar water heater will reduce water heating energy consumption by 50-90 per cent,” he says – he says, and according to Save Power, reduce your annual power bill by about $150.

Plus, the Federal Government is planning to phase out electric water heaters from 2012, so rebates are also available for households needing to upgrade.

5. Switching appliances off at the power socket: $125 p.a.

Up to 10% of your electricity use could be from gadgets on standby

It’s estimated that standby power contributes about 10 per cent of every power bill, so switching things off at the wall can save $125 or more a year.

And it’s not just computers and appliances. Even chargers use power when they’re not connected to our phones, iPads, razors and toothbrushes, and the digital clock on our microwaves can cost more to run than the cooking function itself.


6. Set your Air Con

Every degree above 20 degrees can add 10% to your heating bill

In summer cooling can account for over 30% of your bill. Set your air conditioner between 24 and 27 degrees. Every degree above 24 can add 10% to your cooling bill. In winter, set your air conditioner to 21 degrees or above.

7. Turn heaters and coolers off when you don't need them

Turn off when you leave the room, or go to bed. With some ducted heating systems you can turn off the heating in the rooms that are unoccupied. Make sure all your heating or cooling is turned off when you leave the house.

8. Insulate your roof

An insulated ceiling makes a big difference to your energy bills. If you already have insulation installed, check that it is properly installed and has the right rating (measured in 'R-value'). In Victoria, insulation rated R3.5 or higher should be used for ceilings.

9. Save energy in the kitchen

Thaw frozen food in your fridge to reduce cooking time. When you are cooking, use the microwave when you can – it uses much less energy than an electric oven. If you use the stove, keep lids on your pots to reduce cooking time. Use the economy cycle on your dishwasher and only run it when it's full.

10. Use energy-efficient light globes

Replace old incandescent and halogen light globes with energy-efficient globes. Energy-efficient globes save power and last longer. Light globes can sometimes be replaced for free or at reduced cost.

But awareness goes a long way. All up, you can reduce your bills by close to $700 without sacrificing comfort or refitting your home.
Source: www.smh.com.au, www.yonderr.com.au

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Fighting the good fight against tooth decay

villagebuzz, Dental Pearls

Karuna Khatri, dental camp co-ordinator Bishnu Shrestha and Pascale Pocock at their hotel in Kathmandu before setting out on their trip.

Here at Village  Buzz we've been reporting on our community for a long time but are still constantly amazed at the interesting and valuable things that our people find to get up to.

We came across a case recently when we heard that Winsor local Pascale Pocock, a dental assistant, had just returned from Nepal. She and her employer Dr. Karuna Khatri had been on a trip to remote areas in the country to provide urgently-needed dental treatment to the villagers there.

Karuna, the owner of the Dental Pearls dental practice in Brisbane, has been traveling to underprivileged areas for the last 10 or 11 years to provide dental services to people who would otherwise have to live with the pain of a toothache.


Karuna Khatri and Pascale Pocock hard at work on a Nepalese patient.

She initially worked in India but for the last three years has spent two weeks in Nepal every year. She was accompanied by her assistant Pascale for the first time last year and the intrepid pair repeated went again in September this year.

The trips are organized by the Rotary World Community Service in Sydney and are facilitated by a Nepalese NGO which provides transport, equipment, and a local dentist to accompany them. The NGO prepares the ground by visiting the area and negotiating with village heads to obtain permission to hold clinics in local schools or sheds.

Karuna and Pascale flew into Kathmandu on their recent trip where they were teamed up with Nepalese dentist Biplop Adhikari and set out for their first clinic at a remote village. Nepal is a mountainous country and Karuna, in a masterpiece of understatement, described the roads they encountered as 'interesting'.

village buzz

Pascale Pocock gives village school children dental hygiene hints.

On arrival at a scheduled stop, the dentists set up their portable equipment and began treating patients – some of whom had walked for two days from their home villages to attend the clinic. The two dentists routinely treated up to 80 patients a day and many of these would have a number of teeth needing filling or extraction.

A Western diet and sugary drinks, in particular, have done the Nepalese no favours, said Karuna, which means their teeth are often in an appalling condition exacerbated by the fact that many have never brushed their teeth.

For this reason, education on dental hygiene is very important with patients in the queue waiting for treatment being shown videos on how to care for their teeth. Some toothbrushes were handed out along the way but Karuna and Pascale were severely limited by the amount of equipment and other gear they could carry with them.

village buzz

A village school teacher assists Pascale Pocock in providing dental hygiene hints to the children.

Karuna reflects that she has been very fortunate in her own life and that her voluntary trips over the last 11 years were a way for her to pay back and assist people less fortunate. The satisfaction of going out and helping people to live pain-free lives is huge for her and enhanced by the welcoming people and the beautiful scenery of the country.

The trips are such an overwhelmingly positive experience that one tends to get hooked, she says, so there seems to be little doubt that she and Pascale will be back in Nepal next year fighting the good fight against tooth decay.


Karuna Khatri hands over a curing light for fillings to be used by other dentists in the region.

Donations to Rotary to support the work in Nepal can be claimed as tax deductions and made at:https://donations.rawcs.com.au/Default.aspx?ProjectID=214

Thanks to Allan Jackson for another great story!

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Everton Park Girl Guides turn 60

Everton Park Girl Guides turns 60 on village buzz

Everton Park Girl Guide District 60th Anniversary Celebrations!
Saturday 28th October 2017

Everton Park Girl Guides turns 60 on village buzz

Come along for an afternoon of reminiscing and for a celebration of all that has been achieved within 60 years of Guiding at Everton Park
There will be plenty of things to see and do!
Outdoor Activities, Cake Ceremony, Afternoon Tea, Rope Bridge,Scavenger Hunt and maybe even a chance to roast a marshmallow or two..
This event is open to the local community, and of course we are calling out to all past and present members to join in the festivities!! We are hoping to have an event page up and running very soon and would really appreciate photos, or memorabilia you may have of all things related to the Guiding history at Everton Park Girl Guides. Please send any info or pics to: sg.evertonpark.ggq@gmail.com

Koala Rescue

Koala Rescue

Living in Everton Park, wildlife is not something I think very much about except when reminded of it by the occasional possum sighting or the crows that live in a tree outside my bedroom window.

During a recent visit to McDowall local Mike Fowler’s home, I learned that there is actually quite a lot of wildlife living around us and doing its best to keep to itself. Unfortunately for the animals, however, they usually come off second best after coming into accidental contact with the modern world including domestic pets and motorcars.

Mike Fowler

Mike Fowler and a local python

Mike is one of a number of people in the Village Buzz area who spend time rescuing injured native animals with the aim of rehabilitating them and releasing them back into the wild or humanely putting an end to their sufferings. He is a volunteer with Moreton Bay Koala Rescue and rescues between 30 and 40 animals every month including koalas and many other species.

I was very interested during my visit to learn a bit more about Mike's back story which involves a stint in the Australian army as a drill sergeant. He was promoted to sergeant major before leaving and taking up a post managing the attendance in the House of Representatives in Canberra (there is definitely a book in there somewhere) and later became a civilian employee with the Department of Defence.

After being retrenched he needed something to do and was tuckshop coordinator in a local school before volunteering six years ago as an animal rescuer because he has always loved animals and, in particular, Australian natives.

Koala Rescue

Unlike many other rescuers, he also cares for and rehabilitates animals once they have received the medical attention they need. He took me on a tour of his home and showed a number of cages including a koala cage built with a community grant from the Brisbane City Council. There were no koalas in residence that morning but there were a couple of shy possums recovering from injury.

Sometimes Mike and his fellow rescuers will spot an injured animal themselves but more often than not they respond to tipoffs from members of the public. He is very keen to stress that calling an animal rescue hotline is the correct thing to do when seeing an animal in distress.

They are wild and the public should not attempt to rescue them but leave the task to a professional. It can be dangerous to try and pick up an animal which is injured and already stressed, armed with sharp teeth and claws and does not want to be rescued.

When a rescuer picks up an injured animal it is usually taken to a vet, in Mike's case often McDowall Vets, to be assessed and treated or euthanased if it cannot be saved and released into the wild. Mike said he isn't comfortable having animals euthanased but that it is a far kinder option than leaving them to suffer and die alone in the wild.

Koala Rescue

Grace Fowler helping take care of the animals

Animals can be rehabilitated and released after serious injury but not if they have lost a vital limb. Ringtailed possums, for example, cannot survive in the wild without their tails to hold onto things and a koala with a missing front leg can't survive but can do perfectly well minus one back leg.

Animals on the road to rehabilitation are housed in the various cages at Mike's home where they are cared for and fed until the day that they can be released which, he says, is the real highlight of the job. He was recently able to release two koalas back into the wild in one day which was incredibly satisfying.

There are strict rules about where animals can be released and with koalas it has to be within a square kilometre of where they were originally found. There is more leeway for other species but care has to be taken when releasing an animal to ensure that it is not released in a location that would cause conflict with an already-resident dominant animal.

Mike is very concerned about how built-up areas keep encroaching on wildlife habitats and believes this should be minimised as far as possible. He also has a firm believer that city dwellers should restrain their pets and prevent them from either hunting or scaring native animals.


Animal rescue contact numbers – available 24x7


Moreton Bay Koala Rescue: 0401 080 333

RSPCA: 1300 264 625


Article by: Allan Jackson

Stafford Heights State School Spring Carnival

Stafford Heights State School Spring Carnival 2017

Stafford Heights State School Spring Carnival

We hope to see you on 9th of September from 11:00am to 3:00pm for the Stafford Heights State School Spring Carnival 2017! The event will be held at 95 Redwood St. Stafford Heights.

There will be plenty of exciting activities and games for all ages!

  • Fire Engine Visit
  • Jumping Castles
  • Show Bags
  • Fairy Floss
  • School Band
  • Pre-Loved Books
  • Plants
  • Bubble Soccer
  • Choir & Folk Group
  • Fun Games
  • Crazy Hair
  • 501st Star Wars

And the best part, there will be:

  • Horse Races
  • Face Painting
  • Cake Bake
  • Cake Bake
  • BBQ
  • Sack Races

Everyone is invited and we encourage you to bring a friend or a neighbor.


Local Hero: Joel Howley | Bridgeman Downs

Dreams and local heroes come in all sizes and through sheer determination, Bridgeman Downs' own Joel Howley is well on his way to accomplishing all of his dreams.

At only 25 years of age, Joel has been water skiing socially since 8 years old and began competing at 18.

Joel is a professional slalom water skier and in his spare time is studying architecture at QUT.

A true Northsider Joel went to St Dympnas primary school at Aspley and then completed his secondary years at Padua.

During these years he spent many weekends with his parents and brothers at Lake Somerset. Living on the Northside allows him to be close to his training and our beautiful Brisbane weather makes pulling on the wetsuit easy for most of the year.

Recently Joel travelled from Brisbane to Bonneys Waterski Park in Western Australia to compete in the Nationals and of course, he has come home with a win for the 6th consecutive year.

Joel spends summer here in Brisbane studying and training. As soon as the weather turns cool he departs for America to compete on the Pro circuit in USA during our winter.

Joel has also been selected to compete for Australia in September at the 35th Waterski World Championship which will be held in Paris, France.

Joel's schedule throughout August and September has been busy, to say the least. Starting in Austin Texas where the American Nationals are being held. Unable to compete in these Joel will support and promote his sponsors Connelly Water ski there. He is very proud of his sponsors who allow him to do what he loves which is slalom waterskiing.

He will then head to Milwaukee in Wisconsin where he will compete in the Malibu Open tournament.

Then it's on to Sacramento in California to compete in the California ProAm.

Joel's last tournament for 2017 is in Paris and he is thrilled to have been chosen to compete for Australia at the Waterski World Championships.

After Paris he will then fly home to Brisbane on 13 September.

Joel would appreciate any support and would love follows/likes on face book and Instagram pages. Joel is also on twitter and has his own webpage. 


Photo by @joelhowley and the 2018 GT are a buoy-sitting, on-site ripping, big-spray-making force to be reckoned with.

Written by: Robyn Baker