Explore Australia Expo
Win The ultimate adventure paradise this Father's Day weekend

The Doomben Racecourse is set to transform into the ultimate adventure paradise when Explore Australia Expo moves in this Father's Day weekend, 2 – 4 September 2016.

The event will provide a premium experience for the overlapping communities in Australia's adventure seeking worlds of 4wd, touring, camping, fishing and outdoor enthusiasts. Whether it's the winding roads of our spectacular coastline, or the inspiration of travelling our majestic outback, Explore Australia Expo promotes getting off the beaten track and safely exploring our wondrous backyard.

17,000 people attended last year so the organisers are encouraging attendees to purchase their tickets online. Not only will online ticket buyers garner a discount but they'll also be entered into a draw to take home a fishing and outdoor package valued at $1000.

Explore Australia Expo has also refreshed the layout for this year's event offering unique experiences and unprecedented access to some of the best brands all in one location and is shaping up to be the best outdoor leisure expo in Queensland this year.

For more info or to buy tickets visit:

The event will be held at Doomben Racecourse Brisbane, 75 Hampden St, Ascot.


We have a family pass to next weekend's Explore Australia Expo give away.

The family pass gives 2x adults and 2x children two day entry to the event.

Simply email comp@northlakesmessenger.com.au with Explore Australia Expo in the subject line answering this question correctly: Where is this year's Explore Australia Expo being held?

Enter now for your chance to win. Good luck!


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Person of Interest
Alex Kuchmenko

He sings, he dances, he acts, wins awards and scholarships, practices with the Queensland Theatre Company and flies planes. He's 17. He is intelligent, bilingual and apparently unstoppable. His name is Alex Kuchmenko, it's a name you should probably get used to hearing.

Wunderkind local Alex Kuchmenko is the kind of kid who makes you wonder what you've been doing with your own life. In the short space of 17 years his list achievements and acclaim is long and prodigious, enviable even.

As Moreton Bay Region's own triple threat, Alex got his start in performing arts with local Steps Dance School in Grade 4. He was badly bullied by classmates (more on that later) and changed to Mueller College in grade five where he flourished. He studied piano with Hila Yusupov and violin with Attilla Sautov. Alex MC'd at school events then gained momentum when he joined Redcliffe Musical Theatre in 2010.

As a student of local Roar Academy Alex would play big and small roles in Redcliffe Musical theatre, Brisbane Junior Theatre, Harvest Rain Musical Theatre and then the break - a successful audition for Queensland Theatre Company (QTC) garnered him a coveted placement in their youth ensemble. In 2015 he won a full scholarship at QTC.

To list his acting credits and achievements would fill these two pages, so how about this for a highlight: In 2014 he was plucked from Kippa-Ring to compete in the World Championship of Performing Arts in Hollywood. It’s a prestigious event whose entrants are the world's best. Not only did Alex win the Gold Medal in the acting category he also won Silver in Classical Instrumental, Bronze in Vocal Broadway and was given scholarships from both the New York Filming Academy and the New York Conservatory of Performing Arts.

Not long ago he was in Canberra to receive a scholarship in aviation, another interest Alex picked up at Mueller College via their Aviation curriculum. The scholarship was granted by Airservices Australia and Recreational Aviation and aims to put young Australians in pilot seats.

We met Alex at Air Queensland Redcliffe:

Hi Alex, wow, where to start with you? What gave you your interest in performing arts?
Honestly, I cannot remember. I’ve been playing the game so long that the past seems cloudy. In about Grade 2 we performed quasi-rehearsed “plays” in class for our parents. The kids who volunteered to perform in these snippets have evidently gone on to be the ambitious singers, filmmakers and such. The catalyst for me was when I auditioned for Redcliffe Musical Theatre’s Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Since that audition, I’ve not stopped.

I understand this caused you some grief with the other kids at school?
Yes, that is true. From my induction to primary school it was a few difficult years. Since my heritage isn’t Australian but Ukrainian, the things we do and the dishes we eat are vastly different. I remember bringing a traditional fish dish to school as leftovers, and it being the source of bullying, with phrases like “What kind of crap is that?” and “Get out of this school, you don’t belong” being thrown my way. I remember throwing it out and crying behind the outdoor chapel for a good while. My concerned mother fought for justice, to no avail. I was the source of entertainment for bullies at school daily.

Article continues in our August 27 edition
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Track closure for rail link fix

There will be a six day rail line closure on the Caboolture line between Zillmere and Caboolture in September

Following approval from Queensland Rail and the Department of Transport and Main Roads, the next critical step to commission the historic Moreton Bay Rail Link (MBRL) project has been given the green light to proceed.

Minister for Transport Stirling Hinchliffe said Queensland Rail and the Department of Transport had resolved concerns with the signalling system and determined it is now reliable and safe to commence the final step in linking the signalling system with the existing rail network.

Mr Hinchliffe said preparations were now underway to support a rail line closure on the Caboolture line between Zillmere and Caboolture from 9pm on Friday 16 September until 2am on Friday 23 September 2016.

“To connect this line we will need to close the Caboolture line for six days which will be one of the largest rail line closures to ever take place in South East Queensland,” Mr Hinchliffe said.

This will be a major disruption for commuters who travel between Caboolture and Zillmere on the train line, but it is absolutely critical work.

“The Project Team will close the line for a six day period to ensure the Moreton Bay Rail Link Project can operate and to connect the new signalling system and perform final testing ahead of the opening,” Mr Hinchliffe said.

“This work will impact thousands of commuters, but it is essential to ensure safe high quality infrastructure and service reliability when the Moreton Bay rail line opens.

“I want to reassure commuters that hundreds of hours of preparation had gone into a comprehensive service plan for the closure with buses replacing trains along the rail corridor.

“The department has deliberately timed this closure for the school holidays as it reduces the number of customers impacted by the closure, in particular school-aged children and those on holidays and modelling shows us that the line has less demand during this period.

“We are planning to mobilise more than 200 buses to accommodate affected passengers to ensure everyone can get to their destination.

Extra station staff, bus connections and temporary timetables will help to ease to situation during the closure.

Alternate bus replacement services will be available between Zillmere and Caboolture, for passengers during the closure with bus interchanges to be located at Elimbah, Caboolture and Boondall stations.

During peak period buses will be ‘turn up and go’ with express buses available from each station to Boondall station and buses stopping at all stations for intermediate travel.

During off-peak buses will run at 15 minute frequencies with buses running express and stopping at all stations.

Additional train services will also operate along the Shorncliffe line with frequency increased from 15 minutes to 7 minutes 30 seconds during peak and increased from 30 minutes to 15 minutes off-peak.

More information on the closure is available at www.translink.com.au, the MyTransLink app or call 13 12 30

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Laura Stubbing's Big Day Out

Did you spot Laura as she ran for Olivia?

Back in our June 25 edition we brought you the story of Laura Stubbing and four year old Olivia who, while needing expensive treatment for cystic fibrosis, doesn't qualify for any financial assistance. Generous of both heart and effort Laura hatched a plan to help young Olivia.

"I will spend a day literally running around all of North Lakes in my tutu and 'Running for Olivia' singlet to all of our local businesses who may want to help Olivia with her every day living expenses," Laura said at the time.

The day chosen was August 5 but the hard yards started much earlier. Laura began her effort to involve the community by hitting the pavement in the month leading up to the run. Going door to door in North Lakes, Laura secured a list of 115 big-hearted businesses to visit on the day.

On August 5 Laura ran for eight hours in North Lakes. Starting at 8.30am she ran from business to business covering a total of 19 kilometres throughout the day. It was a big day by any criteria. By our maths Laura visited 15ish business per hour, finishing at 5.00pm. We asked her how she was feeling after the run.

"So proud. Elated that I pulled it off and I'm amazed at the generosity of our North Lakes businesses."

It was tough but rewarding. Securing well beyond her original target ($10,000) to reach a final tally of $14,053, Laura said the most significant part of the day was the feeling of community.

"Seeing how generous our community is, and how they all got behind me - that was the highlight."

Laura finished the day with a well earned beer at Thirsty Chiefs.

We'd like to congratulate Laura for a huge effort and thank all of her supporters by asking you to consider supporting the businesses pictured and listed in the mag. Well done to all involved.

Cystic fibrosis is a genetic disease that primarily affects the lungs and digestive system due to a malfunction in the exocrine system which is responsible for producing saliva, sweat, tears and mucus. There is currently no cure.

Treatment is expensive and due to young Olivia's unique situation (her parents don't qualify for any state or federal assistance), she needs financial help to keep her young body healthy.

It's not too late to help Olivia, you can still make a direct donation by visiting www.mycause.com.au/page/127310/running-for-olivia

Search Running for Olivia at Facebook for more info and pics of the day.

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Killer crossover for local Ballers

Local basketballers, coaches of all codes, have an opportunity to be coached by NBA legends
Local kids and coaches will be given a major opportunity to learn from some of the top names in basketball when American National Basketball Association (NBA) coaches visit North Lakes State College next month for a coaching clinic.

North Lakes' StepbyStep Basketball are bringing Phil Handy - the Development/Assistant Coach of Cleveland Cavaliers (current NBA champions) and Derek Fisher - former head coach of the New York Knicks to North Lakes State College for a training clinic, motivational speech and auction night to assist with the school basketball program.

These two coaches resumes read like who's who of American basketball and should excite any local baller. Their coaching credentials are off the hook and any coach aspiring to greatness can certainly glean valuable info from the clinic. This is an unrivalled opportunity locally.

Former NBA professional Handy, who is the current Assistant Coach and Director of Player Development with the Cleveland Cavaliers, was previously Director of Player Development with the LA Lakers. He has personally trained Kobe Bryant, Lebron James, Kyrie Irving and other top level NBA players.

Derek Fisher played professionally in the NBA for 18 seasons, winning five NBA championships with the Lakers alongside the likes of Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal. He also served as president of the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA).

Now locals have an opportunity to catch a fast break from these two greats of the game when they visit on September 22.

The day has planned separate coaching clinics for junior and senior players, then a two hour coach's clinic for accredited school and club coaches. The day will conclude with motivational speeches and an auction offering signed Cleveland Nicks and LA Lakers merchandise. There will also be an opportunity for autographs.

The cost for the Player Coaching Clinic is $50 per player. The cost for the Coaches Q&A clinic is $149 per coach. Both of these prices include entry to the evening speech. The evening montivational speech is available on it's own for adults $35, kids (ages 12-18) $20, kids (ages 6-11) $10.

The event is to be held September 22 at North Lakes State College, corner Anzac Ave and North Lakes Drive, North Lakes.

The full program is as follows:
Coaching Clinics: 12pm-3pm
Coaches Q&A: 4pm-6pm
Motivational Speech: 7pm-9pm

You can register for this event here

If you miss out, there's also a Noosa event, details here

Pictured above: Recently a group of local boys travelled to Las Vegas, with the help of StepbyStep Basketball to train with Phil Handy and Derek Fisher,

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North South Arterial Road now open

The major, multi-million dollar arterial road designed to enhance traffic flow and reduce travelling times for North Lakes residents and locals in surrounding areas will be officially open by the time you read this

The $45 million North South Arterial Road, which stretches from Anzac Avenue to Boundary Road, was launched this morning at a special ceremony attended by Moreton Bay Regional Council Mayor Allan Sutherland, local councillor Julie Greer and Stockland Regional Manager David Laner.

Mr Laner said the much-anticipated official opening of the five kilometre road, which had been completed in stages over six years, was exciting news for North Lakes residents and the wider community.

“The completion of the road represents a major milestone for North Lakes and the Moreton Bay region,’’ Mr Laner said.

“It gives residents quick and easy access around North Lakes and to surrounding suburbs. It will also be beneficial for the many people who travel to our community for its exceptional facilities and services.”

Mr Laner said the North South Arterial Road was undertaken in stages to ensure that there was minimal interruption to traffic flow.
“Early stages quickly helped improve traffic conditions around parts of North Lakes and now that the project is completed, the traffic conditions and travelling times will be even better,’’ he said.

Moreton Bay Regional Council Mayor Allan Sutherland said the North South Arterial Road was a welcome addition to the booming North Lakes community.

“Local residents have been eagerly awaiting the completion of this important transport route for some time,” Mayor Sutherland said.

Article continues in our August 13 edition
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Picnic Hill
Now a monthly event

Following on from the first and very successful Picnic Hill last month, the event will now become a local fixture continuing to provide the whole family with some of the best local food trucks, market stall and performers around.

Picnic Hill started as an idea formed by the team at the Redcliffe Youth Space Centre's Skilling Queenslanders for Work program. This program aim is to educate young people in business skills and Picnic Hill was created as an event run by the Redcliffe Youth Space team to that end.

Picnic Hill boasts a modern, family friendly festival feel with street performers, live music, live street art, market stalls, lawn games and Brisbane's best food trucks (the likes of Jaffle Shmaffle, King of the Wings, The Bone Lorry and All Inn Brewing Co).

Picnic Hill can be found at the Corner of Oxley and Anzac Avenue, second Friday of every month. Entry to the festival is a gold coin donation to with all profits going directly towards supporting young people at risk throughout North Brisbane.

So if you're looking for a relaxed atmosphere with awesome food, drinks and entertainment the whole family can enjoy, grab your picnic blanket and soak up the good vibes at Redcliffe’s latest and greatest event.

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Meet a Traditional Owner

We have a yarn with Gubbi Gubbi Woman Christine Stuart about traditional life in the region

The land you are standing on as you read this is recognised by Native Title as the traditional land of the Gubbi Gubbi people.

Christine Stuart (pictured) is an Iningai and Gubbi Gubbi woman, local Indigenous Community Advisor and Author. She’s a language and culture expert who collaborates with local councils, organisations and community groups to help establish Indigenous cultural and language awareness.

Gubbi Gubbi Bush Tucker Girl (inset) is Christine’s second book. Literally, it’s about a girl, her mother and a dilly bag (a traditional bush tucker collecting bag), but metaphorically it's about a whole lot more. The mother sends her daughter out to collect bush tucker and along the way we learn ten Gubbi Gubbi language words. The words are pronounced phonetically and the accompanying pictures help to tell the story.

Let’s be clear, this is not a Dreamtime story, it’s a story about pre-colonial traditional life. We won’t entirely spoil the read, you can find out how to get a copy of the book below, but within its pages you will learn about the lifestyle, the language and increasingly important modern day lessons about responsibility and where food actually comes from. It’s an educational and interesting insight into traditional life in our region.

Article continues in our August 6 edition

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