Where are the TV guides?
Changes to the Messenger

Regular readers will have already noticed that this edition of the Messenger brings some changes. After consulting with a broad cross-section of our readership we've decided that some of our older features need to be re-imagined in order to keep the mag up to date.

The TV guides have been removed. With various comprehensive guides now ubiquitous in digital format there is no real community benefit in publishing our own.

Also, our popular Community Notice Board has been migrated online to our website. Our notice board is an important and well used community feature - the impetus behind the move to online is to expand its capabilities, benefitting both the reader and community groups.

Migrating online has enabled us to increase the text size, make the notice board searchable and sectional, giving you greater usability and readability as well as providing email and web links.

Being the region's foremost community guide, the feature will continued to be updated weekly - offered in both the new online format and also as a downloadable PDF in the same format as it appeared in print, so you can now take your pick as to which format you prefer.

The submission process for Community Notice Board remains unchanged, please see the details on the page.

This week also sees the last of our Classifieds (For Sale, Garage Sales etc).

Colouring In for Kids will now run during all school holidays but the fun Amazing Mazes (which we've made a little harder) will be merged onto the main activities page, where all your favourite weekly activities remain.
The goal of these changes is to offer you more great articles, local items of interest, more of what's on in our growing region and more awesome reader's competitions.

Alongside these changes to the print edition, we've been giving our website a major upgrade.

You can now easily submit your events for free, access more local news and events, up to the minute updates for important notices (such as changed traffic conditions, emergencies and extreme weather), regularly updated photo galleries of local events, the expanded Community Notice Board and, in Messenger tradition, we make all of our back issues available for a whole year.

Of course, we encourage reader and advertiser feedback. Being independently published allows us to be flexible and nimble so we can act on feedback swiftly.

Let us know how you feel about these changes by emailing either Editor Dan Fidler via editor@northlakesmessenger.com.au or Advertising Manager Jodi Doe via adz@northlakesmessenger.com.au

Don't forget to check out our new instagram #messengermagazine


Stressed out?
Screen fixated Aussies find a prescription for health, happiness and fulfilment in 10 minutes

In today’s time-poor and technological world, people are increasingly turning to electronic devices and social media to try to improve everyday wellbeing, with 51% of Australians saying that they visit social media sites as a way to manage their stress.

In fact, this behaviour can increase feelings of stress, depression and social isolation, yet stopping to smell the roses may be the solution.

Nature has overwhelmingly been shown to reduce stress, with just 10 minutes’ spent outside in a natural environment resulting in a significant reduction in blood pressure and an improvement in mental health and wellbeing.

Released in the lead up to National Tree Day on Sunday 31st July, these results are being published in Planet Ark’s Adding Trees – A Prescription for Health, Happiness and Fulfilment report, sponsored by Toyota Australia.

The report examines the benefits time in nature has for five areas of life that Australians consider the most important for achieving a fulfilling life – health, happiness, learning, relaxation and relationships.

The research illustrates that nature has medically and scientifically beneficial effects that enable people to grow healthier, happier, brighter, calmer and closer. When people experience positive emotions and interactions in important areas of their everyday lives, they are significantly more likely to feel that their life has value, meaning and fulfilment.

Article continues in our July 23 edition


New Rothwell intersection on the way

Motorists will benefit from a new a signalised intersection, as works has begun to replace the existing roundabout at Rothwell’s busiest intersection.

Main Roads and Road Safety Minister Mark Bailey said the government had committed $22.6 million, almost two thirds of the funding for this vital project.

“The $37.5 million upgrade involves installing traffic lights at the intersection of Deception Bay Road and Anzac Avenue to cater for the more than 35,000 vehicles which use the intersection each day,” Mr Bailey said.

“These works will relieve traffic congestion by increasing capacity and reliability for road users, while also providing a safer intersection for pedestrians and cyclists.

For more information, visit www.tmr.qld.gov.au/rothwellintersection.

More in the mag


New Competition: Win!
We have two family tickets for Redcliffe Musical Theatre's production of Wicked to give away.

To enter, simply email comp@northlakesmessenger.com.au with "wicked" in the subject line and tell us who are the two characters pictured on this page.

Entries close Tuesday July 25 and winners will be notified July 28 (so don't forget to include your contact details).

About the prize:
The Family tickets are inclusive of two adults and two children and are valued at $179.60 each.
*Can be used for any performance except opening night Friday 29th July
*Cannot be used with any other special offer

Privacy Statement The Messenger complies with the Australian Privacy Act 1988 in safeguarding your privacy. No information submitted by you is collected or used in any way other than for purposes of the competition. Your information is not kept on file, collated or distributed in any way.

Read all about it in our July 16 edition


Food Trucks
Find out where they are the easy way

Gone are the days when the smoko van was your only option for mobile food vendors. Likewise, if you savour street food when abroad and lament the lack of options back home then you'll already know about Brisbane's burgeoning food truck scene.

The food truck phenomenon is a global trend that's landed locally in a big way. The collective goal is to offer you the best street food from around the world, directly.

Finding said trucks hasn't always been the easiest expecially for newcomers but now an initiative of the Brisbane City Council has made things a whole lot easier for you in a searchable, filterable, website offering current and advanced information about individual trucks, 24/7.

Brisbane Food Trucks website allows you to quickly and easily locate food trucks, find out what they're serving and when, and even how to get there. You can filter by cuisine and find out about upcoming food truck events. bnefoodtrucks.com.au is the best guide to food trucks in Brisbane.

The Brisbane Food Trucks initiative is aimed at activating poorly used spaces with unique and creative food experiences that celebrate our cultural diversity.

FYI - it's not all burgers and donuts, our local food trucks offer a wide variety of different cuisines.

Find your favourite truck right now at www.bnefoodtrucks.com.au

More in the mag


Foodies rejoice
Regional Flavours returns to South Bank this weekend

Prepare to nosh your way through some of Queensland’s freshest produce, local fare and fine wine at Regional Flavours at South Bank Parklands this weekend.

Running Saturday, 16 and Sunday, 17 July, Regional Flavours celebrates all things Queensland: bask in the winter sunshine, taste the freshest produce and locally made foods and wines that our state has to offer at Brisbane’s signature free food and lifestyle event.

The festival line-up includes free cooking demonstrations and workshops by celebrity chefs and industry experts, as well as free children’s activities and live music performances by local artists.

Situated in Brisbane’s premier lifestyle destination – South Bank Parklands – Regional Flavours brings a taste of our provincial state to the city and allows visitors to interact directly with more than 80 farmers and artisanal local producers and winemakers from around Queensland.

Food trucks operated by a selection of South Bank’s most popular restaurants round out the eating opportunities, offering fast, fresh and gourmet fare.

Visit regionalflavours.com.au for more information or follow #regionalflavours on social media.

More in the mag


Let’s go Skiing! with Cei Creighton

If you're the kind of person who sees those "ski gear" special buys at the local Aldi and ponders to themselves "but this is Queensland?" then this is for you. Many of your fellow Queenslanders rug up and head south for the snow. But this being Queensland, we're going to need a little more info...

It’s winter in Australia and the ski resorts are looking as good as they have in years. Growing up in the snow in Canada (I was even born in a snow storm!) has created special memories, of skating on the frozen lake after my father shovelled off the loose snow, cross country skiing or snow shoeing to school, and the magic of the first snow fall each year. That magic never fades and this is the perfect time to make your own frozen memories.

I am often asked if skiing in New Zealand is better than Australia and that’s a hard one to answer as ‘better’ can be very relative. The Pro’s for skiing in Australia – NO passport needed and cost per day is lower compared to NZ (taking all things into consideration). The Pro’s for skiing NZ South Island – they make our mountains look like molehills. But let’s face it, we must have the goods as our slopes produced the best snowboarder in the world Google Torah Bright!

For those who have not spent much time in the snow here are a couple of definitions and tips.

Ski In, Ski Out (or On Mountain)
This is exactly as it sounds. From the front door of your accommodation you click your boots into your bindings and you are away! At the end of the day, unclick and walk inside. Usually more expensive due to the proximity to the lifts, but no walking, no buses, no hassles.

Off Mountain (the opposite of above).
You will need to commute (usually via shuttle bus) from your accommodation to the lift each day, taking your gear and ski’s or board with you. BIG cost savings this way, and don’t worry, there are café’s to rest at during the day on the mountain...

Article continues in our July 9 edition


Calling all Beardsman

Men, it’s time to beard up for charity this winter

Beard150 was launched during Men’s Health Week. The annual campaign calls on 150 Queensland men to grow a beard over winter, to encourage men to talk about their health and raise funds for those affected by cancer.

Cancer Council Queensland spokesperson Katie Clift said it was time for men to put away the razor and get hairy for the cause.

“Taking part in Beard150 is a unique way to start a conversation about men’s health, the importance of early detection and support services available to men,” Ms Clift said.

One in five Queensland men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer before the age of 85, and one in 10 men will be diagnosed with melanoma or colorectal cancer.

Ms Clift encouraged Queensland men to get creative with their beard styles this winter.

“Whether you go for long stubble, a van dyke, bandholz, circle beard or your own creation to keep your chin warm for winter – every beard counts in the fight against cancer,” Ms Clift said.

To register for Beard150 or donate, visit cancerqld.org.au/beard150 or call 1300 65 65 85.

All funds raised through Beard150 support Cancer Council Queensland’s vital work in cancer research, prevention and patient support services.

For more information about Cancer Council Queensland, visit cancerqld.org.au or call Cancer Council’s 13 11 20.

More in the mag


Grants available for multicultural celebrations

A $1 million grants program to celebrate Queensland’s multiculturalism is now open for applications.

Community organisations and local councils across the state can now apply for a share of the funds under the recently announced Celebrating Multicultural Queensland grants program. The program aims to celebrate the wealth of cultures in Queensland as well as promoting the benefits of diversity.

“This particular funding round will support events that celebrate a range of cultures and traditions through festivals and cultural days that incorporate the best of food, music, craft and sport," said Minister for Multicultural Affairs Grace Grace.

Grants for events are available in two categories, with up to $20,000 per event under the Signature Events category for high-profile multicultural and diverse cultural events that have strong community support.

Up to $10,000 per event is available under the Cultural Events category to support multicultural celebrations that promote acceptance and understanding of a particular culture or religion by other cultural groups and by the wider community.

Applications for multicultural events and celebrations close on Friday 26 August 2016.

The second round of funding comprising $300,000 for culturally diverse projects is expected to open in November 2016.

For more information or to apply for a grant visit www.communities.qld.gov.au/multicultural

More in the mag


The Emergency Department isn’t always your best option

Latest research shows one in three after-hours visits to the Emergency Department (ED) is for illness or injury that could be treated by a General Practitioner (GP).

A survey commissioned by Brisbane North PHN also found more than 70 per cent of people had never called 13 HEALTH for free health advice, but nearly 40 per cent used ‘Dr Google’ often to diagnosis their symptoms.

It has been surprising to learn how many people are still going to the ED for minor aliments like ankle sprains and viral infections.

Our findings also showed that half of non-urgent patients (categories four and five) attending an ED after hours were under the age of 30, which includes babies and young children.

What this suggests is many parents and young adults are unaware of what after-hours services are available to them. The Emergency Department isn’t always your best option for after-hours care.
Patients seeking urgent medical care for minor ailments will find it is easier and usually a lot quicker to call an after-hours GP, instead of waiting for hours at busy hospitals.

Brisbane North PHN has now launched a campaign off the back of these results to improve awareness of after-hours medical care alternatives.

A total of 300 patients were surveyed and two years of hospital data examined to gain a thorough understanding of how and why people were accessing after-hours healthcare.

Our survey revealed that three quarters of patients had never accessed an after-hours GP service.

Data also showed almost no one had used the Health Direct symptom-checker, which provides free and reliable medical information online.

Dr Google often gets it wrong and can cause unnecessary worry. Our website gives people several options for medical help and advice that may be better than a trip to the ED.

The website uses a colour-coded scale of emergency alternatives:

BLUE: Getting worried? Get free customised medical information online using Health Direct symptom-checker.

GREY: Need to talk now. Call 13 HEALTH to get medical advice from a registered nurse 24/7.

AMBER: Need to see a doctor. Call your GP or an after-hours GP service to see a doctor 24/7.

RED: It’s an emergency. Serious illness? Accident? Suspected heart attack or stroke? Go to a hospital ED or call 000 for an ambulance.

Dr Colin Myers, Executive Director of Critical Care at Australia’s largest hospital and healthcare service, said EDs are for emergencies and in many cases patients who are seeking treatment for minor ailments will wait.

“Unless it is an emergency, patients should consider using the alternatives available to them highlighted in this campaign as our sickest patients will always be seen first,” Dr Myers said.

Director of Clinical Quality and Patient Safety, Queensland Ambulance Service Tony Hucker said calling an ambulance for illnesses treatable by a GP could divert valuable resources away from more critical patients.

“If an ambulance is being used to transport a patient to hospital that is not experiencing a life-threatening condition, those paramedics are unable respond to other more urgent emergencies,” Mr Hucker said.

“Before calling Triple Zero (000), please think about whether it is an emergency situation or if your symptoms can be treated by your GP,” he said.

The campaign has the support of the AMA Queensland, the Queensland Ambulance Service, and the Metro North Hospital and Health Service.

To visit the campaign website, go to www.emergencyalternatives.org.au

Written by Dr Anita, Brisbane North PHN


Free playgroup membership for QLD families

Every Queensland family with a child under one is now eligible for a free 12-month Playgroup Queensland membership

Education Minister Kate Jones announced the Play Stars initiative at the ‘Out of the Box’ children’s festival at Southbank last week. The Play Stars offer is a free 12-month family membership to Playgroup Queensland for eligible families.

Playgroup Queensland, the peak body for playgroups in our state, provide a diverse suite of programs and services for every child to learn through quality play experiences while supporting parents and carers in their role as first teachers.

A recent report: Relationships Matter: the Social and Economic Benefits of Community Playgroups, found that playgroups have enormous social and economic benefits to families and may impact on not just children, but also parents and carers.

Playgroup Queensland’s CEO, Ian Coombe, said recently that becoming a parent for the first time can be an isolating experience. That new parents and carers could become withdrawn from the community and lose contact with friends who don’t have children. He highlighted the importance for parents of newborns to get involved in playgroups as early as possible to ease the transition to parenthood and to help establish that important bond – for dads as well as mums.

“Life in general can become a constant psychological struggle for families of newborns; however, researchers found that playgroups act as ‘sociological superglue’ by encouraging life-long friendships between parents and carers, reducing the ‘perfect parent’ stigma and providing resources that encourage children to learn through play... readying them for kindergarten and school” Mr Coombe said.

“Play is the easiest way to help a child learn and grow because ‘play’ is fun; it is how a child learns.”

More information on Play Stars including how to register is available at: www.playgroupqld.com.au


Running for Olivia
Laura Stubbing to pound the North Lakes pavement for cystic fibrosis

Laura Stubbing is running the 21km Jetty to Jetty half-marathon on July 17 to raise funds for four year old Olivia, who has cystic fibrosis. But she won't stop running there.

Laura's already raised $2500 but that's simply not enough. The goal is 10k, and she thinks that amount can be raised right here in our community.

When the Messenger met Laura she was passionate and energetic, saying:
"I had an amazing idea in the middle of the night."

"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 will take photos with every single donor and post them on social media for recognition. The Messenger will also be promoting Laura's generous sponsors.

Cystic fibrosis (CF) 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 with her treatment.

If you'd like to sponsor Running for Olivia prior to the run, contact Laura directly via runningforolivia@outlook.com, or on FB: Running for Olivia.

Laura's big run around North Lakes central is planned for Friday August 5. When you see her, please be generous.

If you'd like to make a direct donation see the official donation page at mycause.com.au

More great articles in our June 25 Edition

What's On these school holidays?

School Holiday Activities for Teenagers,The Laneway Weekender, Market day - Handmade meets the Arts, Brisbane Winter Festival, Free health checks locally for children, Medieval Family Fun Week, Picnic Hill at Redcliffe (food trucks, craft beer & more).

Plus, Cei Creighton gives us the lowdown on last minute School Holiday Escapes. Cheap, adventurous, exciting, last minute, local, or even free... The kids are on the loose but here are some great ideas to give you a break as well (from kids whining about being bored).

Read all about it in our June 25 Edition


Win a Whale Watching Family Pass valued at $460.00

Each year magnificent southern humpback whales migrate to and from Antarctica and they pass right by us during the months of June to November.

As these leviathans of the deep make their way through our warm waters, they feed, mate and play in the clear blue waters of Moreton Bay.

Intelligent and naturally curious mammals, the whales greet their visitors with playful behaviour that will both charm and surprise you. You will be awestruck as these gentle giants breach, blow and frolic only metres away.

In conjunction with Brisbane Whale Watching we have a family pass to give away. The prize entitles two adults and two children (4 to 14 years) to a full day whale watching experience.

The prize includes the full day whale watching cruise and buffet lunch. Whale sightings are guaranteed.

The cruise commences boarding at 9.30am for a 10.00am departure from the Redcliffe Jetty.

To enter simply email adz@northlakesmessenger.com.au with “Whale Watching Comp” in the subject line and tell us which months the whales come through Moreton Bay (you shouldn't have to google this one, the answer may be staring you in the face). Entries close Friday July 15.

Good Luck!


Stopping No Stations
The MBRL will not be open by mid-2016, what went wrong?

The long awaited billion dollar Moreton Bay Rail Link (MBRL) has been delayed due to serious concerns about the signalling system. Since early March Queensland Rail have been running a testing program on the 14 kilometers of new track. The testing was in preparation to meet the line’s original opening which was quoted by all sources to be mid-2016. So what went wrong?

As part of the comprehensive testing Queensland Rail apparently gave a fail to the signalling infrastructure for safety and performance.

The main safety concern raised during Queensland Rail’s investigation is the increased risk of ‘signals passed at danger’.

Minister for Transport, Stirling Hinchliffe said that 'signals passed at danger' is like running a red light.

"Given the significance of this project and today’s advice I’ve made the following decision – the rail line will not be commissioned until Queensland Rail assesses it as entirely safe and fit for our entire peak and non-peak services"

"This is non-negotiable" he said, and ordered an independent review.

Luke Howarth, Federal Member for Petrie agreed that it is critical the Moreton Bay Rail Link does not open until it is safe to do so but was disappointed by the delay.

"I am extremely disappointed that the opening of the Moreton Bay Rail Link has been delayed. This delay will be a blow to residents in the Moreton Bay Regional Council area, who were counting on its completion by the middle of the year" he said.

Then last Friday (June 3) the State Government released the terms for the independent review of the signalling system.

The review will consider components of the infrastructure project as they relate to the signalling systems including governance and contractual processes and the performance and integration of the signalling systems during design and construction (you can read that as: who's to blame).

It is expected that the review will be complete by the end of July.

The revised open date will depend on the outcome of the review. More to come.



Cruising 101

There is no doubt that cruising is having a moment right now. Everyone you know has been on one, your boss seems to be taking them every other month, and if you've never been, it's probably on your to-do list. But if this is uncharted waters (heh) for you, what type of cabin should you go for? We asked an expert to give us landlubbers (sorry) the scuttlebutt (last one) on cruise cabins.

Cei Creighton writes

I'm often asked the difference between staterooms/cabins on cruise ships so here is a summary of them. Each cruise line is different however, generally the layouts are similar on the bigger ships like P&O, Princess, Royal Caribbean, Holland America and Celebrity for example. The smaller boutique Cruise companies are all diverse and the range is endless. But no matter what experience you are looking for on the seven seas, there is a perfect ship for you!

Inside cabins:
These cabins are usually the lowest price. Typically they will have twin beds that convert to a queen size, a private bathroom, a closet for hanging clothes, a dresser and a television. These cabins do not have a window to let natural light in. Inside cabins that are ‘Quad Share’ are double bunks (two up and two down) in essence, and cannot be converted to Queen Beds. There are a number of ‘Triple Share’ Cabins on some ships, and there are configured as 2 x lower single beds and 1 x upper bunk, and again, cannot be converted to Queen beds on most ships. There are some exceptions (Royal Caribbean) but they are rare. Expect to pay $100 to $200 per person a night for an inside cabin.

Read the rest of Cei's cabin breakdown in the Messenger June 4

It's free!

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