These days, we’re all familiar with the world wide web. But what about the ecological world wide web?

What do you know about the threads of communication that hold our natural systems together?

On Friday March 29, a group of diverse scientists and artists participating in the Mary Cairncross BioBlitz will come together for a special Q&A evening and share their insights into biocommunication.

Environment Portfolio Councillor Jenny McKay finds these questions fascinating and said this panel event aligns with Sunshine Coast Council’s vision to be Australia’s most sustainable region – healthy, smart, creative.

“The Forest Feedback discussion is a wonderful opportunity for our community to learn more about how interconnected the natural world is,” Cr McKay said.

“I believe it will be the pinnacle of the four-day BioBlitz event.

“We are incredibly fortunate to have so many expert scientists with such varied specialties come to our own backyard to participate in the BioBlitz survey and share their knowledge through this educational evening panel.”

Representing the Queensland Mycological Society (QMS), mycologist (fungal biologist) and Woodfordia’s Environmental Projects Officer, Dr Sandra Tuszynska, is excited to discuss with fellow scientists the concept of the forest as a superorganism.

“As biologists, we tend to look at the miniscule intricacies of how an organism works, often under a microscope,” said Dr Tuszynska.

“However, we should be collectively looking at the broader picture.

“If we work together and study how the rainforest’s flora and fauna species communicate with one another, we’re likely to find many more answers about both their interdependence on one another and their individual crucial role in the forest.

“This BioBlitz will provide an opportunity for us to not only research and potentially discover new varieties of species living in this beautiful rainforest, but also to collaborate on understanding how they are all connected and constantly ‘speaking’ with one another.

“My focus is on the mycelium, the vegetative part of root symbiotic fungi, which consists of a vast network of fine threads or filaments, made up of individual fungal cells living symbiotically on and within most plant roots. 

“While delicate and largely unseen, the mycelium acts as a communication and nutrient transfer superhighway across entire forests, giving rise to the concept of the ‘wood wide web.’

“Yet, it is literally only one example of biocommunication in this large rainforest.”

At the Forest Feedback panel, Dr Tuszynska will join six scientists and artists, including Dr Barclay and Jinibara Traditional Owner Jason Murphy. Together with the audience they will discuss these networks of mycelium beneath the forest soil, insect acoustics, how country signals to its people and other modes of communication the rainforest uses on a daily basis.

All are welcome to the Forest Feedback discussion on Friday March from 6-9pm at the Maleny Community Centre. Tickets are $15 and registration is required. Head to council’s events website to secure your spot.

Wildlife enthusiasts should also mark the other BioBlitz events in their calendars, including sunrise pademelon counts, nature journaling, and a night-time bat walk, from March 28-31. To learn more, please visit council’s website.

The Mary Cairncross BioBlitz is funded by gold coin donations from visitors to the reserve.

Cotton Tree Park will be transformed into a welcoming and vibrant global village for the Voices of Harmony event on March 23 where multicultural groups will connect with the community through song, story, dance, food, traditional games and activities from 10am to 3pm.

Community Portfolio Councillor Jenny McKay said people are encouraged to wear orange to the Voices of Harmony event which is jam-packed with a diverse range of multicultural performers originating from Fiji, Africa, Indonesia, Africa, Iran, India, Romania and the South Pacific to name a few.

“To commence the celebration, Kabi Kabi community leader Brianna Hanson will perform the Welcome to Country and talk about connecting to country and caring for traditions,” Cr McKay said.

“This will be followed by the Inspiration Choir who will perform a beautiful Acknowledgement of Country and invite the community to warm up their vocal chords for the day.

“Well known Sunshine Coast based singer-song writer Andrea Kirwin, with Fijian heritage, will entertain the crowd with her feel good island style blend of folk, funk, roots and reggae on the main stage at 10.45am.

“Some people may have seen Samoko perform at the Woodford Folk Festival where he connected the community through a fusion of ancient traditional African and modern Afro grooves and now he will be joining us on the main stage at noon.

“There will be a special performance from the USC School of Music students at 12.40pm who will perform their original anthem written for Harmony Day entitled We Sing One Song.”

Cr McKay said attending the Voices of Harmony day will be like travelling around the world experiencing different cultures at one colourful event.

“Throughout the day people will have the opportunity to sing along to a wide range of world music from Hot Ginger Chorus, New World Rhythm and Cool Harmonies and enjoy a range of cultural dance performances,” Cr McKay said.

“Besides the main stage acts, there will be all-day activities including traditional games, weaving, storytelling, children’s activities, art and crafts, a Global Hub Fashion Parade and display of unique traditional outfits and so much more.

“All this entertainment will certainly create a healthy appetite and we have that covered as well with an array of multicultural cuisines taking people on a cultural feast.

“There is no doubt our diversity helps makes the Sunshine Coast a great place to live and we invite people to visit the Harmony Day ‘Everyone Belongs on the Sunshine Coast’ photo booth to celebrate our region’s cultural diversity.”

Sunshine Coast Voices of Harmony community event

10am – 3pm on Saturday, March 23

Join in the Voices of Harmony celebrations – a day of cultural respect for everyone who calls Sunshine Coast and Australia home. Wear orange to show your support for cultural diversity and an inclusive Australia.

Join in the conversation on council’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram by sharing images and the hashtag #harmonyday.

After wowing audiences across Australia, dance and magical performance Celtic Illusion is set to showcase its internationally acclaimed dancers to the Sunshine Coast.

The show for all ages fuses awe-inspiring contemporary Irish dance with magic and grand Illusions and will perform on the Sunshine Coast for one night only.

With incredible new choreography, spellbinding magic, heart-racing music and a sensory experience like no other, audiences will be kept on the edge of their seats and left wanting more.

Showcasing a stellar cast of champion and internationally-acclaimed dancers, including performers from both Riverdance and Lord of the Dance, Celtic Illusion offers some of the fastest taps in the world as the dancers’ thunderous rhythm fills the stage in perfect unison.

The show is led by Australia’s very own Anthony Street, the first Australian to perform leading roles in Michael Flatley’s widely-acclaimed Lord of the Dance, including the very role that Michael Flatley originally performed himself.

Since its premiere in 2011, the show has performed to sell-out audiences across Australia and New Zealand.

Celtic Illusion’s acclaimed  soundtrack  has been composed by a team, including Angela Little who co-composed Baz Luhrman’s film Australia, as well as Steve Skinner who produced for artists such as Celine Dion, Steve Wonder and the Broadway musical Rent.

Now it is your chance to witness the magic that is Celtic Illusion.

Celtic Illusion will perform at council’s Venue 114 on April 6 at 7.30pm.

Tickets are $69.90 for adults, $64.90 for concessions, $59.90 for young people 16 years and under and family tickets are $250 for two adults and two children.

To book, visit or call 5413 1400 (phone charges do apply).

Event parking is free and public transport is available nearby.

Venue 114, formerly known as Lake Kawana Community Centre, is located at 114 Sportsmans Parade, Bokarina.

Sunshine Coast Council will begin its ‘Our Resilient Coast. Our Future.’ community consultation process tomorrow (Friday March 15) to assist in developing the Sunshine Coast Coastal Hazard Adaptation Strategy.

The project seeks to develop a long-term strategy that proactively plans for the future management of our coastal areas while building on our existing knowledge.

Over the next 18-24 months, council will carry out a detailed assessment of current and future coastal hazards along our 60km coastline.

Planning Portfolio Councillor Christian Dickson said developing a long-term strategy would build awareness of the potential impacts of climate change.

“By using the best available science, we’ll improve our understanding of coastal hazards and how they are likely to change over the next 80 years until 2100,” Cr Dickson said.

“Our coastline is dynamic and always changing. Residents will be familiar with beach erosion, shifting sand and periodic inundation of low-lying areas from high tides and storm events.

“Through our community consultation, residents can share their collective experiences and knowledge of our coastline, as well as details of how our coastline has changed over time.

“This will help build our knowledge, and to understand what is important to residents. It’s important that our work aligns with our community’s expectations and values.”

Professor John Martin, Independent Chair of the Community Advisory Group and Emeritus Professor at La Trobe University, said there were a number of ways for the community to take part in the consultation.

“It’s easy to be involved. We’re inviting community members to share their photos, their memories and what they value about our coastline. They can do this in person at our events or through our interactive online map,” Professor Martin said.

“We are particularly interested in photos and stories of historical events that represent how our coastline has changed over time.

“Anyone who loves the coastline should head to council’s website and subscribe to receive project updates, including notifications of our community events.

“We’re also looking for residents to join our Community Advisory Group, which will play an integral role in the formation of council’s strategy.

“The formation of a Community Advisory Group is a tried and tested approach.

“When council and residents work closely together – as they did for the national award-winning Maroochy Groyne Field Renewal Project consultation – positive outcomes can be achieved.

“We need people who are passionate, have an interest in the future of our coast and a range of skills or technical expertise. They should also have a genuine desire to create positive change.

“If this sounds like you, or someone you know, please consider applying.”

Residents interested in the Community Advisory Group can download an Expression of Interest form from council’s website. Applications for the Community Advisory Group close on Friday April 5, 2019.

To learn more about ‘Our Resilient Coast. Our Future.’ visit  


Image credit: Noel Brady

The First Lady of British Music Petula Clark returns to The Events Centre, Caloundra for her Australian Tour on Sunday 28 April at 2pm.

The legendary film and theatre music star and two-time Grammy Award winner will present a concert of sheer enjoyment for her audiences entitled “Once More With Love”. All of her timeless hits will be featured including, “Downtown”, “I Know A Place”, “Colour My World”, “A Sign Of The Times”, “I Couldn’t Live Without Your Love”, “Kiss Me Goodbye”, “The Other Man’s Grass”, “Don’t Sleep In The Subway”, “This Is My Song” (written for her by the great Charlie Chaplin) and many others. Having sold nearly 70-million records throughout her career spanning over 69 years, Petula Clark continues to reach for even more impressive levels of perfection.

Petula Clark started her professional career as an entertainer on BBC Radio, made her film debut in Maurice Elvey-directed comedy “Medal For The General” in 1944. Her film credits have since included “Vice Versa” with Anthony Newley (directed by Peter Ustinov), “The Card” with Alec Guinness, “Finian’s Rainbow” with Fred Astaire (a role that was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress), “Goodbye, Mr Chips” with Peter O’Toole, and many others. Her recording successes led to frequent appearances on American variety TV programs hosted by Ed Sullivan and Dean Martin. she was invited to host her own TV Special in the U.S. She is in constant demand with lead roles in major theatrical productions such as “Sound Of Music”, “Blood Brothers” and “Sunset Boulevard”. In 1998 she was honoured by Queen Elizabeth II by being made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire.  

Enjoy this rare musical treat with the return of a true legend, Petula Clark, at The Events Centre, Caloundra on Sunday 28 April at 2pm.

Media Quotes:

“It is hard to imagine an octogenarian pop singer who is able to get over, without nostalgia, being part of a formula. But Clark comes very close to that here, her voice still possesses a remarkable clarity, and her command of her instrument is precise” Mark Deming – U.K Music Review Critic

Sunshine Coast Council was today (March 7) delighted to unveil the recent restoration works at the Council-owned and heritage listed Fairview House (also known as Pattemore House) at North Maleny. 

The works included the installation of a front timber fence, the construction of a new timber pergola and new timber clothesline, the reinstatement and restoration of the front garden path, garden bed upgrades and a front timber step upgrade.

The works form part of a series of planned annual conservation works guided by recommendations from Fairview’s Garden Restoration and Recreation Master Plan.

Councillor Jenny McKay said the works highlight the significance of Fairview House within the community.

“These works demonstrate council’s commitment to protecting and preserving the future use of Fairview House,” Cr McKay said.

“As our region continues to grow, it is more important than ever to preserve our historical sites.

“Fairview House shows us an insight into the early development of Maleny as an agricultural settlement and the pattern and expansion of the dairy industry in Queensland in the early 1900s.

“I would like to thank Friends of Pattemore House for their assistance during the works and their role in researching the history of the house and providing their feedback throughout the master plan process.”

Small amounts of cultural heritage material were discovered and included ferrous metal (iron) such as nails and pins and a mower blade, glass fragments, a 20th century cotton sports sock and a low denomination Thai coin minted with southeast Asian style script.

Although mostly unremarkable, these items have the potential to help illustrate the lives of the people who lived here in the past and will be displayed at Fairview House in the future. 

As a state heritage listed site under the Queensland Heritage Act 1992, the Fairview Management Plan required approval from the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection for works to proceed.

These works were funded through Cr McKay’s discretionary funds program. Any future works will be subject to available funding and prioritised on an as-needs basis.

More than 15 kilometres of trail networks have been linked thanks to Sunshine Coast Council’s works at Eumundi Conservation Park.

Members of the Sunny Coast Trail Horse Riders Club yesterday (March 7) joined Divisional Councillor Stephen Robinson to view and experience the completed trail network near Allendale Rd at Eumundi.

Cr Robinson said this trail and others throughout the Sunshine Coast contributed to our community’s natural and physical wellbeing, and aligned with council’s vision to be Australia’s most sustainable region – healthy, smart, creative.

“Across the Sunshine Coast, we have more than 600 kilometres of trails that offer a diversity of experiences for horse-back riders, mountain bikers, hikers and families looking for a leisurely outdoor stroll,” said Cr Robinson.

“Eumundi Conservation Park offers more than 15 kilometres of trails that are all linked up thanks to these recent works.

“This project’s goal was to provide a solution for about 500 metres of trail that was notoriously wet and impassable, to horse riders and hikers.

“This section of unmade road reserve separated the north and south blocks of the park, essentially dividing the park in two.

“Our council crews worked with Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service to provide better drainage and to build a reliable trail surface that will remain passable, even in wet weather conditions.

“The conservation park is now joined and visitors will enjoy a full trail network amongst the beautiful mix of eucalypt open forest and high value rainforest.”

The Eumundi Conservation Park has always been popular with the region’s horse riders, including Sunny Coast Trail Horse Riders Club President Chris Bourne who shared her admiration and appreciation for the completed trail network.

“As our club members are frequent riders in this park, I am grateful to see the trail extended thanks to this project’s completion,” Ms Bourne said.

“Previously, any wet weather inhibited us from fully enjoying this expansive park, and now we can take advantage of lengthier horseback rides.

“I encourage more community members to visit the Eumundi Conservation Park and experience its beautiful trails, whether you’re with a horse, on a bicycle, or simply on foot.”

Over the past few years, Sunshine Coast Council has also improved access conditions at both the southern and western entrances to allow for better access for all community members to explore this bushland area.

Time is running out for not-for-profit groups to apply for a Sunshine Coast Council community grant.

Applications for three grants programs are now open:

  • Community Grants – Major Grants
  • Community Grants – Minor Grants (Community Events category only); and 
  • Environment Levy Grants.

Major Grants of up to $30,000 are available through a range of categories for projects, activities and events that benefit Sunshine Coast communities.

Minor Grants of up to $2000 are available for community and regional events and celebrations.

Environment Levy Grants of up to $5000 are available for projects that make a positive and ongoing contribution to the region’s biodiversity and waterways.

Applications for council’s Community Grants and Environment Levy Grants programs will close on Monday, March 18.

Visit for eligibility criteria and application forms. For further information or to discuss your project, contact a grants officer on 5420 8616.

After a sell-out event during Horizon Festival 2018, former UK slam champion and change-maker, Joelle Taylor will return to the Sunshine Coast as a part of Bunker Down, Speak Out on March 6 and 7.

Presented by The Bunker Collective and Horizon Festival, Bunker Down, Speak Out is a new quarterly event that provides a platform for local poets and writers to perform their work and an opportunity for newcomers to begin their own journey with the genre.

Direct from Adelaide Writer’s Week, Joelle will perform a range of works including those from her new release collection, Songs My Enemy Taught Me.

Joelle is a powerhouse performer on stage and echoes that strength as an educator in her uniquely crafted workshops.

Don’t miss this fantastic opportunity to learn from the best and give it a try yourself, book now for a workshop with Joelle and register for the open mic night.

Spoken Word Workshop with Joelle Taylor

Designed for emerging and established performance poets and writers, this is an exciting opportunity to learn from one of the world’s best.

Date: Wednesday, March 6
Time: 6-8pm
Location: SunCentral building (downstairs), 9 Golf Street, Maroochydore
Tickets: GA $45, plus booking fee, Conc $35, plus booking fee

Bunker Down, Speak Out – Open Mic Night

Come along and see UK slam champ Joelle Taylor take the stage alongside home-grown local spoken word talent. This is a one-off performance not to be missed.  

Date: Thursday, March 7
Time: 7pm
Location: Solbar, Maroochydore
Tickets: $15, plus booking fee pre-sale, $20 on the door / free for open mic performers 

Open Mic Registration 
We love seeing our locals up on stage! Register to perform at the open mic night for a chance to win a cash prize, plus the kudos of performing alongside Joelle Taylor.

Get tickets and register for the open mic night at

Bunker Down, Speak Out is funded by the Regional Arts Development Fund, a partnership between the Queensland Government and Sunshine Coast Council to support local arts and culture in regional Queensland.

Creativity, Community, Culture