QLD Tourism News in Your Language

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Fishers Spoiled for Choice in Gladstone Region

FOR those who know this region and the different spots to wet a line there is such a vast number of places to go and also species to catch.

From the harbour with the barra and the enormous king salmon out to the reef with those magic reds, trout, sweetlip, and mackerel, through to the inland systems like Awoonga, Callide, Monduran, and Cania Dams, for barra, mangrove jack, saratoga, bass, and in some spots we are seeing some pretty big longtoms being caught in Awoonga and in the Dawson River.

The local fishing pages on Facebook have seen some pretty good catches of black jew, mangrove jack and a snodger of a grunter measuring 69cm, which Thimoteus Newland caught and released this week, on a humble prawn bottom fishing.

I see Steven Strathdee spent some time out at Cania, and decided to walk the banks flicking stick baits around the snags and had a ball with the perch and bass.

The same thing applies with walking the banks of the Boyne - in "stealth mode" I call it - and targeting those snags which will hold barra, and jack.

In fact, you really don't need too much water for neither species, as the more shallow you get (Kermit the frog "knee deep") the more the little surface poppers, and walk the dog lures, come into play.

These predators will tend to sit, and wait in the lee of a rock, or gravel bank, as the water or tide comes in over the top, bringing with it some dinner, and it's these places you need to target.

To add another dimension, try fishing very light, say down to a 4-6 lb line, with an 8-10 lb leader, and only then the challenge commences.

This weekend is new moon Friday, with huge tides, nice balmy northerlies, and reasonably flat seas.

Tomorrow morning it looks as though the breeze could be down to 10 knots or a little less, from about sun up till around 2-3pm at the time of writing this.

It will swing around to the east after lunch, providing a very nice ride home if you venture out wide.

Sunday looks as though it'll be 10-15 easterlies all day, but that won't bother some.

The low tide around 4ish Saturday arvo is a big one though, and the likes of the Boyne Entrance will be practically unusable from 1 or 2 pm, and those using this access need to plan ahead.

For those chasing a feed of crabs, then this weekend should be awesome with some big chocolate bucks around at the moment, and coupled with the big tides you should be able to access some of those creeks, and drains which can't normally get to.

For those new to the region and keen to get into some crabbing, learning how this whole line of fishing works can be quite tricky and a good start to learn about the "art" of crabbing is to pick up a DVD of Johnny Mitchell's called the Mud Crab, at most tackle shops or via his website.

This year's Boyne Tannum HookUp being the 20th year, has now been open for entries for a little while and there is a steady flow of those booking their spot in this incredible event.

Having it back on the original weekend, being Queen's Birthday long weekend in June (6,7,8 ) is very cool.

And the committee, many of whom have been volunteering there time for many years now to bring you this extravaganza, are planning to blow you away beginning with that major prize boat from Curtis Coast Marine, Haines Signature, Suzuki, and Garmin.

You can't win this, nor any of the other nine boats if you aren't entered.

Entry is easy by simply going on line to www.boynetannumhookup.com.au and following the instructions.

Remember once it's full, it's full, but numbers are only restricted with senior entrants to 3000, whereas with the kids they are open to as many as they can get.

Finally share a thought for those at VMR Gladstone who diligently man the radios and the rescue boats, to help us out when things don't go the way we plan.

They are in constant need for volunteers on the radios. If you aren't a member then my best advice is to be one.

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Thursday, March 26, 2015

Ipswich Festival 2015 Highlights

Ipswich Festival 2015 Highlights

The spectacular Ipswich Festival is back in 2015 bigger than ever! Packed with fantastic shows, events, parades and concerts to suit the whole family.

Fire on the River launches the festivities with a spectacular explosion of colours lighting up the night sky. Join us for an enthralling display of fireworks synchronised to a dedicated soundtrack that is sure to delight the whole family. This spectacular pyrotechnic display has become a festival favourite with a stunning showcase of the very best "feature" fireworks and fire canons.

Best vantage points are at Riverlink Shopping Centre and David Trumpy Bridge.

Date: Thursday April 16th @ 7pm
Location: Riverlink Shopping Centre, Upper Level, Ipswich Central

Parade of Light - Cheer on the cavalcade of our spirited community groups, classic cars, lively marching bands, local businesses, festival characters, schools, and energetic dancers.

For the first time, the Ipswich Festival Parade moves into the night creating high excitement and a colourful carnival atmosphere. Be amazed as giant, magical lanterns journey along Ipswich's inner city streets creating a night of spectacular surprises.

Themed "Our People, Our Culture", the parade celebrates Ipswich's rich history and diverse community and will be an impressive display that is sure to entertain. The annual parade is a must-see highlight of the festival.

Date: Saturday May 2nd
Location: Brisbane St - Between Waghorn and Bell St

Lunchtime Sessions - Revolutionise your lunchtime routine! Festival LunchTime Sessions feature five exciting days of free live entertainment in Ipswich City Mall. This is a FREE event!

Dates: April 21st, 22nd, 23rd, 29th, 30th
Location: Ipswich City Mall, Ipswich Central
Shows: See below

The Magic Parlour
A day of monumental magical mayhem! Two incredible shows so close up and interactive - they will delight and amaze you. The Super Steph Magic Show and Damien the Magician. Plus balloon art, live bunny and magical tricks galore. This one is for the kids as well as the young at heart.
Tuesday April 21st 11am - 1.30pm

The Romance of Strauss, Bach and Bluegrass
Lunch with over 20 musicians from the strings section of Ipswich City Orchestra. Come and be swept away to old Vienna with Strauss Waltzes played by the professional Orchestra's String section. Then get your hands clapping for some good old fashioned bluegrass with the Suzuki Students of Ipswich.
Wednesday April 22nd 11am - 1pm

That's Entertainment!
Let us take you on a journey of timeless music and history, with 'Back to Basics' recreating the era of the Andrew Sisters, followed by a mash of your favourite hit pop rock songs of the 70's, 80's, 90's and beyond with live band Shriners Park. Tea & light refreshments early or BYO lunch.
Thursday April 23rd 11am - 2pm

Big Band Brassy
Swing and sway to the smooth and brassy sounds of the amazing C17's Amberley Brass Band and the gold medal award winning Redbank Plains State High School Marching Band. Sit back and relax or dance to the beat of big band swing, classical, new world symphony, and so much more.
Wednesday April 29th 11am - 2pm

Swing it!
With a double scoop of comedy and a generous serving of musical mayhem the Swingin' Martinis belt out the best of Frank Sinatra/Dean Martin classics through to the Proclaimers via ABBA and Tom Jones - all fused together to bring you some good old high energy and cracking entertainment.
Thursday April 30th 12noon - 1pm

Night Time Sessions:
Latin Dance with Brazilian Soul
Join in the fun or opt in the free dance class when Brazilian Soul perform a variety of Latin dance styles, all authentic from South America.
Wednesday April 22nd 5pm - 6pm

SwingaBilly Ray
It's a revival of the golden age of swing jazz. Kick up you heels doing the lindy hop, the Charleston, St Louis shag, or shim sham and jitterbug - all this to the sounds of your favourite swing tunes from yesteryear. Everybody welcome. Free Swing Dance Class.
Thursday April 30th 5pm - 7.30pm

To view more Ipswich Festival highlights visit their official website: www.ipswichfestival.com.au/2015/browse.php?cat=1

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Holden State of Origin Series launched in Melbourne

Holden State of Origin Series launched in Melbourne

The Holden State of Origin series returns to Melbourne in June – 21 years after the two coaches, Laurie Daley (NSW) and Mal Meninga (Queensland), captained their sides in the first Origin match ever held at the MCG.
The 2015 Origin series was today launched in Melbourne by NRL CEO Dave Smith and Parliamentary Secretary for Tourism, Major Events and Regional Victoria, Danielle Green MP. They were accompanied by Daley and incumbent captains Cameron Smith and Paul Gallen.
Mr Smith said Origin had become the biggest sporting brand in Australia.
And he said the return to the MCG this year meant fans would be able to see Origin in three States – Queensland, NSW and Victoria. 
"State of Origin is one of sport's greatest rivalries. It played to massive crowds in all three matches last year and took out the top two television ratings spots for the year," he said.
"When Origin was first played at the MCG, it attracted a crowd of more than 87,000 fans in 1994 – which was the highest crowd for a Rugby League match in Australia.
"Origin now reaches more than eight million unique fans on social media – and that number is growing all the time.
"So the scene is set for an Origin series which will be taken to millions of fans across the country and around the globe."
Mr Smith said the decision to stage a match at the MCG was part of the NRL’s push to keep growing the game.
Victorian Minister for Tourism and Major Events, Minister for Sport and Minister for Veterans John Eren said: "It's fitting that one of our nation's most intense rivalries will be played at Australia's home of sport, the great MCG.
"The Andrews Labor Government is delighted that Victorians will get a chance to witness the passion and pride on the line when New South Wales and Queensland go to war.
"The MCG is as good a battleground as any renowned sports venue, and an event as significant as a State of Origin game promises to be an outstanding occasion with a memorable atmosphere."
Mr Eren said Origin was also another chance to showcase Victoria to the rest of Australia and beyond.
Laurie Daley and Mal Meninga said it would be a privilege for their teams to play in front of a massive crowd at the MCG.
"Last year was an incredible experience for our squad but this is a new series with new challenges," Daley said.
"We aim to show Melbourne why State of Origin is one of the greatest sporting events in the world."
Meninga said both teams would relish the prospect of playing to huge crowds at the MCG, ANZ Stadium and Suncorp Stadium.
"State of Origin series are always highlights of the year, but this year’s series is shaping up as something really special," he said.
NSW holds the Origin title after breaking eight years of Queensland dominance last year. 
Tickets for Game Three at Suncorp Stadium went on sale at 10am (AEDT) today. Tickets for Games One and Two are already on sale.
Today's launch comes ahead of Melbourne Storm's first home game of the season this Saturday night, against Cronulla.
2015 Holden State of Origin Series
Game I – ANZ Stadium, Sydney, Wednesday, 27 May
Game II – Melbourne Cricket Ground, Wednesday, 17 June
Game III – Suncorp Stadium, Wednesday, 8 July
Click here for tickets to all three games

Source: http://www.nrl.com/holden-state-of-origin-series-launched-in-melbourne/tabid/10874/newsid/84597/default.aspx

Monday, March 16, 2015

Australian Cities to Benefit From Rise in Chinese Tourist Numbers

Sydney and Melbourne residents could be saying "ni hao" to twice as many Chinese tourists by 2023 than they do today as rising incomes in China make international travel more affordable.

A new global study by InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) in partnership with Oxford Economics found the number of Chinese households earning more than $US35,000 ($45,970) - considered a threshold for being able to afford overseas travel - will nearly triple to 63 million by 2023.

That is expected to lead to a 109 per cent rise in the number of Chinese arrivals into Melbourne and a 98 per cent rise in arrivals to Sydney. Brisbane and the Gold Coast will also benefit from rises of 90 per cent and 86 per cent respectively.

"As Chinese tourism demand matures, we expect preferences to shift toward more expensive, longer-haul experiences," the study said. 

Australia was the ninth largest outbound spending market for Chinese visitors in 2013, and most travellers to Australia visit for holidays rather than business and tend to prefer cities over rural areas.

Tourism Australia has been working hard to attract Chinese visitors - in particularly, ones that travel independently rather than in groups because independent travellers spend more. China is already Australia's second biggest source of inbound visitors, behind New Zealand, and its most valuable with annual spending of $5 billion a year, which is expected to reach more than $13 billion by the end of the decade.

However, the IHG/Oxford Economics study showed Australia did not rank in the top 10 long-haul markets for forecast absolute growth in Chinese arrivals between 2013 and 2023. The United States is expected to receive an annual jump of 3.4 million visitors by 2023. France was in second place with 1.2 million and the United Kingdom placed tenth with 299,000 additional arrivals expected. By contrast, Australia is expected to receive 1 million Chinese visitors by 2023, up from 709,000 in 2013. That placed it just out of the top 10 forecast countries for absolute growth.

Tourism Australia managing director John O'Sullivan said with so many other countries competing fiercely for the Chinese market, Australia couldn't afford to take its success to date for granted. "This means understanding what Chinese travellers are looking for in an overseas holiday, and, where needed, adapting and developing our tourism experiences to better fit their needs and expectations," he said.

Karin Sheppard, IHG's chief operating officer Australasia, said nearly half of her group's hotels in Australia were China Ready accredited and that number would rise alongside the expected growth in the number of Chinese guests.

IHG's 11 China Ready hotel properties, which include the InterContinental Sydney, Crowne Plaza Melbourne and Holiday Inn Potts Point Sydney, feature Mandarin-speaking staff, trained Chinese chefs, UnionPay payment facilities and Mandarin television channels in the rooms.

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Sunday, March 15, 2015

International Rugby League May 1-2 Queensland NRL Representative Round

International Rugby League will return to South-East Queensland this year with Brisbane and the Gold Coast set to host a blockbuster stand-alone weekend of representative rugby league in May.

In a huge coup for NRL fans in Queensland, Suncorp Stadium will host the traditional Trans-Tasman Test Match between Australia and New Zealand, supported by Tourism and Events Queensland (TEQ), on Friday May 1.

The Test is the only international match between the Kangaroos and the Kiwis in 2015. The Test Match will be a key game in rugby league's program of events to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the ANZAC landings at Gallipoli.

May 1 also sees the Australian Jillaroos take on the NZ Kiwi Ferns at Suncorp Stadium, while Pacific powerhouses Samoa, Fiji, Tonga and Papua New Guinea will be part of a triple-header at Gold Coast's Cbus Super Stadium on Saturday May 2.

The first match on Saturday night (May 2) will feature the Junior Kangaroos against the Junior Kiwis. The PNG Kumuls will then take on Fiji Bati, before Samoa return to the international stage following their successful Four Nations campaign against traditional rivals Tonga.

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Country Superstars Rock Ipswich as CMC Plans to Stay

CMC ROCKS is set to have a home in Ipswich for years to come after a hugely successful three-day international country and roots music festival wrapped up yesterday.

More than 30,000 fans came through the gates during the festival with US international act Big and Rich closing last night's program to great acclaim.

Troy Cassar-Daley backs CMC Rocks' future

The festival has a three-year deal out at Willowbank with Ipswich City Council and the State Government but Matthew Lazarus-Hall, the CEO of co-promoter Chugg Entertainment, said a long-term stay was in the pipeline.

"We want a permanent home here," he said.

"We have moved this festival twice and we'd love to be here as long as people want us to be here."

Mr Lazarus-Hall said Ipswich, and south-east Queensland generally, was a hub for the genre.

"We've moved the festival to where the audience is," he said.

"Everyone who has come to the festival has had a great time."

More than 75% of the suppliers for the festival were from the region, ensuring a massive injection into the local economy.

Mr Lazarus-Hall said the Willowbank site was like "a mini city" with all the facilities available for fans to have a great time.

"We have even got a doctor and pharmacist on site," he said.

"It is very rare you have everyone running in the same direction but everyone from the local suppliers, to the council and State Government has been a dream to deal with.

"Mayor (Paul) Pisasale has been amazing. He has said, 'whatever we need to do to make it work, let's get on with it'.

"We really appreciate the opportunity to bring international acts out but also to promote Australian acts."

Grammy Award winners such as Lady Antebellum, Chris Young and Kacey Musgraves played as did Australian stars.

The Aussie acts proved a big drawcard for Ipswich's Tammy Telford.

"This is the day I wanted to come, to see Adam Harvey, John Williamson and Troy Cassar-Daley," she said yesterday

"I'm from Ipswich, so this is absolutely fantastic that us Queenslanders get to go.

"I'll be coming every year. I'm a huge country fan."

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Monday, March 9, 2015

Australia Career Expos – Why You Need to Atten

Whether you’re a student or seasoned professional, career expos can provide a valuable experience. Every year, dozens of career fairs take place across Australia in a variety of industries, connecting jobseekers and students with organisations and recruiters. 

Attending a career expo puts you face to face with the people who can answer career questions and guide you on your professional path.

The Benefits of Career Expos

To learn more about the opportunities presented by these events, we spoke to several career expo organisers. They cited an array of potential benefits.

Accessing Up to Date Information

Shane Lynch of careersevent.com said that events like his provide ‘A vast and diverse array of organisations that can be accessed all under the one roof. A one stop shop for the latest information on employment opportunities, further training and tertiary studies.’ Lizzie Detta from studygoldcoast.com.au cited numerous potential benefits, stating that ‘The Gold Coast Careers Expo brings educators, career advisers, students, parents, prospective students and job seekers together to explore study options and career pathways on the Gold Coast.’

She mentioned that this type of event allows attendees to connect with employment pathways, investigate options for further study, gain up to date information about training options and careers, and consider up-skilling. 

Exploring your Options

Expos also provide workshops and seminars to explore options. For example, Nicholas Ricciuti from www.reinventyourcareer.com.au explains that ‘each event, held annually in Brisbane, Melbourne, and Sydney, offers attendees access to scores of real jobs, a dynamic seminar program, interactive career workshops, individual career check-ups, resume services, Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) assessments and much more.’

Certainly, the wide range of exhibitors that you’ll find is a major benefit in itself. Bill Lennox of the Melbourne Career Expo states that ‘our expo encompasses all career opportunities from employment to education and training in the trades, corporate and professional sectors… one of our biggest attractions is the CDAA. They have qualified consultants ready to discuss anything to do with careers and resumes and hold some great seminars and workshops throughout our event.’ 

Networking at a Distance

If you live in a remote area or have a busy schedule, attending an online fair provides unique opportunities. Karen Lawson from www.careerone.com.au explains that ‘VFAIR is a virtual platform that allows companies and education providers to showcase their brand and connect with potential employees and students in their own environments and on the go. Unlike traditional career fairs, VFAIR is open 24/7 over a 2 week period allowing users to access information at a time that suits them.’

Employment Opportunities

While it can be difficult to track just how many attendees find jobs after an event, Ricciuti says that ‘In 2014 the Reinvent Your Career Expos placed over 2,000 Australians into work. The national post event analysis, comprised from the information taken from a collective 793 attendees who completed the exit survey at the 2014 expos, indicated that 9% of people found a real job whilst attending the Reinvent Your Career Expo.’ And Christopher Brooks from careersemploymentexpo.com.au mentions that although ‘the recruitment side is done after the event by the exhibitors and they don’t always record the information. We have 60 – 70% repeat clients which tells us the process must work.’

Making a Great First Impression

If you want to make the most of the opportunities that career expos provide, here are a few tips that come straight from the source.

1. Do your research

You could certainly walk into a career expo without any planning, but you’ll gain more from the experience if you know a little bit about the organisations who will be attending. Bill Lennox recommends visiting the exhibition website first, where usually you will find the floor plan and exhibitor list.

It’s also helpful to know what you’re hoping to gain from the experience. He recommends visiting a careers counsellor prior to the event. ‘Organisations like the Careers Development Association of Australia (CDAA) have a network of practitioners that can assist with a variety of services including careers profile analysis for individuals. Informative websites like www.careersevent.com also provide access to quite a few resources.’

2. Come prepared

If you’ve never been to an expo, you may wonder just what to bring on the day. Lennox suggests ‘a current resume preferably on a USB stick or hard copy. Comfortable shoes. A large bag to collect all the exhibitors brochures and free gifts, an iPad or iPhone as lots of exhibitions have online competitions where you get to win some great prizes, some money to buy refreshments, and a notebook.’

Naturally, if you’re attending an online event you can scale this down. Lawson says that ‘the great thing about our virtual online fair is that you don’t need to bring a thing! Unlike traditional career fairs, Vfair is all online, and accessible across Desktop, tablet and mobile – and open 24/7 for the duration of the fair.’

3. Ask questions

One of the primary pieces of advice that most of the career organisers offered was to ask plenty of questions. Not sure what to ask? Here are a few suggestions.

Shane Lynch:
What are the career prospects like and scope of jobs on offer at completion of a specific study program?
What are the payment options for tuition fees?
Are there any scholarship opportunities and level of government support on offer?

Lizzie Detta:
My passion is… is this job for me?
My ideal requirements in a job are… is this job for me?
Is there a possibility in this role/organisation for me to further my career?

Nicholas Riciutti:
How many people are there currently employed with your organisation?
Is your industry and/or organisation growing?
How can I best match my skill sets with the opportunities in your company?

When it comes to online fairs, you’ll also have plenty of opportunity to ask questions. Lawson states that you can ‘interact with stands and ask lots of questions through our live chat feature – these chat sessions are with real people from some of Australia’s best companies so make a good impression by showing you are hungry for information!’

4. Enjoy the experience

Although you’ll be meeting recruiters, visiting a career expo shouldn’t be a nerve-wracking affair. This is your chance to learn more about the opportunities out there and have a two-way conversation. Christopher Brooks says ‘Be cheerful and confident, the exhibitors are there to tell you their story, so be ready to listen and get involved in the discussion.’

5. Don’t stop networking after the event.

When you speak to exhibitors, many of them will ask you for your contact details and follow up accordingly. However, it doesn’t hurt for you to take the first step as well. Lennox points out that ‘our exhibitors see an extreme amount of people over the 3 days.’ Lynch recommends that you ‘ask about information evenings, Open Days, student for a day opportunities, work experience opportunities, etc.’ while Detta says to ‘grab a business card at the event and follow up with an email or a phone call.’ At online events like VFAIR, Lawson states that ‘attendees have the option to register to a particular company which will allow them to provide their contact information. You can also request further information or a follow up through the live interactive chat sessions.’

Finally, remember to have an open mind. Brooks offers this parting advice: ‘It’s best not to have a preconceived ideas about a company attending the event. That’s why they attend, to communicate their employer branding message. Just attend, ready to listen!’ Ricciuti seconds this with ‘be open-minded – don’t disregard an exhibitor based on what you think you know about them. The Reinvent Your Career Expos are designed to break down misconceptions about industries and organisations, and open up previously unthought-of career opportunities.’

The most important career expos in Australia

CityEventWebsite2015 Dates
AdelaideCareers & Employment expocareersemploymentexpo.com.au/adelaide/show-overview-information/show-overview22-23 May
AdelaideTertiary Studies Expo (TSXPO)www.careersevent.com/tscea14-15 June
BrisbaneNcee Careers & Employment expocareersemploymentexpo.com.au/brisbane/show-overview-information/overview29-30 May
BrisbaneThe Big Meetwww.thebigmeet.com.au/brisbane16 March
BrisbaneReinventyourcareer Expowww.reinventyourcareer.com.au/event/brisbane-reinvent-your-career-expo/?type=v21-22 March
BrisbaneTertiary Studies Expo (TSXPO)www.tsxpo.org18-19 June
CairnsCairns Careers and Education Expowww.bla.org.au/14th-annual-careers-and-employment-expo-2015-event.html21 May
Gold CoastGold Coast Careers Expowww.studygoldcoast.org.au/gold-coast-careers-expo7 May
HobartThe Big Meetwww.thebigmeet.com.au/hobart18 March
MelbourneMelbourne Career Expowww.careerexpo.com.au24-26 July
MelbourneThe Big Meetwww.thebigmeet.com.au/melbourne26 March
MelbourneReinventyourcareer Expowww.reinventyourcareer.com.au/event/melbourne-reinvent-your-career-expo/?type=v30-31 May
MelbourneThe VCE and careers expowww.vceandcareers.com.au7-10 May
VfairCareerone Graduates and Job Seekers Expowww.careerone.com.au/vfair/promotion16-26 March
VfairCareerone Graduates and Job Seekers Expowww.careerone.com.au/vfair/promotion22 Jun-2Jul
PerthThe Big Meetwww.thebigmeet.com.au/perth6 March
Sunshine CoastTertiary Studies Expo (TSXPO)www.careersevent.com/sunshinecoast21 July
SydneyThe Big Meetwww.thebigmeet.com.au/sydney20 March
SydneyReinventyourcareer Expowww.reinventyourcareer.com.au/event/sydney-reinvent-your-career-expo/?type=v17-18 Oct
SydneyWestern Sydney Career Expowww.westernsydneycareerexpo.com.au18-21 June
SydneyThe HSC and careers expowww.hscandcareers.com.au28-31 May
TownsvilleTertiary Studies Expo (TSXPO)www.careersevent.com/townsville10 August

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