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The problem with toilets at Weinam Creek Translink terminal brings to mind problems with toilets generally in the community. Clearly there are not enough toilets generally for women. Because of the difference between men and women, it is obviously far more difficult for women to use a toilet. That means it takes longer to go to a toilet at a public event in particular. But a count of toilets in both men’s and women’s facilities are similar in numbers. There need to be twice as many toilets for women in all public facilities. Legislation needs to change to correct the anomaly.


Noticed the council mowing taking place on Macleay recently. Can’t imagine why a good operator would blow the grass and leaves out onto the roadway, when totally unnecessary. A bad look and a lack of care and attention. Why not drive up one side and blow back inside, and do the opposite up the other side of the street?


The recent Macleay Island Arts Complex Inc Behind the Lens photographic event was definitely a surprise. Not only were the entries symbolic of our island lifestyle, but the range and efforts is to be commended. Another surprise was the fresh new look around the place. New president Craig Shanks has brought some practical expertise to the table and already has seen the complex get a makeover with all internal areas given new paint. Enthusiasm is obvious and there are some exciting plans afoot for some major gallery extensions in the future, provided some funding can be found. Good to see, and thanks for asking the FBI to open the event!


Many readers are excited about the prospect of cafe-restaurants at the end of the new Russell and Macleay Island jetties. From our observation, the handicap to it ever becoming a reality will be dealing with Translink. Readers may remember our comments in relation to the setting up of businesses in the vacant premises at the Redland Translink terminal. We know one of the parties involved have been ‘negotiating’ with Translink for over two years, and it still hasn’t been finalised. The problem we are told is that the bureaucratic system in place makes it almost impossible for anyone to be willing to ‘make a decision’ for fear of ‘jeopardising’ their long crawl up the bureaucratic chain. We feel sorry for developer Todd Reinke. It will be a ‘nightmare’ negotiation process.


Our island yachting prodigy, Mara Stransky, is back on the islands after 2 months in Europe competing in three international regattas, amidst an extensive training and fitness schedule. Needless to say, Mara is very happy to be back home on the Bay Islands. The three Aussie girls all placed in the top 10 in the Under 21 World Championships in Poland. However, the Sailing World Championships in Denmark was a much more testing event due to very shifty weather, scattering results randomly throughout the fleet. The usual high scorers were peppered across the board and luck was a factor. However it was a fantastic opportunity for Mara to learn from, in the midst of the world's best female sailors. Mara was named the female Sailor of the Year, at the Queensland Sailing Awards held at Southport during her time away. Her father, Andrew Stransky, was proud to accept her trophy in her absence. With only two years now to Tokyo 2020 Olympics there will be little rest for Mara, as training and competing at an elite level will step another notch in preparation. Another exciting bit of news is that the Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron deemed Mara eligible for the John Harrison Grant. This is a fund to help sponsor potential Olympic sailors. It will certainly help her in her continuing quest to represent Australia in Tokyo.


We have been getting some great comment from readers about The Friendly Bay Islander’s recent editions. One even came via our website from New York! They stated how much they enjoyed reading about our islands. A recent newcomer to our islands commented on the article we wrote about Bob Turner’s design thoughts for our islands. Bob also tells us that many have stopped him and commented as well, stating they would love to see our foreshores more community friendly. One went as far as to say: “ Love Bob Turner’s vision, agree with jetty cafes, observatory; great ideas. Let’s add boardwalks though mangroves, marked cycling paths, and these islands would be tourist mecca.” Another wrote: “Love "The Friendly Bay Islander" issues each month - they are a wealth of information for young and old, and enjoyable to read.”


We have been very impressed with Charmaine Stubbs, the outgoing president of the rejuvenated Macleay Island Progress Association. With a corporate background with the Salvation Army, she brought a new direction and focus to island affairs and led the way in getting all levels of Government to the table to improve services to our islands. She also established new levels of management for the progress association. Rather than becoming a ‘talkfest’ as happens in many organisations, things are now being achieved. A very modest person, after 12 months she is stepping down. That is a shame. Her management qualities are definitely impressive and she should be encouraged to still remain involved in community activities.


We asked Charmaine how the Well Being Hub came about, and she explained it this way: “The SMBI Wellbeing Hub was established through the work of Relationships QLD (Wheel of Well Being) and Redland City Council. Local island resident Jan Elston originally led the project. “The Hub has now established MOU agreements between 10 mainland service organisations and Bay Islands Community Services to deliver much needed services to the island communities. A physical hub space was launched in 2016/17 at the Bay Islands Community Services office (next to the Macleay Island Community Centre).“In late 2017 a mental health wellbeing impact assessment report was prepared by Relationships QLD. Many positives were recorded but also some challenges. These included the need to include more island residents in service design, barriers with transport on islands for service providers and community, physical space to deliver services from, and opportunities to engage with the community. It is about ensuring an effective social service system for the future of the Island communities which are expanding rapidly.

“The second part is community responding to and providing support to the service sector by helping to break down some of the barriers they are facing. In practical terms this means a group of Macleay island associations and local business will open up their spaces every Tuesday with activities to engage residents. “ The Lions club bus will provide transport on scheduled circuits to each of the spaces, these include the MI Progress Hall, Bay Islands Community Services, The Organic Farm, Macleay Island State School Playgroup, Curlew Cove Children and Family Place and Running Wild Youth Org. It will start small on Macleay Island and then expand across all of the islands as we learn what is working for residents, this would include multiple Wellbeing hub days across the SMBI”.

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