Runners paint Coast in colour for annual event

21 Jul


By Jacinta Franks and Dinushka Gunasekara, Bond University Journalism Students

Roommates Rachel Marley and Saaini Sivakumaran painted a grey Gold Coast morning in bright colours and dreams after completing their first Color Run on Sunday.

The two university students enjoyed seeing the other runners’ crazy costumes and infectious enthusiasm.

“It was a really fun atmosphere and the little pre-concert beforehand was pretty fun to get us pumped up,” Rachel said.

The Color Run Dream World Tour 2017 is also known as ‘The Happiest 5k on the Planet’ and Rachel’s favourite part was the foam zone, which was new for this year’s event.

“The blue and pink foam looked like fairy floss,” she said.

Both students have travelled interstate to study in the Gold Coast and used the event to develop their friendship and leave campus for a change.

“It was nice seeing the Gold Coast and getting out and exploring our new city,” Saaini said.

This is the fourth year the Color Run has taken place on the Gold Coast but while it usually occurs in Robina, this year it ran in the Broadwater Parklands.

The first Color Run in Australia happened in 2012 and the event now paints more than 35 countries with colours and fun.

Rachel and Saaini are looking forward to attending next year’s run and recommend it for young and old alike.

“It’s every little kid’s dream to be able to throw colour at each other,” Rachel said.



Hawaiian cuisine the new wave of multicultural dining

21 Jul

By Luke Nicholas Freeman and Caitlin Lee

The Gold Coast’s reputation as a multicultural hub for fine dining has been enhanced by the addition of a Hawaiian themed restaurant.

Poké Poké is the brain-child of Morgan Walsh who recently opened the restaurant in the heart of Mermaid Beach.

“To be in this industry you have to have a finger of the pulse and the latest trends coming up,” she said.

Poké Poké has a focus on Hawaiian poké bowls, smoothie bowls and Caribbean curries.

Poké bowls are a Hawaiian dish of cured fish, salad and brown rice, but Ms Walsh has made sure she created a balance between traditional dishes and her own unique versions.

“It seemed like a no brainer because it suits the Gold Coast’s climate and style and it’s such a beautiful dish, you can really be creative with it,” she said.

Ms Walsh chose this dish to be the inspiration for her restaurant after discovering Poké had become a popular trend in other parts of Australia.

Ms Walsh said that introducing an uncommon dish to the local area was a result of her ‘ballsy’ decision-making and was aware that people wouldn’t understand the concept straight away.

“You’re always going to have people that don’t understand your concept,” Ms Walsh said.

“Sometimes you have to see things before other people do and you have to have a vision that other people don’t necessarily understand.

“It’s a good thing if someone says ‘I don’t get it’, cause it means they haven’t seen it before and it’s something new”.

She said she wanted to create a healthy fast food take-away option for people.

“The world we live in is so fast paced but I think living on the Gold Coast we are perhaps more health conscious than other cities,” she said.

Ms Walsh’s restaurant has generated an impressive response from the community and local media.

“The locals have been really supportive and it’s been great seeing people walk by and see the progress,” she said.

University student Alex Topakas has been working at Poké Poké since it opened in June.

“I feel that many customers are interested in the traditional bowls which is good to see,” said Ms Topakas.


Sea Shepherd devoted to protecting the ocean

21 Jul


By Emma Griffith, Bond University Journalism Student
Kimberley Bernard is on her second year of volunteering for Sea Shepherd, an organisation dedicated to protecting the ocean and its inhabitants.

Sea Shepherd’s mission is to defend, conserve and protect animals and the environment by taking direct, non-violent action.

“Any animal in the ocean is our client,” said Miss Bernard.

The local Sea Shepherd organisation is based in Brisbane but hosts many events and beach clean ups out of the Gold Coast.

Sea Shepherd has campaigns happening globally all year.

The current campaign in the Gold Coast is called Marine Debris, which began in February 2016 and runs year round.

The idea behind this campaign is to promote beach clean ups and help the public understand and become aware of the environmental concerns facing marine life.

Since it launched, volunteers have picked up more than 3 quarters of a million items of debris from the beaches in Australia, Miss Bernard said.

People are interested in what we are doing, we have seen the number of attendees at our clean ups on the Gold Coast as well Australia wide increase over the year, more people are wanting to get involved,” said Rebecca Griffiths, the Queensland Coordinator for the Marine Debris Campaign.

Miss Griffiths and Miss Bernard are impressed with how fast the Marine Debris campaign is growing with more people interested in joining and helping out.

“This planet doesn’t end when I die, plastic pollution is not somebody else’s issue, its everybody’s issue,” Miss Bernard said.

“The Gold Coast is such a beautiful part of the world, people travel from all over to come here. We all want to live up to that standard and save the environment so we have to do something about it.”

Besides hosting weekly cleanups on local beaches Sea Shepherd volunteers on the Gold Coast speak at schools to explain to kids why going plastic free is so important.

“What we are conditioned to know is ease and convenience,” Miss Bernard said.

Sea Shepherd encourages kids and their families to consider the long-term effects of plastic usage for the planet, and their bodies.

“We don’t know the full long term effects of what plastic will do to our bodies and our children and future generations as well as the ocean and the environment,” she said.

Sea Shepherd partners with local businesses that share their same ethos and dedication to protecting the environment.

They recently held a screening of the new film “A Plastic Ocean” at Mermaid Beach’s Mandala & Co Café where Miss Bernard said it was packed full with people eager to watch.

“I think the most important thing we are doing is raising awareness of the problem of plastic pollution and actively doing something about it,” said Miss Griffiths.

This community involvement motivates the Sea Shepherd team to keep fighting to protect the ocean and the environment.

“With debris in the ocean becoming such a prevalent issue it’s really important that we continue to stay involved, it’s not a small task but without the ocean we are going to have nothing to save,” Miss Bernard said.



Wedding dogs to pet funerals on show at Coast pet expo

14 Jul

DOG 01

By Akshaya Aiyer, Bond University Journalism Student

Pet wedding chauffeurs and funeral services for pets were few of the many unique services on show at the 14th Gold Coast Pet and Animal Expo last weekend.

Trained dogs walking the aisle for weddings, an exotic service provided by LLP Pet Minding, was one of the popular stalls at the Expo.

Michael Beatty, Media and Community Relations Officer at RSPCA, said he  was happy with the overall turnout of the event.

“As it was not a ticketed event, we don’t have an absolute figure but we estimate an attendance of 26,000 people,” said Mr Beatty.

“RSPCA wanted to provide a platform for the community to raise awareness, share and exchange quality products and services on the market for animals.

“We also wanted to educate people about the responsibilities behind adopting a dog.”

Loretta Smith, animal welfare officer at SEQ Rescue, said she was surprised at the response at her stall.

“It was heart-warming to see so many people interested in adopting old working dogs who have nowhere else to go,” said Ms Smith.

“Finding our dogs a warm home and making sure that they don’t end up back in the shelter is our biggest responsibility.”

The expo had 150 stall exhibitions, live shows and animal entertainment such as dog skateboarding, dog training sessions and dog diving competition.

Tips for aspiring writers heading to Splendour

14 Jul


By Jordyn Gray, Bond University Journalism Student

Entrepreneurial music journalist Will Taylor has tips for aspiring writers heading to Splendour in the Grass at Byron Bay next week.

Bond Journalism student Will Taylor last year overed the event for his blogging website, WLCT Media.

“I love the event and the great musicians it attracts as Australia’s number one music festival, as such I thought it would be good fun to write about Splendour seeing as I would be attending the event,” he said.

“Going as an 18-year-old last year I was able to see all Splendour had to offer.”

Will decided to attend the event as a fan to gain the raw experience of the music festival from a fan’s perspective.

“From the smaller tents to the Tipi forest, the Smirnoff tent to the Amphitheatre, Splendour is just a high-quality entertainment event,” he said.

“Writing about my experiences was really cool as I got to reflect on the memories that I had made and the moments that made my experience so rewarding.”

Young journalists with a credible writing background are able to apply for media accreditation through the Splendour website, which offers them the opportunity to get up close and personal with the festival.

This year’s Splendour line-up includes big names such as The XX, R.L Grime, Haim, Banks and popular Australian musicians such as Vance Joy and Tash Sultana.

Bond University student David Waters will be going to the festival for his second time and said he was really looking forward to attending.

“I think it’s going to be a really exciting weekend, as once again Splendour has been able to get a great mix of Australian and international musicians for the festival,” he said.

“I’ll admit last year’s line-up was much more impressive with the likes of Flume and Duke Dumont playing, but hopefully it’ll still be a really good weekend”.

Splendour in the Grass starts on July 20 and will run until July 23.

Surfers venue managers welcome mandatory ID scanning

7 Jul


By Akshaya Krishnan Aiyer, Bond University Journalism Student

Queensland’s new mandatory ID scanning at pubs and clubs has been welcomed by  Surfers Paradise venue managers.

Jodi Miller, manager of Underground Nightclub, praised the government’s effort to make the glitter strip safer.

“If there are any fights in the club, it is easier for my team to refer to the database to catch the offender,” said Ms Miller.

“Underground installed ID scanners before it was made mandatory. With the camera footage and the scanned ID, it has helped us and the cops a great deal.

“This is a better measure to control than the previous lock-out laws,”

Charlie Embley, manager of Sin City, has asked all the nightclub owners in the strip to form a code of conduct for the duration of bans for any offenses.

“The committee is working on a set of rules like if one person is banned from a club, he will be banned from others too,” said Mr Embly.

However, the roll out has caused a setback. The ID scanners are unable to read foreign IDs and are required to do so manually.

Jonathan Vagasi, a French resident living in Surfers Paradise, was disappointed to wait in a long line on Canada Day.

“After waiting in a long line to get into Melbas, I had to wait for an extra three to four minutes for my ID to be scanned. It was not a great experience at all,” said Mr Vagasi.

The personal information stored in the database is their name, date of birth, photo and past offenses or bans.


Causeway connects motorists again after devastating floods

7 Jul


By George Lysnar, Bond University Journalism Student

Construction workers have enjoyed gifts and cheers from Coomera and Oxenford residents since the John Muntz Causeway reopened last Friday.

The causeway, which connects Tamborine Mountain, Coomera and Oxenford, was severely damaged by ex-tropical Cyclone Debbie on March 31, 2017.

Reopening the causeway has resulted in people driving past and waving or saying thanks, said Safety Advisor Doug Edwards.

“Residents have come up to workers with chocolates and gifts, or to ask if they want to get a drink,” he said.

Other residents are happy to see the causeway open again, since it has brought business back to shops in the surrounding areas.

Hanjin Lee, who works at Coomera’s Tobacco Station, said business had risen by around 30% since the causeway reopened.

“Sales rose even on the first day,” he said.

Mr Lee said business dropped by 40% immediately after the cyclone and the first week following it was the worst.

The causeway had been closed for two months with Tamborine drivers having to detour through Coomera to reach the M1.

Congested 40 minute drives between Coomera and Oxenford have been shortened to five minutes due to traffic easing up, said Mr Edwards.

“Workers have been working from 6am till 6pm to get the job done as efficiently as possible,” he said.

“There is still some work to be done on the causeway, but residents are glad to be able to use it.”

Pop-up picnics trend driven by class and social posts

7 Jul

By Courtney Brady, Bond University Journalism Student

Pop-up picnics are the latest trend to hit the Gold Coast catering for everything from bachelorette parties to baby showers.

Locals increasingly are taking advantage of the new craze where customers arrive at the location of their choice to a beautiful picnic.

Klara’s House is a start up established in August last year and since has grown steadily, said founder Klara Jones.

Klara said women are veering more towards brunch-style hen’s and birthday parties because they “want something beautiful and classy”.

“Women don’t want tacky balloons, gross strippers and going out to night clubs they would never normally go to,” she said.

“Why make that your night for such a special thing?”

Klara credits social media as an influence in her company’s success.

“People love positing what they’re doing online and because these events are so beautiful and different we get a lot of free publicity,” she said.

“Women want to get ‘glammed up’, wear a beautiful dress, enjoy each other’s company and make everyone not there jealous by posting photos on social media,” Klara said.

Brittany Graham posted that she loved that “the little picnic really got the attention of passers by.”

Women are willing to spend big bucks for the extravagant parties with one event for 15 guests costing over $1200.

Klara’s House employee Hannah Rankin said women are “clamoring to have a pop-up picnic for their next event because it’s a luxury experience.”

“Having something so intimate makes the customers feel very special,” she said.

For more information on Klara’s House visit


Beer with mates turns into good business for Mick and Parko

7 Jul

Balter Taps

By Jordyn Gray, Bond University Journalism Student

It started as an idea over beer with mates and has turned into a highly successful business for surfing elites Mick Fanning and Joel Parkinson.

Balter Brewing Company was recently voted the Best Newcomer and Best Medium Size Brewery at the Australian International Beer Awards. Their XPA beer was voted the Best International Pale Ale.

Co-owner Stirling Howland said he attributed the growing popularity and recent success to having not only a great product, but an exciting brand too.

“When you get this combination right and continually deliver on that experience you create a wonderful community of passionate people who drive the brand through word of mouth,” he said.

“Our whole belief is if what we do resonates with somebody so much that they want to share it with their friends, that’s the greatest compliment we can receive.”

The Currumbin brewery is owned by world champion surfers Mick Fanning and Joel Parkinson, along with fellow professional surfers Josh Kerr and Bede Durbidge.

Yet the branding is plain and does not capitalize on surfing.

Howland said success comes from the experience it creates with its consumers.

“Unique selling proposition? We don’t have one, we just want to create a great experience at every touch point,” he said.

The beer has proven to be a hit at Gold Coast universities.

Bond student Greg Prowse is an avid fan of the brand, and said the taste of Balter was the most appealing factor to him.

“It’s something I’ve enjoyed since my first sip, I know the flavour is not for everyone, but that’s what I like about Balter, that it is like having my own local taste,” he said.

“The brand itself sums up what all good Aussie brands should be about, a couple of mates getting together with a passion to life and bringing it to life in a tasteful way.

“The way they have brought the brand to life and built such a presence on the coast is because of that unique but local feel that brings people together through enjoyment.”


How the lockout laws are affecting Queensland

3 Apr

Bouncers at the Sin City nightclub showing their displeasure regarding a proposed 1am lockout. Picture: Eliza Reilly

By Eliza Reilly, Bond University Journalism Student

Nine months from the rollout of the Queensland Government’s liquor laws, the Gold Coast community has experienced a reduction in wages and sales but only a minimal decrease in crime and violence levels.

The ‘Tackling Alcohol Fuelled Violence Amendment’ was officially enacted on July 1 last year, stopping clubs from serving shots after midnight and all alcohol after 2am, or 3am in the state’s 15 safe precincts.

The plan to roll out a statewide 1am lockout in February of this year was abandoned only a month earlier due to the lack of success provided by already existing measures.

Clubs are now able to apply for six late night trading permits throughout the year to counter the decreased serving hours, down from 12 permits in the initial trial period.

Secretary of lobby group Our Nightlife Queensland Nick Braban says he would be worried if the 1am lockout proposal resurfaced, should a Labor government be re-elected, despite the community strongly voicing that a lockout is not the solution.

“Economic modelling we have done based on the 1am lockout coming in proved to be the most damaging aspect of the policy from an economic perspective,” he said.

“What we have seen though in the existing reduction in hours is a decrease in pay for employees within these districts of an average of $80 per week based on the reduced hours that they work.

“We have also had a reduction of sales of 12% in these entertainment districts which covers everything from bar sales through to cover charges and ticketed events.”

Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate said the coast’s celebrated night life forms a critical part of the over-all economy, which is largely sustained by the more than 13 million visitors annually.

“The city is known as a fun-going, let-your-hair-down destination but with that comes a responsibility on the individual [to not engage in violence], just like anywhere in the world,” he said.

“The night economy employs thousands so the challenge is to get the balance right.”

Member for Surfers Paradise John-Paul Langbroek said he doesn’t agree with Labor’s one size fits all approach that was going to penalise many for the sins of a few as six months on, the laws have had a minimal impact on levels of violence in the entertainment districts.

“After their trial, it turned out there hadn’t been less admissions to hospital and so they [Labor Government] confected the excuse and said that because the trial wasn’t showing any reduction that a 1am lockout wasn’t going to make a difference,” he said.

Mr Braban said despite the levels of hospital admissions staying the same, a six-month evaluation report showed a slight downturn in crime levels.

“Historically we have seen a continued decline in crime for over a decade and the aim of this policy was to accelerate that trend but it’s going to be hard to accelerate that trend when the levels of crime are already relatively low,” he said.

Mr Braban said despite his lobby group’s challenging the laws, extensive interaction with the State government occurred which has led to some positive outcomes.

“There are a lot of facets we still disagree on but there have been some positive interactions in respect to particular parts of the policy,” he said.

However, despite this positive interaction, the laws have resulted in dissatisfaction and backlash from both patrons and businesses.

“Many venues have opposed the laws and they have told me so,” Mayor Tate said.

The legislation alarmingly fails to address other factors that may lead to violence, Mr Langbroek said.

“A parliamentary committee looked at the recommendations of the laws and it found that they weren’t considering drugs that were affecting people’s behaviour rather than just alcohol,” he said.

“They were blaming the venues for the actions of these people who went out and acted aggressively whereas in reality people need to assume personal responsibility.”

Additionally, a loophole in the initial trial period allowed clubs to communicate with each other and coordinate applications for late night permits to keep entertainment districts alive.

“It just shows that the Labor government brought in these laws and have had resulting problems because it was unworkable legislation,” Mr Langbroek said.

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