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Local News

Tweed Shire 2024 Citizen of the Year – dedicated firefighter and disability support worker Julie Lowe

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The Tweed Citizen of the year is Kingscliff resident Julie Lowe

Tweed Shire 2024 Citizen of the Year – dedicated firefighter and disability support worker Julie Lowe

 

By Sarah Waters

Communities often thrive because of the dedication of a few to improve the lives of others.

Kingscliff resident Julie Lowe is one of those people who has continuously put others before herself for most of her working life.

Her 17 years of service as a firefighter and 10 years of work as a disability support worker was recognised last Thursday when she was announced the Tweed Shire 2024 Citizen of the Year.

Tweed Mayor Chris Cherry presented her with the Shire’s top honour at its Australia Day awards ceremony, held at the Tweed Heads Civic Centre and Auditorium.

Ms Lowe said it was an honour and very humbling to be named citizen of the year.

“I’ve got a lot of gratitude for whoever nominated me,” she said.

“I put a lot of work and time into both jobs and it’s just amazing to be chosen.

“But it’s not just for me, it’s for the people I support.”

An innate desire to help people during some of their toughest moments, motivated Ms Lowe to become a firefighter.

Originally, she started her firefighting career in Toronto, Lake Macquarie, before joining Kingscliff Fire Brigade 10 years ago as a part-time firie.

The Tweed Shire has kept Ms Lowe busy during the past 10 years.

She has been first on the scene of numerous incidents, including car crashes, house fires and hazmat spills.

One particular incident still stands out to her.

“Cudgen Leagues Club fire, which happened four years ago, was the biggest incident I’ve attended,” she said.

“We were the first to arrive – there was a fire in the front foyer and by the time we got there it had already spread upstairs.”

The fire took four hours to contain, with firefighters spending six hours on site after the blaze destroyed the complex.

The other unforgettable incident was the 2022 floods, which Ms Lowe described as surreal.

“Kingscliff fire station worked beside the only two paramedics to attend 000 calls for medical help for nearly two days.

“But the thing that will stay with me forever is how many members of our community came together to risk their own lives to rescue those in flood waters or help them once they were on dry land and even for weeks if not months to come.”

The Tweed Citizen of the year is Kingscliff resident Julie Lowe

The Tweed Citizen of the year is Kingscliff resident Julie Lowe

Ms Lowe’s firefighting colleagues described her as a leader and problem solver who is exceptionally courageous, and a compassionate person driven by duty.

Last year, she was promoted to Deputy Captain of the Kingscliff Fire Station.

It’s a role she has also juggled with the disability support service she started four years ago, called Full Circle Support.

The service offers people with a disability a wide range of programs, including fitness classes, bike riding, photography, cooking, art classes, work ready courses and even excursions to music festivals.

All the programs are designed to support participants to achieve their goals, increase their independence and be a part of the local community, Ms Lowe said.

“When NDIS started, I thought I could do more for people with a disability and focus on their dreams and goals.

“I started out with two clients, now we’ve got 22 on our books and six support workers.”

Ms Lowe uses the money she earns as a disability support worker to rent a cottage in Kingscliff which is the base that Full Circle Support operates from.

It provides a safe space where differently abled community members learn practical skills, including gardening, cooking and how to do their own laundry.

“As costly as it sometimes is, the participants have a safe space to be,” she said.

“You see them with their support workers at shopping malls, but they don’t have a place to go to (outside of their home).

“At Full Circle Support they have that space and can find out about the different activities we offer.

“It’s definitely helped them with their independence – they’ve learnt cooking, gardening and how to hang out washing.

“They go home with these skills and their parents are so grateful.

“We can also take them to many different activities – even festivals, things their parents might not be able to take them to.”

Two of the participants, who attend Full Circle, have gone on to gain employment and four others are doing courses at Kingscliff Tafe.

Ms Lowe receives no government funding for Full Circle Support or the programs it offers.

Recently she saved up her own money to purchase an 11-seater bus, with a wheelchair hoist, to transport the growing number of participants to different activities and excursions.

Her goal is to continue to help people with a disability, live life like everyone else does.

“I want to keep focusing on getting them employment, so they can be part of the community and give them that confidence and understanding of how to get into the workforce,” she said.

“I’d also like to introduce more music programs, we have a client who is autistic and blind, but he can play any song you want him to.

“We have a girl Jess with down syndrome, but she plays the drums so well – they certainly have a lot of talent.”

Ms Lowe describes the Kingscliff and the wider Tweed community as ‘fantastic’ with a really close network of many great people, doing great things.

If you would like to learn more about Full Circle Support or think you can help in anyway, please contact the Tweed Citizen of the Year Julie Lowe at: www.fullcirclesupport.com.au

 

For more Tweed Shire news, click here.

Local News

GOLD COAST AIRPORTS ONGOING SUPPORT FOR FEMALE RUGBY LEAUGE

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Gold Coast Airport and Tweed Seagulls

GOLD COAST AIRPORTS ONGOING SUPPORT FOR FEMALE RUGBY LEAUGE

 

The collaboration between the Tweed Seagulls Women’s team and Gold Coast Airport has been a cornerstone of the team’s identity since its inception in 2019. Gold Coast Airport has proudly held the front-of-jersey naming rights sponsorship for the team since they joined the QRL statewide competition, and this partnership has evolved into a mutually beneficial alliance.

In anticipation of the 2024 BMD Premiership season, Gold Coast Airport and the Tweed Seagulls Women’s Team have announced the extension of their valuable partnership. Gold Coast Airport (GCA) played a pivotal role as the founding sponsor, igniting the Tweed Seagulls’ mission to promote female rugby league in our region. Six years on, their commitment to this cause remains steadfast, contributing to the sport’s rapid growth in female participation.

Built upon shared values and a vision to empower local female athletes, the partnership provides a platform for them to excel both on and off the field.

Brendon Lindsay, CEO of Tweed Seagulls, eagerly welcomed the return of Gold Coast Airport as the team’s major sponsor for the 2024 BMD season, expressing gratitude for their unwavering support over the past six years. Lindsay looks forward to nurturing this enduring partnership in the years to come.

Gold Coast Airport and Tweed Seagulls

left to right: Jasmin Morrissey – BMD Cup player: Brian McGuckin – Chief Property & Planning Officer Queensland Airports: Brendon Lindsay – CEO Tweed Seagulls: Tarryn Aiken – BMD Cup player and Australian Jillaroo

Brian McGuckin, Chief Property and Planning Officer of Queensland Airports Limited, echoed this sentiment, expressing GCA’s delight in renewing this significant partnership with Tweed Seagulls. He emphasised GCA’s longstanding commitment to supporting women in sports, a cause they have championed for years.

The participation of Australian Jillaroo legend Tarryn Aiken and Australian PM XIII star Jasmin Morrissey, both part of the Tweed Seagulls lineup for the 2024 BMD Cup, created excitement at the season’s kickoff.

Beyond business ties, the partnership between Tweed Seagulls and GCA extends into the community, advocating for inclusion and diversity. Both organisations are dedicated to creating a welcoming environment for individuals from all backgrounds and promoting equal opportunities.

A portion of Gold Coast Airport’s sponsorship is allocated to the Tom Searle Scholarship, supporting young athletes in their academic or professional endeavours. By endorsing this scholarship, GCA reaffirms its commitment to nurturing local talent and enhancing the community’s well-being. The recipients of the Tom Searle Scholarship will be announced at the 2024 Ladies Leaders in League Breakfast, scheduled for Wednesday, May 15th.

 

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Harwood tighten grip on minor premiership

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Aiden Tredinnick doesn't mind launching the ball to and over the boundary and has a licence to thrill when he resumes batting on 14no on Saturday.

Harwood tighten grip on minor premiership

 

By Tim Howard

Harwood looks to be in a prime position to snare the minor premiership in its first year back in the Clarence River first grade cricket competition.

After rolling Tucabia Copmanhurst for just 109, Harwood replied to be 1/60 at the end of day one at Harwood Oval.

In contrast its closest rival, Lawrence, has a contest on its hands against reigning premiers GDSC Easts, which racked up 6/196 from just 50 overs.

Tucabia’s modest 109 could have been worse except for innings of 37no from veteran Matt Pigg and 24 from Travis Anderson.

Dean Carroll, who smote 260no before Christmas for Harwood’s Lower Clarence first grade team, showed his talent with the ball opening the bowling and snaring 3/30.

He made two early breakthroughs and returned later to pick up the dangerous Matt Dougherty for 11.

Brothers Ben and Jacob McMahon picked up a pair of wickets as did the other opening bowler Troy Turner.

At 1/60 and with a wealth of batting in the sheds Harwood need only to snare first innings points to take the minor premiership.

Opener Maison Simmons is unbeaten on 29 and Coby Tabor is with him on 15no when play resumes on Saturday.

Lawrence, the only team to keep pace with the front runners this season, seem certain to take second spot.

They are in a battle with Easts at Lower Fisher Turf, Grafton.

Aiden Tredinnick doesn't mind launching the ball to and over the boundary and has a licence to thrill when he resumes batting on 14no on Saturday.

Aiden Tredinnick doesn’t mind launching the ball to and over the boundary and has a licence to thrill when he resumes batting on 14no on Saturday.

After a lean couple of games with the bat Easts all rounder Shannon Connor found form on Saturday with 70 from 92 balls.

His innings with five fours and a six was relatively sedate compared to his usual fireworks and has put his team in a highly competitive position going into day two.

Sean Walters with 36, Tom Gerrard, 24 and Matt Lobsey, with 20, all helped get the total competitive before players were forced to leave the field due to lightning and rain delays.

Big hitting Aiden Tredinnick is at the crease on 14no with Ted Lobsey, also on 14no.

They will be looking to get their score well past 200 and give their bowlers a formidable target to defend.

At Ellem Oval Souths Westlawn and Coutts Crossing also had to contend with the storm that hit Grafton on Saturday, with Coutts racking up 6/143 on the back of a stylish 72 from Lewis Chevalley.

Souths Westlawn legspinning all-rounder Brenden Cotton was the best of the bowlers with four wickets for 29 runs.

Chevalley and opening bat Tim Tilse 26, combined for an 88-run first wicket partnership that ended when Cotten bowled Tilse.

Four more wickets tumbled for the addition of 30 runs.

Coutts will have 11 overs to build on their total, although South Westlawn’s indifferent form with the bat in recent games might suggest they are in a comfortable position.

 

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Supporting Seniors Amid the Transition to a Cashless Society

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Supporting Seniors Amid the Transition to a Cashless Society

Supporting Seniors Amid the Transition to a Cashless Society

 

As the prevalence of cashless transactions continues to rise, concerns about the impact on seniors and their ability to access essential services have come to the forefront. While banknotes remain legal tender, the increasing preference for card or mobile payments by businesses poses challenges for older Australians, who may rely heavily on cash for their day-to-day transactions.

The recent incident involving Queensland Federal Member, Bob Katter, highlights the frustration faced by many seniors when attempting to use cash for purchases, only to be met with resistance from establishments that accept only electronic payments. This trend towards cashless transactions has been exacerbated by factors such as the shift towards online shopping during the pandemic and the closure of bank branches and ATMs.

For seniors, the transition to a cashless society presents significant challenges. Many may not have access to mobile phones or may lack the necessary technological skills to navigate electronic payment systems. Concerns about additional fees associated with card payments, as well as the potential for power outages disrupting digital transactions, further compound these challenges.

Supporting Seniors Amid the Transition to a Cashless Society

As the prevalence of cashless transactions continues to rise, concerns about the impact on seniors and their ability to access essential services have come to the forefront

While businesses have the right to specify their preferred payment methods, it is essential that consumers are informed of these terms and conditions before making a purchase. However, it is equally important for businesses to consider the needs of all customers, including those who prefer or rely on cash for their transactions.

Looking ahead, the transition to a cashless society may continue to accelerate, with some experts predicting its completion by the end of the decade. However, this does not mean that cash will become obsolete entirely. Instead, it is essential to strike a balance between digital and cash payments, ensuring that all individuals have access to the payment methods that best suit their needs.

In supporting seniors during this transition, it is crucial for Australians to “pay it forward” by using cash where possible, thereby sending a message to government, banks, and businesses that cash remains a vital form of payment. Additionally, businesses should prioritize customer service and support initiatives aimed at increasing digital literacy among older Australians, such as the Be Connected Program.

By working together to address the challenges posed by the transition to a cashless society, we can ensure that all Australians, including seniors, have access to the payment methods and support services they need to navigate an increasingly digital world.

For more information and support, visit the Be Connected Program website.

 

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