Skytrans Blog

The Salvation Army enters Torres Strait

April 22nd, 2014

April this year saw Salvation Army personnel visit the Torres Strait on a reconnaissance mission. Captain Darren Kingston and Indigenous Engagement Officer Allen Minniecon went to see what the community needs were and came away determined to continue the work of the Salvation Army in this region.image2

At present, the Salvation Army in Far North Queensland operate 7 family stores throughout the region, 3 emergency relief places, 3 specialised personalised support staff for mental health clients at risk of homelessness,2 worshipping communities, a court chaplain, counseling in financial maters, gambling and general counsellors, and emergency services teams. Captain Darren Kingston says he is hoping some of his team can continue to visit the region in the future and also assist and provide help over the phone.

imageSkytrans are a major supporter of the Salvation Army and were happy to support this mission with two return flights and are once again supporting this years Red Shield Appeal which is held from 24th-25th of May. Skytrans will be placing an envelope in each seat pocket on their flights for passengers who wish to make a donation. The money raised will go directly to help fund the Salvation Army’s work in the region and we ask that everyone digs deep over this weekend to raise much needed funds for a great cause. You can donate online at www.salvos.org or phone 07 4041 7227.

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BETOOTA GYMKHANA RESOUNDING SUCCESS

April 22nd, 2014

The smallest town in Australia, Betoota, hosted record crowds at last weekend’s horse and motorbike gymkhana. The event was almost cancelled, due to hardship suffered by competitors, sponsors and organisers as a result of the debilitating Queensland drought. However, voluntary organisers and the communities of the Diamantina Shire rallied together to host the event despite the odds, which resulted in astounding success and, miraculously, heavy rain.

Open Barrel Race Winners

Open Barrel Race Winners

Traditionally one of the smaller events on the Diamantina Shire’s events calendar, the Betoota Gymkhana is run entirely by volunteers living on remote pastoral properties near the ghost town of Betoota, which until 2004 had a population of one and now has an official population of zero.

Betoota Social Club secretary Lorraine Kath says that this year’s event attracted a whopping crowd, which was over three times bigger than expected. “Not only did we get a record number of competitors in both the horse and motorbike events, but we also got more spectators than ever before,” she says. “I think the drought has really hit people hard and we are taking any opportunity we can to get out, socialise and take our minds off our woes.”

Sam Hannan Birdsville

Sam Hannan Birdsville

In the early stages of organisation, the Betoota Social Club was struggling to find sponsors. “In stressful times such as this, most local sponsors struggle to find spare funds to support events,” says Mrs Kath. “We know that these events are essential for our mental wellbeing, but it’s difficult to justify the sponsorship dollars. We were very lucky to get some major sponsors on board, such as Drillsearch, Skytrans, SANTOS, the Birdsville Bakery and Smiley’s Transport. Without them, there’s no way the event would have gone ahead. We would like to thank all of our sponsors, big or small, for their assistance.”

To top off the extraordinary weekend, Betoota recorded 30.6 ml of rain on the Sunday afternoon, which put an end to gymkhana events. The race track was too wet to hold the remaining wheel stand competition. However, the early finish was celebrated by attendees as they revelled in the rain, which was the biggest rainfall in over a year and nearly half of 2013’s total rainfall of 74.9 ml. The only other major fall since June 2012 was 30.2 ml in February 2014.

Sam Dillon, Birdsville Longest Jump competitor

Sam Dillon, Birdsville Longest Jump competitor

Competitor Dave Hannan, from Birdsville, said the rain didn’t dampen the crowds’ spirits at all. “I don’t think it concerned anyone because we were all just happy to see the rain,” he said. “It certainly settled the dust.” He said that he’s already looking forward to next year’s Betoota Gymkhana. “It’s a very well-run event. My kids had a ball and it was good for us all to get out on the bikes in such a safe and friendly environment,” he said. “I was surprised by the amount of people there – it was a great turnout and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves.”

 

Official 2014 Betoota Gymkhana leading rider results are as follows:

Horses:
Hayden & Ashlee Lasker Memorial Encouragement Award: Jesse Lorenz, Durrie Station, Birdsville

10yrs & Under leading Rider: Jacob Kath, Mt Leonard Station, Betoota

Emma brook Cordillo Downs 8 years & Under Leading rider bike

Emma brook Cordillo Downs 8 years & Under Leading rider bike

15 years & Under: Marie Field, Jundah

Leading Open Rider: Jacob Hutherroth, Glengyle Station, Bedourie

Motorbikes:
Encouragement Award: Megan Brook, Cordillo Downs, Birdsville
Under 8 Leading Rider: Emma Brook, Cordillo Downs, Birdsville
8- 11 yrs Leading Rider: Dean Woods, Durrie Station, Birdsville
12-15 yrs leading Rider: Boof Matheson, Jundah
Leading Open Rider: Aron Rayner, Jundah
Longest Jump Winner: Aaron Maunsell, Jundah.

Enduro:
1st: Nick Dillon, Birdsville 5:10.01
2nd: Aaron Maunsell, Birdsville 5:10.27
3rd: Matthew Johnson, Leigh Crk SA 5:16.17

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Dirranbandi Miss Showgirl

April 17th, 2014

Dirranbandi Showgirls 2014 sThe 2014 Dirranbandi Miss Showgirl competition was held at the Dirranbandi Show on Saturday 12 April. This year’s competition saw 6 entrants from the district who were all very enthusiastic and eager to represent Dirranbandi and the Show Society. In the lead up to the show the entrants sold raffle tickets to raise money for the Show Society, with the fundraising efforts coming in just under $2000. They also promoted the show and encouraged attendance and participation.

Chloe with SkytransThe 2014 Dirranbandi Miss Showgirl title was presented to Chloe Brown, with Rebecca Troy awarded the runner up. Chloe enjoyed the experience of being a showgirl entrant and was delighted to take out the title. Chloe will now go on to represent Dirranbandi at the South West Sub-Chamber on the 28th of June. We wish her all the best at the next level. We would also like to thank Skytrans for their contribution of a return flight to Brisbane for this year’s Showgirl Winner. Skytrans are a great sponsors of local events in our community and we thank them for their continued support.

 

 

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Yamba the Honeyant’s BrilliANT Roadshow

April 17th, 2014

Yamba Roadshow LogoFor the past three years, early childhood audiences in remote communities and towns of the Northern Territory and Queensland have been learning about the importance of healthy lifestyles with the aid of an immensely popular television character, Yamba the Honeyant.

Based in Alice Springs, Imparja Television’s mascot, Yamba, and best friend Jacinta Price have performed to over 8000 children*. They spread positive health messages in a fun and entertaining way as part of the Local Community Campaign to Promote Better Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Program called Yamba’s Roadshow. Yamba Jacinta Chuck02s

The roadshow musical performances feature original songs, dance and actions. They are presented promoting proper nutrition and hygiene, regular physical activity, trachoma prevention, ear and nose health, and the use of primary health care services.

A set of 15 animated television presentations featuring Yamba and encouraging healthy lifestyle behaviours have also been produced. These have been used as Community Service Announcements on Imparja Television reaching an estimated viewing audience of nearly 1,000,000 as well as on the popular preschool show Yamba’s Playtime which was broadcast Australia wide on GO! Roadshow Updates are also broadcast on Imparja, featuring where the duo have visited and performed.

Maranoa KINDY Roma sWaterbottles and toothbrushes are given to the preschoolers and resources such as the roadshow musical CD, ‘stay healthy and strong’ posters and colouring in pages are given to schools, teachers, parents, carers and health workers to follow up on the messages presented.

Recently, Yamba’s Roadshow visited South West Queensland again. Charleville, Quilpie, Thargomindah, Cunnamulla, Bollon, St George, Surat, Roma, Toowoomba and Millmerran all enjoyed Yamba and Jacinta’s visit to their town.

Skytrans kindly sponsored flights for the roadshow from Brisbane to various towns in the South West. Skytrans will also sponsor flights for when the Roadshow crew fly throughout the Gulf of Carpentaria in May/June. Yamba Jacinta Skytranss

Yamba and Jacinta would like to sincerely thank Skytrans for their support and contributing towards raising awareness within communities that chronic disease conditions are preventable, and encouraging them to use health services.

*From February 2011 to end of March 2014.

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Doomadgee Fishing Competition

April 17th, 2014

IMG_7015-2 (Medium)On Saturday the 22nd of March 2014 the Queensland Police Service Doomadgee Station hosted their annual Fishing Competition. The community of Doomadgee has strong passion for fishing — and took to this year’s competition….like a fish to water! The event is getting bigger and better each year — and this year was certainly no exception.IMG_7212-2 (Medium)

A conglomerate of the community participated in the day’s events —men, women and children — and 160 people officially registered for the competition. Feedback from the local community was overwhelmingly positive — with the community now keen to see more of these events happen each year.

IMG_7283-2 (Medium)Strong support for the competition was also received from local businesses, local and State government organisations. Skytrans provided first prize — a return trip for two persons to Mount Isa.  The lucky winner, Edith Daly, was awarded this fantastic prize for her catch of the day weighing in at 4.7kg.

The department of Indigenous Sport and Recreation provided fishing equipment for second and third place prizes, along with big support from the Doomadgee Roadhouse and local Doomadgee retail store contributing their time and efforts in order to support the event. Prizes were awarded to best male and female adult and best male and female child based on IMG_7226-2 (Medium)weight and length of their catch.  There were also prizes awarded to the best angler who caught the most fish of the day and also a lucky door prize.

IMG_7164-2 (Medium)Hosting such events enables police to interact with the community in a positive manner and to build relationships with influential members of the local community. Moreover, these events highlight the important role Queensland Police play in partnering with all members of the community. To that end — the competition saw a significant decrease in calls for service on the day, in the lead up to and for the days after the competition.

The positive energy generated amongst the community on the day of the competition was palpable — with Police, community, business and families alike united as one in the spirit of competition. Hosting these types of events is proof how the simplest of ideas can unite a community, bring families from various cultural groups together with purpose and bring to life a fun day for everyone.

 

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Quilpie is Qualified!

April 17th, 2014

From Friday, 21st March until Monday, 24th March the Quilpie community had the opportunity to participate in a range of courses including Bronze Medallion, AUSTSWIM, Pool Lifeguard, First Aid, CPR and Low Voltage Rescue. Alina Graham, a qualified instructor from Brisbane flew out to Quilpie to conduct these courses and said it was a huge success with everyone involved thoroughly enjoying the days whilst gaining invaluable skills.

Without the ongoing support from Quilpie Shire Council and Skytrans, who provide complimentary transportation of the CPR mannequins, these valuable courses would not be offered in outback communities like Quilpie.

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Cape York Aboriginal Australian Academy – Tennis clinic Aurukun

March 31st, 2014

During this school term, the students at the Cape York Aboriginal Australian Academy, Aurukun Campus have been sharpening up on their tennis skills as part of the Club program. Coach Sam Bradshaw from Tennis Australia flew with Skytrans to Aurukun to run clinics with the local children.

Each child at school was able to have multiple sessions and the teachers also received on the job tennis training. The children loved having ‘Sam from tennis’ play tennis games, teach tennis skills and play with them at lunchtime. The visit was such a success that children wished Sam could stay a few more days to play more tennis. There was even a large turn out of children wanting to say farewell to Sam as he departed from Aurukun airport bound for Cairns.

CYAAA Aurukun Campus extend a heart-felt thank you to Skytrans for committing and helping make the visit possible. With the generous contribution of flights, the CYAAA Aurukun Campus were able to further live out their vision of students orbiting between worlds and having the best of both.

With valued and continual support like this we can certainly hope that there are more opportunities for sports coaches and other experts made available to our children in the future!

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Clancestry Dance Festival Brisbane

March 31st, 2014

Opportunities for people living in remote communities are significantly smaller than for those of us who live in the big smoke. A remote community could be hundreds maybe thousands of kilometres away from a small city such as Mt Isa. A simple trip to the doctor could take days before you are back safely at home and one can’t just skip down to JB Hifi to pick up the latest cds or films.

Opportunities for Indigenous Australians to share culture and a history over 200,000 years old are few and far between, especially coming from a remote community in the Gulf of Carpentaria. The Waanyi/Garawa/Gangalidda tribes of Carpentaria are fiercely proud of their culture and song lines. The sharing of knowledge and the passing down of tradition is one of the most important and vital things in a young Aboriginal mans life.  

Over the previous year we have been fortunate to collaborate with Skytrans, most recently they made it possible for a group of young men to travel from their homes in Doomadgee all the way to Brisbane to share their culture and perform dances for other tribes from around QLD in the festival – Clancestry. The deputy mayor of Doomadgee, Tony Douglas also attended and continues to champion tradition and culture for the young men of the community.

This opportunity has empowered these young men and given them a hope for the future. The fact that they can share something they are so culturally and spiritually connected to, has given them an inner belief of their self- importance, raising their self esteem and giving them the confidence to walk proudly in this new world as their ancestors once did.

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I Love Barra Fishing Comp – Burketown

March 4th, 2014

The I Love Barra Fishing Comp was held on Valentine’s Day, February 14th 2014 and was a much needed boost to the local community of Burketown, all while celebrating the open season for Barramundi fishing.

Burketown Pub proprietor Peter Clarke handing out the roses

Burketown Pub proprietor Peter Clarke handing out the roses

Fishing competition entrants received a red rose and a I love Barra Burketown sticker which encouraged over 50 locals to enter into the event. The red roses were air freighted by Skytrans who sponsored the event.

Vi Booth weighed in a massive Barra of 8.5KG,  measuring 97cm and took out the $200 first prize in the Women’s category.

Noel Henderson won in the Mens category with his whopping Barra, donating the fillets to the Cook Off.

Matthew Douglas came in second and Brett Harris won third prize.

Vi Booth and her winning Barra 97cm

Vi Booth and her winning Barra 97cm

The Great Burketown Barra Cook Off saw locals donning an apron and cooking up a storm, creating master dishes with the fresh Barra catch.

Councillor Zach Duff showed his culinary skills cooking his Chilli and Lychee Barramundi Wings presented beautifully with cubed rice. Zach wowed the judges and took home the first prize in the comp winning a set of digital scales donated by Harvey Norman Townsville and a Foodie Hamper donated by the Burke Shire Council.

Nicole Ogilvie took out second prize with her original dish of poached Barramundi in Mud Crab Stock served with Saffron and Garlic Aioli, Green Mango and Tamarind Chutney and toasted pine nuts.

Noel Henderson and his winning Barra 95cm

Noel Henderson and his winning Barra 95cm

Amanda Wilkinson came third place with her Lemon Butter Barramundi served with toasted almonds and Steamed vegetables.

Special mention to Debbie Harris, Barry Evans, Garry Jefferies and Neil Kelly who all cooked fabulous dishes for the judges to try. The variety of the meals were a testament to the versatility of Barramundi.

The I love Barra competition was a resounding success and many locals are already talking about the next Fishing Comp to be held in Burketown, The World Barramundi Fishing Championships that is held in Burketown over Easter, with massive prizes up for grabs.

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St. Finbarr’s School Mystery Holiday Fund Raiser

February 13th, 2014

St. Finbarr’s School P. & F. Association extend their sincere thanks to Skytrans for its continued generous support of our annual Mystery Holiday fund raiser.

The 2013 Mystery Holiday was our most successful yet, raising just over $8000 for our small school.

St Finbarr’s School in Quilpie is a small, independent school with a current enrolment of 29 students. The P. & F. are responsible for the upkeep of the school grounds, library, tuckshop, as well as supporting teaching staff with classroom resources. The Mystery Holiday, combined with the Fete is our major fund raiser for the year and we are lucky to enjoy very good support by our local community and generous sponsors, such as Skytrans.

Skytrans has been involved with the Mystery Holiday for the past 15 years, and we sincerely appreciate its support.141

Without it, the Mystery Holiday would not be viable.

The 2013 winners of the holiday were Quilpie locals, Ben and Debbie Hall. Ben and Debbie are long time supporters of St. Finbarr’s, with Deb being a champion ticket seller for the school. They are also wonderful community members who work hard and give willingly of their time to many organisations, so we were delighted to see their name pulled out of the barrel.

They enjoyed flights to Brisbane, courtesy of Skytrans, and then 6 nights in Fiji.

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