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Archive for the ‘Western 2’ Category


Tuesday, 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:

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

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.

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

Dirranbandi Miss Showgirl

Thursday, 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.



Yamba the Honeyant’s BrilliANT Roadshow

Thursday, 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.

Quilpie is Qualified!

Thursday, 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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St. Finbarr’s School Mystery Holiday Fund Raiser

Thursday, 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.

Toowoomba Wellcamp Open Day – 24 November 2013

Thursday, January 9th, 2014

November saw an incredible 18,000 people attend the first open day of the new Toowoomba airport.  Called Brisbane West Wellcamp, the new airport is approximately 16 kilometres to the west of Toowoomba’s CBD.

Visitors to the open day were treated to entertainment from the likes of Tania Kernaghan and witness to a spectacular blast of 500,000 tonnes of rock – the largest non-mining detonation in Australia’s history.

Skytrans was proud to be associated with the open day

Skytrans was proud to be associated with the open day

The blasted stone will be used to for further construction of the Wellcamp site.

Skytrans flew a Dash-8 300 aircraft into the half-finished runway and while not being the first aircraft to land, it was the heaviest aircraft to that point.  Five double return tickets were on offer as part of a competition run on the day and visitors were able to get on board and see a plane up close and it was one of the more popular exhibits on the day.


Dirranbandi Hospital Melbourne Cup Luncheon

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013
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A young jockey in the making, Clarry Vaughan

The Dirranbandi Hospital Melbourne Cup Luncheon was held again this year with great success. Organised by the Dirranbandi Hospital Auxillary, this luncheon is the only fund raiser for the year and helps raise vital funds to purchase  items that assist with patient care and comfort.

In 2011 comfortable outdoor furniture was purchased for patients and visitors and an arch way for the memorial rose garden. In 2012 enough was raised to purchase a syringe driver to assist the staff as well as a new television for the waiting area for the patients.

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Attending the luncheon, Ada Rilstone

The day turned out to be one of our most successful events yet and enough money was raised to purchase a blanket warmer and television sets and brackets for three wards. Due to the change to digital  and getting the vast boxes the televisions were so old that they were only getting one channel which isn’t much help when you are in hospital.

Thank you very much for the support of the air tickets for the prizes for fashions on the field. The two winners this year were Kristen Murphy and Karina Wilson.

Race goers, Caitlin, Amanda McLean, Kaye Seville and Karena Wilson.

Race goers, Caitlin, Amanda McLean, Kaye Seville and Karena Wilson.

So again a big thank you to Skytrans for their continued support of the Dirranbandi Hospital Melbourne Cup Luncheon.


Quilpie Golf Club Open Weekend

Monday, October 14th, 2013


The annual Quilpie Golf Open Weekend was held again this year on Saturday 31st August and was a huge hit.  Coming on board as a Major Sponsor, Skytrans donated a return flight from Quilpie to Brisbane for two people.  This prize was won by Raymond Hartley.

Golf Club President Al McNall (pictured 3rd from the left) and the Quilpie Golf Club Committee very much appreciate the generous donation and assistance given by Skytrans.

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A Fashionable Fundraiser

Thursday, April 4th, 2013


A great day was had by all at the annual ‘Tracking the Arts Race Day’ on the 8th March 2013 at Clifford Park Race Track.

A popular favourite in the USQ Artsworx season, Race Day is not only a social highlight, but also an important fundraising event for the University’s production house.

Artsworx Manager, Rebecca Scollen said, “a flourishing arts scene is the sign of a healthy community.

Rebecca Scollen and Andrew Mason

Rebecca Scollen and Andrew Mason

Race Day is the only fundraiser for the year making it a real showcase for products and students.

More than 190 people enjoyed the afternoon of fashion, fun, art and auctions showcasing the skills and wares of USQ Creative Arts staff and students.


 Sue Pearson, Peter and Judi Mitchell

Guests enjoyed performances by USQ singers and musicians; had the opportunity to bid on a fabulous range of artworks by USQ Visual Arts Lecturers; and watched Australian artist and McGregor School tutor, Don Milner create a masterpiece for the live auction.

True to race day tradition, the event also included a hotly contended fashions on the field and a fashion parade introducing Carolyn Taylor-Smith’s fabulous new fashion range and styling hats and fascinators by local milliner, Michelle Mingay.


Kate and Alexander Nordang

The event raised close to $8 000 on the day, which will go directly towards the 2013 season assisting in the production of events that involve USQ Creative Arts students, such as the Shakespeare in the Park Festival, Children’s Theatre Week, concerts and visual art exhibitions.

On the day Skytrans proudly donated two air tickets Toowoomba to Sydney to help contribute to the fundraising effort.

C&K Gabbinbar Community Kindergarten Trivia Night

Tuesday, December 18th, 2012


(Pictured L to R – Penny Chandler (Director C&K Gabbinbar Community Kindergarten) & Beck Hooley (Winner of Skytrans Prize) & Baby Lola

(Pictured L to R – Penny Chandler (Director C&K Gabbinbar Community Kindergarten) & Beck Hooley (Winner of Skytrans Prize) & Baby Lola

The C&K Gabbinbar Community Kindergarten recently had its first ever fundraising event which was held on the 17th November 2012. We were delighted when approximately 100 Trivia Buffs ‘battled it out’ to be the 2012 Trivia Champions. To say the competition was ‘fierce’ was an understatement.

Our small but dedicated Fundraising Team had sold almost 1600 multi-draw raffle tickets leading up to the night and at the actual event itself. We were truly impressed with the generosity of local businesses who wanted to be involved with the evening through donations for our multi-draw raffle and auction. The most sought after prize on the evening (thanks Skytrans!) was a return flight for two people from Toowoomba to Sydney. Congratulations goes to Beck Hooley (pictured above) who won the major prize and now just has to decide who else to take on her trip.

Thanks to this outstanding support from local families and businesses, we were able to raise funds in excess of $3000.

Our Kindergarten (of approx. 20 families) has only been open since January this year as a part of the government scheme for providing more opportunities for Queensland children to attend Kindergarten. As we are a not for profit organisation, we rely on fundraising events such as the Trivia Night to provide essential resources and any improvements to the service. We are using the funds raised from our Trivia Night to improve the children’s outdoor eating and play areas which are currently exposed to the elements.

Thanks to the roaring success of this year’s event, we are all looking forward to doing it all over again, bigger and better next year.