Scenic Rim Regional Council recently celebrated the accomplishments of seven apprentices and trainees as they graduated from the Queensland Government funded First Start employment initiative

Scenic Rim Regional Council recently celebrated the accomplishments of seven apprentices and trainees as they graduated from the Queensland Government funded First Start employment initiative

CEO Jon Gibbons, graduate Seamus Fortune and Senior Workshop Supervisor Vili Masibilio

The First Start program, which is part of the Skilling Queenslanders for Work initiative, provides job seekers with opportunities to gain nationally recognised qualifications and paid employment through subsidised traineeships and apprenticeships with local councils and community-based organisations. 

Council CEO Jon Gibbons said that the First Start program is mutually beneficial for participants and Council. 

CEO Jon Gibbons with graduate Ellie Barnes
CEO Jon Gibbons with graduate Ellie Barnes

“Council is committed to providing meaningful on-the-job experience and career development opportunities to trainees and apprentices, who might typically face barriers to, or challenges in, participating in the labour market,” he said.  

“Council is meeting the program’s objective of addressing skill shortages in regional areas while assisting young people to live and work in the local area by providing employment opportunities they would otherwise have to travel to find”. 

Council has been participating in the First Start employment initiative for over ten years and has seen many trainees and apprentices retained as long-term employees. 

“We are so proud to present our graduates with their well-earned certificates of appreciation from Council and to have played an important part in their current and future career successes.”     

The seven graduating participants worked within various Council teams including Libraries, Parks and Gardens, Rates and Payroll, People and Strategy and Asset and Environmental Sustainability, and earned qualifications in Civil Construction, Business, Horticulture, Engineering and Library and Information Services.   

Council’s commitment to supporting trainees and apprentices was acknowledged by the Queensland Department of Employment, Small Business and Training, who shortlisted Scenic Rim Regional Council in the category of Large Employer of the Year in the 2021 Queensland Training Awards. Council is also nominated in the 2022 Queensland Training Awards in the Large Employer of the Year category, and Council apprentice Seamus Fortune has been shortlisted for the Harry Hauenschild Apprentice of the Year award.  

Recruitment for the 2023 trainee and apprentice cohort will commence later this year.   To find out more, view the Careers page on Council’s website.

Scenic Rim’s Australia Day Awards a highlight of Queensland Day celebrations

Scenic Rim’s Australia Day Awards a highlight of Queensland Day celebrations

Scenic Rim Deputy Mayor Jeff McConnell (left) and Mayor Greg Christensen (right) congratulate the region’s Australia Day Award winners Wilson Neuendorf, Graham Stumer, Cameron Mansfield and Barbara Proudman

A school celebration, which brought people from across Queensland back to the Scenic Rim, and individuals who represent vital threads in the social fabric of their community were recognised in Council’s 2022 Australia Day Awards yesterday.

The Australia Day Awards presentation, which was postponed in January due to COVID-19, was held in conjunction with a citizenship ceremony and Scenic Rim region’s Queensland Day celebrations held in Jubilee Park, Beaudesert, on Sunday 5 June.

The long-awaited awards were presented in five categories – Community Event of the Year, Citizen of the Year (16-30 years), Citizen of the Year (31-65 years), Citizen of the Year (65+ years) and the Mayor’s Award – by Scenic Rim Mayor Greg Christensen.

“I would like to acknowledge and congratulate each of this year’s nominees for their outstanding achievements,” he said.

“While there can be only one winner in each category, everyone who was nominated is, in their own way, a winner, a community champion, who makes a positive contribution to our Scenic Rim lifestyle.

“My sincere thanks to everyone who contributed to yesterday’s celebration by nominating those community members considered well worthy of recognition.”

Judged the most outstanding community event of 2021, Peak Crossing State School’s 150th anniversary on 4 September welcomed 1500 guests from across Queensland, including a 100-year-old past pupil, Joan Bradshaw, and brought the school and wider community together in celebration of the achievements of students, teachers and volunteers.

Scenic Rim’s Citizen of the Year (16 to 30 years) was Cameron Mansfield, whose involvement with the Canungra Owls began as a six-year-old in the Under 11s team, which won the soccer club’s first-ever grand final.

Citizen of the Year 16-30 Years Cameron Mansfield
Citizen of the Year 16-30 Years Cameron Mansfield

Since taking on the role of Club President in 2020, Cameron has inspired others to step up and volunteer. Leading by example, he has brought older members back to the club and brought new members into the fold.

Graham Stumer’s more than 37 years of service with the State Emergency Services (SES) Boonah Group was recognised with the award of Citizen of the Year (31 to 65 years).

Citizen of the Year 31-65 Years Graham Stumer
Citizen of the Year (31-65 Years) Graham Stumer with Scenic Rim Mayor Greg Christensen

Now the Deputy Local Controller, he is highly regarded for his strength of character and dedication. He is also a member of the Boonah Show Society, Fassifern Shooting Club, Lutheran Church and volunteers his time to assist with the maintenance of the Templin Historical Village.

Citizen of the Year (65+ years) was Wilson Neuendorf who, although well in his 80s, continues to work for the Boonah, Kalbar and wider Scenic Rim communities.

Citizen of the Year 65+Years Wilson Neuendorf
Scenic Rim Mayor Greg Christensen congratulates Citizen of the Year 65+ Years Wilson Neuendorf

He served two terms as a Boonah Shire Councillor and has been a driving force behind numerous organisations including the Kalbar Progress Association, Kalbar Credit Union (now Kalbar Bendigo Community Bank), Templin Museum and Kalbar Baptist Church.

The Mayor’s Award was presented to Barbara Proudman, who toured Europe with a United Kingdom-based dance troupe before moving to Tamborine Mountain, where she ran the Tamborine Mountain Dance School from 1986 to 2001.

Mayor's Award winner Barbara Proudman
Scenic Rim Mayor Greg Christensen presents Barbara Proudman with the Mayor’s Award

Since 2001, she has been the owner and manager of the Tamborine Times newspaper and has been a keen supporter of the arts, festivals and community events including ANZAC Day and Remembrance Day commemorations.

“Once again, all of this year’s nominees were of an extremely high calibre, making it a tough decision to choose just one winner,” Mayor Christensen said.

“Their example of service to the community – whether through local service organisations or sporting groups, or simply by being ready to lend a helping hand to others in need – should be an inspiration to us all.

“Many have worked year-round over many decades, and often in challenging circumstances, to make a positive difference to community life.

“It is their outstanding contribution that makes our region such a great place to live and raise a family.”

Scenic Rim welcomes its newest Australians during Queensland Day celebrations

Scenic Rim welcomes its newest Australians during Queensland Day celebrations

Scenic Rim Deputy Mayor Jeff McConnell (left) and Scenic Rim Mayor Greg Christensen (right) welcome new Australians (from left) Poula Ishak, Lisbeth Betts, Richard Young, Joanne Harris, Derek Etherington, Stephanie Leighton, Janez Cvetko, Lauren Burton and Thongjan Tozeland

Eleven Scenic Rim residents marked their first day as fair dinkum Aussies in a celebration of Queensland Day and the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee yesterday.
The 11 pledged their loyalty to Australia and its people at a citizenship ceremony held in conjunction with the presentation of Scenic Rim Regional Council’s 2022 Australia Day Awards at the Queensland Day Family Fun Day held in Jubilee Park, Beaudesert on Sunday 5 June.
The citizenship ceremony began with Mayor Greg Christensen formally welcoming the region’s newest Australians, who have come from Brazil, Norway, the United Kingdom, Slovenia, Egypt, New Zealand, Thailand and Sweden to settle in the Scenic Rim.
“This Queensland Day we celebrate 163 years since Queensland became an independent colony separate from New South Wales,” he said.
“On 6 June 1859, a new story began, the story of Queensland, and today we have 11 individuals from eight countries who are about to write the next chapter in their story as they formally become Australian citizens.
“While they have all come from very different parts of the world, they have one thing in common – they have all chosen to make the Scenic Rim their home, and what an excellent decision that has been.”
The Scenic Rim’s newest Australians are now residing at Tamborine Mountain, Boonah, Witheren, Canungra, Beaudesert, Tamborine and Kooralbyn.
Mayor Christensen said that in becoming Australian citizens they would all share the same rights and responsibilities of those born here and that citizenship united all Australians while representing their diversity.
“Becoming an Australian citizen does not mean turning your back on your country of origin,” he said.
“It does not mean you have to forget the language of the country or its customs or culture.
“Instead, we ask you to share these valuable assets so that Australians can become more tolerant and understanding.
“On behalf of the people of Australia, and especially the Scenic Rim, I congratulate you on becoming Australian Citizens and hope you enjoy a happy and prosperous future as citizens of Australia and residents of this region.”

Tamborine Richard Young
Tamborine – Richard Young
Scenic Rim's Newest Citizens 2022
Celebrating Resurgence of Scenic Rim Small Businesses

Celebrating Resurgence of Scenic Rim Small Businesses

In celebration of Queensland Small Business Month 2022, Scenic Rim Regional Council is excited to announce a month-long program of events to help local business connect with industry specialists, government and each other.

More than 15 events will be on offer throughout May, hosted by Council, local Chambers of Commerce, industry specialists, government departments and more, where local businesses can learn new skills, reconnect, and get inspired for the future.

Mayor Greg Christensen said that small businesses are the backbone of the Scenic Rim economy.

“Small businesses account for more than 98.5% of our region’s businesses, so it’s important we provide opportunities for our business owners and their employees to upskill and learn from one another,” he said.

“Besides benefiting individual businesses, this program will also build the strength and resilience of our small business sector and our broader regional economy, which is a win for the whole region.

“Small Business Month in the Scenic Rim will cover a range of topics, from social media to secrets of success, payroll to planning, grant writing to resilience, so there will be something for every type of business.

“We know it is tough for small business owners to take time away from their business, so to give business owners the flexibility they need, there is a mix of in-person and online events, from webinars to a business breakfast, walk-in business hubs and more.

“Queensland’s Small Business Month 2022 will mark the sector’s resurgence after the impacts of COVID-19 and flood events so it is important that, as a region, we take the time to celebrate our small business’ importance in driving our economy, creating local jobs and building strong and rich communities.

“I encourage all Scenic Rim small businesses to check out the calendar of events and get involved in as much as possible — you never know where it could take you and your business.”

View the calendar of events and book your tickets at



Jim McDonald, Assistant Minister Evans and Scott Buchholz with members of the Lockyer Uplands Catchment

Scott Buchholz, Assistant Minister Evans and Jennie Bacon at Spicers Animal Rescue Centre

Federal Member for Wright, Scott Buchholz has welcomed the Morrison Government’s
announcement of a $50 million in funding to support Koalas, that will improve the health outcomes
of the species, extend long-term monitoring, and restore and preserve critical habitat.
Mr Buchholzsaid the $50 million package will also provide significant flow on benefits for other native
“These new measures are targeted to ensure long-term recovery and resilience of our beloved Koala
populations through monitoring, training in treatment and care, and on-ground action to protect
critical habitat,” Mr Buchholz said.
“We are working with the local community, with landholders and environment groups on habitat
restoration projects that will target significant koala areas.
“We are also investing in programs to train vets and vet nurses to treat koalas after extreme weather
events and we are funding research to determine the genetic strength of populations and how unique
DNA variants can provide resistance to diseases,” Mr Buchholz said.
Minister Ley said the $50 million package would also provide significant flow on benefits for other
native species.
“This new package will take Government spending on koalas to more than $74 million since 2019,
bringing together land managers, researchers, veterinarians and citizen scientists to address a full
range of support strategies,” Minister Ley said.
“The extra funding will build on work already happening across the koalas’ range to restore and
connect important habitat patches, control feral animals and weeds and improve habitat.”

The additional $50 million investment over the next four years includes:
• $20 million for habitat protection projects – grants for large-scale activities run by Natural
Resource Management and non-government organisations, industry, and Indigenous groups
as well as state and territory governments.
• $10 million for community-led initiatives – grants for local habitat protection and
restoration activities, health and care facilities, and citizen science projects
• $10 million to extend the National Koala Monitoring Program – to identify trends over time,
increase the number of sites sampled, and support the participation of citizen scientists
• $2 million to improve Koala health outcomes – grants for applied research activities and
practical application to address health challenges such as retrovirus, herpesviruses, and
• $1 million for Koala care, treatment and triage – expanding and continuing national training
for veterinarians and volunteers to care for and treat koalas.

Koalas support funding-Fact Sheet
Koalas Support Funding – Fact Sheet
Mock operations help prepare Council and the community for extreme weather events

Mock operations help prepare Council and the community for extreme weather events

Council recently hosted two timely disaster preparedness operations, firstly with the Local Disaster Management Group to test preparedness for potential flooding, and secondly with Community Disaster Volunteers from across the Scenic Rim.

Operation Downpour tested the capabilities of the Local Disaster Coordination Centre and involved a desktop discussion between Council employees and emergency services representatives, who are part of the Local Disaster Management Group, to plan ahead for extreme weather conditions forecast this summer.

Operation Vacate brought together Community Disaster Volunteers from across the region to Tamborine Mountain’s Vonda Youngman Community Centre to practice how to operate of a “Place of Refuge” or “Evacuation Centre” supported by Council employees.

Scenic Rim Mayor and Chair of the Local Disaster Management Group Cr Greg Christensen said those involved in the operations were on alert during the recent wet weather and localised flooding.

“Held in late October and early November in the lead up to storm season, Operation Downpour and Operation Vacate provided invaluable learning experiences for Council and members of the wider community ahead of what the Bureau of Meteorology has predicted will be a wetter than average season,” Cr Christensen said.

“Our Community Disaster Volunteers are a great group of people from various backgrounds including former teachers, psychologists and artists, who are well connected in their communities and willing to step up and lend a hand during disasters.

“We still have plenty of Community Disaster Volunteer roles to fill in the areas of Tarome, Mount Alford, Beaudesert and Gleneagle and surrounds, so if you know anyone who fits the bill, please encourage them to contact Council to register their interest.

“We live in place that can be impacted by severe storms, flash flooding and bushfires, so all residents are urged to seriously consider their own disaster preparedness — it’s not a case of ‘if’, but a case of ‘when’.

“The first thing we ask people to do is to understand their specific risks, such as flooding, that may affect your property and local area.

“Particularly if you are new to the area, talk to neighbours and friends about ways to protect your home, understand what to do if you need to evacuate and which roads may be impacted by flash flooding so that you can stay safe on the roads.

“Now is the time to check your insurance is current and sufficient to protect your home, contents or business and that you have a have a household emergency plan in place so that you and your loved ones know where to go and what to do in an emergency.

“It’s also important to have a household emergency kit and checklist so that you can access important items and documents quickly.”

Scenic Rim residents are also advised to prepare for the forecast storm season by:

  • trimming and clearing trees and branches away from their homes
  • keeping trees that are under or near power lines to a height of less than four metres
  • checking that roofing is secure, and
  • clearing gutters and downpipes of blockages and debris.

For further information on disaster preparedness, visit Council’s website

If you’re interested in becoming a Community Disaster Volunteer, please read this Fact Sheet

In the event of a disaster, tune in to local radio station and use the Scenic Rim Regional Council Disaster Dashboard website to stay up-to-date with weather warnings, alerts, road conditions and emergency updates at