Greetings from Gayleen

– March 2024

Regional Queensland continued to be battered by weather events in March, including Cyclones and significant monsoon rains. Many communities have again been flooded and evacuated with severe effects on townships, transport, logistics and livelihoods. Our thoughts go out to all those affected and we are hoping for a calmer end to our wet season. As floods recede after the rains the countryside will be magnificent to explore and to support the communities. We just collected our new caravan and are looking forward to visiting all the beautiful regions of Queensland.

As counting continues with many results yet to be declared, the recent Local Government elections indicate significant changes to many regional communities. We extend our congratulations not only to the newly appointed officials but also to all the councillors, Mayors and officials who retained their seats and best wishes to those yet to be declared. Your dedication and service to our communities are commendable, and we look forward to the positive impact you will bring. As councils start to come out of caretaker mode, we eagerly anticipate the new initiatives and continuation of important projects right across our region.

This important project will be boosted by the recent Government funding announcement for Regional University Study Hubs. These Study Hubs aim to provide support spaces for students and will be available in Longreach, Barcaldine, Blackall, Winton, Boulia, Bedourie, Birdsville, and Jundah, aiming to bring university education closer to regional students. These Study Hubs are expected to be operational within the next 12 months, offering vital resources and assistance to regional students pursuing higher education.

Celebrating International Women’s Day in March, the Businesswoman’s Club guest speakers were inspiring and highlighted the achievements and contributions of women from diverse fields. Speakers included Journalist & Writer Kirsty Nancarrow, Nepalese Sherpa Trekking guide Phulmaya Tamang, and CEO of Qld Indigenous Business Network Julie-Ann Lambourne. Congratulations to all IWD award recipients, there were some fantastic winners and finalists across the categories!

We extend warm wishes for a Happy Easter filled with celebrations, including the end of lent for many, family and friend gatherings with lots of chocolate, and some good camping weather for others!