Yoga for seniors | Brisbane City Council


Date & time

Tue 2 Mar 2021
9:00am to 10:00am

Age

Seniors

Cost

Free

Yoga for seniors brings function, flexibility and balance through a modified supportive practice. This allows strength in our bodies a quietness to our minds a full breath and fills our lives with inspiration, purpose and health. Classes are designed for seniors and can be modified to suit anyone.

This is a GOLD event suitable for seniors.

Bookings

No bookings required. For more information phone Nichola on 0406 574 454.

Requirements

Yoga mat

Meeting point

Meet inside the hall.

Venue

Forest Lake Community Hall, 60 College Avenue, Forest Lake

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Buy now, pay later services see homewares purchases boom


If you’re a 35-year-old woman living in a major Australian city, you’re the reason why homeware sales went through the roof during the pandemic. What’s more, Aussie women are splurging with buy-now, pay-later schemes to fill their homes with the latest and greatest products.

According to Klarna Australia and New Zealand country head Fran Ereira, the popularity of homewares was on the rise before the pandemic, but hit fever pitch last March. 

“The home and garden category was already a huge market for our users,” Ereira says.

“But we found ourselves at home during the pandemic and realised some of the things we love and enjoy weren’t around, so the desire to redecorate studies, finally organise that guest room or office or refurbish the garden with an outdoor setting and BBQ finally did happen. We have seen people invest in their homes and gardens like never before.”

The Swedish company’s global statistics reveal that Generation Z increased their spend in the home and garden category by 262 per cent during the pandemic, while millennials aged 24 to 39 spent an extra 231 per cent. Gen X – those aged 40-55 – accelerated their home-product spend using the Klarna service by 156 per cent, with the Baby Boomers following.

iStock-1167116232_v8cpyf
Klarna Australia general manager Fran Ereira says the popularity of homewares hit fever pitch last March. Photo: iStock

“What we have seen wasn’t just pandemic-related,” Ereira says. “Customers want to experience great ways to pay and Klarna works for them. Those aged 34 to their late 60s have had livelihoods changed and are looking for smarter and smoother ways to pay for home and garden products.”

Afterpay vice-president sales (APAC) Katrina Konstas says restrictions introduced to Australia last March kick-started the home-spending spree, with the company also seeing a spike in homewares, furniture and home gym equipment purchases.

Konstas says the trend of making your home as comfortable and aesthetically pleasing as possible drove the boom, as did the fact we’re spending more time living and working from home.  

Afterpay phone application on smartphone.
Afterpay also saw a spike in homewares, furniture and home gym equipment purchases. Photo: Dominic Lorrimer

Afterpay allows customers to manage their purchases by splitting the price into four interest-free instalments. The catch is to make sure you don’t spend more than your budget can handle and honouring your repayments – that way you’ll keep your interest-free terms. 

Popular buy-now, pay-later schemes like Afterpay and Zip have about 5.4 million customers in Australia.

Konstas says customers aren’t using the service as a credit function. 

“Customers also use their own money to pay off their instalments, with 90 per cent of customers linking a debit card to their Afterpay account,” she says.

iStock-185222071_xhq7er
Buy-now, pay-later schemes allow customers to use their savings to pay for products in instalments. Photo: iStock

The Reserve Bank of Australia recently reported that total credit card purchases in Australia fell 6.2 per cent in the year to December 2020. It’s a sure sign that consumers want more bang for their buck – and the choice to use their savings to pay for products without being charged interest if they delay the payments over monthly instalments. 

“Being able to split that payment in four is palatable to families and singles managing a budget,” Konstas says.

Klarna’s entry into Australia occurred three weeks before the pandemic hit our shores, but its growth is proof we aren’t curbing our spending habits.

“For us this market will only continue to grow,” says Ereira. 

“Credit card usage is in a massive decline and people want a more digital way to pay. More Australians will keep gravitating toward personalised experiences,” she says. “We’re over 10 months old with around 400,000 consumers. It’s a telling sign what customers are looking for.”

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A&H homeschool Pilates



Wednesday, March 3, 2021, 9 – 10am

A&H homeschool Pilates

Come and join us to gain strength, reduce back pain, strengthen your pelvic floor, improve your balance, meet other parents and help your mental health! 
This class is perfect for those who homeschool, as kids are welcome to come along or join in. 

Cost is $5, please bring an exercise mat and water.
Text Hayley at 0451050215 to book

Venue: Upper Coomera Community Centre
Address: 90 Reserve Road, Upper Coomera
Suburb: Upper Coomera
Meeting point: Hall 1
Bookings required: Yes
Category: Active families, Active for life, Pilates
Contact name: Hayley's Pilates, Hayley Gulley
Contact phone: 0451 050 215
Cost: $5

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AFL, Gold Coast Suns players apologise to Joel Wilkinson for 2013 blackface incident


The Gold Coast Suns have acknowledged a “regrettable” incident of racism involving former player Joel Wilkinson at a 2013 Wacky Wednesday event, where two of his teammates dressed in blackface.

Photos of the players, Leigh Osborne and Alex Sexton, were revealed by the Herald Sun after Wilkinson released documents pertaining to a 2018 Australian Human Rights Commission case into the matter.

“The Gold Coast Suns acknowledge that Joel Wilkinson experienced racism during his AFL career with the club including two well-publicised on-field incidents. We deeply regret that he did,” a Suns statement read.

“The photo released to media is from an end-of-season player dress-up event that occurred in 2013.

“The Suns view the choice of outfits in the photo and on that day to be inappropriate, unacceptable and regrettable.”

Wilkinson told the Herald Sun he was “mortified” when he saw Osborne on the day, and said he “tried to stop it during the event”.

In a statement of his own, Osborne said he was unaware of the hurt he had caused Wilkinson at the time, and apologised to him once he had learned of the Human Rights Commission case in 2018.

“When I attended the 2013 Mad Monday-type event dressed as Joel I did so with the loan of his jumper and with his agreement after I had asked him whether it was OK to dress up as him. Joel never raised any issue about it with me on the day,” Osborne said.

“The first time I became aware that Joel was upset about what I did was when I found out about his complaint to the Human Rights Commission years later in 2018.

“As soon as I found out about it, I contacted him and apologised to him for my actions and said I was sorry for what I had done in 2013.

The Suns said Sexton, who said he now understood “how upsetting and offensive my actions were”, had also apologised for his role.

An AFL statement also apologised for the blackface incident, and again acknowledged the impact racism had on Wilkinson throughout his life and football career.

“The AFL is clear that any use of blackface is never acceptable in any forum or at any time,” it said.

“While the AFL was not aware of the 2013 end-of-season blackface incident until 2018 shortly before Joel detailed the incident in his complaint to the Human Rights Commission, one thing that is clear is that the behaviour is wrong and is behaviour that we would never accept or condone.

“Again, we understand the impact this has had on Joel. We are sorry that it happened, and it shouldn’t have.”

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Increasing number of Australian women putting up their hand to work in trades


Third-year carpentry apprentice Emily Bailey cannot imagine spending her life sitting behind a desk.

The 20-year-old from Rockhampton in central Queensland is one of thousands of Australian women at the forefront of a change rippling through a traditionally male-dominated industry.

National data from Construction Skills Queensland (CSQ) reveal Australian female construction apprentices just like Emily Bailey more than doubled in the last decade.

In December 2020, the number of female construction apprentices was 2,929, compared to 1,361 in 2010, an increase of 115 per cent.

The overall number of women in construction roles increased by 34 per cent in five years, from 44,583 in 2015 to 59,587 in 2020.

Compared to the men, however, women still represent a fraction of the 1.2 million-strong workforce.

Ms Bailey dreams of owning her own carpentry business one day, but is focusing on completing her four-year apprenticeship in Rockhampton.

“I’ve always really loved working with wood … working with my hands,” she said.

“I really enjoy the job. Being able to put my name to something at the end of the day, having a homeowner be happy with my work … it’s great.”

In regional Queensland, Ms Bailey said female colleagues were still few and far between.

“It’s pretty rare to come across any other females on a trade site,” she said.

“But it’s always pretty uplifting seeing other girls giving it a go.”

CSQ Research Director Robert Sobyra said electricians and civil construction workers had shown the highest growth in female participation.

“We don’t think that is going to change, we think we are on the right track.”

Mr Sobyra said the CSQ had observed more women changing their perceptions of career options, thanks to early exposure to trades in school.

“These days in schools, females and males are treated equally in terms of the career paths they are exposed to,” he said.

The building and construction industry generates more than $360 billion in revenue and produces approximately 9 per cent of Australia’s Gross Domestic Product, according to the Australian Industry and Skills Committee (AISC).

Warren Hale, from the Australian Apprenticeship Support Network, said there was an increasingly high demand for apprentices of all genders across the country.

“There’s actually been an increase of 52 per cent of Australian apprentices, in comparison to the same period last year,” he said.

Emily Bailey said it was heartening to see so many other women put up their hands to work in trade.

“I’d say… go for it. Don’t hold back,” she said.

“If it’s something you want to do, do it.

“It’s only going to make your life better.”

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JobKeeper end fuels concerns for Queensland tourism operators facing an uncertain economic future


Peter McLeay stands in his nearly empty hostel in the middle of Cairns. The vacant space has become a familiar sight over the past 12 months.

The owner of Mad Monkey closed one of his five Queensland accommodations last week.

“Normally it is a fairly successful business, but we are down to about 10 to 20 per cent occupancy,” he told The Drum.

Mr McLeay and his business partner have accumulated $1 million in debt in just one year.

He says the venture is trying to hold out as long as it can, but like many he’s facing an uncertain financial future.

When international visitors were encouraged to go home last year, Daniella Yidi chose to stay and work at the hostel on a casual basis.

“You walk into the kitchen and you smell different foods, and hear different languages; it is a beautiful, beautiful thing,” the Californian told The Drum.

“Now that there’s not so many people, it’s a bit quiet and lonely.”

Cairns docks are full — but of empty boats. Like in many parts of the country, the tourist town is grappling with how to move forward when the tourists don’t come.

The onset of the COVID pandemic brought Australia’s tourism industry to an almost immediate halt.

Tourism Research Australia estimated the national tourism industry lost a total of $59.1 billion in international and domestic tourism, from January to September last year.

The most recent ABS data showed jobs for all tourism industries fell in 2020, with the exception of retail and rail transport.

Normally a $3.5 billion a year local industry, Tourism Tropical North Queensland estimates that the region is currently losing $5 million a day.

Federal programs offered an immediate — and essential — lifeline.

The Tourism & Transport Forum (TTF) warned that one in five tourism businesses nationwide could close if JobKeeper wasn’t replaced, and that North Queensland would be particularly hard hit.

Cairns has a population of about 150,000; currently around one-third of the workforce is on the scheme.

The TTF has called on the federal government to replace JobKeeper with a more targeted approach, to address the specific and ongoing challenges facing the tourism industry.

It is asking for $1,500 per fortnight per employee for businesses that have suffered a 50 per cent or greater downturn, or $1,000 a week for employees of businesses experiencing a 30 to 50 per cent downturn.

For the family-run CaPTA Group, continued financial assistance could be essential. It currently has 165 out of 180 employees signed onto the scheme.

The forty-year-old business owns attractions and touring companies across tropical north Queensland.

“A lot of businesses are in the vicinity of … 70 to 90 per cent down on the previous year,” said CaPTA’s director of sales, Ben Woodward.

“A support package along the lines of JobKeeper will be vital for a lot of businesses to continue with their survival through COVID-19.”

Speaking to The Drum as part of a special episode from Cairns, social inclusion specialist Topaz McAuliffe noted that the economic impacts had been felt by the broader region.

“Everybody thinks about the boats going to the reef — but it’s the transport, the coaches, the industry behind it that supports all of that that’s been wiped out.”

“There has to be a bridging solution, knowing that the industry will come back.”

For some Cairns businesses, the tipping point has already passed. Painful financial decisions have had to be made.

Jenny Edmondson from Wavelength Reef Cruises has already sold a boat and a bus and given up office space.

The family-owned business is running at about 17 per cent of pre-COVID operations.

“We are hoping it will pick up for Easter, but we have been saying that for the last few months and that hasn’t happened.”

Ms Edmondson told The Drum the uncertainty had seen some larger businesses begin to lose staff “at an alarming rate”.

Michael Trout echoed that sentiment.

The former LNP member owns a horse-riding and ATV tour company. It paused operations last March. His employees are looking elsewhere for work.

“A lot of them have started applying for other jobs and are asking for myself to be a referee for them — that’s a bit of a jolt.

He said when it came to helping the tourism sector survive — time was of the essence.

“When you’ve got a reef operator with 100 employees and they are taking out 30 people a day, they are going to need something for the next two years.”

Lingering anxiety among potential travellers indicates that the pandemic recovery will be far slower in tourist hotspots such as the Cairns region.

Tourism Port Douglas Daintree executive officer Tara Bennett says only “the brave” are travelling.

“They are not concerned about catching coronavirus anymore; it’s about being able to get home.”

The volatility of state border closures is still being felt, even as recently as this past week.

Nathan Clark ran the LGBTIQ Port Douglas Hot and Steamy festival on the weekend.

He told The Drum that while there was a successful local turnout, 25 per cent of tickets had been sold to people from Greater Melbourne.

Just days before the event the area in Victoria was declared a hotspot.

“Unfortunately we have lost that Victorian market who spend money in the shops, they stay in accommodation, they go to restaurants, they go onto the reef,” he said.

International and state border closures meant Sydneysider Joel McDermott’s honeymoon had been postponed three times.

“We had our fingers crossed that we would make it up here.”

For now, there has been no indication from the federal government of an extended, tailored support beyond the March JobKeeper end date.

But as the region waits for answers, there is still some — perhaps necessary — optimism about the months ahead.

Seabean Tapas Bar owner Henry Johnson is banking on the borders staying open.

“I think with the upcoming year domestic tourism should be fairly strong,” he said.

“It’ll be important to have just that core team revitalised and re-energised and ready to tackle the rest of the year.”

The Drum airs weeknights on ABC and News Channel.

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Brisbane man who set fire to sleeping friend suffered from psychosis, court hears


Matt James Nolan, 30, poured petrol on Sigourney Coles before setting her alight, while she slept in her bed in Bracken Ridge in July, 2017.

The 28-year-old woman was taken to hospital with significant burns to her arms, chest and neck and was placed into an induced coma.

Ms Coles never provided a complaint to police and previously told the court she did not want Nolan to serve any jail time.

Nolan was originally charged with attempted murder but pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of grievous bodily harm in the Brisbane District Court.

During a sentencing hearing, the court heard Nolan had been diagnosed with chronic paranoid schizophrenia and was suffering from auditory hallucinations.

The court was told he had been using the drug “ice” to try to reduce his psychotic symptoms beause he did not believe his medication was working and he had been repeatedly denied emergency mental health treatment in the days leading up to the attack.

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Zumba® Gold | Brisbane City Council


Date & time

Tue 2 Mar 2021
8:00am to 9:00am

Age

Seniors

Cost

Free

Perfect for active older adults who are looking for a modified Zumba® class that recreates the original moves you love at a lower intensity. Learn easy-to-follow choreography that focuses on balance, range of motion and coordination.

This is a GOLD event suitable for seniors.

Bookings

No bookings required. For more information phone Linda on 0428 419 157 or email lwhitbourn@gmail.com

Requirements

Bring a towel, wear closed shoes and comfortable clothing.

Meeting point

Meet near the amenities block.

Venue

Lota Camping Reserve, 710 Esplanade, Lota

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Empty rental listings plummet across the capitals except for Sydney and Melbourne


Tenants in most capital cities will be hard pressed to get a good deal right now with the number of empty properties having plummeted across the country – except for the two biggest cities, new data shows.

While the number of vacant rental listings has fallen significantly in Brisbane, Darwin, Perth, Adelaide and Hobart over the past year, Sydney and Melbourne continue to bear the brunt of closed international borders that has left many inner-city apartments without tenants.

Data from Domain showed Melbourne’s vacancy rate sits at 4.7 per cent as of February 2021 — a massive spike from this time last year when the vacancy rate was 1.6 per cent.

The Victorian capital has the biggest proportion of empty rentals in Australia — the data revealed number of vacant rental listings has increased by a staggering 212 per cent.

In Sydney, the only other city where the vacancy rate rose, the situation is on a smaller scale. The number of vacant rental listings has increased by 9.1 per cent over the past year and the vacancy rate edged up from 2.6 to 2.8 per cent.

Rental Vacancy Rates Australia

Rental Vacancy Rates Australia
LocationFeb-21Jan-21Feb-20MoM ∆YoY ∆
National1.9%1.9%1.7%
Sydney2.8%2.9%2.6%
Melbourne4.7%4.6%1.6%
Brisbane1.4%1.6%2.1%
Perth0.7%0.7%1.8%
Adelaide0.6%0.6%0.8%
Hobart0.5%0.4%0.6%
ACT0.8%0.9%1.0%
Darwin0.8%0.8%3.2%
Source: Domain

Domain senior research analyst Nicola Powell said the results highlighted the two cities’ rental market exposure to international migrants and students.

“In Sydney and Melbourne, the general rule of thumb is that the closer you get to the city, the higher the vacancy rate,” she said.

In Victoria, the top vacancy rate was in Melbourne city at 11.7 per cent, while in NSW the highest was in Parramatta at 4.9 per cent.

Dr Powell said while the worst was over for most landlords in Sydney and Melbourne, tenants elsewhere across the country could expect rent rises.

“Most of our capital cities remain tight and remain competitive for tenants and what we can expect is rents are going to rise,” she said.

Ray White Victoria and Tasmania chief executive Stephen Dullens said many Melbourne tenants had moved rental properties for a lifestyle change, which had seen outer suburbs fare better than inner city areas.

“When you look at areas like Southbank there’s lots of apartments, Airbnbs and short stays. When you move out of the suburbs it’s really tight,” he said.

“When you look at the Mornington Peninsula, it’s really tough. Once something is put up for lease, demand is through the roof.”

But many Melburnians had also left for regional towns, Mr Dullens said, where vacancy rates were much tighter than the city.

For renters in Perth and Darwin, the market has become much tougher over the past 12 months.

While Perth’s already low vacancy rate fell further in the 12 months to February this year, from 1.8 per cent to 0.7 per cent, it was a more dramatic turn around in Darwin, where the vacancy rate dropped from 3.2 per cent to 0.8 per cent in the same period.

To put that in perspective, the number of vacant rental listings in Darwin has plummeted by -74.6 per cent.

Darwin agents have reported they cannot keep up with the wave of rental applications that have hit the city as a result of tenants either being locked in or interstate travellers moving to the Northern Territory.

The situation for tenants is only likely to worsen once eviction bans are lifted, Dr Powell said.

“When we start to see the rental moratorium ends, we’re likely to see significant jumps in asking rents,” she said. “There would be many tenants who were paying below market rent.

“Tenants in a rising rental market who are paying below market rent will stay put until they have to move because they’re being protected by the legislation that stops hikes in nets and stops them being evicted.”

Brisbane is another city where the vacancy rate has tightened over the year, from 2.1 per cent to 1.4 per cent, thanks to a combination of tree changers from other states and migration from regional Queensland into the city, according to Haesley Cush, director of Living Here.

“Brisbane offers really incredible options. Affordability is so much better than other cities,” Mr Cush said. “We’ve also seen people from other parts of the state come back to the capital city for work.”

Like Sydney and Melbourne, more inner-city apartments have remained vacant than houses in the suburbs, Mr Cush said.

Inner Brisbane recorded the highest vacancy rate of 4.3 per cent followed by Sherwood-Indooroopilly at 3.7 per cent, the Domain data showed.

“The opportunity to be a bit more bullish as a tenant is starting to fade,” Mr Cush said. “Maybe in the low to mid-range [price of the market] you still have that power. I do feel the mid to high-end market is going to see an increase in rents.”

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A&H staying strong



Wednesday, March 3, 2021, 9:30 – 10:30am

A&H staying strong

Experienced senior fitness trainers will help you improve your balance, mobility and strength. All exercises aim to improve stability, coordination, muscle tone, flexibility and mental wellbeing.

Venue: Tugun Village Community Centre
Address: 414 Coolangatta Road, Tugun
Suburb: Tugun
Bookings required: yes
Category: Active ageing
Contact name: Bill Hardy
Contact phone: 0413 708 903
Cost: $4

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