Creations are from her art and soul

By Jennifer Champan, Fraser Coast Chronicle, 2010

SHE IS an accomplished artist and photographer yet her modesty is so great, not many of us would ever have known. 

That is, if she didn’t allow her arm to be twisted so her talents could be revealed to the Fraser Coast. 

Photojournalist Jocelyn Watts was given her first camera – a Box Brownie – when she was eight years old. Just three years later, she won her first prize at a regional photography show. 

Since then, she has rarely been seen without a camera in her hands. Next Door Neighbour

“For me, photography is about capturing moments in time,” explains the Maryborough resident of 18 years. 

“Including,” she adds, “the ever-changing light in landscapes, fleeting moments in sport or at family gatherings and social events – things that happen too quickly to be captured with an artist’s brush. 

“A camera lens can also block out peripheral objects to home-in on patterns, shapes and colours, as in micro photography, that could otherwise be missed by the naked eye.” 

Jocelyn enjoys snapping travel experiences, sport, people, nature, landscape and architecture. 

She has always used Canon equipment and recently upgraded to a Canon EOS 5D Mark II and a 17-40mm wide-angle lens (EF Series). 

Jocelyn is a member of Hervey Bay Photography Club and the Australian Photographic Society. 

“My goal is basically to keep on improving and create the best images I can. If a travel company offered to pay all my expenses, take photos and write, I wouldn’t argue,” she laughs.

“But being more realistic, it would be nice to show my images in an exhibition or coffee table books, or calendars some day. Bagging a few awards, if I were lucky enough, would be a bonus.”

Jocelyn has already won many awards including the photography club’s Colour Print of the Year for 2009. 

In 2003, she swept the pool at the Australian Photographic Society B9 Print folio awards with five first places in Open Print categories. 

Between 1998 and 2009 she added to her collection of another four first prizes at the Fraser Coast Show. 

And in 1999, Jocelyn took home the Qld Country Press Association Awards title of Sport Photo of the Year. 

Jocelyn’s creative (photography) flare was no doubt inherited from her father, an international award-winning photographer, who gave her that beloved Box Brownie. 

But it is not only photography this artist is skilled at. 

“I’ve always drawn, sketched or dabbled in some sort of art or craft. Art was not a subject at the outback school I went to, but soon after leaving I enrolled in an oil painting workshop being run at the town’s cultural centre that my parents co-founded. 

“During the 1980s I designed motifs that I machine-appliquéd on to T-shirts, tops and cloth nappies. 

“After moving to Maryborough in the early 1990s, I was working part-time and in my spare hours delved into painting again, this time with pastels and acrylics as well as oils.”

Jocelyn describes her style as realism but wants to move toward impressionism. 

“I’d be great at counterfeit, if I had the inclination to make a few bucks on the black market,” she jokes. Seriously though, reproductions could be a speciality.”

Jocelyn has not yet held a solo exhibition, for art or photography, but is hopeful that day won’t be too far away.”

 

 

author

Children’s author to add her own magic to Mary Poppins Festival

Author and illustrator of the Ruby Red Shoes series Kate Knapp will bring her own brand of magic to the Mary Poppins Festival this June-July school holidays in Maryborough.

The Brisbane-based writer and artist was a perfect fit for the festivities,” Fraser Coast Tourism and Events marketing and communications manager Bradley Nardi said.

“Kate creates all of her artwork by hand using pencils, ink, watercolour and a little magic and of course we all know how enchanting the world’s most famous fictional nanny is.

“During the festival, Kate will be exhibiting her work and doing readings.”

Ms Knapp said the main similarity she saw between herself and Mary Poppins author P.L.Travers, who was born in Maryborough, was the desire to tell stories for children.

“Both Mary Poppins and the Ruby Red Shoes books have characters that children relate to and offer them some kind of companionship and teachings,” she said.

“Much of my inspiration comes from my childhood. It was simple and filled with interesting characters. There was plenty of time and space to develop my imagination.

“Plenty of quiet contemplative space, in my experience, is perfect for hatching creative ideas.

“Nature, friends and family, as well as children are a source of many ideas and subject material.”

Storytelling at Maryborough

Ms Knapp said it was a wonderful idea to have a celebration of storytelling in one of Queensland’s historic cities and she was excited to be attending. 

“It makes me feel like a child again,” she said.

“Ruby Red Shoes loves scones with strawberry jam and cream and has her fingers crossed that there will be someone serving them in Maryborough for the festival!”

Ms Knapp has visited Maryborough many times as a good friend of hers lives in the Heritage City.

“It’s a wonderful town and particularly appeals to my love of historical buildings as well as the unique charm of the wide streets, the Mary River, quaint cottages and measured pace of life.”

Mr Nardi said workers renovating the former bank building where P.L. Travers was born had encountered significant unforeseen restoration work while converting it to an interpretive centre.

He said in order to allow repairs to continue and ensure the heritage-listed building is safe and secure for future generations to enjoy, the planned sneak peek at the Story Bank had been removed from the Mary Poppins Festival schedule.

“But visitors will be able to learn about the extensive building restoration works and the plans for the interpretive centre,” he said.

The stately building was purchased by Fraser Coast Regional Council in 2015 and is undergoing a $2.2 million refurbishment with grant funds from the Australian Government’s Community Development Grants Program, the Queensland Government’s Building Our Regions Funding and the council.

Mr Nardi said there would still be plenty of other high jinks for festival goers to enjoy from June 29 until July 8 including a creative writing workshop hosted by visiting author of the Extreme Adventure series Justin D’Ath and Kids’ Party Confidential with comedian and author Sean Murphy.

During the festival’s major celebration, A Day in the Park on July 7, everyone can join in the fun of the grand parade, nanny race and chimney sweep challenge.

And that’s just the beginning of the charming fun! Visit marypoppinsfestival.com.au for more details.


Photo by Natalie McComas 2013, courtesy Fraser Coast Tourism and Events.

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Relish Food and Wine Festival

Only two sleeps to go till Relish Food + Wine Festival

Tickets to the inaugural Gin Joint burlesque dancing and gin tasting sessions have sold out but Relish Food + Wine Festival goers can still get on board Bubbles on the Boat, the Long Lunch and hands-on cooking sessions this Saturday, 2 June.

Robyn Peach, event manager for Fraser Coast Tourism and Events, said the special sessions were added extras on top of more than 60 fantastic food and wine stalls and cooking demonstrations at the festival in Maryborough.

“Ranger Nick will be showing people how to cook with a camp oven and there’ll be a beer and barbecue stall set up on the deck by the river,” she said.

“It’s going to be a beautiful day – cool and calm with lots of sunshine – it’ll be absolutely glorious in the Mary River Parklands so come down to Relish with your friends and enjoy some of the best food in the region with one of the best bands as well – Soul City.”

Federal Hotel chef Gavan Chin will take on a mystery box challenge at Relish and create a classic pub meal with a twist at noon in the Food Lovers Marquee.

“I don’t actually know what I’m cooking but it’ll be fun and light hearted and hopefully a bit educational,” he said.

“We’ll whip up something crazy.”

Mr Chin said it was the fourth year he’d been involved in Relish and he loved the festival.

“It’s great for the area and showcases all the produce and great establishments we have,” he said.

FCTE event coordinator Amber Tucker said tickets to the Long Lunch were selling fast and she recommended people go online or visit the Maryborough or Hervey Bay Visitor Information Centres to buy a ticket for the four-course meal made by the region’s best chefs.

Entry to Relish, which runs from 10am to 5pm, is $10 ahead of the event and $15 at the gate this Saturday.

Relish Food and Wine Festival

Amber Tucker (left) and Robyn Peach from Fraser Coast Tourism and Events and Federal Hotel chef Gavan Chin give Maryborough’s Heritage Market goers a taste of what’s to come on Saturday. 

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Mudgee

Mudgee Wine & Food Festival Dates Announced

The dates of the 2018 Mudgee Wine & Food Festival have been released, with a range of dinners, lunches and tastings set to further establish the region as one of the preeminent food and wine destinations of New South Wales.

The Festival will run from 4th to 23rd September 2018 and include the following key events. Further information on this event will follow.

MUDGEE WINE SHOW 
4 to 6 September 2018

MUDGEE WINE SHOW DINNER 
7 September 2018

GO TASTING 
Saturday 8 September, 5.30pm Australian Regional Education Centre, 267 Ulan Road, Mudgee

This is the public tasting of the wines entered into the 2018 Mudgee Wine Show. Guests can select from over 100 of the best wines in the region and compare their palates to those of the wine show judges. Tickets will be available at visitmudgeeregion.com.au or via the Visitor Information Centre 84 Market Street or phone 02 6372 1020

GO GRAZING 
Saturday 15 September, 6:30pm Mudgee Showground Main Pavilion, Douro Street Mudgee

Enjoy the Mudgee’s best produce prepared by the region’s leading chefs. This three-course dinner comprises a range of bites that highlight Mudgee’s diversity with its food and wine varieties.

FLAVOURS OF MUDGEE 
Saturday 22 September, from 4 pm, Mudgee CBD

The heart of Mudgee comes alive with Flavours of Mudgee. Guests are invited to celebrate Mudgee’s food and wine with all the producers, winemakers and growers offering tastings and dishes along the town’s historic main street.

WEDNESDAY NIGHT WINE 
Wednesday 12 and 26, Roths Wine Bar

For the mid-week guest there will be casual wine tastings at Roths Wine Bar. Wednesday Night Wine is an interactive and engaging tasting hosted by the region’s best wine personalities and includes small bites and share plates.

Tickets and details can be found at mudgeewine.com.au or calling Mudgee’s Mid Western Regional Council on 02 6378 2850

white water rafting

2018 Pre-World White Water Rafting Championship comes to Tully

Watching all the adrenalin pumping action on the first day of the 2018 Pre-World White Water Rafting Championship on 11 May was certainly a highlight of my five-week house-sitting stint in Tully.

Before visiting Tully, I knew the town of 2390 people and located 140 kilometres south of Cairns in North Queensland was reputed to be the wettest town in Australia.

It has an average annual rainfall of more than 4000 millimetres. The highest ever annual rainfall in a populated area of Australia, 7900 millimetres, was recorded in Tully in 1950.

The Golden Gumboot monument stands as testament to these records. At 7.9 metres tall, the boot represents the town’s record 1950 rainfall. An inside spiral staircase takes you to the top for a view of the town. Tully also holds an annual Golden Gumboot Festival.

What I didn’t know was the nearby Tully River is arguably the best rafting river in Australia.

It’s no wonder Tully was chosen to host this year’s national rafting championship in May, which was a build-up event to the International Rafting Federation’s (IRF) 2019 World Rafting Championship (WRC).

On 11 May I was lucky enough to find a terrific spectator viewing spot to watch the first day of action when some of the world’s best rafters competed in the sprint and head-to-head disciplines.

In just a few hours I learnt a lot about the sport and watched in awe as rafters navigated their way through the Tully River’s rapids, fringed by world heritage tropical rainforest.

However, you don’t have to be the best in the world to experience the thrill of white water rafting on the Tully River throughout the year. 

Thrill seekers of all levels, even beginners, can book half or full day tours though www.wildsideadventures.com.au or www.ragingthunder.com.au.

Follow the link below to buy photos from the first day of the 2018 Pre-World White Water Rafting Championship at Tully. And, don’t forget to mark May 2019 in your diary for next year’s World Rafting Championship.

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Peel Region

Peel Region’s Magnificent Courses Suit Golfers to a Tee

Just one hour south of Perth, you will find the Peel Region’s golf courses in Western Australia to be listed in the premier category of Great Golf Courses of Australia.

Mandurah and the Peel Region is known as Western Australia’s Golf Coast with a number of superbly designed, challenging courses set in spectacular locations. While all in close proximity to each other, each offers the international golfer unique experiences.

It’s just one of a number of compelling reasons for the avid golfer to visit Mandurah, named Western Australia’s 2017 Top Tourism Town.

The Peel Region is Perth’s natural adventure playground. It has a spectacular coastline, world-class natural beauty, abundance of wildlife and the cosmopolitan City of Mandurah, Western Australia’s largest and fastest growing regional city, set against a backdrop of magnificent beaches and an estuary twice the size of Sydney Harbour.

With new tourism experiences complementing its superb natural assets, significant redevelopment means you can now also enjoy award-winning waterfront dining, aquatic adventures, and plenty of places to shop.

It is also the perfect base to take day trips to explore the wider Peel Region. In an easy half hour drive you’ll find beautiful wineries, winding waterways, rolling green hills and tiny timber towns nestled in the forest.

Golf courses

The Cut – One the edge of the Indian Ocean, this is Western Australia’s must play golf course. The James Wilcher designed 18-hole course offers spectacular ocean views and has been created to excite and challenge golfers of all abilities.

Mandurah Country Club – This incredible course enjoys an elevated location to offer superbly challenging golf through a parkland setting with majestic trees keeping it interesting all the way.

Meadow Springs Golf and Country Club – This course has proudly hosted seven Western Australian Opens and is your chance to experience immaculate fairways gently meaning through towering tuart trees. This is a course that is both a highly regarded test while also being very playable.

Secret Harbour Golf Links – This links course is inspired by the classic Scottish courses. Designed by golf architect Graham Marsh and crafted into the spectacular ocean side landscape, this course boasts 18 superb holes all set against a breathtaking Indian Ocean panorama.

Pinjarra Golf Club – Dating back to 1912, this historically impressive course offers golfers a fantastic day of play. Hone your skills on the practice fairways, take lessons with a golf pro or simply soak up the charming scenery.

Travel Facts 

Getting there

Mandurah is less than an hour south of Perth. When driving, travel the Kwinana freeway south, easily accessible from many points in Perth, and exit at Mandjoogoordap Drive. Trains and buses operate between the two cities and depart from the Perth city centre. www.transperth.wa.gov.au

Staying there

Mandurah and the Peel Region has a range of accommodation to suit all tastes and budgets. There is a choice of resort hotels, caravan and camping facilities, charming bed and breakfast accommodation, self-contained apartments, forest cabins and even houseboats for hire. 

Getting around

Buses operate around Mandurah, but if you want to explore the Peel Region extensively you can hire a car or join a tour. Taxis and Uber drivers are also available in Mandurah.

When to go

The Peel Region can be visited any time of the year. Being on the coast, it’s spectacular in spring and in summer. But during winter, the scenery is amazing. You can find something to do all year around.

Further Information on Mandurah and the Peel Region visit www.visitpeel.com.au