Blog: News and views!

How to lose weight at Christmas with CSIRO

Signing up for the 12-Week CSIRO diet plan online in the lead-up to Christmas may not have been my smartest move ever… it can be tough bypassing all the delicious treats we’ve become accustomed to over the years.

But I’m no stranger to taking on challenges. Memories of feeling bloated after previous Boxing Days were inspiration enough!

In my first week of the program, starting on 3 November 2022, I gained 0.3 kg, despite sticking rigidly to my menu plan.

However, because I was already familiar with the CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet, having been a devotee since the organisation published its first book in 2005, I knew the science worked and happily chose to trust the experts.

At the end of the second week, my bathroom scales showed I’d lost 0.6 kg. That’s a total loss of 0.3 kg since starting.

I still have a long way to go to reach my target of losing 8 kg over the 12-week program, but it’s a start.

My 0.6 kg loss in the past week happened despite dining out twice during that time… once for a Christmas function and the other for a birthday celebration.

So, if I’m so familiar with the CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet, why did I feel the need to sign up for the 12-week online program over the festive season?

I blame it on me being a Socialiser!

***Disclosure: As a CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases made through ads and links on this page.***

Dining out is a breeze while following the CSIRO diet plan guidelines… I enjoyed this Grilled Tasmanian Salmon at Portside Cafe and Restaurant in Maryborough at a Christmas gathering and still lost .6 kg that week. Portside won the Best Restaurant or Cafe category of the recently announced 2022 Fraser Coast Business and Tourism Awards. 

CSIRO diet plan - King prawns with avo and watermelon salad.

In the same week, I enjoyed this King Prawns with Avo and Watermelon Salad at Salt Cafe Urangan while celebrating a friend’s birthday. Salt Cafe Urangan, Hervey Bay, was runner-up in the Best Restaurant or Cafe category of the recently announced 2022 Fraser Coast Business and Tourism Awards.

CSIRO Diet Types

There’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to diets. The CSIRO has developed diet plans that cater specifically to the eating habits of different personalities and their eating habits.

Whether you’re a Socialiser, Battler, Craver, Foodie, Pleaser, or Thinker, there’s something for everyone on the CSIRO diet!

According to a CSIRO diet quiz, I’m a Socialiser, which doesn’t come as any great surprise to me!

I generally eat and drink more when I’m socialising, and less when I’m home alone.

Their definition of a Socialiser goes like this:

“The Socialiser is a person who is often in the company of friends and family, which can lead them into temptation a little too often so that it affects their health or weight-related goals.

“Overeating and consuming too much alcohol at social gatherings has been seen as an occupational hazard for these types.

“Socialisers need flexibility when tackling our eating plan that allows the freedom to enjoy our social life.”

Hmmm… sounds familiar, lol.

Aside from my goal of losing 8 kg in 12 weeks, if all goes to plan I shouldn’t be struggling as much to shed unwanted kilos when the New Year gets underway.

What does the CSIRO diet plan say about dining out?

If you’re dining out or don’t want to follow the provided meal plans, but still want to achieve the same results, you can choose to go “freestyle” on the CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet program.

CSIRO provides a basic template based on the program’s food groups.

On the program, you’re encouraged to eat a set amount of food units per day, e.g. on Level 1, it’s Meat/Protein 2.5 units, Breads Cereals 3 units, Vegetables 2.5 units, Fruits 2 units, Diary 3 units, and Healthy Fats/Oils 3 units.

When freestyling, you should meet the same daily requirements with the meals you choose.

Once you’re familiar with the units and proportion sizes, it’s easier to make good choices when dining out at a restaurant or with friends and family.

The CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet online program is also flexible with your indulgences and menu plans.


The CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet’s favourite food group is indulgences, which are foods that provide little nutrition but are loved to eat.

It’s the top area in which most people can improve their diet.

  • The average Australian eats 6-8 indulgence units per day. On the TWD program, you’re allowed 1 indulgence per day (or 2 on level 3 of the program).
  • What makes food an indulgence is its overall nutritional properties. Examples include high kilojoule/calorie foods, high saturated fat and/or sodium foods, or low nutritional quality foods.
  • You can have more than one indulgence a day, but not more than 7 in a week (or 14 if on level 3 of the program). Alcohol is an exception to this rule and you’re allowed 2 standard drinks, however consuming 7 indulgences of alcohol at one time is not recommended.

My CSIRO diet plan favourites this week for breakfast, lunch, and dinner

CSIRO Diet Plan - eggs on toast breakfast

One breakfast I chose this week was the CSIRO diet plan’s Cheesy Zucchini Slaw with Eggs on Toast.

CSIRO diet plan - Mint & feta salad

This Mint & Feta Salad was on the menu for lunch at my place this week, following the CSIRO diet plan.


CSIRO diet plan - chargrilled steak with beetroot salad

Another of my home-cooked meals from the CSIRO diet plan this week was this Chargrilled Steak with Beetroot Salad.


Click here to follow my journey from Day 1.

CSIRO Menu Plans

The CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet online program offers a variety of menu plans, including:

  • The Protein Balance Boost, Power, Plus, and Basic plans; the Gut Health Menu Plan; the Diabetes Menu Plan; the Gluten Free Menu Plan; the Diabetes Menu Plan; and the Gluten Free Menu Plan.
  • There’s also the original 12-week Total Wellbeing Diet Menu Plan, and the Freedom Menu Plan that’s designed to suit your social calendar, giving you the freedom to eat out and do your own thing using the principles of the TWD.
  • A selection of second 12-week plans is available for the Protein Balance Boost, Protein Balance 2 Menu Plan, and Gut Health 2 Menu Plan.
  • The Ultra Foodie Menu Plan is an advanced menu plan for cooking lovers who are interested in exploring new meals.

Each menu plan has its own benefits that are explained in detail when you join the program.

I’ve stayed with the Protein Balance Boost plan, which CSIRO automatically places all members on until they make their own choices.

The Protein Balance Boost plan is a new menu designed to help boost mood and wellbeing with a focus on high protein spread throughout the day.

CSIRO scientists believe that higher protein diets are scientifically proven to boost fat loss.

When you distribute your food evenly across main meals and snacks, cravings go away, or at least they’re much less intense, which makes it easier for people following these types of plans to maintain their weight.

CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet Complete Recipe Collection

CSIRO diet plan - recipe book

On joining the CSIRO’s ‘Premium 12-Week Program with Coaching’ plan, I received a copy of the CSIRO Complete Recipe Collection book. It’s also available for purchase by clicking on this photo and following the link.

Want to sample CSIRO recipes before joining?

If you’d like to try recipes from the CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet before joining the online program, a selection of free recipes is available at:

You can also join the Three-Day Taster program, which includes samples of the CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet menu and exercise plans, and an overview of their tools that will help you lose weight and feel better.

The CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet (TWD) online program is a nutritionally balanced higher protein, low GI diet designed by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) and the Glycemic Index (GI) Foundation. This healthy eating plan combined with exercise is one of the most effective ways to improve your overall health and wellbeing.

Maryborough swim centre is simply the best!


Have you been to the Maryborough Aquatic Centre?

If not, you’re missing out – it has taken out the AustSwim State and National awards for the best large swim centre in Australia!

That recognition comes on the back of forced closures due to COVID-19 and two floods.

And, in 2010, Maryborough was on the brink of losing its 50-metre pool before the Fraser Coast Chronicle helped the community to save the much-loved facility.

Keep reading to find out more about what makes the Maryborough Aquatic Centre so special.

COVID-19 and two floods – but they bounced back!

These awards are recognition of the hard work and dedication of the staff who have had to contend with COVID-19 shutting the pools and then having to rebuild after the floods this year devasted the facility

Fraser Coast Regional Council CEO Ken Diehm said staff had rebuilt the facility and regained the support of the community.

“There has been a 15 per cent increase in attendance numbers across the swim classes since the pool reopened in June,” Mr Diehm said.

“I think that really shows the community has confidence in the instructors, and the staff at the centre are liked and well respected.”

The program supervisor at the facility, Joel Seeney, was previously the recipient of an Austswim award for Aqua Instructor of the year award.

“The award shows that regional facilities and their staff are just as talented and dedicated as those in the bigger centres.”

The AustSwim award is the premier award presented to facilities and individuals in Australia that achieve the highest standards of aquatic education excellence.

“The awards mean a lot to staff and is fantastic recognition of the hard work that they have put in to pick themselves up and rebuild.”

Flashback: How the community saved the 50-metre pool

Maryborough Aquatic Centre - news report

Maryborough Aquatic Centre - News reportMaryborough Aquatic Centre - News Report

In 2010, the Maryborough Aquatic Centre’s 50-metre pool was sorely in need of a revamp, but the then council’s proposed redevelopment plan didn’t include replacing the 50-metre pool; the plan was to downgrade it to 25 metres!

That was until the Fraser Coast Chronicle helped the community to save the 50-metre pool!

The loss of its Olympic-size pool meant Maryborough would lose the capacity to host school carnivals and competitions.

A good proportion of the public also preferred to swim in a 50-metre pool — Maryborough Masters, triathletes, schools and rugby league players who swam for fitness, as well as people from surrounding towns.

Thankfully, though, the council listened and overturned its initial proposal to downgrade the 50-metre pool as part of a $5.5 million redevelopment.

So, whether you’re a fitness fanatic or just looking for somewhere to cool off in summer, be sure to take a dip!

These AustSwim State and National awards have come after long, hard-fought battles to keep the centre afloat.

Congratulations to the Maryborough Aquatic Centre staff and Fraser Coast Regional Council.

Maryborough Aquatic Centre: A history of excellence

The 50-metre town pool being considered for downsizing in 2010 was the third in Maryborough’s history.

The original floating baths were built on the Mary River but were swept away in a flood in the 1890s.

In 1906, after a local boy drowned swimming in the Mary River, a 33-yard (30m) pool was built on the side of the now Excelsior Band Hall car park with money donated by local widower George Ambrose White.

In the early 1960s, a fundraising campaign was held to build the “new” War Memorial Swimming Pool on former defence force land. The 55-yard pool was 300 millimetres longer than 50 metres and was shortened in the 1970s.

The first pool caretaker was Hayden Kenny, Australia’s first ironman champion.

His son, Grant Kenny, OAM, Australian former Ironman, surf lifesaver and canoeist, went on to compete in two Olympics, winning a bronze medal in the K-2 1000m event with Barry Kelly in Los Angeles in 1984.

During the 1970s, the swimming club committee urged the Maryborough City Council to provide spectator stands, the money for which was donated by then-mayor Charles Adams.

The club raised funds through treble tickets and cent auctions to provide the recording and club rooms, gym, timekeepers’ shelter, store room and waveless ropes. In 1977 it bought one of the first electronic timing systems in Queensland.

In 1995, a 25-metre heated pool was built where the wading pool used to be, after lobbying behind the scenes by president Dr Tom Dunn.

Another prominent name of Maryborough swimming was Larry Sengstock who set many records at regional level and competed at state level in the 1970s.

He later starred with the Brisbane Bullets basketball team and represented Australia at the Moscow, Los Angeles, Seoul and Barcelona Olympics and at four world championships in 1978, 1982, 1986 and 1990.


Muttaburrasaurus langdoni has been voted as Queensland’s state fossil emblem. The plant-eating dinosaur was discovered in 1963 and named after the Central Queensland town of Muttaburra, the hometown of Jocelyn’s father, William C. Scott. Read on to find out why “Mutt” has been declared Queensland’s official state fossil, and what you can see in Muttaburra.

Muttaburrasaurus was voted the most popular fossil emblem

The Muttaburrasaurus langdoni will now become part of Queensland’s official identity after it topped a popular public poll to select the State’s fossil emblem.

The 12 shortlisted fossils featured dinosaurs from both land and sea, early mammals, and flora, all discovered across Queensland.

Of the nearly 9000 votes cast by Queenslanders, the ornithopod emerged as the clear popular choice.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the Muttaburrasaurus will join the nine other unique Queensland emblems.

“The 100-million-year-old, plant-eating dinosaur was discovered in 1963 and named after the Central Queensland town of Muttaburra,” the Premier said.

‘The seven-metre-long dinosaur makes a very big statement indeed.

“I’m sure it will be an enduring emblem Queensland can be very proud of.

“Along with our official coat of arms, flag and badge our emblems highlight the many wonders and beauty of our state.

“The Cooktown Orchid, koala, Great Barrier Reef Anemone fish, brolga, the sapphire, and our official colour – the mighty maroon, are all iconic symbols.”



Disclosure: As a affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases made through links in this post.

Travel back in time with Muttaburrasaurus

The Premier said the popularity of Muttaburrasaurus as the State’s official fossil emblem highlights the importance of dinosaur tourism in Outback Queensland.

“I encourage Queenslanders to get acquainted with our new fossil emblem by planning a visit to Outback dinosaur destinations,” the Premier said.

Queensland’s rich palaeontology discoveries have generated worldwide interest among experts and have attracted thousands of tourists to the Outback to see the fossils found firsthand.

Tourism Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said thousands of visitors travel to Outback Queensland every year to walk in the footsteps of dinosaurs and discover our rich palaeontological history.

“Everybody loves dinosaurs, they generate millions of dollars for the visitor economy, and we want to see Outback Queensland continue to grow as Australia’s paleo capital.”


Muttaburrasaurus - building

Muttaburrasaurus Interpretation Centre, Central Queensland, Australia.Muttaburrasaurus Interpretation Centre

The replica of the Muttaburrasaurus langdoni can be found at an interpretive centre at Muttaburra in Central Queensland. The displays include replicas, models and histories for guests to learn more about how this ancient creature was discovered as well as what life was like back then when they roamed our world 100 million years ago. PHOTOS: Jocelyn Watts, July 2022.

Mutt, one of the most complete dinosaur skeletons in Australia

Queensland Museum Network CEO Dr Jim Thompson said while there was an outstanding lineup of nominees for the State’s Fossil Emblem, he couldn’t think of a more worthy winner.

Muttaburrasaurus has been synonymous with Queensland Museum since it was described by our palaeontologists in 1981, and thanks to the iconic replica skeleton that stands proud within the museum, Queenslanders have come to know and love this home-grown dinosaur over the decades,” Dr Thompson said.

“Mutt, as people affectionately call it, is one of the most complete skeletons of an Australian Dinosaur and is a great ambassador for palaeontology and dinosaur history.”

Queensland’s Muttaburrasaurus is a national icon and global treasure

Queensland Museum palaeontologist Dr Scott Hocknull said Queensland’s Muttaburrasaurus was a national icon and global treasure.

“I started volunteering at the Queensland Museum as a kid 30 years ago and Muttaburrasaurus was the first dinosaur fossil I got to work on,” Dr Hocknull said.

“It inspired me then, as it will do for countless budding palaeontologists in the future.

“I used to dig dinosaurs as a kid, but now I do it for real and I can thank Muttaburrasaurus for this.”

The next step in making Muttaburrasaurus the state’s fossil emblem includes amending the Emblems of Queensland Act 2005 to confirm ‘Mutt’s’ official status.

To learn more about Queensland’s emblems, flags and icons visit:

Where is Muttaburra?

Muttaburra is located 152 kilometres from Barcaldine in Outback Queensland via State Route 19.

What else is there to see in Muttaburra?

While on an Outback trek in July 2022, I visited Muttaburra, the geographical centre of Queensland, to see the Muttaburrasaurus Interpretation Centre and the Dr Arratta Memorial Museum where my father was the first baby born after Dr Arratta’s arrival in 1925.

Here I’m pointing to where my father, William C. Scott, is recognised as the first baby born in Muttaburra after the arrival of Dr Arratta in 1925. With me is Margaretha Siebert from the Dr Arratta Memorial Museum.

Muttaburra has the distinction of being the town closest to the geographic centre of Queensland. A monument, erected in recognition of this significance is located on Nev Bullen Drive near the Dr Arratta Memorial Museum. PHOTO: Selfie!



Looking for inspiration for your next adventure?

Is the daily rat race leaving you feeling exhausted?

Jocelyn Magazine acts as a source of inspiration to help you tantalise your taste buds and indulge your curiosity while also travelling.

So, if it’s time for a new adventure, check out some of our travel destination posts here today!

October is Mental Health Awareness Month and with it comes a flurry of stories on suicide in the news. This is an important time to talk about suicide prevention, and also how suicide affects families, friends, and communities. In this article, I’m sharing some words from ABC’s chief online political writer Annabel Crabb that tell why conversations matter, and how her recent presentation in Hervey Bay mattered to me.

Annabel Crabb: ABC’s chief online political writer on her brother’s suicide

Suicide in the news - lady presenter

When ABC’s chief online political writer Annabel Crabb was first billed as the keynote speaker for the annual Lines in the Sand festival on the Fraser Coast, I was one of the first to book a ticket.

However, the Covid pandemic put her talk on hold for three years.

So, in September 2022, when she could finally talk in person at the resurrected festival, it was a long-anticipated event.

I didn’t know what her topic would be, but that didn’t matter.

As a former journalist and long-time fan of her work, I knew it would be worth hearing, regardless.

A topic she spoke about during the Q&A session afterwards, however, resonated with me to a far greater extent than anything else she’d prepared about her life’s journey from a small farm near Adelaide to reporting on politics in Canberra.

Early in the session, she told us she was taking a break from her long-service leave to speak, but later, while talking about music and how songs can evoke memories, she elaborated further, sharing some insight into her family’s recent tragedy.

Behind the smiles and laughter of her witty presentation was great sadness—she was grieving the loss of her brother to suicide.

“I don’t mean to get too depressing, but I’ve had a very weird, horrible year because my brother died in January (2022),” Annabel said.

“He took his own life, which was very confronting for me and my family. That’s part of the reason I’m on leave now, to fall apart a little bit.

“You know, I made a decision early on after that happened, to talk about it in podcasts because one of the first things I learned as a ‘baby’ journalist was that we didn’t report suicides.

“Looking back on that, it’s the cruellest thing.

“I know that at the time that was our policy, because, you know, to deter copycats, but what a lonely thing it is to lose someone in your life and have people pretend it didn’t happen.

“It’s horrible. Horrible!

“So, when you’re going through something very dark like that and you’re surrounded by friends, then, that is the way through.

“There’s no easy way, but having company is very helpful.

“Also, having people tell you totally inappropriate jokes throughout, is something that I’ve really learned.

“People often worry about what to say to bereaved people.

“I remember when Leigh Sales’s father died suddenly, she had just finished writing her excellent book Any Ordinary Day, which is all about this.

“I’d just finished reading the proofs of that book, so when she rang me and said ‘Dad is in hospital; it’s not good’, I went straight around to her house.

“I didn’t feel awkward and I wasn’t afraid because I’d just read her own bloody book, which she’d written on how to handle this situation.

“How is that for prep? It’s a great book, by the way! Everyone should read it.”

How conversations on suicide can help the bereaved

I was grateful that Annabel spoke so candidly about her brother’s suicide at her presentation.

Back in the 1990s, when I was a budding journalist, I too learned that reporting on suicide was off limits to the media, and we respected the theory of the day.

Tragically, in 2013, my husband died of suicide and I’ve found the silence still exists, not just in media but throughout our society.

I’ve found most people avoid talking about suicide, and while I agree it is difficult, open conversations are important in helping bereaved families with their grief.

Annabel recommended reading Any Ordinary Day: Blindsides, Resilience and What Happens After the Worst Day of Your Life, so I’ve purchased a Kindle version to do so.

For anyone else wishing to read it too, just click on the image and follow the link.

Feeling down? Help is just a phone call away!

If you or anyone close to you is distressed or experiencing an emergency, call Triple Zero (000) as soon as possible.

Counselling support services include:


EV upsurge is for grey nomads too!

Grey Nomad? You might not know it but there’s a trend spreading through our population like wildfire—electric vehicles (EVs) are popping up all over Australia!

It makes sense too; with fuel prices skyrocketing, many grey nomads can’t afford the high cost of running a camper or motorhome anymore without sacrificing their lifestyle or job possibilities elsewhere, and travelling.

But fear not. This upsurge in electric vehicles doesn’t just apply to those who lead lives solely in cities and other built-up areas.

If you’re a grey nomad tripping around Australia, electric cars, camper vans, and even motorhomes, are great options.

And yes, they do exist and are coming onto the Australian market soon.

In an Australian-first, ACE EV Group is about to launch its commercial fleet in Brisbane.

Electric vehicles are affordable to run and eco-friendly, so if you’re looking for a new way to travel, why not consider an EV?

It might surprise you how much you enjoy the experience.

Read on to find out why an electric vehicle might be perfect for your next Australian trip.

Electric vehicles

ACE: Creating history with Australian electric vehicles

With a mission to make the world cleaner and more sustainable, ACE EV Group has been working for over six years. Soon, their dream takes a major step forward.

On July 2 and 3, 2022, Managing Director Greg McGarvie and his team will launch its first range of Australian-made commercial electric vehicles at the Electric Dreams Exhibition in Brisbane.

“That’s when we’ll also be joining other EV companies to launch EMMA Inc. Electric Mobility Manufacturers Australia, which formed in February,” Greg said.

“We have six vehicles in our first production this June and July, including the V1 Transformer that would be ideal as a campervan or small motorhome, being about the size of a Ford Transit.

“All are to be manufactured here in Australia, but I can’t announce a production start date yet.

“We’ve had some challenges with government red tape, still to be resolved. Provided that happens soon, we’ll be assembling from about August.

“The V2 Transformer, which will be about the size of a Mercedes Sprinter, will be available about the end of next year. This one we want to be a real transformer.

“We call it the future transformer because the back will drop off in minutes and you can substitute it with a camper back, an ambulance back, a ute back, or refrigerated van back; whatever you like.

“I’ll be using one as my mobile office. I can be out in the middle of Australia and it’ll be like the NASA moon Landers.

“My solar panels will be out and I’ll sit there collecting free energy from the sun, charging up for the next trip.”

Greg said the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources Commonwealth of Australia (Commonwealth) and Loddon Clean Energy Pty Ltd (Grantee) had provided $5 million to establish EV manufacturing and develop a mobile energy management device for grid services.

Sleek and futuristic EVs, perfect for grey nomads

The all-electric V1 Transformer is sleek and futuristic and can easily be fitted with bed and kitchen facilities, making it perfect for camping trips.

“There is plenty of standing room and I’m six-foot (1.8 metres) tall; I could sleep in it if I wanted to.

“In fact, I drove the slave version up from Victoria during the 2022 New South Wales floods,” Greg said.

“At traffic lights in Sydney, I put the motor to an acceleration test,” he said. “I had sports cars beside me. I put my foot down on the V1 and was looking in the rear vision mirror at them. Electric motors have instant torque—there was no going through gears or time lapse in getting the motor up to speed.”

Greg said that when going downhill, the electric motor provided the most accurate speed control, as it acted as a brake.

“The motor slows the vehicle down to keep the right speed while also recharging the battery.

“Basically, it changes from being a motor to a generator, a large enough hill and you refill the tank giving more range.”

ACE all-electric motors are pure electric, not hybrid, which use a combination of internal combustion and electric motors.

Greg said that exactly when the V1 Transformer would be available and at what cost largely depended on what government benefits came into play.

“We’re selling the vehicle at about $55k; you can then lease or rent the battery. If you really want to buy the battery as well, the combined cost will be about $88k. Any fit-outs are additional.”

EV batteries: How far, how much, and for how long?

The life expectancy of an ACE EV battery was more than 10 years, Greg said.

“Sadly, there’s a lot of fiction out there about how far one battery charge will take you, how long the battery will last, how costly they are.

“The Janus Electric a Class 8 prime mover has a range of 600 kilometres.

“Drivers must rest by law after five hours of driving; it takes five minutes to swap batteries, many times faster than filling it with diesel.”

Greg said grey nomads travelling long distances could invest in larger batteries. Or, for people with smaller vehicles, there’s also the battery rental option.

“Around town, most people now probably fill up their vehicle once a fortnight. With an EV, they can come home and recharge every night; the next morning it’s ready.

“Cost comparisons, for an EV to drive the same distance as a fossil fuel car with a tank full of fuel, unlucky if it costs more than $10, with home solar much less.”

Greg said ACE EVs could be regularly charged throughout Australia at designated stations, with solar panels, or by using the ACE Mobile Energy Management System devices with domestic power points.

“The additional benefit for ACE Electric Vehicles with the MEMS Device is if your house has a power outage, your EV can power the house, even your coffee machine, or charge other electric vehicles.

“And, tradesmen and women can go to a new worksite site and start working with their tools plugged into their V1 transformer. It’s a real asset for unpowered sites to use the vehicle as a power source.”

5 reasons to go electric

Greg said driving an EV was just like driving petrol or diesel vehicles, except:

  • They don’t steal your oxygen
  • They don’t pollute city air with toxic exhaust gases
  • They don’t need a lot of service work with 30,000 km service intervals
  • They’re inexpensive to run with solar less than $1 per 100 km
  • There are more power points around than petrol stations

Greg said mechanical failures were more complex with petrol and diesel engines because there were so many parts; in the outback, you might have to wait for ages for spare parts.

“With electric vehicles, as long as you’ve got internet connectivity, like with mobile phones, a lot of the problems can be sorted out then and there.

“Where you have satellite connectivity, it’s generally more reliable than the mobile phone network.

“If you forget to do the service, it won’t matter much because your vehicle is connected like your mobile phone. So, it’s updating and monitoring batteries and other vehicle systems.

“To forget a service is less damaging than for fossil fuel vehicles, but it’s not recommended.”

Greg said there were no real issues driving an EV in Outback Australia.

“There are power points wherever there is civilization, and if worst comes to the worst, rest a day or so and recharge from the sun, relaxing in the shade of your awning of solar panels.

“There is more nervousness when driving a fuel or diesel vehicle anywhere in the outback, with sometimes limited, or expensive, opportunities to refuel.

“With an EV camper, you might have to wait for a little while recharging, but you could use a solar awning to recharge your batteries while you relax in the shade and enjoy the environment.

“The biggest issue I’ve got with my EV is remembering to fill the water bottle for the windscreen wipers.”

EV Rumour Mill: Fact or fiction?

Rumour 1: Electric vehicle batteries are prone to spontaneous combustion.
Greg: The rate of fires in battery-powered vehicles is much lower than in fossil fuel vehicles. ACE EV has chosen the safest battery technology. To get a fire, something has to be dramatically wrong. It is not a natural thing for the battery. Rumours about this may have been magnified by some companies making electric vehicles cheaply. There’s really got to be some clear guidelines and quality control with battery use.

Rumour 2:
In all-electric vehicles, even the door handles are electric. If the electronics fail while you’re inside, you can’t get out.
Greg: Rubbish. There’s always a manual way to get out of the vehicle.

Is it time to jump on the EV bandwagon?

The electric vehicle revolution is well and truly underway, and for grey nomads keen to visit Outback Australia, the best time to jump on the bandwagon is nigh.

Electric vehicles are not only better for the environment but they’re also a lot of fun to drive, making your journey that much more enjoyable.


RACQ’s take on electric vehicles

As more electric vehicle models enter the market, interest in EVs continues to grow.

Follow this link to find some answers from RACQ about these new cars:



DISCLAIMER: Jocelyn Magazine is not affiliated with ACE EV Group and has received no payment, free products, services or anything else to write and publish this article. For more information on this disclaimer visit

All photos and YouTube videos are published with permission.

Greg McGarvie’s big dream: Electric vehicles for Australia

Launching a fleet of light commercial electric vehicles for the Australian market is at the top of Greg McGarvie’s bucket list.

It’s a bigger dream than many of us have, but it’s one that’s been several years in the making.

Now, the ACE EV Group Managing Director and his team are set to launch Australia’s first fleet of commercial electric vehicles at the Electric Dreams Exhibition on July 2 and 3 in Brisbane.

After travelling along arduous roads of bureaucratic red tape, they now have only one big hurdle to cross — securing a permanent manufacturing site.

Securing a permanent manufacturing site the last hurdle

greg mcgarvie

Greg McGarvie, ACE EV Group Managing Director

The search for a manufacturing site started five years ago when Greg approached the Queensland Government about the former Maryborough TAFE complex on Nagel Street.

“It has everything we need. It’s got primary and secondary optic fibre, which is good for our global head office,” Greg said.

“It also had a restaurant, which would be great for all the workers there; it has room to expand, and it’s out of town.

“The other great advantage is it’s got rail lines down one side, a main road down the other, and it’s near a substation if we ever needed the energy, from local solar farms.

“TAFE did automotive training there, so it’s a registered automotive workshop.

“All we wanted to do was use that workshop to assemble things. Our process of assembly is actually cleaner than when TAFE did its automotive training there with fossil fuel vehicles. Do we get any traction? No.”

“So we went to South Australia where I had a bureaucrat ask how he could help. He introduced us to potential business partners and helped clear the way to set up in South Australia, but in the end, resigned from the government.

“Nevertheless, we got some traction with a launch on Sunrise, but nothing more happened.

“The background advice I got was to go overseas, make it, prove it works over there, and then come back.”

“So, I reached out to the Queensland government, again, and they actually wrote requesting a proposal, by this time the directors had invested $6.4 mill in development and we assembled the first prototype vehicle at the MTAQ in Queensland in March 2019.

“Subsequently, through the advocacy and assistance of Senator Rex Patrick, we secured a federal government grant of $5 million.

“This grant was issued under Australia’s obligations to the Paris Agreement the project to establish EV manufacturing in Australia and to develop our Mobile Energy Management Device to offer grid security services.

“The renewed interest of the Queensland Government was marked in August 2021.

“In the proposal, ACE EV Group sought to lease the Maryborough site to assemble our first seven vehicles, but we haven’t been able to do that, with a legal quagmire created in the process.

“A simple lease became a high-level due diligence process, totally divorced from the requirements of setting up a temporary lease. Other parties were ready to join the project.

“Government insisted they would not deal with this proposal for a lease unless it was through a law firm negotiating directly with their legal representative.

“Time delays and process insisted on by government put at risk delivering on the federal government grant and timely provision of vehicles to a major client.

“This exercise, like a chapter of Yes Prime Minister, the lawyer at a cost well over $8000; building this project over five years, it has taken my house and Super to get to this point!

“At times, I feel a bit like Colonel Sanders.

“Now, at further expense, we have been forced to Brisbane to deliver the first vehicles on time.

“This should have been in my home region (Maryborough, Qld), with the start of jobs, training and advanced manufacturing. So now we’re contracting a workshop in Brisbane and getting everything done there.

“We are up against timelines now, however, plan to have our first light commercial EV ready for the Electric Dreams Expo, July 2 and 3, at the Brisbane EKKA.”

Greg McGarvie - electric vehicles

ACE EV Group’s V1 Transformer is among the first fleet of light commercial electric vehicles to be launched in Australia.

Greg McGarvie’s journey to launch EV fleet

The launch at the Electric Dreams Exhibition will be a key milestone in Greg’s life’s work and passion for the environment.

“ACE EV Group is really an environment-friendly manufacturer, producing transport that is clean, inexpensive and robust, able to charge off home solar,” he said.

“I have always enjoyed doing positive things for the environment, and been involved in environmental groups,” he said.

“I’m a marine biologist, having trained at James Cook University in the early 1970s.

“During lectures in oceanography and physical oceanography, I learned about some issues that we see happening now in our environment; changes in ecosystem diversity and the weather systems. It’s scary that what I was told all those years ago is actually happening.”

As well as setting up the Australian Marine Protection Association for the shipping industry in 2000,  Greg also ran for Labor in the Federal seat of Dawson in 1990.

“Bob Hawke launched his campaign in Mackay the day he announced the election.”

After three recounts, and in hindsight, Greg was pleased he did not secure a seat in parliament but said it was a great learning experience.

“Setting up EV manufacturing in Australia is my last major project before retirement.”

Greg McGarvie - Great Barrier Reef

Saving the wonderful underwater world of the Great Barrier Reef is part of Greg McGarvie’s motivation to manufacture EVs. Photo: Shutterstock

Oceans vital for Earth

Greg said oceans were vital for the survival of humanity on Earth,

The biosphere managed by nature created conditions that allowed humans to flourish, but this growth success with fossil fuel pollution threatens the future of our grandchildren.

“Most don’t realize if you shrink the Earth down to the size of a basketball, we have just a mug full of water that provides only 70% of the earth’s oxygen.

“It’s our responsibility to look after that mug full of ocean.

“Our oceans provide the rainfall we need to grow things on land. They are the air conditioner creating our climate, so it’s comfortable for us to live here.

“Unfortunately, burning fossil fuel wastefully in vehicles creates pollution and elevated CO2 levels, raising acid levels in our oceans as the carbon dioxide is absorbed easily, creating carbonic acid as in soft drinks.

“The changes in acidity impact the biodiversity in the ocean. As many of us know, the Great Barrier Reef, which is an asset to Australia, is under threat through sea temperature rise, pollution and the absorption of CO2.

“There are other impacts as well, on reproductive lifecycles and ecosystem stress.

“We kill off the reef, we kill off jobs, tourism, fisheries and the Australian lifestyle; it’s costing us in so many ways. Another major issue for Australia is our national security of fossil fuel, currently directly linked to fossil fuel supplies. We’ve got just five days available on land, 16 days in ships at sea, none of them Australian flagged.

“Australia needs to give EVs priority and use the sun to reduce our dependence on fossil fuel, the country will grind to a halt and suffer badly if fuel supplies are stopped, no war is needed to take Australia, just an interruption to fuel supplies and we are economy is paralyzed, EV uptake is a national security issue!

“The benefits of EVs are economic, environmental and productivity with new jobs and opportunities.

“This is my motivation for manufacturing EVs in Australia. We have all the ingredients here, including our grandchildren.

“The other one, of course, is that this unique manufacturing will actually work in Australia. We have the technology and the partnerships.”

“What’s critical to the venture is getting the government really active in supporting this initiative.

“We’re not a business that’s asking for more money; we’re asking for support and access to a facility, which has been a stranded government for over 10 years, costing us as taxpayers.

“Investors are talking with us, but they’re shy until they see real positive government traction. And getting that hasn’t been easy.”

Ultimately, Greg’s dream is to sit in the shade beside his V2 Transformer motorhome in the middle of Australia with solar panels out, collecting free energy from the sun, and charging batteries ready for his next outback adventure.

That day is close to becoming a reality!


For more information about ACE EV Group and how to contact them visit


Greg McGarvie's misison to save Planet Earth - Great Barrier Reef

A scuba diver views a large orange-coloured common gorgonian sea fan and a variety of colourful coral in the Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Photo: Shutterstock


DISCLAIMER: Jocelyn Magazine is not affiliated with ACE EV Group and has received no payment, free products, services or anything else to write and publish this article. For more information on this disclaimer visit

All photos are published with permission.

A World Without Love: How Would We Survive?

Love is in the air! No, really, it is. Love fills our lives with happiness and warmth on Valentine’s Day and every day.

But what would happen if love disappeared? What if we lived in a world without love?

This month marks the 58th anniversary of the release of Peter and Gordon’s single ‘World Without Love’ in February 1964.

The song explores what life would be like without that powerful emotion.

So, where would we be without it?

We’d be deprived of romantic love, as well as parental, sibling, friend, pet, and community love, to name just a few.

Love-pathy is all too common

Love is all around us, but it appears much of the world’s population has been infected by a kind of “love-pathy”.

Too many times I’ve heard people say: “I don’t do Valentine’s Day.”

Are these people being honest with themselves?

Perhaps it’s really that they don’t do the over-commercialisation of Valentine’s Day. Fair enough.

Or, either they can’t afford to buy gifts, flowers or chocolates, or don’t want to?

Or, perhaps they don’t want to show more affection for one person than another?

Whatever their reasons, if they want to, there’s always a way to show affection without it costing a mint: sing a song, recite a poem or do something nice for your special someone.

But to deny the celebration of love is to deny the celebration of life itself.

Life is love. It’s all around us and Valentine’s Day is a special time to celebrate love.

There are so many different types of relationships in this world, from the most emotional and intimate bonds between two people to wider families or communities with their own unique traditions around celebrating romance.

Valentine’s Day truly embodies what we should be doing every day: living life fully.

How did Valentine’s Day begin?

The traditions of St Valentine’s Day are old and rich, dating back to AD 496 when Pope Gelasius I established it to honour the martyred Roman saint who died on February 14 back around 250 AD.

The romantic notion eventually became associated with Valentine’s Day in the 14th and 15th centuries due mostly because people began pairing up as “lovebirds” do in springtime.

When England became a more formal society in the 1700s, people began the tradition of expressing their feelings for each other by giving flowers and sending greeting cards.

These gifts and cards were, and still are, known as valentines.

Valentine’s Day symbols

Symbols representing Valentine’s Day have been around for centuries.

The heart-shaped outline was used in ancient Rome to symbolise love, while doves are considered a sign of peace because they’re known as “the bird of happiness”.

You might even see an image labelled “Cupid” on some valentines; this figure is traditionally winged and often holding his bow (to represent affection) or arrow (for accuracy).

In Italy, people give valentine keys to romantic lovers as an invitation to unlock their hearts, according to legend.

Keys are also used in Italy for children who have epilepsy – Saint Valentine himself is said to have created this tradition so the children could be protected from the condition’s evil effects.

Open hearts to Valentine’s Day

Today, we need more people to be aware of the powerful emotion and to open their hearts and minds to it.

The feeling of love is so powerful that it can make our lives worth living.

We need this to stay happy and healthy, not just for ourselves but also those around us who depend on how we act in order to provide them with stability too.

This Valentine’s Day, I ask you: how can we live in a world without love?

Let’s all feel the warmth and make sure that doesn’t happen.

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! Love is definitely all around us.

Whether you’re celebrating with your partner, your friends, or by yourself, enjoy the day.



Looking for inspiration for your next adventure?

Is the daily rat race leaving you feeling exhausted?

Jocelyn Magazine acts as a source of inspiration to help you indulge your taste buds and curiosity while also discovering the history and culture of Australia.

So, if you are looking for your next adventure, check out some of our travel destination posts here.


Hypodrive founder grasps 1 per cent chance

When Sharon Whitchurch left home for work in 2006, she couldn’t have imagined that 16 years later she’d be organising a charity ball to raise awareness about the dangers of driving with medical conditions.

Yet on 8 December 2021, she made a public call for people to get behind the inaugural Black Tie Masquerade Ball in Maryborough for that reason.

On that fateful day 16 years ago, Sharon, who has since re-married and changed her surname to Bell, was involved in a car accident that almost claimed her life.

Doctors gave her just a one per cent chance of survival and after six weeks in a coma, her life support system was turned off. Two weeks later she woke.

“Investigations revealed the crash resulted from a driver experiencing a hypoglycaemic episode, a condition in which the blood glucose levels drop below 4mmol/L, whereby cognitive functions can become impaired,” Sharon said.

Forty-five operations and years of rehabilitation later, Sharon is living proof that the will to live can overcome such enormous obstacles.



Disclosure: As a affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases made through links in this post.

Tragedy leads to Hypodrive

In 2009, Sharon formed Hypodrive, a not-for-profit organisation that campaigns for awareness about how to stay safe when driving with medical conditions.

She said the best time to educate drivers about the associated dangers was when they were learning.

“Each year in Queensland, there are about 2000 Learner Drivers and 2500 P Platers driving while they have medical conditions,” she said.

“For these young adults, the only legal requirement prior to getting a full driver’s license is to notify the Transport Department that they have a condition.

“All they need is a doctor’s medical certificate stating they are fit to drive.

“The onus is on the drivers to know if their conditions, such as diabetes, which fluctuates, are stable enough to drive.

“With 100 hours of driver training required to get a P Plate license, none of these hours is dedicated to learning how to stay safe on our roads while living with a medical condition.

“This is where Hypodrive’s 5 to Drive program comes in.

“We believe all learners have the right to know what resources are available to them in order to drive safely and help reduce our tragic road tolls.

“The cost for each participant to complete their training is about $500.”

All proceeds from the inaugural Black Tie Masquerade Ball will benefit learner drivers with medical conditions within the Fraser Coast region.

Don masks for Hypodrive charity ball

On 24 September 2022, Fraser Coat Tourism and Events Chair Greig Bolderrow will MC the inaugural Black Tie Masquerade Ball at the Maryborough City Hall.

The popular Fraser Coast show band Soul City will provide music from their repertoire of soul, funk and rock covers.

International artist KTK will provide set-ups, and Kaitlin’s Aerial & Dance Academy will give world-class performances, including spectacular circus acts by students of the local Circus Academy.

The event is being supported by the Rotary Club of Maryborough Sunrise, which will run the bar (cash/card available).

Ball tickets cost $130 each and include a three-course dinner (served Canapé style), and some drinks.

To book, and for more information about the Hypodrive and the 5 to Drive Program, visit


PHOTO: Sharon Bell (nee Whitchurch) and learner driver Robert Tutton launch the charity masquerade ball campaign.





Looking for inspiration for your next adventure?

Is the daily rat race leaving you feeling exhausted?

Jocelyn Magazine acts as a source of inspiration to help you indulge your taste buds and curiosity while also discovering the history and culture of Australia.

So, if you are looking for your next adventure, check out some of our travel destination posts here.

Mary bell for Nuyina, Australia’s new icebreaker

When Australia’s new Antarctic icebreaker, the RSV Nuyina, makes its maiden voyage later this year, it will be carrying a bell made in Maryborough.

Nuyina; Ship at seaA team from the Australian National Antarctic Research Expedition (ANARE), made a special trip to Maryborough on 15 July 2021 to watch the casting of the ship’s bell at Old’s Engineering in North Street.

ANARE Club National Council president Richard Unwin said Nuyina was built in Romania to replace the Aurora Australis, Australia’s Antarctic flagship from 1989 until 2020.

“Aurora Australis has been retired and the new one (Nuyina) will be the main lifeline to Australia’s Antarctic and sub-Antarctic research stations,” Mr Unwin said.

“It is 160 metres long, weighs 25,500 tonnes and will carry two million litres of fuel to restock all four (Antarctic) stations.”

Nuyina was almost complete in July 2020 but the Covid-19 pandemic delayed its last trials. It’s now expected to arrive in Hobart later this year.

Mr Unwin said the bell would be onboard Nuyina throughout its expected 30-year lifespan life.

“It’s good to see tradespeople still around that can use traditional methods to make bells for ships such as the Nuyina.”

Nuyina bell a link to the Antarctic’s past

Olds Engineering managing director Robert Olds said the bell would be a link to all people who have worked at Australia’s Antarctic research stations.

“This bell is made from a metal that’s known by several names including Gun Metal No. 1 and Admiralty Gun Metal,” Mr Olds said.

“Queensland Rail uses the same composition (88 per cent copper, 10 per cent tin and two per cent zinc) and call it Steam Metal.

“This metal was used to make the guns that fired cannonballs in the early days of the British Admiralty when they fought against the French and Spanish.”

Ship’s soul

Often considered to be a ship’s soul, bells are used for signalling, keeping time and sounding alarms. They’re also used for onboard ceremonies such as baptisms, weddings and funerals.

“If you find an old ship’s bell, have a look inside – you may see engraved names,” Mr Olds said.

To make the Nuyina’s bell, Olds modified an existing pattern, cast the metal in sand and polished it with a lathe and hand-held sander.

ANARE Gratitude

ANARE National Council secretary Trevor Luff thanked Olds Engineering and Hayes Metals for the bell’s creation.

“We thank the Olds family for their most generous offer of casting the bell and also to Hayes Metals, New Zealand and Australia for their most generous offer to supply the metal free of charge,” Mr Luff said.

“We will never forget the experience. We were so excited driving home the conversation never stopped and in a blink were out the front of our house in Cooroy.”

Olds bell for the Nuyina

Olds Engineering apprentices Lachlan Hansen (left) and Calen Simpson, Olds managing director Robert Olds Antarctic Engineer author Dale Jacobsen, ANARE Australian and Queensland secretary Trevor Luff , Peter Olds, ANARE Club National Council president Richard Unwin, and ANARE member Peter McKenzie.

Olds Engineering apprentices Calen Simpson (left) and Lachlan Hansen chip the remaining cast from the Nuyina’s new bell, watched by Doug Eaton (back left), Antarctic Engineer author Dale Jacobsen, ANARE member Peter McKenzie, ANARE Australian and Queensland secretary Trevor Luff and ANARE Club National Council president Richard Unwin, and Olds managing director Robert Olds.

Olds Engineering apprentices Lachlan Hansen (left) and Calen Simpson chipping remains of the cast from the bell.

Olds Engineering apprentices Calen Simpson (left) and Lachlan Hansen chip the remaining cast from the Nuyina’s new bell, watched by Doug Eaton (back left), Antarctic Engineer author Dale Jacobsen, ANARE member Peter McKenzie, ANARE Australian and Queensland secretary Trevor Luff and president Richard Unwin, and Olds managing director Robert Olds.


Olds makes bell for Nuyina

Peter Olds, Doug Eaton, Robert Olds, Calen Simpson, Lachlan Hansen, and Richard Unwin check the bell after being removed from its cast.



Mary Ann’s priceless nameplate comes home

A priceless piece of Queensland’s railway history has reappeared after 127 years.

Ipswich railway enthusiast Merv Volker, who visited the Maryborough last week, has donated the nameplate from the original Mary Ann locomotive to the Whistlestop museum where its replica locomotive is housed.

Mary Ann was the first steam locomotive built in Queensland by John Walker & Co. Ltd. in 1873 for William Pettigrew and William Sim.

The timber pioneers used the loco to haul logs in the Tin Can Bay area but she vanished in 1893 after a Mary River flood and fire at the Dundathu sawmill where she was stored.

In 1999, Maryborough engineer Peter Olds launched a full-size replica that he and his team at Olds Engineering built using just three historic photographs to guide its creation.

The Mary Ann replica is now an iconic attraction in Maryborough, regularly chuffing her way through Queens Park pulling carriages filled with enthusiastic sightseers.

Where has Mary Ann’s nameplate been for 127 years?

Mr Volker, a former Granville resident and now volunteers at the Ipswich railway museum, said he bought the solid brass curved plate bearing the name ‘Mary Ann’ from a long-time friend in Gympie.

“He had it for some years before I bought it from him 23 years ago,” Mr Volker said.

“I don’t know how he came to have it and I don’t want to say how much I paid, but it wasn’t a lot.

“Several times I’ve been going to bring it up to Maryborough but I’ve had doubts about its authenticity.

“I couldn’t give the museum something that was a reproduction. Peter can make his own reproductions – I don’t need to give them one.”

Is it the original nameplate?

Mr Olds said he was thrilled to receive the “priceless” railway artifact from Mr Volker.

“It has to be the genuine plate,” he said. “You just can’t put a price on this type of history.”

Telltale signs include it having a reverse curve and no grooves on the back.

“We also got a piece of plate off an old boiler that’s three-foot six diameter and it fits exactly.

“And, the shape of lettering on the plate is identical to the lettering shown in the old photographs.”

Mr Olds said the nameplate would have been attached to Mary Ann’s original boiler with two screws.

“There’d be steam pressure on those screws and they wouldn’t come out too easily. Whoever took it off would have had to do so with great care.

“It’s amazing the plate is still in such good condition, apart from being slightly bent.”

What will happen to the historic nameplate?

Mr Olds said the Maryborough City Whistlestop committee was planning to fix the original nameplate to the Mary Ann replica.

“It’ll be on the rear end of the engine so passengers can see the plate from the front carriage, touch it and take photographs.”

Mary Ann

Railway enthusiast Merv Volker (left) donates the nameplate from the original Mary Ann to Peter Olds on behalf of the Whistlestop museum in Maryborough, Qld.

Why donate it now?

When asked what prompted him to donate the plate now, Mr Volker said that being 76 years of age, the time had come to downsize his collection of railway memorabilia.

“There comes a time when you have to clean up after yourself,” he laughed.

“I have a large collection and if I was hit by a bus tomorrow, (my sister) Marilyn (Jensen) would have to clean it up.

“It’s a hell of a job. It’ll take me all year to dispose of it. We’ve been going a couple of months already and there’s still so much other stuff.

“My collection includes a lot of Queensland Railway china. I’m not letting that go, but the rest can go.

“Marilyn knows that if something happens to me, she’s to give the china to the railway museum at Ipswich because there are pieces in there they haven’t got.

“Different people who are involved in collecting railway history have different prime subjects. Some people collect tickets only. Others collect things such as lamps and uniforms.”

Call for more relics and photos

Mr Olds said the Maryborough City Whistlestop committee was keen to accept more donations of other local railway relics and photos, including the second locomotive made by John Walker & Co. Ltd, Mary Ann’s sister ‘Dundathu’.

To contact the committee phone (07) 4121 0444 or email

For more on Mary Ann’s history, visit and