#35 – Robbie Porter

January 19, 2019

This week we meet Robbie Porter, a Wynnum local, who is driving the oyster reef restoration in Moreton Bay.

Robbie is the type of person that you love having a cold drink with, whilst telling stories. I always come away from our catchups feeling great, as well as a little inadequate as Robbie is an accomplished chef, house restorer, landscaper, film set designer, fisherman, … I jest, but he is seriously talented at whatever he turns his hand to.

When he told me of his vision to restore the naturally occurring shellfish reefs that were prevalent before the cement industry decimated them, I wanted to help in any small way.

Robbie outside the oyster shell drying out facility

What brought you to the area? 

I had grown up in Brisbane’s west and lived in Sydney for a few years . My brother in law is a keen sailor. He moved here to be close to his hobby. My wife and I visited him often and we saw how glorious Wynnum is. We quickly realised that we had found our home. The bay was like a magnet. We bought and renovated our first house on Tingal Rd opposite the old Paint Place. We could never move away now. 

Collecting shells that would have been landfill
The oyster shells dry out for a minimum of 4 months before becoming new reef structures

Do you have any interesting or memorable experiences in Wynnum that you would like to share? 

One that is relevant to Wynnum; We bought a block of land at Wynnum North with the plan to move a Queenslander to it. It was tricky to find one but we got lucky and found a developer that was going to demolish one in Cedar St. We cut it in half and moved it one night via the water front. All the power lines were very low and needed to be lifted one at a time to get the 2 pieces of house under them. At one stage the house hit one of the large fig trees on the waterfront. It ripped off the gutter and damaged the front of the house. We had to scramble around and pick up all the roofing screws and gutter before we could continue. It took all night but finally we parked the house up near the roundabout on Wynnum North Rd and Pritchard St. The next day we moved it to our block and put it back together. We love our home now. It is strange but it feels like is was always here. 

Robbie with Joan Pease and Matthew Hayden who supported the Wynnum Fishing Classic, which raised money for the oyster reef restoration.

What would you love to see in Wynnum?

I would love to see a fantastic bar and restaurant on the water. I dream about owning the one on Wynnum Creek and turning it into a seafood restaurant and wine bar. I have this dream that I could build a large floating pontoon that we could lower into the water so that you can have your feet in the water while you have a drink on a hot day. However I’m sure it would be a hot spot for drowned phones. 

Robbie and Pipi at Rose Bay

Any link to a website that you would like to share? 

I have been lucky enough to be involved with OzFish Unlimited. We are working to restore the lost oyster reefs of Moreton Bay. We would love you to join us. Find out more at www.ozfishmoretonbay.org.  

Pipi has her own instagram, sharing her morning walks https://www.instagram.com/pipis_morning_mangroves/

Who or What would you like me to cover in future posts on When in Wynnum? 

Annette and Lachlan, My brother in law and his fiancée.

Judy and Rob, My mother and father in law.

The old fish and chip shop on Wynnum Creek.

Enjoying time on the water
Pipi the neck warmer

#34 – Ang

June 8, 2018

This week we meet Ang, who runs the B-K Barber, near the foodworks on Randall and Wynnum Rd.  Ang has been cutting my hair, and altering my clothes for the last 10 years or so, and it has been great chatting about our kids of similar ages, as they have grown up.

That’s right, he also does clothing alterations, and is great at both!

The overflow chairs can fill up!

What brought you to the area?

The business was located here.


What do you like about the area?

Wynnum is a good place to be, close to everything !  Lots of good people and beautiful view of the bay.

The people are so friendly!

Ang won’t let me wear the spaceships one 

Lollies for the kids, small and big

Magazines for the wait

Alterations available

Great chair!

Pop in a say hi to Ang, it’s always great to share some banter with him.

#33 – Doug Tanner

May 25, 2018

This week we meet Doug Tanner, who was introduced to me through a mutual friend, and I am so glad I got to (officially) meet him, thanks Liz.  We got talking on the phone before we met up, and I realised that I do know him, at least to say hello to when I shuffle or walk along the waterfront.

I met with Doug after he had completed a particularly hard session with his running group, and we grabbed a coffee for a chat with some of his exercise buddies.  They were a great bunch of people and I got to meet John, Snakey and a number of others.

Where you will often see Doug

Doug has been running for near on 50 years, which by my reckoning means he must have started in the womb.  He has also been very active in the armed services for a lot of his life.

What brought you to the area?

We moved here in Feb 2003 and have enjoyed the lifestyle that the bayside offers.

Lots of smiles and laughs around the table post training session

Do you have any interesting or memorable experiences in Wynnum that you would like to share?

Getting involved with the Bayside Triathlon Club and the Toby Somerville running group plus the people at Manly Pool. I’ve been in a few sporting clubs in my time but none as good and as friendly as this one. A real mix of great people.

 After moving to here I found out that my Grand Father lived here in the 1930’s.

A great spot for a coffee and a chat

What would you love to see in Wynnum?

To stay as it is. Plus, can’t wait for the picture theater to open. I am a real movie buff. My Great Aunt used to own the theaters in Wynnum.

Beautiful morning at the harbour

Any link to a website that you would like to share?

Anything to do with Sir John Monash (our greatest Australian in my opinion) or Australian involvement in WW1.

Wikipedia page

John Monash Foundation

Doug and his mate Snakey, a swimming buddy

Who or What would you like me to cover in future posts on When in Wynnum?

Just articles on interesting people.  There are enough of them down here. Little snippets of local history.

Many laps have been done in this pool

Thanks for your time, and the coffee Doug!

Doug offered to take me trail running with him, which I am very much looking forward to!

Give Doug a hello when you next see him out.

See you out there along the waterfront Doug

#32 – ScooterBike Adventures

March 2, 2018

Today we meet Danny from ScooterBike Adventures, where I caught up with one of his regular group activities.  Today’s was a group of school mum’s getting active after school dropoffs.

Danny has always had an interest in our area, and been active in sport, including a sports scholarship to the USA.  I had seen the ScooterBike’s near the Manly pool, and wondered what was the story behind them, and I am so glad someone reached out and suggested I do a post about Danny (thanks Sonja!)

We met at Wynnum Creek, as the crew were heading North to the boardwalk today.  They cover various routes from Wynnum North to Lota, and the many detours along the way.

You can read more about ScooterBikes on their facebook page.

Danny checking all is good before the crew arrives

What brought you to the area?

 

 I grew up in Wynnum at Jayben  St Wynnum West. Attended Wondall Heights State School and then Brisbane State High School. After 8 years in the USA I returned to the Gold Coast then back home to Wynnum. I now live at Lota and love being close to the bay.

Do you have any interesting or memorable experiences in Wynnum that you would like to share?

 

My most memorable experience in Wynnum was when Wynnum Manly won the Brisbane rugby league comp for the first time – Great Team. Growing up in Wynnum I have a life time of great memories, my first fishing experience at about age 7 from the end of Wynnum Jetty, pumping yabbies at Lota with my brother Shaun and the mud fights that always seemed to occur , rowing our bond wood fishing boat to the leads out from Manly Harbour and catching heaps of big whiting.

Setting up ready for the session

Warm up

What would you love to see in Wynnum?

 

 I would love to see in Wynnum a genuine cycleway that separates walkers from other moving traffic, a water park area as good as Southbank, Redcliffe, Cairns. Eco Tours that show locals and tourists our beautiful bay and wildlife.

Drop by Frankie’s and rope Sarah into the photo

Any link to a website that you would like to share?

 

If you could link to Manly Creative Markets, that would be good.

Not sure what the collective noun is for ScooterBikes??

Who or What would you like me to cover in future posts on When in Wynnum?

 

I would like you to profile Cafe Le Mer at Manly. It is a hidden gem and one of my favourite chill-out coffee and eating cafes.

 I enjoyed meeting Danny and the ladies, and it looked a great way to explore our area whilst earning those Friday evening treats 🙂

#31 – Bethania Street Community Garden

February 22, 2018

Today we visit the Bethania Street Community Garden, located in Cox Park, Bethania Street, Lota.  I was welcomed by Linda and the rest of the group at their weekly get together on Wednesday mornings.

I had heard about the garden but never visited, and it was a wonderful spot, with a variety of fruit trees, vegetables and herbs.  The garden was started in September 2011 and is operated under a licence from Brisbane City Council.

Council supporting the group

Signing in for the day

Today’s plan

The crew that were available for a photo

I am a hopeless gardener, though I wish it wasn’t the case. I received some great tips when I asked specifics that could help us at home, including the homemade fly trap recipe, vegemite, who knew?  The group had a great feel about it, and it is a great community initiative.

It was time to get into the work for the morning.

 

 

Composting is an important part of a great garden, and the group takes their composting very seriously!


Local businesses such Dramanti and Perry’s fruit market, pass on their organic waste for compositing. Some even leave nice messages with the pickups.

There is a fruit orchard, which is quite impressive.

When you stop and take in the garden, there really is a lot going on in this space!

The friendly group

You can find out more about the garden on their facebook page and website links below.

facebook

website

There are some great events coming up, have a look on the events page of their website, hope to see you there!

#30 – Wynnum Central street art

January 12, 2018

This week we look at some art about our area, with the focus on a few sculptures in Wynnum Central.

The first is a drinking fountain on Bay Terrace, near edith street.

The next is a bench on Edith Street, that has the most amazing detail.

Finally, across the road from the bench, is a sculpture with birds adorning it.

 

#29 – Lota parkrun

November 20, 2017

Last Saturday was the launch of Lota parkrun, a free, weekly, timed 5km walk/jog/run at 7am every Saturday. Open to all ages and abilities. Organised entirely by volunteers. Friendly and fun.

Link to the Lota parkrun page

Lota joins sister suburb Wynnum in running a parkrun in our area.  I would say that through my participation in parkrun, I have gained a great sense of positive community feeling, meeting lots of new people (now many are good friends), as well as kicking off the weekend in such a great way.

The Lota course has a variation in surfaces: grass, concrete paths, gravel and possibly mud 🙂

I have included some photos from the launch, as well as 2 videos, one on the ground, and another of drone footage from 2  talented creatives, Nick and Hennie.

Hope to see you out there!

Event Directors Kurt and Victoria

Nick gets ready for some drone footage

 

so hot right now

Some many great crew came down to celebrate the launch.

Territory Director gets things underway (see post 1 for more on Alan and Roisin)

The next few photos are at the first turn around point near manly harbour.

So, how does one navigate the next leg without getting muddy? 

 

 

Scanning barcodes time

Volunteers were superb on the day, as always!

The following videos are superb, one from terra firma, and one from up high.

On the ground with Hennie

 

In the air with Nick

#28 – Ken Kunin

October 13, 2017

This week we meet Ken Kunin who is a musician, Personal Trainer, gym owner and the writer/performer of only the second song I have heard with Wynnum mentioned in it. Ken’s Living in Wynnum song is linked below.

Ken Kunin and his wife Kathy Sharp started Revolution Fitness 15 years ago. They predominantly focus on one on one personal training and Pilates. Every program is tailored to the individual as there is never a one size fits all solution. They work with everyone from young athletes to an older population with health issues that require a watchful eye.

Ken started On Song International this year which is a TV show in development featuring songwriters and not a karaoke elimination based show.

Ken is in pre-production with Ken Kunin & the Crooked Sky to release his 9th studio album next year.

It was great whilst chatting during the shoot, to have some great tunes being played,  I particularly enjoyed Matinee Cowboy.

I do enjoy my music, and we spoke about various bands, band members around the LA scene in the nineties, as Ken was amongst this scene in at the time. I mistakenly said I used to play, and noted a couple of chords and changes that I was enjoying while Ken was playing.  Then the hammer dropped when he said “you know you are not getting out of here without playing”. Oh, crap! You really need to learn to shut up Sean!  So I had a play on a beautiful Larrivee guitar, playing as badly as I remember, and Ken was ever so polite. I like polite people.

What brought you to the area?

My wife who lived in LA with me for 10 years is originally from Lota. After living in LA for 3 decades and being in a pretty tough music industry, I decided a sea change was in order and after several visits to Australia, it seemed a good idea at the time. It was also great moving to a place where you have family built into the equation.

Do you have any interesting or memorable experiences in Wynnum that you would like to share?

I think it was memorable or at least different living in a small community where I would bump into people that you know so frequently. Being a trainer I would often bump into clients in the supermarket that would see me and say things like “You really made my arse sore this week” which in turn would get half the line turning around wondering just what it was I did for a living.

Using his love of fitness and music to make a living

What would you love to see in Wynnum?

I would love to see Wynnum come closer to reaching its potential in many ways. There are way too many shops empty,  we also have a council that absolutely acts like a mafia and basically aims to extort small businesses at every chance possible, and a night life that is borderline non existent. It is time to try some new things to modernize the area and just putting up more units isn’t the be all and end all solution. To do the same thing year in and year out expecting a different result doesn’t show too much intelligence. It is time to recruit some forward thinking people to shake things up and invest in a more progressive future.

Any link to a website that you would like to share?

I am pretty excited about the direction of https://www.facebook.com/onsongaus/ as it is really taking flight giving songwriters a chance to shine. Also for Revolution Fitness, please visit revfit.com

 

The gym is very well equipped with quality gear.

Who or What would you like me to cover in future posts on When in Wynnum?

I would like to see you continue to do what you do which is cover people who aim to make the neighbourhood we live in a better place.

Get in contact with Ken for your fitness requirements

#27 – Savoyards

8 October 2017

This week we take a look behind the scenes of the Savoyards production, The Producers.  It was fantastic  to experience the friendliness and camaraderie of the cast and crew.

Now, confession time for me, I haven’t attended a performance by Savoyards before, and can only say that I had seen their signs, and knew that they were a local amateur theatre.  My experience blew me away with the professionalism of the group, and I am very thankful that Sherryl-Lee showed me around, behind the curtain if you will.

It really struck me how much of a community feel, and more so a family feel that this group had.  There were many relatives amongst the cast, crew and supporting team.  My guide, Sherryl-Lee, was behind the scenes soon after she was born, with her mum treading the boards in the 1960’s.  I heard that marriages have come out of the relationships formed within the group.

We first had a look at the stage around an hour before the show starts.

quite the roll call

so many marks on the stage

pre show discussion

sets getting moved in readiness for the performance

 in joke with the cast

This play’s premise is based on producing a play that is so bad that it will be a flop.  The play selected was “Springtime for Hitler“.  Whilst I did recall this fact, it was still a reflex for me to double take when I first saw the Nazi banners and costumes.  I did hear on the day about having multiple browser windows open researching various Nazi information could be a red flag if someone else happened to view your screen.

radio microphones charged and at the ready

each of the cast getting their specific mic for the show

So much support backstage!

footlights

I was then allowed into the dressing rooms to see the cast getting ready for the show.  They were all so lovely and welcoming and having a lot of fun together.  I was able to share a pre-show drink in the male changing room, which was very generous, and really set the tone that continued with the openness and friendliness in which I was received.

makeup time

Into the male dressing room, where there was lots of singing and fun conversation.

cheers!

Apparently, there is a ceremony just before curtain time with the rod below, by the male cast members. I didn’t witness, but I love that the tradition is carried through from show to show.

This staff has every show performed since 2002  

I then headed up to the catwalk with the lighting rigs and a couple of the “follow spots” are operated.

The orchestra pit just in front of the stage

final checks

follow spots nest

It was a great perspective of the theatre from the catwalk

It was then off to the lighting and sound area, where I met the crew having a catchup before show time.  I was fascinated when talking with Allan how the lighting and sound come together in design, setup and during the performance. So much so, that time got away and I heard the call that the audience will be coming in, in a couple of minutes.

View of the stage from the lighting desk

The lighting control was incredible!

Each mic is tested preshow, some funny interpretations of songs were done

Sound desk crew checking each of the mic’s

 

Best seat in the house

A lot of tech used, I kept saying to myself amateur theatre? No way!

looking back to the sound and lighting crew

My final stop on my tour was to the orchestra pit.  The theme continued with the friendly welcome and community feel, and I enjoyed watching the various musicians warming up, and chatting with their peers.  I loved being able to visit, as I always knew there were the musicians in front, but lower then the stage in these productions, but to see the setup, and the economy of space used, whilst producing the incredible quality of sound that I heard a little later was fantastic.

 

gorgeous saxophone

warming up

The audience started to roll in, and due to copyright, I wasn’t able to take photos of the performance, but it was so good.  It was great to see the acting, singing, dancing interspersed with some funny moments that gave great life to Mel Brooks’ play.

I must say that I was disappointed in myself that I hadn’t seen a Savoyard production before, but I now won’t have any hesitation in buying season tickets for 2018 as soon as they are available (next month), and with Les Misérables and Chicago the productions for next year,  I can’t wait to see such quality productions, in our community.

I am hopeful of being invited back, to see the early stages of one of the shows next year, from the set design, prop construction and costume making.

More details about Savoyards can be found at their website and facebook pages below.

www.savoyards.com.au

https://www.facebook.com/savoyards.brisbane/

 

#26 – Twilight Bay Run

23 September 2017

The annual Twilight Bay run was held today, in windy conditions, and was a sell out event! There was a carnival-like atmosphere with lots of friends and family supporting the runners.

The course showcased the waterfront, and also went through part of Wynnum central. The half marathon doing 2 laps of the course that the 10k participants did (with a little extra).

The course

calm before the storm

Selfie time

A lot of the athletes rolled, jogged and stretched before the start.

 

air time

The nerves kick in, and the toilet line grows

 

ready to start

heading into Wynnum Central via a ‘gentle’ hill

A few runners wanted this venue to be the official drink stop

Frankies showing their support

There were a number of water stations around the course, supported by volunteers. The Blood, sweat and beers running crew were at the North turn around at the dog park.  There was such a fun vibe and support coming from them.  There will be a future post about this running crew, a fun and inclusive group for all levels of runners,

 

The BSB motivation angels must have run a half marathon themselves!
great support by the younger crew

The runners get through a lot of water!