Honouring Jack Simpson: The ANZAC Spirit Embodied in Courage and Sacrifice

A decade ago, Mooloolaba in the Sunshine Coast held a large dawn service on ANZAC Day to pay tribute to fallen heroes, including John “Jack” Simpson Kirkpatrick and his donkey, Duffy. Despite honouring a non-Australian hero and known deserter, the service reflected the universal values of courage and selflessness that define the ANZAC legacy.

An Unlikely Hero

John “Jack” Simpson Kirkpatrick remains a significant figure in ANZAC history. He did not gain this recognition through conventional battlefield bravery, but rather due to his remarkable commitment to saving lives in extreme conditions at Gallipoli. Although he was originally from South Shields, a seaside town in northern England, Jack’s journey to Gallipoli was unexpected, as were his selfless actions there.

Born into a family of eight on 6 July 1892, Jack faced a challenging childhood. Though he was literate, a rarity among his peers, his education ceased at the age of 11. His articulate and persuasive letters from Australia testify to his critical thinking and literacy skills.

His mother, determined to prevent Jack from coal mining, had hoped for him to secure an engineering apprenticeship; instead, Jack found work as a milkman. Despite his affection for his family and South Shields, he departed Britain shortly after his father’s funeral.

At 17, Jack arrived in Australia, jumping ship from the SS Yeddo under dire conditions, thereby branding himself a deserter. His subsequent four years in Australia were transformative. 

After deserting the Merchant Navy when he arrived in Australia, he decided to enlist in 1914, hoping it would allow him to return to his homeland. However, his fate had something else in store for him. He was sent to the tumultuous beaches of Gallipoli as a stretcher bearer with the ANZAC forces, instead of being deployed to the Western Front as he had expected.

A Bond Beyond Battle

The saga of Jack and his donkey, Duffy, whom he either found or commandeered shortly after landing at Gallipoli in April 1915, embodies the heart of his legend. 

Over 24 days, until his untimely death on 19 May 1915, the duo braved the battlefield to rescue over 300 wounded soldiers, demonstrating a level of bravery and endurance that immortalized Jack as a symbol of the ANZAC spirit. 

Jack Simpson in Gallipolli
Photo Credit: Wikipedia

The soldier and his donkey were renowned among Australian soldiers at Gallipoli for their bravery. They searched the hills and valleys for wounded soldiers, with Jack risking his life to drag them to safety. He then placed the injured on the donkey and led them down to the beach.

His actions, performed without any regard for his personal safety, showcased the extraordinary human capacity for compassion and bravery amidst the horrors of war.

Why Australia Embraces Jack Simpson

Despite originating from England and being considered a deserter, Jack is highly esteemed in Australia. This admiration reflects the nation’s inclusive view of valour and the essence of the ANZAC spirit. This admiration is particularly evident on the Sunshine Coast, where community participation in ANZAC Day events vividly celebrates his memory.

Jack’s story, characterised by his unyielding dedication to others, embodies the ANZAC values of friendship, endurance, and sacrifice, continuing to inspire both current and future generations.

Jack Simpson
Wallace Anderson (1935) The Man with the Donkey, bronze. 78 × 66 × 42 cm. Shrine of Remembrance, Melbourne

Jack Simpson's profile with the Australian War Memorial
Photo Credit: Australian War Memorial

One scholar who studied his life said: “Australians have embraced Kirkpatrick as a key figure in the Gallipoli legend.”

While no bronze cross commemorates his bravery, his image graces the ANZAC Commemorative Medallion. Although Jack was suggested twice for the Victoria Cross and once for the Distinguished Conduct Medal, the British War Office rejected these nominations and subsequent appeals. Nonetheless, he was honoured posthumously in military dispatches.

Published 10-April-2024

Record Participation in 2023 StreetSmarts AFLQ Schools Cup

The 2023 StreetSmarts AFLQ Schools Cup State Finals saw the crowning of premiers after months of competition across Queensland. A record 693 teams and almost 16,000 students have participated in the games since March.

2023 StreetSmarts AFLQ Schools Cup

The StreetSmarts Cup is AFL Queensland’s premier interschool competition for Primary and Secondary students. First introduced in 2016, the state-wide competition includes boys’ and girls’ sides as well as inclusion teams.

This year’s State Finals took place October 13 to October 15 at Maroochydore Multi Sports Complex. Thirty-four teams from 25 schools in six divisions competed for the premiership over the weekend. Games kicked off on Friday, followed by the Primary and Secondary School State Finals on Saturday and Sunday.

Massive growth for flagship schools competition

Photo Credit: Supplied

Trisha Squires, Head of AFL Queensland, noted the significant growth of the competition this year:

  • Record 693 teams participated across Queensland in 2023
  • Nearly 16,000 students took part in total
  • Teams travelled from as far as Cairns, Rockhampton, and Brisbane

“The StreetSmarts Cup has seen incredible growth,” said Squires. “Thank you to all the students, teachers, parents, coaches, umpires, and volunteers who made this statewide carnival possible.”

StreetSmarts sponsorship connects competition to road safety

The StreetSmarts AFLQ Schools Cup is proudly sponsored by StreetSmarts, an initiative by the Department of Transport and Main Roads promoting road safety.

General Manager Joanna Robinson said the event provides an opportunity to reach the next generation. “We are proud to partner with AFLQ to deliver this great competition and promote the importance of road safety to young Queenslanders.”

Sunshine Coast hosts climactic finals weekend

Sunshine Coast Councillor Jason O’Pray said the region was excited to host the climactic finals at the state-of-the-art Maroochydore Multi-Sports Complex.

“It is great to follow that with the arrival of a record number of talented young AFL athletes to grow, develop and compete in a safe, friendly environment at the Maroochydore Multi-Sports Complex,” O’Pray said.

The 2023 StreetSmarts AFLQ Schools Cup State Finals marked yet another triumphant year for AFL Queensland’s premier schools competition. With record-breaking student participation from all corners of the state, the StreetSmarts Cup continues to be a vital platform for young Queenslanders to foster teamwork, leadership and sportsmanship both on and off the field.

Published 16-October-2023

Caloundra’s Lighthouses Commence Rehabilitation Work

Rehabilitation work for Caloundra’s lighthouses has commenced as the Sunshine Coast Council aims to invest in preserving these historic and iconic maritime beacons.

New timber decking, balustrading, and weatherproofing will be installed. This project ensures that the culturally significant lighthouses remain intact for future generations.

Caloundra has a deep maritime history, and these lighthouses played a crucial role in guiding mariners until 1978. The original lighthouse, built way back in 1896, is the oldest surviving building in town. Its neighbour, the replacement lighthouse from 1968, is one of only two of its kind in Australia.

The lighthouse precinct, a massive 868 square metres located on Canberra Terrace at Kings Beach, is a State heritage-listed site since 2010. It holds immense value for the community, and the Sunshine Coast Council acquired it in 2020 for a mere $1. This acquisition allows the council to invest in preserving this iconic spot that reflects our nautical roots.

The Friends of the Caloundra Lighthouses community group has been doing an amazing job over the past 15 years, welcoming more than 13,000 visitors. With council support, they’ve inspired a new generation of maritime enthusiasts. But they need your help! They’re looking for volunteers to step forward and be a part of preserving our history. Let’s keep our maritime legacy alive!

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

To support the cause, you can grab a copy of “The Little Lighthouse,” a charming children’s book by John Bradley. Illustrated by local talent Diane Somers-Cook, the book delves into the fascinating history of the Caloundra Lighthouses. All proceeds go towards maintaining these cherished landmarks.

The Caloundra Lighthouses Rehabilitation project is made possible by the Arts and Heritage Levy, in partnership with the Sunshine Coast Council. Local firms, including Conbuild, are carrying out the important works. Department of Environment and Science heritage approvals are being followed. Weather permitting, we expect completion by late September 2022.

Published 17-June-2023

Sippy Downs to Welcome Two Tower Apartment Complex

A new apartment complex will soon rise in the heart of the growing Sippy Downs education precinct.

A proposed $60 million apartment complex project at 45 Sippy Downs Drive recently secured the green light. It comprises 89 units across two towers of up to seven levels and could accommodate more than 200 people.

The project is designed by K Architecture, who was responsible for the Market Lane project in the Maroochydore CBD. It will be delivered by RM Developments which recently completed a $42 million project called Plaza Central, that is adjacent to Sunshine Plaza and contains 85 apartments and six commercial spaces.

To be constructed in two stages, the development will sit on a 4,227 sqm site between Sippy Downs Drive and the Sunshine Motorway.  A single-bedroom apartment will be positioned on the lower ground floor in addition to 56 two-bedroom and 32 three-bedroom units that will be delivered as part of the project.

A swimming pool, barbeque facilities, a kick-and-play area, 142 parking spaces, lawns and landscaping will also be part of the complex.

The units will be divided by a spacious communal terrace and landscaped area, and each one will have a private, open balcony. The dwellings on the ground floor will also have a high-quality landscaping plan and a covered courtyard to further increase privacy.

As the project will overlook the new Sippy Downs Forest Park, residents will enjoy views of the park which features trees and open spaces, barbecues, natural seating, pathways and boardwalks plus a playground.

The complex is positioned near a golf course and on the edge of the growing education precinct which is home to Siena Catholic College the University of the Sunshine Coast.

Published 31-March-2023

Sunshine Coast’s New Boardwalk: A Gateway to Nature

Nestled in the heart of Buderim, spanning from Sage Street to Royal Drive, Sunshine Coast’s New Boardwalk allows residents to immerse themselves in the wonders of nature.

Discover a tranquil escape through lush rainforests, as the gentle murmur of the nearby creek leads the way to the serene Tom Rickards Park. The once unassuming dirt track has been transformed into a pristine pathway, inviting nature enthusiasts, walkers, cyclists, and those seeking moments of peace and serenity.

Designed with accessibility, the boardwalk ensures everyone can relish Buderim’s natural treasures. Whether using a wheelchair, walker or pushing a pram, a smooth and hassle-free adventure into the heart of the reserve awaits.

Beyond its scenic allure, the boardwalk embodies sustainability. Crafted entirely from eco-friendly materials, it stands as a testament to the commitment to preserving Buderim’s cherished environment for generations to come.

In the face of heavy rain, outdoor plans can be disrupted, but fear not, for the new elevated design addresses this challenge. Ensuring that explorations are never thwarted by unpredictable weather, the boardwalk stands as a steadfast companion to outdoor pursuits.

A notable point of pride is the “zero harm to vegetation” approach during Sunshine Coast’s New Boardwalk development. Not a single tree was removed, upholding the lush greenery that defines Buderim’s natural charm.

Thanks to the wholehearted investment of $150 thousand from the Sunshine Coast Council’s Minor Capital Works Program, this community endeavour is made possible.

More than just a structure, the boardwalk is a promise of enduring enjoyment. Imagine quality time spent with loved ones, cherishing the gift of nature right in the backyard. The boardwalk is an invitation to revitalise the senses, to reconnect with the wonder of the great outdoors.

Published 1-September-2022

Buderim’s Popular Fish And Chip Restaurant Says Goodbye To Customers

Buderim’s well-loved fish and chip shop FarmRak has joined a handful of restaurants across Sunshine Coast that recently closed due to ‘shortage of staff’ brought by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Read: Enjoy Guilt-Free Sweets at Buderim’s Soul Kitchen Bakery

FarmRak Buderim, best known for their paddock to plate Thai cuisine, served their last dinner on 11 February 2022, thanking their customers for the support over the last two years.

Chef Natt (Photo credit: FarmRak/Facebook)

Established by chef and farmer Nattapon Chumchujan, or simply Chef Natt in 2020, the place has gained popularity for their tasty fish and chips and the fresh salads which were made from produce they cultivated at their organic aquaponic farm at Buderim. 

Chef Natt discovered the aquaponics farming system whilst searching for ways to improve the taste and texture of the meals he was creating.

chef Nattapon Chumchujan
Chef Natt and wife Bella (Photo credit: farmrak.com.au)

The results are sumptuous chef-made dishes with plenty of gluten-free and vegan options. Aside from their salads, locals have come to love their tempura veggies, Tasmanian salmon, and house-made creme brulee. 

His farm, only a 15-minute drive from the now-closed restaurant in Buderim and an hour away from his location in Ascot, supplied the restaurants with vegetables, herbs, and other produce.

farmrak brisbane
Photo credit: FarmRak/Facebook

“It’s such a shame you had to close due to the effects of the Covid-19 situation. I’m sure that I speak for all your customers when I say, ‘You are appreciated and we hope you can reopen in the near future,” shared Anthony Sullivan, one of the patrons of the restaurant. 

The owners believe their journey is far from over and they are looking forward to returning to the Sunshine Coast. 

farmrak salad
The restaurant’s famous salad (Photo credit: FarmRak/Facebook)

“We really didn’t want to close Buderim, but with no staff we had no choice. Covid has impacted the lives of many,” shared Chef Nattapon Chumchujan and his wife Bella on a social media post. 

FarmRak in Ascot, located along Racecourse Rd, remains open daily except on Mondays. You can follow them on Facebook for more information and updates.

Visit Buderim Pioneer Cottage And Win A Prize Answering Quizzes!

September is Mystery Month for Sunshine Coast museums, including Buderim Pioneer Cottage where you can enter a quiz and get a chance to win a $100 voucher from Caloundra Regional Gallery Shop.

Read: Virus-like Particle Vaccine To Be Trialled In Sunshine Coast

If you have a passion for answering quizzes, then you shouldn’t miss the chance to visit Buderim Pioneer Cottage and two other Sunshine Coast museums, Landsborough Museum and Nambour Museum, where you can learn more about the region’s amazing heritage at the same time.

All entrants will receive a free pocket magnifier to solve problems and discover the Sunshine Coast’s amazing heritage. If you wish to join the Mystery Madness Month, you can visit Buderim Pioneer Cottage and become a Museum VIP with a discount card.

Sunshine Coast Council Community Portfolio Councillor Rick Baberowski said the initiative was a fabulously fun way to promote Sunshine Coast museums.

Cr Baberowski said these places have remarkable collections and each time you visit, you see and experience something different.

Mother and child at the Museum
Photo credit: Sunshine Coast Council

“It could be as nostalgic as a toy steam train, romantic as an Edison Phonograph or as muscular as a cane train. No matter what it is, each display tells us something more about how our regional communities lived and progressed,” Cr Baberowski added.

“The museums make for an exceptional low-cost day out during the school holidays and the quiz offers families a way to explore our incredible heritage in a fun, meaningful and even more rewarding way,” he said.

The competition commences 1 September and closes on 3 October 2021 and is open for all ages. To learn more, visit Sunshine Coast Council’s website

About Buderim Pioneer Cottage

Buderim Historical Society
Photo credit: Buderim Historical Society/Google Maps

Buderim Pioneer Cottage is an original historical house built around 1882. Now a museum, it remains a living piece of the local history filled with historical furniture, homewares, period decor, photographs, clothing and fascinating curios from our past.

The Pioneer Cottage
Photo credit: Tony Thomas/Google Maps

A must-see for visitors and residents alike, The Pioneer Cottage will give you a first-hand look into Buderim’s colonial farming origins. It’s owned by Buderim War Memorial Community Association and is cared for by the volunteers of Buderim Historical Society.

Buderim Tavern: Come for the Food, Stay for the View

At the heart of Buderim is Buderim Tavern, a local institution and the perfect venue for enjoying mouthwatering meals and refreshing drinks surrounded by the gorgeous views of the Sunshine Coast hinterlands.

Buderim Tavern has been around for decades and continues to be a delightful and reliable place for the locals. Anyone travelling to the Sunshine Coast has to experience what this pub has to offer.

Photo Credit: BuderimTavern/Instagram

Famous for its classic steaks and oysters, this popular watering hole along Burnett St is a place where people linger after a satisfying meal to relish what Mother Nature has to offer, rain or shine.

Buderim Tavern
Photo Credit: BuderimTavern/Instagram

The award-winning pub has maintained the quality of its food through the years and amidst changes in the management. It continues to impress both old and new patrons as it is focused on sourcing locally-produced ingredients to maintain its standard.

Buderim Tavern steak
250g Eye fillet wrapped in bacon served with roasted tomato, king oyster mushroom, grilled chorizo and creamy mash & broccolin
Photo Credit: BuderimTavern/Facebook

Equally delicious are its regular fresh batches of Pavlova and brownies to satisfy sweet cravings. 

Photo Credit: BuderimTavern.com.au
Photo Credit: BuderimTavern/Facebook

Whilst many locals come here to enjoy the live entertainment, unwind with a cold bottle of draft beer or a glass of wine, and watch sports like rugby, tennis, soccer or cricket across its multiple TV screens, Buderim Tavern is also a family-friendly place as there is a children’s playroom to keep the little ones occupied.

Photo Credit: BuderimTavern/Facebook

The place is also a spacious venue for private functions and celebrations with the coast as the beautiful backdrop. The function space may fit up to 250 guests. 

In the changing times, the pub has also introduced a modern electronic system for ordering and paying via one’s smartphone so there’s no need to line up as it can be done from one’s table. But the pub isn’t devoid of human touch because the waitstaff is friendly, helpful and accommodating. 

Photo Credit: BuderimTavern/Facebook

Learn more updates, events, activities, and store hours for Buderin Tavern on its Facebook or Instagram.

“Great oysters and staff!”


“Stunning location with excellent food”


Wow. Never been to Buderim before and had to kill time before we could check into the airbnb. What a pleasant surprise. The place have amazing views and their food is next level for pub food. We had the prawns and calamari and I would definitely want to go back and have a good meal there. It’s a massive pub and a nice vibe. Would recommend if you ever travelling through or well, live close enough and never been. Very tasty food.

Google Review

Two for One: 121 Care Appoints Two Women as CEO

Award-winning executive Feda Adra has been appointed co-CEO of 121 Care, joining current CEO Kym Chomley to share the same role for the Sunshine Coast not-for-profit organisation.

Read: Sunshine Coast Hockey Club in Buderim Launches New World-Class Field

121 Care would benefit from both Ms Adra and Ms Chomley’s expertise, forging a strong relationship to provide the organisation with a robust and sustainable future. Ms Adra, former CEO of Be (formerly ComLink), has a wealth of knowledge and experience in aged and community care whilst Ms Comley has an extensive experience in disability.

121 Care President Faith Baigent was confident in appointing the power duo for the shared CEO role.

“Together, Kym and Feda share six decades of senior management experience that are complimentary and broaden the skillset that one CEO would traditionally bring to the role. Kym’s strengths in accounting, finance, IT, administration and organisational development are complimented by Feda’s strengths in people and culture, resource development, innovation and marketing,” Ms Baigent said.

“CEO job sharing is an extremely rare form of leadership arrangement, done only a handful of times across the world – think Netflix, Oracle and Salesforce to name a few,” she added.

From left to right: 121 Care President Faith Baigent, Ms Adra, and Ms Chomley

Ms Baigent also shared that job sharing is done at lower levels in organisations, but rarely at an executive level, which is what makes this unique and even more exceptional in the not-for-profit sector. 

“With Feda on board, we will now have twice the capacity and capability with a broader range of skills and experience that will be of immense value to the business,” Ms Baigent shared.

Ms Adra is the founder of Vitality Village – a health and wellbeing hub which is the first of its kind in Australia. 121 Care will also be moving in to the new hub later this month and the team looks forward to working in collaboration with the other villagers at Vitality.

Read: Buderim Private Hospital Shuts Down Breast Clinic

Co-CEO Kym Chomley said COVID-19 saw organisations like 121 Care realise the importance of being adaptive, flexible and creative through a continuously changing environment.

“By including a second CEO, we are preparing for the future, and I couldn’t think of a better person to share the role with than Feda. Our skills are very complimentary, we share similar values and have a mutual respect for one another.”

About 121 Care

Photo credit: 121care.org.au 

121 Care is an independent registered charity and not for profit organisation. This year, the business is projected to turnover $12.5 million through the delivery of a wider range of services across southeast Queensland that include in-home support services, supported accommodation, supported independent living and coordination services for people with physical, intellectual and psychosocial disabilities.

Buderim Private Hospital Names First Recipient Of Elsa Wilson Award

Buderim Private Hospital has named Kylie Wydell as the very first recipient of the Elsa Wilson Award, a recognition named after the hospital’s founder.

Read: Buderim Private Hospital Shuts Down Breast Clinic

Ms Wydell, who works as a wound care specialist and stomal therapist at Buderim Private Hospital, revealed she was completely surprised by the award, which she graciously accepted on behalf of all the patients she has cared for at the hospital over the past seven years.

“My patients have chronic wounds and stomas and it’s really comforting to be part of their journey to help them get better and make a difference to their life,” she said.

Ms Wydell and Ms Blair with Michael Krieg
From L-R: Michael Krieg, Executive Director of UnitingCare Hospitals, Kylie Wydell, and Heidi Blair (Photo credit: Buderim Private Hospital/Facebook)

“It is a shame that all my amazing colleagues who were finalists can’t also be rewarded but we are all rewarded by working here and having the privilege of caring for patients,” Ms Wydell added.

According to Ms Karen Clark, General Manager at the hospital, all the monthly winners of the hospital’s award program were considered for the award and the hospital Leadership Team had the difficult task of voting on the overall winner to receive the Elsa Wilson Award.

About the Elsa Wilson Award

Ms Wydell accepting the award
Photo credit: Buderim Private Hospital/Facebook

The Elsa Wilson Award will be presented each year to a staff member who goes above and beyond to uphold the hospital’s values of working together, respect, justice, compassion and leading through learning. 

It was named after the founder of the hospital, Elsa Wilson, who established the hospital in 1980 who felt her husband, a local GP, and his patients should not have to travel to Nambour for hospitalisation. However, Mrs Wilson passed away from cancer in 1982.

Ms Wydell with Ms Clark
Ms Wydell with Ms Clark (Photo credit: Buderim Private Hospital/Facebook)

Heid Blair, Elsa Wilson’s daughter, was one of the award’s presenters, along with Ms Clark and Michael Krieg, Executive Director of UnitingCare Hospitals.

Ms Blair felt very proud to present the award on behalf of her mother, who she believes would be very proud to know that her name is being used to honour exemplary care and service at Buderim Private Hospital.