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

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

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.

Maroochydore’s New CBD Boosts Real Estate Growth In Sunshine Coast

According to real estate analysts, Maroochydore City Centre’s development helps boost real estate growth amongst surrounding suburbs of the Sunshine Coast.

The first stage of the Maroochydore City Centre was unveiled in August 2019 after more than a decade of careful planning by the local Council and the State Government. This city-making project has a full timeline of 20 years of construction and is estimated to cost $ 2.1 billion.

The City Centre is viewed as one of the largest CBD projects to be accomplished on a green field in Australia due to its size of 53 hectares.

Photo credit: Maroochydore – The Bright City/ Facebook

According to SunCentral’s CEO, John Knaggs, once the entire CBD is complete, it would strengthen the entire region by providing sustainable infrastructures for the purpose of commercial, retail, residential, and civic uses.

Included amongst infrastructure developments that are soon to rise in the region are the expansion of the Sunshine Coast Airport and the completion of the Sunshine Coast University Hospital.

Photo credit: https://www.health.qld.gov.au/

“Maroochydore’s CBD will be at the heart of a region where unprecedented investments in private and public infrastructure are being made,” said Knaggs.

“Maroochydore’s new CBD is expected to create more than 15,000 permanent jobs on the Sunshine Coast and bring in more than $ 4.4 billion to the local economy.”

Real Estate Growth in Sunshine Coast Suburbs

With Maroochydore City Centre slowly taking shape, the demand for real estate in nearby Sunshine Coast suburbs has significantly increased.

Photo credit: https://www.maroochydore-city.com.au/

real estate report by analyst Terry Ryder shows a 37% increase in average property prices in the suburbs of Sunshine Coast last 2019. Specifically, Twin Waters suburbs grew 21%, Mooloolaba by 14%, Sunshine Beach by 37%, and Doonan by 19%.

“The new CBD is at the heart of this growth. It provides a center for the growing economy and employment opportunities of the Sunshine Coast while helping to boost housing price increases in the region,” said Ryder.

“Population growth leads to higher demand for real estate, which in turn leads to higher values.”

Buderim: One of Snake Hotspots in Sunshine Coast

Sunshine Coast has been reported the most number of snake bites in the last 12 months from November 2017. Data revealed that Buderim is one of the snake hotspots in the area.

With the onset of warmer weather, the incidence of snake bites from venomous snakes trying to escape the heat is on the rise. Data from Queensland Ambulance Services recorded around 790 snake bite reports since November 2017; so far, 100 were from Sunshine Coast. Snake catching experts, on the other hand, named Buderim as the top hot spot for snakes in Sunshine Coast.

Apart from extreme weather, experts also believe that developments that disturb the natural habitat of the snakes are also contributing to the rising incidence of snake encounters. QAS snake bites statistics showed that over 150 cases have been reported in the Metro North and Metro South compared to the North West and Southwest combined total of about 15 incidence.

What to Do When You Encounter a Snake in Your House?

  • Close the internal doors in the house and open the external doors and windows.
  • Block the gaps underneath internal doors with rolled up towels.
  • Place chairs and boxes under windows to make it easier for snakes to climb out.
  • Keep everyone well clear of the snake.
  • If the snake is in a place away from electricity and valuable items, try directing a gentle jet of water from the garden hose or squirt bottle towards the snake to encourage it to move away.
  • Remember that snakes on the move will naturally try to find shelter, so hosing the snake may not always work.
  • When you encounter a snake outside, don’t panic, back away to a safe distance, and allow it to move away.

“Snakes found on your premises can be removed and relocated by snake catchers authorised under the Nature Conservation Act 1992. Contact details of local snake catchers can be obtained through the Yellow Pages or via the internet. It is important to remember that snakes are an important part of the environment and the relocated snake is often replaced by another living nearby. The best approach is to snake-proof your house,” the website said.

Here are the top 5 things you need to do if you get bitten by a snake according to Queensland Health:

  • Call an ambulance immediately – Call Triple Zero (000) and ask for an ambulance, or use the Emergency+ app to call an ambulance.
  • Don’t panic and don’t move – Not moving and staying calm can help slow down the spread of venom.
  • Leave the snake alone.
  • Apply a pressure immobilisation bandage and splint.
  • Don’t wash, suck, cut or tourniquet the bite – don’t wash the bite site as hospital staff may need to use the venom to identify the snake that bit you.
Treating snake bites

Video Credit:Queensland Ambulance Service (QAS) / Facebook

How Do You Snake-proof Your House and Your Yard?

  • Block holes in your rock wall or other structure that can be potential dwellings of house frogs and rats, that attract snakes.
  • Keep your yard and shed tidy and well-maintained.
  • Keep shrubs and gardens tidy and away from the house. Snakes will shelter in houses, under shrubs and in timber stacks to avoid the hottest parts of the day.
  • Ensure that food scraps are disposed of properly to discourage rats and mice.
  • Bird owners should also discourage rodents by ensuring that aviaries are kept clean and hygienic and that the mesh is small enough to keep snakes from entering.
  • Install screens on doors and windows. Block any holes around the house including those between the roof and ceiling.

By blocking off all potential access points, you limit the chance of snakes entering your house. Residents are also advised to take extra care during summer as snakes are most active during this time. Also, extra precautions should be taken when in an area that experiences flooding, as flooding will cause snakes to seek higher ground.

For more information about snakes, you may visit the Queensland Government website.

New Daycare Opens in Buderim

The Little Village Early Learning Centre has opened its doors to kids in Buderim and the whole Sunshine Coast. Located at 32 King Street, Buderim from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. At the centre. early learning and childcare is available for babies and children, aged 6 weeks to school age.

Good facilities for good kids
(Photo credit: www.littlevillage.net.au)

True to form, the daycare has both indoor and outdoor educational play areas. Set within a quiet property, the daycare has a picture-perfect view, with the ocean and the mountain backdrop.

Let your kids learn how to be creative at an early stage
(Photo credit: www.littlevillage.net.au)

Toys and modern educational resources are carefully chosen to match what kids will need from infant to school age. High quality daycare will be provided to the kids including healthy meals, care products, nappies, and other necessities.

The Little Village Early Learning Centre is a one-stop-shop daycare with a “home away from home” approach. With its new facilities and programs, kids and parents will soon feel at ease in the new surroundings.

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