Celebrating Five Decades of Equine Passion at Fig Tree Pocket Equestrian Club

Did you know that the Fig Tree Pocket Equestrian Club traces its origins back 50 years ago to when the original pony club was established in 1974?

Read: McIntyre Family Legacy Continues as Racing Hearts Takes Over Brisbane Riding Centre

The Fig Tree Pocket Equestrian Club started as the Fig Tree Pocket Pony Club, founded in a paddock near Lone Pine in 1974 before relocating to its current site on Fig Tree Pocket Road four years later in 1978.

Situated on 40 acres of prime riverfront property just 11km from Brisbane’s CBD, the club now hosts numerous competitions, clinics, and educational programs spanning eventing, dressage, and show jumping disciplines throughout the year.

Photo credit: Candice Susan Olsen-Fig Tree Pocket Pony Club Inc/Facebook

In 2009, the Fig Tree Pocket Equestrian Club’s dedication was recognised when it received the prestigious Equestrian Queensland Club of the Year award. This success was attributed to the club’s committed committee, exceptional facilities, high-quality instructors, and full calendar of clinics and competitions.

Photo credit: Fig Tree Pocket Equestrian Club/Facebook

Among its distinguished alumni are elite riders like Rebel Morrow, who competed in three-day eventing at the 2004 Athens Olympics as well as Malia Chappel, who enjoyed success in the UK during 2005-2006, and former Adelaide Two Star winner Niki Chapman.

Fig Tree Pocket Equestrian Club’s 50th Anniversary

As it celebrates this major milestone, Fig Tree Pocket Equestrian Club and its former and current members are inviting one and all to join in their golden 50th anniversary celebration.

On Sunday, June 16 from 2:00 – 8:00 p.m., the club is hosting a fun-filled family event at their grounds to commemorate half a century of horsing around. With live music, magic shows, reptile encounters, farm animals and of course pony rides, there’s something for every wrangler in your crew.

Photo credit: Fig Tree Pocket Equestrian Club/Facebook

Beyond the entertainment, attendees can enjoy food from the GourMeat Grill and BBQ plus beverages from Moov’n Coffee and the club’s own canteen. And it’s all for a good cause – all entry fees will be donated to Dolly’s Dream.

Dolly’s Dream was founded by Kate and Tick Everett after the devastating loss of their 14-year-old daughter Dolly to suicide following bullying. The organisation is committed to preventing bullying, anxiety, depression and youth suicide through education and support for young people and families.

Read: What’s New at Booker Place Park?

Book your tickets today and come celebrate this major milestone for the Fig Tree Pocket Equestrian Club!

Published 25-April-2024

Pink’s Enchanting Visit to Lone Pine Sanctuary in Fig Tree Pocket

Pink, the renowned American singer, recently embarked on a captivating adventure with her family at the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary in Fig Tree Pocket, Australia.

Accompanied by her husband Carey Hart and their two children, Pink immersed herself in the wonders of Australian wildlife, creating cherished memories amidst the sanctuary’s picturesque surroundings. The sanctuary provided Pink and her family with an unparalleled opportunity to connect with native animals and experience the natural beauty of Australia.

A Day of Discovery Amongst Australian Wildlife

The family’s visit to Lone Pine Sanctuary offered a glimpse into the diverse fauna of Australia’s natural landscape. From cuddling koalas to feeding kangaroos, Pink and her children delighted in the unique encounters facilitated by the sanctuary’s dedicated staff.

As they wandered through the sanctuary’s lush grounds, the kids, Willow and Jameson, marvelled at the fascinating creatures that call Australia home. Their joyous interactions with koalas, dingos, and raptors underscored the sanctuary’s commitment to conservation and education.

Pink and her family
Photo Credit: Pink/Instagram

Sharing Moments of Wonder

Pink took to social media to share snapshots of their enchanting day at Lone Pine Sanctuary, captivating her followers with glimpses of their wildlife encounters.

Through her posts, Pink not only showcased the beauty of Australian wildlife but also highlighted the importance of preserving natural habitats for future generations. Her heartfelt captions reflected a genuine appreciation for the sanctuary’s efforts in promoting environmental awareness and fostering a deeper connection with nature.

Pink’s Summer Carnival Tour in Brisbane

Against the backdrop of Brisbane’s iconic skyline, Suncorp Stadium pulsated with excitement as fans eagerly delighted in Pink’s shows. It showcased not only her musical prowess but also her penchant for delivering unforgettable live experiences, leaving an indelible mark on all those in attendance.

From heart-pounding anthems to soul-stirring ballads, Pink’s repertoire resonated with fans of all ages, creating an atmosphere of unity and celebration. She soared above the crowd, suspended by aerial rigs, epitomising the spirit of resilience and determination.

Pink In Brisbane
Photo Credit: Pink/Instagram

Pink’s dynamic stage presence and genuine connection with the audience transformed Suncorp Stadium into a euphoric arena of shared joy and camaraderie, solidifying her status as a beloved icon among Brisbane’s music lovers.

Published 25-March-2024

Groundbreaking Koala Chlamydia Vaccination Program Launched in Brisbane

Queensland koalas, eventually including those at the Lone Pine Sanctuary in Fig Tree Pocket, are set to be vaccinated against chlamydia, as part of a new vaccination program undergoing testing in Brisbane.

Brisbane City Council, in collaboration with leading scientists, has announced its commitment to support the registration of Queensland University of Technology’s groundbreaking chlamydia vaccine. With funding allocated to this cause, the Council aims to partner with the University of Queensland’s Koala Ecology Group to deliver a pilot program for proactive koala vaccination. 

This initiative addresses the urgent need for intervention, as chlamydia affects approximately 21 per cent of Brisbane’s koala population, leading to significant fatalities among these iconic marsupials. This bacterial infection may cause infertility, blindness, and urinary incontinence, further contributing to the decline in their populations. 

Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner underscored Brisbane’s status as Australia’s koala capital and emphasised the importance of leveraging this home-grown breakthrough to safeguard the koalas. The pilot vaccination program, as part of a broader koala protection plan, is set for the initial two years, followed by a city-wide vaccination drive. 

“This vaccine shapes as a game-changer for koalas and I am proud that our team will be supporting this home-grown break-through,” he said.

“By funding the registration of the koala vaccine we’re dealing with a key threat to our koala population. 

“I want to see koala and other native species thrive because our city’s mixture of world-class entertainment combined with access to nature sets us apart and makes Brisbane the most Australian place on Earth.” 

Professor Ken Beagley, who works at QUT’s School of Biomedical Sciences, has provided details about the current experimental status of a vaccine. There are ongoing efforts to achieve registration for broader use, which is expected to make it easier for veterinary clinics and wildlife hospitals to access the vaccine. 

Professor Beagley Koala Chlamydia Vaccination
Photo Credit: QUT

“We now have enough data to show the vaccine is safe and effective and so the next step is to go for registration.  

“Once the vaccine is registered, it will be available more widely, and veterinary clinics and wildlife hospitals will be able to use it without delay. 

“We all want the same thing, a healthy koala population that is growing. 

“After habitat destruction, dog attacks and car strikes, disease is the next most pressing issue for koalas and chlamydia is a major problem.

“A healthy koala can live for eight to 12 years in the wild. Once you get a geographically isolated population that is stressed, chlamydia can take hold. Infection causes infertility, blindness and urinary incontinence, and local populations can die out.

“Since the early 2000s we have seen a 70-80 per cent decline in many koala populations across Queensland so koalas need all the help we can give them.” 

This new technology aims to simplify the vaccination process by eliminating the need for capturing or holding the animals for a second immunization dose. 

Furthermore, QUT researchers are developing a booster vaccine using implant technology to combat chlamydia in koalas further. This technology aims to avoid the need to recapture or hold wild koalas for 30 days to receive a second immunization, significantly increasing the ability to vaccinate wild koalas against chlamydial infections. 

The implant device, slightly larger than a pet microchip, will release the booster at four to five weeks after the first vaccination. The QUT researchers have the support of the Saving Koalas Fund and they expect this project to be completed by April 2026.

Published 1-March-2024

Facial Recognition AI Helps Save the Koalas in Moggill & Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary

Did you know that the Moggill Koala Rehabilitation Centre and the Lone Pine Sanctuary in Fig Tree Pocket are harnessing the power of Artificial Intelligence (AI) by using facial recognition technology to help save the koalas?

Efforts to bolster the survival of koalas are now complemented by the innovative work of a team of Griffith University AI researchers and ecologists, who have secured funding to advance their ‘facial recognition’ camera technology at koala crossing locations across South East Queensland (SEQ).

For the third consecutive year, these researchers are working to deploy state-of-the-art “facial recognition” camera technology at strategic koala crossing locations across SEQ.

This groundbreaking initiative aims to monitor and understand how koalas utilise these crossing points, ultimately providing invaluable research-based insights to help safeguard this declining population. 

Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary

Leading this pioneering study is Professor Jun Zhou from Griffith’s School of Information and Communication Technology. The project’s inception was made possible by a $90,000 Community Sustainability Action Grant awarded by the Queensland Government’s Department of Environment and Science in March 2021, followed by an additional $100,000 grant from DES in June 2023.

“This project extends our innovative AI-powered koala monitoring system to cover wider areas of koala habitat in South East Queensland, and engage with 14 local community groups across 10 local government areas to facilitate the installation and maintenance of the camera network,” Professor Zhou shared.

In July 2021, the team successfully deployed 24 AI-powered cameras at strategic koala crossing locations within the Redland City Council area. These cameras automatically activate in response to koala movement, capturing hundreds of videos and images which are then transmitted to a server at Griffith University. 

The AI technology developed by the research team studies these videos and images, enabling it to identify individual koalas.

Mogill Rehabilitation Centre
Photo Credit: Google Maps

Caroline Moss, Queensland Rail Group Senior Manager Environment & Sustainability, emphasized the significance of this research.

“A research project like this helps us to understand how this technology can be applied, not only here in the Redlands, but where appropriate in other locations, given that Queensland Rail operates a really large network,” she said.

To ensure the AI can accurately distinguish one koala from another based on their appearance and movements, the research team collaborated closely with conservation groups such as the Koala Action Group Redlands, Daisy Hill Koala Centre, Moggill Koala Rehabilitation Centre, and Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary.

“We can see from the data that koalas are in trouble here. They’ve recently been listed as endangered in Australia, and Southeast Queensland was formally a hotspot. The driver of that decline has been urbanisation,” Dr. Douglas Kerlin, a co-researcher, said.

The research project is particularly relevant during the breeding season when koalas face increased risks, including collisions with vehicles. 

“We’re all about sharing information, and it’s really good to be able to put people in contact and create that conduit between researchers so that everyone can get to the same goal faster,” Frank Mikula from Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary near Kenmore, highlighted the importance of collaboration. 

“The technology does the heavy lifting for us, and that’s really important moving forward. 

“With increased knowledge about how koalas are crossing roads, we can better inform mitigation and management so that we can ensure a better long-term future for koalas.” 

Published 2-Oct-2023

Kerbside Collection: When Will Pick-Up Resume in Kenmore & Surrounding Suburbs?

After more than a year’s hiatus, kerbside collection service will be restarting in July 2021. Here’s what residents of Kenmore, Kenmore Hills, Brookfield, Pullenvale and Fig Tree Pocket can expect.

After releasing the budget for the 2021-2022 financial year, Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner confirmed that kerbside collection will be back one year earlier than planned. 

In April 2020, Mr Schrinner suspended the operations for at least two years, or until July 2022, to direct the service’s expenses to Council’s other initiatives. Despite the unpopular decision, Council used the funds to help struggling small businesses and community groups as a result of the pandemic lockdowns. 

“We will start with the suburbs where it was paused…we’ll go back there and then start again in the normal way,” Mr Schinner said in announcing the service’s return.

Here’s the updated kerbside collection schedules for the following suburbs:

Kenmore Hills
26 July 2021
Fig Tree Pocket
02 Aug 2021
* Schedules are updated continuously as needed.

Prior to the updates, some residents informed Pullenvale Ward Councillor Greg Adermann that Kenmore, Kenmore Hills and Brookfield should be among the first suburbs to restart the service after they saw Council’s page showing a different date.

Photo Credit: Screengrabbed from Council’s official site

“[Kerbside collection] was paused on 3rd of April 2020, not May,” said a local, Ben Ponting, on Mr Adermann’s Facebook page. “Brookfield, Chapel Hill, Kenmore and Kenmore Hills were due to start 27th April 2020.” 

“Kenmore was supposed to have their kerbside collection in April 2020 yet the new schedule says Kenmore is only getting kerbside collection in June 2022,” Melinda Waldeck said. “Since kerbside collection was paused in March 2020, if the statement about the starting in July with the suburbs where it was paused is correct then Kenmore should be scheduled to have kerbside collection in August 2021. Kenmore’s last kerbside collection was April 2019, so if we aren’t scheduled until June 2022 it will be over 3 years between collections!” 

Cr Adermann was quick to reassure concerned locals and updated them about the situation.

“After receiving a large number of enquiries from local residents, I made enquiries which confirmed that the scheduled services to these areas were postponed just before they were due in April 2020, meaning they should have been among the first to receive a collection upon the resumption of kerbside collection,” he pointed out.

“To Council’s credit, they acknowledged this oversight and today agreed to my request to amend the collection schedule … Council’s website has been amended to reflect these changes,” he added.

Meanwhile, Brisbane residents are encouraged to check the list of items that are acceptable and not acceptable for kerbside collection so that nothing will be left behind by their kerb. Uncollected and improper disposal of household wastes could lead to an illegal dumping fine. 

Fig Tree Pocket State School Prepares To Celebrate New Milestone: 150 Years

Generations of Fig Tree Pocket State School (FTPSS) alumni will come together to celebrate a major milestone in September 2021, the school’s 150th founding anniversary, and preparations have started for this special event.

On Facebook, parents of the current students have set up the group Fig Tree Pocket State School 150 Birthday Celebrations in anticipation of this momentous occasion whilst they mobilize online efforts in planning activities and disseminating updates for students old and new, parents, educators and the wider community.

The group is also collecting photos, videos, stories and anecdotes of their best memories at the FTPSS for a special 150th Birthday Book.

Photo Credit: Sonya Mizzi for the Fig Tree Pocket State School 150th Birthday Celebrations Group Page / Facebook

“My earliest memory at FTP was from Year 1,” Vanessa Rualini shared to the group, who said she’s still best friends with her school mate, Sonja Gustafson.

“I had a baby brother who I desperately wanted to come to our classroom so he could see our pet mice. As he wasn’t allowed to, one afternoon I carefully put one of the mice into my lunchbox (with some grass) and took it home. You can imagine the strife I got into. The poor mouse survived thank god.

“I was lucky enough to have three years with Mrs Cox. I loved our walks to see the Tawny Frogmouth Owls. I loved our story writing lessons, and even won some awards under Mrs Cox’s guidance. She was amazing, my favourite teacher.

And I loved the swamp. I loved making pathways through the middle with planks of wood as mentioned by Tara Sanderson.”

A commemorative T-shirt design was already announced after student Tiah won the design contest, giving the best interpretation of the school’s motto, “Learning for a better world.”  Tiah’s design had the school colors blue and white and the symbolic emblem of the Fig Tree.

Photo Credit: Julie Jelley for the Fig Tree Pocket State School 150th Birthday Celebrations Group Page / Facebook

Where is Fig Tree Pocket State School?

Nestled on five hectares of this lush expanse in the western suburbs of Brisbane, this institution has come a long way since September 1871 when it was established as a government primary school that provides quality education to children from Prep to Year 6 in Fig Tree Pocket, in the Queensland, Brisbane City Central & Northern Suburbs region.

From the colonial curriculum of teaching basic reading, writing, and arithmetic until 1905 when major changes were made to the syllabus — the focus shifted to the child (rather than the teacher) as the centre of the learning process. 

To date, Fig Tree Pocket State School is a very highly rated primary school that has a minimum capacity of 500 students with a student-to-teacher ratio of 1 to 13.

Meanwhile, due to the impact of the coronavirus crisis, details to the event are yet to be finalised as activities will be made in compliance with the necessary health protocols.

The alumni and those who served in FTPSS can send in their stories to the school’s email ftpsspandc@gmail.com or connect through the Facebook group.

Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary to Become a Foodie Precinct

Plans are underway to make the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary in Fig Tree Pocket into more than just an animal park. The popular koala sanctuary will be developed into a culinary hub and dining destination as well.

Yianni Passaris, who owns Ping Pong restaurant in Newstead and the Morning After cafe in West End, has been tapped as the food and beverage advisor. Mr Passaris will work with the sanctuary management in developing the park as a foodie precinct.

The initial plan is to transform the front cafe near the park entrance to make it more accessible to the general public. Diners won’t need to purchase a ticket to the sanctuary for this main eatery. 

Lone Pine Sanctuary cafe’s menu will also undergo a revamp, foregoing the frozen lasagnas and quiches selections in favor of tastier but affordable gourmet options.

Photo Credit: Facebook

The next plan is to build a restaurant and another cafe inside the park. Passaris said that since Fig Tree Pocket hardly has good cafes, so locals would likely be encouraged to visit the park to dine and enjoy the surrounding.

Alex Derlot from the Derlot Studio has been drawing up the redesign of the sanctuary and will choose the furnishing and decorations that will be incorporated in the restaurants. Mr Derlot will also create a space for the park’s new gift shop. 

Visitors to the park should notice that renovations to the front cafe is currently underway and will be completed by January 2021. It will boast of 120 seats and recycled or sustainable furniture from Mr Derlot’s LesBasic collection.

Photo Credit: Derlot Editions/Facebook

Chris Saad Finds Home, Sweet Home in Fig Tree Pocket

For Chris Saad, who spent years away from his native Brisbane, working in San Francisco’s Silicon Valley, the homecoming that began in 2017 is now all the sweeter, as he exchanged his posh, inner-city digs for a new home in Fig Tree Pocket.

Before coming back to Brisbane, the self-described product & startup builder, serial entrepreneur, strategic advisor, angel investor, and podcaster had made quite a name for himself amidst Silicon Valley’s highly competitive tech environment.

Photo Credit : https://www.chrissaad.com/

Mr Saad was the Head of Product at Uber. He is also a co-founder of the DataPortability Project. “I build strategies, products, messages, brands, ecosystems, standards and startups,” is how he describes what he does.

He and his wife Aliya closed the deal in May 2020 on the purchase of a $2.42 million retreat situated on a quiet, leafy cul de sac in River Park Place.

Photo Credit: McGrath Estate Agents Paddington

The sprawling 1,358-square-metre property, listed by Alex Jordan of McGrath Estate Agents and designed by Tabrizi Home Builders, embodies the laid-back, family-oriented lifestyle that Mr Saad and his wife Aliya have envisioned for their family.

Photo Credit: McGrath Estate Agents Paddington

“I think we had this inkling that we wanted to go to a leafy area we were ‘umming’ and ‘ahhing’ and we loved our apartment that we were in but when COVID hit it solidified the idea in our mind about having our own sanctuary. I think, trend-wise, that urbanisation of people moving into the cities will reverse now,” Mr Saad said.

As people used to high-rise apartment living, the couple said that the coronavirus pandemic has given them fresh insights about their priorities in life.

Photo Credit : https://www.chrissaad.com/photographer
Photo Credit : https://www.chrissaad.com/photographer

“My whole career I had been living in these high rise apartments … but we realised our priority was about our family and creating a sanctuary where family can come and enjoy a special place,” Mr Saad said.

Photo Credit: https://www.chrissaad.com/photographer

“Sanctuary” is certainly the vibe of his new home, with luxury features that include an outdoor entertainment area with a fire pit, Instagram-worthy gradens, a gourmet kitchen, and other amenities that give the home the qualities of a luxurious, urban retreat.

Photo Credit: McGrath Estate Agents Paddington

Both Mr Saad and his wife work remotely so the daily commute to an office that most people deal with was not an issue.

Their new, elevated abode is located metres from riverfront parks, the boat ramp, city express buses, and in the catchment of excellent private and public schools.

Photo Credit: https://www.chrissaad.com/

Three years after moving back to Brisbane, Chris and Aliya Saad are finally home.

Fig Tree Pocket: Best performing Suburb For House Price Growth

It was an outstanding year for Fig Tree Pocket as it led the list of Brisbane suburbs for house price growth, the latest Domain report reveals.

Leafy Fig Tree Pocket soared 30 percent year-on-year to $1,150,000 to emerge on top of the best performing suburbs in Brisbane. Whilst data from REA Group’s realestate.com.au, reveals Fig Tree Pocket also showing an impressive price growth with its median house price rising to $1,137,500 in 2019 from $950,0000 in 2018.

The Domain House Price Report, December 2019 quarter report showed mixed results for the Greater Brisbane market. Houses showed steady price growth over the last seven years whilst the units market continued to slump, dropping annually over the past two-and-a-half years.

House prices grew a respectable 1.3 percent over the last quarter and 0.4 percent overall growth in 2019. Whilst that may be considered modest, a few suburbs managed to perform much better, even recording double-digit median house price growth such as Windsor, Wilston, Yamanto, and Newmarket.. 

Top 10 Brisbane suburbs according to the Domain House Price Report, December 2019 quarter and based on year-on-year growth:

Fig Tree Pocket$1,150,00030.2%
Bridgeman Downs$775,0007.3%

Meanwhile, the units market continues to soften, dropping to 3.4 percent quarter-on-quarter in December 2019. In spite of lackluster performance, analysts are still optimistic that excess in units supply will ultimately be absorbed as the number of new constructions continue to fall. 

House prices in Brisbane appear to be taking its cue from other markets, particularly Sydney and Melbourne, which are showing stronger price growth and will likely to continue to perform well in 2020.

Cliveden Park in Fig Tree Pocket Designated as Launch Area for Drones

Drones weighing 500 grams to 2 kilograms can now take off and land at Cliveden Park in Fig Tree Pocket.

Following Brisbane City Council’s six-month trial of the designated areas for launch and landing of recreational drones in 10 parks across the city, permanent drone launch pads have been established in the selected public parks.

According to Environment, Parks and Sustainability Chairman Cr David McLachlan, the trial, which started in December 2017, is a response to the growing number of hobbyists and drone users across the city.

Cliveden Park in Fig Tree Pocket
Cliveden Park in Fig Tree Pocket Photo credit: www.brisparks.com.au

Cr McLachlan said that the Council has received positive feedbacks from its trial of 10 sites and hundreds of people have been taking advantage of the designated areas to take off land their drones that are up to 2 kilograms.

“More than 700 people provided feedback to Council following the trial and 80 percent of those support Council in providing spaces in parks for the launch and landing of drones,” Cr McLachlan said.

“After reviewing the current locations, Council has determined the current sites will remain available to drone users and Council will look to additional sites that could be leased by clubs for drone racing and fixed-wing aircraft activities,” he added.

flying drone
Photo credit: CC0 Public Domain / Max Pixel

Cr McLachlan stated that regulations for drone activities during flight will still be governed by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority while the Council is responsible for the regulation of the launching and landing of these unmanned aircraft from Council land, including parks.

Drones weighing less than 500 grams can be launched from any Council park but users must comply with CASA restrictions and flight-restricted areas for the Brisbane Airport, Archerfield Airport, and helipads. Here are helpful drone resources and links that every drone user should know.

For drones weighing 500 grams to 2 kilograms, other designated areas for  launching drones, apart from the Cliveden Park in Fig Tree Pocket, include  The Common Park in Coorparoo; Preston Road Park in Carina; Carindale Recreation Reserve; Canterbury Park in Bald Hills; Lacey Road Park in Carseldine; Wishart Community Park; Voyager Drive Park in Kuraby; Moggill Ferry Reserve; and Keperra Picnic Ground Park.

Learn more about the CASA rules for flying drones recreationally from the CASA droneflyer website. These rules are designed to protect other people, both in the air and on the ground and must be followed at all times, even when you are flying from Council parklands.

Visit the Council’s flying drones in Council parks page for more information.