Love Local News Our Region - News from Toowoomba & Darling Downs Fri, 26 May 2023 12:21:01 +0000 en-US hourly 1 61344929 Bishop Ken Howell Seventh Bishop of Toowoomba Fri, 26 May 2023 12:21:01 +0000 Pope Francis has appointed Bishop Ken Howell, who has served as Auxiliary Bishop of
Brisbane since 2017, the seventh Bishop of Toowoomba. Bishop Howell will succeed Bishop Robert McGuckin, who has led the Diocese of Toowoomba since 2012, whose resignation Pope Francis has accepted.

“I am deeply humbled to be called by Pope Francis to shepherd this local Church and I thank him sincerely,” Bishop Howell said. “I realise that I have been given a great responsibility to care for the faithful and to engage in the life of the broader community across the Diocese.”

After serving as a priest of the Archdiocese of Brisbane for 40 years, and the last six as auxiliary bishop, Bishop Howell conceded there was a “touch of sadness” in leaving. “However, I do not come to Toowoomba as a stranger,” he said. “The close links between Brisbane and Toowoomba have been longstanding and I know many of the priests of the Diocese.”

“I come with a desire to listen to God’s people and to understand and grow in love for the mission of this local Church. It is my firm hope that I may accompany the community of the Church of Toowoomba, as together we seek to live and proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ in the world.”

In addition to parish ministry and leadership positions within the Archdiocese of Brisbane, Bishop Howell completed a licentiate in sacred liturgy at the Pontifical Institute Sant’Anselmo in Rome and served as vice rector of Holy Spirit Seminary, the Queensland regional seminary, for six years.

Bishop Howell (left) shakes hands with Bishop McGuckin

Australian Catholic Bishops Conference president Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB welcomed Bishop Howell’s appointment. “He will arrive well equipped for this new ministry to which he has been called,” he said.

Archbishop Costelloe also paid tribute to Bishop McGuckin, saying he “offered the Conference great service for more than a decade, providing exceptional leadership particularly in the area of canon law”.

“His episcopal ministry has been generous, extending well beyond the normal age of retirement to serve the people of Toowoomba and the Church in Australia,” Archbishop Costelloe said.

Bishop McGuckin said he had been “privileged” to serve as Bishop of Toowoomba for 11 years and wished Bishop Howell “every blessing as he takes up his pastoral ministry in this vast and special Diocese.”

“The people of the Archdiocese of Brisbane will be sad at losing Bishop Ken, but rest assured Bishop Ken will be warmly welcomed to Toowoomba,” Bishop McGuckin said. Bishop Howell’s installation as Bishop of Toowoomba is scheduled for July 11 at St Patrick’s Cathedral.

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World Science Festival Queensland On Its Way To Cobb+Co Tue, 16 May 2023 04:09:42 +0000 It’s not a tincture, it’s not a dram, it’s a whole PINT…OF SCIENCE!


You read right Toowoomba brainiacs. World Science Festival Queensland and Pint of Science have teamed up to bring you a cheeky satellite event at Cobb+Co Museum on 20 May 2023, ahead of the official Pint of Science global festival, #pint23 from 22-24 May 2023.

Exercise your intellect and charge your neurons with a tasty smorgasbord of scientific treats featuring beer (and other things that come in pints), food, fun-and-games, and short talks from our science experts!

All you need to do is grab your friends and BYO sense of humour for a scientifically guaranteed evening of FUN!


5pm: Doors open

6pm – 9pm: Pint of Science at the Museum! (Last drinks 8.30pm)


Why not pair your tasty science treats with a cheese board, some frosty beverages and get set for a whole lot of fun.

Fancy some food for thought? Why not make a night of it and come for dinner and a show! Cobb’s Coffee Shop will be open for a selection of meals from 5pm until 8pm with drink service available until 8.30pm.

Cheese platters are available for pre-purchase for $15. These are available to book through the booking link once you have selected your tickets.

Cheese platters include a selection of cheese, crackers, fruits and salami. A single platter is substantial for one person, or as a light snack to share.
Limited seats available. Get your tickets today.


For information on accessibility, please visit the Cobb+Co website.


Pint of Science brings scientists to share their latest research with you. Thousands of researchers across hundreds of cities share and discuss their findings with people in their local pub, bar, cafe or public space. The global Pint of Science science festival, #pint23, will be 22-24 May 2023.

Pint of Science is organised by a grass-root community of thousands of scientists across the world and is proudly hosted in Toowoomba, as a satellite event pre-festival, in May 2023 as a guest event of World Science Festival Queensland.


Cobb+Co Museum, 27 Lindsay Street, Toowoomba, QLD, Australia

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A Toe Tapping  Time For All Ages Wed, 10 May 2023 06:48:06 +0000

Mother’s Day 2023 will be a fun day for all those who have come to love Toowoomba’s Newtown Park,  its history, majestic trees and the Queensland State Rose Garden with 2,800 Roses.


There’ll be plenty of tables and seating in the Rose Cottage and in the beautiful Rose Garden lawn areas under leafy trees, and room dance too. The roses will be blooming plus many of the trees will be in full Autumn colour  …

Sausage Sizzle              $5.00 (includes Sausage/onion/bread, tea, coffee or soft drink. Sausage without drink $3.00
Slice homemade cake/biscuit                $2.00 each
Soft Drinks/water/tea/coffee              $2.00 each.
Multi-draw raffle              3 tickets for $5 (drawn Sunday 12.45pm)
Trade table with homemade cakes, jams and potted plants for sale..

Enquiries                                   Lorraine       0429 115 14                 Sandra       0408 753 602

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St Vincent’s Hospital Enhances Robotic Surgery Capability Sat, 06 May 2023 03:30:26 +0000 This week saw the first St Vincent’s Private Hospital Toowoomba patient undergo surgery using the world-class da Vinci robot system and accompanying Trumpf operating table.

St Vincent’s Hospital CEO Kathryn McKeefry said the da Vinci robot will mean patients have the benefits of less invasive surgery, increased precision and improved recovery times. “The benefits of the da Vinci surgical robot are further enhanced thanks to our purchase of the Trumpf operating table which integrates with the surgeon’s operation of the robot,” Ms McKeefry said. “Results for patients undergoing general, colorectal and other abdominal surgery will be optimised by the new surgical system.”

Director of Clinical Services, Malcolm Casey, said a special training day for clinical staff and specialists was held in March to explore the capacity of the da Vinci system, allow those attending to ask questions and to invite discussion.

“There is a clinical nursing specialist with extensive experience in theatre robotics who will oversee training and support for staff assisting clinicians. “In addition, a theatre is wholly dedicated to the da Vinci robot,” Mr Casey said. Fittingly, two of Australia’s five most experienced benign gynaecology surgeons and Australia-wide da Vinci robot system mentors, Dr Anthony Cerqui of Women’s Health Only and Dr Brendan Miller of Blue and Pink, will be using the robot at St Vincent’s. Dr Cerqui was the first surgeon to use the da Vinci robot at St Vincent’s hospital when he performed a gynaecological procedure on Friday morning (28 April).

He welcomes St Vincent’s Hospital’s new acquisition which allows extension of his role in mentoring other gynaecological surgeons from across Australia. “St Vincent’s purchase of the da Vinci robot represents a significant investment in women’s health in this region. “This technology has considerable benefits for gynae patients in terms of patient outcomes and recovery time,” Dr Cerqui said. “I look forward to offering this more sophisticated and world-class service to my patients.”

On the technical side, the da Vinci system translates the surgeon’s hand movements at the console in real-time, allowing intuitive motion which acts like the human hand, but with a greater range of motion. The da Vinci vision system also delivers highly magnified, 3D high-definition views of the surgical area. The instrument size makes it possible for surgeons to operate through a few small incisions, thus helping patient recovery and pain management.

Submitted by:
Jenny Foxton
Business Development Manager

St Vincent’s Private Hospital Toowoomba

The St Vincent’s Hospital clinical and peri-operative team who assisted Dr Cerqui during the first da Vinci robotic surgery performed at the hospital.
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Help Fight The Flu Ahead Of Winter With A Vaccination Sat, 06 May 2023 00:18:12 +0000 Darling Downs residents are being encouraged to protect themselves against influenza. The best way to avoid getting sick is to talk to your GP about receiving a flu vaccination.

Ash Taylor and Dr Liam Flynn

For the year to date, 1 January to 16 April 2023, there have been 224 laboratory-confirmed cases of influenza in the Darling Downs Health region. Director of Public Health and Community Medicine at Darling Downs Health, Dr Liam Flynn, said this was an increase in comparison to previous years, which is why it’s important to get the flu vaccine.

“Now is a great time to protect yourself and your loved ones, so you’re immunised before the flu season arrives,” Dr Flynn said. “Flu season in Queensland typically peaks in August, so I’d encourage all members of our community to visit their GP or pharmacist and get the influenza jab soon.”

Influenza is a very contagious, viral infection that can affect the upper airways and lungs.

In addition to receiving the vaccination, there are also some simple steps that can be taken to help fight the flu. These include washing your hands, covering your coughs and sneezes, and staying home if you’re sick.

Some members of the community are more at risk from influenza and its complications, therefore are eligible to receive the vaccination for free under the National Immunisation Program.

These people include people 65 years and over, pregnant women, all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people over six months of age, children from six months to five years of age and people with certain medical conditions.

To find out where you can receive your flu vaccination talk to your local GP or pharmacist.

For more information about Darling Downs Health’s Tackle Flu program for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, visit Darling Downs Health Tackle Flu Campaign Celebrates Twelfth Year with Free Flu Shots and Deadly Shirts.

Submitted by:
Anthea Holborn

Media, Communication and Engagement Manager
Darling Downs Health

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Darling Downs Irish Club St Patrick’s Day Parade 2023 Wed, 08 Mar 2023 01:53:40 +0000 The committee of the Darling Downs Irish Club (DDIC) invites your participation in Toowoomba’s annual St Patricks Day Parade, 2023.

Each year we hold a parade the weekend prior to the 17th, the actual celebration day, and we are keen to increase community involvement in our special event. This year the parade will be held on Sunday 12th March, meeting at 10am for a 10:30 start.

We proceed from the Irish Club hotel at the Station Street entrance, and do a square loop up Margaret, Ruthven and Russell streets (about 1.5km usually). Everyone is welcome to walk in the parade, and you can participate in a range of different ways; it maybe a group of walkers dressed in green or other Irish regalia, or a presence in the capacity of a float or display – Be creative! St Patrick himself will lead the parade.

Anyone wishing to enter a vehicle in the parade needs to have the vehicle and driver approved in advance by the parade organisers (Darling Downs Irish Club) and must conform to the TRC and Police guidelines.

If you are interested in taking part, please send an email indicating your interest and proposed presence in the parade (we are required to provide details of participants to the Council for approval).

Name of Group:
Numbers in attendance:
Presence: Walkers/ Float /Other (please specify__________)
Other comments:

If you have any questions please contact us at

Best regards,
Darling Downs Irish Club Committee

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Parks Week Set To Kick Off For 2023 Fri, 03 Mar 2023 12:44:10 +0000 The Toowoomba Region is gearing up for a range of activities for 2023 Parks Week which is set to kick off this Saturday 4th March and run until 12th March.

Toowoomba Region Environment and Community Portfolio Lead Cr Tim McMahon (right) pictured with Sue Swan and Dougal Johnston of the Friends of Escarpment Parks Toowoomba, gearing up for 2023 Parks Week

Toowoomba Region Environment and Community Portfolio Lead Cr Tim McMahon said that residents have plenty of opportunities to get out and get involved in 2023 Parks Week.

“We truly are blessed to live in one of the great regions in Australia for parks and open spaces and Council is partnering with a number of community groups to deliver some wonderful activities for 2023 Parks Week.

“TRC has around 368 actively managed parks across the Region, in addition to 567 open spaces and bushland parks so it’s no wonder residents are spoilt for choice in getting outdoors across the region.

“From an open day at the Charles & Motee Rogers Bushland Reserve at Highfields this Saturday to open days at Toowoomba’s Community Organic Gardens beginning on Sunday, there is plenty on offer for residents to get involved,” Cr McMahon said.

Many activities during Parks Week are free including Meditation in the Park at a range of venues as well as Open Days at Yarraman Creek across both weekends of Parks Week.

The Change Project will also be providing a number of health and wellness activities across Parks Week including group fitness sessions, Zumba, Park Run and walking groups in the park.

Parks Week is celebrated throughout Australia and New Zealand as a combined initiative of Parks and Leisure Australia and New Zealand Recreation Association.

For a full list of Parks week activities across the Toowoomba Region visit Parks Week 2023 (

Submitted by:
Jason Cubit

Senior Media Relations Officer
Customer, Communication and Engagement Branch
Toowoomba Regional Council

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Pipe Organ Conservation Appeal 2023 Mon, 27 Feb 2023 14:06:16 +0000 St Luke’s Anglican Church, Toowoomba is home to a Heritage Listed Organ, one of the top three organs in Queensland.

St Luke’s has been the location for concerts and community events throughout its history, especially since the first stage of the present building was built in 1897.  The most recent major community event was the Memorial Service in 2022 for Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

At the request of the mayor, Paul Antonio, the service was held in St Lukes, for the people of Toowoomba and the surrounding region. The organ has enhanced and been a vital aspect of such events and has been maintained with care by St Luke’s community for over 100 years, but now needs considerable work to ensure that it will continue to be available for church and community use.

On Sunday 12th March at 2.30pm, St Luke’s Hymnfest is to be held, at which an Appeal will be launched to raise necessary funds to preserve and maintain the organ. This event will involve some of our extraordinarily talented local musicians and choirs, drawing on people and resources from Toowoomba, the region, and beyond! A massed choir for the event will be drawn from many people who enjoy the delight of beautiful music shared.

Attendance at the Hymnfest is free, and a celebratory afternoon tea will be offered at the end of the event. It is hoped that this celebration of music and song will highlight the blessing of music offered in St Luke’s this for the benefit of the wider community.

Donations through the Appeal will be tax deductible (if wanted) through the National Trust. For more information, about the Appeal, the Hymnfest or regular concerts at St Luke’s please contact:

The Reverend Canon Paul Mitchell
0437 391 910

Please note: If you wish to sing in the massed choir,  you must register. Please contact the Parish Office for further details – phone 4639 1910 Monday to Friday 9am to 1pm.

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Toowoomba Swim Teacher Wins State Award Wed, 22 Feb 2023 11:15:48 +0000 Darren Lange Swimming Academy learn-to-swim instructor, Charlene Copland, has been awarded the highest accolade in the industry, being named the 2022 Learn to Swim Teacher of the Year (Qld).

The award, from Swim Coaches and Teachers Australia (formerly Swim Australia), recognises significant and outstanding experience, knowledge and implementation in the learn to swim industry. DLSA managing director, Darren Lange, said the award was well-deserved and a tremendous recognition for ‘Ms Charlene’.

“Charlene is a fantastic water safety teacher who has dedicated more than a decade to guiding infants, toddlers and children along their water safety journey,” Mr Lange said. “Charlene puts her heart and soul into her work, and we couldn’t be more excited for her winning this award.”

Charlene, who started her journey with the DLSA as a customer and parent, said it was a huge privilege to be awarded the Learn to Swim Teacher of the Year. “There are so many deserving and talented teachers in this industry, and I feel honored for the reward and recognition of my dedication and hard work that I have put into my career,” Ms Copland said.

Seeing her students grow in confidence while learning a valuable life skill is what drives Charlene at work every day. “Australians love swimming and water activities, but every year we see multiple drowning tragedies that could be prevented,” Ms Copland said. “Drownings are rising which is alarming. Having children in swimming lessons not only helps build confidence while gaining a physical skill, it could, more importantly, one day save a life.”

Mr Lange, former Commonwealth Games Gold and Silver Medalist, and Olympian,  said Ms Charlene brings a wealth of experience to her role, not only as a Learn-to Swim teacher, but as a DLSA teacher trainer. “Charlene brings passion and her knowledge to a new generation of DLSA swimming teachers.”

Ms Copland said of the DLSA team “I work with such an amazing team at DLSA. The examples of leadership and dedication comes from the top – right from management and extends through to the whole team. The support and encouragement we receive is amazing and helps us strive to be the best we can be.”

“Teaching babies as young as three months old right through to teenagers is a wonderful privilege and I am blessed to be part of their journey. Thank you to all my families, this award is dedicated to you.”

Submitted by:
Darren Lange
DLSA Managing Director

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First Coronary Angiogram Procedure At Toowoomba Hospital Mon, 06 Feb 2023 13:08:36 +0000
Ken with some of the treating team Alanea Espiritu, Dr Robert Gluer, Kirsten Douglas-Robinson and Joe Senagan

A new service at Toowoomba Hospital is increasing local capability and bringing care closer to home for patients. The first diagnostic angiogram was completed last Friday, with staff thrilled to now be offering the procedure. A coronary angiogram uses x-ray imaging and contrast dye to diagnose heart artery blockages.

“It went very smoothly, and everyone worked well as a team,” said Clinical Nurse Consultant Kirsten Douglas-Robinson. Now that we offer this service, patients may not need to travel to Brisbane for their procedure so they can stay in Toowoomba and have it done here.”

And that makes a big difference to patients like Ken from Allora, who had the first coronary angiogram on Friday morning. “It was exciting being the first cab off the rank. Very pleased. It’s good to see the hospital here has this facility to do this procedure, it’s amazing,” said Ken.

Director of Cardiology Dr Robert Gluer said he’s extremely proud of the team and their collaboration with the Medical Imaging department. “It’s been a massive team effort, the number of people involved and the time and energy that’s gone into this can’t be underestimated.”

“We were very lucky to have the Medical Imaging department upgrading their equipment, and funding from Toowoomba Hospital Foundation for a balloon pump. It means that patients will be able to have a diagnostic coronary angiogram here, and only people who need further procedures then need to travel to Brisbane.”

The introduction of the diagnostic service is the beginning of a bigger plan to grow local cardiac services at Toowoomba Hospital, including offering stents to heart attack patients in the future.

Submitted by:
Media and Communications Team
Administration Building, Baillie Henderson Hospital

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