Redlands embraces the Games and the benefits flow

Redland City Council’s early and strong advocacy for opportunities with the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games has paid off, with a swathe of short and long term benefits already flowing for our region.

Redland City Mayor, Karen Williams said, the Games was much more than just a sporting event, it brought the potential for benefits that span tourism and economic growth, trade and business, arts and culture, and sports and healthy lifestyle.

“Being part of the 2018 Commonwealth Games is a once-in-a-generation opportunity, and Council has been working with the community and local businesses in the years leading up to the event, to ensure long-lasting cultural and eco-tourism tourism benefits.

“Our athletes shone with three bringing home Gold: Shayna Jack of Alexandra Hills won gold in the Women’s 4 x 100m Freestyle Relay; Melissa Wu from Thornlands won gold for the Women’s 10 m Platform (Diving) and Zac Alexander landed gold in Men’s Doubles Gold Medal Match in Squash.

“Paige Leonhardt from Mt Cotton brought home silver in the Women’s SB9 100m Breaststroke while Daniel Fox from Cleveland won bronze in the Men’s S14 200m Freestyle.

“Matthew Barnard from Ormiston also showed true sportsmanship in diving events, while ex-Ormiston College student and diver, James Connor won bronze in the Men’s 3m Springboard.

Redlands also hosted over 60 of Team England’s Commonwealth Games cycling and shooting teams during Games competition at the Anna Meares Velodrome, Chandler and Belmont Shooting Range. Team Scotland also came to town running a swimming session with Sheldon College and swimmers

Division 8 Councillor Tracey Huges said hosting Team England at the Alexandra Hills Hotel was a privilege for the city and the competitors’ with the ‘Redlands experience’ made possible through Council, community and business partnerships and advocating for teams to stay locally.

“Their presence hasn’t gone unnoticed and we hope they have enjoyed their stay and will share fond memories of their warm welcome when they return home.”

Mayor Williams said the city enjoyed national and international media exposure from the two Queen’s Baton Relays events we negotiated.

“They enabled us to profile our mainland and North Stradbroke Island communities, highlighting the regions spectacular tourism assets and showcasing our Quandamooka heritage.

“Those memories will live on as we commemorate those magical moments with plaques at both Raby Bay and Point Lookout to serve as a permanent reminder of Redlands’ role in the Games.

Culturally, Redlands stood out with the Art Exhibition of Quandamooka woman and Commonwealth Games medal designer Delvene Cockatoo-Collins, whose fantastic artwork Migalu Yalingbilla – White Humpback stole the show at the opening ceremony.

“For community the Games celebrations have brought our City together, not just through the Queen’s Baton Relay events but through the many other vibrant activities that have flowed from the Games presence in our region.

“Maryann Talia Pau of the One Million Stars to End Violence Program made Redland Art Gallery the 100th Star Weave Community, pledging to weave and collect 10,000 stars for a major installation for the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, Cr Williams said.

Redlands IndigiScapes Centre also got involved using the special edition Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games themed Nature Play Passports to encourage children and families to get outside, and increase participation in outdoor, unstructured, active play, laying the foundation for lifelong stewardship of our natural environment.

Redlands Healthy & Active Program, backed by generous grants from the Australian and Queensland Governments, through the Embracing 2018 Legacy Program for the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games, brought a community based physical activity program to Redlands throughout Term 1, contributing to building healthier, happier and more vibrant communities.

“As part of the same funding package Redlands was able to deliver the Redlands Games Carnivale event which brought the twelve days of the Games to Raby Bay Harbour Park, where locals could enjoy the outdoors and good food while watching the Games on the big screen,” she said.

For trade, the Games brought opportunities for local and international engagement for participants in the Redlands’ Trade 2018 Program.

“Council and business decision-makers were able to build ties through forums such as Canada Connect, the Queensland and Commonwealth Collaboration and Showcase, and an International Education and Training Agent Engagement Reception.

“Further opportunity was offered at the Queensland Opportunities in E-Health and Gold Coast Health and Knowledge Precinct Showcase, attended by Birmingham Lord Mayor, Anne Underwood, host of the next Games.

Cr Williams said that Regional Development Australia, Logan and Redlands networking had also ensured Council is now directly in contact with a delegation from the City of Birmingham, who are the next host City for the Commonwealth Games.