Westfield Chermside Hosts Unprecedented Star Wars Fan Experiences

Westfield and Disney have joined forces to transport Star Wars fans at Westfield Chermside into the heart of the galaxy with a series of immersive and interactive experiences, marking a stellar celebration of the iconic franchise in Australia and New Zealand.

This collaborative campaign introduces “A Star Wars Experience,” created exclusively for Westfield, alongside large-scale May the Fourth fan celebrations, aiming to connect fans with the beloved saga in the most authentic ways possible.

A Portal to the Galaxy

Running from 15 April to 9 May 2024, “A Star Wars Experience” at Westfield Chermside offers an immersive tour of the planet Batuu, as seen at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disneyland Resort, California. 

This exclusive event invites fans to explore a remote outpost on the galaxy’s edge, further deepening their connection to the Star Wars universe.

Additionally, thanks to a partnership between Westfield, Disney, and Flight Centre, visitors can enter a competition to win one of 10 family vacations to the amusement park in California.

Westfield Chermside Star Wars Experience
Photo Credit: Supplied

Competition Details

Westfield Members can enter to win 1 of 10 family holidays to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disneyland Resort in California thanks to Westfield, Disney and Flight Centre. 
Entries open 28 March to 24 April inclusive, with winners announced on 4 May 2024.
Competition Conditions apply, see www.westfield.com.au/terms-and-conditions.  NSW/ACT/WA/QLD/SA & VIC res 16+ only.  
Must be a Westfield member with access to the Westfield App. Ends: 29 April, 2024. Max 1 entry permitted p/person p/day p/centre (max 5 entries per day). Draw: 3 Amy Cl Wyong NSW 2259 at 12pm (noon) AEST on 2/5/24. Winners’ names published in the App on 4/5/24. 

Spark Stations and More

To combat school holiday boredom, Westfield Chermside and other centres have introduced “Spark Stations,” featuring Star Wars-inspired activities to entertain families and fans, ensuring the Force is strong with visitors of all ages:

  • Balloon bending to create iconic characters, spaceships and lightsabers 
  • Arts and crafts activities 
  • Face painting of iconic Star Wars characters 
  • And more surprise and delight moments 
Westfield Chermside Star Wars Experience
Photo Credit: Supplied

A Universe of Excitement

Jacqui Waine, Westfield’s General Manager of Marketing and Community, and Tim Everett, Vice President and General Manager of Consumer Products at The Walt Disney Company Australia & New Zealand, expressed their thrill at bringing such a rich tapestry of Star Wars experiences to fans. 

“We’re thrilled to be bringing a slice of the Star Wars universe to Westfield destinations with ‘Spark Excitement,’” Ms Waine said. “Through our unique collaboration with Disney, we’re proud to offer experiences for fans and customers of all ages to celebrate the Star Wars universe. It’s going to be a fantastic couple of months, and we know our customers are going to love it.” 

“We are so thrilled to continue our collaboration with Westfield, sparking excitement, adventure and bringing the Disney magic to their customers and our fans throughout 2024,” Mr Everett said. 

This collaboration is just the beginning. Plans to “Spark Joy in the Everyday at Westfield” throughout 2024 are underway, also celebrating Marvel (“Spark Adventure”) and Disney Princess (“Spark Magic”) franchises.

Published 11-April-2024

Residents Warned: Multi-Residential Carparks Targeted by Thieves in Chermside

Police have identified multi-residential complexes in Chermside and Hamilton as prime targets for theft. Numerous reports of stolen property from storage cages and vehicles, primarily occurring overnight, underscore an escalating concern.

Rash of Break-ins

The latest breach occurred overnight on Tuesday, April 2, 2024, when thieves infiltrated an underground car park on Kittyhawk Street, Chermside. Several storage cages were emptied of their contents in a brazen act of theft

Similarly, on the night of Friday, March 29, intruders broke into a car park on Harbour Road, Hamilton, and stole tools and clothing from a parked vehicle. Chermside saw additional offences that night, with two separate unit complexes on Curwen Terrace reporting break-ins and thefts.

Photo Credit: QPS

Alarming Crime Statistics

From January 8 to April 7, 2024, Chermside has witnessed a staggering 731 offences, with 78 cases of unlawful entry and 354 instances of other thefts. This category encompasses property theft without force or unlawful entry, revealing a concerning pattern of criminal behaviour in the area.

Chermside Unlawful Entry
Photo Credit: QPS
Photo Credit: QPS

Authorities urge residents to adopt stringent security measures and maintain vigilance. Key recommendations include establishing robust personal security routines, liaising closely with building management, ensuring familiarity with building evacuation and safety protocols, and employing physical security enhancements such as quality door and window locks. 

Chermside theft cluster
Theft clusters
Photo Credit: QPS

Residents are also advised to minimise the storage of valuables in accessible areas, secure bicycles and motorcycles effectively, and exercise caution with car security, including the use of anti-theft screws for registration plates.

Reporting Suspicious Activity

Residents who have information regarding these incidents are encouraged to contact Policelink by using the online suspicious activity form available 24 hours a day at www.police.qld.gov.au/reporting or by calling 131 444. To report crime information anonymously, contact Crime Stoppers by calling 1800 333 000 or report online at www.crimestoppersqld.com.au. Please quote the reference numbers QP2400579472, QP2400553992, QP2400556990, or QP2400562298 when providing information.

Published 8-April-2024

Five-Year Prison Sentence for Chermside Lego Store Manager Following Theft and Arson

The former store manager of a Lego store in Chermside has been sentenced to five years in prison for stealing $60,000 in cash and merchandise, and causing $70,000 in fire damage to conceal the theft.

In 2020, the store manager of a Westfield Chermside Lego outlet misappropriated 40 boxes of Lego and nearly $60,000 from the store to support a gambling addiction. The theft led to an elaborate cover-up attempt, where the manager set fire to the shopping centre’s stockroom, significantly damaging stock from Lego and neighbouring stores, Specsavers and Macpac.

Upon discovering the theft and subsequent arson, an investigation quickly focused on the manager. The escalation of the case resulted in the manager’s attempt to evade consequences by committing further thefts in Longreach while on bail. These actions led to an additional $10,000 stolen from a new employer.

Presented before the Brisbane District Court on Tuesday, 26 March 2024, the Chermside Lego store manager pleaded guilty to charges of aggravated fraud, endangering property by fire, and stealing by a clerk or servant. 

Chermside Lego Store Manager
Photo Credit: Sergei Tokmakov/Pixabay

The court handed down a sentence of five years for aggravated fraud, with concurrent two-and-a-half-year sentences for the other charges, highlighting the premeditated nature of the crimes and the breach of trust involved.

The prosecution and defence addressed the court on the impact of the manager’s actions and her personal circumstances, including mental health issues tied to her gambling addiction. 

The Chief Judge emphasised the sentence’s role in punishment, deterrence, protection of the community, and the offender’s rehabilitation.

Published 3-April-2024

New Adina Apartment Hotel Coming to Chermside

Toga Far East Hotels (TFE Hotels) is expanding its Adina apartment hotel brand into the fast-growing Chermside with the signing of the new Adina Apartment Hotel Chermside. 

Read: Major Residential Project Proposed for Kelso Street

The 148-key hotel is being developed in partnership with local firm Limitless Developments and is slated to open in 2025.

Designed by WMK Architecture, the new-build hotel will be centrally located in the heart of Chermside, about a 20-minute drive north of Brisbane’s central business district. 

Photo credit: Adina Hotels/WMK Architecture 

The hotel aims to offer a modern experience for guests with amenities like an all-day dining restaurant, cafe/bar, lobby lounge, meeting room, gym, rainwater harvesting, and on-site parking.

Photo credit: Adina Hotels/WMK Architecture 

The signing of Adina Chermside Brisbane is a significant milestone for TFE Hotels, providing an opportunity for them to expand their Adina footprint from two hotels to three in the powerhouse state of Queensland.

“Adina Chermside brings a homegrown hotel brand to this important suburb, filling a gap in the accommodation market for the north side of Brisbane and the Prince Charles Hospital,” the company website stated.

Photo credit: Adina Hotels/WMK Architecture 

The new hotel is being developed in anticipation of the transformative decade ahead as Brisbane prepares to host the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Chermside itself is one of Brisbane’s fastest-growing suburban areas, with the population projected to nearly double by 2036 as it emerges as a secondary CBD for the northern suburbs.

The Adina will be owned by local developer Limitless Developments, which has over $150 million of completed projects in its portfolio and another $160 million in active developments underway in Southeast Queensland. 

Photo credit: Adina Hotels/WMK Architecture 

Owner Nick Barr has more than 25 years of experience in the Brisbane market and is deeply involved in community philanthropy, including an annual 1,000km charity cycle to raise funds for The Prince Charles Hospital Foundation.

Read: Easing Traffic in Chermside: Over 900m of Gympie Road Transitway Completed

With its prime suburban location and community-minded ownership, the new Adina Apartment Hotel Chermside Brisbane looks to be an exciting addition to the booming Brisbane hospitality scene in the lead-up to the 2032 Olympics.

Major Residential Project Proposed for Kelso Street

A 10-storey development featuring 226 residential units has been proposed for Kelso Street in Chermside.

Read: Affordable and Social Housing Project Underway in Chermside

The plans, designed by architectural firm Telha Clarke, would see the current single-storey dwellings at 10-18 Kelso Street demolished to make way for the large-scale housing project.

The proposed development would have a total gross floor area of 21,567 sqm, with 12,338 sqm dedicated to residential spaces. 

Photo credit: Telha Clarke 

It would feature a mix of studio, one-bedroom, two-bedroom and three-bedroom apartments, including 60 studios, 107 one-bedrooms, 56 two-bedrooms and 3 three-bedrooms.

The design incorporates a number of amenities for residents, including 813 sqm of communal space spread throughout the floors. There would also be 296 sqm of deep planting or green space, meeting the 10 percent site coverage requirement.

Photo credit: Nearmap

Parking and transportation provisions have been made with 167 car parking spaces and 284 secured bicycle spaces. Vehicle access would be from a new crossover on Kelso Street, while separate pedestrian access would lead to the main lobby.

According to planning documents, the building has been designed to appear as two separate forms with strategic breaks along the facade and recessed balconies to reduce visual bulk. A central spine would connect the two sides of the development and would be significantly set back from the street.

Photo credit: Telha Clarke

“The site provides a great opportunity for Brisbane, as a growing World City, to advocate housing quality in medium and high-density apartment living in the form of a 10-storey purpose built build to rent residential development,” said planners about the development.

“Furthermore, due to much-needed housing supply, the proposal will deliver an alternate housing product (of an appropriate scale) in a location with great access to jobs, services, amenities, public transport, critical care lightweight appearance and highlight the balconies.”

Read: ‘Gram-Worthy Brunch Spot Andonis Cafe & Bar Chermside Now Open

The development application is currently under assessment by Brisbane City Council. If approved, it would mark a major increase in housing density for the area.

Published 26-February-2024 

400 Donations and Counting: Chermside Local Ryan McVeigh Sets Record as Youngest Australian Donor

Chermside resident Ryan McVeigh clocked up an impressive 400 blood, plasma, and platelet donations when he turned 40 last February 17, making him the youngest donor in Australia to reach this significant milestone.

Read: Expanding Horizons: Stepping Stone Clubhouse Opens in Chermside

Ryan McVeigh, a paramedic and volunteer firefighter, first started donating at age 16 when that was the minimum eligible age under Red Cross guidelines, and has been donating regularly as a form of volunteering ever since.

He did not even realise he was approaching his 400th lifetime donation until Lifeblood informed him. Now Mr McVeigh hopes to one day reach 1,000 total donations.

Ryan mcveigh
Photo credit: Australian Red Cross Lifeblood/Instagram

Lifeblood, which is responsible for providing blood, blood products, and services to the Australian community, was celebrating Ryan’s achievement and encouraged others to follow his lead.

“The van came around to my high school and I was already very involved in volunteering, so I just took every opportunity do something good. It was only after donating for some time that I became very passionate and regular,” said Mr McVeigh.

Lifeblood spokesperson Liam Richardson praised him as an incredible example of someone making a meaningful difference to people who need blood and the loved ones who support them. 

He added that because one whole blood or plasma donation can save up to three lives, Mr McVeigh has saved an astounding 1,200 lives over the years with his donations, dubbing him a real-life superhero.

Ryan mcveigh
Photo credit: Australian Red Cross Lifeblood/Instagram

Mr Richardson noted that every week, Lifeblood needs approximately 33,000 blood product donations across Australia to meet patient needs.

Whilst 400 donations is not feasible for most people, the key message is that every single donation counts and is appreciated. He expressed gratitude to donors who give the gift of life by visiting Lifeblood centres.

According to Lifeblood, blood and plasma donations help save the lives of people suffering from cancer, trauma injuries, chronic illnesses, and complications during childbirth. Plasma donations were in high demand, with plasma able to be used in 18 different life-sustaining medical treatments.

Read: St Vincent’s Private Hospital to Open Advanced Radiation Centre in Chermside

To donate blood, you can book an appointment by calling 13 14 95, going online to lifeblood.com.au, or using the DonateBlood app. This applies whether you are a regular donor who hasn’t donated in a while, or you are considering donating for the first time.

The Chermside Lifeblood Donor Centre is open six days a week (Monday, Thursday and Friday from 7am-6:30 p.m., Tuesday and Wednesday from 7:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m., Saturday from 7:00 a.m.- 3:00 p.m. and Sunday from 8:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.) for whole blood donations.

Published 24-February-2024 

‘Gram-Worthy Brunch Spot Andonis Cafe & Bar Chermside Now Open

Andonis Cafe & Bar Chermside is now open, marking the first northside location for the rapidly expanding cafe chain. 

Read: Ralph Lauren Announces Expansion With New Store in Chermside

The Instagram-famous eatery quietly opened the doors of its newest outlet on February 5, bringing its signature overloaded dishes and photogenic desserts to the Health Hub complex on Gympie Road.

Fans can expect the same signature Andonis fare: fluffy omelettes, towers of French toast, loaded milkshakes, and the piece de resistance – those gravity-defying desserts capped with sparklers that set social media alight.

Photo credit: Andonis Cafe & Bar/Instagram 

Between the all-day breakfast creations, burgers bursting at the seams, and the gravity-defying stacks of waffles adorned with everything from Nutella to Oreos, Andonis earned a reputation for being as delightful to photograph as it was to devour. 

Photo credit: Andonis Cafe & Bar/Instagram 

“At Andonis Cafe, we understand the importance of presentation. Our chefs take great care to create dishes that are not only delicious but also aesthetically pleasing. Each dish is carefully crafted and arranged to ensure that it looks as good as it tastes,” they stated on their website

Photo credit: Andonis Cafe & Bar/Instagram 

The Chermside opening represents continued growth for founder Anthony Kekkou’s dining empire after launching his first venue in 2018 and adding five more popular southside locations over the past six years. They have locations in Fortitude Valley, Yeronga, Yeerongpilly, Upper Mt Gravatt, and Cornubia.

Photo credit: Andonis Cafe & Bar/Instagram 

Kekkou also confirmed plans to open additional locations at Mt Gravatt in March and Browns Plains later this year, with potential for more growth on the horizon. 

Read: Get Cheesy With Melt Brothers at Westfield Chermside

An added bonus for visitors: The Chermside venue offers three floors of convenient onsite parking. The cafe is open daily from 6:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. for dine-in service at 3/621 Gympie Road.

Published 15-February-2024

Easing Traffic in Chermside: Over 900m of Gympie Road Transitway Completed

Over 900 metres of the Gympie Road transitway have been completed in both directions as part of efforts to alleviate congestion and enhance travel efficiency for commuters in Chermside and other areas in North Brisbane.

The Northern Transitway, stretching from Sadlier Street to Rode Road, is slated for full opening in April 2024, marking a milestone in the ongoing project’s completion. These dedicated bus lanes are designed to facilitate more efficient bus travel, thereby separating buses from general traffic and resulting in substantial travel time savings.

Whilst progress is commendable, attention is now shifting towards the remaining section of the project, from Rode Road to Hamilton Road. This segment will change to better integrate with the proposed Gympie Road Bypass project. 

Northern Transitway Chermside
Photo Credit: Translink

Anticipated to align with the release of the Gympie Road Bypass Investment proposal later this year, this shift aims to enhance the integration of the transitway with the broader transportation infrastructure, including proposed upgrades to the Chermside Bus Interchange.

Undoubtedly, the delivery of the Northern Transitway project has not been without its challenges, with considerable cost pressures and unexpected complexities, particularly in replacing old underground stormwater drainage structures. Nonetheless, efforts to mitigate these issues are already underway, ensuring the project’s completion aligns with the broader vision of enhancing transportation networks in the region.

The impact of these developments on the community is substantial, as articulated by Member for Stafford, Jimmy Sullivan. 

“More than 9,000 people currently use buses to travel along Gympie Road between Kedron and Chermside each weekday,” Mr Sullivan said.

“By separating buses from general traffic, the Northern Transitway is reducing congestion, delivering higher frequency services, improving service reliability and bonus travel time savings during peak periods.

As the project progresses, all Gympie Road bus stops from Stafford Road to Rode Road are set to open in April, further alleviating congestion and improving traffic times along this critical corridor. With completion milestones reached in April 2023 and December 2023, the project continues to forge ahead, with the next section to Rode Road anticipated for completion in April.

For commuters seeking information and planning their journeys, resources such as the MyTranslink app, the Translink website, and customer service helpline 13 12 30 remain invaluable tools

Published 13-Feb-2024

Expanding Horizons: Stepping Stone Clubhouse Opens in Chermside

Stepping Stone Clubhouse has opened a new clubhouse in Chermside, servicing locals within the suburbs of North Brisbane, including Wavell Heights and Geebung.

Stepping Stone Clubhouse was founded in 1994, born out of a pressing need for comprehensive mental health support services in Brisbane. Its establishment was driven by the philosophy of the Clubhouse model, which emphasises the value of a supportive community environment for individuals recovering from mental illness.

For over a decade, the dream of having a Clubhouse in the northside has been nurtured by Stepping Stone, and this dream has finally come true in 2024. 

Members of the Stepping Stone Clubhouse hail from the entire Brisbane region and adjacent catchments. A substantial 29 per cent of Stepping Stone’s membership resides in the northern suburbs, with only one-fifth of them attending the current Clubhouse located in Coorparoo for more than 10 hours in the last calendar year. 

Distance has been a major barrier for Northside members, hindering consistent participation. This new venture aims to bridge this gap and provide support to individuals living with mental illness in the Northside communities.

Finding the Perfect Spot

A meticulous analysis was conducted by a business consultant to determine the ideal location for the new Clubhouse. The assessment took into account existing services in the north and identified crucial gaps that needed addressing. 

Additionally, proximity to public transport and employment opportunities was a key consideration. Chermside emerged as the chosen location, owing to its vibrant atmosphere and potential for collaboration with local businesses and services.

Stepping Stone Clubhouse Chermside
Photo Credit: Stepping Stone Clubhouse

Overcoming Challenges

Securing recurring funding posed the most significant challenge in establishing the northside clubhouse. However, earlier this year, Stepping Stone received promising news as Queensland Health committed funding to kickstart this transformative initiative.

The new Clubhouse promises to foster a sense of community, belonging, and fulfilment for individuals grappling with mental health concerns. Operating in a non-clinical, psychosocial environment, it aims to facilitate members’ journey towards rebuilding their lives. 

This approach not only enhances the well-being of members but also reduces reliance on clinical support services, including hospitalization. As members regain confidence, reintegrate into the workforce, and actively engage with the local community, the benefits ripple outwards, positively impacting families and the broader community.

Programs and Progress

Similar programs to those offered at the existing Clubhouse, such as the Work Ordered Day and the Healthy Active Lifestyle Program (HALP), will be available at the new facility. 

The Work Ordered Day program focuses on collaborative efforts between members and staff to manage daily tasks and share meals. HALP will initially offer lunchtime options like walks, meditation sessions, and swimming, gradually expanding to include evening and weekend activities. Social recreation programs will also be emphasized, recognizing the importance of community engagement in fostering friendships and a sense of connection.

Membership at Stepping Stone has been instrumental in transforming lives across various domains, including health, social interactions, employment, and education. The supportive and non-judgmental community provided by the Clubhouse empowers individuals to achieve their goals and integrate into their local communities with newfound confidence and skills.

Published 9-Feb-2024

St Vincent’s Private Hospital to Open Advanced Radiation Centre in Chermside

St Vincent’s Private Hospital in Chermside is set to inaugurate a state-of-the-art radiation therapy centre in collaboration with the Icon Cancer Centre.

For a comprehensive and seamless cancer care experience, the new facility is expected to eliminate the need for patients to seek radiation therapy services elsewhere, underscoring a commitment to providing integrated, high-quality cancer care to the local community.

This groundbreaking initiative comes as a response to the evolving needs of cancer patients, where treatment often involves a combination of therapies ranging from surgery to chemotherapy and radiation. 

Around 50 per cent of all patients diagnosed with cancer require radiation oncology treatment, and until now, they haven’t had access to these services at St Vincent’s Northside.

Icon Cancer Centre’s selection as a partner stems from its reputation in designing and constructing world-class radiation oncology centres and delivering top-tier cancer care. 

Photo Credit: St Vincent’s Private Hospital Northside/Google Maps

The new radiation therapy centre will offer a range of advanced treatment options, including Varian’s HyperArc for advanced brain cancer, Surface Guided Radiation Therapy, and tattoo-free advanced radiation therapy. The Varian linear accelerator, capable of delivering 18,000 radiation therapy treatments annually, represents a significant leap forward in treatment technology.

“Many patients going through chemotherapy are quite unwell, and with those patients that also require radiation treatment, it’s extremely beneficial to provide on-site, integrated cancer care,” St Vincent’s Northside medical oncologist, Dr. Rick Abraham, emphasised the positive impact of an on-site radiation facility on patient care.

The collaborative effort promises a multidisciplinary approach, excellent facilities, and robust collaboration to create a service that will make a difference to patients in Brisbane’s northside.

The new radiation therapy centre is expected to commence operations in late 2024.