Aspley Special School Students Dance Up a Storm for Sick Kids

Aspley Special School students have shown their boundless generosity and infectious enthusiasm by participating in the Dance for Sick Kids challenge, raising an impressive $1,055 to support young patients across the nation.

Aspley Special School
Photo Credit: Aspley Special School

The school community came together to groove and move, showcasing their commitment to making a difference in the lives of others.

Students and staff alike busted a move to raise money for Dance for Sick Kids, a national initiative supporting children’s hospitals all over Australia. Chesleigh H., a student, was in charge of the fundraising campaign. Chesleigh’s goal was to raise $320, but she exceeded her target by a considerable margin, demonstrating the incredible dedication of the Aspley community.

The funds raised will go towards providing vital resources and support for sick children and their families, ensuring they have access to the best possible care during challenging times. 

The Dance for Sick Kids challenge not only provided an opportunity for students to have fun and express themselves through dance, but also instilled in them the importance of giving back to the community.

Aspley Special School
Photo Credit: Aspley Special School

Aspley Special School principal, Mr Chesleigh Hargreaves, expressed immense pride in the students’ efforts, stating that their dedication to helping others was truly inspiring. The principal also highlighted the positive impact that the event had on the school community, fostering a sense of togetherness and shared purpose.

The success of the Dance for Sick Kids challenge at Aspley Special School is a testament to the power of community spirit and the unwavering determination of young people to make a difference in the world. Their efforts serve as a shining example for others to follow, proving that even the smallest actions can have a profound impact on the lives of those in need.

Published Date 28-May-2024

Remembering the Frenzied Opening of the Groundbreaking Pick ’n Pay Hypermarket in Aspley

It was a seminal moment in Brisbane’s retail history; the chaotic day that transformed sleepy Aspley into an unlikely shopping battlefield. Nearly four decades later, memories of the unprecedented pandemonium on 7 November 1984, when the city’s first Pick ‘n Pay Hypermarket opened, remain vivid.

On that fateful day, a mammoth crowd of 25,000 frenzied shoppers descended, flooding Australia’s first-ever hypermarket in an unbelievable $1 million spending spree. 

Pick 'n Pay Hypermarket in Aspley
Photo Credit: Hypermarket Heroes

Birth of a Shopping Phenomenon  

Imported from South Africa in a joint venture with JBL Investments, the 25,500 square metre megaplex was a revolutionary one-stop shop. It boasted a staggering 82% occupied by Pick ‘n Pay grocery aisles with 78 checkouts, complemented by 40 specialty stores and parking for 1,800 cars.

Pick 'n Play grocery aisle
Photo Credit: Hypermarket Heroes

Yet despite its wildly successful Aspley debut, the hypermarket remained the only Pick ‘n Pay outpost in Australia. Union opposition to South Africa’s apartheid regime quashed plans for nine additional locations nationwide, including a second store in Melbourne.  

To commemorate the opening, Pick ’n Pay annually hosted birthday parties for children born on the 7th of November, 1984, until 1995, when the brand was sold to Coles-Myer. 

The property changed hands again in 2001, selling to You Feng for $62.65 million. In 2007, plans to rebrand it as a Coles SuperCentre were delayed due to the pending sale of the Coles Group. However, it ultimately transitioned into a Coles Supermarket and Kmart Discount Department Store by late 2012. An Aldi store also joined the complex around this time.

An Unlikely Retail Powerhouse

The hypermarket’s advent was merely the latest in a series of transformations for unassuming Aspley. From its agricultural roots providing Brisbane’s fresh produce, the suburb blossomed into an elite residential enclave in the 1960s.

Aspley’s evolution from rural hamlet to retail juggernaut was solidified in 2016 with a $50 million revamp. This welcomed Woolworths and Aldi into the now-renamed Aspley Hypermarket shopping center.

Unmatched Opening Day Pandemonium

While the suburban hub has continued its metamorphosis, nothing quite tops the unmatched pandemonium of that pioneering 1984 launch.

Aspley's biggest retail opening day
Photo Credit: Hypermarket Heroes

Reminiscing about the chaotic opening, longtime residents’ anecdotes paint a vivid picture:

“As kids, we used to sing: ‘Pick ‘n Pay Hypermarket, wipe your boogers on the carpet,'” DannyR from Reddit said

For many, the hypermarket’s striking architecture is inextricably linked to childhood memories. 

“So much of my childhood is wrapped up in that one photo,”  Dryopithecinie said. “Was in a minor accident just behind this sign turning right up Maundrell Tce from Albany Creek Rd. Had a bank account at BoQ at Aspley Fountain top left. Still go to Fish On Line that now exists in place of that vacant lot that’s fenced off (right of Maccas sign). Had a few catchups with friends at the Coffee Club in the same lot. So many parties at the Aspley Maccas. Would buy Fags (not Fads!) at George’s which used to be in the shops to the left. Worked in a dodgy sports clothing store in the HyperHole. Went to primary school up the road.”

Shortly before the Pick n’ Pay shuttered permanently in late 2012, a modest memory board was put up near the service desk. The former center management graciously provided me with copies of these photographs shortly after the transition to a Coles and Kmart.

Pick 'n Play in 1995
Photo Credit: Hypermarket Heroes

Whilst Aspley has emerged as an unlikely retail powerhouse, the pandemonium of that November day remains unmatched in Brisbane’s shopping folklore. It was a watershed moment that heralded a new era, cementing the hypermarket’s place in Australian purchasing patterns.

Published 27-May-2024

Starlight Drive-In in Aspley: A Cinematic Icon Fades to Black, Now Replaced by Housing

Aspley residents may remember a time when the hum of engines and the crackling of speakers filled the night air on Albany Creek Road. That era belonged to the Starlight Drive-In Theatre, a beloved entertainment hub that merged cinema and community across the suburb’s nightscape for over four decades.

Photo Credit: Chermside District

Opened in 1957 by the Sourris Brothers in Aspley, the Starlight Drive-In originally accommodated 359 cars, offering moviegoers a unique under-the-stars cinematic experience. Under the subsequent ownership of Birch Carroll & Coyle, a prominent Australian cinema chain, the drive-in flourished, adding a second screen in 1969 to become the Starlight Twin Drive-In and expanding its capacity to 650 cars by 1981.

Starligh Drive-In
Photo Credit: Chermside District

For years, the Starlight Twin Drive-In served as a social gathering spot, a family outing destination, and a cherished part of Aspley’s cultural landscape. It was known for its double features, playground for children, and a popular snack bar that offered classic drive-in fare.

However, the curtain fell abruptly on the Starlight Twin Drive-In in 2001 under circumstances that remain unclear. While reasons such as declining attendance due to the rise of multiplex cinemas and video rentals were speculated, the sudden closure sparked public outcry and even made headlines, highlighting the community’s attachment to this iconic landmark.

Photo Credit: Cinema Treasures

Today, the site of the former drive-in is home to residential housing. While the drive-in’s physical presence is gone, its memory lives on in the hearts of those who experienced the magic of outdoor cinema under the Aspley night sky, and it remains a nostalgic symbol of a bygone era in Brisbane’s entertainment history.

Photo Credit: Cinema Treasures

The Starlight Drive-In may have vanished from the physical landscape of Aspley, but its legacy as a community landmark and cultural icon will not be forgotten. As new residents make their homes on the former drive-in site, they become part of a story that intertwines cinema, community, and the ever-evolving nature of urban development.

Published Date 22-May-2024

Aspley Residents Warned After Trailer Thefts

Aspley residents are being urged to secure their trailers and remain vigilant after a recent spate of trailer thefts across the North Brisbane area, including one incident on Albany Creek Road.

Queensland Police are investigating seven trailer thefts reported over the past week, with the stolen items ranging from box trailers and pig trailers to a Drake Quad trailer and a rented skip trailer.

In the Aspley incident, a box trailer with the registration FL1821 was reported stolen from the street front on Albany Creek Road on May 15th (reference QP2400825703).

Other thefts occurred in nearby suburbs like Deagon, Geebung, Brighton, Pinkenba, and Stafford Heights between May 7th and May 14th.

According to police, the trailers were largely stolen during the night, with many left unsecured on streets or in front yards, making them easy targets for opportunistic thieves.

Offenders take advantage of easily accessible items, such as trailers left unsecured, which can be easily attached to a vehicle for towing and then used to commit further offences, including theft of motorcycles and other goods.

Residents, especially those who own box trailers, horse floats, camper trailers or similar items, are being advised to take extra precautions:

  • Use off-street parking or locked garages/gates when possible
  • Secure trailers with high-quality wheel locks, coupling locks and chains
  • Avoid leaving valuables in or on trailers
  • Consider using engine immobilisers that meet Australian Standards for maximum protection

The police urges the Aspley community to lock up possessions and report any suspicious behaviour or vehicles to police immediately.

Anyone with information is urged to contact Policelink on or Crime Stoppers anonymously on 1800 333 000, quoting the relevant theft reference numbers.

Published 17-May-2024

Aerial View Shows Progress of Hawera Court Pedestrian Bridge in Aspley

Recent drone footage captures the significant progress on the construction of the Hawera Court pedestrian bridge in Aspley, hinting at a community link that’s both relevant to the times and future-proof.

The pedestrian bridge that links Hawera Court and Hawera Crescent Park is undergoing a transformative rebuild. Initially compromised by severe weather in February 2022 and dismantled in 2023 for safety, the replacement project is designed to strengthen this vital community connection.

The new bridge design incorporates a 4.3-metre-wide span, engineered to resist future flooding. The construction plan includes 3-metre-wide shared paths at both bridge ends, a kerb ramp from Hawera Court, and newly landscaped surrounds. The fabrication of the bridge is proceeding offsite, with the foundational work on site paving the way for a resilient structure.

Hawera Court Pedestrian Bridge
Photo Credit: BCC

Drone footage has documented the initial construction stages, providing the community with a unique glimpse into the ongoing transformation.

Full bridge installation is targeted for mid-2024, with public access anticipated by mid-year. Residents may experience temporary disturbances from noise, dust, and vibration, alongside traffic rerouting around the construction zones.

An approved Environmental Management Plan guides the project, ensuring that local wildlife and vegetation are considered. An arborist oversees the ecological aspects. An alternative route via Horn Road has been established, with clear signage directing pedestrians and cyclists around the construction site for their safety.

Once completed, the new Hawera Court pedestrian bridge will restore and significantly improve access to Hawera Crescent Park and Little Cabbage Tree Creek Bikeway, enriching Aspley’s landscape and community life.

Published 17-May-2024

Aspley Hornets Buzzing with Optimism Ahead of 2024 QAFLW Season

The Aspley Hornets are riding a wave of momentum as they prepare for the 2024 QAFLW season. The club’s remarkable transformation from winless in 2020 to grand finalists in 2023 has left the entire Aspley community buzzing with excitement and optimism.

Read: SZA Brings Her Chart-Topping Hits to Brisbane’s Stage

Raising the bar

Head coach Luke Glacken is not resting on the laurels of the team’s impressive 2023 campaign. “We’re not happy with just making it to the grand final,” Glacken states firmly. “It was a great achievement to look back on, but it’s definitely not where the story stops.”

The preseason has been intense, with Glacken and his staff setting higher standards for the playing group. The 65-strong squad, all hungry to make their mark on the competition, embraced the pressure to perform.

Squad revamp ahead of the 2024 QAFLW Season

While the Hornets have lost key players during the offseason, they have bolstered their ranks with an influx of 24 new faces.

Headlining the recruits is QFAW Div 1 superstar Jessica Davy, fresh off a premiership-winning campaign with Moreton Bay Lions. Former AFLW players Tiarna Ernst and Kitara Whap-Farrar add experience to the defensive and forward lines, respectively. Jasmine Kawa’s return to her former club provides maturity in the midfield, while Isabella McDonough is another exciting young talent expected to make an impact.

The Hornets have also undergone a change in leadership, with Courtney Daniec stepping into the Vice-Captain role and Emma Pittman taking over as Captain.

Read: Riverdance Marks 25 Years with Breathtaking Production in Brisbane

While external noise surrounds the Hornets’ chances of making another grand final appearance, the team is focused on blocking out distractions and concentrating on continuous improvement throughout the program. 

Published 23-March-2024

Aspley Community Raises $10,000 for Students Impacted by Poverty

Through Officeworks Aspley and Virginia, the Aspley community has raised over $19,800 to aid 29 children grappling with the repercussions of poverty, significantly contributing to the educational assistance provided by the charitable organisation, The Smith Family.

From 26 December 2023 to 11 February 2024, Officeworks Aspley emerged as a leading force, generating over $10,000 in donations, with Officeworks Virginia closely following suit with over $9,800.

The funds amassed through the fundraising endeavour will be channelled into The Smith Family’s Learning for Life sponsorship program to support 2,000 children and families impacted by poverty. The money will cover crucial school expenses such as uniforms, books, and excursions whilst also offering vital personal support and additional educational programs to foster sustained student engagement and connectivity to learning.

Aspley The Smith Family
Photo Credit: The Smith Family/Facebook

In a statement expressing gratitude, The Smith Family CEO Doug Taylor commended the support from Officeworks, its dedicated customers, and team members, emphasising the collective effort in empowering young Australians with educational opportunities.

“We are so grateful for the ongoing support of Officeworks, their generous customers and passionate team members, who have come together to support young Australians with their education,” Mr Taylor said.

“When young people start school without the essentials they need to keep up with their peers, they risk falling behind and disengaging from their learning. With this long term, wrap-around support, even more students will be able to stay engaged at school and make the very most of their education.”

David Matthias, Officeworks Aspley Store Business Manager, conveyed immense pride in the community’s generosity.

“Alongside Officeworks Virginia, we are so proud to have raised more than $19,800 for The Smith Family thanks to the support and generosity of our community. We would like to thank each and every customer and team member who contributed to this year’s appeal and supported The Smith Family’s Learning for Life sponsorship program and the vital work it does in enabling all Aussie children to have fair access to education.”

The Back to School Appeal mirrors Officeworks’ People and Planet Positive commitment to support 30,000 students by 2025. With a track record exceeding expectations, Officeworks has revised its goal to support 60,000 students by 2025.

For further details, consult Officeworks’ latest People and Planet Positive Report.

Published 27-February 2024

Community Alert: Theft of Vehicle and Wheelchair from Retirement Village, Aspley

Residents of a retirement village on Albany Creek Road in Aspley were shocked to discover that intruders had unlawfully entered their premises, making off with a vehicle that also contained a crucial mobility aid. 

On the evening of 20 February 2024, the perpetrators allegedly pilfered keys and a wallet before leaving with a significant haul: a 2023 white Renault Koleos vehicle, bearing Queensland registration plate 031IC7. 

Adding to the distressing ordeal, the stolen vehicle had a wheelchair valued at approximately $3,500. The callous theft had not only deprived the residents of their means of transportation but also compromised the mobility and independence of an individual reliant on a wheelchair.

Theft Incident and Allegations

The incident, occurring under the veil of night, brought unwelcome disruption and anxiety to the peaceful retirement community of Aspley. The stolen properties represented material losses and profound impacts on the victims’ daily lives.

In the early hours of the following morning, the stolen Renault Koleos was spotted in troubling company – alongside another stolen vehicle, a white 2016 Hyundai Accent (registered as QLD: 792WXW). It appears that the stolen vehicles are linked to a brazen Enter with Intent offence at a service station in Murrumba Downs.

stolen vehicle aspley
Photo Credit: QPS

Appeal for Assistance

Faced with this breach of security and welfare, law enforcement authorities urgently appealed to the community for assistance. The public’s cooperation in locating the stolen vehicles and the missing wheelchairs has been instrumental in restoring the affected residents’ sense of safety and normalcy.

Call 131 444 or 1800 333 000 to report suspicious activities or have seen the stolen cars.  When reporting to the police, provide these references QP2400301042, QP2400301126, QP2400301205. 

The police also issued practical advice to mitigate the risk of future incidents: 

  • If you have off-street parking, use it. If possible, park behind locked gates or in a locked garage. Parking on the street greatly increases the risk of theft.
  • Remove temptation – always lock doors and close windows when your vehicle is unattended.
  • If you must leave valuables in your motor vehicle keep them out of sight. 
  • For maximum protection, an engine immobiliser that meets Australian Standard 4601:1999 provides the most effective deterrent to opportunistic vehicle theft.  However, it offers no protection if a thief has easy access to your car keys.

Published 22-February-2024

Aspley Hornets Seek the Three-peat as Excitement Builds for 2024 QAFL Season

The reigning premier Aspley Hornets will seek to claim their third consecutive flag as the 2024 Queensland Australian Football League (QAFL) season takes off. Aspley will open their title defence campaign by hosting Broadbeach in the opening round on April 6.

Aspley Hornets early title rematch against the Sharks

After the opening round, the Hornets will then face the Redland-Victoria Point Sharks at home ground on April 13 in a rematch of last year’s Grand Final.

Other key dates on Aspley’s calendar include the trip to the Powenyenna Oval to take on the Magpies on April 27 for the ANZAC Round, an early mid-season bye to accommodate Queensland’s state game against Tasmania on June 22, and the away leg against Broadbeach on July 13 for Pride Round celebrating LGBTQI+ inclusion.

Hornets seeking further glory

The Hornets will be hunting back-to-back-to-back premierships in 2024 on the back of an outstanding title defence last year.

According to QAFL Competition Manager Mitchell Simpson, the league is shaping up for an even more competitive year thanks to high-profile recruitment like ex-Brisbane Lions Rhys Mathieson (Wilston Grange) and Daniel Rich (Noosa), as well as former AFL talents Nakia Cockatoo, Aaron Hall and Tom Hickey also entering the competition.

While the QAFL’s offseason arms race has improved the competition across the board, the steady Aspley Hornets remain well poised to contend again in 2024 after finding the right balance to break through for their repeat last season. Between seasoned veterans and exciting youth, Aspley’s chemistry and cohesion make them the team to beat yet again.

Published 16-February-2024

Fast Food Drive-Thru Coming to Aspley Commercial Redevelopment

Plans have been approved for the redevelopment of an existing commercial building in Aspley, which will incorporate a new fast food outlet with a drive-thru and outdoor dining area.

Read: Plans Lodged for Fire and Rescue Station in Deagon

The development application was lodged in late 2023 and the decision to approve the plans was handed down in January 2024. The proposal will reconfigure the current building layout to integrate a fast food restaurant and retail store at 1289 Gympie Road.

The building design by architecture firm V Architecture includes additional wood finish cladding and elements to promote a high-quality customer experience, according to the application.

Artist’s impression of the approved drive-thru (Photo credit: V Architecture)

Whilst some neighbouring locals raised concerns about potential increases in noise and pollution from a 24/7 fast food drive-thru, the application was ultimately given the green light.

Plans  (Photo credit: V Architecture)

The layout facilitates an improved drive-thru area, indoor dining space and 44 parking spots. Part of the existing building will be demolished to allow for the changes.

In total, there will be 117 sqm of retail space and 245 sqm for the fast food outlet. New signage, landscaping, and pedestrian access from Gympie Rd were also included in the plans.

Photo credit: V Architecture

Planners stated that “the development adopts a human scale with the pedestrian access accented by low level landscaping with an awning extended over the shop fronts”. It said the venue “will continue to deliver a layout that accommodates both a fast-food restaurant and a retail/shop establishment.”

Read: Deagon Market Square Undergoes $4-M Transformation Under New Ownership

The operating hours for the recently approved fast food outlet along Gympie Rd, Aspley are set at 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Construction is expected to begin soon.

Published 7-February-2024