Inala Wangarra’s Young Men’s Group: Nurturing Leaders, Shaping Futures

Inala Wangarra Inc., a prominent not-for-profit organisation dedicated to serving the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in Inala, has unveiled an innovative initiative aimed at supporting young males aged 11-18.

The newly established young men’s group, which receives support from Inspire Youth and Family Services, aims to foster a strong sense of community and cultural identity while empowering participants to achieve self-determined goals.

Heading this transformative programme is Mitchell Harrison-Currie, a proud Mununjali, Gunggari, Bundjalung man, and Youth Bail Support Officer for Wangarra. With a deep commitment to guiding youth towards positive paths, Mitchell orchestrates weekly group meetings every Tuesday at 11:30 am, tailored to meet the diverse needs and aspirations of the attendees.

Photo Credit: Website/Banggara

“As a Youth Bail Support Officer, I’m dedicated to working with young people involved in the youth justice system or at risk of involvement,” Mitchell explains. “The young men’s group serves as a platform for them to explore various avenues for personal growth and development.”

Emphasising programme education, community engagement, health awareness, and cultural enrichment, the group sessions are designed to encompass holistic well-being. With an initial cohort of approximately ten enthusiastic participants, the programme has garnered praise from local schools like Hymba Yumba, which has witnessed the positive impact firsthand.

Excursions are an integral part of the programme, providing opportunities for hands-on learning and skill-building. Recent outings to Coorparoo Boxing Gym have allowed participants to acquire new skills while fostering camaraderie and resilience. Looking ahead, Mitchell envisions journeys to Beaudesert, offering participants a chance to connect with their Mununjali heritage and extended family.

Bob Smith, CEO of Wangarra, underscores the program’s collaborative approach, which integrates community organizations and elders into the sessions. “What sets this program apart is the involvement of various community members and elders,” Bob notes. “These relationships form the foundation for long-term support and mentorship, guiding participants on their journey towards adulthood.”

As participants progress and achieve their goals, a ceremonial transition awaits, marking their passage into the Yakka Malar – The Hard Work of Men – program, where they will have the opportunity to learn from respected elders and continue their personal growth journey.

For further details about the young men’s group and other programs offered by Inala Wangarra Inc., interested individuals are encouraged to contact 3372 2333 or email This initiative stands as a beacon of hope and empowerment, paving the way for a brighter future for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youths in the community.

Forest Lake Retains Its Status as One of the Most Dog-Populated Areas in Brisbane

If you’re a dog lover, Forest Lake might just be the perfect suburb for you. According to recent data, it’s the second most dog-populated suburb in the city, with a whopping 2,122 furry residents.

Read: Forest Lake Has the Most Dogs in the City

Whilst Bracken Ridge takes the top spot with 2,320 registered dogs, Forest Lake isn’t far behind, edging out The Gap, which rounds out the top three with 2,085 pups.

But Forest Lake’s love for canine companions goes beyond sheer numbers. It’s also a haven for specific breeds, ranking as the top spot for Fox Terriers, Shih Tzus, Beagles, Pomeranians, Siberian Huskies, King Charles Spaniels, Bullmastiffs, and Dalmatians. 

Photo credit: Cottonbro Studio/Pexels

When it comes to the most popular breed in the suburb, the Maltese reigns supreme, with 178 of these adorable lap dogs calling Forest Lake home.

Here are the most dog-populated areas in Brisbane as of 2024, based on Council’s data:

RankSuburbNo. of Dogs
Bracken Ridge2320
2Forest Lake2122
3The Gap2085
8Manly West1511
9Camp Hill1467

The data is based on current Brisbane City Council animal registrations. It is a requirement under the Animal Management (Cats & Dogs) Act 2008 that all dogs over three months old are registered with Brisbane City Council if they live within the Brisbane local government area. 

Dogs over the age of three months must be registered or have their registration transferred within 14 days after you start to keep the dog.

Photo credit: Goochie Poochie Grooming/Pexels

The suburb’s appeal to dog owners isn’t surprising, given its relatively affordable median property prices – currently sitting at $745,000 according to – and its reputation as a family-friendly area. 

Photo credit: Anna Shvets/Pexels

With its current median price range, Forest Lake attracts a higher population of young families, many of whom appreciate having a four-legged companion.

Read: Forest Lake Property Market Delivers 20% Price Growth

The Council continues to encourage the community to register their dogs, as it is a requirement under state law. So, whether you’re a proud pup parent or simply a dog lover, Forest Lake is undoubtedly a suburb that caters to the canine crowd, offering a welcoming environment for our furry friends and their human companions alike.

Published 25-March-2024

Outcry Over Forest Lake School’s $9k Holiday Fee for Students

St John’s Anglican College in Forest Lake has been scrutinised for its policy of charging fees that can go as high as $9,000 if parents choose to take their children on holiday during the school term. 

This policy has sparked widespread debate about the balance between the value of traditional education and the experiential learning gained through travel.

Controversial Charges

Reports cited that parents could be paying the full term’s tuition fees as a penalty for taking their children out of school for holidays. This “beyond the control of” test exempts families only in cases of illness, natural disasters, death or illness in the immediate family, or participation in elite sports competitions. 

St John’s Anglican College has attracted criticism for not considering family holidays or financial difficulties as valid reasons for exemption, leading to accusations of unreasonableness.

Public Outcry

The community’s response has been one of shock and dismay. Outraged parents have voiced their concerns by emailing the school and expressing that the additional fee is unjust, especially considering the already significant costs associated with attending the private institution.

Public figures and parenting experts have joined the chorus, including “Today Extra” host David Campbell and parenting expert Dr Justin Coulson. They stressed the importance of educational travel and urged the school to reconsider its position.

The School’s Stance

St John's Anglican College in Forest Lake
Photo Credit: Google Maps

Despite the uproar, St John’s Anglican College has remained tight-lipped, offering no comment on the matter when approached for a response. The school’s policy letter highlighted the need to secure funding grants essential to the school’s budget, indicating that these measures are taken to avoid financial shortfall caused by reduced student attendance.

The financial burden placed on families by this policy is significant. Depending on the term and duration of the holiday, the fees can range from $1,830 to $9,200, in addition to the annual tuition fees, which already stretch from $8,250 to $14,172. 

Education & Learning

This has led to a broader discussion about the accessibility and affordability of private education and whether schools should have the authority to levy such penalties on families seeking to enrich their children’s education through travel.

Supporters say consistent attendance is important for academic success, while critics value real-world experiences.

Published 20-March-2023

Long-Shuttered Inala Skate Rink Listed for Sale, Marking End of Era

Formerly a vibrant hub for skaters in South-West Brisbane, the Inala skating rink has languished as a neglected eyesore for two decades and is finally going up for sale, as prospective buyers and community stakeholders envision a new era of growth and opportunity for the area.

Citing the tremendous support for the approved DA A005187397 from the community and local government, Ray White Commercial’s Michael Feltoe is optimistic about the reconstruction.

Inala Skate Rink
Photo Credit: Screengrabs from Google Maps

The approval of a proposal for a pool and gym complex by Brisbane City Council in 2019 gave rise to optimism for a revitalisation project. By mid-2021, however, other specifics had to be determined, creating doubts about the planned three-story sports and commercial complex.

The rebuilding plans, by developer and Inala lawyer Hien Thi Nguyen, her brother Manh Nguyen, Justin Bellas, and Nathan Vecchio, received a lot of support with 2,171 submissions. This public backing emphasises how important it is to repurpose the location, which has sentimental meaning for many residents who learned to skate there.

Cr Charles Strunk (Forest Lake Ward) noted the community’s ongoing interest in the skate rink location, a frequently discussed topic in the ward. The property’s path, from its $1-million acquisition in March 2007 to the present auction, illustrates how the local real estate market is changing.

The property represents the shifting dynamics of the local real estate market as it goes from its dilapidated state to the auction block. Stakeholders are looking forward to the next chapter in the history of the Inala skating rink, which is expected to bring opportunities and positive development for everyone involved, and are excitedly awaiting the auction on 22 March 2024.

Published 19-March-2024

Empowering Forest Lake Seniors: Movement Activities to Transform Aging into Active Living

Here are a number of fun and healthy activities for Forest Lake seniors that promote wellness through the rejuvenating power of movement. Check them out now!

Line Dancing for Seniors

At Forest Lake Community Hall, Irene Taituha extends a warm invitation to seniors seeking joy and camaraderie through line dancing. Beginners are welcomed with open arms, and Irene can be reached at 0416310930. Amidst the laughter and gentle steps, participants forge connections over cups of tea, finding solace in the rhythm of the dance and the company of like-minded individuals.

Balance and Harmony through Tai Chi and Qigong

Under Julian’s guidance, seekers of balance and harmony gather at The Lake Parklands. Julian, reachable at 0439 073 860, leads participants through the graceful movements of Tai Chi and Qigong, fostering relaxation and calm amidst the natural beauty of Forest Lake. Against swaying trees and shimmering waters, individuals discover inner peace and vitality, embracing each moment with grace and serenity.

Discovering Strength and Flexibility with Yoga

With her compassionate spirit, Nichola invites seniors to explore the healing powers of yoga at Forest Lake Community Hall. Reachable at 0406 574 454, Nichola guides participants through modified practices tailored to individual needs. Amidst the gentle stretch of limbs and the soft hum of breath, individuals discover newfound strength, flexibility, and self-awareness, embarking on a journey of inner transformation and empowerment.

Forest Lake senior activities
Photo Credit: Unsplash

Embracing Movement with Walking Groups

Forest Lake offers two vibrant walking groups for those who prefer the invigorating rhythm of footsteps amidst nature. 

The Forest Lake Mob Walking Group, facilitated by the Heart Foundation, invites participants to stride towards better health and camaraderie. While dog companions may need to stay home, individuals seeking a medium-paced walk can join this weekly gathering. For more information and registration, follow this link.

Additionally, the Inala Forest Lake Walking Group welcomes both walkers and their furry friends. With a medium pace suitable for all, this weekly excursion through the picturesque surroundings of Forest Lake offers physical activity and the opportunity to connect with nature and fellow enthusiasts. Interested individuals can visit the provided link to join this group for more details.

Enjoy line dancing, Tai Chi, Qigong, yoga, and walks at Forest Lake. Find solace, joy, and companionship while discovering the enduring spirit of human resilience and boundless potential of communal unity. 

Published 14-March-2024

QPS Confirms Legitimacy of ‘Fake’ Richlands Parking Ticket

A divisive parking ticket discovered at Richlands Train Station has sparked debate among motorists, raising questions about its authenticity. However, Queensland Police have stepped in to settle the controversy.

A Reddit user shared a photo of the contentious QPS parking ticket found on their vehicle after parking at Richlands Train Station, prompting speculation about its validity.

“Scare tactic or do police really hand out parking tickets at the Richlands train station car park?” the original poster (OP)  asked. “It looks fake as and even looks like an ink printer was used.”

Further discussions on the platform revealed varying opinions, with some suggesting it was a legitimate warning from police about an impending fine. In contrast, others speculated it could have originated from train station staff.

The OP was directed to a similar post in 2022, indicating that the parking ticket was indeed from WPS.

“There’s been lots of speculation here, but the correct answer is:

When police issue parking fines using their iPad device, the fine is automatically printed and mailed to the registered owner of the vehicle. Some police officers will leave that slip of paper on the vehicle to let the driver know that the fine has been issued and they should expect to get one in the mail.

Source: Am a QPS officer,” the commenter said.

According to a police spokeswoman, such notices are placed on windshields to inform drivers of an impending infringement notice, which is automatically generated and sent via mail to the registered owner of the vehicle.

“As the infringement notice is sent to the address of the person who the vehicle is registered to, the paper notice put on the windscreen is to let the driver know they’ve received an infringement, as they are not with the car at the time the fine is handed out,” the spokesperson said. 

Published 27-February-2024

Forest Lake Among Areas to Benefit from Proposed Brisbane School Safety Initiative

Forest Lake has been highlighted as a key area for improvement, as part of a new initiative proposing to expand 40km/h zones in Brisbane to enhance road safety for schoolchildren.

Targeting seven areas across the city, the initiative will benefit approximately 21 schools in its initial rollout. Among them are  St John’s Anglican College, Forest Lake State High School, and Arethusa College in the south. 

This plan, set to encourage more parents to walk, bike, or scoot with their children to school, involves an increase in funding to around $10 million for the next Council budget, according to Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner. 

Forest Lake Brisbane School Safety Initiative
Photo Credit: Google Maps

Key components of the proposal include the installation of new pedestrian crossings, widening of footpaths, expansion of 40km/h zones, additional kerbside drop-off and pick-up zones, and creation of school zone gateways that mark safe walking routes for students. 

The first phase will focus on four areas, impacting 12 schools and around 10,000 students. Success in these areas will lead to expansion into three more areas, including nine additional schools.

The initiative underscores the importance of detailed planning and community consultation, ensuring that any modifications align with the guidelines set by the Department of Transport and Main Roads.

This safety proposal aims to make school commutes safer and more appealing for walking, biking, and scooting and reduce road congestion in suburban areas, thereby enhancing overall community well-being. 

As Brisbane approaches its Council elections, this initiative represents a significant point of discussion among candidates, reflecting broader commitments to improving city infrastructure and safety.

Published 26-February-2024

St John’s Anglican College Joins Active School Travel Program

For the first time ever, St John’s Anglican College in Forest Lake joined Brisbane’s Active School Travel Program, which asks families to encourage their children to walk, or use a bike, scooter or skateboard to go to school.

Read: Makeovers and Improvements Set for Heathwood Parks and Recreational Spaces

The school joined more than 170 others and over 143,000 students who have participated in some way since the program kicked off in 2004. To celebrate its 20th anniversary this school year, organisers hope to have 30 schools and thousands more students taking part.

Martin Brownlow, Head of Junior School at St John’s, said he hopes the program will promote an active and healthy lifestyle for the school community.

Photo credit: Paul Newman/Google Maps 

“We wanted to join the program to promote an active and healthy lifestyle for our school community,” Mr Brownlow said.

“We are extremely cognisant of the fact healthy bodies promote healthy minds and the Active Schools Travel Program was the ideal opportunity to further strengthen this for the students at the College.

“We were very aware that not many schools in the area were involved, so we saw this as an opportunity to collaborate, lead and support other schools to see the benefits and also join the program.

Photo credit: Brisbane City Council/Facebook

Besides St John’s Anglican College, another Forest Lake school, Grand Avenue State School will commence the program once more for the three-year curriculum.

The program teaches students about the health and environmental benefits of active travel through a three-year curriculum. On average, schools see a 16 percent improvement in the number of students using active transit after completing the program.

Read: New School Bus Routes Announced for 2024

LM Adrian Schrinner said that their goal at Council was to create programs that inspire residents to improve their travel habits, which helps reduce congestion, create safer streets, and cultivate closer communities.

“Whether it is walking, cycling, scooting or anything else in between, we want to see Brisbane families ditching their cars and heading to school in a more active way,” said Cr Schrinner. 

For more information about Active School Travel, go to Council’s website or phone the contact Centre during business hours on 07 3403 8888.

Published 19-February-2024 

What’s Going On at The HUB Neighbourhood Centre Inala This February

After a quiet holiday period, The HUB Neighbourhood Centre in Inala is buzzing with activity again this February. 

Read: Oodles of Fun at Monthly Forest Lake Play Date

The local community centre closed over the Christmas break, but reopened its doors in mid-January, with most of its regular activities returning. Now, as we move into February, here are the free classes and events for locals to get involved in.

Community Yoga

Photo credit: HUB Neighbourhood Centre Inala/Facebook 

For those looking to stretch their bodies and minds, Community Yoga with Yoga Partnership starts back up this month. Bring along your own mat, towel and water bottle and get your zen on Friday mornings. The yoga sessions are suitable for all levels and provide a peaceful way to finish off the working week.

Community Garden Group 

Photo credit: HUB Neighbourhood Centre Inala/Facebook 

Green thumbs and gardeners can get amongst the greenery by joining the Community Garden Group on Friday mornings from 9:30 a.m. Help out with watering duties, weeding, planting and generally tending to the community veggie patches and flower beds. It’s a great way to get outdoors and meet other locals who share your interests.

English Conversation Classes

Photo credit:

In addition, the centre resumes its popular English conversation classes which are free and for everyone. Separate classes for men and women provide a supportive environment to practise speaking English, make new friends and learn more about the language.

With all these activities back up and running, why not make a trip down to The Hub this February and get involved? It’s the perfect place to try something new, connect with your community and keep active both mentally and physically.

Read: Forest Lake & Districts RSL Sub Branch Celebrates 25 Years, Finds a Place to Call Home

Visit their website to learn more about their upcoming classes and events.

About the HUB

The HUB Neighbourhood Centre originated in 1986 when concerned Inala residents sought to address the isolation of elderly community members. What began as informal social gatherings in a private home eventually led to the establishment of a registered association that convened at the local community health facility. In 1989, a Queensland government grant allowed HUB Centre to officially open its own permanent premises. Paid staff came on board in 1994 to assist volunteers in delivering essential services and programs to the community.

Published 9-February-2024 

Oodles of Fun at Monthly Forest Lake Play Date

Oodles, a delightful mix of poodle and other breeds like Cocker Spaniels, Golden Retrievers, or Labradors, are the stars of a monthly play date organised at an off-leash dog park in Forest Lake.

Natalie Pham, a Forest Lake resident and proud owner of two adorable Oodles named Dino and Bambi, is the woman behind this regular event. Natalie’s took inspiration from her frequent encounters with fellow Oodle owners during her afternoon strolls with her beloved pets.

Having to sometimes travel nearly an hour for previous Oodle play dates with people she knew, Natalie decided it was time to create a local hub for Forest Lake Oodle owners.

She kickstarted her initiative by posting about the event on the Forest Lake Community Facebook page and created an official event for like-minded pet parents to join.

The response to Natalie’s event was immediate and enthusiastic. While approximately 20 people had initially indicated their attendance on the Facebook event page, the actual turnout exceeded all expectations. 

Surprisingly, over 40 Oodles attended the event, accompanied by their fur families, making the event a delightful and bustling gathering.

Oodles Play Date
Photo Credit: Dino & Bambi

As the event unfolded, Natalie discovered that the playdate served a greater community purpose. It provided a safe haven for Oodle owners who had previously encountered negative experiences at other dog parks, leading to anxiety in both their dogs and themselves. This newfound sense of camaraderie and safety has inspired Natalie to envision the playdate as an ongoing monthly event.

The next Oodles Play Date has been set for Sunday, 11 Feb 2024 from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. 

Published 21-Jan-2024