Defying Expectations: How A 20-Year-Old Purchased His Own Home at Covella Greenbank

At just 20 years old, Jonah Blackburn has accomplished a feat that many of his peers can only dream of – he’s a homeowner. Blackburn recently purchased a block at the new Covella Greenbank housing development, a remarkable achievement for someone so young.


Read: Townhouses with Brookwater Golf Course Access Green-Lit in Springfield


The path to homeownership wasn’t an easy one for Blackburn. He was initially turned down when trying to purchase an existing home, a common roadblock for first-time buyers. But Blackburn was undeterred, and he set his sights high by breaking into the property market at a young age.

A key factor in Blackburn’s success was taking advantage of the First Home Buyers Grant. Blackburn explained that when you purchase a house outright, as soon as you do the deal and deposit, the government injects $30,000 into your loan. He noted that this money is not deducted from the buying power, but rather paid at the slab stage.

Greenbank
Jonah Blackburn and his partner (Photo credit: covella.avid.com.au)

Blackburn is now looking forward to building and moving into his new home with his partner. But the journey hasn’t been without sacrifice. Blackburn explained that he hasn’t done anything overly smart or majorly different, he’s just worked a lot more than most of his peers, even having three jobs at one stage.

covella Greenbank
Photo credit: Covella Greenbank/Google Maps

Blackburn shared most people only need around $30,000. However, he saved a bit more than that, recognising that there are often additional expenses beyond just the deposit. 

He noted that there are usually extra costs involved, such as stamp duty on the land and various registration fees, so it’s prudent to have a slightly larger savings cushion to cover those additional outlays.

covella Greenbank
Photo credit: Covella Greenbank/Google Maps

A spokesperson for AVID Property Group, which is behind Covella, stated that buyer inquiry remains strong at the development, with first-time home buyers making up 50 percent of the inquiries.

It’s revealed first-time home buyers at Covella Greenbank are not only seeking affordability, but also a community with access to transportation, green open spaces, and lifestyle amenities such as shopping and dining options.

The first home owner grant provides eligible first-time home buyers in Queensland with either $15,000 or $30,000 to put towards the purchase or construction of a new home.


Read: Flowers and Coffee Abound at Greenbank’s Adored O’NO Cafe


Blackburn’s story serves as an inspiration to other young people who may be daunted by the prospect of homeownership. By being disciplined with his spending, working tirelessly, and taking advantage of government programs, Blackburn has proven that it is possible to break into the property market at a young age.

Published 16-April-2024

Ipswich Detectives Seek Public’s Help to Identify Repeat Robbery Offender

Detectives from the Ipswich Criminal Investigation Branch are appealing to the public for assistance in tracking down a serial robbery suspect believed to be responsible for two violent crimes in the Springfield area.


Read: Police Identify Man Killed In Greenbank Dog Attack


The first incident took place around 11:50 p.m. last January 31, when an unidentified man reportedly entered a business on Woodcrest Way. 

Authorities say the suspect threatened a staff member with a knife and demanded money. The employee complied, and the robber fled the scene heading towards Woodcrest Way and Commercial Drive.

Photo credit: mypolice.qld.gov.au

Just over a month later, on 2 February 2024, what appears to be the same man allegedly struck again – this time targeting a business on Springfield Parkway around 8:30 p.m. Police claim the suspect threatened workers with a large wrench, assaulted one of the attendants, and made off with an undisclosed sum of cash.

Photo credit: mypolice.qld.gov.au

Authorities have released descriptions and images of the suspect, who is described as a tanned man around 6 feet tall with a stocky build, short dark hair, and a patchy black moustache.

During the robberies, he was reportedly wearing a grey or navy blue “Blues” football jumper, black pants, and black athletic shoes.


Read: Intervention Initiative Helps African-Australian Youths Reconnect With Their Community and Culture


Members of the public with relevant details are encouraged to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000. You can provide information using the Queensland Police’s online suspicious activity form available 24 hours a day at www.police.qld.gov.au/reporting. Alternatively, you can call Policelink on 131 444.

Robbery cases in Springfield

Photo credit: Queensland Police Service

Whilst the recent robbery incidents in Springfield are concerning, data from Queensland Police Service indicates these have been isolated events, with the broader Springfield area experiencing relatively low levels of crime over the past year.

According to the Online Crime Map, there were only two cases of robbery in the suburb in the 12-month period leading up to 9 April 2024.

Nevertheless, apprehending this suspected repeat offender remains a top priority for Ipswich detectives, who are hopeful the public can provide the crucial information needed to track down the perpetrator and prevent any further violent crimes from occurring.

Published 10-April-2024

Townhouses with Brookwater Golf Course Access Green-Lit in Springfield

A new $72 million townhouse development has been approved within an exclusive enclave at Springfield, promising luxury living with direct access to the Brookwater golf course.


Read: Brookwater Golf & Country Club: Gateway to Queensland’s Elite Golfing Experience


The Oakmont development by Azure will comprise 61 luxury townhouses situated along the edge of the 8th hole of the Brookwater golf course designed by Greg Norman. The residences will offer views over the fairways and greens stretching out to the surrounding mountains.

With the aim of cultivating a sense of community living, Oakmont will boast expansive landscaped garden areas, shared amenities and facilities for residents, and a centralised pedestrian pathway linking the different townhomes together.

Photo credit: Azure

Those who will live at Oakmont will have the luxury of utilising an upscale wellness centre featuring a steam room, sauna, magnesium mineral plunge pools, and a fully-equipped fitness centre. Further adding to the resort-like amenities on the 2.36-hectare property is a 20-metre lap pool surrounded by lounge areas and recreational green spaces.

According to Azure Director Trent Keirnan, Oakmont epitomises their philosophy of creating distinguished residences primarily aimed at owner-occupiers and investors seeking a premium residential offering. 

Photo credit: Azure

Mr Keirnan stated that at a minimum, each residence at Oakmont would be a high-quality terrace home offering three bedrooms plus a multipurpose room, further enhanced by the desirable open setting provided by being situated adjacent to a championship golf course.


Read: Springfield Central Station Park ‘n Ride Recognised with International Design Award


Construction is scheduled to commence in early 2025, with completion expected by the third quarter of 2026. The development has already generated significant buyer interest from the market.

The approval for Oakmont promises a new benchmark in luxury townhouse living nestled alongside one of the region’s most prestigious golf courses at Brookwater.

Published 28-March-2024

Celebrating Springfield’s Quiet Achievers for International Women’s Day

Meet the women chosen you chose to honour for International Women’s Day! Orion Springfield Central called upon the Greater Springfield community to nominate local women who are making a positive impact, and the response has been incredible! 



These remarkable women embody the spirit of resilience, compassion, and dedication, each contributing uniquely to the betterment of our community and beyond.

Lauren Bickley: A Story of Love and Resilience

Lauren, a devoted mother of two and a pillar of support in the local community, shares a profound bond with her husband Shaun. Their lives took an unexpected turn in 2020 when Shaun endured strokes, leaving him visually impaired and grappling with aphasia, a condition affecting his speech. Despite their immense challenges, Lauren and Shaun remained steadfast in their commitment to each other, bravely navigating this new chapter together.

Lauren Bickley
Photo Credit: Supplied

Sarah Knopke: A Beacon of Generosity and Unity

Sarah, a longtime resident of Springfield Lakes, has woven herself into the fabric of our community for over a decade. As a devoted wife, nurturing mother, and cherished Gigi, her impact resonates deeply with all who cross her path. Recognised for her unwavering commitment to good causes, Sarah is a beacon of generosity and compassion.

Sarah Knopke
Photo Credit: Supplied

Kristy and Sarah: Fostering Wellness and Empowerment

Kristy and Sarah, the dynamic duo behind Revive Yoga and Wellness Centre, epitomize dedication to both women’s empowerment and the flourishing of the community. As owners, they’ve meticulously crafted an inclusive haven that transcends the boundaries of traditional yoga studios.

Kristy & Sarah
Photo Credit: Supplied

Shelleigh Lole: Empowering Youth and Fostering Community

Shelleigh, a beloved resident of Springfield Lakes, radiates warmth and dedication, particularly in her tireless support of the community’s youth. Together with her husband Fana, they have operated Lole’s Barber Shop in the area for ten years. Shelleigh’s unwavering commitment to youth empowerment and community enrichment is a shining example of compassionate leadership.

Shelleigh Lole
Photo Credit: Supplied

Emma Atherton: Championing Women’s Health and Well-being

Emma is a driving force within the community, spearheading initiatives to enhance women’s health and well-being. As a Co-Founder of iCare4U, Emma is pivotal in orchestrating events, managing social media, and advocating for health and wellness. Her forthcoming Women’s Clinic, staffed by a team of allied health professionals, will serve as a beacon of empowerment and healing for women in need.

These unsung heroes exemplify the values of strength, compassion, and resilience. Their unwavering commitment and tireless efforts inspire us all to strive for greatness and positive change.

Honouring Contributions with a Special Exhibit

To further honour the contributions of these remarkable women, Orion Springfield Central has curated a special in-centre display showcasing their stories and achievements. This exhibit pays tribute to their indomitable spirit and aims to inspire the community to strive for greatness and positive change.

International Women’s Day
Photo Credit: Supplied

A Vibrant Community Space

“Orion Springfield Central is more than just a shopping destination; it’s a vibrant community space that thrives on inclusivity and celebration,” said Melanie Hodge, Senior Asset Manager at Orion Springfield Central. “We are immensely proud to showcase the stories of these phenomenal women who embody the values of strength, compassion, and resilience. Their contributions serve as a beacon of hope and inspiration for us all.”



Orion Springfield Central remains committed to fostering an environment where every voice is heard and everyone is celebrated. Please visit Orion Springfield Central’s website for more information about the showcased women and other community initiatives.

Published 8-March-2024

Uncovering a Hazard: Asbestos Found in Springfield School, Greenbank Dog Park

A recent asbestos contamination issue from NuGrow’s compromised compost in Ipswich, one of Queensland’s major disposal and recycling entities, has unsettled locals who frequent the Everleigh Dog Park in Greenbank and the Spring Mountain State School community in Springfield.



The discovery has prompted immediate responses from local authorities, leading to the closure of Everleigh Dog Park and the isolation of a recently completed construction site at Spring Mountain State School. 

Although the affected area at the school, lying beneath a layer of mulch, is inaccessible to the public or students, the situation has raised significant concerns.

Proactive Measures and Community Safety

In light of these findings, Queensland’s environmental authority and Workplace Health and Safety Queensland have embarked on a mission to ensure public safety through rigorous testing and containment strategies. Asbestos detection, even in small amounts, has necessitated a “very precautionary approach,” intending to maintain transparency and protect community health.

The impact on Greenbank and Springfield underscores a broader crisis, as Queensland grapples with the fallout of contaminated compost that has also affected areas in New South Wales. 

With 16 businesses and public spaces potentially exposed to the hazardous material, authorities have halted the movement of NuGrow’s soil products and initiated comprehensive testing across the southeast and beyond.

Reflection: A Call for Vigilance

The situation in Greenbank and Springfield is a wake-up call, urging a reevaluation of environmental safety and waste management standards. As investigations continue, the emphasis remains on minimising risk, reinforcing safety protocols, and ensuring such incidents do not recur, protecting Queensland’s communities and their cherished environments.

Asbestos
Photo Credit: Alpha/Flickr

“A proactive audit program of Queensland companies that manufacture and supply landscaping products has detected a small amount of asbestos in a stockpile of soil at a business, NuGrow in Ipswich,” Workplace Health and Safety Queensland issued in a statement.

“Given the low level of contamination found in the test sample, Queensland Health has advised that there is minimal risk to public health and safety at this time.

“The fact that this product is for use outdoors also reduces the risk to public health and safety.”

Phone 1300 130 372 for concerns and further information. 



Billionaire Maha Sinnathamby Puts Large Springfield Property on the Market

Billionaire property developer Maha Sinnathamby is selling a 12.7 hectare mixed-use development site in the Greater Springfield area, located 25 km southwest of Brisbane.



Founder of the Springfield City Group, Sinnathamby aims to “inject a new wave of activity” into the already rapidly growing region with this offering.

Maha Sinnathamby, visionary property developer

Maha Sinnathamby has been developing the Greater Springfield area for over 30 years. His company wants to maintain the momentum of growth in the region through the sale of this site.

The Greater Springfield area has already benefited from $18 billion worth of investment in infrastructure projects. This includes the $1.2 billion Springfield rail network, the $80 million Brighton Homes Arena, and the $85 million Mater Hospital.

High retail demand in region

The site, known as City West, has initial approvals in place for a variety of uses including retail, commercial offices, entertainment, leisure and medium density residential.

According to Colliers agent Lachlan MacGillivray, new retail floorspace in the region needs to grow by 2.2 million square metres over the next decade to meet the demands of population growth. Hence, sites like City West are becoming critical as demand outweighs supply.



The City West site is being marketed through an expressions of interest campaign by Colliers and Stonebridge Property. The campaign closes on March 15.

Published 29-February-2024

Mater Health Hub Helps Students Graduate Career-Ready in Healthcare

The newly opened Mater Health Hub in Springfield is giving high school students from Springfield and surrounding Ipswich areas a head start on their health care careers. Students can now gain nationally recognised qualifications in health support and assistance right in their local community.


Read: Mater Celebrates Springfield Lakes Leadership Team’s Achievements


Mater Education has expanded its renowned Vocational Education and Training in Schools (VETiS) program to the Springfield hub to help meet substantial growth in demand for qualified healthcare workers in the booming region.

This year, a record enrollment of over 630 students makes this the largest cohort in Mater’s history. From years 10 to 12, students undertake certificates at the state-of-the-art simulation center, graduating job-ready years before completing high school.

Photo credit: Mater Health Hub/Google Maps 

Schools participating in the program at Mater Health Hub, Springfield include:

  • Brisbane School of Distance Education
  • Bremer State High School
  • Emmaus College
  • Ipswich Girls’ Grammar School
  • Ipswich State High School
  • St Mary’s College, Ipswich
  • St Peter’s Lutheran College, Springfield
  • The Springfield Anglican College
  • West Moreton Anglican College
  • Westside Christian College
  • YMCA Vocational School

Fueling the training push is the impending 2026 opening of the Mater Hospital Springfield Stage 2 – set to make healthcare one of the major local industries and employers.

Toni-Maree Henaway, Mater Education’s Director of Learning and Development, said the new Springfield facilities demonstrate Mater’s commitment to developing the region’s future healthcare workforce. Students can now rapidly gain qualifications, with the Certificate II course fully subsidized to be completed part-time alongside school in just two terms.

“Mater Education remains committed to training future healthcare heroes in Springfield, and our VETiS program provides local high school students the opportunity to pursue their dream career while they are still at high school,” Ms Henaway said

Those completing the Certificate II also have the option to continue with the Certificate III during a discounted 10-week school break stint, made affordable for families through government funding.


Read: Bloodbikes Australia Volunteer Crusade: Springfield Lakes Local Heads Lifesaving Deliveries


Students interested in getting a head-start in jobs from patient care to admin roles can inquire about the VETiS program at their high school.

Published 27-February-2024 

Bloodbikes Australia Volunteer Crusade: Springfield Lakes Local Heads Lifesaving Deliveries

A medical logistics revolution is underway in the country, thanks to the efforts of volunteer bikers from Bloodbikes Australia, an organisation founded by a Springfield Lakes resident.



Bloodbikes Australia provides urgent medical supplies and blood products, bypassing conventional delivery constraints and bridging the gap in our healthcare system.

Peter Davis, a local from Springfield Lakes, founded Bloodbikes Australia in 2019. Similar movements inspired him in the UK, Ireland, Hungary, and Ukraine. 

Photo Credit: BloodbikesAustralia/Facebook

A Lifeline on Two Wheels

With the help of hundreds of volunteers across the country, Bloodbikes Australia has made over 7,000 last-resort deliveries to healthcare providers, demonstrating the power of community and volunteerism.

The service operates by integrating technology and goodwill seamlessly. Volunteers receive delivery requests directly on their smartphones through a system developed by a fellow volunteer. This ensures swift and efficient response times, allowing riders to promptly deliver medical supplies to hospitals and patients’ homes.

Photo Credit: BloodbikesAustralia/Facebook

One recipient with lung disease praised Bloodbikes Australia for significantly impacting his medical journey, underscoring the profound difference the organisation makes in the lives of those it serves.

The First Milestone Delivery

The story of Bloodbikes Australia’s first delivery is a tale of determination, innovation, and the resilience of the human spirit. Under the leadership of Mr. Davis, Bloodbikes Australia carefully planned and coordinated its inaugural mission. This pivotal moment set the tone for the organisation’s future.

Critical pathology samples, medicines, and medical equipment were transported for Mater Pathology in Brisbane. The objective of this operation was not solely to deliver these items, but to demonstrate the efficiency, effectiveness, and potential of motorcycle-based medical logistics. The triumph of this first delivery provided opportunities for further collaboration, including a significant partnership with Griffith University’s Institute for Glycomics. 

Bloodbikes Australia volunteers were responsible for transporting crucial research materials to find cures for debilitating diseases such as melanoma, cervical cancer, and the Ross River virus.

Joining the Ranks of Bloodbikes Australia: A Guide for Aspiring Volunteers

The organisation’s impact on healthcare logistics and patient care has been profound, largely thanks to its dedicated volunteers. If you’re inspired by the stories of life-saving deliveries and community service and have a passion for motorcycling, joining Bloodbikes Australia as a volunteer could be a fulfilling opportunity. Here’s how you can become part of this incredible team:

Step 1: Meet the Requirements

Before you can join the ranks of Bloodbikes Australia, there are several requirements you must meet to ensure safety and reliability:

  • Motorcycle License: You must have a valid motorcycle license with at least three years of riding experience. This ensures that all volunteers are skilled riders, capable of navigating various road conditions safely.
  • Motorcycle and Gear: Your motorcycle should be reliable, well-maintained, and fully registered. Additionally, you’ll need a secure method of transporting medical supplies, such as a hard-sided pannier or a top box. Safety gear is also a must, including a helmet, gloves, and appropriate riding attire.
  • Insurance: Comprehensive motorcycle insurance is required to protect yourself and the precious cargo you’ll be transporting.
Bloodbikes Australia
Photo Credit: BloodbikesAustralia/Facebook

Step 2: Complete a Blood Transportation Course

Bloodbikes Australia requires all volunteers to complete an online course in blood transportation. This course covers the handling and transporting blood and other medical supplies, ensuring all volunteers understand the protocols and procedures to maintain safety and integrity during deliveries.

Step 3: Participate in an Induction Run

Once you’ve met the initial requirements and completed the necessary training, you’ll be invited to join an experienced volunteer on an induction run. This is more than just a training exercise; it’s an opportunity for new volunteers to familiarise themselves with the process, ask questions, and understand the expectations and responsibilities of being a Bloodbikes volunteer.

Bloodbikes Australia
Photo Credit: BloodbikesAustralia/Facebook

Step 4: Join the Community

After completing your induction run, you’ll officially join Bloodbikes Australia. You’ll gain access to the volunteer network and the real-time cloud-based system that alerts volunteers to delivery requests. This system allows healthcare providers to see which volunteers are available anytime, ensuring efficient and timely deliveries.

Bloodbikes Australia
Photo Credit: BloodbikesAustralia/Facebook

To begin your journey with Bloodbikes Australia, visit their website at www.bloodbikesaustralia.org.au for more information and to fill out a volunteer application.



Alternatively, you can contact the organisation directly through the Bloodbikes Australia Facebook page or by emailing Mr Davis at bloodbikersaus@gmail.com.

Published 26-February 2024

Discontinuation of QGSSSA Membership for St Peters Lutheran College Springfield Confirmed

A recent decision by the Queensland Girls’ Secondary Schools Sports Association has altered the landscape for girls participating in sports competitions under the banner of St Peters Lutheran College Springfield.



Despite efforts to reverse the school’s membership to the Queensland Girls’ Secondary Schools Sports Association (QGSSSA), St Peters Lutheran College Springfield. will no longer be recognised as a member starting from 2026.

This change will impact the school’s participation in the competition under the broader St Peters banner. 

Tim Kotzur, the Head of College of St Peters Lutheran College, confirmed this decision in an email sent to the St Peters community. Mr Kotzur did not elaborate on the reason for the decision.

St Peters Springfield
Photo Credit: St Peters Springfield

Whilst this brings disappointment, it also heralds a period of reflection and strategic planning for the Springfield campus. 

Administrators, teachers, and students alike are exploring alternatives to ensure that the girls of St Peters Lutheran College Springfield can continue to engage in quality sporting activities beyond 2025. This exploration includes assessing options for participation in other school sports associations or leagues, as well as potentially developing inter-school competitions within the local community.



Amidst this transition, St Peters Lutheran College Springfield remains committed to providing a holistic education that encompasses academic excellence and opportunities for physical development and teamwork through sports. The Leadership Team is diligently working to mitigate disruptions and ensure a seamless transition for students, parents, and coaches involved in the sporting programs.

Published 14-Feb-2024

Ipswich Hospital Launches SCOUT, a Revolutionary Breast Cancer Saviour

Ipswich Hospital has achieved a significant milestone by becoming the first public facility in the state to initiate trials of an innovative breast cancer technology known as SCOUT. This breakthrough technology is being hailed as “revolutionary” and promises to redefine breast cancer surgery, offering hope to patients and medical practitioners alike.



A New Era for Breast Cancer Treatment at Ipswich Hospital

In a pioneering move, Ipswich Hospital has commenced trials of the SCOUT Wire-Free Radar Localisation System. The primary objective of this cutting-edge technology is to assist surgeons in precisely locating breast cancers during surgical procedures, significantly reducing the likelihood of missing cancerous tissue, and thereby enhancing patient outcomes.

The introduction of the SCOUT technology has already begun to make a positive impact on breast cancer patients like Tarampa resident Cathy Grant. For many patients, the traditional hookwire procedure on the day of surgery can be distressing and uncomfortable. However, with SCOUT, patients can now avoid this discomfort, as Ms. Grant attested.

How SCOUT Works

The SCOUT Wire-Free Radar Localisation System represents a significant advancement in the treatment and surgical management of breast cancer. Here’s an overview of the technology behind it and how it benefits both doctors and patients:

Technology Overview

  • Radar Localization: The SCOUT system utilises a unique radar signal to locate a reflector, which is about the size of a grain of rice, implanted in the breast tissue. This reflector can be placed at any time during treatment, well before the surgical procedure.
  • True Distance Measurement: It offers true distance measurement capabilities, which help overcome challenges associated with estimating tumor depth and location during surgery. This is particularly useful in supine surgical procedures where the breast anatomy can shift, making precise localisation critical.

Benefits for Doctors and Patients

  • Eliminates Wire Localisation: Traditionally, wire localisation was used to mark a tumor’s location before surgery, which could cause discomfort and anxiety for patients. The SCOUT system eliminates the need for this by using the radar-localized reflector.
  • Increased Precision and Flexibility: By providing accurate, real-time localisation of the tumor, SCOUT allows surgeons to precisely target and remove the tumor while minimizing the removal of healthy tissue. This precision supports better cosmetic outcomes and potentially reduces the need for additional surgeries.
  • Enhanced Patient Comfort and Experience: Since the reflector can be placed well in advance of the surgery and does not require the physical presence of a wire protruding from the skin, patients experience less discomfort and anxiety leading up to their procedure.
  • Operational Efficiency: The ability to place the reflector at any point during treatment and its compatibility with various imaging modalities (like mammography) streamlines the surgical process, making it more efficient and flexible for healthcare providers.

Successful Trial Launch at Ipswich Hospital

The SCOUT Wire-Free Radar Localisation System was initially trialled in December 2023, marking the commencement of a 10-patient trial. Dr. Susan Bell, a breast and endocrine surgeon at the hospital, emphasized the potential benefits for patients’s comfort and the surgery’s success.

Compared to the existing hookwire procedure, SCOUT offers several advantages. Patients no longer require wire insertion shortly before surgery, eliminating the need for both a radiologist and a surgeon on the day of the operation. Dr Bell said that SCOUT is also faster and more efficient than current surgical methods. 



With the introduction of SCOUT technology at Ipswich Hospital, the landscape of breast cancer treatment is undergoing a significant transformation.

Published 7-Feb-2024