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

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

Sydney Biotech Aegros to Build $352-Million Manufacturing Hub in Greater Springfield

Did you know that Aegros, a Sydney-based biotech company, is building a new $352-million manufacturing hub at BioPark Australia in Greater Springfield?

Once opened, the facility is expected to increase output for blood plasma products by one million litres a year through its patented Haemafrac plasma fractionating process. 

Aegos founder Professor Hari Nair said that his method is twice as effective as the process traditionally used. It’s also more cost-effective and can be delivered at a faster rate than overseas supply chains. Currently, only 53 per cent of plasma products used in Australia are manufactured in the country whilst the rest are imported.

Treasurer and Minister for Trade and Investment Cameron Dick confirmed that the plasma therapeutics company wants to establish its global headquarters in Queensland, which will provide more jobs for highly-skilled Queenslanders.

“Once Aegros has secured all necessary approvals and finance, the two-year construction will support an estimated 230 jobs,” Mr Dick said

“Aegros estimates that its facility will create 348 long-term jobs across its first four years of operation.

“The company aims to use its unique advanced technology to develop and manufacture lifesaving therapeutic blood products.

“Therapies produced from the plasma in the blood can help fight infection or diseases such as Lupus and Type 1 diabetes, can promote blood clotting, prevent shock and assist with post-surgical recovery.

“The Springfield facility will have the capacity to process one million litres of human plasma per year.

“Australia imports almost half of the essential plasma and blood products used to develop biopharmaceuticals, so this new facility will position Aegros to meet the needs of the domestic market.

“Aegros also aims to capture some of the $19 billion global export market for therapeutic plasma products.

Aegros Greater Springfield
Photo Credit: CharisMullenMP/Facebook

Member for Jordan Charis Mullen hailed Aegros choice to set up a facility in Greater Springfield as its underscored a vote of confidence in the region. The new industry could also attract and create hundreds of skilled jobs locally.

Meanwhile, Prof Nair is also looking forward to forge a relationship with the region’s medical community and universities to develop better plasma therapies for a myriad of diseases. 

“In this way, Aegros is also proud to be able to contribute to the country’s future pandemic preparedness.

“The support of the Queensland Government’s Invested in Queensland program and Springfield City Group has been invaluable to Aegros in moving forward with this project here in Queensland.”

Ash Barty to Build ‘Forever’ Home at Brookwater Residential

Newly retired Ash Barty is planning to build her dream home and spend her retirement years in Brookwater Residential.

In a Brookwater Residential video, Ash talks about why she chose Brookwater and what she loves about the community. She purchased the property at Brookwater Residential – which also features the Greg Norman-designed Brookwater Golf Course – last year for $882,000 and is now building her new home.

The tennis icon spent her childhood in Greater Springfield. Living with her mom and dad there her whole life and with her sister also a stone’s throw away, she said that it makes sense to her to think that “this is the destination that I want to live forever.”

Artist impression of what the interior of Ash Barty’s Brookwater Residential home would look like
Artist impression of the Brookwater Residential home Ashleigh Barty is building | Photo Credit: REA Group – Brookwater Residential / realestate.com.au

And as to why she chose to live in the community at Brookwater, she said that she loves how “low-key” the lifestyle is at Brookwater.

“It’s quiet, it’s calm, it really suits our lifestyle. Brookwater has so much to offer in all different facets of lifestyle,” she explained. 

“They’ve got a golf course, plenty of walking tracks, cafes, they’ve got all of these things that ticks all the boxes for me and that’s where I see myself forever.”

However, the three-time grand slam winner made sure that the design elements of her new home would have plenty of space outside and since she spends a lot of time in the kitchen, she also wants it to be just how she imagined it.

Describing the process of designing her “forever” home, she said that trying to explain what is in her brain and how to get the message across was “quite confronting” at the start. But everyone that she worked with at Brookwater made the whole process seamless and “nailed it.” 

“In the end, when you look back at all the decisions you’ve made, there wasn’t one regret – there never will be a regret. And I think that the best part of it is that we’ve done it. This is it! And it’s on the page and I can’t wait to see the process of it being built.”

Ash recently stunned the sporting world when she announced her retirement from professional tennis at the age of 25. In an emotional video that she shared on social media, she said that she is grateful for everything tennis has given her but she knew that the time is right to “chase other dreams and put the racket down.”

But why retire when she is at the peak of her career?

“To be able to win Wimbledon…the one true dream that I wanted in tennis, that really changed my perspective.

“I just had the gut feeling after Wimbledon – and I have spoken to my team quite a lot about it — and there was just a little part of me that wasn’t quite satisfied, wasn’t quite fulfilled. 

“And then came the challenge of the Australian Open and I think that for me just feels like the most perfect way, my perfect way, to celebrate what an amazing journey my tennis career has been.

“As a person, this is what I want. I want to chase after some other dreams.”

Demand for New Single-Sex Schools Has Grown in Greater Springfield

There is a growing demand for single-sex schools in the Greater Springfield area, mirroring a similar trend observed across the site, and development of facilities to meet the demand is expected to grow in the region.

Read: New Services, More Beds Part Of St Andrew’s Ipswich Private Hospital’s Expansion

According to Independent Schools Queensland, there are already 22 single-sex schools in the State at present. Still, some of these schools receive inquiries at three times the rate of their current capacity.

Maha Sinnathamby, the entrepreneur behind the Greater Springfield development said Springfield’s expected population boom would see another 12 new schools built in the coming years, in addition to a new state school revealed in the State’s most recent budget.

Aerial view of Greater Springfield (Photo credit: https://www.greaterspringfield.com.au/

Greater Springfield, Australia’s largest master-planned community, currently has 11 schools that cater for more than 11,000 school-aged students. But now that there are already more than 50,000 people in Springfield, which is expected to double in the next decade, more education facilities are needed in the area.

“With 11 schools currently accommodating our 11,000 school-aged students, at least 10 more will be required to accommodate the projected doubling of our school-aged population by 2036,” said Springfield City Group Education and Health Services director Meera Honan in a media statement.

Supporting this vision, Springfield general manager Richard Eden revealed there’s a capacity to add an all-boys school and an all-girls school to the educational institutions they already have.

“Springfield is a Learning City – where learning is valued and championed. We invite anyone who wants to share in that vision and aspiration to make contact with us,” stated on the website.

Push for Single-Sex Schooling

Photo credit: https://www.greaterspringfield.com.au/

In August 2021, Greater Springfield held the Virtual Think Tank on Single-Sex Schooling which attracted over one hundred participants from a wide background including 14 universities (Australian, and International), as well as schools from across Australia.

The panel discussed single-sex schooling from a range of angles anchored by the fundamental question of how important personalised education is for students learning in today’s world.

“Many factors drive parental choice including heritage, gender-specific intergeneration ideas and reputation. Social and demographic factors also impact and limit choice and/or access. Stereotypes in schools are reflected close to Australian society and this societal and parental messaging impacts upon career choices. Often very early, even in the primary years,” Greater Springfield stated.

The virtual think tank also pointed out the benefits of single-sex schooling, such as self-confidence for students, personalised learning, and inclusivity. 

St Augustine’s College in Greater Springfield Switching to Renewable Power

A number of Catholic schools in Queensland are taking concrete actions to reduce their carbon footprint and environmental impact, including St Augustine’s College in Greater Springfield.

St Augustine’s College is one of the first institutions, among 115 Queensland Catholic schools, to make the switch to renewable power following the partnership between Brisbane Catholic Education (BCE) and ENGIE Australia.  

The provider will be aggregating 26,000 MWh a year of renewable energy to various archdiocese buildings to save on utility costs and to maximise the benefits of solar power. The move is also part of Greater Springfield’s goal to become a 100 percent renewable city by 2038. 

Photo Credit: St Augustine’s College

In a statement, BCE executive director Dr Doug Ashleigh said that they have been educating their students about the value of environmental sustainability. Thus, this move towards green electricity shows how they are leading by example. 

Dr Ashleigh said that the partnership with ENGIE Australia is a win for both the environment and their school budget as it will cut down their power cost.

ENGIE Australia head Andrew Hyland welcomed the chance to work with a diverse range of businesses that now includes schools that will ramp up their role in net zero energy transition. At the same time, their service demonstrates the stability and reliability of using 100 precent renewable energy. 

3 Free Greater Springfield Venues for Your Kids’ Enrichment

Are you looking for boredom-busting ideas for your kids? This January 2021, three venues in Greater Springfield are offering free exciting and enriching activities for your children and teens. 

There are heaps of fun activities to choose from whether it’s unrestricted play for the little ones or a coaching program for the big kids. Plan your schedule and mark your calendars as these activities will happen before another school term starts.

1. Springfield Central Sports & Community Hall

Location: 134a Parkland Drive

Across the Springfield Central State High School Hall is a new sports and community centre that’s kicking off its youth program for 12 to 18-year-old kids with the help of the YMCA Brisbane and the Ipswich City Council.

On Monday, 18 Jan 2021, from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., REKKON Youth will host a social session to boost the confidence and self-esteem of teenagers. 

Then on 19, 21 and 22 Jan 2021, a cooking class hosted by Jamie’s Ministry of Food. Participants for this activity are limited and there’s a minimal fee of $10 per child.

For enquiries, phone or message 0476 021 906. 

2. Orion Springfield Central 

Location: 1 Main Street

The shopping centre on Main Street has recently unveiled its newest outdoor attraction for all abilities. The venue has now incorporated an in-ground trampoline and an inclusive wheelchair carousel. 

Photo Credit: Orion Springfield Central

Drive the whole family down to the centre’s lagoon, where a free movie will screen on Saturday, 16 Jan 2021 at 5:00 p.m. while the kids are playing in the water.

For details about this event, visit the Orion Springfield Central’s Facebook page. Please note that Orion Lagoon is operating in line with Government guidelines for Greater Springfield.

3. Springfield Central Sports Tennis Centre

Location: 22 Sportstar Drive 

The Tennis Centre on Sporstar Drive has opened. On Saturday, 23 Jan 2021, from 9:00 a.m. t 2:00 p.m., world-ranking tennis players and some local sports stars will be at the venue to meet budding athletes. They will also be able to try a variety of free activities with some of the inspiring guests. 

This event is hosted by Baseline Tennis Coaching and will include the following: 

  • Free Cardio Tennis and activities for everyone
  • Exhibition Matches with world ranked juniors (from 10:00 a.m.)
  • Beat the coach (11:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.)
  • Membership Specials on the day
  • Raffle tickets for awesome prizes
  • Sausage Sizzle and drinks available for purchase

Greater Springfield to Boost Education with 11 New Schools

Greater Springfield is gearing up for an education boost! Plans are underway to deliver 11 new schools in this rapidly growing Queensland region by 2036.

Springfield City Group Education and Health Services director Meera Honan said in a statement that they have initially identified seven sites where they build the schools. Six of these sites are part of the Knowledge Precinct, covering 120 hectares of land within the CBD. The seventh site is near AFLW Stadium.  

Included in the plans are a second university catering to health studies, an international school, exclusive single-sex schools, as well as state primary and secondary schools. 

“With 11 schools currently accommodating our 11,000 school-aged students, at least 10 more will be required to accommodate the projected doubling of our school-aged population by 2036,” Ms Honan said. “Our vision for our Learning City is to make learning accessible to learners of all abilities. We invite new age schools and specialist academies who share our vision for innovation in learning to establish themselves in a city where learning is valued and championed.”

Photo Credit: Pixabay

These schools will be roughly 15 minutes away from the students’ home and other facilities for play and work. The plan aims to limit a family’s commute so they can enjoy and focus on more important things. 

Greater Springfield, with 45,000 current residents, is projected to have a population of 80,000 by 2030. It is also home to existing institutions like the University of Southern Queensland and TAFE Queensland.

“Giving the local population the gift of education allows them to contribute to the betterment of society in general,” the official said. 

Expressions of Interest Sought for a Vertical School for Greater Springfield

Expressions of Interest are now being sought for the first vertical school in Greater Springfield, a project that could be open by 2024.

Springfield International School will offer an international education to students and will adopt a trailblazing, vertical, high-rise design, something that Springfield City Group Education and Health Services believes may be adapted by all schools built in the area in the future.

Photo Credit: https://www.greaterspringfield.com.au/education/international-school/

Project Phases

The project will be divided into five phases. Phase 1 involves site selection / reservation and has bee completed. Currently, the project is in Phase 2. This involves a 3-month process collecting Expressions of Interest and selecting a project partner from among the submissions.

Phase 3 involves Consortium Development and lasts approximately six months. Once this is done, Phase 4 kicks in. This is a two-year Design & Construction stage.

The final stage, Phase 5, involves Commissioning & Systems. This is envisioned to be a 3-month process, just in time for school opening, tentatively in 2024.

International Baccalaureate Program

The school will deliver an International Baccalaureate program, aimed at providing 16- to 19-year-olds with internationally accepted credentials for entry into universities worldwide.

By the time the project is completed, the vertical school model would have reimagined “…what a school provides and how it functions… (forcing) educators and architects to consider how teaching and learning spaces must perform and how they might need to perform in the future,” Ms Noonan said in a statement to other press.

Meera Honan, the director of Springfield City Group Education and Health Services, said that the fee structure would depend on the final business case that the project partners will decide upon.

Initially though, the idea is to operate the school under a private, selective entry for 1,500 paying students in Years 7-12. Emphasis is being made to ensure that Greater Springfield’s student population will receive a facility worthy of being in one of SEQ’s biggest growth areas.

As a major growth area, Springfield has several attractions for first-time home buyers or young families looking for an ideal place to live, such as excellent lifestyle amenities and rail transport links to the city.

Greater Springfield has six state schools. Access to desirable school catchments is a major driver of real estate sales and here, the area does not disappoint.

Looking for a Partner

An experienced consortium partner for Springfield International School is now being sought. The call for Expressions of Interest is now open.

In a handout available for download from their site, potential partners are expected to “… be comfortable becoming an active member of the community of existing providers through ongoing participation in The Learning Coalition.”

Furthermore, the briefing document goes on to explain that the project may be delivered by an independent operator or joint venture structure formed specifically for the project.

Interested parties may visit the website.

Innovative Campaign Launched To Help People Affected By Bushfires

Greater Springfield developer has launched an online campaign calling for locals to share relevant skills to help fellow Australians affected by the bushfire crisis.

Springfield City Group recently launched “Springfield Sends Help,” a call to share any talent that can be used to help bushfire victims rebuild their lives. To kick-start the campaign, Springfield City Group staff offered marketing, landscaping and biscuit-baking services, along with a $20,000 donation to go “towards helping Greater Springfield residents travel to fire-affected areas and buy supplies for victims.”

“Springfield city is a nation-building project, and among our 43,000 residents are many of the skills the nation needs to re-build in the wake of the bushfire crisis – whether those are traditional trades like building and plumbing, or even ancillary skills like accounting, marketing and baking that can go a long way to helping a community get back on its feet,” Springfield City Group Chairman Maha Sinnathamby explained.

Innovative Campaign Launched To Help People Affected By Bushfires
Photo credit: Life-Of-Pix / Pixabay

“We also understand not everyone is in a position to donate money but may still want to assist the recovery effort, so we thought ‘Springfield Sends Help’ would be a great way for everyone to give back in their own unique way, no matter what their talent.

“One of my favourite quotes is by Margaret Mead who said, ‘a small group of thoughtful people could change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.

“We’re not a small group anymore, but through this campaign, we can definitely help make the world a better place.”

Springfield City Group would also be working with a number of existing charities, including Blaze Aid, which is a volunteer-based organisation that works with natural disasters affected families and individuals in rural Australia. 

The Greater Springfield’s master developer will act as a link throughout the campaign, matching the skilled individual with a disaster relief organisation already on the ground.  The person or business may then choose to either provide their services remotely or where possible, onsite.

“We are absolutely flat out at the moment and being inundated with calls for help,” Blaze Aid Founder Rhonda Butler said.

“Because we are volunteer run, we are really stretched for resources and therefore welcome any help we can get.

“The main task at the moment is to lift the spirits of these communities because it gives people a sense of direction and a little bit of a kick along.

“We’re trying to get people back up and running and get them back to their pre-disaster lifestyle, so knowing that a whole city is behind them will no doubt help give them some light during this dark time.”

Information on how to get involved in the campaign can be found here