Love Your Sister charity shares with GCIT Nursing students

TEARS of both joy and sorrow have flowed at Gold Coast Institute of TAFE (GCIT) during a visit by high profile cancer battler Connie Johnson.

Together with her actor brother Samuel Johnson they lead the charity Love Your Sister. Samuel recently completed a journey across Australia on a unicycle, raising $1.5million for the cause.

Yesterday, Connie visited the Southport campus to chat with student nurses about the importance of their future role, as she cannot emphasize enough how vital nurses have been throughout her treatment journey.

The 37-year-old mother of two is battling cancer for the third time in her life. This time it is breast cancer and it has spread to her lungs, liver, pelvis, spine and knee and it’s terminal.

Connie spoke of how important it was to be treated as a ‘mother’ and a ‘wife’ or ‘friend’ as opposed to a cancer sufferer. Her brave tale brought tears to the eyes of many in the crowd.

But later it was to be tears of joy and pride, when an entire pink wall was unveiled in dedication to Connie.

Connie Johnson (centre) with Deb Blow and Aaron Devine from GCIT with the pink wall dedicated to her cancer battle.

Connie Johnson (centre) with Deb Blow and Aaron Devine from GCIT with the pink wall dedicated to her cancer battle.

The wall features more than 150 personally written messages of support and well wishes from GCIT staff and students.

GCIT CEO Aaron Devine, said the TAFE aims to help share Connie’s story and raise breast cancer awareness while instilling the importance of nursing into GCIT’s emerging student nurses.

“As well as raising funds and awareness, we want to show our student nurses the significance of their future role and the positive impact they can have to shape and change someone’s life while they undergo treatment,” said Mr Devine.

“The Institute is very proud to be associated with this extremely worthy cause and we are honoured to dedicate our Health labs to Connie as a constant reminder to our budding nurses about the significance of their chosen career,”  he added.

GCIT students and staff were encouraged to donate a gold coin and write their messages of support on the wall with all proceeds going to the Love Your Sister charity who invest it into breast cancer research.

Each written message has been photographed and the images made into a hard cover book for Connie to take home as a reminder that her story has inspired many up and coming nurses.

Wolf Creek star calls for RSPCA support

WOLF Creek’s ‘Mad Mick’ is surprising audiences in a good way in the latest campaign for the RSPCA.

Actor and animal lover, John Jarratt stars in the organisation’s latest Community Service Announcement, calling on Australians to support the animal charity.

Jarratt filmed the TV commercial on the Gold Coast recently, while he was in the area shooting another horror movie.

RSPCA Qld spokesperson Michael Beatty said Jarratt, who plays the chilling Mick Taylor in the two Wolf Creek films, might seem an unlikely promoter of the RSPCA, but he’s a fervent animal lover.

“He actually offered,” Mr Beatty said.

“We’d spoken a few years back and then when he was on the Gold Coast filming he rang up and we went down and filmed a Community Service announcement,” he explained.

In the clip John emerges from the bushes and says: “You may have found me a little terrifying in the last couple of films, but you know what I find frightening? The sheer numbers of animals that end up at RSPCA Qld Care Centres every year.”

“On screen he’s very, very creepy,” Mr Beatty said. “Off screen- you wouldn’t meet a nicer guy.”

Head to the RSPCA website to view the commercial and support the cause.

Search for MH370 covers area larger than Australia

THE desperate search for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 with 239 passengers and crew on board – including four Queenslanders and a couple from Sydney – now collectively covers an area larger than the entire Australian continent.

Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday evening, acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said the search area now spans 7.7 million square kilometres – Australia’s landmass is around 7.6 million square kilometres.

As the search enters its 12th day, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) yesterday identified a new search area more than 600,000 square kilometres in size in the southern Indian Ocean, more than 3000km southwest of Perth.

AMSA Emergency Response Division General Manager John Young told reporters the search was like looking for “a needle in a haystack”.

He said the passage of time and movement of the water in the world’s third-deepest ocean would make it constantly difficult.

A further three Australian Orion aircraft will today join the AP-3C already sweeping the search area. They will be joined by a New Zealand Orion and a US Poseidon aircraft.

RAAF Orion

Royal Australia Air Force AP-3C Orion aircraft.

Planes will be searching for any signs of floating debris, including several tons of mangosteens, a purple tropical fruit believed to have been on board the passenger jet at the time it disappeared on Saturday, March 8.


Mangosteens, a purple tropical fruit mainly grown in Southeast Asia.

An unprecedented twenty-six countries are now involved in the mammoth search.

Paul Burt appointed new ambassador of International Boat Show

PAUL Burt has been announced as this year’s ambassador for the 26th annual Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show.

The Seven News weather, beach, boating and fishing expert will help promote the event during the lead up while also playing a key role at the show, hosting fishing tip presentations, live weather crosses and special appearances over the four day’s.

Paul, who is also a weather correspondent for 102.9 Hot Tomato, has over 20 years’ experience in the media’s eye and said he was looking forward to being involved in the world renowned event.

“Anybody who has a love for boating, fishing or the marine lifestyle in general knows this is the show to visit when it comes to seeing the latest and greatest from exhibitors,” Mr Burt said.

“I’m excited to be the ambassador for this event especially as it enters the next phase and unveils a new look for the 26th consecutive show.

“I look forward to working with the Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show team and getting amongst the action when the gates open on May 22.”

Visitors to the International Boat Show can also go in the draw to win a deep sea fishing adventure with Paul.

The 2014 Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show will run from May 22 to 25.

Translink will this year offer free train travel to and from the show on all regular Queensland Rail City Network trains when users display a pre-purchased ticket to the event.A free ‘Park ‘n’ Ride’ service for all self-drive visitors will also run from Helensvale.

Tickets to this years even are on sale now through Ticketmaster, with adult day passes starting at $20. Concession passes are also available for seniors and students. Children under 18 are free.

30 AFP officers appointed special constables with QPS on the Gold Coast

THIRTY Australian Federal Police officers based at Gold Coast Airport will today be appointed as special constables in the Queensland Police Service at a special swearing in ceremony.

Although the officers will continue to perform aviation duties at the airport, they will now have additional powers aimed at improving cooperation between the two agencies.

The new appointments support the policing model of being in places to target people and crimes that pose a risk to the community and deploying rapidly to incidents that require a quick response.

It also strengthens readiness for deployment to planned and unplanned events.

Fifty-nine AFP officers based at the Brisbane Airport were inducted into the Queensland Police Service yesterday.

A further 38 will be appointed as special constables in Cairns next Monday.

The decision to appoint the AFP officers to the special constable role follows the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the QPS and AFP last year, supporting recommendations made by Roger Beale in his New Realities: National Policing in the 21st Century, Report of the Federal Audit of Police Capabilities.

Queensland Police Commissioner Ian Stewart said the new arrangements would ensure the strong relationship between both police agencies is strengthened even further through providing effective, integrated policing services at the three airports.

Australian Federal Police Deputy Commissioner Peter Drennan said the swearing in of airport-based AFP officers into the State or Territory Police allows for complete clarity in areas of powers, offences and processes.