Mayor Jamieson - Kiwis can fly
  • Tuesday 08 July 2014

ki·wi: any of several flightless, ratite birds of the genus Apteryx, of New Zealand, allied to the extinct moas. may have to change its definition of a Kiwi as a whole flock of them will in fact fly this winter.

Thousands of New Zealanders are expected to travel north-west to the Sunshine Coast in the coming months with Air New Zealand resuming its mid-year flights. The new deal will provide 18,000 seats and a boost of $132 million into the Sunshine Coast over the next three years.

Since the inaugural Auckland-Sunshine Coast direct flight in 2012, the flights have proven to be popular for Kiwis visiting the Coast and locals flying ‘across the ditch’.

Due to success of the route, the length of the seasons and frequency of flights has steadily increased. The expanded 42 flight season has the capacity to see more than 7,000 people travel to the Sunshine Coast.

The 2014 season will run until 26 October, with three flights a week during the peak periods (Fridays, Sundays and Tuesdays). The remainder of the season will see two flights a week on Sundays and Fridays – which makes a great weekend trip away for both locals and Kiwis.

There’s still more Kiwis coming here than Sunshine Coasters going there – but hopefully more of us will take advantage of this service in the future.

Finally this week I’d like to shine the spotlight on a high-flyer of a different sort.

The Compass Institute is a Sunshine Coast-based charity dedicated to providing real futures for young Queenslanders with a disability.

In 2003 the CEO and Founder of the Compass Institute Davis Dangerfield, who is the current Sunshine Coast Citizen of the Year, followed his dream to develop a truly leading edge service for people with an intellectual and/or physical disability.

The response has been overwhelming.

Between 1991 and 2006 Compass provided Alternative Education programs to more than 7000 at-risk children and youth through local schools.

Employing the principles of traditional martial arts philosophy and practice these unique experiential programs pioneered early intervention in Queensland.

It was my great pleasure to recently meet Compass Institute team and it reinforced to me how many great people are doing great jobs in our community with little recognition.

I’d like to change that by using this column over the next couple of months to draw attention to some of this region’s true quite achievers.

First published in the Sunshine Coast Daily on 8 July 2014