Category: CAIRNS

Why Should I Trust Sunbird Orthodontics With My Smile?

Sunbird Orthodontics

Dear Dr Bobby, Why should I trust Sunbird Orthodontics with my smile?

We have been practicing in the northern beaches for around 20 years, attracting patients from all around our area. In fact, literally thousands of kids and adults have been referred to us by their dentist over the years. Overall it is a great pleasure to watch kids and their families grow up through their time with us. Once their time with us comes to an end, kids are rewarded with a beautiful and healthy dentition. This helps to give them the self-confidence to face life’s challenges in the exciting years ahead.

Call Sunbird Orthodontics on 4038 1036








10 Deadly Facts about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People

We here at Wuchopperen Health Service know we are deadly (deadly means ‘good’ or ‘amazing’ in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander slang), and our Children and Family Centre team love showing our next generations just how deadly they are too.

So, we put our brains together, and 65,000 years of cultural knowledge (another freebie fact – Aboriginal people have been in Australia for at least 65,000 years with some scientists saying it could be closer to 120,000) to come up with ten deadly things we think you and your kids should know about us!

  • We are the oldest surviving culture in the world.

  • We have art older than the pyramids – Aboriginal rock art in Western Australia’s Dampier Archipelago is at least twice as old as the Pyramids of Egypt.

  • In addition, we have over 500 different languages/dialects.


  • Ancient Fish Traps found in Brewarrina in New South Wales may be the oldest man-made things on the planet!


  • In Torres Strait Islander cultures, when someone passes away we have a funeral. But, a few years later we unveil the headstone at the grave site and come together to celebrate the life of that person. This is a happy celebration of the things that person has done and the life they have led. We feel it is too sad to do something like this at the funeral.


  • There were, and continues to be many different roles in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Our society is filled with ancient knowledge and people who today we would call scientists that designed tools and implements, astrologists who knew the stars, architects who designed and built shelters, Law Men who oversaw the judiciary system, dieticians who knew what plants and animals were good for you, agriculturalists who cultivated the huge fields of native rice, yams and other foods and genealogists who maintained the kinship system.


  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait art is very different between the regions of Australia. Most people are familiar with dot paintings which are normally from the Central Desert regions of Australia. Whereas in Far North Queensland, you are more likely to see geometric shapes. In Arnhem Land you will see a more x-ray style of painting. This is achieved by using long grasses as paintbrushes. However, in the Torres Strait, lino print carving is the most common style.


  • There are over 270 islands in the Torres Strait, with the northern most island only 4km from Papua New Guinea.


  • The Dhari is a traditional headdress worn and made by Torres Strait Islander men, made from feathers and other materials. It is often used in traditional ceremony and can vary from island to island.


  • The most common Aboriginal languages spoken are: Arrernte in Central Australia, Djambarrpuyngu in Arnhem Land, Pitjantjatjara in Western Desert Region, Warlpiri in the Northern Territory, Tiwi in the Tiwi Islands and Murrinhpatha in Wadeye in the Northern Territory. However, one of the most common languages is Kriol. It is a blend of English and Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait languages.


Read more HERE. 








Special Needs Guide Cairns – October 2020

Best Care Cairns

Best Care Cairns have the region’s largest range of quality medical and mobility products. They specialise in mobility and rehabilitation equipment from mobility scooters, wheelchairs, and living aids to commodes, lift chairs and bedroom aids. They now also stock a large range of paediatric equipment to help children of all ages who live with special needs. Whether you want to buy, hire, trial or repair, they’d love to support you and can provide home delivery and advice on home modifications.

P 4032 5715



Mission Australia

Mission Australia is the Partners in the Community delivering Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) and Local Area Coordination (LAC) services in Cairns and surrounding regions. The ECEI services provide support to children aged 0 to 6 years who have a developmental delay or disability and their families or carers.

They support families to help children develop the skills they need to take part in daily activities and achieve the best possible outcomes throughout their life. The LAC service is for people 7 to 64 years with a disability and their families, and they will help you to understand and access the NDIS and link you to information and support in the community.

P 1800 860 555 / 4037 2800



Wellness Embodied Physiotherapy

At Wellness Embodied, the team of caring, experienced physios pride themselves on their holistic, client centred approach to assessment and treatment – treating the WHOLE person, not just a body part. They see clients throughout the life cycle for hands on physio, Craniosacral, developmental assessment and rehab, as well as other specialised services. They accept Self or Plan managed NDIS clients, as well as private clients, Workcover, CTP, DVA and GP referred.

P 4231 9777



Spinal Life Australia

The Spinal Life Healthy Living Centre is a fully accessible facility, purpose-built to support the health and wellbeing of people with spinal cord damage or other physical disabilities.

Whether you’re looking for accessible short-term, transitional or holiday accommodation, personal support, home care and therapy services or access to their gym and hydrotherapy pool for rehabilitation, the Centre is here to support you to live an accessible, equitable and empowered life.


Cairns Occupation Therapy

The team at Cairns Occupational Therapy can assist you in overcoming limitations as a result of illness, injury, and more, helping improve personal productivity, quality of life and wellbeing. They aim to minimise the impact of injury or disease on your ability to live your best life, assisting with performance in daily activities, both at work and home. Their services include hand therapy, soft tissue injury management, burn and scar management, work rehabilitation and much more.

P 1300 774 625



Complete Mobility & Rehab

Complete Mobility & Rehab promotes independence in the home and out and about, supplying products that increase quality of life. From kitchen equipment to electric wheelchairs and everything in between, the fully trained team of professionals understand that independence, dignity and peace of mind are important. They will help you find exactly what you need.

You can count on qualified staff with years of experience. They can help you install, repair and modify equipment to suit your individual needs. They also provide trial equipment, home delivery, short and long-term equipment hire and home servicing.

P 4032 1140



Centacare FNQ

Centacare FNQ provides services that are community driven and easy to access. These make a big difference in the lives of individuals, families and the Far North Queensland region. As an organisation they recognise and value the uniqueness of you and your experience in life.

Centacare Counselling offers a diverse range of therapeutic counselling interventions to support children and individuals of all ages, cultural backgrounds and abilities with a NDIS plan. They assist the participant to work towards their individual goals to support their wellbeing.

P 4044 0130



Autism Queensland Cairns

Autism Queensland Cairns is the region’s only specialist provider of support for people on the autism spectrum. Their therapy and teaching team provide a range of services including early childhood intervention group programs, individual therapy, allied health and diagnostic assessments, and group programs for school-aged children and adolescents. They also run an accredited, independent school providing specialist education for students with a verification of ASD (P-Y3).

P 4034 6600



rEvolve Program

The rEvolve Program is the inclusive movement training and contemporary dance performance model for people over 15 years, designed by physiotherapist Owen Allen. People with disabilities can access movement training with Owen individually or in group. There is an option to work on a dance or physical theatre project, including any local company.


Phoenix Functions


Calanna Whole Health Pharmacy

Calanna Whole Health Pharmacy are registered with the NDIS. This means that if you have applied and been successful for NDIS funding then you can use that support to purchase eligible goods through Calanna. Whether it is home aids like wheelie walkers, toilet seats, continence support products, compression garments or other items to aid in quality of life and health, Calanna Whole Health stock a large range.

The team at Calanna aim to help make life easier for people with a disability. If you are registered with NDIS all you or your care plan coordinator needs to do is provide Calanna with your full name, date of birth and NDIS number, and the team can help take care of it for you.

P Woree

4054 2440

P Cairns

4031 9611

P North Cairns


P Edmonton

4045 5526

P Atherton

4089 2900

P Innisfail

4061 1565



ARC Disability Services Inc.

ARC is a non-profit community-based organisation that has been supporting people with disabilities and their families for over 40 years now. They support people with a variety of options, including NDIS Services. These range from support coordination through to educational resources and programs.

A 92 Little St, Manunda

P 4046 3600








Two photos of kids playing playing in the dirt

Born to Be Wild in Cairns

Do you remember your backyard when you were a Kid? Before the internet and tablets our backyard was the beginning and end of all of our adventures. There wasn’t much in our backyard except a Hills Hoist to swing on, a tree for climbing, making tree houses in and hanging an old tyre swing from. We also had a vege garden in the corner; grass for a slip and slide; and a homemade barbecue. It was perfect for family get-togethers and drop ins from neighbours, ready to share a barbecued sausage and a cold drink. This is fundamentally what our Centres are all about – bringing out the best in children by bringing that ‘wildhood’ back with less screen time and more play time for our children!

Why Natural Play?

Research has shown many benefits to natural play;

Children who play regularly in natural settings are sick less often. Mud, sand, water, leaves and sticks can help to stimulate a child’s immune system as well as their imagination! They are also more resistant to stress, have lower incidence of behavioural disorders, anxiety and depression, and have a higher measure of self-worth. Children experience more positive feelings about each other. In fact, bullying behaviour is greatly reduced as are the symptoms of Attention Deficit Disorder after contact with nature.

Children who spend more time outside tend to be more physically active and less likely to be overweight. It helps children play in more diverse, imaginative and creative ways, and they show improved language and collaboration skills. Single use, repetitive play equipment becomes boring quickly. Natural, irregular and challenging spaces help children learn to recognise, assess and negotiate risk and build confidence and competence.

Why Our Three Centres?

At Cairns Central Childcare Centre, Smithfield Village Early Learning and Bluewater Village Early Learning – it’s about the child being excited to go to day care and believing they are capable of extraordinary things. Our unique Centres are a balance between education, care, play and experiencing a ‘wildhood’. We allow children to be free and to choose for themselves. They’re allowed and able to resource their own play and learning and to entertain themselves. Our team emphasise “real play” where shoes are optional and getting dirty is compulsory. And, with four sand pits, two large bike tracks, a waterpark, a large grassy area for children to run around in, a barnyard and a garden world … children can exerience a ‘wildhood’
with us.

Bluewater Village Early Learning Centre 1 Maritime Way, Trinity Beach, QLD 4879 – Ph: 4229 9007

Cairns Central Childcare Centre 317 Draper St, Parramatta Park, QLD 4870 – Ph: 4041 2288

Smithfield Village Early Learning Centre Cnr O’Brien Rd & Smithfield Village Dr, Smithfield, QLD 4878 – Ph: 4057 8479perience a ‘wildhood’ with us.

STORY BY John Wall – Cairns Central Childcare – Smithfield Village Early Learning and Bluewater Village Early Learning
















Teacher on stool reads to primary school students who sit on floor around her

Terrific Teachers – October 2020

Maureen Cameron

St Andrew’s Catholic College, Redlynch

“As a musician and teacher, I have had many moments on stage in front of audiences. I’ve travelled and shared performing space with some of the finest musicians on earth. But, undoubtedly, my proudest moment happens at the end of every academic year as my Year 12 music students approach the end of their schooling.

One thing I wish parents knew is how much their children mean to their teachers. We think about their children when we are not at work and are constantly planning our next adventure in the classroom.”


Angela Collins

St Andrew’s Catholic College, Redlynch

“I have had so many proud moments in my career, but one that stands out for me is being able to take students on Immersion to schools in Papua New Guinea, and later teaching in PNG personally. I feel that this has greatly influenced my life and how I interact with students.

Overall, the best thing about teaching at St Andrew’s is the students. They’re passionate and know how to give back to their community. Our Service-Learning program is one way that we continue to see the amazing nature of this generation.”


Lucille Ruggeri

Holy Cross School, Trinity Park

“There is really nothing better than seeing my students come into their classroom excited to learn when I make lessons more fun and enjoyable. Reading about a topic is great, but putting it into action is even better, such as running an experiment or doing a particular kind of project whilst incorporating new skills.

My students are excited to tell their parents about what they did that day when learning is fun and engaging. This creates an important partnership between Teacher, Parent and Student where all are involved in the learning and development of the child.”


Nicola Chambers

Mount St Bernard College, Herberton

“It’s so rewarding helping students that need extra guidance and support,

especially at a boarding school where students do not get to

see their family day to day.

They really appreciate the effort that you put into supporting them in and out of the classroom.

I went to school in England so there are a number of differences I see in school today. Mainly, the way that the students are assessed allows them to showcase their diversity. It means that those who may not excel through a written exam can show their strengths in other ways.”


Michelle Breen

Trinity Anglican School

“Teaching is a complex profession; in a single day you plan, teach, assess, manage, inspire, engage, talk lots, read, answer 1000s of questions, apply band-aids, rescue wildlife and tie shoelaces. There are many precious moments that can mark our days, weeks, years.

The highlight of my career is the collection of thank you letters and cards at the end of the year, which bring a tear to my eye when I realise that I’ve made a real difference. It’s also very special when past students get in touch to say thank you.

I’d like my students to know that it’s okay to try new things because the best time is right now. Their time will come because everybody has their time to shine so keep trying new things! Believe in yourself.”


Julia Czernek

Cairns Hinterland Steiner School

“I fell in love with my workplace about 12 years ago when I was looking for a school for my own children. One of the best attributes is working with our Steiner curriculum, which is designed to meet the specific developmental needs of our students. It is wonderful to see how play and artistic expression kindles such a thirst for learning.

My one piece of advice for parents with school-aged children is to cherish your time together, and develop good routines with sleep, nourishing meals and activity and play in nature.”


Traylea Sexton

Mount St Bernard College, Herberton

“I absolutely love that I get to teach a subject I am passionate about. I respect the students and they respect me; we learn from each other every day. My favourite arts practice is Ceramics. I enjoy teaching students the processes of wheel throwing, hand building, firing and glazing. I have never seen a group of year 10 boys so quiet for two lessons.

Overall parents can support their children in school by encouraging them to be independent. Don’t do everything for them, help them to find their talents within themselves, and ignite their passions.”


Ryan Mawdsley

Mount St Bernard College, Herberton

“I became a teacher because I love to help individuals learn new skills and see the growth in them from year to year. I was also influenced by my grandad as he was a physical education teacher and I wanted to follow in his footsteps.

One of the best experiences I’ve had at Mount St Bernard College is taking our year 9 and 10’s out for expedition camp. It’s a great time to develop meaningful relationships with staff and students as they build resilience both physically and mentally.”






Children MacKillop uniform bend down next to grass

Witness the Amazing Growth at MacKillop!

Growth at MacKillop!

Nestled in the valley between the Pyramid and Mount Peter lies MacKillop Catholic College, one of the Far North’s most contemporary schools. The story of MacKillop has been one of continual growth, from humble beginnings as an open cane field, to what is now a bustling campus.

The southern corridor is one of the fastest growing areas in Cairns, with significant residential developments. MacKillop Catholic College is responding to the increasing demand for school placements and is ideally positioned to cater for future expansion in this region.

The College originally started in 2016 with 80 students from Prep to Year 3. In the past five years MacKillop has grown to over 500 students.

2020 saw the first Year 7 students in the brand-new secondary facility, so the first Year 12 students will graduate in 2025. By the end of the decade the school will expand to a projected enrolment of 1600 students.

In addition, MacKillop purposely designed the contemporary facilities to maximise student involvement in the learning process. They’ve also been designed to help to lay the groundwork for diverse pathways into senior secondary schooling. This includes options for students who will enter the world of work, pursue vocational training, or opt for tertiary education. Plus, MacKillop’s next phase of building the college will expand with state-of-the-art learning spaces. These will cater for The Arts, Hospitality and Industrial Design and Technology.

Overall it is a remarkable tale of development and expansion. But, there is much more to the story than buildings and enrolment numbers. At the heart of the College are the students, who the school supports and encourages to grow and achieve their potential. Furthermore, MacKillop’s pastoral care program fosters the development of the whole child – academically, socially and spiritually. If you want a school that will nurture your child to learn and grow in a supportive environment, look no further. Come and discover what MacKillop has to offer!

Taking applications now for Prep and Year 7 in 2022 – there are no application fees!