My extended family

A homage to Tyson Bruce

Growing up, I was lucky to be included in an array of various families. My mother and aunties showed me that inclusion is important and needed. My grandfather used to joke, “you mix all of these children up, one day, you won’t know which child belongs to which family.”

I have always been a mother figure of sorts, I am the eldest of five children and had my first baby at the age of 20. That baby opened an entire reference book in my head that I did not know I had. Who would have thought that I would confidently know how to be a mother? Liam was my saviour, he enabled me to draw on those maternal instincts that I was subconsciously taught from my elders.

Three sons later, I have always had an open door policy, a safe house. A spare place to sleep, the ability to divide whatever food I didn’t have even further, to listen and love or even just sit in silence. Isn’t it funny how teenagers always know when it is dinner time?

There were and still are lots of great moments but sometimes it did get too much for me. Nevertheless, I have always welcomed our community’s children into my house, family and lives. I always feel especially special when I see or hear from one of these “kids.” I feel the honour and love hearts in the air from them (the same as I feel towards my female elders).

On Saturday morning, my youngest son Ryan, told me the news that we had lost one of our kids, Tyson Bruce. He had heard the news the night before, while mourning the sixth month anniversary of another friend. Instinctively, I had to get in touch with my son Dylan and my niece Jaimie.

Jaimie had known Tyson since Grade One, for fourteen years. At the time on reading the news, she was stuck at Straddie working her two jobs, while crying and serving customers. She has since returned to the mainland and has been able to grieve with her cousins and I.

Initially, I could not get a hold of Dylan and was so worried about him. Dylan and Tyson were “tight” for many years and despite the age gap, Dylan took Tyson under his wing and thought of him as a little brother. He would try to keep Tyson out of trouble, he would take him away on weekends and cared for him deeply. Tyson even followed Dylan to Alex Hills High and then back to Wynnum High. Eventually, I did get a hold of Dylan and we both wept and told each other how much we love each other. Dyl is still in shock and I am doing my best to stay out of the way but awkwardly hanging around at the same time.

Tyson was a big part of our family, he even helped my sister move a couple of times. Tyson was Ryan’s “big brother” and always watched out for him. He appreciated us and we loved him back.

I feel so honoured and privileged to have watch Tyson grow into a loving, happy and hardworking young man.

Thank you to Tyson’s family for sharing your son with us.

Love from Dylan, Jaimie, Ryan, JP and the aunties.

Communication Plan for Foodbank Queensland

Foodbank Queensland
Foodbank Queensland

179 Beverley St
Morningside 4170
07 3395 8422

Compiled by Julie-Ann Ellis

As at, 17 December, 2012

Introductory Information

Executive Summary
A report produced by Foodbank (on analysis by Deloitte Access Economics) gives an overview of the Australian economy and looks at five main themes:
1. Demand for food relief is rising.
2. It’s not who you think.
3. Food relief agencies are not able to meet demand.
4. Food is often the key first step towards a longer term solution.
5. Foodbank is providing a valuable service to hunger relief agencies.

The Communication Process
This communication plan is intended to be used as a management tool for the use of all media (specialising in online) promotions (on behalf of Foodbank Queensland). It is the role of the Communications Officer to enhance and promote the vision of Foodbank Queensland while communicating effectively and progressively with administration and management staff. This communication plan aims to solve any promotional, strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats while successfully advancing the brand of Foodbank Queensland.

Research and Analysis

Background of the Issue
Foodbank Queensland would like to enhance and strengthen their online capabilities so that may receive a wider public awareness.

Food relief agencies are not able to meet demands and Foodbank Queensland are engineering a online communication plan to aid in the end result of relief.

Defining the Issue
The communication subject within Foobank Queensland is to successfully implement and maintain a current and ongoing online existence. This online presence is to highlight the importance of media relations with Foodbank Queensland and their stakeholders.

Situational Analysis
• Foodbank Queensland internet site
• Foodbank Queensland facebook account
• Foodbank Queensland twitter account
• Foodbank Australia’s YouTube account
• Foodbank Australia’s media coverage

• The Foodbank Queensland internet site could be updated (news, events and campaigns) more often
• The Foodbank Queensland facebook needs to updated at least bi-weekly
• The Foodbank Queensland twitter account needs a complete makeover
• There is room for more social networking sites within the realm of Foodbank Queensland

• It would be advantageous for the facebook account to have some kind of competition. For example, a certain number of likes means foodbank will give a hamper to an agency, or like number 567(?) recieves a hamper to give to a family in need that they know. The idea of a competition (without creating extra cost for Foodbank) is to create more online attention.
• The creation of an event (in the long term) that will enhance media coverage, community support and will provide a way of thanking volunteers, sponsors and recipients.
• To utilise the sponsors promotional campaigns with cross media promotions in mind.
• Create online accounts with Linked In (a professional network that allows you to be introduced to and collaborate with other professionals), Google+ (a multilingual social networking and identity service which consists of not just a single site, but rather various layers), and any other suggested sites.

• Threats are external factors which are not created by Foodbank Queensland itself, but emerge as a result of the competitive dynamics caused by future gaps in the market.
• As this plan is implemented the threats will become evident and will be dealt with and communicated effectively within this plan and the organisation.

With reference to the five points in the executive summary, these five main points convey conclusive research and facts (by Deloitte Access Economics) that define the issue of hunger.
• An increase in the number of individuals seeking food assistance is being experienced in almost 70% of agencies and across welfare groups. More than one in four agencies reported an increase in excess of 15% over a twelve month period with one in 10 agencies experiencing an increase greater than 30%.
• More agencies are now providing food relief services to low income households than unemployed households, while the percentage providing assistance to single parent families is also high. Some households with an income are still seeking help with their basic food requirements.
• Nearly 90% of agencies reported not having enough food to meed total demand. Six in 10 agencies require at least 25% more food with almost three in10 agencies requiring double the food.
• Most agencies agree that food is a significant reason why people seek their services, and the provision of food builds trust, enabling the agency to offer other services such as housing or education.
• Some 95% of agencies were satisfied or neutral in their evaluation of Foodbank’s service provision.

Ethical Considerations
The Communication Officer must deal with all stakeholders in a professional manner at all times while conducting any communication duty. Any forms of publications (particularly online) must be approved by administration or management of Foodbank Queensland. Additionally, the communications officer needs to be aware of the sometimes sensitive nature of stakeholders and their needs.

Strategy Development

Organisational Objectives
• Foodbank Queensland rescues edible surplus food and groceries from farmers, manufacturers and retailers.
• Foodbank Queensland provides community welfare groups the opportunity to feed the needy by redistributing surplus food.
• Foodbank Queensland is in line with Work Place Health and Safety Guidelines.
• Foodbank Queensland relies heavily on volunteers.

Communication Objectives
• To maintain and highlight (through various mediums) ongoing relationships within Foodbank Queensland and with key stakeholders.
• To broaden public awareness via social media (and other sources).
• To incorporate new ideas while working with administration and management.

• The key stakeholders are the media, the wider audience, welfare agencies, food sponsors and Foodbank Queensland.
• The primary stakeholders are Foodbank Queensland, volunteers, food sponsors and welfare agencies.
• The secondary stakeholders are the general population, the media, federal, state and local governments, major sponsors and Work Place Health and Safety Regulators.

Key Messages of Foodbank Queensland
• To supply fresh produce daily to welfare organisations within Queensland and Northern New South Wales.
• To provide a unified work environment while meeting the needs of sponsors and welfare agencies.


The intended goals of this communication plan are:
• to enhance and strengthen online communications while highlighting the importance of Foodbank Queensland,
• With the intention of improving social media sites
• Creating LinkedIn and Google+ accounts
• Updating regularly current social media sites.
• to use current organisational forms of communication while interacting with stakeholders.
• to suggest a series of creative themes to help promote Foodbank Queensland generally.
• to be open to any changes by administration or management.
• to construct relevant,
• budgetary requirements (see appendix A)
• timeline of strategies, actions and measurements (see appendix B)
• job description of Communication Officer (appendix C)
• protocols for the Communication Officer (appendix D)
• a comprehensive list of online sites (appendix E)
• and, a current survey (17.12.2012).

1. Implement and upgrade online promotions via social media (and any other suggested sights) by way of a current and frequent online presence (including uploading of photo’s, stories and miscellaneous information).
2. The creation of an active, ongoing blog that is linked to the Foodbank Queensland website for the use of current and relevant promotions and general news.
3. Create a competition for welfare agencies on facebook which will create a wider audience (***open to discussion with administration and management***).
4. Create an event (in the foreseeable future) that will enhance Foodbank Queensland’s media coverage (***open to discussion with administration and management***).
5. To maintain, implement and change this plan accordingly to current Foodbank Queensland issues.

1.The Communications Officer is to create a strong online presence via;
creating a Foodbank Queensland LinkedIn account
2. creating a Google+ account
3. creating a pininterest account that will link all (Foodbank Queensland, sponsors and welfare agencies) accounts together
4. updating on a regular basis the Foodbank Queensland facebook account by uploading latest news, pictures and general or pertinent information
5. updating on a regular basis the Foodbank Queensland twitter account by uploading latest news, pictures and general or pertinent information.
2.The Communications Officer is to create a blog;
1. which will be free on
2. an Information Technology person is to create an open link from the Foodbank Queensland website to the blog account
3. the blog will be updated bi-weekly with a summary of Foodbank Queensland’s “Last two weeks” providing photos, news and links .
3. The competition will;
1. include a prize of a “food hamper” for welfare agency recipients on facebook
2. occur quarterly within the year
3. create greater curiosity within the realm of facebook.
4. In conjunction with Foodbank Queensland’s administration and management, the Communications Officer will create an event;
1. within the next year
2. that includes sponsors and welfare agencies
3. that produces cross media coverage
4. the planning process will be ongoing and adaptable within the year.
5. (***open to discussion with administration and management***).
5. The Communications Officer will;
1. be open to suggestions of change within this communication plan and alter the plan accordingly.


Outputs are the immediate results of the actions and are demonstrated through;
• the amount of exposure the online community receives
• this is tracked and measured by how many fans are actually consuming, engaging with and sharing your content (please note, as at, 17/12/2012, the following measurement calculations are sourced from the internet and have not been proven to work correctly by the Communications Officer, Julie-Ann Ellis)
• LinkedIn – an “Impression” is the number of times the update has been viewed. “Engagement” measures how people react to the update. The calculation is “Engagement” / total “Impressions” = measurement (the analytical data appears about 24 hours after the update is posted and will be updated daily)
• Google+ – the “Social Sources” report can be found in the “Standard Reporting” tab under “Traffic Sources” > “Social” > “Sources” (“Social Sources” allows you to receive an overview of key social networks for your brand, and it sees which networks are sending your traffic)
• Piniterest – is a free account that gives tables and data concerening your piniterest engagement and influence levels
• facebook – to access your metrics, go to or click “View Insights” in the administration panel at the top right of your fan page
• Twitter – Topsy’s Analytics gives you a graph about the past 30 days worth of activity
• WordPress – provide a tab “Stats”
• the amount of media exposure that Queenslanders have generally received.

Outtakes are what the target audience extract from the program via scientific communication channels (to be carried out in June, 2012, this is to justify the current communication plan is working correctly), such as;
• provide an online based survey e-mailed to sponsors (and general questions about Foodbank’s service)
• provide an online based survey e-mailed to welfare agencies (and general questions about Foodbank’s service)
• provide monthly and then bi-anually the measurements from the outputs
• provide media monitoring after the event
• event attendees.

Outcomes are the end results of this campaign and are evaluated by;
• pre and post surveys about general media involvement
• observation
• and includes outputs and outtakes.

The intended purpose of this communication plan is to create a backbone for the role of the Communication Officer within Foodbank Queensland. It includes strategies, actions and ongoing forms of measurement to be carried out within the next six months. This plan is not conclusive and open to ongoing alterations by the Communications Officer, alongside management and administration. The plan and role of the Communication Officer is to be reviewed in six months.

Castleberry, Kim. “Easily measure your Pinterest influence, reach & impact with PinReach!” Just Ask Kim, 2012. Web. 12 April. 2012.
Google Analytics. “Social Sources.” Google, 2012. Web. n.d.
Harrison, Kim. “Strategic Public Relations: A practical guide to success.” South Yarra, Australia: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011. Print.
KISSmetrics. “6 tools to learn more about your Twitter engagement.” Kissmetrics, 2012. Web. n.d.
Smith, Mari. “How to measure your facebook engagement.” Social Media Examiner, 2011. Web. 13 April. 2011.
TrakPointe. “How does LinkedIn measure “engagement” on LinkedIn company pages?” TrakPointe, 2011. Web. n.d.

The Sea Wall

The last of my series of “Lota.” While I am sure there is a lot more tintillating facts to write about, I need to focus on other things.


Writing about a wall is somewhat obscure but as I look at this wall almost every day, it occurred to me that it too would have a history.

Picture no. 1 is the start of the sea wall at Wynnum Creek and Picture no. 2 encapsulates the hard work that has gone into the wall.

Wynnum Creek
The beginning of the Wall

Picture no. 1 Photography by Julie-Ann Ellis

An example of exceptional stone work
An example of exceptional stone work

Picture no. 2 Photography by Julie-Ann Ellis

The Wall at Manly
The Wall at Manly

Picture no. 3 Photography by Julie-Ann Ellis

Access to Manly
Access to Manly

Picture no. 4 Photography by Julie-Ann Ellis

Picture no. 3 and 4 captures the wall amoungst the beautiful surroundings at Manly, Queensland.


“Although reclamation of the marshy and muddy land along the foreshore began shortly after the original survey of the esplanade area in 1859, building of the sea wall all the way to Lota was not undertaken until the Depression years (early 1930’s) when it was undertaken as “Relief Work,” for unemployed people. Prior to this, there were no park areas along the foreshore at Lota, so the thousands of people who flock to Lota during the weekends owe many thanks to the foresight of our ancestors.” (p 12-13) Nicholson, Cherrie. 2002. Lota through Local Eyes: Stories of a little known Brisbane suberb and the people who call Lota home.  Cherrie A. Nicholson: Brisbane.

The end of the Wall at Lota
The end of the Wall at Lota

Picture no. 5 Photography by Julie-Ann Ellis


Youth Homelessness

While working at 4zzz as a Researcher/Announcer, I carried out the following broadcast on 14.05.2008.

Commissioner for the National Inquiry into Youth Homelessness ‘Father Wally’ details his history working for homeless young people in Brisbane and details how he set up the Youth Advocacy Centre. Wally says he was asked to be a commissioner on the first Burdegan [*] Inquiry into Youth Homelessness and he suggests this influenced his selection in the latest inquiry. Wally gives an overview of the formal hearings in every state and territory and he details how he went about writing the report. Wally says the recommendations will go directly to the PM’s Taskforce on Homelessness and the Green Paper due out later this month. Wally suggests ‘on the ground’ in Brisbane things can be done immediately with things like a welfare infrastructure at schools for early intervention. Wally details how Child Protection figures have ‘blown out’ and it is now difficult to get a young person over 14 to receive child protection services if needed. Wally suggests young people who have been in care all their lives have received little preparation for independence and are becoming homeless.
Commissioner for the National Inquiry into Youth Homelessness ‘Father Wally’ gives an overview of the findings of the National Inquiry into Youth Homelessness, saying he has mentioned findings on Child Protection and there were also findings on services for Indigenous young people being lacking. Wally says youth refuges in Aust are full, meaning only half of those who apply get in. Wally says medium and long term accommodation for young people is ‘chockers’ and there are no exit points as young people cannot get into the private rental market with costs being up. Wally says there are increasing numbers of young people with ‘high and complex needs’. Wally says there are four or five youth specific drug and alcohol services in QLD and they do a good job. Wally says there is a lack of youth specific mental health service beds and he says all these services are in the south east corner. Wally says his recommendations are about a national policy and national strategy like climate change, along with an expansion of early intervention programs. Wally says the Fed Govt put in the Reconnect Program which is ‘great’ but only covers a third of Aust. Wally says the QLD Govt has put in the ‘great’ Youth Support Coordinators Program but it does not reach all the schools it should reach. Wally says this is a funding issue in ‘one sense’ but he notes Aust has done ‘so well’ economically and the money needed is ‘peanuts’. Wally notes a helicopter project that was extremely expensive was just ‘junked’. Wally says he thinks Child and Youth Mental Health Services do a good job and they are looking expand services in QLD. 
Commissioner for the National Inquiry into Youth Homelessness ‘Father Wally’ continues the discussion on youth homelessness, giving advice on what to do when one is asked for money by a homeless person, stressing the importance of treating them like a human being and giving advice on where to refer people who need help. Wally details how a lot of young homeless people cannot access medical services as a lot of doctors do not bulk bill and it is ‘daunting’ to access an emergency dept. Wally details how a doctor, lawyer and some teachers have asked how they can help and he says people need to look where they can ‘insert’ themselves. Wally lists places around for homeless young people, including Brisbane Youth Service, the Salvation Army, Teen Challenge, Mission Australia and the police in the Valley, who he says have a program ‘something about the beat’ who are doing good programs with young people. 

Lota Creek supplies entertainment and food

Locals and visitors enjoying a lazy day by the bay at Lota Camping Reserve in the 1930s.  You can see the iconic bathing boxes and a glimpse of the sandy shoreline.
Locals and visitors enjoying a lazy day by the bay at Lota Camping Reserve in the 1930s. You can see the iconic bathing boxes and a glimpse of the sandy shoreline.

Courtesy of the Brisbane City Council.

“Swimming, fishing and visiting the beach were popular pastimes during the development of Lota.  Many families supplemented their diet with fish, crabs and oysters caught locally in the bay.  Hard to believe today, but there was a lovely strip of sand along the foreshore…” Robert McIntosh (Holiday visitor from 1927, then current resident), taken from the delightful book – Nicholson, Cherrie. 2002. Lota through Local Eyes: Stories of a little known Brisbane suburb and the people who call Lota Home.  Cherrie A. Nicholson, Brisbane.


Capturing the beauty of the food source for many early and present residents. Photography by Julie-Ann Ellis.
Capturing the beauty of the food source for many early and present residents. Photography by Julie-Ann Ellis.

Lota has provided a food source and entertainment source since the first settlement (and I am sure our Quandamooka people benefitted from Lota Creek long before white man came).  The first picture captures Lota in the 1930s as a source of entertainment.  The second picture captures the raw beauty of Lota Creek, and the third picture captures a modern-day vessel for gathering food.

A present day (2014), home made "crab vessel." Photography by Julie-Ann Ellis
A present day (2014), home-made “crab vessel.” Photography by Julie-Ann Ellis

There was a crooked house in a crooked St – Bellevue Pde, Lota

There was a crooked man, and he walked a crooked mile.

He found a crooked sixpence upon a crooked stile.

He bought a crooked cat, which caught a crooked mouse,

And they all lived together in a little crooked house.

Bellevue Parade, Lota
Bellevue Parade, Lota

Photography by Julie-Ann Ellis


Bellevue Parade
Bellevue Parade

Photography by Julie-Ann Ellis


The crooked theme in this post is in reference to the crooked sign outside of my crooked home.  Bellevue Parade was once called Ann Street and runs from the Esplanade to Lota Creek. I may live in a crooked house but living in the corner of Lota is pretty special.


Lota Creek Info

“Lota Creek is a small coastal waterway which divides Lota from its neighbouring suburb of ransome.

The 18 square kilometres of catchment area is a complex mixture of bushland, wetland and tidal systems, rural land surrounding the creek and estuarine systems and a foreshore dominated by urban development.

Lota Creek is fed by several tributaries having their source in the suburbs of Gumdale and Manly West.

The native vegetation of the catchment area ranges from Melaleuca and Eucalypt forest in the upper reaches to mangroves and melalueca and other wetland habitats in the lower sections.

These environments have been identified as important for the native animals and the seal life of Moreton Bay.

Urban development has been significant in the catchment of Lota Creek.”

Lota History: Past and Present. By Year 5, Lota State School, 2006.

Obtained from the Wynnum Manly Historical Society.Image

More of Lota – Photography by Julie-Ann Ellis

I hope everyone are enjoying these pics, there will be in-depth explanations associated with the pics very soon.

The pics in this particular post are taken in my yard and the route my children walk to get the train every day.

I hope everyone is enjoying this pics, there will be words associated with the pictures soon.
Photography by Julie-Ann Ellis


Photography by Julie-Ann Ellis


Photography by Julie-Ann Ellis


Photography by Julie-Ann Ellis


Photography by Julie-Ann Ellis


Photography by Julie-Ann Ellis


Photography by Julie-Ann Ellis


Photography by Julie-Ann Ellis


Photography by Julie-Ann Ellis


Photography by Julie-Ann Ellis




Lota Beauty @ low tide



Photography by Julie-Ann EllisImage


Photography by Julie-Ann EllisImage


Photography by Julie-Ann EllisImage


Photography by Julie-Ann EllisImage


Photography by Julie-Ann EllisImage


Photography by Julie-Ann EllisImage


Photography by Julie-Ann EllisImage


Photography by Julie-Ann EllisImage


Photography by Julie-Ann EllisImage


Photography by Julie-Ann Ellis