What's happening at SANDBAG Inc....

Welcome to the latest edition of the SANDBAG Newsletter, April – June 2016.    The SANDBAG team are excited to announce a broad range of activities over the coming months which support the social health and well-being of individuals and groups within our community.  

A recent Ernst and Young Report (commissioned by the New South Wales Council of Social Services) found, amongst other things, that local community organisations like SANDBAG Inc. support the wellbeing and vibrancy of local communities and create significant economic and social value for their local communities.  Providing opportunities, services and activities for individuals and groups that support and assist people to actively contribute and participate in our local community is the focus of our work.  

In this newsletter you’ll find information about:
  • Our monthly Global Kitchen Series which shares and creates cultural awareness through cooking and sharing food 
  • The Green P Community Farm upcoming Community Open Day
  • The return of the Community Café to the Sandgate Community Centre
  • Our upcoming Annual Domestic Violence Prevention Week Peace Walk
  • How we are Skilling Queenslanders for Working in the Construction and Disability Industries
  • SANDBAG’s Rebuilding Group supporting women to reconnect with community after experiencing Domestic Violence
  • University of the Third Age coming to 4017....
  • Our new SANDBAG Crew member and a spectacular volunteer profile, and a whole lot more…… 

Don’t forget to access our What’s On Calendar for more details on activities at both the Sandgate Community Centre and the Bracken Ridge Neighbourhood Hub.  This can be accessed via the SANDBAG website at

Volunteering boosts you 'happiness effect'!

It is well documented that volunteering your time not only makes an immeasurable difference in others lives but here's the extra great bit, by giving back you're also helping yourself! The list of benefits is huge including boosting self-confidence, decreasing your risk of depression, reducing your own stress levels and generally boosting the 'happiness effect'. So what are you waiting for... 

The work of SANDBAG would not be possible without the many individuals, organisations and businesses that support the owrk we do at SANDBAG. We sincerely appreciate the time, energy and contribution volunteers make to SANDBAG and in turn to our local community. These contributions are the essence of creating and growing our wonderful community.

Coinciding with National Volunteer Week on 9th - 15th May SANDBAG will acknowledge out volunteers through a celebration to be held on Wednesday 11th May 5.30-7.00 pm at the Sandgate Community Centre. If you are a volunteer of SANDBAG we would love to see you there.

SANDBAG are always looking for passionate individuals to support our work. We have listed a few specific roles we are recruiting for at the moment so if any of these sound like you please get in touch:
  • Contribute your marketing and social media expertise and assistance to spraed the SANDBAG word!
  • Cook at the Community Café
  • Teach computer and IT skills to small groups and individuals at the community centre
  • Get your hands dirty and learn new gardening skills at the Garden Gate Nursery
  • Grow your own food and garden at the Green P Community Farm
  • Help keep us organised with administration and personal assistant support
  • Participate in sewing projects for marginalised members of the community and improve your sewing skills at weekly classes
  • Provide counselling support to women and children through our counselling program; Counsellors are to be experienced in Domestic Violence and have Psychology Degree or Masters in Counselling.

Form more information on the above or to register your interest generally as a SANDBAG volunteer please contact Matilda or Garry on 3869 3244.

Volunteer Profile - Keryn

Keryn is one of our amazing Reception Volunteers and has been volunteering with SANDBAG for about 5 years. The role is so varied and Keryn is able to help people in need as they come into the community centre.

For anyone who is thinking about volunteering Keryn urges people to, think about their strengths and what they would like to give to people. Think about what they would like to see and progress in Sandgate. Give it time, come along and talk to people, Even if they don’t volunteer at SANDBAG there are other opportunities they will find out about by visiting the Community Centre.

Some of you may not know that Keryn used to play a lot of music and was a Rock and Roll drummer. Nowadays she fills her time (when she is not at SANDBAG) with photography, reading, writing, gardening and watching re-runs of 1980’s episodes of The Bill (when it was at its best).

Keryn has shared her love of salad with her very own recipe for Mixed Salad.

Mix oak leaf lettuce, tomato, cucumber, apple, grated carrot, olives and anchovies in a bowl and top with a dressing of olive oil, orange juice and balsamic vinegar. Mix together so that you get a bit of everything in every bite. 

Thanks for sharing Keryn!

University of the Third Age comes to North Brisbane

You may have seen our recent article in the Bayside Star regarding SANDBAG exploring the possibility of offering University of the Third Age classes from the Sandgate Community Centre. 

We received a great response from the community so we are now putting the call out for any interested volunteer tutors who can assist us to make this a reality.  The Classes are based on a learning for fun model with a focus on stimulation and learning in a fun and relaxed environment free from ranking, homework and tests!! These classes would be open to people who are over 50 years old, however SANDBAG are considering offering classes to younger people if there is interest so we are keen to hear from all ages. 

If you have a specific area of skill and passion that you would like to teach and share with others,  be it languages, photography, current affairs please get in touch with us via David Gill on 0414 353 891 or

English Language Courses help improve skills

Free English Language Classes are held at the Sandgate Community Centre each Thursday from 11am-1pm. Classes are open to all who would like to improve their written and spoken English skills. It is an opportunity to meet new people in the local area whilst practicing English. The classes focus on practical English skills and are run by volunteer English tutors. We are looking to increase the classes and offer a class in the Bracken Ridge/ Fitzgibbon area. If you are interested in the current English class in Sandgate just turn up on a Thursday or to talk about other classes please contact Matilda on 3869 or for more information.

SANDBAG Supports Local Groups

SANDBAG supports many local groups which provide opportunities for local community members to participate and connect with each other whilst undertaking a range of activities. We thought you might like to learn a little more about these fantastic groups so we are going to bring you a 'group in focus' as part of our future newsletters. This newsletters GROUP IN FOCUS IS:

Arts & Crafts:
Friday mornings are Art and Crafty kind of mornings, with both the Art Group and Crafty Capers meeting in the Sandgate Community Centre.

Crafters are welcome to bring their craft projects for a social morning with Crafty Capers. The group offers a relaxed and fun atmosphere to meet new friends and work on projects with likeminded people. The group meets every Friday from 9.30 am- 12noon. For more information call Mary Lou on 0439 255 257 or call in to the Community Centre on Friday mornings.


The Art Group offers visual art classes in a range of mediums including pastels, watercolours, acrylics and pencils. If you are an experienced or budding artist and would like to practice and learn different techniques, come along to the Friday classes from 9am-11.30am. For more information call artist and teacher Jean on 3865 2654. 

Community Cafe needs your support

For the past 10 years SANDBAG has offered a meal through the weekly Community Café held at the Sandgate Community Centre. To ensure the sustainability of the café into 2016, SANDBAG is calling for sponsors and supporters.

Community Café relies on local support to be able to provide wholesome meals and social support for marginalised and disadvantaged members of our community. Local community groups and individuals volunteer their time and energy to run Community Café, others give essential in-kind support.

Strong partnerships with community organisations and businesses make Community Café possible. For Community Café to be able to continue to serve up to 40 meals a week we require financial support of approximately $60 / week as well as other in kind support.

If you think you can help or contribute please contact Matilda Marsh at SANDBAG (, 3869 3244) to discuss sponsorship and support options.

Say hello to our New Crew Member

In February, Matilda Marsh joined the SANDBAG crew as our Community Partnerships Worker. 

Matilda brings a wealth of experience in community engagement and development including roles at Council on the Ageing, Cancer Council and Local Government.  She was also responsible for organising the spectacular Margate Festival in 2014.

One of those 'arty' people, Matilda spends her spare time when she's not working or feeding her gorgeous but voracious chocolate Labrador Chester, print making or doing ceramics.

Matilda has jumped 'head first' into her work with SANDBAG. As a result we have some exciting projects in the pipeline as well as those occurring already - so stay tuned.

You can contact Matilda on 3869 3244 or

Green P Farm Open Day

Get ready to get your hands dirty... The Green P Community Farm Open Day will be held on Saturday 21st May from 10am-2pm

The open day will be an opportunity to take a tour of the farm and buy locally frown produce picked straight from the farm.There will also be workshops and cooking classes to take part in. If you are interested in gardening and growing food, come down on the day or get in touch to volunteer at the farm. The Green P Farm, supported by SANDBAG and Queensland Racing, is located in the centre of the Deagon Race Track.

For more information on the Open Day contact Matilda on 3869 3244,


Don't forget that Unplugged is on most first Fridays of the month at 7pm at the Sandgate Community Centre. Keep an eye on our Facebook page for more information.

Global Kitchen

Global Kitchen cooking classes are held on the 3rd Saturday of the month until October.

Each month participants have the chance to learn about different cultures and cuisines from members of our community. After preparing the meal, the class share the dishes together. Last month the Global Kitchen classes launched with a class on Persian Cuisine. Participants enjoyed the hands on experience of preparing a Persian creamy soup and Persian salad. Participants commented that “it was lovely to be introduced to a different style of cooking with locals”.

Global Kitchen Classes are organised by SANDBAG and SANDBAG’s auspiced group, North East Welcomes Asylum Seekers (NEWAS) and are by donation. Proceeds go to support local refugee and asylum seeker families. For those who are unable to make the classes, the recipes along with each of the cooks’ stories, will be published in a book which will be available for purchase later this year. For more information or to register your interest contact Matilda Marsh at SANDBAG or 3869 3244

Copyright © 2016 SANDBAG Inc, All rights reserved.

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