Wavell Heights Community Mourns Retired School Principal Killed in Hit-and-Run Tragedy

The close-knit community of Wavell Heights is reeling from the loss of retired school principal Ian Colwell, 72, who tragically lost his life in an alleged hit-and-run incident in Chermside.

Described as a beloved figure within the neighbourhood, Mr Colwell’s untimely passing has left friends and neighbours devastated. A dedicated walker, he was struck and fatally injured while crossing Kittyhawk Drive and Murphy Road during his routine morning walk at approximately 5:00 a.m. on Thursday, 21 March 2024. 

Having resided in Wavell Heights for over two decades, Mr Colwell was a familiar face known for his regular walks, undertaken thrice daily.

Community Remembers a Remarkable Man

Fondly remembered for his years of service as a teacher in Papua New Guinea during the Vietnam War, his impact extended far beyond the classroom. 

His friend and former colleague, Terry Edwin Smith, reminisced about their time together, highlighting Mr Colwell’s quiet demeanour and profound knowledge. They served as instructors in military subjects and areas such as reading, writing, and arithmetic. Mr Smith expressed disbelief at the tragic circumstances surrounding his passing.

David Innes, a neighbour, portrayed Mr Colwell as a well-regarded community member, noting that he was universally respected. He emphasised that his positive influence was widespread and that no one would speak ill of him. 

Allegations and Arrest

Joshua Alexander Scott, a 35-year-old forklift driver from Joyner, stands accused in this tragic event. According to court documents, Scott allegedly confessed to police that he felt the impact and observed Mr Colwell’s body falling in his rear-view mirror, indicating he knew the pedestrian was injured. 

Mr Scott is alleged to have struck the victim without braking after running a red light, resulting in Mr Colwell’s demise shortly after in hospital. Shockingly,  Mr Scott purportedly continued his journey, driving to a friend’s house where he disclosed his involvement in the incident. 

Ian Colwell Wavell Heights hit and run in Chermside
Photo Credit: QPS

He then contacted his partner, instructing her to erase CCTV footage of him departing in the car and delete their messages, as he planned to dispose of his phone. Subsequently, Mr Scott purportedly travelled to Wavell Heights, where he poured flammable liquid on the driver’s seat of the vehicle and set it ablaze within an hour of the collision.

Authorities assert that Mr Scott showed a “callous disregard” for the consequences of his actions, with the arson posing a significant threat to nearby residences. Following the fire, Mr Scott allegedly returned to his friend’s house before being driven to his workplace in Geebung. He was later apprehended by law enforcement officers at his workplace around 10 am. 

During a police interview, Mr Scott purportedly claimed that the traffic light was green, and he did not see the victim. However, he allegedly failed to provide a reasonable explanation for fleeing the scene or disposing of evidence.

Mr Scott’s court appearance has been adjourned to 15 April 2024, where he is expected to appear via video link. He faces charges of dangerous driving causing death, leaving the scene of an incident without obtaining help, and arson of a motor vehicle.

Published 25-March-2024

Ute Crashes Into Stadcor Street Home

A ute crashes into a local home on Stadcor Street in Wavell Heights Tuesday, 19th March 2024.

The vehicle, seemingly out of control, slammed into the property and left behind a trail of considerable damage.

Photo Credit: Facebook / Brisbane Incident Alerts

The driver of the ute miraculously escaped the incident without a scratch.

The usually quiet residential Stadcor Street is now cordoned off for investigation. Law enforcement is on the case piecing together the events that led to this incident.

In an unrelated event, on the same evening, another vehicle found its way into a two-storey home on Chigwell Street.

Let us hope for a swift resolution and the return of peace to our streets.

Published 22-March-2024

Wavell Heights Roadways Cleared Post-Deluge: Shaw Road Now Open

After the recent torrential rains that brought Queensland to a standstill, a ray of hope has emerged as Shaw Road in Wavell Heights has cleared and opened. 

The current weather forecast brings much relief, especially for commuters and residents around Shaw Road near the football fields and Widdop Street. Earlier submerged underwater, the area is now accessible, with Kedron Brook’s water levels receding significantly below the bridge.

Wavell Heights
Photo Credit: Glenn Barron/Facebook

However, locals have noted some residual concerns, such as intermittent digital radio signal disruptions in the vicinity of Shaw Road parks, a minor but notable consequence of the recent weather turmoil.

Previously, the heavy downpours had resulted in over 130 road closures across the state, with areas north of Brisbane, including the Lockyer Valley, severely affected. The deluge, amounting to 300mm overnight, led to an emergency state alert in these regions.

The aftermath of ex-Tropical Cyclone Kirrily was particularly harsh, leaving over 115,000 homes and businesses without power and causing widespread devastation in northern Queensland. However, dedicated efforts by Queensland Fire and Emergency Services, along with other local authorities, have facilitated a rapid response to these unprecedented weather conditions.

Residents in the affected areas, including North Brisbane, were on high alert due to rising water levels and potential flooding. Evacuation centres and emergency plans were activated to ensure safety.

Meanwhile, residents are encouraged to check Queensland Traffic, especially when there are reported incidents of flash flooding. 

As much as possible, avoid flood-prone areas or stay at home if there is no immediate need to go out during a heavy downpour. 

Published 31-Jan-2024

Check It Out! Wavell Heights Gourmet Meats Butcher Offers Unique Australia Day Sausages

Wavell Heights Gourmet Meats Butcher is making waves this Australia Day with its innovative approach to sausage-making. Led by head butcher Patrick, this independently-owned store with a cult following has rolled out an exciting range of Australia-themed sausages that are bound to delight meat enthusiasts. 

Here’s a closer look at what they have to offer for the long weekend leading up to the annual celebration: 

  • Gourmet Lamb Cheese & Vegemite Sausages
  • Gourmet Pork Bundy Rum & Stanthorpe Apple Sausages
  • Gourmet Jack Daniels Beef Sausages
  • Gourmet XXXX Gold Beef Sausages
  • Gourmet Wagyu Stanthorpe Apple & Ginger Sausages
  • Gourmet Bowen Mango Chicken Sausages
  • Gourmet Chilli Chocolate Brisket Sausages
  • Gourmet Lamb Rosemary & Sweet Potato Sausages
  • Gourmet Beef & VB Sausages
  • Gourmet Nannas Pork Belly Sausages

Their unique sausages, such as the Wagyu with ginger and apple combination, demonstrate their commitment to pushing culinary boundaries. Furthermore, they’ve concocted a one-of-a-kind sausage featuring XXXX beer, caramelized onion, and garlic, showcasing their dedication to creating original and flavourful meat products.

Beyond their special Australia Day sausages, Wavell Heights Gourmet Meats Butcher has a reputation for crafting imaginative creations like the Ballot Banger, a smoky chorizo, honey pork, and beef sausage, during the previous elections. These offerings not only reflect their innovative spirit but also capture the essence of local culture and events.

As a family-owned business, Wavell Heights Gourmet Meats Butcher takes pride in offering a diverse range of locally sourced and ethically raised meat products. Their friendly and knowledgeable staff are always ready to provide valuable tips on preparing, cooking, and serving meats. 

Follow their Facebook page for updates on deals and other specials.

Published 21-Jan-2024

Wavell Heights Says Farewell to Beanbag Espresso After 8 Years

A beloved café in Wavell Heights is bidding farewell to its loyal customers after over eight years of service. Deanna Lean, the owner of Beanbag Espresso, located on Rode Rd, announced the closure on the cafe’s Facebook page, citing a combination of factors, including health concerns and lease expiration.

Beanbag Espresso has been a beloved institution in the community, serving coffee and creating lasting memories for its patrons. In a heartfelt message to its customers, Ms Lean expressed her gratitude for the support and love they have received over the years. She acknowledged the strong sense of community that has developed around the café, making it much more than just a place to grab a cup of coffee.

The café’s last day of operation is scheduled for 28 Nov 2023. Customers are encouraged to use any vouchers or credits they may have before this date.

The Reasons Behind the Closure

In an interview, Ms Lean revealed the factors that led to the difficult decision to close Beanbag Espresso. She mentioned that the café’s lease was coming to an end, and she was experiencing burnout. 

When she initially started the coffee shop eight years ago, her children were young, and the café provided her with a way to do what she loved on her terms. However, as her kids have grown into adulthood and become more independent, she no longer faces the same level of responsibility.

The most challenging part of the decision, she confessed, was her ongoing battle with a chronic pain problem known as complex regional pain syndrome. Despite having a supportive medical team, the cycle of working to pay for medical expenses and needing medical support to continue working had become extremely challenging for  Ms Lean. She hopes that with adequate rest and recuperation, she can regain control of her health and enjoy her free time.

A Journey of Community and Friendship

Beanbag Espresso had a profound impact on the local community, with many customers who have been visiting for the past 11 years. Ms Lean and her team have not only served coffee but also forged deep connections with their patrons. 

The café has been a place where people have shared life’s joys, supported each other through difficult times, and celebrated milestones together. The owner emphasized that the highlight of her time at Beanbag Espresso has been the people who have made the café a welcoming and inclusive space.

As Beanbag Espresso prepares to close its doors, Ms Lean is looking forward to some much-needed rest and a focus on her health. She believes that her journey with the café has been a profound learning experience for her and her children. She is excited for the future, even as she bids a bittersweet farewell to the café that has become a second home to many in the community.

Published 6-Nov-2023

Work Begins at Mercer Park Pump Track and Family Hub in Wavell Heights

A pump track. Flying fox. New scooter and bike elements. Family hub area and more. A series of dynamic park improvements are expected to transform Shaw Estate Park and Mercer Park in Wavell Heights.

Pending favourable weather and site conditions, the plans to transform Shaw Estate Park and Mercer Park will be moving forward to the construction phase, with work on the projects at Mercer Park scheduled to commence in mid-August 2023.

This initiative is part of an overarching Council strategy to enhance and maintain over 2,100 parks across the city.

The addition of a BMX/pump track is part of the Brisbane Off-Road Cycling Strategy, developed through extensive community consultation and was released to the public in late 2021. This track will provide an exciting venue for cyclists of all skill levels. It is expected to be completed by the end of 2023.

The new features will be integrated along the unique path connecting Mercer Park and Wavell Park, parallel to Benelong Street. This scenic route will be enriched with additional amenities, and the Benelong Bushcare Group, an integral part of the area’s natural landscape, can also be found along this path.

Mercer Park Pump Track
Photo Credit: BCC

The Shaw Estate Park upgrades, set to start construction in late October 2023 and completed in early 2024, will feature a range of enhancements to various sections of the park, such as improved seating, landscaping, picnic nodes, and unique scooter and bike trick nodes. These additions aim to create a more engaging and dynamic recreational space.

Speaking about the projects, Cr Adam Allan expressed his satisfaction at the initiation of the works. He acknowledged the community’s desire for a BMX facility and the importance of addressing it through the Shaw Estate Park Family Hub and Mercer Park Pump Track project.

He said that the venture comes as a response to young enthusiasts creating makeshift BMX facilities in the Shaw Park bushland, inadvertently causing habitat destruction. 

The Family Hub will complement the existing amenities near the BMX Pump Track, enriching the play options available.

Those interested in learning more about the project can contact the dedicated project team during business hours or the Council outside business hours.

Published 9-Aug-2023

What’s On at Wavell State High School

At Wavell State High School, a highly rated school for Years 7 to 12, the focus is not just on academics but on developing multi-faceted individuals. Check out this line-up of activities from May to June 2023 that will help its Years 7 to 12 students become just that.

Here are just some of the latest on-goings in the school community:

Multicultural and House Spirit Week

From 8 to 12 May 2023, Wavell State High School is running its annual Multicultural and House Spirit Week, where the students learn about different cultures, muster teamwork to earn house points, and have fun with the different activities lined up. 

Wavell State High School Multicultural Week
Photo Credit: WavellSHS/Facebook
Wavell State High School House Spirit Week
Photo Credit: WavellSHS/Facebook

Open Day 

The Open Day is where parents and kids can attend two sessions with Executive Principal Liz Foster on Friday, 19 May from 1:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. to learn about the school. Visitors may also check out the faculty displays and join a school tour to learn more about the school’s extensive opportunities.

Wavell Warriors Rugby League Program of Excellence

With a terrific training session in April 2023, the Wavell Warriors Rugby League Program of Excellence officially launched the 2023 Broncos Competitions season! Second-tier teams got the amazing opportunity to improve their talents by working with knowledgeable personnel from the Brisbane Broncos Elite Player Development Academy. The players had the perfect opportunity to engage in a match simulation environment against teams from various year levels because of the positive and uplifting atmosphere. 

Wavell SHS Warriors Rugby League
Photo Credit: WavellSHS/Facebook

Someone who embodies the spirit of the students and the Wavell Warriors is Karl Oloapu, who graduated in 2022 as the Player of the Year. Karl recently made his NRL debut for the Canterbury Bulldogs and won his first game! A committed player and teammate, Karl has been a shining example for young people who want to be athletes. 

After the Bulldogs defeated the St. George Dragons, Dragons player Michael Molo (Wavell Warrior #876) went to see Karl (Wavell Warrior #867) to congratulate him on his debut game. 

Wavell SHS
Photo Credit: WavellSHS/Facebook

The Push-Up Challenge

The Wavell SHS community will take part in the Push-Up Challenge in June 2023 to raise awareness for mental health and the lives lost to suicide. A community page has been set up for participants taking part in the challenge to complete 3144 push-ups. 

Those in the Rugby League or Netball excellence programs have the option of joining their team or one of the school’s house groups to earn points. Parents and alumni, as well as the rest of the Wavell Heights neighbourhood may also join the challenge by creating their own community page or becoming part of the existing team. 

Published 9-May-2023

Fence Dispute Between Wavell Heights Neighbours Highlights Steps Needed to Resolve Similar Boundary Issues

For five years, two Wavell Heights neighbours have been at odds over the fence on their properties, a dispute that has intensified to include the police and even the RSPCA. The case has shone a light on the necessary steps to take when dealing with a boundary line issue between neighbours.

In October 2022, Wavell Heights residents were alerted to the screams of Reshael Sirputh who was trying to stop Mitch McKee, the guy who lives next door, from taking down the fence between their properties. The police were alerted to the disruption but Mr McKee claimed he simply wanted to build a new fence because he was concerned about his neighbour’s dog. He also said that the new fence will cost his neighbours nothing.

However, Ms Sirputh said that there was already a chain wire fence when McKee moved in years ago and she has also complied with Council’s orders to add a bamboo fence on her side since there’s a dog on her property. Contrary to what Mr McKee said, her neighbour apparently wanted Ms Sirputh to pay for the new fence he planned to build himself. She said that he quoted $14,000 for the fence.

When she declined the cost, Mr McKee, a tradie, took out his power tools and proceeded to cut the chain wires and remove her bamboo fence. Ms Sirputh took videos of her neighbour as she screamed and attempted to stop him from destroying property. Her dog also got in the way of Mr McKee, who swung a hammer at the animal. The RSPCA issued him a warning.

Ms Sirputh hurt her hand when she tried to stop Mr McKee but he was not arrested nor charged. The police said this was a civil matter that must be heard before the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT). 

The dispute between the Wavell Heights neighbours could have been avoided if one of the homeowners immediately filed for an order with the QCAT to prevent the other party from demolishing the fence on their boundary line, under Section 38(1) of the Neighbourhood Disputes (Dividing Fences and Trees) Act 2011

Before filing, however, the neighbours should have had a proper conversation and investigation into why they needed to knock back the boundary line fence. If an agreement has been reached, it should be done in writing but if the neighbours continued to disagree, the QCAT could recommend a mediation. 

The QCAT has nationally-accredited mediators who can walk both sides of the process with impartiality. This service is free. However, if the mediation fails, then the disputing neighbours can elevate and take legal action by filing a civil court case. A court case, however, may be costlier and more time-consuming than installing a new fence.   

Published 25 March 2022

Dental Practice to Open on Edinburgh Castle Road

A corner lot along Edinburgh Castle Road in Wavell Heights could soon become a dental practice and a future health services site if plans are approved.

Murray Bell Planning Co filed DA A006143614 in November 2022, which seeks to build a two-storey building for the dental practice. The site will have two consultation rooms, six surgery rooms, a waiting lounge and administration areas. The property will also have 16 car spaces and an emergency vehicle bay.   

“The Applicant has found an ideal location within the suburb of Wavell Heights to cater for their existing clientele base, as well those who are elderly and/or disabled,” the proposal stated. 

Dental Practice Ediburgh Castle Road Wavell Heights
Photo Credit: DA A006143614/BCC

However, residents in the surrounding areas of Edinburgh Castle Road and Pfingst Road have expressed their objection to the plans. 

“This not consistent with current residential zoning or use,” one resident wrote in the submissions. “The proposal provides little utility given similar business is reasonable proximity as well as the health centre being built on Gympie Rd. This should not be approved.”

“It will turn a residential area into a business area which will negatively impact house prices,” another local wrote. “It will also set a precedent for other businesses to be allowed to build in the area.”

“I oppose as this a residential area, this is already a high traffic area. Having a dental surgery will only increase traffic load and harm to an area where kids play across the road which is a park.”

As of press time, the DA is still under assessment and Council has asked for more information and amendments from the applicant.  

Police Urge Wavell Heights Community To Secure Cars, Homes Due To Thefts

Wavell Heights residents are being reminded by authorities about the importance of securing their homes and vehicles following cases of recent theft from vehicles and burglary in the suburb.

Read: North Brisbane Police Unit Receives First Fuel Cell Propelled Vehicle in Southern Hemisphere

Between 1 July and 31 August 2022, there were 33 property-related offences reported in Wavell Heights, which included 11 burglaries and 10 steal-from-vehicle offences.

A review of these burglary offences revealed the majority occurred during the overnight period from 4:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m., with six out of the 11 offences involving access via unlocked or unsecured doors. Three offences involved the offender forcing, jemmying or smashing their way in.

According to North Brisbane District Crime Prevention Coordinator Sergeant Jodie Murray,  main items targeted during the burglary offences were wallets and vehicle keys. 

wavell heights
Photo credit: Bich Tran/Pexels

“In all cases where vehicle keys were stolen (four), vehicles were also stolen from the address. In all cases where jewellery was stolen (two), the entry was forced,” Sgt Murray stated.

Authorities have reminded residents to keep their keys safe, such as keeping them out of sight, and more importantly, keeping their homes safe, by keeping their doors and windows locked.

“No matter who’s home or what time of the day it is, it’s important to continue these security measures when it comes to your keys,” Sgt Murray added.

“Thieves stealing cars aren’t always those with hot-wiring skills. Opportunistic thieves will take any opportunity to steal cars, including walking into your home and grabbing them right off your bench.”

Read: Amid the Summer Heat, Wavell Heights Residents Encouraged to Review Home Security

Police have greatly increased their marked and covert patrols at the peak times, and have called in specialist units such as tactical crime squad, specialist property crime squads, and police dog squads.

Residents can report crime information anonymously via Crime Stoppers, or by calling 1800 333 000 and reporting online at www.crimestoppersqld.com.au.