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  • Writer's pictureRichard Lancaster

A Warrior for History

Jodie Starr was horrified to learn last year of the Moreton Bay Regional Council’s plan to demolish the iconic 1930s-built Suttons Beach Pavilion due to safety issues.


Jodie Starr is a woman who believes in living life to the full. As a teenager, she worked as a casual at a pizza parlour and a café in Redcliffe. Her association with food prompted her to study to be a chef. She subsequently qualified and worked at the local RSL and the Brisbane Casino.

Now married with two children, Jodie works as a receptionist at a medical Centre three days a week whilst operating her own J S Designs, a website and logo design business, and co-owns Nurture Nectar, a natural skincare business.


However, post-Covid, her busy world took an unexpected and dramatic turn. Passionate about her local Redcliffe heritage, she was horrified to learn last year of the Moreton Bay Regional Council’s plan to demolish the iconic 1930s-built Suttons Beach Pavilion due to safety issues.


“The Pavilion has always been a special place for me and my family. Our family celebrated Father’s Day there for years. We even had my grandad’s 80th birthday there. It has attracted visitors from all over South East Queensland!” Jodie remembered.


Faced with the prospect of the demolition of this iconic location, Jodie resolved to save the building by circulating a petition.


“The response was unbelievable. People from all over the Moreton Bay region not only responded by signing the petition but volunteered to help as well,” she said.


Jodie formed a chat group, and a Facebook page eventuated, which attracted more and more supporters, quickly numbering thousands and was branded `The Suttons Beach Pavilion Preservation Group`. The group was also given a free stall at the local Redcliffe markets to promote their cause.


“The Pavilion has always been a special place for me and my family. Our family celebrated Father’s Day there for years. We even had my grandad’s 80th birthday there. It has attracted visitors from all over South East Queensland.


The media picked up her story, and television and radio interviews followed. This coupled with a rally at the Pavilion attended by several hundred supporters, who came from Redcliffe, Caboolture, Morayfield, and Pine Rivers attracted the attention of the Moreton Bay Regional Council, who announced the demolition’s postponement and suggested a meeting with the group.


A series of meetings resulted, and the attending core group of Jodie and three others found Mayor Peter Flannery and Councillors anxious to resolve the demolition issue.


The Group’s concerns about the now-empty building’s security were quickly resolved, as was Council agreeing to conduct an electronic community survey covering the group’s concerns. The Council also commissioned an independent study into the building’s safety, which, when released, revealed that the building was unsafe and demolition would need to be done.


Whilst the group was disappointed at the outcome, they were buoyed by the Moreton Bay Regional Council agreeing to rebuild the icon in a style befitting its former 1930s art deco style. The Mayor assured them this would be included in the 2023/4 budget, coupled with Federal and State government funds.


Jodie and her group of stalwarts are planning a community farewell wake on the eve of the Pavilion’s demolition.

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