Covering an area of around 1,727,000 square kilometres, Queensland is almost five times the size of Japan, seven times the size of Great Britain, and two and a half times the size of Texas. But with a population concentrated in the south east corner of the state, it can be easy to overlook the best of what regional Queensland has to offer.
The day's full program of entertainment includes fishing demonstrations in a 12-metre-long barramundi tank, musical performances by Rockhampton-based duo Busby Marou, Queensland Rugby Union target practice and a collection of lawn games designed for young and old. Other attractions include special appearances by rugby league legends Shane Webcke and Darren Lockyer, poetry written exclusively for the Showcase by Queenslander Rupert McCall, and face painting and craft activities for the kids.
Celebrity chef Alastair McLeod will lead cooking demonstrations throughout the day, previewing the best of regional Queensland's fresh produce. 'The closer you are to the source of food production, the fresher and tastier the product and the Showcase is a great way to learn more about the food grown in our own backyard,' Mr McLeod said. 'Whether it is Queensland's top seafood, beef from Rockhampton, vegetables from the Bowen and Darling Downs or pineapples from the Sunshine Coast, it all adds to the strong unique flavour of regional Queensland. Most people wouldn't be aware that 90 per cent of the winter vegetables for the entire country comes from the Lockyer Valley.'
JCU Cairns. Image courtesy Department of State Development.
The Regional Queensland Showcase itself will house eight displays dedicated to each of Queensland's regions, featuring digital stories, interactive play stations, taste testing of regional produce and much more. For those with a sense of excitement, SimJET's F/A-18 Super Hornet jet flight simulator will also be available for people to experience what it's like to fly these jets.
Organisers are hoping the program may even entice attendees to consider relocating to the regions - while those who have already considered a move to regional Queensland are able to come along and get all the information they need under one roof. The Department of State Development Director-General David Edwards said the Showcase 'will focus on what makes living and working in Queensland's regions rewarding, accessible and different to what people may perceive'.