Cirque du Soleil’s ‘LUZIA’ Debuts in Eagle Farm with a Splash of Rain

Cirque du Soleil introduces its first-ever rain-themed touring performance, “LUZIA,” next to the Royal Queensland Golf Club in  Eagle Farm, offering a unique spectacle that blends acrobatics with rain effects.

From Wednesday, the 25th of September 2024, “LUZIA” will be showcased until the 3rd of  November 2024 at a specific site in the Curtin Avenue venue. 

Marking 40 years since its inception, Cirque du Soleil continues to innovate with “LUZIA,” a performance inspired by Mexico’s vibrant culture and natural elements. This production is notable for incorporating rain into its array of acrobatic and artistic sequences, a first for the touring company.

Luzia in Eagle Farm
Photo Credit: Cirque du Soleil

This year not only celebrates the 40th anniversary of Cirque du Soleil but also commemorates 25 years of performances in Australia, making “LUZIA” the 10th big-top show from the troupe to tour the country. The production is an elaborate celebration of Mexican themes, conveyed through a blend of light (‘lux’) and rain (‘lluvia’).

“LUZIA” boasts a significant undertaking with a travelling team of 120 individuals, including 47 artists from 26 nations, all bringing imaginary Mexico to life for Australian audiences.

Audiences can expect to see various performances set against surreal backdrops such as an old movie set and a desert, featuring acrobatics, trapeze acts through showers, and more. The production utilises 1000-plus costumes, enhancing the visual splendour of each act.

Luzia in Eagle Farm
Photo Credit: Cirque du Soleil

Written and directed by Daniele Finzi Pasca, “LUZIA” starts with a parachutist’s descent into an imaginative realm. This initiates a magical journey through various whimsical and dynamic scenes, highlighting the unique flair Cirque du Soleil is known for.

“LUZIA” incorporates elements like hoop diving on giant treadmills and acrobatics involving footballs and bikes. Unique to this production is the use of rain in dynamic sequences such as Cyr wheel acts and trapeze performances, providing a fresh and immersive experience to the circus arts.

Since its premiere in 2016, “LUZIA” has attracted over 4.5 million viewers globally. It continues to captivate with its blend of traditional circus arts and innovative staging, promising to be a memorable event for Brisbane’s audiences in 2024.

Tickets are now on sale.

$40 Million Eagle Farm TAFE Robotics and Advanced Manufacturing Centre Begins Construction

Construction work has officially begun on the $40-million Big Build project at Eagle Farm TAFE.

This project is set to establish a state-of-the-art Robotics and Advanced Manufacturing Centre (RAMC) that will be a pivotal addition to the field of advanced manufacturing and technology education.

New Centre’s Impressive Features

The Eagle Farm TAFE Robotics and Advanced Manufacturing Centre will house a range of specialised workshops dedicated to robotics, hydrogen, renewable energy, and electrotechnology. Moreover, the facility will include digital laboratories, dedicated learning spaces, as well as staff and student amenities. 

The new building is projected to provide employment for 93 individuals during its construction phase.

This transformative initiative is part of the Queensland Government’s $100 million ‘Equipping TAFE for our Future’ (ETFOF) programme, which aims to revamp and construct TAFE infrastructure, providing training opportunities for emerging and growth industries.

Preparation for the Future of Manufacturing

The Robotics and Advanced Manufacturing Centre at Eagle Farm TAFE is aligned with the Queensland Government’s commitment to empower and prepare the state’s manufacturing workforce for the challenges of automation and Industry 4.0. Industry 4.0 represents the fourth industrial revolution, characterised by the integration of digital technologies, big data, and automation into manufacturing processes.

The facility is a response to the surging demand for advanced manufacturing skills and education. The Advanced Manufacturing Gateway to Industry Schools (GISP) programme, which initially started with seven participating schools in 2017, has now expanded to encompass 46 participating schools in 2023. This success shows that the initiative is on track to meet its target of participating schools for 2023.

In the previous year, over 2,200 students actively engaged in GISP advanced manufacturing-related activities, illustrating the growing interest and enthusiasm for this field among Queensland’s youth.

With an expected practical completion date in late 2024, the centre is poised to elevate the quality of training in several fields, including robotics, advanced manufacturing, process instrumentation, renewable technologies (such as hydrogen and solar power), and telecommunications.

One of the highlights of this project is its commitment to environmental sustainability. The Centre is set to achieve a 5-Star Green Buildings rating, a testament to its environmentally conscious design and construction. The Queensland Government’s dedication to green and sustainable building practices is clear in this effort.

Government Commitment and Investment

Minister for Training and Skills Development, Di Farmer, expressed her enthusiasm for this groundbreaking project.

“Today this Big Build project takes us one step closer to ushering in an exciting new era for robotics and advanced manufacturing training in south-east Queensland,” she said

She further elaborated on the types of courses and training the facility will provide.

“The Eagle Farm TAFE campus specialises in trade-related courses such as automation, instrumentation and control, renewables, plumbing and electrotechnology, telecommunication, and utilities.”

Ms Farmer underlined the importance of the Centre in preparing the state’s workforce for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, highlighting that “we want Queensland to be at the forefront of the revolution already underway in the manufacturing sector, which is all about providing sustainable jobs while improving cost, productivity, profitability and operations.”

For those interested in the facilities and courses available at the Eagle Farm TAFE campus, more information can be found on the official TAFE Queensland website

Published 18-Oct-2023

Public Views on Eagle Farm Affordable Housing Plan Sought

Brisbane locals are being asked to weigh in on an ambitious proposal to transform part of the Eagle Farm racecourse into much-needed affordable housing.

Read: Racecourse Road Precinct Getting Back On Track

Under the plan, around 10 hectares of the 40-hectare racecourse site would be used to construct up to 4,000 publicly-owned homes. These would include 2,000 public housing units along with 2,000 rent-capped apartments assigned via lottery to Brisbane residents.

The proposed medium-density neighbourhood would feature five-story apartment blocks with ground floor retail spaces. It would be built next to the upgraded Ascot train station and have a new high-frequency bus route running through the site.

Rough artist impression of Greens’ proposal for Eagle Farm Race Track (Photo credit:

Jonathan Sriranganathan (Greens) said the project would create the largest amount of affordable housing in Queensland’s history. He emphasises that public ownership can help lower costs and prevent units being snapped up by investors.

Photo credit: Picture Purrfect/Google Maps

“The homes would be developed by Council or other public agencies using public or private building contractors, and would remain in public ownership thereafter. This would allow Council and the State government to keep costs down by cutting out profit-hungry private developers,” he said.

Photo credit: Billy Melville/Google Maps

“By standing up to big business, we can rectify decades of poor urban planning, start tackling the housing crisis and transform this city for the better,” he added.

“Inner-city racecourses are a ridiculous waste of land, and Eagle Farm Racecourse is a massive 49-hectare, flood-free site, just 5km from the city and located directly beside Ascot train station. It’s the ideal place for new medium-density publicly-owned housing.”

An additional five hectares of Eagle Farm would go towards new schools, a publicly-run health clinic and public swimming pool, whilst the remaining 25 ha is earmarked for public green space, which includes parks and sport fields.

With Brisbane facing an affordable housing shortage, the Eagle Farm racecourse site presents an opportunity for thousands of low-cost homes near the city. But the plan also means a long-standing racing venue repurposed.

Click here to share your feedback. 

Read: Get to Know Windermere and the People Who Once Lived in this Ascot Heritage Home

Published 7-September-2023

Royal QLD Golf Club in Eagle Farm Eyeing New Short Courses, Practice Facilities

Royal Queensland Golf Club is planning to develop its premises in Eagle Farm, a multimillion-dollar expansion that would include par-3 short courses and practice facilities. 

Read: World-Class Hypersonic Precinct Opens in Eagle Farm

After considering a range of options, the Club announced, through a circular sent to members, its plans to invest in short courses and practice facilities to cater to members such as business executives who don’t have much time to play their favourite sport.

Short courses are defined as anything under 6,000 yards. They are divided into three categories: 9-hole courses, par-3 courses and sub-6k-yard courses of any number of holes. 

Photo credit: Royal Queensland Golf Club/Facebook

Although short courses still provide plenty of challenge, they don’t require players to hit the ball excessively, allowing them to score better whilst saving time and developing their golf skills.

The club did not reveal much about the expansion plans but will conduct an online poll by October 2022 to allow members to have their say on the recommendation. 

They previously recommended the establishment of a Top Golf facility, but members opposed the plans, believing that it would diminish the brand of Royal Queensland.

Photo credit: Royal Queensland Golf Club/Facebook

Top Golf does not have a dress code whereas Royal Queensland’s dress code states that members are required to dress and present themselves both on the course and in the clubhouse in a manner respectful of each other and consistent with the club’s standards.

Read: Tattersalls Lodge: A Heritage-Listed Ascot Asset With Ties to Queensland Racing

In the golf and tennis areas, for instance, men’s shirts must be collared and tucked in, short socks must be mainly white, and shoes must be soft spikes only.

Royal Queensland Golf Club believes the interest in the club will remain strong, especially after their successful delivery of the Australian PGA Championship earlier this year.

The expansion also comes ahead of the anticipated Brisbane 2032 Olympics, where the elite club has been confirmed as host of golf competitions.

Tracking the History of Eagle Farm as Farmland, Penal Settlement, and Airport Hub

Did you know that the development of Eagle Farm began sometime around 1829, when Captain Patrick Logan was tasked to expand food production in what was then a penal colony? Before it became an industrial site, Eagle Farm was once land for cultivation belonging to the Moreton Bay penal settlement.

Capt Logan accepted the assignment from then-Governor Ralph Darling and upon the recommendations of Colonial Botanist Charles Frazer, Capt Logan picked a fertile site between the Brisbane River and Serpentine Creek.

Around 150 male prisoners cultivated the land and built slabs and structures in the area. Corn was mostly grown in the farm, along with cabbages, potatoes, carrots, and yams. 

The name Eagle Farm was derived from the eagles that were observed around the place. 

A Good Start Turned Problematic

Following its establishment, Eagle Farm had much success in providing food for the colony, including Sydney. Buildings were then established to improve the farming operations. 

However, the area was soon plagued with problems like flooding and drought, which impacted food production. In 1832, Eagle Farm also experienced a malaria outbreak. This prompted the government to reconsider abandoning the site which was notorious for its swampy and unhealthy conditions.

Despite these unfortunate circumstances, Eagle Farm was not closed. Instead, the male convicts were replaced with 40 female convicts, who worked in the Female Factory to wash and mend the clothes of the male prisoners. By 1837, the site became an all-female penal settlement. 

Eagle Farm Factory
Photo Credit: National Libray of Australia

The women were protected within a fenced property separate from the male prisoners. Despite the fences, however, the women were often visited by the men. They hid from the guards among the tall grasses surrounding the area. This became even more difficult to oversee. 

Female Factory fences
These are replicas of the original fence and gates made of eucalypt poles measuring 5.2 metres high which doubled as both an enclosure and defensive measures.
Photo Credit: TradeCoast Central Heritage Park/Facebook
Eagle Farm Prison location
Prison location
Photo Credit: Paul Newman/Facebook
Eagle Farm Factory
Photo Credit: National Libray of Australia

In 1839, all the female convicts were shipped to Sydney and the Eagle Farm settlement was permanently closed. Two years later, Eagle Farm’s settlement was revived as a cattle station and then surveyed for public auction for white settlers. 

meat workers
Cattle and meat workers on a picnic
Photo Credit: State Library of Queensland

With the arrival of the settlers, some mixed farming of citrus fruits, small crops, dairy, and cattle was then undertaken on the land but it was always the target of raids for the Aborigines.

Eagle Farm Cotton Ginnery
Cotton ginnery
Photo Credit: State Library of Queensland
Aerial View
Aerial view 1940s
Photo Credit: State Library of Queensland

It’s unclear when the former women’s prison was completely demolished but by the 1890s, only the superintendent’s house survived before everything was completely gone due to redevelopments.

The Eagle Farm Airfield 

By the early 1900s, the Commonwealth used Eagle Farm as an airfield as the development of aviation progressed. A hangar was built on the site, where Bert Hinkler and Amy Johnson had their first solo flights to the United States.

However, Eagle Farm was eventually deemed unsuitable as an airfield due to problems with its drainage. The Commonwealth had no choice but to lease the land back to farming for many years until the site was reactivated for World War II.

during World War II
During World War II
Photo Credit: State Library of Queensland

The Royal Australian Air Force used Eagle Farm as its training school and it soon became a strategic site, given its proximity to Camp Ascot.

Eagle Farm Airport Drive
Airport Drive and Lamington Street Intersection 1953
Photo Credit: Brisbane City Council

After the war, the site became Brisbane’s principal aviation hub until it was closed in 1988 with the establishment of a new airport in Brisbane. 

World-Class Hypersonic Precinct Opens in Eagle Farm

Did you know that Eagle Farm is now the home of a new Australian Hypersonic Research Precinct, where defence experts will study the technology and conduct flight tests of hypersonic weapons and vehicles?

With a 60-personnel under its wing, the world-class hypersonic precinct in Eagle Farm was purposely-built for $14 million to improve and innovate the science and technology of the Australian Defence.

“It’s a complex technological challenge to build vehicles capable of flying at five times the speed of sound, that skim the stratosphere, to target any location on the planet,” Minister for Defence the Hon Peter Dutton MP said

“The technology that is developed here will help us to better defend against the malign use of this technology and give us the ability to strike any potential adversaries from a distance and deter aggression against Australia’s national interests.

“It enables Defence researchers to develop and characterise sovereign hypersonic technologies and generate ‘true’ hypersonic flight conditions at large scale in a classified laboratory.”

It comes as Australia and the United States signed an agreement in December 2020 to develop and test hypersonic cruise missile prototypes. Hypersonic technology can exceed the speed of sound by five times or at 6,200 kilometres per hour. Hypersonic drones and weapons, on the other hand, are shaped to manoeuvre and evade radar detection.

Whilst the opening of the Eagle Farm research facility is a step in the right direction, Australia is challenged to develop the high-technology as China and Russia have been taking the lead in their capabilities to deploy hypersonic weapons. 

Volgren Factory in Eagle Farm to Open More Jobs as Demands for Electric Buses Increase

Did you know that Australia’s largest bus coachbuilder, Volgren, is expanding its workforce at the Eagle Farm factory? Volgren plans to deliver a fleet of locally-produced electric buses beginning 2022.

Thiago Deiro, the CEO of the Melbourne-based company, said that Volgren’s next chapter will secure the jobs of 45 workers in Eagle Farm. They will soon hire more employees “to double labour capacity” of the manufacturing centre as it expands its investments in Queensland. 

Volgren has spent more than a decade developing a skilled workforce and a world-class manufacturing centre at Eagle Farm. It’s not something we ever wanted to walk away from,” Mr Diero said. 

“Our plans are to invest in our people and our production facilities to meet new levels of demand and ensure the next generation of zero-emission buses can be built locally.”

In June, Volgren delivered its final bus to Brisbane City Council after 12 years of a partnership but a period of uncertainty faced the workers. However, as Brisbane Metro sets its pilot for electric buses next year, Deiro confirmed that Volgren will play a key role in the “acceptance, testing and delivery of the metro vehicle.” 

“We know that Brisbane City Council is leading the way on Australia’s move to zero-emission public transport,” the CEO said in a statement.

“With Eagle Farm secured, and a focus on building world-class zero-emission buses, we can confidently respond to tenders in this state and across the country.”

Clayton Nel, the head of the Queensland operations, welcomed the headquarter’s decision to maintain the Eagle Farm staff. He said that their employees are a group of dedicated individuals who have always exceeded the company’s goals the customer’s expectations. 

Photo Credit: Volgren

Eagle Farm Track Looking Good for Upcoming Group 1 Race

With just a few weeks to go before the Group 1 meetings, Racing Queensland CEO Brendan Parnell has pronounced the Eagle Farm track to be in great shape and in its healthiest state, with the surface ryegrass growing strong for the winter after disease got the best of its roots, affecting its length and strength in 2020.

Months before the major races, debates about the cushion, surface, and general state of the Eagle Farm track became a worrying concern among the jockeys and trainers as their horses’ performance could be held back by a bad surface. 

Some trainers also refused to let their horses run on a hard and uncushioned surface because it could be detrimental to the animal’s physical health and welfare.

Mr Purnells said that they wouldn’t usually do a renovation of the tracks in time for a big carnival but they had to stop the roots disease from spreading.

Now, a thick grass has been visible on the Eagle Farm track with some racing pundits, who watched Derby Day at the end of May 2021, saying that it’s looking pretty good.

Racing Queensland undertook the last significant renovation of the Eagle Farm track in 2014 by ripping and replacing all of its surfaces. However, when it reopened in 2016, a number of issues sprung with the new tracks with stakeholders saying that the problems have persisted in the last five years because of the track’s mismanagement. 

The CEO also said that they have been continuously coordinating with the Brisbane Racing Club on how to improve the Eagle Farm track. 

Hendra Club Veterinarian Tracking New Strain of Deadly ’90s Horse Virus

A founding member of the Hendra Club, a group of Australian veterinarians and medical experts, is tracking and studying a new and potentially lethal strain of a horse virus known to transfer to humans. This virus was first discovered in the country at the Doomben and Eagle Farm racetracks in the 1990s.

Dr Peter Reid of the Australian Veterinary Association encouraged horse owners and breeders to get their animals vaccinated as soon as possible from the Hendra virus amid concerns that the new strain could progress “very quickly,” especially in areas considered as “low risk.”

The doctor experienced first-hand the fatal effects of the Hendra virus in 1994 after he was called on to the Doomben and Eagle Farm stables to check on Drama Series, the racehorse of his friend, stable owner Vic Rail. 

Initially diagnosed as an infection, Drama Series’ condition worsened quickly and affected a dozen more horses at the stables in a matter of days. Mr Rail also became seriously ill, prompting the equine veterinarian to seek the help of pathologists from the University of Queensland.

Photo Credit: Pixabay

Following Mr Rail’s death and three more funerals for human victims, the Australian Animal Health Laboratory (AAHL) in Geelong, Victoria, was able to pinpoint the deadly culprit as the Hendra virus. Dr Reid then made it his mission to focus on learning about this strain by speaking with the survivors, the other veterinarians and the families who have been raising horses. 

In his studies, Dr Reid learned that all animals could catch the Hendra virus but it’s only horses that could pass on the strain to humans. However, it is not airborne and it’s dangerous only if the person comes in contact with bodily fluids. This explains why the risks are higher to personnel working at the stables. 

Since the 1994 outbreak, the AAHL has also prioritised studies on the Hendra virus. The Hendra Club was born soon after the 9/11 terrorist attack as there were concerns the virus could be used as a bioterrorism agent.

Today, the Hendra Club with Dr Reid has been training and teaching up-and-coming virologists to curb future outbreaks. Samples of the new strain have been discovered in Queensland but with vaccination efforts, the expert said there are strong chances of preventing deaths and sickness. 

Eagle Farm Becomes the Hub of the Biggest Virtual Dinner Party For Melbourne

Did you know that Melbourne will have its last Saturday night of lockdown on 17 Oct 2020? To celebrate this high point and be one in solidarity with the Victorians, Eagle Farm will become the catering hub of the biggest virtual dinner party happening simultaneously in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney.

The online isolation degustation, organised by Urban List and Gathar, will feature a four-course dinner curated by Masterchef star Danielle Dixon and prepared by talented chefs across Australia. 

Featuring premium ingredients from Australian and Victorian farmers and providores, the dishes include the following below, which you can opt to delivered to your home or the home of a family in Melbourne: 

First CourseSeared ruby tuna with Australian Avocados yuzu puree. Served alongside marinated Victorian heirloom tomatoes and wild rice puffs (gf, df).

Vegetarian option: Sesame crusted tofu with Australian Avocados yuzu puree. Served alongside marinated Victorian heirloom tomatoes and wild rice puffs (gf, df, v).
Second CourseHay smoked Victorian free-range Bannockburn chicken served with a corn custard, Victorian black barley and burnt onion jus to finish (gf).

Vegetarian option: Butter roasted pumpkin with Yarra Valley feta, bull horn pepper and hemp seed pesto (gf, v)
Third CourseBavarois dessert made with Melbournes iconic Koko Black chocolate and Victorian alpine strawberries with native pepperberry and a hibiscus syrup drizzle (gf, v).
Fromager D’Affinois Cheese Fourth CourseFromager D’Affinois double cream cheese with a carrot apricot marmalade topped onto a buckwheat cracker with baby celery shoots (gf, v).

Whilst enjoying the course, you’ll be serenaded by homegrown talents, learn from chefs and listen to pairing notes from the experts via video streaming from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. 

All you need to prepare for this dinner party is a good internet connection and device, your oven (for reheating) and your appetite. 

Eagle Farm
Photo Credit: Gathar

Tickets to the isolation degustation will be up for grabs until Monday, 12 Oct 2020. The Eagle Farm caterers will be able to deliver food within 30 kilometres of the suburb.