Ever heard a German use the word Gemütlichkeit?

There is no direct English translation, but step inside the Main Tent at Oktoberfest Brisbane for five minutes and you'll get a pretty good feel for the warmth and positive cheer that this word encapsulates.

Thanks to the fantastic media support for Oktoberfest Brisbane again this year, around 40,000 culture-seekers will continue to come to this festival annually to experience the Gemütlichkeit for themselves!

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Oktoberfest Brisbane – Australia’s largest German Festival is here!

More than 20,000 German sausages, 12,000 pretzels and 4000 pork knuckles will be enjoyed by culture-seeking enthusiasts as Oktoberfest Brisbane returns to the Brisbane Showgrounds from Oktober 5 – 7 and 12 – 14.

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Celebrating a milestone 11th instalment of the iconic celebration, event directors Kim and Boris Zoulek said Oktoberfest Brisbane was the largest German festival in Australia attracting more than 40,000 people each year.

“We aim to bring to life the rich cultural heritage at the heart of the famous Oktoberfest event in Munich and allow people from across Queensland and beyond the chance to experience it in our own backyard,” Boris says.

“Almost everyone who attends the event dons their Dirndl and Lederhosen, which shows just how eager people are to embrace their inner German and enjoy what the festival has to offer.”

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The German-Australian husband and wife duo said they were proud that Oktoberfest Brisbane had become a highlight on the city’s major event calendar.

“We start planning for this event the day after it finishes the previous year and we are always looking at new ways to ensure it is an authentic celebration of German culture and tradition,” Kim says.

Recognising her commitment to Brisbane’s German community more broadly, Kim was this year announced the Lord Mayor’s Multicultural Young Business Person of the Year.

“Queensland has a vibrant German community and almost all of them are involved in this festival in one way or another, from providing the delicious foods to providing the entertainment to pouring the beers,” she says.

The Oktoberfest Tent will once again breathe energy as the Bavarian Oompah Band ‘Münchner Buam’ ignites the stage with a mix of traditional folk songs and crowd-favourite sing-a-longs.

Outside in the Munich Biergarten culture-seekers and foodies alike can enjoy a raft of traditional German foods from hearty and wholesome to sweet and delicious – with a backdrop rivalling any major German folk festival.

The Kinderzone will again offer a line-up of fun entertainment and for the first time free carnival rides for minors on Sundays, while Autofest on the final weekend will showcase a unique collection of vintage, classic and late model German marques.

For tickets, visit oktoberfestbrisbane.com.au/tickets.

Industry partnership to drive Adelaide's 'autonomous vehicle hub'

An exciting new partnership between Australian mass transit specialist Transit Australia Group (TAG) and international electric driverless technology company EasyMile has signalled South Australia as its innovation epicentre.

The EZ10 driverless vehicle carries up to 15 people and can operate on existing roadway and public infrastructure.

The EZ10 driverless vehicle carries up to 15 people and can operate on existing roadway and public infrastructure.

EasyMile currently operates in Asia-Pacific, Middle-East, America and Europe, with its flagship vehicle, the EZ10 driverless electric shuttle bus, carrying up to 15 passengers (eight seated and seven standing) and travelling at a speed of up to 45km/h.

In the first collaboration of its nature in Australia, TAG’s mass transit capabilities and experience nationally will be critical in supporting the integration of the vehicles into public transport systems with a focus on deployment, operations and maintenance during the trials.

TAG CEO Michael McGee said the partnership approach offered governments the opportunity to undertake a robust examination of how autonomous vehicle technology could be used as a mobility solution.

“We have combined world-leading autonomous vehicle products and technology with our expertise and innovation in designing and operating mass transit networks,” Mr McGee says.

“This is an exciting opportunity for us to work with a world leader and to explore how we can integrate this emerging technology into existing public transport systems as a ‘first and last mile’ mobility solution.”

Read the full media release at tagroup.net.au

TAG Mobility partners with Mobike to launch Gold Coast bikeshare scheme

An innovative, world-first partnership between social enterprise TAG Mobility, a subsidiary of mass transit specialist Transit Australia Group, and the world’s first and largest bikesharing company Mobike has today launched a new bikeshare service on the Gold Coast in time to welcome visitors for the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

TAG Mobility GM Derek Mollison with Mobike Australia GM Mina Nada

TAG Mobility GM Derek Mollison with Mobike Australia GM Mina Nada

It is the first partnership of its nature, ensuring the Gold Coast’s bikeshare scheme integrates seamlessly with existing transport and city infrastructure, while maximising the convenience of the bikes.

Working in close collaboration with City of Gold Coast, the scheme adopts a hybrid approach to dockless bikeshare including the introduction of recommended parking areas called ‘Mobike Preferred Locations’, offering a convenient and easily identified parking location.

Another unique feature underpinning the scheme is its commitment to pedalling positive social outcomes for the Gold Coast. TAG Mobility has engaged Good Cycles to use the scheme to engage people experiencing long-term unemployment with meaningful local job opportunities.

TAG Mobility General Manager Derek Mollison said the Gold Coast scheme would create a global benchmark in dockless bikeshare.

The world’s first and largest dockless bikeshare service Mobike launches on the Gold Coast

The world’s first and largest dockless bikeshare service Mobike launches on the Gold Coast

“While bikeshare is still in its infancy in Australia, we have worked closely with the City of Gold Coast and our partners to carefully design an initiative which integrates seamlessly with existing transport modes and city infrastructure,” Mr Mollison says.

“The result is a world-class mobility solution which can be scaled up in line with demand – and which contributes positively to the community through our social enterprise model."

Read the full media release at tagroup.net.au.  

Podiatry group strengthens market footing

On Monday’s, My FootDr chief executive Darren Stewart and chief business development officer Greg Dower are nowhere to be seen at the company’s head office in Windsor, Brisbane.

Instead, the trailblazing duo who co-founded Australia’s largest network of podiatry centres are at their Camp Hill clinic treating patients as they have done for the past 13 years.

It is a commitment Mr Stewart says is not only rewarding, but also important in remaining grounded and appreciating the challenges and opportunities the podiatry industry faces.

“At the core of our business success is the fact that it is run by practitioners,” he said.

“Every decision is aimed at enhancing clinical outcomes with more effective treatments and improved patient care.”

This month the company celebrates its milestone 50th clinic, firming up its position as industry leader with a presence in every state.

A key focus throughout the company’s growth has been on enhancing the profile and professionalism of the industry.

“Consolidation has been important to us – one organisation that can establish high standards and a loud voice to drive awareness that healthy feet contribute to a better quality of life,” Mr Stewart said.

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A detailed corporate profile was developed to lift the media visibility of My FootDr and its executive leadership team.

The story appeared across leading publications including the Courier-Mail - Business (view story here) and the Australian Financial Review (view story here). 

City of Gold Coast awards Transit Australia Group city's first bike-share partnership

The Surfers Paradise foreshore was the perfect backdrop to announce that Transit Australia Group (TAG) would become the City of Gold Coast's first bike-share partner. 

Transit Australia Group awarded City of Gold Coast's first bike-share partnership at a media conference this morning. 

Transit Australia Group awarded City of Gold Coast's first bike-share partnership at a media conference this morning. 

Partnering with international bike-share platform Mobike and social enterprise Good Cycles, TAG chief executive Michael McGee says the Gold Coast’s model will change the perception around bike-sharing in Australia.

“While bike sharing is in its infancy in Australia, we are excited to showcase how our unique approach can enhance mobility with digital disruption while supporting positive social outcomes for the community through a social enterprise model," he said. 

Read the full story here.  

City of Gold Coast mayor Tom Tate trials bike-share, with (L-R) Mobike's Chris Martin, TAG's Michael McGee and Good Cycles Jaison Hoernel

City of Gold Coast mayor Tom Tate trials bike-share, with (L-R) Mobike's Chris Martin, TAG's Michael McGee and Good Cycles Jaison Hoernel

Inaugural 'Oktoberpole' spectacle sparks media interest

Plenty of excitement surrounded the arrival of nine burly Bavarian blokes in Brisbane to introduce a traditional German ceremony marking the start of Oktoberfest Brisbane celebrations. 

They were here to help raise Brisbane's inaugural 'Oktoberpole' - a 24-metre tall and 1100 kilogram timber pole - outside City Hall in a spectacular feat using only long sticks and the man power of up to 40 volunteers.

As Oktoberfest Brisbane's PR partner, we did our bit raising awareness for the event itself including media previews in the lead up and securing news crews on site to capture all the action. 

Some great TV, print and digital media coverage highlights including this story here in the Brisbane Times

Volunteers join Bavarian visitors to help raise Australia's first 'Oktoberpole' in Brisbane

Volunteers join Bavarian visitors to help raise Australia's first 'Oktoberpole' in Brisbane

'Little feet' a big focus of #FootHealthMonth

With research revealing 81 per cent of parents have never taken their child to visit a podiatrist, My FootDr and Balance Podiatry are this month urging parents to take 'big steps' for 'little feet' as part of national Foot Health Month. 

The PR-led campaign leverages the podiatrists' trusted position in the foot care market to educate parents about the importance of healthy feet in ensuring children grow up living an active and pain-free life. 

7 News amplifies healthy feet message as part of national Foot Health Month. 

7 News amplifies healthy feet message as part of national Foot Health Month. 

PR partner for Oktoberfest Brisbane 2017

BG Consulting is delighted to join the ever-growing Oktoberfest Brisbane team as the official PR partner for 2017. 

The consultancy supported the event in 2016 and will continue to enhance the profile of this magnificent celebration of German culture and tradition, while driving publicity around some exciting new additions to the festival line-up. 

This year the Bavarian Purity Law will be brought to life by challenging eight local breweries to craft true-to-style German beers as part of the inaugural Bavarian Brewing Competition. 

Brisbane will also witness the raising of Australia's first 'Oktoberpole', a localised celebration of the traditional German Maypole {Maibaum}, to officially launch Oktoberfest Brisbane festivities. 

These additions will add to the cultural significance of the event which this year will mark its mighty 10th installment at the Brisbane Showgrounds from Oktober 6-8 and 13-15. 

PR activities are underway as Jessica Skarratt from Channel 7's Great Day Out interviews Oktoberfest Brisbane directors Kim and Boris Zoulek. 

PR activities are underway as Jessica Skarratt from Channel 7's Great Day Out interviews Oktoberfest Brisbane directors Kim and Boris Zoulek. 

A fresh spin on caravanning drives Green RV into the spotlight

Perhaps 'green nomads' is a better way to describe the fresh wave of Aussies touring our nation in caravans.

Fittingly, 26-year-old Jack Green is at the helm of the trend as the CEO of one of Queensland's fastest growing caravan dealership groups. 

BG Consulting was engaged to help enhance the public profile of Green RV as they honed in on the growth market. 

Multiple state-wide media stories were generated including in the Courier-Mail - and Jack was even interviewed as part of the Courier-Mail's commentary around the State Budget

The enterprising father-son duo Jack and Carl Green of  Green RV  adorn the page-three 'Good Company' feature in the  Courier Mail 's monthly QBM magazine. 

The enterprising father-son duo Jack and Carl Green of Green RV adorn the page-three 'Good Company' feature in the Courier Mail's monthly QBM magazine. 

BG Consulting welcomes My FootDr and Balance Podiatry to client portfolio

BG Consulting is delighted to welcome Australia's largest podiatry group to its client portfolio in 2017, to help close the information gap that exists among many Australians when it comes to caring for their feet. 

The national network of Balance Podiatry and My FootDr podiatry centres sought the consultancy's experience to help showcase the industry leadership and expertise behind the group and demonstrate the brands' world class foot care offering. 

Activities kicked off with the launch of the inaugural Healthy Feet Survey this month, generating national media interest across print, broadcast and digital. 

BG Consulting helped My FootDr and Balance Podiatry launch the inaugural  Healthy Feet Survey , sparking wide-spread media interest. 

BG Consulting helped My FootDr and Balance Podiatry launch the inaugural Healthy Feet Survey, sparking wide-spread media interest. 

Power to the future of electric bus transit

MEDIA RELEASE

LEADING transit authorities from across the globe will soon have their eyes on Adelaide as Australia’s first electric urban buses begin trial on the city’s transport network.

They appear similar to a traditional bus, but the passenger experience aboard the 100 per cent battery-powered buses is unrivalled with quieter operation, smoother acceleration and zero environmental impact.

The wholly Australian designed and built operational electric urban buses are the innovative by-product of Transit Australia Group’s award-winning advanced bus manufacturing arm Bustech and Adelaide manufacturer Precision Components Australia.

Under their joint venture Precision Buses, the companies last year attracted a $2 million South Australian Government grant to locally develop and build two e-buses as well as Australia’s first two Euro 6 low emission diesel buses. The buses were launched today by South Australia’s Premier and will soon take to Adelaide’s streets for trial.   

While the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure examines how the buses integrate into its future transport solution, eyeballs the world over will also hone in on how the battery-powered buses stack up against Australia’s harsh operating climate.

The electric buses have a top speed of 80km/h and use regenerative braking to extend battery range. They utilise world-leading Toshiba batteries which can be charged up to 80 per cent within just 10 minutes on a network with correct infrastructure.  

The ZDi and XDi Euro 6 buses also feature the hallmarks of Bustech’s unique monocoque chassis that are designed, engineered and manufactured in-house.

“We are showing Australia and the rest of the world how domestically produced electric and low emission buses which comply with Australian design standards, heavy vehicle regulations and state transit authority specifications can integrate into an urban network,” says Transit Australia Group CEO Michael McGee.

He said e-mobility transport held enormous potential for Australian manufacturers with the electric bus market in Asia-Pacific alone projected to exceed around $15 billion by 2020.

“The South Australian Government has been the first in Australia to demonstrate leadership on how governments and transport authorities can engage industry leaders to innovate and deliver market-leading transport vehicles of the future,” Mr McGee says.

“Electric buses are becoming an attractive alternative for urban transport networks across the world as more trials are conducted and vehicle design, battery and charging technology is continually enhanced.

“Bustech is not only generating jobs and supply chain opportunities as Australia adopts e-mobility technologies, but we also see strong export potential. As the global market grows, we are well poised to benefit with manufacturing facilities in Queensland, South Australia and Tasmania.”

Precision Components Australia director Mat Fitch said the government grant had encouraged a resurgence of advanced manufacturing in Northern Adelaide with the impending closure of Holden.

“Our alliance with Bustech has focused our skills and expertise away from automotive manufacturing and into an exciting growth industry that has already created 29 jobs and is supporting local materials and suppliers,” Mr Fitch says.

“Within six months Precision Buses has built wholly-Australian designed, engineered and manufactured electric buses and Euro 6 buses and they are rolling straight off the production line and onto Adelaide’s public transport network.

“We have also already signed agreements to build an additional 50 low carbon emission buses to supply inter-state demand for Bustech products.”

BUSTECH TO BUILD 100 METRO BUSES IN TASMANIA

Transit Australia Group’s manufacturing arm Bustech has this week made history securing a contract to build 100 low emission buses for Tasmania’s Metro network.

The $45 million project marks the single biggest investment in public transport in Tasmania’s history. It is also the first time any Australian government has procured buses that are entirely made in Australia.

Bustech is Australia’s only original equipment manufacturer (OEM) with each bus built using chassis designed, engineered and made in-house.

The Metro contract will see Bustech partner with Tasmanian company Elphinstone Pty Ltd on the state’s North-West Coast to utilise existing capabilities while providing a boost to local manufacturing.

The four-year project is expected to create 40 new full-time jobs in Tasmania, including at least 24 jobs at Elphinstone and additional jobs throughout the local supply chain.

Elphinstone’s executive general manager Lee Whiteley, Tasmanian transport minister Rene Hidding and Transit Australia Group chairman Luke Gray

Elphinstone’s executive general manager Lee Whiteley, Tasmanian transport minister Rene Hidding and Transit Australia Group chairman Luke Gray

Green RV’s recipe to spark interest in caravanning

MEDIA RELEASE

With 40,000 people viewing the first episode of ‘Friday RV Cooking’, it is clear Green RV’s latest recipe to inspire Australia’s growing number of young caravan enthusiasts is on the right track.

The innovative Queensland-based caravan dealership launched the weekly online cooking series in March to feature the company’s modern caravan offering in a candid and interactive way.

It’s a ploy you’d expect from Green RV's chief executive Jack Green, who at 26 years of age is at the helm of one of the state’s fastest growing caravan dealership groups.

Green’s father and company director Carl Green started the business as a humble car yard in Gympie in 1998 – and they began selling caravans in 2010. Now the family business turns over $30 million across four dealerships in Queensland and Victoria.

The enthusiastic CEO said the company’s biggest growth opportunity was targeting the younger caravan generation, but it has meant driving off the beaten track to find them.

“Young families and couples are highly engaged online - and with endless resources and information available, they know exactly what value to expect for their money,” Mr Green says.

“They don’t just read a book and roll in like they did 20 years ago. It’s an exciting shake-up for an industry which has traditionally focussed all of its efforts on the grey nomad market.”

According to the Caravan Industry Association of Australia, almost two thirds (64 per cent) of holiday-makers taking to the open roads are aged under 55.  

Having grown from one to four dealerships in just five years, Green RV is geared to capitalise on the opportunity. In 2015 the company also launched its own line of caravans, NextGen Caravans, to better accommodate the modern caravanner.

“The industry is flooded with manufacturers - and many don’t survive because they are offering products which are old and stale,” he says.

“We have represented a number of brands over the years, but they would come and go making it difficult to build genuine customer loyalty.

“We wanted a product which could grow with Green RV and adapt to the changing needs of the industry.”

Within just 12 months, 100 NextGen caravans were sold in Queensland alone – an early indication that dipping their toe into manufacturing was paying off.

“You get to know what customers want - add-ons such as external speakers and bigger tires are expected as standard, but many manufacturers are slow to adjust,” Mr Green says. 

“We are working with an experienced Melbourne manufacturer giving us the agility to innovate and push boundaries with NextGen.”

Mr Green said the mini-series Friday RV Cooking was part of the company’s strategy to humanise the brand in the market.  

“You can’t compete on price against the big guys like Jayco, but you can offer a far better experience from the moment they join the Green RV family,” he says.  

“Caravanning is all about having fun – and we want to showcase how that is possible with our products.

“The cooking series features our caravans in various locations across the state, inspiring people to realise caravanning is an achievable and enjoyable experience.”

With sales for NextGen Caravans alone expected to double this year, it’s a bright road ahead for Green RV as manufacturing opens up a raft of growth pathways for the business.  

“We’ll be increasing stock across existing dealerships, identifying opportunities to expand our footprint nationally via new sites and inter-state dealers,” Mr Green says.

Queensland bus maker drives expansion inter-state

A $2 million SA Government grant has kick-started a new advanced manufacturing alliance spearheaded by Queensland’s Bustech to deliver the nation’s next generation urban transport vehicles.

The strategic alliance with Adelaide-based Precision Components has sparked the transition of decades of advanced manufacturing expertise and jobs away from South Australia’s automotive industry.

(Image source: The Courier-Mail available  here ). 

(Image source: The Courier-Mail available here). 

The Courier-Mail's Business Daily covered the exciting opportunity. Read the full story here

PREVENTATIVE ACTION

After a spate of rock-throwing incidents on the Gold Coast, Surfside Buslines got on the front foot holding a press conference alongside QPS to address the growing concern for passenger safety.

Despite Tay-Tay landing at Gold Coast Airport on the same day, Ten Eyewitness News, 7 News Gold Coast and 9 News Gold Coast all lead with the story and their state bulletins also shared the story with more viewers. 

Here's the story from 9 News Queensland.

Brave hearts take on 7 marathons in 7 states in 7 days

We were invited along to Bravehearts' biggest charity run to protect Aussie kids - the Bravehearts 777 (7 marathons in 7 states in 7 days) - to drive publicity for the event in order to generate awareness for the cause and raise funds throughout the week. 

Simon Maughan and Matt Kohler in Melbourne on Day 3 of the Bravehearts 777 marathon series.

Simon Maughan and Matt Kohler in Melbourne on Day 3 of the Bravehearts 777 marathon series.

Tasmania's Paul Wright fired up when the Bravehearts 777 landed in chilly Hobart on Day 4. 

Tasmania's Paul Wright fired up when the Bravehearts 777 landed in chilly Hobart on Day 4. 

The event captured a national audience with widespread exposure at each stage of the seven-marathon series. 

The event received widespread exposure including this story on 9 News Adelaide. 

The event received widespread exposure including this story on 9 News Adelaide. 

Bravehearts 777 participant Phill Dernee interviewed after he crosses the finish line of the seventh and final marathon at the Gold Coast Marathon

Bravehearts 777 participant Phill Dernee interviewed after he crosses the finish line of the seventh and final marathon at the Gold Coast Marathon

Avoiding unprofessional, uninteresting and unattended media conferences

We saw Malaysia Airlines stage a media conference for MH370 and more recently Maria Sharapova front the media to explain her testing positive to a banned substance, but what is a media conference and why hold a media conference?

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