Name: Bruce Smith.
Suburb: Alexandra Hills.
What’s your business? I’m currently nearing the end of three consecutive terms as President of Redland Museum. I have been a volunteer at the museum for the past seven years. I was a Financial Planner for 28 years prior to retiring in 2014.
Do you have any fun/interesting stories about your job? When I commenced volunteering at Redland Museum, I was given the task of cataloguing, digitizing and researching the extensive photograph collection. During the first long Covid lockdown in 2020, I took photograph albums home with me to work on during this period of solitude. I found one photograph of a young ballerina with just a name on the rear side: Lisa Bolte. Following some research, I discovered that Lisa was the world renowned Principal Artist for The Australian Ballet during the 1990s to early 2000s, who had grown up in the Redlands. I contacted this lovely woman who lives in Melbourne, and out of this discovery, a magnificent exhibition on her life and career was staged at Redland Museum during 2022.
What’s your favourite local dine-in and take-away? My “go to” coffee shop is Café Mila at the Horizon complex, Allenby Road and Old Cleveland Road East, Wellington Point. I enjoy dining at both Wellington Point Farmhouse, and The Courthouse, Cleveland. I also enjoy the takeaway seafood from Cooked @ Bayside, Wellington Point.
Best local activity? I have a passion for volunteering which is so positive and enjoyable. I was involved in school P&Cs plus junior sport as my children grew up, and now I am very active in exercising my grey matter at Redland Museum. I enjoy walking through the bush pathways within the Hilliards Creek Corridor where Alexandra Hills, Wellington Point and Ormiston converge. I also like walking around the seashore areas of Wellington Point and Cleveland Point.
What is the last book you read? Daughter of Calabria by Tania Blanchard.
What’s the last tv show or movie you watched? The last full TV show of note that I watched was the documentary on ABC, The Black Hand with Anthony LaPaglia, and I am currently watching Bay of Fires, with Marta Dusseldorp on ABC; the last movie that I went to see at a cinema was Elvis in 2022.
Is there anything you’d like to see happen in the local area? I would like to see more connectivity of the several isolated walkways and bikeways in the Hilliards Creek corridor so that one can walk along the creek from around the Redlands Softball Complex right through to the Scribbly Gums Reserve in Alexandra Hills. Walking is such a great way to exercise and to relax. Also, within the public transport sphere, I want to see the rail line between Manly and Cleveland fully duplicated to achieve greater capacity and efficiency. The more people we can get out of cars and off the roads, the better the long term benefits for all.
Is there a local business/community group/club you’d like to give a shout-out to? Redland Museum for moving beyond a place of collection to the provision of an attraction to empower learning, memories, adventure and enjoyment for the community. Also, the museum’s associated Theatre Redlands for bringing stories associated with our local history to life for enjoyment by our people.