View of Magnetic Island from Townsville.jpg NQRS Logo.jpg

ANNUAL WORKSHOP 2021: " Inspired by the Natural World"

IMPORTANT Townsville COVID lockdown: see News item on Home Page

View of Function and Restaurant Building at Amaroo

View of Function and Restaurant Building at Amaroo


The North Queensland Recorder Society usually holds an annual weekend workshop to develop the recorder playing and ensemble skills of both members and visitors. For 2021, it will again be a special residential one on Magnetic Island at Amaroo on Mandalay Avenue in Nelly Bay. Amaroo has two functions rooms for our use, a restaurant, bar, lovely pool and ample accommodation all set in lush tropical gardens.

Aerial View of Amaroo on Mandalay Ave

Aerial View of Amaroo on Mandalay Avenue Relative to Nelly Bay Harbour and Ferry Terminal

Tutors: Rodney Waterman and Malcolm Tattersall

Malcolm Tattersall and Rodney Waterman at Ingham Workshop 2010

Malcolm (left) and Rodney (right) at the 2010 NQRS Weekend Workshop in Ingham

Rodney Waterman (Melbourne)

Rodney Waterman has tutored on three occasions for the NQRS. He has also tutored regularly in Armidale NSW for Orpheus Music since 1998 and is popular with both adult and youth participants. He is an experienced performer and an enthusiastic and patient conductor of recorder ensembles at all levels of expertise. Rodney also plays guitar, ukulele, percussion and likes to sing. See Rodney's website.

Malcolm Tattersall (Townsville)

Malcolm taught in Melbourne before moving to Townsville in 1990 where he has taught and performed on recorder, flute, clarinet, saxophone and sundry other woodwinds. See Malcolm's music website and his other interests such as wildlife and photography website.

Theme: Inspired by the Natural World

Malcolm and Rodney have both been active in the environment movement for many years, inspired by their mutual love of the natural world. As with many recorder players; there’s a kind of affinity between engagement with the natural world and the pre-technological simplicity and beauty of our chosen instrument. If there’s a more specific connection, perhaps it is through the breath, since “inspiration” is both physical (as breath) and metaphorical. That is our starting point and will guide our choice of music, although not all of our music will be explicitly linked to our theme.

Provisional Program

Below is the provisional timetable for the weekend (posted 6 May 2020).

Date, Time Event
Friday 16 July
3:00pm-5:00pm Registration and orientation to Amaroo; Location: Endeavour Room.
4:30pm Tropical bird feeding near the Gym (daily).
4:00pm Informal gathering. Group meet up in the Endeavour Room. Come and learn about the Koalas on Maggie. We will have some special visitors and handlers from the Koala Hospital. Learn why Magnetic Island is such a special place for our koalas.
5:30pm Kookaburra feeding on the Terrace (daily).
6:00pm Dinner: informal dining in the Restaurant.
7:00pm-9:00pm Let's Make a Start: all together session so people can get to know one another and play some music.
Saturday 17 July
8:30am Wake up, Warm up.
9:30am-11:00am All Together Recorder Orchestra: Rodney and Malcolm will both present a piece.
11:00am-11:30am Morning tea provided by members of NQRS.
11:30am-1:00pm Separate Group Sessions: Group 1 Cleveland Room; Group 2 Endeavour Room.
1:00pm-2:00pm Lunch: Make your own sandwich.
2:00pm-3:30pm Special Session with Rodney: First contacts with the recorder.
3:30pm-4:00pm Afternoon tea
4:00pm Tropical bird feeding near the Gym (daily)
4:00pm-5:00pm Separate Group Sessions: Group 1 Cleveland Room; Group 2 Endeavour Room.
5:30pm Drinks available in the Main Bar/Terrace
5:30pm Kookaburra feeding on the Terrace (daily)
6:00pm Dinner
6:45pm Community Concert Arrivals: Main Bar/Terrace.
7:30pm-9:00pm Commumity Concert. This is open to the public with a gold coin donation.
Bar open until close.
Sunday 18 July
8:30am-9:00am Wake up, Warm up.
9:00am-10:30am Separate Group Sessions: Group 1 Cleveland Room; Group 2 Endeavour Room.
10:30am-11:00am Morning tea
11:00am-12:00md All Together Recorder Orchestra.
12:00md-1:00pm Lunch: Make your own sandwich.
1:00pm-3:00pm Final play together: Cleveland Room.
3:00pm, 4:25pm, 5:10pm Passenger Ferry (Sealink) departs, Nelly Bay.
3:30pm, 5:15pm Car Ferry (Magnetic Island Ferries) departs, Nelly Bay.
Koala perched in tree on Forts Track, Magnetic Island

Expression of Interest

Please show your interest by filling out this form. This will enable us to keep you up-to-date with plans and to warn you of the early-bird deadline for registration.

First Name:



Phone (mobile preferred):

Any other information (such as where you live):

If this doesn't work for any reason just email us at ** Direct email link protected by JavaScript. Enable JavaScript or email 'info' (at symbol) ''.** with your name, email address, phone number and any other relevant information such as where you live.

Workshop Fee and Registration

Your registration is complete only when you have paid the workshop fee. This is $120 for NQRS members; and $140 for non-members. There is an early bird discount of $20 per participant if paid before 30 April 2021, i.e. member $100, non-member $120.

We prefer payment by bank transfer:
Westpac Account Name: NQ Recorder Society
BSB 034 212
Account Number 134 217

Please include your name in reference line and confirm by email with name(s) of participants to ** Direct email link protected by JavaScript. Enable JavaScript or email 'info' (at symbol) ''.** .

Instead of online payment, you may send a cheque with your registration details to: Heather Coleman, Mt Elliot Drive, Alligator Creek, Qld 4816.


The accommodation consists mainly of single-story, motel-style units in blocks of six arranged on either side of the pool and restaurant-function room building.

View of Typical Accommodation Block

View of Typical Accommodation Block with Six Rooms.

Standard prices start at $126 per night for a double room before discount. Amaroo has offered workshop participants a discount of 10% but to get this you will need to make your own bookings with Amaroo directly either by phone 07 4778 5200 or by email rather than by booking through internet agencies or the Amaroo website. See here for photos of different types of rooms and prices without the workshop discount.


The restaurant serves breakfast and dinner and for lunches we shall arrange a make your own sandwiches selection for $10 per person. There is also a barbecue area which we can use and there are cafés and restaurants within walking distance (less than 1km). The rooms have kitchenettes so you may choose to provide your own breakfasts - there is an IGA supermarket at the Ferry Terminal and a Foodworks on Sooning St at the Nelly Bay end of Mandalay Ave (below).

Map of eating places and food shops close by

Map of Nelly Bay: 4min is the Time to Drive from the Ferry Terminal.

Getting There

Amaroo is 1.4km from the Magnetic Island Ferry Terminal at Nelly Bay. Ferries run regularly from the Sealink Terminal in Townsville to Nelly Bay and the connecting buses from the Nelly Bay Ferry Terminal to Picnic Bay stop right outside Amaroo. Visit the Sealink website for the ferry timetable. Here is a pdf of the bus timetable. Amaroo has a courtesy bus and will collect guests from the Ferry Terminal - easier than taking the bus with luggage.

The Wildlife

The gardens at Amaroo naturally attract plenty of wildlife. As well as Blue-winged Kookaburras, Bush Stone-Curlews ("Curlews" in North Queensland) and Agile Wallabies, you may be lucky enough to spot a Koala. The National Park walking trail to Arcadia which starts at the northwestern end of Mandalay Avenue is worth investigating if you have time before or after the workshop. The Forts Track is the best one for Koalas.

Blue-winged Kookaburra waiting to be fed

The local birds, such as this patient Blue-winged Kookaburra, are accustomed to being fed.

Contact Details and Information

RADF Funding

The North Queensland Recorder Society gratefully acknowledges the generous funding provided by the Regional Arts Development Fund for this workshop.

The Regional Arts Development Fund is a partnership between the Queensland Government and the Townsville City Council to support local arts and culture in regional Queensland.

Logo for Regional Arts Development Fund