Bribie Island

Looking back – Resort trailblazers recall Bribie’s early days

Looking back - Resort trailblazers recall Bribie’s early days

There was a time when Heather and Len Dawber welcomed every new homeowner personally into the GemLife Bribie Island Over-50s Lifestyle Resort, but that seems a lifetime ago as the community celebrates the sale and settlement of its final home.

Heather and Len Dawber were the first contract holders and among early trailblazers of the now 404-home GemLife Bribie Island resort, a six to eight-year project that sold out years before originally expected.

“In the early days there were so few of us that we would hold street parties to welcome new arrivals. It was a great way to get to know our new neighbours while also making them feel more at home,” said Heather.

In vast contrast to the resort today, there were next to no gardens or facilities established.

“Everything was very different here when we moved into our new home in November 2017. The site was virtually a vacant block of land. There were only about four houses built, a generator was being used, and there were no gardens or facilities. It looked a bit like a war zone and sounded like one when the tradies started work early each morning,” recalled Len.

But, they insisted, there were some definite advantages to being first to move in.

“We lived in Sandstone Point, so coming here wasn’t a big move. We put down our deposit and as development kicked off, we were able to look at the artist’s impression of the homes and layout of the resort. We knew the homes were a quality build, had plenty of choice regarding sites in Stage One, and picked a corner block close to the then proposed clubhouse, which is now a fabulous reality,” said Len.

The couple said the opening of the country club was one of the major highlights of living at GemLife Bribie Island.

“The facilities are so spectacular, and its opening marked a turning point for the entire resort coming together. It was something that all we `resort pioneers’ – as we like to call ourselves – really loved and appreciated, and still do today,” said Heather.

She added that the original group of about fifty early residents still get together once a year to reminisce.

Despite the lack of facilities in the early days, the couple said their early interactions with sales staff and GemLife Director & CEO Adrian Puljich painted a wonderful picture about what lay ahead.

“We believed in Adrian’s vision and true to his word, it all came together. We haven’t regretted a moment of our journey with GemLife.”

Back to list