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Perry Cross AM

Perry Cross AM (image supplied)

Perry Cross AM is one Gold Coast local you’re going to want to hear about. Having sustained a severe spinal cord injury leaving Perry a C2 ventilated quadriplegic from a rugby union tackle, meaning he would never walk, feel or breathe on his own again (at age 19), Perry has made it his mission to find a cure for paralysis.

We sat down for a chat with Perry about the Spinal Cord Injury Project and SIP Week, a time when we can all help to raise money for Perry and over 15,000 other Australians with spinal injuries.

What do you love most about living on the Gold Coast?
The beautiful climate and relaxed lifestyle.

Tell us how the Perry Cross Spinal Research Foundation came about?
I started the Foundation out of necessity really – in pursuit of a cure for paralysis.

You’ve made it your mission to find a cure for paralysis, why is this so important to you?
It is my life’s ambition to cure paralysis for the thousands of people across the globe who desperately need a cure.

You’re also a motivational speaker, what do you most want to share with people?
Focus on what you can do, what you’ve got and where you are going, not what you’ve lost, what you don’t have or where you’ve been. Everything really is possible.

Perry Cross AM (image supplied)

Can you talk to us a bit about the prevalence of spinal cord injuries?
In Australia one person sustains a spinal cord injury every day and there are currently 15,000 Australians living with a spinal cord injury.

  • Men account for 80% of injuries.
  • The main cause for injuries is vehicle accidents.
  • Aside from the devastating personal trauma, the cost to our society to care for spinal injured people is $2 billion a year.
  • Without an effective cure, the emotional and financial costs to individuals, their families and to our community are life-long.

Talk to us about the research you’ve been doing and the advances you’ve made?
There is no cure for paralysis but with the support of generous donors and funding partners, The Perry Cross Spinal Research Foundation has helped to raise over $12 million which has been invested into ground-breaking Australian research focused on finding a cure. We have made great progress with a world first treatment that involves the transplantation of the patient’s own olfactory ensheathing cells (OECs) from the nose into the spinal cord to reform connections. This experimental treatment has shown promising functional outcomes. Our goal is to conduct a Human Clinical Trial and restore movement in people suffering with paralysis.

What is the Spinal Cord Injury Project (SIP)?
This ground-breaking, world first project was pioneered by 2017 Australian of the Year, Emeritus Professor Alan Mackay-Sim and involves the transplantation of the patient’s own olfactory ensheathing cells (OECs) from the nose into the spinal cord. The SIP team is reinventing and rethinking how cells can grow leading to the creation of new cell products. By combining advanced cell purification techniques and engineering, the team is designing three-dimensional nerve bridges that will help regenerate the spinal cord. This approach has recently been successfully tested in pre-clinical models and has shown promising functional outcomes. This incredible approach has the potential to result in the first widely available treatment for spinal cord injury and it is being developed here in Queensland, Australia!

Talk to us about SIP Week, how can we get involved?
SIP Week challenges everyone to drink all their beverages through a straw, just like I have to because of paralysis. You don’t have to run a marathon, or even break a sweat, just drink all your beverages through a straw and raise funds from November 2nd to 8th. Sign up at sipweek.com

What do you most hope for in the near future?
People will no longer need to live with paralysis and Wallabies win the Bledisloe Cup.

Tell us your favourites on the Coast:
Restaurant for dinner: Balboa Italian Palm Beach
Coffee spot: Merlo Brickworks
Café for breakfast: Sage Broadbeach
How does your weekend usually look: Surf Club for lunch with friends and catch up with family

Balboa Italian

Packing punches bigger than Rocky…Balboa Italian, the new kid on the block. Adding to Palm Beach’s already impressive lineup of bucket list eateries. If it’s not the mouth-watering Italian cuisine and the delicious cocktails, it’s at the very least the phenomenal fit-out, the glamorous chandelier or the bright red Vespa that will leave you yelling ADRIANNN…

Firstly, let’s take a minute to appreciate the monumental precision that has gone into creating Balboa’s fit-out. A two storey Italian escape with red brick walls, big open spaces and head turning features. Wrought iron is used as a feature throughout the restaurant and can be seen on the staircase, the custom made shelves (which hold a fine range of liquor)and the exposed beams that seperate the two levels. Traditional Italy meets urban classic, the brick walls, polished concrete floors and big wooden bar framed with wrought iron panelling set the theme.

Balboa’s lower level offers seating both inside and out, and leaves you immersed in the thick of the action. Head upstairs and enjoy a more intimate dining space, with plush velvet lounges, even a private dining area separated by a chained curtain. Then there are the finishing touches, lush greenery, a variety of antique lights, a bright red Vespa that sits on a steel beam above the main entrance and the main head turner, a giant 12 tier chandelier which proudly hangs beside the bar.

If you can manage to keep your gaze focused for a short while, your attention will be drawn to the main event, food!  “insert eye of the tiger here”. They’ve kept the menu simple and embraced the traditional authentic flavours; pizzas, pastas, risottos, antipastos, steak… the essentials. If we’re talking about contenders for the champion belt, it’s going to be a tough fight; Chestnut Gnocchi, black truffle, vegetable essence, sage and Grana Padano VS the Pizza Bianche Pollo, caramelised pears, chicken, fontina, thyme, mozzarella and balsamic. Or the Polpete, house made meatballs, beef, pork, veal, tomato sugo and crostini going head to head with Fiorentina Style T-Bone Steak, Tuscany style potato, confit garlic, rosemary and pan seared tomato.

Rehydrate between rounds with one of Balboa’s delicious cocktails, a glass of local or imported wine or a cold refreshing beer. The attentive wait staff awaiting in the corner with towel in hand ready to make sure you’re well looked after. Finish up the final round, the big K.O, with a homemade dessert… Salted Caramel Panna Cotta anyone?

The gloves are off, Palm Beach home to yet another winner.

Open

Dinner: Wednesday – Monday 6pm – late

Lunch: Friday – Sunday from 12.30pm – 2.30pm


By Amy Merridan

17 reasons locals love Palm Beach

Watson Bloom (Image: © 2020 Inside Gold Coast)

Over the past couple of years Palm Beach (or Palmy as it’s affectionately known) has been transformed into the Coast’s king of cool.

With new bars and eateries filling every unoccupied space, quiet(er) beaches and some of the best boutique shopping around, Palmy is moving on up in the world.

As is customary, we’ve compiled a list of the top 17 reasons locals love the place.

Watson Bloom
A sweet coffee spot underneath Sable Palm Beach, Watson Bloom is serving up exceptional brews along with plenty of plant-based treats including raw goodies and banana bread made in-house plus pastries and never-ending good vibes. Pop in for an early morning brew and a chat.
Where: Sable Palm Beach, 2/1073 Gold Coast Highway, Palm Beach

Patty Smiths
The newest burger crew around are Patty Smiths who are serving up VERY tasty burgers, made with hand-pressed patties along with loaded fries, some of the most epic thickshakes around and just general deliciousness everywhere honestly. Perfect for beachside dinners or if you feel like something yummy but can’t be bothered cooking (us, always).
Where: Shop 15A Pavilions Shopping Centre, 6 Fifth Avenue, Palm Beach

Las Palmas
Overlooking the ocean with the perfect pastel palette, Las Palmas is bringing Latin America to Palm Beach with a share-style menu, made up of mouthwatering flavours and a fresh cocktail list to match. Head in there for a Sunday arvo session or long lunch with your loves. It’ll be your new summer fave for sure.
Where: Level 1, 1097 Gold Coast Highway, Palm Beach

Las Palmas (Image: © 2020 Inside Gold Coast)

The Scottish Prince
Tucked away, all moody low-lit with wild times written all over it, The Scottish Prince, sister venue of The Cambus Wallace and is one of the best drinking holes we have here on the Coast. It’s primarily a whisky bar boasting over 300 varieties of the tasty tipple plus a perfectly complementary menu including charcuterie boards, meatballs, Scotch Fillets, fish and chips and the like. All the very best things. Get in.
Where: 1176 Gold Coast Highway, Palm Beach

Sisterhood Coffee
Sisterhood brings community-inspired good vibes to the people of Palmy. It’s the work of two local gals who are serving up impressive brunch dishes made with local produce and some of the yummiest there is. Sisterhood is bringing the coffee culture back down to earth, not charging for milks that aren’t of the full cream variety and are generally creating something pretty lovely down south Palmy way. Highly recommend.
Where: 1099 Gold Coast Highway, Palm Beach

Farmers Markets
The Gold Coast is home to many an impressive farmers market and one of our absolute favourites can be found in Palmy on Saturday mornings. From 6am at Palm Beach Currumbin High School you’ll find fresh local produce, artisan foods, specialty coffee, epic doughnuts, flowers, dog treats, the lot. The perfect way to spend a weekend morning.
Where: Thrower Drive, Palm Beach

Frida Sol
Margaritas and Mexi-eats are some of our favourite things and happily, they’re on offer at Palmy’s delightful upstairs space, Frida Sol. There’s a chilli margarita that’ll knock your socks off and if you perch outside on the deck, a balmy ocean breeze – the combination of which will remind you exactly why you live on the Gold Coast. The perfect time.
Where: Level 1, 1176 Gold Coast Highway, Palm Beach

Frida Sol (Image: © 2020 Inside Gold Coast)

The Collective
No doubt you’ve already set foot inside The Collective more than once and why wouldn’t you with five restaurants to choose from? Open for lunch and dinner, you can stay all day and, as it’s a communal dining setting, you’re bound to make some new friends along the way. So, if you’re in the mood for pizza and tacos, head to The Collective, order both and wash it all down with a cocktail at the rooftop bar.
Where: 1128 Gold Coast Highway, Palm Beach

Barefoot Barista
Barefoot have been a Palmy favourite since they swung open their doors in 2011. They offer the kind of nourishing, healthy homestyle eats you’d expect when you visit your fanciest friend for breaky. Think house-smoked Miso Cured Salmon and Wellbeing Porridge packed with goodness. The crew at Barefoot also serve a mean coffee, one of the best on the Coast in fact and you, friends, can purchase the tasty single origins beans to make your own.
Where: 10 Palm Beach Avenue, Palm Beach

Strange Days
Calling lovers of all things vintage, there’s a new kid in town and you’re going to want to head in there to peruse the goodies ASAP. The entire store has a bit of a rock ‘n roll, western vibe, reminiscent of owner Sylvie’s (enviable) style and you’ll find everything from clothes, vintage records, a few homewares, posters and the like. It’s all been carefully sourced and is in very good condition.
Where: 1/1142 Gold Coast Highway, Palm Beach

Strange Days (Image: © 2020 Inside Gold Coast)

The Pirate Park
Those with little ones will attest to the fact that the Pirate Park is up there with the best on the Coast. Located right near the water, the park far exceeds anything you ever got to play on as a kid with a pirate ship stuck in the sand and upended wine barrels perfect for all day climbing. If you don’t have any babes, Dune Café is close by as is the sparkling ocean and a dog beach on Currumbin Creek that’s always good for a laugh.
Where: 945 Gold Coast Highway, Palm Beach (on the left before the Currumbin Creek bridge)

White Bohemian
It’s every local boho babe’s dream come true. Opened in 2013, White Bohemian stocks all your favourite hippy-esque labels including Byron Bay labels SPELL and Arnhem and locals like Mahiya and Lokoa. It’s possibly the only place on the Coast gals can go to stock up on the bohemian trend that has literally taken over the world. There’s homewares too so, you know, prepare to spend up.
Where: Cnr Seventh Avenue and Gold Coast Highway, Palm Beach

Balboa Italian
It goes without saying that if you’ve ever driven through Palm Beach, you’ve definitely laid eyes on Balboa Italian. The beautifully appointed double-storey brick building is in a class of its own serving classic Italian dishes with modern interpretations and the freshest of flavours. It’s worth a visit just to experience the fitout, complete with overhead Vespa and exposed brick walls. The cocktails are unique and the wine selection varied. It’s all good to be honest, get down there.
Where:1069 Gold Coast Highway, Palm Beach

Balboa Italian (image supplied)

Espresso Moto
It’s a cafe crossed with a motorbike workshop and the home of the best banana smoothies on the Gold Coast. That’s right, the best. There is not a single thing not to love about Espresso Moto from their very delicious breakfast goods (the brekky burritos are the bomb), to their use of All Press coffee and the ever-friendly staff who always say g’day. There’s also a communal dog bed and the beach is right around the corner. So yeah, it’s the best.
Where: 1389 Gold Coast Highway, Palm Beach

Suga
A somewhat secret cocktail bar, tucked away on the Gold Coast Hwy, Suga specialises in rum and good times and if you’re keen on either or both of those you should absolutely get down there. They have an impressive cocktail menu plus plenty of epic wines (pet nats, yes please) and beers so no matter what, you’re gonna love it.
Where: 1142 Gold Coast Highway, Palm Beach

Ritual Yoga & Pilates
Found upstairs in a sunlit space oozing chill vibes is Ritual Yoga & Pilates. Owned by sisters Rose and Sophie, Ritual is only a couple of years old but has already become a favourite amongst both Palm Beach locals and those who reside in surrounding suburbs. If you’re in need of some rest and relaxation (or a solid sweat session), Ritual is calling your name.
Where: 9b Palm Beach Avenue, Palm Beach

Highline
One of Palmy’s sweetest coffee spots is Highline, a stunning little space decked out in pastel hues and serving up some of the very best coffee on the Coast. The menu is the goods too, boasting fresh, locally sourced produce-filled dishes like jaffles, ferment bowls and even a life-changing apple pie. Great.
Where: 5/1132 Gold Coast Highway, Palm Beach

Words by Kirra Smith

Highline (Image: © 2019 Inside Gold Coast)
Highline (Image: © 2019 Inside Gold Coast)

14 reasons locals love Southport

Mr PP's Deli & Rooftop Bar (Image: © 2017 Inside Gold Coast)
Mr PP's Deli & Rooftop Bar (Image: © 2017 Inside Gold Coast)

It may be home to the Gold Coast’s bustling business district but Southport can also boast a huge array of incredible eateries, culture and general good times.

We’ve rounded up 15 things locals love about the place and we reckon you might enjoy them too.

In no particular order, enjoy.

Southport Sharks
There is many a good time to be had at Southport Sharks including dining at one of the delicious dish-packed restaurants, drinking at Aviary Rooftop Bar overlooking the city, joining in on one of their classes at the Health + Fitness Centre or getting involved in one of their many good time events. The possibilities are endless. It’s the perfect spot for a family event or take the crew for a Sunday afternoon session. Happy days no matter what.
Where: Olsen Avenue and Musgrave Avenue, Southport

Southport Yacht Club
Waterfront dining is the name of the game at Southport Yacht Club with two venues to choose from and stunning scenes from whichever you choose. You’re also welcome to just sit back and kick up your heels with a cold beverage or two while gazing lovingly at one of the many beautiful yachts in the marina. It’s one of the Coast’s best locations and you’re guaranteed to have a good time.
Where: 1 MacArthur Parade, Main Beach

Zero Latency
Zero Latency is a free-roam, virtual reality experience like no other. With up to eight players per game, you’ll have the BEST time fighting zombies, exploring mystical places and challenging your friends on space stations. All you need to do is put on the VR headset, strap into the backpack and pickup the controller. Get 10% off here. It really is so good.
Where: 34 Smith Street, Southport

Panezski Distillery
The Coast’s first vodka distillery opened in Southport a few short months ago and what a treat. The family-owned business are whipping up three types of vodka, two types of gin and even a couple of beers on the premises and you can pop in to grab a bottle to go, or you can sit down and enjoy a cocktail and a charcuterie board and spend a bit of time. Very cool. 
Where: Unit 7/55 Bailey Crescent, Southport

Vinnies Dive
Who doesn’t love a good dive bar. Particularly one that doubles as a live music venue and has a huge range of your favourite beers on offer (and some you may not have heard of). Head in there to discover some new music from both local and interstate bands and if you’re in the mood for a party, which we know you are, you can hire the space out for your next one.
Where: 44A Nerang Street, Southport 

Boudoir Lounge interior (Image: © 2020 Inside Gold Coast)

Mr PP’s Deli & Rooftop Bar 
On the ground floor of the building you’ll find the deli section of the establishment, with an array of delicious meats and cheeses that will be brought together in platter form for your feasting pleasure. Upstairs, the rooftop bar boasts tasty cocktails, even more delicious eats and views across the city. It’s a real good time.
Where: 43 Nerang Street, Southport

Randy Wallhole
To put it bluntly, you haven’t lived until you’ve tasted a Randy Wallhole bagel. There are eight flavours to choose from which means you have multiple per day if you so choose. Go for the Pulled Bas first up, it’s got Smokey BBQ pulled beef, peri mayo and apple slaw. Wash it down with some of the best coffee on the Coast and be on your merry way.
Where: 4/21 Nind Street, Southport 

Boudoir Lounge
A newbie amongst the Southport bunch, Boudoir Lounge is the very best spot for a tasty brunch with the girls or simply a few cocktails after work. Found on Como Crescent, it quickly became the go to spot for those looking for some delicious eats, in a sweet setting and with unique sips of course. Inside there’s also a hair and beauty bar so you can get fabulous before you head out on the town. Perfect.
Where: 410/1 Como Crescent, Southport

Broadwater Parklands
Whether you’re four or 40, theres tons of fun to be had at Broadwater Parklands. For starters, you can sit and stare out at the yachts you’ll never set foot on. Then, there’s the bouncy pillow (maybe don’t go on there without a child), a kiddies train, a water playground and weekly events from theatre shows to foodie markets. See, fun.
Where: Marine Parade, Southport

D Point Ten
Oh donuts, how we love you. D Point Ten can be found on Stevens Street and, in keeping with the general donut vibe, is a little hole in the wall space pumping out the freshest of donuts we may have ever excitedly shoved into our greedy mouths. In all the best flavours no less. Go the Ferrero Rocher for sure.
Where: 6/1 Stevens Street, Southport

Cardamon Pod
The delightful folk at Cardamon Pod are serving up delightful dishes with a focus on clean eating but of the prettiest variety. They offer vegan and gluten free options for breakfast and lunch with a side of organic coffee and vegan desserts. All very delicious and it’s very hard to stop at just one thing or not to post on your Instagram.
Where: Brickworks Centre, 3/3 Brolga Avenue, Southport

Panezski Artisan Distillery (Image: © 2020 Inside Gold Coast)

Gold Coast Aquatic Centre
Southport’s centre of swimming is something for all of us to be proud of. It’s as pretty as a collection of swimming pools can be and, as it was home to all the Commonwealth Games water activities, it’s world class. The architecture is sleek and there’s a training room featuring pits filled with foam for the divers to practice in.
Where: Marine Parade, Southport 

Escape Hunt
Imagine being wrongly accused of murder, chained to a wall and having to rely on your friends’ detective skills to free you. Who you gonna call? Welcome to Escape Hunt, Southport’s brain bending game guaranteed to test your problem solving skills like they’ve never been tested before. There’s a few scenarios you might be faced with, all of which involve solving a mystery with a set of intricate clues. It’s the most fun you can have inside a locked room. Make sure to take your smart friends. Grab 10% off here.
Where: 2/162 Scarborough Street, Southport

Brickworks Centre
Where to start. There are SO many excellent places to peruse at the Brickworks starting with Ferry Rd Market where you can nab yourself everything from beautiful flowers to the freshest breads, seafood and fruit and veggies galore. God it’s good. Within the Centre, there’s also stunning homewares, fashion and design stores and health and beauty services. Oh, there’s also always some really cool events.
Where: Ferry Road, Southport 

Words by Kirra Smith

Southport Aquatic Centre (Image supplied by Destination Gold Coast)
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