FEBRUARY 2010 Issue 45 $5.95 PP 255003/09169
The Energy Busters Saving you money Pages 18â€“19
Randstad: how to retain staff in 2010 read more pages 16â€“17
Have your say on business training priorities feature page 14
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B2B in canberra business and government magazine FEBRUARY 2010 issue 45
EVERY month 04 UPFRONT Read about local business success 10 OPINION Hear from people in the know. 20 ADVICE Advice from business experts
photography Andrew Sikorski, www.art-atelier.com.au
34 NETWORKING See who’s out and about in Canberra
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features 14 department of education and training Tell the department your training priorities
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16 Ranstad Retain your staff for the good times 18 COVER STORY Energy Imaging is on a mission
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G2B Chief Minister Opposition Leader ACT Government ACT Work Safety Commissioner
A2B ACT & Region Chamber of Commerce & Industry Chamber of Women in Business Canberra Business Council ACT Exporters’ Network
32 U2B The University of Canberra 33 C2B Canberra Southern Cross Club
COVER Photo: Photo digitally altered to represent thermal imaging. Shot on location in the foyer of the Ian Ross Building, College of Engineering and Computer Science, The Australian National University. Left to right: Energy Imaging company directors, Livi Krevatin, Jenny Edwards, and Andrew Cleary. Photography by Andrew Sikorski
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B2B in Canberra | February 2010
"The way to become rich is to put all your eggs in one basket and then watch that basket." Andrew Carnegie, US steel magnate and philanthropist
A passion for learning and earning When electrician and 2009 ACT Australian Apprentice of the Year Geoff Hepburn decided to leave school at the end of year 10 to forge a career in the trades, some of his friends – and teachers – thought he was crazy.
Geoff Hepburn of Network Electrical Services
“There were definitely some people who thought it was a little crazy,” Geoff laughed. “But getting an apprenticeship was one of the best things I’ve done.” Four years on, 20 year old Geoff has built a successful career as an electrician and has worked on some of Canberra’s major commercial and office construction projects with employer Network Electrical Services in Hume. Geoff is also passionate about continued learning and has completed a Certificate III Systems Electrician course at the Canberra Institute of Technology and also studied CIT’s Renewable Energy program. “The ability to learn and grow would be one of a very few core qualities a person will carry through their entire life,” Geoff said. “I also think that learning is not just something carried out in a classroom. The Canberra Institute of Technology at Bruce and on site with Network has been the perfect balance of on-job and off-job training for me.” Geoff welcomed the recent changes to the Education Act 2004 (ACT) which now requires young people to participate in education until completing a year 10 program of study and then participate full-time in education, training or employment until completing year 12 or equivalent, or reaching age 17, whichever occurs first.
Geoff said anything which encouraged students to consider a career in the trades, vocational education or further education was a good thing. “I would absolutely encourage young people to consider an apprenticeship or vocational training,” Geoff said. “The best thing about a trade, and working as an electrician, is the variety of work you get to do and the people you meet. “The experience also forces you to grow up quickly and see a side to the world you are not accustomed to when you are at school.” With the new legislation now in effect, employers might see more young people looking to enter the job market or gain an apprenticeship at the end of year 10. The ACT Department of Education and Training encourages employers to support students as they make the adjustment from school to work life. Employers can also help young people who are still at school by providing employment opportunities including work experience and Australian School-Based Apprenticeships. Employers and businesses can get more information on the changes to the Education Act 2004 (ACT) at the ACT Department of Education and Training website, www.det.act.gov.au, email ACTYouthCommitment@act.gov.au or call 6205 2254.
Bookkeepers: The BOLD and the BEAUTIFUL
any people will not be aware that from 1 March 2010, the new national Tax Agent Services regime will commence. This new regime will regulate tax agents and, for the first time, those providing BAS services for a fee – for most businesses this will be your bookkeeper. The Tax Practitioners Board will be responsible for administering the new system. Therefore, bookkeepers who provide BAS services for a fee, under the new law will need to be a registered BAS agent. Go to www.tpb. gov.au to find out more. To raise awareness of these significant changes for bookkeepers as well as recognise the important role bookkeepers play, Canberra’s AMC Training Centre is running a competition, ‘The Bold and the Beautiful’. “We are running this competition to make bookkeepers aware of these changes that will require them to maintain a minimum standard in this industry,” Pam Chilman, CEO AMC Training Centre, said. Bookkeepers will be required to have a minimum of a Certificate IV in Financial Services (Bookkeeping) or (Accounting) along with other criteria specified by the Tax Practitioners Board. AMC Training Centre is currently putting
February 2010 | B2B in Canberra
through 20 bookkeepers with another course commencing on 11 February 2010. “Our course is aimed at current bookkeepers with recognition of prior learning so that we can fast-track them into the qualification,” Pam said. AMC’s The Bold and the Beautiful books competition will recognise the ‘bold’ and original methods of record-keeping as well as those keeping a ‘beautiful’ set of books. There are three competition categories: • Oldest method of recording/tracking your finances Award sponsored by ‘Daltons Books. • Most original method of recording/tracking your finances Award sponsored by MYOB. • Accountants award for ‘best kept books' Award sponsored by ‘Institute of Certified Bookkeepers’ Finalist entries will be on display at the AMC Training Centre, 32-38 Townshend St, Phillip the week prior to the announcement, with winners announced Monday 1 March 2010, at the AMC Training Centre. Contact AMC on 6215 9710 or visit www.ausmanagement.com.au for a nomination form. Entries must be received at AMC by 5pm Thursday 25 February 2010.
Pam Chilman, CEO AMC Training Centre
“Growing my business takes effort and passion. So I take RSM Bird Cameron’s advice.” John Norris Managing Director Norris Cleaning Company Pty Limited
Business was a lot simpler when John Norris started out with his mop and bucket more than 40 years ago. Since then he has built Norris Cleaning Company into a complex business, employing almost 150 staff and cleaning some of the most prestigious buildings in Canberra. The evolution of a business requires not only passion and commitment to the service provided but also the development of accounting and information systems. When it was time to upgrade the company’s management information system, RSM Bird Cameron was there to help, managing and implementing the project.
RSM Bird Cameron was able to help Norris Cleaning better manage its information so that the company could focus on what it does best - providing top quality service to its clients.
RSM Bird Cameron Ph: (02) 6247 5988
"If you would know the value of money, go and try to borrow some, for he that goes a-borrowing does a-sorrowing" Benjamin Franklin
Creating every hamper as a piece of art
yshwick business owner, Fiona Allardyce loves creating hampers. In fact, she says that every hamper she creates for her clients is like a piece of art. Given her creative passion and love of hampers, she named her business Hamper Art and opened the doors for business in October last year. “I’ve always had a creative ability and have run a few small businesses previously including selling jewellery and glass painted objects at the Kingston Markets,” Fiona said. “About two years ago I had the business idea of wanting to sell local produce hampers as I believe that Canberra and the region has fantastic boutique producers including vineyards, chocolate and gourmet condiment makers – and Canberrans want these quality items included in their gift hampers.” After five years in the public service, Fiona decided that she needed more in life and set about turning her business dreams into reality. Hamper Art is strongly focused on providing hampers to the corporate sector as well as a wide variety of exquisite hampers for people wanting to celebrate major events including birthdays, Christmas, and Valentine’s Day. “At Hamper Art, we put the personal touch
back into gift-giving which is particularly appreciated by our corporate clients as they like to give thoughtful presents,” Fiona says. “All the products in our hampers are selected because they are quality products rather than fillers to bulk out the hamper.” “We can put corporate branding on hampers and customise our hampers according to our clients’ needs. We find that Canberra small businesses particularly like our local produce hampers because we are supporting other Canberra businesses and keeping it local,” Fiona says. “On top of this, local produce hampers are a great way of reducing the impact on the environment as we’re not shipping in products so we’re saving in petrol and resources that are needed to transport those products.” The range of local products available in Hamper Art hampers includes Lindsey & Edmunds boutique organic chocolates produced in Fairbairn, Real Chai products from Manuka, Gourmet Tastebud sauces and jams from Charnwood, and Kardinia Wines from Murrumbateman. Hamper Art, 2/19-25 Kembla Street, Fyshwick T: 6162 2777 www.hamperart.com.au firstname.lastname@example.org
Hamper Art business owner, Fiona Allardyce
More competition for ACT supermarkets
hief Minister and Minister for Business and Economic Development Jon Stanhope recently released an ACT Government plan aimed at offering Canberra's grocery shoppers more choices, more suburban supermarkets and potentially cheaper prices. The ACT Supermarket Competition Policy Implementation Plan which will guide future supermarket development and, in particular, attempt to address a shortage of larger, fullline independent supermarket stores in central Canberra and Gungahlin.
February 2010 | B2B in Canberra
"This Implementation Plan incorporates the ACT Government's response to the 15 recommendations of the Review of ACT Supermarket Competition Policy conducted by Mr John Martin, former Australian Competition and Consumer Commissioner, and launched on 7 October 2009," Mr Stanhope said. The Martin Review found that while there was reasonable supermarket competition in the ACT retail grocery market, there were benefits in providing competition and potentially supporting an alternative source of wholesale grocery supply.
"This could contribute to the price competitiveness of independents including smaller retailers," said Mr Stanhope. The ACCC – in a major review of the competitiveness of retail prices for standard groceries in 2008 – found supermarket retailing in the ACT was workably competitive, yet some factors limited the effectiveness of price competition. "The ACCC concluded the appropriate policy response is to lower barriers to entry and expansion in both retailing and wholesaling, to independent supermarkets, and potential new entrants," Mr Stanhope said. Mr Stanhope said the ACT Government supports the findings which are also generally also supported by the local industry, the Australian Consumers Association, Choice Magazine and the University of NSW. "The Implementation Plan addresses these issues and also clarifies the definition of ‘controlled by a major wholesaler' which, in the Martin Review, does not encompass IGA stores in Canberra," Mr Stanhope said. Mr Stanhope said the ACT Government was also keen to foster the expansion of the existing 50 smaller independent supermarkets in the territory, and to encourage new supermarkets in periods of rapid growth. The Martin Review can be found on http://www.business.gov.au/. A copy of the ACT Supermarket Competition Policy Implementation Plan is available on http://www.business.act.gov.au/
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"The success combination in business is: Do what you do better... and: do more of what you do..." David Joseph Schwartz, American motivational expert
Roundtable to tackle skills shortages
skills roundtable drawing together the city's top business, education and training thinkers and policy-makers was held this month to tackle one of the biggest priorities on the ACT Government's agenda for 2010. Chief Minister Jon Stanhope said business, training and industry groups were invited to participate in the high-level roundtable on February 3. The roundtable built on the work and ideas of the high-level ACT Skills Commission, which reported to the Government in 2008. The February 3 meeting addressed itself to new challenges arising from the global financial crisis as well as to emerging trends, Mr Stanhope said. "Last year I met with the former members of the Skills Commission and it became clear that there are a number of challenges confronting Canberra that have developed or heightened since the Commission reported in April 2008. "I therefore resolved that at the earliest opportunity in the new year to convene a highlevel roundtable to look at new research and emerging trends," Mr Stanhope said. Organisations represented at the roundtable included the Australian National University, the University of Canberra, the Master Builders
Association, the Canberra Business Council, the ACT and Region Chamber of Commerce, ACT Recruitment Consulting Services Association, the ACT Association of Providers of Training Services, the trade union movement, and a number of ACT Government agencies. Access Economics has tipped that the ACT's skills needs will double over the next three years. "Among the big challenges will be to encourage workers to remain actively engaged in the workforce beyond the traditional retirement age,” Mr Stanhope said.
"Another challenge is to attract quality workers to our town – an area in which we are already achieving considerable success through our Skilled and Business Migration Program, in conjunction with the Live in Canberra campaign.” "These efforts have helped boost our population by 1.6% in the year ended 30 June 2009 and have seen 167 skilled migrants with occupations in demand make new homes in our city in the same year, with an estimated $7.5 million benefit to the local economy," Mr Stanhope said.
High speed rail back on track
he Canberra Business Council has welcomed the release of the CRC for Rail Innovation’s Report ‘High Speed Rail: Strategic Information for the Australian Context” (http://www.railcrc.net. au/publications) which recommends a major High Speed Rail (HSR) concept study be undertaken in Australia. “Canberra Business Council has lobbied for such a study for the past two years,” Chris Faulks, CEO Canberra Business Council said. “We enthusiastically support the CRC’s conclusion that a detailed study is needed into building a HSR network along the east coast of Australia,” Ms Faulks said. Ms Faulks said the Council endorses the suggested focus of the study including market forecasts, estimated benefits and costs, financing options, route and staging options as well as the potential transformational impact of an east coast HSR network on Australian society and the economy. “A HSR network from Melbourne to Brisbane via Canberra, Sydney and Newcastle has the potential to address increasingly vital national issues such as population growth and congestion in our major cities; environmental pressures and airport and highway congestion. It would also be enormously beneficial in opening up regional Australia,” Ms Faulks said.
February 2010 | B2B in Canberra
“Apart from the national benefits, the potential economic benefits to Canberra and the Capital Region are incredibly significant. A HSR link between Sydney and Canberra would allow Canberra Airport to act as a supplementary international gateway for both passenger and freight services, relieving congestion at Sydney International Airport.” The Canberra Business Council accepted that the challenges of building a HSR network in Australia are substantial including securing high levels of government support, achieving the right funding model which provides a balance of public and private sector funding, challenges in land acquisition, infrastructure requirements and environmental issues. “Despite these challenges we are facing a very different situation now from when the last proposal for HSR was considered a decade ago,” Chris Faulks said. The CRC report highlights just how much has changed globally in that time. Apart from environmental changes, there has been exponential growth in HSR with 43 individual HSR lines in operation throughout the world, another 34 under construction and HSR proposals under active consideration in Argentina, Brazil, Britain, Morocco, Poland, Portugal and the United States.
“Canberra Business Council hopes that the CRC report will be considered seriously by all levels of government and that the federal government will announce, early this year, a major concept study into the economic, environmental, technological, financial, and social aspects of HSR for Australia,” Ms Faulks said.
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OPINION: rsm bird cameron Bring the outside in – external board members bring fresh perspectives, good ideas, and discipline RSM Bird Cameron has undertaken extensive research on business planning and what makes a successful business. By Andrew Sykes, Partner, RSM Bird Cameron
The implications of this correlation contain an interesting lesson for business owners. Given that business planning is correlated with higher growth, the influence of an external board is also a key factor in driving business growth. Having an external board member focuses the attention of the business owners on important strategic and business planning issues, removing the attention from the day-to-day operational issues that occupy most of the time. There is a 10
February 2010 | B2B in Canberra
The price of purchasing external advice was not a major factor. The real issue is industry expertise and the ability to truly understand business needs. The survey results are as much a lesson for external advisors as anyone else. Criteria for selecting advisors 90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10
Quality of advice
Reliable and trusted
Working with principal
Having an external board member focuses the attention of the business owners on important strategic and business planning issues, removing the attention from the day-to-day operational issues that occupy most of the time.
lot of value in the old maxim of 'working on your business not in your business' and this is where businesses that go to the trouble of having an external board member seem to get an edge on their competition. Despite this SME owners appear reluctant to bring in external expertise to help develop strategy and direction for their businesses. We encourage you to bring the outside in as it can be such a positive experience. Having the right advisor intimately know your business and become part of it can produce real rewards for the owners. It does not necessarily need to be a professional advisor, it can also be someone with significant experience in your industry or business in general. It is an error to equate an external board with only larger organisations as businesses that ignore this opportunity are effectively restraining their own growth! Don’t go it alone – find the right support to help you grow. Our research found not only was there a minimal representation of board members but an overall lack of use of external advisors. 39% of respondents made no use whatsoever of external advisors to enhance their business management capacity. Those businesses that did use external advisors reported three key areas where they sought advice: • succession planning • superannuation • business planning. By far the most prevalent area was superannuation. The results are surprising given the extent to which small business owners are time constrained. It would be reasonable to assume that small businesses would call on external parties to provide expertise and assistance. The reason for not using external advisors is simple and in the end obvious. They find it difficult to find the right advisor for their needs.
Understands business needs
anagement is key to running a successful business and growing it to reach its full potential. Given the importance of management to a successful business it is surprising that fewer than 18% of small businesses that we surveyed had an external board, preferring to rely on executive management alone. In previous articles we have discussed the importance of business planning to the success of a business and it is not surprising that our survey showed that businesses with an external board member had a culture of planning. The results of our research show are that only one third of the general population of small businesses have a written business plan. In comparison 85% of small businesses with an external board have a written business plan.
Here we can see the factors cited as important in choosing an external advisor. Understanding business needs is the number one factor in selecting an advisor. Understanding the business leads to real insights and delivering advice that will help promote growth. Also ranking highly are reputation and industry knowledge. Finding the right advisor can be a difficult task, however our research shows that the rewards justify the effort and getting help can put you on the fast track to growth.
SETTLE FAMILY DISPUTES OUT OF COURT It’s hard enough when a relationship ends. So the last thing you need is soaring legal costs, protracted, public court proceedings, and your personal affairs being determined by a judge. Consensus provides a better alternative to the Courts. We use collaboration, arbitration and negotiation between the couple to find open-minded solutions that work. It’s discrete. It’s fair. And everybody leaves in agreement. For a new style of dispute resolution which puts you back in control, turn to Consensus. Canberra ACT 2601 T 02 6290 9898 F 02 6257 4382 email@example.com www.cflaw.com.au
OPINION: FARRAR GESINI & DUNN Add-backs in family law – maximising the pool of assets What process does the court use when determining how assets will be divided when people in a marriage or defacto relationship separate?
By Gavin Howard, In-house Counsel to the Farrar Gesini & Dunn Group
Taking a great amount of care to consider the asset pool at separation as contrasted to the asset pool at the date of settlement or hearing can result in a more favourable outcome for clients.
February 2010 | B2B in Canberra
hen required to determine how the assets will be divided when two people in a marriage or defacto relationship separate, the court uses the following process: 1. What are the assets available for division? 2. How did the parties contribute, both financially and non financially, to acquiring, improving, and conserving the assets? 3. What are each party’s current circumstances and future needs? 4. Is the result just and equitable? Usually, the main scope for dispute arises in steps two and three where parties dispute how they contributed to the assets or the weight that should be given to their current circumstances and future needs. Frequently, the significance of the first step of this process is overlooked. There is rarely a difficulty in attributing a value to liquid assets such as bank accounts and share portfolios – the value given to such assets is the realisable cash value of the asset. Tangible assets such as houses, land, cars, and chattels are taken at their sale or second hand (not insured) value, and often need to be valued particularly where neither party knows the value of the assets or there is a dispute. Obviously, the more assets there are to be divided, the greater value of assets that a party will receive in the eventual settlement. A number of techniques can be employed to maximise (or, in other circumstances, minimise) the value of the asset pool to achieve a more favourable result. The emergence of trusts, superannuation and structured asset holdings has been considered by courts in determining what property is available for division. One contentious point relates to monies that were in existence at separation that have been spent by one of the parties, for that party’s benefit, since the time the parties separated. The generally established rule is that those assets should be notionally added back to the
pool (dubbed an ‘add back’) and considered an asset that the party receiving the benefit had already received. There are three main categories of add backs: Legal fees – the Family Law Act says each party should pay their own legal costs. If a party uses joint funds to pay their legal fees, then there is a strong case for those funds to be considered already received by the expending party in the property division. Adducing evidence about legal fees and the source of funds used to pay the legal fees can often result in the other party’s legal fees being ‘added back’ to the pool. Waste – Where a party has intentionally acted to reduce the asset pool available for division, or acted recklessly or negligently and thereby caused a reduction in the asset pool, the wasted monies can be considered in determining the outcome. Spending monies/disposing of asset – If one party spends monies existing at separation, or disposes of and receives money for an asset that existed at separation (thereby depleting the asset pool), the value of the asset or monies as at separation can be added back to that party. Clients must be careful about their conduct with money post separation but pre settlement. Previous cases have penalised clients for gambling, offering the use of an asset to a third party for no charge or below market charge, or ill advised business ventures. Even the purchase of reasonable assets that are likely to decline in value (such as boats, vehicles, or in one case, $1.8million worth of wine) can result in a financial penalty to one party. Taking a great amount of care to consider the asset pool at separation as contrasted to the asset pool at the date of settlement or hearing can result in a more tfavourable outcome for clients. t Gavin Howard is a senior solicitor and inhouse counsel at Farrar Gesinit& Dunn Family Lawyers. Contact Gavin on 6290 9818.
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Tell the department your training priorities Each year the ACT Department of Education and Training provides funding and administers national funding totalling more than 23 million dollars for a variety of programs related to the vocational education and training, and community education sectors.
hrough an annual process of prioritising training based on skills needs identified by business and government, the department aims to support the cost of training in areas which will be of most benefit to the Territory. Work on the 2011 vocational education and training (VET) Priorities for the Territory is about to commence. So, how will the department know it has the right information about the training needs of both business and government employers in the ACT for 2011? The department is providing an opportunity for each industry sector to provide their views. The ACT Annual Vocational Education and Training Priorities Consultation Forums The ACT Annual Vocational are being held from March to May 2010 are a great way for you to tell the Education and Training Priorities and department exactly what you anticiyour future training needs will be. Consultation Forums are being pateVET makes an invaluable contribution to the economic, social and culheld from March to May 2010 tural well-being of the ACT and is vital to combating skills shortages and supand are a great way for you porting and up-skilling our workforce. to tell the department exactly In periods of economic uncertainty, inin training helps to ensure the what you anticipate your future vestment local economy remains strong. The ACT Government is committed training needs will be. to supporting employers to make the best use of the VET system to enhance the productive capacity of their enterprises, to sustain a skills base through apprenticeships and traineeships and grow the labour supply. The ACT Annual Vocational Education and Training Priorities are prepared each year to assist stakeholders, particularly training providers, to build awareness of current factors affecting training and workforce development in the ACT. These priorities determine the ACT Government’s VET Priorities and guide the government funding of training in the ACT. 14
February 2010 | B2B in Canberra
The annual consultations give all industries an opportunity to be involved and will result in subsidised training opportunities being targeted where they are needed most. The department provides funds, or administers funding, for a variety of VET programs, including Australian Apprenticeships through User Choice Program, Productivity Places Program, Priorities Support Program, Joint Group Training Program, and Adult and Community Education Grants. The ACT Department of Education and Training’s ACT Annual Vocational Education and Training Priorities paper outlines the key priorities which inform and determine its funding of training programs each year. The benefit to employers of these programs is an increase in the skills of the labour force and a significant reduction in the cost of training their staff. Employers may be able to access support for their existing workers, apprentices, trainees, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees, mature age workers, workers with a disability, or casual employees. Small business owners may also be able to access subsidised training, and support may be available for employers or staff who need training to adapt to new work practices or new technologies. Australian Apprenticeships, through User Choice funding, supports employers to take on and retain apprentices and trainees by contributing to the cost of training. The Productivity Places Program recognises the importance of nationally endorsed training in assisting job seekers to acquire skills and gain lasting employment, and aims to ensure employers are well placed to up-skill their workers or recognise their workers’ existing competencies with national qualifications. Other programs for job seekers and casual workers support greater participation in the workforce, especially for equity groups. To let the department know where it should target its funding, and enhance the economic, social and cultural well-being of the ACT get involved in its annual consultation process. Keep an eye out for more information about the ACT Annual VET Priorities Consultation Forum for your industry in the March issue of B2B. Alternatively you can let the department know right now that you’re interested in coming to the forums by emailing the Training and Tertiary Education branch of the ACT Department of Education and Training at firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 6205 7052 and speaking to a member of the Consultation and Engagement team.
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Retain your staff for the good times With skills shortages identified as one of the ACT Governmentâ€™s big ticket items for this year, and Access Economics forecasting that the ACTâ€™s skills needs will double over the next three years, what strategies should employers put in place to attract and more significantly retain staff? Liz Lang speaks with Elsa Ramiro who is the executive manager of Randstad's business support division in Canberra.
e’ve seen a slight loosening up of the ACT jobs market recently with many employers saying that they’re seeing more resumés come across their desks. While this may well be the case, it doesn’t mean however that there is a greater supply of quality candidates seeking work because that isn’t the case,” Elsa said. “It’s timely for employers to take stock, remind themselves that talent is a scarce commodity in any market, and put strategies in place for more prosperous economic times.” The Randstad 2009 Employment Trends Report identified an increasing divergence between employer and employee expectations. The report revealed that 78% of employees in Australia expected a pay rise and 39% expected a bonus. Employers on the other hand exercised caution with salary freezes being the norm for many organisations throughout 2009. “While Canberra has the lowest unemployment rate in Australia, it would be fair to say that many employees are sitting tight because they prefer to stay with what they know rather than risk the unknown," Elsa said. "There were of course people who were disappointed that they didn’t receive pay rises or bonuses as a result of salary freezes, there’s no doubt that there has been increased pressure on staff to do more with less, and this combined with job cuts has contributed to many staff passively disengaging with their employers.” “If employers choose to invest significantly in their best people now when the economy picks up, they won’t be left high and dry,” she said. “Business owners and managers need to connect and engage meaningfully with their staff to ensure ongoing loyalty. This can be achieved through strategies such as having effective staff development plans in place. Staff need to know how their contribution fits in with the organisation and have a clear idea of what their career path is within that organisation.” Elsa Ramiro is clearly passionate about the human resources sector, the company she works for, and her team of young motivated consultants. Together with regional manager of the Randstad industrial division, Troy Bordiuk, they manage Randstad’s Canberra office which was formerly known as Select Appointments. This office is one of Randstad’s most successful businesses within the Asia-Pacific region. Randstad specialises in executive recruitment, HR Solutions, in-house services and temporary and permanent staffing across a wide range of specialist industry sectors and professions. Randstad is a Fortune 500 Company and the second largest HR services provider in the world. Every day through a global branch network of more than 5,400 offices with 34,000 employees, Randstad assists 700,000 people find meaningful work. Elsa heads up the business support division which focuses on roles that sit within a business area including administration, office support, executive assistance, human resources support, marketing and sales support and government roles across the private sector and government up to and including EL2 positions.
Troy and his consultants focus on HR service delivery to the industrial sector which includes hospitality, manufacturing, trades and maintenance, and warehousing and distribution. Troy is also the regional manager of the Randstad Queensland and Albury Wodonga offices. “Our Canberra office is a young team which is highly motivated to deliver great results for employers and employees,” Elsa said. “When I recruit staff into the Randstad Canberra office, I look for people who have set goals and achieved something in their lives – whether it’s on a personal "Business owners and managers need to level or in the workplace. Our consultants have connect and engage meaningfully with their achieved across a diverse range of sectors includ- staff to ensure ongoing loyalty. This can be ing business, academia, achieved through strategies such as having and the arts.” At the end of the day effective staff development plans in place. Elsa says that there is no quick-fix to retaining Staff need to know how their contribution fits employees. Randstad’s Employment Trends in with the organisation...” Research showed that people were staying in organisations when they had a strong connection culturally to the organisation (43%), had flexible working options (36%), and if they saw a clear career path for themselves (35%). When asked how best to attract the right talent, Elsa says that it’s important for employers to think Randstad, 12/15 London Circuit, outside the square and to offer something that other Canberra T: 6278 00888, employers aren’t. www.randstad.com.au This could include incentives such as personal interest and recreation allowances, subsidised childcare, gym memberships, mentoring programs and an allocation of ‘free leave’ days per annum. “There are a range of strategies which we would be happy to discuss with employers which will enable them to retain their staff when the economic boom times are back with us again,” Elsa said.
Above: Troy Bordiuk, Elsa Ramiro Facing page L–R: Elsa Ramiro, Sam Scurrah, Angela Pinney, Megan Edwards, Amy Luttrell, Katharina Cser, Troy Bordiuk. Absent: Jolene Hall. Photography by Andrew Sikorski
B2B in Canberra | February 2010
Energy Imaging is on a mission Have you ever considered insulation and sealing the air leaks in your house to be a ‘sexy’ topic of conversation? By Liz Lang
February 2010 | B2B in Canberra
o? Well don’t worry, you’re not alone. But according to US President Barack Obama home insulation is 'sexy' because it saves consumers money and the retrofitting of houses reduces energy use and creates jobs. Canberra company Energy Imaging has a similar agenda and is passionate about reducing energy loss in Australian homes and offices by locating exactly where the energy is escaping and plugging those gaps. “President Obama gives a great example. If you could actually see your twenty dollar notes floating out of your window and into the atmosphere because your home is energy inefficient, you would be really keen to work out a way to fix your house,” Energy Imaging director, Jenny Edwards said. Energy Imaging is the brainchild of directors Jenny Edwards and Andrew Cleary and has been op"If you could actually see erating for almost two years. The company your twenty dollar notes is unique in Australia floating out of your window with the technologies it uses to detect energy and into the atmosphere leakage. Edwards and bring impressive because your home is energy Cleary credentials to their business. Jenny has a Degree inefficient, you would be in plant molecular gereally keen to work out a way netics and a Masters in Science Communication to fix your house.” from The Australian National University. She also worked in the policy area of the Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research where she realised that she was better suited to ‘doing innovation than discussing it’. Andrew initially trained as a biochemist and plant pathologist. In the late '80s, Andrew worked with renown immunologist Professor Peter Doherty at the John Curtin School of Medical Research and in the United States. Since then he has gained further qualifications in IT and Management from Canberra University and the ANU National Graduate School of Management and has managed his IT consultancy business. Cleary says he has always had an interest in the environment and would like to make a positive and long-lasting contribution in the sustainability sphere. “Our interest in air leakage analysis equipment was first triggered by ABC TV’s program ‘Carbon Cops’ when they showed a blower door on the program. This was somewhat of a Eureka moment for Jenny and I as we realised that air leakage analysis is a field that is largely ignored in Australia. We researched the area further, saw that there was a huge opportunity, and bought our first blower door from America,” Andrew explained. “We have all been back to the US and also the UK to learn from the best the industry has to offer.” Livi Krevatin, the third Energy Imaging director recently joined the company. Krevatin brings years of building and construction knowledge and practical industry experience to the business. Livi is keen to improve the energy efficiency of Australian buildings by
educating building and construction personnel and improving the curricula for building qualifications. Krevatin has developed and facilitated building and construction programs at the Canberra Institute of Technology and the Building Construction Management degree at the University of Canberra. He is a licensed, award-winning residential and commercial builder, who also completed a Masters in Engineering at ANU. “Australia’s lagging behind the rest of the world in terms of the mandatory testing of buildings for air leakage. The US and the UK have been testing buildings to improve energy efficiency for a number of years and testing is mandated within their building legislation,“ Livi said. “Our agenda is to work with industry and governments at all levels to bring in mandatory air leakage testing – a move which is neither radical nor expensive.” The facts speak for themselves. According to the US Department of Energy research, 40 per cent of the energy used to heat and cool the average building is lost via uncontrolled air leakage through the building envelope or shell. This equates to an astonishing 16% of the US national energy budget. The situation in Australia is potentially worse. In 2008, the Department of Environment, Water Heritage and the Arts reported that Australian buildings are estimated to leak two to four times as much air as North American or European buildings. “There is no question that a building which is well sealed and insulated needs significantly less energy for heating or cooling. This leads to immediate savings on energy bills, improvements in comfort levels and reductions in green house gas emissions. Retrofitting buildings is the most cost effective energy saving strategy that can be taken,” Andrew said. “In most houses that we audit for energy efficiency, we find that the unsealed cracks and openings are comparable to having a fifty centimetre window permanently open all year around,” Jenny said. ”Most people won’t know for example, that uncovered halogen down-lights in ceilings – while they look good – act like a sieve in terms of energy loss. Simple measures can alleviate these losses.” Energy Imaging provides a one-stop consultancy on energy matters. Andrew Cleary says the company provides value-for-money energy efficiency solutions for people wanting to build a house, fix an existing house, or for businesses wanting to reduce their running costs in areas such as lighting, heating and cooling. “We can guarantee energy savings that are not going to cost you an arm and a leg.” Andrew says. “In addition to testing and retrofitting buildings we can also energy rate the design and provide practical energy saving advice. In the case of a person building a house, we can provide consultancy services from the beginning to help facilitate the building of a more sustainable house. Our fee is reasonable and the energy savings are enormous.” The directors are committed to having the head office of Energy Imaging located in Canberra and have another office in Hobart. Andrew explains “We have a very well educated population in Canberra that is interested in the environment, we have the political focus on green issues with four Greens in the ACT Legislative Assembly, and there is a lot of interest in
making Canberra a centre of excellence for energy efficiency matters. “As President Obama pointed out making homes and workplaces more energy efficient is also a great jobs generator. Fixing our existing housing stock would provide employment for many ACT businesses,” Andrew said. “If the ACT Government can stand up and say that any new building project they put through is as green as it can be then this would be a great advertisement for the city,“ Andrew said. “Our next challenge is to test and retrofit a large office building in Canberra and empirically show how savings can be made. Reducing running costs means a more efficient and greener business. We are also about to test one of the Australian National University’s buildings. Given the ANU’s commitment to a green precinct and the fact that we are all ANU post-graduates, we are quite excited about this prospect,” Livi said.
Facing page: Energy Imaging directors Jenny Edwards, Livi Krevatin and Andrew Cleary. Photography by Andrew Sikorski Energy Imaging, 8 Wiluna St, Fyshwick ACT T: 6100 4014 www.energy-imaging.com.au, email@example.com
advice AICD DIRECTOR AND BOARD DEVELOPMENT
Accounting Accelerating growth through leverage
Foundations of Directorship
Guide your company to prosperity
By Andrew Sykes
ast month we covered business funding and capital as a restraint to growth. This month we will consider leverage as one of the means of overcoming this restraint. The most common reason for not borrowing is a lack of understanding of financing principles, which leads to risk aversion. Creative financing however can supercharge business performance and improve profitability. One of the ways to accelerate growth is through the use of leverage. Most of you would be aware of leverage when you have purchased residential property as an investment. Dictionary.com defines leverage as 'the use of a small initial investment, credit, or borrowed funds to gain a very high return in relation to one's investment, to control a much larger investment, or to reduce one's own liability for any loss.' Look at the example of a residential investment property with a house that cost $200,000 and is eventually sold 10 years later for $400,000. That produces a return of 100% over the 10 years – not bad but not spectacular. Consider the situation where a 20% deposit is used. The return then becomes $200,000 on a $40,000 investment or 500%. The use of leverage has significantly increased the returns when measured on a ‘return on equity’ basis. The same principle should be applied to your business. If you are one of the business owners that funds all of the capital requirements of your business you need to measure your return on equity. Consider what your return is above the level of a commercial wage and what the return on your equity is. Do you need leverage to increase your return on equity. When considering expanding look at ways to finance this – if it doesn’t make sense using the banks money, does it make sense using yours? Consider different alternatives when it comes to funding growth. This is not to say that we encourage businesses owners to take on debt for the sake of it, as leverage can also increase the risk in your business. What we do encourage is the careful allocation and planning of capital allocation. The first question in any funding decision should always be 'What is the best use of my limited cash resources?' And the answer to this should always be 'the use that will provide my business with the greatest return for a given level of risk'. We work with a number of businesses to assist them with funding and capital allocation issues. The simple calculation of return on equity and the comparison of a stream of profits over the life of an asset can be all that is needed to increase the return to the owner of a business. This is how big business makes their decisions (and how small businesses grow into big ones).
February 2010 | B2B in Canberra
AICD’s Governance Programs for New Directors offers a practical introduction and overview to the strategic planning and risk oversight management duties and responsibilities of a director and board. As a director you need to know your role and perform it well from day one. This course is the start you need. Course details Governance Programs for New Directors Thursday 25 February 2010 For more information or to enrol on this course, contact Renee Heins on 1300 764 633 or visit the website at www.companydirectors.com.au
Andrew Sykes is a partner at RSM Bird Cameron. For information on business improvements, contact the experienced team at RSM Bird Cameron, 103-105 Northbourne Avenue Canberra, T.6247 5988. www.rsmi.com.au
How to add value and guide your organisation towards success
Estate Planning The future of superannuation By Stephen Bourke
n 29 May 2009, the Australian Government embarked on a review of the Australian superannuation system. The review is chaired by Jeremy Cooper, former deputy commissioner of ASIC and aims to examine the superannuation system to maximise retirement income and promote an efficient, transparent and user-friendly superannuation system. There are three phases of the review: • Phase 1 relates to the governance of superannuation, reviewing the law and regulations currently in place. • Phase 2 focuses on the efficiency of the system and how superannuation funds and the services they provide their members operate. • Phase 3 relates to the structure of superannuation funds, and reviewing funds investments and products. We are currently in phase 3 of the review. Why the review? Superannuation is one of the key assets people own throughout their lifetime. The Government wants to give members greater control over their superannuation. This includes implementing changes to allow members greater accessibility to information regarding their superannuation entitlements, including investment options, performance information, and monthly comparisons. Ultimately, the Government wants a more competitive structure so that comparisons between superannuation funds including public, corporate, industry, retail and self managed superannuation schemes can be more easily made. The review found that the average Australian superannuation member has approximately three superannuation accounts, each with their own member fees. So the review is: • examining the difference between industry funds and retail funds, and assessing whether to phase out payment of commissions to financial planners. • creating a glossary of consistent terms to improve understanding across the superannuation funds. • generating an electronic system to enable members to locate and roll-over their interests from one fund to another more efficiently. The review suggests that if members commence playing a more active role in their superannuation, we may see a shift towards people establishing their own self managed superannuation fund. If managed effectively, a self managed superannuation fund may offer better rates of return and lower fees. More information may be obtained at www.supersystemreview.gov.au including the individual papers released at each phase of the review.
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Stephen Bourke is a director in the boutique firm, Certus Law, specialising in superannuation, trusts and estate planning. He also consults to other practitioners through the consulting practice, SuperSplitting. Level 5, 28 University Avenue T: 6268 9090 www.certuslaw.com.au B2B in Canberra | February 2010
BUSINESS TRAINING Managing the managers
technology iPod, iPhone and now iPad – Is Apple up for a hat-trick?
By Jerome de Rose
By Sam Gupta
s an employer, what are your options when faced with talented managers who need a bit of fine tuning in their management and financial management skills? Mentoring and training! Mentoring is an important tool in helping middle or frontline managers make the transition into higher levels of the organisation. Done properly, mentoring can aid both mentor and mentee in their professional development. Managers being mentored will get insights into their own practices and behaviours, increased creativity and confidence, and opportunities to try new ideas on their mentor before implementation. If your organisation has someone who is a great communicator, is able to manage conflict and is good at providing feedback; is enthusiastic and approachable with a strong interest in helping others to develop; is self aware and encouraging; and has lots of professional experience and corporate knowledge, then they are a likely mentor candidate. But what if you don’t have a suitable person in your organisation to mentor up and coming managers? Or even if you do, they simply don’t have the time in their work schedule to run a mentoring program? The next step would be training and education, provided by a quality registered training organisation and preferably one who would recognise the existing skills of the manager to reduce the amount of cost and time associated with study. Depending on skill levels and organisational requirements, there are a number of options at the Canberra Institute of Technology (CIT). For less experienced first time managers, the Diploma of Business, the Diploma in Management and the Advanced Diploma of Management will give them direction and strategies. For those with a lot of experience but needing a higher level of qualification, CIT delivers the Graduate Certificate of Management (Professional Practice) from Charles Sturt University. This qualification can be achieved in one year, with only 24 face to face sessions delivered at CIT in Reid. This course is structured to be practical and relevant to managers in both the public and private sector. Of course, training will take your managers away from your business for a few hours a week. However the benefits will outweigh the time they spend, as they use your business examples in class discussions and assessment items – solving problems using the collective of the group and working on issues that may have not been previously prioritised. Furthermore, networking opportunities could prove invaluable in the future, as your managers meet and talk with people from different business and government areas, potentially opening avenues for doing business. Ultimately, whether it is mentoring, training or both that you choose to develop the managers in your business, it will be an investment that will create great return.
Jerome de Rose is the director of the CIT Centre for Business. Call 6207 3542 to find out how CIT can work with your organisation to up-skill your staff. http://www.cit.act.edu.au
February 2010 | B2B in Canberra
id-last year, I switched my long-lasting loyalty with Nokia to iPhone 3GS and have never looked back. Except for the battery life, so far I love almost everything about the iPhone. If you have an iPhone, I bet you love it too. Now, Apple has launched a new product in the market called ‘iPad’. iPad is a portable device, which performs many key features of a computer, but is not quite a computer. It is about 9.5” high and 7.5” wide; similar to a notepad. It is not in the same space of a laptop or a tablet computer. It sits nicely between an iPhone and a laptop. It’s slim and only 0.73kg in weight. There is no mouse, no keyboard. Its multitouch LED screen has an inbuilt touch keyboard. It has been simplified to do those regular daily tasks, such as checking emails, browsing the web, interacting in the social media space (facebook, twitter, chat), playing games, and browsing photos and videos. It all sounds well and good. But, the obvious question that comes to our mind is where would we use this iPad? At work, we have access to our work computer. At home, we have our home computer. For most other times, you have your iPhone or a mobile phone within your reach. Well, I think you’ll be surprised how iPad will fit right in between your daily routines. Imagine a one click start on your coffee or breakfast table, you can just pick-up your iPad to check emails. You don’t have to go to your study or home-office desk. It could very well be sitting on your bedside table from last night, when you were reading a book on your iPad. Just pick-up and start using. One fully charged battery will give you about 10 hours. It’s just a simpler and more flexible option. How good it is for business people or work? Again, I think the possibilities are endless. Personally I don't like checking emails on my mobile when I'm on the road. Many a times, opening a laptop is simply too time-consuming to check one or two emails. I didn’t have any other choice before, but a bigger, portable screen will be my obvious choice when browsing the web on the road. Importantly, you can back up all your data from your iPad to your computer. You can also synchronise your iPad, iPhone and your computer. It uses same platform as the iPhone. There are many more features available via the Apps store. With microphone and the 3G network, I guess we’ll be able to make calls via Skype. It’s missing a web-cam at this stage and I would like to see a radio added in it to make it more interesting. I think this product will evolve over time. Is iPad for you? I was discussing iPad with a friend yesterday and he didn’t like the idea of iPad at all and can’t see the applicability of it in his life. So, I’ll have to say it is not for everyone. Let’s wait and see where this takes us. Frankly, I can’t wait to get my hands on iPad. Let me know what you think about it.
Sam Gupta is the managing director of Synapse Worldwide. If you would like to discuss applicability of iPad for your business or if you would like to create an iPhone/iPad application, please contact Sam on 1300 785 230 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Corporate health Do your staff turn up and turn on, or turn up and turn off By Chris Males
he number of hours in each day are fixed, but the quantity and quality of our personal energy will be the fundamental indicator of our success.
Unfortunately, most workplaces are littered with staff that are disengaged, disenchanted and consequently underperforming. What we have discovered after years of analysing the effects of health and energy upon performance is that there are four key areas of ‘Personal Energy’ that need to be skillfully and purposefully balanced. They are: 1: Physical Energy Sedentary workers often underestimate the role of physical health and fitness upon their personal performance. Physical Energy fuels high performers, not just in the obvious case of their alertness and vitality, but it also lays the foundation for the following three energy platforms. 2: Emotional Energy If your staff are to operate at their peak, then they need to be accessing emotions such as excitement, challenge, optimism and opportunity. Without these, staff are likely to start to challenge the system, actively disengage, and start to look for greener pastures. 3: Mental Energy The ability to concentrate on the task at hand and to simply ‘get it done’ seems to becoming an ancient art form. With email ping pong, constantly ringing BlackBerry PDAs and too many pointless meetings, some experts suggest that we all might suffer from Constant Partial Attention. Learning to complete your big tasks without wavering in concentration is a skill demonstrated by the best in their field...so it’s well worth learning! 4: Spiritual Energy What are your staff's main motivators? What drives them and inspires them beyond their paycheck? Spiritual Energy comes down to your deeply set values and ultimately holds you to a purpose beyond self-interest. If you have never thought about discussing this with your staff, I suggest you start soon. Constantly balancing these areas may be impossible. What we suggest is that you skillfully balance the expenditure of all areas with times of rest and recovery. A timely example of this method would be of a cricketer switching on before the ball is bowled and then switching off afterwards to watch the crowd or chat to a fellow player. This becomes the key to performing under fierce competitive pressure.
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Check out our website to easily view our full range of hampers. Our secure online ordering facility is quick and simple but safe. Chris Males is one of the country's freshest corporate speakers on the topics of health, stress management and productivity. He is also the managing director of Pro-Fit Corporate Health, a national corporate health and wellbeing provider. To contact Chris please email email@example.com or phone 02 62915902.
Hamper Art | T 616 22 777 | F 6162 1722 Unit 2, 19-25 Kembla St, Fyshwick ACT 2609 www.hamperart.com.au | firstname.lastname@example.org B2B in Canberra | February 2010
ACT Chief Minister
ACT Opposition Leader
hen does 'old' become 'new' again? The answer is now … and we have little time to spare. The need to retain and recruit the skills and experience inherent in most of the ACT’s older workers is a priority for the ACT Government in conjunction with the ACT and Region Chamber of Commerce. Together we have embarked on an important partnership to raise employer awareness about workforce ageing issues and the increasing impact this is going to have on our current skills shortages. Last year the ACT Government was pleased to support the Ministerial Advisory Council on Ageing (MACA) which released 'The Silver Lining Project' aimed to alert employers to the value of mature age employees. We have also launched the ACT Strategic Plan for Positive Ageing 2010-2014 which has, as one of its goals, steering Canberra towards being a more 'age-friendly city'. Why is this important to our older people, and to ACT industry? Dr Christopher Peters, Chief Executive ACT and Regional Chamber of Commerce and Industry, has revealed some startling facts which cannot be ignored by the community or this Government. 1. The ACT’s population is ageing faster than the rest of Australia. 2. Most of these 'baby boomers' are heading for retirement. 3. Over the next 5-10 years, 45% of people in Canberra intend to retire, leaving a vast skills shortage which is expected to double over the next three years. Access Economics has also tipped the ACT’s skills shortage is expected to double over the next three years further handing the government and the community the challenge of finding solutions. One of those, we believe, is to encourage our mature age people to remain in the work force beyond the traditional retirement age. The Silver Lining Project recognises that as well as a dramatically increasing the number of workers aged over 45, there are also fewer young workers entering the workforce. This creates a labour shortage in skilled and unskilled occupations which the project aims to reduce through: 1. Providing information to employers on the benefits of recruiting, retraining and retaining older workers 2. Promoting flexible recruiting, retraining and retaining solutions 3. Providing practical strategies to implement in the workplace. The project aims to appeal directly to businesses by promoting the benefits older workers can bring to the workplace, including instant access to knowledge and experience, retention of experience and talent, lower staff turnover rates and recruiting and retention costs, reduced absenteeism, and, to a large extent, a happier, reliable, motivated, loyal and enthusiastic workforce. Older workers are known for their reliability and stability. In 2005 the Victorian Employers Chamber of Commerce and Industry reported older workers stayed 2.4 times longer than a younger person and may prefer more flexible work arrangements with fewer hours against full retirement. The Silver Lining Project dovetails with the ACT Strategic Plan for Positive Ageing 2010-2014 on the value of older workers, as well as related social issues concerning the well-being of the increasing number of our older members of the community.
February 2010 | B2B in Canberra
t is often said that Canberra is a public service town. While there is no doubt that the federal government is vital to Canberra, such labels as ‘public service town’ do not do justice to the vibrancy and importance of the private sector, especially the role of small business as a vital and vibrant component of our local economy. It also fails to acknowledge how government input can impact on the viability of the small business sector. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, there are 25,000 business operators in the ACT. In the ACT budget last year, it was stated that nine out of ten of these operators were small businesses, and that they employ a significant proportion of Canberra’s workforce. The government themselves acknowledge that this makes them ‘not just a powerful economic driver, but a critical source of jobs as we decrease our historic dependence on the public sector as an employer.’ Therefore, the government has recognised the value and importance of small business, but has failed to actually support small business to thrive and prosper within the ACT. While there are some 'modest' programs (the government’s words) to support businesses, there are two critical areas that pose major impediments to businesses that the government has failed to address: nuisance regulations that stifle opportunity, and cumbersome procurement processes that frustrate growth. The first, nuisance regulations, has been a major source of contention with small business operators for some time. Last year, we saw the extraordinary example of shopkeepers being forced to remove outdoor displays in Garema Place for no reason other than red-tape wrangling. In a space that is crying out for vibrancy, colour and activity, the ACT Labor government was forcing the space to become bland, colourless and sterile. It’s bad for business, bad for the city feel and makes our city centre unattractive to both shoppers and shop keepers. Other examples include arbitrary restrictions on outdoor cafes, nuisance taxes and hefty fees just to operate a business. All of these do nothing to enhance the private sector business environment. The second aspect that can be addressed, with practically negligible cost, are the excruciatingly difficult procurement processes. Although we have many small businesses, many of those supply the ACT government with goods, services, or both. This vital aspect to small business operations is causing significant frustration in the broad spectrum of business operations in the territory. This aspect that, although private small businesses are vital in their own right, the government is still a major player in directly supporting or inhibiting this aspect of the economy is not being fully understood or supported by the Labor government. This aspect is one in which the current government is failing abysmally. Industry groups, and individual businesses, have expressed significant concerns about procurement processes that are unwieldy and unyielding. Some businesses simply do not see the return they need for the amount of investment required even to be considered for government contracts. This does not, of course, mean government tendering ought to be without proper checks and balances, but it is indisputable that our current procurement processes are not meeting business needs, or community needs.
Overcoming obstacles through trade missions Increasing exports from the ACT are playing an important part in the further broadening of the economy. B2B looks at the contribution that trade missions led by the Chief Minister are making to ACT exports.
ompanies which develop a solid domestic base for their products can find the development of overseas markets and then exponential growth extremely challenging. Doors are hard to open for medium and small businesses in overseas markets even assuming the market research element done from Australia proves accurate. Nothing after all beats local knowledge. The Chief Minister’s Trade Mission program is designed to assist selected companies overcome these obstacles. It provides high level access to well connected locals in markets visited through the status of an Australian territory Chief Minister leading the delegation. The mission program features a number of hosted networking events, bringing together mission participants and potential customers. Government-to-government meetings are included to complement the business objectives of the missions. Trade missions have been a feature of ACT Government business development programs for some years, taking a diverse group of companies to countries such as China, India, the UK, USA and other broad markets. The purpose of the missions is to assist Canberra exporters to capitalise on both short and long term opportunities in the markets visited. The most recent was the Chief Minister’s Trade Mission to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the United Kingdom (UK) last October. A large number of companies applied to join this mission, which is delivered in partnership with Austrade and includes some financial support to companies to take part.
"The outcomes were stunning and immediate. Doors opened that we could never have anticipated. The mission process speeds up the surveying of your potential market by three or four times."
Those finally selected were, as usual, a diverse group: Academy of Interactive Entertainment; Canberra Institute of Technology; CIC Technology; Poacher’s Pantry; Quintessence Labs; Recruitment Systems; The Wise Academy; E-Way; and John Walker Crime Trends Analysis. Chief Minister Jon Stanhope said both markets visited in October already had trade and investment connections to the ACT business community and their demand for niche services complements local industry capabilities. He said the UK and UAE are also major entry points for markets in the European Union and the Middle East and many Australian companies have operations there for that reason. Mr Stanhope’s view is the trade mission format is not about achieving immediate sales but rather building and developing new markets and customers. Despite this, some remarkable results have been achieved on the most recent mission, some very quickly. Take Poacher’s Pantry, the bespoke dried meat provedore based at Hall. Susan Bruce, managing director of Poacher’s Pantry, who went on the UAE leg of the mission, said she was simply stunned by the outcomes for her company. "The outcomes were stunning and immediate. Doors opened that we could never have anticipated. The mission process speeds up the surveying of your potential market by three or four times," said Susan. By the end of the trade mission the company had begun the serious business of getting its products on the shelves of one of the biggest supermarket chains in the UAE, which Susan anticipates to be complete by next month. The Chief Minister echoes Susan Bruce’s comments. "It is gratifying when, just weeks out from a mission, stories of success do start to come in," he said.
During the Mission, E-way—an ACT company offering an online payment gateway service, processing customers’ online payment transactions for other businesses in real time, established a contact centre to handle UK enquiries and relaunched its UK website and a business centre. In addition, it secured new business with a number of banks. In the UAE other connections were made for mission members in areas including education, e-government, and forensic science. Recruitment Systems, another of the participating companies in the UAE/UK Trade Mission secured five deals—three in new markets, two consolidating their market share, and another request to quote for products in Abu Dhabi. ‘I think that these early successes (from the most recent Trade Mission) are clear proof of the value of government-led trade missions for the businesses of the ACT. Of course, over time the longer-term benefits of stronger relationships and greater awareness of the ACT’s strengths will deliver additional outcomes,’ Mr Stanhope said.
B2B in Canberra | February 2010
Act WORK Safety commissioner
St John Ambulance wins 2009 Safe Work ACT Excellence Award Mark McCabe ACT Work Safety Commissioner The winner of the GIO 2009 Safe Work ACT Excellence Award is an interesting case study and an inspiration to us all in how to make our workplaces safer places.
ACT Work Safety Commissioner P.O. Box 158 Canberra City ACT 2601 T: 6205 0333 F: 6205 0168 E: email@example.com
For health and safety information and guidance www.worksafety.act.gov.au www.safetyforum.org.au www.safeworkactawards.com.au www.actsafetyshow.com.au 26
February 2010 | B2B in Canberra
t John Ambulance designed, implemented and evaluated the Public Access Defibrillation Demonstration Project (PAD). Their role included installing Automated External Defibrillators (AED) within organisations, providing training and then monitoring AEDs. AEDs can save lives by enabling anyone to initiate resuscitation of heart attack victims in those precious moments before an ambulance or trained paramedic arrives on the scene. ACT organisations were enthusiastic about this safety product and 60 AEDs were installed. National Project HeartStart Manager Christine Barber said, “By purchasing an AED, your organisation demonstrates that they care about making their workplace a safer environment.” The potential to save a life was the most commonly cited benefit of involvement in the PAD Demonstration by management and trained workers. Best practice in duty of care, reassurances, and good corporate citizenship were other cited benefits. A successful phase one, strong overseas results plus significant contribution from prominent health organisations attributed to the development of a strong rationale for public access defibrillators. Although the lobbying process was exceedingly arduous Christine reported that “John Howard really supported the concept and that was something in our favour.” St John’s determined lobbying efforts were ultimately rewarded and funding was secured for the project. Over three hundred public access AEDs have now been installed throughout Australia. “By having AEDs readily available in public places, they have the potential to make a difference to the survival rate of a person suffering cardiac arrest.” “Obviously the best measure of our success is the lives saved. Fourteen lives have been saved now.” These people are “great advocates and only too happy to tell their story.”
Public awareness of AEDs is still extremely low, however, and community perception is that they are only for use by trained operators. St John’s aim now is to implement community awareness campaigns emphasising both the correct use and the benefits of public access AEDs. “AEDs can be used by anyone. They talk the administrator through the resuscitation process and have a computer chip that instantly analyses the heart’s electrical function, determining if it is possible to administer a life-saving shock.” St John Ambulance Australia’s entry into the 2009 Safe Work ACT Awards confirms their strong commitment to saving lives. Christine believes participating in the awards is 'a fabulous opportunity' for organisations to gain exposure and recognition. The "great website (www.safeworkactawards.com. au) is self explanatory and you just enter on line. The networking is amazing," she said. St John Ambulance won the Best Health and Safety Training Program category with their HeartStart project. They also won the overall award, the prestigious GIO Australia Excellence Award. “The National Board was very impressed,” said Christine. Winning the awards has also helped raise the profile, opportunities, influence, and community awareness of St John’s and the project. “Since winning the awards we have had so many people contact us and so many enquiries. It helps us in our ongoing search for corporate sponsorship to continue the program,” Christine said. St John Ambulance Australia is a not for profit charity and leader in health promotion. Their first aid courses can be tailored to suit the needs of individuals and organisations. Further information is available on the St John Ambulance Australia website. Entries for the 2010 Safe Work ACT Awards open on 15 April 2010. The awards website can be found at www.safeworkactawards.com.au.
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Act and region chamber of commerce & industry
An exciting year ahead Christopher Peters, Chief Executive ACT & Region Chamber of Commerce & Industry
Last year was difficult for our economy. The enormous challenges of the global financial crisis are now behind us. Australia was fortunate to 'dodge the bullet'.
ustralia’s strong economy over recent years, our strong banking and insurance systems and our regulatory environment were major contributors to our survival. We were also lucky with our timing. We now face 2010 with renewed confidence. Consumer confidence has returned, business confidence has returned and retail sales have been stronger than expected. The recent CommSec survey rated ACT and WA as the two leading economies in Australia. The Chamber’s own Quarterly Business Expectations As our economy continues to recover, we need to Survey has echoed strength of the return to dealing with the major challenge facing us this ACT economy. This didn’t over the next five to ten years. Skills shortages and happen by chance. During 2009, the population shortages have not gone away. ACT Government, the Chamber, and other business groups, worked closely together to give our economy the best opportunity. The Chief Minister’s Economic Roundtable has been an important vehicle for this joint effort and has enabled us, together, to bring forward capital works projects, significantly reform the planning system, update the government procurement system and implement the Commonwealth’s school’s capital investment projects as one of the Commonwealth’s stimulus packages. Without this cooperation between ACT government and business, many of these economically significant projects would not have been achieved and our economy would not have received the benefits. Corporate Sponsors I believe we have got these reforms about 75% ACTEWAGL, 104.7 / Mix completed, so there is still more work to be done. We 106.3, Prime TV, The shouldn’t lose this opportunity to achieve the best results Canberra Times, The from our planning and procurement systems. Good Guys Tuggeranong, There is also more work to be done in regulatory reDuesburys Nexia, Synapse form to remove any unnecessary costs and frustration for Worldwide, B2B in Canberra. business. It’s been seven years since the ACT Government’s Associates and Affiliates Business Advisory and Regulation Review Team last reRetail Traders Association, viewed 'red tape' and its time to do it again. As a member Australian Industry of the five-person ACT Government’s Business Advisory Defence Network and Regulation Review Team, I saw first-hand how some Foundation Member government legislation and regulation had been introAustralian Chamber of duced without concern of the unnecessary impact on Commerce & Industry business. Another attack on red-tape will help and we also 28
February 2010 | B2B in Canberra
need to find a way to make this focus endure so eliminated unnecessary red-tape doesn’t slowly return. Having also helped our general economy to recover (particularly through the construction industry), we now need to turn our attention towards some segments of our local economy that still have more to contribute to our overall economic strength. This attention will further enhance our successes in the private sector. These sectors include: information and communication technology (ICT); tourism, conventions and hospitality; defence industry; the business of education; arts and entertainment. As our economy continues to recover, we need to return to dealing with the major challenge facing us over the next five to ten years. Skills shortages and population shortages have not gone away. Over the next five years, 45% of the current ACT workforce is expected to retire. This means we need to find 120,000 new people with the required skills if we are to have ongoing access to doctors, nurses, accountants, electricians and plumbers – indeed all of the professions and all of the trades. Some of these will come from our graduating students but there will not be anywhere near enough to solve our skills shortages. An important partial solution is to encourage more of our mature-age workforce to continue to work a little longer. The Chamber, the ACT Government and the Ministerial Advisory Council on Ageing have previously worked together to produce the Silver Lining Project. The aim of this project is to remind employers of the advantages of mature age people with the required skills, experience and commitment and to remind employees they have increased opportunities to remain in the workforce if they wish to do so. The Chamber is, once again, working with ACT Government and MACA on further progressing this campaign to ensure we tap into this rare resource of very important skills. The Chamber is very pleased to announce that David Lane has been seconded by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship as the Chamber’s Industry Outreach Officer. David’s role is to assist the ACT business community with immigration issues. David’s previous role was regional outreach officer with DIAC’s ACT Regions Office. To become a member of the Chamber please call 6283 5200 or visit www.actchamber.com.au.
Chamber of Women in Busiiness
Big year for CWB in 2010 Jean McIntyre, President Chamber of Women in Business
CHAMBER OF WOMEN IN BUSINESS
CWB President Jean McIntyre talks about the changes in CWB over the last few months and the exciting program ahead for 2010
ince B2B readers last heard from CWB we've had some changes. Our President Zoe Routh (of Inner Compass) resigned for personal reasons. CWB members were sad to see her leave but were very grateful for the leadership she showed in her short presidency. In many ways Zoe's situation mirrored that of many women in business who balance multiple roles as entrepreneur, employer, mum, wife, daughter, community helper and friend. It reminded us of how business women constantly re-prioritise as we manage that fragile balance. New CWB member Jacquie Tewes (Right Management) stepped into the position until we could elect a new executive and committee. Jacquie was very courageous taking on that position and we were grateful for the work she did in maintaining our profile during this difficult period. CWB gets a new executive Elected at our AGM in November were: Jean McIntyre (Marketing Angels) – President; Caron Egle (Impact Learning and Development – Vice President; Christine Gibson (Dewesburys Nexia) – Treasurer; Deborah Beerworth (Kondinin) – Secretary. Other committee members are: Vicki Berry (Easycare Landscapes); Meredith Wright (Daltons Books); Pria Jeevanthan (The Canberra Times); Noelia Pinto (Dewesburys Nexia); Claire Connelly (Papercut); Judy Croston (Move It With Jude); Glenda Snoxall (Safety Key Solutions) and Lily Rimanic (Lily Rimanic Real Estate). The new committee set some challenging goals to help CWB in its task of raising awareness of the contribution of business women to the ACT region economies. CWB rewards good service to women Perhaps CWB's greatest achievement in 2009 was the launch of the 'Purple Tick' program – rewarding businesses that deliver the kind of service women expect and deserve. CWB surveyed 100 women and discovered that 64% of women can recall having a negative shopping experience because they were a woman. 74% of women said they shy away from businesses that fail to recognise and meet their needs and 77% said they'd be influenced by a recommendation from other women. CWB also asked women what they wanted in service from business. Because women make most of the financial
decisions in the home and in business – it just makes good sense for businesses to think about how best to serve women. With Purple Tick, businesses can check their performance online against a set of criteria – that women rate highly – to test whether they deliver good service to women. The women of the ACT and region can also go online to www.purpletick.org.au to find businesses that are likely to be recommended by other women. In 2010 CWB will focus on finding more great businesses to reward with a Purple Tick.
Because women make most of the financial decisions in the home and in business – it just makes good sense for businesses to think about how best to serve women. CWB’s 2010 program At our first event on 16th February CWB will launch its 2010 program. We've kept the best stuff from our 2009 program such as the Business Woman of the Year Awards, The Great Debate and a special event in March to mark International Women's Day. We invite all business women of the ACT to join us at our February event which will be a fun networking activity to kick off the year. The CWB committee wishes everyone a very prosperous 2010 and looks forward to chatting with you throughout the year.
For more information: Chamber of Women in Business T 6282 6255 F 6282 7191 E firstname.lastname@example.org www.cwb.org.au
B2B in Canberra | February 2010 29
Canberra business council
Getting high speed rail back on track By Chris Faulks Chief Executive Officer, Canberra Business Council Upcoming Events Employment and OHS Overview Meyer Vandenberg, Level 5, 1 Farrell Place, Canberra 7.30am – 9.00am Wenesday 24 February 2010
Outlook 2020 ActewAGL working with Better Place Australia is set to roll out Australia’s first Electric Vehicle network in Canberra by 2012. Guest Speaker: Geoff Zippel (Better Place Australia) & Michael Costello (ActewAGL) Hotel Realm, Barton 12.30pm – 2.00pm Thursday 25 February 2010
Canberra Times Business Series Guest Speaker: Terry Campbell AO Goldman Sachs JBWere Yarralumla 12.30pm – 2.00pm Thursday 25 March 2010 To register all events www.canberrabusinesscouncil. com.au
Principal Members Actew Corporation, ActewAGL, Bank West, Bega Cheese, Bluestar Printing Group, Clayton Utz, Cre8ive, Ernst & Young, Elite, eWay, Medibank Health Solutions, Hindmarsh, Holistech, KPMG, MBA, National Australia Bank, National Museum of Australia, NEC Australia, Staging Connections, The Village Building Co, Thyssen Krupp Marine Systems Australia
February 2010 | B2B in Canberra
Canberra Business Council has long been a strong supporter of high speed rail and has put forward a number of submissions supporting major proposals for HSR for the east coast of Australia.
ver the last two years the Council has lobbied the federal and ACT governments for a further study into a high speed rail (HSR) network between Melbourne and Brisbane via Canberra, Sydney and Newcastle. Two earlier HSR bids (VFT in 1984 and Speedrail in 1993) were unsuccessful because the Commonwealth and private sectors could not agree on the financial arrangements and a subsequent Commonwealth scoping study in 2001 was not concluded because of the substantial infrastructure costs involved. Much has changed since these proposals were put forward. An increased focus on reducing transport emissions, increasing congestion in our major urban centres and highways caused by an increasingly urbanised population and heavily constrained airport capacity all suggest HSR in Australia deserves detailed examination again. On 15 January 2010, the Co-operative Research Centre (CRC) for Rail Innovation released its Report ‘High Speed Rail: Strategic Information for the Australian Context’ which concluded that a major HSR concept study should be undertaken in Australia. This report is an important step in building momentum and encouraging a broader understanding of the potential benefits to the nation - economic, social and environmental – to be realised from HSR. The report which reviews previous HSR initiatives and outlines the challenges to be overcome in future HSR proposals can be seen on the CRC for Rail’s website (http://www.railcrc.net.au/publications). I encourage you to look at the report as informed public support for any future HSR proposal will be vital. Canberra Business Council agrees that the challenges of building a HSR network in Australia are substantial including securing high levels of government support, achieving the right funding model which provides a balance of public and private sector funding, and challenges in land acquisition, infrastructure requirements and environmental issues. Despite these challenges we are facing a very different situation now from when the last proposal for HSR was considered a decade ago. The CRC report highlights just how much has changed globally in that time. Apart from the environmental and congestion pressures mentioned
above, HSR technology has matured and there has been exponential growth in HSR with 43 individual HSR lines now in operation throughout the world, another 34 under construction and HSR proposals under active consideration in Argentina, Brazil, Britain, Morocco, Poland, Portugal and the United States. A HSR network from Melbourne to Brisbane via Canberra, Sydney and Newcastle has the potential to address increasingly vital national issues such as population growth and congestion in our major cities; environmental pressures and airport and highway congestion. The CRC Report makes it clear that only HSR (trains travelling at over 250kmph) can compete with air in the Australian context with the potential to capture around 50 percent of the combined air/rail market between Melbourne and Sydney which is the fourth busiest airline route in the world. Apart from the national benefits, HSR would also be enormously beneficial in opening up regional Australia, including stimulating considerable growth along the Sydney to Canberra corridor. And the potential economic benefits to Canberra and the Capital Region are incredibly significant. As an example, a HSR link between Sydney and Canberra would allow Canberra Airport to act as a supplementary international gateway for both passenger and freight services, relieving congestion at Sydney International Airport. Tourism in the National Capital would also be a beneficiary with travel time between Canberra and Sydney under one hour. Canberra Business Council looks forward to the CRC report being considered seriously by all levels of government and the federal government announcing, early this year, a major concept study into the economic, environmental, technological, financial, and social aspects of HSR for Australia.
Act exporters' network
ASEAN, Australia and New Zealand Free Trade Agreement
The ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement which came into force on 1 January 2010 is Australia’s first multi-country free trade agreement. It is the most comprehensive FTA ever signed, covering sectors including trade in goods, services, intellectual property, e-commerce, and competition policy.
ccording to the Minister for Trade, the Hon Simon Crean, ‘The commencement of this agreement is a major milestone and opens up significant opportunities for Australian businesses in one of the fastest growing regions in the world’. In 2007/08, the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) member countries purchased 11 per cent of Australia's merchandise exports (A$20 billion) and 16 per cent of its services exports (A$8 billion). The ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement (AANZFTA) represents a substantial market of more than 600 million people with a combined GDP of $3.1 trillion.
"The commencement of this agreement is a major milestone and opens up significant opportunities for Australian businesses in one of the fastest growing regions in the world." The nations covered by the AANZFTA are the 10 ASEAN Member States: Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Burma, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam; and Australia and New Zealand. The decision to begin negotiations on this farreaching agreement began in late November 2004. Now, more than five years on, Australia has access to significant opportunities across many sectors, including exports of agricultural products, industrial goods and services, particularly education and tourism. Australia remains an important destination for ASEAN tourism and students with over half of our export earnings coming from these two sources. In the eleven months to November 2008, there were 88,295 student enrolments from ASEAN in Australia. About 714,500 tourists visited Australia in 2008. The Agreement paves the way for our educational providers to ramp up their offshore delivery with the announcement that the Vietnam Government has agreed to an increase in the
number of subject areas that Australian education providers can deliver in Vietnam, from 7 to 36 areas. What are the benefits for ACT exporters? 1. United market According to Rod Morehouse, Austrade’s Jakartabased senior trade commissioner, “If you are selling into one of the ASEAN markets today, there’s a good chance in the next five to ten years that the market will be the same everywhere in ASEAN,” referring to common standards for product labelling, intellectual property, taxation and marketing. 2. Tariff reductions Currently, only 67 per cent of Australia’s exports to the ASEAN region are tariff-free. AANZFTA will bind current low tariffs and over time eliminate tariffs on between 90 and 100 per cent of tariff lines by 2020, covering 96 per cent of current Australian exports to the region. 3. Movement of People The agreement imposes obligations on the ASEAN nations to make commitments in relation to the temporary movement of service suppliers, investors and goods sellers and other persons engaged in regional trade and investment. Further to this any immigration fees imposed are required to be reasonable and in accordance with domestic law. 4. Procedural transparency The agreement supports the entry of service providers into the ASEAN region by specifying 'enhanced procedural transparency and review and appeals disciplines in relation to licensing procedures'. 5. Harmonised with bilateral FTAs Those ACT businesses already trading with Singapore, Thailand and New Zealand and taking advantage of Australia’s existing bilateral FTAs can make use of the AANZFTAs regional Rules of Origin under the agreement’s tariff commitments, making it easier to do business in and with the ASEAN region as a whole. For more information on AANZFTA please visit the Dept. of Foreign Affairs and Trade website www.dfat.gov.au/trade/fta/asean/ aanzfta or Austrade’s website at www.austrade.gov.au/AANZFTA
Upcoming Events 'Getting into Services Export' workshop To express an interest in attending, please contact Brooke on 0400 090 452. The Centre for Customs & Excise Studies, The University of Canberra 9.00am – 3.00pm Wednesday 10 February 2010
‘Getting into Products Export’ workshop To express an interest in attending, please contact Brooke on 0400 090 452. The Centre for Customs & Excise Studies, The University of Canberra 9.00am – 3.00pm Wednesday 24 February 2010
Pitch Club RSVP: Brooke on 0400 090 452 Free for Network Members (limited to three companies only)
Venue: TBC 12.00pm– 2.00pm Thursday 4 March 2010
The ACT Exporters’ Network is proudly sponsored by the ACT Government, Canberra Business Council, the Centre for Customs & Excise and AusIndustry.
B2B in Canberra | February 2010
THE UNIVERSITY OF CANBERRA
Cultivating tomorrow’s business leaders Professor John H Howard Pro Vice-Chancellor, Development, University of Canberra
The University of Canberra, through innovative new courses and a greater focus on interaction with industry, is engaging its students with local businesses, professional associations and the wider community through a range of innovative measures. "My experience through SIFE has enabled me to communicate with other like-minded people and develop valuable skills for life."
For information on how your business can interact with the University, please call Greg Boland in the Office of Development on 6201 2327.
February 2010 | B2B in Canberra
cross the University, undergraduate and postgraduate courses include significant opportunity for valuable engagement with the local business community, giving students a taste of their future professions before they graduate and the skills to hit the ground running when they start their careers, or indeed start their own business. At the faculty level for example the Faculty of Business and Government has introduced new units in entrepreneurship that have both brought the workplace to the campus and have taken students to the workplace. These activities, integrated with their base units of study, have constructed flexible and authentic learning opportunities where students become more aware of the high demands in today’s workplace. Business focused programs currently active across the University include a business mentoring program in the entrepreneurship course with the curriculum designed around practical activities where local business people come onto campus for two hours a week during the semester to mentor students in workshop environments. The program, originally established under the auspices of Young Achievement Australia, is open to students from any discipline – and indeed students across all disciplines within the University are encouraged to participate. The program encourages students to think critically, use analytical skills and work in teams with other students. This develops valuable entrepreneurial, employment and lifelong learning skills as well as preparing students for life ‘in business’. The Student In Free Enterprise (SIFE) program challenges students to take what they learn in lectures and apply this knowledge to real work situations. As an example, students in conjunction with the local Indigenous community and staff from the University’s Ngunnawal Centre were involved in developing a ‘Train the Trainer’ program and work manual for Accounting and Small Business Indigenous students. The communication, inter-personal and analytical skills required have also fostered students’ personal development; and as one student stated ‘My experience through SIFE has enabled me to communicate with other likeminded people and develop valuable skills for life’. This inclusive project broadened all participating students’
intercultural learning as well as enhancing, developing and passing on their business acumen. The Business Internship Program, like SIFE, consists of work placements undertaken in conjunction with units studied where students gain complementary and independent learning and employment skills by undertaking placements in the private and public sectors. Reports from employers have been very positive; "We are happy to enlist UC students under the program to help develop their personal growth outside of their studies." Similarly students themselves have said "I have learnt so much, it will help me when I’m applying for work, as I will have a better idea about what the employers will be expecting.” The University has also become involved with InnovationACT program where University of Canberra students engage with students from the ANU to ‘create’ a new business in a highly competitive environment. In 2009 some nine teams competed across the two universities. Staff and students attend a range of seminars and workshops over a four month period on commercialisation and business planning processes. This program is financially supported by the ACT Government, the ANU and the University of Canberra and is run by the students themselves. Soon to commence within the University’s Faculty of Arts and Design is an on campus ‘studentled’ communication agency. This agency is being developed as a work-integrated learning initiative in Advertising and Marketing Communications. Its aim is to provide students with real world experiences in creating advertising campaigns under the supervision of academic staff. Advertising and marketing agencies in the ACT will benefit by being able to recruit graduates with a rare blend of practical and theoretical knowledge. Additionally, the University of Canberra, along with the CSIRO and NICTA, is a member of Epicorp, the predecessor and parent organisation of the Lighthouse Innovation Centre. The University works closely with Lighthouse in order to maximise commercialisation and business development outcomes. As an example, in late 2009, the University successfully hosted Lighthouse’s inaugural ‘start-up boot camp’ run over a weekend at the University’s Innovation Centre.
Canberra Southern Cross Club
Businesses – take on the challenge Carol Sawyer General Manager, Canberra Southern Cross Club
Most Canberrans would be aware of and support the wonderful work of Malkara School. The Canberra Southern Cross Club has long admired the dedication and effort of all the people involved at the school in bringing joy and fulfilment through education and fellowship to children with a disability.
he challenges faced by students at the school are met through self-perseverance and through the assistance and guidance of teachers, parents and carers. In speaking with club members and staff we have found that these challenges are something Canberrans feel they would like to help with in some way, either through direct assistance at the school or through support of events to help fund the school’s programs. Programs that aim to provide maximium student growth and development. Now local businesses, organisations and corporations have the chance to book a place in the Canberra Southern Cross Club’s Inaugural Corporate Charity Golf Challenge, organised to raise funds and support Malkara School. As a community club, the CSCC not only hopes to encourage businesses to get involved in the golf challenge, but we hope to raise funds to renovate the school’s play areas including installing shade sails. Other than being a good opportunity to connect with people from Canberra’s corporate and business world in a relaxed, although competitive setting, businesses taking part in the challenge, or donating a prize, will be recognised as sponsors on the day and be included in information provided to the media. Securing a place in the challenge is easy. There is a nomination form at www.cscc.com.au. The challenge will be played over four rounds between April and November, at the Federal Golf Club, with the first round on 8 April 2010. “I am excited that the CSCC has gone to the effort of organising the golf challenge and I know the students, teachers and all people involved with Malkara appreciate the support of the club,” Jennie Lindsay, principal of Malkara School said. “The club supports many groups throughout Canberra, but choosing to organise an event for Malkara shows the community spirit and generosity of all the management and staff at CSCC,” Jennie said. “The Malkara School community works together to provide a positive, student-centred learning environment that enables students to develop towards their full potential and be valued and contributing members of society. “Malkara School is supported by many loyal
community partners, including CSCC, who contribute significantly to the quality of educational facilities, equipment and programs delivered here,” Jennie said. Jennie said “Malkara has provided almost 40 years of quality education for students with an intellectual disability. The dedicated community of staff, parents, carers together with the wider Canberra community has worked together all of this time. “The support received from Canberra’s business and corporate world through CSCC’s golf challenge will be a huge boost and ensure that Malkara will be able to continue to provide students with the support, programs and facilities they need to achieve their goals,” Jennie said. In recent years, as a result of the successful fundraising efforts of the community the school library has had a complete makeover, a new bus has been purchased, playground equipment in the Early Education wing has been replaced and the school's entry and foyer has been upgraded. The Canberra Southern Cross Club supports many community activities, delivers initiatives and assists an extensive network of community organisations. We intend to maintain a high level of support, with $1.6 million provided in 2008-09 in cash and kind. Our annual community grants program supports more than 90 organisations community programs and events. These organisations include bushfire brigades, support groups for people with health and welfare needs, youth groups, choral, dance and music groups, special interest groups and multicultural and church groups. We will work hard to make sure the CSCC Inaugural Corporate Charity Challenge becomes a successful annual event. The overall winning corporate team will win a leisurely lunch and beverage cruise of Lake Burley Griffin for 10 people on the MV Southern Cross. The first round on Monday 8 April is a single stableford. The second round on Thursday 24 May will be a stableford (best two scores). The third round stableford (best 3 scores) will be on Thursday 30 September, and the final fourth round will be a four ball ambrose (with a difference) on Thursday 11 November. We look forward to Canberra’s businesses rising to the challenge.
For more information: Canberra Southern Cross Club Woden T 6283 7200 Tuggeranong T 6293 7200 www.cscc.com.au
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