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CELEBRATING CANBERRA'S CENTENARY Find out how you can take part in the celebrations

WANT TO CUT GOVERNMENT COSTS? RSM Bird Cameron can show you how

INDONESIAN TRADE MISSION Deputy Chief Minister Andrew Barr on strengthening ties with our neighbors

MARCH 2013



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WHAT IS THE NEXT STEP? FGD's Juliette Ford on newly separated families

PALADIN RISK MANAGEMENT Rod Farrar is creating 'Risk Gladiators'


$4.95 inc. GST ISSN 1833-8232 01

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YOUR EARS PALADIN RISK MANAGEMENT TRAINING ACADMENY ANNOUNCE THE DIPLOMA OF RISK MANAGEMENT AND BUSINESS CONTINUITY The Diploma Course will be conducted by the Paladin Risk Management Training Academy.Endorsed by the Risk Management Institution of Australasia, this is the only broad based risk management diploma in the country and is fully accredited by the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA). The Diploma Program is aimed at risk management and business continuity professionals or those aspiring to fill roles in these industries. The Diploma Course will conducted over a four day intensive period at the University of Canberra: 29th April – 2nd May 3rd – 6th June Keep yourself out of the Lion’s Den... call the PALADIN RISK MANAGEMENT TRAINING ACADEMY today

The Diploma of Risk Management and Business Continuity is made up of ten Core Units: / Undertake Enterprise Risk Management / Manage Risk / Coordinate Risk Management / Manage Procurement Risk / Conduct Fraud Risk Assessments / Develop Fraud Control Plans / Manage Project Risk / Apply Principles of OHS Risk Management / Manage Hazards in the Workplace / Develop and Maintain Business Continuity Plans

Rod Farrar, Managing Director 0400 666 142


Happy 100th birthday Canberra March 2013 marks the 100th year of the establishment of Canberra as Australia's capital city. As you can see from this bumper issue of B2B TIM magazine, we too are celebrating in BENSON style. Editor First Our cover story launches the BNI Ambassador Chapter. I am a member of this group and would like to see it grow to 50 members over the next six months. If you would like to see your business grow then give me a call on 0402900402 and I will invite you to the next meeting. Second There are six full pages outlining some of the events that are taking place in Canberra in the month celebrating Canberra's 100th year. The March 11 is the actual day. So from midday till late, let your hair down and enjoy the festivities. I know that I will be both participating and spectating in many events. Including blowing my horn in a song, Smack Bang (in the middle) written and recorded especially for Canberra's Centenary. Third RSM Bird Cameron have a six page feature on how government departments can cut costs without cutting services. This is of course the big dilemma for many government departments and agencies facing efficiency dividend savings and sometimes outright cuts to their budgets. Government's don't look too favourably to cuts to services so RSM Bird Cameron outline 10 other options to direct service cuts. Last This is a big year for Canberra, the nation's capital. There will be many opportunities for businesses to get in on the act this year. Both through enjoying the sports and arts events and through becoming part of the festivities year round. This could be done by adopting the Centenary branding throughout your business or branding one of your activities as a Centenary event. I hope you enjoy this issue and much as we have had Send all comments to publishing it.




your gateway to business support Visit our website for a full list of events, latest news and more!




OPINION 10 Ahhhhhhhhhhh – A sign of felief from Farrar Gesini & Dunn



12 IT's fun in school these days with OPC IT 14 Social Media- Show me the money! 16 RSM Bird Cameron explains how to cut

Government cost without cutting the Serice 22 Paladin- Creating risk gladiators 24 Celebrating Canberra's 100th BirthdaySee what's on in the capital in March.

COVER STORY 31 Introducing BNI AmbassadorCanberra's best networkers


41 ADVICE FROM THE EXPERTS 42 ACCOUNTING How effective is cloud computing? By RSM Bird Cameron BUSINESS LAW Concerned about a “going concern”? By Elringtons Lawyers


43 CORPORATE GOVERNANCE Diversity equals good governance By Australian Institute of Company Directors DOCUMENT MANAGEMENT Where do you want to see change? By Ricoh 44 ESTATE PLANNING Avoiding divorce from beyond the grave By Certus Law

RECRUITMENT Performance management By PCA People 45 WEBSITES Five steps to improve your website By Synapse Worldwide A2B: ASSOCIATIONS TO BUSINESS 46 MINISTERS MESSAGE: Indonesian Trade Mission 47 ACT & REGION CHAMBER OF COMMERCE & INDUSTRY: More changes signalled fro Fair Work Act 48 CANBEERA BUSINESS COUNCIL: The National Aboretum 49 ACT EXPORTERS: Exports? What exports? In Canberra? BUSINESS NETWORKING 06 B2B @ Zero Dark Thirty Premiere B2B @ Lincoln Premiere 07 B2B @ BNI Ambassadors Launch 08 B2B @ Canberra Business Council Dinner 09 B2B @ Karpathian Fishing Classic 51 PROPERTY 52 BRINDABELLA BUSINESS BROKERS Risk to generating future profits 54 BENDIGO BANK Should the government bank with the Community Bank?





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Visit the WorkSafe ACT website for advice and information on how to meet your health and safety obligations.


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‘Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh’ By Juliette Ford, Director, Farrar Gesini Dunn


es. That is the sound of a collective sigh of relief that can be heard around this time of year for many newly separated families. They have just navigated through the December/January school holiday period and of course the Christmas season. This means that short term issues have needed to be resolved for the first time such as - how will the school holidays be divided; who will take the children on the usual holiday down to the coast; will both parents take the children separately on holidays; how will Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day be divided; how will they juggle a new separation with work commitments, family life and social life at a very emotional time? So yes, not only are these newly separated families breathing a sigh of relief right now as they settle themselves back into the regular patterns of the school/work year postDecember/January school holiday period, but they also deserve a big pat on the back. However, now that the short term issues have been managed it is time to start thinking of long term matters which will need to be dealt with such as - how will property be divided; who will keep the family home; who will keep the beach house; how will care of the children be managed during the school term; how will financial support, including child support and/or spousal maintenance be addressed? And finally, how will this agreement be properly documented?


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In relation to this last point of documenting a financial settlement, there are essentially two ways to document an end of relationship financial settlement reached by mutual agreement between the parties under the Family Law Act (1975). These are: 1. Application for Consent Orders which is lodged with the Court and is enforceable from the date that the Orders are made; and 2. Financial Agreement which is enforceable from the date that it is signed by the parties and their legal representatives and certain other legislative requirements are complied with. Both options can cover the agreement in relation to property and spousal maintenance, and which type of documentation the parties use to formalise their agreement depends on the circumstances. However, it is incredibly important that these decisions are made carefully and with proper legal advice, as otherwise there can be unintended and potentially disastrous consequences. For example, though it is not common, Consent Orders and a Financial Agreement can include a provision for the payment of periodic spousal maintenance for an unlimited period of time. If the agreement is documented through Consent Orders, the Family Law Act (1975) provides for the cessation of maintenance Orders on the death of either the payee or the payer, or on the remarriage of the payee (unless there are special circumstances). However there

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is no similar safeguard for the cessation of spousal maintenance for Financial Agreements. Therefore, unless the Agreement is properly drafted, the unintended consequence is that if the payer or payee dies and the Financial Agreement does not properly terminate maintenance obligations then the Estate of the payer must continue paying maintenance until the funds of the Estate are exhausted (and if the payee dies, must continue making payments to the payee’s Estate). The consequences are potentially disastrous for either the payer or the beneficiaries of the payer’s Estate. Another example is the fact that cohabitation agreements cease to have effect if the parties marry, no matter what the agreement says. There are traps for young (and old) players in the area of family law property – you need to use a specialist if you want to avoid them. While separated families do not always have the luxury of taking the time to make informed decisions in relation to the short term issues, the above examples illustrate the importance of seeking legal advice and making properly informed decisions in relation to the long term issues as it could make all the difference in the world, not only for themselves but also for their children. For Family Law Advice contact Farrar Gesini Dunn Level 5, Colonial , Mutual Building 17-21 University Avenue, Canberra City ACT P (02) 6257 6477 | F (02) 6257 4382 E |


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his past December over 125 students at Trinity College in Goulburn received new Lenovo laptop packages provided by OPC for their inaugural 1-to-1 learning program. 1-to-1 learning programs are school based programs designed to enhance learning opportunities and assist students to learn, live and work in the new digital era - ‘anywhere, anytime.’ There has been a global move towards the implementation of these programs in schools and Trinity College Goulburn is leading the way with a meaningful change to teaching and learning in order to prepare their students for further education and training. As Mary-Jane Carroll-Fajarda, Principal of Trinity College explains, ‘the introduction of our 1:1 laptop program was part of a broader paradigm shift at Trinity. Our decision to go down this particular path was the belief that a 1:1 program would assist in the provision of more equitable access to learning resources for our regional students, increase their engagement, support individualised learning, aid the development of information literacy skills and encourage the implementation of different pedagogies within the classroom.’ 12

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Simply, digitally rich ICT environments in schools are more important than ever! In order to be successful, 1-to-1 programs must have strong teaching practices and curriculum, a strongly supported vision and culture across the whole school community and, importantly, effective technical infrastructure and support. OPC has over the past ten years worked closely with secondary Colleges in our region to develop and fine tune their 1-to-1 programs. Over a period of many months OPC worked closely with Trinity to tailor a package to meet the specific needs of the College and to ensure the students were fully engaged with the technology. Weight, durability, performance and value for money were key considerations. OPC recommended the Lenovo X Series ThinkPad as the best fit-for purpose for this unique environment and took care of all the paperwork! We bundled the laptop with personalised, custom-designed vinyl laptop covers for the students, special carry bags and accessories sporting the College logo and we upgraded the warranty to three years’ onsite service with accidental damage protection to cover all contingencies. OPC is an authorised Lenovo warranty service provider and our mobile Service Van calls by each week to look after the College’s fleet of machines.

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‘Outsourcing to OPC has meant that ICT staff employed at the College can now focus their energies on supporting teachers in the provision of quality learning experiences and assist students to maximise the use of their new laptops,’ says Mary-Jane

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SOCIAL MEDIA SHOW ME THE MONEY! Photo by Andrew Sikorski

• Failing to engage on a regular basis • Not being social enough – broadcasting - forgetting the “social” aspect • Getting too social & forgetting about your business focus • Abandoning traditional media & not taking an integrated approach • Not producing engaging content – (content based marketing and storytelling) These are all common reasons why some businesses are simply not getting results. We must understand that it’s as much about the psychology of human behaviour online, than anything else. For example, there are four reasons why people share content online: (i) To make their life easier (ii) To show their expertise (iii) To help others and (iv) For emotional reasons. You should pay attention to these when you are creating content, if you want it to be shared! Added to this, is the notion that customer experience is important online! Check out: for an example of high-end social media enabled customer service! The biggest take-away you should embrace, (if nothing else), is that your engagement on social media is all about your customers/followers and NOT about you! Recommendation: If you don’t want to make these costly mistakes and you want results that count, then it’s probably worthwhile to invest in some basic social media training! Where will your business be this time next year? Will you be crying: “Show me the money!”? Or will you be gleefully rubbing your hands together, muttering: “Show me more!”? Suzanne Kiraly (Digital Consultant, Business Storyteller & Social Media Trainer.)


ongratulations. Six months ago you joined the Social Media Revolution after procrastinating for a long time. You realised that if you didn’t get started, your business would suffer considerably and you’d be left behind. So, for the past six months you’ve been busily posting, tweeting, and generally engaging on social media platforms. It’s taken you time and effort. And right now, your gut feeling is that all your efforts haven’t had much impact on your business at all. You sense that there is more potential for actually increasing sales, but you just can’t nail it. Well, don’t despair. You’re not alone! This is a typical scenario for many businesses, embarking on social media marketing for the first time and they are making some common mistakes. Here are some: • Using old methodology with new technology • Getting started without a strategy • Spreading yourself too thinly on too many platforms


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G O V E R N M E N T C O S T C U T T I N G F E AT U R E Luke Williamson, Senior Manager, Assurance and Advisory Division, RSM Bird Cameron Thomas Pucci, Senior Manager, Assurance and Advisory Division, RSM Bird Cameron

How to cut Government costs without cutting the Service Article by Luke Williamson and Thomas Pucci, Senior Managers, Assurance and Advisory Division, RSM Bird Cameron, Canberra photos by Andrew Sikorski

RSM Bird Cameron is a full service national accounting firm delivering expert corporate financial and advisory accounting services to clients across diverse industry sectors. RSM Bird Cameron boasts a national network of 27 offices which, combined with our 90 year Australian heritage, has helped us develop an extensive understanding of Australian business trends and conditions – this article has been prepared by the RSM Bird Cameron Canberra office.


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RSM Bird Cameron’s 10 options for government agencies to sustainably reduce costs while generating new value for their citizens for the long term.


he impact of the Global Financial Crisis (mark I & II), have left most western governments with substantial budget deficits. Most experts agree (and as time goes on they are being proven right), that this economic downturn is different than its predecessors in that it is deeper and is taking longer to resolve. While the Australian economy has weathered the storm better than most, the budgetary impact of government’s stimulus spending and its other major policy programs has left the Commonwealth with a large debt. Add to this rising uncertainty over future revenues (from the waning mining boom, a high Australian dollar continuing to impact on non-commodity exports, and a depressed retail sector) and increased demand for services (changing unemployment and recent natural disasters), and it becomes clear that the government and its agencies face a massive challenge in returning the budget to surplus. The size of the challenge is demonstrated by the recent announcement by the Treasurer that: “Dramatically lower revenue now makes it unlikely there will be a surplus in 2012-13” The Treasurer. Hon Wayne Swan MP (December 2012).

While the Government could adopt traditional fiscal measures to increase taxes or cut programs, the fragility of the current economic situation means that these policy measures are unattractive to the central agency economists, to say nothing of their political implications in an election year. The result is that that Government will continue to look to its agencies to provide a further dividend in terms to reduced expenditure. After several years of increasing and compounding “efficiency dividends”, further across-the-board cuts are likely to lead to reductions in service quality or delays in investment in important, value creating ideas (i.e. reduced discretionary spend), endangering agency outcomes and ultimately having a negative impact on service delivery. It is now also clear, as highlighted by the Treasurer’s admission in December that a Surplus is unlikely this year, that the “efficiency dividend” approach has not delivered the needed savings, and this is before the added pressure of servicing the new debt accrued through this year’s likely deficit. To succeed agencies must adopt an approach that

reduces expenditure through sustainable change - not just the one-off cutting of services or delays in investment - that protects or improves outputs and service levels. Agencies will need to engage in new approaches to operational management aimed at leaving them not only fit for use, but fit for service, in the face of long term reduced budgets. What’s needed is a new mindset: “a cost conscious service” mindset, that challenges some of the choices made in the past (at times of budgetary ease), revisiting ideas and breaking new ground. Sustainable and flexible service cannot be built on one-off tactics for immediate relief alone; they must be driven by structural improvements and efficiency initiatives that enable sustainable change. This paper outlines 10 opportunities that government agencies can adopt to sustainably reduce costs while generating new value for citizens for the long term.


Consider structural change Many agencies are working with decentralised management processes and functions (how many divisions have their own finance manager for example?) Over time decentralised processes can result in inconsistent procedures and fragmented systems, leading to rework to integrate data and higher operating costs. When agencies take steps to integrate and streamline their structures and processes, or even to work together, they can open up a third budgetary option beyond cutting services. Finding and fixing these inefficiencies represents a prime opportunity to lower operational costs without lowering services. A good example is the establishment of “bureau services”, common in the areas of HR and Finance, to support additional areas such as Administered Funds management. Many agencies use administered payments (e.g. Grants, Subsidies, Entitlements, Scholarships, etc), to 3rd sector entities achieve their policy objectives. As government policy increases in complexity the use of administered payments has become more commonplace and widespread from one program or from one division to another, with the potential for duplication and avoidable costs has risen too.


• Streamlined payments and invoice handling (including the adoption of RCTIs as a standard business process); • FMA reporting obligations management; and • Provision of a common funding management IT system .*


Thomas Pucci, Senior Manager, Assurance and Advisory Division, RSM Bird Cameron

Often this is manifest as an agency having multiple Head Contracts or Deeds with the same Service Provider (separately administered at a divisional or “program” level), a dependence on paper-based processes, and administrative policies more appropriate to historical “low volume” days (often in respect to FMA regulation compliance, invoicing, correspondence and acquittal). In our experience, by establishing bureau services the divisions within an agency (or even across different agencies through sharing a service), can work together to reduce administration costs and duplicated effort for themselves and likewise reduce costs and redtape for service providers. Over time, the bureau services will also improve the choices made (in terms of which providers to fund), and help agencies focus more on the outcomes of their funding choices. Some areas to focus on include: • Application / Offer Round advertisement and response handling; • Provider registration and viability/integrity assessment; • Standard contract terms and conditions to reduce administrative overhead (such as processing annual financial statements and insurance currency);

*As an example, FaHCSIA has promulgated its funding management IT solution to a range of agencies, providing a whole-of-government like cost avoidance option for systematised funds management.

Seek to trade Intellectual Property (IP) for a better deal when configuring software Agencies invest in innovative strategies to improve their achievement of outcomes, upgrade services or to reduce costs. Most of these strategies require a new IT solution or capability to be implemented. Often the solutions developed (and paid for by one agency), could be of value to other agencies. This is often recognized by the commissioning agency and typically results in it seeking to retain the IP (in the “Contract Material”) in the belief that it may be able to make the solution available to other agencies. However, while good in intention, the reality is that most agency buyers of solutions have neither the time nor the experience to successfully market the solutions. The obvious alternative is to form a “buying coalition” with other agencies pre-procurement. While this sounds like an attractive alternate the truth is that it typically leads to delays as agencies seek to align stakeholders, requirements and technology. However, there exists a third alternative–vesting IP in the contractor. Here the commissioning agency would share its belief that the solution would be attractive to other agencies as part of its procurement process and seek to trade its IP (in the solution) with the Contractor for a “reduced price”. Under such a deal, the Contractor would gain IP in the solution and would be free to market it to other agencies; something they are in all likelihood better equipped to do. Other agencies should benefit from a lower price for the solution (compared to commissioning their own), as it does not need to be provided from scratch. The guidance in the AGIMO source IT contract template is clear and allows agency to select a model where “the Contractor owns the Intellectual Property Rights in the Contract Material and provides a licence to the Customer to use the Contract Material”. In RSM Bird Cameron’s opinion taking up this model could provide the best opportunity to reduce costs for the Commonwealth where the solution was novel and was associated with a process common to many agencies. For example the implementation of online recruiting solutions.


Access renewable energy rebates through lease variations Today most state and territories offer feed-in rebate schemes for solar and wind power. Many of these schemes are open to both commercial and residential buildings. However, with the Commonwealth’s direction towards leasing over the past decade, we have the bizarre


situation where the Commonwealth has not benefited from the very policy it has inspired through setting the national renewable energy target. But what if there was a way for Commonwealth agencies to access feed-in tariff rebates? RSM Bird Cameron believes that agencies, by working with their landlords, can access part of the value of these rebates and create a “win win” situation for both themselves and their landlords. Put simply, agencies could seek to direct part of their funds towards the installation of renewable energy generation equipment (by their landlords), who could then re-reimburse the agency through lower rent. This would provide a new source of value for the landlord and reduce the agency’s operating costs while reducing its carbon footprint.


Take a fresh look at your facilities needs In the past decade changes in technology, work culture and worker’s compensation insurance arrangements has enabled businesses to dramatically reduce the amount of office space they use, and the amount of associated resources they consume. With current budget pressures, now is a great time for agencies to revisit its facilities expenditure as a strategy to reduce costs through delaying new capacity coming on-line, consolidation, and reduction. In RSM Bird Cameron’s experience taking a hard look at your facilities spend, especially if you have not done so for five years or more, can lead to dramatic savings in the order of 15% to 20%. This can be further increased by adopting a model of greater mobility (where appropriate) through the broader deployment of lap-tops, tablets and smart phones, and the adoption of practices such as working from home (or working remotely). Agencies can dramatically reduce office space while improving staff morale, to say nothing of the costs avoided by reduced attrition. For example, “mobilised” organisations no longer provide middle managers (or even some executives) with dedicated private offices; reducing the cost of fit-out while maximizing floor space and promoting a culture of industrial equity. Some of the reclaimed space is used to provide additional meeting facilities, “quiet spaces”, “Call rooms” or better staff facilities.


Travel Cost Reduction Reducing travel related costs is an obvious opportunity for agencies to help stay within their reduced budgets, and most government executives will be familiar with implementing “travel reductions” and even “travel bans” (typically in the last quarter), as agencies and divisions try to remain “on budget”. Unfortunately stopping or slowing travel, without other action, will only ever offer short-term relief. However, there are ways that agencies can enjoy the benefits of reduced travel costs for the long

term. RSM Bird Cameron’s experience suggests that three strategies are likely to return good value: Investing in sustainable travel replacement solutions to reduce the cost of travel for internal business operations. The current generation of video conferencing technologies, coupled with the data and connectivity capacity of the NBN is driving the costs of these solutions down and their quality up. With appropriate use these solutions can dramatically reduce agency travel costs. At the lower end of the video spectrum, point-to-point desktop based solutions can allow teams to engage in effective video based discussions and thereby avoid or defer travel. For project teams, the deployment of intranet based collaboration solutions such as instant messaging, team rooms, and project workspaces (e.g. Microsoft Sharepoint), can dramatically reduce the need for travel and the amount of time spent on the phone. Outsourced travel management Outsourcing travel management means that agencies can benefit from the consolidated buying power to reduce the cost of airfares, hotels or rental cars. Re-negotiate your travel arrangements In the current period of global economic pain travel industry providers (airlines, hotels, and rental car agencies), are seeking to secure long term arrangements with institutional customers. This means that the time is right to re-negotiate your travel arrangements with the aim of reducing rates and fares, in return for providing longer term certainty the amount of travel for formal meetings.


Recruitment Rationalisation At times of low head-count growth, now is the time to take a fresh look at your recruitment function. Many agencies operate recruitment functions designed around the “fire house” model, where the recruitment team leaps into action once a business area advises them of a vacancy that needs to be filled. Once the fire bell rings (i.e. a “request to recruit” is received), the team slides down the fire pole and starts writing advertisements to appear in the local and national newspapers, posted in the gazette, or added to the agency’s website. Weeks later, all the applications are reviewed and interviews are scheduled, references are carefully checked, and finally letters of offer go out only to discover that the most highly rated candidates are no longer available. In the mean-time agencies have lost progress or put important initiatives at risk due to an absence of staff. Fortunately agencies can do much


Luke Williamson, Senior Manager, Assurance and Advisory Division, RSM Bird Cameron

deeper specialisation structure means that Recruitment teams can work with business areas and more effectively source resources (by being active in the labour market and by targeting advertising dollars to areas of best affect). Specialised recruiters also have better visibility of Order-of-Merit and Alumnus lists and should be able to use these assets for better effect. • Adopt a range of recruitment methods Not every position requires a panel to be established and formal interviews to be conducted. Many candidates new to the public sector these practices can be very off-putting. By adopting less bureaucratic processes (where appropriate), agencies can speed-up the process, reduce costs and improve its choice of candidate.


to address this situation and improve the performance and cost associated with recruitment. Some ideas include: • Recruit for the forecast (not to the vacancy) Most agencies have a wealth of data that can be used to accurately forecast their retention and separation rates. By using this data with divisional resource plans, recruitment units should be able to pro-actively source a pipeline of candidates in advance of any specific vacancy opening up; reducing the effort to recruit and minimizing the time to fill a vacancy. • Specialised recruitment staff Many agencies operate a recruitment model where the next available recruitment team member is given the next recruitment request to manage, regardless of the type of resource needed. However, organisations with high performing recruitment teams have staff dedicated to recruiting for specific functions. This goes beyond simple specialisation such as SES, non-SES and Graduate, to include specialisations such as Technologist recruitment, Customer Service Officer recruitment, Finance Officer recruitment, etc. Adopting a


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A relentless focus on paper reduction The Australian Government sends hundreds of millions of letters each year, including millions of cheques and associated paperwork. Many agencies likewise receive and process large volumes of correspondence. The end result is substantial costs associated with the operation of mail-rooms, processing, distribution and handling of physical paper, scanning and/or physical archiving. No process is perfect, leading to lost paperwork and cheques, resulting in further costs and dissatisfied customers. Surely there is a better way? While it is true that paper remains an important communication tool, in RSM Bird Cameron’s experience there are a number of ways agencies can reduce costs while improving customer services; • Administered Payment Invoicing Many agencies make grant or other administered payments. Often these arrangements require the recipient to invoice the agency during the course of the agreement, leading to paper handling costs associated with the receipt of the invoice (inbound) and in sending remittance advice (outbound). However, if the agency is determining the amount to be paid, then it is probable that a “Recipient Created Tax Invoice” (RCTI), is appropriate. Under the RCTI process the agency can determine when a payment is due and produce the Tax Invoice, which it the sends to the recipient. Adopting RCTIs where appropriate eliminates the Inbound invoice; halving the paper handling costs for each transaction. • Electronic Payment, Remittance & RCTIs Many agencies allow their customers to easily “opt in” to payment by cheque (leading to an outbound paper handling process), or similarly to receiving payment remittance advice by mail. Indeed some agencies use these older modes of payment and communication as the default; unless an alternative is selected. Given the psychology of “filling in a form” agencies can dramatically reduce their costs by simply removing cheque and physical mail as options on their forms. Payees would then be defaulted into providing email addresses


for correspondence and BSB/Account details for payment arrangements, potentially with the ability to request the alternative by writing to the agency. • Electronic correspondence as the Norm Many agencies revert to the use of paper and physical mail based outbound communications channels as their normal business practice, and this despite having in many cases collected (at great aggregate cost), email addresses and telephone numbers. Adopting the use of email and SMS technology as the default channel for outbound communication is an easy step any agency can make to reduce costs. • Move to electronic signatures Many agencies still require clients, customers or service providers to physically sign many documents, despite the Commonwealth passing the Electronic Transactions Act that allows a person to satisfy a legal requirement for a manual signature by using an electronic communication.” Adopting a policy of accepting electronic communication, consistent with the Act, provides a great opportunity for agencies to reduce costs.


Consider Business Process Outsourcing The public service started down the road of outsourcing business processes in response to the budget pressures of the 1990s. For example, most agencies have outsourced Property Management to their Landlords, and procured physical security services from 3rd party providers. But the Service has been slow to adopt business process outsourcing for more traditional functions (such as expense processing and HR), despite massive take-up by the corporate sector. As a result most agencies still maintain their traditional suite of corporate services in-house; with some shared service arrangements now emerging. In the meantime the world has seen a substantial maturing of Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) services; especially in the area of corporate back-office. Given the current budgetary pressures on agencies, now is an opportune time to re-consider BPO. Key business processes to consider outsourcing include: • Physical security • Property Management • Procure to pay • Payroll processing • Expense processing • Record to Report • Fleet Management • Human Resources & Recruitment


Data analytics to shape better deals The application of new information technologies such as data analytics means that agencies are able to develop new business models

and approaches that reduce their costs while improving outcomes. Leading organisations are making extensive use of analytics, coupled with integrated systems, to drive better deals (for example, with the 3rd sector providers), this results in reduced compliance management costs, more information regarding the efficacy of policy and funding programs, and the ability to more quickly change policy and administrative levers to optimize outcomes.


Enter into strategic IT sourcing arrangements A time of budget hardship for Government means that many of the providers of services (IT services in particular), are feeling the pressure too; making now a great time for agencies to consider strategic IT sourcing arrangements that will “lock in” greater value for the long term. Agencies should be seeking to use innovative sourcing strategies to negotiating favourable procurement agreements; especially where agencies have substantial programs to deliver. One strategy to consider is to establish panel arrangements that lock in a small number of providers (say 2 or 3), for each category of service (i.e. Big Programs, Medium IT Solutions, APIs and Interfaces), in return for a commitment to a competitive rate card for a period of time. This strategy means that agencies can also reduce their procurement costs by avoiding unnecessary tender responses. If you feel that your department or agency could benefit from a discussion around any of the 10 options discussed in this article to sustainably reduce costs while generating new value – then we would love to hear from you. The Canberra office of RSM Bird Cameron is well placed in the nation’s Capital to work with the Australian Government and it’s agencies to deliver the best quality of services at the most efficient cost.

103-105 Northbourne Ave T:6247 5988

F E AT U R E Rod Farrar, founder Paladin Risk Managment Services


Article by Tim Benson

Photos by Andrew Sikorski

Paladin Risk Management Services is the only training organisation in Australia with an approved Diploma Course in Risk Management and Business Continuity.


od identified that within the risk management profession there were few Diploma Courses with broad based appeal and that the majority of courses were focused in specific areas such as Workplace Health and Safety and

Security. “I saw that there was a need for a Diploma Course that covered the development of risk management frameworks, the management of individual risks as well as covering specialist risk areas such as project and contract risk management. In addition, I also recognised that many organisations found business continuity management to be a challenge” Rod said. Not one to see an opportunity go begging Rod developed the groundbreaking Diploma Course in Risk Management and Business Continuity recently accredited by the Australian Skills Quality Authority. “This course not only addresses the issue of skilling but has been endorsed by the Risk Management Institution of Australasia,” Rod explained. The course will lead to an accreditation as a Certified Risk Management Technician and will also provide evidence for those seeking the higher accreditation as a Certified Practicing Risk Manager. “The purpose of the course is to provide participants with the skills and knowledge necessary to develop, implement and maintain a risk management framework into an organization,” Rod outlined. The course will also provide participants with the skills and knowledge necessary to develop, implement and maintain a business continuity framework into an organization. This qualification reflects the role of individuals with solid and substantial experience in the area of Risk Management and who are seeking to further develop their skills within this field.


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Rod Farrar founded Paladin Risk Management Services in 2007. Following 20 years as an officer in the Australian Army, Rod has channelled his passion and skill for managing risk and now applies his extensive experience in assisting organisations to mitigate and eliminate professional risks they may encounter. Rod is an accomplished risk consultant with extensive experience in the delivery of professional consultancy services to Government, corporate and not-for-profit sectors.

“The purpose of the course is to provide participants with the skills and knowledge necessary to develop, implement and maintain a risk management framework into an organization,” Rod outlined. “This qualification is also suited to the needs of individuals with little or no vocational experience, but who possess sound theoretical Risk Management skills and knowledge that they would like to further develop in order to create further educational and employment opportunities,” Rod emphasized. Specific job roles that will benefit from this course include Risk managers in organizations, Chief Risk Officers, Compliance Officers, Internal auditors, Members of Risk and Audit Committees, Project managers, Procurement specialists, Risk Management Consultants, Risk Management Software vendors, OHS Managers, Business Continuity Managers/Emergency Managers. The first 11 courses for the Diploma of Risk Management and Business Continuity have been scheduled on the following dates. Canberra courses are to be held at the University of Canberra. Melbourne 4-7 March Sydney 18-21 March Brisbane 8-11 April Adelaide 15-18 April Canberra 29 April- 2 May

Perth 13-16 May Melbourne 27-30 May Canberra 3-6 June Sydney 17-20 June Brisbane 30 June-3July

Rod Farrar | Director PO Box 359, MITCHELL ACT 2911 Australia T 0400 666 142 | F 02 8208 7398 E W: Twitter: @paladinrisk

Rod’s goal is to help people become ‘Risk Gladiators’, by transferring the skills and knowledge of risk management so every organisation is armed to mitigate and eliminate any risks they encounter. Rod’s knowledge of the risk management domain was initially informed through two decades as an Army Officer in varying project, security and operational roles. Subsequent to that, Rod has spent seven years as a professional risk manager. Rod’s risk management expertise is highly sought after as is the insight he provides in his risk management training and workshop facilitation. He has been recognised by the Risk Management Institute of Australia, which has granted him Certified Practicing Risk Manager accreditation. Rod has lectured at the University of Canberra, has been on the assessment panel for Certified Practicing Risk Managers as well as speaking at a range of conferences and forums. In addition, Rod was contracted by the Risk Management Institution of Australasia to develop and deliver a two-day risk workshop across Australia and New Zealand. This course was highly acclaimed attracting participants from as far away as Ireland. Rod’s goal is to help people become ‘Risk Gladiators’, by transferring the skills and knowledge of risk management so every organisation is armed to mitigate and eliminate any risks they encounter. Since its foundation, Paladin Risk Management Services has provided a wide range of risk management services to a growing list of diverse clients, including: • Department of Defence • Australian Federal Police • Department of Environment and Water Resources • Department of Transport and Regional Services • Department of the Senate • Queanbeyan City Council • National Health and Medical Research Council • Havelock Housing Association • Reed Construction • Risk Management Institution of Australasia • Nova Defence • Point Trading • Mont Adventure Equipment • Department of Families and Communities – South Australia • Contentgroup • National Health Call Centre Network • Analytics Group

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WHAT’S ON IN THE CAPITAL IN MARCH In amongst a whole year of centenary celebrations which embrace sport, science, ideas, environment, arts, culture, old, young, diverse cultures and everything which the national capital is, the month of March has some very special events to celebrate Canberra’s birthday. Here is a snapshot of what is taking place during March, for the full program of events visit


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THE FAMOUS SPIEGEL GARDEN 1–24 MARCH OPEN DAILY, MIDDAY UNTIL LATE. The magnificent Famous Spiegel Garden is set to be the throbbing underbelly of Canberra’s centenary celebrations, with an extraordinary carnival of quality entertainment from local, national and international artists. The program – which runs from 1 to 24 March – includes such famous names as Parisienne chanteuse Caroline Nin, Irish folk singer Mary Coughlan and world-renowned cabaret artist Robyn Archer, as well as jaw-dropping circus and burlesque from the five-star sell-out show, Briefs. Bands include The Gadflys, Perch Creek Family Band, Mikelangelo & The Black Sea Gentlemen, Flap! and The Naughty Rhythms. This legendary pleasure garden, with its unique, mirrored, Belgian Spiegeltent, has spent many years travelling to arts festivals and fairs throughout Europe and Australia, but will visit Canberra for the first time when it takes its place in the Senate Rose Garden, next to Old Parliament House. Many top artists originating from the capital will be showcasing their talents at The Spiegel Garden, including duo Frencham Smith, singer-songwriter Daniel Champagne, rhythm and blues group The George Washingmachine Band, ’80s good-time party band Cell Block 69 and indie rockers The Falling Joys.

Other highlights include a live broadcast by Australia’s longestrunning satirical radio show, How Green Was My Cactus, an afternoon of smooth sounds from Canberra Jazz Club - including the screening of a documentary on Madame Pat Thomson (plus concert) - and a screening of a film series on Canberra from its inception to the present day by the National Film and Sound Archive. The dazzling season will also include children’s and family entertainment during the days, delicious food, cool drinks, hot sounds and all manner of festival frivolity at night. The Famous Club Spiegel will open its doors as an après-show green room for all the back-door Johnnies, front-door Sallys, the famous and infamous. A club of distinction for ladies and gentlemen, The Famous Club Spiegel will have guest cabaret and music stars such as the Noir Review, The Shuffle Club and The Shout Brothers. For more information visit or www.

WE BUILT THIS CITY 7-9 MARCH In the lead-up to Canberra’s Big Birthday long weekend in March, Civic Square will host We Built This City from 7-9 March. Having already delighted over 30,000 kids internationally since its 2001 debut, this interactive play space is sure to inspire the young budding ‘Walters’ and ‘Marions’ of Canberra. With Civic Square transformed into a giant public construction site for kids and families, We Built This City uses thousands of cardboard boxes and the energy and ingenuity of children to build a magnificent imagined city, in just one day. Parents will no doubt be reminded of their own childhood when a cardboard box in the backyard was all they needed for endless fun. Kids will bring their minecraft dreams to life by designing their own imagined city - not just a city on an iPad. Buildings will go up, be pulled down, redesigned, extended, walked through and reconstructed. Then at the end of it all, everyone joins in to trample the city down into a gloriously chaotic heap of cardboard rubble. We Built This City is underscored by a DJ, and participants are guided by performers who take on the role of construction workers. They perform as hilarious characters and sometimes set tasks that bring people together to build in unity. Touring continuously since its 2001 premiere, We Built This City is coming to Canberra thanks to Polyglot Theatre. It has visited the Opera House in Sydney, the Melbourne International Arts Festival, the Awesome Festival in Perth. Internationally, it has toured the Royal National Theatre London (as part of the LIFT Festival), Macrobert Centre Stirling Scotland, Kennedy Centre in Washington, Melbourne International Arts Festival, Draiocht Theatre Dublin, Esplanade Theatre Singapore, and Act3 Children’s Festival Singapore, always with critical and popular acclaim. In each place it is presented, the city’s unique aesthetic and personality subconsciously comes through in the building style of the participants. It is a fascinating reflection of immediate cultural recognition: in Sydney, the end product is all about bridges and iconic buildings; in Singapore the boxes become skyscrapers; in Melbourne, kids build big houses and backyards, and in Washington, kids build monuments. Any guesses what our Canberra kids will build? Satellite town centres? The Parliamentary Triangle? We Built This City is suitable for all ages. Kids should be accompanied by an adult and must be accompanied by an adult if under the age of three. And if you don’t have any kids to bring along, don’t worry! Adults don’t need to accompany a child to attend and will have plenty of fun too. Tickets $10 each (adults and children of all ages) | 6 sessions per day: 10am, 11am, 12pm, 2pm, 3pm, 4pm Each session run for 40 minutes. Participants can stay as little or as long as they like. Bookings are required, and can be made at

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THE VILLAGE 21 – 24 MARCH The Village is a highly accessible outburst of music, performance, visual arts, fashion, dance, film and all manner of unclassifiable unmentionables, all gathered within a lovely collection of handmade theatres, tents and installations in beautiful, leafy Glebe Park. Artistic Directors Ian Pidd, Suzanne Kalk and Stuart Vaskess are pulling together an eccentric and feisty program of arts including an extraordinary reunion of Canberra’s own Splinters Theatre of Spectacle in an event entitled Babylon, and there’s a call out to local artists for their participation. Festival highlights include an outdoor stage for music and an eclectic range of pop-up venues which host theatre and performances. Enter Sideshow Alley if you dare, a hidden domain full of charmers and rogues, magic tricks and games, snake-oil merchants and fortune tellers. Take a transformative walk down Workshop Alley, and make your own creative mark, visit the Village Fashion Studio to create and alter your own costumes, and the Beauty Parlour for your complete village makeover. Clear out your old dress up chest and swap them for new ones at the Village Swap Shop, or if you’re feeling really bold the So You Think You Can Interpretive Dance competition should be a hoot. Entry into The Village is free, shows dirt cheap, music gratis and food, drinks and coffee available throughout the four days. There’s dancing every night and plenty for the kids on the weekend. Splinters A major highlight of the program is a new work inspired by the legendary 1990s Canberra theatre collective Splinters. The work, titled Babylon, will be performed by former members of Splinters in collaboration with artists from The Village each evening. Directed by Rebecca Rutter, Louise Morris and Renald Navilly. For more information visit

100TH BIRTHDAY MONDAY 11 MARCH On Monday 11 March, we invite all of Canberra to participate in an unforgettable event that celebrates a city like no other. Join in Canberra’s 100th birthday celebrations around Lake Burley Griffin from midday until late. The event is free and has something for everyone! For more information and the full day program visit For the event, we took our clue from the city itself. Canberra is a city built on words: it was created as a place for the nation to meet and communicate, so WORDS is our theme.


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OWN GROWN MARKET DAY 21 MARCH On Thursday 21 March a selection of Canberra’s schools from across the state will showcase their impressive work in the areas of sustainability. Please join us when they share their love for the environment and entice us with their ‘own grown’ produce in Glebe Park Civic. Amidst the medieval tents and the gypsy like ambience of “The Village”, who will already have made Glebe Park their home for this time period, our students, young and younger, will be bartering their eggs and selling their zucchini, while their feathered friends compete for the prestigious “Chicken of the Century” title. It will also feature performances, music and a parade, as well as the Iron Chef competition. Our schools are the home to many intriguing initiatives that contribute to a more sustainable Canberra. Bring your shopping basket; be educated and entertained, surprised and proud about the things our children can teach us! For more information visit

Canberra in so many Words...

The event will not be mere spectacle, but a celebration that invites participation and reaches out to help the wider community be involved. Whether it is taking part in a massive art project, making music or bringing an offering to smaller components of the event, all of Canberra will have a chance to participate. We have chosen to link the entertainment with word art. The word art has been created by the diverse communities that make up our city, along with the Canberra-based design company Thylacine. Most of these words have a participatory component, and you and your family can interact/play with these sculptures. The lake and surrounds have been populated with word art and there are many ways you and your friends and family can interact with the words. Keep a look out for all manner of roving performances involving words. There are also word sculptures in the trees, on the lake and in the sky! We have chosen to link word art with the many and varied musical performances throughout the day: so choose your favourite music style/stage and make sure you explore the weird and wonderful events nearby. Keep an eye on the giant screens at each stage; they will keep you in touch with the rest of the site and the schedule. At 8.00 pm all the screens will broadcast the Canberra Symphony Orchestra playing the world premiere of Symphony No 3 – Century (2013, Opus 91) by Andrew Schultz. If you can’t get to the Symphony stage, find a good spot where you can see a big screen. The symphony will be followed by a finale involving fireworks and watercraft celebrating the building of our city and the nation. You can view this on the screens, lake and in the air. Following the finale, Canberra indie bands will conclude the evening at the Regatta Point stage.

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THE LONGEST BUBBLY BARS IN THE WORLD Stretching out along the lake in both directions from Commonwealth Place, the bars will offer glasses of Centenary bubbly, specially created by a combination of local winemakers, served with a plate of tapas made from locally grown produce. Tickets for the bubbly bars can be purchased from Ticketek. Please note, the long-stay and premium sessions have sold out so get in quick to book tickets to the short-stay session so you don’t miss out!




A dedicated stage in front of Old Parliament House will feature a brilliant line up featuring classical music and community performances, all of which have a Canberra connection. The volume and scale of works written about Canberra, and works written in Canberra, is little known: this stage brings some of them to the celebration. In the evening this program will culminate with the Canberra Symphony Orchestra and local choirs presenting the commissioned Centenary Symphony , Symphony No 3- Century, by internationally renowned composer Andrew Schultz.

On this stage, the National Folk Festival team presents a savvy and sweet mix of folk and roots music. ‘Back to the Island– Exploring Our Folk Roots’ – explores our musical background from Indigenous music to the Anglo Celtic music of many of our first settlers. There will be exceptional practitioners of Australian folk music with its diverse European influences, through to the more contemporary sounds of recent years.



Canberra Rocks will pay tribute to an unexpected aspect of our nation’s capital: a rich history of original contemporary music. A display of rock history and memorabilia will show that Canberra is home to far more than politics. The program of entertainment will include the church and reformed Canberra bands such as The Gadflys, The Falling Joys, 78 Saab and Machine Translations. From 9.00 pm onwards the stage will come alive with some of Canberra’s prominent indie bands. Rock on!

Gourmet food stalls will showcase local food and produce and provide an area where guests can purchase high quality gourmet supplies to picnic on during the event.

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Approximately every 10 minutes, boats featuring a variety of musical performers will traverse the perimeter of the lake and the musicians will play to the passing crowds, creating intimate music spaces. Early in the day the sounds of an eclectic array of musical artists will reach the shore fleetingly as they drift by in a variety of vessels including a paddle steamer, some traditional boats and some of Canberra’s favourite commercial cruisers. Featured artists include the legendary Madame Lark performing her unique bird calls while accompanying herself on a musical saw, vocalist Mikelangelo making a rare appearance as a solo crooner, new music groups Topology and the Griffyn Ensemble, piano accordionist Anton Wurzer and operatic soprano Pamela Andrews. You will also hear choirs, brass ensembles, a ragtime xylophone duo, an old folks recorder group, a mandolin ensemble and several exciting drumming groups. Later in the day the boats take on board a variety of bands to entertain crowds including VulgarGrad (Russian Criminal Songs), Mikelangelo and the Tin Star (swaggering shanties), Brass Knuckles (funky horns and drums), Los Chavos (Latin/Ska/Cumbia/Reggae), Mango Balloon (Jazz/Loungue/Tango/Western), Mike Bukovsky (Loungue/Afro/Exotica) and Trinidad Steel Pan artist Courtney Lieba.

Free kite-making sessions will be offered by Belconnen Arts Centre. Families and children of all ages can make small kites with all materials provided! The kites can then be flown in King’s Park for all to see. Michael Richards of Kite Magic and a special guest performer will also add to the merriment.

AND SOMETHING FOR THE KIDS... POLYGLOT THEATRE PRESENTS ANTS Human-sized ants invade a public site for a mix of roving performance and large scale interaction with children and adults. Some careless giant has left breadcrumbs scattered around, but luckily the ants are here to pick up after them. Children are tasked with finding the crumbs and bringing them to the ants, all the while receiving their instructions through the strange language the ants use to communicate with those around them. Soon the entire area is a hive of industrious activity as the children learn to interact with these gentle creatures, following the ants’ lead as they in turn are inspired by the children’s ideas.

THE GEORGE ELLIS CENTENNIAL ENSEMBLE Kids can get involved during the afternoon by bringing their own instruments, such as recorders or tambourines, and rock along at George Ellis’ interactive rock sessions held at the Regatta Point stage. The George Ellis Centennial Ensemble is an orchestra comprised of highly accomplished players from Canberra. It is led by the concertmaster and boasts artists of the calibre cellist David Pereira.

SIENTA LA CABEZA Get ready for a hairdressing revolution that will literally make your hair stand on end. Fresh from the uber chic streets of Barcelona comes Sienta la Cabeza, an eccentric hairdressing show where creation and fantasy have no limit. With avant guarde style and bold as brass panache, Sienta la Cabeza will sculpt your hair like never before in a live street performance featuring a whacky medley of hairdressing, art and music. You’ll find Sienta La Cabeza at Regatta Point.

STORYTELLERS Take a stroll through time (without leaving the party) and enjoy tales of Canberra’s past. The oldest form of entertainment is alive and well in the national capital – with something very special for our birthday. The ACT Storytellers Guild would like to introduce you to a few Canberrans you may not have met before. With one story for each decade of our city’s first 100 years the storytellers will entertain you and share a few minutes with you in another time … but still in our place. Instead of the storyteller travelling to you, you wander from teller to teller, under the trees by the shore of Lake Burley Griffin, listening to stories of life in our unique city. Who was behind the Canberra brick? Where did milk come from before cartons? Does the Public Service live up to the legends? This family activity is as much fun for grown-ups as it is for children. Everyone loves a story so join us for ten fascinating moments in time, Canberra’s time.

INTERACTIVE SPORTS Active After School Communities will provide five sporting demonstrations in the afternoon. On the northside of the lake, there will be Karate, Taekwondo, softball and tennis demonstrations and activities at Stage 88. On the southside, there will be AFL and cricket demonstrations and activities on John Dunmore Lang Place.


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BNI AMBASSADOR CANBERRA’S BEST NETWORKERS By Tim Benson, B2B publisher and BNI Ambassador member


s someone that is highly sceptical of any organised group of people that meet and abide by strict rules, it has taken me more than three years to join with business colleagues to start a BNI (Business Networking International) Chapter in Canberra - BNI Ambassador. BNI revolves around a weekly breakfast meeting and monitored business referrals. It is the worlds most successful business networking organisation. In fact with over 145,000 members worldwide, BNI is the largest business networking organisation in the world. Last year alone, BNI generated 7.1 million referrals resulting in $3.3 billion dollars worth of business for its members. BNI offer members the opportunity to share ideas, contacts and most importantly, business referrals. The benefits of BNI membership include increased exposure to many people and businesses, tools to network more effectively, opportunities to

participate in many networking meetings and more. BNI Ambassador is without doubt the most energetic group of networking businesspeople I have ever been involved with. Our current chapter includes people from all professions including, accounting, forms design, web design, advertising, law, cleaning, real estate and life coaching. But there is room for many, many more to join BNI Ambassador - if you would like the opportunity to experience a BNI Ambassador breakfast meeting then drop me an email at and I will invite you as my guest. It is with great pleasure that I introduce you to most of the members of BNI Ambassador (five new members have joined just prior to going to print). These people are all top of their field and mad keen local businesspeople. As a BNI Ambassador we all work together help grow each other’s businesses - through the philosophy of ‘givers gain’. B 2 b I n C a n b e rr A   M A rch 2 0 13



CANBERRA REGIONAL DIRECTOR, PAUL LOMAS Paul Lomas, Regional Director of BNI Canberra, works closely with all BNI members, helping them to utilise the proven BNI system to build strong long term professional relationships which, given time to develop, can turn into very profitable relationships. Paul says, “Word of mouth marketing is about farming not hunting. It is not about one off meetings. It is about developing and cultivating relationships. Regular networking gives you the foundation to build the trust that will allow you to ask for business over time”. In today’s tough economic climate and with numerous online and offline options available, many businesses still find that one of the oldest forms of marketing remains one of the best – word of mouth. Whilst 98% of businesses rely on referrals to obtain new business only 3% have a strategy to find referrals. BNI, founded in 1987 by Dr Ivan Misner, is the world’s leading word of mouth referral organisation. The philosophy of BNI is built upon the idea of “Givers Gain”, by giving business to others, you will get business in return. This is predicated on the age-old idea of what goes around, comes around. It does so by providing an environment in which members can develop strong personal relationships with dozens of other qualified business professionals. By establishing this “formal” relationship with other people, members have the opportunity to substantially increase their business. Globally, 145,000 members get together every week at 6800 BNI meetings. In 2012 BNI members passed 7.1 million referrals which resulted in more than $3.3 billion in closed business. Since its first meeting in Australia in 1998, BNI’s membership has grown to more than 5,000 businesses that, in 2012, passed more than $230 million in closed business between each other. Locally, BNI in Canberra has seen an increase in membership of 100% in the last 12 months with closed business between members exceeding $2 million for the first time in the region’s history. With an average chapter size of more than 28 members, BNI Canberra’s newest chapter launched recently at the Australian National University with more than 80 local businesses in attendance. There is currently an unmet demand for BNI in Canberra and BNI Ambassador is a welcomed addition to the BNI Canberra family.


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NETMIUM: CANBERRA’S BOUTIQUE IT SUPPORT PROVIDER Netmium started as ACT Essential Business Services in 1997 following the birth of Vlado Mamic and his wife’s daughter. Essentially the business was formed to take into consideration the pressures of parenting and the need Vlado had found with small to medium businesses requiring a ‘boutique’ service. “It became abundantly clear when we first kicked off the business that small to medium business owners were looking for a quality IT support service at a reasonable price” Vlado said. “Availability during ‘out of hours’ also became crucial to the operation of our clients business. We needed to (and still do) operate to the requirements of our customers. Netmium is a ‘boutique’ IT support provider. It provides a total IT support service to its clients 24/7. The range of services include everything from simple network installations consisting of a few desktop computers to complete remote access solutions with Internet connectivity for your branches or home workers. They can supply you and your business with the hardware, software and support that can unlock the competitive edge your business has been unknowingly neglecting. The remote desktop support solutions provided are the ultimate way to keep your Computer Networks performing at their optimum. Netmium install cutting edge backup solutions so that disaster recovery is not a week long outage, but same day, back to normal operation. It is obvious that Netmiums clientele are at the heart of Vlado’s business philosophy. Businesses that have reached out to Netmium for support range from Government Departments and Environmental Scientists to Accountants and Financial advisors (just to name a few). Vlado’s vision for the future of Netmium is clear. Continue to provide a level of service beyond what others can offer that fully meets his clients’ needs within budget. “Our main aim is to assist you to do your job, without the distractions of technology problems”. On the personal side, a fun fact about Vlado is that he has used his tech savvy to promote his favourite team – Carlton – by developing a website (currently 3500 members) for fans to discuss everything Carlton! P: 02 6294 5037 | M: 0402 480 171 W: E:


COST SAVING AND PRODUCTIVITY TELEPHONY SOLUTIONS Every organisation, no matter what its size, must be able to deliver both precise and rapid services to meet today’s high customer expectations. Over the past decade telephony has transformed from fixed line phone calls to the cost effective use of the Internet Protocol (IP) for calls (VoIP - Voice over Internet Protocol); through Unified Communications’ applications that deliver the seamless linking of calls, voicemail, presence and instant messaging to all users. as well as software based reception consoles and IP contact centres; and to the current era of Collaboration where applications can now drive video conferencing and desktop sharing across any device, anywhere. From the proven success of its services to public sector customers, Correct Comms is now bringing its range of IP telephony, networking, security and data networking services to the ACT’s private sector. Andrew Weir, General Manager of Correct Comms said: “We needed a vehicle to reach into Canberra’s small to large companies and not-for-profit organisations. BNI is proving its worth in giving us access to local executives who are looking for ways to streamline their businesses.” Correct Comms’ IP-based telephony solutions ensure cost savings and productivity gains through: • Removing phone-only cabling and reducing fixed line rental costs • Cheaper call rates • Easy, self-service for moves, additions or changes to the phone system • The use of desktop presence/chat clients, voicemail-to-email, Click to Call, Single Number Reach and video conferencing. Correct Comms’ has become the only Canberra-based supplier to achieve highly sought-after Cisco Advanced Unified Communications certification and recognition as a Cisco Telepresence Video Authorised Technology Provider. “With these achievements, smaller organisations can rely on our recommendations; they can be confident we have the skillset to design an affordable system that will take their business into the future. And our implementations assure voice quality and platform reliability to the highest standards,” Andrew Weir said. Andrew Weir Correct Communications Pty Ltd National Surveyors House, 4/27-29 Napier Close DEAKIN ACT 2600 P: 02 6176 8280 | M: 0438 693 712 E:

IS YOUR SUPER ENOUGH TO SECURE YOUR FINANCIAL FUTURE? The scary reality is that 86.6% of Australians will retire on $16,000 p/a or less. Is that going to be enough to maintain your current lifestyle? It is estimated that you will need approx $800,000 Super to allow you to survive for the average life expectancy of 22 years after retiring at 65. How is your super account looking? What if you could make up to $60,000 p/a, that is sustainable? Tony Barber and Peter Ingram started Prosperity Property Advisors, a Property Investment Company, to help people just like you secure their future with safe and affordable properties. This is achieved by teaching tried, tested and proven systems of success. We educate our clients on what makes a successful investment and why. We also facilitate the entire process to avoid the mistakes others make and save our clients time, money and stress. Reasons to Invest in 2013 • We have the lowest interest rates in 50 years • Highest population growth in Australian history • Massive shortage of housing, Australia wide (some 250,000+) • China is becoming a democratic society and growing by 8% p/a, needing a huge amount of our natural resources. • Baby boomers are leaving the skilled workforce in droves. If you would like blatantly honest advice, Peter & Tony would like to offer all the readers of the B2B a “7 Steps to Wealth with Certainty” program valued at $997.00, complimentary and with no obligation. If you want to capitalise on this unique time in Australian history and learn how you can have a better life and secure your financial future, call Prosperity Property Advisors today. You’ll love their straightforward approach, building background, and the fact you are not dealing with shiny sales guys. You can book for the workshop now or a personal one on one strategy session designed for your personal outcomes today by calling 61621506 or by visiting Tony Barber Prosperity Property Advisors PO Box 1257 | 15 Mac Farland Cres Woden ACT 2606 P: 02 6162 1506 | F: 02 6162 1568 E:


KEY REAL ESTATE KEY Real Estate ACT Pty Limited’s founding principle is unbeatable: Knowledge + Excellence = Yield (a great result for our clients) Our service offering starts at the top. Our hands-on directors Gay Spooner and Gabriele Hume have a wealth of knowledge in all aspects of Real Estate. With a combined experience of 28 years in the ACT and NSW market, Key Real Estate ACT fully understands and appreciates that a real estate transaction involves more than buying, selling and the management of your property.. GET AN EXPERT ON YOUR SIDE Property Listings and Sales Your KEY agent has the knowledge and experience to ensure that your property is correctly positioned and marketed to secure the best result possible in the current market. Your KEY agent will keep you informed throughout the transaction, guiding you to a successful result. Your KEY agent will provide you with the tools you will need to prepare your property for sale. Your KEY agent will understand that buyers are not exclusively owned by any one firm in the real estate market. Buyers are savvy, have immediate access to what’s on the market and will shop where they see opportunity. So, although KEY does utilise • KEY’s Agents personal relationships • KEY’s corporate database, and • KEY’s relationships with service providers to introduce buyers to your property, at KEY we focus our attention on ‘here-and-now’ buyers. At KEY we also appreciate that matching a property to a buyer’s requirements is not always immediately possible. Our KEY commitment is to keep buyers apprised of opportunities that match their requirements prior to properties being offered to the general market Property Management Most real estate firms offer Property Management Services. What separates KEY from the rest, is our knowledge and experience in the practice of managing properties to maximise Landlord’s returns and resolve issues as quickly and efficiently as possible. Your KEY Property Manager will deliver • Outstanding communication with all parties • Defining and maximising potential • Capturing best possible yields • Excellent Tenant placement • Care and attention to detail • Strict adherence to comprehensive policies • Regular inspections and prompt follow-up Gay Spooner P 02-6294-8887 PO Box 3301, Weston Creek ACT 2611

BUSINESS WITH MILES You probably love your business, but does it: 1. Give you a good income based on the effort and equity you have invested? 2. Give you the lifestyle and relaxing holidays you expect? 3. Give you the time you want to spend with family and friends? 4. Run itself if you are away? 5. Have a team who enjoy working there? 6. Have a waiting list of employees who DESIRE to work in it? 7. Give YOU great enjoyment? (e.g. you are looking forward to work most days) If so CONGRATULATIONS! It is incredibly enjoyable to be in this position and reap the rewards of your planning and dedication. If NOT we would love the opportunity to meet with you (with no cost or obligation), talk about your goals, and discuss how we assist you in getting More Income, Lifestyle, Enjoyment and Success from your business. How We Can Help You? Your business is probably reasonably, or even very, successful; however you want to take the next step to become a true business manager, not just the hardest worker in the business! We can help you firstly establish and prioritise your goals and then, most importantly, help you put in place the process and systems to take your business to the level you are seeking. “Business with MILES” represents what the principal of the business, Michael Mallon, believes all business owners should be seeking, and what he can assist them achieve: Business with More Income, Lifestyle, Enjoyment & Success! He is so confident that he can help you improve your business and/or lifestyle that from the second month working together he offers you the following guarantee: You pay nothing unless you believe you received great value! If you’re ready to commit to improving your business, or you want to talk the options through, call Michael Mallon on 0400 009 991 or visit our website: www.businesswithmiles. There is no cost, or obligation, in meeting with us so you can decide if Business with MILES can help you enjoy More Income, Lifestyle, Enjoyment & Success! Michael Mallon Business with MILES (More Income, Lifestyle, Enjoyment and Success!) Accredited “Best Practice” Consultant Executive Coach (IECL) M: 0400 009 991


EFFECTIVE PEOPLE ReCRUITMenT AnD HR SOLUTIOnS … BeCAUSe ALL ORGAnISATIOnS neeD eFFeCTIVe PeOPLe Effective People began life in January 1994 in the back office of an accounting firm in Phillip. In 1995, the company moved to two offices on the first floor of a building in Weston, just outside of Cooleman Court. Eighteen years later, the company occupies the entire floor of the building and continues to enjoy the convenience that this thriving precinct offers – shops, restaurants, cafes and professional services. The General Manager, Joyanne Gough, says “We have never seen the need to be located in one of the major centres. We are happy to visit our clients at their premises and candidates appreciate the easy parking at Weston.” Effective People is not your typical recruitment agency. Joyanne says “Unlike other agencies, our focus is on building a relationship with our clients, rather than on making the sale at any cost. In an industry with an average retention rate of 18 months, our recruitment consultants have 10 to 20 years’ experience. They take the time to understand each client’s business and ensure that they source the right person for the job and for the organisation.” She adds “Our company values are AUTHENTICITY, COURAGE and QUALITY and this means that we will be completely honest with our clients and actually tell them when we are not able to help them.” Joyanne Gough joined the BNI Ambassador chapter in 2012 to open new opportunities for the company. “In the past, Effective People has focused on the public sector for the bulk of its business. We have a great reputation for delivering quality services and people but, as the Commonwealth Government ‘tightens its belt’, we need to expand our horizons”. In addition to recruitment, Effective People offers a range of complementary human resource management services, including HR consulting and advisory services, learning and development programs, coaching and mediation. Joyanne said “Many SMEs find it hard to allocate resources to HRM and, as a result, ‘don’t know what they don’t know’ when it comes to meeting their legislative obligations to their staff. Getting this wrong could be damaging to an organisation’s reputation and very costly. By engaging Effective People, businesses can access experts with many years of experience with the added benefit of complete objectivity and professionalism.” Joyanne Gough 1st Floor, 17 Trenerry Street, WESTON ACT 2611 T 02 6162 2000 | F 02 6288 2182 E W

LUCAS WORX Lucas Worx began in 2006, from nothing to the growing business it is now. My name is Arthur Moudakis and for many years feared the step of being a business owner until one day I decided to just do it. Since that day, and an enormous amount of hard work I’m very proud of where Lucas Worx is today. Lucas Worx has a small growing team and is up for any cleaning challenge. With many years of experience, initially with end of lease cleaning to commercial cleaning. Our portfolio deals with local building companies, Real estate agents, business owners and the general public. What I love most about the cleaning industry is the daily challenges I face to see a job through. It could be anything from cleaning carpet in a small unit to cleaning a block of new homes or office, or it could be how the hell do I get up there to clean that??:) No two days are the same, and the satisfaction and self rewards are awesome. The journey so far has given me opportunity to meet so many wonderful people who not only are clients but who are good friends also. The personal growth rewards are lifelong and everyday growing. A new challenge is a new goal, an obstacle to face is a new solution to discover. Recently our team has had the opportunity to see two major construction sites in Canberra’s inner north go from a hole in the ground to beautiful homes. Many challenges were faced and many goals achieved. With only a short time to go I’m looking forward to seeing a completed project where my team and I can say we were proud to be a part of. Recently I have joined a wonderful group with BNI Ambassador and new doors are waiting to open. I have the pleasure of joining a team of wonderful people each working in unique industries. Between us all we make a great team and all have fantastic goals to achieve. Thank you to all I have had the pleasure to deal with and the wonderful relationships that have been created and to the new ones awaiting tomorrow. Arthur Moudakis M: 0439 649 748


LEADING YOU ON A JOURNEY TO INDEPENDENT WEALTH Trilogy Funding are residential mortgage brokers specializing in all forms of residential property finance. Trilogy where named in the top 25 brokerages nationally for 2012. When someone asks what we do at Trilogy, it’s tempting to just say we help them on their journey to independent wealth and ultimately, financial freedom. But it is a lot more than that! It is the way we do it that makes us different – we first help clients decide where they want to go and how to get there and then we partner with them on the journey – every step of the way. We leverage our knowledge, experience, perspectives and buying power for their benefit. Investing in property, be it your primary place of residence or an investment property is one of the safest routes to wealth creation, but it is important to have a good team around you. Trilogy Investment Property Funding has been operating since 2003. Lead by Ed Nixon and David Thomas who have personally written in excess of 5,000 loans bringing a wealth of experience and knowledge to the team and clients. No matter where you live in Australia, we can secure finance for you. Our national office is in Canberra. However, we have clients across Australia in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, Hobart and many other cities and towns in between. So whether you’re purchasing or financing in Personal Names, Trusts or Super Funds we can help you. We specialise in the finance of all residential property from new a off the plan unit and house and land packages thought to construction of a small development. We also can help clients obtain the right finance for all forms of existing property from small apartments thought to small apartment blocks and rural acreage. David Thomas Managing Director, Trilogy Funding Equinox, Building 1, Level 1, 70 Kent Street, Deakin ACT T:1300 657 132 | W:www.

DRAGONFLY FINANCIAL SERVICES “We actively listen to you, identify a safe pathway to achieve both your financial and life goals and partner you on that path. Many promise, but we do.” Dragonfly Financial Services (DFS) is a boutique financial services practice, with a strong track record in partnering their clients to achieve financial security and peace of mind. Luke Smith, partner & advisor at DFS states that the business has been practicing for almost 8 years, and together with Malcolm Phillips, they have over 35 years of collective experience in the industry. The unique approach DFS provides to clients is to focus on what is important to the client, not just numbers and rates of return. Luke comments,” It’s not just about money, it’s about how a client uses it to meet their life desires.” The key attributes of DFS are as follows: • Provide the means by which clients will derive sufficient income to maintain their lifestyle • Provide comfort that their financial affairs are in good order • Actively listen and then partner their efforts to help clients achieve their life goals • Be accessible and keep clients informed of the issues that are important to them. The key issues for many investors today are cash rates and property purchases within Self Managed Superannuation Funds. With interest rates falling and many investors worrying about interest rates and deriving an income from investments to meet living costs, Luke says “There are low risk strategies to generate good income. Unfortunately the average investor in term deposits or in managed funds misses out on the opportunities”. He adds, “unfortunately, for many it is a case of you don’t know, what you don’t know”. As a consequence many investors are caught up in dollar cost ravaging, whereby they eat into their capital as their cashflow is insufficient. Self Managed Superannuation Funds are proving very popular, as investors look to take control of their investments and are attracted to investing in property via superannuation. Luke’s advice is you need to be wary of the advice you receive. ‘ DFS is accredited to provide specialist Self Managed Superannuation fund advice and can bullet proof your strategies from start to finish”. Luke Smith DRAGONFLY Financial Services Unit 10 / 3 Sydney Avenue, Barton, ACT 2600 T: 02 6273 3118 | F: 02 6273 1118 E: W:




HELPING CANBERRA BUSINESSES GROW ONLINE Do you know that there are more people on Facebook today than there was on the entire planet just 200 years ago? We have over 2.5 million ‘’ domain names in Australia and its growing fast every day. Yet, many businesses are failing to take advantage of the online technologies available today. Synapse Worldwide, a local Canberra business, specializes in websites. Be it a simple website, ecommerce, SEO, web-applications, mobile or enterprise solutions, they do it all. It was started in 2005 with an aim of making life easy for the business owners. Today, Synapse Worldwide is one of Canberra’s leading website experts. Sam Gupta, Managing Director says “Most other web designers like to push one or two products they like working with. While at Synapse we analyse the entire business, look at the bigger picture, understand objectives and then make suggestions accordingly.” Sam continues; “We look at two key objectives for any business: How can they make money online and save money online. A business can make money by offering ecommerce facilities and secondly save money by systemising and automating their business processes.” Synapse’s philosophy is that any business, big or small can save a considerable amount of money by automating their office processes. By systemising time consuming processes, businesses can reduce overhead, minimise human errors, fast track turn-around times, improve customer and employee satisfaction and in-turn concentrate on their core business, rather than the admin.” Abraham Lincoln once said; “It’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.” For many business owners, striking a balance between work and life is very difficult. Most entrepreneurs start with the right intentions, but then get too busy with day to day admin. Synapses works with such businesses in improving their website as well as develop custom build applications to help them automate tasks and maximise profits. For more information contact Sam Gupta, Synapse Worldwide on 1300 785 230 and take advantage of their free one hour consultation to explore the ideas for your business. com. Sam Gupta www. synapseworldwide. com/

FORMS ANALYST AND DESIGNER A form is a document that is used to gather information. They are a tool within an organisation to provide a guide or a structure to a process or an assessment for a claim or required action. To ensure everyone who applies for a server or benefit is treated the same way, the form provides the questions that are required of the applicant(s). The answers to the questions are then processed and the resulting service or benefit can be provided in the same manner to a multiple of applicants. If the questions are easy to understand, the instructions or directions are understood and the responses are not open to interpretation, it is expected that the cost to fix any errors will be reduced. I have been a forms analyst and designer for over 20 years. I have had the privilege to have been taught by and worked with the best in our field. Most of the forms I have worked on have been for government organisations and for small organisations, using best practice forms design. I like to work with the team members of the organisation while developing their forms. The person who requires the form will have ideas on what they want. I like to assist in the development of the form, to help make the questions as clear as possible, without changing the purpose of the question. To have the questions flow in a logical order, for both the person completing the form and for the assessment process. The ‘artwork’ I work on, is suitable for press printing or for online use. The costs to develop a system based online form can be high (particularly if there are many drafts, to get to final). To present the information and questions, in the development stages as a printed form, assists with working through the flow of the questions and the related information, before the system online form is created. I can help develop your form and related information product, typeset your forms for printing and for online use. Marina Thompson Forms Analyst and Designer T: 6292 2651 | M: 0419 140 966 E:

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ACCOUNTING WITH A PASSION Rhys is proud to be a born and bred Canberran. He has worked with RSM Bird Cameron for over 12 years as an accountant in their Business Solutions Team and has seen huge changes during his working career, working through the introduction of GST at the start of his career and more recently an explosion in prices in the Canberra property market. RSM Bird Cameron’s business solutions team delivers accounting services to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in regional and metropolitan Australia across a wide range of industries. Whether your business is a city-based manufacturing operation, a family-owned farm or a regional business, RSM Bird Cameron will help you achieve your goals through sound advice and planning. RSM Bird Cameron’s team of business solutions practitioners has the right mix of skills and experience to help SME owners achieve their long-term and short-term goals, whether it is tax advice, strategic advice for improving your business performance and realising wealth in the future, or hands-on help to meet an immediate need. While recognising the critical importance of compliance in areas such as tax, RSM Bird Cameron also help SME owners take the next step to long-term wealth creation through sound business planning. This could take the form of succession planning, exit planning, retirement planning or self-managed superannuation funds. Professionally, Rhys’s goal is to work with his clients to help them grow their business and achieve their goals. Providing fast and efficient service and tailored solutions to his clients, Rhys is able to get his clients results. Andrew Sykes, Director of RSM Bird Cameron, is Rhys’s boss. Andrew understands how important it is to have an accountant like Rhys who enjoys working for and with his clients. “Rhys’s passion for tax law is matched only by his great working relationships with his clients,” Andrew said. Rhys Kyburz CA Principal, Business Solutions, RSM Bird Cameron 1st Floor, 103-105 Northbourne Avenue Canberra ACT 2601 T: (02) 6247 5988 | F: (02) 6247 3703 |


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DEBTS BECOMING UNBEARABLE TALK TO JOnATHOn COLBRAn Jonathon was appointed as a Principal of RSM Bird Cameron on 1 July 2012. Jonathon is a Chartered Accountant, a Registered Liquidator and an Official Liquidator and has over 10 years’ experience providing specialist insolvency and turnaround advice in the Canberra region, to corporations, individuals, creditors and Government Departments. Jonathon’s professional ambition is to find solutions to problems in times of financial tension. Jonathon specialises in providing debt solutions to: 1. Small to medium enterprises with unpaid tax debts; and 2. Individuals with excessive credit card debts and personal loans. Jonathon’s proudest professional achievement occurred in 2007, when he placed 2nd in Australia in the Insolvency Practitioner’s Association of Australia, Insolvency Education Program. The program is a 12 month post-graduate course which is completed by insolvency professionals such as lawyers, accountants and bankers across the country. Jonathon prides himself on tailoring debt solutions to a given situation and actively employs the BNI mantra of ‘givers gain’ by undertaking to meet prior to any formal appointment on a no obligation and no fee basis. Jonathon adopts this approach to ensure that entities who are struggling with debt can explore all of their options before making a well informed decision, at no additional cost. Born in rural NSW, and with deep family roots in Crookwell, Goulburn and Dubbo, Jonathon attributes his honest, straight talking approach to the values instilled in him by his family. This natural disposition allows Jonathon to more effectively advise on matters of insolvency and litigation support, for both local and interstate solicitors and accountants, who require him to prepare solvency reports or provide pragmatic solutions for their clients. Jonathon’s expertise has seen him manage a broad cross-section of turnaround & insolvency engagements across the country, including a fully operational whiskey distillery in Tasmania, a mining tenement at Tennant Creek in the Northern Territory and arguably the most significant Aboriginal land claims in the history of the NSW Aboriginal Land Rights Act. In his spare time, Jonathon can be found straining through a Crossfit ‘WOD’ at Crossfit 2600 or playing football for his beloved Tuggeranong United Football Club. Jonathon Colbran CA, IPA - Registered Liquidator/Official Liquidator Principal, Turnaround & Insolvency, RSM Bird Cameron 1st Floor, 103-105 Northbourne Avenue Canberra ACT 2601 T: (02) 6247 5988 | F: (02) 6247 3703 |


TAKE A BUSINESS APPROACH TO YOUR PERSONAL FINANCE. It has become increasingly common to have multiple or at least more than one income stream. You might be working for a company and running a small business at the same time; you may be a freelancer with a number of clients to service or working for a single employer whilst building a property portfolio as part of your wealth creation strategy. Whatever the combination of sources of income, it certainly makes your personal finances increasingly complex and time consuming to manage effectively. Individuals are often now turning to bookkeepers who double up as personal financial assistants to maintain their financial records whilst they concentrate on reaching their goals and building their wealth. Mook Clifford at Peter Vickers Bookkeeping Services has found that she is now often approached by individuals who are desperate to sort out their personal finances and increasingly also does the personal bookkeeping for her business clients. These clients typically have a few personal investments and are working full time to grow their wealth. Consequently, they find it hard to find the time to look after their personal financial administration. There is currently a huge range of cloud accounting and bookkeeping software which simplifies this process but choosing the right software for your needs can be tricky. Mook is sometimes asked by clients who are overwhelmed by their financial paperwork to organise their home office and then select, set up and maintain a cloud bookkeeping solution for their personal finances. Mook is adept in using a range of cloud accounting solutions and can use her expertise to advise which is the most appropriate for your purposes. The beauty of cloud software is that you, your bookkeeper and your accountant have access to the same data simultaneously. Other benefits can be enormous. By recording all your transactions, such as bills, credit card statements and receipts, you can plan and set your budget to help you achieve your financial goals and have more control. At any one time you can understand your net worth, you can look at how a transaction will affect you, create reports to show how much you owe and how much you are owed. When it comes to tax time, you will be able to hand your accountant a set of perfect and detailed records which should mean they spend less time on your tax return and more time on giving you advice for building your wealth in the year ahead. Mook Clifford, Registered BAS Agent and Certified Partner of MYOB and Xero Peter Vickers Bookkeeping Services T: 6100 0456 | M: 0401 875 889 E:

DELTA AIR CONDITIONING A FAMILY AFFAIR Delta Air Conditioning and Heating has been located in the Canberra region for 40 years and is a successfully operated family business run by David and Christine Oxford. Their son Paul, a fully qualified air conditioning and refrigeration mechanic who also helps in the day to day running of the business, looking after sales and service enquiries, is in his tenth year with the business. Over the years Delta has supplied heating and cooling solutions for a wide range of satisfied residential and commercial business clients, many of whom have remained loyal service clients throughout the years. AUTHORISED DEALERS As an “Authorised Specialist Dealer” for Daikin, one of the leading air conditioning manufacturers in the world ensures that Delta can source the highest quality equipment which has the latest technology inclusions at very competitive prices. AFTER SALES SERVICE Delta prides itself with its after sales service. An annual maintenance program is offered to all new and existing clients. Delta’s fully qualified service technicians carry out these services in a tidy and professional manner, also completing any warranty work or repairs that may be required. Special rates and discounts apply to regular service contracts. INVERTER DIFFERENCE Daikin Inverter air conditioners are more powerful and more energy efficient than conventional, non Inverter models. Conventional air conditioners operate at a fixed speed, delivering a fixed amount of cooling and heating. A Daikin Inverter has advanced technology that operates more intelligently. The principle is simple: Inverters adjust the power to suit your actual requirements - no more, no less. The Inverter continually adjusts its cooling and heating output in accordance with the temperature in your home. When the desired temperature is reached the Inverter technology ensures that it is constantly maintained - keeping you comfortable and at the same time running more efficiently. Paul Oxford 10/45 Tennant Street, Fyshwick,ACT 2609. T:(02) 6280 4211 F:(02) 6280 6949 E: W:


HAYLEY JONES CONSULTING Why are you in business? What is your contribution to the world? And what’s in it for you? For your employees? Tony Robbins talks about the six human needs, being significance, certainty, variety, love and connection, growth and contribution. Most businesses and individuals are driven by the first two, feeling significant and having certainty. This is what drives us to do well at school, get a good job and move up the corporate ladder. Moving up the ladder increases our feeling of being significant and important. Being good at what we do, so that we can move up the ladder, gives us financial and employment security, fulfilling our need for certainty. However, while all six of these needs are necessary to be met for a fulfilling life, they are not all equal. It is my belief that a more rounded, fulfilling and happy life results from being driven by one or more of the latter three needs, love and connection, personal growth and making a contribution. One or more of the first three needs can then be met as a consequence rather than as a driver. For example, by starting a charitable foundation from a place of contribution, one can also achieve, as a consequence, a sense of significance by being seen as a leader in the community. Having such an approach in your business creates more of a giving and sharing culture, which makes your workplace a more pleasant place to work in and, therefore, more attractive to employees. As a consequence, your attraction and retention rates increase, you save money on recruitment and training, and employee productivity and company profitability are maximised. Is your business driven by a need to make a contribution or are you simply chasing the dollars? Do you have a set of values that are known, understood and embraced by all employees, or are they languishing on a computer disk somewhere? Do you have a happy, vibrant workplace where people look forward to coming to work every day, or do people drag themselves in and grumble around the coffee machine? If your business drivers do not include at least one of the latter three human needs, you are potentially wasting or missing out on thousands of dollars per year. Call me to help you to pinpoint the contribution your business is making and can potentially make, while increasing your profits and making it a real employer of choice. Dr Haley Jones M: 0439 409 015 E:| W:

B2B MAGAZINE – THE CAPITAL’S PREMIER BUSINESS PUBLICATION B2B magazine’s philosophy is to work with businesses to promote them and celebrate their successes. B2B magazine is the regions only business publication. Not many people know that B2B is distributed to every business in the Canberra region each month through Australia Post. In addition to this B2B is sold through over 150 newsagents in the region and is also available in and around most of the Government building in the ACT. One of the most exciting recent developments is that B2B magazine is now available in all of the Qantas Clubs, Chairman’s Lounges and Qantas International Lounges throughout Australia. This is a great achievement for B2B magazine and a great opportunity for businesses to be seen by a national and international audience. B2B magazine is owned a published by Tim Benson through his company Man Bites Dog Public Relations Pty Ltd. Tim says that he owes the success of B2B magazine to his great editorial and sales team, including Manning Fell, Steve Whelan and James Baldwin – and to his close association with designers Pixel to Paper and printer Geon. Tim Benson, B2B magazine’s publisher, came the long way round to business and publishing. But he has certainly found the perfect fit as the driving force behind one of the most dynamic business publications in Australia – B2B magazine. After studying journalism at Canberra University he worked as a political adviser for 10 years at both the federal and territory levels. Most of the time Tim worked as a media adviser but also dabbled in policy and electorate work. After getting married and having a daughter, Tim got out of politics and did a couple of contracts in the public service. These included a stint as Executive Officer to the ACT Emergency Services Commissioner after the 2003 Canberra bushfires. “I have a great passion for B2B magazine, my team, business and the Canberra community – I look forward to working to make B2B magazine even better in coming years,” Tim said.

Tim Benson M:0402 900 402 T:02 6161 2751

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How effective is cloud computing? by Andrew Sykes, RSM Bird Cameron

BUSINESS LAW Concerned about a “going concern”? by Cassandra Emmett, Elringtons Lawyers

Diversity equals good governance By Phil Butler, Australian Institute of Company Directors

Where do you want to see change? By Iain Heddle, Ricoh

Avoiding divorce from beyond the grave By Stephen Bourke, Certus Law

Performance management By Allison Guy-Ritchie, PCA People

Five steps to improve your website By Sam Gupta, Synapse Worldwide

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How effective is cloud computing?

By Andrew Sykes

Small to medium sized businesses are finding ways to streamline their business operations by moving away from traditional on-site servers to internet based servers, a process known as ‘cloud computing.’ Cloud computing refers to the storage of information, applications and other business tools online. The hardware used for this information is stored in a remote location and managed by a third party. The information is delivered over the internet, making it accessible anytime, via any device with internet connection. The users rent the ‘cloud’ from the provider, effectively reducing technology costs. Before making the decision to move business operations to the cloud, owners should weigh the positives and negatives of cloud computing. Positives of cloud computing Reduction of cost Cloud computing reduces paperwork, lowers transaction costs, and minimises investment in hardware (and the resources to manage it). Moving a business to ‘the cloud’ also reduces the need for IT staff. Pay for usage Like electricity and water, some cloud computing services allow businesses to only pay for what they use. As the business grows, more server space can be added. Levels the playing field Cloud computing providers offer small and mid-size businesses access to sophisticated technology at lower prices. Sharing IT resources with other companies reduces the cost of licensing software and buying servers. New cloud-based and mobile technologies mean smaller companies can now access cost-effective tools, such as a 24/7 online FAQ-style support centre that allows them to match the scale and capabilities of big business. Easier collaboration Since services in the cloud can be accessed anytime, anywhere from any computer, it is easy and convenient to collaborate with employees in different locations. Negatives of cloud computing Privacy One of the main questions businesses should be asking is, how much data cloud companies are collecting and how that information might be used. Availability As with all internet technology, the cloud service can go down unexpectedly, leaving businesses without important information for hours. Data mobility and ownership Deciding to stop using the cloud service means some data may be lost. Businesses cannot be certain that the service provider will destroy all data once the service has been cancelled. Having access to technology features previously only the preserve of bigger organisations is levelling the business playing field. Small businesses that embrace cloud computing are the real winners in today’s fast-changing technology scene.

by Cassandra Emmett

“Going concern” status is always highly desirable to both buyer and seller in a sale of business – because buying or selling anything commercial with no GST sounds great! However it is easy to forget that GST in a sale between two registered entities is a tax neutral outcome, because the purchaser pays 10% GST and gets it back from the taxman and the seller collects the additional 10% and hands it over to the taxman. Each ends up in (virtually) the same position PROVIDED you correctly negotiate the price on a GST exclusive basis in the first place. For the Buyer, however, it is a question of cashflow. It is preferable to avoid fronting the extra dough which you must then wait to recoup on your next business activity statement.

There’s no need to be concerned if you get it right, with the right advice. Some of the essential aspects of a going concern sale are: 1. Both seller and buyer must be registered for GST. 2. The sale contract must expressly record that the sale is a going concern. 3. Always negotiate price as GST EXCLUSIVE so that both parties know where they stand – and if GST is payable, the seller still pockets the agreed price. A contract that is silent will be GST inclusive, which will always be bad for a seller. 4. The seller must sell everything that is necessary for the continued operation of the business. Any exclusions mean that it is not a going concern. 5. Selling everything includes the premises from which the business operates – it is not enough to sell everything and then say “go and source your own premises” (unless you are a mobile business or operate from your home, but there are strict ATO rules on this). If the business premises is leased, there must be an assignment of lease OR surrender of the existing lease together with a new lease to the buyer. 6. It may come undone where the seller’s ownership is hotch-potch – meaning different legal entities own different parts of the business. A seller should get this checked by a lawyer well in advance of a sale. 7. The business must trade up until the settlement date. Any business closure in the lead up to the sale will nullify going concern – so beware if you plan a closure to paint or renovate. And for a seller, there should always be a clause in your contract stating that if the tax office deems your sale NOT to be a going concern, then you can call on the buyer at any time to pay the GST. There’s no need to be concerned if you get it right, with the right advice.

Bird Cameron

Chartered Accountants

For more information, please contact Andrew Sykes, Director at RSM Bird Cameron, on 02 6217 0333 or


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Concerned about a “going concern”?

Cassandra Emmett Special Counsel & Manager, Business Services Contact Elringtons T: (02) 6206 1300, Level 7, 221 London Circuit, Canberra City visit:


by Phil Butler

Diversity equals good governance

A recent report out of Canada is again highlighting the importance of good governance of organisations by highlighting the connection between better corporate boards and financial results. At the Australian Institute of Company Directors, we have long argued the importance of good governance and that diversity in the boardroom is critically important in achieving good governance.

This initiative has already assisted a number of women achieve board and audit committee positions of public sector organisations. Most recently, there has been a focus on increasing the number of women on Australian boards, and while this is only one component of diversity, it remains an extremely important one. There have been a number of initiatives to increase the number of women on Australian boards. The Chairmen’s Mentoring Program was run for the first time in 2010 and since this time the number of women on boards of the ASX 200 has jumped. According to statistics gathered by the Australian Institute of Company Directors, 15.4 per cent of ASX 200 directorships are now held by women, up from 8.3 per cent at the beginning of 2010. While this number may still seem too low, it is important to recognise that women are now making up a much higher percentage of new appointments. In Canberra, we are close to finalising the first year of the Public Sector Mentoring program which is specifically designed to increase the number of women on public sector boards. This initiative has already assisted a number of women achieve board and audit committee positions of public sector organisations. Also of great importance is the Federal Government’s BoardLinks program. This program has been established to provide more opportunities for women to be appointed to their first board, to further their director careers and to increase the number of potential candidates for Australian Government Boards. We recognise that mentoring is only one of a number elements to assist in gaining board positions. In the ACT there are a number of events being planned which highlight the importance of board diversity and also enable networking opportunities to build profile and connections. Keep an eye out on the Company Directors website for more information on the activities in this space.

Phil Butler is Manager - NFP, Public Sector & ACT at the Australian Institute of Company Directors. For more information about AICD ‘s course programs and events, T: 02 6248 5954.


By Iain Heddle

Where do you want to see change?

As the volume of information flowing through businesses increases approximately 50% a year*, there’s no doubt controlling the costs of managing business critical documents is an increasingly formidable challenge. Yet one of the findings in a recent IDC survey of C-level and IT management showed that many of these executives assumed that their existing document management costs and consequences were insignificant. They didn't realise how much money their organisations were actually spending beyond the highly visible costs of paper, toner, and hardcopy-device hardware.* The total management costs over the full lifecycle of business critical documents can be considered in two categories: those that are directly measurable, ‘hard costs’ (e.g. hardware, consumables), and inefficiencies that are less visible and are only measured indirectly (e.g. wasted time spent looking for information). Though difficult to quantify, it is clear the costs associated with inefficient access to business information at the right time, in the right form, is far more significant than hardware and consumables. So what can you do? Companies deploying Managed Print Services (MPS) and Managed Document Services (MDS), which are end-to-end solutions where a supplier manages a range of non-core print-related services, are leveraging service providers’ knowledge of processes, experienced staff, and investment in leading-edge technology to achieve impressive results: • 48% to 55% savings in reduced ink and toner consumption, fewer repairs and reduction in hardware costs* • 18% to 27% savings through using less paper, reducing IT headcount, streamlining document workflows and external print procurement* • 7% to 14% savings from fewer help desk calls, improved paper document storage and reduced environmental impact* The savings achieved in directly measureable hard costs, combined with the efficiencies from streamlining document workflows are the kinds of results organisations are looking for. Companies deploying MPS or MDS are experiencing average savings of 25%, and even more in some industries.* Organisations such as Geoscience Australia and banking giants Westpac, Commonwealth and National Australia, are using Ricoh managed services so they can better control costs throughout the document lifecycle, avoid more capital-intensive investments, and evolve static infrastructure to more responsive solutions. Controlled costs through more efficient processes can free resources and time to devote to increasing competitiveness and revenue generating initiatives. *Statistics sources from IDC, The Digital Universe Decade - Are You Ready? - May 2010, Sponsored by ECM and IDC Whitepaper sponsored by Ricoh, Managed Print and Document Services for Controlling Today's - and Tomorrow's Information Costs, January 2011.

Iain Heddle, Branch Manager – ACT 10/161 Gladstone St, Fyshwick T: (02) 6123 1888 E:


by Stephen Bourke

Avoiding divorce from beyond the grave

The law is full of unusual cases. Here is a recent case that went all the way to the High Court. The Husband and Wife had been married since 1971. They both had children from previous marriages. Their wills left their respective estates to the children from their first marriages. However, the house they lived in was in the name of the husband. His will provided a life tenancy for his wife so she had somewhere to live if he died first. In 2008 the wife suffered a stroke from which she never recovered. She was admitted to full time residential care and could not return to live with the husband. She then developed dementia. Her Husband continued to provide for her and paid her medical expenses. He visited her regularly. They never formally ended their relationship Then a strange thing happened. In 2009, the wife’s daughter from her first marriage applied as a case guardian under the Family Law Act to sell the husband’s house. You may wonder why she would do this. The reason that was given in court was that the wife had supported her husband through their marriage and their situation now did not adequately recognize her support in the way the parties had organised their affairs. So the daughter was simply trying to remedy an injustice. However, if the daughter was successful, the wife’s estate would have increased from a life tenancy in the house (which is worth nothing on death) to half of the value of the house. The case was initially heard in the Magistrates Court of WA and the daughter was successful. The Husband appealed the decision to the Family Court of Western Australia. But it then became more complicated. During the Appeal the wife died. Under the Family Law Act, if court proceedings are already on foot and one the parties dies, those proceedings can still continue. The Family Court of Western Australia decided that the Wife’s estate should still receive her share of the proceeds of the house but ordered that it be paid out of the husband’s estate when he died. So that Court thought it was better not to sell the house immediately so the Husband still had somewhere to live. The husband then appealed to the High Court. The husband argued to the High Court that an order to sell the house should not be made because there had not been any severance of the marital relationship. He said that they were still married at the time his wife died and they were only living apart because of her illness. The High Court said that the Family Court could order the sale of the house but only if the circumstances justified the sale. And the High Court was not satisfied that the circumstances justified the sale. The technical phrase under the Family Law Act was that it had not been shown it would be just and equitable to make the order. With the increase in dementia in our community, this case serves as a timely reminder for those considering their estate plans and planning for the future to consider what would happen if they lose capacity. While you may think you would never separate and seek a property settlement, can you be sure that your family would not intervene if they could? Even if you are happy with the arrangements would they be?

Certus Law specialises in superannuation, trusts and estate planning. Visit Certus Law at Level 5, 28 University Avenue, T: 6268 9090,


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By Allison Guy-Ritchie

Performance management

The purpose of performance management is to improve performance. It is an ongoing process. It includes informal and formal discussions.

It facilitates the performance review in a straightforward, user friendly and actionable way. Following on from our last column about staff retention, the performance review is a great opportunity for a team member and their manager to “get on the same page”. Our Business Manager, Linda, has retained some wise words from a previous manager which are that “in exit interviews no team member ever says that they left a business due to over-communication”. The performance review is an essential communication tool and therefore it is an essential retention tool. Linda recently attended a conference in Sydney called RECTEC12. It was an amazing day of displays and presentations by recruitment technology vendors and the interaction with attendees, both on twitter and in person, was second to none. Key themes of ‘do more with less’ and ‘work smarter not harder’ came through in all presentations however it was a small flyer placed on the table by an application supplier that grabbed Linda’s attention. Having returned to the office she was eager to check out their website and download a trial version. The application is described as “A web-based performance review system that simplifies 360 degree feedback, performance reviews and setting goals. Simple, pretty and affordable.” PCA have recently implemented the review system portion internally and are sharing it with everyone who is interested in this innovative system. It facilitates the performance review in a straightforward, user friendly and actionable way. It focusses clearly and simply on three questions: • What did the team member do well? • What could the team member improve on? • What training needs have been identified? Feedback from our team has been “it’s really easy to use”, “it’s refreshed the review process”, “it focusses on what matters”, “my avatar or icon is a bit silly but it’s a fun system to use (and I could update it with a proper picture of myself if I really wanted to!)”, “as a manager this tool supports me by helping me understand my team better” and last but not least “my client is very interested in this, could we share it with them?”. It was this last comment that provided the inspiration for this column. For more information contact Linda Bennett on 02 6257 1010 or


Level 3, Canberra House, 40 Marcus Clarke Street, Canberra City T: (02) 6257 1010 |


by Sam Gupta

Five steps to improve your website

What would you do if a potential customer walks through your office or shop door? Would you ignore them? Would you try to find out what they are looking for? Would you not direct them to the right department or shelf? Many potential and existing customers fly through your website every day. You can use following steps to improve your website and possibly boost your conversion rate. 1. Know your visitors First things first – you got to know who you are talking to online. Your website could be attracting many different types of visitors and it is obviously hard to please everyone. But, you should know your core visitors or target market. Where do they come from? Why to your website? How long do they stay for? How important are they for your business? Understanding the behaviour of your online visitors is the key to improving the effectiveness of your website. 2. Answer their key questions Once you know and understand your visitors, the next step is to address their problem. What are they looking for on your website? The best way to think is, what would you have answered if they were to come to you in person? Resolve their query through your website by pointing them to the right solution. 3. Establish trust online Trust is the most important ingredient of any relationship. There is no silver bullet for this; every business is different. It is not just about the look and feel of your website. Understanding the behaviour of your visitors will allow you to understand how to go about establishing trust online. In most cases, whatever works offline will work online also. 4. Seek customer feedback Although putting yourself in your customer’s shoes is a great way to analyse and improve a website, it just cannot replace the value of real customer feedbacks. Remember, small things count! Try it; you will be surprised by the feedbacks. 5. Manage expectations Represent your business well. Your website should reflect the core values of your organisation. The client should not feel any discrepancy between your physical and online presence. Don’t underestimate your website. It represents your business 24/7. Take the time to get it right. Once you have gone through the improvements, promote your website wherever you can. I would love to discuss your website and how you can improve it. We offer free one hour consultation for this. Simply call me on 1300 785 230 or drop me an email on



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FIND OUT HOW YOU CAN BE A PART OF IT Sam Gupta is the managing director of Synapse Worldwide. Sam would love to hear your thoughts on this advice column. Please contact him on 1300 785 230 or




Indonesian trade mission ANDREW BARR


When looking at the ACT economy it’s easy to think that our future growth lies in being a centre for governance and policy for the Australian economy. Although the Territory’s businesses will, of course, continue to have a significant role in services provided to the federal government – it’s important we lift our eyes over the horizon. For it’s not just in the Australian market that local firms are tapping into, but also ones further afield in Asia.

As much as the trade mission is designed to help boost ties and business between the ACT and business, the mission is also a broader way of telling a major international economic player that the ACT is open for business. As I mentioned in this column recently, next month ((April)) I will be leading a trade mission to Indonesia to look at further strengthening the ties between our Asian neighbour and the ACT. The extent of the linkages between Indonesia and Australia cannot be underestimated. In 2011-12 Australia’s two-way trade with Indonesia was $14.9 billion, up 8.3 per cent from 2010-11. Two-way trade in goods rose to $11.5 billion in 2011-12 (up 9 per cent from 2010-11), while twoway trade in services totalled $3.5 billion (up 6 per cent from 2010-11). Indonesia is our fourth largest trading partner in ASEAN and our 12th largest trading partner overall. Indonesian investment in Australia rose 11 per cent to $454 million in 2011. As impressive as these statistics are, there is considerable potential to grow. In particular, we can take advantage of the size, proximity and complementarities of our economies to increase bilateral trade and investment, which lags behind other aspects of the relationship. The trade mission will play to the ACT’s key


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strengths. It will leverage our competitive advantage as a service-based knowledge economy that has evolved to deliver solutions to meet the needs of government and business. The participants for the mission will be drawn from industry organisations with expertise in education services, knowledge intensive business services, ICT services and capacity building around governance, projects and infrastructure. In particular, the visit to Indonesia will be aligned to the ACT Government’s response to the Commonwealth Government’s Asian Century White Paper, and our aspirations for developing Canberra as a hub for international education. Although the high Australian dollar is somewhat dampening Australia’s attractiveness as a destination for foreign students, our international education sector is booming. Not only do educational institutions themselves earn significant revenue, foreign students spend money in our shops and restaurants and service sector. And, recent statistics indicate the importance of education to our tourism and hospitality sector – visits to Canberra by the families of foreign students are an increasingly important component of our international tourist numbers. The mission will provide a unique and facilitated opportunity for ACT businesses and institutions to explore opportunities to build long-term economic relations in Indonesia. As much as the trade mission is designed to help boost ties and business between the ACT and business, the mission is also a broader way of telling a major international economic player that the ACT is open for business. If in years to come it serves as a reminder and instigator of links – economic, social and cultural – to the Territory, the mission will have been a success. For help or advice about doing business and investing in the ACT, or exporting, please get in touch with the Economic Development Directorate:



More changes signalled for Fair Work Act Effective from 1 January 2013, a number of changes were made to the Fair Work Act 2009. Most, but not all, of these amendments followed recommendations made by the Fair Work Act Review panel, a three-person committee established by the Government in 2011. The Fair Work Act Review panel submitted a report last year containing 53 recommendations for changes to the Act. Workplace Relations Minister Bill Shorten MP decided to proceed with around one third of those recommendations in the first instance, those which he felt had “broad support”. Amendments in this category include a change to the name of the industrial relations tribunal from Fair Work Australia to the Fair Work Commission, enhanced powers for the commission to dismiss applications before it, and the ability to award costs against parties (both applicants and respondents) who have failed to act “reasonably” in proceedings brought before the Commission. One welcome amendment is an alignment of the periods allowed for an applicant to lodge either an Unfair Dismissal claim or a General Protections claim in relation to a dismissal. This should reduce the number of General Protections claims that were lodged in past years simply because the applicant realised that they had missed the (earlier) deadline for lodging an Unfair Dismissal claim. There are also a number of mainly technical changes to the Fair Work Act in regard to the process for making Enterprise Agreements, but employer groups generally felt that more of the Review’s recommendations should have been implemented. The Government also included in the amending legislation a number of changes not recommended by the Fair Work Act Review. Foremost among these is the addition of two Vice President positions in the Fair Work Commission. Indications so far from the Government are that the two newly created Vice President positions in the Commission will probably filled by someone other than Vice Presidents Lawler and Watson, who currently are given an honorific title, but don’t hold a formal position in the Commission matching their title. Although the ink is barely dry on these changes to the Fair Work Act 2009, the Prime Minister has announced further proposed changes. Prime

Minister Gillard has forecast an extension of the right of employees to request that their employers provide flexible working arrangements. Employees who are the parent of a child under school age, or an older child with a disability, currently have this right under the National Employment Standards which form a major part of the Fair Work Act. It seems that the intention is to extend the “right to request” to employees with school-age children, employees with elderly relatives, those who are the victims of domestic violence (and their carers), and to all employees aged 55 or older. Flexibility in the workplace should be welcomed, so long as employers are not forced into workplace arrangements that cannot be operationally sustained. But it appears that flexibility should only go one way, with the Prime Minister reported as saying that “the government would also discuss ways to help protect workers faced with roster changes and to ensure employees were consulted about late alterations to rosters”. That sounds like code for “ways to limit the ability of employers to make alterations to rosters”. The Liberal/National Coalition has been remarkably coy about their Workplace Relations policy, largely to avoid being linked with some of the less palatable elements of the Howard Government WorkChoices legislation. But this is an election year, and the Coalition knows that it will have to announce policies at some stage before September 14th. There is an excellent opportunity in the coming months for employers to consider what kind of workplace relations environment your business will need to survive and thrive in future years, and to lobby both the major political parties for it. Employer Associations provide a strong lobby group to government on behalf of employers, as do Unions on behalf of their members. It’s in your interests to make sure that the politicians don’t hear only one side of the debate. The ACT & Region Chamber of Commerce & Industry has a long history of promoting employers’ interests with both Territory and Federal Governments. The Chamber has established links with decision-makers in all major political parties.



Corporate Sponsors ActewAGL Canberra Times Duesburys Nexia TransACT Westpac B2B Associates and Affiliates Retail Traders Association, Australian Industry Defence Network Foundation Member Australian Chamber of Commerce & Industry

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The National Arboretum Canberra CHRIS FA U L K S



UPCOMING EVENTS 6 March 2013 How to Write a Grant Application Workshop 19 March 2013 Developing a Social Media Strategy Workshop 20 March 2013 NBN Business Forum

Principal Members Australian Computer Society, Actew Corporation, ActewAGL Retail, BluePackets, Brookfield Multiplex Services, Canberra International Airport, CanPrint, Cantlie, Cre8ive, Elite Sound & Lighting, Ernst & Young, eWAY, Hindmarsh, ISIS, KPMG, Master Builders Association (ACT), National Australia Bank Limited, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Staging Connections (ACT), The Village Building Co, Toshiba (Australia) Pty Limited, TransACT Communication, PricewaterhouseCoopers 48

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here is a Greek proverb that says: “A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in’. The National Arboretum Canberra, which was officially opened on 1 February 2013 - at the commencement of Canberra’s Centenary Year - this year, exemplifies that saying. It is a credit to the men and women who had the foresight and vision to lobby and work untiringly to make the Arboretum a reality. Jon Stanhope in particular should be acknowledged for his vision, leadership and persistence and Katy Gallagher for continuing to believe in and invest in the concept for Canberra’s future generations. Business leaders like John Mackay, Bob Winnel, Eric Koundouris and David Marshall who, along with the Friends of the Arboretum, have been there since the beginning imagining and implementing the concept. Rising out of the ashes of the 2003 Canberra bushfire – the Arboretum is developing into a spectacular mosaic of forests and gardens, a stunning recreational, educational, scientific and tourist asset for Canberra, a sensational national icon and a place of outstanding beauty. Canberra Business Council’s support for the Arboretum dates back to before 2007 when not everyone believed in the idea! Even then the Council recognised the huge potential for the Arboretum to become a national and international tourist destination in its own right - a unique resource that would complement the other National Attractions in Canberra and greatly enhance our tourism industry. Recognising the huge potential of the Arboretum to attract people to the ACT, Canberra Business Council through its Tourism Taskforce rallied the business community to get behind this project B 2 b I n C a n b e rra

and help turn the negative sentiment around. The Chief Minister at the time acknowledged that the business community’s support at that critical stage of the development of the concept was a defining moment in the history of the project. Without the support of the business community the vision of the Arboretum could well have been lost in the community and political opposition of the day. Canberra Business Council is very proud that it played a small part in garnering broad business support for the Arboretum at its inception. The Council was also there when the Arboretum opened hosting the first ever dinner function at the National Arboretum’s Village Centre on 7 February 2013. The dinner was attended by over 460 business leaders and other guests who helped christen the new venue. And looking to the future, the Council was delighted to be able to provide a platform for the Arboretum to launch a campaign to recruit 200 companies, families and individuals as Arboretum Foundation Members. The money raised from Foundation membership will be used to set up a perpetual trust fund to secure the future growth and sustainability of the Arboretum. There is no doubt that the National Arboretum Canberra will make an enormous contribution to the ACT economy and to the community. It will be a tourist destination attracting visitors to Canberra, encouraging them to stay longer and boosting our tourism industry. It will provide employment opportunities and give Canberra this new world-class function venue. It will also become a significant recreational and educational asset with an important role for sustainability, the protection of biodiversity and for best practice in horticulture and water management. It is destined to join the outstanding arboreta and gardens of the world. Perhaps even more importantly, the people who are responsible for taking the Arboretum from concept to existence, have not only built an incredible tourist facility and a beautiful oasis for the people of Canberra, they are leaving a lasting legacy for future generations of Australians. I have no doubt that the National Arboretum Canberra will be recognised by future generations as the legacy Centenary project – a gift from the people of Canberra to the nation to mark the Centenary of their national capital.



Exports? What Exports? In Canberra?


he title of this article is the reaction I often get, both from people living in Canberra, and those from other States. This perception is very wrong; in fact Canberra does have a dynamic and vibrant export community. The firms here are innovative, diverse and substantial firms building business overseas. Much of the exports from this Greater Capital region are ‘smart’ exports, taking advantage of the knowledge intensive base that thrives in this city. In all, Canberra has around 500 active exporters, ranging in size from SME’s, to large and growing companies. A great thing about the Canberra exporting community is the mature attitude that exporters have towards sharing their knowledge. This is not the case in many other states and places Canberra in an enviable position. Marita Corra, Director of Inland Trading Co, recently said “The ACT Exporters’ Network and Canberra Business Council make an invaluable contribution to our business. Without the linkages, networking and knowledge base they provide, we would be operating in isolation. ACT Exporters’ Network and Canberra Business Council provide a forum for like-minded businesses to get together and learn from each other. ” The Centenary year will be an exciting year for the business community and exporters in Canberra, with an array of networking events, workshops and trade missions to assist build capacity and grow exports. UPCOMING EVENTS VIP Round table with Kelly Ralston, Senior Trade and Investment Commissioner at Australian Trade Commission based in Washington DC February 28 7.30- 9.00am If you are currently in the USA market, or interested in further developing your market here, then this event is a must see. ‘Demystifying Indonesia’ February 28 5.30- 7.00pm In preparation for the upcoming ACT mission to Indonesia, the ACT Exporters’ Network is organising a series of briefings to inform exporters about the intricacies of dealing with Indonesia. Hal Hill is the H.W. Arndt Professor of Southeast Asian Economies in the Arndt-Corden Department of Economics, Crawford School, College of Asia and the Pacific, The Australian National University.

Launch of the Centre for Exporting Government Solutions March 7, 7.30am - 9.00am The Centre for Exporting Government Solutions has been established to actively prepare and assist ACT companies to build markets for services and products aimed at governments in overseas markets. This is initially in the US Public Sector (USPS). This virtual centre will be launched on Thursday the 7th March, by Deputy Chief Minister Andrew Barr. The launch will be followed by a forum discussion of companies that have successfully sold to foreign governments. ACT Exporters’ Network Breakfast on Opportunities in Hong Kong. March 20 7.30am - 9.00am The Hong Kong Economic & Trade Office, Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region will speak about the current situation in Hong Kong and the opportunities in this market. We will also have some insights in the Hong Kong market from the ACT Exporting community including Marita Corra from Inland Trading, and Phillip Williamson from Intelledox. To register for all these events go to ACT Chief Ministers Awards 2013 – 100 Years, 100 Countries, 100 Exporters I welcome all exporters to look at entering the ACT Chief Minister’s Awards in 2013. Entering the Awards will provide you an opportunity to network with other ACT companies, and to be seen as an outstanding performer amongst your peers. The ACT Government, through the Canberra Business Council, provides assistance to enter these awards. Key dates for the ACT Chief Minister’s Awards: 1 May 2013 Launch and Applications Open 15 August 2013 Applications Close 26th September ACT Chief Minister’s Awards Gala Ceremony If you are involved with exporting and international business, then please consider the advantages that being involved with the ACT Exporters’ Network provides. To find out more information about membership of the ACT Exporters’ Network and to take advantage of the benefits please contact ACT Exporters’ Network Manager, Ellen Pope on 02 6247 4199, or Email: ellen.



The ACT Exporters’ Network works with exporters from the Canberra region, to build opportunities in overseas markets. If you require assistance, would like to be involved in our events, or find out more about the Network, please visit our website ( or contact Ellen Pope, ellen.pope@ or 02) 6247 4199

For more information on the ACT Exporters’ Network visit The ACT Exporters’ Network is proudly sponsored by the ACT Government, Canberra Business Council, the Centre for Customs & Excise Studies and AusIndustry.

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COMMUNITY BANKING How can it contribute to affordable housing?

BUSINESS BUYER RISK TO GENERATING FUTURE PROFITS Jason Klose from Brindabella Business Brokers discusses



Jason Klose, Managing Director t: 0414 890 286 When you are selling your business, the more sets of financial statements your business has prepared by an accountant, the better. It will help demonstrate how strong your business has traded and if there have been difficult years - providing you can explain it and how the difficult years were addressed, buyers will be confident your business is profitable and viable. When a business buyer is looking at a business, they want to know: • How your business has traded up until now, and most importantly; • How your business will trade into the future. Hence why the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) was an important event for all businesses, as it was a reality check. It showed: • Some businesses were unaffected by the GFC; • Some businesses were affected but have since recovered and are strong businesses again; and • Some businesses never recovered from the GFC and the businesses may never produce profits similar to pre GFC. So whilst the financials up to now are important and provide

5 DAY CAFE UNDER FULL MANAGEMENT 70KG COFFEE A WEEK Once a year these cafes come to the market and it is kind of cafe any owner dreams of having. 70kg of coffee a week | 5 days | Secure lease Run under full management from day 1 | Fit out like new Walk in and make serious money

buyers with a picture of how the business has traded, more importantly is how the business will trade into the future. If a business is making $200,000 profit for the past 5 years, buyers need to understand whether this profit can continue going forward. Some of the areas business buyers will want to understand further to determine future viability of the business are: 1. Owner(s) involvement in the business; 2. Impact of the current owner(s) leaving the business; 3. Spread of clients and impact of key clients leaving; 4. Economy the business trades in; 5. Technology and impact on trade; 6. Developments in the area; 7. Future competition; 8. Equipment condition to generate sales; and 9. Current employee performance, staff retention and recruitment. So whilst the past helps buyers come to the table, it is the future viability of the business going forward that will help the business sell. Business buyers appreciate you have made excellent profits in past years, but they also want certainty this will continue for them into the future.

ONRED Before today, you could not buy the views or placement of a restaurant of this calibre in Canberra. Sitting 175 metres above Civic, you, along with your customers, will be mesmerised by how incredible this location is. It really has to be seen to be believed, to understand exactly what you are purchasing here. With a strong lease securing the location for the next 9 years and open only 5 nights a week and lunch on Fridays, you are going to find it hard to purchase another business like this in Canberra.

2012 turnover $820,000 $460,000 + SAV

$600,000 + SAV



This business is always booked out in advance and has a very strong database of over 11,000. The current owners are selling as it is time for retirement.

Very strong business that has been in Canberra for over 35 years. This business is the leader in the Canberra region for selling heating and cooling products. It also has other lines like high end stoves, fans etc that provide excellent profits for this business. Turnover 2012 $2.66m | Rent per week $2,300 2012 Owners Profit $300,000

excellent quality work shop equipment. Only one other mechanic in the area and no space for competitors to set up. Large workshop area with 5 bays all the necessary equipment to most mechanical repairs.

$365,000 + SAV

$545,000 + SAV Stock approximately $300,000

Contact Jason Klose on 0414 890 286 for more information or visit

B2B Half Page_Layout 1 24/04/12 9:12 AM Page 1

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Should the government bank with the Community Bank?


endigo Community Bank will put back 80% or more of it’s profits into community services, groups, charities and events - profits derived directly from the level of funds in bank accounts with the Community Bank. So why doesn’t Government, and every government agency, invest some of their funds on term deposit with Canberra’s Community Bank Branches of Bendigo Bank? Understandably there is a tender process to do the government’s banking, and no doubt that contract sits with one of the big 4 banks currently. But not all of government’s revenue is part of that arrangement. What about Federal Grants Funding and other federal money earmarked for projects to be administered by the States and Territories? Why wouldn’t the ACT government invest some of those funds with the only locally owned bank in Canberra? The local Community Bank is unapologetically parochial in it’s endeavours to spend our money locally and to invest our profits in local groups that help local people. We hire local people, we buy our goods and services locally where possible, and our shareholders are almost all locals The Molonglo Community Bank Group has four branches locally at Calwell, Curtin, Jerrabomberra and Wanniassa. Each Branch has a Manager who runs the Branch and

makes the decisions. Advice is available everyday with no obligations. In return we hope locals will support our branches by banking with us. Because we have done a good job of helping customers since 2002, this year we will be able to contribute our one millionth dollar from profits back to community groups and projects. The Community Bank® model provide communities with more than just quality banking services – they deliver employment opportunities for local people, keep local capital in the community, are a local investment option for shareholders and provide a source of revenue for important community projects determined by the local community. Canberra is a diverse community but ultimately we are a community that cares about our fellow citizens. We can always do more and although an increase of a thousand houses in the last 11 years is something to be proud of the waiting lists are still not as short as we would like. One of the difficulties of Government is achieving balance between competing needs and sometimes demands. The latest changes to the tax laws, despite some of the fear mongering, mean that for people entering the housing market, costs are reduced and that ultimately the burden is shared. Personally I doubt that in the future

the traditional sources of Government revenue will be sufficient and I look forward to a time when we can generate greater community income from innovative practices in business, education and industry so that general services become more affordable through strategies designed to increase our sustainability profile. Governments around the country could partner with Community focused and proven philanthropic corporate like the Bendigo Community Banks to create community assets in the community without having to tax to pay for it. The Partnership announced in September by Minister Burch, between Canberra’s Bendigo Community Bank Branches, West Belconnen Health Co-Op and the ACT Government to deliver a Bulk Billing Health Co-Op in Chisholm early next year is an example of just such collaboration. We can also build on the domestic and export value of our marvelous tertiary education facilities and create employment opportunities and export potential through greener jobs in a carbon neutral and sustainable economy. I do believe in dreaming big, but that can only become reality when combined with working hard. The future of Canberra has never looked brighter.

Jayson Hinder is Chairman of Molonglo Financial Services MFS operate the Calwell, Curtin, Jerrabomberra and Wanniassa Bendigo Community Bank Branches. Calwell, Curtin, Jerrabomberra and Wanniassa Community Bank Branches

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11 MARCH 2013

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B2B in Canberra March Issue 80  

Issue 80 of B2B - Canberra's business and government magazine

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