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Serena Williams

Photo : Andy Cheung @arckphoto


INSIDE: This September's edition is dedicated to an array of winners, from tennis legend Serena Williams to the recipients of the 2022 Wauchope and Hinterland Business Awards.






✦ Welcome to September’s edition of Brilliant-Online,

the winner’s issue!


e as a team at Brilliant love and respect life’s winners and constantly strive to champion them through our stories. Past editions have seen glowing celebrations of mothers, fathers, the LGBT community, local business and entrepreneurs, sporting figures and those that provide care in the community, amongst others. This month we celebrate the life and career of arguably the greatest female tennis player of all time. Serena Williams was a true phenomena of the court who won 71 titles in a glittering career stretching over 20 years. She announced her retirement recently so she can focus on winning in other areas of her life, namely business and her family. We’ve no doubts she already is. Closer to home we focus on the recent 2022 Wauchope and Hinterland Business Awards and highlight the various winners and those highlycommended; from Baked Culture to Epic Rides & Tours via Reptile Solutions, with many more inbetween, we profile and celebrate the achievements of these outstanding local businesses who all have one thing in common – they are winners!

The monarch passed away on September 8th leaving a legacy over a 70-year period that is unlikely to ever be surpassed. A selfless woman of amazing grace who dedicated her entire life to serving her people, in the UK and the Commonwealth. The outpouring of grief and respect from all over the world is a fitting testimony to a woman who was the epitomy of one of life’s true winners.

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In a world of ever increasing velocity that often appears to be losing its heart, mind and moral compass, Elizabeth II will forever stand as a bastion of class and an example that we all could and should learn from. RIP Your Majesty.

Ben Tirebuck

Although we do not have a specific story dedicated to this individual, we felt it would be remiss not to pay our respects to one of the biggest winners any of us have ever seen – Queen Elizabeth II.

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Serena Williams


Cruise for Stapo


Note from our editor


Table of contents


Serena bows out from the court as a true legend



2022 Wauchope & Hinterland Business Awards


Congratulations to the 2022 Wauchope and Hinterland Business Awards Recipients!


Wauchope Creative Hub - WINNER - Excellence in Creative Industries


Davis Farm scooped the pool!


Grazed & Grown - WINNER - Excellence in Agriculture


A Classy Café is winner for Excellence in Accommodation and Hospitality


Enjoy one of Port Macquarie’s finest treasures, Billabong Zoo


B.Beauty Salon Winner for Excellence in Hair and Beauty 2022 Wauchope & Hinterland Business Awards


WINNER - Excellence in Health and Wellbeing - The Wellness Collective


TG's Child Care has been Highly Commended for Excellence in Professional Services!


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What is it like being a male Educator at TG's Child Care?


John Clarke of Success Tax Professionals is not just a number cruncher


Spring garden recommendations from Chook at the Greenbourne Nursery


Better Business Decisions says there are 3 Ways to Reclaim Your Power in Your Business Numbers


disAbility Maternity Care says it's time for dads with disabilities to shine




MO-Resin, Australian Made and Owned Jewellery


Artisans on the Hill is a must visit Gallery for something completely different!


Dinki Co is proudly Australian and creating a better business


Prende's Organic and Natural Solutions to all your Hair Problems




64 88 94



LGBT's continuing efforts to turn the tide...


Hastings Co-op is IGA's national community service champions


Support Bravehearts to Keep Children Safe


Angus Hawkes needs your help!


Port AdVenture Cruises IN PORT MACQUARIE IS RAISING FUNDS to support a very special Dad, Nathan Stapleton






Exercise Pitch Black 2022


Take it outside – why it’s so important to get up, get outdoors and get moving!




Visit the Jewel of Changi Airport and be bedazzled


Aloha, Hawaii!



104 Admire the Brilliant Moon during the Mid Autumn Festival 107 Where is the best Peranakan food in Sydney?


108 In search of the best Singapore London! 110 Hainanese Chicken Rice Recipe



114 What's on in September & October 2022 on the Mid North Coast


118 Hats Off connecting with audiences


SERENA BOWS OUT FROM THE COURT AS A TRUE LEGEND ✦ There are a handful of people who are instantly recognisable by just their first name. Legends of the silver screen, music and sport whose reputation, fame, achievements and influence are so significant that their full names aren’t required: Elvis, Tiger, Ringo, Kobe, Diana, Denzel, LeBron, ahem, Britney!


erena is another. You say the name Serena and everyone knows who you are talking about: Serena Williams, the all-conquering Queen of the tennis court, she who made such an indelible mark on not only her sport but popular culture. A consumate winner. A legend. Earlier this month Serena Jameka Williams announced her retirement from the game that made her a worldwide household name and role model for millions. The 40-year-old American played the final match of her singles career at the US Open on September 2nd when she lost to 46th-ranked Aussie Ajla Tomljanovic. It brought the curtain down on a glittering 27-year professional career which, in addition to her 23 Grand Slams, saw her win an overall haul of 73 titles, in addition to 14 doubles titles with sister Venus and four Olympic gold medals. She spent a total of 319 weeks as the world number one, including a joint-record 186 consecutive weeks. Her announcement marked the end of an era and saw her hang up her racquet being acclaimed one of the finest players, male or female, to ever grace a tennis court. She may be leaving the game one Grand Slam title short of Margaret Court’s record but she does so widely acknowledged as the finest female player of all time. Serena was born on September 26, 1981, in Saginaw, Michigan to Oracene Price and Richard Williams but the family moved to the infamously tough suburb of Compton in Los Angeles when she was very young. She first picked up a tennis racquet at the age

Serena has no weaknesses, says former coach Rick Macci Photo : @arckphoto

of three and was coached by her parents until they moved to Florida when Serena was nine years old so she could enrol in the acclaimed Rick Macci academy which had produced such talents as Andy Roddick, Jennifer Capriati and Maria Sharapova. In 1995, at the age of 14, Serena’s father pulled her out of the academy so he could train his youngest daughter himself. Remarkably she made her professional debut not long after as a

wild card entry at the Bell Challenge in Quebec. She lost in qualifying but it was the first taste of the professional game that the young lady would go on to so dominate in years to come. Her older sister Venus was a major influence in those formative years, Serena admits. “I followed her around the world and watched her,” she said in a Vogue article just prior to her retirement. “When she lost,


TH E WI N N ER S - SEREN A WILLIA MS I understood why, and I made sure I wouldn’t lose the same way... I learned the lessons from Venus’s losses instead of the hard way, from my own. It was as if I were playing her matches, too. I’m a good mimic... [and] if I hadn’t been in Venus’s shadow, I would never be who I am.” Serena’s reputation grew in subsequent years on the hallowed courts of Wimbledon, Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York and the Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne before she won her first Grand Slam at the US Open in 1999 as a 17-year-old, beating heavyweights such as Kim Clijsters, Conchita Martinez, Monica Seles, Lindsay Davenport and Martina Hingis en route. Serena had arrived and the rest was history. “She’s the greatest female tennis player ever to hold a racquet, and the greatest female athlete that we’ve seen,” Macci said after Serena announced her retirement at the start of the month. “You’re never going to see a player like Serena Williams again,” added the 67-year-old. “She checks every box size, speed, quickness, strength, agility. She had muscles on muscles even at aged nine. “Technically she hits the ball very clean. We moulded the best serve in the history of tennis. But at the end of the day it’s that Compton street fight. Serena was like a pit bull. When she got a hold of you she wouldn’t let go. And that’s an amazing quality. She has no weaknesses.”

It is a challenge faced by many when they transition into retirement, but something felt especially keenly by professional athletes who have spent the majority of their lives intertwined in their sport, conditioned by discipline and competition, consumed by its very nature and often not knowing much else. “My whole life, up to now, has been tennis,” Serena commented in the same Vogue piece.

was something that Serena admitted left her uncomfortable. “Believe me, I never wanted to have to choose between tennis and a family,” she told Vogue. “I don’t think it’s fair. If I were a guy, I wouldn’t be writing this because I’d be out there playing and winning while my wife was doing the physical labor of expanding our family. Maybe I’d be more of a Tom Brady if I had that opportunity.”

Now, however, it is time to turn her focus to her family and other business pursuits. She started venture capital firm Serena Ventures a few years ago which has thus far invested in 16 Unicorns (companies valued at more than US$1billion); 78% of their investement portfolio is in companies started by women and people of colour.

Now that she has left the court behind, however, Serena says she is looking forward to motherhood again without the added pressure of being a professional athlete. “I definitely don’t want to be pregnant again as an athlete. I need to be two feet into tennis or two feet out.”

Serena and her husband, American internet entrepreneur and investor Alexis Ohanian, are also keen to grow their family. In September 2017, Serena gave birth to daughter Alexis Olympia but the pregnancy was not without complication as two pulmonary embolisms left the new mother facing a near death experience and bedridden for six weeks. She returned to playing not long after leaving the hospital and having made a full recovery. However, the decision to balance a career and motherhood and the pressure that puts on female athlete

She has much to look forward to and it will be no surprise to see her winning in business and in motherhood, growing her family in the years to come. After all, champions are excatly that, no matter what they turn their attention to. “There are so many things to be remembered by,” Serena told the BBC immediately following her retirement. “Like the fight. I’m such a fighter,” “I just honestly am so grateful that I had this moment and that I’m Serena.” Even Serena herself need only refer to herself using one name. That is truly the stuff of legend.

Time to evolve “I have never liked the word retirement. It doesn’t feel like a modern word to me. Maybe the best word to describe what I’m up to is evolution... I’m evolving away from tennis, toward other things that are important to me.” This is what Serena told Vogue immediately prior to her retirement. In the article she was very candid on the struggles she faced when deciding to call time on her career on the court. “It’s the hardest thing that I could ever imagine,” she said. “I hate it. I hate that I have to be at this crossroads. I keep saying to myself, I wish it could be easy for me, but it’s not. I’m torn: I don’t want it to be over, but at the same time I’m ready for what’s next.”

'I am such a fighter,' Serena Williams Photo : @arckphoto


Photo: Meraki Photography






Photo: Meraki Photography


CONGRATULATIONS TO THE 2022 WAUCHOPE AND HINTERLAND BUSINESS AWARDS RECIPIENTS! ✦ Saturday the 27th August marked the return of the Wauchope and Hinterland Business Awards with a Gala Dinner held at the Wauchope RSL Club. The Awards celebrate local business and the night is tribute to every local business owner and workers who strive to build a better lifestyle for us all.


he Awards acknowledge the determination and commitment of local business. With 37 announcements on the night, 17 Highly Commended and 20 Winners, the awards proved a wonderful opportunity to reconnect and thank our business community.

From some of the Sponsors: “Brilliant-Online has, from the start, been about making small businesses sparkle and be famous. Everyday we dream and imagine how to make our Brilliant-Online magazine even more magical so our stories can interact and engage readers, and allow advertisers to connect with their communities and more than 35,000 readers. Brilliant is all about supporting our communities and creating the space and opportunities for businesses to engage easily with their communities. "We had many proud moments applauding every single winner of the awards. We know their journeys, we have shared their stories so we know the obstacles they've been through. Brilliant-Online will continue to support businesses so our communities can thrive, and we want to be here year after year in the awards celebrating everyone's growth.

Walker and Coralie Hindmarsh from Hastings Co➸ Tim ooperative with Veronica Lind Brilliant-online (centre) Photo: Meraki Photography

"We thank our bright and brilliant team - Commercial Executive, Chrissy Jones, our editor Ben Tirebuck, writer Yann Tyng, Graphic Designer Adan and Marketing Assistant Selena Hata.” Veronica Lind CEO, Brilliant-online “The awards were a credit to the Chamber. We really enjoyed the sense of participation from a happy crowd of business owners and staff." Robyn Flanagan, Wauchope Travel. “It was an honour to win the Excellence in Retail and Excellence in Sustainability and be highly commended in the Outstanding Community Organisation category. Hastings Co-op is a long-time

supporter of the business awards and the Chamber because showcasing and rewarding all of the amazing businesses in our community is vital to a thriving economy.” Allan Gorton, Chief Executive Officer, Hastings Cooperative.

From the Dignitaries “A sensational night with Wauchope’s best businesses. The energy in the room was electric as everyone came together for the first time in two years. The organisers did a sensational job.” The Hon Melinda Pavey, MP.



“Small business is the backbone of the Port Macquarie Hastings economy. People of all ages and occupations make a real, tangible difference to their lives and the lives of others. “The time, effort and energy they spend in making the Wauchope and Hinterland region a better place to live and visit, is truly wonderful. “It was fantastic to see the efforts of so many businesses celebrated on Saturday, and I’m thankful for all of their services to our community.” Mayor Peta Pinson. “It was a pleasure to attend the Wauchope Chamber of Commerce 2022 Wauchope and Hinterland Business Awards to recognise our local businesses. "It is an important opportunity to not only promote our local businesses but also showcase them to the rest of the region. "We have some very innovative and dynamic local businesses here in Wauchope and the Hastings Valley and I was delighted to see so many of them recognised on the night.” The Hon Dr David Gillespie Federal Member for Lyne.

Some Award Winners are: Hastings Co-operative Ltd WINNER - Excellence in Retail WINNER - Excellence in Sustainability Highly Commended - Community Organisation Hastings Co-op is becoming used to taking centre stage, after winning three state and national IGA awards earlier this year, but Chief Executive Officer Allan Gordon says any accolades they receive is directly due to the support of the local community.

Trent Gregory Erickson Cross Land Transport Highly Commended - Outstanding Young Business Leader

Trent Gregory Erickson of Crossland Transport (left) and Alvin Kisna from Wauchope TAFE Photo: Meraki Photography


August 2022 will definitely be a month Trent will remember; his first Road Train hit the road, the purchase of his dream truck and runner up Outstanding Young business leader at the 2022 Wauchope & Hinterland Business Awards.

Heff and Beth Williams

Stuart and Alicia Johnson

Epic Rides & Tours

Reptile Solutions Highly Commended - Tourism Reptile Solutions provides awareness and conservation through WILD education! You are guaranteed an experience that is entertaining, educational and unforgettable! The opportunity to interact with the

animals, whilst learning interesting facts about where they live, what they do and what makes them so unique and special.

Highly Commended - Tourism Epic Rides & Tours (ERAT) is a husband and wife Partnership of Niels “Heff” Heffernan and Beth Williams. They believe Wauchope and the Hinterland has much to show visitors and holidaymakers. The business intent is to support local businesses wherever possible. Heff and Beth firmly believe this policy is beneficial

not only to the business community, but to the general community.

Mark and Lisa Baker Wauchope Rural Centre Highly Commended - Retail Are your one stop farm, stock and pet supplies store in Wauchope. Operating since 1997, Wauchope Rural Centre is friendly and aims to be the only place you need to go to for your pet, livestock, horse and farm supplies. They hope to give all their customers the most cost effective and economical way to provide care for their livestock and pets, and to manage their farms.

Wauchope Rural Centre's Lisa Baker and her team, presented by Veronica Lind from Brilliant-online Photo: Meraki Photography



Lorissa and Ben Baked Culture Highly Commended Accommodation and Hospitality Lorissa and Ben launched Baked Culture in early 2020 at the local markets, a global pandemic ensued, they innovated and opened Baked Culture in the Wauchope CBD to the delight of their now regular customers selling their sweet and savoury artisan baked creations.

Vivianne Hazenveld The Art Sanctuary Highly Commended - Excellence in Creative Industries Vivianne was thrilled to receive the award. She told us, “Through creative classes, workshops, community events, private tuition and mentorships, I help clients (from budding beginners to professional artists) to improve their artistic and professional skills.”

Ben and Lorrisa from Baked Culture with the Hon Melinda Pavey MP (centre) Photo: Meraki Photography


Matt Miller Wauchope Real Estate (left) with Beth and Heff Williams of Epic Rides & Tours Photo: Meraki Photography



Matt Miller Wauchope Real Estate ➸ (left) with Stuart & Alicia Johnson of Reptile Solutions

Photo: Meraki Photography


Hazenveld, ➸TheVivianne Art Sanctuary and Mayor Peta Pinson

Photo: Meraki Photography





auchope Creative Hub co-op is an art gallery and retail store, home to over 25 local arts and crafts people who volunteer their time to staff the store 6 days a week. The Hub formed a registered co-op in July 2021 from a group of creative artisans looking for a secure and stable, low cost space to exhibit and sell their locally handmade items.

A creative family of artisans, local arts and crafts people exhibiting and selling their locally handmade goods in the gallery and retail store drives the uniqueness. People from Ellenborough, Long Flat, Beechwood, Camden Haven, Port Macquarie, Rollands Plains, King Creek, Wauchope and everywhere in between make up the creative family.

and crafts co-op on the Mid North Coast with a huge following of loyal customers who are dedicated to buying local and supporting the local creative community.

Just about every type of art and craft from hand spun local Alpaca, candles, paintings, jewellery, quilting, flowers and home made jams can be found at the Hub. It is the largest arts

Collaboration with PMHC and the Glasshouse gallery, joining in established and emerging local events such as the ArtWalk satellite event at The Hub, the Wauchope Lasiandra

Connections established

Photo: Meraki Photography

festival, Hello Koala Sculpture Trail, PMHC Curios and arts trail, PMHC open studio trail to name a few, have shown a strong commitment to the local community. Currently there is an exhibition in the gallery from WRAP Inclusive Arts; an inclusive creative program for local people with disabilities.

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Strength is in the creative community


DAVIS FARM SCOOPED THE POOL! ✦ 2022 Wauchope & Hinterland Business Awards

Taking out the top spot as Business of the Year, Winner of Outstanding Community Organisation and a Highly Commended in Health and Wellbeing The Davis Farm Inc. were more than humble and extremely proud to be recognised in such a way by their community.


e spoke to AJ who told us, “We are so incredibly proud and grateful to have received this amazing recognition from our community. To be truthful, it really still hasn’t quite sunk in. We do what we do at the farm because we love it and feel like we can make a real difference, but receiving these awards was a really warm hug from the community to say 'we believe in your dream too'." She feels blessed to have an amazing team at the farm of workers and volunteers who have played a big part in getting the farm to where it is today. “I’m so thankful to have them and for the hard work they put in every time they are at the farm,” she said.

Quite open about how the farm began A Phoenix that rose from the ashes of COVID that to begin with was just a dream to become self-sufficient, more sustainable and lead happy lives. Mental health is a large part of the family's lives and the farm has really helped to heal the family after the struggles they went through. From humble beginnings a little dream grew, and more and more

Photo: Meraki Photography

people wanted to become a part of it. A responsibility was felt to share the gift they had and give others the opportunity to use the farm for their own healing.

could connect with and help as many people as possible.”

“This is why it was easy to make the decision to run as a not for profit," explains AJ. "We always knew we were going to put everything back into the farm, but we also knew it would open the doors to partnerships and connections with other not for profits within the community, so we

When you visit The Davis Farm, at face value it would seem like a regular old farm with some cute animals and a little coffee hut. Fun for the kids, education about growing and harvesting their own food and animals, an opportunity to grab fresh produce or just have a coffee in the gardens.

About the Farm



You get to walk through the enclosures that the farm animals live in, you can hand feed the chickens, pat the pigs, and learn about what it's like to live off the land. You can walk through and experience the vegetable gardens and learn about growing your own food.

a book from the community library and set up in the hammock.

AJ continues, “But what we are trying to create is so much more. We are passionate about being all inclusive. And not just feeling welcome, but feeling part of our community, no matter your sexuality, nationality, disability, mental struggles or any other reason you may feel on the outside. We run volunteer programs for anyone at any skill level to be involved. We want to educate and talk openly about mental health and the benefits of eating seasonal fresh produce and the impact that has on mental health. We want to support our local community and create a culture of supporting and praising and celebrating each other.”

“As we grow, the plan is to create more opportunities for more people to get involved. Non alcoholic events, celebrating minority groups, family events, fundraisers to support those who need it. Workshops that teach new skills like bee keeping, gardening, soap making, herb workshops and so many more. Weekly fresh farmers markets. All access garden beds to run gardening programs. Leasing plots for those that may not have the space or ability to grow their own food at home. Community singing groups and other wellness programs. Parents Patch which is a parenting group catch up with activities. The opportunities are endless and I can’t wait to see it all unfold.”

People are encouraged to spend time, slow down and just enjoy the outdoors. Play cricket on the backyard cricket pitch that's placed in the middle of the gardens, play chess on the large chessboard, picnic in the paddock or borrow

So what’s in store in the future AJ?


GRAZED & GROWN - WINNER - EXCELLENCE IN AGRICULTURE ✦ 2022 Wauchope & Hinterland Business Awards

Situated on the beautiful Comboyne Plateau on the Mid North Coast of NSW, Grazed & Grown Farm has evolved from a desire for wellness and a passion for the land by the Armstrong family; Pete, Bec, Miah and Skye. Their passion is in farming the most nutrient dense food possible without the use of chemicals, herbicides or pesticides. To do this they nurture the land itself through regenerative practices. Pete told us, “It’s no secret that a healthy diet supports a healthy body and a healthy mind; trying to fill the house with incredibly nutritious foods can be challenging. Our answer was to grow as much of our own food as possible, and source other foods locally from like minded people.“

Caring for the land Farm animals are forever moving in a rotational pattern across the pastures, scratching up the earth and trampling in manure as they pass. When they return there is an abundance of lush vegetation and a plethora of insect species to nourish them. The family works with animal nutritionists and scientists from Australia and abroad to provide a complete balanced diet for their animals, to help reach their goals. To lend nature a hand is the simple approach to their farming practices. To let nature do the hard work. By rotating their herds, mobs and flocks

➸ over the pastures they are increasing the abundance and diversity of biological activity in the soil leading to increased soil carbon, increased humates, and increased ability of the soil to absorb and hold water, acting like a sponge where the microbial activity works to feed nutrients in the soil to the plant roots. The parcel of land farmed was once home to a thriving rainforest where the rich volcanic soil would have been as fertile as the best soils on earth. The Armstrongs aim is to rebuild and regenerate the soil to its prime. It may take more than one lifetime, but the work has begun.

Chickens, Pigs, Cows & Dorper Sheep! Grazed & Grown farm are committed to producing the most nutrient dense eggs possible without adding artificial

Photo: Meraki Photography

hormones. The flock of chickens roam freely on the lush fields under the watchful eyes of their guardian maremmas. They are also fed the best chemical and pesticide free, certified sustainable mash to supplement their diet. Heritage breed pigs, a cross between the Old Black English Princess breed and the traditional Wessex Saddleback, a rarity amongst pork producers as the market has pushed faster growing, leaner pigs to increase profits. Grazed & Grown value taste and nutrition over profit, their pigs are moved daily to a fresh patch of pasture and are grown a little longer and a little fatter, graze on fresh farm fruits, pastured eggs and certified sustainable mash free of chemicals and antibiotics. The result - a juicy rose coloured, full flavoured meat. The herd of Angus cattle graze freely on the lush pastures, with a diverse



range of fresh pick to choose from. They are grass fed and grass finished, whilst moving around the property in a rotational pattern mowing down the vegetation and trampling in their manure. It takes about two years to grow out cattle naturally. In that time the meat takes on a beautiful flavour and plenty of essential healthy fats. Dorper sheep have been incorporated into the rotational grazing cycle of the farm. Known for their ability to convert poor quality pasture into rapid weight gain, the dorpers eat the less desirable plants that the other animals leave behind which further adds to the pasture quality over time. They are watched over by the two trainee guardian maremma puppies, Stumpy and Harley.

Farm Tours The family is passionate when it comes to producing highly delicious and nutritious food. As the interest in the farm and their methods grew, an invitation has been extended to visitors, to come to the farm and meet the family, meet the animals and experience the rewarding atmosphere. Why not bring the family up to meet the animals and show your kids where their food comes from. Pack your own picnic hamper or sample some of Grazed & Grown freshly prepared treats. They offer a range of healthy lunch options, some fresh farm produce and homemade ice-cream. The Family Friendly Farm Tours are based on the forecast weather. Keep

of chickens roam free ➸ The flockamongst the lush fields up to date on their social media and subscribe to their mailing list for updates. Mark your calendar for the up coming Farm Tours: 24th, 27th and 28th September and the 2nd and 3rd October.

Pete said, “It is our pleasure to offer produce to the local marketplace, direct to our customers and at an affordable cost, because fresh nutritious foods shouldn’t cost the earth."



A Classy Café & Espresso Bar is one of the oldest Cafes in Wauchope, established in approximately 1990, operating in one of the town's beautiful historical 100 year plus old buildings.


ver 60 years ago the business operation was a bakery, then turned into Wauchope's motorcycle sales and service centre, then many years later transformed into Waterman's Cafe, then A Classy Cafe and Florist and then to A Classy Café & Espresso Bar as it is today. In January 2021, Beth and Leigh Torrisi purchased the café and have since shared with the community their passion for beautiful fresh quality food and coffee. A Classy Café & Espresso Bar offers a welcoming relaxed and casual family friendly atmosphere serving the people’s choice of their silky smooth fresh brewed coffee blend, unique to the region, along with their homestyle cooking and home made sweet and savoury treats, the entire family will enjoy a delicacy on the menu.

Pavey MP, Leigh and Beth Torrisi, ➸ The Hon MelindaCafé & Espresso Bar A Classy Cafe Photo: Meraki Photography

conditions that they have had no choice but to adapt to. One of the biggest trading conditions for them has been the world wide COVID-19 Pandemic. During the lockdowns and closures, they were fortunate enough to keep the doors open and serve their menu take away.

Challenge and adaptation

During this time, A Classy Café & Espresso Bars website and app was developed to ensure an easy, fast, safe and efficient way for customers to order and pay without having to leave their home. Also, delivery options were introduced to help service customers' needs throughout those difficult times.

The couple and staff have experienced various different trading

The website and app still serve great purpose, allowing the business to

A Classy Café & Espresso Bar is where family and friends come to meet and new friendships are made.

move with the times, entering and growing the business in the digital space. Both technologies allow those tech savvy, time poor customers a great solution for faster and convenient ordering options and pick up times. Another challenge for not only A Classy Café & Espresso Bar, but others in the hospitality industry, is the lack of labour. Hospitality has always faced challenges with labour prior to the pandemic, but difficulties with recruitment and employee turnover, increasing wages, and management concerns have only grown more challenging. The biggest issue now isn't just the cost of labour, it is the lack of labour.



One example; the business is in the process of building a veggie patch in the small courtyard at the back of the café. This will allow them to grow fresh produce and reduce the cost and ease of shortages of some products. Planning and creating a seasonal menu will also allow them to continue to provide fresh products whilst remaining sustainable into the future.

Experience the difference The key strengths of the business doesn't just come from their strong skill set within the coffee culture community and or ability to create beautiful home made cakes slices and meals; but allowing each customer,

die hard regular or a new face to feel welcomed, valued and a part of something that to Beth and Leigh, is much more than just a café. Beth told us, "We take the time and make the effort to get to know everyone. Not only so we can make each coffee and meal to the liking of our customers, but to provide a friendly face and conversation to go along with it."

New ideas and products

the café a great point of difference and competitive edge.

Supporting the community A Classy Café and Espresso Bar actively support the community in many different ways. They use a pay it forward system. Customers can choose what they are paying forward or how much, this is added to the pay it forward card.

Their products and branding is homely homemade cakes, sweet and savoury treats, meals and of course the amazing coffee.

The cafés pay it forward system goes to nurses, doctors, police, SES, fire brigade, community workers or someone who is genuinely in need to brighten their day.

Getting back to basics and recreating those old school recipes that grandma used to make, will leave you reminiscing about a simpler time when you visit A Classy Café & Espresso Bar.

"The system has been promoted by word of mouth and is becoming very popular and an amazing way for the community to care for each other in hard times," said Beth.

Intertwining these old school recipes with seasonal trends and continuously creating new flavours and styles, gives

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Beth said, "Another trading challenge for our business in current times is inflation and the massive increase in cost of product and services across all areas, along with supply shortages. We are currently planning, preparing and adapting to these current challenges."


ENJOY ONE OF PORT MACQUARIE’S FINEST TREASURES, BILLABONG ZOO ✦ WINNER - Excellence in Tourism 2022 Wauchope & Hinterland Business Awards


rom cheetahs and monkeys to koalas and crocodiles, Billabong Zoo is home to a diversity of animals from all around the world. The Zoo houses over 200 native and exotic animals and over 80 species of mammals, reptiles and birds. Learn about the team's passion for conservation as Ambassadors for Wildlife and their world-renowned koala breeding program.

What's there to do at the Zoo? You can get up-close and personal to discover the animals or experience a one-on-one encounter where you can make lasting connections. Enjoy meeting friendly keepers where they are happy to answer any questions and be entertained by our free keeper talks that happen throughout the day.

If you miss a certain talk you can explore the virtual zoo keeper talks throughout the trails by scanning QR codes for a deeper understanding of the animals. Ignite a passion for wildlife with our well loved activity, Junior Zoo Keeper for a Day, where kids get to go behind the scenes and discover the natural world of zoo keeping. Or have our ‘Zoo to You’ come to your next business function that will impress your guests and bring an interactive wildlife experience for all to enjoy. Do something a little wild and plan your next big event at the zoo, from large corporate events to weddings, receptions, school formals or anniversary celebrations. Our stylish and highly versatile venue, with a culinary focus on fresh and local ingredients, a fully licensed bar and special interaction with a friendly furry, scaly or feathery friend.

Photo: Meraki Photography

Billabong Zoo is ready to create a unique and unforgettable event for your guests to experience! There are so many ways to appreciate the zoo and immerse yourself in the wild, for a roaring good time.

About the Zoo Billabong Zoo opened in 1986, primarily as a breeding centre for koalas, together with a wallaby and kangaroo hand-feeding area. Mark and Danena Stone became the new owners in 2003, with 40 years’ experience in the zoo industry and having continually put their life and soul into the wellbeing and care of their animals as well as their commitment to growing the zoo’s activities and enjoyment for all of their visitors. Family run and operated, this beautiful zoo is filled with a diverse range of Australian and exotic animals and birds that are known as their Ambassadors.



The friendly owners and staff are passionate about all of their animals and the work they do for conservation through education. Billabong Zoo has been voted the region’s Top Attraction for a number of years as well as receiving other Awards for service and value. The Zoo is open every day of the year (except Christmas Day) from 9am to 5pm. Plus throughout the year holds functions and events after 5pm. Billabong Zoo invests heavily in its Schools Programme from pre-school to Year 12 and liaises closely with teachers and educators to ensure information is kept up-to-date and in-line with the current curriculum. The role of zoos worldwide is changing - Billabong Zoo is at the forefront as Ambassadors for Wildlife, successfully blending the three elements of a successful modern Zoo: •




Visit Billabong Zoo Open daily from 9am to 5pm (except Christmas Day). Directions:


Turn off the Pacific Highway at the Wauchope exit and head to Wauchope. Billabong Drive is the first turn on the right (Western side of the Highway) and turn right at the sign at the end of the Drive. Billabong Zoo is just 10 minutes form Port Macquarie CBD.

Billabong Zoo Koala Breeding Program




ee that smile? That’s a smile of someone who never thought she would be such an influence and have a huge impact on so many people’s lives! “Never would I ever have dreamt of this moment!” Owner and Principal Therapist Kirsty stated. "Wow Wauchope and Hinterlands Small Business Awards WINNER - Excellence in Hair & Beauty 2022. Such an achievement for my business. My goal is to meet our clients vision of personal beauty by creating a beautiful, warm, safe and positive environment."

Passion, growth, inspiration "Closing one chapter to open another chapter, a bitter sweet moment when salon’s rapid growth, strength and sustainability has exceeded our previous premises within 12 months of our twoyear lease in Wauchope. rebranded and collaborated with Brooke, previously known as Brooke Hudson Skin & Beauty. We are so proud to announce our luxurious and professional working environment, The Beauty Collective. The salon is

➸ located in the Sovereign Hills Town Centre complex, 15 Chancellors Drive, Thrumster 2444." They thrive individually as well as together and perform at the top of their game. “We believe in complementary but not competing treatments, so we offer and maintain high quality services on our treatment menu," commented Kristy. "Both myself & Brooke want you to feel

Photo: Meraki Photography

100% at ease before your treatment, ensuring all clients, existing or new feel special, beautiful, cared for and confident." Brooke has over 10 years experience as a beauty therapist, and specialises in customer satisfaction. She told us, “My goal is to enable everyone to feel happy and confident in their own skin. I work with my clients to achieve this specifically."



WINNER - EXCELLENCE IN HEALTH AND WELLBEING - THE WELLNESS COLLECTIVE ✦ The Wellness Collective is located in the historic Jacaranda House in Wauchope, where all practitioners have a passion to create a safe and nurturing space for the community.


ffering health and wellness, yoga and movement qualified practitioners bring you selfcare, health, lifestyle and wellbeing therapies to help you live mindfully with vibrant health and connected to your intentions. They are low-tox, lowimpact, sustainable, organic and handmade.

From Natalie Deeks, Naturopath

There can be no beauty without health This is the philosophy behind The Wellness Collective. They provide a full range of modalities to support health, wellbeing and vibrant life.

Photo: Meraki Photography

You are invited to channel the ancient art of wellness into a lifeenhancing experience with the incredible collective of natural health practitioners.

Beauty Therapy

Bowen Therapy

Health Coach

Occupational Therapy

Therapy options include:

Monthly Workshops

Holistic Health



Read Full Story

"We are so excited to be the winners of Excellence in Health and Wellbeing in the Wauchope & Hinterland Business awards. This award is a collective effort. As much as we are passionate about health and wellness, we are passionate about creating space for you to slow down, to breathe and to reconnect. We are here for you. Thank you for being an amazing community for us."



Congratulations to TG's Child Care! We love bringing Brilliant news to share with the community, way to go TG's!


t has recently been an exciting period for so many of our local businesses in the community. With the 2022 Wauchope & Hinterland Business Awards back on track after the world went on pause with the pandemic, it felt like there was a much-needed boost of energy and excitement in the community again. The awards are a celebration of local businesses and an opportunity to acknowledge the contributions of the community's local operators. It is a way to help local businesses gain exposure and promotion to a wider outreach. TG's Child Care at all three of their Wauchope centres have been Highly Commended for Excellence in Professional Services (21 employees or more) in the 2022 Wauchope and Hinterland Business Awards. We just love this photograph and all their brilliant smiles! It's a clear sign that everything they do is worth it, and they are genuine professionals who are fully committed to the invaluable services they bring to the children and their families in our communities.

TG´s Child Care at the 2022 Wauchope & Hinterland Business Awards Photo: Meraki Photography

j "Toni-lee, Laura and Linda are three of the most amazingly strong and empowered women you will ever meet! What an incredible team of gifted Leaders and Centre Managers. Congratulations on your award and well done to everyone of your team of passionate and dedicated Educators. Well done and well-deserved! ️ Trevor and Gayle Kee, owners of TG's Child Care



B RILLIA NT 2022 WAU CH O PE & H INTERL A N D B USI N E SS AWA RDS There is a common saying at TG's Child Care that they are one big TG's Family paddling the canoe together. This is an award that is shared with not just the Educators, but also the children, their families and the local trades of the communities who are so supportive of TG's through the years.


Learn about the special characteristics of TG's Educators

"I am grateful to work with such an amazing group of people at TG's. Congratulations on winning Highly CommendedProfessional Services (21 employees or more). After a long 2 years of navigating through the many challenges within the industry we have managed to support our children, families and educators with minimal interference to delivering the education and care, well-being and fun to our children." - Linda Hutchinson, Centre Manager, TG's Child Care High St

Congratulations once again to TG´s Child Care and we hope they continue to bring their brilliant Playing is Learning for Life to many communities across Australia!

Barnden-Hyde, ➸ MegTG's Child Care,

State Manager

Linda Hutchinson, Centre Manager, TG's Child Care High Street

j "When a Centre Manager (such as the amazing Centre Managers in Wauchope- Laura, Linda and Toni-Lee) put their heart and soul into a career they love and create a work culture that reflects both their personal and professional philosophy, and are a part of witnessing the amazing results that then are filtered through the team, it creates a sense of belonging and support all involved - families, children and educators. To get recognition from the community is an amazing effort that supports the growth, love and passion the three campuses have entrusted into the workplace – well done TG’s!!!" - Meg Barnden-Hyde, TG's Child Care, State Manager




Brilliant BUSINESS ✦


WHAT IS IT LIKE BEING A MALE EDUCATOR AT TG'S CHILD CARE? ✦ The world of education is starting to change and we are gradually seeing more men decide to step into this industry and share their gifts!


G's Child Care is well-loved in the communities across regional Australia and trusted as the stewardship of the children's future. Families know about their high quality early childhood practices and philosophy of Playing is Learning for Life. What many may not be aware of is, out of 174 Educators across all the campuses of TG's Child Care four of them are men!

TG's Child Care advocates for diversity and inclusivity not just with regards to the children and families but also their Educators. TG's is proud of their ever growing team of professional, qualified, respectful and caring Educators who are passionately focused on and committed to the unique learning journeys of every child. Working at TG's is to be nurtured in an inclusive culture where all Educators, leaders and

management feel respected, listened to and supported. That is why TG's male Educators are thriving in this beautiful environment, where they are happy to share their gifts, knowledge and experience. Brilliant-Online got curious about what life is like for the male Educators at TG's, and we were really inspired by what they had to share!



Jake Eather TG's Child Care Armidale "Being a male educator in early childcare has been very challenging at times. I started out as a very shy and introverted young male who had no input at the start of this amazing journey. "It has been rewarding to look back and be proud of the growth that I have achieved. This couldn’t have been achieved without the training and guidance that I have been given at TG's. It has given me the confidence to do the job right and be a great role model to the children. "I have many fun moments at TG’s, especially when the children are trying new experiences such as experimenting, show and tell, drawing, painting and telling each other jokes through the day. "The gifts I have gotten out of this job have been a new found confidence, respect, and patience with everything.

j "I wouldn’t be the male role model I am today without the amazing women that have supported, encouraged and believed in me so that I can be my best."

➸ Jake Eather, TG's Child Care Armidale "I became a father recently, and childcare has given me the best head start to be a supportive partner, and to have an understanding of how I can be a good dad."

Jake's nugget of wisdom "My advice for other male educators looking into getting into childcare is to try your best to have a voice and an

input. You will overcome the concerns of not being accepted with ease as you build more self-confidence. Definitely, having continued support around you will make it a lot easier to have your opinion heard." Congratulations to Jake on his newborn, and we are certain that with all that he has built up at TG's, he's going to be the best dad his child will need!


Luke Carlon TG's Child Care Uralla "Being a male educator in early childcare has been a particularly challenging experience with plenty of ups and downs throughout my journey. I’m extremely fortunate to have such amazing support system here at TG's. "One of my learning curves has been understanding the body language of children. They can’t fully express how they feel yet. One of the most rewarding things about this profession is when a child comes to you for help. This shows that they trust you and feel comfortable coming to you about anything. "This job has also given me great confidence, patience, compassion and respect for my team, the families and the children that have been supportive throughout my journey.

Luke's nugget of wisdom "Advice I would give to other men looking into becoming early childcare educators is to not think about the gender difference too much." It is a great feeling to be trusted, and we are delighted for Luke he is getting so much out of his profession as an Educator at TG's! We hope Luke's story can inspire others!

j "Think of yourself as an educator and not a male educator because if you can demonstrate to your team, the families, the children and to yourself that you can be compassionate, caring, understanding, patient, respectful and someone that the children feel comfortable around, then there is no difference between you and a female educator."

➸ Luke Carlon, TG's Child Care Uralla



➸ James Mead, TG's Child Care Uralla James Mead TG's Child Care Uralla "As a male in a female dominated industry, some people can feel uncomfortable with the idea of a male educator, and some have even expressed that they prefer a female educator to care for their child, but that is only a small percentage. A lot of families actually like having a male influence whilst their children are at care because of the lack of a male role model in childcare generally. "Each child has their own personality and individuality. At the toddler age, it's extremely rewarding watching them grow and develop and learn from you. It's rewarding when you see them say or do what has been positively role modelled.

"The team at TG's has been all accepting and welcoming towards myself which has been a gift, having moved from city to country. Families have been kind and have genuinely taken an interest to asking how our day as Educators has been. It is a gift to have people acknowledging educators and being accepting.

James' nugget of wisdom "There will always be someone who might not accept or appreciate a male in the childcare environment, but the best advice is to let negativity roll off you like water off a duck's back. Being resilient, calm and transparent are important aspects to have.

j "If you have a passion and enthusiasm to watch young minds grow, develop and learn from you, why not be their role model for them?"

It's heartening to hear that families are not only accepting of male Educators but that they really see each Educator as a valuable member of the TG's Family!


Jamie Ashcroft TG's Child Care High St "This job is challenging for men and women but the rewards you receive from being an Early Childhood Educator make it well worth it! Specifically, being a man, you do feel some added pressure as there are so few of us in the industry and the interest in you from the children is magnified. "In these instances, being able to support and teach the children and see their smiling faces as you do it makes all your worries disappear. I know being a male I can bring something different to the children, different gifts that the children need and this makes you feel very important and appreciated. "Working with only women has led me into some very funny conversations and I now know more about women than I ever felt possible, I'm not sure if that is a good thing or a bad thing, haha!

Jamie's nugget of wisdom "My advice to men that are apprehensive is this - I believe that the industry is changing and that people can see the importance and the need for males in the industry. I started this career with no experience and no children of my own and I was apprehensive, but every person I have worked with in this industry has made me feel welcomed. You receive a feeling of people wanting you around as they know how much the children love having males around. I have never felt like I haven't been taken seriously. If anything, I have felt appreciated for taking this career on.

Jamie Ashcroft, TG's Child Care High St

j "I think the most important thing men need to know is that you don't have to change who you are to be an Early childhood educator. You are welcomed and appreciated because you are a male and can offer the children so much just by being yourself!"

We were really looking forward to hearing the experiences of TG's male Educators straight from the source, and it was truly uplifting to 'hear their voices' and to share them here. Who knows who could be reading this right now and be inspired enough to take that next bold step in their professional career? Thank you Jake, Luke, James and Jamie! Kudos to all of you for taking up the challenge and believing in yourselves! We wish you joy-filled days of Playing is Learning for Life at TG's and to keep Playing it Forward with confidence at TG´s Child Care!

Join TG's as an Educator

"The biggest gift from my job is undoubtedly the children. The children crave your attention, knowledge and support and being able to give that to them and watch them grow and learn is priceless.



JOHN CLARKE OF SUCCESS TAX PROFESSIONALS IS NOT JUST A NUMBER CRUNCHER ✦ Whilst it's great to have everything add up properly and balance, there is more to John Clarke of Success Tax Professionals than compiling your tax return.

He wants to see people achieve their dreams. He loves helping individuals, working with small business, large business and not for profit groups.

j “I specialise in allied health, helping with any of the issues that they have, whether it's from budgeting, cash flow, payroll, risk management, to policy development and human resources.”


e told us, “If I can't help you, I'll help you find someone who can.”

He has been a tax man for a long time, almost 40 years. He knows a lot, but says it is complicated and is continually training so he can help his clients get the best out of their business. You need someone who can help you, who fits in with you, fits your personality and your business. You need someone who understands you. “Sometimes we fit in better with somebody else, we do and that's fine," says John. "I'm always happy for someone to come and have a meeting with me with no obligation, no cost, just see if I can help you. And if they feel comfortable

with me, great - if they don’t, that’s no problem, I can recommend someone else. There's plenty of work for all the accountants in Port Macquarie.“ Clients are not limited to Port Macquarie as John can serve an individual with their tax return remotely, basically anywhere in the state or country. He does a lot of that kind of thing online nowadays and has become quite the Zoom meeting expert. “I can help you with an individual tax return, I have a lot of experience with teachers, allied health professionals and small business,” he says.

Self-employed contractors are a specialty A number of John’s clients are allied health professionals; self-employed contractors working in the NDIS sector. He has a good understanding of that field, helping with cash flow, with planning and with loan applications.



avoid, may end up costing you a lot of money. Either because you haven't structured your business correctly or because you put off things and then the Tax Office starts chasing you and gives you penalties.”

Scared to go to an accountant?

John wants to get to know you, and become familiar with your dreams. "I'm not a financial adviser but I can often advise people on a better tax effective way to do something," he explains. "For example, if you're operating your business as a company and you like fishing, as most people in Port Macquarie do like doing something on the water, if you come and talk to me, we might be able to structure some way that a lot of your fishing becomes tax deductible.”

Tax man with a smile

Don't know what to do or what to take? All your receipts are in a shoebox? John can help you deal with that. He can look at ways he might be able to set you up better, so that next year your pile of paperwork doesn't frighten you!

There's no need to be scared, he insists. “I'm not going to drill into your teeth! But it's a matter of what you don't know. What you try and

Success Tax Professionals policy is getting to know what people want to do, and helping them structure so they can do it more effectively.

Tax laws are forever changing There are always new ways to do things. That’s what an accountant is for. They are continually training, keeping up to date with the new taxation legislations. A good accountant will help you find the best deductions that you can get. Call John for a no obligation chat about your business. He wants to help and make your dreams come true.

Contact John Clarke Success Tax Professionals on

Ask John Clarke about your tax

John knows that there is always going to be one or two periods in a year when money is going to be tight in any business, but stresses the need to budget for a well deserved holiday every now and again.

0481 039 851 for family business planning


SPRING GARDEN RECOMMENDATIONS FROM CHOOK AT THE GREENBOURNE NURSERY ✦ Another garden chat with Chook - The noise on the nursery…

Ornamental Plant Recommendation Lotus ‘Red Flash’ (Lotus hybrida)


he striking silver blue foliage of this plant allows it to contrast itself incredibly in many a garden situation. The low growing habit allows you to ‘paint’ silver patches all throughout the bare patches of your garden beds. From late spring through to mid Autumn the plant also rewards you with an eye catching display of crimson red flowers highlighted with gold. Often called ‘Parrots beak’ as the flowers look similar to just that. The plants low growing habit makes it great for cascading over the edge of garden beds, falling down sloped areas or spilling over the rim of hanging baskets. It will reach a maximum height of 20cm and spread across an area of about 70cm. Performs best in full sun to part shade environments and has minimal water requirements. Does best in well drained soils that are rich in organic material. Look out for it in your local nursery and colour up a couple of ground areas in your


Lotus Hybrida


Culinary Herb Recommendation Curry Tree (Murraya Koenigii) There often exists a bit of confusion when I am showing this plant to various customers on the nursery. The immediate notion is that this plant is responsible for the curry powder we all purchase in dried form. This however is not true. Curry powder is a mixed blend of different spices such as turmeric, cumin and black pepper to only name a few. While the rich blend of spices may differ slightly region to region, they all have the same basic theme to their flavour. And that basic curry theme can be found in the leaves of the curry leaf tree, which demonstrates how amazing and complex the flavour is, just the fact we have mixed lots of different spices

43 and flavours together to mimic the rich aromatic flavours found within the oils of the plant’s leaves. The plant has origins to India and Sri Lanka. It is actually a type of Murraya. Many would be familiar with Murraya paniculata, which is used quite regularly as a nice dense hedge in many gardens. While the curry leaf tree is a native to the tropics it does perform well in temperate zones and a good rule of thumb is if you can grow Murraya paniculata in your area then the curry tree will perform well too. The Curry leaf form of Murraya does have a different habit to its counterpart, it commonly grows with a slender trunk, leading to a gently weeping canopy of fragrant leaves. In most herb gardens the plant is kept under two metres via gentle pruning and harvesting. If allowed to grow naturally it will reach approximately 3-4 metres in height.

The small tree requires a warm, sunny, sheltered site with regular watering and well-drained soil. When using a nice premium grade potting mix the plant will grow great in a medium to large sized pot. The plant produces abundant sprays of small white flowers which eventually form into black berries with a fleshy green seed inside. It is a good tip to remove the flowers as they form to allow the plant to concentrate all of its energy into producing the wonderfully fragrant leaves that are used in cooking. When cooking with the leaves, most cooks prefer to add the leaves fresh. They are used in a wide variety of different Asian cuisines from soups to curries and even in savoury desserts. A great herb plant addition to your garden which is available at most nurseries through the warm months of the year.

Curry Tree (Murraya Koenigii)


Fruit tree recommendation Midyim Berry (Austromyrtus dulcis) One of Australia’s great native fruit plants. The Midyim berry has an amazing sweet, sugary flavour with the slight undertone of eucalyptus flavour mixed through it. The texture is soft and fresh with the slightest bit of textural crunch from the tiny seeds inside the small pulpy white fruit. I still remember introducing my kids to the fruit on an occasion walking around our local area. I discovered a large rambling hedge of the plant which had been originally designed as a small border for a business dwelling. I picked numerous fruits and offered them around. There was an immediate joy from the tasty and unique flavour. Needless to say we make repeat trips to that particular garden.

Midyim Berry

The plant itself is a low, spreading shrub which produces masses of small white flowers in spring and summer. The brownish-white berries are produced quite quickly once the flowers have been pollinated. They are great eaten fresh or made into a jam. The new foliage has a beautiful pink-red colour that is also worth noting.

during the warm weather to keep it in good active growth.

The plant prefers moist, well drained soil in a sunny to partly shaded position. While these are the ideal conditions the plant will tolerate a range of soils and conditions and is worth trying. Keep the plant moist

A great plant that I personally have in my favourites section and have also dotted all around the yard to increase the berry production. All I have to do is beat the kids to the berries!

Enquire with the helpful staff about what deciduous plants will work best in your area - and don’t forget to set up your spotlight in your garden! Also be sure to catch up on all the little garden jobs you were unable to do due to the big wet.

Again, welcome Spring on, in all its glory and pop out to the nursery for some good stock and advice or just for a friendly chat.

Please feel free to drop into the nursery here at Greenbourne Nursery for some good advice or just a friendly chat.








e’re taught to delegate, optimise, outsource and expand at breakneck speed to hit that next financial milestone. But in doing so, we leave piles of incomplete knowledge, loose ends and unchecked data in our wake. Inevitably, the mess we’re leaving behind us eventually catches up usually as a painful reality reflected in our finances. It’s at this time my business advisory clients find their way to me with: •

A business that is a chaotic mess they can barely comprehend,

Financial data that’s completely disconnected from reality and

An army of subordinates, sub contractors and advisors, who the owner thought were there to clean up after them as they rushed ahead into the future.

If your business feels like it’s run wild and you’re not sure where to begin damage control, let me take you back to where I believe the problem begins. It’s about the time we start delegating, hiring and outsourcing before we fully appreciate the tasks we’re handing off. And THAT is what makes it bad advice. We’re told too soon to make critical tasks other people’s problem in our effort to stay floating blissfully in our zone of genius. Now brace yourself for some tough advice from Liz: you don’t get to delegate (the action) important parts of your business until you understand them well enough to check the work of your delegate (the person). Otherwise, you place yourself at the

➸ Is your financial data disconnected from reality? mercy of their knowledge, rather than operating from the power of your own. And nowhere in your business is this more true than in your numbers. Now that we’ve found the heart of the problem, let’s begin on the road to recovery - here are the 3 key parts of your business finances you need to understand in order to take back your power and regain control. Only then can you delegate from a place of clarity, and effectively manage those you have made responsible for these tasks.

1. Your Chart of Accounts This isn’t some vague part of your accounting software that is more for your accountant’s benefit than yours. This is in fact ground zero for understanding your numbers whilst also getting a clear picture of your business’ reality. Your chart of accounts is essentially the list of categories into which all aspects of your figures can be



➸ Are you making better business decisions? organised. It’s everything you spend money on, all your revenue streams, everything in your business that holds value. It is how you measure your business in a clear snapshot, and can be as detailed or as broad as you see fit. Where the disconnect usually occurs is when we subscribe to accounting software - Xero, MYOB, Quickbooks - which comes with ‘out of the box’ account names designed to be a list of generic examples. We then try to allocate income and expenses to these generic categories, rather than renaming them as it relates to our unique business. This reverse engineering of categories is where our reporting starts to get vague; the data is fast becoming disconnected from reality. Think of it like this: in Xero, there is a standard account called 400 Advertising, described as “Expenses incurred for advertising while trying to increase sales.” So any advertising

expense would be allocated here Google Ads Payments, Facebook Ads, radio, print, partnerships, etc.

2. Account Keeping Software

But can you know at a glance which type of advertising is costing the most? How do you know which is the most effective? How can you compare these expenses against your marketing reports to justify how much you spend, and on what platform?

Zooming out from the point above, we need to get real on our accounting software.

You can only manage what you measure. Try instead creating accounts in Xero for each type of advertising you invest in. Then, when you analyse the platforms sending traffic to your website, suddenly you have clear data that shows you which platform is earning its keep in your business. Now imagine applying tailored categories to all areas of your income and expenses. A world of critical data could be at your fingertips.

If you were originally under the impression that it was meant to make your finances quick, simple and easy and it’s now feeling endless, confusing and frustrating - you’re not alone. And the way these programs are marketed to business owners is largely to blame. Business owners are busy people with full plates and many hats. So if you can create a program that makes the administrative part of financial management seem easy, it will get snapped up by time-poor entrepreneurs. The trouble is, the administration of our numbers is not the most important part.


There are no shortcuts to fixing this one. It’s more about making a commitment to yourself and your business. Committing to being more engaged in your finances, moving past any feelings of ‘not being a numbers expert’ and stepping into your power as being an expert on your business, inside and out.

3. Kicking It Old School with End-Of-Month

Don’t fall into the trap of ‘leaving it to the experts so you can stay in your genius zone.’ (Translation: ‘leave the hard, confusing things to other people so you can stay blissfully ignorant until reality comes for you, stick in hand.’) You may not be a financial genius. But you are the highest authority on your business. Don’t outsource tasks until you have a strong understanding of the fundamental principles of what you are delegating. Because no matter how reliable a team you build, you are still the one that retains the 10,000ft view to see how it all comes together.

Disclaimer: These are yuck and boring but unfortunately a legal requirement for professionals in my industry. So just a reminder, the information contained here is general in nature and you should seek financial and business advice tailored to your own personal circumstances. If you’d like support in getting clarity, establishing regular financial habits or even just getting your head around your chart of accounts, I’m the business mentor for you - book a FREE 30 minute chat with me and let’s get you your power back:

It’s about understanding the figures, reading them as if they’re telling you the story of your business at any given moment, and being able to use them to make better decisions. It’s the knowledge that comes with manually handling the finances that is what many business owners are now sorely lacking.

Whilst larger companies may still do this, end-of-month processes have largely fallen out of practice. What was once a necessary process as part of manual accounting actually had the double benefit of being a healthy, monthly ritual for business owners. It’s time to bring a bit of monthly ‘me-time’ into your business habits. This will be a hugely positive step in working towards the level of knowledge I outlined in point 2. Set an appointment in your calendar for a monthly power hour (or two) and identify the key areas in your finances worth keeping an eye on regularly. A great idea would be to involve your bookkeeper in this process; having two sets of eyes on the numbers can only be a good thing, and setting the time set aside with someone else present will only keep you more committed to the appointment.

Whose job is it really? This is the broader question we need to be asking ourselves before we start a delegation frenzy. •

Is it really your bookkeeper’s job to ensure all the categories of data are set, so you can measure exactly what you want to manage? How will they know?

Is it really your accountant’s job to tell you if something is going wrong? Again, how will they know?

Kick in for monthly power hour



DISABILITY MATERNITY CARE SAYS IT'S TIME FOR DADS WITH DISABILITIES TO SHINE ✦ Now, mind the (disability) gender gap. We invite all dads with disabilities to build your visible presence in the world; to speak up, to turn up, to play up.


hilst it is wonderful to count Fearnley and Fox’s excellent achievements as a win for the disability community – this wonderfully diverse community deserves more. How can our young people grow to have positive attitudes if they aren’t exposed to positive representation of dads with disabilities in every context, including social media and real-life? It is time for these dads to celebrate their differences in a framework that enables more members of the disability community to relate to.

It's time for these dads to celebrate their differences

Do dads with disabilities believe their stories don’t matter? Do they feel like they are playing second fiddle to the main characters in their lives? Is there a stigma hangover from times gone by when people with disabilities were desexualised and frowned upon should they dare to entertain the idea of becoming a dad? Or, perhaps it is the financialisation of the ‘biggest, strongest, fastest’ where men find their meaning and value, rather than being the ‘normal’ dad shovelling vegemite sandwiches into his toddler’s mouth at the local park. disAbility Maternity Care encourages dads with disabilities to build their

visible presence in the world, inspiring future generations to embrace their unique strengths.

Why role models are important In the chaos of COVID-19 and its sequelae, strong, confident and authentic role models are more important than ever. Men, young and not so young, are exposed to influences (and indeed, influencers) 24/7, and it is time to curate the content they consume to include the many accomplishments and strengths of dads with disabilities.


B RILLIA NT B USI N E SSE S Boys with disabilities may well be wondering if their parenting dreams might be a possibility in the future. And, it’s hard to be what you can’t see. Whilst there is no doubt that living with a disability adds particular complexities to fatherhood, dads with disabilities bring their own unique flare to the role. So, how can the wider community appreciate and champion these dads for all they

do and how they have the potential to impact positively on the lives of not only their own children, but all children? Jump on social media, get involved in your local parent’s groups, share your experiences with other dads at your workplace and be the cool dad at the park who is covered in the remnants of a vegemite sandwich. disAbility Maternity Care is turning up the volume and addressing the

disability gender gap. Their inaugural podcast celebrates Toby Dawson, a dad with a disability who is not defined, but indeed fortified, by his difference. It is hoped that in giving dads, like Toby, a voice and informing the disability discourse, generations of boys may realise that it is in their differences where they can find their strengths. If you're a Dad with disability, don't fly under the radar. Tell your story through disAbility Maternity Care.

REGISTER collaborative-care-to-support-parents-withdisabilities/








MO-RESIN, AUSTRALIAN MADE AND OWNED JEWELLERY ✦ MO are the maker/designer’s initials backwards; Resin is the material he uses. As simple as that. Born and bred in France, settled in Australia in 2006


MO, the French Jewellery Designer in Australia


is fascination for the female form, curves and lines and the effects of light upon them led him to explore all the curvilinear possibilities offered by resin, furthermore the way that gold and silver leaf can be concealed within it. Using this process, he has now been making his unique collection of jewellery for the last 11 years.

MO is initially an artist He studied painting and sculpting when he prepared for Les Beaux Arts School in Paris, where he was born in the 1960s. Many years later, when he visited

Sydney, MO was amazed by the way art was part of everyday life, especially when he attended Sculptures by the Sea. He decided to come and live here with his family and felt extremely lucky to become an Australian citizen in 2011. The family lived in the Royal National Park for a few years and are now settled in the Southern Highlands. Here, MO can focus on what fascinates him the most: the way light sits on different materials and makes it look totally different. This is how in 2010, MO started to work with gold and silver leaf inserted into epoxy resin to make jewellery.

He told us, “Every day I push the limits of what I can do with it and it is always a new surprise. In this journey, I found a way to insert a design such as part of my own paintings on gold leaf. Since 2013, using this technique, I am very proud and honoured to work with Aboriginal artists whom I pay royalties to. I am very happy to make art you can wear, accessible to anyone even with a small budget. I have full support of my wife and we work happily hand in hand. And I am also very blessed to work on certain matters with our children. MO Resin is a small family business, and we thank you for supporting us.”



How is MO’s jewellery made? MO has developed a unique process of embedding materials such as Dutch Gold and Silver leaf accompanied by artistic designs into epoxy resin. As each item is hand-crafted, it is unique; differences between two similar pieces cannot be considered as faults. Every piece of jewellery is unique, each piece is signed by MO, made by MO in his workshop in the Moss Vale where you are welcome to visit by appointment.

They look like glass, are they fragile as well? MO´s jewellery is made from epoxy resin which has strength in flexibility and therefore can be worn in the everyday life with no fear of breaking them or damage. They are very comfortable to wear also because they are so light.

In what material are your rings and earrings made? The rings are all cast with a 316 stainless steel adjustable base, which is extremely strong and resistant to tarnish over time. However MO can also cast them with Sterling silver platinum plated adjustable bases at the customer’s request. The hoops and studs are in stainless steel. The earrings are on sterling silver platinum plated hooks.

Corine silver and black bracelet


ARTISANS ON THE HILL IS A MUST VISIT GALLERY FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT! ✦ Peter and Christine Calabria create interesting, functional pieces for their gallery and also teach many interesting crafts. The emphasis is handmade and proudly Australian owned.


e had the pleasure of chatting with the creative couple and having a step-by-step tutorial by Peter on the making of one of his handmade treasures, The Shapel Tide Clock.

ecologically sustainable forests in the Pacific. This industry provides a welcome income for the locals in this region.

The Shapel Tide Clock - handmade in Australia in the Artisans On The Hills workshop

The natural timber clocks feature an oil finish (Peter wants the finish to be IN the timber, not ON the timber). “This allows the timber to breathe and will require from time to time freshening up with a good quality furniture wax or oil," he explains. "Please keep your Tide Clock away from direct sunlight, wherever possible, to maintain the quality of your timber.“

A unique instrument in the world, the Shapel tide clock shows both the current tide and the current phase of the moon, as well as the time. The timber in the clock is Plantation Grown Mahogany which is sourced from

As the timber used to make the tide clock is a natural resource, natural variations in timber colour and grain will occur, meaning no staining required. They are all naturally beautiful.

How Tide Clocks are made


A tide clock is a specially designed clock that keeps track of the Moon's apparent motion around the Earth. Along many coastlines, the Moon contributes the major part (67%) of the combined lunar and solar tides. The exact interval between tides is influenced by the position of the Moon and Sun relative to the Earth, as well as the specific location on Earth where the tide is being measured. Due to the Moon's orbital prograde motion, it takes a particular point on the Earth (on average) 24 hours and 50.5 minutes to rotate under the Moon, so the time between high lunar tides fluctuates between 12 and 13 hours. A tide clock is divided into two roughly 6 hour tidal periods that shows the average length of time between high and low tides in a semi-diurnal tide region.

How does a tide clock work? The tide indicator is a single hand on the clock that rotates around the face clockwise, just like a regular timepiece. High tide is marked at the top of the clock and low tide at the bottom, with the hours from and to each around the sides. The number pointed to by the hand gives the time from the last tide and to the next tide. The tide hand moves clockwise. When it is pointing at the bottom of the clock it's telling you that it is now low tide. When it is pointing at the top of the clock it's telling you that it is now high tide. As it rotates down from the top to the bottom, it´s showing you how long until the next low tide, and indicating that the tide is falling. As it rotates up from the bottom to the top, it shows you how long until the next high tide, and indicates that the tide is rising. Keep in mind that the time between high tide and low tide is not exactly 6 hours - it's about 10 mins more.

A great gift for anyone interested in the natural rhythms of our world Surfers, sailors, fishermen, star watchers and gardeners will love this unique and useful gift. Or you just may want one for yourself! You can order yours here.


What is a tide clock?


The Gallery Open ON DEMAND, you need just phone 6553 1199 to let them know when you'd like to visit. The unusual architecture of the Gallery highlights the functional, artistic pieces in wood, glass, metal, fabric and lots more surrounding you. Your senses are enlivened by the vast array of art in just about every shape and form.

58 Artisans On The Hill is a unique concept that provides a place where anyone can come and indulge their passion to view and purchase unique artisanal craft, or to try their hand at creating functional and artistic pieces using both traditional and modern materials and techniques in a friendly, relaxed atmosphere. Perhaps you just want to enjoy some quality time with family and friends in the 5 bedroom accommodation at Artisans.

Exhibited artworks & workshops There is nowhere and nothing else which provides the same range of facilities, craft workshops, accommodation and an artisan gallery together on one property within Australia. Having a large workshop to try your hand at a myriad of Artisan skills, you will experience traditional-type skills and with the hands-on workshops that the couple conduct when you require them (including children’s workshops).

Check out their website for more details. Workshops at Artisans On The Hill

Workshops are based on a maximum number of people rather than a minimum. A workshop will carry on with just one person, but the maximum is 4 for most classes.

Stunning Craftsmanship in the gallery by Alan Williams Alan Williams 7 Drawer Nautilus Cedar Box The Nautilus is Alan’s signature piece and a must have for any collector of Alan’s work. His boxes have been lovingly hand-made from a single, solid piece of timber. As the proud

owner of an Alan Williams Bandsawn Box, you are among Kings and Presidents enjoying the tactile beauty of a unique piece. Since 1992, Alan has been fully occupied making his band sawn compartment boxes and is now creating articles for the pure enjoyment of making. Alan’s boxes have been selected as presentation pieces for the Governors of

Queensland and NSW and as gifts from the Australian Government. They feature in private collections throughout the world and in Australia.

Timber Clutch Purse from Queensland Walnut The timber clutch large purse is handcrafted in Australia from Queensland Walnut, a beautiful rich brown coloured timber from


north Queensland. This timber is no longer milled in Australia, so it makes the timber rare and hard to come across. This means that the stock of these clutches is very limited. When making these timber clutch purses the primary focus is to keep everything as environmentally friendly as possible. To accomplish this, all timber is sourced from renewable plantations or uses reclaimed timber that cannot be used for other purposes. Formaldehyde free glue is used throughout. The clutches are finished with natural, plant-based stains that are toxin free and eco friendly. The large clutch purses come packed in an Australian made recyclable box with a fabric bag to store them in when not in use. All clutches also come with a detachable chain.

Why buy Australian Made? “We've got to try and keep some of the money here in Australia, it's very, very simple,” Peter told us. “And we have so many talented artisans and artists, and creatives in Australia, it's just crazy that we don't support them, so that they can keep going, so that they can continue their craft. If we don't support Australian made and owned, number one, we're going to be sending money offshore. Number two, the skills that they have are just going to die in Australia. We will lose those businesses.”



DINKI CO IS PROUDLY AUSTRALIAN AND CREATING A BETTER BUSINESS ✦ Positive change, responsible decisions and ethical practices make for a better business!


What if we told you you could buy a product that is: » Not tested on animals in any way » Everything is recyclable » 100% Aussie made and owned » 50% of the annual profits go towards local Australian wildlife charities That's what Dinki Co is doing.

Don't just think. Do! Consumers nowadays have gone beyond merely being environmentally-conscious. Now people want to actively DO something about it that will make a difference. Thinking is no longer enough. Dinki Co rose out of the desire to create a better business. They are socially and ethically conscious of their impact on the world. They want to contribute

positively to society, driving change for the better. Founded by Jacob Young (you may remember him from last month's Brilliant story on Father's Day), Dinki Co actively involves and trusts their customers to make informed decisions that can positively impact society. And Jacob knew that they had to take the first step. It was up to them as a retailer to lead the way with responsible, transparent business choices and ethical practices.

Dinki Co's Bush Buddies Dinki Co has adopted their own bush buddies to support. The hubris humans have of thinking they own the planet and can do whatever they want is now frowned upon. Animals inhabit this planet too, and many have been here way longer than modern man has. Many suffer as a result of human greed and everywhere we are starting to see a movement towards guarding animal rights and protection.

"Conservative estimates put more than 1,800 plant and animal species and woodlands, forests and wetlands at risk of extinction due to the intertwined pressures of climate change, land use practices, habitat loss and invasive species." The Guardian

Australians will remember early 2020 when devastating bushfires swept through killing thousands of native flora and fauna. Animals in Australia are facing a crisis, and if we want future generations to continue to exist with these creatures we need to do something right now. If not, our grandchildren may grow up in a world where kangaroos and koalas only exist as images and not in real life. That is why 50% of Dinki Co's annual profits go to local wildlife charities. When you buy from Dinki Co, you are also helping the kangaroos, the koalas, the birds, the fish and the bees. Dinki Co partnered with Southern Koala and Echidna Rescue to help protect Australia's native species.



The best things in life are free Dinki Co's Tipsy Koala Hand Sanitiser is a great example of this. It's fragrance free, animal-testing free, phthalate-free, paraben-free and synthetic fragrancefree! Beyond its amazing germ killing capabilities (it kills 99.9% of germs), 50% of the annual profits go towards helping Australian wildlife. With so much eco-anxiety in our lives nowadays, it just feels liberating to have a product that we can use guilt-free and not worry about the impact we have on the environment. It´s vegan and the can is 100% recyclable. Shopping local is also a great way to take care of the environment, and Dinki Co's Koala Farts (we just love their names!) cannot get any more Australian with the fresh, clean smell of eucalyptus in their sprays. It's a great way to kill 99.9% of germs and keep bad smells away.

Koala Farts are powerful as well as it can be used to remove permanent markers, stickers and sticky residue.

How to use Koala Farts

The irresistible koala You got to give it to these furry little sweethearts. Nobody can ever say they don't like koalas.

Co Tipsy Koala ➸ Dinki Hand Sanitiser Did you know that koalas has officially been declared an endangered species in parts of eastern Australia? Climate change, the raging bush fires, neverending droughts have had a heavy impact on the koala population. Protection for koalas have been increasing in New South Wales, Queensland and the Australia Capital Territory, with millions of dollars being pumped in by the government for approval of a national recovery plan.

Learn more about Southern Koala and Echidna Rescue

You'd want to have some fresh Koala Farts around the house if you need to clean and disinfect, or just freshen rooms and smell shoes.

Co Koala Farts ➸ DinkiEucalyptus Spray We all know simply discussing the issue isn't going to solve it. Dinki Co is walking the talk by taking action steps to do their part, and inviting their customers to be on the same journey as them to help Australian wildlife. Every bit counts. While Dinki Co is helping customers stay clean, safe and smelling wonderfully fresh, they are also helping in the conservation efforts of Australian wildlife. So the next time you spray a Koala Fart, you know you are doing your part in protecting Australian wildlife.


PRENDE'S ORGANIC AND NATURAL SOLUTIONS TO ALL YOUR HAIR PROBLEMS ✦ Prende creates luxurious, high-quality and effective products, but more importantly, they are eco-friendly. All products work simply because the ingredients are in touch with mother nature.

Prende believes in truly natural products taken from Earth to produce healthy results and then give back to Earth by preserving it.


he Prende tale begins not long ago, inspired by environmentalism and demand for beauty products that worked, our founders began to work on something different, thus the Prende Haircare line was born. With Prende, you can use all your favourite products minus the guilt of affecting the environment. You don’t need to worry about harming your

skin by subjecting it to chemicals that promise to work. All our products are cruelty-free. Prende offers truly organic hair care products known for their organic ingredients.

Free of synthetic colour or fragrance

Australian Made & Owned

These ingredients work like magic, they chip away at the problem bit by bit through stress on the root cause of the issue. Unlike artificial ingredients, Prende products will not just give you temporary results, but results that last much longer!

Here are some of the most popular products.

Prende products are: •




The Prende Miracles ARGAN OIL From our unique haircare collection, the Argan Oil Serum works deep into the roots, fighting against accumulated damage and restoring moisture. It is not only paraben, sulphate and cruelty-free. Our hair oil is also Vegan!



PEPPERMINT SHAMPOO Our best seller, Prende peppermint shampoo is an invigorating, clarifying, cleansing shampoo that increases scalp circulation for a refreshed, renewed feeling. Formulated to help alleviate dry, itchy scalp. Many customers have said it has helped them with their Scalp Psoriasis.

KIDS HEAD LICE SHAMPOO Fight lice, this effective sulphate-free formula is strong enough to stun and kill head lice yet gentle enough for your child’s sensitive scalp.

KIDS SHAMPOO Gently cleanse away dirt, debris and oil from your little one’s hair and scalp, this tearless shampoo is free from sulphates, dyes, parabens and synthetic fragrance for a super safe experience with every wash. If your child has sensory issues when having their hair washed, say goodbye to knots, tangles and the pain associated with washing days with this kid-friendly shampoo.

Your Prende Journey Starts Today You’ve already taken the first step towards Prende. The fact is that you have read this story about Prende organic hair care products; now take the next step and make the journey to the website, that will prove that you care for the environment. You don’t have to take Prende´s word for it. The products speak for themselves. The results are surprising. The high quality ingredients are paraben-free, sulphate-free and cruelty-free. More importantly, Prende gives you options, they have Vegan products and purely organic hair care products.

➸ ➹

Check Out Our Products

Best sellers, Prende Peppermint Shampoo and Conditioner







LGBT'S CONTINUING EFFORTS TO TURN THE TIDE... ✦ It has been almost a year since we focused on the state of affairs facing the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) community and its ongoing challenge to achieve full acceptance and equality in society.


ast October we ran two concurrent stories exploring LGBT history month and challenges for LGBT athletes in the global professional sports environment. Almost 12 months on we wanted to revisit the topic to determine what, if any, progress has been made since. On first glance its encouragingly apparent that positive strides have been made in certain quarters. On August 21st, Singapore’s government finally agreed to repeal a colonial-era law criminalising gay sex, much to the joy of campaingers. The penal code ruling that denied sexual relations between men was inherited from the British colonial era, with a penalty of up to two years in jail for offenders. The draconian law was very much at odds with the Lion State’s image of a modern, vibrant, multi-cultural society, something the government has worked hard to push during recent decades. Campaigners said as much, twice launching appeals to have the ruling reversed only to be rebuffed on both occasions. However, during a policy speech on August 21st, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong conceded the law would be repealed as attitudes have shifted in the past 15 years, claiming gay people “are now better accepted” locally, especially among younger Singaporeans. Last October we ran two concurrent stories exploring LGBT history month and challenges for LGBT athletes in the global professional sports environment. Almost 12 months on we wanted to revisit the topic to determine what, if any, progress has been made since.

Policies for LGBT people are starting to open

‘Homosexuality cannot be cured’ Elsewhere, there were positive steps witnessed in Vietnam where on August 3rd the Health Ministry instructed doctors to stop treating homosexuality as a disease, and to cease discrimination in medical care.

It published a document stating that “homosexuality cannot be ‘cured’, does not need ‘to be cured’ and cannot be changed,” according to a report by The Dilopmat. “Do not consider homosexuality, bisexuality or being transgender a disease,” the report instructed. “Do not coerce members of these groups into medical treatment.



➸ If any, only provide psychiatric help, which must be conducted by experts with knowledge of gender identities.” When undertaking medical care for homosexual, bisexual, and transsexual patients, health providers “must be fair and respectful of their sexuality and must not discriminate against these groups,” it added. It was regarded as a singificant step forwards in the battle for sexual equality in a country often perceived to possess somehwat provincial attitudes towards the subject. A report in 2020 by Human Rights Watch highlighted how children are often taught by both teachers and parents that being gay is a mental illness and young LGBTQ people continue to “face stigma and discrimination at home and at school.”

‘Homosexuality cannot be cured’ according to the Health Ministry of Vietnam

It is examples like this that continue to highlight the struggle and ongoing challenges faced by the global LGBT community. Sure, much progress has and continues to be made but there is still a huge way to go, something emphasised recently the United Nation’s Independent Expert on sexual orientation and gender identity, Victor Madrigal-Borloz, after a 10-day visit to the United States to compile a report. Madrigal-Borloz met with over 70 federal, state and local representatives, more than 100 civil society representatives and people with “lived experience” in the LGBT community as part of his tour. On September 3rd his report stated that “equality is not yet within reach and in many cases not within sight” for

LGBT communities, adding that he is “extremely concerned” about a concerted series of actions at the state and local level based “on prejudice and stigma, to attack and to rollback the rights of LGBT persons.” He further explained that the LGBT community suffers in regards to access to health, employment, education and housing and that 20.3% of hate crimes were related to sexual orientation or gender identity bias. Madrigal-Borloz warned that the recent Roe versus Wade ruling could have a detrimental impact in overturning other precedents specific to the LGBT community, especially if gay marriage was outlawed and homosexuality became a criminal act, as it currently is in more than 65 countries.


Fresh challenges Further incidents have occurred that pose fresh challenges to the LGBT community, or rather enhance negative stigmas against certain sections of this group. After the carnage of COVID-19, the last thing anyone wanted was the spectre of another virus looming large, something that Monkeypox initially threatened to be. Thankfully, despite over 25,000 cases being reported globally since early May of this year, it does not appear to pose the same threat as the coronavirus. However, it is still very much significant enough that the World Health Organization (WHO) recently declared the situation a global health emergency.

“depicting sexual minorities”. Tragically, Zahra Hamadani and Elham Chubdar, two LGBT rights activists in Iran, were sentenced to death by authorities on September 5th for their support of the country’s LGBT community which was deemed as “corruption on Earth”.

Shocking incidents like this make for depressing reading and truly hammer home the point that, while progress is being made in certain quarters, there is still a gargantuan effort ahead before people of a certain sexual preference or gender identification can be considered what they are: equal human beings.

“While anyone can get monkeypox, the current outbreak is overwhelmingly affecting sexually active gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men... [and] 98% of these infections had occurred in this group,” says a report in The Conversation. Medical experts have cautioned people in this demographic to take care and use protection, limit the number sexual partners and seek vaccination if they believe they are affected. In the Middle East, an area not renowned for its tolerance of equality, challenges for the LGBT community continue seemingly unabated. Human Rights Watch reports how a recent bill submitted to Parliament in Iraq proposes to “punish any individual or group who advocates for the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people”, something that is reportedly gaining momentum with parliament members. Anyone who advocates for LGBT rights or “promotes homosexuality” would face imprisonment up to one year, and a fine of up to five million dinars (US$3,430). Media companies and civil society organisations that “promote homosexuality” would also have their licenses suspended for up to one month, the bill says. Similarly, Gulf states led by Saudi Arabia earlier this month threatened Netflix with legal action if they broadcast content considered offensive to the values of Islam by

Young LGBTQ people continue to “face stigma and discrimination at home and at school."



Health is an important ➸foundation for LGBT people


HASTINGS CO-OP IS IGA'S NATIONAL COMMUNITY SERVICE CHAMPIONS ✦ Hastings Co-op was awarded the coveted Community Service Award at IGA’s National Excellence Awards recently, shining the spotlight on the Hastings Valley’s unrivalled community spirit.


he prestigious honour follows a dream run for the community-owned cooperative, which also took out two major awards at the recent NSW/ACT Excellence Awards for their community service and Sovereign Place IGA meat department. Wauchope IGA was also a state Customer Service Award finalist and Sovereign Place IGA was a Store of the Year Award finalist. “To win the National Community Service Award over 1,455 other independently-owned IGAs nationwide is the ultimate recognition for our staff, who have a proud reputation for customer service excellence and giving back to the communities we serve,” chief executive officer Allan Gordon said. “Our community is no different to others when it comes to facing adversities like drought, bushfires, floods and the pandemic, but I think the way our community banded together after the March 2021 floods was one of the major factors that led to this award.” At the peak of the natural disaster Hastings Co-op opened Wauchope IGA in the middle of the night to stock an evacuation centre and helped deliver essentials to stranded residents via SES boats. In the aftermath, we facilitated grant information sessions and hosted a community BBQ to thank emergency service heroes. “Our community knows that when we’re dealt a difficult hand they can depend on Hastings Co-op to support them. We often talk about

Co-op's Supermarket and Liquor Division ➸ Hastings Manager Darren Partridge (left) and Community

Engagement Manager Tim Walker (centre) with NSW Metcash General Manager Jason McLean Photo: Meraki Photography

the Hastings Co-op family of 19 businesses and that’s what our members and customers are family,” Mr Gordon said.

being one of the region’s largest employers of youth and; showcasing local producers and businesses in IGA supermarkets and liquor stores.

Other stand-out examples include: job opportunities for 400 locals; annual Community Chest grants; a generous Co-op 100 reward program; defibrillators in 10 stores; regular competitions, giveaways and random acts of kindness; donating produce waste to Billabong Zoo; business partnerships to help the region’s economy; offering space for fundraising BBQs and raffles;

“There’s not many local clubs, schools, charities or community groups across the Hastings and Camden Haven that wouldn’t have benefitted from our extensive sponsorship program over the years. Giving back is ingrained in everything we do. “It’s what sets us apart,” Mr Gordon said.




Automatically go in the draw when you present your member card every time you shop at


between September 1 to 30


To become a member visit

No minimum spend. Excludes tobacco products. One entry per transaction. Employees are eligible.






SUPPORT BRAVEHEARTS TO KEEP CHILDREN SAFE ✦ Bravehearts Mid North Coast fundraise year round for Child Protection Education


ravehearts Mid North Coast is a volunteer committee who fundraise year round to provide free professional Child Protection Education to local children in Kindergarten, Year 1 and 2. This is in the form of a safe interactive show which gives the children skills to keep their bodies safe and to remove themselves from risky situations. This Friday 9th September is Bravehearts Day to raise vital funds and awareness to protect children from the atrocious crime of child sexual abuse. “Being a mother myself, I am passionate about equipping our children with the personal safety skills they need,” Member for Port Macquarie, Leslie Williams says. “Bravehearts do fantastic work and I value the opportunity to support this Committee here in Port Macquarie.” The Ditto in a Box resource uses colourful posters, flashcards, a fun activity book and a DVD of the Ditto Show to help teachers and parents engage with students and explore personal safety messages with young children. “Our local Bravehearts Committee is incredible and are determined to make sure that every child on the Mid North Coast has the opportunity to participate in the ‘Ditto’ show. Bravehearts is fully funding this education for just under 2000 local kids at a cost of over $25000. Bravehearts has been working hard to raise awareness and support education so children and young people can grow up safe, connected and supported in their communities.

Leslie Williams with Veronica Lind



Every child, in every community, needs a fair go. - Child Protection Week message

The highlight of the event was the fashion parade led by Vicki Carnes of Victoria Modeling Agency and sponsored by Sharon of Glasshouse Emporium with several attendees providing their wedding dresses modeled by the local ladies in Port Macquarie. It was uplifting to see so many come together to show their support.

With raffles and auction, Bravehearts Mid North Coast estimated that they raised between $4500-$5000. If you wish to support, the best is to attend functions organised by Bravehearts - it makes a big difference to see and meet a community coming together. Donations are also welcome at any time. Businesses can support by donating raffle and auction items. All donations are tax deductible. For more information and donations to Bravehearts Mid North Coast, please contact Jenny Watts.

Read full story


Despite heavy rains and gusty winds on Saturday, 3rd September afternoon, many attended the high tea at Port Macquarie Race Course. The event was booked out at 120.

The Wedding Fashion Parade led by Vicki Carnes. Models wear wedding dresses previously worn by guests at the High Tea.





ANGUS HAWKES NEEDS YOUR HELP! ✦ Young Angus Hawkes is battling a rare and virulent form of cancer. His family is asking for help in this trying time.


e are asking for your support for Luke, Lauren and Indie Hawkes as together they put all their energy and love into helping their 10 year old son/ brother, Angus in his battle against a malignant tumour on his bladder. Doctors have identified the tumour as one of the rarest tumor types known in the world and Angus is facing the fight of his life to overcome the illness.

Angus Hawkes - Son, brother, friend Angus goes to school locally and loves his footy very much. He has been a

very strong player at the Sharks Junior Rugby League footy club since he started playing in the under 6 grade, so of course when they heard about Angus, the Sharkies came together to try and help the family while they focus all their energy on their beautiful little boy getting the treatment he needs for a full recovery. Angus has been a resident at Ronald McDonald House Newcastle since the beginning of August undergoing a series of tests to determine the best course of action to treat the illness. Due to the rarity of the tumour, the doctors needed 100% surety before starting treatment. Those tests have now been completed and doctors have decided upon a treatment program for Angus. This will be a challenging time for Angus and his family. Rare cancer specialists at Sydney Children's Hospital are now in charge of the

treatment program which has meant Angus and his family have had to relocate to Randwick whilst they try and treat the tumour using the very latest in new medications under the watchful eye of the specialists. We ask you to please join with us to help Angus and his family in this fight against a terrible disease. The Hawkes family face uncertain times. Their life is now all about being there for Angus as it should be.

Buy a raffle ticket to raise money for Angus and his family, 100% of the money raised will go directly to them.

Buy raffle ticket

Raffle Drawn Sunday 18th September at Sharks Presentation for Angus and his Family

➸ Buy a raffle ticket to support Angus Hawkes



Updates from the Family

can take place back home whilst we await the next surgery.

Week 1

Brave doesn't even begin to cover it with this boy. Always smiling.

The boy is doing so well! He's been subjected to endless tests and scans and has taken it all in his stride. A fan favourite with the nurses. Wednesday he had his first surgery to take a biopsy of the tumour, install a central line for chemo and a drain to his sick kidney. All that went so well. Fast forward to Friday and we're still awaiting some genetic testing on the tumour sample. Seems to be a very rare tumour - 1 in 1 million. Hoping for a treatment plan mid-next week and hopeful some of the treatment

We honestly cannot thank everyone enough for their support. The calls, messages, gifts and offers of help have been overwhelming and we are just so lucky.

Week 2 The boy is still amazing to us with his strength and bravery. Still smiling everyday. We're so proud of him. We spent most of the week at Ronald McDonald House awaiting results and popping over to the hospital for daily checks. Due to the rarity of the tumour we needed 100% surety

before starting treatment. We also need to make sure his healthy kidney is stable enough. Yesterday, we got that piece of paper we've been waiting on. So now it's full steam ahead. Today we zoomed with the rare cancer specialist at Sydney Children's Hospital who will take over from here and treatment should start next week. Monday we will relocate to Randwick for the next few weeks whilst we try and shrink this tumour down using a very new medication under the watchful eye of the experts down there. Again, we want to thank all the wonderful people in our lives for their love and support.

Angus and his family need your help


Week 3 This week we relocated to Sydney Children's Hospital to start treatment with our new specialist oncologist. Took a couple of days to make a final decision on what type of chemo to administer. Unfortunately Angus' tumour is so rare that there actually isn't an approved Australian standard treatment. Happy to report that treatment begun yesterday. Now we wait until this monster shrinks down and next step, surgery. Hopeful that we can spend some time at home between now and then. As always, Angus is doing amazing. Brave, tough, resilient and we're so proud of him.

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Lauren and Angus

➸ Indi and Angus hanging out




Nathan Stapleton scores for the Cronulla Sharks

Nathan Stapleton "Stapo" is a fighter in more ways than one, and he is one special dad the community is coming together to support.


ather’s Day is a special occasion on the calendar when families get the opportunity to truly express their love, respect and gratitude to their superstar patriarch, with the date falling on September 4th this year in Australia. It will be an especially special day for one man in particular whose story epitomises the very definition of tragedy, heartbreak, love, courage and hope. This particular young man went from being a blissfully married, care-free dad of one, with another child on the way, to being pronounced dead then diagnosed as quadriplegic. But the man and his family didn’t stop fighting and, amazingly, he will celebrate on September 4th being a father to two wonderful young boys. His story is heartbreaking yet truly inspirational in good measure.

Photo : AAP / Robb Cox

Nathan Stapleton is a name that will be familiar to many and a household name to fans of Rugby League. The 32-year-old from Deepwater, NSW, had a successful fiveyear spell with Cronulla Sharks where he scored 17 tries in 61 appearances between 2009-14 as a winger, fullback and centre. After retiring from the professional game, Nathan married his partner of 15 years Kate, and the couple moved out to rural NSW to live on a farm while welcoming young son Harry into the world. Life was idyllic for this young couple who had so much to look forward to with another child on the way.

The Day Life Changed for Stapo However, that all changed on April 9th this year when Nathan, playing his first game for country club Boorowa Goldies in West Wyalong sustained an injury that left him with a broken neck and a massively injured spinal cord. In fact, he was pronounced dead on the pitch for 16 minutes before off-duty nurse Louise McCabe, who was at the game,



managed to revive him and keep him stable until the ambulance came and took him to the hospital. Despite initial fears that Nathan had sustained serious brain damage, he awoke from sedation with his mind intact, and to be given the news that he was paralysed from the shoulders down and would never walk again. It is the stuff of nightmares for us all but especially hard-hitting for a former professional athlete. “The second it happened, everything gets put into perspective and everything you stressed about before is so insignificant,” Kate said in a recent interview with A Current Affair. Nathan agreed, reflecting on the early moments in hospital: “I had to make a choice. I could either sit here and feel sorry for myself and bring everyone down with me, or suck it up, accept it for what it is and focus on the things that I can do,” he said.

Good Luck Baby The power of family in times of adversity really is something very special and what happened next solidified that decision by Nathan to fight and move forward positively.

Kate gave birth to young Angus only a few weeks after the tragic accident and Nathan was there to witness the birth and support his wife throughout thanks to the wonderful teams at Sydney’s Prince of Wales Hospital and the adjoining Royal Hospital for Women who went above and beyond to ensure the couple could be together. “We’re very thankful and blessed that we could be there together at the birth and it's something that we’ll never forget,” Nathan said. The couple refer to Angus as their 'good luck baby'. That’s not to forget his older brother Harry who the couple say seems to have adjusted and accepted the situation with his father being restricted to hospital. However, it is hoped Nathan will be able to leave soon and return to the family home in rural NSW. He is mastering his new electronic wheelchair that he navigates with his chin and has the use of his laptop that he programs via facial recognition software.

v “No one wants to be where I’m sitting but at the end of the day there's so much to look forward to,” says Nathan. “I’ve got a beautiful wife, I’ve got two beautiful boys and I’m blessed I can still be there for them.”

Having such a rock solid relationship with Kate and being the father of two wonderful young boys has given Nathan the shining light to fight and look forward with positivity.

Photo : Armidale Express

Photo : A Current Affair


Opportunity to help The local community has rallied around this special couple in an effort to help support as best as they can; an online fundraiser has been established to support Nathan’s recovery efforts and his former club are setting up a series of events. Closer to home, David Lazarus and Elsa Barbosa from Port AdVenture Cruises in Port Macquarie, were so moved by Nathan and his family’s plight after seeing the interview on Nine Now A Current Affair that they also decided to organise a fundraising initiative in order to help. With the assistance of supporting businesses in the Port Macquarie

region, they are putting together a mega raffle package for everyone and anyone to buy tickets and win the donated prizes.

Cruise for Stapo What's happening and how you can help Stapo.

Fund Raising Launch for Stapo on Sunday, September 11th at 2.30 pm A fundraiser was launched with a live appearance by cover band Eric Grothe and the Gurus with special guest appearance Bill Harrigan. Many will remember Eric as a tear away winger for Parramatta, NSW and Australia,

Come say hi to the dolphins on a Port AdVenture Cruise!

although he is also a fine frontman for the band nowadays too! Bill Harrigan is Australian former rugby league football referee, and former head of refereeing for the National Rugby League. This was a huge treat for many who turned up at the event!

Raffle tickets on sale Tickets for the raffle will be on sale on all Port AdVenture cruises from Sunday, September 11th until 10:30am on Saturday, September 24th. Raffle tickets are priced at $5 per ticket or $10 for 3 tickets. Or call Elsa on 0434393199 to purchase raffle tickets.



Cruise for Stapo Raffle Draw on Saturday 24th September

Cruises. So come celebrate with us at 77 Clarence St, Port Macquarie, NSW 2444.

That day will be a special day for PortAdVenture Cruises as they celebrate their one-year “birthday” of the Rhythmboat in Port Macquarie after COVID-19 had forced the business to relocate from Sydney Harbour.

Another rugby league legend, Benny Elias, has been approached to actually conduct the draw.

Triple MMM will be staging an outside broadcast from 9am – 12 noon while celebrations for the opening of Fisherman’s Wharf and the beautification of the boardwalk now linking the Break Wall, Town Green and Fisherman’s wharf will take place. At 11am, the raffle draw will take place on the dockside of PortAdVenture

The former Tigers, NSW state of origin captain and vice-captain of Australia on two Kangaroo tours has yet to confirm although it is hoped he will be able to make it for such a special occasion. “We understand that Nathan and his family don’t live in Port Macquarie and there are a lot of locals that also need help,” explains Dave Lazarus. “However, we have a very close connection with rugby league and to have input from Eric Grothe and

hopefully Benny Elias, we hope that the Port Macquarie community sees this as a wonderful opportunity to help in a small way by buying tickets or even a donation. “We feel that if people take the time to see the A Current Affair package, they will feel the same way as we do and help us by either donating a prize or buying a ticket for the raffle,” concluded Dave.


A LOOK AT A BOOK ✦ A profile of a world-famous woman, a directory of Australia’s epic trails and hikes; and a charming book for the little ones: Susie Boswell looks at some eclectic new releases on the bookshelves this month.

Anna, The Biography by Amy Odell


he is one of the most remarkable women in popular culture. She’s Dame Anna Wintour, turning 73 soon, editor-in-chief of Vogue magazine for the past 34 years and with a string of other CEO roles in the Conde Nast international publishing empire. British by birth, she has long adopted New York as her home. Her multimillion-dollar a year salary is said to be augmented by a $200,000 clothing allowance (US$4000-odd a week is probably not over the top if you’re buying haute couture threads). Outside of fashion industry cognoscenti she’s better known to a wider audience as “the inspiration for” Miranda Priestly, her Best Actressnominated Meryl Streep alter ego, star of the movie made in 2005, The Devil Wears Prada. In turn, the movie was based on a book with the same title, written in 2002. So: for more than 20 years, Anna Wintour has been a world-recognised tour de force, a subject worthy of the focus of literature and film and of portrayal by one of cinema’s greatest, Streep. She’s known, too, for her eternal chestnut-toned bobbed hairstyle and ubiquitous sunglasses – worn daytimes both outdoors and in, and often at night. (A shame; she has pretty, wide-set eyes). The shades are so incongruous they’ve become her trademark. She’s recognised also for her temperament: whether accurately reflected or parodied in the books and the movie depends on your point of view. This new release, Anna, is an unauthorised biography of a fascinating woman that reads often as a supercharged c.v. - but that

nevertheless fills out each entry, each step in Wintour’s career and life, with factual records and attributed, and anonymous, anecdotes by leading international fashion industry icons, former and current colleagues and staff, and her many friends and acquaintances.

Page upon page offers a jolt of recognition: names including Giorgio Armani, Madonna, Antony Armstrong-Jones, Richard Avedon, Gucci, Christiane Amanpour, Beyonce, Tom Ford, Gisele Bundchen, Grace Coddington, Hugh Jackman, the Clintons, the Clooneys, the Olsens, the


B RILLIA NT COMM U N IT Y Obamas, Oprah, Gwyneth Paltrow, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Renee Zellweger, the Oz’s Richard Neville and Christopher Hitchens (both former boyfriends), Baz Luhrmann, Nicole Kidman, Manolo Blahnik, Catherine Duchess of Cambridge, Chanel, Biba, Jimmy Choo, John Galliano, Max Mara, Donald Trump and Queen Elizabeth ... you get my drift. Even Harvey Weinstein. That list alone hints at just one remarkable trend instigated by Wintour: the move in fashion publishing and promotion away from featuring models to using movie stars and actors as the focus for covers, cover stories and profiles, and in advertising. Some of the more extreme fussiness and fastidiousness described as Vogue idiosyncrasies may seem hard to believe: for example, that the veggies on the dinner plates at the Met Gala have to “match”! Yet I can personally vouch for this peculiar mentality. During a stint as a sub-editor at Vogue Australia I was gobsmacked at the time and expense spent for me to edit the pages to a particular design – something then unheard of in the world of real journalism and that would have been derided in the profession. (Technology has since made the quirk more easily achieved). Many of the other mannerisms, practices and even the physical layout of the offices, too, described in the book ring true in my experience as a commonality of the brand. There’s a feeling of “chicken or the egg” in reading this book in context with the earlier Wintour manifestations: so much seems so familiar, or is it merely that the myths, or truths, widely persist? The American author or her editors are annoyingly prone to an excess of commas and there’s some evidence of hasty editing where a personality is mentioned as if a known identity, but only introduced in the narrative at a later point. However, that, and an odd typeface that has dashes joining up unrelated words without leaving a space, as if they’re hyphenated, will barely detract for the average reader.

It's quite the page-turner, namedropper, brand-cum-celebrityrecognition trip and a fun, vicarious kick. Allen & Unwin. RRP $34.99.

Epic Hikes of Australia and New Zealand If it involves travel guidance and it’s branded Lonely Planet – enough said! LP has been a trustworthy Australian source of information for travellers for half a century. Founded by English baby boomer backpacker couple Tony and Maureen Wheeler when they arrived in Melbourne in 1973, the title was sold over the past decade or so to the BBC for upwards of $250 million. Over its history LP has published more than 145 million guidebooks with information on 220 countries, as well as a massive number of other complementary titles.

But the quality Lonely Planet is renowned for remains. As they say: for the experienced hiker or merely the relaxed rambler, this book is a first in the region and includes 50 detailed and excellent hiking routes as well as a further 150 recommendations in each of the two countries. Its publication follows others in an Epic Hikes series covering the World, Europe and the Americas and features wildlife-rich islands, amazing coastlines and aweinspiring mountains. Endurance and ability categories range from urban discoveries and one-day hikes through to long distance trails and newly created routes such as the Scenic Rim Trail in Queensland and NZ’s Paparoa Track.


The shorter day walks include Sydney’s Seven Bridges adventure while the longest trek is the 223k Larapinta Trail around the ridgeline of central NT’s Macdonald Ranges. Each destination includes an orientation toolkit to plan the trip, with details such as best time of year to go, how to get there and any special equipment needed as well as ratings of Easy, Hard and Epic. This is no “roll up and stash in your back pocket” guide but an invaluable hard-cover planner before setting out, to make the most of a trip. And, at journey’s end, it’s an excellent coffee table book that’s an aide-memoire of travels past, a reference, a guide for future challenges, and a conversation starter when friends drop in. There are evocative photos, maps, distance and duration measurements for each trail, further reference links, what to pack, where to stay and optional tours at many locations.

This luxurious, quality 300-page-plus “bible” is a must-have for those who love the great outdoors and makes an excellent gift for the like-minded. In fact, I can recommend it for armchair travellers too. From bookstores and RRP $44.99.

liquid from their feathers, making them sick or killing them. But with thousands affected, they needed to wait their turn for vets and volunteers to gently clean their coats with soap and water. Thus: tiny jumpers were needed to keep them warm and prevent them falling ill!

Flipper and Finnegan by Sophie Cunningham

Publicity about the cute little creatures’ plight echoed round the world, so much so that people in far-flung countries were knitting tiny penguin jumpers - which can be used only a single time. The response was so great at one stage around 100,000 tiny jumpers had been sent in.

Subtitled “The True Story of How Tiny Jumpers Saved Little Penguins” this charming publication speaks for itself. Beautifully illustrated in glossy colour by Anil Tortop, it’s the true tale of how an oil spill in 2001 threatened the world’s tiniest penguins, Phillip Island’s fairy penguins. Thousands of the little birds are estimated to have perished but many were rescued and rehabilitated in an ingenious program. Oil-stained penguins that try to preen themselves swallow the thick toxic

This is a happy story for bedtime, for reading over and over. Its illustrations bring the poignant saga vividly to life for tiny tots. The durable hard-cover volume makes a lovely gift to inscribe and give or send to a loved little one as a beautiful childhood keepsake. Allen & Unwin. RRP $19.99.


Next to Lake Cathie Medical Centre, 1459 Ocean Dr,

Lake Cathie NSW 2445, Australia



Photo : German Air Force Luftwafe



Brilliant SPORTS ✦


EXERCISE PITCH BLACK 2022 ✦ Nations meet at Australia's "Top End" to practice simulated air combat battle-space scenarios

RAAF F-35 along side RoKAF F-16


xercise Pitch Black is a multinational simulated air combat exercise held biennially in Australia. It features a range of realistic, simulated threats which can be found in a modern battlespace environment.

Over 100 fighter jets take to the skies This year the Air Forces of 17 nations participated in Australia’s Northern Territory, known as the 'Top End’ from the 19th of August through to the 8th September. Over the 2 weeks, more than 100 fighter jets from 17 countries take to the skies. Germany, Japan and the Republic of Korea participated fully for the first time.

Luftwaffe Inflight Refuelling The German Air Force, known as the Luftwaffe had footage of an inflight refuelling enroute over the

Photo : RoKAF

Mediterranean, and prior to their arrival in Singapore. From Singapore, they transit to Darwin. They travelled to Australia as part of the Rapid Pacific deployment. The Luftwaffe arrived in mid-August with more than 200 personnel, six Eurofighter Typhoons, three A330 Multi-Role Tanker Transports and an A400M transport aircraft.

Pitch Black Open Day 2022 On Pitch Black 2022 open day, several thousand people, young and old, marvelled at the military planes at Darwin Air Force Base.

Pitch Black 2022 stats: •

100 aircraft

2500 military personnel

The IAF contingent comprises 100 air warriors, four Su-3 MKI fighters and two C-17 aircraft.



Eurofighter Typhoon The Eurofighter Typhoon is manufactured by a consortium of Airbus, BAE Systems and Leonardo, the Eurofighter Typhoon is the world’s most advanced multi-role combat aircraft providing simultaneously deployable Air-to-Air and Air-toSurface capabilities. The twin-engine, canard delta wing aircraft is highly agile and was originally conceived as an efficient air-to-air ‘dogfighter’. Together with the Air Force, OTL D.R. Bodo Heinrichs has been working on the design of the Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft since November last year. We think the result is impressive!

Aussie F-35A Lightnings at Pitch Black Australia deployed its F-35A Lighting II fighter aircraft at Pitch Black 2022 for the first time.

Air Combat exercises at Pitch Black 2022 A RAAF F-35 along side a RoKAF F-16 during the Exercise Pitch Black 2022. With ~180 F-16s in active service, Korea is one of the largest operators of the type in the world.

➸ RAAF Typhoon Jet

Photo : Hans Jacobs


TAKE IT OUTSIDE – WHY IT’S SO IMPORTANT TO GET UP, GET OUTDOORS AND GET MOVING! ✦ The benefits of exercise and its correlation to a healthy lifestyle are well documented

Keep fit, stay active and you are well on the way to a better version of yourself The benefits of exercise and its correlation to a healthy lifestyle are well documented. Exercising helps you stay fit, keeps the weight off, can help fight against disease and boosts mental health. However, despite these facts being universal knowledge, we now live in a time where there are a myriad of alternatives that frequently don’t provide a healthier option. Time spent in front of the TV, playing games consoles or on phones and tablets has increased dramatically in recent years, particularly amongst the younger generation. Whereas parents used to order restless children to head outside to play, now it is widely common for an iPad or games console to be thrust in front of children in order to keep them occupied and quiet. Those over the age of 40 will remember their parents having to yell for them to come in each evening whereas nowadays it is often the reverse, with parents having to encourage kids to go outside! A recent study by the University of Georgia published in Science Daily suggests that 75% of teenagers are not getting enough exercise. Now that may be only a cross section and thus somewhat unreliable to read as a common or consistent barometer but it still provides a worrying insight into the lack of activity among our young. The World Health Organization offers a more holistic insight into things, stating “more than a quarter of the world’s adult population (1.4 billion adults) are insufficiently active.”

➸ Many outdoor activities bring many benefits The same organisation has an agebased breakdown pertaining to the recommended amount and frequency of exercise that should be taken. Those in the 5-17-year-old bracket “should do at least an average of 60 minutes per day of moderate-tovigorous intensity, mostly aerobic, physical activity, across the week... at least 3 days a week... [and] should limit the amount of time spent being sedentary, particularly the amount of recreational screen time.” Our increasingly sedentary lifestyles pose a threat to children’s health, which can lead to increased adiposity (weight gain), poorer cardiometabolic health, fitness, behavioural conduct/ pro-social behaviour and reduced sleep duration.

National Play Outside Day Acknowledging this is an increasing threat, a small collective of parents in Colorado launched “National Play Outside Day” back in April 2011 with the simple objective of getting their children to do exactly that. Whereas it is still very much a UScentric phenomena, it has grown in popularity and is now gaining traction all over the world with the first Saturday of each month designated a play outside day. Australia is renowned for its outdoor lifestyle options and penchance for sports but that shouldn’t necessarily fool people into thinking all Aussies


Furthermore, a report by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare stated that “in 2017–18, around 1 in 4 (24%) children aged 5–14 were overweight (17%) or obese (7.7%).” It is a trend that is predicted to increase which emphasises the importance of initiatives such as play outside day even more.

TG’s beautiful award-winning gardens have been specially designed to be natural, nurturing, safe and secure spaces for children to play, live and learn. These exciting and dynamic spaces are where children can explore and develop their fine and gross motor skills, build curiosity, social and emotional intelligence, engage in active and passive play. Fun and imagination are key drivers at TG’s where you’ll often see youngsters jumping into an old boat to have an adventure on the high seas with their gang of pirates, getting down close to the ground to hunt for little bugs and to see what they’re up to. If it's a warm day out there’s water play waiting where it´s easy for children to pretend they’re having a nice day at the beach.

The imagination of a child knows no limits, and it is not limited by their geographical space. Getting children out and about to explore firsthand is also a key component of TG’s teaching style. At TG's Urangan, for instance, their Reconciliation Action Plan involves going on a beach kindy every fortnight, something that the children really look forward to. Getting out into nature and just smelling the sea, feeling the soft warm sand sink below their feet... it's an environment absolutely primed for learning.


are active. Indeed, former Minister for Health and Aged Care Greg Hunt recently highlighted The Australian Bureau of Statistics’ National Health Survey from 2017–18 revealed that 67% of Australian adults were overweight or obese (12.5 million people), an increase from 63.4% since 2014-15. If the current trend continues, more than 18 million Australians will be overweight or obese by 2030.


Locally, of course, we have the brilliant TG’s Child Care where “Playing is Learning for Life” is their mantra. TG’s offer Preschool and Long Day Care services for children from 6 weeks to 6 years across five centres in NSW and one in QLD. They are one big happy family led by a team of educators who place huge emphasis on children becoming the very best versions of themselves.

v Outdoor play is a significant factor at TG’s Child Care where the youngsters are always up for a game, especially if it involves running, jumping, tunnelling, crawling and rolling!

For TG's Child Care, exploration outside is so much fun


Glide by on a Skytrain and see the spectacular Rain Vortex Photo: Abdurrahman, Unsplash



Brilliant TRAVEL ✦


VISIT THE JEWEL OF CHANGI AIRPORT AND BE BEDAZZLED ✦ You'll never see airports the same way again after visiting Singapore's Changi Airport.


one are the days of boring, endless hours of waiting in the transit lounge while your connecting flight ambles on the runway. Changi Airport has taken creativity up several notches and they are changing perceptions of the stuffy image of airports. We bet you'd be planning a visit to Changi Airport just for fun and not to board a flight after reading this article!

The Jewel on the crown There is more than meets the eye when you are at Changi Airport. Connected to it is the Jewel or Jewel Changi as it is sometimes known. It is a nature-themed entertainment and shopping complex. It houses the world's tallest indoor waterfall - the Rain Vortex, and is surrounded by a terraced forest setting. You can almost imagine you're somewhere deep in the Amazon if you just close your eyes. The Jewel is massive. The numbers are enough to astound, and we're going to run out of superlatives soon: Total gross floor area = 135,700 m2 (1,461,000 sq ft)

10 storeys (5 above-ground, 5 basement levels)

Houses one of Asia's largest indoor gardens (5 storeys) with 3,000 trees, 60,000 shrubs of 120 species from around the world

Has the world's largest and tallest indoor waterfall at 40m

300+ retail and dining outlets

300,000 visitors daily

Built at a cost of S$1.7 billion (not involving government funds or taxpayers' money)

➸ Let's PLAY at the airport! So if you are at Changi Airport, whether in transit or you may even be there simply to enjoy a day out, you'd be guaranteed a fun time, because PLAY is what people love to do there!

What to PLAY at Jewel Changi

Jewel Changi Rain Vortex Photo: Fuyu Yeo, Unsplash

There are plenty of activities for any age group. And something we really appreciate is there is a baggage storage area so you don't have to lug your wheels around with you and can be free to stretch your legs and run around free! •

Get on the Walking Net - a huge taut web 25m above ground and suspended across a void! It's like walking on air!

Why not have an augmented reality experience with dinosaurs? Go back



And these are just a few of the things you can do there. Check out their website for Bundle Packages that you can purchase so you can play as much as you can while you are there!

Let's EAT at the airport! Time to makan! 'Makan' is an important activity in Singapore - it is a local word that simply means 'to eat', and boy do they eat well there! One would not normally associate good food or fine dining with airports. It's more common to think of airport food as overpriced and not-so-exciting for the stomach. Experience Jewel Changi and you may just want to fly in for a meal!

We even have the recipe here

YES! (And no, that´s not our answer to Will you marry me?) You can even hold your wedding at the airport! Imagine having your celebrations with the impressive Rain Vortex behind you. The 1000 sqm Cloud9 Piazza could be the dream spot for your wedding. For your solemnisation, you can do it at a private open balcony overlooking the Shiseido Forest Valley. It's much cheaper than flying to the Amazonian Forest! And what about exchanging your vows at the Canopy Park, and perhaps finishing the celebrations with an elegant dinner at the Hub & Spoke, a fully-conditioned glasshouse café.

Say I DO! at Jewel Changi

Learn more about how to celebrate it here.

At the Jewel Changi, there are carnival games with exciting prizes, and you'll get to step back in time to ancient China where you get to play old-school games! And while you are there, why not bring a lantern and take a photo at any of the Mid-Autumn displays in the Canopy Park and join the Lantern Walk Photo Contest?

Celebrate Mid Autumn Festival at the Jewel

Celebrate Mid Autumn Festival at the Jewel And if you are around from 19 August to 10 September, you can also take part in the Mid Autumn Festivities at the Jewel Changi!

With so much to do at the Jewel Changi, you may want to extend your transit hours a little more so you can PLAY, EAT (and okay perhaps it's too hasty to get married, this is not Las Vegas after all) to your heart's content!

You can feast on some of the most typical and well-loved Singapore street food here. Located in Changi Airport Terminal 3 Transit area, you'll find the 1960s themed Singapore Food Street. For locals, it's like taking a walk down memory lane. For visitors, it's a good way to experience authentic local food even before stepping into the rest of the country! Just for starters, try the Hainanese Chicken Rice

Wait, wait...what?! Hold your horses!

Relax in a lush green sanctuary in the Shiseido Forest Valley where dancing lights illuminate the trees, soothing music emanates in the background, and there is even a gentle scent of SHISEIDO Ultimune to really engage all your senses and relax you. Each trail lasts about half an hour at a leisurely walk.

The Mid Autumn Festival is one of the most important traditional Chinese festivals. People spend evenings admiring the moon (at its fullest and brightest), eating mooncakes and drinking tea.

Let's get MARRIED at the airport!

millions of years with your TimeLens and get involved in a mission while learning about these amazing creatures!

Hungry for Singapore Food Street?

the famous Bak Kut Teh or a humble plate of Wanton Noodles (these are to die for)!

Glide by on a Skytrain and see the spectacular Rain Vortex Photo: Abdurrahman, Unsplash


ALOHA, HAWAII! ✦ Post-pandemic, bulging unspent tourism budgets are begging to be released. Susie Boswell provides tips for first-time visitors to one of the most sought-after holiday spots of them all.

➸ The grace and beauty of the Hawaiian hula Photo: Hawaii Tourism Authority - Nicholas Tomasello


f all the most desired international destinations the name alone of a mere handful evokes an instant aura, images, even aromas. Paris is one: its distinct elan and architecture, for example, its bustling sidewalk cafes, the waft of Gauloises and Gitanes. Chief among this rare coterie is Hawaii – palm trees, endlessly rolling clear blue surf, fine-sand beaches, golden sunshine, fragrant floral lei, hula and the universal greeting “Aloha” come to mind. Making up for lost time over the past two years, many families have pent-up travel budgets and now are eager to spend. So it’s time for grown-up holidays: not cost-

cutting compromises, not el cheapo imitations but a trip to take in one of the world’s top must-see, unique “bucket list” locations. A flight duration of about 10 hours from Sydney, more due north “up” the map than to the east (or west), sees passengers depart on Hawaiian Airlines’ Airbus A330 at 9.40pm in time for six to eight hours’ overnight sleep, waking for breakfast a couple of hours ahead of arrival in Honolulu at around 11.30am local time, minimising the effects of jet lag. Hawaiian prides itself on its inflight hospitality, aiming to immerse travellers in the “Aloha spirit”, relaxing into holiday mode from the outset of the journey. Other options: Qantas and Jetstar also fly the route from Australia.



The 50th state of the USA offers some immediate advantages: English language, familiar units of currency and familiar cuisines among them, making it easy to slide into moving about and making the most of your time away – leaving maximum opportunity to explore the things that are different: the many aspects of Hawaii’s rich culture and environment head of the list. The breadth of experiences on offer, pleasing pretty much every taste and desire, means it’s essential to do your research beforehand to create an efficient, flexible itinerary and pack in maximum exposure to the huge variety of attractions across the six major islands. One of the best destination websites anywhere on the globe, the official is an indispensable source for planning and offers a link for a free visitor’s guide as well as newsletter sign-up. The quality and excellence of a Hawaii holiday is very affordable. A calendar of annual events and festivals is among more in-depth information and savings advice at Under headings of affordable accommodation, thrifty transport, cheap eats and meals, and free things to do are ideas for reducing baggage charges, noting the 64kg allowance (ideal for shopping!) and how bundling can sometimes score you two extra nights free. Lonely Planet’s Hawaii guide book, too, is a smart purchase, with plenty of detailed information and helpful money-saving tips. Each island - Oahu, Maui, Hawaii the Big Island, Lanai, Molokai and Kauai – has distinctive aspects so confining a visit to just one of them denies the chance to make the most of every moment away. Hawaiian Air has regular inter-island services allowing holidaymakers to split their time between two or more locations - a dual destination vacation - or make individual full-day trips to tour second or third islands. Norwegian Cruise Line is the noted operator of interisland cruises Honolulu-Honolulu, its vessel Pride of America visiting multiple ports of call over a weeklong excursion; recently, though,

staffing shortages have affected sailings so best to check booking availability directly with NCL.

The following airline sites provide a range of options:

Hawaii’s agreeable, reliable climate is one of its biggest attributes and drawcards. Weather is consistent year-round, with only minor temperature changes over two seasons: summer, May to October (average daytime temperature at sea level 29.4degC) and winter, November to April (average 25.6degC). The water temperature for swimming close to shore averages 26.7C in summer and 23.3C in winter – no wonder marine activities are central to Hawaiian life and leisure!

Flights only, flights + hotel / Airbnb packages; tours, car hire bookings, ground transport, travel insurance. HA: No change fees, with conditions; email notifications of low fares and special deals. Q: Fare Watch email when your budget and dates are available.

To discover the range of holidays available, begin with: hawaii d1 Destination-Travel-Guides Intending Jetstar passengers should note there have been many recent online comments regarding the airline’s delays and flight cancellations on the Honolulu route - as well as some positive reports - and take the information into account when looking to book.

Strolling the boardwalk at lush Akaka Falls, Hawaii island Photo : Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) - Tor Johnson


A word of caution Check carefully for all entry requirements to the United States, documentation including visas, and mask and other Covid-related laws (and for your return journey to Australia, which may differ). Sites: cdc. gov;; hawaiianairlines.;

One offbeat helping hand Always taking facebook with a grain of salt, useful tips nevertheless are found at the page Hawaii for Aussie Travellers. It’s well-administered, trollfree, highly knowledgeable with realtime appraisals and tips from sensible contributors on hotels, attractions, queries, cruises, shopping, transport … and posts from families giving away their boogie boards and other beach paraphernalia at the end of their stay! Another page is Pass It On - Beach Gear and More - in Hawaii.

Fresh flowers for a fragrant lei Photo : Hawaii Tourism Authority - Shingo Matsushima

Susie Boswell

I’ve never heard anyone say they didn’t enjoy their Hawaii holiday!

Susie Boswell is an award-winning travel writer who’s visited more than 35 countries. Her favourite destinations are Paris, Italy, European ski resorts - and tropical islands.

Joy for a boy mastering the bodyboard, Hawaii island Photo: Hawaii Tourism Authority - Tor Johnson



Waikiki waterfront bars abound, with views to Diamond Head Photo: Hawaii Tourism Authority - Ben Ono




Brilliant FOOD ✦


ADMIRE THE BRILLIANT MOON DURING THE MID AUTUMN FESTIVAL ✦ Reunite with loved ones while moon gazing and partaking of delicious pastries and fragrant tea!

Traditional mooncakes with lotus paste and egg yolk filling


The Perfect Circle

It falls on the 15th day of the eight lunar month, right in the middle of autumn. It is common practice during this time to make or buy mooncakes, which are little round pastries with a sweet filling often eaten with tea. These are offered as gifts

The circle is an auspicious symbol - just as is the full moon. It is a symbol of reunion and perfection, of coming together as one. During this time of the year, the moon is at its brightest. As children we often had our hands smacked by adults if we were caught pointing at the moon. It was an old superstition that we would get our finger or ear cut off by the Lady on the Moon if we pointed at her place of abode as it was disrespectful!

hen was the last time you looked up at the moon and really saw how beautiful and fascinating this luscious orb really is? The Mid Autumn Festival is a good time to do this. September 10th is when the Chinese celebrate this festival. It´s also known as the Mooncake Festival or Zhong Qiu Jie (in Mandarin).

and people eat them at moon gazing nights, often with lanterns lit around them.

v For the lovebirds out there, the day of the Mid Autumn Festival is said to be an auspicious date for weddings. It´s when the Moon Goddess bestows bliss on couples!



How it started The festival goes back more than 2000 years. It started off as a post-autumn harvest celebration, primarily devoted to thanking the gods for giving the people abundance and a good life. It was during the Northern Song dynasty (reign of Emperor Tai) that this particular day was officially set as Mid Autumn Festival. As children, we were told several versions about the Mid Autumn Festival. Typically we would be told the story with the historical slant and another one that is more romantic. You decide for yourself which one resonates more with you on this special day as you feast on the beautiful mooncakes.

The historical take... First, let´s time travel back to the 14th century. During the liberation of Yuan China from the Mongols, mooncakes played an important role. And no, we do not mean in terms of sustenance and being a good source of energy for the body. It´s actually a lot more creative than that. At that time, the country was run by cruel Mongol rulers. People wanted to rebel and liberate the country from the tyrants.

Rebel leader Zhu Yuan Zhang needed to instigate a rebellion, but in those days, there was a ban on large gatherings (and they did not have Facebook or Twitter to spread the news) so it was impossible to round people up. His military counsellor, Liu Bowen came up with the ingenious idea of hiding slips of paper containing the details of the revolt in little round cakes. This was how the word spread. The little round cakes were passed around innocently and people got to know about the rebellion. Finally, the rebellion took place during the Mid Autumn Festival. The rebels successfully took over the palace and that was how the Ming Dynasty started with Zhu Yun Zhang as the first emperor. So one could say that this dynasty came into existence, thanks to these little round pastries.

And something for the romantics... Meet Hou Yi and Chang-E. Yes, now we move on to the love story version. Legend has it that there used to be not one but ten suns in the sky. The heat made life unbearable. A hero named Hou Yi wanted to stop the suffering of the people. He was an excellent archer and he climbed up to the top of Mount

Story about Mid Autumn Festival

Kunlun where he shot down nine of the suns. Hou Yi became a well-loved figure. He then married a beautiful girl named Chang-E. They loved each other very much. Hou Yi was given a special gift from the Queen of Heaven - an elixir of life. It was a promise of immortality...but only for one person. There was the catch. Hou Yi was so in love with his wife he had no desire for such elixirs and he gave it to Chang-E for safekeeping. Unfortunately, among their acquaintances was an evil man named Peng Meng. He took the opportunity to break into Hou Yi´s house when he was not around to steal the elixir. Chang-E was home then and she was unable to stop his treacherous act. She swallowed the elixir instead. She started to float away from the ground and flew into the sky. It was said she became an immortal and lived on the moon. Of course, when Hou Yi returned, he was devastated. He noticed however that the moon was exceptionally bright and clear that night and thought he saw a figure like that of his wife´s on the moon. He ordered a ceremony to be put together then to honour his wife, and thereafter, the local people also did the same. Worshipping and appreciating the moon has become popular since then.


How to celebrate It is typical to light lanterns on this night. You´d see families out on evening walks with children holding lanterns, and houses would be decorated with lanterns as well. Some families like to have osmanthus flowers around as well as they symbolise purity and innocence. This is a time for family gatherings. People sit around together outside, moon gazing and enjoying eating delicious mooncakes and drinking tea.

Mooncake recipe

Pandan Ondeh Ondeh Mooncake Recipe

If you want to be adventurous this year, why not try making your own mooncake? My Blue Tea always has lots of recipes for just about any food you miss from home, and you´re going to love these two incredible mooncake recipes!

Blue Snow Skin Mooncake Recipe

We´ll be ready with our favourite flavour of mooncakes come 10th September to admire the brilliant moon. How will you be celebrating?

➸ Mooncake molds



WHERE IS THE BEST PERANAKAN FOOD IN SYDNEY? ✦ Peranakan Place is the only restaurant in Australia that cooks with the elusive Buah Keluak black nut. This is where you can go if you want authentic to-die-for Peranakan food in Sydney!

What is Peranakan?


eranakan food is a type of cuisine found in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia. Think of it as a wonderful blend of Chinese, Malay, Indian and Eurasian ingredients and cooking methods. You can notice the influence of the different cultures coming together to create some of the most uniquely-flavoured dishes you can try in Asia. Peranakan culture emerged in the 15th century when Chinese men migrated south in search of fortune and work, and they eventually settled there and married the local Malay women.

Peranakan Place

In the past it was used to make a royal dish served to ancient royalty and has since found its way into traditional Peranakan and also Malaysian dishes (e.g. rawon an Indonesian beef soup). It has an earthy smoky taste to it, and it is quite a delicacy in Peranakan cuisine. So if you are curious about this black nut and what it tastes like, head on over to Peranakan Place and try it for yourself!

➸ A favourite dish amongstandSingaporeans Malaysians ➸

Owner of Peranakan Place, Sam Wong

Owner of Peranakan Place, Sam Wong recommends these dishes too: •

Ngoh hiong (meat filling wrapped in beancurd skin and fried)

Pie tie (crispy pastry tart filled with spicy shredded turnip, vegetables and prawns)

Sambal kang kong (spicy vegetable dish)

Ayam Buah Keluak (chicken dish cooked with the black nut mentioned before)

Babi Ponteh (braised pork in fermented soy bean sauce)

Peranakan Place also has different durian desserts and the yummiest pineapple tarts! Once you've tried something from this restaurant, you'll want to come back again. Preferably on the same day for dinner. And then the next day for breakfast if possible! So if you're in the area in Sydney and are out of ideas for what to have for lunch, you'll know where to go! And if you do drop by, say hi to their friendly 80-yearold owner Mr. Wong from us!

Peranakan Place is the only restaurant in Australia (!!) that cooks with the elusive Buah Keluak black nut. For those who don't know this incredible ingredient, it's the seed of the Buah Keluak tree. The tree is actually poisonous and the toxins are found in the fruits and seeds also. This means there are important steps to take before using the seeds for cooking. The nuts are buried in ash for 40 days as a way to remove the toxins. When you unearth them, the shell and flesh will have turned black. Hence its appearance when we have them ready for cooking. You really have to give it to the people in the past for finding ways to eat anything that is alive, even if it's poisonous!


IN SEARCH OF THE BEST SINGAPORE FOOD... IN LONDON! ✦ If you are a true-blue foodie as is Brilliant-Online's CEO Veronica Lind, you'd go anywhere to hunt for a good taste of home.


roust had his madeleine, and I have my Singapore food to bring back memories of home. I love all things delicious and getting to enjoy authentic cuisine is one of the greatest pleasures in life.

True Blue Foodie Whether I'm in Australia or even when I'm travelling, I have an internal antennae that picks up information about where authentic Asian food is, or I'll somehow get to meet people who are die-hard foodies like myself.

Classic Char Kuay Teow and creamy Soya Bean Milk drink

Food hunt while travelling A few months ago, I took a long trip to Europe to visit family, and I had several hours in London before my next flight out. And what's the best thing to do while waiting? Hunt for Singapore food of course! I had been missing it during the two months I was in Luxembourg and I was really craving for it. I took the train from London's Heathrow Airport straight to a 5-star award-winning restaurant called Bugis Street Brasserie right in the heart of Kensington. This

place is said to have the best Singapore food in London. That was enough to pique my interest. I simply had to taste it for myself to see if the rumour is true.

Bugis Street Brasserie A little background about this place - Bugis Street Brasserie is located in the Millenium Gloucester London Hotel. Years ago, Mr Kwek Leng Beng, Chairman of Singapore’s Hong Leong Group and Singapore-listed global real estate company City Developments (CDL) was studying in London. He missed Singapore food so much while



So thank you, Mr Kwek, for putting authentic Singaporean cuisine on the global food map! If the name sounds a bit strange to you, it's named after an (in)famous street in Singapore. Bugis Street was infamous in the 1950s - 1980s for being a place where transvestites and transsexuals gathered. After that, the area was majorly revamped and became a modern area with shopping malls, restaurants, street food and nightspots, and you'd also find some back-alley roadside vendors as well (completely legal). So if you want a night out of shopping, feasting on local street food and partying, Bugis Street is a good place to go for choices.

of authenticity. This humble looking plate of flat rice noodles stir-fried with Chinese pork sausage, prawns, fish cake and bean sprouts requires real skill to taste good. I had a Soya Bean Milk drink which is always such a comfort food when you're far from home. I also had Tang Yuan for dessert. These are little glutinous rice balls in a sweet liquid, some have fillings in them such as peanut or red bean paste. I was so delighted with my gastronomical discovery I had to chat with the restaurant's manager Mr. Kevin Tran. He was born in Vietnam with Singaporean heritage. These random conversations with people on my travels add spice to my journeys. It feels rather serendipitous

to make these connections between different people from far away. So now you know, and don't say we didn't share the good news. If you ever find yourself in London and craving for a taste of Singapore food, head on down to Bugis Street Brasserie. And while you're there, say hi to Mr. Tran, he'll be delighted to have a little chat with people who love tucking into a good dish!

Try this Hainanese Chicken Rice Recipe Hainanese Chicken Rice Recipe

he was there that he bought a hotel and set up his own restaurant! Talk about being proactive! It certainly sounds like a straightforward solution to satiate your cravings while studying and living overseas! While it's not an option many of us can implement, it's still great that someone else did it, and we can enjoy the fruits of this endeavour!

Award-winning restaurant Did you know that Bugis Street Brasserie won the top award for 'Asian Fusion Restaurant of the Year' at the London Asian Food Awards? Over the years, as the restaurant grew in fame, new hotel owners have brought over Singaporean and Southeast Asian food favourites such as the spicy Laksa, the smokily fragrant Bak Kut Teh, classic Chicken Rice and tantalising Nasi Goreng across to Europe. Since then, Bugis Street Brasserie has become the place to go for Singaporeans craving for a taste of home in London. You'd be surprised at the authentic, old-school favourites you can find there, including Hokkien Mee, Teh Tarik and Chin Chow drink.

A taste of home If you're curious what sort of dishes you can find there, check out their menu here. But be warned, you'll start drooling, so have a napkin nearby! When I finally managed to decide what to have, I opted for a plate of Char Kuay Teow as my main dish. It's a classic back home and a true test

with restaurant manager Kevin ➸ Veronica Lind Tran outside Bugis Street Brasserie


HAINANESE CHICKEN RICE RECIPE ✦ This is a classic Singapore recipe you'd definitely want to have under your belt!


his is a well-loved dish especially in Malaysia and Singapore. It is said to have originated from migrants from the island of Hainan, China who came to Southeast Asia in the early 20th century. It is a beautifully fragrant dish, and even the rice is itself a delight. Anyone who has had Hainanese Chicken Rice will remember how seductively tender the chicken pieces are, with just enough oil to keep everything moist and smooth but not overwhelming. All the components of this dish are equally important. You just can't serve Hainanese chicken with plain rice. You'd know something's missing! Or the dish without the tantalising sauces. Again, that's sacrilege! Master this dish, and you'd have family and friends being extra nice to you in the hope you'd make it again! There are quite a lot of ingredients involved, so get that notepad ready. As they say with anything, practice makes perfect and if it feels like a lot when you have a first go, you'll get better with the second!


3 lb whole chicken (1.3 kg), giblets removed

¼ cup kosher salt (60 g), divided

4 inch pieces fresh ginger, peeled and cut into ¼-inch (6 mm) slices

1 bunch fresh scallion

1 gal cold water (3.7 L), plus more as needed

2 tablespoons sesame oil


¼ cup sesame oil (60 mL)

2 tablespoons chicken fat, chopped

➸ A favourite dish amongstandSingaporeans Malaysians •

2 cloves garlic, minced


1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced

2 tablespoons fresh ginger, grated

1 teaspoon kosher salt

2 tablespoons garlic, finely minced

2 cups long grain rice (400 g), rinsed and drained

kosher salt, to taste

2 cups reserved chicken poaching broth (480 mL)

3 tablespoons peanut oil

1 tablespoon rice vinegar



2 tablespoons sambal

reserved fried garlic and ginger

2 tablespoons sriracha

1 tablespoon oyster sauce

2 teaspoons sugar

3 tablespoons dark sweet soy sauce

1 tablespoon garlic, minced

1 tablespoon light soy sauce

1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced

1 tablespoon lime juice

2 tablespoons reserved chicken poaching broth

2 tablespoons reserved chicken poaching broth

2 cucumbers, thinly sliced, for serving

1 bunch fresh cilantro, for serving



METHOD: 1. To clean the chicken, rub all over with a handful of kosher salt, getting rid of any loose skin. Rinse the chicken well inside and out. Pat dry with paper towels. 2. Remove any excess fat from the chicken and set aside for later. 3. Season the chicken generously with salt. Stuff the chicken cavity with the ginger slices and scallions. 4. Place the chicken in a large stock pot, cover with cold water by 1 inch (2 cm), and season with salt to taste.

later, and transfer to an ice bath for 5 minutes to stop the cooking process and to keep the chicken skin springy. Discard the ginger and green onion.

12. Make the chili sauce: combine the sambal, Sriracha, sugar, garlic, ginger, lime juice, and chicken broth in a small bowl and stir to incorporate.

7. After it’s cooled, pat the chicken dry with paper towels and rub all over with sesame oil. This will help prevent the chicken from drying out.

13. Make the ginger garlic sauce: in a small bowl, combine the ginger, garlic, salt, peanut oil, and rice vinegar, and stir to incorporate.

8. In a large wok or skillet, heat ¼ cup (60 ml) of sesame oil over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of reserved chopped chicken fat, the garlic, ginger, and salt, and fry until aromatic, about 10 minutes.

14. Make the soy sauce: in a small bowl, combine the reserved fried garlic and ginger with the oyster sauce, dark soy sauce, light soy sauce, and chicken broth, and stir to incorporate.

9. Reserve ¼ of the fried garlic mixture, then add the rice to the remaining fried garlic and stir to coat. Cook for 3 minutes.

15. Serve the sliced chicken with the rice, dipping sauces, sliced cucumbers, and fresh cilantro.

5. Bring to a boil over high heat, then immediately reduce the heat to low to maintain a simmer. Cover and cook for about 30 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165°F (75°C). Remove the pot from the heat.

10. Transfer the rice to a rice cooker and add 2 cups (480 ml) of reserved poaching broth. Steam the rice for 60 minutes, or until tender.

6. Remove the chicken from the pot, reserving the poaching liquid for

11. While the rice is cooking, carve the chicken for serving.

16. And now, sit back and enjoy! We love our Hainanese Chicken Rice, and if you know of places that make authentic Hainanese Chicken Rice, do share the information! Many of us are foodies at Brilliant-Online and always eager to go on a culinary adventure!

and fragrant... ➸ Succulent Hainanese Chicken Rice


Hello Koalas feature designs representing the richness and diversity of our region Photo:



Brilliant WHAT'S ON ✦


WHAT'S ON IN SEPTEMBER & OCTOBER 2022 ON THE MID NORTH COAST ✦ Community events, Arts, Culture and Entertainment, Markets, Business events



rilliant-Online promotes business and individuals by bringing them closer to their communities.

Check out these fun free spring school holiday activities available in our region.

Hello Koalas Take a one hour self-guided walking tour on the Hello Koalas Sculpture Trail around the CBD. Each Hello Koalas sculpture has been hand painted by Australian artists and each has its own unique character and personality, which will be your favourite?

Town Beach Skate Park and Play Ground We have 69 playgrounds across our region each adorned with a variety of swings, slides and see-saws, bike tracks, flying-foxes and skate parks like this one at Town Beach in Port Macquarie. Sport-Recreation/Playgrounds

Local Library Events Go To - events/

Make your own Tambourine Wednesday 28th September 10.00am to 11.00am Port Macquarie Library Join us and make your own colourful tambourine to take home with you! Ages: 7 years and up

School Holidays Start Monday 26 ➸ NSWSeptember to Friday 7 October 2022

The AMA Moto Fest Wauchope Saturday 17th September - From 9.00am Wauchope Showgrounds, 93a Oxley Hwy. Wauchope, NSW, Australia 2446 Moto Fest is a Celebration of all things Motorcycle and with Wauchope

being a Motorcycle Friendly Town you should join in on the fun. There will be activities and entertainment at this family friendly event including the Motorcycle Show N Shine, Tattoo Show, Trade Stalls and Kids activities. Admission Adults $10 / Kids Under 18 Free. For more info, go to www.




"Cruise for Stapo Raffle Draw on Saturday 24th September, 11am at the dockside of PortAdVenture Cruises, 77 Clarence St, Port Macquarie, NSW 2444.

Sunday, 18th September

Raffle Tickets are available from Port AdVentures now.

235 Oxley Hwy, Port Macquarie NSW 2444

Read about Nathan Stapleton

Cruising for Steppo

Collaborative Care Workshop Thursday, 13th October 9.00am to 4.00pm Rydges, Port Macquarie disAbility Maternity Care have an upcoming workshop on Collaborative Care to support Parents with disabilities.

Douglas Vale Historic Homestead and Vineyard

Interactive workshops to find out how you can best protect your garden from pesky, hungry critters. Presented by the Department of Primary Industries it covers a range of topics. Limited places so register on Eventbrite online.


Workshop Tickets Here

10.00am – 11.30am

Douglas Vale Historic Homestead and Vineyard 235 Oxley Hwy, Port Macquarie NSW 2444

All 3 workshops will enable participants to build their own bamboo sculpture in the future. As part of the lead up to the Douglas Vale Community Festival on October 29th & 30th, this workshop aims to upskill individuals so that other community groups can build their own festive sculptures. Dates – 24/9, 8/10 & 22/10 Limited places – Register on Eventbrite online.

Playwell - Portmacquarie brick show Saturday, 24th & Sunday 25th Sept 2022 10am - 4pm Panthers Port Macquarie, 1 Bay ST, Port Macquarie NSW 2444

Grazed & Grown - Farm Gate Tours 24th, 27th and 28th September and the 2nd and 3rd October. More Info:



8.00pm Finnians Irish Tavern Mum Says Rock 8.00pm Laurieton Hotel Cant Adult Today Sunday 18,

Sunday Strum Days

12.30pm Chop N Chill Craig Stewart

Sunday 18th September

1.00pm Long Flat Pub Steve Bennett

Free to attend and are a fun and friendly group of adult acoustic guitar players strumming and singing popular songs. We meet for two hours on the first and third Sunday of each month beginning September 18th.

1.00pm Moo & Bean Tanisha Palmer

Email Damon to register your interest: Friday 16, 5.00pm Wicked Elf Beer Ruby Blunt 5.30pm Chop n Chill Matt Brooker 6.00pm Black Duck Brewery Keaper 6.00pm Club Lake Cathie Stevie B 6.30pm Port Mac Golf Club Damon Winter 7.00pm Wave Bowl Terrace Hudson Rose 7.30pm Port City Bowling Club Gary King 8.00pm Bonny Hills Hotel Steve Taylor

1.30pm Wauchope Country Club Niki Rudge 2.00pm Laurieton Hotel Goody 2 Shoes 4.00pm Bonny Hills Hotel Gary King Friday 23, 5.00pm Black Duck Brewery Brody Ireland 5.00pm Wicked Elf Beer Kyle Moore 5.30pm Chop N Chill Matt Brooker 6.00pm Club Lake Cathie Rockabillys 6.30pm Port Macquarie Golf Club Ruby Blunt 7.00pm Wave Bowl Finn Hoy 7.30pm Port City BC Grahame Howle 8.00pm Bonny Hills Hotel Cheryl Hall and the Wisemen 8.00pm Finnians Irish Tavern Raku

4.00pm Wicked Elf Pam Hata 7.00pm Wave Bowl Georgie Winchester Duo 7.30pm Hastings Hotel Happy Dave 7.30pm Port City BC Cheryl Hall and The Wisemen 8.00pm Finnians Irish Taven Fella Felafel 8.00pm Laurieton Hotel Live Music Sunday, 25 12.30pm Chop N Chill Mystery Guests 12.30pm Moo & Bean Leigh I'Anson 1.00pm Wauchope Country Club Young Floyd 2.00pm Laurieton Hotel Brody Ireland 4.00pm Bonny Hills Hotel Craig Atkins 7.00pm Wave Bowl Terrace Kyle Moore Friday, 30 5.00pm Black Duck Brewery Leigh I'Anson 5.00pm Wicked Elf Beer Suave Duo 5.30pm Chop N Chill Craig Stewart 6.00pm Club Lake Cathie Gary King 6.30pm Port Macquarie Golf Club Besty

Saturday, 24

7.00pm Bonny Hills Hotel Ticketed Event

1.00pm Douglas Vale Damon Winter

7.00pm Fernhill Tavern Geoff Jones

Saturday 17,

12.30pm Chop N Chill Brody Ireland

7.00pm Wave Bowl Terrace Pam Hata

10.00pm Black Duck Brewery Ticketed Event

2.00pm Brew Haven Nickolina River

7.30pm Port City BC Dusty Soul

4.00pm Moo & Bean Pure Acoustic Duo

8.00pm Finnians Irish Tavern Alter Ego

8.00pm Finnians Irish Tavern Leigh I'Anson

1.00pm Douglas Vale Damon Winter 12.30pm Chop N Chill Andrew Best 1.00pm Moo & Bean Cameron Cusak 2.00pm Brew Haven Ruby Blunt 4.00pm Wicked Elf Beer Pepper Jack 7.00pm Comboyne Services Club Pure Acoustic Duo 7.00pm Wave Bowl Acoustic Kick 7.30pm Beachwood Hotel Rhys Callinan 7.30pm Hastings Hotel The Monster Boys 7.30pm Port City Bowling Club Brody Ireland




Johns River Markets 8.00am to 12.00pm



Johns River Community Hall 54-56 Johns River Rd, John’s River

Micro Business Forum

Join the markets trail this school holidays, you will discover the finest Australian made products from our regions local businesses, farmers and artisans. johnsrivercommunityhall

Kendall Bazaar and The Meeting Place 9am to 12pm Kendall Community Centre 19 Comboyne Street, Kendall EVERY SUNDAY Port Macquarie Art Society Market Bazaar 8.00am to 1.00pm Hamilton House 198 Hastings River Drive, Port Macquarie FIRST SATURDAY Kempsey Riverside Markets 9.00am to 12.00pm Eden St, Kempsey NSW 2440 Uniting Church Markets 8am to 11am Uniting Church Cnr. Oxley Highway & Sherwood Rd, Port Macquarie FIRST SUNDAY Grown and Gathered Community Markets 9.00am to 12.00pm 1493 Pappinbarra Road, Pappinbarra grownandgatheredcommunitymarket Kendall Community Markets 9am to 12pm

17 Denison St, Gloucester NSW 2422 THIRD SATURDAY Forster Farmers Market 8am - 12pm 7 Little St, Forster, NSW, 2428, Australia SECOND SUNDAY Forster Town Market 8am -1pm Oyster Parade, Forster NSW 2428 THIRD SUNDAY Laurieton Riverwalk Markets 8.00am to 1.00pm

Coffee Connect is a business social date to get to know other business owners better and are held on the second Thursday of every month INVITING SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS TO MEET Thursday 13th October Settlers Inn, Port Macquarie, NSW 2444 https://www.microbusinessforum. MBF Meetings are a day of friendly, fun learning from the best coaches working on your business and interacting with others.

Cnr. Tunis & Short Street, Laurieton

Turning A Vision Into Reality


Thrumster Business Park on Tuesday

Wauchope Farmers’ Markets 8.00am to 12.00pm

27 September 2022, 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Wauchope Showground High Street, Wauchope

* Advertised dates are subject to change. Contact the individual venues for further information. au Tuncurry Markets 8am to 1pm John Wright Park, Tuncurry FOURTH SUNDAY

Blackhead Lions Club Car Boot Market

The Local 8.00am -1.00pm

Hallidays Point Shopping Village Black Head 7.00am-12.00pm

Maritime Museum William Street Port Macquarie



The Foreshore Markets 8.00am to 1.00pm

Pacific Palms Market 9am to 1pm

10am at Little Shack, Port Macquarie, NSW


Kendall Showground. Kendall

Westport Park Cnr Buller & Park Streets, Port Macquarie

Thursday 6th October

Pacific Palms Community Centre, The Lakes Way Elizabeth Beach, NSW 2428

To list your event, please send details, images or videos to



Gloucester Farmers Market 8.00am12.00pm



HATS OFF CONNECTING WITH AUDIENCES ✦ Pam Hata, the founder of the Original Sound Lounge says Hats off to this month’s feature act

About Hats Off


ats Off are music loving gentle unique guys, and their music is what they describe as alternative rock. When asked why they utilise their magic harmonies in their songs, Hats Off say


Hats Off have proven themselves to be musicians of extraordinary talent and crowd-moving passion. They have successfully etched out a place for their unique musical expression. Their appeal in both their originals and their interpretation of covers has audiences mesmerized by their musicality and vocal harmonies with an easy listening soul and a rock feel.

Band Members:

Grafton Flood Recovery

The band met as students working towards degrees in music and performance.

Live & Local Low Pressure Surf

Yamba River Markets

Hosted Attitude Burgers

Jarred Burley – Guitar - Vocals

Zander Green – Keys – Vocals

Sam Gardiner – Bass – Cello – Vocals

Wes Chegwidden – Drums - Vocals We just hit it off together. We all have the same passion for music, as we have all had music in our lives from a very young age and all want to make music our life’s work. Hence the name… “Hats off”.

Notable Performances •

Last Rites Yamba

Woolgoolga Diggers

Maclean Flood Recovery

Yamba Flood Recovery

Reviews “We love having you guys here, the energy when you play is amazing.” Meg - Supervisor Woolgoolga Diggers “What a band! You boys really have a great sound.” Jayne - RedRock Bowling Club “You guys were great, we’re definitely having you back.” Dane - Owner LastRites Yamba

Hats Off Next Event

Hats Offs believe by utilising all of their vocals, the depth of sound resonates with the audience, and harmonising connects them to their music and ultimately the audience.

➸ Hats Off Band Members Performing Live on Stage


“We want to bring all of our vocals together with our depth of musicianship, to relay the story of the song.”