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56 The Boys Are Back In Town! Featuring Victor Mellick’s Menswear

11 Young Professionals Feature Profiling six of Cairns hottest young individuals

22 Meet the man behind the tracks Dylan Jefferies Dylan knows the road is windy, but through passion and determination you will achieve your goals

36 Q&A With the vibrant Creative Producer of the Cairns Festival, Eric Holowacz. Eric is excited as Cairns Festival celebrates 50 years.

10 Ready to Race with Graham Thornton Get behind the scenes, the juicy facts and figures of the Cairns Racing Carnival

42 A day in the life of: The Emergency Helicopter Rescue Team. We chat with the team that are dedicated to safeguarding our welfare 24 hours, 7 days a week.

CairnsLife magazine published by CairnsLife Pty Ltd. Shops 7 & 8 The Walk. 84 Lake Street. Cairns. 4870 • T: 4041 6981 F: 4041 6889

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Cover Photographed by Brad Newton Gina wears Rachel Gilbert Zara Dress available from Viva Boutique Hair by Allure Hair Boutique Makeup by Make up by Phennapha

Editor Jacqui Nolan Contibutors Amanda Cranston Danny Betros Andrew Griffiths Vlasta Eriksson Leanne Peard Pip Miller Craig Squire Brett Claxton Stephen Borzi Display Sales Jacqui Nolan Business Lifestyle Riyani Martorejo Fashion Beauty Alex Drewniak Eat Play Drink Julie Guite Home Property Graphics Stephen Borzi Gordi Avila Photography Brad Newton Daniel Blake Chris Baker Subscription/Internet Elysia Hawkes

This is the time of the year when I remember why I call Cairns home and why I haven't left. The racing season has began, the tourists are visiting again and the weather couldn't get any better. In this issue we focus on the young successful professionals that call Cairns home and keep our wonderful community turning. I remember graduating from St. Monica's College and the first thought on mine and my friends mind was to move to the big smoke. Whether this was for study, work or simply to get out! My Dad said 'Missy you'll be back! I've travelled Australia numerous times and Cairns is the best places. It's paradise". Yes, Dad was right! The education and business opportunities Cairns has to offer have never been better and is why we are able to retain our next generation of leaders. Let's continue to make Cairns the place to be, and give these larger cities a run for there money. I love Cairns and I'm proud to call it my home. Happy reading. Jacqui x

Jacqui Nolan

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THE PANICS FRIDAY 19 AUGUST The Panics are back in Australia, bringing their latest album Rain On The Humming Wire on an exciting national tour. The result of a long road trip, touring Australia the UK and USA, Rain On The Humming Wire is a document of travels. It includes touches of home sickness, relationships tested by distance, relationships ended from distance, mistakes and successes and looking back on

how much has changed and how far they've come. Their last album Cruel Guards scooped a Triple J Album of the Year Award followed by an ARIA. Trading in sun kissed acoustic guitars, widescreen string arrangements and shuffling drums, The Panics’ music sits perfectly in a timeless, romantic environment. TIME: Doors 6.30pm / Show 7.30pm COST: $43/$38 (Conc) VENUE: Tank 5 RATING: MA 15+ Ticketlink or phone 1300 855 835

CAIRNS TROPICAL PRIDE . FESTIVAL FAIR DAY SUNDAY 28 AUGUST An opportunity for Cairns’ gay and lesbian community to celebrate its diversity and its connection to the wider community: everyone welcome. The CTP committee organizes the Cairns Tropical Pride Festival annually, thereby creating a festival event the gay and lesbian community can truly call their own. There’ll be a Dog Show, LGBT choir, drag and other performances. Don’t miss the Gay Bingo, art exhibition, food and drink from across the region, music, market stalls, laughing yoga, an address from Mayor Val Schier, dance, a handbag throwing competition and more! Come along to the annual gay and lesbian community family fun day out! Note: Some MA 15+ content, parental guidance recommended (Adult areas clearly signposted). TIME: 10.30am – 6pm COST: $5 tickets sold at the door only INFO:


THE MIGHTY REAPERS FRIDAY 12 AUGUST The Mighty Reapers have earned themselves a reputation as one of the finest, live blues acts on the Australian circuit; don’t miss them at Tanks. Since their beginnings in the 80s, The Mighty Reapers have been in demand both for their own shows, and as a support band for touring international artists including BB King, Albert King, Buddy Guy and Screaming Jay

Hawkins, to name just a few. Having played most of our country’s blues and jazz festivals, including the East Coast Blues and Roots Festival (Byron Bay), Gold Coast International Jazz Festival (Qld) and the Manly Jazz and Blues Festival (NSW), Tanks Arts Centre is proud to present them in conjunction with the inaugural Blues Series. TIME: Doors 6.30pm / Show 7.30pm COST: $30/$25 (Conc) VENUE: Tank 5 RATING: PG Ticketlink or phone 1300 855 835

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Get ready to speak, scream, howl, whisper or sing your original poem at the Queensland Poetry Slam heats at Tanks. The Australian Poetry Slam is set to explode around Queensland in 2011, with regional heat winners flown to the State Finals at the State Library of Queensland in October. Then Queensland’s top two champions slug it out for the coveted title of Australian Slam Poet 2011 at the National finals in Sydney. Want to sharpen your words before you hit the stage? Come along to free Slam workshops (details below). Bookings are essential. There’s $11,000 worth of prizes up for grabs: showcase your work at Tanks’ electric live event, with the audience as judge! Two minutes to make your mark on the MIC! EVENT INFORMATION: TIME: Sign up 6pm | Start 6.30pm COST: FREE RATING: PG INFO: WORKSHOP INFORMATION: DATE: Sunday 28 August TIME: 12-18 year olds 12pm-2pm | Adults 3pm-5pm COST: FREE VENUE: Cairns Library, 151 Abbott Street, Cairns BOOKINGS: (07) 4044 3797

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EVENTS Circus Oz back in town Last seen in Cairns in 2008, the legendary Circus Oz lands back in Cairns at the end of the month. From Kununurra to New York, Circus Oz has been touring the world for more than 30 years. They have performed in more than 26 countries across five continents to critical acclaim. The Circus Oz 2011 show is a rock-n-roll animal free circus that appeals to adults and children alike. The performances of absurd acrobatics, graceful aerial performances and fast-paced knockabout comedy of Circus Oz are already selling fast. Exploding onto the Cairns Civic Theatre stage from August 26-31 is their crew of highly skilled performers, with a clutch of non-stop energy acts, all set to the rocking sound of the live Circus Oz band. They’ll have you gasping and then laughing yourself silly. What more could you ask for? Don’t miss Circus Oz at the Cairns Civic Theatre, August 26-31. Tickets from $32 (student $25)

August 19-21


Join the third annual Cairns Indigenous Art Fair, a dynamic three day free event, merging a visual art market with a celebration of Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures. This year CIAF is at the Cairns Cruise Liner Terminal, August 19-21. Discover the diverse world of Queensland Indigenous visual and performing arts. Learn from artists who will talk about their work and specialist guests at the CIAF Symposium. Experience the wonder and vigour of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander music and dance performed daily. CIAF embraces an art marketplace featuring commercial galleries and Indigenous art centres selling work by emerging and established artists and includes artists talks, children's art activities, film and contemporary and traditional dance - all taking place at the Cairns Cruise Liner Terminal. The CIAF exhibition is at the Cairns Regional Gallery and the CIAF symposium is at Centre of Contemporary Arts. The CAIF Opening Party, Thursday 18 August, the ultimate party in the tropics, is an exclusive ticket event offering a change to view and buy art work before the Art Fair opens to the public the following day. Tickets at< for more information visit

The Cairns Amateurs Racing Carnival is four days of fun, fashion, glamour, food and entertainment built around two days of horse racing in Cairns in early September each year. What began as a small meeting in 1959, designed to bring city and country together, has expanded over the years to become one of Australia’s premier spring horse racing carnivals. Registered as the Far North Queensland Amateur Turf Club Inc., our event has become widely, and affectionately, known as "THE CAIRNS AMATEURS" 53 years on, the Cairns Amateurs is now complemented by a host of social activities, some formal and some very informal including a number of Members-only and corporate functions as well as events and areas for the general public on both race days. The beautiful mild September climate entices large crowds of locals as well as interstate visitors. The dates for the 2011 Cairns Amateurs are from Thursday the 1st to Sunday the 4th of September. Visit

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Kasey Chambers & Shane Nicholson Cairns Civic Theatre 8:00pm / $43.15-59.20

Saturday 20th August

Kasey Chambers album, Little Bird, was released late last year and debuted on the national album charts at #3 and earned 4 Golden Guitars at this year’s Tamworth Country Music Awards. Shane Nicholson released his new album Bad Machines in March. With a stack of multi star reviews and a top-three album on the Country Music Album charts, Shane is the perfect companion for this Festival double-header. The live shows get an added boost, thanks to special guests: the legendary Bill Chambers and Tamworth’s first lady of fiddle, Ashleigh Dallas. Watch them all light up the Cairns Festival stage, as our season comes to a close.

A comedy dinner with Austen Tayshus at the Salt House. “Just as there are numerous styles of cuisine, there are numerous styles of comedy and Austen’s is particularly perceptive and dry. Now this isn’t everyone’s cup of tea but if you like your comedy dry, relevant and intelligent then Austen’s your man” (Stuart Borg The Arts Centre - April 21, 2006) Lucky for ticket holders there is nothing dry about Salt House’s Modern Australian cuisine. The sunglass-clad, perpetually selfdeprecating Tayshus is famous for his song “Australiana” which is still, 3 decades later, the highest selling single in Australian recording history. Developing a style of challenging, provocative and highly dynamic stand up

which is not to everyone’s taste and tends to polarize his audiences, consequently making Tayshus a mustsee comic. His work is improvisational and sometimes frightening, but attractive nevertheless as he draws audiences in like a magnet. Over 90 minutes of stand-up comedy, Try not to choke on your 3 course meal as Austen takes aim. Book now as seats are limited. It is first in best sat for a view of Austen also. Phone 4041 7733.

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A DAY AT THE RACES! While fashion-conscious racegoers are beginning to plan their hat and outfit ensemble and the jockeys and trainers are preparing their horses for the big event, Cairns businesses are gearing up for their busiest time of year. The Cairns Amateurs is expected to inject millions of dollars into the local economy. Graham Thornton, the Chief Executive Officer for the Cairns Amateurs Carnival and CEO of the Cairns Jockey Club, says the carnival generated $8.5 million last year, with $3.5 million of that being spent on fashion accessories. “The money the racing carnival generates is a huge boost for local businesses and our economy, and it is probably the biggest social event in the region attracting 20,000 racegoers each year,” he says. Not a bad effort when you consider the Melbourne Cup generated $730 million last year hosting visitors from all over the world and southerners actually get a public holiday to attend the event, so it’s good to know the Cairns Amateurs is holding its own. And on the day we met with Graham he had just received news that the Cairns’ Cannon Park Racecourse was to receive $1.96 million in state government funding, a huge boost for the Cairns Amateurs and Cairns Jockey Club. When you look at the figures, the Cairns racing carnival benefits the whole community as racegoers don’t just visit the track. Last year during the Cairns Amateurs $1.56 million was spent on accommodation in the region totalling 7,200 room nights, $1.2 million was spent on catering, $275,000 was generated in sponsorship and there was $250,000 in racing prize money. Throughout the two race days 690 staff worked at the event as well as another 175 racing industry staff. The racing industry itself generates $1.3 million catering for owners, trainers, accommodation, food, transport and prize money. Graham says it is not just the track events that pull a crowd either, as around 2,000 people attend the Cairns Amateurs Ball and another 2,500 attend other off-track events. Graham has a lot of support from local retailers. Julie Auger, fashion consultant and owner of Shine on Grafton Fashion Boutique and Jewel on Grafton Hair Boutique, says the Cairns Amateurs and Christmas are definitely their two busiest times of

the year. “While most retailers in fashion look forward to all the race meets throughout the year, the Cairns Amateurs is definitely the biggest for us all,” she says. “Racegoers spend money on new outfits, hats and fascinators, shoes, jewellery, spray tans, hair, nails and a range of other beauty products and services. Our businesses would all suffer if we didn’t have the racing carnival each year.” While Graham has only been CEO for 18 months, he is actually a chef by trade but with great knowledge of event management, he has met with those in the fashion industry to find out how they can work better together so they all benefit from the carnival. “We have become heavily involved and aligned with the fashion industry as they have been providing their products and services to the racing industry for years,” he says. “We introduced the Fashion Passport event which is to showcase local fashion boutiques and provide a stage for emerging designers and that was well received, and of course our Fashions on the Field is always a huge drawcard attracting entrants from interstate and sometimes overseas.” Graham says he is constantly trying to diversify and introduce new and exciting events so the Amateurs can be bigger and better than the year before and attract a wider audience. While the carnival costs $1.5 million to run, he says most of the money comes from sponsorship, ticket sales, racing event revenue and membership. “I would love to see our membership base grow this year. We have introduced a Young Members Club and e-ticketing, and hope our range of membership packages will entice more people to get swept up in the excitement of the carnival and become members,” Graham says. The Cairns Amateurs is on September 2nd and 3rd. Annual Membership is $220, and for information on membership packages or carnival events go to

Graham Thornton

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Special Feature


George Chapman

Interviewed by Amanda Cranston

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Gina acknowledges that success means something different to everyone, but she defines it as achieving your potential, earning respect from your peers and being comfortable enough in your own skin not to let your career define who you are. One of three girls born to mining parents, Gina was born in Rockhampton near the Gemfields. “My parents mined for sapphires before packing the family up to move to Palmer River for the gold,” she says. “My sisters and I did School of the Air for a while then moved to Cairns then Kuranda, although I went to high school in Cairns.” From a young age Gina was independent, strong willed and opinionated, and had her heart set on being a barrister. She worked part time through school at the local supermarket, The Big Tomato, and also cleaning rooms

at a local resort. While at school she discovered a love of photography and decided to study it and when she finished year 12 was offered a job with Brad Newton’s photographic business, an ironic coincidence that Newton has photographed her for the beautiful cover of this issue. “I worked at The Look Photography for about a year but then realised I enjoyed photography more as a hobby than as a profession, and decided to study Business, majoring in marketing,” she says. Not long after she had finished her studies Gina heard an advertisement on the radio for a sales role at Sea FM and applied for it. To her amazement she got the job and at 19 was the youngest sales person they had ever hired. This year Gina celebrates two years with Southern Cross Austereo and says she feels lucky to be part of such a dynamic organisation with such a great culture. She admits there is never a dull day and loves the fact that she can be involved with both her loves, television and radio. “It is a really exciting time for us right now as Southern Cross Media just purchased Austereo which owns 10 metro radio stations in all the capital cities,” she says.

Gina says the merger gives them access to bigger and better things with more of a wow factor, like access to celebrity interviews, special concert tickets and the ability to cross promote on both television and radio simultaneously. She explains that Southern Cross Austereo is the creator of more The hoursAustin of live content Familythan any other broadcast media in Australia and can connect brands with 95% of Australians each week via their regional free-to-air TV networks, national radio networks, online, mobile and unique one off events. In total they have 80 radio stations & 21 commercial television licences. Gina credits a lot of her success to the incredible guidance she has been given throughout her career. “Some of the best advice I’ve been given is to always trust your gut instinct, find the humour in any situation, lead by example and not fear, and learn to positively embrace change,” she says. “And my favourite piece of advice is that the fish stinks from the head. It is not exactly eloquent but it basically means the leader is the heart of the business and you need to start there.” “Everyone has the potential to be successful.”

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jana St a nkovich JANA STANKOVICH The Cairns Airport Marketing Manager laughs as she reveals her biggest secret. She was the very last Dimbulah Tobacco Queen proudly winning the title at age 17. Tall, blonde and vivacious, you would be forgiven for thinking Jana Stankovich was a flight attendant. It’s ironic really considering that’s what she wanted to be when she grew up. “When I was a teenager I was told I was too tall to be a flight attendant because I would bang my head on the television screens, so that was the end of that,” she laughs. Reflecting on her childhood she says growing up in Dimbulah with two older brothers and parents who were tobacco farmers was very grounding. “I worked at Dimbulah Food Works as a check-out chick then later moved into the deli to work, that was my first real job,” Jana says. At 17 she won the Dimbulah Tobacco Queen title, a title which is now known as the Dimbulah Lions Queen, and after finishing year 12 Jana moved to Melbourne to study Business Administration. By that stage her brothers were living in Brisbane and Melbourne and she felt there would be more opportunities for her in a big city. She got her diploma than followed her now husband back to

Cairns where she then started studying Business majoring in management at James Cook University, a degree she will finally complete at the end of this year after a period of deferment. Jana says she has been very lucky to have many amazing mentors over the years who encouraged her to take a full time job while studying part time, who helped her better understand the aviation and tourism industry and who helped build her confidence. “The best advice I was ever given and still use today is to trust my instincts, always think outside the box, there is never a dumb question, and always learn from those already in the industry,” Jana says. Taking a job at Tourism Tropical North Queensland as finance and administration assistant, Jana quickly moved up into the leisure marketing department and then into sales and marketing in North America and New Zealand and youth/adventure market. In September 2010 an opportunity came up at the Cairns Airport and Jana took the job of acting aviation marketing manager in a contract

position, then this year was given a permanent role in marketing for aviation & commercial at Cairns Airport. “I love what I do, meeting new people, everyday is different and never repetitive and I enjoy the challenge of working on new marketing campaigns,” Jana says. Her career highlights so far would include creating the first ever signature event in Las Vegas for 50 tourism peers, Thea Austin Family organising two week roadshow for 18 industry professionals to 10 cities in North America, running a major outboard tourism campaign, being nominated twice and being a finalist for the Len Taylor Young ATEC award, and being nominated for the Cairns Business Women’s Club Young Business Manager and Young Australian Management Institute (AIM) award. Jana acknowledges that success means something different to everyone, and explains that being happy and doing a job you love would be her definition of success. “So I guess you could say I am successful then,” she laughs.

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photogaphed by Daniel Blake Hair by Adam and Eva Hair Salon

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Good strong family values, a sense of pride and a passion for rugby league has made Northern Pride player and now club CEO, Chris Sheppard, the success he is today, not to mention a great role model. “I actually started playing football (rugby league) when I was four and my idols when growing up were players like Wally Lewis and Gary Larson,” Chris says. “But my grandad was also an important mentor to me while growing up and he was the one who got me involved in the sport to start with.” Throughout school while still playing footy Chris took on many part time jobs in his hometown of Mareeba like picking chillies and mangoes and laying turf, but his first ‘real’ job was when he was recruited to play for the North Queensland Cowboys in 1998, straight from school. “I loved playing for the Cowboys and I think I not only grew as a player but also as a person. I was lucky to debut in Cairns in 2001 playing first grade and as a teenager getting to play on home turf in front of family and friends was a big deal,” he says. Chris played for the Cowboys until June 2005 and during that time played 61 games, and scored five tries and two field goals. Chris left the Cowboys in 2005 to play for St George Illawarra Dragons and stayed there until 2006, before returning to the Mareeba Gladiators and in

2008 joined the Northern Pride. Chris played 55 games with the Pride, scored four tries and kicked six goals and two field goals. In 2010 he led the team to victory in the grand final, as well as winning the Duncan Hall Medal as Man of the Match. “There have been so many career highlights it is hard to choose just one or two. Obviously the 2010 Grand Final is up there, playing the Broncos in a packed stadium, playing in the under 15’s in Mareeba when no-one gave us a chance, wearing the Queensland jersey for the first time, they have all been highlights for me,” Chris says. When asked what he is most proud of he easily puts his kids on top of that list. He and his wife Jade have two sons, Kyan 6 and

Chase 4, a 17 month-old daughter Meika and another baby on the way due in November. A proud family man, Chris hopes his work as CEO with the Northern Pride will provide opportunities for other families and their kids to develop a career in sport. “I’m really proud of what we are achieving here at the club and we want to help kids who are passionate about playing rugby league achieve their dreams,” he says. He puts his success down to having always had strong support from family and friends, being lucky enough to have had people around him who gave him a go and encouraged him, and he says his strong work ethic and commitment during hard The Austin Family times all contributed to where he is today. “At the end of the day, you make your own choices and live by them. You have to take responsibility for whatever your background is and not play victim to your circumstances. If you want to be a success or you have a dream, then set yourself a goal and work towards it and that is how you will achieve it,” he says.

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Vicky Johnst o n VICKY JOHNSTON

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Spend any time with Vicky Johnston and it is easy to see how she ended up working for Holy Spirit Care Services and taking on the role of general manager. A humble and self-confessed private person, Vicky’s warmth shines through and her optimism for life and work is endearing. “I love my job because I am able to inspire those around me and engage and empower them, giving back to the community,” she says. “It’s important to me to be able to make a difference to others and help them become a better person.” Vicky says working for a not-for-profit organisation can be challenging at times but is incredibly rewarding. Holy Spirit Care Services is a not-for-profit provider of residential aged care and retirement services, with the Australian province being established after World War 2 by the Holy Spirit Missionary Sisters. While Vicky joined Holy Spirit as the finance manager almost five years ago, she helped establish the main business office after Holy Spirit purchased three Cairns facilities, then in 2007 she became the general manager. “I actually wanted to be an accountant or an architect when I was growing up, I mustn’t have got

Vicky Johnston

past the letter ‘A’ when choosing a career,” Vicky laughs. “My very first job was as a milk runner, then working in a supermarket before being promoted to the deli while still at school, and then after I finished school I went travelling before I took on my first professional job as an accountant with PricewaterhouseCooper.” While born and bred in Canberra, Vicky moved to Townsville at the age of 19 where she studied to become a Chartered Accountant after completing her degree at James Cook University. Ten years later she moved to Cairns. “I worked for Ernst and Young as an accountant when I first moved to Cairns and then when the business relocated to Brisbane I went to work for Ireland’s car dealership as the financial controller,” she says. “I have always been very lucky to work in organisations that invested in their staff, had good training programs, good managers, incredible mentors and provided a nurturing and supportive environment,” Vicky says. She reflects that the best piece of advice she

was ever given was to only ever work for managers who would help her grow, who would listen to her ideas and be supportive. “I try to be the same kind of mentor to my staff and inspire my team as I was lucky enough to have this throughout my career,” she says. I don’t believe in a dictatorship-style of managing as it can be too stifling and it is important to encourage and empower those around you.” When asked to define the meaning of success, Vicky says she believes it is being happy with who you are and what you’ve achieved. She says it is feeling as though you have options and can make a difference to those people that are important to you, and being able to inspire others to be their best too. She believes it is an ongoing process but says one makes a choice to be happy. Vicky wants to now focus on improving the processes and structures Holy Spirit already has in place, leading and articulating their mission and values so everyone can continue working towards a common goal.

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suzy Pickard SUZY PICKARD

Suzy Pickard

The Austin Family

Grand dreams of a career as a zoologist or marine biologist were crushed when Suzy Pickard discovered she needed to excel in science. Today she oversees the marketing for the region’s major shopping complex, Cairns Central, and has never looked back. “I had never considered marketing until my first job in an office where I realised the marketing department had the most fun,” Suzy laughs. “Now there is nothing else I would rather be doing, marketing is dynamic, fun, exciting and challenging. And what woman wouldn’t love working at a shopping centre?” Suzy is responsible for the marketing strategies and new initiatives at the shopping centre such as the twice yearly fashion catalogues, the Face of Cairns Central model search, relaunching the Cairns Central website, the Drop & Shop childcare, the Shop 4 Cairns Kids campaign raising money for Cairns schools, and the soon to start styling workshops. On top of that she is constantly dealing with owners, retailers, shareholders, customers and media, so no day is ever the same. Her busy lifestyle is a far cry from her very first job as chief pizza maker at Dominos Pizzas while still at school, although she happily admits she still makes a mean pizza.

After year 12 Suzy took up an office administration traineeship at Leonards Chickens, and says it was while working here she decided she wanted to pursue marketing. After moving to Cairns with her now husband, Suzy took on a sales and marketing position with Ocean Spirit Cruises. “It was a great way to meet people when I moved to Cairns, and I was also lucky enough to be able to snorkel around the Great Barrier Reef during my lunchbreaks,” she laughs. Three years later she went to work for Blazing Saddles and Mungalli Falls Student Village as sales coordinator, before starting out at Cairns Central as marketing assistant in July 2003. “I actually applied for my job at Cairns Central twice as I missed out the first time. They told me I needed to go away and gain more experience and undertake a marketing course, so I did. Then the next time the job was advertised I applied again and they said they were impressed with my persistence and the fact I had gone away and done all the things they suggested, so I got the job,” she

smiles. “And eight years later I am still here.” Suzy went from marketing assistant to assistant marketing manager, and now is the marketing manager, and along the way has had many mentors and career highlights. She is most proud of being an industry award finalist, and receiving the ecoBiz award by the Minister for Environment for meeting sustainable objectives at Cairns Central in water, energy and waste management. She is also proud to celebrate 11 years with her husband this year, although only one year of marriage. “We only got married last year after being together for 10 years, and got married on the 10th of the 10th of the 10th,” she laughs. “Surely that’s a good omen.” Suzy says the only real challenge she has faced was the death of her father earlier this year to cancer, an event that makes you reevaluate what is important in life. “At the end of the day being happy is the most important thing. You have to love what you do, open your heart to new experiences and be content,” she says.

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by Alex Drewniak

ally and c lo d e is n g o c e r t o n is tial All too often success n te o p ir e th re lo p x e ek and young talent has to se s really n ir a C n a C . d a ro b a r e interstate or even furth nd creativity? on a afford to lose innovati

s in Canberra, which in Bike Championship nta ou M we t tha event was broadcast ccessful entrepreneur ost over 3 years. The alm k too It Here is one young su of tor the world to millions. Jeffries is the co direc e and telecast around lin on d n, an need to watch... Dylan sig ail de pad for Word Tr any specialising in the served as a launching “World Trail”, a comp ng nti me alia. He was only 25 ple im of ultancy n bike riding in Austr tai un mo construction and cons the d un young dealing with untain bike tracks aro e, and admittedly felt tim the at n d walking tracks and mo an lan rnment on this millio humble beginnings, Dy ministers and the gove ief ch , ess sin country. From very bu ess in sin e many people en Jacobs built this bu dollar dealing. Unlik his business partner Gl ys bo r. “I was never scared th bo as d ve t starte appears to ha no fea lan Dy the from the ground. Wha rk wo mething a try, what’s and doing World Trail l. You have to give so fai to ess sin bu n l working in other jobs ow ful s ur iou ting yo turned into a very ser that can happen? “Star rst wo od go after hours, has now of nk 29 many people thi siness. Dylan is only is a hard thing to do, s fast time, multi contract bu ce sin y wa g lon a them” World Trail ha me on co finitely but never act as, ide und aro l years old, and has de Al g a. vin ali r in Austr m KFC at age 14. Ha me an industry leade co be are his first pay cheque fro nt in me d rn and local gove eurial qualities cemente the country, councils always had entrepren d die stu he ts, provide recreational ren pa his tra e from g to develop ils to kin see the him from an early ag es a tourism initiative for t and Marketing at Jam ities for locals and as tiv ac le sty Business Managemen mth ris wi g out eco-tou lan’s interest in sports growing number seekin Cook University. Dy te ska as ves there are exciting ch su be ments riences. Dylan lie pe ex non-structured environ him d rism operators to utilise and snow boarding lea rtunities for local tou po op t boarding, bike riding te d capture a market tha d”, a street-culture ska World Trail offers an at wh the to us s to open up “Compoun are ing sh br his ping on. This ccessful years, he sold other regions are jum da shop. After three su cow no his s, ob orld Trail has never ha Jac W en y t Gl ion, as to wh est qu mand de h in the business, and me hig ch n t is in su th James Wells and Be act here in Cairns, bu ntr co in e director. Together wi ma uc the od s 1996 Glen wa ung men went onto pr everywhere else? In Bramham, the four yo ey Th . TV ever Mountain Bike el Fu on ” d ne sen Li force behin the first ng ivi dr , a 13 part series “Cho an en be held out of Europe ing extreme sports, wh ld Championships, to or W at wh see . travelled Australia film to ria cto me n the world ca a trail design job in Vi here in Cairns. Whe blown opportunity arose for sive ten ex his th wi had to offer, they were ich ld wh fie der, irns and Smith Ca al tur Glen was given the ten the na ce the sin s flowed and in over 18 countries away at how our track tracks knowledge developed lls, ski nt me lop ve s type of event. These de thi ess for sin al bu ’s ide s lan wa Dy in d ra an ter an early 90’s, alated ls, are in dire need of contract. Business esc still exist, but Dylan fee d an , the two won their first lot a d ice has sacrif e, they went from lift. Although Dylan up his g quickly, and over tim rin du s d out on thing onents of projects to believes he has misse y other subcontracting comp to n sig de e wouldn't have it an m “h fro s , e job , he now say uth yo “Luck undertaking the entir d, da an to gr his wise done in-house. Not y…” In the words of wa What excavators, all being k. ck luc tra n m your ow have developed fro ’t happen; you create esn do to get mention, their services ing ng go eri e off u’r what yo n, to World Trail now put into something is u yo belt, it his design and productio r ing de pp un ilosophy ility studies, GPS ma t of it…” With this ph ou ch. mu their expertise to feasib so ts g lec vin ref fries is achie dits. Dylan proudly no surprise Dylan Jef is and environmental au ld or W facility for the 2009 on how they built the

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Dylan photographed by Chris baker and lights held by Alex Drewniak 6am on the Esplanade

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photo by Kerry Trapnell


Artistic Director Avril Quaill by Sonja Anderson

As she puts the finishing touches on the full program for this year’s Cairns Indigenous Art Fair (CIAF), Artistic Director Avril Quaill pauses from her whirlwind task to reflect on the fact that the past six months in this new position have been an exhilarating experience. “CIAF is a unique event that is brings together an art market and a celebration of Queensland’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures,” she says. “It is an honour and a privilege to be the first Aboriginal Artistic Director of Australia’s premier Indigenous arts event.” This year the Art Fair takes place at the award-winning Cruise Liner Terminal from 19-21 August with all the satellite events taking place at a number of other locations in the Cairns CBD. The director’s diminutive frame and luminous brown eyes might, for the casual observer, belie her more than 25 years’ curatorial experience that has prepared herl for her position as the first Indigenous CIAF Artistic Director. There is no doubt that she is comes to the direction of CIAF with a wellrounded pedigree. Avril graduated from Sydney College of the Arts with a BA in Visual Arts and in the early 1980’s was a founding member of the renowned Boomalli Aboriginal Artists Co-operative in Sydney. Her interest in curating was piqued by the staging of exhibitions for the collective’s artists. From the late 1980s, her artistic career shifted focus to curating and Avril has held senior curatorial positions at the National Gallery of Australia, co-curating major touring exhibitions. She also worked with the Queensland Art Gallery, coordinating the Indigenous component of the acclaimed 4th Asia-Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art. Until January this year, Avril worked with the Queensland Ingenious Arts and Marketing Export Agency, a body designed to promote Queensland Indigenous Art internationally. Moving to Cairns to take up her new position with the nation’s premier Indigenous art fair, has provided her with new and demanding challenges. CIAF, a Queensland Government initiative delivered by Arts Queensland, brings together commercial galleries dedicated to showcasing and selling Queensland Indigenous art and art centres focused nurturing Indigenous community based artists and their

work to a point of sale. “In curating CIAF 2011 my interest and focus has been centred on witnessing a new energy demonstrated by artists creating works in mediums not usually their oeuvre – painters working in printmaking; printmakers exploring painting mediums; ceramic artists exploring weaving and fibre; artists creating works in performance, film and animation. “The event presents a fantastic opportunity for both emerging and established artists to show their work to influential people in the art world. “The development of the CIAF program and activities over the past three years has garnered continued and increased interest from national and international commercial galleries, institutions and curators - a very important achievement. “The free activities surrounding the Art Fair – the music and dance program, the artist talks and demonstrations, the children’s programs - round out the cultural experience for art lovers, tourists, locals and families. It is truly a celebration of life in Queensland,” she says. The CIAF Exhibition at the Cairns Regional Gallery is an integral part of CIAF. It provides a showcase for a level of art one can expect to see at the Art Fair and includes work by established artists Vernon Ah Kee, Sally Gabori, Tony Albert, Richard Bell, Samantha Hobson, Billy Missi and others and emerging artists including Cheryl Accoom, Glen Mackie, Marlene Holroyd, Napoleon Oui, Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists. The Exhibition offers artists, not otherwise exhibiting at the Art Fair or satellite exhibitions or for those not yet to be engaged by commercial galleries or agents, a chance to show and sell their work. Another highlight in the three-day program is the CIAF Symposium. Held on Friday 19th August, it provides a platform for the artistic community to debate and discuss contemporary issues impacting Indigenous art practice in

Australia. The CIAF Symposium features high profile speakers including Vernon Ah Kee, one of Australia’s pre-eminent contemporary artists’ Professor Peter Sutton, Senior Research Fellow at the University of Adelaide and South Australian Museum; and Dr Maura Reilly, Professor of Art Theory, Queensland College of Art, Griffith University, Brisbane, and founding curator of the Elizabeth A. Sackler Centre for Feminist Art at the Brooklyn Museum, New York. As the future is embodied in the lives of our young people, children are at the centre of a CIAF program. Parents, children and their carers can get involved in free hands-on arts and craft workshops, creative storytelling sessions, cultural sharing classes and an interactive multimedia game show. “They can star in ABC 3 TV program Go Lingo, make their own artwork or share in traditional stories about Torres Strait Islander culture,” Avril says. And a celebration like no other in the tropics will kick off the 2011 CIAF. “The Opening Party on 18 August is going to be a fantastic evening and this year’s event promises to be the definitive party in Far North Queensland, showcasing established and emerging visual artists, dancers and musicians from Queensland’s Indigenous community” she says. Cairns born, international singing sensation, Wilma Reading, will lead the lineup of talent on the Opening Party stage, crooning under the stars, while party goers sup on tropical fare. The Mornington Island Dance group and the Arpaka Dancers from Moa Island in the Torres Strait, will entertain, bringing the wonder and vigour of Indigenous dance to the celebration. For more information, to view the full CIAF program or to buy tickets for the Opening Party Friday 18 August or the symposium Friday 19 August visit

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EDDIE JAMES DESIGNS Walking into Eddie James’ parlour will make you double take and check you’ve walked into a tattoo studio. The only thing reminiscent of a tattoo parlour is the buzzing sound coming from the guns, and the distinct smell of antiseptic! There is no flash on the walls, but rather beautifully positioned block-mounted pieces of art work, two leather couches, and beautiful Japanese-style petitions stand blocking your view of the artists and their clients. It was Eddie’s vision to create a parlour that nurtured the aesthetics of this art, rather than carry the “bikey” stigma, which reflects in the design of his space. The environment is unlike any other in Cairns, and this uniqueness is appealing. Eddie always knew he was never going to have an ordinary job. As a child he was an avid artist and musician. It is this eccentric and creative streak that has shaped and channelled him in the direction of the tattoo world. Eddie’s skills span across a vast range of styles, and

he has successfully mastered the technique of ‘flash’ tattoo designs. Matter of fact, he is Australia wide renowned for this work, but the artist in him seeks to express himself through surrealism. His eyes brighten as he explains how biomechanical and robotic style artwork consumes much of his interest, and all the “small swirls and repetitive shapes” fascinate him. Eddie works along side the extremely artful Jason Majewski, and his brother Michael James, and his latest project “Highway 1”, only recently having opened up in Edmonton, is where Chrystal Chapman and Cara Scott design. He envisages growth for both businesses as demand is high for his time and work. Eddie himself oozes cool, his conversation thoughtful. Teamed with his vivacious red hair, definitely makes for a memorable experience. Bookings are essential. (07) 40313267

by Alex Drewniak

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Mud Sweat And Tears GRYLLS BEAR Bear is a man who has always loved adventure. After leaving school, he spent months hiking in the Himalayas as he considered joining the Indian Army. Upon his return to England after a change of heart, he passed SAS selection and served with 21 SAS for three years. During this time he broke his back in several places in a free-fall parachuting accident and it was questionable whether he would ever walk again. However, after months of rehabilitation, focusing always on his childhood dream of climbing Everest, he slowly became strong enough to attempt the ultimate ascent of the world's highest peak. At 7.22 a.m. on 26 May 1998, Bear entered the Guinness Book of Records as the youngest Briton to have successfully climbed Everest and returned alive. He was only twenty-three years old and this was only the beginning of his extreme adventures... Known and admired by millions-whether from his prime-time TV adventures, as a bestselling author or as a world-class motivational speaker-Bear has been there and done it all. Now, for the first time and in his own words, this is the story of his action-packed life.

Stieg & Me Eva Gabrielsson & Marie-Francoise Colombani There is only one person who can tell the real Steig Larsson story, and that is his lifelong companion Eva Gabrielsson. This is her book. The keys to the 'Stieg Larsson phenomenon' all lie with Stieg Larsson, the man, and no one knew him like Eva. Here she tells the story of their 30-year romance, of Stieg's life-long struggle to expose Sweden's Neo-Nazis, of his fight to keep the magazine he founded, Expo, alive and his difficult relationships with his immediate family. She talks of the genesis of the Millennium trilogy, the sources for characters and places in each book, the mystery of the fourth volume and the saga of Larsson's death and his legacy. Poignant in its account of two soulmates and the life they shared, this is a story told with candour and dignity. It reflects a deep insight into a man everyone wants to know better, about whom so little is known.

Tamil Tigress Niromi de Soyza Two days before Christmas in 1987, at the age of 17, Niromi de Soyza found herself in an ambush as part of a small platoon of militant Tamil Tigers fighting government forces in the bloody civil war that was to engulf Sri Lanka for decades. With her was her lifelong friend, Ajanthi, also aged 17. Leaving behind them their shocked middle-class families, the teenagers had become part of the Tamil Tigers' first female contingent. Equipped with little more than a rifle and a cyanide capsule, Niromi's group managed to survive on their wits in the jungle, facing not only the perils of war but starvation, illness and growing internal tensions among the militant Tigers. And then events erupted in ways that she could no longer bear. How was it that this well-educated, mixed-race, middle-class girl from a respectable family came to be fighting with the Tamil Tigers? Today she lives in Sydney with her husband and children; but Niromi de Soyza is not your ordinary woman and this is her compelling story.

Tiny Bit Marvellous French Dawn Everyone hates the perfect family. So you'll love the Battles. Meet Mo Battle, about to turn 50 and mum to two hormonal teenagers. There's 17-year-old daughter Dora who blames Mo for, like, EVERYTHING and Peter who believes he's quite simply as marvellous as his hero Oscar Wilde. Somewhere, keeping quiet, Is Dad, who's just, well . . . Dad. However, Mo is having a crisis. She's about to do something unusually wild and selfish, which will leave the entire family teetering on the edge of a precipice. Will the family fall? Or will they, when it really matters, be there for each other? 'Funny, really enjoyable, highly recommended. A wonderful writer witty, wise, poignant' Wendy Holden 'A fantastic slam-dunk page-turner. Funny, enriching . . . page after page I laughed out loud' Mail on Sunday 'Beautifully observed. Makes you laugh on every page' The Times 'A brilliantly observed, very funny novel of family life' Woman & Home

Snow Flower & The Secret Fan Lily is haunted by memories-of who she once was, and of a person, long gone, who defined her existence. She has nothing but time now, as she recounts the tale of Snow Flower, and asks the gods for forgiveness. In nineteenth-century China, when wives and daughters were foot-bound and lived in almost total seclusion, the women in one remote Hunan county developed their own secret code for communication: nu shu ("women's writing"). Some girls were paired with laotongs, "old sames, " in emotional matches that lasted throughout their lives. They painted letters on fans, embroidered messages on handkerchiefs, and composed stories, thereby reaching out of their isolation to share their hopes, dreams, and accomplishments. With the arrival of a silk fan on which Snow Flower has composed for Lily a poem of introduction in nu shu, their friendship is sealed and they become "old sames" at the tender age of seven. As the years pass, through famine and rebellion, they reflect upon their arranged marriages, loneliness, and the joys and tragedies of motherhood. The two find solace, developing a bond that keeps their spirits alive. But when a misunderstanding arises, their lifelong friendship suddenly threatens to tear apart. Snow Flower and the Secret Fan is a brilliantly realistic journey back to an era of Chinese history that is as deeply moving as it is sorrowful. With the period detail and deep resonance of Memoirs of a Geisha, this lyrical and emotionally charged novel delves into one of the most mysterious of human relationships: female friendship.

book review

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“What I’m Reading now” NICK ‘EVER AFTER’ ROBERTS

Afterwards Rosamund Lupton There is a fire and they are in There. They are in there . . . Black smoke stains a summer blue sky. A school is on fire. And one mother, Grace, sees the smoke and runs. She knows her teenage daughter Jenny is inside. She runs into the burning building to rescue her. Afterwards, Grace must find the identity of the arsonist and protect her family from the person who's still intent on destroying them. Afterwards, she must fight the limits of her physical strength and discover the limitlessness of love.

Despite having more books than most at my disposal, being in business limits the time I get to read purely for fun. One book recently that I have made time to get through is Chuck Palahniuk’s ‘Non-Fiction’. Palahniuk gained notoriety for writing the amazing Fight Club, (which later was adapted into a killer movie in own right). Another title of his, “Choke”, is one of my most favourite books and these two along with “Non-Fiction” show off Palahniuk’s quirky, concise and ultra contemporary literary skills. “Non-Fiction” is a collection of unrelated short-stories, often about seemingly uninspiring subject matter, such as script-writing seminars and amateur wrestling competitions, but Chuck has an ability to make even the most mundane seem riveting with his in-depth observations and razor-sharp literation. Less beige topics include interviews with Juliette Lewis and Marilyn Manson, and Palahniuk’s commentary of the Rock Creek Lodge Testical Festival. Big Ups!

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Perfect Skin!

Most of us are born With perfect skin… If you choose, it will Be our privilege to help You keep it that way. Trust us with your skincare. It’s what we do best!

When entering the doors of the Skin Care Centre of Cairns, you can feel an instant atmosphere of tranquillity and honesty. The gorgeous smells and natural lighting are a contrast to the ultra modern and often intimidating beauty salons one may be used to. The original owner of the salon, Valerie Yeulett, established this comfortable environment in 1972 opening one of the first beauty salons in Queensland at the time. Paivi Pratley is now the beautiful face behind the business and after sitting with her for even ten minutes her passion and knowledge is extraordinary. With over forty years experience she decided to buy the business from Valerie after working for her for eight years. Paivi was impressed with the business’s core beliefs and values. At the Skin Care Centre Cairns the staff ’s focus is educating the client on total skin care. They offer all the professional services you may need including; waxing, facial, skin treatments, electrolysis, wedding makeup, manicures, pedicures and tanning

services. The difference that comes across with this team is their complete understanding of the skin and they attempt to explain to you how your treatment works and how as an individual can look after you skin to the best of your ability. Paivi’s passion for skin care comes from a scientific background in cosmetics. She keeps up to date with new advancements in the field by attending training every three months from Environ, one of the cosmeceutical companies she represents. Paivi is quick to explain that her salon does not follow “fads” the beauty world so often trend on, such as micro derm-abrasion and skin peels. Every treatment that the skin care centre practices has been tried, tested and proven. The Skin Care Centre stocks several skin care and makeup brands. Environ, Jenesce and Jane Iredale mineral makeup are just a few. Everything that Paivi sells, she is an avid believer in and will answer any question you may have with confidence and passion. She really does care.

The Skin Care Centre of Cairns 1st floor, Traveltown, 19-21 Lake Street, Cairns. T: 4051 3087

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LOCAL HERO Question and Answers Name: Eric Vaughn Holowacz Nickname: Kasimir Suburb: Machans Beach Career Title: Cultural Engineer / Producer, Cairns Festival

Q&A Why do you choose to call Cairnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s home? I have moved around the world over the past decade, working in arts leadership roles and supporting creative people. So I've been a part of cultural management gigs in some pretty special places: the Lowcountry of South Carolina, across the ditch in windy Wellington, and then most recently the remote island of Key West, Florida. As an American who became a Kiwi in 2007, I had often heard of Cairns and the Far North, and many Wellington friends came back raving about their tropical experience here. So when my role as founding chief executive of an artists colony in Key West was up, there was a definite allure back to the Southern Hemisphere: a pull towards Cairns. In early 2010, I was lucky enough to get the job as producer of Cairns Festival, and have been working for the local regional identity and creative people ever since. How did you get into your profession? Just over 20 years ago, I was finishing a degree in art history and English literature in South Carolina, not really knowing what I would do after graduation. I managed to score an exchange semester at the University of the Virgin Islands, in the West Indies, where I got my first taste of the real tropics. But Hurricane Hugo came through and pretty much wiped out the campus and my time there. When I got back to South Carolina for my final semester, I answered a helpwanted ad for a student intern at the state arts agency. They took me in, and I ended up spending a few more years there developing projects, learning about touring programs, supporting grants administration, planning exhibitions and art collections, and realizing that I had become a cultural engineer. So it was by post-cyclone happenstance that my career in the arts began, and I have been grateful for the storm (and the calm that followed) ever since. Tell us your favourite part of your job? Being able to translate wild ideas into new projects and tangible reality is a wonderful aspect to a Festival Producer's job. In a way, it mimics what artists do as part of the creative process, and can be mysterious and Zen-like. Getting to work with hundreds of artists, and trying to find ways to support their ideas and dreams, is also a rare and special thing. Cairns Festival has a small core of hardworking people truly dedicated to our mission, and I feel grateful to be leading that team. And as a writer at heart, I absolutely love the story and the magic in the telling. Almost every extraordinary work of art has an incredible story at its core, usually wrapped like onion skin in metaphor and meaning. Helping get those stories out there, so they connect with people, is another great part of my job. I also feel privileged to work with the notion of "sense of place" and community and cultural identity. Who are we? What does it mean to be that? How do we explain the here

and now? What is unique in a particular place? These are questions that can often be answered by artists, poets, film-makers, playwrights, and the Zen of the creative process. And sometimes, I get to help. What are you looking forward to during the Cairns Festival? I've worked with a half-dozen festivals over the years, and the greatest feeling always comes on the final day. That's when you know that all the efforts have paid off, the events have had an effect, sponsors are happy, the media took an interest, artists are still buzzing, and you finally begin to exhale. So September 4 will be a fine day for me and my team. But from within our 2011 season, there is lots to look forward to and experience. This is our 50th Festival, going back to the first creative gathering in 1962 and the dawn of Fun in the Sun, so we want to take a nostalgic look back over the decades. We've also been working on some interesting new partnerships, including a theatre exchange with Melbourne's La Mama Theatre, and a street performance element with Woodford Folk Festival. Together with KickArts, and artist Ruby Boussard, the Festival is planning an ambitious and free creative kids area, Muddy's Art Village. There will be a half-dozen free outdoor music concerts on our Fogarty Park stage, six free film nights, Cairns Indigenous Art Fair, and the Grand Parade and fireworks on Sunday 21 August. Getting creative won't take much money, only spare time. So make some between August 19 and September 4! What is the best festival you have ever attended? Mardi Gras in New Orleans is pretty exciting. And the Boxing Day Junkanoo in the Bahamas is a crazy competitive revelry rooted deep in the West Indian and Afro-Caribbean tradition. I like discovering festivals when I travel, and even the smallest ones are an inspiration. My hometown of Irmo, South Carolina was known for its annual Okra Strut, a sort of suburban community celebration of that vegetable. And I grew up going to wonderful little small-town festivals in honour of peaches, watermelons, grits, boiled peanuts, and even chitlins. It was just part of agrarian life in South Carolina. The most memorable for me, and a polar opposite to the Okra Strut, was my first year in the press room at Spoleto Festival in Charleston. Not quite 20 years ago, I found myself working with critics and arts writers from around the world, and in the same room as Festival founder Gian Carlo Menotti, legendary opera directors, chamber music impresarios, an Umbrian Countess, principal dancers form the Ballet de Monte Carlo, a poet laureate or two, and contemporary theatre companies. Spoleto Festival was and still is artistic statement of the highest order, a commingling of traditional and experimental. I ended up as Operations

Manager there, but my first season in 1992 will probably be my favourite Festival ever. The thing that might surprise people about me is: When I was 7 or 8, one day on my walk to school, I stopped and wrote a small note to myself. "HI Eric, have a great day," I think it said. Then I balled it up, placed it in my ear, and proceeded down Hempsted Road to my primary school. I had expected to get it out on my way home that afternoon, but forgot. Several months later, I had horrible ear aches, and they weren't getting any better. Finally, I begged my mum to have a look. She got a flashlight and some tweezers and delicately poked around. Mum noticed a glob of stuff inside my ear, carefully fished it out, then stared at it in bewilderment. "Hey, that's the note I wrote in September," I declared, as she flushed it down the toilet. And it was. Mum just looked at me dumbfounded, and I've been writing notes and letters and poems ever since. The best advice my mum gave me: Never put anything inside your ear, unless it's your elbow, and only after wrapping that in your winter coat. Favourite CBD Restaurant: I'm always happy at Hanuman, and Salt House has such a lovely vibe (and good kitchen). Ganbaranba is a favorite lunch spot, as is Festival hangout 12 Bar Cafe in City Place. On Friday, I always try to find time for pho and a banh mi at the Vietnamese trailer. And for a picnic on The Esplanade, my family and I have discovered the $10 take-away pizzas at Villa Romano. And while we don't live in the CBD, taco night at our house is pretty good too... Favourite spot to shop in Cairns: My wife and I have three young daughters, so most of our shopping is about providing food, clothing, or other basic necessities. I'm going to declare myself unfashionable, regarding my own consumerism, and just leave it at that. I canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t stop listening to: Sam Cooke's 1963 album Night Beat. Band of Horses, Iron & Wine, and chillwave wizard Toro y Moi (all from my home town). An obscure New York singersongwriter called Chocolate Genius. Kiwi band The Phoenix Foundation. Taj Mahal, Gram Parsons, The Dixie Cups, Marisa Monte, the Opening Notes CD we just compiled for every newborn baby in the region...this is a hard questions, because I just can't stop listening to music! The last book that blew my mind was: Paul Coelho's The Alchemist. Italo Calvino's If on a winter's night a traveler. Anything by Jorge Luis Borges. Tolkein's little short story, "Leaf by Niggle."

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Luke Essery photographed by Danial Blake by Amanda Cranston


AN EMERGENCY HELICOPTER RESCUE CREWMAN... True heroes, the EMQ Helicopter Rescue Crew operate 24 hours a day to assist in land and sea search and rescue operations, transporting medical teams to accident scenes, air evacuations of critically ill patients and evacuations in times of disaster, transferring patients between hospitals, resupplying communities isolated by natural disasters and then assisting when needed in fire fighting, oil spills and police support. Every day is different and the crew never know what to expect when they clock on for their shift. Constantly on call and ready to assist in any situation, the EMQ Helicopter Rescue team (previously known as Queensland Rescue) work closely with the police, ambulance, fire brigade, State Emergency Services (SES) and Australian Search and Rescue (AusSAR). There are five fully-equipped helicopters in the fleet, with one based in Cairns and the others shared between Townsville and Brisbane. With an average of two to three call-outs per day at the Cairns base, each crew member needs to give 100 per cent on the job because lives depend on them. Luke Essery is a rescue crew officer and joined the Cairns based crew almost two and a half years ago, and says it is a very physically demanding job but one he loves and finds incredibly rewarding. “I was a paid lifeguard in Byron Bay before I joined EMQ , but moved here for the job,” he says. “I’ve always wanted to work in emergency helicopter rescue and it is a great feeling knowing you can make a difference when you go to work.” With 10 hour day and 14 hour night shifts, there is always a crew of five rostered on at any one time. The helicopters are operated by a threeperson crew at all times comprising a pilot, air crewman and rescue crewman, and the doctor and paramedic are rostered on during weekdays but on call during weekends and evenings. While the crewmen range in age from 24 to 63, they are

all required to be in peak fitness. “For my job I need to be not only physically fit, but also up-todate in senior first aid and have my bronze medallion life saving qualification. I’m the one that gets winched down the wire in all rescue operations, and assist the doctor and paramedic down the wire as well as at the scene,” Luke says. Depending on the location, jobs vary in length with hospital transfers normally taking around three hours, road accidents between two to three hours, and search and rescue jobs ranging from a few hours to a few days. Other jobs can include accidents which are inaccessible by road, rodeo incidents, missing bushwalkers or divers and any accident requiring urgent hospital treatment. Luke says low visibility like heavy rain, low cloud or fog can sometimes make the job difficult, along with soaring temperatures, fatigue, difficult terrain and not enough details about the job they are going to. “And of course knowing the person in the accident you are attending, or having a patient not survive, that can be pretty hard,” he says. Luke says 80 per cent of their work is hospital-tohospital transfers, but nothing is ever scheduled and jobs only come up daily. “During the floods earlier this year we were helping out in Rockhampton and Gladstone, then had to take our helicopters to Brisbane in preparation for Cyclone Yasi to avoid damage,” he says.

“Following Yasi we were taking senior VIPs out to survey areas and because roads were closed we were delivering tarps to Ingham for those people who had lost their roofs.” There is no typical day. When shifts start the new crew do a handover brief with the crew from the shift before, they have a daily check list to go through for the aircraft and operational gear, and then a range of secondary duties if not out on a job. While EMQ are always looking at ways of improving the way they do things, Luke says the three biggest developments have been the new helicopters brought in three years ago as they have better safety and more power, improvements in GPS systems, and night vision goggles which were introduced 12 months ago. “The whole crew wears the night vision goggles every time we fly at night and we can now do jobs at night we couldn’t do before,” Luke says. “We can see anything that emits light so if we are searching for someone and they have a lit cigarette, a cigarette lighter, a mobile phone or anything with a small amount of light, we can see them.” Luke says while the busiest time for them is often wet season with an increase in stingers on the reef and Easter with the higher than average road tolls, any day can be busy for them, they never know what to expect when they clock on.

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How proud of your business are you?

Andrew Griffiths

After being on the road for a few weeks I decided I had better get my car washed so I drove down to one of the many automated car washes that have popped up over the city. As I waited patiently in line for my turn, the owner of the business came over to say hello. He is a very positive fella and I always like his energy and enthusiasm. Today he was carrying a squirt bottle with some special cleaning liquid in it that was designed to make my wheels look like brand new. He walked around the car, squirted some onto each wheel, gave me a big smile, two thumbs up and then he headed to the car behind me. When he got to the next car he pulled out a tin of spray and started to attack some stubborn stains on the bonnet as the people in the car waited for their turn in the wash. Once again, he did this for no reason other than because he is a motivated and professional business owner who was clearly proud of his business. This man could easily of just sat in his office, reading the paper and emptying the coin machines a few times throughout the day. Instead he was all over the car wash, helping people, chatting, laughing and most importantly making sure his customers were leaving happy and contented. To me this is the sign of a man who is not only smart, but also very proud of his business, and boy does it show. I happen to know that since he has taken it over, revenue has increased by 70%. Interesting what happens when you add some passion and energy to a business.

I love meeting new business owners who have just started their business. Everything smells new, they have a sense of freshness and excitement, with a hint of nervousness and they are proud to tell people about their business. In fact the smart ones are ready to get up high and shout about their business to the world. And this attitude is what getâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s them customers in the first place. This positive energy and passion is contagious and people are attracted to it. We should all be really proud of our business and we should all be ready to get up on the roof and tell the world about what we do and why they should buy from us. Our business represents a lot of blood, sweat and tears. All too often we forget the hard work we have put in to get here and we simply look at where we are today and if today is a bit of a struggle, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s easy to lose the passion and the shouting from the rooftop is replaced by mumbling under your breath. So rather than finding fault in your business, looking for the things you haven't had a chance to do yet, how about being proud of what you have achieved, even if you have only just started out. Being brave enough to start your own business is something to be really proud of so give yourself a big pat on the back and walk a little taller today. When a business owner is proud of their business, and they are prepared to show it and tell people about it, their enthusiasm becomes the best marketing tool they could ever have. From my experience passion creates energy and energy creates success.

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GRUMPY OLD MAN SYNDROME Ok I’ll admit it, I’ve become a grumpy old man. At 48 I’ve become grumpy before my time. Old, should really only refer to people 80+ but today life, work, kids etc have put up too many stresses. Having said that, I’m not as bad as some people around town, they are like turning on a black light to really bring the mood down. Tolerance is becoming a distant memory and as my kids now tell me, I’m uncool, stale, my music sucks, I watch too much football and the ABC and I like Muscle cars. In the property world at present, the doomsday merchants are running wild. We’re all “gunna die”, Cairns has had it and everyone is either leaving town or has left, is their spin. Wow!! What crap! ( Going to Townsvillenow that’s plain funny). Some of the wild and woolly exaggerations and rumours I’ve had put to me in the last year, are that farfetched that you would swear Steven Spielberg has come to Town with a script. I’m starting to really snap back at some of the crap I hear. One clown the other day was spreading a whopper (

bullshit) at a coffee table near me, about a major piece of Tourism that was about to shut. I had no alternative but to bark at him and remind him about letting the facts get in the road of a good story. These slower times are just making me grumpy. To really get me going, I could talk about the incredibly high level of uselessness of our local State misrepresentatives, who have hung Cairns out to dry. But I’d best leave that for another article as I’m Grumpy enough already. We have a few billion dollars in Tourism infrastructure lying around, so as far as I know it isn’t getting up and walking off to some other new location. Markets will turn and Tourism will rebound. I’ve recently spent some time with overseas investors and I can assure you that Cairns is a real preference for overseas travelers. We have a good growth rate, a low residential vacancy rate and people aren’t getting shot on the streets as per the Gold Coast. We are not that far from getting our mojo back. A few key changes and we will be back. In the meantime I will go home, regularly talk to my chooks just as grumpy old men do because the chooks will never answer back or ask for money.

Danny Betros CB Richard Ellis

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P ip M ill er

Three Rs & Five Ws.....Secret Code for Good PR

When it comes to school and learning the three Rs, it is my opinion that the ‘r’ for reading is perhaps the most important. After all, the more you read, the better you write (shouldn’t that be ‘w’?) and spell and in general, communicate. So, if you are daunted by the prospect of working with media, the first bit of advice I am going to give you is to start reading. And watching, listening and critically analysing how different media goes about its business of compiling and reporting news and current affairs. Get started by setting time aside each day to read your daily paper – the hard copy or online – listen to the radio news while driving from a to b and if you can, catch a nightly news bulletin on tele. These days you can be as ‘newsy’ as you like thanks to the rise and rise of online and social media. Each and every news medium seems to have its own online version, facebook page and twitter account – look, like and follow and you will not only be actively communicating, but be up to the minute in both what interests you personally and the news at large.

The Approach So, assuming you have been doing your reading there is still more work to be done before you start working with media. You also need to become familiar with the actual people behind the facade or title. Most, if not all media work to strict copy and production deadlines – you need to become acquainted with these. Find out who is the right person to contact in regards to your story angle and then tailor make the message to each media group so that it fits with each organisation’s objectives. No shotguns allowed.

Looking at the Press There are several types of news stories • Quick grabs or briefs in which only a small amount of information can be relayed. • Fillers, which are just a few paragraphs long. • Early general news stories which are usually eight, 10 or 12 paragraphs. • In-depth articles or features/interviews. It is always important to present your ‘news’ message using simple and concise language. Start your communication with a written statement or press release. Only then should you start talking. Be sure to have a spokesperson at the ready that is erudite and confident in reinforcing your argument/ message using quick grabs. And always be prepared to comment – and especially during a crises. Media training comes in very handy in this instance. Claims like “I didn’t say that!”, or “why did they not use the bit I wanted them to use?” can be quite a common complaint by people in the public eye and those dealing with media. Good media management is not difficult, but relies on restraint and strategically controlling the message as already mentioned above. Some people are so excited (or too arrogant) about whatever it is they are trying to communicate –that they end up foiling any chance for achieving good publicity. When writing and talking to media, always consider the language you use – best advice is keep it simple,

normal, conversational - just be yourself. Start by practicing your own conversational style – at home, around the table or with friends. This can help when it comes to conveying accurate messages via media.

Tips on writing a good press release: The way we maximise the chance of a story being used is to apply the inverted pyramid test. The first sentence has to convey the essence of the story in no more than 28 words. Think five w’s – who? What? When? Where? and why? The second and third paragraphs expand on this basic information. The less important facts go last to allow the story to be cut from the bottom, without the meaning being lost.

Use third party endorsements and quote your source or spokesperson. Try to accompany your press release with a good, high resolution image that is suited to the media in question – or make a photo opportunity available. A good photograph is key to achieving good publicity – no question! There are some great photographers in Cairns who understand news and editorial style images. Remember that everything we release is subject to re-write and to the media’s own spin. There are no guarantees and it is always best to leave your expectations at the door. All you can do is your best to manage the process.

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How to Keep Employees Engaged, Focused and Accountable When you run a business you will need to take care that your employees are working to their fullest potential. In order to do this you will need to be sure that they are engaged, focused and accountable.

Vlasta Eriksson Signature Staff

Keeping employees engaged: Keeping your employees engaged means keeping them happy with your company and giving them incentives to stay. You can do this by getting them involved in the company. Gap is one such company that does this. They hold regular meetings for all employees so that they can see how the company has progressed and how they are an integral part of it. All employees will feel part of the team. This will also help to keep employees focused on company goals. They will also feel more accountable and responsible about the job. Another way companies keep employees engaged by telling employees about new positions that are opening up. The employees have a chance to train for higher positions and can further their careers. This means they will stay with the company as they will understand that the company is good and they can progress there. In these meetings you can also share achievements that the company has achieved through its employees. This makes employees feel their worth to the company and makes them feel appreciated. It is also good to give employees a chance to help with decision making for the company. You can do this by having a suggestion box and announcing in the company newsletter if a suggestion was used to help the company improve. Of course the employee’s name will also be announced. Think tanks are also useful for this purpose. These really get employees involved with company decisions. Keep them focused: Companies keep employees from wasting time at work and keep them focused on the job by monitoring internet activity. Once employees know the rules most of them

comply, especially if they know somebody is watching. Keep employees focused by making the work more challenging and less boring. When work has some variety and is not the usual hum drum work everyday employees will feel more inclined to keep focused. Contests are fun and give employees a chance to focus on their work and do a good job. This also supplies an incentive to work harder and remain focused. It also helps to make the work place atmosphere more fun and pleasant to work in. Cross training will help to keep employees more focused and interested in their job. In this way they will be able to train for different jobs and find one area that suits them better. They will also get more involved with the company. Try to select employees who are dedicated to the job and will have some interest in working for the company. Keeping employees accountable: Set deadlines and be sure employees stick to them. Check on progress and if there is a stumbling block try to resolve it. In this way an employee understands their responsibility but knows that they will still get management support if they need it to complete assignments. Keep track of employees that you manage and reward them for good performance and getting things done. Ownership of the task by an employee will keep them accountable for a particular job or project Try to avoid active babysitting. If too much of this is done employees will not feel they can work independently and consequently will not be responsible workers. Give them as much independence as they can handle and monitor them without them noticing it. However give weekly assessments of performance and if any problem keeps coming up try to resolve it with them. When workers are rewarded for coming to work on time and for good performance they will feel motivated to do well in the work area. They will then be accountable for their actions in the workplace. For a Free 10 Point “Recruit Right” checklist email us

4 social media online marketing tips

Leanne Peard Social Media Plus

Most business people do not have a clue how to go about social media for their marketing campaigns. A good number of experts in the online business arena as well as business people recognize the immense power of social media as a way of reaching their target audience but in most instances, do not have a clue as to the best way to use social media for the same. Social media has the potential to have you taken seriously and be noticed. The following plan can be used to ensure that your online efforts in marketing your products and services are successful.

• The first tip is to start using social bookmarking. This essentially improves your contents ranking among the search engines and awards your content a higher number of votes. Popular bookmarking sites such as Propeller and Digg provide excellent alternatives for bookmarking a link to a video or article that you may have done. This will instantly see you’re Yahoo and Google ranks improve. • The second tip is to use forums. These are mainly discussion forums that take place on the internet. This is a free social media marketing tool which can help you strategically take part in the same. You can provide some useful and valuable info through links to your blogs or websites. This is easily done through anchor texting. • The third tip involves using the social networking sites. Some of the most popular social media sites that are free include twitter and facebook. These sites are excellent if you wish to make contacts with potential clients as well as with existing clients. They also have excellent connections which will help you in driving back more traffic to your website which will also increase your business prospects. It is important to ensure that you attain some balance so that you can be able to get the full benefit of these social networking sites.

Providing value should be your guiding factor. It is important to avoid spamming at all costs which can be in the form of posting your links aimlessly. • Lastly, utilize keyword research extensively. This might appear to be antisocial but it is important to remember that everything that you do online in the hope that you generate new business leads will only be successful if you make use of some long tail keywords which are relevant to your business interest. The keywords are used by search engines which place your content high in the rankings if you have used the relevant keywords. Anytime a visitor searches for those keywords, he or she is likely to be directed to your website. You can learn these tips all by yourself or you could decide to enroll in a reputable internet school dealing in social media marketing. In order to be proficient in the use of these tips, you have to be patient, balanced and also employ a very cautious strategy. You can also opt to look for an experienced mentor who will be able to take you through the different tactics used in online marketing.

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Horses… Flavour of the month? No, not on the menu - although quite popular in some countries - our race season is upon us again! Nothing comes bigger than the Cairns Amateurs, the largest by S te ve B or zi regional racing carnival in Australia. Although it’s a great time to head down to the track and have a punt (for those that way inclined of course), it’s not all about the horses. It’s also the time of the year when our ladies frock up and we guys dust off our suits in readiness for our night of nights, the “Cairns Amateurs Ball”. As many locals would already know, the ball is being relocated from the Tobruk Memorial Pool to the newly renovated Cairns Cruise Liner Terminal. I, for one, have had some memorable nights at the pool (and some I just can’t seem to recall) but after 31 years, the new venue on the wharf has definitely generated an air of excitement, with tickets to the event selling fast. The idea of a more central location is proving popular. Set amidst the stunning surrounds of the inlet, in the recently developed wharf precinct, the Cruise Liner Terminal is within easy walking distance of Cairns’ many nightspots and accommodation. This year’s event boasts new lighting and fireworks displays as well as dry bars, cigar lounges and, of course, live entertainment - with the main act veiled in secrecy as usual! So why am I writing this and what’s it got to do with food? Well it has a lot to do with Cairns and Cairns is all about food! After having a chat with Fintan Rafferty, one of this year’s new members on the Cairns Amateurs committee, it was clear these guys really want to impress. “We’re a bunch of local people who come together to create a carnival to make Cairns proud” Fintan explained. It’s with this passion, and of course help from the major sponsors like ANZ, Qantas, Ports North and Foster’s (whom have been supporting the event for many, many

years), that the event continues to promote the region and help put Cairns on the map. Now for the food! This year numbers are limited to 1500 covers, and the buffet is divided up into five different food stations, Seafood, Asian, Carvery Grill, vegetarian and something for the sweet tooths. While the teams from Ochre and Pacific International will be working feverishly behind the scenes, on the night, Craig’s chef ’s will be on display and cooking live, adding theatre to an already impressive spread. All this is designed to improve the service of the upgraded buffet area. There is also the option for a plated three-course dinner with allocated seating (check website for availability) for those looking for a little extra VIP treatment. In addition, Treasury Wines has upped the ante with an improved wine list to complement the exceptional food on offer, and don’t worry guys, the beers will still be cold. It looks set be an exciting night, and personally, I can’t wait! So there you go, it’s horses for courses and it looks like this year’s event will be one to remember. So get online and book your tickets now as they’re selling fast! Hope to see you there. Buon Appetito!

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Cairns Home magazine has finally become part of CairnsLife magazine. My intention all along was to have two parts to the publishing story. This magazine now fulfill both your life at home and your life in our city. HomeLife within CairnsLife will continue to bring a range of stories focusing on themes around building, buying and renovating your home. Not intending to be a real estate guide, HomeLife will profile builders, interior designers, landscapers, agents to name a few to give you an insight into Local, State and National products and services as they come on the market. Till next month...



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by Ally Tobias of Home Loan Finder.



Renovating a house can take as much money as a new house altogether, but it doesn’t have to. People waste a surprising amount of money on decisions that may not seem too consequential at the moment, but actually run them back a few thousand dollars. Almost all renovation projects end up costing more than originally planned. These twelve tips from Australian website Renovation Planning may not turn your project around on their own, but saving a little here and there can add up to serious savings. Don’t upsize Most people’s idea of renovating involves adding square footage, but there’s more than one way about it. Instead of rebuilding, replace bulky items with wallmounted or pull-out ones. In the kitchen, for example, you can replace standalone cabinets with over-the-sink cupboards and pullout drawers built into the counter. Use skylights If you’re after more natural light, don’t rush into adding doors and windows just yet. Skylights, a popular addition to modern homes, create the same effect in a cheaper yet more stylish way. A solar tube skylight will cost under $500 and is easier to install.

Recycle Give old doors, light fixtures, and furniture a second life and you can save thousands—if you’re careful. Have a handyman friend check used items before buying, and look only in shops with a steady clientele. If you’re renovating, see if you can use your old timber for new fixtures. Trade in your old gear Contractors often have leftover stock from previous demolition or renovation jobs, which they can trade for your old stuff. Ask your contractor if you can do a trade, or go out on a limb and see if you can get one for free. It’s not very likely, but you’ll still pay less than you would for a brand-new piece.

Buy pre-finished Some pre-finished materials cost more at the outset, but many end up costing less when you factor in the cost of painting and finishing it yourself. This is especially true with large-scale jobs such as decking boards and weatherboards. Avoid recessed lights Recessed lighting became fashionable in the mid-2000s when sleek interiors were all the rage. But it’s simply not practical to install several small, dim lights when you can hang a nice overhead that does the job better. Save your self the effort of cutting out little holes—and running up your power bill for the next few years— by doing it the old-fashioned way.

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RENOVATING? Talk to an architect You may not need to take on an architect full-time, but a one-time consultation can be worth the money. Visit your architect with a list of your goals and any problems you need addressed, and they’ll draft up a few solutions. Your builder may even be able to refer you to one. Go DIY Ideally we’d all do it ourselves and keep our money, but few of us have the time. But doing a few things yourself, especially at certain stages, can save you money and your builder a lot of time. Pitch it at the beginning by handling demolitions yourself, or at the end by doing your own finishing. You can also pick up materials personally and save on delivery fees, do some of the painting, and help out with rubbish removal. Start from scratch More often than you think, renovating can be more expensive than building from the ground up. Talk to a builder

and get an estimate of the costs for both. If you opt for a start-over, schedule it so that you can book a builder in the off-season, where their rates are low. Keep plumbing in place Don’t move sinks or toilets unless you really have to—it’s one of the biggest and costliest tasks in renovating. Plan your layout around these fixtures so you don’t have to touch them. If you really have to, make the most of it and upgrade your pipes while you’re at it. Think stock size Plan around manufacturer’s stock sizes

so you don’t have to cough up extra for custom installments. This goes for doors, shelves, counters, cabinets, sinks, you name it. In kitchens, for example, you can save a lot on cabinetry if you buy them factory-made. Start early Months before you chip at the first wall, keep an eye open for colors, textures, and hardware. This way, you can be perfectly clear on what you want when you meet up with your builder. You won’t have to rely on their quotes for everything, and you can get things done exactly the way you want.

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by Krystal King -

Training... Has YOUR business claimed its $4000 Government Training Incentives per Eligible Employee?

Krystal King Operations Manager -

Selected certificates and diplomas attract incentives by the Federal Government in the Traineeship Initiative. These skills and qualifications will result in immediate and significant benefits to employers and employees to more successfully run and manage their businesses. Not only will this training up skill staff to take on greater responsibility and grow within the business, it will also enhance your customer’s experience. Most courses and qualifications are completely cost neutral for existing workers and new employees wishing to up skill. The Australian Government is providing up to $4000 to the

employer/business to go towards the training of each eligible employee to complete a Nationally Recognised Qualification. The selected course will directly relate to the employee’s primary duties and responsibilities in their current role. Popular courses which are funded in Qld include: • Diploma of Project Management • Diploma of Management • Certificate IV in Business • Certificate IV in Business Sales • Certificate IV in Customer Contact • Certificate IV in Business Administration • Certificate IV in Frontline Management • Certificate IV in Occupational Health and Safety • Certificate IV in Small Business Management • Certificate IV in Project Management • Certificate IV in Human Resources • Certificate IV in Financial Services • Certificate IV in Bookkeeping • Certificate IV in Property Services (Real Estate) Those participants who may be eligible for this government funded initiative must meet the following criteria: • be employed full time or part time on a permanent basis • have a supervisor above you in the workplace to monitor your training • be an Australian citizen/permanent resident or a NZ citizen with more than six months’ residency in Australia • not hold a diploma qualification or higher Many people are under the impression they will have to change to a traineeship wage; this is not true. If you are an existing permanent employee, your participation in the traineeship program does not affect your income in any way. How can this help you? Courses are delivered either online, correspondence or via classrooms with one of many credible Registered Training Organisations to ensure quality training with outcomes are implemented. As the majority of the learning takes place in the workplace, participants should be given 2-3 hours per week outside regular duties (in work time) to work on training activities. Each trainee will be allocated a mentor/trainer with ongoing professional support to ensure they progress according to their Training Plan. There is no limit on the number of staff each organisation can receive funding for. To take advantage of this funded training opportunity: Talk with a course consultant and check your eligibility Phone 1300 11 2468

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Unders t a n d i n g t h e p o w er o f p o sitio n

the Sun...

by Anthony Braun

A GOOD ORIENTATION OF THE HOUSE IS YOUR GUARANTEE OF THE BEST LIVING CONDITIONS Common sense suggests that the rooms where people spend much time during the day should get most of the sun. To achieve this, these spaces should be facing the north part of the horizon within a 40-degree angle: 20 degrees towards north-west and 20 degrees towards north-east from the north-south line. This is the best orientation, and just as a side note, the windows facing north should have adjustable sun-protection screens. Bedrooms are the hardest rooms to orientate. If we have them face north and west, the revenge in the summer will be the heat, distributed by the walls at night. That heat took all day to accumulate, and will make a good night sleep next to impossible. This is why it makes sense to orientate the bedrooms to south-east. Good news is that at least the bathrooms and

laundry as well as other utility rooms have no requirements for orientation. Let’s get into more detail and list a number of important considerations for house planning. Any room in the house should be sun lit no less than 2 hours a day. The size of the windows should be no less than 1/8th of the room area. For example in a room with the area of 10 square metres windows should have the area of at least 1.25 square metres, or 1.0 x 1.25 metres. Since it is impossible to ensure optimal orientation for all the rooms in the house, there are ‘concessions’, supported by the common sense. Rooms such as study or playroom can be facing east, catching the morning sun. We shouldn’t forget that plants and trees act as a great sun protection for single-story houses. So, in addition to

my recommendation to have most rooms facing north, I’ll add another one - to plant trees in front of the northern part of the house. In conclusion, just another couple of tips for good house-planning: • Make sure that there isn’t too much shade from the neighboring houses and trees. • Make sure that the solar panels and washing lines have sun all year round. • Make sure that the area of the windows in north-facing rooms is no more than 25% of the area of the floor in those rooms. • Make sure that there are as few as possible rooms facing east and that they have sun-protective adjustable screens. Remember, a good orientation of the house is your guarantee of the best living conditions.

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I want this house! A recent video report on ABC News says there’s a shift in the housing preferences of Australians. The Australian Dream is no longer a detached house set on a large block of land - instead, nowadays most people prefer an apartment or a townhouse just outside the city centre. Well … I don’t buy it. And here’s why. Don’t get me wrong - I don’t intend to question how truthful the study is. OK, so they went out and asked 700 people about the kind of house they would buy. But putting myself in those respondents’ shoes, if they were to ask me “What sort of house would you buy?” - the scope of my answer would lie within my means. And I would tell them about the house that I can afford now - but not about my dream home. You see, dreams are sort of hard to kill, as for many of us they are an escape from reality. People have always dreamed about things that are just beyond their reach, about something that they will have one day. I bet the house you picture as something you can be proud of, something you would totally love to own, is different from the house you live in now. And that’s just fine, because we all need to have a goal, something to work towards and to look forward to. Take me for example. I would absolutely love to live in a new, four bedroom house built to the new standards, with a big back yard, a study, a large sophisticated kitchen and all that. The first place I ever owned was a 2-bedroom apartment on the ground floor of a 2-story building. Does it sound anything like my dream house? Not really, but it was all I could afford at that stage. Right now the reality is such that less and less people can afford a house on a large block of land. But should housing become more affordable, we will see a genuine proof that the majority of people still want that big house on a large block of land. And the way property market is behaving, we may be headed in the right direction: take a look at many houses in the paper week after week, that no one will buy, even after a 25% drop in the asking price. Admittedly this is an extreme example, and you won’t find 25% discounts widely available, but 10% discount is becoming much more common, so there is hope.

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Sustainable living

Ultimate Green Machine

While there have been huge strides made in battery technology in recent times, the limited range of electric vehicles remains one of the main barriers to their general adoption. While maybe not an ideal solution, Volvo is producing a few electric test vehicles with range extenders combustion engines that increase the effective range of the electric vehicle by effectively turning it into a hybrid. The project, which is supported by the Swedish Energy Agency and the EU, will test three different electric motor/combustion engine combinations.

Green Homes explained... While we’re on this subject of green and energy efficient housing, how many of you know what 5 stars energy rating means? House energy rating through the Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme (NatHERS) uses computer simulations to assess the potential thermal comfort of Australian homes on a scale of zero to 10 stars. The more stars, the less likely the occupants need cooling or heating to stay comfortable.

What the stars mean

What is rated?

Typical ratings

A dwelling can be rated before or after it is built. The rating depends on: • The layout of the home • The construction of its roof, walls, windows and floor • The orientation of windows and shading to the sun's path and local breezes • How well these suit the local climate. • Installing wall insulation • Energy consumption by hot water systems, lights or household appliances is not part of the rating because those fittings are usually replaced several times during the life of the building.

Zero stars means the building shell does practically nothing to reduce the discomfort of hot or cold weather. A 5 star rating indicates good, but not outstanding, thermal performance. Occupants of a 10 star home are unlikely to need any artificial cooling or heating.

Houses built in 1990 averaged about 1 star on the NatHERS scale. Before the introduction of national energy efficiency regulations for houses in 2003, less than one per cent of Australian houses achieved 5 stars. Many well designed houses are now being built above 6 stars or more

Volvo's upcoming C30 Electric offers a driving range of 150km - about par for the electric-vehicle world, and plenty to get the average urbanite around town. For those planning a trip from Melbourne to Sydney however, things get tricky. Volvo may soon have an answer however, as it kicks off testing for its EV rangeassisting petrol engines. The concept is a simple one, and it takes a page from the Chevrolet Volt's playbook. In the first of three new test cars, Volvo has fitted a 45kW three-cylinder petrol engine and a 40 litre petrol tank to its C30 Electric. Ordinarily, the vehicle is powered by its existing 82kW electric motor and battery combination. With the petrol engine installed however, the electric motor can draw energy from a 40kW generator powered by the small engine - and the battery can be charged 'on the go' through the same system. This arrangement boosts the C30 Electric's driving range by a further 1000km and, according to Volvo, keeps emissions well below 50g/km. The second concept gets a more powerful turbocharged 140kW three-cylinder petrol engine, but unlike the first car, this arrangement allows the petrol engine to drive the rear wheels. This is still considered a range-extender: apart from the option of gaining all-wheel-drive by powering both axles, the petrol engine can also direct power to the 40kW generator and boost the electric motor's range. With a six-speed automatic transmission and 0-100km/h time under six seconds, this second system would also be the most appealing option for the new breed of economy-minded revheads. The third concept is based on the V60 wagon and features the same electric motor and turbocharged petrol engine utilised in the second C30 concept. In this case however, the petrol engine is mated to a two-stage automatic transmission and can power the front wheels while also recharging the electric motor when needed. Up to 50km/h, the V60 is powered by electricity alone, with the petrol engine kicking in at higher speeds. So. Watch this space says Volvo!

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Cairns Life August Issue  

Get Glamourous....

Cairns Life August Issue  

Get Glamourous....