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Collector’s Edition CairnsLife Tropical North Queensland business women and businessmen of 2014

Profiles on inspirational businessmen in our local community by


Business Men Tropical North Queensland

Collector’s Edition

Tropical North Queensland

Business WOMen

2014 Profiles on inspirational business women in our local community by CairnsLife


NOTE Another day at work …another day in paradise!

The stories before you are both uplifting and inspirational. This book follows the business lives of local men and women who contribute greatly to the Cairns region - emotionally and economically. All have common elements running through their veins – elements which have made them successful throughout their lives. I have always wondered what made one person more successful than another and have read many books over the years to pinpoint the answer. The obvious stands out - hard work, long hours, and a keen interest in the product or service on offer. Whether the creator of Google or the owner operator of a local cafe – the most prominent element in the DNA of an entrepreneur is ‘passion’ - for the business idea, passion for its implementation and the passion for building the right team around them to help push through the day-to-day challenges. Please enjoy the book and get in contact with any of these men and women if you feel they can help you with your business.

Lance Collyer Joint Publisher






dr neil gordon Cairns Urology


mr ha mellick Exclusive


Paul Girgenti Girgenti Lawyers


andrew thomas Dixon Homes


mario calanna Calanna’s Pharmacy Group


wade allen Naked Energy


edddy lago Williams Graham Carman Lawyers


joe vella Joe Vella Insurance Brokers


thomas janusz TJ Microsystems


ash balderson Status Plus


ray lamari Everest Stone


barry wilson Cairns Glass


philip bovey Philip Bovey & Co Lawyers


phil nolan SI & RS


frank lanza Frank Lanza Migration Services


tony williamson RE/MAX Cairns


darren halpin Halpin Partners Accountants


paul lange ITAD


stacey quaid The Quaid Group


charles woodward CaPTA Group


troy cummings Troy Cummings Locksmith


Laurie o’ donoghue Total Safety Services


chris hall Advanced Laser Therapy


tiberio donnini Donnini’s Simply Italian


louis underwood Underwood’s Party Hire


greg clyde-smith Elite Cairns


matthew parrish Menico Tuck Parrish Financial Services


Christopher daunt watney Trinity Anglican School (TAS)


geoff byfield Cairns Recreation Centre


bob jackson Jackson and Jackson


paul egan Egan and Turner Travel Associates


gary low Dundee’s


steve lynch In Step Podiatry


leigh holman SVS Auto and Dyno Tuning


collin messervy Pynes Indoor Plant Hire & Garden Maintenance


Paul eadie & graham smart Ultimate Party Cairns & Cairns City Explorer


Cairns Urology



Gordon “This is a reflection of my practice and the success of Cairns Urology.”


aising awareness of specialist Urology services in Cairns has been a 17-year journey for Dr Neil Gordon. The founder of Cairns Urology, Dr Gordon says the centre has grown significantly since1997 as an efficient clinic that supports the local community in providing a comprehensive, professional medical service dedicated to addressing a wide range of urological conditions. “When I arrived here in 1997, I spent the next seven years working both at Cairns Base Hospital and in private practice.” “My aim was to establish a successful specialist practice.” “To do that I spent over a million dollars on the necessary equipment and subsequent upgrades and advances that would create an awareness of urological conditions, including the diagnosis and management in Cairns rather than the automatic transportation of patients to Brisbane,” he says. “Last year we upgraded to the latest laser treatment for kidney stones.” “I also had a vision for training students in my specialty area and each week we have medical students from JCU attending operating sessions.” “The students see a group of patients from admission to discharge, including being able to discuss the rationale for their treatments.” “I specifically address their presentation, diagnosis, investigation and admission to hospital for surgery.” “The students learn about a surgical procedure but they also need to understand how things are done in preparation and post op and the experience of working with nursing and theatre technicians as well as radiology staff and others to ensure the best outcome for the patient.” A pioneer in his field, Dr Gordon is known as the first urologist in Australia to perform Extracorporeal Shock Wave Lithotripsy in a regional city, establish the first day surgery Lithotripsy centre and also perform the first Transurethral Resection of Prostate in a day surgery centre. This has continued with over 700 cases performed. Prostate Cryotherapy is a treatment for prostate cancer where the tumour is localised using either ultrasound or Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and then a fine needle inserted to the tumour. This can then be frozen to a temperature of -50C to kill the cancer. This allows treatment to be pin-pointed rather than having treatment of the whole prostate and is likely to be one of the exciting things about future management. Prostate cryotherapy has been carried out in Cairns for the past 8 years in Cairns Day Surgery and of course the patients go home at the end of the day.

“Over the 30 years of specialist practice and including in Cairns I have dealt with over 23,000 patients and done over 5,000 prostate surgeries. That’s quite a lot when you think about it”, he says. “It is surprising to me that so many people today don’t think of seeing a specialist for their concerns as not everyone requires surgery,” he says. “There is such a wide range of urological conditions that can be treated without surgery successfully.”

“It surprises me people spend so much time and money on unproven ‘natural remedies’ when exhaustive scientific investigation of medications and surgery has been carried out to demonstrate a treatment’s effectiveness.” “The aim of seeking medical assistance is to help you live for a long time and a good time!” The treatment should not be worse than the disease.” “I take my patients’ quality of care very seriously and I believe we should endeavour to continue to provide the best possible care even if the best treatment is no treatment!” “This is a reflection of my practice and the success of Cairns Urology.”

Greatest mentor It wouldn’t be fair to mention just one person. Personal inspiration The people who never give up against adversity whether it’s sickness or other situations. Career highlights Moving to and living in Cairns where people don’t just sit back and wait for things to happen. Vision for the future To continue to raise awareness of the importance of having urological conditions diagnosed and ensure people know they have access to Cairns Urology for specialist services.



Pictured with Mrs Kate Mellick



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“If I died tomorrow I wouldn’t be sad. I’ve done everything I wanted to do and haven’t let anything stand in my way. Having said that I’d like a few more years as there’s other things I’d like to do,” he laughs.


orking from his picturesque home office in upper Edge Hill, Bebe Mellick is on top of the world in more ways than one. At the age of 85 with over 60 years in the legal profession, he is also a man with a story or two to tell. Although surrounded by stunning panoramic views across Cairns, it is the interior of his domain that offers a true insight into his remarkable life. Amongst the old framed images of family, friends and historic landmarks, a series of inspiring quotations capture Bebe’s unique approach to life, including: “Do not go where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” One of four children born and raised in Innisfail, Bebe says he was blessed to have the best parents in the world. And although inspired by his father who came to Australia at the age of 16 with nothing and went on to amass a fortune, Bebe’s

passion was always to pursue a career in law. “It’s all I wanted to be. My grandfather was a lawyer, and my father needed a lawyer more than most,” he laughs. Then while completing an articles clerkship in Brisbane, Bebe was offered the opportunity of a lifetime when well-known Cairns solicitor Joseph Bennett offered him a partnership in his practice. Under Joseph’s wing, Bebe was quickly initiated into the industry. “With no experience, all I had was the belief that if Mr Bennett could do it, I could too,” he says. “When he first took me to Court he said, be respectful and you will learn more and win more than you will making a big noise.” Bebe also credits criminal lawyer Dan Casey as a valuable mentor. “He had a beautiful turn of phrase and the ability to get people to admit anything,” he laughs. When Joseph Bennett later died (27/11/54), Bebe elected to remain on his own. The following year at

the age of 26 he took on the biggest cattle stealing case in Queensland and won it. Despite his long illustrious career, Bebe’s greatest love is his family. His 53-year marriage to late wife Kate, produced three sons and a daughter; Anthony who lives in Brisbane, David who lives in Tolga, and Bebe Jnr. and Frances who live in Cairns. After losing his beloved wife recently, Bebe remains positive and considers himself blessed to have had such a long and happy marriage. “When you’ve had the best, second best will never be suitable,” he says. Rising at 5.30am each morning, these days Bebe enjoys attending to his garden before spending part of the day working from his home office. With an enviable reputation in the industry he now has the freedom to choose his clients and is comforted by the fact that he’s achieved everything he hoped to achieve in life.

Biggest inspiration My parents and my mentors: Joseph Bennett and Dan Casey. Greatest obstacle I’ve never let anyone or anything stand in my way. Personal Highlights Being born to the best parents, being offered a partnership with Joseph Bennett, and marrying Kate. Secret to success Hardwork and self-belief. Future ambition To have a few more years as there’s other things I’d like to do.


Girgenti Lawyers






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strong sense of community and the desire to offer professional expertise across a broad expanse of legal services was principal Pietro Girgenti inspiration for Girgenti Lawyers. In five years, Girgenti Lawyers has expanded from one office to three based in Cairns, Mareeba and Brisbane. As the legal practitioner director of the incorporated firm, Pietro has brought together a highly qualified team of lawyers, paralegals and support staff to provide superb legal and business advice. The firm is dedicated to providing a full service legal practice with experience in most major areas of law. “Having gained experience working in other law firms, I was keen to open my own office, and realised that to service clients on a greater scale would require a team of lawyers,” says the JCU law graduate. “With the Mareeba office up and running, I started putting a team of lawyers together in Cairns in 2010; just shy of the firm’s first birthday.” “The Cairns office took on a life of its own, and soon I was getting referrals for work in Brisbane.” “The Brisbane office opened early last year.” Pietro says he’s pleased with the expansion of the boutique-style firm and its role in developing relationships with clients based on trust and understanding.


“Success is good results, happy clients, and positive feedback!” “Trust plays an important part in achieving such success,” he replies. “What I enjoy most is being able to have an input in all my clients’ needs, which is why I conduct regular daily discussions with the firms’ lawyers to receive updates.” ‘Having family ties in the area, and parents who instilled a deep sense of community in me, I also recognise the value of participating in community organisations.” Pietro is committee member of the FNQ Field Days Committee Inc., an active member of the Mareeba Rotary Club, a member of the Cairns Chamber of Commerce, and formerly the president of the Mareeba Chamber of Commerce. He was also a finalist for the AIM Young Manager of the Year award for the Cairns region last year.

Greatest mentor My father – I have great respect for him, and the success he has achieved.

Personal inspiration Enjoying what I do, and continually striving to do better.

Career highlights Being the youngest person ever to open an incorporated legal practice in Queensland.

Funniest experience Since I was a kid I’ve been known to love to argue the point! So I used to get – you’ll grow up to be a bush lawyer!

Vision for the future To continue to grow the Girgenti boutique legal practice model and services to better serve clients throughout Queensland.

Dixon Homes

Andrew Th o m as C

redibility, fantastic homes and leading a great team are the reasons Andrew Thomas is proud to be at the helm of Dixon Homes Cairns. A local building company delivering dream homes from Port Hinchinbrook to Mossman and the Tablelands, Andrew says Dixon Homes continues to be a preferred builder. Covering such a large area, which also includes operating Townsville support services from the Cairns office, is a mighty task. It’s Andrew’s experience that keeps the company running smoothly. Andrew says he has enjoyed much satisfaction through the success of Dixon Homes Cairns since it was established in 1997. Yet, he admits it was a twist of fate that led to where he is now. “I started out studying Civil Engineering, following in my father’s footsteps,” says Andrew. “But a change in circumstances found me working for electronic engineering firms in Adelaide.” “Eventually I decided sales would be more exciting.” “So I moved to Brisbane from Adelaide in 1988 and worked as a CAD specialist selling computers.” “It was during this time I met Lev Mizikovsky, managing director of Tamawood Homes.” “Shortly after that Lev recruited me as a new homes consultant.” After gaining valuable experience and insight into the building industry as a consultant over the next five years, Andrew was ready for a new challenge -establishing a remote office for Tamawood Homes in Cairns. Six months later, Andrew took over the business and opened the first franchise for the Tamawood Group.” “Today, our commitment to the business is evident from our multimillion dollar office and showroom, the largest range of plans with over 2000 designs, and the ability to tailor our designs and specifications to suit our clients’ individual requirements.” ‘I’m very proud of these achievements!” “In our business success is measured by client satisfaction and company stability.” “We have very satisfied customers, and a stable base of staff, subcontractors and suppliers who have been with us for years.”


“Dixon Homes is in its best position ever with a great team, sensational new offices, a great range of plans, best inclusions, a range of spec homes and our own land.” Greatest mentor My father - he taught me about mechanics, cars and drafting. Lev Mizikovsky, former CEO of Tamawood Ltd – his vision and insight helped me guide our business through the GFC and become stronger. Personal inspiration Creating great spaces people enjoy. We are also constantly fine tuning every aspect of the business to achieve the best results we can. Career highlights The $27 million City View Villas, 84 unit project; and our new $3 million office and showroom on Mulgrave Road. Vision for the future To continue our high level of customer satisfaction by building homes that our customers enjoy.

“People were created to be loved – things were made to be used.”

Calanna’s Pharmacy Group


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name synonymous in the pharmaceutical industry for more than 37 years, the Calanna Pharmacy Group (CPG) leads the way with combined natural and mainstream medicines, says founder Mario Calanna. Since opening his first pharmacy in Woree in 1976, to operating nine pharmacies across the region today, Mario says so much change over the years has brought the industry to a crossroad. “You either need to be a discount model or focus on providing services – while rewarding people for their loyalty,” reflects Mario. “Our focus is on providing services for support, advice and prevention of disease.” Simple phrases such as: “Calanna for not just when you are crook - so see us before you get crook”; and “We will reward you for your loyalty – but we will not discount the value of your health” - are testament to this commitment. “Our Purpose is to empower the community through advice, support and information about total health solutions.” “When people are empowered they will genuinely want to do their best to improve themselves in all areas of their life.” CPG is a family affair with Mario’s wife Linda working in the background - the backbone of the family and business over the years. Mario and son, Matthew - a pharmacist, and daughter Catherine - a natural health consultant, are front of business. “As general manager, Matthew is focused on building the CPG brand, and making a positive difference in healthcare throughout our communities.” “The Calanna difference is - face to face dispensing, complementary medicine and Naturopath clinics, customer focus, rewards and community connection based on the philosophy: “People were created to be loved – things were made to be used.” “Most chaos is the result of things being loved and people being used.” - Pope Francis

Greatest mentor My Parents – Tony and Alma Calanna, who taught me the value of faith in God, respect, sharing, giving, self-esteem, courage, hard work and community. Personal inspiration The life and message of Jesus and the many people He has sent to help me over the years. Career highlights My first Pharmacy (1976) Board Member of Cairns Hospital Cairns Volunteer of the Year 2004 Fellow of AIM and Australian College of Pharmacy 2010 Mentor of the Year 2013 Vision for the future Mario explains: “When I walk into a Calanna Pharmacy I want to feel comfortable and able to trust the person who serves me. I want to hear laughter, feel some smiles. I want to be acknowledged. I want to find a solution to my present challenge and leave the Pharmacy empowered and feeling good about my experience. I want to know I can come back to Calanna and have the same experience every time.”


Naked Energy

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“I think everybody understands the true economic value of renewables now; and what makes Naked Energy different is our commitment to educating people on what is available and possible for them.”


aked energy is a company that sources and provides clean energy solutions to the greater Cairns area, says director Wade Allen. Realising the impact energy needs have on the environment, Wade says he enjoys being part of a positive solution. He has been in the clean energy business since 2011, establishing Naked Energy in the latter part of that year. “We mainly sell and install solar systems and LED lighting to home and business owners who want to cut their power costs.” “I know where the cost of energy is going….UP, and this will only continue in the future. “I like being involved in a profession, and an industry that is a win-win.” “Naked Energy’s educational shop in Stratford has working systems and an LED lighting display for people who want to know what they are buying, how it works, and how to compare quality products to make sure their investment pays back for many years to come.” “The natural beauty of Cairns inspires and reminds me daily of the responsibility we all have to preserve our environment.” “Being able to provide clean energy solutions is a rewarding job for me.” “People save money and the planet.” “It makes perfect sense.” “My enjoyment comes from the building of Naked Energy; and listening to people’s needs so I can provide them with beneficial solutions.” “People are ecstatic when they receive cheaper power bills in the mail.”


“Our shop in Stratford represents us well.” “We are committed to customer service, quality products, education, and support during and after purchase.” “We have big plans for Cairns and the future of clean energy solutions.” “Many people are still living without power.” “We can help.” “Recently, we designed and built 12 solar dehydrators for people that live without refrigerators, freezers and electricity.” “Imagine what’s possible for them to be able to harvest and store dry fruits, vegetables and meats.” “This is only the beginning!” “I’m also actively involved in many clean energy initiatives in our region and Australia.”

Greatest mentor My parents taught me to be useful and brave, and my business coaches who help me clear out the noise and focus on what is possible. Personal inspiration Maximizing my potential and being a person that my family can be proud of. Career highlights No one moment stands out, just an accumulation of overcoming challenges and perseverance. Funniest experience Too many to remember….we are all jokers so there are many big laughs all the time. Vision for the future Everything running off renewables and everyone having power.

Williams Graham CarmAn Lawyers

eddy L A G O


illiams Graham Carman Lawyers (WGC) has been providing expert legal solutions for clients for more than 40 years. The firm’s lawyers have earned a professional reputation in property law, corporate and business law, family law, litigation in all courts, insolvency and debt recovery, employment law and estate planning. As an accredited Family Law Specialist, WGC Managing Partner Eddy Lago says the firm works with people in their time of need to achieve the best possible outcome, which is why he has remained a part of the team. “I started with WGC as a naive, fresh-faced law graduate in 1984,” says Eddy. “My bosses, who became my business partners, have had a significant influence upon my development as a lawyer.” “The practice has shaped the lawyer that I have become.” “In the same way, we now train and support the development of our younger lawyers.” “I was born into a cane farming family, but always knew I wanted to go on to university when I completed my secondary studies.” “Studying law appealed to me as both exciting and challenging.” “I haven’t been disappointed.” “I get satisfaction from helping clients achieve the best possible result from what is often a very trying and difficult time in their lives.” “Clients come to me at a point in their lives when they are emotionally distraught, confused, unsure of their legal rights and what to do next.” “Divorce and separation are traumatic.” “I know I can apply my legal knowledge, experience and good common sense in a compassionate but objective manner to help clients through the quagmire.” “In business, as in life, it is important to set and achieve goals.”

“Success is measured against these achievements.” Yet it’s the satisfaction from knowing you have achieved and accomplished what you set out to do in the best possible way that marks success.” Greatest mentor My business partners: Roy Payne, Michael Huelin, Doug McKinstry, John Hayward and Graham Dutton. Personal inspiration My parents - loving, honest, and hardworking, true role models. Career highlights Achieving my law degree, admission to practice and partnership; and specialisation accreditation. But mostly attaining and retaining the respect of my peers. Funniest experience Not expecting to be in court, I wasn’t dressed appropriately in grey trousers and bright blue shirt with a purple collar. I borrowed a yellow paisley tie and brownish coat. When I appeared before the judge he kept asking me to speak up. He said my attire was so loud he was having trouble hearing anything I was saying. Vision for the future To ensure WGC remains a contemporary and professional, leading law firm, providing cutting edge and expert legal solutions.


Joe Vella Insurance Brokers

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nderstanding the needs of families and businesses in far North Queensland is the heart and soul of day to day business for insurance broker Joe Vella. A locally owned company, Joe Vella Insurance Brokers (JVIB) specialises in insurances for many commercial industries, as well as catering for a variety of domestic insurances, such as home and contents, private motor, travel, household transit, landlords, boat and caravan. “JVIB has grown from a one man show in 1995 to 34 staff across three offices in Cairns, Mareeba, Atherton and an underwriting company located at the central coast of New South Wales,” says Joe. “Our ever growing client base currently consists of approximately 6,000 individuals, partnerships and companies.” “My company’s aim is to ensure all clients enjoy the choice of a wide range of insurance and financial solutions to enable them to better run and protect their businesses and family assets.” “Based on our company motto, ‘Business without Boundaries’, we work with our clients, insurers and service providers to ensure we are providing the highest level of service and the best possible insurance solutions. We are willing to go that extra mile.” “My team knows insurance and the specific needs of businesses and families in the region. They have the experience, expertise and a track record of service built on vintage ethics, modern management and today’s technology’.” Joe says his background in insurance began with his first job in a small business with four staff in a single office in Curzon St, North Melbourne. From humble beginnings that small business became a cutting edge international brokerage. Joe introduced the brokerage to North Queensland back in 1989, before going on to establishing JVIB in 1997. “Over the years, I have enjoyed benefits such as travelling and doing business internationally - working with some incredible people and helping countless clients through some of the hardest times in their lives both financially and personally,” recalls Joe. “I have built a business with people I care deeply about and sit on many boards, including the Steadfast Foundation, which has donated in excess of a million dollars to charities and those in need.” “I was bestowed the appointment of Honorary Consulate for my birth country, Malta. Who would have thought my contribution to my profession would enable me to do this?” “It is an honour to represent the Maltese within Queensland, rubbing shoulders with Presidents, Prime Ministers and dignitaries.” “Why did I choose this profession? I was presented with an opportunity; I accepted it, worked hard and learnt as much as I could.”


“Insurance broking may not seem like an exciting and vibrant profession, yet it’s a very rewarding and challenging industry.” Greatest mentors Close friends and former employers Terry Lane and Peter Claringbold. Personal aspirations To consistently show humility, kindness and generosity to others. Community services Make A Wish Foundation – Chairman Rotary - Honorary member & Paul Harris Fellow (former president) Hear and Say Cairns – initial setting up of the Cairns Clinic The Leukemia Foundation – MC for the IGA Race Day Charity event for 11 years. Steadfast Group Foundation - Chairman Honorary Consulate of Malta (Queensland) Catholic Catenians Association – Chairman Cairns Catholic Education for Disadvantaged Youth – Chairman Definition of success “To be genuinely happy with and able to love one’s self and others, knowing that you have truly done what is best for you, your family, clients and fellow beings and creatures. Leaving my print or fabric for others to consider. To wear my humility with pride and be able to share it with others, that is the mark of my success to me.” This is the essence of Joe Vella Insurance Brokers, now and into the future.

TJ Microsystems


homas Ja n us z

“It’s funny to think back that I got into IT because I enjoyed playing with the latest toys and the best way was to be in the computer industry”



chieving a high level of customer service in IT systems support and management is synonymous with the name TJ Microsystems, says director Thomas Janusz. Established in 1994, TJ Microsystems is one of the largest Cairns-based IT business solutions firms with clients Australia wide. “I.T. has been in my bones since my first computer in about 1982 when I was 9 years old, before Internet, Email and the PC was around”, recalls Thomas. “The firm’s aim, now utilising a team of 12 engineers and support staff, is creating, managing and maintaining an optimum IT environment for businesses,” says Thomas. “Our business success is also about moving the focus for clients away from repairing and fixing their systems when they break down and more toward prevention and good planning.” “80% of our new business is through word of mouth referrals and often clients are referred to us by numerous sources at the same time, in some cases even from other IT providers. “We offer a point of difference that has a lot to do with having the cutting edge tools and internal systems to look after our clients locally and in remote areas as far out as Cape York, Darwin, Brisbane and Papua New Guinea”’ “I moved here from Adelaide in 1990, about the time of cyclone Joy,” recalls Thomas.” “Many cyclones, and a family and 4 children later, we’re still here.” “Not quite sure what’s more of a challenge, a cat 3 cyclone or a large family” “It’s funny to think back that I got into IT because I enjoyed playing with the

latest toys and the best way was to be in the computer industry” “With the popularity of PCs and the emergence of the internet in the 90’s starting my own business was a natural next step.” “Today, I am very proud of what we have achieved with TJ Microsystems.”

Personal inspiration Inspired by a love for life, the outdoors and sport, but since having children wake up every morning inspired to get out of bed by being jumped on and squashed by three soon to be four little munchkins. Funny moment Left my brand new laptop on the couch and first child (Sophie) ripped off every single key on the keyboard of the laptop and distributed all around the house initiating a sort of easter egg hunt for 50+ keyboard keys. Beware of the little fingers! Vision for the future (BHAG) A number of Big, Hairy, Audacious Goals to expand into broader markets and new regions and capitalise on the investment made in tools and technologies which set us apart from competition. To bring big city service levels and technologies to businesses in the regional areas like Cairns and beyond.

Status Plus


Balderson “The honest truth is we aren’t too dear.”

Staying consistently at the top of the ladder as an independent retailer is an ongoing commitment for Status Plus’ Ash Balderson. Following a family tradition in operating a local business that attributes success to old-fashioned values, quality products, affordability and diversity, Ash says ‘the one-stop-shop’ design centre is his pride and joy. “Status Plus was recently recognised in the ‘top four’ retail showrooms in our industry across Australia, competing with all capital cities,” boasts Ash. “This is a huge accolade and demonstrates our presence in the marketplace to successfully showcase our product range across bathrooms, kitchens, tiles, windows and doors, blinds and screens, and lifestyle appliances such as BBQ’s, air conditioning, wine cabinets and ice making machines.” “Expanding the store’s product range is a challenge I truly enjoy.” “The store has just launched a range of Italian floor and wall tiles in earthy, neutral tones and the new timber look, as well the latest in swimming pool tiles.” “In addition, keeping up with trends has seen a dedicated area created to complement the ‘wellness’ concept of bathrooms.” “People want to create a relaxing retreat - showers with massage features, the latest in spa baths, self-cleaning toilets and contemporary styling.” “I’m also excited about our doors range that includes bi-folds and the popular pivot doors.” “Our focus is on quality that’s affordable; and we are known for the professional, efficient advice and after sales service our staff offers with courtesy and respect for each client and their individual budget.”

“The honest truth is we aren’t too dear.” You will be pleasantly surprised at how little quality costs so pop in and give us a crack.” says Ash. “The atmosphere of Status Plus is testament to our commitment to the personal approach we take in serving clients, with quiet spaces to sit down and enjoy a coffee or glass of wine.” “Because people are busy we also offer after hours appointments.” “I’m also very proud of the store’s ability to supply products and housing options from social and indigenous housing, to remote and pre-fabricated housing, first home buyers, renovating projects, commercial projects and luxury homes.” “We are proud to supply over 80% of Cairns builders!”

Greatest mentor My mother – an iconic woman and the founder of Status Plus. Personal inspiration John Murphy. He ran Winning Appliances for 30 years. Career Highlights After 20 years, one of my first clients came in to the store asking for me. They wanted to replace the washing machine they had bought from me all those years ago. Funniest experience Spending time with my nieces & nephew – what they say and do is better than any live comedy. Vision for the future No.1 retail showroom in Australia.


Everest Stone


la m ari


he beauty and functionality of Everest Stone’s products inspire owner Ray Lamari to maximise on their creative application for both residential and commercial projects. Established in 2005, Ray bought Everest Stone in 2012 with a vision to take the business to the next level as the Cairns region’s stone benchtop specialists. Thanks to a team of highly qualified specialists who take great pride in the finished product, Ray says he is achieving this goal. Everest Stone specializes in manufacturing and installation of granite, and reconstituted stone benchtops in CaesarStone, Essastone, Quantum Quartz, Smartstone or Stone Italiana for kitchens, vanities and other applications or special features. “We know this industry is prone to the occasional mishap given the fragile nature of the products we work with,” says Ray. “However we ensure total customer satisfaction on completion of every project undertaken by Everest Stone!” “I love watching the creation evolve from the moment we see a client’s plan, to the point of installation.” “I enjoy meeting wonderful people in the commercial and domestic sectors and being part of making their dreams a reality.” Ray’s ability to nurture and grow Everest Stone comes from a background as a cabinetmaker, and 20 years of experience in the timber, hardware and roof truss manufacturing industry.

“I bought this business as it had a lot of synergy between my cabinetmaking, the building industry, and my love of creating showpieces with natural products,” he says. 20

“Success is about continual improvement in myself, and business - providing clients with a quality solution and product. “Also important is providing the platform that allows my team members to identify their potential and become better people all round by association with each other, myself and Everest Stone.”

Personal inspiration My parents, who came out from Sicily with nothing, and two young children. They couldn’t speak English and were uneducated, but taught me to work hard, and be grateful for a roof over our head, and for my gifts and talents. I appreciate all I have, and use my talents to help those less fortunate. I sponsor three children via the World vision program, contribute to the Smith Foundation, and am a member of the Cairns Hoo-Hoo International club. Career highlights The recent refurbishment of two Hilton hotels in Darwin. We manufactured vanity units for the whole project, and trucked them to Darwin. It was a mammoth task and we came in three weeks ahead of our schedule. I’m very proud of my team. Vision for the future Recruiting team members committed to our field of expertise, with a desire to achieve personal success for themselves, and help Everest Stone grow. Our growth means job creation, adding greater benefit to the Cairns community.

Cairns Glass

B arr y

wilson Quality workmanship, attention to detail and fast, reliable service have made Cairns Glass what it is today, says owner Barry Wilson. With the company’s team of seven glaziers, representing more than 80 years combined experience, Cairns Glass caters for commercial and domestic glass and glazing needs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This specialised service, available to clients from Innisfail to Port Douglas, up to Mareeba and across Cairns, is Barry’s pride and joy. “I started Cairns Glass and Glazing from my carport with just one utility in1992, says Barry. “Since then, we’ve grown significantly by providing a high standard of service as a committed member of the Cairns community.” “We take pride in being a locally company, and are passionate about our business, your service and the role of glass in our day-today lives.” “I see the value of the ability to cut all glass and mirrors to size for a variety of purposes as this: ‘Glass fulfils a multitude of functions in buildings, in addition to its traditional daylighting role. Innovative architectural designs, together with the development of new glass types, continually extend the range of applications of this material.’ – Glass in Building.” “I’ve been in the glass industry since 1974 as a glazier, starting at Whitsunday Glass in Proserpine.” “After three years, I relocated and worked in Sydney for a year before moving to Melbourne. “In 1984, I was offered a position with T&K Glass in Oakleigh, working with many ‘old school’ glaziers who were some of the best in the industry, and gained valuable experience. “ “I worked through to be a leading hand. After T&K was bought out by Pilkington Glass, I was promoted to Glazing Supervisor.”

“In 1991, I transferred to Pilkington Glass in Cairns.” “My family followed two months later and we purchased a home in Whitfield.” “A year later I started Cairns Glass and Glazing.” “Today, we operate a busy and rewarding company from our convenient central location in Plath Close, Portsmith.” “Cairns Glass has the experience and the ability to tackle all facets of our industry; and believes in our corporate and social responsibilities in offering work experience programs, local apprenticeships and community sponsorship.”

“For me, achieving success is measured by 22 years surviving and growing a well-respected business through the G.F.C.” Greatest mentor Melbourne glazier Ronnie Wilson (no relation). Personal inspiration To retire with the respect I have gained from my peers over the years intact. Career highlights The many thousands of mirrors installed in Reef Casino Cairns. My funniest experience A former employer taking me to his mate’s veterinary surgery to have my hand stitched. Vision for the future To see Cairns grow and prosper.



nown as North Queensland’s most experienced criminal lawyer, Philip Bovey gives insight into areas clients should be aware of regarding rights, the client/lawyer relationship and costs. “One of the few advantages a person suspected of committing a crime has is the right to silence,” says Philip. “That right should never be given up before speaking to an experienced criminal lawyer.” “In my view, because of costs and resources the criminal justice system is tilted very much in favour of the prosecution,” says Philip. “So a strong client/lawyer relationship is important.” “There’s no doubt a lawyer develops a closer relationship with the client than does a Barrister. Generally speaking a Barrister is engaged just prior to the matter going to a Court Hearing. The lawyer is engaged with the client, and often their family, since the process begins giving the lawyer a better understanding of what might be the best outcome for the client.”


“Costs are also a major issue.” “There’s a significant difference in costs in not retaining a barrister to conduct all court proceedings.” Philip says he discovered quickly when speaking with clients, who had previous experiences with other lawyers, that one of the most significant areas of complaint was uncertainty about cost. “Because most lawyers charge hourly rates there’s no certainty as to final cost.” “So I settled on a fixed fee relationship with clients early in private practice.” “This helps clients focus on allowing me to do what I do best and enjoy; for example analysing a prosecution brief and trying to identify areas that might be deficient or unreliable, and which might lead to the client ultimately being successful in court.” “A successful outcome is obtaining the best possible result reasonably available to the client given all the circumstances.”

Philip Bovey & Co Lawyers


Bovey “A successful outcome is obtaining the best possible result reasonably available to the client given all the circumstances.�

Greatest mentor Shane Herbert QC, Tony Glynn QC and The Honourable Justice Henry. Personal Inspiration As corny as it sounds, ensuring only those who are truly guilty of offences are convicted of them. Career Highlights Final result in the third inquest of the Arnold/Leahy matter. Without naming persons, a significant number of clients who have been acquitted of offences ranging from murder, through to rape and a variety of sex offences alleged against the father in relation to his children, where the parents are locked in Family Court disputes, and the mother coaches children to make false complaints to advance their position in the Family Court. Funniest experience A client in arrest court stood up when addressed by the Magistrate and was so drunk he fell head first over the railing into the courtroom. Vision for the future A return to a more balanced and considered criminal justice system – reducing the influence of the media and politicians.


Frank Lanza migration Services

Frank Lanza M

en like Frank Lanza are a rare breed.Their love of life, people and work are so intricately intertwined that there is no beginning, and no end, just a continuous cycle of doing what they do best -serving others. Frank does this as a Barrister, Mediator and Migration agent. The Italian born Cairns local came to Sydney as a young engineer in 1969. For 17 years he worked in mining exploration travelling the world. However, discovering an interest in law literally by accident opened up a new career path for Frank. “I had a work-related accident and sought the help of a lawyer who wasn’t progressing my case, so I started reading law books. “At age 40, I began law studies and graduated in three years.” “Frank settled in Cairns in the early 1980s and began his legal career as a Barrister and accredited Mediator. Yet again, destiny had a plan for Frank. “The Italian Government appointed me as Honorary Vice Consul of Italy in North Queensland!” “In my new role I started getting enquiries from Italians who wanted to migrate to Australia.” “I therefore decided to become a Migration Agent and founded Frank Lanza Migration Services.” “Immigration law is vast and extremely complex and constantly evolving. “A law degree is not needed to be a Migration Agent, but legal knowledge is definitely an advantage.”

“The greatest satisfaction I get is the look of happiness on my clients’ faces when informed they have achieved permanent residency in Australia.” Still a practising barrister, Frank admits he enjoys advocacy work, and practising his mediation skills in family law cases. “People and their circumstances are all different,” says Frank. “It pleases me to see clients that are ready to go to court in order to resolve their disputes, with my help, are able to come to an amicable resolution and avoid the stress of a trial.”


“I think my experience and my genuine desire is to help others helps.” “That’s why I do what I do!”

Greatest mentor Past employer Tony Barringer, a pioneer in the Geophysical industry, inventor and scientist. Tony’s push for new discoveries was exciting. He instilled in me the drive to achieve great things. More recently, Paul Kensler – a Cairn’s pioneer, and a true gentleman. He had the gift of being able to deal with people on all levels and win their confidence and respect. Personal inspiration I love life and people; and also have a passion for cooking, socializing, entertaining and salsa dancing. Career highlights Law degree and admission to practise as a Barrister and Mediator Honorary Vice Consul for Italy Accreditation by the Queensland Law Society as an Immigration Law Specialist, one of very few in Australia. Funniest experience A gentleman rang me late at night, asking if I was the Italian Consul. He said his wife was pregnant and had a craving for a tiramisu. Could I advise as to the best Italian restaurant that had the best tiramisu in Cairns. Vision for the Future To continue enjoying life ! I’m passionate about Cairns and its growth. I can’t wait to see the $8 billion AQUIS project at Yorkey’s Knob taking shape. Best place to live! It’s God’s country.

Halpin Partners Accountants

Darre n

Halpin D

arren Halpin made his first investment when he was just eight years old. He invested $200 in a term deposit with Custom Credit at 17 per cent per annum for five years. With that and the influence of his accountant father, he was hooked. It wasn’t long before Darren realised he could use his passion to help others create wealth and achieve their goals. “Accounting is about understanding what people want to achieve, be it in their business, investments or personal lives and helping them build a pathway to reach that,” Darren said. Darren has been doing exactly that for more than 20 years now, first working with his father’s firm at Innisfail before establishing Halpin Partners in Cairns in 2003. He currently employs 18 accountants and 10 support staff, and the firm assists over 600 clients with a diverse range of commercial and business services each year. Halpin Partners actively supports the local community, donating time and around 1% of our annual turnover to schools, clubs and organisations. Darren has always been a big believer in ‘giving back’ and takes the same approach with his team. Team members are treated to hour-long lunches in a modern dining and lounge area with a full size kitchen in the Sheridan Street headquarters. The office also boasts a customised training room and staff undergo ongoing upskilling. “It’s all about creating a great culture, which is the key to having a truly successful business,” Darren said.

“The more your team enjoy their work and their workplace, the happier they will be and the longer they will stay. Experience and consistency are extremely valuable to a business.” Darren says Halpin Partners’ greatest point of difference is its service and outcomes focus, with clients turning to Halpin Partners for that reason. “Accounting has never been just about tax time and more and more clients are now realising that,” he said. “Some firms are still solely focused on end of year tax work, which we do as part of our service, but we also re-educate our clients and move the focus from reducing tax, to improving profits. “It’s always very inspiring to see a client motivated about their financial goals and extremely rewarding when they comment that you helped make it a reality.” It is by helping others achieve success that Darren and his team have also been able to succeed.

“Success is about having the ability to do what you want to do, when you want to do it,” Darren said.

Greatest mentor My father. Personal inspiration Successful People: where they started from, their journeys and their challenges, especially those who have shared their success with others. Career highlight Opening Halpin Partners in 2003. Funniest experience With 4 children under 8 every day provides something new, it is amazing what they come up with and how they see the simplest things! Vision for the future To continue growing Halpin Partners and delivering high quality service with great outcomes. Greatest challenge Work-life balance. Secret to success Sticking to what you know and what you’re good at, and having a very supportive wife who embraces your vision.

“I’ve been in this industry 25 years and I’m still learning and growing. When you truly love something you never stop learning.”


The Quaid Group

tacey SQuai d S

tacey Quaid continues a family legacy in property sales in the Cairns region, following in the footsteps of his dad and mentor George Quaid Jnr. Three generations of expertise and a commitment to integrity in the property industry defines The Quaid group, which operates Quaid Real Estate, Quaid Auctioneers and Colliers International Cairns. The Quaid name is synonymous with its interest in all elements of property from residential to commercial, as well as the valuation and sale of plant and equipment. “The Quaid Real Estate business was foundered by my dad George in 1949, and in 2011 my son Tom joined us,” says Stacey. “I commenced my real estate and auctioneering career in 1987, and then purchased the operation with a business partner when my father retired.” “I took full ownership in 2008.” “My career path was always going to be in this business, having seen the success and satisfaction that could be gained in buying and selling, and the role for people who could make it happen.” “Matching buyers to sellers and people to property just seems to come naturally.” “The variety of what I do remains a challenge and a blessing, as my role can range from suit clad boardroom negotiations to signing contracts in a cane paddock on the boot of the car.” “Every day is different!” “Our business is about finding solutions, planning, and strategy and success for both our clients and our team.” “We approach each sale as a partnership where our role varies depending on the experience and needs of the client - sometimes we follow and sometimes we guide.”


“I guess as we (agent and client) share the same goal, we pitch in wherever it’s needed to achieve that goal.”

“Success for me is the ability to make choices, and the more those choices can make a difference defines the level of success.” Greatest mentor My Dad – he’s the best strategic thinker I’ve met. Personal inspiration Over the years I’ve been lucky enough to have known and gained inspiration from some of the great developers, investors and characters in the Cairns region. Career highlights Every sale is really a highlight! However, I must concede some of the major portfolio sales I have been involved with, dealing with hundreds of properties worth tens of millions of dollars, can be exciting. Vision for the future Our region and my business will see great change in the next 10 years with what I believe will be the largest growth phase in our history. Again being recognised on a global platform, we will see a level of interest in our city I’m sure will amaze us. We live in what many consider the best part of the world.

Troy Cummings Locksmith


Troy W

orking in a profession that satisfies a need to contribute to the safety and peace of mind of an ever increasing number of people in the Cairns community, locksmith Troy Cummings says nothing is too difficult. Troy takes his job and the future of his business very seriously, constantly looking beyond the traditional lock and key to what’s new in security products. He says a lot has changed in the 23 years he has been a locksmith and that it’s important to stay abreast of technology in the industry. “Yes, products and systems are continually changing, and as a business operating since 2002, we are very involved in learning about the latest security products,” adds Troy. “At the same time we get on with the day to day business, from re-keying locks to lock sales, safe sales and installation, automotive keys and remotes, electronic keyless access, surveillance cameras, and alarm sales and installation.” “Every day is busy and very different depending on the jobs scheduled in and the unexpected emergencies that pop up.” At the very heart of Troy’s locksmith business is what he defines as ‘going the extra mile’ to help clients with their security needs. “We really care,” says Troy. “When someone is in distress and you come to their aid to re-establish or improve security measures for their home, you often feel a sense of their peace of mind knowing they will sleep a little better feeling protected.” “The fact that we are working to protect people, their families and businesses and promoting their safety is very rewarding.” “I enjoy helping people in general and our business offers support for a lot of homeless or disabled kids.

“Success for me is hard work and treasuring every customer we have.”

“All those years ago, when I was trying to decide what profession I would enjoy, an apprenticeship came up in locksmithing.” “After two weeks I loved it, and still do.” Greatest mentor My Grandfather. He was my idol. I learned so much from him. He had his own business where my shop is now. Personal inspiration To provide protection for people to the highest possible level. Career highlights Fitting all the electronic locks in the Cairns Convention Centre, and providing surveillance cameras for the QDAC farm. Funniest experience I had a lady come running into the shop one day and her hands were handcuffed. I had to pick them off (very awkward)! Vision for the future To expand our vision and knowledge of electronic security.


Advanced Laser Therapy

Chris H all C

airns Advanced Laser Therapy director Chris Hall says helping people make major health and wellness breakthroughs in their lives is what makes the clinic thrive. Since opening the clinic 10 years ago, Chris reports thousands upon thousands of people have come through its doors to take advantage of the latest in laser technologies, bio-nutritionals and cognitive behavioural therapies available to provide effective holistic ‘drug free’ recovery treatments. “People from all around Australia come to our clinic,” says Chris. He admits the initial aim of the clinic was to assist people conquer addictions ranging from alcohol to gambling. “I became interested in providing a service to people who in society’s terms were marginalised – caught up in an addiction.” “I knew laser therapy was a key to providing an effective way to assist those who were ready to take control of their lives.” Having worked in Asia and the US, Chris was aware of the impact on the lives of people labelled as an addict. “I watched their state of confusion – trying to understand how they got to that state and how they were going to get out of it.” “Our clinic recognises and assists those who seek help!” Having success in helping clients break from addiction, Chris saw the potential to expand the clinic’s services to address internal wellbeing in the areas of anxiety, depression, obesity and type 2 diabetes. “We then added laser based cosmetic treatments to complete our aim for clients to look well, feel well, be well!” “It’s about enhancing people’s quality of life.”


“You won’t get anywhere unless you try.” Seeing clients succeed in overcoming difficulties they thought would hold them back in life and make positive changes is rewarding, says Chris. “Clients often drop in after achieving their wellbeing goals – it’s their way of celebrating their success.” “Everyone in the clinic celebrates with them.” “What we do at the clinic means a lot to me – to all of the staff.” “We enjoy our work.” “When you have the skills and the ability to help people help themselves, it’s about getting out there and doing it.”

Greatest mentor Life Coach Tony Robbins Personal inspiration Nature - I enjoy being in nature. Career highlights I have been very fortunate – there have been many highlights. It’s really about being able to do what you want to do and do it well. Funniest experience A woman in her late 40’s returned to our clinic for a post treatment after an Original Herbal Peel. After her facial she waited for her husband in reception. When he arrived he sat in reception for 5 minutes before recognising his wife sitting opposite him. “She looks way too young to be my wife!” he said. Vision for the future To attract highly qualified and motivated graduates in the wellness industry to Advanced Laser Therapy Clinics and teach them what we know. They are the future of the clinic and its continued success.

“The desire to change is the motivation, and that usually comes with pain - not being able to go on the way things are.�

Underwood’s Party Hire




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eople … it’s about people from all walks of life, and travelling to different locations to make their events as colourful and special as they are, says Underwood’s Party Hire co-director, Louis Underwood. Diversity, fun and hard work defines the business Louis loves and shares with brother Glenn. The locally-owned business has been operating since 1978, and caters for a broad range of events from parties, corporate functions, conferences, sports venues, exhibitions, weddings, special events and music concerts. “We take a hand’s on approach to ensure personal care is taken so each event is assembled on time, within budget, and quality controlled to guarantee a safe, stylish and successful event that is extraordinary,” says Louis. “Underwood’s 60 years’ experience in the equipment hire industry allows us to provide a professional service that exceeds our client’s expectations.” “From our initial meeting with clients to our range of marquees, glassware, crockery, cutlery, tables, chairs, catering equipment and styling, every aspect is given special attention.” ‘We also do different sized stages and sound shells for small functions to large concerts.”

“A key aspect of our business is being up with trends in themes, styles and colours, which is part of a constantly changing industry.” “It gives us great pleasure to see the joy our clients experience from a job done well – one that is their perfect wedding, ideal special occasion or corporate event.” “I never imagined myself doing what I do,” replies Louis, reflecting on travelling to exotic locations around Australia, and meeting people the likes of rock legends such as ACDC, Tina Turner and Silverchair. “I remember at the age of 10 dreaming about being in the family business – quite different than it is today.” “My grandfather – a plumber/builder, who won the job of building the town of Weipa with his two sons

back in the 1960s, said any of the kids who wanted to work in the family business had to learn a trade first.” “So I did a motor mechanic apprenticeship before moving into the family machinery hire business.” “In1978, an opportunity for us to branch out into party hire equipment came about.” “I jumped at the chance.” “From the very first day I knew it would be challenging - looking around at beer glasses, chairs and tables and thinking what are we doing?” “We’ve relied on hard work, strong customer service skills, and even chasing cane toads, fishing vehicles out flood waters and locating wandering guests to become a leading North Queensland and Australian Party Hire company.” “We are committed to serving the local and wider community, and proud to be involved with Cairns Amateurs, Cairns Show, Cairns Cup, Ironman 70.3 Cairns, Australia and P.N.G Mining Resources Exhibition, Cairns Home Show and Caravan, Camping, Boating Expo, Centrelink Job Find Expo and many more events and organisations throughout Australia.”

Greatest mentor My Dad – he taught me about mechanics and cars. Personal inspiration David Grant – who showed me anything is possible. Career highlights The Field of Fire at Mossman Gorge, staging a five-star dinner experience in the Simpson desert, traveling down the east coast for staging with Silverchair. Funniest experience Chasing down cane toads for a cane toad race. Vision for the future To see the family tradition of maintaining Underwood’s Party Hire’s reputation for success continue for decades to come.


Menico Tuck Parrish Financial Services

m a t t h e w

Parrish Sharing knowledge that empowers people to make informed decisions is rewarding, says financial planner Matthew Parrish. “I value the trust that clients and the Menico Tuck Parrish team place in me and enjoy seeing them achieve their goals”, adds Matthew. Menico Tuck Parrish provides specialised advice to individuals, families and businesses in areas such as investment, superannuation, self-managed super, personal and business risk insurance which includes life, disability, trauma and income protection. “We also advise on retirement and redundancy planning as well as assisting people moving into aged care,” says Matthew. “Often we have clients across three generations.Dealing with the Grandparents one day and Grandchildren another reinforces the pivotal relationship you have in your clients’ lives.” Matthew understands this well having been mentored by his father, Fred Parrish, who has also enjoyed a career in the financial planning industry. “My father’s experience helped me see the long term benefits of sound financial advice.” “This and a passion for people made my decision to choose a career within a personal services profession easy.” While completing a Bachelor of Business (Banking and Finance) in Brisbane, Matthew began working at Westpac in 1997. He was then accepted into the Graduate Management program of Colonial, moving to Sydney. This program provided Matthew with extensive exposure to financial services from both an operational and management perspective. “In 2000, Colonial merged with the Commonwealth Bank and I became a Financial Planner, says Matthew. “I was already furthering my studies completing a Master of Commerce (Financial Planning).” Matthew then moved to London to work for global bank, HSBC, prior to returning home to Cairns in 2003 to join his father, in his financial planning practice.


In 2009, Matthew took over from his father, Fred and joined Anthony Menico and Jo Tuck to form Menico Tuck Parrish Financial Services. The company now has over 14 staff.

“Success for me is continuing to challenge myself and grow as a person,” says Matthew. “My work is very much a part of achieving such success.” Greatest mentor My Father! His experience in business and passion for clients is inspiring. Personal inspiration Running a medium sized business inspires me to want to continually improve my leadership skills. Career highlights Colonial Group - Graduate Management Program. Creation of Menico Tuck Parrish Financial Services and achievement of a Quality Recognition award and State Practice of the Year 2013. Funniest experience Being mistaken for my business partner’s son even though he is only 8 years older, than me! It was in Cambodia so perhaps families are slightly different… Vision for the future To be recognised as a business focussed on our clients’ aspirations; and continue to attract and work with a progressive team of professionals.

Cairns Recreation Centre

G e o ff

Byfield T

he Cairns Recreation Centre (CRC) has benefited from the ingenuity of operator Geoff

Byfield. Formerly known as the Cairns Roller Sports Centre, Cairns Recreation Centre was established in 2000 as one of the largest indoor skating rinks in Australia, and the only roller skating rink in Cairns. Back in 2006, when Geoff leased the Centre he admits he faced a big challenge to diversify the business. “I had experience working with national sports teams, and managed major sports facilities throughout Australia.” “Yet in my wildest dreams I never thought I’d operate a skating rink.” “I joined the army in 1976, and was selected to train as a Physical Training Instructor.” “I was posted as a qualified PTI to the Royal Military College, Duntroon in 1979. From there I began a career in sports, recreational and adventure activities.” “So how could I use this experience to grow CRC?” “We started by installing an indoor rock climbing wall, followed by additional skate sessions, including Top 40 Skate and Retro Skate.” “Today, Learn to Skate classes for all ages, Inline Hockey, Artistic Skate and Roller Derby are all available with Roller Hockey soon to start.” “We have also worked with the military, corporates, schools and other government agencies to provide fun team building events with great results; as well as conducting Boot Camps.

“As a registered Child Care provider our Vacation Care programs are proving quite successful – another way we are achieving our goal to diversify.” “We are passionate about encouraging people to experience what CRC has to offer, and I consider myself fortunate to be a part of the Centre.

Greatest Mentor Captain Warren Wilson - Chief Instructor PT (the epitome of professionalism and work ethics) Personal Inspiration To have the love and trust of my family to guide them through life. Career highlights Qualification as Physical Training Instructor (Army). Performing at the Opening of the Sydney Entertainment Centre. Receiving Key to the City of Adelaide and Citation for services to the Army. Funniest Experience An army mate went into a bird calling competition on live radio (2WS Sydney). His bird call of the Prehistoric South East African Pterodactyl was to die for. After two weeks of competition (with him making this ghastly racket) he made the finals and was asked to compete at the Opera House with professional Bird Callers nationwide. All the boys rented tuxes and accompanied him. He absolutely killed it! The real bird callers were miffed when George received second prize - a week’s holiday on the Gold Coast and silver ingot worth $500. Vision for the Future To continue providing Cairns families with a fun, recreational social outlet to assist with the day to day pressures of life.


Egan and Turner Travel Associates



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hat sets Egan and Turner Travel Associates apart is experience, says manager Paul Egan. The brand specialises in luxury holidays - from resort stays, trekking excursions over beautiful terrain, an African safari, a magical skiing holiday, or an around the world cruise. “To work with Travel Associates, which prides itself on unique itineraries and a high standard of customer service, you need to have a minimum of five years’ experience,” says Paul. “The least experience any of our team has is 15 years.” “Firsthand knowledge and experience combined with up to date industry information and professional travel booking services is our trademark.” “Egan and Turner is a small boutique agency that provides an intimate, relaxed environment for clients to enjoy planning their travel experience in comfort.” “Providing a personal, customised approach is essential to what we do,” says a man who understands the joy of travel and the excitement of planning that special journey. As a 14-year-old Paul dreamed of seeing the world, having read James A Michener’s book The Drifters. Paul left Victoria 26 years ago to embark on a trip around Australia. He got as far as Cairns and stopped, having fallen under the spell of its tropical charm.

He began his career in travel as a consultant, and in nine months was managing an agency. In 2011, Paul opened Egan and Turner Travel Associates. Paul’s own yearning to travel has taken him to nearly 60 countries on all continents except Antarctica, with places such as Nepal, Peru and Bali being favourites. The effervescence in Paul’s voice when he talks about his travels accentuates his passion for travel, and denotes the quality of a well-seasoned traveller – an asset for clients seeking an experienced travel agent. Personal satisfaction for me is about seeing clients do things that make them happy, and the feeling of success when they tell me what a wonderful travel experience they’ve had,” he says.

“I also enjoy what they share about places I haven’t been, or new things about those I have, so I ‘m always learning,” he says.

Greatest mentor Flight Centre Limited Managing Director Graham Turner and Virgin’s Richard Branson Personal inspiration I’m addicted to travel. I try to have a trip on my calendar every three months – even if it’s just for a week.

Career highlights In my first year of managing a travel agency I set out to win all of the major regional awards. The agency won four out of five of them.

Funniest experience So many funny things are happening all the time. It’s priceless!

Vision for the future To see Egan and Turner be the No.1 travel retailer in Cairns for decades to come.


In Step Podiatry

L Steve

Lynch “I love my job, and working as an independent podiatrist seeing patients throughout North Queensland, with clinics in Cairns, Tully, Innisfail, Atherton, and Nhulunbuy.” 38

ook after your feet, and they will look after you is a philosophy as old as the days of ancient Egypt, and just as relevant today, says In Step Podiatry’s Steve Lynch. Steve’s approach to podiatry in the 21st century is the result of evolving research, intensive and ongoing training and modern technology. Steve has been practicing as a private and public podiatrist since 1991 in Canada. In 1992, he immigrated to Australia, got married and began practising podiatry in North Queensland, making Cairns his base. “At Instep Podiatry my patients benefit from the experience I have gained working in two countries – Canada and Australia, under two different systems,” says Steve. “I provide many services such as ultrasound, laser fungal treatment, high tech biomechanical examinations, and ingrown toenail surgery done with local anaesthesia - no sutures.” “I have access to the most up-to-date technology, and specialise in nail care and biomechanics.” “Custom made orthotics completes a diversified service, supported by my commitment to keeping up to date on the latest research and treatment modalities.” “Another advantage for my patients is that I bulk bill for Medicare eligible clients.” Steve is also a part of what he calls ‘a world class Diabetic service’ at Cairns Base Hospital. “People come from all over Australia and the world to see what we are doing,” he says proudly. “It’s very rewarding work.”

“I love my job, and working as an independent podiatrist seeing patients throughout North Queensland, with clinics in Cairns, Tully, Innisfail, Atherton, and Nhulunbuy.” * Steve is the clinical Podiatrist for the Cairns Base Hospital, as well as podiatrist for the More Allied Health Services program and Greenway Health.

Greatest Mentor A Canadian friend I idolised - he had it all! He worked hard at university, had a good job and a great fiancé (now his wife, with three kids). He showed me what you get out of life is proportional to what you put into it. Personal inspiration I do what I do for my wife and family. They inspire me, and are why I love to rush home every night to see them. Career highlights 20 years working at the Cairns Base Hospital Diabetes High Risk foot clinic. Funniest experience Working outdoors under a tree at a local nursing home during a diversional therapy session and being hit in the head with a rubber ball being tossed around as I was treating patients’ toenails. I had leaves in my hair, but the fresh air during treatment was something different. Vision for the Future I’m excited about where Cairns is going and am here for the long haul. I’m lucky to call many patients friends, who were my patients first.

Pynes Indoor Plant Hire & Garden Maintenance

ollin C Messervy

“For me personally, satisfaction is doing your best for the customer and offering value for money while making a fair return on your endeavours.”

A love of plants that grew into a thriving business is an 18-year success story for Pynes Indoor Plant Hire and Garden Management’s Collin Messervy. Collin says what began with a team of three in an Edmonton backyard nursery in 1996 has grown into a multifacetedenterprise recognised today as far North Queensland’s most trusted plant hire and total garden solution provider. “We started with casual and permanent indoor plant hire in the local area, “recalls Collin. “Word about Pynes’ carefully selected local staff and value for money Cairns plant hire service began to spread throughout Far North Queensland, and we expanded service to Port Douglas, Mareeba, Gordonvale and the Atherton Tablelands in 1998.” “By 1999 the Pynes team had grown to 10 professionally qualified horticulturalists and customer service specialists, and we constructed a large green house and plant rehabilitation nursery.” “Soon there were requests from clients for us to landscape and manage their gardens.” “Now, with our large team of our qualified horticulturists, landscaping and garden maintenance specialists, Pynes offers a high standard of service for indoor plant hire, landscaping, garden maintenance and lawn mowing.” “I enjoy the freedom of being my own boss, the challenge of finding new business, and the pleasure of working with a dedicated team,” adds Collin. “Our business is professionally run with documented systems, quality control and with qualified people, or staff undergoing accredited training.” Collin says the success of the business is due to its commitment to client satisfaction and quality.

“We do what we say we’ll do; and although we may be a little dearer, we provide consistent quality. “For me personally, satisfaction is doing your best for the customer and offering value for money while making a fair return on your endeavours.” “It’s also about providing a happy and stable work environment for our staff.”

Greatest mentor My wife - Diana. Personal inspiration To live by a code of ethics and feel satisfied and rewarded for your efforts in any pursuit, work, community and personal relations. Career highlights 18 years as a Trade Commissioner before building The Pynes trade mark to represent quality and reliability. Funniest experience The first few days after we bought this business when staff did not turn up for work. We had to try and undertake their jobs and had no real idea or experience in those roles. We learnt quickly! Vision for the future As Cairns grows we will see indoor plants as standard features in work places because of the positive health benefits for staff from such environments, and the very positive cost benefit return to their employers.




Nolan P

rofessional training and advice in security and weapons is at its best when it comes from Phil Nolan of SI&RS. The company has earned a reputation for professionalism and expertise in providing training for all weapons, firearms, and Certificate II and Certificate III in Security Operations throughout North Queensland, including Cairns, Cape York, Gulf-Savannah and the Torres Strait Islands. Phil’s diverse background led to establishing the SI&RS training firm in 1989. “Starting my own business in the area of my experience was a natural progression,” says Phil. “I learned to shoot on our family farm in Victoria when I was six years old.” “From then on I became engrossed with weapons.” “At age 15 I was an Army Cadet at school, then progressed to Sergeant and instructed other cadets in the use of weapons.” “This experience led to service in the Citizen Military Forces, and eventually joining the police force.” “I then served as a detective in the Russell Street CIB, Consorting Squad.” “They were the good old days, before SOG and SERT, when we planned and did our own raids,” says Phil. After retiring from Victoria Police, Phil moved to Cairns in 1980 and owned an Ampol servo on the corners of Sheridan and Lily Streets.

“It was an opportunity to meet so many wonderful people - most of them still very good friends today!” “Yet, after nine years, as you can guess, it was time for a change.” “I looked at the security industry, and could see where this was headed.” “I decided there was room for improvement.” From that moment, Phil’s extraordinary skill set from such a broad background and his desire to protect and serve the wider community; and teach people how to be responsible in


handling weapons became the foundation for SI&RS. “What I do isn’t just about training, but giving that little bit more to people who really want to learn the practical side of working in the security industry,” says Phil. “I think the success I have achieved with SI&RS is due to professionalism and the backup I have received from the Cairns CRM Gunsports team. SI&RS is also an adjunct to enjoying the knowledge I have gained over 61 years of shooting, and being able to pass it on to others. “Most of all, I love the outdoors life shooting offers, which is an inspiration to me.

Greatest mentor Geronimo - Never give up …. and not too proud to ride a donkey. My Dad - detective Brian ‘The Skull’ Murphy. Personal inspiration Train as many people as possible to respect Firearms and use them responsibly. Career highlight Qualifying at Detective Training School (DTS) and building a rundown servo nearly in liquidation to one of the top four in Cairns, with the assistance of my wife Denyse and family. Funniest experience I was driving a Police car chasing a stolen car which lost directional stability and crashed thru a fence, we could not stop in time and the offender ended up under the Police car. Very serious at the time but they were the good old days. Plenty more, but best they stay in my head. Vision for the Future For all citizens of Australia to learn to use and respect firearms. Firearms do NOT KILL. The fire arm is ONLY the tool of choice.

RE/MAX Cairns


Tony Willia m s o n

“The growth we will see in this region in the next few years is beyond what we have ever seen before.”


eal Estate icon Tony Williamson has always looked at the bigger picture, which is why he has so much confidence in the future growth of the place he calls home – Cairns. Born in Cairns and educated at Cairns North State School and Cairns High State School, Tony tested the water so to speak in real estate sales on home turf in the 1980’s, before moving south to complete a Bachelor of Commerce at James Cook University Townsville. “I had a love of finance, and thought I would enjoy accounting – which I did.” “I then built a successful accounting career with Price Waterhouse over a five year period,” says Tony. “This experience gave me a solid background for what is today my passion and pinnacle of success owning and operating my current RE/MAX Cairns agency– the Number 1 Real Estate office in the region.” However, Tony’s journey to obtain this prized achievement might not have happened at all if it hadn’t been for the strong Cairns-based roots he and his wife Asta had maintained. “It was a conversation at Christmas in 1998 on the back deck of my house with Asta that lead to a profound change,” he says. “That was ….do we move back to Cairns and enjoy the amazing lifestyle, or do we head overseas and chase the accounting career? “It was an easy decision with both of us having large families and lots

of friends in Cairns.” “I decided to buy the Century 21 Reef City business at 147 Mulgrave Road in 1999.” Tony then decided to change to RE/MAX in 2004. Two years later Tony sold his two RE/MAX Real Estate Franchises to work as a Real Estate Trainer, Consultant and Motivational Speaker. In January 2010, Tony re-entered the Cairns real estate market, re-establishing RE/MAX Cairns as one of the most proactive and largest agencies in the Cairns region. RE/MAX Cairns produces hundreds of millions in sales, redefining the real estate business in North Queensland. Tony has also embraced strong relationships throughout Asia and America, speaking and representing the Real Estate Industry at international conventions. This success is testament to Tony’s love of Cairns, which also inspires him to support the community in ways such as being a Non-Executive Director of organisations such as the ECU Australia Credit Union and more recently, a position on the Board of Directors of the Northern Pride Rugby League. “I am very proud of Cairns,” says Tony. “The growth we will see in this region in the next few years is beyond what we have ever seen before.” “It’s going to be a very exciting time!” RE/MAX Cairns is located at 330 Sheridan Street. Phone: 40 444 888.


Paul P


aul Lange was simply born to be an entrepreneur. From a Nullarbor Plain farm boy, to a highly successful Cairnsbased business man with offices in Australia and around the world, Paul’s career profile is impressive. Twenty years of expertise in organisational development consulting, Keynote speaking at national and international conferences, and the creation of e-learning content and platforms has seen him become the founder and CEO of ITAD Group International Training and Development, Student Welcome Services, Global Industry Training, Chelsea International, Australian Homestay Network, Raw Pixel, Accredited Online Training, Australian Vocational Learning Institute and Faxem International. “These online companies represent an evolving industry to address specific client needs,” says Paul. “An example of this is ITAD, which specialises in developing dynamic training courses, eLearning and software for major corporate clients and individuals worldwide. “This particular project challenged me to establish a Knowledge Processing Offshore (KPO) business, which is now expanding to service clients in the United Arab Emirates. “One of my early companies Accredited Online Training, was the first organisation to put a training college online.” “Since 2003 AOT has delivered high quality, interactive and nationally accredited qualifications and learning solutions to Australian and international markets.” Paul says juggling the roles of business consultant, facilitator, project manager, trainer and CEO is exciting and rewarding as a career that began by default. I left my family’s farm to become an electronics technician, which evolved into computers and working for Hewlett Packard,” recalls Paul.

“It’s funny, but once you start fixing computers, you automatically start training the software for them.” “Ideas for creating an online business began to crystallise.” “I moved to Vancouver implementing change management in companies before setting up my own business with $5000 on my credit card - half of which was spent on up scaling my computer, and no staff.” “Relocating to Cairns in 2002 really gave me the chance to settle down and create the successful outcome that is today seven very successful online companies.”

“I continue challenging myself to develop even better online solutions every day.” “The industry is all about innovation and adapting to the times.” Greatest mentor

Everyone – you would be surprised what you learn when you keep an open mind. Personal inspiration

The challenge of building and growing businesses. Career highlights

My family – they are why I do what I do. Running a multi-million dollar enterprise ensures that I can support my family with the best of what they need Funniest experience

Having to decide between shotguns and machineguns for our security detail in Papua New Guinea – we chose a combination of both. Vision for the Future

To enjoy more balance between work and family life, and the place I love – Cairns.


CaPTA Group

Charles woodward C

airns icon Charles Woodward sees a positive future for the CaPTA Group and its proactive approach in supporting the region’s reputation as a world-class tourist destination. Born and bred in Cairns, Charles has always been an advocate of the region’s tropical beauty and its potential for building a tourism empire. Having graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce at Queensland University in the late 1960s, Charles travelled to Europe where he worked and travelled for three years. During that time Charles says he realised Cairns had a very generous future in tourism, with the Great Barrier Reef on its doorstep, beautiful beaches and tropical rainforests. “I married my wife Philippa in the UK in 1974, and returned to Cairns where I bought an orange orchard at Kuranda,” says Charles. “Two years later it became the tourist attraction that is today Rainforestation Nature Park.” “This was the first of a successful range of tourism attractions which now also includes the Australian Butterfly Sanctuary, The Wildlife Habitat, Tropic Wings Cairns Tours, Jungle Tours & Trekking and the Cairns Zoom and Wildlife Dome under the CaPTA Group.” “We also recently opened the Careers Training Centre which is a Registered Training Organisation specialising in hospitality and Indigenous training.” “I enjoyed travelling the world over the years to seek new ideas to support local tourism, yet I couldn’t be prouder of the Cairns region and its tourism profile.” “It’s been a hard slog in the tourism industry since the GFC, but it’s improving as time goes on.” “Success for me is about building a business for the family, and the business becoming a part of the family.” “My boys – Ben, Peter and Michael are all part of CaPTA, and have their own vision for the Group.” “Ben - Director of Sales and Marketing, believes it’s imperative we continue an active and strong


presence across all international, domestic and local markets, and remain adaptable to how these markets are evolving, keeping up to date on new technology and how the decisionmaking and booking process is changing for the consumer.” “Peter’s vision is for CaPTA to be a leading professional tourism operation, with the best trained staff and ‘best practice’ systems in place.” “For Michael – now GM of Cains Zoom and Wildlife Dome, it’s continually improving our service offering, which is exemplified in Cairns Zoom.” “Michael says he wants Cairns to be recognised as a region with so many diverse experiences, and for CaPTA to have the best reputation for exceeding customer expectations.”

“This is my legacy continuing my work as an advocate of Cairns tourism and its growth.” Greatest mentor My Dad! Personal inspiration Working with a team of 200 dedicated staff. Funniest experience Playing golf in exotic locations with the greatest bunch of tourism guys called the World-famous Golfing Toads. We had elephants and camels as alternative golf buggy transportation.

Total Safety Services


O’ Donoghue T

he driving force behind respected Cairns-based Total Safety Services (TSS) and sister company Queensland Training Services Pty Ltd (QTS) is the experience and professionalism of director Laurie O’ Donoghue. In 2003, Laurie established Total Safety Services following many years as a principal work health and safety consultant/trainer and manager with the National Safety Council of Australia; and experience as work health and safety coordinator for the Catholic Diocese of Cairns. Laurie expanded his business with Queensland Training Services Pty Ltd, which commenced operation in 2005. Today, the two companies are the foundation of a work health and safety consultancy and registered training organisation that covers all bases. “Our trainers have extensive, hands-on experience so clients receive the right information from people who have worked in the field and are up to date with industry and legislative changes,” says Laurie. “We cover work health and safety, safety in the construction industry, training and assessment, business qualifications, fire safety, traffic management, confined space and working at heights, training in high risk occupations and certifications; and auditing and consultancy.”


“Our company success is built on being a locally based business, employing locals to service locals in North Queensland.” “It’s also working with people and organisations to determine and implement solutions rather than just telling them what to do!” “These are principals I’ve taught my son Ben, his wife Tina and our daughter Kylie, who are working with me to manage a broad range of management, work health and safety services.”

“TSS and QTS offer clients a level of experience and working strategies geared for their specific requirements.” “Having my children continue this work is important, especially as my wife Sue and I look forward to a balance between work and time to relax in future. “The aim is to ensure a seamless transition down the track when I hand over the reins.” Until then, Laurie says it’s business as usual!

“Sharing knowledge gained from my early days in the insurance industry, particularly as a claims manager prior to becoming a health and safety consultant, gives them greater understanding of the business from a different perspective.”

Greatest mentor At least 15 people have played key roles in mentoring me over the years.

“What I learned in insurance opened my eyes to what can go wrong in terms of workplace health and safety.

Personal inspiration The diversity and challenge of my job.

Career highlights Having my wife and children work with me in a business I take pride in due to the level of client satisfaction it generates.

Vision for the future To see TSS and QTS continue success as specialised work health and safety consultancy and training businesses that span generations as a family legacy.

Donnini’s Simply Italian

Tiberio D o n n i n i


return to Cairns to delight locals with the Donnini family tradition in fine Italian cuisine is taking a ‘back to the future’ approach, says restaurant entrepreneur Tiberio Donnini. Although Tiberio is referring to an inspired blend of classic Italian dishes along with a modern spin, it’s fair to say Donnini’s Simply Italian restaurant at the Hilton is the future of past success. Prior to the recent opening of Donnini’s Simply Italian restaurant, Tiberio made his mark in Cairns in 1993 with the establishment of the popular Donnini’s Ciao Italia. He eventually sold the restaurant prior to moving back to Melbourne, where the awardwinning Italian Donnini family restaurants have been an integral part of the city’s dining scene since 1952. Yet, when the Hilton Hotel in Cairns approached Tiberio to bring Donnini’s distinctive style to this revered dining venue, he says his love of the area, its people and what it has to offer helped him make a proactive decision. “It’s great to be back in Cairns,” says Tiberio. “I love the atmosphere, the people, and the history of the Italian community.” “I particularly enjoy listening to the stories of the Italian people, which is a highlight for me.” “My son Vinnie was also born in Cairns, so it’s like coming home.” Yet, getting down to business, Tiberio says there’s one key ingredient Cairns has that he highly prizes – fresh local produce. “The region has such an abundance of fresh, quality produce, which we are using to create genuine food for our patrons at Donnini’s Simply Italian,” he says.


“Incorporating the local produce and serving the Donnini family’s signature handmade pasta makes the Italian cuisine on offer a one-of-a-kind dining experience in one of Cairn’s best locations.” “The Hilton is a wonderful venue, and has such ambience with its lovely inlet view.” “I am also pleased to have my associate Greg Peters as manager.” “Greg and I have known each other for 25 years.” “So I am very happy for him to be on board to assist with the running of Donnini’s Simply Italian restaurant.”

Greatest mentor My parents – Fernando and Elena, and Zio Gianni. They taught me the business. Personal inspiration I enjoy life, and working with my family! Career highlights Winning many national and international awards such as Best Italian Restaurant in Australasia. Vision for the future A Donnini’s ‘back to the future’ twist on classical Italian cooking.

Elite Cairns


C L YD E - S M I T H

“I have much faith in Elite Cairns and its staff to achieve this and continue reaching even greater levels of success.”


lite Cairns principal Greg ClydeSmith finds great satisfaction in watching his team grow and achieve success in the highly competitive real estate industry. With 40 years’ experience in the industry, the regional chairman of the Real Estate Institute of Queensland says building a successful business is about helping his staff excel. “I am very proud of the growth of Elite Cairns and particularly its staff over the past two years,” says Greg. “It’s a pleasure to be a part of a business that enables me to create successful people and watch them prosper.” “While it’s good to see your business’s bottom line increasing, money is just a tool to do things with – especially nurturing and developing your staff ’s potential.” Having worked with several recognised Real Estate franchises, Greg has maximised on his incredible drive and adaptability to lean quickly over the years by building his own boutique Real Estate brand. Although it’s set up to facilitate a franchise opportunity, Greg says he doesn’t want Cairns Elite to take that direction just yet.w “Currently I’m focused on expanding the business, with having established our specialised property management company office at Whitfield to create more room at the Edge Hill sales office,” says Greg. “We have 23 staff, and expect to have 30 by the end of the year.” Greg adds the training of staff is what motivates him to continue his legacy in the real estate industry. He doesn’t see himself retiring any time soon, yet admits he’d like to enjoy more time for family and taking holidays.

“I’ll always remain a part of the business, eventually working part time and entrusting the staff I have personally developed to keep things running smoothly.” “I have much faith in Elite Cairns and its staff to achieve this and continue reaching even greater levels of success.”

Personal inspiration

I enjoy sharing what I have learned with others. I didn’t start out in real estate. I was a fitter and turner in Sydney’s dockyards, after coming off the land in New South Wales. I developed an interest in property, and on the advice of someone who encouraged me to look at real estate sales, I did just that! I was 21 years old. Forty years later I am still doing what I do best, and enjoying helping others who want to achieve great things in this industry. Career highlights

The many awards my staff have won, and being inducted into the REIQ Hall of Fame for being awarded Best Agency in Cairns for three years in a row. Vision for the Future

To ensure Elite Cairns remains a leader in the real estate industry with highly skilled staff offering excellent customer service.


Trinity Anglican School (TAS)


Daunt Watney


or Trinity Anglican School (TAS) principal Christopher Daunt Watney, helping students become future leaders goes beyond old school perceptions. Thirty years of experience in teaching and holding key positions at a number of acclaimed schools overseas and in Australia has led Christopher to the conclusion that ‘education is much more than simply passing examinations’. “It’s about helping to develop well-rounded, socially aware, resilient leaders who are prepared to take their place as contributors to their society,” says Christopher. “That’s why I enjoy my role as principal at Trinity Anglican School.” Christopher adds the program at TAS, which includes a disciplined learning environment and demanding expectations, is focused on helping students achieve at a high level. This is supported by a world class Outdoor Education program together with the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme, a full co-curricular and sporting program, excellent and pastoral care, as well as extensive overseas exchange opportunities and Service projects. However, a commitment to the Round Square pillars: Internationalism, Democracy, Environment, Adventure, Leadership and Service philosophy is what Christopher says underpins all that the school does.


“TAS is a Global Member of the Round Square organisation - a loose affiliation of 104 schools worldwide,” explains Christopher. “The other major element at TAS is the commitment of outstanding, dedicated and professional colleagues.” It’s said that if you can see the attributes of others, those attributes are often what we also possess. Christopher’s dedication to education, teaching and the guidance of young people in discovering their talents and abilities within the school environment and a sound curriculum is worthy of recognition. For a man who initially considered law studies, only to discover a passion for working with young people through teaching, Christopher has followed his heart in pursuing a career that allows him to help others attain the goals they want to achieve.

“There’s nothing more rewarding than working with young people and their families,” says Christopher. “Children are our most valuable resource!”

Greatest mentor My Housemaster from school in England - Eric Harrison; and friend and colleague: Nigel Slade. Personal inspiration The young people I work with every day. Career highlights Head of History, Hillcrest Secondary School, Nairobi, Kenya; Head of English and Senior Housemaster - The Armidale School; Head of English, PLC Pymble; Deputy Headmaster and Head of Senior School, SCECGS Redlands, Sydney; Headmaster Redlands, Sydney; Principal Trinity Anglican School, Cairns Funniest experience Watching a student dressed in my clothes for a Year 12 revue do a send up of my mannerisms, probably more convincingly than they appear in the original! Vision for the future To continue to nurture, support, challenge, excite, and inspire young people and staff to be the very best that they can be.

Jackson and Jackson

B o b jackson J

ackson and Jackson Refrigeration Pty Ltd is a company making headway in a tough economic climate, says manager Bob Jackson. The company has just purchased a new, larger building in Cairns to facilitate a range of diversified projects that includes two currently in progress overseas – one in Iran and another in Fiji. These projects, in addition to ongoing work in the Cairns region are continuing the company’s long tradition in providing domestic and commercial air conditioning, and commercial and industrial electrical and refrigeration. “We have a reputation for meeting the challenges posed by large, complex projects and the provision of an experienced in-house design and advisory service for all projects, including unique, one off projects,” says Bob. “Jackson and Jackson Refrigeration has enjoyed much repeat business over the years, and established many long term client relationships.” “Our focus is on delivering complete packages in sustainable cooling solutions for electrical, air conditioning and refrigeration services from supply and installation, to repairs and servicing.” “I’ve been in this industry since 1962, and continue to enjoy it.” “What I enjoy most are the engineering challenges, and working on solutions to achieve better energy efficiencies with refrigeration and air conditioning.” “We are a very credible and honest organisation constantly working on new challenges to ensure even greater service.” “Our level of expertise is the best in this area, which I find rewarding.” “I believe we live in the best country in the world, and if one has certain abilities they should be prepared to contribute to it.”

“Many people before us have been prepared to make the supreme sacrifice so that we can enjoy the lifestyle and success that we enjoy today.”

“My father was prepared to fight for this country.” “Fortunately he came home.” “So the contribution we make today is infinitesimal compared to our forefather’s.” “It’s great to have a goal, but you also have to enjoy the journey in reaching that goal.” “We always tell our new apprentices that if they don’t enjoy the job, don’t do it!” “I’ve just turned 67 and work extremely hard every day.” “I am grateful that I can still do it at my age.”

Greatest mentor Keith Greenhalgh - the employer where I did my apprenticeship.

Personal inspiration My parents taught me basic old fashion values which have stood me in good stead through life.

Career highlights Being a leader in our field is a big highlight.

Vision for the future Our company is well positioned for the future. Going forward we are looking at future opportunities with possible projects in Cuba and Thailand, as well as maintaining our services to the local region.






nassuming and hardworking, restaurateur Gary Low takes success in his stride. The owner of the popular Dundee’s restaurant on the Cairns waterfront continues to enjoy a love affair with hospitality that started with a seven-year post as General Manager of one of Australia’s famous resorts - Lizard Island back in the 80s. His move to Cairns, and subsequent ownership of Dundee’s following his successful operation of the Lizard Island resort, has seen Gary face challenges that proved his tenacity in the face of adversity. “Success is working hard at something and not giving up until you have achieved your ultimate goal,” says Gary. “Dundee’s exemplifies this for me; having seen it go through some tough times, and yet it remains one of Cairns prized dining venues for both locals and visitors.” “An infamous Australian airline strike, changing locations, and maintaining consistency in trademark cuisine and top service on a wave of changing trends in hospitality have all contributed to turning adversity into success.” “I’m pleased with the way Dundee’s has evolved over the years, especially in reestablishing a strong local clientele.” “It’s also about location, location, location – having been patient enough to wait for the Harbour Lights


waterfront development to be completed to move into our current premises.” “The beautiful waterfront views Dundee’s offers are a huge asset – lending to a relaxed dining experience, complemented by great food.” Gary says he was pleasantly surprised recently when he saw a worldwide report on the best industries for future growth and prosperity – nominating hospitality and organics as the top two. “So it looks like we’re on the right track; with a great team at Dundee’s, and my recent venture, providing the means whereby microorganisms can turn waste into organic fertiliser.” “I spent some time farming citrus and peaches, and believe passionately the future is in organic farming.” “I’ve witnessed amazing results in organic farming which will positively impact future food production and our environment.”

“I look forward to a future where I can enjoy the fulfilment I derive from both my experiences in hospitality and my interest in organics.”

Greatest mentor Professor Ruiz, Doctorate in microbiology: His global vision for a healthier environment by promoting organic farming is inspiring. Personal inspiration Waking up every morning ready to take on the day’s challenges, and the interesting people I meet. Career highlights Dundee’s’ success and working with shareholders -Tina (manager) and James Wort (Executive Chef). Funniest experience The cat walked across my computer keyboard stepping on the purchase keys while I was doing some Futures trading. The cat made an income of $1,800. Vision for the Future Cairns and local tourism can only get better and better, especially having attracted projects like the resort development Aquis.

SVS Auto and Dyno Tuning

Leigh H o l m aN


etting benchmarks is the norm for Auto Repairs and Dyno Tuning, making its mark in a competitive industry under the leadership of Leigh Holman. SVS, owned and operated by Leigh and his wife Liz, offers a wide range of mechanical service including quality vehicle service, repairs and improvements to all cars, commercial vehicles, four wheel drives and light trucks. General repairs include, engine, transmission and differential repairs and overhauls, steering and suspension repairs and upgrades, brake service, repairs and upgrades, cooling systems, doors and windows. Improvements range from diesel and petrol dyno tuning, chips and performance modules, turbo systems, intercoolers, superchargers, custom and mandrel exhausts, 4x4 snorkels, brakes, suspension, almost any modification or improvement. “I’ve always been in to cars, ever since I was about 12 years old,” says Leigh. “I started my apprenticeship in 1974, and became an auto repair business owner in July 1984. “I wasn’t interested in anything else.”

“What I still love about the business is the people, the cars - just walking in to SVS every day puts a smile on my face.” “It’s very satisfying being able to repair or improve a car that has given other mechanics a headache.” “A car is a huge investment for a family, so it needs to be cared for properly.” “I love coaching people to do more than the manufacturer recommends, which is just not adequate.” “SVS is a very proud workshop.” “What we have achieved as an independent auto repairer is enviable in our industry.” “We ask for respect and we get it!” “This shows in our workmanship - going the extra mile whether it’s a general service or full rebuild.”


SVS also participates in many community projects, and recently repaired a car stolen from a Defence Force Veteran. “The car was trashed by a group of youths.” “We carried out mechanical repairs and coordinated our network of other automotive tradies to bring the car back to better than original condition.” “It was rewarding both emotionally and for the business.”

Greatest mentor My good mate Colin Campbell – he’s guided me through life since I was in my early 20’s. Personal inspiration It’s all about toys… If I haven’t got a toy like - a fast car, boat, race car or go-kart, there’s usually one on its way. Career highlights Purchasing our new workshop in Muir Street is definitely the highlight of my career. Funniest experience The workshop is a serious place, but funny things do happen. In 1980, a Mazda Bongo van fell completely off the hoist, but didn’t sustain one bit of damage. Vision for the future We are constantly resetting our goals, improving procedures, training technicians, and have discussed franchising the SVS brand.

19 Muir St, Bungalow QLD 4870 P 4041 0201

Ultimate Party Cairns & Cairns City Explorer

aul P E a d ie


raham G S m ar t

“It’s when people thank you for a great night out, and come back with us time and time again, that makes it all the more worthwhile.”


he foundations of one of the most successful businesses in Cairns were laid somewhere on an infamous party island in Greece. It was the late 1990s, and Paul Eadie and Graham Smart were spending the Australian winters running party tours on the Greek island of Ios, and returning in the summer to host party cruises on the Gold Coast. Graham suggested Cairns would be an ideal destination for a similar tour. Despite having never visited the Far North, Paul booked a one-way ticket and arrived in Cairns on January 10, 2000. “I instantly fell in love with the town, and a few weeks later we were up and running,” Paul recalls. Paul and Graham admit they’re pretty lucky. They have what many would consider a dream job, running the popular party bus cruise company Ultimate Party Cairns, and the new double decker tour bus Cairns City Explorer. Ultimate Party Cairns has earned itself a reputation as the city’s best pub and club tour, operating a doubledecker party bus every Wednesday and Saturday night, as well as a monthly party at Fitzroy Island and other special events. They’re now into their 15th year in business, but it hasn’t been all fun and games. Like any business owner, Paul and Graham oversee a team of staff and also play a hands-on role in the operation and marketing of the businesses – which operate seven days a week. “Graham and myself both multi-task and share most duties. I tend to look after the marketing and promotional side of things and Graham looks after the day to day operations, but we overlap both roles and each of us can jump in and help where ever is needed,” Paul says. “This hasn’t really changed much over time. We each have full trust and faith in the other to get the job done and trust and respect the choices each of us make.” That included launching the hop-on, hop-off City Explorer tours earlier this year. Two double decker buses now tour the city of Cairns, offering passengers full commentary in eight languages – English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean and Chinese. Since arriving in Cairns, the pair has branched into a


number of ventures, including a bar and restaurant, travel agency, backpackers hostel, travellers car market and a fishing tour. But as the profile of Ultimate Party grew, they decided to make it their core focus. This accompanied a dramatic shift in trade, from 98 per cent international travellers when they started, to around 50 per cent domestic customers today. “It is great to see how much the locals have embraced us and enjoy what we do,” Paul says. “Over the years we have watched people grow up, some joining us for their 18th, 21st and 30th. People have even met their partners on our tour, married and joined us for their hens and buck nights, and privately chartered the bus for wedding transfers. Just a few more years and they might be joining us for their own children’s 18ths.” Both Paul and Graham agree, the highlight of their work is helping to create memorable occasions and happy moments with friends and family.

What is your greatest inspiration? The greatest inspiration is the hard work and support that each of us give each other in our business partnership. Your greatest challenge? Our greatest challenge is people seeing us as a proper business and not just one big party. Your biggest achievement? 15 years of a successful partnership and purchasing two new buses. Secret to success? Dedication, commitment, consistency and hard work. Vision for the future? Growing the Cairns City Explorer to service the northern beaches and Crystal Cascades.

MIB 2014/2015  

MIB 2014/2015

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