Blacktown News - August 2022

Page 1


ISSUE 17 | August 2022



Inspiring teacher wins innovation award


Approval for Blacktown Workers $500M project


BOMAD HOT SPOT As Blacktown property prices surge young buyers are turning to the Bank of Mum and Dad in record numbers


OUNGSTERS are closing in on deals and buying their dream homes earlier than their anticipated timeline, courtesy of the Bank of Mum and Dad (BoMaD). An interesting trend has emerged in the real estate sector - a whopping 60% of first home buyers have been financed by their well-meaning parents


to make their property dreams a reality. Interestingly, 2021 was a record year for Australia’s ninth biggest money lender, BoMaD. If statistics are to be believed, the BoMaD loans are currently hovering at a staggering $34B mark. In Western Sydney, Blacktown Local Government Area is considered a hotspot for BoMaD properties. More: page 6.


Blacktown City



403,000 population


$21.67 billion economy


average economic growth

27,247 registered businesses

153,193 local jobs

ROLL UP YOUR SLEEVES FOR THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT BLOOD CHALLENGE! Join our team and give blood or plasma towards Blacktown City Council’s tally between 1 July and 30 September. Last year, our Council proudly took out first place in Australia for the fourth consecutive year, making 324 donations and saving 972 lives. In July, Council staff member Lachlan (pictured), made his first donation as part of the challenge. How can I get involved? The annual challenge is open to anyone who would like to donate towards the Council team tally. You can register to join our team by asking the nurse for your donation to be recorded on the Blacktown City Council tally when you donate. Donations can be made at the mobile blood donor van which will visit Blacktown, Rouse Hill, Plumpton and Marsden Park regularly from July through to September. Or donate plasma at the Red Cross Blood Service’s donor centres at Jamisontown (Nepean Donor Centre) or Parramatta. To book an appointment, visit

• White Street, Shanes Park Road, Eighth Avenue Bridge, South Creek Road – Shanes Park • Garfield Road West, Carnarvon Road, Clark Street, Riverstone Road, The Avenue at Walker Parade (Angus) – Riverstone • Palmerston Road, Simpson Hill Road – Mount Druitt • Townsend Road, Durham Road, Kerry/Angus Road, Jersey Road – Schofields.

Important flood recovery notice Once again residents and businesses in Blacktown City have been hit with a severe weather event resulting in flash flooding, road closures and evacuations in some parts of the city. Our thanks go out to our council crews, along with SES, RFS, ADF, and other emergency services who have been working around the clock dealing with the flooding. Council will once again provide a free clean-up service in the flood affected areas. Starting from Saturday 9 July, Council have been operating a curb-side pickup service for damaged goods and household furniture in flood-affected areas. The following suburbs and streets will be visited by Council crews until the goods have been removed. Residents will not need to book for this service.

Council is aware there may be other areas requiring curb-side pickup. Residents in flood-affected areas can contact Council’s call centre with further questions on 9839 6000. Please note that the regular Council curb-side waste collection will operate as usual. Please book via Council’s website. Council, in partnership with Resilience NSW and the Riverstone Neighbourhood Centre has established a Recovery Assistance Point for residents affected by floods. This Recovery point, located within Riverstone Neighbourhood Centre, brings together a number of agencies including Council, Services Australia, Red Cross, Legal Aid, Insurance agencies and Resilience NSW, providing a one-stop shop for flood victims. Financial support is also available from the NSW Government for residents affected by floods. For more information visit

Blacktown City Council acknowledges the Darug people as the traditional owners of the land on which Blacktown City was built.

Blacktown City Family Fish In Our fishiest event is back in 2022 - the Blacktown City Family Fish In! Held over the weekends of 5 - 6 and 12 - 13 August, 600 trout will be game for all fishing enthusiasts wanting to try their luck at the perfect catch. All you need to bring is your own fishing rod, fishing line and bait. This event is proceeding under a permit from NSW Department of Primary Industries. Spots are limited and are selling fast. To secure your tickets, visit

Email us:

Call us: 9839 6000

Visit us: 62 Flushcombe Road, Blacktown

Mail us: PO Box 63, Blacktown 2148


ISSUE 17 | August 2022



Stella wins award for innovation DALLAS SHERRINGHAM


TELLA Ding is an award-winning teacher at The Ponds High School who is taking education to a new level in these difficult times of lockdown and isolation for students. Now, Stella has just been recognised for her work as one of Australia’s most inspiring teachers in the 2022 Commonwealth Bank Teaching Awards. Run in partnership with Australian Schools Plus, the Awards recognise the amazing contribution teachers and school leaders make, and is the largest national program to acknowledge excellence in education. Stella is one of only 10 winners selected for the inaugural Early Careers Teaching Award, shortlisted from more than 400 educators. In just four years of teaching at The Ponds High School, Stella has designed new and innovative STEM opportunities for her students and made impressive contributions to student wellbeing and her colleagues’ professional development during lockdown. With a drive to make STEM fun for her students, Stella founded an after-school STEM Club, which now attracts more than 50 students every week. Through coding and design challenges, she introduces her students to real-world applications of STEM – the latest project saw the club launching native beehives to help educate the entire school about the important role of bees in our ecology. She has also coached several student

teams to success in competitive STEM competitions, with one of her teams winning the 2021 IBM Edtech Youth Competition. Stella will receive $10,000 in recognition of her outstanding achievements, to go towards professional development and mentoring. "I’m extremely honored to be receiving the Commonwealth Bank Teaching Award and I’m also incredibly grateful for the opportunities that I've been very lucky to have had at The Ponds High School. “I’m very excited to begin the awards program and to continue making a positive impact on the students I work with,” Stella said.

Teaching excellence In partnership with national charity Schools Plus, the 2022 Commonwealth Bank Teaching Awards celebrates and rewards edu-

cators for demonstrating teaching excellence and helping to address the education gap in schools across the country. These remarkable teachers have gone above and beyond in spite of unique challenges from an unprecedented year. Faced with devastating natural disasters and ongoing classroom disruptions due to Covid, the teachers were quick to adopt innovative and resilient education practices that fostered personal connection with students, asserting their place among the best in the country. Their initiatives include everything from developing unique learning programs such as ‘Annual Mathematics Olympics’ and ‘Project Medical School’, to pioneering new eSports and drone technology courses. This year, and for the past six years, the Awards have recognised 12 outstanding teachers with a $45,000 Teaching Fellowship

Stella Ding.

to fund a strategic program in their school and provide unique opportunities for professional development. Luke Schepen, Head of Community Investment Commonwealth Bank, said: “The Commonwealth Bank Teaching Awards recognise outstanding educators who go above and beyond to nurture young minds for a bright future.”

Mayor calls for better flood action


LACKTOWN Mayor Tony Bleasdale OAM has paid tribute to the incredible efforts of emergency services crews in the wake of recent flooding. At the same time, Mayor Bleasdale has called on all levels of Government to work together to come up with longterm, sustainable plans to deal with floods that are occurring with increasing regularity.

The recent severe weather event resulted in flooding, road closures and evacuations in some parts of Blacktown City, with the city declared a natural disaster area for the second time in six months. “A huge thank you goes out to our volunteers, emergency services workers and our own Council crews for their efforts during the second major flooding event to hit our City in a matter of months,”

Mayor Bleasdale said. More than 23 tonnes of waste has been collected from Blacktown Streets so far.’ To organise collection of flood waste in other areas, contact Blacktown City Council Customer Service on 9839 6000. For more information about flood assistance, visit:

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ISSUE 17 | August 2022 How to get The News The Blacktown News is available at strategic locations throughout Blacktown LGA. To find a location near you visit our website.

Digital edition Each edition of The Blacktown News can be viewed and downloaded in





ISSUE 17 | AUgUS t 2022






Inspiring teacher wins innovation award

Approval for Blacktown Workers $500M project



BOMAD HOT SPOT As Blacktown property prices surge young buy turning to the Bank of Mum ers are and Dad in rec ord numbers


OUNGSTERS are closin g in on deals and their dream home buying s earlier than their anticipated timeline, courtesy of the Bank of Mum and (BoMaD). An intere sting trend has emerg Dad the real estate secto ed in r - a whopping 60% buyers have been of first home financed by their well-meaning paren ts


Read the digital edition 24/7 at our website

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Editor's PickS

ISSUE 17 | August 2022


to make their prope rty dreams a reality . Interestingly, 2021 was a record year for Australia’s ninth biggest mone lender, BoMaD. If statistics are to be y believed, the BoMa loans are currently D hovering at a stagg ering $34B mark. In Western Sydne y, Blacktown Local Gover considered a hotsp ot for BoMaD prope nment Area is rties. More: page 6.




Admin and General Editor Michael Walls

Newsroom News Editor Dallas Sherringham

Advertising sales


This event brings together our local communities in all areas of Blacktown for an evening of laughter, entertainment and fundraising support.


Mount Druitt Swimming Pool will be a fishers paradise in August with the pool teeming with 600 succulent Snowy Mountains trout ready to be hooked.


A critical new service is available to cancer patients at Blacktown Hospital Cancer Centre, thanks to the generosity of Blacktown Ponds Lions Club.

Julie Jackson





Rebecca Swaleh

Design and production Design2Pro, Words and Pixels.

Platinum Media Partner The Blacktown News is platinum media partner for the Greater Blacktown Business Chamber

MEET THE KARENS OF 2022 If your name is David or Sarah, congratulations,you are famous for complaining most aboutanything and everything.


I must admit up front that I am a Netflix addict, thanks to the pandemic and too much time on my hands in lock-down.


From the streets of Mt Druitt to the NRL and a successful business career, Peter Shiels has had an amazinig journey.

SECTIONS Support Partner The Blacktown News is the official media partner of Blacktown FC.

News............................................... 4 Stephen Bali................................... 7 Blacktown Workers......................... 8 Michelle Rowland......................... 16 Loacl Business Awards................ 17

Magazine ..................................... 33 Healthy Western Sydney.............. 34 Games.......................................... 36 Travel............................................ 37 Trends.......................................... 38

Fitness.......................................... 39 Property........................................ 40 Auto.............................................. 41 Films............................................. 42 Sport............................................. 45

WEXPO coming soon to Blacktown Workers Club | Stall enquires:


ISSUE 17 | August 2022


Mayor condemns top cop assault


LACKTOWN Mayor Tony Bleasdale has condemned violence in all its forms after a Councillor and senior police officer was allegedly assaulted. Councillor Bob Fitzgerald, who is a long-serving member of NSW Police and a Chief Inspector at Blacktown Local Area Command, was allegedly assaulted by three teens on his way to work on Monday morning. Mayor Bleasdale said the alleged attack was despicable, involving one of the most respected members of the Blacktown City community. “Cr Fitzgerald is a pillar of our community who has earned widespread respect over many years,” he said. “Not only is he a dedicated police officer, but he is also a community volunteer, and a passionate Blacktown City

Councillor who has given so much to his community for so long. “As Mayor, I condemn this alleged attack on one our City’s finest and denounce violence in all its forms.” Mayor Bleasdale said Blacktown City Council was committed to promoting a culture of non-violence through its work with NSW Police, the PCYC and a range of other community organisations. “Council is committed to creating a safe community for our residents to live, work and play,” he said. “We pursue this through our Crime Prevention Plan and work with our local police.” Three teenagers have been charged and are due to appear at a children’s court today. Police are urging witnesses to come forward.

Blacktown City Mayor Tony Bleasdale OAM with Councillor Bob Fitzgerald, who was elected to Council in 2021.

EPA reacts to incinerator plan DALLAS SHERRINGHAM


HE Environmental Planning Authority has issued a response to our front page story on the plans to build a massive incinerator in the heart of our district. We reported on the recent major rally against the incinerator project tagged ‘Say No to Eastern Creek Incinerator’.

The Rally sent a strong ‘No Incinerator’ message to the State Government over the construction of any large-scale incinerators at Eastern Creek in Western Sydney. At the invitation of Mayor Tony Bleasdale, a large group of local residents gathered at Minchinbury Oval to hear from a range of speakers including Federal MP and Minister for Climate Change and Energy Chris Bowen, the Member for Blacktown Stephen Bali, the Member for Mount


Druitt Edmond Atalla and representatives from the Greens and the ‘No Incinerators for Western Sydney’ residents’ group. Blacktown City Council has been fighting against the incinerators for eight years. In 2018 plans for an energy from waste incinerator at Eastern Creek were thrown out by the NSW Planning Department and the Land and Environment Court. In a short statement a spokesperson for the NSW EPA responded to the story and the rally:

“The previous application by The Next Generation for an energy from waste facility at Eastern Creek was refused by the Independent Planning Commission in July 2018. The Next Generation has appealed the Commission’s decision to refuse the application in the NSW Land and Environment Court. As this matter is before the court, we are unable to comment further at this time. Additional enquires on this matter should be directed to the Department of Planning.”

CoveR StorY


ISSUE 17 | August 2022


Blacktown a borrower hot spot SASWATI MUKHERJEE


OUNSGTERS are closing in on deals and buying their dream homes earlier than their anticipated timeline, courtesy the Bank of Mum and Dad (BoMaD). An interesting trend has emerged in the real estate sector - a whopping 60% of first home buyers have been financed by their well-meaning parents to make their property dreams a reality. Interestingly, 2021 was a record year for Australia’s ninth biggest money lender, BoMaD. If statistics are correct the BoMaD loans are currently hovering at a staggering $34B mark. In Western Sydney, Blacktown Local Government Area (LGA) and Ryde are considered hotspots for BoMaD properties, with Queanbeyan, Albury and Coffs Harbour being their counterparts in regional NSW. The current crop of BoMaD home buyers and lenders face a steep challenge ahead of them – a slowing property market along with rising interest rates. A combination of these two factors is enough to present them with complex financial pressures. “Our data identifies key markets across metro and regional NSW where home values are starting to fall, which increases the risk of negative equity for some previous purchasers. The LGA

of Ryde has seen a 16.8% fall in property values. We are also seeing slight dips in home prices in regional LGAs. These trends could signal that it is time to assess the BoMaD buyers and lenders’ financial future,” says Don Harb, COO of National Property Group. However, property values in Blacktown have surged with a jump of 34% jump between July 2020 and April 2022. The Reserve Bank of Australia governor Philip Lowe has recently asked borrowers to brace themselves for a further rise in interest rates, given that inflation is expected to remain high for quite a few years ahead. Interest rate rise going further into 2022 and 2023 is bound to put further pressure on money lenders and borrowers. Given the impact increasing interest rates are expected to have on people’s borrowing power, it is probable even more first home buyers will rely upon the BoMaD for financial support. Those who borrow money from their

Don Harb, COO of National Property Group.

parents to fund a property are twice as likely to default on their mortgage within five years. “Even though there will continue to be some downward pressure on pricing, the interest rates hikes will mean first home buyers will find it harder to enter the market. We feel there will be continuation of parents assisting their children in purchasing property which is likely to create an even greater divide in higher income earners compared to lower income groups. It is too hard to know what impact this may have, but time will tell,” says Monique Dower of Belle Property Balmain. • At a glance - Blacktown LGA • The Blacktown LGA property values have increased by 35.5% from July 2021 to April 2022.

• 74.4% of dwellings are houses. 15.4% are semi-detached dwellings. • Home ownership status – Blacktown LGA: 46.2% of properties are being purchased, 20.9% are being rented through an agent, 0.06% are fully owned. • Monthly home loan repayments – Blacktown LGA: 25.1% are repayments of $1,800 - $2,399, 16.1% are repayments of $2,400 - $2,999, 13.9% are repayments of $1,400 - $1,799. • The Blacktown LGA demographic is diverse with the main age groups being 25-34 years (15.5%), and 35-44 years (15.3%). • A majority of people living in the Blacktown LGA are married (71.1%). 9% are a lone parent and 8.7% are a lone person. • 55.5% of people who live in the Blacktown LGA are couples with children. • Most (12.8%) residents in the Blacktown LGA fall within a weekly household income of between $2,000 and $2,499. 12.7% have a weekly household income of between $1,500 - $1,999. • 42.8% of Blacktown LGA residents work full time, 17.3% work part-time, 35% are not in the labour force and 5% are unemployed. (Source: National Property Group Neighbourhood Report data)




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Inside the bank of mum and dad: 16


Grant owes his life to mate Echo


RANT Hews has a great reason to be inseparabl e from his best mate and savior, Echo the Maltese Terrier. You see, Echo saved Grant’s life when he fell into a diabetic coma and when Grant was admitted to Blacktown hospital, the pair were lost without each

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other. And we all know the healing power of an animal, a power that should never be underestimated. The heartwarming story begins in late diagnosed with COVID-19 December when Grant was and other underlying health issues at the hospital. More: page 6.

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How Afghan women typify our diversity: 18


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around Blacktown!

• important commun ity announcements • upcoming events • transformational projects • school holiday activitie s • community award programs • competitions • much, much more...




WESTPOINT backs domestic violence fight: 3 Mayor calls for local vaxx clinic: 6

Blacktown doctor Jana

Pittman competes in SAS




Sub-branch answers calls for support: 10

LACKTOWN Hospital’s famous Olympian Dr Jana Pittman for a grueling survival challenge has swapped her stethoscope in the latest series of ‘SAS’ Jana’s roller coaster ride TV on the Seven Network. of triumph, defeat, failure and makes her ideal for the rigorous format of the show. success throughout her life one of the 18 celebrities The 38-year-old dual Olympian who will be subjected to is extreme physical and psychologica on the upcoming military-styl l testing e show. More page 5.

Why Blacktown is tops for property investment: 14

Blacktown City blacktow



395,000 population


18.81 billion regional economy

2021 Blacktown City Garden Competition


average economic growth



registered businesses

local jobs

Calling all green thumbs, entries for the 2021 Blacktown City Garden Competition are open. Blacktown City Mayor Tony Bleasdale OAM called on residents to enter their gardens, big or small, residential or commercial in the annual competition. ‘The Blacktown City Garden Competition showcases the wonderful gardening skills of our residents and businesses,’ Mayor Bleasdale said. ‘It’s wonderful to see the great pride that so many people take in the appearance of their homes. ‘Visiting the winning gardens is one of the highlights of the Council calendar for me, and I know that this year’s entries will be as spectacular are ever.

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$3,000 in cash and prizes to be won!

‘Winners not only have the bragging rights of being able to say they have the best gardens in the city, but also share in more than $3,000 prize money as well as garden products, landscaping supplies and movie passes.’ The competition is one of the best-known garden competitions in western Sydney, with 14 categories including Best Front Garden, Best Back Garden, Best Native Garden, Overall Champion Garden, and Best Sustainable Garden. There is also a new category for interesting and unusual plants. Entries close on 27 August and preliminary judging will take place between 6 and 22 September. Entries will be assessed on design, construction, maintenance and sustainability. The final round of judging by industry experts will be conducted in late September. Last year, the Blacktown City Garden Competition attracted a total of 114 entries, with the prestigious prize of Overall City Champion awarded to Bruce Pederson of Christine Crescent in Lalor Park.

Details: blacktown.nsw.go

The Youth Ambassador Program involves the selection of two young people to serve as Ambassadors of Blacktown City for a period of 12 months. The ambassadors must be residents of Blacktown City and be aged between 15 and 18 years. The two young people who are selected will represent the youth of our City through public speaking at events such as Citizenship Ceremonies and Civic Receptions, the opportunity to meet high profile individuals at special events and the chance to attend a Local Governm



Knit Bomb Project 2021

Spare time on your hands?

Get involved!

For more information visit mb21


Blacktown City: The City of Opportunity Blacktown City Population Today: 405,000 Population 2041: 612,000 Is the Government providing the services and infrastructure to provide opportunity for residents and businesses? What would you like to see happen in our area? Have your say and contact your local MP! Contact details provided below.


Blacktown - Prospect – Mt Druitt The Good

The Bad No established High School upgrades

Blacktown Hospital final construction stage $4M

No established Public School upgrades

Social Housing $21M

No TAFE facility upgrades

Quakers Hill Sewerage Treatment $18M Western Sydney Parklands $3M Waste Facility Eastern Creek $2M Prospect Highway Upgrade $74M Richmond Rd Planning $13M

No upgrades or new sporting facilities No upgrades to major intersections or roads No funding for women’s refuges or mental health No upgrade to Blacktown Police Station No rail corridor identified to link Marsden Park to St. Marys

The Ugly Land tax for first home buyers means a life time tax on property Western Sydney Parklands generate $55m profit and only $3m returned to Blacktown City Longer hospital emergency waiting times Record number of patients waiting longer than recommended for elective surgery Longer ambulance wait times Counselling service wait times now almost 4 months


Stephen Bali MP

Member for Blacktown (02) 9671 5222 Shop 3063, Westpoint Shopping Centre, Flushcombe Rd, Blacktown

Edmond Atalla MP

Hugh McDermott MP

Member for Prospect (02) 9756 4766 2/679 The Horsley Dr, Smithfield

Member for Mount Druitt (02) 9625 6770 Suite 201, Westfield Shopping Centre

Authorised by Stephen Bali MP, Edmond Atalla MP and Hugh McDermott MP. Funded using parliamentary entitlements August 2022.

Carlisle Ave, Mt Druitt










ISSUE 17 | August 2022

Cancer Council excited to be back


HAT excites you about the rest of 2022? Are you back in tip tap shape after two hard years? After having such success raising over $120,000 from the last event, Stars of Western Sydney is back for October 22, 2022 at Blacktown Workers Club! This event brings together our local communities in all areas of Blacktown and surrounding areas for an evening of laughter, entertainment and fundraising support. Local businesses and community leaders will be paired with a dance teacher to fundraise for the cause and learn a dance routine in just 8 weeks to perform on a gala evening. From belly dancing to salsa and ballroom, the show is an experience to remember. Cancer Council, Community Relations Coordinator Danielle Loucos said: “The

atmosphere at the last event was really heartfelt and the sense of community support was overwhelming. I am so excited to continue building on this with our community for the benefit of those around us currently going through treatment.” Leanne Shelton, Director of Write Time Marketing and previous star spoke so highly of the experience. “With my Dad undergoing chemother-

apy, the cause is very close to my heart. I also love dancing. So it was a fantastic opportunity to bring them together - and step out of my comfort zone in the process! I’m also in awe and extremely grateful for the support and extensive fundraising we received from the local community,” she said. There are many ways to support this event including sponsorship, star, dance teacher, attendee or volunteer. Cancer Council would like to recognise the support of Blacktown Workers Club and Community Broadcast Network (publisher of The Blacktown News) who have provided fantastic support for this event. If you’re interested in getting involved, please look at our Facebook page Stars of Western Sydney – Dance for Cancer or contact Danielle Loucos danielle.loucos@ 9354 2029.

Connecting to the south-west


LACKTOWN and St Marys commuters will be able to travel directly to Southwest Sydney when the extension to the new Airport line opens. The State Government had started work on a business case to extend the Sydney Metro – Western Sydney Airport Line from the Western Sydney Aerotropolis to Glenfield, via Leppington. The extension will provide an additional transport option for one of Western

Sydney’s fastest-growing regions and connect the area to the new Western Sydney International Airport. The business case is the first step in bringing metro services to more communities in Greater Western Sydney. It will provide the design, economic assessment and cost estimation to inform an investment decision for the construction of the extension. As part of the Future Transport Strate-

gy 2056, a metro line between the Western Sydney Aerotropolis and Leppington was identified as an initiative for investigation. In June 2020, Transport for NSW protected transport corridors in the Western Parkland City to enable this connection. The extension will continue the 23km Western Airport Line linking St Marys to the Aerotropolis. Work on the first stage has started, with tunnelling to start by 2023.

Last year's event.

About Cancer Council Cancer Council is Australia’s leading cancer charity working across every aspect of every cancer. Every day, we support families affected by cancer when they need it most, speak out on behalf of the community on cancer issues, empower people to reduce their cancer risk, and find new ways to better detect and treat cancer. With your help, we’re getting closer to a cancer free future every minute, every hour, every day.




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ISSUE 17 | August 2022


Hooked at Mt Druitt swimming pool


LAKTOWN City’s fishiest event is back in 2022-the family fishing! Mount Druitt Swimming Pool will be a fishers’ paradise over the first two weekends in August with the pool teeming with 600 succulent Snowy Mountains trout ready to be hooked. COVID-19 forced the cancellation of the2021familyfishin, but the lifting of the restrictions has cleared the way for Council to open the pool once again to anglers young and old. Blacktown Mayor Tony Bleas-

Mayor Tony Bleasdale kisses a fish.

dale said the popular event is an opportunity for fishers of all skill levels to try their hand at landing a trout. “People have been coming to the fish-in for 30 years–it’s a really unique idea that has hooked people from all over Sydney,” he said. “The 600 trout will be fair game for all wanting to try their luck at the perfect catch. All you need to bring is your fishing rod or line and bait.” The fish in will be held over the weekends of 5-6 and 12-13

August. There will be 50 fishing stations with hour-long sessions available each night at 5pm, 6.20pm and 7.40pm. A family can share a station, but it’s one rod per station, bag limits apply and no lures or nets. The event is held under a permit from NSW Department of Primary Industries. Cost:$16 per station, plus booking fee bookings and conditions at: 2022 Blacktown City Family Fish In - Blacktown City (nsw.

New paramedics for Blacktown


LACKTOWN City will have access to an increased number of newly trained paramedics in the coming year as the result of a $1.76B investment in NSW Ambulance. More than 100 newly qualified paramedics have joined NSW Ambulance as part of the NSW Government’s record $1.76B boost to frontline emergency care. Treasurer Matt Kean said he was thrilled to see 102 university graduate paramedics start their six-week induction course at the new NSW Ambulance headquarters at Homebush ahead of a 12-month internship. “This new wave of recruits joins more

than 6500 NSW Ambulance staff. Thanks to the NSW Government’s record $1.76B investment in frontline emergency care under the 2022-23 NSW Budget, this will make NSW the largest paramedic workforce in Australia,” Mr Kean said. “The NSW Government is investing in more than 2128 FTE NSW Ambulance staff over the next four years as we strengthen frontlines services to ensure people have access to emergency care across the state. “After a very tough couple of years with COVID-19, we are increasing the capacity of available paramedics to respond to patients, as well as support staff to

answer the record volume of calls.” The NSW Government has invested more than $10B in NSW Ambulance since 2011. The latest paramedic recruits will be deployed where they are most needed in both metropolitan and region-

al areas. “We’re making record investments in the NSW Ambulance workforce and its infrastructure with another 30 stations also opening as part of the $1.76B commitment,” Mr Kean said. Offers to a further 50 paramedic graduates have already been made. They are set to start in the coming months, with further recruitment ongoing. Across the next four years, 1858 paramedics will be funded as well as 210 ambulance support staff, 52 nurses and eight doctors.










Image is for illustrative purposes only. J006615

Workers Blacktown is bringing Parkside Lifestyle Community to life, right next to Workers Sports, promising a village exclusively for over 55’s to enjoy, share and most importantly... live every day. To learn more, visit our website and register your interest to receive updates.

Brought to you by

(formerly Blacktown Workers Club Group).


ISSUE 17 | August 2022



Podcasting his way to the top SASWATI MUKHERJEE


ODCASTER, a passionate community radio presenter an inspired youngster. Meet Dylan Caple, an 18-yearold who recently won the Western Sydney Outstanding Youth Leader 2022 at the Zest Awards. Another feather in his cap was being a TOP 50 Year 12 Trailblazer 2021. He was also selected as a Finalist for the National 2020 Community Radio Awards for Outstanding Youth Contribution at his local radio station, SWR 99.9, which enjoys a huge fan following in Western Sydney. For someone who started out in community radio at the tender age of 14, Dylan has come a long way in pursuing his dreams. He started off volunteering in the Duke of Edinburgh scheme. It took off at Alive 90.5 FM, Baulkham Hills. “I would certainly say that this is where my passion for radio got sparked, so much so that I could not live without it,” says Dylan. A person who he met during his stint as a Volunteer at the Community Radio inspired

him. He mentored him, gave him valuable suggestions and prodded Dylan on. As on date, his mentor is an on-air announcer at a radio channel in Wollongong. Three months of hard work at the radio station and he was given the role of Podcasts Manager at the station and eventually climbed up the ladder to become the Website Manager and Chairperson Digital Content (Relieving) at the age of 15. To make things more interesting for him, he was offered a show of his own, to be produced and podcasted by himself. It was around the same time that Dylan and his IT teacher from Glenwood High School, embarked on the journey of starting a radio station within the school, Glenwood Radio which would be played across the PA system inside the school.

Starting off at high school Dylan spent the latter part of his high school dividing time between school and his local media station. He says it boosted student morale to start the radio station at school that time, where they could be radio presenters without stepping out of the school physically, giving up on

weekends and paying high air fees. “This is where I developed an interest in teaching and mentoring others. The knowledge I had acquired over my years volunteering at the community radio paid off,” says Dylan. By the end of the year, he had the school’s radio station running with professional broadcast software. He invested heavily in volunteering at the existing Western Sydney community radio stations.

The next steps Popular radio channels such as 90.5 FM (which covers Parramatta, Cumberland and The Hills) and SWR 99.9 FM (which covers Blacktown, Fairfield and Cumberland) have seen an increased youth participation largely due to Dylan’s mentorship and strategic initiatives including new website design and staff communication platforms. After a while, he moved to SWR 99.9 FM in Blacktown and it is here that his radio career seriously took off. He went on to become the Chairperson of Digital and Marketing, managing online content. For the next four years, Dylan is studying

Dylan Cape.

Cybersecurity and Media and Communications, at Macquarie University. He has started working on a casual basis at the Australian Radio Network, a role which he aspires to take on full time in the long run. Stories around Technology, community and youth issues are his areas of interest. Dylan has great support in his parents and his partner Rose Lewis, who herself works a lot in the community space. “She motivates and encourages me a lot,” says Dylan. Significantly, Rose was the runner-up at the Zest Awards.

Health precinct at state planning DALLAS SHERRINGHAM


LACKTOWN Council is confident developer interest is ramping up as it presses ahead with its vision for a health and education hub, including a $500M private hospital. They are also eager for vocational education and training provider TAFE NSW to remain as a key part of the precinct, which will attract tens of thousands of people into Blacktown. It will also create thousands of jobs in the health industry. Blacktown council has now submitted a proposal to the NSW planning department for the project. Under the proposal, which has been under discussion for about four years, the council wants a private hospital built on about 20ha of land between Blacktown Public Hospital and the city centre. The development would also include specialist medical practices, consulting rooms, assisted living and aged care, as well as

peripheral development such as carparking, high-density residential and retail. The plan came to light after Blacktown submitted zoning law amendments to the NSW government, calling for a variety of changes to higher density, increased height and mixed-use, with a focus on “health services facility and educational establishments”. “This proposal for the Blacktown Health and Education Precinct is part of a 20-year vision Artist impression of the project. for the future of Blacktown City as enable us to maximise opportunities with the we experience enormous growth and change,” expanded Blacktown Hospital and recentMayor Tony Bleasdale said. Fast growing population ly-opened ACU university campus. “Blacktown City has one of the fast“This precinct will not only help us improve health outcomes for residents, but est-growing populations in Australia, therefore provide jobs and training opportunities, attract it is vital we are able to provide for current and business and industry, and contribute to key future populations, especially in the areas of medical research.” health and education. The Planning Proposal was placed on pub“This proposal is part of Council’s focus on economic growth around health and education lic exhibition from May 25 to 24 June 24 2022. opportunities in the Blacktown CBD and will The Precinct is located between Blacktown

CBD and Blacktown Hospital and is land generally bound by the Western Railway Line to the north, Sunnyholt Rd and Newton Road to the west, Griffiths Street, Marcel Crescent and Blacktown Hospital to the east and Bungarribee Road to the south. The Planning Proposal seeks to rezone land, set the maximum height of buildings, identify land for acquisition and permit car parks in the Precinct. The intended outcome of the Planning Proposal is to promote education and health uses in the Precinct. There are various properties - 19 in total - proposed to be acquired by Council for drainage and local road purposes. Health Precinct is a Transformational Project listed in Our Blacktown 2036 Community Strategic Plan The and Blacktown Local Strategic Planning Statement at: https://www.blacktown.nsw.

Lions donation reduces cancer pain


Rissa McInnes, Blacktown Ponds Lions Club.

CRITICAL new service is available to cancer patients at Blacktown Hospital Cancer Centre, thanks to the generosity of Blacktown Ponds Lions Club, Australian Lions Foundation and Better Foundation. The donation of a Vascular Access Ultrasound Machine gives accurate access to veins in administering chemotherapy, medications, fluids and blood transfusions that massively reduces the pain to patients. Vascular Access Nurse Practitioner, Anthony Marshall, extended his gratitude for the donation saying, “this ultrasound allows clinicians to precision pinpoint the vein to deliver vital treatment first-time round. “For patients with chronic conditions like cancer who require many different proce-

dures, difficulty accessing their veins can mean they damage the veins from multiple attempts, are unable to receive treatment and can be so traumatic that patients avoid or miss treatments, leading to reduced health outcomes’. Until now, patients needing this treatment were transferred to Westmead or even St Vincent's Hospital to receive their treatment. Rissa McInnes, Blacktown Ponds Lions Club said “We are so proud to be able to support our local hospital by bringing this important treatment into Blacktown so our community can access the best quality healthcare close to home. We are grateful to The Australian Ponds Lions Foundation, who con-

tributed to this grant to make this possible.” The Better Foundation works with local community groups like the Blacktown Ponds Lions Club, to support Blacktown and Mount Druitt Hospitals to purchase equipment, provide training, improve health literacy and fund vital research projects. Better Foundation Chair, Mr Stephen Bali MP, said:“This donation really demonstrates the mission of Better Foundation to support our local hospitals of Blacktown & Mt Druitt to deliver excellent health services to our community. To make a tax-deductible donation to support Blacktown and Mount Druitt Hospitals, please visit



ISSUE 17 | August 2022

Citizenship ceremonies welcome 3,000 citizens


LACKTOWN City Council is leading the way with citizenship ceremonies, welcoming almost 3,000 new citizens in 2022 and setting the standard for virtual ceremonies in Australia. Blacktown City was the first council in Australia to conduct a virtual group citizenship ceremony. After almost two years of Council’s citizenship ceremonies being held online due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in-person ceremonies returned in March, and four ceremonies have been held since. In July, Mayor Tony Bleasdale welcomed an extraordinary 1695 new citizens across two super citizenship ceremonies at Blacktown Leisure Centre, Stanhope. “This followed Council’s super citizenship ceremony in May, where 949 of our residents pledged their allegiance to Australia and our March event, where we welcomed 199 new citizens,” Mayor Bleasdale said. “Across these four ceremonies alone, 2,843 residents became Australian citizens. “These ceremonies are an important responsibility. There is precise planning and coordination from Council’s wonderful staff to ensure they are an occasion to remember for our new citizens.” During the height of COVID-19 lockdowns and restrictions Council

began delivering citizenship ceremonies virtually - the first of these was held in August 2020. More than 3,000 residents received their citizenship virtually during this time, and Blacktown City set the standard across Australia in delivering these ceremonies online. Blacktown City Council staff have since assisted 16 councils, including the City of Melbourne and City of Newcastle, in developing their own virtual group ceremonies.” Blacktown City receives a high number of applications for citizenship and approves an average of 500 applications each month.

Blacktown City Mayor Tony Bleasdale OAM with dignitaries and new citizens at Blacktown City Council’s July Super Citizenship Ceremony.

Safer routes through better lighting


HE NSW Government is providing more than $15M to help Sydney and Greater Sydney councils including Blacktown, to install and maintain street lighting that will lead to safer traffic routes. Transport for NSW Greater Sydney Executive Director Community and Place Steve Issa said the grants under the Traffic Route Lighting Subsidy Scheme were helping provide improved and more reliable lighting on many roads around Greater Sydney.

“Better visibility is a safety win for all road users, including motorists, cyclists and pedestrians,” Mr. Issa said. “Under this scheme, we are compensating 32 Sydney and Greater Sydney councils for operational costs associated with eligible street lighting, which will help reduce the number of night-time accidents.” “It also benefits the financial sustainability of councils and their community’s economy.”

The Traffic Route Lighting Subsidy Scheme administered by Transport for NSW assists councils with meeting their responsibility in providing street lighting to a higher level than would normally be provided. A total of $24.2M has been provided under the scheme for councils across NSW for 2021-22. The grants help cover capital costs for new and improved street lighting, maintenance work, network distribution and energy consumption costs.

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ISSUE 17 | August 2022


Funding directed to those in need MICHELLE ROWLAND


OR too many households in Northwest Sydney, the recent July flooding in our region was not the first, nor second flooding event of the year – it was the third time homes were damaged, livestock was lost and lives disrupted. But as we do here in Western Sydney, we came together to lend a hand and help each other out; from the Blacktown and Hawkesbury SES Units rescuing families and livestock, to the Riverstone Neighbourhood Centre providing important information and refuge for the local community. As always, it was a community effort to stay safe but this time, the Federal Government acted swiftly alongside the NSW Government to respond to flood victims Recently, the NSW and Federal Government announced funding for our flood victims. This funding is directed to go towards grants for primary producers, small businesses, not-for-profit organisations and councils, clean-up efforts and expanding the property assessment program in disaster-declared areas. By mid-July, almost 528,000 people affected by the severe storms and flooding in New South Wales have already received more than $436M in Australian Government disaster assistance.

Recent flooding in Western Sydney.

Just last week, the Federal and State Governments announced additional disaster recovery funding for NSW flood victims. Businesses and households across 42 Local Government Areas (LGA) in New South Wales, including the Blacktown LGA, are now eligible to access additional rental support payments and rural landholder grants. The additional rental support provided by the Federal Government provides a contribution towards 16 weeks of rental

support to eligible households to pay for commercial or private accommodation if they have had to evacuate their residential property. People in our electorate can also claim the rural landholder grants of up to $25,000 if they have experienced losses and damage beyond the vicinity of their residential dwelling. This fast, significant funding commitment was one that acknowledged the experiences of our electorate and beyond during this extremely challenging time.

And it is certainly a response that makes clear how the Albanese Government cares for Australians. If you would like more information on these grants, please don’t hesitate to contact my office, call Service NSW on 13 77 88 or visit the National Recovery and Resilience Agency’s website at www. Michelle Rowland is Minister for Communications Federal Member for Greenway. Visit: www.





Local businesses take the stage


OLLYWOOD has the Oscars and the music industry has the Grammys – but for Blacktown City businesses, the annual night of nights is Tuesday, September 13. Today is the day when nominees for the 2022 Blacktown City Local Business Awards discover if they have made it as a finalist. The Blacktown News, which has supported the awards as media partner for many years, will announce the finalists in each category with a special feature in today’s paper and a special winner’s feature in the October edition. This is a chance for customers and clients to see if the businesses they nominated have become finalists. The Blacktown City Local Business Awards are only possible with the support of Major Partners, Blacktown City Council, Blacktown Workers Club, NOVA Employment and Westpoint and Support Partners, Seven Hills Plaza, Woodcroft Village, White

TURE A E F S LIST FINA Winners from last year.

Key Marketing and Greater Blacktown Business Chamber. Precedent Productions Managing Director and Awards founder Steve Loe said tickets for the awards presentation evening to be held at Blacktown Workers Club on Tuesday, September 13 are sure to sell out. “The awards evening is always a glittering event, where our finalists dress up and let their hair down for an evening of entertainment, good food, relaxed conversation

Message from Mayor Tony Bleasdale, OAM Blacktown City Council is proud to be a major sponsor of the Blacktown City and Mount Druitt St Marys Local Business Awards. Blacktown is one of the fastest growing cities in Australia, with our current population of over 403,000 forecast to grow to over 600,000 residents within 20 years. Our economy is over $22 billion and based on the trading activity of nearly 27,000 local businesses. During these difficult t imes, we know that it is particularly important for our Council to support local businesses who are weathering the current storm and uncertainty of this pandemic. The Local Business Awards is an opportunity for our community to come together and acknowledge the great work our local businesses are doing in providing jobs, goods and services to support our City’s people.

– and, of course, celebration,” he said. “Just being there as a finalist is a huge achievement, and it is a great opportunity for business people and their teams to reflect on their successes with a fun night out.” Mr Loe said the high quality of all nominees had made the job of judges a great pleasure but also immensely difficult. "To be a finalist at the presentation evening is a huge achievement and everyone

is always extremely proud to be there,” he said. “All finalists in each category are announced, with their picture shown on the big screen. “The cheers from the entire crowd are deafening as everyone celebrates the achievement of all the businesses in the room.” “I would like to take this opportunity, on behalf of the Blacktown City Local Business Awards to congratulate all the finalists on their achievements. “I would also like to thank the Blacktown City community for the enormous support they show for their local businesses through the Awards every year. “Without them, these outstanding businesses would receive the recognition which they deserve.” For more information about the Local Business Awards, visit See full list of finalists page 24.

Blacktown City


Registered businesses supporting

153,000 Local jobs

403,000 Population $ 22 billion Economy  4% Average economic growth rate

NOW ARRIVING NOW ARRIVING The exciting transformation of the The exciting transformation of the Blacktown CBD has begun Blacktown CBD has begun

I am proud to recognise that several Council businesses have been nominated as finalists in their award categories. Congratulations to all winners and finalists in the Awards!

New urban New urban plaza plaza

Warrick Lane Precinct Warrick Lane Precinct redevelopment redevelopment

ACU ACU university university campus campus

For more information visit For more information visit

450+ car 450+ car spaces spaces

















We can help with all Court work

Our Business provides Medical Imaging Services covering: CT Ultrasound Mammography X-ray OPG Dexa Bone Density Interventional Injections Biopsies


Health Improvement Services

“What being a Finalist means to us”: Commitment and delivery of excellent patient services from the point of first contact when making a booking right through the entire arrival, preparation, Imaging and reporting process. Being an integrated member of the local business community by both providing and by procuring local services. Returning our successes to the community in the form of charitable support for worthy causes.

We are very excited and over the moon that our practice has been chosen by our customers as one of the top health professional services for the local business award.

Shop CW 7-10 City Walk, Westpoint, 17 Patrick Street Blacktown 2148 P: 02 8602 3450 | W: We are also located at CARLIGFORD MEDICAL IMAGING (02) 9873 5533





ISSUE 17 | August 2022


g n i k r Ba

Why more people of Blacktown are choosing happy home loans as their preferred broker.


a c n Bia

• Mentoring and helping 1ST home buyers achieve their dream home. • Helping 1st time investors achieve their dream • Refinancing to get a better deal, • Consolidating some debt. Call for a home loan check

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ISSUE 17 | August 2022

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ISSUE 17 | August 2022



Shop 1035A Westpoint Blacktown 17 Patrick St Blacktown | NSW 2148 and the phone number: 02 8814 9387.

Congratulations to all finalists from the Blacktown News, official media partner for the Blacktown Local Business Awards.



24 Automotive Services • • • • • • • • • •

AA Auto Electrics & Air Conditioning Aussie Forklifts Blacktown Auto Services & Repairs Carasel Towbars Fastfit Towbars Seven Hills IP Auto Care Kings Langley Automotive L&M Smash Repairs Motor Care Powerhouse Auto Electrical & Mechanical Repairs • Taurus Service Centre • Ultra Tune - Blacktown

Bakery/Cake Business • • • • • •

Bakers Delight - Stanhope Village Baker's Perfection Cake Time Espresso - Westpoint Blacktown Christopher's Cakes - Westpoint Blacktown Lalor Park Hot Bread Viti Sweets

Barber Shop • Crown Barber Shop - Arndell Park Shopping Centre • King of Scissors - Woodcroft Village • Tapered The Barbershop - Farnham Road Shopping Centre • The Men's Grooming - Stanhope Village • The Men's Grooming - Westpoint Blacktown • Toris Barber Shop - Prospect Shopping Village

Beauty Services • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Adeva - The Art of Beauty - St Martins Village Aesthetica MediSpa Bless Khin Beauty Cecilia Whittaker Cosmo Nails & Beauty - Seven Hills Plaza Elegance Beauty Within Get Threaded Brow & Beauty Bar - Westpoint Blacktown Laser Clinics Australia - Westpoint Blacktown Le Beauty Affair - Seven Hills Plaza Le Nails Day Spa & Beauty - Woodcroft Village Luminous Glam Makeup Studio New Look Beauty Point Results Laser Clinic - Westpoint Blacktown Skin Smile Remedy Spa Moments - Westpoint Blacktown Teco Nail - Westpoint Blacktown The Elegant Life

Cafe • • • • • • • • •

Adore Espresso - Seven Hills Plaza Gloria Jeans - Seven Hills Plaza Limestone Cafe The Backshed Cafe The Baristas' Shed - Marsden Park Home The Coffee Club - Westpoint Blacktown The Coffee Emporium - Westpoint Blacktown The Leaf Cafe - Seven Hills Plaza Young Lions Cafe

Dental Services • • • • • • •

Bupa Dental - Westpoint Blacktown Elevate Dental Group Evolution Orthodontics - Westpoint Blacktown Finesse Dental - Stanhope Village PJ Dental - Woodcroft Village Quakers Dental Care Riverstone Family Dental

Early Childhood Centre • Best Early Learning Centre • Children First - Alpha Street Preschool • Children First - Balmoral Street Preschool & Occasional Care • Children First - Blacktown Road • Children First - Hassall Grove OOSH • Children First - Shelley OOSH • Guardian Childcare and Education - Seven Hills • JumpStart 4 Kids • KidZCave Family Day Care • Namita's Family Day Care • Nido Early School - Seven Hills Plaza

• Uniting Grantham Heights Early Learning Seven Hills

Education Service • • • • • • • • •

Aqua Learn to Swim - Stanhope Charming Colours Art School Gem Kids Academy My Skills Australia Onroad Driving Education Prompt Driving School Robothink Australia Tutoring with Mia World of Minecraft

Fashion • • • • • • • •

Ethnic Threads Jayshana Fashions Millers - Seven Hills Plaza Millers - Westpoint Blacktown Noni B - Seven Hills Plaza Pooja's Couture Punjabi Trendz Rivers - Seven Hills Plaza

Fast Food/Takeaway • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Akira Sushi - Seven Hills Plaza Brothers Kebab House Chatime - Westpoint Blacktown Dominos Pizza Quakers Hill Filo Lasa Sizzlers - Westpoint Blacktown FUKU Japanese Cuisine - Seven Hills Plaza Gotcha Fresh Tea - Westpoint Blacktown Gozleme King - Westpoint Blacktown Juice Spot & Bubble Tea - Seven Hills Plaza Kochi - Westpoint Blacktown Marayong Court Chinese Restaurant McDonalds - Seven Hills Plaza Prospect Kebab House Satori Sushi - Woodcroft Village

Fitness Services • • • • • • • • • • •

Anytime Fitness - Blacktown Mega Centre Anytime Fitness - Quakers Hill Blacktown Aquatic Centre Blacktown Leisure Centre - Stanhope Goshukan Karate Academy Jetts - Seven Hills Plaza PSF30 Rebuild You Fitness Riverstone Swimming Centre Snap Fitness Doonside Stargazer Pole Studio - Arndell Park Shopping Centre • Vibe Health Club - Westpoint Blacktown • Yoga Temple • Yogaparadise

Florist/Plant Retail Store • • • • • • •

Flower Seasons - Westpoint Blacktown Flowers by Jody - St Martins Village Pot and Posy Seven Hills Angel Florist - Seven Hills Plaza Soirée Floristry & Event Styling Sydney The Australian Plant Shop Woodcroft Florist & Art - Woodcroft Village

• Taylanah Hair Design • The Cutting Room • The Urban Fringe - Kings Langley Shopping Centre • Undercover Hair

Health Improvement Services • • • • • • • • • • •

Australian Hearing Services - Westpoint Blacktown Blacktown Medical Imaging - Westpoint Blacktown Chi Healing Clinic - Westpoint Blacktown Cloud Nine Paediatric Therapy Services - Westpoint Blacktown Dr Ashraf Nashed Surgery Eastbrooke Blacktown GP Super Clinic Integrated Chiropractic and Wellness Medihealth and Body Treatment - Seven Hills Plaza Riverstone Family Medical Practice Western Sleep Clinic - Marayong Plaza Woodcroft Family Practice - Woodcroft Village

Jewellery & Fashion Accessories Store • • • • • • • •

Angus & Coote - Westpoint Blacktown Bevilles - Westpoint Blacktown Goldmark - Westpoint Blacktown Michael Hill - Westpoint Blacktown Pandora - Westpoint Blacktown Prouds The Jewellers - Seven Hills Plaza Prouds The Jewellers - Westpoint Blacktown Strandbags - Westpoint Blacktown

Manufacturing • Hercules Plastics • Simco Catering Equipment • Xpress Packaging

New & Used Motor Vehicles • • • • •

Cumberland Ford Heartland Hyundai Heartland Kia - Blacktown Lander Mitsubishi West End Mazda

New Business • • • • • • • • • •

A Mop Above The Rest Adiepena Dèsigns Bandicoot Lawn and Garden Care Glow by Michelle Mura Labelist Co. Pretty Little Gifts Quakers Hill Tennis School Sales Surge Australia Sydney Sports Club Your Pet Sitter

Performing Arts • • • • • • • •

Helen Perris Music Studio Hype-O Performing Arts Academy Natasha's Arts Theatre Olive Artz Phoenix Dance Studios Samarpana Institute of Dance Step Up Performing Arts Studio Dance Australia

Fresh Food

Pet Care

• • • • • •

• • • • • •

7hills Chicken Corner - Seven Hills Plaza Kings Langley Best Meats Lancaster St Fresh Fruit Market The Brothers Fish Market - Seven Hills Plaza Wesfresh Westpoint Growers - Westpoint Blacktown

Barking with Bianca Family Pet Minding Greater Western Sydney Horse Parks Paws Mindfully Pimp Your Pets Grooming Quakers Hill Veterinary Hospital



• • • • • • • • • • • •

• • • • •

Absolute Hair and Beauty Eternity Hair & Beauty Hair @ St Martins - St Martins Village Hair by Rebecca Lawson Hair Happens - Westpoint Blacktown Haus of Hair - Stanhope Village Magical Cut - Woodcroft Village Moe & Co. - Stanhope Village R & V's Hair Studio Salon Gi Samantha's Hair Affair &; Beauty Salon Sliq - Westpoint Blacktown

Barones Pharmacy - Woodcroft Village Kings Langley Discount Store Priceline Pharmacy - The Ponds Shopping Centre Seven Hills Day and Night Pharmacy Terry White Chemmart - Blacktown - St Martins Village • Terry White Chemmart - Stanhope Village

Professional Services • Advance Care Agency • BK Collective • Cornerstone HR

ISSUE 17 | August 2022 • • • • • • • • • • •

Happy Home Loans HS Biz Advisory iVisaPoint Migration Services Jonelle McDonell Celebrant One Law Group Oz Financing - Mortgage Broker - Home loan Advisor OzLedger R B Tax & Accounting Solutions - Woodcroft Village Tania Management Group Victory Group Wealthwiz Wealth Management - Blacktown

Real Estate Agency • • • • • •

Century 21 Davelis & Co Century 21 Infinity - Stanhope Village LJ Hooker - Blacktown LJ Hooker Schofields - Riverstone Oakley Real Estate - Woodcroft Village Qfirst Invest Sydney Australia - Westpoint Blacktown • Sapphire Estate Agents

Restaurant • • • • • • • • • •

5 Panj Tara Indian Restaurant Burger Room Eastern Palace Chinese Restaurant Fratelli Pizzeria George's - The Pizza Shop - Stanhope Village Icy Spicy - Seven Hills Jagerstube Kumar's Taj Indian Restaurant - Quakers Hill Stonecutters Ridge Golf Club Bistro Zeko Mediterranean Cuisine

Service & Trade • All Occasion Gifts & Photos - Westpoint Blacktown • Boycorp • DJacks Transport & Removals • Fan-Scaping-Tastic • Hyhaus Painting • Landmark Electrical • Mister Minit - Westpoint Blacktown • On Rail Industries • Pixie Photobooths • Plumbmaster Plumbing - The Ponds • RD Facilities Management • Roof Tile Recyclers • Serial Pest Control • The Mowing Queen • Wild Crew Carpentry

Sole Operator • • • • • •

Jo's Essential Mojo Little Hearts Photography Love.Light.Soy Candles Nizar Handmade Serena Jones Photography Tiny Tribe Images

Specialised Business • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Blacktown Tennis Centre Stanhope Blissful Events Dream Createz Forkserve - Forklift Sales & Hire Sydney Innovync Kidz Blitz Holiday Program - Blacktown KJ's Brush n Canvas MTC Australia ORATEL Network Solutions Smita Nashikkar Photography Sparkle Eyes Photography Tarn's Keto Uncabled Australia

Specialised Retail Business • • • • • • • • •

Australia Post - Seven Hills Plaza Corolla Spares Gensan Hygiene & Hospitality Johnny Big - Westpoint Blaktown Nerd Alert Collectables - Westpoint Blacktown Newstalk Newsagency - Westpoint Blacktown Rang Online Boutique Rebel Sport - Westpoint Blacktown Typo - Westpoint Blacktown

ISSUE 17 | August 2022



They make finance FUN

H Tim Bertrand.

APPY Home Loans is a friendly financial service that focuses on great customer experience. You see, the experts at Happy Home Loans make it easy for you to secure the home of your dreams through their Steps to Success process. You can forget about tons of paperwork and lists of unknown words as you go the process of establishing your loan. “We can help to handle every issue

you’re facing on your way,” manager Tim Bertrand said. “Throughout the years we understand the excitement and nervousness that our first home buyers experience and what it’s like to be a business owner trying to get a loan approval or simply refinancing. “Happy Home Loans truly wants to make our customers happy giving them plenty of options from choosing a loan suited to them,” Tim said. Happy Home Loans will organize

financing in a wide range of property purchases including Owner-Occupied, Investment Properties, Home Loan Refinancing and Low Doc Home Loans. The business has a superb web site that makes it easy to learn all about the home loans process and provides lots of advice and tips. Phone: 0468 331 423 Email: INFO@ HAPPYHOMELOANSAUSTRALIA.COM.AU Web site:

Providing expert legal advice


NE Law is a Blacktown success story providing expert legal advice right in the heart of the city. It has a great team of lawyers and support staff that continually achieves amazing results for clients. More importantly, and something the One Law team is really proud of, is that they treat clients like family. They take the time to get to know you which is vital in legal matters. Over a cup of coffee, the experts discuss your circumstances and your needs. “We give you the confidence that we are on your side and will fight to get you the best result,” Director James Saba said. “Our head office is in Blacktown in the heart of Western Sydney . Feel free to come in and meet the team, no appointment necessary. “Having worked in the legal industry for over 15 years I am honored to be able to play a role in helping change the lives of my clients for the better,” Mr Saba said.

The team at One Law.

“Nothing gives me greater pleasure and satisfaction than standing by my clients in times of need and fighting to get them the best result. Mr Saba said when he started One Law: “I knew that one of the most

important factors to help in the growth and success of the firm is to have a real and genuine commitment to our clients.” “At One Law, we treat clients like family. When clients come to see me,

they are often going through a very tough time both financially and emotionally. “I am so proud of the success and growth of the firm and I want to continue obtaining amazing results for our deserving clients,” he said One Law has an easy-to-use web site which makes it enjoyable for visitors to find out vital information about a wide choice of key legal topics. Now, law can often appear to be a hopelessly complicated journey for the layman, but the web site makes it simple to find it what you need to know. The One Law team includes experts in Injury and accidents, family and de facto matters, business and commercial lw, building and construction law and conveyancing. Blacktown Head Office is at Suite 2A, Level 1, 112 Main St, Blacktown NSW 2148. Tel: 1800 663 52. Email: . www.onelaw.

Your partner in dream building


APPHIRE Estate Agents at Leppington has become an outstanding success story in just two years. The agency is based at 23 Boomerang Place Seven Hills and is a key part of the impressive Sapphire Group in Western Sydney. Sapphire group chief operations officer Biswash Bhattarai said Sapphire had always been a go to destination for first home buyers. “Our fabric is built on home and land and we specialise with respect to working with various builders and helping new clients to achieve more with their building process.” he said. “Our transparency and knowledge has been synonymous among these unique and novice buyers. “Seven Hills has been our first flagship office we have more than eight staff and now, today, we offer

The team at Saphire Real Estate.

a full service from property management, sales to building services. It has been operational now for four years.” Biswash said Sapphire was one of the very few, if not the first to be involved within the building process rather than just selling real estate. “Therefore, we can be called hybrid between real estate and builder and by doing so, we have been able to create this unique market. “For buyers, by walking through our doors, they can ensure we have transparent costs, clarity and pre negotiated cost and inclusion. Most, home builders tend to fall in the trap of upgrades and hidden cost which, we tend to help them and understand,” he said. “We are growing since the inception four years ago. We have four offices in Sydney and two interstate. We

help hundreds of customers every year, and the numbers are ever growing. “We strive and pride ourselves on advice and our service. Our customers come from various walks of life and we take care, plus time, ensuring we understand their needs. Our focus has always been servicing families and delivering the customised product. “We are people persons and enjoy being part of the community. We regularly run campaigns and offers, such as local restaurant vouchers, ensuring that we are helping our communities. Providing, sponsorships to local sporting events and multicultural events are part of our everyday operating rhythm.” Ph: 1800 697274. SapphireAgents

ISSUE 17 | August 2022



Treating pets like stars


ARKING with Bianca is an award-winning business that has turned pet walking and sitting into an art. Bianca treats her day care star pets like kids and if you check out her web photos there are smiles all round. She even calls it Barking with Bianca Day Care and she has a collection of toys that ensure her four legged clients are playing when they wish and are never bored. Barking With Bianca is a real success story and she is a winner of the Blacktown City Local Business Award for Outstanding Pet care. Meet Our Stars! is a collection of photos of regular attendees at her Day Care, all looking like they are lapping up the attention. She also has a range of Doggy Toys available for purchase and they are proving extremely popular. Bianca said they made a great gift for

a birthday or Christmas - or just because you love your pooch. The toys even come in personalised colors. And to prove how popular they are, she has photos and videos on her site of pups who have received their toys and love them, Bianca gives tips on Caring for Pets which she said: “is fun and is also important”. “There are lots of fun things we can do with our pets to care for them,” she said. “This includes walking the dog to bathing the dog to playing with our cats to collecting eggs from our chickens to feeding our rabbits and guinea pigs to talking to our pet birds. “Care for our pets is important as it keeps them healthy. We need to make sure that our pets eat healthy foods to give their bodies energy and nutrition. “ Ph: 0423 177 883

Advanced care agency cares


Registered Nurse and Disability Support Worker in various hospitals, aged care facilities and disability organisations. Incorporated in 2019, the team of qualified staff and founders with over 35 years of combined experience are committed to providing the best care and support to people with disabilities. The ACA started its operation at the end of 2020 in the mid of Covid-19. Their growth strategy is primar-

ily based on the word of mouth from customers. Their core value is customer satisfaction, which has reflected in the support services rendered to their customers and feedback received from other stakeholders. Advance Care are also collaborating with Advance College or aged care and disability manpower training and supply, which is also a winner of the Inner West Local Business Awards for outstanding

education in the third time in a row. Advance Care Agency, although a new business, has been able to prove its excellence with a significant business growth and its popularity in the community. They feel proud that they have provided employment to over 650 employees per day during the COVID-crisis. Visit: www.




DVANCE Care Agency (ACA) is a registered NDIS Provider that supports people with disability with a person-centered approach. Their services include accommodation support, support in daily activities, community participation, and other core support services under the NDIS. Besides that, they are also working as a staffing agency for providing staffing supports such as Assistant Nurse,





02 9679 8992


20 Garling Road, Kings Park


ISSUE 17 | August 2022 L CA




2022 2 022





We would like to thank our loyal customers for their continuous support throughout the years of our business. We would also like to thank everyone who voted for us. We will continue to strive for the best and look forward to more opportunities to share our success with our community.

Shop 1016, Westpoint Shopping Centre 17 Patrick Street, Blacktown 02 8625 5223

Reasons to visit us • Authentic Indian flavors • Natural ingredients • Gelatin-free, vegetarian ice creams • Perfect ambience • Ample Parking SHOP 7, 12 HARWOOD STREET SEVEN HILLS 0493 088 307 | |

L&M Smash Repairs is a family owned business and Currently in its 3rd generation. Operating since 1969, We have been a Premier vehicle repairer in the Hills District for over 50 years.

Ph: 02 8814 8640

91 Station Road, Seven Hills 02-9624-2290




We are so grateful that My Skills students have voted us training provider of choice with Student Satisfaction and Job Ready Skills ranked well above our competitors. With leading course design and focus on in-demand skills, your future success is in good hands with our amazing team.

Sydney is home to a delicious quest for Indian ice creams and Indian style momo. We at Icy Spicy offer 32+ Indian ice cream flavors and Indian style all veg momo with 10 varieties. This place is best for a casual hangout while enjoying the exquisite Indian desserts that are vegetarian & gelatin-free and dumplings with vegan options that you can’t afford to ignore. Visit us to see why people love us so much. What makes us unique from others is the unique Indian flavored ice creams we serve that include flavors such as Exotic Rose, Alphonso Mango, Coconut Apricot, Whisky Walnut, Pink Guava, Silly Chilli, and much more.

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ISSUE 17 | August 2022


Dominic Popescu Mobile: 0449 153 637 Email:




FanScapingTastic is a small boutique landscape construction business based out of Schofields. Dominic established the business in September of 2015. The team is highly skilled and takes on multiple tasks from whole front and backyard renovations, pool surrounds, paving, tiling, timber work, stone masonry, concreting, planting and all outdoor aspects. Dominic and his team pride themselves in there communication with clients keeping them informed during the process and workmanship.

We would like to thank our loyal customers and community for your continuous support throughout the years of our business. We can't thank you enough to everyone who voted us. We will continue to strive for the best and look forward to more opportunities to share our success with our community. We can't wait to share more slices with our community.Thank you all for making us a part of the community.






Landscape Design and Construction service.

Dominos Quakers Hill 216 Farnham Road Quakers Hill 02 8869 8020

Woodcroft Shopping Village Shop 17B, 3 Woodcroft Dr Woodcroft NSW 2767 Po Box 183, Doonside NSW 2767 phone: 02 9676 7050 mobile: 0410 415 969 web: email:



R B Tax & Accounting Solutions is a boutique firm located in Woodcroft, NSW established by RABIH BERJAWI. For the past 22 years, he has worked providing business and personal tax preparation services & accounting and tax advisory services. Rabih has worked with businesses in virtually all industries including, property development, retail, wholesale, motel and professionals including doctors, lawyers, information technology, mortgage brokers, real estate agents, in the areas of income tax preparation, tax planning and tax advisory.



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ISSUE 17 | August 2022

THANK YOU GOSHUKAN FAMILY! We would like to take this opportunity to thank our hard working students and dedicated parents/family members for the ongoing support over the years - we cherish each and every one of you for being a part of this journey! You will forever be the driving force behind our commitment to provide high quality karate and instil strength, humility and confidence in all of our students. Childrens Classes

We start our Lil Ninjas program from 4 years and above! Our Karate Kids Program develops valuable life skills that empower your child to become confident, focused, and resilient little champions.


Our purpose is to provide a nurturing, inspiring environment where we can effectively share the level of knowledge and training needed to guide our students to mastering the true art of Karate.

Adults Classes

Martial arts is a journey not a destination. Learning a new skills like Martial Arts and Self Defence are so rewarding that you will feel inspired, empowered and totally invigorated!

We have classes for the whole family with our popular Karate Kids Classes for the littles ones (4+ yrs), to teens and adult beginner classes, to classes and programs that will take you from a novice to an advanced karate student!

3/17 Stanton Road, Seven Hills

0452 260 671

Djacks Transport and Removals Is a family owned and operated business with decades of industry experience. At DJacks we offer a range of services to assist you with your next local or interstate move. Specialising in residential and business moves, we will be there during your move to safely transport your goods, do the heavy lifting so you don’t have too, and ensure a hassle-free experience.

Contact Melanie for an obligation free quote







2022 Blacktown City Local Business Awards MAJOR PARTNERS




INSIDE Property Auto Crosswords Travel Mindset Films Trends Fitness


The biggest whingers by name DALLAS SHERRINGHAM


F your name is David or Sarah, congratulations, you are famous for complaining most about anything and everything. These two names topped the list of people most likely to complain in Online Reviews of everything from Fast Food to hotels, supermarkets and cruise ships. Researchers analysed 80,000 negative reviews on Trustpilot and TripAdvisor for some of the most popular brands, dining venues, tourist attraction, and supermarkets, to reveal the people most likely to submit a complaint. The survey of one star negative reviews on the internet revealed that males were far more likely to complain than women and David’s were the biggest whingers of all. The male complainers in order from one to nine are: David, Paul, John, Mark, Chris, James, Michael, Andrew and Peter, with David twice as likely to complain than Peter.

Sarah came in 10th overall and the full ladies names list in order was: Sarah, Karen, Emma, Julie, Lisa, Susan Laura, Claire Michelle and Jane, with Sarah twice as likely to leave a one-star rating than the last three names. And the Sarahs shock ratings win flies in the face of Internet tradition where the biggest complainers are nicknamed Karens. What started out as an innocent name, Karen is now a pejorative term used to describe ‘an uptight, middle-aged woman that wants to speak to the manager’*, according to definitions online In the past few years ‘being a Karen’

has turned into an online meme, with people posting videos on social media of people lashing out at others for no good reason. While there are people that object to being called a Karen, the trend does in fact live up to its name as it comes in second place for most likely to complain online.

Worst Tourist Attractions Interestingly, more old-fashioned names such as Julie, Susan, and Karen rank as the biggest complainers, compared to more millennial names. So what do the Karens complain about?

Well, when it comes to the World’s great tourist attractions, the Hollywood Walk of Fame is the most over-rated place to visit. The Top 10 most complained about attractions are: 1.Hollywood Walk of Fame, 2. The Palace of Versailles, 3. Stonehenge, 4. Hollywood Sign 5. Big Ben, 6. The White House, 7. The Leaning Tower of Pisa, 8. Empire State Building 9. Pyramids of Giza, 10. Buckingham Palace. Karen’ complaints include: ‘Stonehenge is just a pile of rocks’, the Queen’s Palace garden is ‘shabby’ and ‘Big Ben isn’t big’. Source: Mr Q website

WEXPO coming soon to Blacktown Workers Club | Stall enquires:

URGENT CARE Outside of Western Sydney Emergency Departments

A new urgent care service has been established in Western Sydney to help our community access the right care at the right time. If you need urgent medical attention that isn’t lifethreatening, you can now receive care at a Western Sydney Urgent Care Service instead of via a hospital emergency department. Urgent Care Service centres aren’t like your usual GP and they’re not emergency departments; they are something in between. It’s a new type of service by the Western Sydney Care Collective to get you and your loved ones the right care at the right time. By calling the Urgent Care Line, 1800 371 372, you can speak with a trained health professional who will assess your needs and book you into a FREE Urgent Care Service, if needed. They can also refer you to a range of other care providers in Western Sydney. In some cases, visiting an Urgent Care Service centre allows you to access the right care in the right place, freeing up the emergency department to treat more life-threatening conditions. Urgent Care Services are free and may be able to offer additional free services such as x-ray and pathology. Find out more at

What do Urgent Care Services treat? Urgent Care Services provide treatment for minor illnesses and injuries that aren’t life-threatening. The Urgent Care Line will help you get the right care when you’re not sure if you need to go to emergency or an Urgent Care Service.

Urgent Care Service centres provide medical care for: • Minor injuries such as suspected fractures, sprains and dislocations • Minor wounds and cuts requiring stitches • Bites • Minor burns • Removal of foreign objects from skin, eyes and ears

Case Study Jackson* is four years old and presented to an Urgent Care Service (UCS) centre after he tripped on a toy whilst getting out of bed and fell heavily on his wrist. His mum noticed a pussy blister on his hand and took him to see his GP. The GP prescribed antibiotics and ordered an x-ray, which showed a subtle fracture of his wrist. Jackson’s mum had heard about the new urgent care service and brought him to an Urgent Care Service centre with a copy of the x-ray rather than taking him to an emergency department to receive treatment. The UCS team were able to apply a cast to Jackson’s wrist and were able to continue management of the fracture until the injury had improved. The UCS centre provided a discharge summary for Jackson’s GP and a plaster management advice sheet for Jackson’s family. *Name has been changed to protect the identity of this client.

Call the Urgent Care Line. If you need medical attention but you’re not sure how bad it is, call the Urgent Care Line on 1800 371 372. With one quick free phone call, they’ll assess the situation and book you into a free Urgent Care Service centre in Western Sydney if needed. You don’t need your GP to refer you. The Urgent Care Line is available Monday to Friday from 8am to 8pm, except on public holidays.

Urgent Care Services are brought to you by the Western Sydney Care Collective, a Western Sydney Primary Health Network and Western Sydney Local Health District initiative. Find out more at

Proudly funded by:


Crosswords/Games Solutions page 23

ISSUE 17 | August 2022

CROSSWORD ACROSS 1. Fad or frenzy 5. Opportunity, so to speak 9. Infiltrator, perhaps 14. Traveling, say 15. Spoonbills do it 16. Pillow filler 17. Juniors, e.g. 19. Fractious 20. Lumberjack's cry 21. Big beef piece 23. Border duty 25. What tellers do 30. Advent 32. Like a span of oxen 33. "The Water Diviner" actor 36. Redressing 38. Communal pronoun 39. Farm hand, at times 40. Call, in Vegas 41. Broadway handouts 44. Updates a blog 46. Get another magazine 47. Weapon for a trooper 49. Frees from doubt 51. Extreme cruelty 54. Checklist bit 56. High beam? 58. Sousaphones 62. Strip of leaves 64. Word with secret or press 65. "So be it!" 66. Trap starter 67. Frat letter 68. Indicates yes 69. Grown grigs DOWN 1. Go on a tirade 2. Expect anon 3. Type of radiation

4. Something to tweeze 5. Overshadows 6. High-quality table wood 7. Coleridge works 8. Pine secretion 9. Became exhausted, with "out" 10. Be a bad witness 11. Campaign creations 12. Trawler attachment 13. Venture 18. Paris flower 22. Library gizmo 24. Savage 26. ___ of hope 27. Out of whack 28. Church dogma 29. A sphere lacks them 31. Breaks the news 33. Coconut product 34. Recreation center posting 35. Grad school grillings 37. Western Colorado sights 39. Bathroom cleaner? 42. "___ don't say!" 43. Latte preparer 44. Bicycle 45. Hole in the head 48. Empire builders 50. Chair or car style 52. In need of freshening 53. Mercury, for example 55. Office comm. 57. Pilates count 58. Body image, briefly? 59. "Yuck" cousin 60. Quilting social 61. Carpenter at the picnic? 63. Served dinner


ISSUE 17 | August 2022



Discovering the secret Italy step back in time to experience authentic local Italian life. In Piedmont, Langhe boasts Tuscan-style rolling landscapes covered in vineyards with petite villages clustered on hilltops – with the added bonus of views across to the snow-topped Alps. Piedmont’s gourmet capital Alba is a must for any foodie’s itinerary, thanks to its elegant pasticcerie and providores specialising in white truffles and local wine.



S the return to international travel takes off, Italy is the number one destination for many Australians heading back to Europe – with 52% of those ready to travel planning a visit soon. First time visitors will soak up the usual tourist hotspots like Rome, Florence, Venice and Tuscany, however for returning-visitors and those looking to discover a slice of real Italy beyond the usual tourist hordes there are some great alternatives. You see, repeat visitors, and those who prefer the pioneering to the popular, are swapping established tourist hotspots for alternative and underrated gems full of charm, character and color. By embracing this ‘secondary travel destination’ trend, visitors can visit a much-loved destination and extend their stay for a more immersive Italian experience from the top of the boot to the tip. So go beyond Rome, Florence, Venice, Tuscany, and the Amalfi Coast on your next Italian adventure with these destination swaps to get you started… Loved Venice? Then visit Chioggia Just a hop, skip and jump from the hustle and bustle of Venice, Chioggia is a quieter town with the same vibe you know and love. Situated on the southern side of the Venetian lagoon on the Adriatic Coast, Chioggia is home to charming canals, colorful historic buildings, and boats and bridges galore best explored on foot.

Loved Capri? Then visit Procida If you’ve been captivated by the color, cuisine and photogenic beauty of Capri, then you’re bound to fall in love with Procida, a tiny island nestled between Ischia and Naples which made an international name for itself as the filming location for ‘The Talented Mr Ripley’ and is Italy’s reigning Capital of Culture. Combining coastal walking trails, mouth-watering Napoli pizza, historic buildings such as the Abbazia San Michele Arcangelo, fishing villages, and more than its fair share of traditional bakeries, Procida is gorgeous rather than glamorous and much less chaotic than Capri in peak season – although it does

Loved the Amalfi Coast & Italian Riviera? Then visit Tropea, Ostuni, Sestri Levante or San Fruttuoso If clifftop buildings, sandy beaches and clear blue waters normally lure you to the Amalfi Coast or Cinque Terre, try the impossibly beautiful Tropea at the tip of Italy’s toe in Calabria instead. Known as the Pearl of the Tyrrhenian Sea, Tropea get crowded with Italian holiday makers during August.

Loved Rome? Then visit Ostia Antica, Matera, Bologna, or Verona If you’re enchanted by the rich history and ancient architecture of Rome, you’ll be fascinated by Ostia Antica, where the ancient ruins are said to be better preserved than Pompeii. In southern Italy, Matera in Basilicata is utterly unique and a bucket-list destination for those fascinated by history. Home to the world-heritage-listed ‘Sassi di Matera’, a series of intriguing cave dwellings cut from rock dating back 30,000 years, the city’s narrow alleys are best explored on foot Bologna in Emilia-Romagna is known as Italy’s food capital, with a café and restaurant scene rivalling Rome, as well as its fair share of historic icons, including Europe’s oldest university and countless buildings boasting porticos. This is the spot to taste handmade tortellini and tagliatelle al ragu, or to take a tasting tour of the Quadrilatero market district, collecting cheese and cured meats along the way.

Loved Lake Como? Then visit Lake Braies or Lake Orta Ask anyone about Italy’s most famous lakes and they’re likely to mention the villa-lined playground of the rich and famous, Lake Como or Lake Garda, yet some of the country’s other lake and

alpine districts are often overlooked…but shouldn’t be. Lago di Braies, or Lake Braies, is a breathtaking lake with UNESCO World Heritage Site billing in the heart of the Dolomites in South Tyrol. Known for its crystal-clear water and dramatic mountain backdrop, it’s best explored by hiking the perimeter trail or renting a boat for a picturesque paddle with a picnic.

Loved Tuscany? Then visit The Collio, Orvieto, Le Marche or Langhe If rolling hills, pretty hilltop villages, fields of flowers, gourmet adventures or zipping between wineries on a Vespa are still high on your holiday wish list, there are several Italian regions which give Tuscany a run for its money. Choose The Collio wine region in Friuili-Venezia Giulia for blooming sunflowers, family-run vineyards and spectacular valleys along the Slovenian border. Over in Umbria, atmospheric Orvieto is home to a magnificent gothic Duomo, artisan boutiques peddling hand-painted ceramics and an incredible underground city, while Castelluccio boasts glorious views over the Apennine Mountains and fields of violets and poppies during spring. Sitting pretty alongside Umbria is Le Marche, a lesser-known region which deserves to be discovered. Combining turquoise waters along the Adriatic Coast, rural landscapes waiting to be painted, scenic Monti Sibillini National Park which is beloved by hikers, and historic walled villages where visitors can take a

was lauded as Italy’s Most Beautiful Village in 2021 For a completely different ambience, Instagram favorite Ostuni in Puglia exudes Greek vibes with its whitewashed architecture, hilltop location, winding streets, and Adriatic Sea views. Sestri Levante in Liguria is a dreamy alternative to popular Positano with its colorful houses, delightful boats, beaches, and lively evening street life, while the quirky hilltop village of Seborga above Rada di Poggio – which is seeking sovereignty to become its own micronation like Monaco (only a much more downto-earth version) – is a heavenly hamlet known for its olive farming, elected ‘royalty’ and views. Hidden between Portofino and Camogli, San Fruttuoso can only be reached via a panoramic hiking trail, or by sea, but this tiny piece of paradise is reward in itself for making the effort to get there. With its pebbled beach directly in front of an ancient monastery, it’s an escapist’s delight inviting visitors to slow down, savor fresh local seafood and revel in the gorgeous Golfo Paradiso views.

Loved Florence? Then visit Lecce, Pienza, Urbino The unofficial ‘Florence of the South’, Lecce in Apulia is the obvious choice for those looking for cities renowned for Renaissance arts and architecture. With its central Duomo, Sant’Oronzo square, Baroque buildings, historic amphitheatre and churches with golden facades, Lecce is vibrant university town worthy of inclusion on any Puglian itinerary.

Games Solutions


ISSUE 17 | August 2022



It’s ruining my productivity! DALLAS SHERRINGHAM


MUST admit up front that I am a Netflix addict, thanks to the pandemic and too much time on my hands in lockdown. And it has ruined my productivity and work etiquette to such an extent that I lose endless hours of sleep worrying about the likely outcome of the next episode of my favorite shows. It all started rather quietly when I discovered that Netflix was actually available through my Foxtel link. I’d heard about it, but it never actually watched it. The movies were mostly Hollywood rubbish made to suit delinquents interested in super heroes and monsters from Mars. This all changed during the first week of lockdown when I found a link to wellknown shock-horror series “The Tiger King”. Around 1pm on Monday afternoon I switched on the first episode and was immediately hypnotized by the antics of one Joe Exotic and his arch nemesis, the equally eccentric Carole Baskin, The first episode was like settling down for a quiet drink as we learnt about the ‘stars’ of the series framed by the superb Big Cats. Now, Netflix has a way of leaving you dangling between episodes like to old Movie serials we used to watch at the local Cinema every Saturday morning. I watched the next six episodes one after the other which took me beyond

Jenny Folley.

midnight when you take into consideration meal breaks and family matters. And so it has been ever since. I start watching a series and I have to watch them all one after the other- The Keepers, Murder Investigations, Below Deck,

Aussie Gold Hunters, Sports Frauds, Murder Mountain- the list goes on and on. Then I began watching foreign language docos which had subtitles which are hard to read when you are trying to concentrate on the images. Workwise, it meant a lot less sleep, watching TV into the wee small hours and then trying to start work at 5am. Some afternoons, I was watching the telly instead of working. And it seems I wasn’t only one to suffer from this terrible affliction. Netflix and its impact on workplaces and productivity across the country has been recognised as a national problem. According to CEO of Workspaces Jenny Folley, Netflix and binge-watching addiction, is affecting many people including key personnel. Ms Folley in her report said: • Many people became hooked on

Netflix during the pandemic. • Most bingers will watch up to six shows at a time. • People are now watching during work hours, while at work and at home. • The syndrome 'Nextflixitis' is impacting productivity. • Workers and workplaces need to urgently address the issue. The quickest and simplest way to do it is to turn off the Netflix link and not to wander the airwaves looking for shows to watch. That’s what I have done, but also have been diagnosed with chronic ‘Foxitis’ , brought about by watching to much sport at all hours of the night and in the early morning. At least I have gained a little education during the process with Judge Judy and The Peoples Court giving me excellent legal advice.


ISSUE 17 | August 2022



It’s all about results and fun



F you’re looking to get started on a health and fitness program, one thing that you should give some consideration to is hiring a personal trainer. Many people are quick to jump to the conclusion that rather than hiring a trainer, they can just go about this journey on their own. They pick up a workout they’ve found on Instagram or on the Internet and immediately get going, hoping to achieve the body of their dreams. As they get started, many challenges start to arise. Maybe they don’t see the progress they had hoped for, they end up getting injured or just quickly lose motivation. To help prevent these challenges along with many others, hiring a personal trainer can be a smart move. Below are four reasons, why you should consider getting yourself a Personal Trainer hopefully they can help you make your mind up whether getting a PT is the right decision for you.

1. A Personal Trainer will make your Training Program more enjoyable Having someone dedicate time to putting together a tailored training program to suit your goals and exercise preferences. Is going to make your

training that much more enjoyable and if you are enjoying your training you are more likely to be able to stick to it. Being able to stick to a program consistently is going to be a huge factor in whether you achieve the results you are after.

2. A Personal Trainer will include progressions into your Training Program A good program will include gradual progressions over time. The principle of progressive overload is imperative to your long-term success. Progressive overload just means that you are continually making your training more difficult so that you continue to get better with your training and avoid plateau’s. Your trainer will be able to make sure you are always increasing one or several of the following training variables. Your reps, sets, weight lifted, training frequency or decreasing your rest periods. Most people don’t know how to do this correctly so a good trainer will be able to guide you in the right direction.

3. A Personal Trainer will make sure you are performing exercises correctly Making sure you are performing each exercise correctly, is going to mean you will maximise your results but will also decrease the chances of you hurting yourself. Your trainer will also be able to start you out on more basic exercises and then

make them more difficult as you begin to move better. Having someone with you will be mean that you can be adjusted and given the right cues so that you pick up the movements much quicker than if you tried to learn them on your own.

4. A Personal Trainer will help motivate you and keep you accountable Lastly, but one of the best reasons to hire a Personal Trainer is to have someone keep you accountable. By booking your exercise as an appointment you are much more likely to make it happen and

not skip workouts. Your Personal Trainer will also be standing right next to you and will be able to push you on that extra rep or go that little bit harder with your cardio training. Training consistently and pushing yourself is going to really make a difference to what kind of results you see. So, there you have the main reasons why you should consider hiring a personal trainer. If you haven’t done so yet, it might just be the time to consider it. Adam Simpson is lead trainer and founder at Repetitions Group fitness and Personal Training. Visit:

Property Showcase


ISSUE 17 | August 2022


Approval for $500M Parkside project DALLAS SHERRINGHAM


ORKERS Lifestyle Group has announced the approval of its massive $500M retirement village which will be one of the largest of its type in Australia when completed in 2027. Parkside Lifestyle Community will be built across 5.4ha of former playing fields and will feature 480 independent living units and a 160-unit residential aged care facility. The complex will also feature two community centres and a gym with a pool, plus a retail outlet. The project has been seven years in the planning and approval process and has been made possible because of an historic decision by the club to buy a 22.2ha parcel of land to initially be used a sports club and playing fields. Artist impression of the project

The club been a massive success story, expanding into three clubs with 55,000 members and turning over $45M annually. The clubs are Workers Blacktown, Workers Sports and Workers Hubertus which is a country club situated at Luddenham, close to the Western Sydney International Airport. Mr Stewart said the new project was a “win-win” concept because it would address the needs of the large proportion of Blacktown and the club’s aging population. He said it would also diversify the club’s revenue, 75% of which is currently produced by gaming.

CEO Morgan Stewart

Workers chief executive Morgan Stewart said in a media interview it was a “great legacy vision” and proved to be a “pure land bank”. “We talk about legacy and wanting people to look back and say: ‘That was an incredible -such a good play,” he said. And developing some of that land into the seniors’ living project is the next big step for the club which is now in its eighth decade after being formed in 1955 at a meeting convened on one hot January day.

“Parkside meets a real need in Western Sydney for a high-quality retirement, self-contained, secure facility right next door to our Workers Sports facilities.” The exciting project has positive repercussions for the senior residents of the region, especially aging club members. “We expect many Parkside residents will be our own club members,” Mr Stewart said.

“We’ve been talking with the about this project for years and the common response we get is: ‘when can I buy a unit?’” Planning approval is in place, finance is secured and the club is now ready to proceed with project to be completed in several stages during the next five years. Visit

Strong revenue position “It is a very strong revenue positive,” he said. “The money we generate is reinvested back into services and products for our members. “This is an extension of our income diversification.” Parkside will operate on a licence model, where residents will purchase the right to live in a unit . Workers Lifestyle Group will retain the freehold.

Artist impression of the project




ParramattA ParramattA T I M E S

ISSUE 20 | MARCH 2022


MARCH 2022 | EDITION 130 APRIL 2021 Edition 120

Voice of Australia’s most progressive city

BUY NOW PAY LATER How Aussies are taking to the new plan: 2

BUSINESS SURVEY Why finding staff is the biggest concern: 5



Our favourite charities in two years of COVID: 10

POWERHOUSE Parramatta CEO Lisa Havilah is more interested in the flood of excitement over the controversial $920M project than any flood-waters that may lap at its riverside approach. After the recent devastating rains that saw Parramatta River break its banks between the ferry wharf and the site of the museum, Ms Havilah is adamant that the building and its exhibits will not be affected.



Here’s how business traditions will change

RETAIL BOUNCES BACK IT HE ecommerce craze shows no signs of abating with a new generation of young entrepreneurs

their risk of viral infections. There will be some blurring between what we wear to bed or lounge around in at

Now retailers have revealed the solutions and support measures needed for the industry bounce back this year and beyond. FULL STORY PAGE 5

fast-growing company behind brands The Oodie, Calming Blankets and Pupnaps. More page 20.

Westmead Hospital’s new clinical tower oepns: 2

New suburb named Bradeld

Govy ofcially names high tech city at Aerotropolis: 6



Special tribute to local business winners

AUTO: SsangYong's mid-life update: 30 BUSINESS: Retailers reveal solutions: 34 TRENDS: Is love passing you by?: 36

home de and what we wear out. The forecasts come from si in Davie Fogarty, Founder and CEO of Davie Group, the

World class health care

Minister pushing for more women on Parramatta Council: 3




traditional jobs for selling everythingon ’TS noswapping secret times have been the toughest from pet food to high end clothing online. They record for Western Sydney’s ‘bricks and mortar’ are part of the revolution which has seen a large proretail but this has from a proud portionindustry, of Aussies continue to sector earn a living home, relocate of cities and takefrom precautions to reduceof times. history of out bouncing back the hardest


ISSUE 9 | April 2021

Family business in COVID

How many leveraged patience capital during COVID: 12

How hope really works

Feature on the Salvation Army Red Shield Appeal: 15


SALOVS: How hope really happens: 19

FTER a few hot summers rather than refurbish it. After a bit of for swimmers who a scuffle between Parramatta Council loved Parramatta and and the NSW Government on who Wentworthville pools and suffered would pay for its replacement, an during their closures, relief is on the agreement was reached on funding way. Just a day apart, the refurbished for the state-of-the-art aquatic Wentworthville pool opened and centre. And in Wentworthville, a the first sod was turned on Olympian the concerted community campaign and ARRAMATTA’S four-time Melissa Wu has well and truly dived in the deep end as aParramatta contestant onAquatic the blockbuster SAS Show on Channelsaved 7 andthe 7plus. spectacular theAustralia Cumberland Council, And the Olympic diver won’t diminutive stand in her way While as she Centre. Both communities havebe letting her beloved poolsize with an upgrade. takeswithout on a hot field of sporting andthe celebrity contestants the top rating After been a pool since 2017, Parramattainresidents waitprogram. two years all, she won four Commonwealth Games goldfor medals wasthey full ofare determination Parramatta Memorial Pool demolished theirand pool, welcome toin an peek of the 2022 season of SASdive Australia, which started on February 21 on toall-new makesneak way for Bankwest Stadium to Wenty. Channel 7 and 7plus. More page 6. and the previous Holroyd Council FULL STORY PAGE 6 wanting to close the tired Wenty pool

faces her toughest test



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48,000 Facebook followers Build your own resume Media support programs Multiple packages available


%ඔඉඋඓග඗ඟ1 Bඔඉඋඓග඗ඟN TRUSTED LOCAL NEWS


Issue 1 | April 2021

Inside the bank of mum and dad: 16

EXCLUSIVE: Bob Turner on his new role at Blacktown FC.


Blacktown FC is B ready to go: 31

How Afghan women typify our diversity: 18


Young people turning their lives around at BYSA.

Youth Needs Our Support


VITAL youth service in Blacktown is set to close after missing out on important State Government funding. The Blacktown Youth Support Association’s Youth HQ program helps young people at risk - those who have

been in trouble with the law or those who may be headed that way. But the service was told at the end of last year by the Department of Communities and Justice that they had missed out on funding, in favour of more “targeted” youth

programs. A letter from the Minister for Families and Communities Gareth Ward suggested that the BYSA seeks funding from other government departments such as education and sport. FULL STORY 10

WELCOME to the Blacktown NEWS

Grant owes his life to mate Echo W ELCOME to Blacktown's NEW LOCAL media The News will be distributed across 110 strategic disAs one of the state’s fastest growing cities, Blacktown voice, The Blacktown News (BN). tribution points in the LGA. has undergone a signicant transformation. The Blacktown News is the much-anticipated It's population is set to rise from 400,000 to 540,000 Published in digital and print editions the Blacktown Hews has amedia great reason to be inseparable And we all know the healing newRANT newspaper and digital brand that residents by 2036. power of an animal, a News offers maximum impact other. for targeted advertising covers Blacktown local news written by experi-Echo The Blacktown News is the printThe and digital media opportunities and reach to Blacktown's popula- never fromLGA hiswith best mate and savior, the Maltese powerdiverse that should be underestimated. heartenced journalists. resource that connects residents and visitors to the city’s tion. Terrier. You see, Echo saved heoffell warming story in late December when Grant was The Blacktown News is Blacktown's ONLY printedGrant’s life diverse community, its progress, business opportunities Withwhen a mission championing community and begins newspaper and is independently managed and lifestyle. business the BN is a proud media partner of theCOVID-19 into a diabetic owned comaand and when Grant wasissues, admitted diagnosed with and other underlying health locally by a management team that has been working in We value your feedback. Go to www.greaterblackGreater Blacktown Chamber of Commerce, the Blacktown More: page 6. to Blacktown each the Blacktown for almosthospital, 20 years. the pair were lost without to share your story. Local Business Awards and Blacktown



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ISSUE 17 | August 2022




Electric light hatch from Hyundai to set new affordability benchmark for EVs PETER BARNWELL


YUNDAI has this week confirmed it will produce an “affordable EV for Europe” possibly based on the i10 light hatch. Automotive News Europe (ANE) nailed the story in Prague on Tuesday reporting that Hyundai plans to launch a fully electric, entry-level car in Europe. Though no details are confirmed, a tiddler-size Hyundai EV may be based on the existing i10 to cut costs utilising components from the Ioniq electric model that is still (only just) available through dealers at $54,600 plus on-road costs. If it was to come to Australia, indicative pricing on an i10 based EV would place it at around $30,000 making it, in today’s market, by far the cheapest EV available. A Hyundai Australia spokesman said the importer has “no comment to make” regarding the Prague revelation. Hyundai’s smallest offering in Australia at the moment is the i20 N hot hatch priced at $32,990 plus on-road costs; but it is a size up on the i10 (pictured) which has been available in European and Asian markets in the current generation for a couple of years. According to ANE, the South Korean carmaker is developing an affordable, pure EV for Europe that could succeed the petrol-powered i10 but it will take some time to develop a production-ready version. Speculation relating to what would power such a vehicle centres around Hyundai’s Ioniq Electric, which is currently being phased out, but components from which could be re-purposed in an EV minicar to keep costs down. That would mean a 100kW/295Nm single electric traction motor driving the front wheels and sourcing power from a 38kWh lithium-ion battery that is rechargeable in as little as 54 minutes using a 100kW charger. In the 1540kg Ioniq Electric, a claimed range of 311km is possible; though that would be greater in a smaller, lighter vehicle such as an i10 EV. Hyundai Motor Europe’s marketing chief, Andreas-Christoph Hofmann

said of the forthcoming EV minicar: “Automakers in Europe are developing affordable small electric cars as lawmakers tighten emissions regulations and consumer increasingly switch to EVs.”

Working on a family EV Volkswagen Group is said to be working on a family of small EVs for its VW, Skoda and Cupra brands with a target starting price of €20,000 ($A29,600). According to ANE, Mr Hofmann said Hyundai’s small EV would have similar pricing. “Everybody in the industry knows the target of this kind of vehicle is 20,000 euros,” he told the Automotive News Europe Congress in Prague. Mr Hofmann said city cars are tough to sell profitably because of their low

pricing and due to the technical problems in electrifying small vehicles. Hyundai will launch 11 more full electric vehicles in Europe by 2030, Mr Hofmann said. The brand currently sells the Ioniq 5 compact crossover joined this month, by the Ioniq 6 sedan. “(The) Ioniq 6 will arrive in Europe before year end, but sales in most EU markets will start in early 2023,” said Mr Hofmann. “EVs accounted for 16 per cent of total sales of the Hyundai brand in the first half (of the year).” In his speech, Mr Hofmann spoke of the future Ioniq 7 large SUV which he confirmed for Europe but clarified the statement saying it is mainly a vehicle conceived for the US market where larg-

er vehicles are more popular. ANE says the success of its current electric range is helping Hyundai to increase sales and market share in Europe in the first half of 2022. “Hyundai brand’s sales in the EU, EFTA and UK markets rose 8.2 per cent year-on-year through to June in a total market down 14 per cent. The brand’s market share increased to 4.7 per cent from 3.7 per cent, according to data from industry association ACEA,” it reported. Notwithstanding global supply and transport problems, Hyundai aims to continue to increase its vehicle sales in Europe this year compared to last year and boost its market share. “We are confident about the second half (of the year)” Mr Hofmann told ANE.



ISSUE 17 | August 2022

BULLET TRAIN - 4 Stars DIRECTED by David Leitch, the modern master of the action movie, Bullet Train doesn’t disappoint.


t’s full of inventive action, couched in a series of intriguing scenarios thrown up by the setting and the multinational cast of assassins. Whether it’s samurai swords slicing through train seats, briefcases being used as weapons, explosive handguns, throwing knives or hyperdemic needles, the fights always seem fresh and inventive. If the choreography doesn’t quite match Leitch’s previous work on John Wick or The Matrix, perhaps that’s too be forgiven - it’s less about realism here, and more about how ridiculous the movie can go. The film does feel a tad long, although it never truly drags; the abundance of non-stop action sees to that. Oddly enough, the length is felt at the start, where the character introductions, muddled amongst a sea of early action set pieces, feel jumpy and ill-atease. Once the film settles into itself and we’re aware of the pieces at play, as well as the edges of the board, it becomes a much more manageable beast. Indeed, as much as it is long (clocking in at over two hours), it never loses your interest. Brad Pitt is a wonder in the lead role, delivering a performance as the emotionally reformed, fresh out of therapy Ladybug that is charming, hilarious and endearing. He’s matched by a pair of incredible

performances in Taylor-Johnson and Tyree-Henry, who are true joys to watch on screen together in this film. There are a couple of misfired characters who fail to stick, and only one of the three surprise cameos lands, but for the most part this is a funny, engaging piece

that is acted superbly and anchored by a true talent. Ultimately, Bullet Train is the sort of fun summer action flick that feels fresh, will make you smile, wince and belly laugh in equal measure, and will have you fondly remembering moments for


Living with

days to come. Is it worth the price of a ticket? Undoubtedly.

Reviews by Jacob Richardson Creative Director | Film Focus

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Mental Health

ISSUE 17 | August 2022



You need to change your habits MINDSET | MARCUS WHEAN


SYCHOLOGY is basically the science of everything relating to human mental processes and behaviours. As a psychologist and coach, I apply this every day to helping clients. People of all ages and backgrounds present with their own unique issues and stories. Whilst we have unique individual differences there are certain factors we share in how and why we think and behave the way we do. When we experience challenges and stresses it is often because of how we think or are thinking. The mind itself not a thing as such; and is an abstract concept to define. We all get what we mean by mind but defining what it is exactly is, for me, not straightforward. For simplicity’s sake let’s describe mind as the experiencing of life and ourselves by way of senses, perceptions, thoughts and emotions. It is this interaction that is both or mind and our experience of mind and therefore ourselves and our life. It is important to understand however, that whilst the mind ‘causes’ our life experience; it is the ‘effect’ of our life experiences, actions and habits. It is the way we interpret and make sense and meaning of all that has happened and anticipating the future as to what may yet happen. To change our minds though is not at all easy as you may relate. To just say “think differently”, or “just think positively” is, in reality, an unrealistic proposition. We can think in such a way to be intentional but just changing our thoughts on a whim is not easy and any changes are often not sustained. Why? To change our thinking, thoughts and mindset we must change our behaviours and challenge our daily habits. Thinking the same old way, we always have is a habit itself. We cannot change the habits of thinking unless we change the habits of daily behaviours and actions. Our mindset and thinking habits have been reinforced by correlating actions and behaviours. We must redefine, rethink our in-

tentions and daily habits more so than just our thoughts themselves if we are to truly change our minds and life experience; and in turn increase mental health and wellness and quality of life. We are what we think, yes; only because the way we think is maintained because of what we do. It’s a vicious cycle It is hard to change our habits and therefore thinking because the old thinking habits, particularly if they’re negative, are going to keep us avoiding acting – which is why people fail to achieve goals. It’s a vicious cycle. What to do: We must think about how we want to be! What we want to do! How we want to live our life! This must be based on what we value and is truly important to us. Not what we wish we were; and not because it seems life what everyone else wants. Define this based on your core values and what is important to you! Set long term goals and smaller sub-goals and

plans to achieve these goals. The daily plans and steps form the basis for new habits. These new habits become ‘evidence’ for new thinking because they become an actual lived emotional experience and not just some ideal of how you’d like to be. For instance, if you want to be healthier and more active. You can’t just think about being like that. You must think about your plans then make them and DO THEM. When you take action aligned with that thought you then ‘become’ a healthier and more active person as per that example. This behaviour aligned with action is the new reality, effects changes in mind and this becomes the new you. This now becomes a new way of thinking about yourself. It’s not in the future and it’s not a fantasy. You have literally changed your mind by changing your habits. You then have a sustained new self-concept and way to

think about yourself. If there’s one quick takeaway, I’d say keep it simple to start. But most importantly even if you start small, start with yourself. Start a new, small habit that is all for you; around self-care and taking the time to put yourself first. Mine is 15-20 minutes of meditation, contemplation and setting daily intentions. I do this because I value myself. When you do something even small for yourself that you value – you are by implication valuing yourself and will experience self-value and in turn change your mind and experiencing of yourself that you value and appreciate yourself. This is a healthy mindset and therefore a healthier and happier, you! Marcus Whelan is a Registered Psychologist and Mental Fitness Coachwith 10+ years’ experience in private practice. He holds undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in psychology and education. Visit: www.marcuswhelanpsychology.

Digigtal edition



ISSUE 17 | August 2022


How COVID has turned our gaze are addressed through implementing active engagement amongst employees through online communication platforms. If employees are required to be present on premises, it is important to have safety measures in place such as regular cleaning and social distancing practices and even the implementation of rapid antigen testing.



E all know that COVID has turned our gaze onto our resilience, response, recovery and reinvention, in a climate of economic, social and financial instability. We also understand that there are significant risks caused to organisations, large and small, when there is a disruption to usual operational practices that affect finances as well as the health and wellbeing of their employees. For some the impacts have been disastrous, in contrast to the fruitful opportunities that have arisen for others while others have held steady steering their business for survival. One lesson that we should all learn is that preparation for these risks and risk management strategies are implemented and form part of the organisation’s contingency business plan.

Operational risks To combat supply chain issues, it is paramount to maintain ongoing relationships with several local suppliers, if possible, to ensure continued provision of goods and services required to operate the business. A contract is a perfect way to start. To avoid fraud, have controls in place detecting fraud at any time, regardless of any COVID restrictions. Implement

Forward planning

regular meetings with team members as fraud is ever changing and so too is the plan to combat fraudulent activity. Make sure your debt recovery processes are revised and robust.

Technological risks Cyber-attack, through the use of devices and software by employees is the biggest risk factor. Ensure that both devices and software are safeguarded to protect sensitive information, both when working on premises or remotely. Common methods are multi-factor authentication, security system and

device protections that are in line with global security standards and are monitored, reported and continually updated. Train your staff to be alert.

Human risks The safety and wellbeing of employees is paramount and their absence has significant impacts on operation capabilities. A COVID safety plan, specific to the operational needs of your organisation, should protect staff whether on premises or remote or both. Where employees are working from home, ensure that mental health risks


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ISSUE 17 | August 2022

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ISSUE 17 | August 2022


Peter Shiels and his journey



LACKTOWN has produced many sports stars. In this series called SPORTS REWIND we’ll be talking to some of Blacktown’s most celebrated sports achievers. First off the rank is Peter "Stretch" Shiels, born September 4 1973. As a rugby league player he played for the Penrith, Western Suburbs, Western Reds, the Newcastle Knights in Australia and St. Helens in the Super League as a second-row Peter Shiels in his playing days. and as a prop forward. spending time with us today. You grew up Peter grew up in Mt Druitt and he is in Mt Druitt. Tell us about your childhood married to Linda (née Alexander), the sismemories growing up in what many ter of fellow former rugby league footbalwould regards as tougher part of Western lers, Ben Alexander and Greg Alexander. Sydney? These days he resides in Newcastle PS: Most of my memories from my where he works as a real estate agent. childhood consist of non-stop sport with Shiels got his start in real estate with a lokids in the streets. While Mt Druitt is cal agency, and in 2020 he opted to create considered a tough suburb, it also breeds his own brand Shiels Property. The office strong people and I believe I have benefitis in Whitebridge; and one of his employted from my youth there. ees is his eldest daughter, Ruby. MW: Where did you go to school and Blacktown News editor Michael what were you like at school, given you Walls sat down with Peter for this went on to be a professional rugby league exchange. player? MW: Welcome Peter, thanks for

Busco for Brekky and

Drive with Linden Every Weekday

PS: I attended Mt Druitt High school. During school, my focus was always on sports and I didn’t excel academically until later in life. My teachers would all tell you the same thing . . . that my mind was always on the footy field. MW: How do you think the area has changed since you moved away? PS: To be honest, I haven’t been back for some time as my family and friends all relocated and moved out of the area. Occasionally when I am down that way, I do take a detour and drive passed my old house where I grew up. It’s crazy to see it now – everything is so built up around it – I never could have imagined how much the area could have changed. MW: Tell us about your move to rugby league. When did you realise that was what you wanted to do? PS: I was working as an apprentice when I was around 17-18 and started playing again in the local Penrith comp & was lucky enough to be invited to trial. From that day I realised that it was something that I could actually make a career out of and I didn’t give up until I did. MW: Support is very important for any professional sportsperson. How would

you describe the support you received from family growing up? PS: Support is paramount in all walks of life & I was especially lucky to have that support from family. They were always there to take me to and from training (in the early days) and to provide advice. They never missed a game and were my number one fans! I could never have achieved any of it without their support. MW: Your fondest memory (s) of your playing career? PS: Oh wow! There are so many to choose from. I guess some of my favourite times were from when I was playing for Cont page 47

Peter today, a successful real estate agent.


ISSUE 17 | August 2022

With the Newcastle Kights.


Peter's love of sport started as a kid on the fields of Western Sydney.

From page 46 Newcastle Knights. We had a lot of fun and the Newcastle supporters really give the whole game a next level vibe. I also can’t go past my memories from St Helens in the UK – winning the World Cup Challenge, Challenge Cup & the Super League Title – it was so surreal, and I never thought I could be a part of something like that. They are just some of the memories I will cherish forever. MW: What are your views on the way the game of Rugby League has changed since you played? PS: I think the difference in today's game comes down to the speed and strength of the players. They have just advanced so much and over the years have learnt new ways to train and perform. Back in the day, we trained a lot, and we played hard – but it was still just a game to us. These days it is taken a lot more seriously. MW: You're in the property game now,

which is very competitive. What attracted you to that line of work. PS:I was attracted to the industry because of the people – the people we meet, the people we work with, the people we coach and train, and the people we get to help every day. The ability to enhance someone’s life through property, and the trust that they put in you to do it is almost as big a high as winning the Super League Title! MW: What skills and values do you think you bring to the business? PS: I think the skills that I most bring to the business are resilience and strength – both of which were bred into me from an early age growing up in a tough suburb, and also from pursuing a dream career in a highly competitive sport. I really had to push to make something of myself and to not be seen as the poor kid from Mt Druitt. I have tried, failed and been knocked down more times than the average person, but I have learnt to never let anyone or anything else keep me

down. If I want the results, I have to put in the work to achieve them – and that not only goes for myself, but also for my clients. I will always put in 110% to get the right results – and I won’t stop until I do. MW: Tell us about what motivates Peter Shiels as a businessman, and as a family man? PS: As both a businessman and a family man, my motivation is driven by my desire to create a better life for my family. One which they will never have to know what it feels like to be knocked down. MW: What are your plans for the business in terms of growth and strategy? PS: We have massive plans for the future and we’re so excited to really get things going now that we’re in our new office. So far we’ve only been in operation for 6 months & in that short time our team has grown from just 2 staff members, to 7. Our Property Management Team is growing at a rapid pace, we have just added an extra salesperson and we’ve now employed an operations manager.

We’d love to see the company grow to include multiple offices across various locations – but for now, we’re just happy being a hyper localised office. MW: Where do you see the local property opportunities emerging? PS: Newcastle & Lake Macquarie is still underdeveloped & opportunities are everywhere. The great thing about the Newcastle & Lake Macquarie areas is that there are so many opportunities for everyone – there are pockets for first home buyers, investors, millionaires, or developers. You can choose from lakeside, beachside, countryside or mountainside. The opportunities that exist in these regions are endless. MW: Finally, if you could have dinner with any three people (alive or dead) who would they be and why? PS: Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly from Step Brothers and of course, my wife. Michael Walls is editor of Blacktown News and a first cousin of Peter Shiels.

Fr i d a y 18 t h N ove m b e r B l a c k t ow n Wo r ke r s C l u b

B e t t e r Fo u n d a t i o n

The Better Foundation Spring Gala is back for 2022! Come & join Natarsha Belling & Kaleidascope Dreams for a wonderful night supporting Blacktown & Mount Druitt Hospitals Tickets available at