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N Issue 2 | May 2021

Blacktown's LOCAL media voice



THIS EDITION Medieval banquet returns Back by popular demand, the Medieval Banquet will again be a major highlight of two days of events and entertainment at the Medieval Fayre at Doonside. Page 5.

Eagles’ mixed to start to season IT has been a mixed start to the season for the Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles NRL team, but there are signs of good things to come for one of the region’s favourite sporting teams. Page 29.

How sport builds and unites Exclusive by BOB TURNER. I WAS watching my six-yearold granddaughter play football last Sunday and could not help but reflect on the impact and importance sport plays in our lives. Page 30.

Workers break through in building the WestConnex.


MASSIVE 40 minutes will be slashed off the travel time between Blacktown and Sydney Airport at Mascot when the WestConnex project is finished in 2023. It means decades of stop-start trips through the southern city will finally come to an end. And travelling to the CBD from the end of the M4 at Haberfield and the southern city or the east will be a breeze com-


pared to the bad old days. The massive WestConnex project has been hailed as one of the biggest breakthroughs in Blacktown and Western Sydney business history in more ways than one. It means that businesspeople, commuters and residents can flash around under the city in a fraction of the time it used to take for the drive from Sydney to Blacktown. Full story: 13


21 MAY – 30 MAY 2021 For more information and to download a program, visit blacktown.nsw.gov.au/festival

Boost to Blacktown business IN a boost for local businesses, Blacktown City Council has announced the return of its successful business training series. Page 23.

This dance will last forever A LOVE story for the ages is being played out in the busy wards and corridors of Blacktown Hospital – and it all started with a dance. Page 10.


ISSUE 2 | May 2021

Blacktown City blacktown.nsw.gov.au




395,000 population

18.81 billion regional economy



average economic growth

registered businesses

143,259 local jobs


SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE 21 MAY – 30 MAY 2021 Lots of Laughs Comedy Night | Songlines and Sightlines Reconciliation Walk and Gathering | Sips N Strokes Blacktown City Medieval Banquet | Blacktown City Medieval Fayre Drag Bingo | Bluey Kids Concert | Play School Kids Concert Sweet Indulgence Dessert Festival | Night Market | Lorenzo and Friends Blacktown Parkfest | Vibes by the Lake

Find out more blacktown.nsw.gov.au/festival Blacktown City Council acknowledges the Darug people as the traditional owners of the land on which Blacktown City was built.

Email us: council@blacktown.nsw.gov.au

Call us: 9839 6000

Visit us: 62 Flushcombe Road, Blacktown

Mail us: PO Box 63, Blacktown 2148


ISSUE 2 | May 2021


$50M tower planned for CBD site Developer lodges DA for function centre, apartments  DALLAS SHERRINGHAM MAJOR tower project to complement the Dr Charlie Teo Medical Project has been lodged with Blacktown City Council. The $50M tower features a function centre, licensed restaurant and apartment. Under the proposal, a strip of current shops will make way for the 16-storey building at 34-46 Flushcombe Rd, Blacktown. The developer Phoenix Hotel Group plans to build 150 residential apartments, a ground level pub with a licensed restaurant and a first floor function centre with meeting rooms. The development will also include up to five levels of basement parking and 14 levels of apartments. The rooftop area will be used as a communal entertainment area overlooking the CBD. The current site features a range of businesses including a real estate agency, a chicken shop, two hair salons, a massage clinic and tutoring centre.


According to planning documents, the development is not expected to lead to a drastic increase in traffic. “Customers, diners, gamers are expected to be largely walk-ins due to the site’s prime location within the heart of the Blacktown CBD, rather than driving to the site as a ‘destination’,” planning proposals said. The proposed function and meeting rooms are intended to complement the pub and will be available for booking as part of the pub facilities. If approved, the development would neighbor an $800m Brain and Spinal Institute, planned by leading neurosurgeon Charlie Teo on the site of the current Blacktown Council administration building. Future transformation of the Blacktown CBD was boosted when the State Government approving a $1.1 billion plan to rezone land in the centre of Blacktown, increase building heights and make way with floorspace ratio restrictions. In January, the council revealed plans to sell the parcel of prime real estate in the Blacktown city centre and move the administrative centre and neighboring Leo Kelly Blacktown Arts Centre.

Artist impression of the project.

2021 HSC timetable released ,000 NSW school students received their personalised timetable for the 2021 written HSC exams. HSC written exams will start on Tuesday, October 12 with a compulsory English paper and finish with the examination of Food Technology on Thursday, November 4. Minister for Education Sarah Mitchell said the release of the HSC timetables are


the final leg of the school journey for Year 12 students. “The HSC is a logistical behemoth, it includes scheduling 18 days of HSC exams involving around 76,000 students, 129 exams and more than 775 exam centres,” Ms Mitchell said. “The HSC is the culmination of years of schooling and receiving your timetable makes it all the more real for students.

“Students are already working hard in their final year, and I wish them all the best during an exciting time.” NESA CEO Paul Martin said planning for the HSC exams is a necessarily rigorous process, especially after last year showed just how quickly things can change. “The timetable is designed to provide a schedule which is as fair and equitable

as possible to ensure all students get the opportunity to do their best in their written exams,” said Mr Martin. “Last year showed that plans can change in an instant and we always want to make sure students, schools and exam supervisors feel prepared for anything, so they can focus on exams.” All 2021 HSC students can access their timetable on Students Online from today.

Kiddo Stations is Supervised Playroom We are on a mission to revolutionise parents' lifestyle choices and the way they spend time between self and family's well-being. Kiddo Stations aims to support, encourage, and provide parents within the local community with the flexible opportunity for “me-time” (may that be for self-care, business, career, hobbies, shopping, or other errands) while their kids are well looked after in a safe and engaging environment Flexible OnDemand supervised playroom Diverse age group: 1 to 12 years old Dedicated junior and senior stations Strategically located within shopping centre

Safe, fun, and engaging environment Active-Play facilities, Toys, Games, Books, Arcade School Readiness Program, Homework Club /Tutoring Yoga, Arts & Crafts, and STEM Workshops

Contact Details: 0468988842 ∙ Open Thu-Sun ∙ www.kiddostations.com ∙ info@kiddostations.com



ISSUE 1 | April 2021


ISSUE 2 | MAY 2021 How to get The News


Blacktown RSL supporting community

www.greaterblacktownnews.com.au www.instagram.com/communitybroadcastnetwork/


LACKTOWN RSL sub-Branch have visited various locations over the week leading up to Anzac Day including schools, retirement villages, hospital’s and Western Sydney Cenotaph and War memorials. Blacktown RSL sub-Branch worked with the Australian Army and attended retirement villages in the Blacktown area. Both the Blacktown RSL sub-Branch, staff and the 1st Military Policer Battalion supported commemorations and engaged with the community. Melrose and the Uniting Retirement villages were visited by soldiers from 1 MP Battalion. Before the Anzac Day weekend, Blacktown RSL sub-Branch supported the western Sydney community in conducting Anzac Day commemorations. Blacktown RSL sub-Branch member John O'Brien joined members of 1 Military Police Battalion, and a 105-year-old WW veteran Bert Collins supporting the Kokoda track Anzac Day service. This event was hosted by the Concord Veteran Hospital. Blacktown RSL sub-Branch support the National Centre for Veterans Health at the Concord Hospital financially. Blacktown RSL sub-Branch continues to commemorate services like Anzac Day and Remembrance Day to support and raise awareness of issues for local veterans in the western Sydney area.


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 digitalf ormat at our ISSUU platform: www.issuu/communitybroadcastnetwork

Contacts Editorial michael@accessnews.com.au Admin and General info@greaterblacktownnews.com.au Editor Michael Walls michael@accessnews.com.au

Newsroom News Editor Di Bartok dibartok@yahoo.com.au News Reporter Lawrence Machado lawrencemachado@yahoo.com News Reporter Elizabeth Frias elizfrias@gmail.com Travel Editor Dallas Sherringham dallas@accessnews.com.au

Blacktown RSL sub-Branch member John O'Brien alongside members of 1 Military Police Battalion, and a 105-year-old WW veteran Bert Collins supporting the Kokoda track Anzac Day service.

Advertising sales Graham Maughan graham@accessnews.com.au

Administration Rebecca Swaleh info@greaterblacktownnews.com.au

Design and production Design2Pro, Words and Pixels.

Support Partner The Blacktown News is the official media partner of Blacktown FC and the Greater Blacktown Chamber of Commerce.


Our Broadcast Partner www.netwerx.tv – NETWERX is a broadcast hub that hosts and creates videos of public interest and commercial benefit.

News .................................3 Property ..........................14 Michelle Rowland ...........16 Community .....................18 Games ............................19

FREE SEO Review For Your Business In A Video Are you confused about SEO? Have you tried it before but didn't get the benefits? Do you need help in finding how SEO can help your business? Call us on

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In a 15 min personalised video we will show you: 1. Where your website is ranking on Google & for which Keywords. 2. How much traffic your competitors are receiving to their website? 3. What are the 3 major SEO gaps between you and your competitors?

contact@broadcastseo.com.au to request a review.


4. If SEO is a right fit for your business or not?


ISSUE 2 | May 2021


Medieval Fayre for Doonside Prepare yourself for West’s biggest jousting competition HE stunning sights and sounds of an ancient Medieval Fayre will spring to life in Doonside on the weekend of May 22-23. Prepare yourself for the clash of broadswords being swung and the sight of thousands of guests and participants dressed in medieval costumes. But best of all, will be the heart stopping jousting competition which draws riders from all over Australia fighting for the prestigious title of Champion Jouster. This is the chance to immerse yourself in the medieval culture with the Birds of Prey Show, medieval displays, combat artillery, handmade arts and crafts, free camel and pony rides and a working Blacksmith Hut. Visitors will experience the excitement of living history at


its best and all spectators are encouraged to come dressed in their favorite medieval attire. The event is a combined promotion by Blacktown City Council and Blacktown City Medieval Fayre. It will be held in Nurragingy Reserve, Knox Rd, Doonside from 10am each day. A range of products and gift vouchers will be given away to the winners of each of the following categories: best dressed male, best dressed female, best group, best dressed child male and best dressed child female. The competition will be held in the Main Jousting Arena at 12.30 pm each day.

Scenes from last year's event.

Details: www.blacktown.nsw.gov.au/ festival/Whats-on/Blacktown-CityMedieval-Fayre

Small Business Champion Awards open NTRIES for the 2021 Australian Small Business Champion Awards are now open. The awards recognise small business leaders in wide variety of industry categories. Small business people dedicate their lives in serving their communities and deserve recognition. These awards are the only dedicated national program recognising small business. All small businesses in Australia’s


retail, services and manufacturing industries are eligible to enter the Awards– there are 49 categories in total. Everybody loves a winner, and the Awards will put outstanding businesses on the map, making customers, suppliers and communities stand up and take notice. Steve Loe, founder of the awards and Managing Director of Precedent Productions said: “Now in its 23rd year, the national awards program has established a

Work From Home Opportunity

reputation for excellence and has become known as the Oscars of the small business community in Australia. It provides an opportunity for small businesses to celebrate and receive national recognition for their achievements.” Entries for the 2021 Australian Small Business Champion Awards are now being accepted and close on Friday, May 21, 2021. Enter via www.businesschampions. com.au

The Australian Small Business Champion Awards are proudly supported by Major Partners NOVA Employment, University of South Australia – Australian Centre for Business Growth, Castaway Forecasting and Big Clean. Businesses throughout Australia will be competing on a national level to be named Australian Small Business Champion in their category at the national awards ceremony in July at The Star Sydney.

Work From Home Opportunity

PARENTOPIA Digital Media Sales Professional

WEXPO is Western Sydney’s premium business expo series built around the themes of Growth and Connection that was originally planned to launch in 2020. With COVID restrictions easing, the organisers are now planning to hold a series of WEXPO events in Western Sydney in 2021 - at Parramatta, Blacktown and Penrith. We seek to engage an experienced professional (s) to work with us to market-sell stall packages and sponsorship options across the participating venues. This role would ideally suit a contractor based at home who is looking for additional projects or someone looking for a solid, flexible part-time project. You will have excellent client management, communication and sales skills and be competent in admin and organisational tasks. WEXPO has the support of some of Western Sydney’s leading media brands and taps into excellent networks of contacts and prospects. An attractive remuneration will be agreed upon with the right candidate (s).

Parentopia is the resource where parents, carers and grandparents can gain insights into parenting issues and experiences and conveniently source suppliers that provide for their childcare needs and home services. Parentopia is a collaboration between the Child Care Alliance NSW and Community Broadcast Network produced as a quarterly magazine and online directory and information showcase channel. We seek an experienced professional (s) that can work with us to sell and market our online and print packages and assemble information about kid friendly activities. This role would ideally suit a contractor based at home who is looking for additional projects or someone looking for a solid, flexible part-time project. You will have excellent client management, communication and sales skills and be competent in admin and organisational tasks. Affinity with parenting issues would also be a distinct advantage. Parentopia has the support of leading media brands and taps into excellent networks of contacts and prospects.

If this sounds like you send us an email for further discussion: michael@accessnews.com.au The project will likely run from May to October 2021.

If this sounds like you send us an email for further discussion: michael@accessnews.com.au This role is ongoing.

WEXPO Events - Sales Professional



ISSUE 2 | May 2021

Coming out to be tested Reaching out to those who worried during lockdown  ELIZABETH FRIAS REE testing for sexually transmissible infections and HIV is being offered to the LGBTQ community, sex workers, and others at high-risk of contacting STI during COVID-19 lockdowns. The Western Sydney Sexual Health Centre at Jeffery House at Parramatta is taking charge of detecting STIs such as syphilis, gonorrhoea and chlamydia, and has scaled up service as more LGBTQ people are coming out to get tested. The centre operates on Wednesdays and Fridays at Kelly Close, Mount Druitt for local residents and those from nearby suburbs such as Blacktown. LGBTQ is the acronym for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people. Centre director Professor David Lewis said they are specifically reaching out to those who missed out testing for fear of COVID-19 infection, particularly at-risk groups. At NSW Health-funded sexual health clinics, Medicare card is not required for international students or overseas visitors who can receive free confidential HIV/STI testing, support, treatment and health education, said Prof Lewis. “We are very much encouraging those at risk to come for testing so we can get on top of


Western Sydney Sexual Health Centre director Professor David Lewis says many in the LGBTQ community diagnosed with STI and HIV/AIDS shunned regular testing for fear of COVID-19 infection.

these infections and try to keep the numbers down,” he said. “Many did not come for HIV and STI testing during lockdown because they worried about getting COVID-19, so many had less sex. Unlike HIV, STIs can be passed on from deep kissing and saliva exchange of fluid from the mouth,” Prof Lewis said.

“During lockdowns last year, there was a huge amount of fear as clubs and bars got closed down and that reduced the ability for people to meet each other. “Some of our patients told us they have reduced the number of their casual sexual contacts and stayed with their regular partners to stay COVID-safe.”

Far reaching and need for follow-up The impact of the pandemic is far-reaching which is why people with STI and HIV must come back for regular testing and follow up, Prof Lewis said. While testing and treatment services are free for everyone, the prescribed HIV medica-

tions require a Medicare card. Those ineligible for Medicare may receive free HIV treatment through programs run by some pharmaceutical companies. “We’d like to see people caring for themselves and their sexual partners by getting tested, particularly as not all STIs have symptoms. Just because you have fallen behind with your testing does not mean you cannot catch up,” Prof Lewis said. The centre’s services are provided only by appointment by phoning 9843 3124 during office hours. “Our amazing staff care for people from all different backgrounds. We understand this can be an awkward or daunting process, and we make it as comfortable as possible,” Prof Lewis said. “There are many HIV and STI treatments available today and new breakthroughs all the time. Don’t be worried about what you might find because support is available.” To widely promote sexual health, Prof Lewis recently spoke at the Filipino Lesbian and Gay Community and Friends’ Mardi Gras Show Pageant at Blacktown to spread the message about the urgency of COVID-19 vaccination, HIV prevention and regular testing to LGBTQ residents across Western Sydney.

Low-Cost Western Sydney Shared Office Hire Available

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ISSUE 2 | May 2021


Blacktown WorkerS


ISSUE 2 | May 2021

The return of Champagne Wednesday fter a long break due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Champagne Wednesday has returned to Blacktown Workers Club on 55 Campbell Street, Blacktown. The last Wednesday of every month features the ultimate in cabaret-style matinee shows. Think sequins, spotlights, and the best of the best in club entertainment. Held in the award-winning Diamond Showroom, the 870-seat auditorium has been a feature of the club since it opened in 1987 and has since showcased some of Australia’s best musical talent. Champagne Wednesday has been a popular event in the Diamond Showroom calendar for over a decade and the team at Workers Blacktown are pleased to bring it back after more than a year. The upcoming musical talent includes Kerrie Robson and Robert Jeffrey in May, Dorathy Cooper and Guy Taylor in June and Sharon Calabro and Tony Mazell in July. May: Kerrie Robson has been in the entertainment industry for over 20 years, winning several Mo Awards and Ace Awards. Kerrie specialises in hits from the 40s through to the 90s. Robert Jeffrey is a singer songwriter who is fast becoming one of Australia’s newest theatrical performers. You may have seen him recently as one fourth of The Vallies. June: Dorathy Cooper is a versatile vocalist with an extensive range, consistently appearing in some of the country’s most popular TV shows and tribute shows. Guy (or G.B.) Taylor is known as Australia’s ‘Mr Swing’ presenting the music of some of the world’s greatest swingers and crooners. July: Sharon Calabro is a multi-talented and vibrant performer launched her career on New Faces and has since become a familiar face on variety TV and as the go-to National Anthem singer for major interna-


Claudia Hackney, a regular MC at Champagne Wednesday

tional events. Tony Mazell is an all-round entertainer and complete showman – with a repertoire of ballads, crooner classics and comedy. The ticket price includes a glass of sparkling wine (putting the Champagne into Champagne Wednesday) which you can have mixed with orange juice if you choose. Plus, you’ll enjoy a one-course lunch from the comfort of your show seat during intermission.

Tickets are just $17 for members and $23 for visitors. If you are not already a member, it is easy to join for just $6 per year. Membership gives you access to instant discounts on food and beverage, plus, of course, show tickets! Secure your Champagne Wednesday tickets today. Simply visit the Welcome Desk at Workers Blacktown or phone 9830 0600 for assistance. Tickets can also be pur-

Member’s Special Coffee & Cake

Only $8

chased online – you can have the tickets on your mobile, print them at home or select to pick them up from the Welcome Desk. With convenient parking or a short walk from public transport, Workers Blacktown also features Impressions Cafe where you can enjoy a coffee and cake after the show. Join us at Workers Blacktown and make Champagne Wednesday your next outing.

ISSUE 2 | May 2021




ISSUE 2 | May 2021

This dance will last forever Renee’s love story is one for the ages  DALLAS SHERRINGHAM LOVE story for the ages is being played out in the busy wards and corridors of Blacktown Hospital – and it all started with a dance. You see, 84yo Blacktown patient Renee Roche makes sure she never forgets to tell her late husband Jim how her day has been and wish him “goodnight” – even if she can only do this through a photo. In fact, Jim followed Renee to Blacktown Hospital after she was bought into the emergency department following a fall from her chair. “Having someone by your side for 64 years and then having them gone is a pain like no other. It is a pain that doesn’t fade, only hides in the good moments,” Renee said. “My chair went one way, my body went one way, and my leg went the other.” “I was getting up off my chair, which was on wheels for some silly reason, and I lost my balance. “I have a fractured ankle that requires multiple surgeries and a lot of rehabilitation.” Renee met Jim in 1953 when she was only 17. He was working in the air force with her father and swept her off her feet, literally. “We were at a ball for the air force workers and he asked me to dance,” Renee said. “I had seen him around a couple of times before then when I was with my father and we spoke


Renee Roche.

as if we were friends, but I never thought he had eyes for me. “After the ball, we ran home in the rain; it was like something off a movie.” Jim and Renee married two years after their night at the ball and never looked back. “I found my soul mate that night,” Renee said. “I remember standing with him at my front door after he had dropped me home, scared of what my father would say. My father opened the doors, gave him a big hug, and invited him in for a drink. The rest is history.”

My partner in crime Jim Roche was an aircraft engineer. After serving in the RAAF, he took his skills to Qantas, where he remained working for the rest of his career. “I followed him around the world. The life he gave me was extraordinary. You name it, and we have probably been there. From Japan to Peru, Mexico to Bermuda,” Renee said. “When Jim fell ill, he didn’t let it dampen his spirits, and he was kicking until the day he passed.” Jim passed away in 2019 due

to leukemia and prostate cancer. “The pain you feel when you lose your loved one is indescribable. He was my partner in crime,” Renee said. “Four kids, 10 grandkids and 17 great-children later, we still loved each other just as must as we did when we were young. “I couldn’t have asked for someone better. He worshipped the children and never forgot to remind me how much he loved me. “Even now, I can feel him with me, he never leaves my side.”

Despite the long road to recovery, Renee is in good spirits and praises the Blacktown Hospital staff for their commitment to her care during Patient Experience Week. “The staff and facility here at Blacktown are amazing,” she said. “My daughter wanted to transfer me to a private hospital, but I told her no – I am staying. “They never miss a beat and never fail to meet my every need.” Orthopedic Nurse Unit Manager Marilyn Legaspi who is responsible for Renee’s care, said patient care and patient experience was their number one priority. “We see a lot of patients every year and it is important to ensure each individual patient is receiving the best care possible.” “We want them to feel as comfortable as possible, and if that means going above and beyond each time, we will do it. “Renee will be here for a while, but she is in good hands. Her spirit brings a smile to everyone’s face. We are sure Jim is keeping a close eye on her from above.” One day in the future Jim and Renee will go dancing again. I hope the music plays forever. Source: The Pulse

BINGO would like to provide the local community with an update on the actions we have taken to address the odour issue at our Eastern Creek landfill facility and to apologise for its occurrence.

In addition, we have: • applied activated carbon to impacted areas, as advised by our consultants;

As soon as we were made aware of odour within the local community in early April, we took the following immediate actions:

undertaken leachate riser extension, including waterproofing and leachate pump replacement;

to identify potential sources of odour commissioned an odour audit and review;

commenced an investigation into the effectiveness of an activated carbon filter to fit the leachate riser;

commenced additional daily inspections of the landfill, including leachate tanks, to identify any areas of odour; and

undertaken further monitoring and “hot spot” identification;

worked with Sydney Water to increase rates of leachate extraction;

if areas of odour were identified in the landfill, additional cover, in excess of licence requirements, was applied.

increased the volume of clean soil we apply across the entire landfill and

investigated gas capture and management options.

The NSW Environment Protection Agency (EPA) advised BINGO that two potential sources of odour were identified in the landfill - the leachate riser and vent pipe. BINGO took the following immediate actions in consultation with the EPA: •

to manage any immediate odour within the vicinity of the leachate riser and vent, applied lime to those areas to disperse any potential odour;

expanded the scope of the odour audit given feedback on the location of the community complaints from the EPA;

commissioned a consultant to undertake a gas assessment (taking samples from the leachate tanks and riser) to determine whether there were specific chemical compounds responsible for the odours detected;

significantly reduced the tip face and application of additional cover and further compaction of fill at locations across landfill; and

appointed staff to attend site outside of operating hours to monitor odour.

We then sealed the gaps or cracks in the riser, added mulch as a biofilter to both the riser and the vent and applied additional cover.

We are expediting the installation of new infrastructure to collect and treat landfill gas. This infrastructure will resolve the problem for the long-term. We are very conscious of the impact odour can have on local residents and once again we sincerely apologise for any discomfort and inconvenience this may have caused you in recent weeks. We are doing everything we can to manage the issue on our site. We intend to fully resolve this matter as soon as possible and ensure it does not occur again in the future. We encourage members of the public who may have any questions or concerns to contact us on our environmental hotline at 1300 032 747 or w.bingoindustries.com.au/contact-us. at www.bingoindustries.com.au/contact-us.

For further information: Environmental ronmental hotline: 1300 032 747 General eral BINGO enquires: 1300 424 646

ISSUE 2 | May 2021

Working together to deliver for Blacktown City Congratulations for the start of Blacktown News We recognise the importance of local newspapers in reporting local news including sporting and community updates and engaging with local businesses. Wishing you all the best in reporting on stories and events covering the City of Blacktown.

We can help or provide links on a range of State issues including: • Public Housing • Homelessness • linking you to local services providers for DV, mental health, disability services support or other health issues • State Government rebates • NSW grants for community and sporting clubs • Health issues • Education • Public transport • Policing and public safety • Fair trading issues • Attending community events • Congratulatory messages • JP services by appointment • EPA (environment issues)

Edmond Atalla MP

Hugh McDermott MP

Prue Car MP

Stephen Bali MP

Member for Mt Druitt

Member for Prospect

Member for Blacktown

(02) 9625 6770 mountdruitt@parliament.nsw.gov.au

(02) 9756 4766

Member for Londonderry Shadow Minister for Education (02) 9833 1122 londonderry@parliament.nsw.gov.au


Suite 201, Westfield Shoppingtown, Carlisle Av, Mt Druitt

prospect@parliament.nsw.gov.au 2/679 The Horsley Dr, Smithfield

154 Queen St, St Marys

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

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




ISSUE 2 | May 2021

Artist impression of a future Blacktown.

Putting the love into our city If you have an idea for Blacktown, let’s hear it City We All Can Love” is one of the key themes of the future Blacktown city centre according to a recently launched campaign. Blacktown City Council is working with the NSW Government to develop a Place Framework that will become a road map for creating a city centre “that we all love”. The city centre has always been a place for community celebrations, thriving businesses, educational opportunities and creative activities. Now, the Heart of Blacktown City Centre Project wants to set a clear direction for the future of this important space. A project spokesperson said while the city centre was full of places with potential, it was the soul of Blacktown that would make it “a city of places to love”.


“And we want the community to help us shape this future vision.” “We want the community’s help to better understand what you want to see in the Blacktown city centre.” Blacktown has dramatically risen as a major CBD in recent years, but so many CBD’s have lost their heart soul as the area boomed. If you have a great idea for Blacktown that residents will love, this is your chance to put it out there for public consideration. Head to the Have Your Say page to tell council what you love, what could be improved and what’s your big idea for the city centre? https://www.blacktown.nsw.gov.au/heartofblacktowncitycentre This project is supported by the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment’s Places to Love program

Calling all cats, dogs and owners LACKTOWN’S famous annual Pet Festival is on in October, but it is never too early to start grooming for the big day. It is set down for Sunday, October 10 from 10am to 3.30pm at Blacktown Showground. Everything that tweets, barks, meows and grunts will be there in a great family show that is particularly ideal for Blacktown City families. Kids love the chance to get up close and personal with interesting exhibits. Council has teamed up with the Blacktown Animal Holding Facility to get tails wagging at the festival at the


Showground in Richmond Rd, Blacktown. Owners and their furry, feathery or scaly friends alike will unite for an action-packed day celebrating pets and the families who love them. The Pet Festival is an initiative of the Holding Facility and is a celebration of pets of all shapes and sizes. Pet owners are encouraged to bring along the family pet and join in the celebration of ‘pet pride’! More details will be released closer to the big day, but it is never too early to turn you pride and joy into a star.


ISSUE 2 | May 2021


40 minutes off airport trip Westconnex could be a traffic bliss for Blacktown  DALLAS SHERRINGHAM MASSIVE 40 minutes will be slashed off the travel time between Blacktown and Sydney Airport at Mascot when the WestConnex project is finished in 2023. It means decades of stop-start trips through the southern city will finally come to an end. And travelling to the CBD from the end of the M4 at Haberfield and the southern city or the east will be a breeze compared to the bad old days. The massive WestConnex project has been hailed as a breakthrough for Blacktown and Western Sydney business history. It means that businesspeople, commuters and residents can flash around under the city in a fraction of the time it used to take for the drive from Sydney to Blacktown. Huge traffic delays have cost business a large fortune in lost time and travel costs for decades. Anyone who ever used the old Parramatta Rd can tell you sad stories of endless delays, stop-start traffic lights and long sessions listening to radio while going nowhere quickly. The WestConnex will finally put an end to the delays and traffic jams for drivers between the CBD, M5, southern city and Blacktown. It will also allow drivers to link with the southern City, the Airport and Botany, always a nightmare trip of more than an hour. And another breakthrough for business has just happened. A major milestone was reached in what is Australia’s largest road infrastructure project, with Roadheaders smashing through sandstone to connect two sections of tunnel for the first time.


Workers celebrate another tunnelling breakthrough.

The dramatic breakthrough connected westbound sections of the mainline tunnels between St Peters Interchange and Annandale, which is about 50m below Newtown. Transport for NSW Acting Deputy Secretary Infrastructure Camilla Drover said tunnelling for the twin 7.5km tunnels between the M4 corridor at Haberfield and the M5/M8 corridor at St Peters was on track to finish this year, with more than 90% of the tunnels and ramps now excavated.

Step closer to crucial stage “We’re another step closer to completing this crucial stage of the WestConnex project, which will link the M4 and M8 tunnels, creating an underground bypass of the Sydney CBD,” Ms Drover said. “This is an exciting milestone for the workforce who have been tunnelling on

this project for more than two years and have just 2km left to excavate. “More than 40% cent of the 8000 people who have worked on this stage of the WestConnex project have been from Western Sydney, highlighting the significant contribution and expertise the local workforce is providing.” Transport for NSW Chief Operations Officer Howard Collins said Western Sydney drivers would soon experience the full benefits of WestConnex, with the tunnel connections to create a 33km traffic-light free trip. “With more than 100,000 trips a day expected on the M4-M5 Link Tunnels, communities above ground in Sydney’s Inner West will benefit from reduced traffic and congestion on suburban streets, returning them to local communities,” Mr Collins said. “Drivers using the M4-M5 Link Tunnels will be able to seamlessly move between

Haberfield and St Peters in around eight minutes, and a trip between Blacktown and Sydney Airport at Mascot will be slashed by up to 40 minutes. “There have been 450 contracts signed with NSW subcontractors and suppliers to the value of more than $950M.” WestConnex CEO Andrew Head said the M4-M5 Link Tunnels would build on the travel time savings motorists were already experiencing using WestConnex. “With two major stages of the WestConnex motorway network now open, tens of thousands of motorists are already reaping the benefits of the enhanced motorway network which has transformed previously congested corridors, slashed travel times and improved connectivity and mobility for freight,” Mr Head said. The M4-M5 Link Tunnels will open to traffic in 2023.






ISSUE 2 | May 2021

Published in Western Sydney Business Access | Parramatta Times | Blacktown News | www.westernpropertyguide.com.au

Homes selling in 16 days Western Sydney property sizzling hot ESTERN Sydney is the ‘hottest’ property market in Greater Sydney with 19 of the 20 fastest selling suburbs and six of the highest annual price increases. The property surge continues with six of the top 20 “boom” suburbs featured in the latest sales figures comparing annual growth for each suburb and many homes selling within two weeks of coming on the market. Property site Domain published the list recently and top place was taken by Northbridge with an outstanding annual growth of 28.5%. A close second was Drummoyne which went up by an average 26.5% and Riverview and Denham Court took third


and fourth. Denham Court is the best buy on the list with a Media Price of just $810,000. Many of the properties in these areas are traditional stock, either semi detached or free standing and investors and families are purchasing them for renovating and to escape the cramped inner city. Outer suburbs such as Penrith, Hornsby and The Shire remain attractive opportunities for buyers seeking the traditional home on a good size block. Natalie Knight of Wiseberry Berowra said families were looking to get out of the inner city and apartment living because of the pandemic. “They want their own home and land and areas like Hornsby, The Hills and the Far West provide that sort of opportunity.” That makes Western Sydney’s property market particularly hot in area likes

Old Toongabbie, Glenbrook and Dean Park where they are selling in an average 16 days according to realestate.com.au. In fact, 19 of the 20 fastest selling properties were in Western Sydney. Ms Knight said this was because many buyers wanted a house and land following the worry of the pandemic and these suburbs were ideal. McGrath Blacktown agent Joel Hollings said in a fast moving market, buyers had to be ready to buy before they even went house hunting or they would run the risk of being disappointed. “You can’t be shopping without pre-approval as homes are selling in days, not weeks.” Property Buyer CEO Rich Harvey said it was crucial buyers set a maximum price and stick to it. He said when making an offer on a

APRIL 2021 Edition 120




The Largest Property Growth: Suburb

Median Price


$3,945,500 $2,300,000





Denham Court $810,000


Russell Lea



Rouse Hill



North Epping



home it was key to put forward an attractive rice and perhaps a ”sweetener “ as some vendors were becoming “greedy” on price in the current climate. Sources: Domain, realestate.com.au


ISSUE 9 | April 2021



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

WELCOME to the Blacktown NEWS

Youth Needs Our Support

World class health care

Westmead Hospital’s new clinical tower oepns: 2

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



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

SALVOS: How hope really happens: 19

FTER a few hot summers for swimmers who loved Parramatta and Wentworthville pools and suđered during their closures, relief is on the way. Just a day apart, the refurbished Wentworthville pool opened and the Ĝrst sod was turned on the spectacular Parramatta Aquatic Centre. Both communities have been without a pool since 2017, the Parramatta Memorial Pool demolished to make way for Bankwest Stadium and the previous Holroyd Council wanting to close the tired Wenty pool

rather than refurbish it. After a bit of a scuĖe between Parramatta Council and the NSW Government on who would pay for its replacement, an agreement was reached on funding for the state-of-the-art aquatic centre. And in Wentworthville, a concerted community campaign and the Cumberland Council, saved the beloved pool with an upgrade. While Parramatta residents wait two years for their pool, they are welcome to dive to Wenty.


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

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


ELCOME to Blacktown's NEW LOCAL media voice, The Blacktown News (BN). The Blacktown News is the much-anticipated new newspaper and digital media brand that covers Blacktown LGA with local news written by experienced journalists. The Blacktown News is Blacktown's ONLY printed newspaper and is independently owned and managed locally by a management team that has been working in Blacktown for almost 20 years.

The News will be distributed across 110 strategic distribution points in the LGA. Published in digital and print editions the Blacktown News ođers maximum impact for targeted advertising opportunities and reach to Blacktown's diverse population. With a mission of championing community and business issues, the BN is a proud media partner of the Greater Blacktown Chamber of Commerce, the Blacktown Local Business Awards and Blacktown FC.

As one of the state’s fastest growing cities, Blacktown

has undergone a signiĜcant transformation. Preparing for 2021 business awards: 5 It's population is set to rise from 400,000 to 540,000 residents by 2036.

TRAVEL: Whale watching Hervey Bay:media 21 The Blacktown News is theat print and digital

resource that connects residents and visitors to the city’s diverse community, its progress, business opportunities and lifestyle. We value your feedback. Go to www.greaterblacktownnews.com.au to share your story.

First students at ACU Keep up to date with the latest news in and around Blacktown! SEE PAGE 3

Get your monthly community e-newsletter today.

PROPERTY: Check out this investment deal: 19

• important community announcements

blacktown.nsw.gov.au/subscribe The home of jobs in Western Sydney. • upcoming events • transformational projects Connecting businesses with job seekers directly


High impact media that reaches reaching Australia's fastest growth region Greater Western Sydney, home of Australia's newest 24-our airport.

Blacktown with local news written by experienced journalists. The BN is Parramatta’s ONLY printed newspaper and is independently owned and managed locally. Page 3

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


The home of jobs in Western Sydney. Connecting businesses with job seekers directly )DFHERRNIROORZHUV l %XLOG\RXURZQUHVXPH l 0HGLDVXSSRUWSURJUDPV l 0XOWLSOHSDFNDJHVDYDLODEOH

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

Young people turning their lives around at BYSA.

WELCOME to Blacktown’s NEW LOCAL media voice, The Blacktown News (BN). The BT is the much-anticipated new newspaper and digital media brand that covers


’TS no secret times have been the toughest on record for Western Sydney’s ‘bricks and mortar’ retail industry, but this sector has a proud history of bouncing back from the hardest of times.

Issue 1 | April 2021

Blacktown's LOCAL media voice


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.


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Minister pushing for more women on Parramatta Council: 3





ParramattA Voice of Australia’s most progressive city

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Targeted reach Three powerful media brands in digital and printed formats. Contact us today for a conversation about your success plans: julie@accessnews.com.au


ISSUE 2 | May 2021




I am available to help with a range of Federal matters, including:





2 | May 2021

We need a Federal Budget that delivers for Greenway

• Aged Care & Pensions • Centrelink • Immigration • Medicare • National Disability Insurance Scheme • Taxation & Superannuation

Hospital What hospital? The NSW Government’s twice promised and never delivered Rouse Hill Hospital will be built without an emergency ward, despite the considerable growth in areas like Schofields and Riverstone.

T the time of writing this column, we await the Federal Government’s Budget. Residents in our community don’t ask for much: they work hard without complaint and expect their Government deliver the infrastructure needed to work, live and raise a family in our local community in return. But time and time again, we keep getting left behind. Health, transport and communications infrastructure are clear examples. The NSW Government’s twice promised and never delivered Rouse Hill Hospital will be built without an emergency ward, despite the considerable growth in areas like Schofields and Riverstone. Blacktown Hospital has undergone a face lift, and yet, local residents can still expect to wait 100 days longer than patients on the Northern Beaches for common procedures like knee replacements. It’s just not good enough. We need dedicated Federal funding to fix these gaps. We have significant communications gaps, with pockets of our community experiencing slow internet speeds and patchy mobile reception. Given the events of the last year, we all appreciate just how vital reliable internet access and mobile reception is for small businesses and students. In 2021, it’s as essential as running water and that’s why we need targeted Federal investment. I’m fighting for a Federal Budget that delivers for Greenway and I’ll be examining the Budget closely to ensure our community isn’t left behind – again.



Level 1, Suite 101C, 130 Main Street, Blacktown PO Box 8525, Blacktown NSW 2148 (02) 9671 4780 Michelle.Rowland.MP@aph.gov.au www.michellerowland.com.au MRowlandMP Authorised by Michelle Rowland MP, Australian Labor Party, Suite 101C, Level 1, 130 Main Street, Blacktown NSW 2148

Congratulations to the Blacktown News! Since the cessation of local print newspapers in our area, I’ve been contacted by scores of local residents crying out for local stories about our community. While online community groups play an important role keeping people connected – and I pay tribute to the incredible work the volunteers who run these groups do – quality local newspapers will always be the preferred choice of many local residents. That’s why I am so excited by the launch of the Blacktown News – a newspaper dedicated to telling the stories that matter to our growing city. Congratulations to the staff and supports of the Blacktown News on your successful launch. I’m looking forward to working closely with you into the future.

Always available to help My office is available to assist with a range of Federal and local matters. The Greenway Electorate Office is located at Level 1, Suite 101C, 130 Main Street and is open Monday – Friday, 9am - 5pm. If you are unable to make it to the office, you can always call 9671 4780 or email Michelle.Rowland.MP@aph.gov.au. I always welcome your views and feedback. Stay safe!

Michelle Rowland is Shadow Minister for Communications Federal Member for Greenway. Visit www.michellerowland.com.au


ISSUE 2 | May 2021








ISSUE 2 | May 2021

BYSA outdoor cinema fundraiser Club rallies to support our youth in time of crisis LACKTOWN Workers Club has rallied to support a local youth organisation to help them continue their work with young people in crisis, raising over $100,000. BYSA (Blacktown Youth Services Association) is endeavouring to continue their 35-year legacy of providing support to youth aged 12 to 24 years within the Blacktown Local Government Area in the face of a dire lack of funding. The young people of Blacktown have turned to BYSA in times of need for decades. There are many success stories of young people who turned to BYSA in crisis and went on to find their life purpose. Some have become BYSA Youth Leaders and in turn, assisted other youth in need. BYSA operates from a youth led model, that focuses on the holistic wellbeing and safety of all young people. They are simply a home away from home. A safe place to meet friends, grab a feed and seek guidance from the youth practitioners, Natalie Chiappazzo and Alison Becroft. “The support from Blacktown Workers Club Group has allowed us to continue to provide a vibrant, safe and accessible space for all young people in our community and to continue to provide the vital services our young people need, when they need it. We are so appreciative to have a supportive community that believes in our vision & the potential of all young people in the community,” said Natalie. Blacktown Workers Club Group (BWCG) became aware of BYSA’s story in 2020, thanks to an introduction by


Jack Miller Blacktown Worker's Club Groupn (BWCG) BWCG Senior Vice President, Tina Maamari BWCG Community Relations Manager Kay Kelly BWCG President.

Stephen Bali MP, Member for Blacktown. BWCG has since embarked on a journey together support for the not-for-profit organisation. This started with an urgent $4,000 cash donation for food and hygiene packs to assist the young people who are often in a situation with no access to these essentials.

Further donations from members BYSA’s story then launched a staff and member driven initiative prior to Christmas of non-perishable food items, hygiene products and mobile phones. BWCG staff chose to donate their Christmas raffle earnings of $2,800 to BYSA. More recently a BWCG staff member hand knitted scarves to keep the young people warm through winter and put hygiene packs together. Further donations

BYSA volunteers.

from members from a spare change drive exceeded $1,600. With confirmation that BYSA had missed out on major government funding, and that they had only several months before their financial situation threatened closure, the BWCG Board of Directors committed $60,000 cash donation ($10,000 per month for six months). The Board and management also launched a three-day BYSA Outdoor Cinema Fundraiser that was run over a weekend in April, to coincide with Blacktown City Council’s Youth Week. Live music for the night was arranged by BYSA, featuring many young people who had found their passion for music through BYSA’s program of Creative Media. Artists included Lil Spacely, SirPedro65, MXTI, John Lusunzi, Atticus featuring Caitlin Stevens, DJ Phowz and DJ Fin$.

MCs were McJas and MC Lui. The event ran smoothly with great work of the BYSA volunteer squad, a group of Youth Leaders and young people. Delicious food was served up by Black Bear BBQ and Dipping Dots, with rides and games for the kids by John Phelan. Kay Kelly, BWCG President said: “As a community club group that operates two major venues in Blacktown, it is imperative to us to give back to the communities in which we operate. BYSA is an integral part in ensuring the youth of Blacktown have a place to turn to in times of crisis, creating a better environment for all of us.” BYSA still needs support! For more information on BYSA visit their website www.bysa.org.au; or find them on socials; www.facebook.com/bysa2 and instragram.com/blacktownbysa.




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ISSUE 2 | May 2021

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ISSUE 2 | May 2021


Massive 42% growth in one year Ecommerce continues to lead our recovery  DALLAS SHERRINGHAM USTRALIA has continued its remarkable bounce back from the Pandemic with E-commerce driving the nation’s economic recovery. E-commerce continued to boom in March with 42% growth over March 2020, according to new data from eStore Logistics, Australia’s leading E-commerce focused fulfilment provider. The YoY growth represents renewed financial stability and consumer confidence as Australia passes one year since lockdown, continues to ease COVID restrictions and sees the end of the JobKeeper scheme. In March E-commerce continued to boom despite it typically being one of the quietest shopping periods of the year So who are the online trendsetters? Well, the fashion and apparel industry in particular saw a tremendous spike with online orders growing by 137% YoY as seasons rapidly shifted and Aussies were quick to update their wardrobes. The home and renovation sector also continued to boom, increasing by 75% YoY. Within NSW, rainfall for March was 154% above the long-term average — encouraging consumers to stay inside and feed their online shopping habits. It is fascinating to look at State-bystate performance with Victorian shoppers increasing their spend by almost twice the increase of NSW.


Every state experienced YoY growth in online sales during March, with Victorians once again leading the way:

• Shoppers in VIC made 58% more online purchases than in March 2020 • Shoppers in TAS made 43% more • Shoppers in QLD made 38% more • Shoppers in WA made 38% more • Shoppers in SA made 34% more • Shoppers in NSW made 34% more • Shoppers in NT made 30% more • Shoppers in ACT made 20% more


Founder and Managing Director of eStore Logistics Leigh Williams said, while March figures had slightly plateaued when directly compared to the past few months, they revealed a more permanent trend in E-commerce growth. “March is typically one of the quietest months for ecommerce so this growth solidifies the fact that online shopping is a permanent trend and here to stay.” “With JobKeeper ending in March we were anticipating consumer confidence to

drop and E-commerce sales to follow as Aussies started to think about their savings. “However, we saw quite the opposite. Consumer confidence is higher than it has been in 18 months according to the latest NAB report and eStore data reiterates this,” Mr Williams said. “Last year was a very unique year in the ecommerce industry and we’re looking forward to seeing further growth in through May which will reflect year long trends following peak lockdown periods.”

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ISSUE 2 | May 2021


Talented artist Kavitha Jeyakumar with a selection of her artwork.

KJ’s stellar career grounded in community Her unique has won the hearts of locals and visitors AVITHA Jeyakumar, popularly known as KJ, is a visual artist based in Blacktown region. Kavitha runs a visual art school, KJS Brush & Canvass in Stanhope gardens and The Ponds that runs visual art program for budding and experienced visual artists. She started her passion for art from a young age and she drew her inspirations while travelling various countries of the subcontinent during the civil war in Srilanka. This exposure added fuel to her passion for the visual arts so she started diploma in visual arts and embarked on her career in visual art. Originally, Kavitha was an accountant by profession. Kavitha pursed her uniqueness and interpretation of her art. With the encouragement and support of her patrons she has been able to establish her own platform as a popular visual artist in this region and has reached unprecedented heights. Kavitha has won the hearts of the patrons which is reflected in her social media base which now exceeds 10,000. Kavitha’s paintings are characteristically simple in composition and content; shapes are delineated with dark outline and a multi vibrant colour often is used to describe form. This style highlights her draughtsmanship and skilful pictorial arrangement. Some of the contents of her work always have certain theatricality that relates to her upbringing as well as her personality. Over the last 10 years, Kavitha’s technique and palette has changed a great deal after working with the various Australian and regional artists. She now spends a great deal of time experimenting with thin layers of colours beneath the surface of the painting. The under-painting creates a different atmosphere for her works: particularly the choice of colours has created a vibrant tone. With these experiments, she has created and exhibited over 300 art canvases in her art studio which instantly engage and enlighten its viewers. Kavitha’s confidence in her work has popularised her which invites her to regularly exhibiting her painting on arts shows and galleries such Springwood art festival, NSW parliament, Blacktown library at Stanhope gardens. As part of the recognition for her artistic skill, she has been an art curator for SAFAL Fest 2019, festival celebrat-


ing the art and culture of South Asia in Sydney. Her accolades nclude: • Kavitha and her business have been continuously recognized in the Blacktown Business awards as Finalist in 2019 and 2020 which is a success for Kavitha. It’s her hard work that has brought this success as the finalist businesswomen of the year in 2019 and 2020. • Kavitha's artistic skill has earned her business recognition from NSW government by awarding KJS Brush n Canvas as the only Creative Kids Provider in Stanhope gardens and The Ponds. • Kavitha’s artistic skill along with people management has earned community organizations use Kavitha for their community-based art programs for the elderly. • Kavitha works with various age groups ranging from 4 - 80 years. Kavitha spends time with seniors in their retirement villages helping them regain their confidence and express their feeling in the form of colours while working with them in recreating visual master pieces. Kavitha works with ADHD and Autism clients and help them in improving their attention while relieving their stress levels as an art Therapist. • Kavitha works with various councils such Cumberland, Blacktown, Parramatta and Strathfield Council on their community-based events either as conducting visual art workshops during the events or exhibiting her own paintings through community organizations. As a result of such commitments in serving the community and her excellent skill in visual art, Kavitha has received various awards such as Volunteer of the Year, Professional of the Year, Outstanding Businessperson of the year in 2019 and 2020. Her recent addition the list of the awards is the winner of the Gargi award for the year 2020 for her outshined achieved in the field of visual arts. On April 17 the Hindu Council of Australia held their belated 2020 Gargi Awards for women’s contribution to society. Kavitha was awarded the Gargi award in recognition of her outstanding contribution to Art in Australian.



ISSUE 2 | May 2021

National Parks offer many holiday options.

Making mid-week your own weekend  TRAVEL EDITOR DALLAS SHERRINGHAM F you are looking for a quiet relaxing getaway far from the maddening crowds, why not take a weekday snort stay in a National. The good thing is, you don’t to drive for hours, there a National Park stays available in and around Sydney in surprising places. And the National Park service has switched to digital passes, which makes it even easier. It is a good way to save up to 50% off stays in NSW national parks. NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) has launched a special offer to make mid-week trips the new go-to for travellers seeking some quality time in the great outdoors. Visitors can save 50% off selected full-priced campgrounds and 25% off selected full-priced cabins and cottages when booking to stay mid-week Monday – Thursday. With NSW national park stays in high demand on weekends, mid-week is the ideal time to experience the unique,


secluded feeling of waking up surrounded by nature, without the crowds. Escape for an affordable short break or embark on a longer road trip and discover the lush rainforests, pristine coast and vibrant country heritage that NSW has to offer. Pitch a tent at Gambells Rest campground in the bushland of the Southern Highlands, Sheepstation Creek camp-

ground among World-Heritage listed rainforest on the far north coast, or beside a flowing river at Gloucester River campground at Barrington Tops. Sleep perched on one of NSW’s most sought-after headlands at Cape Byron’s Assistant Lighthouse Keepers’ Cottages, soak up the history of the gold rush at Hill End, near Mudgee, staying in revamped heritage building Hosies, or book

one of the cozy Wombeyan Caves cabins to explore underground wonders. Discover the full list of participating campgrounds and accommodation at nswparks.info/specialoffers To take advantage of this special offer, book now using the promo code MIDWEEK via the NPWS website. Just do it, I guarantee you’ll have a great time.

Blacktown Business

ISSUE 2 | May 2021


Boost to Blacktown business Council announces return of its training series N a boost for local businesses, Blacktown City Council has announced the return of its successful business training series. Called the Business Success Program, it is a series of workshops for small businesses, employees and community organisations within Blacktown City. Business Success Program is an initiative of Blacktown City Council in partnership with CGU and Rapport Leadership International. A spokesperson said last year’s program was a great success with participants giving the workshops an average 9-out-of-10 rating. “This year, organisers aim to make the workshops more inclusive by introducing new interactive technology which encourages greater audience participation.


We have turned some corners “There is also the opportunity for business owners and community leaders who might be hampered by a language barrier to be accompanied by an interpreter at no additional cost.” Blacktown City Mayor Tony Bleasdale said Council had been in awe of the incredible fortitude, resilience and generosity demonstrated by the region’s businesses and community organisations during the difficult and challenging past 12 months.

“Now that we appear to have turned some significant corners and the economy is recovering, we believe it is a great time for small business owners, employees and community groups to build their knowledge and skills so they can seize the many emerging opportunities.” “By adding new technology and additional topics we believe we can help our businesses and community groups gain a real business advantage,” Mayor Bleasdale said. Business Success Program consists of 15 workshops, with the first having been completed, covering a wide range of topics, including business planning, tax and financials, recruitment, employee relations, marketing, networking, tender and grant writing. Business workshops will be presented by Jeremy Carter and Bruce Manefield of Rapport Leadership International, and Kittu Randhawa, CEO of the Community Resource Network, is heading the workshops for community groups. They’ll be joined by a large group of special guest speakers representing a wide range of business expertise.

Tickets are only $25pp each workshop. Bookings and workshop information can be found at: https://www.blacktown.nsw.gov. au/Business/Business-Success-Program For more information, contact info@rapportleadership.com.au.

Blacktown City Mayor Tony Bleasdale with a copy of The Blacktown News at a recent business event.

Why having a sickie is good for you  DALLAS SHERRINGHAM HEN I was an ordinary staff member some years ago, I went to great lengths to carefully organize a good ‘sickie.’’ This took some careful planning, with preliminary coughing on Tuesday and Wednesday and growing increasingly “hot”. This was followed by the old: “I feel really crook and I’m worried I might give it to the staff ” on Thursday. By 3pm that afternoon people were practically begging me to “go home and get better…and don’t worry about us, we’ll be fine.” And so I was free; the sickie long weekend was on! Flash forward a few years and I was the boss. I despised one day sickies because I knew what they were up to and I was powerless to stop it. Every sniffle, migraine, ache and pain was treated with disdain. Well, it seems sickies are now officially good for you. They provide a real benefit to your health because they allow you to wind down, relax and forget about work for a


while. And they allow you to get some much needed sleep. Turns out, we are one of the most sleep deprived countries in the world

with 37% of us averaging less than seven hours a night. And sleep deprivation affects your work and your productivity. The truth is,

we all need a mental health day once in a while because sleep deprivation could lead to depression, anxiety and emotional instability. A trial of four-day weeks in New Zealand showed that workers improved their productivity by 20% working one less day a week. The trial was monitored by the University of Auckland. The trial showed the biggest increases were in commitment and empowerment with staff stress levels down by 7% and work-life balances increasing from 54% to 78%. If you enjoy the occasional sickie – and 81% of us have – there are some tips to get the boss on side from one who knows. 1. Lead by example and show them that you’re much more contented and less stressed in your work after your sickie. 2. Become more productive if possible in the week after your sickie to show you tried to make it up. 3. Whatever you do, don’t act too happy before and after. Make out your sickie was a burden, but you feel better. Let the coughing begin! Has anyone seen my thermomenter?    






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ISSUE 2 | May 2021

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ISSUE 2 | May 2021

Wrath of Man – 3 Stars MUTED Guy Ritchie creates an intriguing, but at times cheesy, revenge-heist hybrid. H (Jason Statham) is fresh to the cash truck company. Taken under the wing of Bullet (Holt McCallany), he quickly learns the ropes, but when he, Bullet and Boy Sweat Dave (Josh Hartnett) get hit by a crew, it seems like it could all be over. That is, until H single handedly dispatches the entire criminal gang, with the cool, effortless precision of a man with a secret. His capability belies his secret identity; that of an underworld mob boss, on the hunt for the gang who killed his son. And he’ll stop at nothing to punish those responsible. Coming out of Wrath of Man, one might be forgiven for being shocked that the picture was directed by the famous Guy


Ritchie. The auteur behind Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Snatch, and even more recently The Gentleman and King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, is known for his visual flair. His movies are typical British gangster crime capers, even if occasionally transported to other nationalities or time periods. They have fast talking heroes, heist planning scenes intercut with the actual heist taking place, and a hell of a lot of swearing, killing and blood. They also frequently have fast, visual flair. Wrath of Man somewhat bucks this trend. Told in an almost Vantage Point-esque multi-view perspective, this triptych covers a lot of the same ground from different perspectives. All the while, we are given more and more backstory about H (Jason Statham).

H is cold and mysterious, but also clearly a man driven by revenge. Whereas one might expect him to be the typical British, fasttalking Guy Ritchie hero, Statham plays him with a distinct sense of purpose. He is cold; calculating. Hellbent on avenging his murdered son. It’s a pacing turn that is mirrored in the cinematography. The shots on display here have no whip pan, no real motion blur. They are slow and purposeful, pushing in ever so slowly on scenes arranged like paintings. The acting from the supporting cast is, much like the script, pretty rough. All cliches, forced banter and terrible decisions, the actors struggle with the material they are given. That being said, there are a few standouts. Scott Eastwood plays a great villain, truly reprehensible.

Jason Statham is a lot of fun to watch, particularly in the confrontational bar scene, or any of the scenes where he is shooting people. But it’s a role we have seen him do a million times, so that isn’t particularly surprising. In the end, the set design, cinematography and the core serviceable plot (anchored by Statham) make this a serviceable film. It’s just a shame that more of the flair that made Ritchie’s early work, and even the hugely popular recent entry The Gentleman, so good wasn’t on display here–such flair could have elevated a forgettable action drama to a must see.

Reviews by Jacob Richardson Creative Director | Film Focus www.filmfocusau.com

The United States Vs Billie Holiday – 4 Stars POWERHOUSE performance in an OK film. Billie Holiday (Andra Day) is a bonafide superstar, with a sea of hits and the accolades, fame and riches to show. But her provocative song, Strange Fruit, which chronicles the lynching of African-Americans in the American south, is a thorn in the side of the US Government, who would much rather she just sing All of Me. FBI agent Harry Anslinger (Garret Hedlund), in his war on drugs and obsession with Billie herself, targets the young singer with a reputation for drug use. In the process, he uses Jimmy Fletcher (Trevante Rhodes), a young, black FBI


agent, to help bring her down. As the FBI’s relentless pursuit across the decades of her career wears her down, and follows her right to her deathbed, Billie’s relationship with Jimmy ebbs, flows and changes, and her desire to hold strong to her truth, and her songs, grows. The most impressive part of this film is without a doubt Andra Day’s performance as Billie Holiday. Andra’s Billie is raw, troubled, engaged, strong and wild–all in the same breath. Andra’s work to transform her voice, both speaking and singing, into a match for Holiday’s is tremendous, and there isn’t a second she is on screen that she isn’t utterly compelling and convincing in the title role.

The supporting cast also works in fits and starts, sometimes shunting forward into the foreground for a touch of the spotlight, with Rhodes commanding the most interest outside of Day. But they can never hold the limelight too long before the audience, and indeed the camera, want to shift back to the star of the show. The United States Vs Billie Holiday isn’t a perfect film, and for those familiar with Holiday’s story, the beats will be all too familiar–it doesn’t really bring anything new to the plotting. The arcs are somewhat similar to stories we’ve seen before, except for the sheer relentlessness and hopelessness of Billie’s plight.

One of the clearest quibbles, however, is that without the added context of a broader discussion like the one found in a novel like Chasing The Scream, Anslinger’s obsession with taking down Billie Holiday comes off as almost cartoonish villainy. In the end, The United States Vs Billie Holiday is a film that does a great job of showing off it’s lead performer’s talents, without ever really breaking the mould of biopic filmmaking.

Reviews by Jacob Richardson Creative Director | Film Focus www.filmfocusau.com

ISSUE 2 | May 2021



Why you aren’t losing weight and what you can do about it  ADAM SIMPSON HEN it comes to getting results with your health and fitness being consistent is the key. Regardless of what your health and fitness goal may be, I can guarantee you won’t get there if you are inconsistent with your exercise and daily eating habits. Over the last 12 years I have trained well over a thousand local people so I have seen what works and what doesn’t. If you are someone who has a goal of losing weight, below are some of my best tips to help you drop those unwanted kilograms and get you in the best shape of your life.


• Exercise more days than you don’t – Over the years I have found that most people will generally eat better and have a better all-round routine on the days where they are exercising. So, try to make it your number one habit, to be someone who exercises very regularly. • Find Exercise that you actually enjoy – The best exercise programs are the ones that you can actually stick to, so go do something that you enjoy. That way you will be much more likely to stick to something long term. Think outside the box and make it fun, exercise shouldn’t be a chore. Play a sport, take a dance class, join a group training session or go for a bush walk. Anything will work, just do it consistently!

• Short workouts work – In 2021 we are all getting busier and busier, so take the pressure off yourself. If you can only spare 10-20 mins for a workout, that is plenty. Just do something and keep the habit going. • Focus on better nutritional habits – Please don’t get caught up in jumping from diet to diet, the reason you have gained weight in the past or haven’t managed to drop that excess body fat, is not because you haven’t found the miracle diet you are looking for. It is because somewhere along the line, life got in the way and your daily habits got

out of whack. Focus on building a healthy routine that fits in with your busy lifestyle. • Get the basics right more often than not – When it comes to nutrition, I am a big believer of getting the basics right. Eating a well-balanced diet does not need to be complicated, try and eat more fresh fruits and vegetables, drink more water, eat foods high in protein and minimise the “treat” type foods. • Above all you are consuming too many calories – At the end of the day you won’t be able to lose body fat if you are eating too many calories. This is why it is important

to reduce (not cut out) the “treat” type foods that you may be eating too much of. Instead aim to eat more filling lower calorie options eg. Vegetables, quality sources of carbohydrates for energy and lean cuts of meat.

To sum it all up, try not to overcomplicate things. The best plans are often the simplest, create yourself a workable plan of action so that you can stick to it long term. I guarantee you the results will come, you just need to be patient. Adam Simpson is lead trainer and founder at Repetitions Group fitness and Personal Training. www.repititionspt.com.au


ISSUE 2 | May 2021

Finding purpose through COVID BREED Australia supporting local small businesses ANY tenants at Quakers Hill based BREED Business Centre, run by BREED Australia, have credited the organisation by enabling them to survive the harsh economic and social climate due to global pandemic. COVID-19 has been a tough time in the business world and for many Western Sydney small businesses, it was a sink-swim period which saw them struggling to keep themselves afloat. The BREED Business Centre which is about to launch a new incubator model in Western Sydney provides office rentals for small businesses with shared facilities, administration support and networking events for its tenants and the local community. BREED tenant Sanjeev Mehra, who owns Garage Film Studios (https://www. garagefilmstudio.com/) felt the impact of the pandemic. Many small businesses had to resort to working from home, and Mr. Mehra spoke about the difficulties. “There was a real lack of networking. It was a different environment—I turned one of my rooms into my studio. There wasn’t the sort of communication that I had with people while I worked from home.” Mr. Mehra started up his business when he was only 16 because of his passion for entertainment and social enterprises and based his business at BREED Business Centre in 2018. He initially chose BREED because, as an incubator, the business Centre could get him the help and support he needed. “It’s also an excellent location, it’s close to where I live. It’s good for filming, as I can film around the precinct.” Mr. Mehra says he viewed COVID-19 as an opportunity to start again and to


BREED Tenants: L-R Devesh Kumar, Lisa Duong, Sanjeev Mehra.

find positives in every negative, seeing the changes in the way he runs his business as the opportunity for a fresh start. “In my profession, things are always changing. The client’s vision is always changing.” During the pandemic, BREED offered two months’ rent free through April and May, and a third month with 50% rent to help ease the financial burden for its tenants. Mr. Mehra says that the support he received from BREED during this challenging time was a significant factor in keeping his business running. “BREED helped with the rent relief. We also worked as a team to get through it. The communication was always good, and BREED considered our situation. We were really fighting together as a unit against the effects of COVID-19.”

Flexibility a key feature BREED continues to listen to the needs of their tenants to work out solutions for those still struggling to recover from the impact of the pandemic. Despite the trying circumstances of many small businesses, the situation has also led to past tenants coming back to the business Centre. Lisa Duong from Success At School Tutoring Centre (www.successatschool.com. au) has returned to BREED following the pandemic. She left the business Centre in 2019 as she was more involved in childcare. However, the company returned to BREED Business Centre in April 2021, and Ms. Duong said that the location and space were very appropriate for her business. “We like the flexibility that BREED offers and there’s so much support.” During COVID-19, her childcare business lost three-quarters of its client, which

Ms. Duong describes as a ‘significant drop’. However, she says things are beginning to return to normal. The return to BREED Business Centre felt like a natural move for Ms. Duong, who found that the atmosphere of the business Centre, the tenants and the staff was a better fit for her than a larger commercial building. “With commercial, you’re on your own, but at BREED there’s that level of community.” Devesh Kumar, a leadership coaching and business mentor who offers training in emotional intelligence, believes that BREED feels like what the community should be about and represents the interests of small business. “I think more people should do what they love, and I think BREED has the potential to get more people doing what they love and aligning how they live with how they earn.” Mr. Kumar chose BREED because it was close to home, but also because of its potential to branch out and support the community through its network of start-ups and service-based businesses. “BREED is what the community should be about. It’s about supporting businesses and helping them grow and enjoy what they do.” BREED Australia’s General Manager Emmanuel Martin said that BREED is now focused on helping its Business Tenant Community building Resilient mindsets to be able to survive the "new business world.” For information on BREED Australia and its services, please visit. www.breedaustralia.com.au or contact via phone on 02-98533200

Attention tradies and small business owners Our Virtual Office Solutions can help save time and reduce stress so you can focus on your customers. Our virtual tenant solutions will: • Save you time. Having a virtual office can relieve the stress of administrative duties, giving you more time to focus on your customers. • Save you money. Our virtual office solutions are lowcost, meaning increased profitability for your business. • Add a new level of professionalism. This way, you’ll be leaving a great impression on new and existing customers. As a BREED virtual tenant, you will benefit through: • Discounted office room and equipment hire • Invitations to free business seminars and networking events

Virtual reception packages:

Virtual reception basic package ($100/month) Virtual reception premium package ($180/month)

Cancellation with 30 days written notice.

Invitations to business networking & training events



50% discount on meeting and training room use.

Your business listed on our tenant directory.


Telephone answering service.


0-50 calls

50+ calls

Virtual address & office packages: Your business listed on our tenant directory.

Telephone answering service.

0-50 calls

50+ calls

Cancellation with 30 days written notice.

Invitations to business networking & training events

50% discount on meeting and training room use.

Access to business address (physical & PO box)

Mail and deliveries

Virtual address $45/month

Virtual reception basic package ($100/month) Virtual reception premium package ($180/month)

Contact us on (02) 9853 3200 or email us at reception@breedaustralia.com.au


ISSUE 2 | May 2021


Eagles’ mixed to start to season Signs of good things to come with impressive wins T has been a mixed start to the season for the Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles NRL team, but there are signs of good things to come for one of the region’s favorite sporting teams. Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles is a joint venture between Manly and Blacktown Workers Club. The Club is competing in the NSW Cup and Ron Massey Cup in 2021 The Club was formed in 1962 and since 2017 it has had a side in the NSW Cup, as the feeder team to the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles. The team is based at the HE Laybutt Sporting Complex in Blacktown and has more than 5000 members on its popular Facebook page. The Matt Ballin coached Sea Eagles play against the cream of the Second Tier competition competition which acts as a backup system for the NRL first grade sides in Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong. This means Blacktown comes up against tough sides every week, some of them bristling with first graders who have been relegated to NSW and are battling to get back in the top side or, are returning from injury. Manly Warringah Sea Eagles NRL side has been hard hit by injuries early in the season. This has had a draining effect on the Blacktown playing squad. Despite this, the team has battled on with an impressive win and a couple of substantial losses, showing promise in most matches but unable to finish it off.


Starts with a resounding win The season started with a resounding 48-20 win against North Sydney Bears in wet and windy conditions. The wet weather continued and the next match against foundation club South

Sydney had to be postponed as torrential rain hit Sydney. Then followed a series of losses including Western Suburbs Magpies 46-6, St George 48-14, Newcastle 30-16 and Panthers 32-6.

As a result, Blacktown are four points out of the top eight, but when the full squad is available again they have shown enough to indicate they will trouble the top sides. Standouts include centre and winger Morgan Harper who won man of the match against St George Illawarra. The Blacktown side led for the first half, but were outplayed by the Saints in the second half. The squad has plenty of speed and depth including fullback Dylan Smith, utility player John Fonua, Kane Allen from the Bunnies, Blake Clayton from the Bulldogs, the experienced centre Tim Simona, R T Vaega from the Warriors and Brad Keighran and Kauri Aupouri in the halves. Hard hitting, hard running first grade star Jorge Taufua is making his way back in the NSW Cup and he is worth going to a match just so see and hear him whack opponents. Up front, the hard working Kurt De Luis and Terrell May lead the way, guided around the park by hooker Denzal Tonise who is in the best shape of his career. The Brock Shepherd coached Ron Massey Cup side has had a similar start to the season against the cream of young players in the NRL, many of them future stars. Blacktown beat Cabramatta, final score 16-10, in a hard fought win that came down to the wire. Player of the match was Lufusi Vea Tapaatoutai. They beat Mounties 34-16 in another tough match with Toni Tupouniua receiving Player of the Match. Samuel Radovu was a standout in the rugged 28-16 loss to The Hills Bulls.

Filipinos bowl over Blacktown  DALLAS SHWERRINGHAM LACKTOWN welcomed an unusual international sporting team to the region recently. The Philippines is a country more identified for its basketball prowess, but cricket is making inroads into the island nation. The Philippines national cricket team was in the region for a three-day training camp at Joe McAleer Oval in Glendenning. The Filipinos are currently based in Australia and are attempting to qualify for the 2022 ICC World Cup. Captaining the squad is their longtime leader Jonathon Hill who told media: “Very often training is left up to the individual as it’s quite difficult with half of the squad based in the Philippines and the rest spread across Australia. “The World Cup is a big deal for the team and hopefully we have a good chance to progress to the next round of qualifiers.” “Basketball is the main sport in the Philippines, but for many years two expats based in Manilla – Ian Sinclair and Faisal Khan – have poured so much passion and time into the development of cricket. “The Filipino Cricket Association is in a position now where they can go around


Mayor Tony Bleasdale with the teams.

to the different schools and run workshops – which is great.” Getting the Filipino team together to train has been difficult during the past year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with many of the Australian-based Filipino

players not able to train and play as usual. Mayor of Blacktown City Cr Tony Bleasdale said: “It’s wonderful to be able to welcome these athletes and offer our firstclass cricket facilities for training. We have

a large, wonderful Filipino community in Blacktown City, so there is no better place this team could have come.” The Filipinos play matches in the Asia Pacific region against other emerging sides such as PNG and Vanuatu.



ISSUE 2 | May 2021

How sport builds and unites Done well, partnerships last after the association is gone spect the jersey and know they are in the best position to improve and be cared for. That culture is the hardest aspect to build within an organisation but can be quickly eroded if you take your eye off the ball. A further indication of our club loyalty is that his team Manager, Graham Crawhall, has been at his side for all of those 300 + games. Money in sport and in business is testing the boundaries of building a culture. It can quickly erode a team or organisation by the individual pursuit of financial gain.

 EXCLUSIVE BY BOB TURNER WAS watching my six-year-old Granddaughter play football last Sunday and could not help but reflect on the impact and importance sport plays in our lives. From the activity and camaraderie generated by grass roots sport to the exhilaration and passion expressed in following your favourite team, sport plays an active role in our everyday lives. The daily news always reports both sport and weather which identifies their prominence for the general public. Exercise, whether young or old is vital to health and well-being so seeing the young people on the field, the excited parents on the sideline and even grandparents like me was a reinforcement that all should get out and keep the body moving. Today, my exercise comes from walking the dogs and jumping when Blacktown City FC scores a goal! Sport has been my livelihood for almost 45 years. Whether that was as a player, coach, administrator or marketer, it has opened doors far beyond what I could ever have expected or thought possible. Coaching the Sydney Kings for seven years led to introductions to politicians, corporate heavyweights and key members of the public. It also nurtured opportunities to present on topics such as team building, motivation and teamwork to a number of companies, school groups and sporting teams. These are all traits of any successful business. In sport, particularly in professional coaching the measure of success is on a scoreboard that does not lie. You have either led a successful team or not. In business teamwork might not be so easy to initially recognise but when an Executive coach his team well, the results are loyalty, productivity and a much more congenial work force. A close friend of mine and former NBL coach has earned his living the past 20-plus years travelling the world to coach key executives on how to coach their team/employees.


When fans win the case

Bob Turner: sport unites and cuts across cultures.

His comment to me was that what a professional coach learns in handling professional players over a course of a long season are traits not only hard to teach but hard to learn. For most business executives, after they have climbed the corporate ladder and arrived at the management level, in many cases, they have not been prepared for managing a team of people. My mate then comes in and applies the foundation blocks of team building as he had done with his players. It stands to reason that successful business managers, like coaches, follow the same principles of team building and motivation to build loyalty, belief and trust in the company they work for. Loyalty is not only a fundamental building block of success but it is also a result of developing a culture that endears players, employees and even fans to respect a club or organisation. The Head of Football for Blacktown City FC, Mark Crittenden, is a great example of someone who has earned both respect and loyalty. He Coached his 300th game for Blacktown City FC two weeks ago which is testament to the Club that they have the right man for the job. He has developed a culture within the club where players re-

The recent European Super League controversy tested the boundaries but for now proved that money does not always guarantee success. The passionate fan, the foundation of any professional sports team, won in this case. Not only can business managers benefit from the attributes of sport but corporates in general have benefitted by linking their name with sporting brands that exude the principles of the company or simply offer an effective marketing opportunity to ride the profile of a successful sporting group. My days with the Sydney Coca Cola Kings or Canberra Mazda Cannons exemplify the power of combining two entities for the benefit of both. If done well the partnership is long lasting even after the association is gone. The Coca Cola Kings were a household name in the 90’s because we both worked on and benefited from the partnership. It was a reciprocal arrangement. Blacktown City FC represents a similar opportunity for a forward-thinking company who wants to capture the resident base of 400,000 that is Blacktown. Media partnerships with local radio, publications like The Blacktown News and Western Sydney Business Access, NPL.TV and others are all part of the ‘Game Plan’ to build Blacktown City FC into a respected and well followed property. Blacktown City is starting to form local relationships to combine general advertising for corporate partners with the activity of home games, school

promotions, promotions with players and motivational activity to create an opportunity in Blacktown that has not existed locally before. Playing in the NSW Men’s Premier football competition with former household names like Marconi, Sydney Olympic, Sydney United, Apia, Wollongong Wolves and such we are hungry to take on the best in the state and make Blacktown proud. Blacktown City FC has ‘Pride in our name and our City’! My experience with the Newcastle Falcons, Canberra Cannons, Singapore Slingers and the Sydney Kings have proven to me the benefit of sport to build a respect for an organisation as well as partnerships to assist in bringing pride and excitement to a city. Blacktown is no different and we are developing and enhancing existing building blocks to benefit all who want to associate. We have recently had a number of potential corporate partners meet with us at our home ground at Lily Homes Stadium. When they entered the venue, most for the first time to see one of the best facilities in Sydney, and listened to our ambitious plans for the future our enthusiasm was contagious. As I have always said: “Enthusiasm is contagious – start an epidemic.” Blacktown City FC is on that path and those with vision and foresight will get in early. Blacktown News has seen the potential and jumped on Board. Blacktown City FC hits the road for most May but our next home game on May 30 will be a great one as Blacktown hosts Manly. The kind of clash Coach Crittenden will have the team pumped, especially as Manly won the first leg at their home. As a bonus, any Blacktown Council employee can attend the next home game against Manly on the May 30 for free if they show their security badge. All home games are played at Lily Homes Stadium, 5 Quinn Avenue, Seven Hills. Game time is 3pm. See you there!

Blacktown City FC hits the road  BOB TURNER LACKTOWN City FC hits the road for most May with key games against Marconi, Sydney Olympic, APIA & Northbridge Bulls. They return home at the end of May for a classic Blacktown Vs Manly encounter with plenty at stake. Manly won the first leg at their home 1-0 and Blacktown City will be ready to go in the return leg. The team should also be at full strength with the return from injury of Blacktown City FC veteran striker, Sean Rooney. A product of Blacktown City Juniors, the combination of Sean with other Blacktown Junior products, Travis Major and Mario Shabow will be a trio that should produce several goals and a headache for the opposition. This especially applies to Manly where Sean and Mario were not available in the first round. Blacktown City has been steadily climbing the ladder in the most prestigious football competition in NSW–NPL1. After a slow start through several injuries, a healthy squad has produced solid wins in April over Sydney FC, Wollongong Wolves, Rockdale


and Sutherland Sharks. The 2021 season has been more than competitive with no one team emerging as the favourite. With the team on the road for most of May, you can follow all Blacktown City FC games on NPL.TV, a free service provided by Football NSW for all NPL1 games. Congratulations to CEO Stuart Hodge and his team for their foresight in promoting the competition and welcome to my mate and former business colleague, Gilbert Lorguet, as the new Chairman of Football NSW. Head of Football Mark Crittenden has developed a team ethic and standard throughout the squad that is showing on the pitch. “We have already demonstrated we will continue to be a force in NSW this year. The combination of Rooney, Travis and Mario is a trio that I have been waiting to out on the field before the start of the season. In the run to the playoffs, I believe these three will be a handful around the goal,” said Coach Crittenden. All three are Blacktown City Juniors which further demonstrates the ability of the club to develop top line players. Continued on page 31

Blacktown FC at home.

Bob Turner is Executive Chairman at Blacktown City FC.


ISSUE 2 | May 2021


Scenes from the Derby thriller at Bankwest.

Derby thriller at Bankwest Wanderers keep their season alive, eye home run

Continued from page 30

He’s clocked up his 300th game A main reason for the talent development has been credited to Mark Crittenden. He chalked up his 300th game for the club in late April and continues to build one of the best football breeding grounds in the state. His efforts and commitment to the fundamentals of the game has developed an abundance of talent with players earning contracts overseas and in the A League. Just as impressive has been the devotion by Mark’s long standing Team Manager, Graham Crawhall, who has been at Mark’s side all the way to tally his 300th game for the club. Blacktown City FC has also commenced its run in the FFA Cup defeating

HE Western Sydney Wanderers are alive and kicking in the A-League title race after stretching their unbeaten run in the Sydney Derby against cross-town rivals Sydney FC to six games at Bankwest Stadium on Saturday night. This was a sporting event for the ages. A 5-goal thriller that went down to the wire in front of a thumping crowd of 20,336 that brought the colour, energy and excitement to the Stadium. Fans were again asking . . . is there a better live sporting event experience


in Australia than the A-League Sydney Derby at Bankwest Stadium? A stadium that was built for the fans and delivers atmosphere in spades with the steepest grandstands in the country creating a wall of sound. Passionate Wanderers Members and supporters gathered in the Parramatta CBD well before kick-off, providing a weekend boost to local business and creating a pre-game buzz around town. The RBB marched to the Stadium and took up their spots in the Active Supporters’ Zone at the northern end of Wander-

land. The energy and the noise stayed high throughout the 90 minutes of game time. Victory moved the Wanderers to the edge of the Top-6 with five rounds remaining. Certainly, the Red & Blacks loom as the competition darkhorse in the run home to the Finals. The Wanderers’ next home game at Bankwest Stadium is against Western United on Saturday, May 8. The Red & Blacks have two other home games – against Phoenix on Wednesday, May 26 and The Roar on Sunday, May 30. Get out there and feel the atmosphere!

Wollongong 5-0. Unable to play the FFA Cup in 2020 due to Covid, Blacktown City is keen to duplicate their 2017 form when they advanced all the way to the quarter finals of the nationwide competition. Defeating the Central Coast Mariners in the final 16, Blacktown City FC led the Western Sydney Wanderers 2-1 with minutes to play in front of a passionate 5,000 fans at Lily Homes Stadium. A late goal and a loss on penalty goals stopped the run but proved that Blacktown City FC can and will compete with any club in the nation. Captain and a veteran of 300 Games for Blacktown City, Matt Lewis said: “Advancing to the final 32 in the FFA Cup is our goal. The excitement and opportunity provided by playing in the finals

of this National competition were some of the best moments for the club back in 2017. We are good enough to advance and the team is ready to compete”. June and July are full of home game fixtures. On Sunday, June 6, Blacktown will play host to Sydney United. This will mark a ‘Return to Blacktown Day’ for past players. On Sunday, the June 20, Sutherland Sharks come to Lily Homes Stadium for a 3pm game. The month of July sees three home games in the run to playoffs. Sunday, July 4, against Wollongong, the 8th against Marconi and July 25 will play host to Sydney Olympic. All games kick off at 3pm. Another game of significance is on the road to play the Mt Druitt Town Rangers on June 26 at Popendetta Park. This will

be the second leg of the Blacktown Mayoral Cup. The Rangers won the first game of the Series 1-0 and Game two is sure to be a fierce encounter. After four games on the road in May, Blacktown City FC will be more than eager to get back home to tackle Manly on May 30 Blacktown VS Manly is the kind of clash Coach Crittenden will have the team pumped, especially as Manly won the first leg at their home 1-0.

As a bonus, any Blacktown Council employee can attend this game against Manly on May 30 for free. Show your security pass at the gate and you can be guest of Blacktown City in appreciation of our city. All home games are played at Lily Homes Stadium, 5 Quinn Avenue, Seven Hills. Game time against Manly is 3pm. See you there!





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ISSUE 2 | May 2021

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