Blacktown News - September 2021

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

Blacktown doctor Jana Pittman competes in SAS TV.


Sub-branch answers calls for support: 10


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

Why Blacktown is tops for property investment: 14

Blacktown City




395,000 population

18.81 billion regional economy



average economic growth

registered businesses

143,259 local jobs


ISSUE 6 | September 2021 Calling all green thumbs, entries for the 2021 Blacktown City Garden Competition are open.

2021 Blacktown City Garden Competition

Blacktown City Mayor Tony Bleasdale OAM called on residents to enter their gardens, big or small, residential or commercial in the annual competition. ‘The Blacktown City Garden Competition showcases the wonderful gardening skills of our residents and businesses,’ Mayor Bleasdale said. ‘It’s wonderful to see the great pride that so many people take in the appearance of their homes. ‘Visiting the winning gardens is one of the highlights of the Council calendar for me, and I know that this year’s entries will be as spectacular are ever. ‘Winners not only have the bragging rights of being able to say they have the best gardens in the city, but also share in more than $3,000 prize money as well as garden products, landscaping supplies and movie passes.’ The competition is one of the best-known garden competitions in western Sydney, with 14 categories including Best Front Garden, Best Back Garden, Best Native Garden, Overall Champion Garden, and Best Sustainable Garden. There is also a new category for interesting and unusual plants. Entries close on 27 August and preliminary judging will take place between 6 and 22 September.


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

Entries will be assessed on design, construction, maintenance and sustainability. The final round of judging by industry experts will be conducted in late September. Last year, the Blacktown City Garden Competition attracted a total of 114 entries, with the prestigious prize of Overall City Champion awarded to Bruce Pederson of Christine Crescent in Lalor Park. Details:

SAY NO TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE The Youth Ambassador Program involves the selection of two young people to serve as Ambassadors of Blacktown City for a period of 12 months. The ambassadors must be residents of Blacktown City and be aged between 15 and 18 years. The two young people who are selected will represent the youth of our City through public speaking at events such as Citizenship Ceremonies and Civic Receptions, the opportunity to meet high profile individuals at special events and the chance to attend a Local Government related conference. The ambassadors also participate as members of both the Sister Cities and Youth Advisory committees.

Youth Ambassador Program Applications for the 2021 Blacktown City Youth Ambassador Program are open. If you are a young person who enjoys public speaking, meeting new people, helping your community and would like to represent the youth of Blacktown City then this is the program for you!

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

Knit Bomb Project 2021 Spare time on your hands?

Get involved!

For more information visit

Local Government Elections

The program is a fun way to learn new skills and gain invaluable experience outside the schooling environment.

The next Local Government Election will be held on

Applications close 5.30 pm Friday, 17 September 2021.

Saturday 4 December

After all applications have been reviewed, applicants will be notified if they were successful in making it to the next round, which is the interview selection process.

To have your say on who will represent your ward on Blacktown City Council, make sure you’re enrolled to vote by visiting


Email us:

Call us: 9839 6000

Visit us: 62 Flushcombe Road, Blacktown

Mail us: PO Box 63, Blacktown 2148

ISSUE 6 | September 2021


Stacey Jane, front, with her team and the bags.

Westpoint backs domestic violence fight ESPOINT Shopping Centre Blacktown is supporting the fight against domestic violence, becoming one of the latest businesses in the local area to stock Escabags. Escabags is the brainchild of Stacey Jane, a victim of domestic violence herself, who started Escabags in February 2019 as a small project from home and has seen it grow to have over 450 stockists across Australia. “Sometimes escaping an abusive or dangerous situation isn’t just about finding emotional support; it’s about having a practical solution available that will save your life, and that’s what Escabags is,” CEO & Founder of Escabags, Stacey Jane said. Escabags are free tote bags kindly made with love by volunteers and then filled with


the necessities that a victim of abuse and his/her children may need when initially escaping a dangerous or abusive situation. “I know how it feels to fear for your life because of an abusive situation but to be too afraid to leave. I know how it feels to be unable to confide in your family and friends or even call the police in fear of how you and the people you love could be affected.” “I know how it feels to have your every move, conversation, text message, and financial transaction monitored, forcing you into a state of mental paralysis. I know how it feels to finally escape and not have the necessities with you to allow you to rest and recover soundly for the first 24 hours. Founding Escabags was not about starting something; it’s about ENDING it,” she said.

Westpoint now has Escabags available at their Customer Service Desk on Level 3 and is promoting the campaign on digital billboards, centre directories and in male and female amenities in the centre, as well as utilising social media to get the message out. “We are so proud to be a part of this very valuable campaign and support those in our community at a time of such dire need,” said Westpoint Centre Manager, Agata Rynkiewicz. “It is an honour to be involved and to partner with a group like Escabags which is making a real difference to people’s lives.”





ISSUE 6 | SEPTEMBER 2021 How to get The News The Blacktown News is available at strategic locations throughout Blacktown LGA. To find a location near you visit our website.

Digital edition Each edition of The Blacktown News can be viewed and downloaded in digitalf ormat at our ISSUU platform: www.issuu/communitybroadcastnetwork

Contacts Editorial Admin and General Editor Michael Walls

ISSUE 6 | September 2021

TAY-at-home orders for adults who have received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine will be lifted after NSW passes the 70 per cent double vaccination target, under the roadmap to freedom released today. The roadmap is subject to further fine-tuning and health advice if circumstances change drastically or if cases within a designated area remain too high. Premier Gladys Berejiklian said we are well on the way to hitting the 70 per cent double dose milestone which will allow the state to open up for those who have received both doses of a COVID-19 vaccine. Only fully vaccinated people and those with medical exemptions will have access to the freedoms allowed under the Reopening NSW roadmap. The freedoms for vaccinated adults will come into effect on the Monday after NSW hits the 70 per cent double dose target and include: Gatherings in the home and public spaces:


• Up to five visitors will be allowed in a home where all adults are vaccinated (not including children 12 and under). • Up to 20 people can gather in outdoor settings.

Venues including hospitality, retail stores and gyms:

• Hospitality venues can reopen subject to one person per 4sqm inside and one person per 2sqm outside, with standing while drinking permitted outside. • Retail stores can reopen under the one person per 4sqm rule (unvaccinated people will continue to only be able to access critical retail). • Personal services such as hairdressers and nail salons can open with one person per 4sqm, capped at five clients per premises. • Gyms and indoor recreation facilities can open under the one person per 4sqm rule and can offer classes for up to 20 people. • Sporting facilities including swimming pools can reopen.

Advertising sales Graham Maughan Julie Jackson

Administration Rebecca Swaleh

Design and production Design2Pro, Words and Pixels.

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Stadiums, theatres and major outdoor recreation facilities: • Major recreation outdoor facilities including stadiums, racecourses,

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


Roadmap to COVID freedoms

Newsroom News Reporter Lawrence Machado Travel Editor Dallas Sherringham


theme parks and zoos can reopen with one person per 4sqm, capped at 5,000 people. • Up to 500 people can attend ticketed and seated outdoor events. • Indoor entertainment and information facilities including cinemas, theatres, music halls, museums and galleries can reopen with one person per 4sqm or 75 per cent fixed seated capacity. Weddings, funerals and places of worship: • Up to 50 guests can attend weddings, with dancing permitted and eating and drinking only while seated. • Up to 50 guests can attend funerals, with eating and drinking while seated. • Churches and places of worship to open subject to one person per 4sqm rule, with no singing. Travel:

• Domestic travel, including trips to regional NSW, will be permitted.

• Caravan parks and camping grounds can open. • Carpooling will be permitted.

Non-vaccinated young people aged under 16 will be able to access all outdoor settings but will only be able to visit indoor venues with members of their household. Employers must continue to allow employees to work from home if the employee is able to do so. Masks:

• Masks will remain mandatory for all indoor public venues, including public transport, front-of-house hospitality, retail and business premises, on planes and at airports. • Only hospitality staff will be required to wear a mask when outdoors. • Children aged under 12 will not need to wear a mask indoors. For the latest information visit


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ISSUE 6 | September 2021


Parklea produces for struggling locals  GIVING | DALLAS SHERRINGHAM HE fresh produce grown by inmates of Parklea Correctional Centre is playing an important role in helping struggling locals get through the pandemic lockdown. It donates fresh, organic produce to Foodbank NSW and ACT after forming a partnership last winter to help feed people in need around Greater Sydney. Between June and August last year, the prison provided more than one tonne of salad to the food charity, which included rocket, spinach, coriander and lettuce. This year’s harvest includes a variety of lettuces and coriander. The vegetables are grown by inmates under the supervision of Horticulture Overseers Sanjeev Kumar and Fetaitai Patiole. Mr Kumar said having purposeful work was an important part of the inmate’s structured rehabilitation and reintegration plans. “As part of the program, inmates learn how to take care of the soil and tend to the crop to ensure the vegetables grow and thrive,” Mr Kumar said. “Learning horticultural skills will help inmates gain employment once they re-enter the community upon their release and reduce their chances of reoffending. “This project also provides inmates with an opportunity to give back to the community, as well as a sense of pride and achievement by growing something that will make a difference in someone’s lives.” Foodbank CEO John Robertson said that in the period since the Sydney lockdown was announced on Saturday June 26, the charity had distributed more than 41,800 emergency relief hampers to areas


Pictured with the Foodbank harvest at ParkleaL-R: Ben Cox, Sidd Mehta, Sanjeev Kumar, Michael Pugsley and Ian Cox.

across Greater Sydney, the Blue Mountains, the Central Coast and Wollongong – an increase of 304%.

Stress of lockdown “The stress of yet another lockdown impacts us all, but for tens of thousands of people in NSW right now the brutal reality of no money to buy basics to feed themselves or their families is devastating,” Mr Robertson said. “We have also received thousands of requests for food relief hampers from in-

ternational students, revealing the depth of need among people in Australia not eligible to receive other forms of support. “This is why food donations from partners such as Parklea Correctional Centre are more important than ever.” Under the partnership with Foodbank, the Parklea Correctional Centre has been providing regular donations throughout winter. A similar arrangement will be established for the summer harvest. Horticulture is one of several industries providing inmates at Parklea with work

opportunities and valuable job skills. Others include facilities maintenance, laundry, printing, metal and cabinet work and food service. Inmates can complement their on-thejob training by undertaking a course to earn industry-recognised qualifications in their chosen field. Parklea Correctional Centre is operated by MTC-Broadspectrum on behalf of Corrective Services NSW. TO DONATE:



ISSUE 6 | September 2021

Mayor’s message to Premier We need our own vaccination clinic  LOCKDOWN | DALLAS SHERRINGHAM LACKTOWN City residents have topped the State in vaccination rates for COVID-19 with a 25% increase in first dose responses in August, but it could be even better if the NSW Government accepts a proposal from Mayor Tony Bleasdale. A quarter of the region’s population were vaccinated with the first jab, representing 65,839 residents, with the North Blacktown area particularly responsive. Comparing it to other region’s such as the Inner West of Sydney with 17.8% or just 43,977, Blacktown is doing well but it could be even better. And it led to Mayor Tony Bleasdale taking his plan for a mass vaccination centre in Blacktown to the NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian. Mayor Bleasdale sent a video message to the Premier and NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard calling for a mass vaccination hub to be established in the Blacktown Local Government Area. Mayor Bleasdale said Council would provide the venue and all non-medical staff at no cost to NSW Health. “Premier, I am sending this message on behalf of 400,000 residents. The City of Blacktown needs a mass vaccination hub.” “The Blacktown LGA is an area of concern; we are asked not to leave our area and we are under a night time curfew. “We are constantly told we must all get vaccinated to end the lockdowns and I agree 100%, but Blacktown City is the biggest local government area in NSW by


Blacktown Mayor Tony Bleasdale.

population and it doesn’t have a mass vaccination hub. “Priority Pfizer appointments are available in Areas of Concern for all 16-to-39 year-olds at 15 locations, but not one is in Blacktown City. “Increased vaccination bookings are available at three mass vaccination clinics, but not one is in Blacktown City. “The Health website says free AstraZeneca vaccinations are available to community members aged 18 years and over at five walk-in vaccination centres in Western Sydney but none is in the Blacktown area of concern.”

Premier Gladys Berejiklian.

Mayor Bleasdale, Member for Greenway Michelle Rowland and Member for Chifley Ed Husic have written to the Premier and the Health Minister on two occasions requesting that a mass vaccination hub be established in the Blacktown LGA, adding that Council would provide a venue and staff. “The only reply we received was a standard letter from NSW Health saying basically ‘thanks, but no thanks’,” Mayor Bleasdale said. “It’s not easy to get to Homebush or Penrith Panthers – it’s up to 30kms away for some residents.

“We have a lot of pharmacies, GPs and a handful of pop-up, special community clinics, working hard to provide vaccinations. But it’s not enough. “A mass vaccination hub could deliver all those extra vaccinations and go a long way in Blacktown City meeting those vaccination targets of 70 and 80%. “In the meantime, I call on all of our residents to stick to the Public Health Orders, stay at home, wear a mask, get tested if you have any symptoms, get vaccinated and don’t meet up with friends.” Mayor Bleasdale said.




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ISSUE 6 | September 2021

Blacktown City: The City of Opportunity Blacktown City is one of the fastest growing regions in Australia. By 2041, population growth will result in our region having over 615,000 residents – easily larger than Tasmania! Only by working together can we deliver the jobs, infrastructure and social services to support a vibrant and exciting City – Opportunity for All!

COVID Help is Available For people with work hours cut: Service Australia

For people seeking rebates: Services NSW phone 13 77 88 or

For businesses seeking financial support and landlordss tto o aassist ssist ttenants: enants: Services NSW phone 13 77 88 or

For health advice or book your vaccine: or contact your local doctor or pharmacist.

Mental Health support: Lifeline 13 11 14 Stay safe, get vaccinated and feel free to phone or email your local MP (details below).

We are here to help you and your family during this difficult time.

Stephen Bali MP

Hugh McDermott MP

Prue Car MP

Edmond Atalla MP

Member for Blacktown

Member for Prospect

Member for Mt Druitt

(02) 9671 5222

(02) 9756 4766

Deputy Opposition Leader Shadow Minister for Education and Early Childhood Learning Member for Londonderry

Shop 3063, Westpoint Shopping Centre, Flushcombe Rd, Blacktown

2/679 The Horsley Dr, Smithfield

(02) 9833 1122

(02) 9625 6770 Suite 201, Westfield Shoppingtown, Carlisle Av, Mt Druitt

154 Queen St, St Marys

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



ISSUE 6 | September 2021







ISSUE 6 | September 2021


Blacktown doctor in realty TV show Jana swaps stethoscope for SAS survival challenge  COVER STOIRY | DALLAS SHERRINGHAM LACKTOWN Hospital’s famous Olympian Dr Jana Pittman has swapped her stethoscope for a grueling survival challenge in the latest series of ‘SAS’ TV on the Seven Network. Jana’s roller coaster ride of triumph, defeat, failure and success throughout her life makes her ideal for the rigorous format of the show. The 38-year-old dual Olympian is one of the 18 celebrities who will be subjected to extreme physical and psychological testing on the upcoming military-style show. And in a sneak peak of the dramatic new trailer, the retired Olympic hurdler-turned-doctor said she hoped to make her 'beautiful children proud' in a course that will test her 'beyond anything' she's ever done. Now, every career at the heights of sport is a journey through the peaks and troughs that shape us all and Jana is no exception. Two times World Champion, four times Commonwealth Champion, she personifies resilience and determination. Jana was born in Western Sydney and attended Matthew Pearce Primary School, Mount St Benedict College and Girraween High School. She is a two-time world champion in the 400m hurdles, from 2003 and 2007. She also won the gold medal in this event at the 2002 and 2006 Commonwealth Games and was part of Australia's winning 4 × 400 metres relay teams at both events. In fact, Jana is in rarified air as one of only nine athletes, including Usain Bolt, to win world championships at the youth, junior, and senior level of an athletic event. And just to top it all off, she switched to the Winter Olympics and represented Australia in the two woman bobsleigh, making her the first Australian female athlete to compete in both the Summer and Winter Olympics. It was in January 2013, while training for the Sochi Winter Olympic Games, Jana began studying medicine at Western Sydney University. She was one of 130 interns to join Western Sydney Local Health District interns as part of the 2020 intake.


Dr Pittman on her hospital rounds.

“Blacktown Emergency Department prepared me well for the SAS show,” Jana said. Thrown out of helicopter, strapped in a flooding car–it sounds like a Hollywood movie but is the very real series of challenges faced by Blacktown Hospital’s resident doctor on season two of SAS Australia.

It was tough going However, it was tough going even for one of Australia’s best athletes and she admitted SAS Australia was one of the hardest things she’d ever done. “It is as close to SAS training as you can do and it’s quite extraordinary to see

what some of these guys would put themselves through to gain selection. It was mind boggling,” she said. “They gassed us at one point and you feel like you’re dying and then the next minute you’re being thrown out of a helicopter and then the next minute climbing through mud; it was just never ending. It was relentless.” SAS chief instructor Ant Middleton described Dr Pittman as a “lioness”, telling her: “Whatever fire you’ve ignited within you, if you keep that, you will be here at the end of the course.” Jana had given birth to her fourth child just six months before filming and took on the challenge at the end of her maternity leave. She even returned to Blacktown Hospital’s obstetrics and gynecology department just three days after finishing filming. “Anyone who has kids understand that’s not an easy feat to get back fitness, let alone no sleep, so most of it was just mental toughness, just trying to battle through the challenges and then not give up,” Jana said. “I came back to work really skinny with a big black eye and all these bruises down my arms and I particularly remember this one patient looking at me and going: ‘Are you okay?’ I said I had just done a sports course on the weekend but I’m not so sure she believed me.” Jana said working in Blacktown’s emergency department helped prepared her for the grueling SAS course. “It’s a go, go, go kind of intensity and I have had the privilege of looking after very acutely sick patients,” she said. “It is a privilege and a once-in-alifetime opportunity to be working on frontline through a pandemic and trying to ease patients’ fears. Hopefully what we learn from this will be huge in terms of being better doctors. “I feel very protected by the way our hospitals are managing this pandemic, which is great. I have never had a day where I haven’t felt safe. “The whole team at Blacktown are literally amazing. They’re wonderful teachers, incredibly supportive, and very flexible.”

It is as close to SAS training as you can do and it’s quite extraordinary to see what some of these guys would put themselves through to gain selection. It was mind boggling.” – Dr Jana Pittman. Jana said Blacktown Hospital had supported her to remain part-time this year while she balanced home-schooling with work on the front line. Her long-term plan is to remain in obstetrics and gynecology at Blacktown Hospital but she’s also signed up for a medical role in the Army Reserves “to fill the adrenaline void”. “It’s my second year at Blacktown but I also did all my medical school training there so I feel like an old hand. It’s been a good to be able to watch it evolve and grow into this new, amazing hospital. “I love working at Blacktown Hospital. I’ve had incredible support from the workforce and I also feel very protected by the doctors. They all know me, they don’t care who you are on television, they just really treat you as one of the family and I’ve found that a really beautiful thing.” SOURE: Western Sydney Health News



ISSUE 6 | September 2021

Blacktown RSL Sub-Branch responds to community needs.

Sub-branch answers calls for support HE Blacktown RSL Sub-Branch has responded to the calls for support from Sydney veterans, war widows and families who are struggling emotionally and financially during this lockdown period. The veteran community has been cutoff from many services due to the covid crisis and are unable to see family members who give vital informal support. Blacktown RSL Sub-branch members and volunteers have mobilized themselves and stepped in to be the formal and informal support for the war veterans and widows by starting operation Covid Assist 2021. Blacktown RSL sub-Branch members are ex-defence members are naturally inclined to respond and help other during a crises, says John O’Brien Veteran and Blacktown RSL sub-Branch Office manager. Blacktown RSL sub-Branch has been able to source support from major community organisations such as Foodbank NSW & ACT, RSL Defence Care and Anglicare. These organisations provide food, social services and other vital support. Volunteers from the Sub-branch, the 1st Military Police Battalion, Blacktown Police and the NSW Sheriff ’s Office have supported the initiative by assembling and delivering care packages to veterans and widows in need. “Recently nonveterans have contacted us for assistance. Thanks to the terrific support from Foodbank NSW & ACT and Anglicare we can refer them for immediate help. Our focus is veterans and veteran family’s however we are a community and we are in this together,” said John. “No Defence Force Member or veteran would allow a community member to go hungry. Thanks to our supporters we can operate with a good consciouses in our community.” Blacktown RSL Sub-Branch President Bradley Lawless says Operation Covid Assist 2021 has been a mammoth undertaking


“We are heavily engaged with supporting veterans in the Sydney community not just Blacktown. We have delivered care packages to Mainly, Windsor, Penrith, Blacktown, Holsworthy and the Blue Mountains. Due to the current health orders and lockdown in Sydney, some of our older veterans and war widows are feeling it,” said Bradley. We are responsible for checking on veterans, some aged in their 90s and still living independently. “This sub-branch has received reports of veterans going cold and hungry. Other reports include veterans are not making medical appointments or attending counseling sessions and are becoming withdrawn and isolated. “Recently we supported a 75-year-old

veteran, sitting at home suffering with diagnosed COVID-19. This veteran has no family support and no formal support. Blacktown RSL sub-branch and the local community is his support during this time” The current covid crisis has also taken a toll on the mental health of veterans. The sub-Branch has created an extensive referral list veteran can use to ask for help. Sadly, the sub-branch has assisted with several funerals of veterans over the past month. Families have reported the decline in services is playing a role. “We are taking steps to reduce their anxiety and sudden reduction in services. Operation Covid Assist 2021 will be operating throughout the current crisis to ensure veterans, widows and their families are supported and not forgotten.”






Blacktown RSL sub-Branch Covid operation continues to extend across Sydney. Blacktown RSL sub-Branch is looking for current Defence members, ex Defence members and veterans to join their membership. Blacktown RSL sub-Branch askes veterans to reach out to them or your local sub-Branches.



ISSUE 6 | September 2021


Entries open for 2021 city art prize NTRIES are now open for the 2021 Blacktown City Art Prize, which will celebrate 26 years as one of the most prestigious regional art prizes in Australia. The $20,000 art prize is open to artists living across Australia, with submissions open in four categories including, the top prize, Aboriginal Artist Prize, Local Artist Prize and the People’s Choice Prize. Blacktown City Mayor Tony Bleasdale OAM encouraged artists to enter works in the open-themed prize, from painting, to textiles and photo-media. “The distinguished prize has cemented itself as a major cultural event in Western Sydney over more than a quarter of a century,” Mayor Bleasdale said. “Last year’s prize saw a record-breaking 900 pieces submitted, which showcased the incredible talents of artists in our community. “I am continually impressed by the calibre of work submitted each year and encourage artists from Blacktown City and beyond to take part in this prestigious event. “It has been a tough year for many of us living through the COVID-19 pandemic, but despite the challenges, our creative community has proved its resilience. I look forward to seeing this year’s entries.” Western Sydney artist Linda Brescia took out the top award in the 2020 prize for her portrait of American patron of the arts Peggy Guggenheim. Ms Brescia’s last-minute entry, Peggy, which was painted on the day submissions closed, was chosen from 110 finalists to take out the major prize.

Blacktown Arts website for the duration of the exhibition.


For further information and to enter, visit:


Blacktown City Mayor Tony Bleasdale OAM with the winner of the 2020 Blacktown City Art Prize, Linda Brescia, and her artwork Peggy.

“Winning the Blacktown City Art Prize offers much appreciated encouragement and support,” Ms Brescia said. “(2020) has been a hard year for everyone. I hadn’t exhibited work in a gallery all year and thought I should make an effort to be in at least one exhibition.” Artworks can be in sculpture, painting, drawing, mixed media, photo-media, textiles, printmaking or ceramics. The Blacktown City Art Prize will culminate in an exhibition of the finalists’ work at the Leo Kelly Blacktown Arts Centre and at Blacktown, Stanhope and Mt Druitt libraries between Saturday 27

November 27, 2021 and Thursday, January 27, 2022. Entries close 5pm, Tuesday October 5, 2021. Prizes awarded:

• Blacktown City Art Prize: $15,000 (acquisitive) • Aboriginal Artist Prize: $2,000 • Local Artist Prize: $2,000 • People’s Choice Prize: $1,000

All artworks in the exhibition have the opportunity to be acquired for the Blacktown City Art Collection, they will also be available to buy in person at The Leo Kelly Blacktown Arts Centre or online via the

• Tuesday 5 October 2021, 5pm - Entries close • Wednesday 27 October 2021 - Finalists announced • Friday 12 and Saturday 13 November 2021, 9am – 5pm - Artwork deliveries to The Leo Kelly Blacktown Arts Centre • Saturday 27 November 2021 - Prize winners announced • Saturday 27 November 2021 – Thursday 27 January 2022 - Exhibition open at all venues • Friday 28 and Saturday 29 January 2022, 9am – 5pm - Artwork collection from The Leo Kelly Blacktown Arts Centre

About Blacktown Arts Blacktown City Council’s Blacktown Arts is a recognised leader in the development of contemporary arts in Australia. We support artistic innovation and offer exciting, new experiences for audiences through an award-winning curated program of exhibitions, performances, workshops, residencies and events. We are committed to making dynamic, culturally diverse work that reflects Blacktown, its history and its communities. We place Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists and communities at the heart of our program to develop new work drawing on issues of local and global significance.

Blacktown City Creative Arts Fund awards N exhibition on domestic violence to a documentary on COVID-19 to a new cabaret performance–these are just some of the 19 projects to benefit from the latest round of arts funding grants from Blacktown City Council. Blacktown City Mayor Tony Bleasdale OAM has announced $42,000 in grants, awarded to local artists and community groups as part of Council’s 2021 Creative Arts Fund. “The Creative Arts Fund is a wonderful, inclusive initiative that supports opportunities for local artists and creatives in our City,” Mayor Bleasdale said. “The applications this year were of extremely high calibre, and the projects range from celebrating diversity to addressing prominent social issues confronting our community. “I am proud that this is the sixth year that Council has run the Creative Arts Fund program and I congratulate the 19 organisations and individuals on their awards. I look forward to enjoying the many projects that will be created.” Woodcroft local Holly Oakley will receive a grant of up to $2000 dollars for an exhibition on domestic violence and the printing of artworks for local domestic violence counsellors. Emie Roy of Quakers Hill was awarded a grant to support the development and production of a short documentary on the COVID-19 pandemic and 2020 lockdown. A new cabaret performance will be developed by Doonside creative Natalie Oliver in collaboration with other performers. Council’s Manager Arts and Cultural Development, Alicia Talbot said; “Blacktown City is an amazing place, full of inspiration. “The Creative Arts Fund champions our artists, cultural workers and creative communities. Blacktown Arts is thrilled to support creativity throughout the city with these grants.


Agal Dance Company of Blacktown has been awarded up to $2000 in funding as part of the 2021 Blacktown City Creative Arts Fund. Photographer: Gerrie Mifsud

“Culture and the arts have a profound role in highlighting social issues and strengthening community reach. A fantastic way for artists to gain professional development whilst working collaboratively with other local community organisations.”

Grants of up to $3,000 have been awarded to these community organisations: Barnier Public School P & C Association (Quakers Hill)–Artist fees for the installation of the first stage of murals in the bathrooms at Barnier Public School. Australian Traditional Asian Culture Group (Seven Hills)–Chinese ink-drawing workshops with artists Songshi Li and Dan Chen and the development of a final exhibition. Shalvey Community Centre (Shalvey)–

Artist fees and venue hire for a Holiday Intensive Dance Workshop with young people at Shalvey Community Centre.

Grants of up to $2,000 have been awarded to these individuals and artist groups: Holly Oakley of Woodcroft–An exhibition on domestic violence and the printing of the artworks for local domestic violence counsellors. Emie Roy of Quakers Hill–Development and production support of a short documentary on the Covid-19 pandemic and 2020 lockdown. Aileenette Almazan-Appleby of Blacktown–Artist fees for the production and development of an art and literacy video series for primary and early secondary school students. Natalie Oliver of Doonside–Profes-

sional development fees and venue hire for the arrangement of a new cabaret performance in collaboration with other performers. Yasmin Arkinstall of Lalor Park–Professional development in opera and funds to work with a mentor composer for the development of an autobiographical opera about the artist’s experience with mental illness. Laura Ranola of Doonside–Production of a new limited podcast series aimed at young women from Blacktown and western Sydney Dave Hammond of Bidwill–Development and marketing costs of an online craft store in jewellery. Stan Florek of Blacktown–Creation of ten to fifteen paintings that represent the migrant experience in Blacktown. Juda Xavier Osbual of Woodcroft–Professional development and artist fees to support the development of a series of visual dance films. Suhandi Kosasih of Seven Hills–Artist fees and venue hire for new music jam sessions in Blacktown. Richard Jackson of Lalor Park–Creation of 10 autobiographical paintings that reflect the artist’s life. Vonne Patiag of Minchinbury–Development of the first full draft screenplay for the feature length film production of TOMGIRL. Agal Dance Company of Blacktown– Production of a film on a dance performance responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. Raneen Shamon of Mount Druitt – Creation of art works with students for an art exhibition at the Evans English Intensive Learning Centre. Ctace Palasin of Blacktown–Development of two playscripts ‘Oh Wife Escape Me Not’ and ‘Eva’. Rebecca Catford of Seven Hills–Mixed media sculpture that reflects the impact of domestic violence on survivors.



ISSUE 6 | September 2021

Launching students to job market IGH school students will gain skills to seize job opportunities in the growing health and aged care sectors, thanks to new virtual TAFE NSW courses on offer as part of the HSC in 2022. With the Australian Aged Care sector expected to grow to one million workers by 2050, the NSW Government is delivering in-demand skills training to Year 11 and 12 students with courses in Care in Ageing, Health Administration, and Allied Health. Minister for Skills and Tertiary Education Geoff Lee said the virtual Schools Launchpad courses are designed to build the sector’s future workforce and allow students to step straight into jobs after school. “The new virtual courses give students an opportunity to complete their HSC with highly relevant and real-world skills that employers are looking for,” Mr Lee said. “Students will finish high school with a head start in their career, as they will be qualified to work in a variety of in-demand roles including as a Personal


Care Worker, Allied Health Assistant, and Medical Records Officer.” Minister for Education Sarah Mitchell said the TAFE Launchpad courses are an important part of school curriculum reforms.

In demand jobs “The new curriculum is about ensuring students are prepared for in-demand jobs, including in growing industries like health,” Ms Mitchell said. “Our curriculum will truly be world leading, and importantly create incredible opportunities for all our students to achieve their best and have rewarding careers in their future.” TAFE NSW Head of Health, Wellbeing and Community Services Skills Team Anne Barrow said students studying the virtual Care in Ageing course will learn workplace communication skills, WHS, infection control policies, and the practices of person-centred support. “They’ll also gain a First Aid Certificate and learn how to provide individ-

ualised support to clients with diverse needs, including people with dementia.” Students who complete the virtual courses will graduate with a nationally recognised VET qualification that forms part of their HSC and contributes to an ATAR.

Expressions of Interest are now open for all Schools Launchpad courses. Students can express their interest via their school Career Counsellors. For more information, visit launchpad.

Workers may have missed payments ANY workers living in the Western Sydney region and who sustained a workplace injury between October 2012 and October 2019 may have missed out on important payments. The State Workers Compensation manager icare has encouraged more than 35,000 workers from the Western Sydney to have their past compensation payments reassessed to ensure they have received the correct entitlements. A review of weekly payments between 2012 and 2019 has revealed NSW workers injured at work should come


forward to see if they are owed money on their workers compensation payments. A spokesman said identified workers would have received a letter from icare outlining the reassessment process for a review within the below council areas: • City of Parramatta. • Blacktown City Council. • Cumberland City Council. • Lithgow City Council. • Blue Mountains City Council. • Penrith City Council.

A review of historic payments has indicated earnings information used to determine weekly compensation payments was in some cases not provided to the insurer at the time. A review of historic payments has indicated earnings information used to determine weekly compensation payments was in some cases not provided to the insurer at the time. For more information visit or call 02 6714 8003.


%ඔ ඉඋඓග඗ඟ1

Blacktown's LOCAL media voice ice

Issue 4 | July 2021


Execs sleep rough to help

Grab a copy of the Blacktown News at any of these popular distribution outlets Blacktown Council

Fox Hills Golf Club

youth: 5

Homegrown Blacktown talent. Josh Addo-Carr.

Residents hope for the return of Doonside Festival: 12

Blacktown winning war on tossers: 3 Property prices are sky rocketing: 13 LOCAL BUSINESS AWARDS FEATURE: 26


State of Origin hero eye s


clean sweep

LACKTOWN has produced many the NSW State of Origin great sporting champions, side. but NRL pics this year stars for premiers Melbourne Josh, who star Josh Addo-Carr is Storm every footy Ĝeld. instead of racing down the the most week, recently scored In 2020 he told famous of them all. The an astounding six of Blackhis aspirations to be an tries in the runaway win town-born ĝyer dubbed Olympian after he over the Rab‘The Foxx’ is one bitohs. became the NRL’s fastest of the Ĝrst players picked The last time that happened recorded player for was at 38.5kmh, while carrying League rep teams including major Rugby 70 years ago. But he is so fast, a ball on grass he could Australia and have in a match against the been sprinting at the Cowboys. Tokyo Olym-

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

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Max Webber Library

Lillys Function Centre

Blacktown Workers Club

Riverstone Newsagent

Blacktown Chamber events

Prospect Hotel

Blacktown FC

Stanhope Gardens Library

Blacktown RSL Blacktown Sports Club Blacktown Travelodge The Australian Hotel Vineyard Motel

Toongabbie Bowling Sports Club Wests Tradies

Issue 3 | June 2021



Seven Hills Plaza Lalor Park Library Riverstone Library

Dr Dhaval Ghelani.



LACKTOWN Hospital Intensive Care Unit specialist Dr Dhaval Ghelani wasn’t going to let distance, border closures and his own personal family devastation stop him from playing a crucial role in the COVID-19 Ĝght in India. Watching the drama unfold on our TV screens and talking to ađected family members in India, he

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decided he could use his expertise to help thousands of people hit by the pandemic. “These doctors are putting their lives and their family’s lives at risk by treating seriously unwell COVID patients – the least I can do from here is help them in any way I can,” Dr Ghelani said. Full story page 3.

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ISSUE 6 | September 2021


Sharing powerful Blacktown stories

BRIEFS Kids vaccinated at Mt Druitt ORE than 250 Aboriginal people, including children aged 12 to 15, received their first COVID-19 vaccination at a dedicated outreach event hosted by Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD) at Mount Druitt Hospital’s Aboriginal Health Hub. WSLHD Aboriginal Health Service manager Belinda Cashman said the western Sydney Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community has been turning out in force for vaccination – and her own 13-year-old twin girls were among those to receive their vaccinations today. “We started running these outreach clinics in July. They’re always booked out and we were being asked when children could get vaccinated,” Belinda said. The Aboriginal outreach day was one of several held across western Sydney in recent weeks with more planned for the near future.


Dine and discover extended

Truth To Power Cafe.

LACKTOWN City locals will share their powerful stories in an internationally-acclaimed online theatre event presented by Blacktown Arts and London Artists Projects. Truth to Power Café is a profound theatrical reflection on time, place and community from the son of The Hackney Gang, Jeremy Goldstein. Witness participants from Blacktown City and beyond present their truth to power as they consider the fundamental question - ‘Who has power over you and what would you say to them?’ Blacktown City Mayor Tony Bleasdale said he was delighted to have the cutting-edge production come to Blacktown Arts this September as part


of London Artists Projects’ No Borders World Tour 2020/21. “This special online event promises to bring some of the finest storytelling from Blacktown locals direct to our screens and homes,” Mayor Bleasdale said. “I look forward to hearing the stories of these brave individuals as they are told through memoir, poetry, imagery, music and film.” Truth to Power Café is inspired by the political and philosophical beliefs of Nobel prize-winning playwright Harold Pinter and his Hackney Gang. For 60 years, The Hackney Gang maintained their belief in speaking truth to power. They remained firmly on the side of the disempowered and their allies. The Hackney Gang included Jeremy

Goldstein’s late father Mick Goldstein, and poet polymath and sole surviving member Henry Woolf. The Guardian described Truth to Power Café as “The revolutionary potential of theatre at its simplest and most direct”. The unique event comes to Blacktown Arts following celebrated seasons in six countries, and recent shows at Adelaide Festival Centre, Riverside Parramatta and Brisbane Powerhouse. Tickets to this limited two-night season are free and ticket registrations are essential. Register for FREE tickets: Online performance dates and times Thursday 23 September, 7:30 pm – 8:30 pm Friday 24 September, 7:30 pm – 8:30 pm

HE NSW Government’s Dine & Discover NSW initiative has been extended by 10 months, with the vouchers now due to expire on 30 June 2022. The extension gives Blacktown residents more time to redeem their hundreds of thousands of ‘unspent’ vouchers. Earlier this year, every adult in NSW was offered two $25 ‘dine’ vouchers to use at restaurants, cafes, bars, pubs and clubs and two $25 ‘discover NSW’ vouchers to be used at cultural institutions, live music and arts venues. More than two thirds of adults in NSW signed up for Dine & Discover NSW. The vouchers would help local businesses bounce back more quickly when the COVID-19 lockdown ends.






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ISSUE 6 | September 2021

Published in Western Sydney Business Access | Parramatta Times | Blacktown News |

Blacktown tops investment buying  INVESTMENT | DALLAS SHERRINGHAM LACKTOWN local government area has surprisingly been rated the best region for investors buying houses and units in the Greater Sydney Region. A leading real estate internet sales site placed the houses in the Blacktown LGA top of the tree in a recent survey of the 50 most popular investment property regions. In 2021, a total of 482 investment houses have sold in the 2148 postcode representing a 10-year growth rate in median house prices of 109%. The rental yield was 2.9% this year and the rental demand annual growth averaged 3.3% over the 10-year period. The Kellyville region covering the 2158 postcode was fourth on the list with 413 investment houses purchased, representing an annual growth rate over the 10-year period of 111.4%. Penrith and Liverpool were close behind placing sixth and seventh in the number of sales. In Penrith, units were the most popular type of investor property with 333 sold this year, representing a growth rate of 94.3%. Liverpool units were the most popular investment properties in the 2170 postcode area with a 65% increase over the period and 302 sales this year. Blacktown units also featured in the top 10 list of suburbs attracting investors with 250 sales in 2021, a 10-year increase of 79.5%. Riverstone 239 house sales, Harrington Park 235, Cranebrook 225 and St Clair 231 were all in the top 15 and rose in value between 101% and 105% over the decade. At the other end of the scale, Kingswood, North Richmond and Cabramatta were 45th, 47th and 48th and were less popular with investors. Moorebank was 50th with 118 house sales. However, it had a 98% growth rate over the period which means it is still a very sold area for investing. Leading real estate agent John McGrath said: ”We’ve never had a year quite like this one’. “Investor activity has been increasing every month since the start of 2021, while first home buying began declining in February and continued to do so for three consecutive months,” Mr McGrath said in the Real Estate Conversation.


Activity dropping off a bit “In January, investor loans represented 23% of the total loans market–a record low. They have since gone up to 28%. This is below the long-term average since 2002 of 36%. “Conversely, first home buyer loans in January represented 25% of the market and this has now gone down to 21%. This is still above the long-term average of 16%, so activity might be dropping off a bit but it still remains high. “This is great news for sellers of sub$1.5m houses and units. Any lost demand from first home buyers is being more than offset by new activity from investors and this will keep prices growing for now.” Mr McGrath said this was important because the unit market was most at risk of feeling the effects of negative population growth if demand from local first home buyers and investors ran out before

the international border opens. He said was expected by the Federal Government in mid-2022. “Although the COVID boom has been going since last year, investors are only now getting in on the action. They’ve sat on the sidelines mainly due to the rental moratoriums and uncertainty. No one wants to make big financial decisions when their job might be at risk.“ “However, the general economic outlook for the country is much better now, despite what is happening in Sydney with the Delta variant now. Most investors now know whether they have job security or not, so the path has been cleared to invest if they can. “The investment landscape looks great,” he said. Australian home values lifted 12.4% across the combined capital cities in FY21, and a remarkable 17.7% across the combined regions.

Blacktown units featured in the top 10 list of suburbs attracting investors with 250 sales in 2021, a 10-year increase of 79.5%.” The average national weekly rent went up 6.6% in FY21 according to CoreLogic, which was the fastest pace since 2009. Growth was best in the regions at 11.3% vs 5% in the capitals. Sources: McGrath RE report,

APRIL 2021 Edition 120




ParramattA Voice of Australia’s most progressive city


ISSUE 9 | April 2021


Minister pushing for more women on Parramatta Council: 3

%ඔඉඋඓග඗ඟ1 Issue 1 | April 2021

Blacktown's LOCAL media voice

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

BEST GIFT SINCE THE OPERA HOUSE 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.






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


World class health care

Westmead Hospital’s new clinical tower oepns: 2

New suburb named BradÀeld

Govy ofÀcially names high tech city at Aerotropolis: 6

Family business in COVID

How many leveraged patience capital during COVID: 12



Фf^ ÌÓ æ â î î±Ë æ ® þ Ì î® îÓó©® æî ÓÌ EÓÿ â î ±Å âæ ® þ â þ Å î® æÓÅóî±ÓÌæ Ì â Óâ ¨Óâ w æî âÌ ^ą Ì ąФæ У â± Âæ Ì ËÓâî âФ æóßßÓâî Ë æóâ æ Ì ¨Óâ î® ±Ì óæîâą ÓóÌ â î ±Å ±Ì óæîâąϻ óî î®±æ æ îÓâ ® æ ßâÓó Â î®±æ ą â Ì ąÓÌ Ϻ ®±æîÓâą Ó¨ ÓóÌ ±Ì©  ¨âÓË î® ® â æî Ó¨ î±Ë æϺ FULL STORY PAGE 5

How hope really works

Feature on the Salvation Army Red Shield Appeal: 15

SALOVS: How hope really happens: 19

FTER a few hot summers for swimmers who loved Parramatta and w ÌîÿÓâî®þ±ÅÅ ßÓÓÅæ Ì æóđ â during their closures, relief is on the way. Just a day apart, the refurbished Wentworthville pool opened and î® Ĝâæî æÓ ÿ æ îóâÌ ÓÌ î® 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 æ óĖ îÿ Ì W ââ Ë îî ÓóÌ ±Å 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.


Young people turning their lives around at BYSA.

Youth Needs Our Support


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

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


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.

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

As one of the state’s fastest growing cities, Blacktown has undergone a signiĜcant transformation. It's population is set to rise from 400,000 to 540,000 residents by 2036. The Blacktown News is the print and digital media resource that connects residents and visitors to the city’s diverse community, its progress, business opportunities and lifestyle. We value your feedback. Go to to share your story.

Keep up to date with the latest news in and around Blacktown! Get your monthly community e-newsletter today.

The home of jobs in Western Sydney. Connecting businesses with job seekers directly

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

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important community announcements upcoming events transformational projects school holiday activities community award programs competitions much, much more...

High impact media that reaches Australia’s fastest growth region - Greater Western Sydney, home of Australia’s newest 24-hour airport. Targeted reach. Four powerful media brands in digital and printed formats. Contact us today for a conversation about your success plans: | | |

ISSUE 6 | September 2021



Solutions page 23

CROSSWORD ACROSS 1. Research rooms 5. North African expanse 11. Similar type 14. Nitrogenous waste 15. Readied 16. Date or age beginning 17. Driver's ___ 18. Blow to pieces 20. Bowler, but not golfer 21. Fox chaser? 22. Orbital extreme 23. Not so cordial 25. Tot tenders 26. They're twirled in parades 28. Rome septet 29. Take effect, in legalspeak 30. Island of entertainment 31. So ___ 34. Emulated Lady Godiva 35. Less firm, maybe 36. Add a kick to 37. Common tip jar bill 38. Moisten, poetically 39. Pulverize 40. Repaired a shoe 41. Moves unobtrusively 42. Worldly, not spiritual 45. "Haystacks" artist 46. Collar, for cops 47. Whim 48. Small handful 51. Call girl 53. Bridges of film 54. Tiny particle 55. Ducks 56. Caveat to a buyer 57. Lacking liquid 58. Colt's sound 59. Bank adjuncts

DOWN 1. Opulent 2. Grounds 3. Exalted happiness 4. Created a lap 5. Future ferns 6. Pergola 7. Saber handle 8. Bud in Burgundy 9. Shopkeeper 10. With skill 11. Celebrity's concern 12. Not as timely 13. A couple of big joints 19. Languishes 21. One of a trident trio 24. Compost heap discard 25. Connective tissue 26. Ball point pen inventor 27. In a moment 28. Was optimistic 30. Sweet or hard beverage 31. Most flawed 32. Cause of some scars 33. Lipstick hues 35. Family tree entry 36. Metal deposit 38. Prop up 39. Color for the tickled 40. Files litigation 41. Hurting the most 42. Flavorsome 43. Trial associate? 44. Close pal 45. Agrippina, to Nero 47. Form of pachisi 49. Injure badly 50. Cat in boots 52. Astaire specialty 53. Bucolic cry


ISSUE 6 | September 2021

On a road to transformation  REBRAND | MADELEINE MARTIN ESTERN Sydney based BREED Australia Inc, a long established and experienced not for profit that has traditional focused on empowering small businesses and their communities, is on a transformational journey through an upcoming brand relaunch and new strategic plan. As part of its evolution, the brand that has helped hundreds of small businesses through its BREED Business Centre at Quakers Hill, has identified a purpose driven collaboration ecosystem that will help Australian communities navigate the new world emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic. Emmanuel Martin, BREED’s General Manager, who is heading the transformational strategy, believes the organisation needs to build meaningful partnerships with local government, tertiary education providers and schools, business chambers and networking groups while also linking with non-government organisations that are focused on social impact. “We believe that education and continuous learning is a key driver to build resilience and knowledge in our communities and BREED Australia has identified key players in order to facilitate our mission and goals”, he said. “We are very keen to partner with institutions such TAFE NSW to launch new business incubator models at co-working spaces in the future”, he added. Dr George Verghese, Head of Skills- Design and Creative Ideation at TAFE NSW, created the Co-F.A.B Lab, a collaborative venture with other skills teams aimed at exploring innovative education models that utilise Fabrication and Business ideas. He


BREED leadership team from L to R: Nathan Burbridge (chairperson), Yasmine Shah (independent director) and Emmanuel Martin (general manager).

believes that there is immense potential in partnering with BREED Australia. “A future collaboration between TAFE NSW and BREED Australia offers a unique and powerful synergy of two dynamic organisations that are driven to serve communities. TAFE NSW builds on its values of customer first, integrity, excellence and collaboration, whilst BREED Australia grounds its co-working Incubator practice on the objective to empower people, build creative and smart communities that enable long term social impact,” he said. BREED Australia’s chairperson, Nathan Burbridge believes that the brand’s capacity to create tangible large scale social impact is also tied in with the right ecosystem. “As a board, we are very passionate about supporting small businesses and enabling BREED Australia to deliver on its

core purpose of youth education and employment as described in its constitution.” he said. While looking forward to the future, Mr Martin’s immediate priority is to help its small business tenants at the BREED Business Centre navigate through the pain of the current lockdown. “Our main priority is to ensure that small business based at our shared office space are able to cope through this difficult period so that they can live to fight another day,” he said. “As a charity, our mission is to go above and beyond and help them in an ethical and empathetic manner so that they go on to build their businesses and livelihoods.” While BREED Australia intends to partner with organisations such as TAFE NSW, Mr Martin also believes strong partnerships

Trevor Oldfield.

with business chambers and local networking groups is essential for its success. The organisation recently joined the Greater Blacktown Business Chamber as a Gold Member, but at the same time providing virtual offices solutions for the Chamber. Mr Trevor Oldfield, president of the Greater Blacktown Business Chamber was very hopeful that the partnership brings strong benefits to its members. “Greater Blacktown Business Chamber is delighted to welcome BREED Australia as a Gold Member and we look forward to a long and fruitful collaboration that will result in several benefits to our community,”, he said. Madeleine Jenson is Administration Manager at BREED Australia. Visit www.






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Blacktown Business

ISSUE 6 | September 2021


ENTERTAINMENT CENTRAL West HQ’s CEO recounts how it evolved into reality  CLUBLAND | JADE HOBMAN F you had the choice to invest $18M or $100M of your business capital into a bold new venture, rife with critics, what would be your pick? West HQ’s CEO Richard Errington chose the latter, and hasn’t looked back, citing the recreation hub’s Sydney Coliseum as being a much-needed entertainment boon. “We have built a theatre for the people of Western Sydney, who would have never gone to the arts, never gone to the city to see a live production, and we have given that opportunity with not one cent of government money, for such a big community,” Mr Errington said. Before the theatre idea was conceived, Mr Errington and the management at the formerly named Rooty Hill RSL, had already taken the view that the club needed to evolve into something bigger. A recent IBISWorld market research report said RSL clubs have faced significant challenges, even within the last five years–from regulators, bars, pubs, online sports betting companies, and declining alcohol consumption. “If we just remained a small suburban licenced club we were going to become irrelevant to future community needs,” Mr Errington said. “And we knew entertainment would be relevant to all ages, and all nationalities.”


Barangaroo So a ‘Barangaroo of Western Sydney’ dream started with a premise of what the community needed, in a meeting at the Rooty Hill RSL in 2012. The team had been inspired by the former disused container terminal, turned top eatery, and arts hub, Barangaroo on the western waterfront of Sydney’s CBD. Mr Errington said they were impressed about how quickly it transitioned into the go-to destination it has been. And so they wanted to do the same revamp for the west, adding extensive key services to their business in Rooty Hill, including brand restaurants typically found at Barangaroo–plus entertainment. So from what started out as an $18M, 1000-seat entertainment expansion idea eventually extended into a $100M, 2000seat plan, as the club realised, via talks with industry insiders, how much Western Sydney lacked a large entertainment area to that scale. “We found that west of the Anzac bridge, there was nothing that had 2000 seats, excluding Homebush,” Mr Errington said. “The ability to have things like opera, Sydney symphony, Australian Ballet, musical theatre, bands – the design and our vision expanded and grew.” Construction of the theatre and the Barangaroo-inspired restaurants was complete by the end of 2019, with the new theatre offering a vast range of

Artist impression of West HP.

entertainment, including space for large banquets and corporate events. Now all these activities at the club site were not going by unnoticed. The entertainment industry was enthusiastic with hope, but the plans also faced a large degree of scepticism. Mr Errington said opposition, and uncertainty arose from a range of groups: media, promoters, and other licensed clubs. “We were ridiculed by the industry … there were doubters, who said the people of Western Sydney wouldn't pay the amount of money to go to the theatre,” Mr Errington said.

Criticism “We had to believe that there was a growing population in Western Sydney, who didn’t want to travel into the city.” “We identified that if we built this, no one in the west would compete or be able to match it, that we would have the ability to become the ultimate entertainment destination.” In 2017 a media report said the project was funded by poker machines, highlighting the social cost for problem gamblers. Mr Errington told the Sydney Morning Herald that the club would eventually dilute revenue away from poker machines–something he says they were on track to doing before the pandemic hit. “Our aim, through building and diversifying, was taking our reliance off gambling, away from poker machines. We achieved that in the first month–but then we were disrupted with Covid,” Mr Errington said.

Richard Errington.

“Because we were increasing our revenue in more entertainment space, gambling became less of a relevance to our business model.”

The pandemic When Covid hit in 2020 the West HQ venue went from being a bustling hub– with four million visitors annually, to a ghost town–and the theatre was closed for six months. Then after reopening, the business started to slowly recover, and they were managing up to a 60 percent recovery. Now that has been thwarted again with the

current lockdown affecting Greater Sydney, now in its seventh week. “We have lost profitability to reinvest, because we have had to call on our reserves to keep us liquid,” Mr Errington said. “It has put our plans back two years, and affected us financially, but because we are large and diverse, we are able to weather the storm.” Despite the misgivings, there are still plans and hopes for future expansion at West HQ, with an idea for a large-scale indoor family entertainment, and plans for a 300-room Pullman Hotel, in preparation for the airport opening at Badgerys Creek.

AUGUST 2021 Edition 124


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Western Sydney’s most


Tribute to Western Sydney’s Tokyo Oympics top achievers

Penrith’s whitewater chamopion, Jessica


Fox in action.

achievements in her final event, the C1 caENRITH’S whitewater champion noe slalom. Jessica’s teammate at WhitewaJessica Fox was the pick of Western Lucien Delfour finished eighth in Sydney’s athletic achievement achieve- ter Club Olympic final in the men’s k1 after ments at the Tokyo Olympics. Jessica, his first recording a disappointing 17th at Rio 2016. who was born into Olympic royalty, added See inside. the elusive Gold Medal to her long list of


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ISSUE 6 | September 2021


I am available to help with a range of Federal matters, including: • Aged Care & Pensions • Centrelink • Immigration • Medicare • National Disability Insurance Scheme • Taxation & Superannuation

The online forum conduced by Michelle Rowland.

We acknowledge business sacrifice  LOCAL BUSINESS | MICHELLE ROWLAND N Tuesday night last week, I held a forum for small businesses in Greenway that are seeking guidance and clarity in the grip of this third wave. I was joined by Steve Kamper, the NSW Shadow Minister for small business, Trevor Oldfield, the President of the Blacktown Chamber of Commerce, and a variety of business owners. Steve Kamper MP initiated the forum with an expression of gratitude to our businesses, and an acknowledgement of the sacrifices they have made for the health and safety of our entire community. There are over 5,000 small businesses in Greenway. Many of them are taking on more debt and foregoing revenue than ever before. As Steve said, it is a big ask to forego your revenue, hold on to your business and still maintain costs at home. Small businesses are facing complex regulations, that often change overnight without notification. I want to acknowledge our local small businesses for their patience, resilience and sacrifice. As a result of these very sacrifices, everyone, including our most vulnerable community members, are safer.



Level 1, Suite 101C, 130 Main Street, Blacktown PO Box 8525, Blacktown NSW 2148 (02) 9671 4780 MRowlandMP Authorised by Michelle Rowland MP, Australian Labor Party, Suite 101C, Level 1, 130 Main Street, Blacktown NSW 2148

Beyond words, our small and medium businesses must be better supported, and in a more timely manner. Amidst this time of ever-changing circumstances, I will continue to advocate for clarity and direction from the Government in whatever capacity I can.

Michelle Rowland is Federal Member for Greenway.

ISSUE 6 | September 2021




All-new Mitsubishi Outlander arrives in November, PHEVs to follow early next year  CALLUM HUNTER ITSUBISHI Motors Australia Limited (MMAL) has announced the pricing and specification highlights of its new-generation Outlander SUV ahead of its local showroom arrival in November, bearing a starting price of $34,490 plus on-road costs. Riding on a new platform, flaunting a radical new look and powered by a new engine, the MY22 Outlander will following its predecessor’s tyre tracks and be offered in both five- and seven-seat guises, each with the option of all-wheel drive. Nine variants will be on offer to begin with before the plug-in hybrid (PHEV) versions touch down early next year. The nine variants are spread across five trim levels, starting with the ES and stretching up to the flagship Exceed Tourer ($49,990), comprising two five-seaters, five AWDs and a septuplet of seven-seaters. All-wheel-drive versions carry a $2500 premium over the two-wheel drives, with all variants sharing the same 2.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine, developing 135kW/245Nm. Irrespective of the drive type, power is sent to the road via a continuously variable transmission (CVT) with eight pre-determined ratios on hand for when drivers want to take matters into their own hands via the paddle-shifters. Fuel economy across the range varies from 7.5L/100km in the two-wheel-drive ES up to 8.1L/100km in the Exceed and Exceed Touring on the ADR cycle. Riding on 18-inch alloy wheels as standard, the ES trim level comes with fabric upholstery, a 9.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a 7.0-inch TFT driver’s display, dual-zone climate control, five or six drive modes (FWD vs AWD), reversing camera, hill descent control, adaptive cruise control and an electric park brake with auto hold function. Stepping up to the better-equipped LS adds silver bumper garnishes, rear prvacy glass, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, keyless entry, wireless phone charging, powered tailgate, auto-diming rearview mirror, automatic headlamps, LED fog lamps, rain sensing wipers and heated wing mirrors.


Went several steps further Building on everything mentioned previously, the Aspire roll on 20-inch alloys and features Microsuede/synthetic leather upholstery, powered driver’s seat adjustment, heated front seats, a 12.3” digital instrument cluster, head-up display, adaptive self-levelling headlights with and a 360-degree camera.

Towards the top of the tree, the Exceed goes several steps further with leather upholstery, memory function for both front seats, a panoramic sunroof, a Bose premium sound system, tri-zone climate control, integrated rear sun shades and colour-coded exterior front, side and rear lower garnishes. The Exceed Tourer’s kit list reads much the same as the Exceed, but adds a two-tone exterior body colour, two-tone high-grade leather upholstery and massaging front seats. Describing the new Outlander as “the best-equipped vehicle the company has ever sold in Australia”, MMAL said it was “was crafted under the design language of

‘I-Fu-Do-Do’, which means ‘authentic and majestic’ in Japanese”. “Mitsubishi’s all-new flagship boasts a newly developed platform and powertrain, bold and distinctive exterior styling and a refined and serene interior with high-end finishes and thoughtful engineering touches throughout,” a local spokesperson said. “Outlander also features more standard driver connectivity and driver assistance features and a re-engineered, upgraded version of the brand’s signature Super All-wheel Control (S-AWC) all-wheel drive system.” In addition to the extra surety of the all-wheel-drive system – on some vari-

ants – all Outlanders come with the latest suite of airbags and driver assist systems including driver attention alert, forward collision mitigation with cyclist detection and junction assist, blind spot warning with brake assist, emergency lane change alert with brake assist, trailer stability assist, lane departure warning and lane departure prevention with more features added at each trim level. A few extra safety gismos are added to the mix on the LS, including rear automatic emergency braking and rear cross-traffic alert, which are also included as standard on the higher grades. Despite being a bit long in the tooth now, the current Outlander has continued to find favour with new SUV buyers, accounting for 8.9 per cent of the sub$60,000 mid-sized segment with 8264 sales so far this year ending July 31.

2022 Mitsubishi Outlander pricing* ES 5-seater (a) $34,490 ES 5-seater AWD (a) $36,990 ES 7-seater (a) $35,490 LS 7-seater (a) $37,990 LS 7-seater AWD (a) $40,490 Aspire 7-seater (a) $41,490 Aspire 7-searer AWD (a) $43,990 Exceed 7-seater AWD (a) $47,990 Exceed Tourer 7-seater AWD (a) $49,990 *Excludes on-road pricing



ISSUE 6 | September 2021


Budget-minded Hyundai Kona Standard Range twins drop price, power and range  CALLUM HUNTER YUNDAI Motor Company Australia (HMCA) has doubled the size of its local Kona electric portfolio with the addition of two new ‘Standard Range’ variants to complement what are now known as the ‘Extended Range’ duo. With prices now starting from $54,500 plus on-road costs for the Standard Range Elite and $58,000 for the Highlander, the Kona Electric’s entry price has come down $7500, making the range, as Hyundai puts it, “more accessible than ever”. Consistent with the lower price and new nomenclature, headline figures of the Kona Electric Standard Range have been reduced compared to Extended Range variants, which were previously known as just Kona Electric. Instead of the familiar 64kWh battery, 150kW/395Nm outputs and 484km claimed range, the Standard Range variants are powered by a 39.2kWh battery and a 100kW/395Nm electric motor, resulting in a reduced range of up to 305km, according to Hyundai. As a bonus, HMCA has also reduced the pricing of Extended Range variants by $1500 for the Elite and $2000 for the Highlander to now start from $60,500 and $64,000 respectively. HMCA chief executive officer Jun Heo said this is just one of the ways the brand is “leading Australia’s charge towards a greener transport future”. “The new Kona Electric Standard Range gives customers zero-emissions electric motoring in an attractive, sporty and practical small SUV, and at more accessible price,” He said.


Leadership for eco cars “It is Hyundai’s intention to establish leadership for eco cars in Australia. We already have the most diverse range of electrified vehicles including Kona Electric, NEXO our hydrogen-powered SUV, and the soon to launch game-changing Ioniq 5.” While the Standard Range Konas may feature lesser mechanicals to their more expensive counterparts, no features have been omitted from the equipment list. For the Elite grade, this means both the Standard and Extended Range versions come with 17-inch alloy wheels, keyless entry, a 10.25-inch digital cockpit and infotainment system, eight-speaker Harman/Kardon audio system, wireless phone charging, satellite navigation, climate control, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto and leather appointed upholstery, among other features.

As before, the Highlander nameplate ups the ante with a head-up display, LED head- and tail-lights, glass sunroof, ambient lighting, heated and ventilated front seats with power adjustment, a heated steering wheel and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. Standard safety tech on all Kona Electrics is accounted for by the SmartSense suite, comprising of blind-spot collision-avoidance assist, driver attention warning, forward collision-avoidance assist, lane following assist, lane-keeping assist, rear cross-traffic collision avoidance assist, rear occupant alert, safe exit warning and adaptive cruise control.

HMCA launched its facelifted Kona Electric earlier this year and nudged the price up accordingly given the extra standard gear included and the 35km range improvement. So far in 2021, the brand has sold 8858 Konas (petrol and EV) as of July 31, accounting for 11.5 per cent of the sub$40,000 compact SUV segment.

2022 Hyundai Kona Electric pricing* Standard Range Elite (a) $54,500 Standard Range Highlander (a) $58,000 Extended Range Elite (a) $60,500 Extended Range Highlander (a) $64,000 *Excludes on-road costs

ISSUE 6 | September 2021



Regional Australia offers many popular travel options.

In love with our own backyard  DALLAS SHERRINGHAM NE positive aspect of the COVID-19 pandemic has been the seismic shift in Australians rediscovering their own country. A national survey has found NSW is a top 10 dream destination for an outdoor adventure and revealed locals want to spend time exploring their own backyard. When overseas holidays disappeared literally overnight and cruise ships stopped running, Aussies took to the road in record numbers. Caravan and motorhome manufacturers struggled to meet demand and good second hand caravans were at a premium. Now a Great Outdoors National Survey by Great Northern brewing has revealed 80% of NSW travellers have committed to keep up their camping and caravanning adventures even after international borders reopen. More than half said they would like to spend more time outdoors this year. When asked where they would travel if they could choose anywhere in Australia, NSW respondents nominated holidaying at home with Northern NSW their top spot followed by Southern NSW and the NSW Central Coast.


Great Northern Great Outdoor National Survey top 10 destinations were: 1. Cairns/Far North Qld. 2. Whitsunday region. 3. Sunshine Coast/Noosa region. 4. Uluru/Alice Spring, southern Northern Territory. 5. Kakadu Northern Territory. 6. Gold Coast region. 7. South Australia. 8. Central Victoria and High Country. 9. Northern NSW. 10. Outback Queensland. Ian Giles of Great Northern Brewing Co said the survey results showed the tough circumstances had inspired Australians to get out and really immerse themselves in the natural beauty Australia had to offer. “NSW has some great spots to explore – and the local pubs serve great beer,” Mr Giles said. “The Great Northern survey shows Australians have a renewed interest in their own backyard and we hope this will eventually translate to a financial lifeline for towns across NSW. “We know businesses, pubs and clubs across the state have done it tough so Great Northern Brewing Co has been working to drive tourists back to Australia’s tourism hotspots since international borders closed.

“To get people motivated, we are giving away $26mn worth of BCF vouchers to help fund their passions to get out into the great outdoors. “Camping or caravanning is a great boost to the place where you pitch your tent but along the way travellers stop to buy fuel, pick up groceries, sightsee, enjoy lunch – it’s all the places along the journey, not just the destination, that benefits.” The national survey also revealed NSW

respondents were not only keen to get out and about but wanted to squeeze more activity in with a third of locals wanting to go camping and fishing more often. “Almost 43% of NSW respondents spent between up to $2000 on outdoor equipment, with 22% of that expenditure on camping and fishing gear,” Mr Giles said. “Every person we get out and about, whether it’s a local or a visitor, we hope will pour dollars into the local economy.”



ISSUE 6 | September 2021

Time is now to prepare for demand OR the ailing visitor economy to claw back lost ground this Summer, businesses, destinations and governments need to plan now, says NSW Tourism Industry Council. “Spring is in the air and with a significant increase in vaccination rates across NSW, due to hit the seven-million-mark, this signals to the visitor economy it’s time to plan and get ready to reopen, just before the traditional holiday season,” said NSW Tourism Industry Council Executive Manager Greg Binskin. “The latest consumer sentiment report shows people are busy researching and preparing to take a break during the summer holiday periods.” Mr Binskin said. “Now is the time for destinations to prepare and get ready to service the pentup demand created by travel restrictions and border closures. “Destination management is key to success, this will require a collaborative recovery effort with State and local governments, tourist associations, small and large business to work together so they don’t miss the opportunities that will be presented. “Consumers are looking to reconnect with family and friends while dining outdoors, experiencing our natural environment and national parks, take a swim in lakes and rivers, surf at hundreds of east coast beaches or visit the vast array of attractions dotted throughout the state. “With local government playing a major role, will businesses have the flexibility, policies and planning in place to provide outdoor dining opportunities so cafes and restaurants have the additional space to allow people to physically distance and make patrons feel comfortable? Will Councils work in partnership with event organisers to host major events to attract visitors back to the regions in a COVID Safe way?


The popular Three Sisters in the Blue Mountains.

“Will the enabling infrastructure be ready for full operation, the supply chain of goods and services, road works complete, cycling ways ready, directional signage, accommodation refreshed, beaches safe and ready? Most of all will the visitor economy have the staff levels and customer service skills ready to handle the pent-up demand and reach consumer expectations? “Now is the time to reach out to the local communities and the pending crop of school leavers to get them trained and ready to welcome visitors with local knowledge, warmth and regional hospitality.

“The time is now to prepare so the customers’ expectations are exceeded, they will spread the word and build repeat visitation back to regional NSW again and again. Don’t get caught flat-footed and wait until it’s too late,” Mr Binskin said.

About NSW Tourism Industry Council Powered by Business NSW, the NSW Tourism Industry Council helps businesses operating in the Visitor Economy maximise their potential to ensure New South Wales remains the number one tourism destination in Australia.

Greg Binskin.

ISSUE 6 | September 2021

Games Solutions



Unconscious staff bias It’s time to rethink your hiring horizons

How H ow more diverse workforces deliver better business performance. But despite the clear business imperative, leaders are struggling to master diversity and inclusion.”

 DALLAS SHERRINGHAM F you are having trouble finding and developing the right staff it may be that unconscious bias is stopping you from achieving your best. In Australia’s multicultural, multilayered community, it is all too easy to label people you ‘don’t’ want to employ. You set out to find the perfect new staff member to employ and promote based on your own perceptions. And this can be extremely detrimental to achieving your optimal business performance. Could be, you are making a big mistake because the best applicant for the job may be passed over by this personal bias. A new report claims business leaders should base recruitment and promotion decisions on objective assessment data, not their own superficial perceptions. The report from Questionmark, the online assessment provider, argues that leaders should test the skills of workers so


that they can make objective decisions on recruitment and promotion. Titled “Overcoming bias and building diverse business success”, it shows how more diverse workforces deliver better business performance. But despite the clear business imperative, leaders are struggling to master diversity and inclusion. The report said there were three main barriers were preventing employers from nurturing a more diverse workforce: 1. Active discrimination – almost 30% of ethnic minority and 39% of LGBT+ respondents claim they have heard derogatory comments or jokes about people like them from co-workers, according to McKinsey research. 2. Unconscious bias – without realizing it, employers could be basing their decisions on who to recruit or promote on factors other than who is best for the job. 3. Lack of visible inclusion – diversity begets diversity. If workers do not see people like them in senior leadership positions they may not push for their own progression. Measuring and testing the skills of

workers using online assessments can help employers make more objective and inclusive people decisions. Assessments draw attention to people’s skills and knowledge irrespective of their background. Data from assessments indicates which candidates are best for the role and which workers are ripe for promotion. This objective information can challenge bias and lead to the workforce becoming more diverse. CEO of Questionmark Lars Pedersen said: “Assessments help employers make more inclusive people decisions. They can detect attitudes across the existing workforce that need challenging. They reveal whether diversity training is effective.” The “Questionmark Anti-discrimination for People Managers” test provides a ready-made assessment to measure knowledge of discrimination law and help managers make fair and balanced decisions. Questionmark was founded in 1988 and has customers worldwide including Australia. Its software is used to deliver at

least 25 million assessments per year. It provides the secure enterprise-grade assessment platform and professional services to leading organizations around the world, delivered with care and unequalled expertise. Its full-service online assessment tool and professional services help customers to improve their performance and meet their compliance requirements. Questionmark enables organizations to unlock their potential by delivering assessments which are valid, reliable, fair and defensible. And Questionmark offers secure powerful integration with other LMS, LRS and proctoring services making it easy to bring everything together in one place. Questionmark's cloud-based assessment management platform offers rapid deployment, scalability for high-volume test delivery, 24/7 support and the peaceof-mind of a secure, audited Australian-based data centre. For more information or to download the full report: “Overcoming bias and building diverse business success” visit:



ISSUE 6 | September 2021

Tips for training during lockdown  ADAM SIMPSON ITH gyms still closed it can be easy to have fallen out of your exercise routine, I completely get it. It’s just not the same training within the same four walls that you eat, sleep and work in every day. On top of that, with limited equipment and no one to push you along its understandable that you aren’t as motivated as you were back in June. I think it’s important to remember that you just need to lower your expectations for the moment or refocus your training goals. Anything you can do right now is going to be great for not only your body nut your mental health as well. Here are my top tips so that you can maximise your training during lock down: 1. Choose challenging exercises – Strength training can be quite challenging if you are limited with equipment, but that doesn’t mean you still can’t make strength gains. Choose challenging body weight exercises where you don’t need a lot of weight to progress. Exercises like chin ups, 1 legged squat’s, 1 armed push ups are a great way to make simple exercises harder. 2. Get Creative – Try and use house hold items or things around your area instead of gym equipment. For example, you could fill a back pack with books to act as a weight to hold while squatting and lunging. You could use playground equipment for chin ups and inverted row variations to train your back muscles. In addition, you could use a member of your house hold to push against you and


provide you with some resistance while you do any regular dumbbell exercise. You are only limited to your imagination. So why not, see what you have lying around the house and think about how you could use it to replicate your regular gym exercises. 3. Refocus your goals – Why not use this time to chase some new goals, get out and go for a run. Pick a distance that you want to run, whether that be 2, 5 or 10km then time yourself and try and beat your time every few days. If you don’t like running, get out and give it a go anyway you might fall in love. 4. Use Technology – Using technology to track and monitor your exercise is a great way to increase your motivation. There are so many great bits of technology out there that you can track your exercise with. Heart Rate monitors, running and cycling apps are an awesome way to gamify your workouts. Having a score to try and beat is going to be far more motivating then just going for a jog. 5. Stay Connected – Get your friends and family involved in what you are doing. Set each other challenges, have virtual races, make your exercise fun. By getting more people involved you are going to be far more likely to stick to your training plan then if you do it alone. If you are in a bit of a funk right now, get up and start something today. I guarantee you will feel better for it, so stop putting it off and go get it done ☺ Adam Simpson is lead trainer and founder at www.


ISSUE 6 | September 2021

Joe Bell – 3 Stars A semi-biopic that tugs on the heartstrings, while not necessarily practicing what it preaches. OE Bell (Mark Wahlberg) is walking across America–end destination; New York. Accompanying him seems to be his son Jadin Bell (Reid Miller), as he journeys across the country spreading an anti-bullying message at town halls, schools and AA meetings. As the movie unfolds, however, we discover that Jadin took his own life. Joe’s walk of penance is murky in its reasoning, his wife Lola (Connie Britton) asking him the point of all of this and him being unable to explain what exactly he is trying to achieve. The film, therefore, is an exploration of Joe’s own reckoning with his guilt, and his redemption. Directed by Reinaldo Marcus Green, Joe Bell is short at 93 minutes and snappy–it never drags, and always holds your interest. It’s also relatively compelling. Our emotions are adeptly pulled at and tugged on in all the right ways throughout the piece, to create a genuine connection with the story and the material. Structurally, the piece intersperses two time periods rather than functioning linearly, which again adds an element of both pathos and intrigue, although outright surprise will be avoided by anyone who has seen the over-expositing trailer. The issues with Joe Bell stem from the story itself, and indeed the title gives it


away–as much as there is a tragedy in the death of Jadin, the story is fundamentally Joe’s story. Which is counterintuitive to the extreme, given that the film itself has Wahlberg literally lament making Jadin’s story in his lifetime all about Joe, while simultaneously making his afterlife (and this film), all about Joe. Then again, the story necessitates this because the only thing uncommon about this tale is the walk across America from the title character. The fact is, suicide, bullying, and discrimination are all too common to make a feature film out of, and that lends this movie a distinct air of sadness that we need Joe to craft a story out of Jadin. Nevertheless, this is a tight story told with feeling. It features a strong performance from Wahlberg, reminding us that he can act and not just run and shoot guns. It also introduces us to Reid Miller, who is magnetic on screen. Joe Bell does everything right in portraying grief on screen–it’s just a shame that focus is pulled from the tragedy.

Reviews by Jacob Richardson Creative Director | Film Focus




ISSUE 6 | September 2021

Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings – 4 Stars A new phase for the Marvel Cinematic Universe is heralded by a fun new hero, a strong villain, an exciting film and a hell of a lot of cool action.

HAUN (Simu Liu) and Katy (Awkwafina) are valets in San Francisco, but their normal life is interrupted when Shaun is attacked on the bus by a group of assassins on the hunt for his pendant. Katy is stunned to discover that Shaun is actually Shang-Chi, the son of Xu Wenwu (Tony Leung)–a 1000-year-old power broker, who runs a nefarious organisation with the help of ten magical rings that give him both immortality and unique powers. Shang-Chi, trained to be an assassin by his father after his mother died when he was 7 years old, hasn’t seen his family in years after running away at age 14. But the assassins arrival indicates that his father is on his path, and when he finds out he is also gunning for his sister Xialing (Meng’er Zhang), Shang-Chi and Katy travel to Asia to track her down and protect her–


only to discover that Wenwu’s plans are much more dangerous and destructive than they ever thought. As the first Marvel Cinematic Universe film with an Asian-American lead, Shang Chi is a really exciting piece of cinema that is well acted, serviced by the casting and the scripting. Simu Liu, who campaigned very publicly for the role, is magnetic as Shang-Chi, and solidly defines himself as an ‘above the marquee’ title star. Awkwafina is hilarious as Katy, and her performance (along with the strong script writing in her department). Perhaps the most impressive performance on display though is in the villain department. Many of the MCU films have been criticised for middling antagonists, but Tony Leung, who is an incredibly wellknown thespian in Asia, tackles the role

with aplomb, creating a lasting legacy as the real Mandarin that is impressive and constantly engaging. The script gives these actors plenty of moments to flesh out the actual emotionality of the story, and bring real pathos to some of the action scenes. But it’s not all talk–Shang Chi also brings the action, in new and exciting ways when compared with the rest of the MCU ilk. There’s a hell of a lot of incredible kung-fu style action on display here, and it feels new and refreshing in a franchise that too often deals with CGI monsters fighting CGI heroes. It’s great to be able to see some exciting stunt work on display. The visuals also complement the action. The set decoration, the costuming, and even the CGI is fresh and vibrant, with a mix of exciting colours and patterns, as well

as some whimsical and amazing creatures. It’s a beautiful film to watch, and that sucks you into this world all the more. Faults only appear in terms of the story and the structure. For a franchise that is moving towards the exciting possibilities offered by the multiverse, there are elements of this film that seem played out–there’s a lot of Thor’s DNA here for example. Then again, there’s something nice about the comfort of seeing a story we love told again well, and with diverse new faces. Shang-Chi is a welcome big screen gem from Marvel, that will breed excitement for where the MCU goes post-Avengers.

Reviews by Jacob Richardson Creative Director | Film Focus


ISSUE 6 | September 2021

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ISSUE 6 | September 2021


What’s in a name: turns out A LOT  BRANDS | BOB TURNER PORT has been a huge part of my life and set a pathway for success in business, relationships, and life in general. Not everyone is a sports lover but even those not enamoured with their sports team would be affected in some way by just the sheer presence and activity of sporting teams. Global organisations like Manchester United, Dallas Cowboys, the New York Yankees have had years of success on and off the grounds to build a following that sometimes goes beyond what might seem common sensical. When Ronaldo recently signed to rejoin Manchester United on what I consider an amazing amount of money, I read those sales of his new MU jersey almost paid for the transfer fee in less than a week. That is what I call consumer sports power. Growing up in Oakland, California, my sports teams needed to aggressively market their existence given the relatively small market compared to LA, Chicago or New York. The owner of the Oakland A’s, Charlie Finlay, opened my eyes to marketing of sport and the avenues he pursued not just to win but to own his ‘Home’ City. He was one of the key marketers of the 1970’s and some of his adventures were legendary like his team playing in White Kangaroo leather shoes, moustache competition for his players and one of my favourites, a cartoon rabbit that popped up out of the ground for the umpire to refresh his supply of baseballs VS the bat boy running out – that was boring to Charlie. When his team won the World Series and cemented their market, he presented every player with a diamond studded ring and the inscription – S + S = Success. The S + S was short for ‘Sweat + Sacrifice’. Charlie made inroads to making the city of Oakland – COOL, and this left the Oakland Raiders to market in a similar fashion to own the passion and support of their city, making the residents proud whether they won or lost. Sport has a way of breaking down barriers and opening opportunities, which is far more difficult for music or art. Sport is yearly and consumes great quantities of media space and thus attention from the general public. Venues like the iconic Sydney Opera House are great attractions and it identifies with the city but the sporting venues with multiple


Lily Homes Stadium.

activity combined with media and attendance provide a different ball game. The key for venues is to make it easy to attend and an experience to match the sporting activity. When I coached the Canberra Cannons back in the early 1980’s we were fortunate to be one of the few teams to play at a venue that was more than a tin shed. The National Indoor Sports Centre at Bruce was plush but a mouthful to sell and promote. We needed to liven up the marketing of the venue to become an asset. We changed the name of the venue to ‘The Palace’ in all our marketing.

Jump on the band wagon The result was amazing and stimulated a rather sedentary Canberra public with full houses, despite the winter cold. Two years after taking this step, Tom Jones came to town for a concert at our venue. When his marketing said – ‘Tom Jones Live At The Palace’ I knew we had made it. Cities identify with their sport teams and corporates have proven over time they can successfully jump on the band wagon. The association is not only beneficial for the

corporate partner but the combined marketing power only helps to accelerate a team’s marketing and ownership of their city. When I first arrived in Australia to play basketball for the Shoalhaven Chas Tierny Tigers, I asked who or what is Chas Tierny. They were the local car dealer and combined with the team for a double win in the market to sell more cars and sell the Tigers at the same time. We took this type of association to another level with the Canberra Mazda Cannons and when it came to the Sydney Coca Cola Kings the benefit to both organisations was one of the best for over ten years. Coke had sponsored Leagues and/or events but had never sponsored a team. The opportunity we presented was great value and most importantly, the Sydney Kings and their partner Coca Cola were both willing to drive the association. The result on numerous occasions was the media often referring to the team as the Coca Cola Kings. The Kings needed that marketing assistance as they were a relatively new team, not a core sport and

its representation covered from Cronulla to Hornsby to Penrith. Blacktown City FC is now able to offer the same opportunity to a corporate with vision to back a team and Naming Rights to their home venue – Currently known as ‘Lily Homes Stadium’. Our city of Blacktown is one of the largest LGA’s in the state and to date has no sporting team they can call their own. Blacktown City FC sees an opportunity to become synonymous with the city. The goal is to earn a status so that when the population says Blacktown City they also consciously or sub-consciously mean Blacktown City FC. Our name says it all but more importantly we have the necessary ingredients of venue, competition status, history, coaching and a 68-year history of success on the field to achieve our goal. Blacktown City FC is determined to achieve that status and as the slogan says – Blacktown City – ‘Always Blacktown – Never Backdown’! Bob Turner is Executive Chairman at Blacktown City FC. Visit:

Panthers at full strength for finals ENRITH Panthers are virtually at full strength for the 2021 NRL finals series. The Ivan Cleary coached team tackle Souths in the qualifying final this Saturday at Townsville, 7.50pm kick off. The Panthers finished with 44 points, level with premiers, Melbourne Storm, on 44 points, but second on for and against percentage. The storm won the minor premiership. By finishing in the top four, the Panthers, get two chances, and cannot be eliminated from the finals this weekend. Apart from forward Scott Sorensen, with an injured wrist, the Panthers, are at full strength. The Panthers defeated Souths two weeks ago, their opponents, on Saturday. Coach Ivan cleary said in the post match press conference after the Panthers thrashed an under strength Parramata 40 to 6 on Friday, he is pleased with the squad on the eve of the finals. The 2020 runners-up are striving to go one better this year.


Nathan Cleary.

Halfback Nathan Cleary, after missing five weeks with a shoulder injury, has found his groove the past three weeks. His passing and kicking game and running game has been in good rhythm since his return.

Cleary has topped the 200 points milestone three seasons in a row, a club record. The NSW State of Origin halfback has established himself as the NRL no.1 halfback.

Coach Ivan Cleary preferred not to rest players in the final game against the Eels. He praised the Panthers for having statistically the best defence after the premiership rounds. "I am happy we are the number one defensive team," Cleary said. "I was pretty happy with pur second half tonight against the Eels. "We fixed up a few things from our first half." Energetic winger Brian To'o, will play his 50th career game for the Panthers, versus Souths. After missing a month of footy, with ankle surgery, the powerful winger is in top form. The local junior debuted for NSW in this year's origin series. To'o scored a hat trick of tries in the win over the Eels in the local derby on Friday. The Panthers have been a model of consistency the past two seasons reaching the finals, playing an exciting style of attacking rugby league, combined with a strong defence.


ISSUE 6 | September 2021