Blacktown News - August 2021

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N Issue 5 | August 2021

Blacktown's LOCAL media voice




Married 54 years, they spent their last minutes together: 5

Lockdown: we are here to help. Michelle Rowland: 15

Bianca among team of three to collaborate on BWS rebrand

Jessica lives up to her potential. Exclusive interview with Olympics star: 27


WS has unveiled new outfits for its 9000 store team members nationally after collaborating with three Australian designers. Team members will get to choose which artist’s designs to adorn their t-shirts as part of a wider revamp of BWS work wardrobes. “We want our team members to feel empowered and wear clothes that reflect their personality and style,” said BWS Managing Director Scott Davidson about the new initiative. Blacktown artist and designer Bianca Beers is an independent artist and designer specialising in digital illustration and was chosen as one of the three designers for the collaboration. More page 5.

Kate's coffee invention proves a winner: 13

Blacktown City




395,000 population

18.81 billion regional economy



average economic growth

registered businesses

143,259 local jobs


ISSUE 5 | August 2021

Blacktown CBD redevelopment continues

The redevelopment sites looking west from Sunnyholt Road.

Just days after the official opening of the Warrick Lane underground carpark and plaza in Blacktown, work has already begun on the next stage of Blacktown City Council’s development and transformation of the CBD. Contractors AW Edwards have begun initial works on 4 development sites located in the area bounded by Warrick Lane, the railway line and Sunnyholt Road. The adjacent lots of approximately 3,000 square metres each, were part of the former carpark that has now been made redundant by the new underground facility.

Speak your Truth to Power at Leo Kelly Blacktown Arts Centre

This is Council-owned land that has been slated for future development. The work on the 4 lots will add value to Council’s assets and provide prospective developers and consortiums with ready-to-build, clean sites that won’t have to undergo expensive and timeconsuming demolition and remediation work. These sites will accommodate key strategic uses that will benefit our City Centre. One is planned to house a purpose-built campus for Australian Catholic University, Council Administration Centre and the Leo Kelly Blacktown Arts Centre.

The others are slated for private development that may include commercial office space, a hotel, assisted living accommodation and apartments. Work already underway includes removing old fill, levelling the sites, installation of a temporary detention basin and upgrading of services. The work is anticipated to be completed by October 2021.

Jeremy Goldstein’s Truth to Power Café is a profound theatrical reflection on loss, hope and resistance. Told through memoir, poetry, imagery, music, and film, Truth to Power Café is a meditation on time, place, and community. Local participants are invited to respond to the question ‘Who has power over you and what do you want to say to them?’. Blacktown Arts is calling for people of all ages, backgrounds and beliefs with true and authentic stories to apply to take part in a live performance. No experience is necessary. A select group of people will be invited to participate in a public performance.

If you had the chance to speak your truth to those who have power over you, what would you say? Blacktown residents will have the opportunity to explore this concept at the Leo Kelly Blacktown Arts Centre later this year.

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

Participants will be paid a small fee for their participation, and each will receive a professional black and white photo portrait taken at the event. Expressions of Interest close on 27 August and participants will be notified in September.

Local Government Elections The next Local Government Election will be held on

Saturday 4 December To have your say on who will represent your ward on Blacktown City Council, make sure you’re enrolled to vote by visiting

Find out more: performance/truth-to-power-cafe

Email us:

Call us: 9839 6000

Visit us: 62 Flushcombe Road, Blacktown

Mail us: PO Box 63, Blacktown 2148


ISSUE 5 | August 2021


Big spending on home renovations ESTERN Sydney homeowners are spending billions on home renovations as they redirect the money meant for holidays into improving their homes. It means more than one in three Sydney homeowners are showing intention to improve their homes this year. According to new Beaumont Tiles Marsden Park franchisees Artti Uppal and Jaspinder Singh, the area is not exempt from this growing trend and with many families looking to create their slice of the Aussie dream. "Marsden Park and its surrounds have an incredible mix of new build properties and as existing dwellings that have been there for more than 30 years and are in need of a refresh–but the small effort is worth the reward," Ms Uppal said. "Families take advantage of the bigger block sizes and quiet streets. It’s not hard to see why Great Western Sydney is undergoing a massive property boom, with many suburbs reaching property prices well over one million dollars due to larger homes and block sizes.


Beaumont Tiles at Marsden Park.

"Having lived here for years, I saw firsthand that there was a huge renovation market in the Marsden Park; yet there were no specialty tile or bathroom ware retailers to help locals easily achieve their reno goals." Classic Traditional with a touch of Modern styling that compliments clean lines and encourages natural light to shine

through the property is what Ms Uppal recommends to locals looking to refresh their property in 2021. "Luxurious decors often seen on TV reality shows like The Block or Selling Homes Australia are highly achievable and affordable thanks to new tile production techniques," Ms Uppal said.

The new Western Sydney store spans more than 300 sq m, including a stateof-the-art showroom and a Trade Central outlet to cater for local tradespeople. There is also an adjoining warehouse, meaning there will be plenty of stock on hand to meet demands. "We are a family-run and owned store staffed entirely by locals and we bring the personalised service and friendly expertise that is intrinsic to Beaumont’s into the Marsden Park community. "We have more than 2000 tile designs, stunning bathroom ware and helpful showroom consultants to help people achieve their dream look," Ms Uppal said. Beaumont Tiles is Australia’s biggest retailer of tiles and bathroom ware with 114 outlets across most states. An innovative market leader, Beaumont Tiles buyers travel the globe to bring back the best in tile designs. The new Beaumont Tiles Marsden Park is located at Shop 2, 6 Ultimo Place, Marsden Park.

Ideas and innovation to drive recovery HE commercialisation of innovative ideas that address impacts of COVID-19 are being supporting by the NSW Government with two new funding streams announced. Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney Stuart Ayres said the two programs would be delivered by Investment NSW and are focused on addressing the impacts of the pandemic across the state.


“Stimulating research and development (R&D) to leverage tech innovation to address the health and economic impacts of COVID-19 will help create a resilient, post-pandemic economy,” Mr Ayres said. “The new $6M R&D Fund will help grow our standout businesses to attract local investment and take their innovation to the world as we look forward to a global economic upsurge.” The R&D Fund targets innovative

products that have been developed by NSW businesses. Proposals to scale R&D products will be assessed by a panel of judges with expertise in commercialisation, venture capital, academia, government and industry. The COVID-19 edition of TechVouchers, valued up to $25,000 and $50,000 per business, will enable more businesses to innovate by providing access to expertise and equipment in NSW, through publicly

funded research organisations such as universities, CSIRO, National Measurement Institute and ANSTO. R&D Fund competitive grants of between $250,000 to $1 million will open for eligible businesses to apply during August 2021. Additional information on guidelines, eligibility criteria and the application process are available now at https://www. innovation-scaleup-fund



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.


Local charities join forces WO local charities came together to support our frontline workers, delivering boxes of fresh fruit to Blacktown Hospital for Blacktown and Mount Druitt and also to the Covid testing site at Blacktown Showground. President of the Blacktown City Lions Rebel Hanlon said: “It was a great feeling to again support the doctors and nurses




ISSUE 5 | August 2021

at our local Hospitals and also support the Covid testing site at Blacktown Showground. “We appreciate the hard work our frontline heroes put in day in and day out and working with Kids West Children’s Charity is something very special. A big shout out to Woolworths at Eastern Quarter who made a sizeable donation towards our cause.

Trevor Oldfield Executive Director of Kids West said: “In these challenging times our support both emotionally and with donations on the ground is so important, the community needs to step up, recognise and support the wonderful work being done by our frontline people and our frontline people need to be shown the gratitude they so richly deserve.”

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

Newsroom News Reporter Lawrence Machado Travel Editor Dallas Sherringham

Trevor Oldfield Kids West) and Rebel and Rachael Hanlon (Lions) delivering boxes of fruit to Blacktown Hospital.

Advertising sales Graham Maughan Julie Jackson

Administration Rebecca Swaleh

Design and production Design2Pro, Words and Pixels.

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

Picking up the fruit from Woolworths at Eastern Quarter Shopping centre Eastern Creek Blacktown.

Trevor Oldfield (Kids West) and Rebel Hanlon (Lions) with to senior health workers at the Blacktown testing site.


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ISSUE 5 | August 2021


Hospital staff go the extra mile God put them in front of me

 DALLAS SHERRINGHAM HIS is the heartwarming story of Richard and Lorraine Barr who spent the final hours of their remarkable 54 years together arm in arm at Blacktown Hospital. And it is the story of the compassionate staff at the hospital who went the extra mile to ensure they had the chance to share those tender moments together. You see, Richard and Lorraine shared a lifetime of memories together, raised two children, became grandparents and were married back in the 1960s which was a universe away from today’s troubled world. So, it was only fitting that they had the chance to be together for those final moments when you cherish every golden minute. Richard was a patient at Blacktown Hospital and was relocated from the cardiac ward to join his wife Lorraine in the cancer services and renal ward for her final moments. They held hands as Lorraine, comforted by her husband and family, passed away recently. Lorraine’s daughter Karen Vella, a domestic violence specialist and social worker, shared her gratitude and appreciation for the care and kindness shown with fulfilling her mother’s last requests. “Both of my parents were in Blacktown Hospital at the same time. Mum was being treated for complications with her cancer while dad was recovering from a heart condition,” Karen said. Lorraine was taken to the Blacktown Hospital Emergency Department when her health deteriorated rapidly and she was seen by palliative care registrar Dr Timothy Chow and staff specialist Dr Jacob Kwak.


The helping hands at Blacktown Hospital.

On their children's wedding day.

Palliative care registrar Dr Timothy Chow was thankful for the family’s acknowledgment of the dignity and respect shown to Lorraine. “Palliative care is to make sure the

Richard and Lorraine on their wedding day.

family is cared for as well as the patient,” Dr Chow said. “This is the first time I’ve arranged for two patients to be together in the same hospital at the same time,” Dr Chow said.

Shortly after Lorraine was admitted to hospital, Karen was told that her mother may not make it through the night. “These doctors were so professional, gentle and did everything with dignity and understanding. I felt like God put them in front of me to help my mum,” Karen said. Karen was unable to leave her mother’s side and asked both Dr Chow and Dr Kwak to visit her dad in the ward and inform him of this devastating news. The medical and nursing staff arranged for Richard to be relocated to join Lorraine Blacktown Hospital’s C71 cancer services and renal ward which houses palliative and cancer patients – along with his belongings and medications to follow. The beds were placed side-by-side and staff moved out all the furniture from the room so Lorraine and Richard could be together. “There are not enough words in my heart to thank the staff for the dignity and compassion they showed my parents,” Karen said. “When you’re confronted with life and death and horrible situations these doctors and nurses do their job led by their hearts. “All the staff gave my mother a peaceful, respectful dignified passing that made her last moments the best they could possibly be.” Blacktown and Mount Druitt hospitals general manager Ned Katrib praised the nursing and medical teams for going above and beyond their normal duties to facilitate this move. “I applaud the staff for the way they dealt with this situation and put the needs of patients first,” Ned said. Adapted from a story by Harrison Vesey, Western Sydney Health



ISSUE 5 | August 2021

Grandfather celebrates birthday with Lottery win GRANDFATHER from Seven Hills won’t just be blowing out birthday candles at the end of the month, but also celebrating his $100,000 win after scoring the 1st Prize in Lucky Lot-teries Super Jackpot. The western Sydney resident won the 1st Prize of $100,000 in Lucky Lotteries Super Jackpot draw 10479, drawn in July. Yesterday morning an official from The Lott spoke to the New South Wales player who was left astonished after hearing the marvellous news. “Thank you very much! I’m surprised,” he exclaimed. “I’ve been purchasing Lucky Lotteries tickets for a while, it’s great to see a win. “I’m with my wife now, and I’ll have to pick up my youngest grandson from school later. He will be happy to hear about my win. “It’s actually my birthday at the end of the month too, so this is a nice birthday surprise.” When asked how he planned to enjoy his prize, the jubilant bloke said he would put it to-wards refurbishing the house. “We’ve wanted to do a bit of work on the house for a long time now, so we will put it to-wards renovations. “Unfortunately, because of lockdown, we can’t do anything at the moment to celebrate. Hopefully we can soon. This is great!” The winning entry was purchased at newsXpress Seven Hills, Shop 38A, Seven Hills Plaza, 224 Prospect Highway, Seven Hills. newsXpress Seven Hills owner Mark Forsyth said he was delighted to hear a local customer won a major prize.


“It’s such great news!” he said. “We were able to assist the winner when he came in today. We’re all really happy for him! “It’s such a challenging time for everyone in New South Wales, so a major lottery win would certainly brighten someone’s day. “I hope the winner enjoys their prize and we wish them all the best!” The Lucky Lotteries Mega Jackpot prize is now $1.96M for draw 1539, while the Lucky Lot-teries Super Jackpot prize is now $1.15M for draw 10480.

In 2020, 141 Lucky Lotteries 1st Prize and Jackpot winning entries across Australia won more than $48.61M. During this time, the biggest Lucky Lotteries prize was won by an Ermington woman who a Mega Jackpot prize of $11.73M in January. Lucky Lotteries Super Jackpot and Lucky Lotteries Mega Jackpot are raffle-style games, which means there is a set number of tickets in each draw. As each ticket number is unique there is no sharing of prizes. Tickets can be purchased at any li-

cenced lottery outlet, online from thelott. com or via The Lott mobile app. In 2020, more than 111.6 million winners took home more than $3.33B in prize money from their favourite games at The Lott, including Saturday Lotto, Monday & Wednesday Lotto, Powerball, Oz Lotto, Set for Life, Lucky Lotteries, Keno, Super 66, Lotto Strike and Instant Scratch-Its. Last financial year, Australia’s Official Lotteries contributed more than $1.4Bvia state lottery taxes and donations to help community initiatives, such as hospitals, health research, disaster relief and education.




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ISSUE 5 | August 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 5 | August 2021

Blacktown property makes top 10  DALLAS SHERRINGHAM hen it comes to the top places to buy a property in Greater Sydney, Blacktown scrubs up pretty well against the ‘silver tail’ suburbs like Brookvale and Balgowlah Heights. In a recent list of the top 10 place to buy property in Australia’s biggest city, Blacktown suburb The Ponds came in at a very respectable number six. The survey was listed by Yahoo Finance property site with the ‘millionaire mob’ from the northern beaches dominating the top five. True, The Ponds is a ‘flash’ suburb named as a separate suburb in 2007 up the road from downtown Blacktown, but it is part of the Blacktown City Council local government area. The name came from a local creek called ‘Second Ponds Creek’ and 11,000 people now live there. Locals flock to The Ponds shopping


centre or nearby Rouse Hill Town Centre and it is ideally placed beside the M2 and M7 motorways. There are many quality houses in the area and most of them are less than 10 years old. The median price is just over $1M which compares favorably with the Sydney median price of $1.3m. The median rental is $650 per week. Demand is high, with 724 people attending each open house on average. For rentals it is understandably at melting point with 1728 inspections per property.

Apartments The Ponds is a real family suburb with 34% maturing couples and families and 21% young families. The full Sydney list 1-10 is: Avalon Beach, Newport, Mona Vale, Warriewood, Palm Beach, The Ponds, St Ives, Paddington, Rozelle, Milperra. St Ives, Avalon Beach, Dee Why, Mt Colah, Palm Beach, Newport, Wentworth Point, Silverwater, Brookvale, Collaroy.

Property at The Ponds.

Ability Options vaccination hubs BILITY Options, a not-for-profit Disability and Employment service organisation have made a crucial step in supporting the COVID-19 vaccine roll-out by running vaccination hubs for participants and employees at their Seven Hills site. The vaccination hub is fully booked, with employees and participants making the most of this opportunity to get vaccinated in Ability Options sites. Due to the


strong response, Ability Options will look host future hubs for both participants and employees. Ability Options CEO Julia Squire said: “Ability Options has been vocal about the need to keep our participants and employees safe and the slow national vaccination roll-out to people with disability and disability support workers. With more than 500 employees and 200 participants currently eligible for a vaccine, these





vaccination hubs are a step in the right direction to vaccinate as many people as possible in a short period of time.” “This vaccination hub is essential to speed up the roll-out of vaccines to protect the members of our community. “This is a great step towards a rapid response to the pandemic and grants us confidence in providing future supports in a safe way. I’d like to thank those we support, employees and the diligent health workers from our health care provider for their hard work.” Ability Options provide employment and disability services. They support people and foster inclusion in the community in line with the mission and operate services from 94 sites that support people with disabilities and those whose lives are changed as a result of accidents, unemployment, and disadvantage.

Liam S. (Participant) gives a thumbs up following his 1st Pfizer Vaccine at the Ability Options vaccination hub.

Nicole Blair (Employee) Coordinator Accommodation & Respite Group Homes receiving the Pfizer Vaccine. hub in Charlestown

Featherdale Celebrates new baby Jabiru LACKTOWN Wildlife Attraction, Featherdale Sydney Wildlife Park, has celebrated its 49th birthday with the hatching of three healthy Jabiru eggs– the first for the parks' 40-year plus history of caring for Australia's only native species of stork. Zookeepers at Featherdale Sydney Wildlife Park are delighted at this incredible milestone in native bird conservation, especially coinciding with the parks' 49th anniversary of its opening, on July 22, 1972. Featherdale's breeding pair of Jabiru (Black Necked Stork), are the only pair of its kind on the East Coast of Australia, and one of only two in Australia. 'We are so excited to welcome three healthy Jabiru chicks to our collection, and all the chicks are doing so well.' Said the Park's MD Chad Staples. Established on seven acres of land originally purchased by Charles and Marjorie Wigg in 1953, Featherdale Sydney Wildlife Park has evolved from a family farm into one of the best privately own wildlife parks in Australia. The Wigg’s daughter Margaret and her husband, Bruce Kubbere who had studied


Australian fauna, opened Featherdale as a wildlife park on. During its’ 49 years, Featherdale Sydney Wildlife Park has become well known for its conservation programs and has provided millions of visitors with the opportunity to interact with a diverse range of iconic Australian animals and birds. These include many threatened and vulnerable species including koalas, Tiger Quolls, the Yellow Footed Rock Wallaby, Tasmanian Devils and the Plains Wanderer.


ISSUE 5 | August 2021

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ISSUE 5 | August 2021

Local artist creates for national retailer WS has unveiled new outfits for its 9000 store team members nationally after collaborating with three Australian designers. Team members will get to choose which artist’s designs to adorn their t-shirts as part of a wider revamp of BWS work wardrobes. “We want our team members to feel empowered and wear clothes that reflect their personality and style,” said BWS Managing Director Scott Davidson about the new initiative. Artist and designer Bianca Beers from Blacktown is an independent artist and designer specialising in digital illustration, and was chosen as one of the three designers for the collaboration. “Bianca has a really unique style, and her illustrations are fun and positive, which is why we chose her as one of the designers to collaborate with,” said BWS Head of Marketing Vanessa Rowed. For the new BWS outfits, Bianca decided to create an elaborate illustration about the art and magic of cocktail making. “I‘m a cocktail gal myself, and I find mixology really interesting,” Bianca said. “Something about it reminds me of potions and apothecaries back in the day. I really ran with that concept, and included the tools and ingredients used in many cocktails in my illustration, while also including the ancient alchemy symbolism for certain elements such as fire and air,” she added. Her illustration will now be featured on the new look t-shirts for thousands of BWS store team members across the country. “I hope BWS team members feel fly wearing my design! I tried to create something lowkey that had a bit of a band-tee vibe, while also playing homage to the craft of cocktail making,” she said. Having launched her design career in 2017, Bianca describes herself as a ‘late bloomer’. “I had always loved art and design, but I didn't get into it as a career until my late 20s. Before then, I was studying at uni, travelling, working retail jobs and not really sure of my direction,” she recalled. She decided to take a course in design, and after that, took a leap of faith and started her own design business. “I did design work on the side of my day job for a couple of years until I had built up enough of a client base. Now I'm full-time working from my at-home studio! I love it because I'm my own boss, I get to meet some amazing and interesting people, and I get to spend all my time creating fun and beautiful things for people to enjoy,” she said.


BWS branding by Bianca Beers.








ISSUE 5 | August 2021

How BREED Australia can help your business  EMMANUEL MARTIN S Sydney once again experiences the pain of the current COVID-19 outbreak, many small businesses forced to work from home have realised they need to change their ways of working to survive. BREED Australia's Virtual Office Solutions is a perfect solution for businesses that want to grow while reducing their overheads during these challenging times. Based in Quakers Hill, BREED Australia is a not-for-profit business incubator that has helped hundreds of small businesses since 1996 by providing affordable office hire and business education programs. But it is BREED's Virtual Office Solutions that has become a shining light for many Western Sydney businesses through the last few months.


What is a Virtual Office? A Virtual Office allows businesses and their employees to work remotely by virtually providing a range of business services without the overhead costs of physical space and labour. BREED Australia's virtual office solutions include several services that can consist of personalised phone answering, secretarial and administrative support. But it also provides the facilities you need to maintain a professional image like a physical PO Box address, meeting rooms and concierge but only for when you need them. Many of BREED's Virtual Office clients opt for mail handling and telephone answering, which frees up their time in Sales and Marketing activities crucial for business growth.

Virtual office space is an option in tougher times.

The benefits of a Virtual Office 1. Increase your Company's professionalism One of the many benefits of having a BREED virtual office is registering your business with ASIC on Google Maps. Companies with Google My Business listings are easier to find and rank better in search results. Also, when you set up your business on Google with a home address, you run the risk of getting denied by Google. With a virtual space, you hold a guaranteed address to send potential customers to while increasing the credibility of your business. This is especially beneficial for Start-up businesses. 2. Improve your business profitability and cash flow By choosing to use BREED's Virtual Of-

fice Solutions, you can cut down business overhead costs such as hiring your own receptionist or paying for an office rental lease, reducing your ability to generate profitability. Virtual Office packages are also very affordable and offer monthly cost options with no additional hidden fees. 3. Added Flexibility and Safety An increase in remote work due to COVID has blurred the lines between work and home. Many businesses risk signing up long-term office rent leases with ongoing public health orders, which may be a disadvantage. With homeschooling, business owners feel like they have to answer emails and calls after work hours. Setting up a virtual office can give you and your team the flexibility to

work from home with a central location to forward business calls, mail, and packages to your new business address. 4. Get your own virtual receptionist Missing a call when you run your own business is a frustrating experience! When this starts to occur, you need support, and you may be losing out on potential income. A virtual office includes receptionist services such as receiving calls via your dedicated phone line, taking messages and call forwarding. It offers similar benefits to a virtual assistant, but a virtual office is staffed by passionate Western Sydney based people. “Having me answering calls gives companies the opportunity to focus on other aspects of their business,” said Madeleine Jensen, virtual receptionist, “They’re secure in the knowledge that I can take messages and pass on client details.” 5. Become part of the BREED Incubator Community When you become a BREED Virtual Office client, you also get access to free business coaching programs and networking events that will help you grow your business. For more information on BREED's Virtual Office Solutions, please visit au. You can also speak to our friendly team on 02-98533200. Emmanuel Martin is General Manager art BREED Australia.





(02) 9853 3200





ISSUE 5 | August 2021

Seniors have reasons to be chirpy Local boom in older Australians seeking connections  ELIZABETH FRIAS EAUTIFUL places to visit, amazing people to meet and delectable dishes to try over a glass of wine are just some of the reasons our seniors are joining ‘Chirpy Catch-Ups’ in droves to beat the blues. What is Chirpy? says it describes someone being cheerful, lively, and spirited. A matter-of-fact description had come from Chirpy host for Parramatta, Marilyn McFadyen, and Lisa Davis for Blacktown, explaining their group is an online and offline outlet for bored and lonely seniors to come out of their bunkers and enjoy socialising within a safe and caring environment. A group recently enjoyed 3D golf which was an interactive game they were “shrieking and laughing” throughout the activity. Another group got on board the Nepean Belle to cruise the Nepean River, and Marilyn invited Blacktown News to cover a Chirpy St Patrick’s Day dinner catch-up at Wentworthville Leagues Club. “They come because they are lonely being by themselves at home and wanting to go out, meet people and have a chat,” says Marilyn, 70, a retired office manager who now volunteers for Meals-on-Wheels. “I’m a part-time teacher at Kenthurst and I use my skills and life experience to bring people together and simply organising my group has been keeping me occupied,” says Lisa, 60. Those seated around the long dinner table said getting older no longer worry them as long as they keep their minds and bodies active, and Chirpy was their “social circle” outside family connections. Surprisingly, not one mentioned who was spending more time in the garden or knitting with a woollen rug on the knees because Chirpy outing invitations constantly pop out on their smart phone and email, and they can play Bingo online! Greg, 68, of Merrylands is a widower who ran an RSL office; Julie of North Parramatta is in her 60s and clocked more than three decades in the banking industry; Debbie constantly worries about her deteriorating health so she retired early and now manages her blue chip stocks; Decima works part-time at corporate offices and regularly jets to Perth to see her family; Jeff drove trucks and now spends time volunteering at Australiana Pioneer Village in Pitt Town; and Dennis of Marayong ran a successful roofing business until illness made it impossible to continue working so he goes off to soak in the sea breeze of Byron Bay where his married daughter and grandchildren reside.


So-called “Chirpies” at Wentworthville Leagues Club for St Patrick’s Day dinner with Marilyn McFadyen and Lisa Davis are Debbie, Greg, Dennis, Jeff, Julie, Lisa Davis, Deceima, Robyn, and Beatrice.

In less than a year, more than 25,000 seniors signed up to Chirpy online and socials expanded into Chirpy Catch-Ups, Chirpy Travel in groups, Chirpy Special Interest Groups and Chirpy Pen Pals. Chirpy was created in 2018, but only took off just over a year ago, from musings of former bank executive Shaun Mahoney and his mother, Carol Mahoney, former head of an IT company in New Zealand. The mother-and-son business partnership was modelled on a mission, and passion, to curb a growing social problem on loneliness and isolation among older people in Australia and NZ. Shaun works in their Gold Coast office in Australia while Carol is at the national office in Tauranga, NZ. Older Australians from ages 50 to 80 and older become socially isolated and lonely more frequently than those below the ages of 40 and younger, with at least one in every three of those surveyed between 2001 to 2009 for the Household Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) reporting an episode of sadness at some point in their lives, according to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.

The AIHW findings is now being used by organisations concerned with elderly welfare such as Beyond Blue which encouraged them to use online technology to “reconnect with friends and family members, carers and services and using social networks to bridge generation gaps.” Shaun, who wrote and published a business-inspired book, Keeping it Real, knows first-hand how loneliness struck him following a neurosurgical operation in 2014 while in his 40s. Shaun and Carol then designed Chirpy using their combined IT expertise and business acumen to create a digital space for over-55s who are keen to safely connect online with fellow seniors and then meet up in groups over activities they chose to participate in. The online group invitations are moderated, screened and each member adhere to a Chirpy code of conduct online and offline. Seniors are also taught how

Industrial jobs boom for Blacktown P to 500 new jobs will be created in Blacktown following the NSW Government paving the way for a new industrial precinct close to the future Western Sydney Airport. Minister for Planning and Public Spaces Rob Stokes said a proposal had been approved to rezone nearly 30 hectares of land in Prospect to build the industrial hub south of the M4 Motorway. “Prospect South will provide plenty of industrial employment opportunities for hundreds of workers in the heart of Western Sydney and on the doorstep of the future airport,” Mr Stokes said. “Importantly, all 7,000 square metres of Cumberland Plain Woodland on the site will be retained, with a 10-metre buffer to separate and protect it from development on the site. “It is vital that we strike the right


balance between rolling out new infrastructure and job-generating development, while protecting the natural environment, and this project delivers exactly that.” Minister for Western Sydney and Member for Penrith Stuart Ayres said the project provided much-needed industrial land that was highly accessible to major road and freight routes. “This rezoning unlocks the future development of a wide range of manufacturing and warehouse related businesses close to major transport links,” Mr Ayres said. “This is a great outcome for the site and for Western Sydney families as we transform the vacant paddocks into a productive and job-generating development closer to where people live.” Any development of the site will be subject to development applications, expected to be lodged next year.

The site for development.

Chirpy founders – Shaun Mahoney and his mother, Carol Mahoney.

to safely interact online as part of their membership. Since Chirpy was launched, Shaun and Carol have turned into reality their “passion to create a worldwide community of over55s who are determined to make a difference in their local communities and solve loneliness by taking the online offline.” In less than a year, more than 25,000 seniors signed up to Chirpy online and socials expanded into Chirpy Catch-Ups, Chirpy Travel in groups, Chirpy Special Interest Groups and Chirpy Pen Pals. “We are now growing by over 1,000 members a month with over 200 local groups around Australia,” says Shaun. But for Carol, she is adamant “very little action” is being done on policies by governments to reduce the rising statistics on loneliness and isolation among elderly people in both Australia and NZ. “We talk to members every day who have been isolated in their homes for weeks on end and are now very anxious about getting out and meeting people. “Which is why we have created our Chirpy Catch-up Groups, which are a non-threatening environment in a local cafe. “For a lot of our members, just turning up at a catchup for the first time is a major achievement. Our fabulous volunteer hosts make sure that everyone is welcome.” For further details and to join Chirpy, click


ISSUE 5 | August 2021


Kate’s coffee tray idea a winner LACKTOWN Commuters can relate to Kate Stewart who spent 17 years commuting for three hours every day – and drank a lot of coffee along the way. “Every day I would leave at 5 am before my kids were even awake. Those were super long days,” Kate said. “I would find a café open near me on the way to work and have another couple of coffees a day just to get me through. I wouldn’t get home until 6:30 pm at the earliest. “During the week, the best I could hope for was to be home in time to put my kids to bed. The weekends were great, but it just wasn’t enough quality family time.” One fateful morning, Kate and her colleague headed to the local cafe with six reusable coffee cups in hand. “We battled to juggle the six empty reusable cups on the way to the coffee shop. The barista asked us if we would like a cup tray to carry the six piping hot coffees back to the office,” she said.


It as a light bulb moment “It felt painfully ironic. There we were, using reusable coffee cups but carrying them in a disposable coffee tray. It was something that would be discarded at the end of the coffee run, or at best it would consume energy and water in the recycling process. “And at worst the cardboard trays would contribute to the 30% of paper waste not recycled and ends up in landfill each year.” This light bulb moment led to Stay Tray, a reusable coffee tray made from 100% recycled plastic, a simple sustainable solution to carrying multiple keep cups. “There simply wasn’t a sustainable, versatile reusable drink tray to be found anywhere. Those people, like us, who were

The problem: cardboard coffee carriers.

Entrepreneur Kate Stewart.

sustainably minded, were using disposable cup trays again and again. “Thousands of people every day are consciously using their ‘Keep Cups’ but are faced with only single use disposable alternatives to transport more than two coffees. We needed a reusable coffee tray.” Kate wanted to keep Stay Tray 100% Australian owned and made. She wanted to support Australian designers, engineers and manufacturers even though it would be half the price to engineer and manufacture Stay Tray abroad. All design, engineering and manufacture has been kept within a 60km radius of Stay Tray’s home on the Mornington Peninsula. It has become a major success story. Stay Tray was awarded Silver in the Packaging Innovation and Design Awards hosted by the Australasian Institute of

The problem: cardboard coffee carriers.

Packaging. Kate also developed and ran a successful Kickstarter Campaign to expand Stay Tray further. Stay Tray was awarded Winner in the Beverage Category of the WorldStar Packaging Awards in Germany. Stay tray also received B Corp Certification. This means

that Stay Tray meets the highest standards of social and environmental impact. “At Stay Tray, we understand that we are a part of something bigger. We have a responsibility to help solve the social and environmental challenges facing the world.”






(02) 9853 3200





ISSUE 5 | August 2021

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

Prices up 2% in a month Resilient real estate still rising  DALLAS SHERRINGHAM EAL estate continues to be one of resilient sectors of the Western Sydney economy with property prices increasing by 2% during the July lockdown. There has been an easing off of the skyrocketing prices of March, but the market is still strong according to property people in the know. Property data supplier Corelogic said Sydney price increases were greater than other capital cities which showed the current community problems were having little effect on the market. Sydney’s median house price is $1.01m which represents a 7.7% increase in the last quarter and 18.2% for the year. Melbourne by comparison is $762,068 median with a 4.6% quarterly increase and 10.4% annually. Brisbane’s median price is just over half of Sydney’s at $598,000, but expect that to rise steadily after the Olympic announcement. Darwin is the cheapest capital at $486,000 median, but the prices have outstripped even Sydney in the past year, jumping by 23.4%. However the lockdown did upset listings in Western Sydney with home owners hesitant about putting their property on the market. New listings were down 30% during the month, which actually forced prices up because of limited supply. The Western Sydney buying blitz has been boosted by the lack of new listings in regional areas which were enjoying their biggest ever property boom as Sydneysiders initially fled the city and COVID-19. Regions such as the Central Coast have recorded a reduction in listings across the board, which in turn is forcing up prices in those areas. This limited supply has forced homebuyers to reconsider their options and Western Sydney’s large blocks with freestanding homes are now the preferred option for buyers escaping apartment and tenement living. Corelogic research director Tim Lawless said once restrictions were lifted, it was likely pent up demand would flow though to an increase in activity.


He said with stock levels remaining tight, selling conditions had been skewed towards vendors. CBA head of economics Gareth Aird told Urban Developer the market was still hot and he expected house prices to increase by 20% over the year. “Lockdowns in July had no discernible impact on the demand for housing,” he said. And agents have had to take their auctions online with surprising results. Ray White managing director Dan White said the Sydney real estate industry was very fortunate to still be able to operate in a very limited manner amid the tightened restrictions. The industry has been quick to adapt to an evolving marketplace and Mr White said agents were now highly experienced at virtual property tours and online auctions. Sources: Urban Developer, Ray White

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.

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


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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.


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

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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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 5 | August 2021





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

Western Sydney Lockdown: we are here to help

NSW Minister for Health, Brad Hazzard.

Blacktown Mayor, Tony Bleasdale.

HIS unfortunate and extended COVID lockdown has meant many are feeling isolated and unsure about what the future holds. I have been working hard to reach as many residents as possible during what is no doubt a challenging time for us all. Over the last couple of weeks, along with calling constituents, I have held a number of online events to help share information with the community and improve our access to vaccines. Last week I hosted a community zoom event with special guest speakers including Blacktown City Mayor Tony Bleasdale, the CEO of the Western Sydney Primary Health Network Ray Messom, and Superintendent Donna from the Riverstone Police Area Command. Over 200 residents attended, and many good questions about the lockdown rules were asked. We are doing our best to assist clarifying the rules wherever possible. I also wrote to the NSW Minister for Health, Brad Hazzard urging him to expand the number of walk-in vaccination clinics in Greenway. This would make it easier for resi-

dents to get vaccinated without needing to make an appointment. An online community zoom was also held to bring together educators who shared tips for parents who are assisting children with remote learning from home. Finally, I attended Parliament a little differently this week. With most of Sydney in lockdown, I joined Parliament online and asked the Prime Minister about why he spoke out against an early lockdown, that likely could have prevented this longer lockdown. Unfortunately, the Prime Minister responded by talking about himself and pretending that he was unaware the Delta strain was a more serious threat. Blacktown deserves better and more honest leadership than this. I will continue to work as hard as possible to help the people of Blacktown and Greenway through this pandemic. Over the coming weeks I will continue to hold a number of online events for members of our community.


If you are interested in participating in these forums please follow my Facebook page or contact my office via email at Michelle.Rowland.MP@ or phone on 9671 4780.

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


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


Crosswords/Games Solutions page 18

ISSUE 5 | August 2021

CROSSWORD ACROSS 1. Little jerks 5. Head downtown? 10. Help in a holdup 14. Balming target 15. Beyond partner 16. Screenplay direction 17. T-bone region 18. Medical research goals 19. Every family has one 20. Illuminated 23. Holiday follower? 24. Skiier's challenge 25. Unlike a litterbug 27. Palindromic windmill part 30. End of two state names 33. Scratch, say 36. Better copy? 38. Bahrain bread 39. Passed with ease 41. Genetic info carrier 42. Arboreal abode 43. Things to rattle 45. Fishtail, e.g. 47. Daydreamer's limit? 48. Fit to be fare 50. Killed, as a dragon 53. Tux accessory 54. Prepare for hanging 57. Wrestling area 59. Serving as a diplomat 64. Beer selections 66. Hindu grouping 67. Tat-tat intro 68. Folk facts 69. Pagoda roofing 70. Black cat, some think 71. It may come before "we forget" 72. Failed as a sentry 73. Bird's perch, perhaps

DOWN 1. Chaucer bit 2. They may be clicked on 3. Flu symptom 4. Grad-to-be 5. Bushwhacker's tool 6. Go to the edge of 7. The good olde days 8. Cooking place 9. Transmit anew 10. Back on a battleship 11. Crooners, often 12. Creation location 13. "High School Musical" extra 21. Main mail drop (abbr.) 22. Disconnected, as a phone line 26. Like siblings 28. Chances in Vegas 29. Roller Derby milieus 31. Checklist item 32. Pretentiously stylish 33. Attack deterrent 34. Military sch. 35. Enrolls 37. Barbary ape's lack 40. The red 44. Inner city concern 46. Most absurd 49. Official orders 51. Emotion of the miffed 52. Long and thin 55. Sight from Biscayne Bay 56. Gourmand 57. Shoppers' site 58. Ubiquitous lily relative 60. Place for some polish 61. "Cast Away" setting 62. Manual component 63. A driver may change one 65. Firm or fixed


ISSUE 5 | August 2021

Go west and avoid the crowds  DALLAS SHERRINGHAM YDNEYSIDERS traditionally hug the coast heading or south when they take a holiday, but this year you can give the bush a boost and see great towns just by heading west. Now, if America has its Route 66, than the Great Western Hwy should be our national ‘great drive’. The good thing about heading west is that you avoid the crowds and get out into the fresh air where the sky goes on forever and the locals are friendly. After passing through Bathurst and doing the mandatory lap of Mt Panorama motor racing track with a stop at McPhillamy Park to see the view, the road passes through beautiful country before arriving at Orange. Next stop is Wellington with its beautiful Cave complete with an 18-hole championship Golf Course. You can camp next door or stay at the motel. You will discover some of the hidden gems of the Great Western Plains around the regional hub of Dubbo, about a fivehour drive northwest of Sydney. You’ll find everything from historic pubs to rodeos to Akubra-throwing contests. Just out of town is the outstanding Western Plains Zoo where you will need to spend at least half a day. Make sure you take a camera with a telephoto lens. From Dubbo, it’s to you to decide which way to head, but here are some ideas:


Gilgandra windmills A laid-back country town on the banks of the Castlereagh River, Gilgandra, 45 minutes northeast of Dubbo, is known for its many windmills; follow the Windmill Walk through town to spot them. It’s also the birthplace of the 1915 Cooee March, in which men marched to Sydney to enlist to fight in World War I, calling “Coo-ee” to attract other volunteers in country towns along the way.

Get a nickname in Coonamble Australians love a nickname and Coonamble, an hour and 45 minutes north of Dubbo, is considered the nation’s nickname capital. It has even turned itself into the Nickname Hall of Fame — look out for the billboards displayed around the town with unique stories of local residents. Every June long weekend the town comes alive with the Coonamble Rodeo and Campdraft, which attracts more than 1000 cowboys and cowgirls. The Macquarie River runs right through the centre of the town of Warren, with a number of great fishing spots within walking distance. The town is an 80-minute drive north-west of Dubbo and about two hours south of the Macquarie Marshes, a diverse wetland that supports 20,000 birds. The NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service runs tours of the wetland on the October long weekend.

Look out for galahs at Gulargambone The name Gulargambone comes an Aboriginal word meaning lots of galah birds — look out for the corrugated iron galahs on the highway and around town. The town is just over an hour north of Dubbo. Stop in at the volunteer-run Two eight two eight café (named after the town’s postcode), which also sells locally made art and crafts, fresh produce and second-hand books. Baradine, in the middle of the Pilliga forest, two hours north of Dubbo, began life as a timber town. Pilliga is now a conservation area known for its koalas. Follow the walking track through the Timallallie National Park to see Sculptures in the Scrub. Each work is a collaboration between the artist and an Aboriginal Elder or young person and tells a story of local history and culture.

Go west to Narromine On the banks of the Macquarie River, the streets of Narromine, half an hour west of Dubbo, are dotted with heritage buildings, and the town has a rich aviation history dating back more than 100 years. Almost 3000 pilots were trained here during World War II — you can find out all about it at the Narromine Aviation Museum. On the old Cobb & Co coach trail, Trangie, an hour’s drive west of Dubbo, is known for its authentic country pubs that date back to the early 1900s and the Big Billy (one of Australia’s ‘Big Things’) at the Goan water hole just outside town. The Wungunja Cultural Centre houses a large collection of Aboriginal artefacts and art, mostly from Central NSW, including two large carved burial trees. At Tomingley, 40 minutes southwest of Dubbo, have a pub meal in the Cross Roads Hotel, meet alpacas and visit the gallery at Quentin Park Alpacas, and go bushwalking in Goobang National Park.

Venture beyond the Black Stump Mendooran, on the Castlereagh River, 50 minutes northeast of Dubbo, dates back to the 1830s and is known as the Town of Murals for its colorful artworks that depict the history of the area. Horse racing has taken place here since 1856 — visit in September to catch the Mendooran Races. At Dunedoo, an hour north-east of Dubbo, learn about the region’s past at the Dunedoo Historical Society and Museum and stop for a drink at the 1913-built Hotel Dunedoo. Binnaway, 80 minutes northeast of Dubbo, was a bustling railway town in the 1920s; a railway signal tribute has been erected in the main street to honor its heritage. The Australian phrase ‘beyond the black stump’ (meaning beyond civilisation) is believed to be tied to Coolah: the Black Stump Wine Saloon that marked the boundaries of the colony was on the outskirts of town in the 1850s. A 90-minute drive northeast of Dubbo, this is the gateway to Coolah Tops National Park, known for its giant grass trees, towering eucalypts and stands of huge snow gums. Walking trails wind past waterfalls, there are remote campsites for starry nights and dedicated mountain bike trails. Details: Destination NSW

Attractions of the West.



Games Solutions

ISSUE 5 | August 2021


Attracting workers back to the office  DALLAS SHERRINGHAM HE work from home revolution may have long term consequences for CBDs like Parramatta, Blacktown and Liverpool in the future. The phenomenon caused by the COVID-19 threatens to create a unique new generation of workers who seldom visit the head office of the company they are employed by. And this means companies will potentially downsize, save a small fortune on rent and facilities and could leave large offices abandoned. However, before you hastily transfer your super from property investments to mining stocks, leading companies already have a plan to entice workers back to the office. Major offices in the USA CBDs these days are becoming temples of indulgence as much as places of work. One Vanderbilt, a new skyscraper in Manhattan, has unveiled a restaurant run by Daniel Boulud, a Michelin-starred chef, according to a feature story in The Economist. Amazon’s second headquarters in Arlington, Virginia, will include an amphitheatre for outdoor concerts. In London, 22 Bishopsgate is so dog-friendly that its receptionists issue passes to pets. The recently opened glass tower, which dominates the city of London’s skyline, also houses a climbing wall and a spa. As companies try to tempt workers back to the office, developers and investors are betting on new buildings with alluring amenities. But a huge uncertainty hangs over them: will enough people come? Even as vaccinations progress, workers have been slow to return in the USA and Australia. In early May only one in 20 buildings in America had occupancy levels above 10%, compared with a third in Europe and Africa and roughly half of buildings in Asia, according to Freespace, a property-tech firm. With the return to work only just beginning and long leases yet to expire, the extent of any losses is worryingly hazy. Covid-19 has sharpened the demand for newer buildings with better facilities. JPMorgan Chase, a bank, will reduce its overall office space even as it builds the second-tallest skyscraper in Manhattan for its new headquarters, The Economist reports. More than half of tours across New York City by prospective tenants are of high-quality “Grade A” offices, compared with 38% before covid-19. This shift is happening alongside another disruption: a tilt towards greener workspaces.


Working from home has become popular and necessary option for many.

Tilt towards greener workplaces As seen in the Lang Walker buildings in Parramatta, many property firms are pledging that all new buildings will be near net-zero carbon. Meanwhile, the shift towards wellness and sustainability is no fad, insists James Goldsmith of AXA Investment Managers. “This isn’t a social experiment. We’re asset managers—pension money is at stake.” Few in the industry, however, will be drawn on the reckoning they may face, The Economist reports. The flight to quality is leaving older buildings looking undesirable just as remote working reduces the total demand for office space. Start with the risk that older buildings become stranded assets. Without substantially lower rents or improved ventilation, access to outdoor space or natural light, many will struggle to sell or attract tenants. Some dated offices are getting facelifts. Fabrix, a developer, is upgrading a 1960s building in London to include a rooftop forest and a glass-floored infinity pool.

Others will be converted into lab and research space, or houses. When AIG, an insurer, moves to a recently renovated skyscraper in midtown Manhattan, part of its old headquarters, a tower block built in the 1980s, will be converted into flats. The City of London Corporation, which oversees the Square Mile, plans to turn vacant space into at least 1500 new homes by 2030. Yet none of this can mask the fact that as remote working sticks, demand for office space should fall. Companies are beginning to rethink their property needs, with many downsizing or delaying new leases. Globally, more than 103m square feet of office space has already been vacated since the pandemic began, according to Cushman and Wakefield, a broker. The reliance of commercial property on debt financing means a downturn could have nasty reverberations across the financial system. Banks, finance companies, insurance firms and superannuation companies rely

on office developments and healthy occupancy for income in Australia. And CBD developments rely on high occupancy rates to attract banking finance. CBD apartments, while creating much lower rental yield, may be a better investment in the future. However, the falloff in workers in offices will mean that staff will no longer need to live close to work, creating further uncertainty for CBDs. In the past, attempts have been made unsuccessfully in the Sydney CBD to have office blocks converted into apartment buildings. Local Government planning codes mean older offices lack the plumbing and height requirements to be converted. So, look for the older office buildings in Western Sydney to be revamped and relaunched complete with wellness centres, restaurants and fitness centres to attract clients. SOURCE: The Economist

ISSUE 5 | August 2021



Follow your heart to the Great Barrier Reef.

A Total Eclipse of The Heart Feel like an international tourist and experience a world-class, totally indulgent natural phenomenon with a heart-to-heart on the Barrier Reef. Helen Flanagan has the exclusive. TEVE Jobs once said “our time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Have the courage to follow your heart.” Hamilton Island Air’s Brad Graves took it literally when he ignored the naysayers and revealed ambitious, some said outrageous plans, for Heart Reef. “Despite innumerable requests to visit Heart Island, we had to explain it’s not an island it’s a reef,” Brad said. “And how do we protect the boat and the reef. Ultimately I commissioned an upmarket boat shed with a helicopter landing pad on top.” But it was never going to be easy. “It was all about contractors, aviation crews and inspectors ensuring Heart Reef and environs, met rigorous environmental conditions to maintain this part of the Great Barrier Reef for future generations.” Finally, after hiccups and heart burn, millions of dollars and eight of the ten years in the making, Brad’s big dream of Heart Island, became a reality. After taking off from Hamilton Island Airport, it was up, up, and away, rising, dipping, and floating in his 6-passenger Airbus H125 helicopter for 30-minutes over the dazzling sand of 7km-long Whitehaven, the azure waters of the Whitsundays Islands and the dark blue deep-water channel between Hook Reef and Hardy Reefs. Seeing the white outline of Heart Reef, floating in a blue lagoon just below was the ultimate breathtaking moment. For now. Brad touches down on the upper deck of the pontoon. Solar and wind power have automatically retracted the anti-birdspikes, and as quick as you can say shazam, a roof hatch rises to reveal stairs down to a deck with a sumptuous fit-out akin to a classy yacht.


Most isolated part of the reef A customised futuristic-looking glass-bottom boat, someone likened to a Monte Carlo plaything, seemingly appears then slides away to the outer deck, leaving a swimming pool. After checking out the underwater wonderland through the glass, it is time to

jump into the luminescent water, snorkel around and discover a minuscule coral bommie hidden in the centre of this naturally occurring heart-shaped reef. Eyeball some of the world’s most treasured underwater creatures including 1,635 fish species, such as a 2-metre giant maori wrasse, also parrotfish, grouper, jellyfish, reef sharks, barracuda, sea anemones, sea urchins, starfish, over 600 different types of multi-colored coral, and beautiful turtles hovering and eating algae, before shooting to the surface for a breath of air before descending again. After much ogling, talking and gesturing while marveling at the grandeur of life-aquatic, it was time to take a last snorkel around the lagoons near Heart Island before reboarding and drying off with a celebratory glass of sparkling in hand. Of course. More dips and turns on our return as pilot Brad makes sure we have every postcard moment of the Whitsundays, in the can. The Heart Island experience, which takes 3-hours and includes 90-minutes all to ourselves, in this most isolated part of the Great Barrier Reef, has been likened to a James Bond location, while others say there is a resemblance to Thunderbirds, minus puppets. Above all it is an unrivalled world experience.

If you go: Did you know that in 1975 pilot John Ramsden took a photograph of the tiny coral formation and it became a global romantic icon known as Heart Reef? The Heart Island Experience is exclusive, exhilarating, intimate, unique, and only accessible by helicopter. After a glorious aerial journey over the Great Barrier Reef, land on a private pontoon moored in Hardy Lagoon for a glass-bottom boat tour and snorkel around Heart Reef. The whole encounter takes three hours, is limited to six passengers, and the water temperature even in midwinter is a delightful 20 degrees Celsius. Visit:

Blacktown Business


ISSUE 5 | August 2021

Building a business for right reasons  KIM RENNICK EOPLE start and build their own businesses for various reasons – invariably, the reasons are tied up with the owner’s goals, aims and ambitions. They might range from achievement of a career goal, maintaining their independence, building a great lifestyle, providing opportunities for the family, handing on a legacy for the kids. These are all great motivators to start a business. The achievement of these goals makes the whole adventure worthwhile. However, the process can be fraught with difficulties. There are traps and pitfalls aplenty. Nevertheless, it can be a brave idea to start and build a small business from scratch – ‘courageous’ perhaps.


On Day 1 On Day 1 of the business – this is after the regular salary payments from the previous job have stopped – the new owner can be busy. Very busy. The owner will need to register the business and organise accounts with ASIC, the ATO, the bank, and perhaps a number professional organisations. He might have to arrange professional or commercial accreditation or certification for the business and secure some funding for the venture. He may also need to arrange premises for the business – perhaps a shop, an office or a workshop. The premises might need some fitout – serving counters, display windows, workbenches, tools, repair equipment, vehicle hoists, paint booths and so on. Anyone who has been here will agree the list is virtually endless. The owner then needs to arrange for sign-writing, business cards, stationery and so on. A website will be required, as will a number of social media accounts. Of course, all this is happening before the business earns a single dollar of income – or profit. So, no money coming in the door, plenty going out, along with plenty of energy and time and more than a bit of sweat!

The Crunch Clearly, to generate income, the business needs sales. At this stage, there is no one else to do that other than the owner. So while the owner is still busy building the

business, he also needs to make some sales calls. And bring back some orders. Being a reasonable salesperson and having some good contacts, in come the orders – enough to keep the lights on for a week or two. That’s great news! The owner has three main tasks in addition to building the business. First, doing the sales job, then filling and dispatching the orders, then the bookkeeping. Then they start the process again. If they thought that they were busy before, life has suddenly become manic. As things get busier, there is a need to recruit a team! A well-recruited team can help to deliver the orders and do the work. They might even take on the sales role if the owner is willing to take a back seat. But a team doesn’t appear out of thin air. The owner needs to go full bore into recruitment: designing the roles, advertising


JULY 2021 Edition 123

the positions, interviewing the candidates, inducting the successful candidates and then directing them in their new roles to ensure the business keeps on working successfully. All while still building the business, selling, delivering on the orders, managing the cash flow. If life was manic before, it’s downright crazy now. With all this going on, the owner is likely to be caught in the classic crunch, being ground down by demands of customers, the team and the business–having to think of everything and do everything to keep the business going. It’s a situation that few owners can survive for too long. Something is bound to snap. We have worked with many business owners over many years to help them through just this situation. We at Business Clarity strongly recommend that business

Kim Rennick CPE is Co-Founder Business Clarity


MARCH 2021 Edition 119


APRIL 2021 Edition 120

owners think about their businesses in a slightly different way. If all this sounds familiar to you? Scan this QR code which will give you a framework and ideas on how to go about building a business that will help you achieve your cherished goals and ambitions.


MAY 2021 Edition 121


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.ESTERN Sydney Airport is well on track for completion in 2026, according to CEO Simon Hickey. Major earthworks are more than half done and the tender for the terminal build is expected to be awarded this year. Mr Hickey told a recent conference the new airport will open big opportunities for Australia’s biggest city. “This is about

developing a new future for people living in Western Sydney and Sydney and connecting us with a 24/7 airport to the world,” Mr Hickey told the recent FTA/ APEX summit. Work on the airport started in 2018 after decades of postponements, studies, stopping and starting. The Airport is located 40km miles west of Sydney’s downtown and the present airport. Full story page 11.

Legacy pension changes welcome: FAMILY BUSINESS: 20 Blue Mountains aims to reboot its tourism industry: 10

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Invasive turtles hit West

Scent detector dogs swarm areas of Western Sydney to sniff out rouge turtles: 2

West land values are rising

Western Sydney residential land values fared better than commercial holdings: 4

Lights on Penrith 2021

The Lights on Penrith 2021 Growth Summit will be held on Friday, March 26: 10

Breaking glass ceilings

The road to leadership has been a long and winding one for many women: 14

RETAIL BOUNCES BACK I and Now retailers have revealed the solutions on ’TS no secret times have been the toughest for the industry bounce and mortar’ support measures needed record for Western Sydney’s ‘bricks back this year and beyond. a proud retail industry, but this sector has FULL STORY PAGE 5 hardest of times. history of bouncing back from the




World class health care

Westmead Hospital’s new clinical tower oepns: 2


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Family business in COVID

How many leveraged patience capital during COVID: 12

How hope really works

Feature on the Salvation Army Red Shield Appeal: 15

DODGY DEALERS U SED car purchases have boomed during the COVID-19 pandemic, opening a major source of revenue for dodgy dealers in Western Sydney. Second-hand car dealership Narita Imports has been found guilty of seven offences relating to misleading customers by entering

false information on to an approved sales contract. Lansvale dealership directors Azizul Hakim Chowdhury and Nahida Akhter pleaded guilty to the charges brought by NSW Fair Trading at Parramatta Local Court and were ordered to pay $7,725 in fines and costs. Full story: 2

while How can you grow your family business, and the family? balancing the needs of the business Share your vision, develop your plan!

Find out more at © 2019 KPMG, an Australian partnership.

All rights reserved. 282160950ENT.

Western Sydney’s most sought-after business publication

THIS EDITION From career crisis to dream job: 5 Change of guard for Salvos: 8 Sizzling hot property market: 20 Mid-market upeat, post COVID: 22 Taking a sickie is good for you: 34

ISSUE 5 | August 2021



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ISSUE 5 | August 2021

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ISSUE 5 | August 2021



How to avoid the Covid KGs  ADAM SIMPSON S you are all aware we are in the middle of another Covid-19 lock down! We are all facing many challenges that we wouldn’t normally in our regular lives. Our routines are all over the place and for many motivation levels are at an alltime low. If you are reading this just know that you are not alone, so it’s important to not be too hard on yourself if you have already gained a little excess weight. I have put together my best tips to help you navigate the rest of lock down. 1. Commit to some form of daily exercise – It doesn’t have to be much, but commit to yourself that every day you will get up and do something. Whether that is going for a walk, a jog, doing some stretches or doing an online class. Aim for at least 20 minutes and be very disciplined about getting it done. 2. Exercise first – Motivation right now is low, I get it. My tip here is to do it first thing in the morning, that way you can’t talk yourself out of it. I guarantee you will have a better day, if you start it off with some exercise. 3. Get an accountability buddy – Encourage a friend or family member to commit to exercising daily with you. You are less likely to quit if you have someone else that is relying on you to do it with them. 4. Set a routine – It can be very easy right now to park yourself in front of the TV all day. Especially if you are one of the unlucky ones who have lost their job during the lock downs. Write out a daily schedule for yourself and try to stick to it, schedule in your exercise time and everything else you want to achieve for the day. Be sure to give yourself some free time to


My 7 tips for health in LOCKDOWN watch that Netflix series you have been getting through. 5. Eat mindfully – It is important to recognise that we aren’t moving around as much as we normally would. This means the amount of energy that our bodies need to get through each day is slightly less, try to adjust your portion sizes accordingly. 6. Avoid excess snacking – It can be very easy to eat too many snacks right now out of sheer boredom. My suggestion here would be to be extremely selective on how

many snacking options you purchase when you are doing your shopping. If you don’t have them in your house you can’t over eat. 7. Try to enjoy your time – This is harder said than done, many of us are struggling financially being out of work. Are living alone with no family or are stressed out juggling work and home schooling. Do your best to find little positives right now and enjoy yourself as much as possible. There may never be

another time in your life where we get the down time or extra time with our loved ones. If you would like to join me and my team with some online exercise. Jump onto our website and register your details we will do our best to help you get through this tough time. Adam Simpson is lead trainer and founder at Repetitions Group fitness and Personal Training. Visit:



ISSUE 5 | August 2021

Nine Days – 5 Stars

BLIISTRERING experience, that takes a strange concept, courts exposition sparingly, and ultimately delivers a truly emotional and revelatory time in the cinema. Will (Winston Duke) is a reclusive man, obsessed with a series of point-of-view videos playing on an array of old televisions in a prairie house in what is seemingly the middle of nowhere. He watches them and makes notes, ever vigilant. When one of the people on the screen kills herself, however, we find out a little bit more about Will, as he begins the process of interviewing souls for a chance to be born into her place. Aided by his similarly angelic / string-pulling friend Kyo (Benedict Wong), he works with a group of fresh souls to determine who, in his opinion, is right for the world. His own time in the world led him to believe that anyone down there can’t be too good, and has to be tough enough to survive, so the first few days of the nine days given for the assessment period focus on Will trying to identify which of Kane (Bill Skarskgard Maria (Arianna Ortiz), Mike (David Rysdahl), Alexandr (Tony Hale) and more are strong enough for this spot. But it is latecomer Emma (Zazie Beetz) who throws him off course, and as they journey through the nine days together


and get closer towards a final decision, Will finds Emma’s insatiable appetite for all that is kind and good about life is addictive; and is perhaps thawing that icy cynicism he acquired in his own time on Earth. Directed by Edson Oda, Nine Days plays out in a very ‘trust us, you’ll work it out eventually’ sort of way. It doesn’t beat you around the head with exposition up front, instead allowing you the time and space to work your way into this world. In that way, it also undoubtedly may leave viewers confused, particularly in the starting mo-

ments but also ultimately there are likely to be nuances that one viewer picks up over another. That’s also sort of the joy in this piece– we’re discovering the story not unlike Emma unravelling the joys of life through the array of screens Will makes her watch endlessly. It’s a beautiful story, told in a way that makes it feel real and grounded despite its fantastical nature. Ultimately it leads to an emotional climax that is earned, and truly gut-wrenching in its effectiveness. Such

an ending isn’t necessarily sad, moreso bittersweet, and there’s a lot of joy and perspective to be gained out of the narrative of this film. On display here is some of the best acting you will see in cinema this year, and across the board every single actor knocks it out of the park. Of course, it’s Duke and Beetz who make the greatest impression however. Zazie Beetz brings a sweet yet strong willed character to the front, adding believability to the most dreamlike qualities. Her emotional cocktail of friendship, romance and utter confusion plays so well on screen, it’s easy to understand why Will would be shaken by Emma. Winston Duke gets a gorgeous role in Will, being able to span between emotionless, rage-filled, theatrical and ultimately joyful in the one character, and cements his place as a leading man. In the end, Nine Days is the sort of film that is tough to sell, because the narrative and the surprises around that narrative are difficult to convey. It’s the way the story is told, the experience of watching it unfold on the big screen, that is truly unmissable.

Reviews by Jacob Richardson Creative Director | Film Focus


ISSUE 5 | August 2021



More safety, minor styling update as Toyota gives Prado its second upgrade in a year  NEIL DOWLING AFETY first as Toyota upgrades its Prado with more improvements, some styling tweaks and only minor price rises for the second time in a year. Externally there is not much difference – the newly styled alloy wheels and a chrome grille for one grade – while buyers should be more attracted to the active safety technology that is now stand-ard on entry-level versions. All Prados now get the high-end safety kit previously reserved for the more expensive grades, in-cluding blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert as standard on GX and GXL. These join the existing Toyota Safety Sense features of high-speed active cruise control, lane-departure alert with steering assistance, and the pre-collision safety system with day/night pedes-trian and daytime cyclist detection. The entry-level GX grade has more premium exterior appointments with a chrome-accented grille and puddle lamps. Toyota’s upper-level VX and Kakadu variants now come with larger 19-inch alloy wheels with a new “Active” design for the VX and a “Prestige” design for the Kakadu. For buyers that don’t need the larger fuel capacity and prefer a tailgate without the spare wheel, all variants except the GX can be specified with the flat tailgate option pack. This reduces the fuel capacity to 87 litres from 150 litres and moves the fullsize spare tyre from the tailgate to under the body of the vehicle. For people wanting a rugged tow vehicle, the Prado is rated at 3000kg.


The Prado upgrades follow a more comprehensive expansion of the standard feature list made in August last year.

Peace of mind Prices have hitched up slightly, with $990 added to the GX and GXL to make them $60,830 and $67,530 plus on-road costs respectively. The VX and Kakadu are both up $777, now $77,157 and $87,807 respectively, plus costs. Toyota Australia vice president sales, marketing and franchise operations Sean Hanley said the safety of all Toyota customers was of utmost importance. "We are committed to ensuring our customers benefit from the peace of mind

that comes with the latest advanced safety features," he said. "These safety updates, along with the range of visual enhancements, ensure there has never been a better time to explore Australia's vast backyard in a Prado." There are no changes to the drivetrain, with all Prado grades retaining the 150kW/500Nm 2.8-litre turbo-diesel and mated to the only transmission offered, a six-speed automatic. Toyota’s large-size 4WD wagon has been the most popular in its segment for the past 11 of its 13-year history. It is odds-on to continue that in 2021. Year-to-date sales to June 30 show the Prado has sold 10,171 units in the six months,

up 17.8 per cent on its 2020 results. It is the clear sales winner in its segment, with the second-placed Subaru Outback reporting 4820 sales, less than half that of the Prado.

Toyota LandCruiser Prado pricing* GX (5-seat) $60,830 GXL $67,530 VX $77,157 Kakadu: $87,807 Options Third-row seat (GX only): $2,550 Leather seats (GXL only): $3,470 Premium paint: $675 Flat tailgate (GXL,VX, Kakadu): No charge *Excludes on-road costs



ISSUE 5 | August 2021

Blacktown FC in action.

Covid and lockdown delays sport  BOB TURNER OUR weeks ago, Blacktown City received some great news that we had been drawn to play A League club, Central Coast Mariners, in the next round of the FFA Cup. With our team flying high on top of the NPL 1 NSW Men’s competition and crowds building each week, the opportunity to play the Mariners was exactly the tonic Blacktown City was seeking to fill Lily Homes Stadium and continue the momentum for the 2021 season. Unfortunately, at the same time the bad news was that the NSW Government was going into Covid lockdown putting a halt to all community sport and competitions that were not totally professional. Six months ago, Australia was the envy of the world as we went about our daily business, without masks, while the rest of the world was not only in lockdown but daily cases and deaths seemed to be out of control. How the tide has turned. Three weeks ago I was watching the NBA Finals in the USA with full houses and very few masks being worn. The epitome was 50,000 + crammed outside the Milwaukee home stadium in what could only be described as a mosh pit of enthusiasm. Once again masks were clearly not visible. Italy playing England in the Euros 2021 was much the same with the passion for sport back to an all-time high with little hint there was still a pandemic in the world. The lockdown in NSW once again demonstrates the impact to sport with the economic and psychological factors affecting all concerned. Junior sport misses the opportunity to engage teammates, coaches, parents and the economic impact for state and local sport has a trickle down affect. Semi-professional sport such as the NSW NPL1 Men’s competition that Blacktown City plays has been in limbo for the last five weeks with a poor prognosis for the rest of the season. All momentum has stalled and the economic impact is telling at all levels. After 17 of the 22 rounds of the NSW NPL 1 Men’s competition, Blacktown City emerged as the clear leader on the table tallying eleven wins, three losses and three draws for a total of 36 points. Second on the ladder is Sydney United with nine wins, three losses and five draws for a total of 32 points. Third and fourth on the ladder are Rockdale and Manly United who have both amassed a total of 27 points each.


Central Coast Mainwers fans.

If the 2021 competition is unable to be completed on the pitch, Blacktown City is hopeful they would be declared the winners after 77% of the competition had been completed and Blacktown City clearly on top of the table. That will be a decision for Football NSW after further clarification by the NSW Government on the state of the current Covid crisis. Blacktown City Head of Football, Mark Crittenden, said, “It is unfortunate the lockdown for Covid occurred when it did as we had been doing well on the pitch and building momentum to take out the 2021 Premiership. We hope to get back to complete the season but that will be determined by the length of the current lockdown in NSW”.

“Our team was gelling into a cohesive unit and the play of Travis Major, as one of the top goal scorers in the competition was well supported by the entire team. We are currently on top of the goals scored on the season with 36 and more importantly we have only allowed 17 goals to lead that category as well,” Coach Crittenden added. The only winner seems to be the motivation and incentive to get out and exercise. There have been more people than ever out walking the streets and my local oval has been busier than ever. After 30 years walking dogs at my local oval, not only is it packed but I have seen a variety of new faces that I have never seen before.

As long as it is legal and masks are worn I applaud all those who get out to keep the body and mind working. It is the joggers who pass by without a mask that make me shake my head. We are clearly dealing with a serious pandemic situation in our community. To get sport back on track do the right thing by avoiding contact and seek information on vaccination. Only then do we have a chance to get back to my granddaughter playing football on the weekends and Blacktown City fulfilling our goal to represent the city of Blacktown with distinction! Go Blacktown City! Bob Turner is Executive Chairman of Blacktown City FC.


ISSUE 5 | August 2021


Jessica lives up to her potential Western Sydney canoe star captures gold at Tokyo  LAWRENCE MACHADO ORLD canoe slalom champion Jessica Fox lived up to her top billing to finally win the elusive gold medal at the 2021 Olympics with a near flawless run in Tokyo Fox, 27, captured the inaugural C1 canoe slalom Olympic title through a challenging white-water course, adding to the bronze she won on Wednesday in the K1 class. She had taken silver at the 2012 London Olympics and a bronze at the 2016 Rio Games. The relief and tears on her face after her terrific run today in very tough conditions showed how much she had worked for this moment. Her father Richard Fox, a multiple world champion himself, was one of the commentators and could not contain his excitement at this historic moment. “I love you, through the finish and beyond the finish, I was crying too, that was fantastic,” her Dad told Seven News. “I love you, through the finish and beyond the finish, I was crying too, that was fantastic,” he said. “I love you, too,” she replied. "I can't wait to show you this (the medal), Dad." Her mum Myriam Fox, her longtime coach, hugged and kissed her eldest daughter after the amazing victory. The record-breaking Fox was the fastest qualifier for the final and backed up with a penalty-free run in 105.04 seconds to win the event at the Kasai Canoe Slalom Center. Great Britain's Mallory Franklin, who had set the early pace, took silver in a time of 108.68, with German's Andrea Herzog taking bronze in 111.13, both with a penalty of two seconds. Fox, the former Blaxland High School dux had fine-tuned her preparations, competing in Europe. I have been following her amazing career since the Penrith local burst on the international scene with a bang at the 2010 Singapore Youth Olympics, where she took out the gold medal. Jessica, who usually trains six days a week at the Penrith Whitewater Centre, made the most of her advantage of training at the Olympic venue. “It’s very exciting to be heading to a third Olympic Games,” she told the Blacktown News before her departure. “I feel really honoured and proud to represent Australia in Tokyo. “Each Olympic experience has been different and I’m more experienced athlete now.


Jessica Fox doing what she does best.

“I think the delay was hard for many athletes and there were advantages and disadvantages to it for me. “Not being able to compete overseas and travel for training camps was hard but it’s been positive in many ways too; being able to work on other areas of my technique and get stronger in the gym.” Australia's Tokyo Chef de Mission Ian Chesterman calls Jessica, “a phenomenal athlete and ambassador for Olympic sport”.

Pedigree from her parents Jessica's champion pedigree oozes from her Olympian parents Myriam and Richard, who won multiple world titles for France and Great Britain respectively. Myriam was a K-1 bronze medallist at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, is her longtime coach. It was her father (Jessica's grandfather) who introduced Jessica to the sport back in Marseilles when she was just three years. Myriam is the national coach of Paddle Australia's highly-successful women's canoe slalom program and was named the AIS Sports Performance Coach of the Year

in 2018, the same time when Jessica was awarded Female Athlete of the Year. Richard Fox, a 10-time world champion and former Australian head coach, provides advice to Jessica when needed. Jessica said having such high-achieving parents was a bit daunting. “Maybe in the beginning, (and) it was why I was reluctant to start paddling,” she recalled. “But once I got into it, I really enjoyed it and loved racing. “Once I won my my first junior world title, I thought: ‘well neither of my parents won a junior world so at least I have that on them!’ “ Jessica enjoys training with other coaches and with different athletes from time to time for variety but loves training with her mum. “I’ve always been coached by my mum and she knows me the best out of anyone,” Jessica said. “It’s not for everyone but it’s worked well for us! “Dad will give me advice and come to the odd training session; It’s nice to have a different perspective at times.” What does she think about being the

most successful paddler in world championship history with seven golds? “It’s a special title I never imagined I could ever win... it’s not something I set out to do and I think it’s something I’ll reflect on when I finish competing. For now, I’m not finished!” “It is a shame we can’t have our family and friends there but hopefully we will feel their energy from home!” “I think I’m a more experienced athlete, stronger and fitter and have evolved my technique. “It’s very special to be competing in C1 in Tokyo and to be part of this group of women and represent those who came before us who have fought for gender equity.” Jessica rates winning the world championship in 2017 in kayak, after a disappointing race the day before, as among her proudest moments. “It took a lot of courage and mental strength to overcome that and performing the way I did to win was very special,” Jessica said. “I also reflect on my 2018 season and I couldn’t have wished for a better year, with multiple World Cup wins and a double gold at the world championships.” Jessica mixes her vigorous gym training with pilates, and antigravity yoga at Atmosphere Health and Fitness at Penrith. Jessica, who had brilliant results in her HSC, including topping the state in one subject, is doing a MBA at Griffith university and B. Social science online. “I think it’s important to have something to fall back on after sport,” she said. “It’s (studying and training) a juggling act and prioritising my time is important. “I learnt that through high school. It gives me a way to switch off from training too which is good at times. “I try to structure my days to fit it in around training and ensure I communicate with my lecturers so I can get extensions for assignments or exams to work around the big competitions. “There’s an additional event for Paris 2024 called extreme slalom so I might try a few races in that to give it a go. It would be hard to transition to another sport and try to be competitive. “Of course, I’ve had disappointing events but I always try to see disappointments as a way to learn. Jessica is an avid dog lover who is fostering a beautiful greyhound named Pink. “It’s been a great experience and rewarding to help a dog in need,” she said. To chill out she likes to spend time with friends and family, go out for coffee or go for a walk in the bush in the blue mountains. “Coming home is always a way to chill out and stay grounded,” she said.


ISSUE 5 | August 2021