Parramatta Times - August 2021

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ParramattA ISSUE 13 | August 2021 | www.parramattatimes.com.au

T I M E S

Voice of Australia’s most progressive city

Women need more refuges Local hero: Rosemary Kariuki.

THIS EDITION

Seek peace in

YOUR HEART

Penthouse living at Epping: 19

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ARRAMATTA'S Local Hero of the Year, Rosemary Kariuki has urged men and women to “always seek peace in your heart” and called on governments to open more refuges for women, girls and children, escaping domestic violence. Speaking recently before a large audience at Granville Community Centre for the screening of Rosemary’s Way, a documentary film recounting how she gave hope to migrant women hurt and abused by their husbands or partners, Ms Kariuki said women in violent relationships should “walk away and just don’t come back.” Full story page 11.

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ISSUE 13 | August 2021

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Lord Mayor Bob Dwyer calls it a day  DI BARTOK HE decision has been made–Bob Dwyer, Lord Mayor of Parramatta, will not contest the upcoming local government election in December. “It is time to go, as I have other things to focus on, my family and my health,” Cr Dwyer told the Parramatta Times in an emotional interview. But, also, the ugliness of local politics, and the behaviour of some councillors at meetings, has become too much. A Supreme Court tussle between some councillors (not Cr Dwyer) and the Liberal Party State executive ended with the Party being able to nominate candidates rather than local branches. “The Party then gave us barely 24 hours to nominate if we wanted to run. Well, for me, with a council meeting, media interviews and other lord mayoral duties, I didn’t have the time to get together what was required for nomination,” Cr Dwyer said. “So I thought, what’s the use, God is telling me something here. Up until that point, I was still weighing up whether to run or not. My only option would be to run as an independent, and do I really want to do that?” In his early 70s and with a recent battle with melanoma, Cr Dwyer thought it was time to call it a day. He is likely to remain lord mayor until the council election on December 5, although the lord mayoral term ends on October 5. “The current council will have to decide whether to have a new lord mayor for those remaining weeks before the election, but I’m happy to put myself forward if that is what is wanted,” he said. “Someone may put their hand up for the position as a way of raising their profile for the election, who knows?” There is no doubt Bob Dwyer has enjoyed his two years as lord mayor of Sydney’s second CBD, watching it bloom under his watch. “I’m immensely proud of Parramatta Square and what it took for council to achieve that, with all the buildings we needed to acquire,” Cr Dwyer said. “I have seen the start of the new pool, the light rail,

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Bob Dwyer in Parramatta Square.

Powerhouse and Metro West. Exciting times ahead.With all the media focus on Parramatta, I believe I have raised the profile of the lord mayor. I’ve certainly learned a lot. I was a novice in media matters before becoming lord mayor.” The Dundas Valley-bred lord mayor came from humble beginnings but has built up expertise in the business world through banking and his own businesses migration business. Cr Dwyer did not set out to be lord mayor when he was first elected to council in the then-Caroline Chisholm Ward as an Independent in 1995. Losing the 1999 election, he returned to council in 2012, as a Liberal councillor, having had a brief time with the Labor Party before 2005.

The Winston Hills resident clearly is now tired of political games and looks forward to seeing some good independents run for council, especially women “I have tried to get some Liberal women to run for council as the Party has not had women front-runner candidates before,” he said. “There are some choice women who could be interested, but I’m not sure they have had time to nominate.” Cr Dwyer said that now that the CBD was going fullspeed ahead, it was time to focus on the suburbs–the reason he wanted to represent his community in the first place. “It’s the parks, sporting fields and community halls that people care about,” he said.

Council elections delayed due to COVID UE to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, the NSW Government has postponed the local government election–from September 4 to December 4. Minister for Local Government Shelley Hancock said the decision, after extensive consultation with and advice from the NSW Electoral Commission and NSW Health, has been made in response to the COVID-19 situation. “Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and current Public Health Orders impacting Greater Sydney, we have made the difficult decision to postpone the Local Government elections until later this year,” Mrs Hancock said. “We have taken this step to postpone the election to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our communities, voters, polling

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staff and candidates.” The election had already been postponed from last year but, overall, candidates agree that voting with even partial lockdown would make voting difficult. Parramatta Lord Mayor Bob Dwyer said he felt the three month postponement was wise. “It is a good decision as we would not have had many people voting if it had to be all by postal or online,” Cr Dwyer said. “It would have been just too hard for people, and I reckon the government would have waived the fine for not voting.” Labor councillor Pierre Esber also welcomed a deferred election, echoing the lord mayor’s sentiments. But Cr Esber also was worried that candidates would not be able to hand out

election material in the lead-up to polling day or at polling booths. “Campaigning would have been hampered,” he said. “I think it’s the best decision to defer it, but not for another full year.” Meanwhile, the leading Parramatta and Cumberland Council candidates are lined up–well, mostly. While Labor, Greens, Our Local Community and independents were all set for September, the Liberal Party is still deciding on its candidates due to internal drama. The Parramatta Times will bring you a rundown of candidates for Parramatta and Cumberland closer to the election. Any candidates who have not come forward yet can email dibartok@yahoo.com.au

Councillor Pierre Esber.

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ISSUE 13 | AUGUST 2021 How to get The Times The Parramatta Times is available throughout the Parramatta LGA at 110 strategic locations. To find a location near you visit our website.

Digital edition Each edition of The Parramatta Times can be viewed and downloaded in digital format at our ISSUU platform: www.issuu/communitybroadcastnetwork

Contacts Editorial: michael@parramattatimes.com.au Admin and General: info@parramattatimes.com.au Editor: Michael Walls michael@parramattatimes.com.au

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

National Science Week kicks off USTRALIA’Ss favourite science guru Dr Karl Kruszelnicki AM will kick off National Science Week in Parramatta with a free interactive online talk as part of Sydney Science Festival 2021. On Sunday, August 15, Dr Karl will answer the audience’s burning science questions and Deadly Science founder Corey Tutt will celebrate the scientific contributions of First Nations Australians in live talks presented by the City of Parramatta and the Powerhouse Museum. “The City of Parramatta is a hub of scientific excellence and every year our community looks forward to our unique offerings for National Science Week,” City of Parramatta Lord Mayor Cr Bob Dwyer said. “We are proud to partner with the Powerhouse Museum on a dynamic Sydney Science Festival program that people can enjoy and engage with, no matter where they are during lockdown.” The Sydney Science Festival is produced by the Powerhouse Museum. This year it runs from 14-22 August during National Science Week. Dr Karl said: “Parramatta is loaded with really smart people. (I know, I’ve met heaps of you – Westmead Institute, Western Sydney University, the schools I’ve visited, and many more). I can’t wait to hear your questions and comments.” Corey Tutt said: “Education is the freedom and ability to create, dream and grow.

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Julie Jackson julie@accessnews.com.au

DR KARL KRUSZELNICKI AM – ‘GREAT MOMENTS IN SCIENCE’ Explore the wonderful world of science with Dr Karl as he tackles some of today’s biggest ideas and answers the audience’s questions. When: Sunday 15 August, 3-4.30pm Cost: Free

Administration Rebecca Swaleh info@parramattatimes.com.au

Design and production Design2Pro, Words and Pixels.

COREY TUTT – ‘OUR DEADLY SCIENCE’ First Nations Australians have the world’s longest continuing culture, passing on the lessons of land, sea and sky to future scientists through stories, song and dance. Corey Tutt, a proud Kamilaroi man

Support Partner The Parramata Times is the official media partner of the Parramatta Chamber of Commerce.

Corey Tutt.

Dr Karl Kruszelnicki AM.

To be the Sydney Science Festival 2021 Ambassador is a huge honour because you can’t be what you can’t see. I hope every young Deadly scientist and their family joins me in loving all that is the magic of science.” For more National Science Week online excitement, the City of Parramatta Librar-

ies are offering a live science-themed Story Time session, as well as a series of videos showing how people can make invisible ink, bath bombs and slime at home. Trivia lovers can also test their knowledge of Parramatta in a science quiz hosted by the Parramatta Heritage and Visitor Information Centre.

and the Sydney Science Festival 2021 Ambassador, will deliver the festival’s keynote address. When: Sunday 15 August, 5-6pm Cost: Free

Parramatta’s library team will demonstrate in a series of fun videos. When: Videos available from Monday 16 August. Cost: Free

City of Parramatta Council events

SCIENCE AT PARRAMATTA ONLINE TRIVIA QUIZ From agriculture and archaeology to biology and botany, your knowledge of Parramatta will be put to the test in the Parramatta Heritage and Visitor Information Centre’s live trivia quiz. When: Sunday 22 August, 2-3pm Cost: Free

PROGRAM Sydney Science Festival 2021 talks presented by the City of Parramatta and Powerhouse Museum

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ISSUE 13 | August 2021

SCIENCE WEEK STORY TIME Join City of Parramatta’s library staff for a live science-themed Story Time session. Read a science-based picture book, sing songs and rhymes, and learn a few fun facts. When: Thursday 19 August, 10.30–11am Cost: Free KIDS KITCHEN SCIENCE Ever wanted to learn how to make slime, scented bath bombs or invisible ink? City of

For the full program and to register, visit: discoverparramatta.com/scienceat

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News .................................3 Feature CMRC .................6 Geoff Lee ........................11 CMRC .............................12 Parramatta Chamber ......13

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ISSUE 13 | August 2021

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Hayne’s Parramatta apartment for sale ARRAMATTA’S fallen NRL idol Jarryd Hayne may be in jail, but it hasn’t stopped him from tinkering with his property portfolio that was once valued at $5M. Jarryd has given instructions from his prison cell for agents to sell one of his remaining investment apartments Parramatta, according to a leading real estate site. The Blues Origin series winner who once ruled the NRL world with his amazing skills, is currently appealing his sexual assault conviction and prison sentence earlier this year. He bought two apartments off the plan in George St, Parramatta, in Sydney’s west, in 2013 when he was still with the Parramatta Eels. The apartments cost $600,000 and $605,000 respectively. He is now selling the level 17 dual key apartment which comes with two bedrooms and two bathrooms. Media reports said Laing + Simmons Parramatta agents Ray Fayad and Peter Younan were seeking $670,000 for the apartment which was completed in 2015 by Merfad Capital.

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Jarryd Hayne in happier times.

Rapid rise to fame Jarryd Hayne was at one stage earning more than $1M a year, both with the Parramatta Eels and Gold Coast Titans, making him the highest paid player in the NRL. In his heyday, he owned investment houses in Paddington and Darlinghurst that were sold for $2.85M in 2017 and $2.15m in 2019. He invested his salary into the properties in the Eastern Suburbs and elsewhere, but as his career declined and legal bills added up he offloaded almost all of them. Jarryd sold his first Sydney home purchase at St Peters for $995,000 in 2015 as he

made the move to the US to pursue a career in the NFL. He had paid $527,500 in 2007. He now has only has the two Parramatta apartments and a home at Umina on the Central Coast occupied by his mother, Jodie. Jarryd had a rapid rise to fame from humble beginnings in Minto, possessing speed, football knowledge and an elusive change of pace. He had the same skills as his Fijian father Manoa Thompson who played for South Sydney and Western Suburbs Magpies. Jarryd was raised in a red brick housing commission home by his then single mother, Jodie Hayne with his two siblings. He starred in Little Athletics and played footy for Campbelltown City, East Campbelltown and Cabramatta. He went to Westfield Sports High School but left early to concentrate on Rugby League. Jarryd first played for the Eels in 2006 and the following year he played for NSW and Australia, when the 19-year-old winger was the second youngest footballer to wear the NSW jumper. He starred in the Eels golden year of 2009 when they were “certainties” to win the comp, only to lose to the Melbourne

Storm who were controversially stripped of the title for salary cap indiscretions. The NFL excursion was the beginning or a downward spiral for Jarryd. He played Rugby Sevens for Fiji and then signed a two-year contract with the Gold Coast Titans. It proved to be an ill-fated decision as he had a series of infamous clashes with coach Neil Henry. It ended with Henry being terminated in 2017 followed by Jarryd later in the year. In 2018 Jarryd returned to the Eels but a hip injury impeded him for weeks. He ended the season with 10 tries in his 15 appearances as well as topping the Parramatta charts for line breaks and tackle busts. However, the Eels also ended with the wooden spoon and decided not to extend Jarryd’s contract. In 2019 he was named in the NRL team of the decade by an esteemed committee which included Phil Gould, Craig Bellamy, Ricky Stuart, Peter Sterling and Laurie Daley. In May he was found guilty of sexual assault and was jailed for five years and nine months and a non-parole period of three years and eight months. His appeal will be heard in November.

Resident care program from council ITY of Parramatta Council has launched its Help a Neighbour initiative to support local residents who need a hand during the current lockdown. Adapted from a similar program run by the Red Cross, people will now be able to check in on their neighbours who may be isolated and need support by leaving a calling card in their letterbox. “While the lockdown is necessary to help contain the spread of COVID-19, it means many in our community are isolated from their usual support systems – and this can have a serious impact on their physical and

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mental health,” City of Parramatta Lord Mayor Cr Bob Dwyer said. “We know that people want to help and so we’re inviting residents across the City of Parramatta to leave To download the Help a Neighbour card or for more information, visit cityofparramatta.nsw.gov.au/help-a-neighbour The initiative follows Council’s recent announcement of a $2.9M support package to assist local households and businesses impacted by the current COVID-19 lockdown. The package includes parking concessions, rates and rent relief, and an outdoor dining fee waiver.

Council’s Help a Neighbour calling cards in the letterboxes of their neighbours in a COVID-safe way and offer a helping hand during this difficult time. “This could be by doing tasks they may be unable to do, such as picking up groceries and medical supplies, or watering the garden. For some, even just a friendly chat over the phone will make a world of difference.” The calling cards can be downloaded from Council’s website and printed out, or copied by hand, and left in the mailbox or under a door.

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ISSUE 13 | August 2021

Making multi-culturalism work for all  DI BARTOK OU only have to meet the diverse range of people who run the Community Migrant Resource Centre at Parramatta to understand the difference their work makes to new arrivals–from traumatised refugees to other migrants needing help to fit into Australian society. With Melissa Monteiro at the helm as warm-hearted CEO, it is no wonder that the hard-working staff from a range of ethnic backgrounds are so in tune with the needs of their clients. For it is here that refugees and migrants can be on the way to integrating into Australian society, learning English and other skills so they can enjoy their new life. The Parramatta Times met some staff who head some important programs at CMRC. There is Acuoth Acel, a South Sudanese refugee who has worked at CMRC for nine years. He heads the Youth Transition Support Program that helps newly arrived refugees aged 15-25 to find work or schooling , after they have attended English language lessons. “They usually don’t have technical skills so they are likely to work in retail, hospitality and security,” Acuoth said. “The age group is about 15-25–some will be going to school but will do after school or weekend work.” Apart from being referred to appropriate training, people taking part in this program also will be told about their rights in the workplace and how to stand up for themselves, Acuoth said. Bahrain Mia from Afghanistan works on the Settlement Engagement Transitional Support Program that helps connect new arrivals with services and programs that leads to them finding their way–education, employment or business enterprises. “We help people identify their areas of interest that can lead to employment, whether it be in the arts or business,” Bahrain said.

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Melissa Monteiro at work.

For a more concentrated look at arts employment, Priscella Mabor’s Diversity and Inclusion program comes into play. “Our program is all about connecting artists with opportunities,” Priscella said. “One of the biggest difficulties (for new arrivals with artistic talent) is their low level of networking. When they have contacts, their confidence builds.” And then there is Jayshree Pather, office manager who also is in charge of

Business Connect, which connects new arrivals with business opportunities and networking, as well as a road safety program in conjunction with Transport NSW. “Many people from other countries need to learn safety when crossing roads as they come from societies where traffic doesn’t stop and they just run across without looking,” Jayshree said. But, apart from programs aimed at new arrivals, CMRC also helps educate and advise businesses and other organi-

sation that deal with migrants. Aurelia Rahman heads the Cultural Competency program that has a package for education and guidance for workplaces that employ people from a diverse range of backgrounds. As Aurelia explains cultural competency differs from cultural awareness in that it gives workplaces the tools and knowledge to adapt to cultural diversity by changing behaviour and systems so their migrant workers can thrive.

Melissa leads the way T the helm of the Community Migrant Resource Centre in its Horwood Pl Parramatta headquarters is a dynamo of a woman, Melissa Monteiro. Of course, she shies away from any great accolades, though they keep coming in the 20 years she has headed the service that has helped so many new arrivals. “I’m just part of a team,” modest Melissa says whenever she pushes her team forward for publicity. But a team is only as good as its head– and this head has always had a good head on her shoulders, as well as a full heart. Last month, Parramatta Times did a profile on Melissa Monteiro ahead of the release of her memoirs The Girl From

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Mumbai, but it is worth repeating some of it here. Growing up in Mumbai, Melissa was inspired by her grandfather, who was a well-respected community leader, and her parents who also cared for the less fortunate. From a Catholic family, Melissa worked in the streets with Mother Teresa’s organisation, honing her skills in community work. ‘’By 23, I knew I wanted to change the world,’’ Melissa said. Even migrating to First World Australia with her executive husband and children has not quelled her desire to help those in need, notably refugees. It was that desire that led her taking

up the role of chief executive officer at CMRC 20 years ago. In multicultural Western Sydney, her innate compassion and hard work is bettering the lives of struggling migrants who are keen to contribute to their new country.

Guiding her staff For her efforts, Melissa won the Western Sydney University Award in 2013 and received the judges’ choice award in the 2019 Pro Bono Australia Impact 25 Awards. In her work at the migrant resource centre, Melissa guides her staff to look for simple solutions to complex problems, a system she has always found to work well. ‘’Everything we do is around simplicity -. reaching out to people, understanding

they are in a difficult place The client’s needs always comes first,’’ Melissa said. Many of her clients come from traumatic homeland backgrounds, but Melissa is always astounded by their sense of hope. ‘’They’ve been through so much but they always greet us with a smile. They amaze me with their sense of hope, and that makes so many able to improve their lives with the right initial guidance.’’ For her efforts, Melissa won the Western Sydney University Award in 2013 Melissa was also an Impact Australia 25 winner and has been recognized by Pro Bono Australia for making positive impact. She has also been recognized by Pro Bono Australia as a Collaborator and won the Judges Pick award in 2019.

   

   





 

 

 

 





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FeaturE CMRC

ISSUE 13 | August 2021

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What does CMRC do? OMMUNITY Migrant Resource Centre (CMRC) is a not-for-profit, charitable organisation established in 1996, based in Parramatta. It provides specialised support services to newly arrived migrants, refugees and humanitarian entrants. The CMRC covers the Hills, Parramatta, Hornsby, Cumberland, Ryde, Hunters Hill and Ku-ring-gai local government areas. Services provided include:

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• Settlement services that assist new arrivals to build self-reliance and integrate into the local community. • Employment and training that assists the target group to understand and access the Australian labour market programs.

Social enterprise and careerbased opportunities Family support initiatives that address some of the social and cultural challenges for new entrants to Australia. CMRC operates within a community capacity building framework by encouraging individuals and multicultural communities to identify and address their own issues and to work in collaborative partnership with other agencies to provide services that have both an immediate and long-term benefit for the community.

Programs Settlement program. This provides support, information and referrals to meet the needs of newly arrived migrants, humanitarian entrants and refugees in the first five years of arrival. It links new arrivals to services in order to facilitate a smooth transitioning into life in Australia. Multicultural Support Workers Program. This service provides language and cultural assistance to Family and Commu-

Melissa Monteiro, front centre, with her team members.

nity Services caseworkers and community partners when they have clients from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds in their system. Early Intervention and Perinatal Program. This assists CALD parents with children (0-8) with parenting programs and links to services.

CALD Small Biz Program. This program assists small business owners from target CALD communities with information and tools to meet their obligations under state and national legislation. Refugee Youth Transitions Support Program. Assists young people (14-25) to participate in education and make success-

ful transition to employment and community connectedness. This project also facilitates pathways to address disengagement and marginalisation and promote social cohesion.

For more information, go to https://cmrc.com.au

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ISSUE 11 | June 2021

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PARRAMATTA PARK USERS

FEAR BAT BITES W

HILE Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD) is urging community members to avoid handling bats after the Australian bat lyssavirus (ABLV) was recently detected among bats in the area, a expert doesn't want Parramatta wildlife Park users to go all batty.

“I don’t want people to think that bats from the camp of 15,000 grey-headed ĝying foxes are going to swoop down on them. Bats may annoy people living near them with noise and smell but they are essential for pollinating native trees and have been there before European settlement.”’ “The simple message is that you can only Still, 11 people have been be infected by bats if referred to the you handle them– Public Health Unit at such as picking up injured Westmead Hospital bats or trying to after being scratched or bitten free them from netting,” by bats so said Sandra Guy far this year. from Sydney Wildlife Rescue Service. ^îÓâą߆©ͤϺ

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23 SEPTEMBER 2021

Voice of Australia’s most

progressive city

THIS EDITION Lord Mayor popular vote: 5 Lighyt Rail structure in place: 7

Relevance a Chamber priority: 10 Facelift for justice pillar: 12 The new trend in travel: 16

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CBD PLAN

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ITH hardly any time to spare, Parramatta Council submitted its CBD planning proposal to the State Government before going into caretaker mode ahead of the September 4 local government election. The proposal,

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23 SEPTEMBER 2021 CLUB PARRAMA T TA

eight years in the making, sets the building codes and planning strategies for Sydney’s second CBD and the State Government was getting antsy over the time council was taking in submitting the code for ratification. See page 3.

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THIIS EDITIO THIS EDITION

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Postponed to 2022, due to COVID restrictrions. Refer to website for details.

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ISSUE 13 | August 2021

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The successful team at Trim's Fresh at Merrylands.

Merrylands home to freshest greengrocer YDNEY Markets has announced the 2021 Fresh Awards finalists revealing Merrylands is home to one of the freshest greengrocers from across NSW and the ACT. Trim’s Fresh in Merrylands was announced a finalist in the Knowledge in Action Award category. Sydney Markets’ Fresh Awards celebrate the businesses that make up the heart of local communities. They provide an opportunity for local independent retailers and growers to showcase their quality produce, industry expertise, innovative practice sand dedication to their customers. This year there are 41 finalists, across 16 award categories vying to be crowned the winners at the highly anticipated Fresh Awards gala dinner, now postponed. Retailers and growers are evaluated through an intensive mystery shopping program. They are judged on everything from produce quality and freshness, customer service and industry knowledge, as well as their store appearance and innovative approaches. This year, the Fresh Blogger category has been expanded to include all content creators–influencers, photographers, writers and social media super stars were able to submit entries into the Fresh Content Award category. And, for the first time in the Awards’ history, Sydney Markets has introduced a Providore of the Year category, recognising the businesses that specialise in procuring fresh produce for their clients. Brad Latham, CEO of Sydney Markets said the Markets is proud to support and celebrate the work of NSW and ACT based businesses through the Fresh Awards. “The Fresh Awards shines a light on the achievements of local business owners,

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talent and the fresh industry. They have all survived the turmoil of the past 2 years and should be celebrated,” Mr Latham said. “We have the broadened the categories to now recognise the importance of Providores and the full-range of content creators within our industry. After a year hiatus, the 2021 Fresh Awards is set to be our biggest and best yet.”

Sydney Markets’ Chairman, John Pearson, acknowledges the incredible line-up of entries and nominees this year. “Small businesses are constantly adapting and implementing new strategies to meet the evolving needs of modern consumers, which was imperative in the year that we have experienced. We are proud to be honouring the hard work and commitment of those working within

our industry via the Fresh Awards,” said John. Sydney Markets is home to the Sydney Produce Market, Sydney Flower Market and Sydney Growers Market. Supplied by over 20,000 local and interstate growers, more than 700 businesses call the Sydney Markets home, selling fresh fruit, vegetables and cut flowers to florists, fruit retailers and consumers.

Astonishing 92% recycling for Parra Square ALKER Corporation’s Parramatta Square has been awarded Six Stars in the Green Star ratings for its first two towers. Responding to the announcement, Executive Chairman Lang Walker said the vision for the $3.2bn development had sustainability at its core. “The awarding of the Six Star ratings is an important statement for major corporates seeking state-of-the-art environmental features combined with cost-effective, premium grade office space with fast transport at the doorstep,” Mr Walker told Architecture & Design Magazine “Parramatta Square is an example of our commitment to collaboratively deliver vibrant office and public spaces, as well as a range of amenities, both for the 30,000 workers who will be working every day in Parramatta Square on completion as well as the entire Western Sydney community.” The 70,000sqm 4 Parramatta Square is now the first and only building in Parra-

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matta to achieve a Six Star Green Star–Interiors rating as well as a Six Star Green Star–As Built rating. The result provides not only carbon emissions reduction, but also increases comfort and wellbeing benefits to the 5500 government workers housed in the tower, at capacity. NSW Minister for Energy and Environment Matt Kean said: “This project at Parramatta Square was able to achieve an astonishing 92% recycling rate across all construction and demolition waste which was taken to a state-of-the-art materials recovery facility.” . “I’m really focused on the ways we can get commercial buildings to replicate the low waste of residential construction and Walker Corporation’s Parramatta Square towers are excellent examples of this.” Forming part of Australia’s largest current urban renewal project, 3 and 4 Parramatta Square achieved the ratings through their energy efficiency, low emissions,

strong public transport links, materials selection, technology and innovation. On top of the excellent Green results, 4 Parramatta Square has also just achieved outstanding NABERS ratings with 5.5 stars for Base Building Energy and 5 stars for Water. NABERS measures the energy efficiency, water usage, waste management and indoor environment quality of a building or tenancy and its impact on the environment. Green Building Council of Australia CEO Davina Rooney said: “Parramatta Square is an example of world leadership in design and construction. This project goes beyond sustainability benchmarks and caters to a modern workforce by considering resilience, people and their health.” On completion, Parramatta Square combined will be Australia’s largest commercial office tower in the country. Source: Architecture & Design Magazine

Artist impression of Parramatta Square.


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ISSUE 13 | August 2021

with Geoff Lee MP

Free rapid response courses during COVID SUITE of 10 fee-free TAFE NSW courses are now available for NSW residents to build their skills during the current COVID-19 pandemic. Mental health, digital security, business administration and construction industry skill sets are just some of the COVID rapid response courses on offer to people throughout the pandemic. Minister for Skills and Tertiary Education Geoff Lee said the fee-free training in employment growth areas was just one of the ways the NSW Government was supporting the community through the lockdown. “Whether you are in lockdown in Greater Sydney, or in a regional community, I urge NSW residents to take advantage of the free training options available that will help build the skills needed to get a head start in a postCOVID economy,” Mr Lee said. “TAFE NSW is committed to helping the people of NSW to grow their skills in a COVID-safe way. “Training delivered through either online, self-paced learning or teacher-led virtual classrooms means people can upskill from their own home, with the confidence they are completing high quality, accredited TAFE training.” “The courses also link to further training pathways, enabling students to get a head-start towards a full qual-

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ification should they wish to continue studying down the track.” The short courses are in addition to the hundreds of NSW Government fee-free training already available for those who meet eligibility criteria, such as Mature Aged Workers Scholarships, Women in Business, and the JobTrainer program.

GEOFF LEE Delivering for  11 , 3™

The 10 fee-free short courses include 1. Reading plans for builders. 2. Construction materials and work, health and safety. 3. Digital security basics. 4. Medical terminology. 5. Business administration skills. 6. Business skills for supervisors. 7. Producing documents and spreadsheets. 8. Food handling. 9. Mental health. 10. Alcohol and other drug work. If you are an Australian citizen, permanent resident, aged 15 years or older, no longer at school and living or working in NSW you may be eligible for the COVID rapid response courses. For more information and to see if you are eligible, visit https://www. tafensw.edu.au/fee-free-short-courses or call 131 601

NSW leads nation in traineeships

SW has recorded the highest number of apprentices and trainees in training of any state or territory in Australia with a 15 per cent increase in commencements in 2020 despite the COVID pandemic. Minister for Skills and Tertiary Education Geoff Lee said recently released data from the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) shows NSW represents 30 per cent of the national total of commencements for apprenticeships and traineeships in 2020. “The NCVER report shows NSW has the highest number of apprentices and trainees in training of any state or territory in Australia with an increase in commencements of 15 per cent compared to 10.6 per cent nationally during 2020,” Mr Lee said. “This is a fantastic result, particularly considering the impacts of drought, bushfires and COVID-19 that have affected NSW in the last year. Key findings of the NCVER report include: • Apprenticeship and traineeship commencement numbers show an increase of 15 per cent for NSW compared to 10.6 per cent nationally during 2020 with the NSW total of 50,345 representing 30 per cent of the national total. • Apprentices and trainees currently in training in NSW in 2020 show an increase of 13.6 per cent compared to 2019. • NSW has more than 93,880 apprentices and trainees in training, representing 32 per cent of Australia’s total of 297,920.

N Geoff LEE MP

Member for Parramatta 02 9891 4722

parramatta@parliament.nsw.gov.au

Ground Floor, 60 Macquarie Street, Parramatta NSW 2150 Authorised by Geoff Lee MP, Ground Floor, 60 Macquarie Street, Parramatta NSW 2150. Funded using parliamentary entitlements.


ISSUE 13 | August 2021

NewS

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Rosemary’s conversation with the PM Rosemary’s Way film aims to curb domestic violence  ELIZABETH FRIAS USTRALIA’S Local Hero of the Year, Rosemary Kariuki has urged men and women to “always seek peace in your heart” and called on governments to open more refuges for women, girls and children, escaping domestic violence. Speaking recently before a large audience at Granville Community Centre for the screening of Rosemary’s Way, a documentary film recounting how she gave hope to migrant women hurt and abused by their husbands or partners, Ms Kariuki said women in violent relationships should “walk away and just don’t come back.” In the 76-minute film, Ms Kariuki revealed she fled Kenya to save herself from sexual assault and sought refuge in Australia. When she was about to lose her children, Ms Kariuki recalled: “I stayed calm and asked for peace from God my creator.” The success of the film in raising awareness on how to stop domestic violence happening, including her work as multicultural liaison officer for the NSW Police, was pivotal in Ms Kariuki’s winning the coveted award on Australia Day last January. Ms Kariuki, 63, also revealed what she asked Prime Minister Scott Morrison when he handed her the award in Canberra. “When I got the award, I told the Prime Minister we need him to reinstate money for refuge home because women are suffering through domestic violence they cannot get accommodation,” she said.

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The entire cast and producer of the documentary film, Rosemary’s Way, reunited with Australia’s Local Hero of the Year, Rosemary Kariuki, at the public screening at Granville Community Centre.

Can happen to anyone The audience whistled and clapped loudly. The screening reunited the women featured in the film shedding light on real forms of abusive relationships and the trauma they have endured in the hands of their former husbands such as Pasca, 34, a single mother of three young boys. “I have learned that it’s always good to always have hope in your heart,” said Pasca, who lives in Auburn and works at the Sydney office of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights. Pasca, from Congo, was born with leg impairment thus walking is slow with a limp. She was abandoned in a camp for orphaned children when her parents were fleeing the civil war. She was among thousands of refugees from war-torn Congo brought to safety in Australia. Maria Baden, a cattle farmer in Gerringong NSW, who volunteered to be host family to Pasca and her boys, all born in Australia, believed “domestic violence is not just confined to refugees” for it happens to anyone.

Mrs Baden said the latest policies on women’s safety and security would solve the violence and result to “big change happening which may not be perfect but we need it to work.” A community inclusion volunteer worker with the Parramatta Council, Prasanthi Hagare, has been part of the annual African Women’s Dinner Dance that Ms Kariuki organized to encourage women from all cultures in NSW to socialize, connect, and learn from each other.

Australia’s Local Hero of the Year Rosemary Kariuki with film producer Pat Fiske (centre) and Jennifer Scott of the Blue Mountains Rotary Club which will show the film in February 2022.

“I enjoyed the dance since the first time I attended it 14 years ago. It’s quite colourful and you meet many interesting people so I attend every year,” Ms Hagare said. Bushra Aldarraji, a social worker at Western Sydney schools said she supported Ms Kariuki because providing safe houses for women and children who left troubled homes must be prioritized in every community. “It doesn’t matter if its big or small funding, any help is good so we can get a

house or temporary accommodation for the women and children when they come to us,” Ms Aldarraji said. “We have to teach our girls to be assertive, too, and I love my job at the schools because I get to help our boys and girls and I am over the moon when I see them doing well and becoming polite,” Mrs Aldarraji said. The Sydney-based film producer, Pat Fiske said she was confident filming Rosemary’s Way with director, Ros Horin, for it was one of the challenging films she has done presenting domestic violence as a social issue profoundly affecting vulnerable migrant women. But admitted she is no longer cynical on current policy initiatives on women’s safety and security and educating men on the malaise of coercive control on relationships. “I think men are starting to understand coercive control that explains how they are controlling in their behaviour that they don’t realise have an impact on women,” said Ms Fiske. “But I think it’s a start, it’s not enough, but it’s a good start.” Visit: www.rosemaryswaythefilm.org

A happy reunion photo of volunteers and families involved in Rosemary Kariuki’s Cultural Exchange Program for migrant women.


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with COMMUNITY MIGRANT RESOURCE CENTRE

ISSUE 13 | August 2021

OUR LOCAL HEROS Raising the bar in community service  PRISCELLA MABOR HE Premier of NSW Gladys Berejiklian repeats daily a note of thanks to the people of Southwestern and Western Sydney who house so many of our critical essential service workforce. The guiding principle here being a carrot is better than a stick, to rally citizens to a cause greater than themselves. “Essential” seeped into our collective psyche as a defining moment in a response to a pandemic, about what and who were essential to a nation still functioning during a lockdown. This note of recognition and validation, suddenly airbrushed away the smoke and mirrors of daily life. For example, leadership is great but who is actually paddling away under the water getting our goods/ services/infrastructure from Point A to Point B. A tsunami of hidden workers toil away daily, often in minimum wage jobs. They are the engine room – keeping food on our table, keeping our multibillion dollar construction industry humming away, deep cleaning exposure sites, kneading flour into bread and keeping convenience stores open 24/ 7. Once we start considering the hidden chain of essential service personnel, then you don’t have to look far to see that the act of voluntary service moves hand in hand with this engine room. The Community Migrant Resource Centre (CMRC) has worked hand in hand with ethno-specific community associations over the years. All are volunteers drawn from their respective communities who mobilize each other especially during times of crisis, as was customary during their time in conflict zones overseas. Over the last week alone, carefully culturally calibrated messaging related to the secondment of ADF personnel and reinforcement of vaccination messaging, all involved community volunteers taking the campaign out to the homes and places of worship of Western Sydney. Those who volunteer and help others, bring up questions of character. What builds the qualities and values in a person, that draws them to surrender to a cause. What builds character or our moral ecology? Is it that dissimilar to building a resume for financial security, or an eating plan to fuel a healthy body. Well for starters, our character depends on many variables. When we clock in to our daily life and it runs to a smooth formula with barely a blip in our day, then there are few opportu-

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Workers at OzHarvest.

nities to fine tune our arsenal of values and principles. Our character is built, when external circumstances change and we need to respond. For some they rise to the challenge; adapt and thrive. They can look outside their own self, to find joy in a higher purpose and see what they can do for the wider community. OzHarvest illustrates this very well. It is a charity that cannot operate without volunteers.

Every charity needs volunteers OzHarvest joined a growing global response to food waste when they started. $10B of food waste was getting dumped nationally every year, and Sydney boasted the lowest take up of composting food waste nationally and now sits as a high profile food relief provider. In 2020, the State Government funded emergency food relief programs for COVID impacted communities in Western Sydney. OzHarvest were able to open their POP UP Hamper Hub in Granville. Luckily an extension of funds has been granted until the end of September. This is where Mari comes in. Mari lives in Merrylands with her husband, and three boys: her twins are 14-year- old and she has a 17-year-old son who attends Granville South Creative Arts and Performing School. “He helps me so much at home. But he is also very busy studying as he wants to study medicine at university after school,” she said. “The family arrived as refugees from Afghanistan just last year and joined many others in lockdown upon arrival. Mari’s

caseworker from CMRC, Parastoo Khosronejad, saw the potential in her client immediately. Mari was initially one of millions responding on the day when the lockdown was announced this year. “When I first heard about the lockdown, I did straight away think about the shopping. I rushed immediately to my local Woolworths and saw already there was no toilet paper and no rice. Then I went to Coles and it was the same.” “I was curious, that shopping was being done at large scale supermarkets. Life without a plan is not a life. I make a note in the morning of everything that is needed at home. I have to limit my time so I have no choice but to go to the one shop for everything, rather than go to many other small shops.” Interestingly a trip to Woollies, conjures up images of Mari’s mother back in Kabul.

A higher life purpose “She would go to our neighbours who were making yogurt every day. And it tastes like the Greek yogurt I buy here. In Afghanistan, they don’t have labels like here telling you about fat content. “ OzHarvest is always looking to boost their volunteer roster. But during a pandemic, naturally there is an impact on numbers, especially on those working at Granville. But Mari was keen to serve. “The first thing I noticed was all the countries that all the volunteers came from. There were some from Iraq, Iran, Syria and many African countries. It was so nice to see. “

OzHarvest provides many hampers of food staples, especially rice and veggies. The shifts were busy, COVID brought many communities out for emergency relief. “There were Chinese, Indian, Iranian, Iraqi. There were many people dressed in construction uniforms. I felt so connected to all the people. Seeing their faces, knowing how much that food meant for them, and their families.” Now Mari is studying for her Community Services Degree at Granville TaFE, and just enrolled for a second course, while raising her young family. So how is that a newly arrived refugee member of the community, chose to join the frontline engine room during a pandemic. A resident of one of the Sydney’s lowest socio-economic suburbs, supporting Granville, a neighbouring suburb that hosts one of the largest recipient rates for Jobseeker in the country. Maybe the answer lies in the fact that a higher purpose in life is based more around joy, rather than happiness. Happiness is fleeting, while joy is what sustains us. That’s what a global pandemic has the power to do; build character and provide opportunities for some to lead and support others. Conflict zones and refugee camps, calibrate similar character building settings. For anyone wishing to volunteer at OzHarvest on Thursdays during August and September, please make contact. Priscella Mabor is Inclusion Strategy & Innovations Manager Community Migrant Resource Centre. Visit: www.cmrc.com.au

Community Migrant Resource Centre (CMRC) is a not-for-profit, charitable organisation established in 1996. CMRC is a leader in the provision of specialised support services to newly arrived migrants, refugees and humanitarian entrants. CMRC works within a community capacity building framework to encourage individuals and multicultural communities to identify and address their own issues. It works in collaborative partnerships with a great number of agencies to provide services which have both an immediate and long term benefit for the community. CMRC employs over 60 full time, part-time and casual multi-lingual staff. Paramatta office Level 4, 1 Horwood Place Parramatta, NSW 2150 Ph: (02) 9687 9901 Monday – Friday: 9AM – 5PM

The Hills office

Community Hub Castle Towers Level 3, 6-14 Castle Street, Castle Hill, NSW 2154 Northern Region office

Shop 3030 Top Ryde City CNR Devlin And Blaxland Rd RYDE NSW 2112


ISSUE 13 | August 2021

ParramattA ChambeR

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In Lockdown, look to your Chamber  LUKE MAGEE ARAPHARSING a famous politician, ask not what your Chamber can do for you, but what you can do for your Chamber and your colleagues. In these challenging lockdown times Chamber members can be your support group. We have been inundated with people offering to help their fellow business colleagues and the greater community. We are here to help. We are here to listen. We pride ourselves on a sense of community and putting the interests of our members at the heart of all that we do. Not only do we understand the importance of your support, but we are also proud of the camaraderie. Parramatta Chamber has also had to pivot. Especially in doing what we do best which pre lockdown was our face-to-face events creating platforms for the key business leaders to network and connect. We are forever changing our offerings to comply with government restrictions but to ensure we nurture the trust the community puts in us. All our events have been moved online, including five weekly NRG groups and webinars. We are still planning and moving our signature events as required, to host and deliver these as soon as we are permitted to do so. We too are navigating through the overwhelming volume of information that is changing at rapid speed and frequency. Our aim has always been to ensure we remain positive and transparent and maintain that sense of connection and engagement that is more important and paramount than ever.

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There are a lot of people in our great community willing to help, some are reaching out to ask how. So, if you need help please put your hand ask and we will connect you. We can put you in touch with relevant support people, help promote your business, share learnings from similar experiences and facilitate introductions. We have a trusted community of Chamber members who are very keen to

help where they can. Lean on your fellow members that continue to be the beating heart of this great business community. The same way we share success stories, we too share the burden of challenges. So, if your customers are in lockdown, your sales disappeared, if you need to brainstorm some strategic business ideas to reach new audiences, or if you just need a chat, let us know and we will see how we can help.

Parramatta Chamber is a collaborative Chamber with connection to expertise and influence and it is a timely reminder that we are here for our members and will assist in any way we can. After all, this is your Chamber and our sense of community is louder and prouder than ever! Luke Magee is President of Parramatta Chamber of Commerce. www.parramattachamber.com.au

CONNECTING PEOPLE IN BUSINESS PARRAMATTA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

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www.parramattachamber.com.au Ground Floor, 35 Smith Street Parramatta, NSW 2150 02 9635 0022


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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:

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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 www.destinationnsw.com.au

ISSUE 13 | August 2021


ISSUE 13 | August 2021

FitnesS

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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

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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: www.repetitionspt.com.au


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EntertainmenT

ISSUE 13 | August 2021

Entertainer Todd McKenney, Riverside Theatres Director Robert Love, and City of Parramatta Lord Mayor Cr Bob Dwyer, at Riverside Theatres in Parramatta.

Riverside Theatres farewells director, Robert Love NEW director will take the reins of Parramatta’s iconic Riverside Theatres from next month, with the long-serving Robert Love stepping down after 20 years at the helm. City of Parramatta Council has announced the appointment of Craig McMaster, who brings with him more than 30 years’ experience in global entertainment, theatre and venue management. Most recently, Mr McMaster led the development and opening of the multi-awarded $100M Sydney Coliseum Theatre at West HQ in Rooty Hill. Lord Mayor Cr Bob Dwyer said the appointment marked an exciting new direction for Riverside Theatres, as Council continues its work on the proposed redevelopment of the facility as part of a new cultural precinct in Parramatta. “We are delighted to welcome Craig as the new Director of Riverside Theatres,” Cr Dwyer said. “Craig’s significant experience in the arts and entertainment industry, and his shared passion to further develop a thriving arts and events culture in Sydney’s Central River City, positioned him as the ideal candidate to lead Riverside Theatres into the future,” Cr Dwyer said. On his appointment, Mr McMaster said: “I feel extremely privileged to have been selected to take on this exciting role and to have the opportunity to lead a successful and thriving venue like Riverside Theatres. I am looking forward to building on the amazing foundation that Robert has created and bringing to life some exciting new plans for Riverside’s future. “This past year has been a difficult one for us all, particularly the arts and entertainment industry. We can’t wait to welcome patrons back to Riverside Theatres,

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and I am confident that we will emerge even stronger when that time comes.” Cr Dwyer said the announcement was a bittersweet moment for Riverside Theatres, acknowledging the enormous contribution Robert Love has made to the City. “Without Robert’s enthusiasm and passion, Riverside Theatres would not be the institution it is today. During his 20year tenure, he has breathed new life into Riverside’s performance, education and events programs and grown its production arms to put theatre in Parramatta on the map,” Cr Dwyer said. “We are sad to see Robert leave, but his legacy as a champion of the arts in Western Sydney will endure, and I have no doubt he will continue to inspire and contribute to the Australian arts community as he has done for more than 45 years.” Robert Love said he had enjoyed every moment of his time at Riverside Theatres and looked forward to seeing the evolution of the next chapter in the Theatres’ 33year history. “I am sincerely grateful to have had the opportunity to be Director of Riverside Theatres over the past two decades – it has truly been the role of a lifetime,” Mr Love said. “Throughout my time here, I have worked with so many exceptional, passionate and creative people. I’ve also had the pleasure of seeing performing arts in Western Sydney evolve and grow. I am delighted to pass the Director’s baton to Craig McMaster, knowing that he will lead Riverside Theatres, and the performing arts in Western Sydney, towards a bright and successful future.” Riverside Theatres, which is owned and operated by City of Parramatta Coun-

cil, draws more than 180,000 patrons to up to 1000 performances and events every year. It is home to the National Theatre of Parramatta, which cultivates Western Sydney’s next generation of artists, performers and creators, and FORM Dance Projects, a presenter of independent contemporary dance. It also offers an extensive educational program for young people and people with disability.

leadership roles with Australia’s leading primary ticketing provider, Ticketek Pty Ltd, including as Chief Executive Officer.

About Robert Love AM

About Craig McMaster

Craig McMaster was most recently the Managing Director of AvenuArts (Australasia), a boutique arts/entertainment and commercial consultancy practice. Previously, he held the role of Project and Executive Director of Sydney Coliseum Theatre, West HQ–the award-winning new 2000 seat proscenium arch theatre venue which opened in Western Sydney in late 2019. Craig has also worked as Chief Marketing and Information Officer (CMIO) for VenuesLive Management Services, as CEO of leading premium ticketing and VIP packaging provider Showbiz Group, and in senior

Robert Love started his diverse theatrical career in the 1970s as a trainee director for the Old Tote Theatre Company and the Australian Theatre for Young People. A year later, he founded the Toe Truck Theatre, which he managed and performed with for five years. This was followed by General Manager positions at the Seymour Centre, State Theatre Company of South Australia, and Sydney Theatre Company. Robert briefly dabbled in event management embedded in the world of TV and film with a role at the newly established Fox Studios in 1997, before returning to the stage in late 2000 as Director of Riverside Theatres. Since then, Robert has been instrumental in shaping and guiding the development of the Parramatta icon. As a longstanding champion of the performing arts in Western Sydney, in 2017 he was made a Member (AM) in the General Division of the Order of Australia.


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ISSUE 13 | August 2021

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PROPERTY SHOWCASE WESTERN SYDNEY

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

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.

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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

WESTERN SYDNEY BUSINESS

LO OUR CA CI L PA TY PE ’S R

HOW TO WIN THE WEST

L LOCA NEW

ParramattA Voice of Australia’s most progressive city

T I M E S

ISSUE 9 | April 2021

Minister pushing for more women on Parramatta Council: 3

%ඔඉඋඓග඗ඟ1 Issue 1 | April 2021

Blacktown'ss LOCAL media voice Blacktown

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.

FULL STORY PAGE 10

RETAIL BOUNCES BACK -

THIS EDITION

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

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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

TALE OF TWO POOLS

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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±ÅŝßÓÓÅæ†Ì™æóđâ™ during their closures, relief is on the way. Just a day apart, the refurbished Wentworthville pool opened and Ĝâæîæәÿ†æîóâ̝™ÓÌ 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ÌW†ââ†Ë†îî†Óó̓±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.

FULL STORY PAGE 6

Young people turning their lives around at BYSA.

Youth Needs Our Support

A

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

W

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

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

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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 www.greaterblacktownnews.com.au to share your story.

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

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

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

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19

ISSUE 13 | August 2021

Final penthouse opportunity for years EADING Australian property developer, Cbus Property, is currently marketing the final opportunity to purchase a penthouse in Epping for the foreseeable future, with the release of the last remaining penthouse at its north-western Sydney development, The Langston. The listing represents a rare chance for purchasers to secure a penthouse residence in one of Sydney’s most well-connected suburbs. The two-storey, five-bedroom residence is positioned on the uppermost floors of the tallest of three towers – the 29-storey Langston Tower – and has price expectations of circa $3.3M. According to Adrian Pozzo, Cbus Property’s Chief Executive Officer, a similar property is unlikely to become available in Epping for some time. “With no new residential high-rise projects currently under construction in the Epping town centre, it will realistically be years before a penthouse of this size and calibre becomes available again,” Mr Pozzo said. “Also, with our construction programme nearing completion, the lucky purchaser of this one-of-a-kind penthouse will not have to wait long to realise their dream of skyhigh residential living. “We have already had significant interest in the property from local northwest Sydney downsizers, from areas such as Beecroft, Cheltenham and Carlingford, who are looking for something with comparable living space and status to their current homes.” The Langston Tower penthouse is ideally suited for purchasers seeking space and comfort, with the house-sized residence’s five bedrooms incorporating two equally sized master bedrooms with en suites, on separate levels. “In this sense, the penthouse presents a great opportunity for purchasers who might be seeking a home where they can also comfortably accommodate their parents or in-laws with their own family,” Mr Pozzo said.

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The Penthouse at Epping.

“With stunning interiors that span two levels and more than 230 square metres of internal living space, there is plenty of room for large families. “Also, with 180-degree views that reach to the Sydney CBD to the south, and all the way to the Blue Mountains to the west, it is clear that this is a very special property.” The wider Langston precinct provides an extension of the luxury living on offer in the penthouse with a range of exceptional amenity, many of which are rarely found in north-west Sydney developments, includ-

ing a Pool Deck, Wellness Hub and Sky Lounge & Dining spaces. The Pool Deck incorporates a 20-metre pool and poolside cabanas, while the Wellness Hub features a well-appointed gym and yoga studio, and direct connection to the Pool Deck. Sky Lounge & Dining offers a beautifully landscaped ter¬race capturing views of the Sydney CBD skyline and the Blue Mountains, plus shared dining rooms and generous spaces to celebrate special occasions. Residents-only podium-level gardens,

featuring barbeques, casual seating areas, play zones and open green spaces, offer additional opportunities for on-site leisure and relaxation, while shared co-working spaces provide options for residents to easily work from home. CBRE Residential Projects has been appointed to manage The Langston’s sales campaign. To find out more about The Langston, please contact CBRE Residential Projects on 1800 991 211, visit thelangstonepping.com, or visit the display suite at 24 Langston Place, Epping from 1pm to 4pm, Wednesday to Sunday.


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Crosswords/Games Solutions page 22

ISSUE 13 | 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


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ISSUE 13 | August 2021

2021 2 021

AWA R D S

2021 Parramatta Local Business Awards Media partner

Nominations open Monday 14th June. Nominations close Thursday 15th July. www.thebusinessawards.com.au


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Games Solutions

ISSUE 13 | August 2021

TrendS

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.

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

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


AutO

ISSUE 13 | August 2021

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with JOHN MELLOR

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.

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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


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ISSUE 13 | 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

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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 www.filmfocusau.com


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ISSUE 13 | August 2021

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Jungle Cruise–4 Stars Jungle Cruise feels a lot like Pirates of the Caribbean, and while it doesn’t have the iconic lead performance that film did to turn it into an instant classic, it’s still a hell of a lot of fun. ILY Houghton (Emily Blunt) is determined to track down the Flower of the Moon. While her brother MacGregor (Jack Whitehall) distracts an explorer’s scientific society, she sneaks backstage and steals a fabled arrowhead from under the nose of Prince Joachim (Jesse Plemons), a nefarious German. Lily and MacGregor travel to the Amazon, where they get a ride upriver in search of the immortality granting Flower from Frank Wolff (Dwayne Johnson). But Wolff is not all that he seems, and his prodigious knowledge of the region is matched only by his talents for cheating, swindling and deceiving his clientele and enemies (vaguely Italian Paul Giamatti included). Nevertheless, if Lily and MacGregor want to get the Flower before Prince Joachim and an undead Spanish conquistador

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Aguirre (Edgar Ramirez), they’ll have to turn the uneasy alliance with Frank into a strong friendship. It’s tough to not make comparisons to other, classic adventure movies when watching Jungle Cruise. There are definite comparables with Pirates of the Caribbean and Indiana Jones, along with a host of lesser siblings, sequels and ripoffs. Jungle Cruise never really does anything to distinguish itself from its ilk, but it also never feels unwelcome or anything less than upbeat, enjoyable fun. Blunt is spectacular as Houghton, a combination of Keira Knightley and Harrison Ford. Her character is saddled with a romance that she has to frankly carry pretty heavily, but also gets a tonne of time to deliver competent adventuring and ingenuity throughout.

Johnson pushes his acting limits in certain areas of this film, and not always successfully, but for the most part he is a fun addition–a dad-joke-cracking, mammoth hustler, who has secrets of his own. While he may struggle to carry the romantic elements of the plot off, his wisecracking and sidelong glances during schemes and the like are good, and his action chops undisputed. Whitehall, meanwhile, cracks jokes and provides comic relief. Giamatti pops up in a ridiculous role, Italian accent fading in and out depending on the moment, and shoots for the rafters with a swaggering performance. Plemons and Ramirez both make a meal out of barebones villain characters, but Ramirez in particular feels hard done by. Visually there is a lot to love here, and for kids in particular it is a colourful,

fantastical adventure that evokes memories of the Disneyland ride the film is based on. From a family perspective, the only concern is that it’s a little long–at 2 hours and 7 minutes, even those of us in the media screening room were flagging. Jungle Cruise is overly long and has some lacklustre elements without a really iconic hero performance, but it’s a welcome return to the adventure genre. For kids, this will be a lot of fun on it’s own, with a lot of jokes, some beautiful visuals and a swathe of good performances. For adults, this will hit on a lot of the same levels, while also evoking a strong sense of nostalgia around the adventure classics that paved the way. Reviews by Jacob Richardson Creative Director | Film Focus www.filmfocusau.com


ExpertS

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ISSUE 13 | August 2021

Cases of sexually transmitted debt (STD) However, there is a more effective way to protect yourself from incurring your partner’s liabilities.

 LEGAL WITH KATHERINE HAWES OVING in with someone is a big step. Starting a life with a partner can be amazing, and it is easy to get swept up in colour palettes and love bubbles. But at this time, when everything is an ‘us’, is the most important time to think about ‘you.’ Entering into joint bank accounts or going in 50/50 in a loan might seem like the most practical way to manage your finances, but these systems can unintentionally lead to bigger problems in the long run.

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Binding Financial Agreement A Binding Financial Agreement, commonly referred to as a pre-up is a legally binding document that allows you and your partner to decide how to divide your property and financial resources if there is a breakdown in your relationship. It protects your interests whilst also keeping the matter out of the courtroom in what will be an emotionally charged scenario. Here are the fun facts:

What is Sexually Transmitted Debt? No one wants to imagine that a good thing might end, but when there are assets involved, it is better to be safe than sorry. Sorry is behind the new financial societal phenomenon – sexually transmitted debt – it is on the rise. Sexually transmitted debt can manifest in a number of ways:

1. When one party accepts a debt or liability that they would not have otherwise accepted if not for the emotional connection in the relationship with the other party. 2. If one party to the relationship is not fully aware of the debts of the other party, they may be left liable to pay the debt due to the nature of the financial ties between the parties . 3. If one party stops meeting their commitment to shared debts leaving the other party to satisfy financial obligations.

How it starts The way that debt can transfer from one side to another is not always the same

across the board but there are a few common denominators: 1. Whether you and your partner are in a de facto relationship. Many people fall into a de facto relationship and don’t necessarily realise the full extent or liability behind this concept. The Family Law Act S 4AA outlines factors that the Court uses to define whether a de facto relationship exists. Amongst other things, the duration of the relationship, the amount of financial interdependence, the care of children and the degree of mutual commitment to a shared life are all relevant considerations to finding a de facto relationship. De facto relationships include same sex relationships and can operate to have the same effect legally as a marriage. 2. What assets and/or debts you came into the relationship with. When one party has more assets than the other or they earn more than the

other person, is usually when things start to get tricky. You could find yourself contributing more, paying more towards bills and expenses and even covering your partners shortfalls and debts. Whether you plan for this to happen or not, should the relationship break down you may be liable to continue to support the person financially. Basically, if at the end of the relationship a Court can find that your partner is not able to support themselves and you have the means to support them, you may be liable to continue to maintain your partner.

How to protect yourself – Binding Financial Agreements Ex-de facto couples in this situation are common fixtures throughout the Family Law Courts, where the matter has escalated to the point that a Judge has to untangle the assets and liabilities of both parties for a fair and equitable outcome.

SERVICES: • COMMERCIAL LAW • DIGITAL & SOCIAL MEDIA LAW • ASSET & PROPERTY MANAGEMENT • ESTATE PLANNING • FAMILY LAW • LITIGATION SPECIALIST • SOLICITOR ADVOCATE

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• Can be drafted before, during or after a relationship. • Deals with issues of spousal maintenance. • Can be used to protect your business, investments and property. • Financially protects children, either from the present or earlier relationship. • Peace of mind that your and your partner’s interests are protected.

Many people believe they can prepare this document. However, a Binding Financial Agreement can be challenged if one partner does not get Independent Legal Advice or the Agreement is deemed to not be equitable if the document is challenged. Our suggestion is to engage an experienced lawyer or at a minimum have a lawyer review your documentation and seek independent legal advice for one of the parties. To learn more about Binding Financial Agreements or to discuss your circumstances, please do not hesitate to contact our Family Law team on (02) 8858 3211. Katherine Hawes is Principal Solicitor at Digital New Age lawyers. www.digitalagelawyers.com


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ISSUE 13 | August 2021

Tough task ahead for Eels ARRAMATTA has suffered three losses in the past four games and have injuries to key players at the wrong time of the season, with five games left before the finals. Coach Brad Arthur has the tough task of getting his team back on track to stay in the top four. Arthur was left lamenting as the Eels crumbled 28 to nil, against the Sydney Roosters in Mackay last Thursday, July 29. The senior coach said it was a disappointing effort. It was a listless effort by the Eels and prop Reagan Campbell-Gillard left the field with a groin injury. His injury comes on top of halfback Mitchell Moses is sidelined with a back stress fracture, with his comeback date uncertain. The playmaker suffered the back injury playing for NSW in the third and final State of Origin encounter versus Queensland on July 14, at the Gold Coast. Queensland won the match 20 to 18, but NSW won the 2021 three game series, 2-1. Moses injured his back in the opening stages of the game but stayed on the field. The day after the game, Moses, complained of back soreness, with scans revealing a stress fracture. Moses has been back training for a week after initial rest and rehabilitation. Coach Brad Arthur said they will not play Moses until he is cleared by the club medical staff. "If we say next week, and there is a risk, we won't play him," Arthur said. Arthur said having Moses fit for the finals is paramount. The Eels, fourth on the NRL ladder, have a damn tough draw in the final five games, playing teams in the top eight, with the exception of the Cowboys.

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Eels fans and coach Brad Arthur.

Starting with Souths on Friday, August 6, at Cbus Super Stadium, on the Gold Coast, kick off 8pm. Then the Eels play in order, Manly, Cowboys, Melbourne Storm and Penrith. The Eels have made the finals the past two seasons, been consistent for most of 2021, but three losses in the past four games, has been a concern. If the Eels do not arrest their form slump, they could tumble out of the top

four and into the lower half of the top eight. Teams in the top four, under the NRL finals system, get two chances. Teams in the bottom four face instant elimination in the opening round of the finals. All NRL teams are based training and playing in Queensland, because of the Covid-19 pandemic. The players and staff, from all clubs, are living in hotels which are part of health regulation hubs.

View quality locally made films and infrastructure updates 24/7 www.netwerx.tv

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ISSUE 13 | August 2021

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