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Feature Story y


The K Factor

February 2012 // Issue 57

I N S I D E 57

GEORGE TORBAY Armidale resident, George Torbay, drops us a line to tell us about his latest project, The Hatpin.

ANTHONY KELLY With 29 world records behind him (and 3 still pending), Anthony is a proud Armidalian and ambassador for our region.

inside this issue.

estate. The Eastview Estate started as the grand vision of Steven and Lyn Dobson ... and wine, beer, great food and good fun are now the reality!


‘From the Shed to the Gallery - 50 Years of Art in Inverell’ . From its humble beginnings in a backyard shed, to the beautiful historic Inverell Art Gallery, the Inverell Art Society has come a long way.

inverell gallery ack in 1961, a group of of local loca lo loca call Inverell artists began meeting in a backyard shed to share their love of pottery and the arts. From there, the Inverell Art Society was formed. In 1972 it moved to its current location in Evans Street, and the Society has been operating the Inverell Art Gallery ever since. The Gallery acts as a retail outlet for local artists to sell their work. It is always a hive of activity, with regular ts ac ry le The Gal r fo t tle classes, social gatherings ou il ta re as a ll and various exhibitions held local artists to se their work. throughout the year. The annual Competitive Exhibition held each October continues to grow and now attracts artists from all over Australia. To celebrate the Inverell Art Society’s

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50 Years of Art in Inverell, the Society will ho a special Retrospective Art Exhibition hold an Anniversary Dinner at the Inverell Art and Ga Gallery on Saturday 25 February 2012. Th Retrospective Exhibition will feature The the works of artists who have exhibited or tut tutored at the Inverell Art Gallery over the pa fifty years. The featured art will be a past mi mixture of old and new works, and many of the pieces will be available for sale. An former tutors, members or artists are Any inv invited to join in the celebrations. Tickets for the dinner are available from the Gallery at a cost of $40 per person and need to be purchased by 10 February to allow for catering. As part of the official anniversary celebrations, a new mosaic footpath entitled Meandering Macintyre will also be opened at 5.30pm before the exhibition and dinner. The mosaic depicts life on the Macintyre River, with much of the fauna and flora represented. “This amazing project, which will be over 80 metres when complete, will become a tourist attraction in its own right,” said Inverell Art Gallery Supervisor, Jo Williams. “We have many very talented artists who have contributed many hours to this public artwork.”

The mosaic has been designed to appeal to all ages and in such a way that it can be viewed from any angle. Everyone is welcome to view the mosaic at the official opening. The Inverell Art Society members are also preparing a booklet to commemorate their 50th anniversary. It will include a history of the Society, a history of the building, stories from the past and visions for the future. The publication will be launched and available for sale at the Gallery on 25 February. For more information about the Inverell Art Gallery, contact Jo Williams, Gallery Supervisor, on 6722 4983 or email invart@ - The Inverell Art Gallery is located at 5 Evans Street in Inverell. Opening times are Monday to Friday, 10am - 5pm and on Saturdays 10am 1pm. Entry is by gold coin donation.

editor's note.


from the


Welcome to the February issue of New England FOCUS.


his month is a very special time of the year, when our local florists and gift shops are gearing up for one of their busiest times, Valentine’s Day, on February 14. It is traditionally a day on which lovers express their devotion for each other by presenting flowers, confectionery and jewellery. Happy Valentine’s Day, Daryl Germany! Catch this kiss.

INSIDE THIS ISSUE We catch up with martial artist Anthony Kelly, to find out about his Guinness World Record achievements. Thanks to our regular writer Rosemary Mort, for scooping an interview with renowned opera singer Jacqueline Mabardi – who will be appearing at the 2012 Opera In The Paddock. We also find out why Barry Hackett has been MIA from his sandwich shop in the Armidale Mall Arcade for the past month, and Nicole Symington shares her very special story about taking the grandkids to swim with the dolphins. Journalist Kate Hedges writes about her beloved township of Kentucky, and local

contacts. Looking to advertise in Focus? Contact us for more information. ADDRESS: 5/164 Beardy Street, Armidale PHONE: 02 6771 5551 FAX: 02 6772 5551 WEB: FACEBOOK: TV:

artist Kerry Wilson drops us a line about her upcoming exhibition.

THERE’S HEAPS TO DO IN FEBRUARY It’s showtime! Please be sure to support the Guyra and Uralla Shows (on in February). The more people they get through the gates, the more years we will have to enjoy a traditional fair. The Walcha Cup also promises to be a great day out. Be sure to dress up for your chance to win great prizes in ‘Fashion On The Fields’, which is sponsored by Turners this year. For heaps more events, be sure to turn to page 14. EDITOR’S PHOTO Thanks to Sanjeev Rakwal, for the fantastic photo of a sunset on the New England Highway. What a great photo! If you have any great pictures of the local area you have taken and would like to see published in FOCUS, please send them to me at

The online version features all the same great content from the current issue, and the pages turn with just the flick of a finger. And best of all – it’s FREE. To read the issue online on your iPad, just visit Plus don’t forget to check our iPhone app, eat Dining. The app features some of the best restaurants and cafés available in the New England. You’ll have all the information you need at your fingertips, including the type of cuisine, meal prices and directions to the venue. You can download the app for free by visiting FINAL SAY Soul mates are people who bring out the best in you. They are not perfect, but are always perfect for you.

NOW ON THE IPAD FOCUS is proud to announce that you can now read each issue of the New England Focus on the Apple iPad.

Sue Dee.







ART DIRECTOR: Jay Beaumont

ACCOUNT MANAGER: Louise Beaumont




SUB EDITORS: Jo Atkins / Reg Brookhouse /


Comments and opinions of our contributors do not necessarily reflect the opinion or view of the Publishers or Editor. All reasonable efforts have been made to trace copyright holders.Information appearing in Focus is believed to be correct at the time of going to press however no liability will be held for inaccurate information approved or supplied by advertisers or contributors. While all care is taken it is recommended that readers confirm dates, times, prices and any other material including advice with individual businesses and industry professionals. New England Focus is produced and published by Creative House Publications Pty Ltd ABN: 62128786005. Material in New England Focus is Copyright © Creative House Publications Pty Ltd 2008 and may not be reproduced whole or in part, in any form, without permission of the Publisher. All rights reserved.

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Those who know Anthony Kelly, the Arrow Catcher, would describe him as a very high achiever. With 29 world records behind him (and 3 still pending), Anthony is a proud Armidalian and ambassador for our region.


ow is your New England Martial Arts I practiced Zen Chi Ryu, Kempo, Fencing, Boxing, Karate, Centre (NEMAC) going? and Taekwondo. I enjoyed Taekwondo and opened clubs Excellent! We now have over 200 in Armidale, Uralla and Tamworth. In 1990 I opened students training 5 days a week and the New England Martial Arts Centre. At the time, I 6 government accredited coaches was studying Go Ju Ryu Karate and Kung Fu intensively instructing. I must say, I couldn’t do it without the help of with many renowned instructors. It was at this stage my wife, Christine, and my son, Taylor. that my father-in-law, Jackie Shing, and other Chinese Last year we competed in 3 state and a national family members encouraged me to concentrate fully on competition, with the students performing very well. doing Hung Kuen Kung Fu. I will never forget one day Although we are not a competition club, it’s good to see when Jackie said to me that if I fully focus on training that our students can win against clubs that only train for hard, after 20 years I would reap the rewards of my hard comps. Tournaments are one way of testing a martial arts work. He was right … Kung Fu translates simply to work ability, but the main goal for myself and my instructors at hard, and that is my club motto: 'practice is the key to NEMAC is to teach good offensive and defensive success'. Now after 30 years of hard training, I fighting skills (both armed and unarmed), am a Grandmaster, I have black belts in but also and more importantly is to teach 10 different styles and I'm a level 3 students how to have pride and respect (Australia’s highest level) government ng ni ai tr d te in themselves, their families, their accredited martial arts coach. I star d an do Ju in 78 19 community and country. How long did it take you in ed have never look The bonus for me in travelling the to master the art of arrow I back. The reason n world is to constantly see and then catching? ar started was to le y m e lik relate back to the students that we I started catching arrows in how to fight e and Le e uc Br live in the BEST country in the world, 2000 as a demonstration at my idols, Muhammad Ali. and that we should be grateful we are annual martial arts night, and then here and to work hard in keeping it that soon was in Madrid, Spain doing it way. Some of my students may not be live on TV to millions of people. From the best fighters in the world, but guaranteed this appearance, I was asked by Guinness they are some of the nicest, most well mannered and World Records to do many other shows around the behaved children in the district. world – and in fact, have been one of their leading acts for This brings me to an important message that I would the past 10 years and have done Guinness shows in most like to get across to people: martial arts is a life long countries. pursuit in self improvement, constantly training yourself to I have appeared in other major shows such as be mentally and physically stronger. It is not about getting MythBusters, Ripley’s Believe it or Not, Stan Lee's into a cage and belting another human senseless, but Superhumans, Time Warp and more importantly to me, about learning how to defend themselves both mentally have had many major international TV shows come to and physically against an unprovoked attack. Being a good Armidale to film me performing my skills – and in doing so citizen is an important attribute that a real martial artist have exposed our city to the world. Nationally, I have been should have. on many Australian shows lately, such as the TODAY show Tell us about your history in martial arts. and have also featured in many international and national I started training in 1978 in Judo and have never looked magazines and books. back. The reason I started was to learn how to fight like What's your most recent entry into the book of my idols, Bruce Lee and Muhammad Ali. During the '80s, Guinness World Records?

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In December alone, I appeared on the TODAY TV show again and broke the record for ‘the most chopsticks thrown in 1 minute’, I also set the record for ‘the most tennis balls caught in 1 hour’ at the Bowling Club and attempted to break my chopstick throwing record in Beijing,China. Exactly how many world records have you broken? 29 world records, with three pending. Always aiming so high, what do you feel has been your greatest achievement? Being the Armidale Citizen of the year in '09 was a great achievement. I am a fifth generation Armidalian, and when I grew up all I used to hear about is what a great man my father Sam was, and what big shoes I would have to fill if I was to be as good a man as him. Well, I’m trying and hope that in some small way that I have contributed not only to the Kelly family name, but the Armidale and world community as well. As far as my world record achievements go, I feel blessed that I have the opportunity to travel the globe and see some of the most fantastic sights and meet the most unusual people. But in saying that, I do not think people really understand the amount of hard training and stress that goes into an overseas appearance. Fielding international calls at all hours of the night, writing emails, negotiating with the TV producers, travelling for days, eating unusual foods and waiting around the TV studios for hours and sometimes days waiting to appear and then be expected to perform at your best; it’s very demanding on the mind and body. In saying that, the reward for performing in front of millions of people and breaking a record live is a great feeling. What's next? Keep building NEMAC up and run more Kung Fu and Reaction Training workshops, locally and nationally. As far as TV goes, last year I broke the billion viewer mark, and I hope to do that again. I’m in the planning for a Discovery TV show from England that wants to do a feature on me – part of the filming will be here in Armidale. Thanks FOCUS, and Happy Year of the Dragon. Thanks Anthony.

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inside this

Jacqueline Mabardi Jacqueline Mabardi is an opera singer, concert performer and oratorio recitalist who is also at home in musical theatre and operetta, having worked in all these fields. This year she will be singing for the first time at Opera in the Paddock at Mimosa, Delungra, on Saturday, March 24.

Issue 57 - February 2012

usual suspects.


Kerry Wilson Kerry Wilson is exhibiting at Gallery 126 during February. She explains that her inspiration comes from the strong contrasts in the local rock, trees and landscapes.



Marine Magic Armidale residents, Nicole Symington and Bill Bloomfield, had the time of their lives in January when they took their son Dylan and grandchildren Levi, Kodi and Chelsea to the Pet Porpoise Pool in Coffs Harbour.

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14. what’s on for February 22. eat featuring local restaurants 40. star guide with Terri

47. Icing on the Cake with Susie Dunn

50. Abode home and building

No matter where you are in the world,, read Focus for free online every month th @ follow us on


Barry Hackett is a familiar face in the Armidale Mall, having owned the Sandwich Shop for 6 years. He recently went on an overseas trip and drops us a line to share the highs and lows of his adventure.

Barry Hackett.


ell us about your family ... In Asia, China is a must see destination, and the islands Denise and I were married in 1974 and of Lombok and Gili Trawangan are pretty much off the have three sons (Gareth, Rhys and Liam). tourist radar as far as Australians are concerned. The Rhys and his partner, Melissa, live and scuba diving on Gili was some of the best I have ever work locally, and Liam lives and works on done. the Gold Coast. Sadly, Gareth died in a car crash in 1999, I would say that climbing the Great Wall at aged 19. Juyongguan was something I will always be proud You’ve just returned from a fabulous trip overseas. of. It was a solid 2½ hour climb, but the sense of Share the highlights with us ... accomplishment when we reached the top was fantastic. On a trip such as the one we’ve just returned from, As for food highlights, the regional dishes of Italy are there are so many great memories that it’s difficult unsurpassed, the plats du jour in France are never less to nominate highlights. There were some places that than sensational, and the food in China is superb. Like exceeded expectations, and others that you just knew Italy and France, Chinese food varies from region to were going to be magic. region, and it is all delicious. Poland and China were countries that delivered a huge It is interesting to see the difference between food WOW factor. Everyone knows of Warsaw and Krakow in in Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong (Cantonese Poland, but Torun and Wrocklow were very special. The cooking), and Singapore is one of the world’s great food Czech Republic and Slovenia are also very special. The destinations – especially for Nyonya food and Straits scenery is spectacular, and the medieval cities are a dream Chinese dishes. The chilli crab is a signature Singapore to explore. Regensburg in Germany, Cesky Krumlov in The dish and is to die for. Czech Republic, Siena in Italy and Verdun in France are all Did you encounter any difficulties on your trip? cities worth going out of your way to visit and of course, Everything with the trip was great; nothing terrible Italy is the world’s largest walk in art gallery. happened to us at all. The only downer was The battlefields of Belgium and Northern France when we were told our storage facility hold a special place in the hearts of Aussies – a had been broken into (we were in must see. Italy at the time) and some things at th y I would sa t Wall ea London, Hong Kong, Paris, Singapore had been stolen or broken. Gr e th ng bi clim as and Rome all have many sights to keep However, after a few phone at Juyongguan ways be alw something I will a solid 2½ you busy for several days. calls, we knew that all our as

proud of. It w the sense hour climb, but ent when of accomplishm top was we reached the fantastic.

important stuff was intact, and we breathed easier. Humorous moments? The look on Denise’s face when she realised the cable car ride she had just bought tickets for in Slovenia didn’t ‘just go to the first pylon’, but all the way to the top of the mountain (1,500 metres). When we reached the top, we had to cross a platform to the station. Unfortunately, you could see the full 1,500 metre vertical drop through the grating in the platform. We both have a fear of heights, so it was a case of close your eyes and sprint across. Having got off, I then had to work out how much beer to drink to calm me enough to recross the platform and still be sober enough to drive when we got back to the bottom. Again, it was close your eyes and go. It was

a good thing the views were spectacular, so we could ignore the great hole in the ground below us. Do you travel often? Not as often as I’d like. We try to get away each year around February – and normally head to Thailand. I find Phuket a great holiday destination, as you can do as little or as much as you want. The beaches are fantastic, the diving is superb, the food is delicious and the vibe is laid back and comfortable. We have also been to Vanuatu and Rarotonga in the past, which we found relaxing, but a bit quiet. Siem Reap in Cambodia is a fascinating place to visit. The temples at Angkor are challenging, but extremely rewarding. We spent four years working and travelling overseas when we were first married, so travel is pretty much in our blood. Who looked after your business while you were away? I licensed the shop out to Deb Randell (who works with me) for the four months we were gone, so it was effectively her business. She did a great job – and everyone is full of praise for the way she operated. She and Alicia (her offsider) looked at the shop with fresh eyes and instituted a few changes that have enhanced the business beautifully. I can’t thank her enough for the job she did. Where do you source your produce for the shop? I try to use local suppliers as much as possible. Some products have to be purchased at supermarkets, but items such as meat, chicken breasts, bread, milk, juice etc. are all sourced from local suppliers. Quality is important, and I find the local suppliers always supply top quality product. This ensures our customers always receive the freshest and best quality food. What’s next on the agenda for you ... where are you off to next? We are planning a trip to Ruapehu in New Zealand for a week’s skiing in August. I have a brother who lives quite near, so we can catch up and ‘get on the piste’! Neither Denise nor I have ever tried skiing before, so ask me if there were any funny times after that one! We would like to do another major trip in the future, maybe to the States and on to Europe to catch some places we missed this time around. We will just have to see what happens, I guess. Thanks Barry. new england focus 7

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Jacqueline Mabardi is an opera singer, concert performer and oratorio recitalist who is also at home in musical theatre and operetta, having worked in all these fields. This year she will be singing for the first time at Opera in the Paddock at Mimosa, Delungra, on Saturday, March 24.

Jacqueline Mabardi


hy did you decide to become Countess in The Marriage of Figaro for State Opera an opera singer ? of South Australia and appeared with the Queensland I sang from a very early age; and Tasmanian Symphony Orchestras. I would simply call it my destiny In 2009, I sang Minnie in a new production of La in life. My parents were often Fanciulla del West for State Opera of South Australia told by professional people on panels at eisteddfods (SOSA) and appeared in Opera Australia's New Year's or present at concerts I performed in that I should Eve Gala in Sydney. The following year, I sang Minnie, be trained. Luckily, my mother resisted all these as well as the title role in Tosca for Opera Australia. suggestions at too early an age. I then followed the Last year I appeared as Lady Macbeth in Macbeth, right channels, I believe, and prepared to audition for Curly’s Wife in Of Mice and Men and Musetta in the Qld Conservatorium; I was accepted mostly on La Bohème for Opera Australia. This year I will be vocal merit. undertaking the title role in Aida for Opera Australia’s How has your career progressed ? Sydney Winter Season and will appear as Musetta for My career began with Opera Queensland in their SOSA. Choice Voices program, singing Second Lady in What does it take to make a career in opera, and The Magic Flute and also in solo concerts how dedicated do you have to be? with the Queensland Symphony A tenacity, love and tenacity! I have Orchestra. Since then, I have worked with great and amazing worked extensively in Australia teachers on a few continents, but This particular and internationally. Some of the taught myself the most out of all ly gig has actual well highlights have been as soloist of them on the actual journey. I ite qu become eratic op at the Shalyapin music festival e was determined I could always th in n ow kn d a lot in Kazan, Russia; singing at the find the answers myself once community, an s have of my colleague Sydney Opera House; Aida at put on the path by others. You in ra performed at Ope the Helicon Theater, Moscow; have to be like that, or you can’t the Paddock. gala concerts for the opening survive in this career. of the Galina Vischnewskaja What attracts you to a career Opera Centre, Moscow; televised as a performer, and which singers performances for the Bolshoi Theatre and do you have as exemplars? Tchaikovsky Hall, Moscow; Lisa in Pique Dame for Number one – THE MUSIC. Singing Puccini the Ravenna Festival, Italy; televised performances and Verdi is always a privilege and always of Nedda in Pagliacci in Lithuania; Rosalinde in Die a highlight. Singing in the Sydney Opera Fledermaus in Germany; Pamina in The Magic Flute House looms large on that list. Maria Callas and Amelia in Un Ballo in Maschera in Australia. and Joan Sutherland are my exemplars. I also sang the title role in Tosca for 4MBS-FM, Your favourite operas and parts ... and why? Do Australia and in 2006 took the roles of Donna Anna you think opera is attractive to young people ? in Don Giovanni for the 4MBS-FM Music Festival Puccini, Verdi are a big inspiration to me. La in Brisbane and Rosalinde in Opera Queensland’s Bohème, Tosca, Minnie in La Fanciulla del West, Lady production of Die Fledermaus, which was performed Macbeth, Violetta in Traviata. Aida. All sublime! I in Brisbane and then toured Queensland. More think the arts speak to all who are really open to the recently, I sang the role of Gertrude in Hansel and experience and who are ready for passion in their Gretel for Opera Queensland, was soprano soloist for lives. Not everyone likes the same things, and that is Opera in the Markets in Melbourne, performed The human nature. I think Australia has lots of programs in

place where they interact with a young public, such as school tours and the like. Education is essential to the continuation of all the arts. Why did you accept the invitation to sing at Opera in the Paddock? What do you think about performing in the country, on stage, in a paddock? Is it something you’ve experienced before? I think most opera singers are acquainted with singing outdoors. This particular gig has actually become quite well known in the operatic community, and a lot of my colleagues have performed at Opera in the Paddock. I am, for one, delighted to take part. Opera in the Paddock 2012 Opera in the Paddock enters its second decade this year, with Jacqueline Mabardi as one of the new faces on stage for the concert at Mimosa, Inverell on Saturday, March 24 and Twilight Recital at the Inverell Town Hall, on March 23. Opera Australia, once again the performance partner, is sponsoring conductor Phoebe Briggs and a pianist. A group of female singers from Inverell, Armidale and the region will provide several choruses for the evening, including the popular Nun's Chorus. On the Paddock stage with Jacqueline Mabardi will be tenor James Eggleston, baritone Barry Ryan, mezzo sopranos Elizabeth Lewis and Elizabeth Campbell, and soprano Peta Blyth. The program includes excerpts from Puccini’s Madama Butterfly and Verdi's Il Trovatore. Opera North West Ltd receives sponsorship from Arts NSW, Destination NSW, Opera Australia, Inverell Shire Council, NAB, Regional ABC & Classic FM, Malachite Resources and the German Consul. Thanks Jacqueline. Contributed by Rosemary Mort.

Bookings online Coaches from most regional centres. For further details on the concerts: (02) 6724 8561 or 1800 240 30.

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say. Video

Last Month.



What is your favourite local pub in the Armidale area?



The Wicklow 19%

White Bull 15%

St Kilda Hotel

This Month. Who serves your favourite coffee in Armidale?

10% The Grand Hotel 29%

Other Total 62 votes. Please note: This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate. Numbers might not add to 100 due to rounding.

vote online at (click on questions)

VIDEO BY: Brett1300. ABOUT: A great video from the recent Armidale Hot Rod Show held at the Armidale Traffic Education Centre, including time trials and burn outs from some awesome hot rods and classic cars. WATCH AT:: or search Armidale Hot Rod Show. w

Local Author. John Heffernan aka Charlie Carter. Title. Battle Boy.



Are you interested in battles, time travel, adventure, great stories and gadgets galore? Would you like to spy on the past, wear a flesh coloured body armor called Skin, and fly through the mists of time via a titanium iridium casket called a Battle Book? Join 11 year old Napoleon Augustus Smythe – Battle Boy 005, as he travels around the world and through the ages. It’s his mission to collect the DNA of famous generals and commanders and to solve the mysteries of history. AVAILABLE AT: Readers Companion Armidale.

Image of the month. “I photographed this gorgeous dragon fly on our Boxing Day camping trip to the Stix River State Forest. It was very obliging and remained still on a dead branch in the middle of the river long enough for me to get really close.” Photo by: Alicia Pringle. Camera: Canon eos 600D. Taken a great photo of our local area? Like to see it published in FOCUS for the world to see? Just email


by Marie Wall of Bistro On Cinders

local dr p.

Let us help promote your local book or music album. Send us the details to



with Robert Gasparre from Armidale Farmers’ Market

WATERMELONS TThee th Th tthree main i types t off melon l found f on the Australian market are watermelons, rockmelons Au and honeydew melons. Late summer is when they are most bountiful, fragrant and sweet. It iiss fun growing your own and discovering varieties that th ha you do not usually find in the supermarket, such as the beautiful ‘moon and stars’ watermelon. suc ‘Sweet Siberian’ watermelon, with its yellow/ ‘Sw apricot coloured flesh, is particularly suited to the apr ccooler co o areas of our region.

2007 Merilba Estate Shiraz

Buying a melon and bringing it home can either Buy Bu be a rewarding experience or a disappointing one, depending upon the degree of ripeness.

Merilba Estate is situated at Kingstown, west of Uralla. As well as boasting a wide range of award winning wines, Merilba Estate has an award winning cellar door.

When choosing melons, they should feel heavy for their size. Rockmelons and honeydew melons should smell fruity. To see if a watermelon is ripe, tap it – it should sound hollow. The sweetest and most flavourful melons are those picked ripe from the vine and eaten relatively quickly.

This wine shows spice, black pepper and red berry fruits on the nose. The palate shows great complexity, fruit intensity and softness.

AVAILABLE: Merilba Estate Cellar Door, Bistro on Cinders, White Bull, Railway Hotel, Royal Hotel, Top Pub Uralla, Bottom Pub Uralla.

Melons can be made into sorbet or blended with ice, white rum and lime juice for a delicious fresh fruit daiquiri; but of course, you can’t beat just the plain chilled fruit when the weather is hot.



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The Armidale Farmer’s Market is on the first and third Sunday of every month in Curtis Park. For more information, visit


George Torbay. Armidale resident, George Torbay, became a household name in 2008 after appearing as host judge on Australia’s reality music show, Battle Of the Choirs. He drops us a line to tell us about his latest project, The Hatpin.

ow long have you lived in Armidale? I grew up in Armidale. After I finished school, I left to take up a scholarship at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. After my degree was over, I stayed in the States for a short time and began performing in musical theatre. After many years working in Sydney, I returned to live in Armidale in 2007. You’re well known as a conductor and music director. How and why did you become a director? I love theatre of all kinds. I can get as excited about a play as I can about a musical. I have worked as a musical director on many shows, and I love doing that, but I love the process of creating an entire show more. I love reading a script and seeing it play out in my mind. The theatre in my mind has no limits or restrictions. When I first think of how to stage a show, I allow any idea to grow and develop – however crazy! I try to squeeze out every ounce of honesty from a script. I try not to think about budgets, casting, if the theatre can cope with these ideas, or whether an audience will come. I just like ideas to flow. The ‘how’ comes much later. Years ago when I was directing the musical Chess in Sydney, I told the designer and the producer that I wanted the opening number to be a life sized chess game with the entire cast dressed as exotic ancient Persian chess pieces fighting a battle to the death. I was initially told it was too difficult and

The Hatpin is the true story of a single and on my way home I would walk past each mother, Amber Murray, who in 1892 little terrace, including 109, every day. advertised her baby son in a newspaper This was actually one of the ideas that trading column for a family to care for him James Millar wanted to convey. If you could while she tried to find work in Sydney ... peel back the facade of any home, there and ended up embroiled in the Makin family would be a story to tell. It just happens that murders. It’s one of the most captivating, 109 George Street had a painful and horrific moving and exciting criminal trials in past. You’ve directed many musicals. Why Australia’s early history. are you so excited about this one? Set during a time when It is essential for us as a community – as women had few rights, this is that I might need some Australians – to tell our own stories. Good, essentially the story of one medication to calm bad, shocking, shameful ... we must tell our young woman’s struggle If you could peel down. On opening stories to grow and learn and discover more to be heard against a of de back the faca e night, when the about who we are. mountain of criticism er th e, m any ho lights slowly came to y or st a I recently had the chance to talk with and resistance. It is also be ld wou up and the human ns Carol Herben, who is a descendant of important to know tell. It just happe e Street chess pieces began to the Makin family. I asked her what she that the Makin trial that 109 Georgan d l battle each other, the had a painfu felt, knowing that this awful chapter in was pivotal in creating audience exploded into horrific past. Australian history was part of her family. precedence in law and for cheers and applause. I live She told me that once she began to generating awareness of early for those moments. investigate her ancestors, she found that childhood issues and care. I work best in an environment she was from pure convict stock on both Who wrote The Hatpin, and how where no idea is rubbish and where sides of the family. There were convicted accurate is the historical information everyone is working together to make criminals and murders, through to regular portrayed in the musical? something of nothing. folk. James Millar wrote the book and lyrics, How long have you been a member of “It is what it is,” she said. “I can’t change and Peter Rutherford wrote the music. They the Armidale Drama and Musical Society are two young Sydney based writers. I believe the past. It doesn’t change who I am, but it (ADMS)? is part of me, it connects me and gosh – it’s that they are serious new voices in Australian I joined ADMS in 2007, shortly after fascinating.” musical theatre, and I am incredibly excited arriving back in town. A few months later, I am excited to peel back the facade to present their first effort as a writing team. I proposed the musical Titanic. This was of this story and tell a tale that not many The musical is all based on actual events, a huge show with a big cast, gorgeous people know. It is part of our history. people and places. The writers used court costumes, sensational music and a delicious Final word? transcripts, police records, historical accounts set created by Pat Bradley. Titanic had the I urge everyone to go and see some and newspaper articles to form the story. largest audience numbers ADMS has ever theatre this year – find a show, listen to Curiously, I found while I was doing seen. research that some of the murders took place the stories. You will see that we are all The following year I directed Blood connected. at 109 George Street in Redfern. I lived in Brothers - The Play, and in 2010 it was Thanks George. the same street at 183 for a period of time, Urinetown – a ridiculously hilarious show complete with dancing policemen, torch choreography and tumbleweed! So much the plug! fun. Tickets are on sale now through The Hoskins Centre @ TAS. Tell us about the brand new musical you are directing? You can book online until Sunday 17 March. This year I am directing The Hatpin, a Or, from Monday 18 March, you can book through Dymocks in the Mall in new Australian musical. This is an incredibly person or phone: 6771 4558. sophisticated and fascinating work.

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Alexandra Hawthorne. As a Year 10 student, Alexandra Hawthorne of O’Connor Catholic College ventured over to Nepal. In this interview she explains how her trip has deepened her appreciation for the Australian education system and the love of her family.


ow did you first become interested in the children of Nepal? I first heard of Forgetmenot Children’s Home in Nepal through a family friend who was involved with the organisation. She had visited the girls’ home in Nepal with her husband and inspired me to get involved and visit myself. When did you go to Nepal, and how did you organise this trip? I went to Nepal last April (2011). The Forgetmenot organisation runs 2 visitor/ volunteer trips to the girls’ home in Nepal each year, and I signed up to join in with the April trip. When I first heard about the orphanage in Nepal, I immediately wanted to visit if I could. As a requirement to visit the home, each trip participant was asked to fundraise to make a donation to the organisation of $2,000. To me, this seemed impossible at first; however, I was determined to reach that goal and after holding a few small fundraising activities through my school, selling hundreds of chocolates and receiving many generous donations from the O’Connor and Armidale communities, I raised nearly $3,000 to donate to Forgetmenot.

What is the lifestyle like over there? Getting used to the different lifestyle that the Nepalese people live was one of the biggest culture shocks I experienced on my trip. Kathmandu, I realised, where I spent most their through seeing ho of my time in Nepal, happiness, w for was unlike any other much we takehi ng place I had ever granted everytci ly al pe es – ve we ha visited. It was loud d an – ia in Austral and busy all the time, tic our Arriving at the home and how materialisbe . n and society seemed society ca seeing the girls waiting on to lack any concept the balcony for us to arrive of road rules. Waste is was a truly moving experience; a major issue in Nepal, and I have never been greeted with the streets and water systems were such love by complete strangers, as I was very dirty compared to what we are used by these beautiful girls. Not once in my to in Australia. The lifestyle is also more time visiting them did I see any of them influenced by religion, women dress much exchange harsh words; they shared all of more conservatively, and I was woken very their belongings happily with each other early most mornings by the ‘Call To Prayer’, and greeted each one of us with hugs and which would echo through the streets. kisses when we arrived each day. The love Tell us about the orphanage you that they showed to each other and to all worked in? of the volunteers amazed me. Forgetmenot Children’s Home is one of What did you gain from this two orphanages run by Forgetmenot from experience? Hervey Bay Queensland. Lars Olsen founded It’s difficult to know where to start. I the organisation after he volunteered in gained a huge appreciation of how lucky Nepal for 5 months and fell in love with I am to have education, a clean and safe the many orphaned children, place to live, and most importantly, a family. who were full of happiness. After One thing which I will never forget about much fundraising and research, the girls in Nepal is how incredibly happy the home in Nepal was opened they all were and how appreciative they in 2006 and is now home to 21 were of what possessions they did have, girls ranging in age from 6 to 17. despite the struggles many of them had Forgetmenot also has another faced in early childhood. I realised, through children’s home in Uganda, which seeing their happiness, how much we take houses both boys and girls. for granted everything we have – especially In Nepal, the girls’ home is in in Australia – and how materialistic our Kathmandu across the road from society can be. Many people donate the school that the girls go to. to charities and generously support

organisations throughout the world; however, having the chance to meet and spend two weeks with the girls who would benefit from my fundraising was a really unique experience – and one I will never forget. As well as becoming close with the girls in the orphanage, I also made some close friends within the group who travelled to Nepal from around Australia. How can others contribute to these people? There are many ways in which people can contribute to Forgetmenot. You can make donations to the organisation through their website: On this website you can also sponsor children in the orphanage in Nepal or Uganda, or even become involved in a volunteer trip yourself. Plans for the future? When I have completed my HSC, I would really like to return to Nepal, either as part of another visitors’ trip or for a longer time to see the girls and help out at the home. Although I was only there for a few weeks in April, I formed a strong bond with the girls and think about them often now that I am back in Australia. Once you have met people as amazing as them, it’s impossible to put them behind you. Thanks Alexandra. new england focus 13

W H AT ’ S O N A R O U N D T H E R E G I O N / / F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 2

what’s NERAM Gala opening This exhibition includes an exquisite series of prints and is the culmination of a vibrant and intensive cross-cultural exchange between five highly respected Yithuwa Madarrpa artists and four renowned artists from across Australia. When Friday 10 February. Where New England Regional Art Museum, Kentucky Street, Armidale. Contact 6772 5255.



First Saturday chats

10+11 URALLA Show

Walcha Cup

Come along and enjoy the rides and sideshow alley. As usual, we also have the very popular Kentucky Station woodchop. Saturdays entertainment will be provided by Sidetracked. Spots are still available for our demolition derby, so be quick and book in.

This year is shaping as one of the best yet, with prize money on offer totaling $112,000 on Friday, and the back up Saturday non TAB day has prize money of $26,000.

When Saturday, February 4. Where Uralla Showground. Contact 6778 5099.

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When February 10 & 11. Where Walcha Race Course. Contact 6777 2272.

The next First Saturday chats will be hosted by Christopher Serow (Principal Solicitor) at the offices of Legal Minds, 157 Beardy Strteet, Armidale between 10am and 1pm on Saturday 4 February. This is a popular program, and bookings are essential on 1300 642 166. When 10am to 1pm; Saturday 4 February. Where Legal Minds, Beardy St

Mall. Contact 1300 642 166.

104th Annual Guyra Show With beef and cattle exhibitions, birds, cooking, crafts, arts, horse events and all of the sideshow alley entertainment, this year’s show is not to be missed. When Feb 17 and 18. Where Guyra Showground. Contact 6779 1093.


The Eastview Estate started as the grand vision of Steven and Lyn Dobson and has morphed into a major dining, conference and wedding destination.

eastview estate.


our business seems to be preservatives or pasteurization, unlike the factory expanding in what can only be made lagers. Ours is a natural product which is described as a tough market. hand made and hand bottled. Why is that? When we decided to build the brewery, I think We realised very early on that that the greatest catalyst was when Dan Murphy’s trying to please everyone would just lead to opened their amazing bottle shop in Armidale. our venue being as beige and boring as all the I did research by watching local buying habits rest. So we decided we’d endeavor to appeal to when they entered the store; easily over half those people who were looking for more than just a entering the store walked directly to the craft and meal or some wine, but were after a venue where imported beer section and made serious purchases. food, wine, and now beer are simply a part of a I even asked a few why they had made the total experience – where it was OK to have fun. purchases they did; the answer invariably was that Laughter and dancing, eclectic music and decor ... they had little or no interest in wine, but liked that marry that with happy staff and attention to detail. they could try many different and unique beers Ours is the total package; we know our food has for the price of a moderately priced New England a great reputation ... one which we strive to better wine. every day. That was the clincher for me ... we either are Our strength is that people who visit Eastview gross importers of these products from other states take away a memorable experience, which when and districts, or we dare to build a brewery and converted into word of mouth recommendation, produce a product which is representative of our means that we often book out. fabulous New England ... so I dusted off some of Describe a typical visit to Eastview for those my old recipes, sold my car and put together all who have not experienced it yet. of my savings and bought a brewery. Although a Great food, attention to detail, lot of the infrastructure we had in place amazing wine and beer ... but was helpful to have, we basically most of all ... FUN! had to build a new temperature Tell us about your controlled hot room for Laughter and ic brewery; what inspired year round fermentation ct le dancing, ec cor, with de d you to build it? and a new massive cool an music , We imported a room for lagering and cold happy staff ... fo. od urs is wine and beeragOe, with state of the art turnkey conditioning the European the total pack N! computerised brewery styles. We also put in English the focus on FU from Germany. It is the beer engines, which are the best investment we have hand pumps used in old English ever made. I am able to make pubs, to provide an even more very subtle changes to my vast authentic experience. library of recipes (I have a personal What previous experience do you portfolio of over 37 beers). All recipes are have in brewing? precisely repeatable and consistent. We import Like all professional brewers, I started as a proud our barley and hops directly from the country of home brewer. I now have a total of 36 years’ origin, which is pertinent to each individual style. brewing behind me, as well as stints as a beer We are brewing in the traditional way using no judge at shows. I started brewing from all grain

and natural hops over 30 years ago. I have the deepest respect and gratitude for home brewers. Over the years, many of them have helped me to hone my craft and have been very generous with their knowledge – something I found sadly lacking in the very competitive winemaking industry. Your partnership with your wife Lyn is a very big part of Eastview? To say that the whole entity that is Eastview would not stand if were not for Lyn, would be an understatement. Any vision I have had has been made possible by standing on her broad shoulders and knowing that I was gifted a solid and supportive foundation. Lyn is known to all who have dined at Eastview’s restaurant Pinot as an amazing chef. What people never see is how much she does behind the scenes, securing the most amazing local produce you could imagine, then working out how to balance those flavours, with delicacy. I could not have asked for a better partner in business of for that matter, life ... and of course I love her deeply. Describe the new bar. Pudgy McDucks, as we call the bar, is designed as a cross between an old Blues club I love in Chicago and a great old Jazz club I used to live in the French quarter of New Orleans ... you know the kind of place ... the bar is worn down by the innumerable elbows that have steadied themselves while listening to the slow throb of a Dixieland Blues piano, just out of tune enough to be interesting ... the sort of bar that in old black and white movies would be referred to as a ‘joint’; it has atmosphere with a capital ‘A’. With 9 beers on tap, you can taste such exotics as Fudpucker, a rice beer, New England Pale Ale, or even the delicious pilsner, Cunning Stunts. All the beers made on the premises and served fresh, You can even indulge in an old English Bitter called Old Trout, which is served the traditional way – at cellar temperature out of an English beer hand pump. Eastview has developed an enviable

reputation for functions and weddings. How has this impacted the business? We are proud to have hosted some of the most wonderful stylish weddings this season; a number of the brides choosing to arrive in style via our friends at Fleet helicopters at our heliport adjacent to the venue, affording a beautiful entrance to their special day framed by the vines and established gardens. One thing is for sure – a wedding at Eastview is not going to be your predictably rushed, same old, same old affair. Each is unique and individual. This last year we have also catered for a number of functions, especially business functions, as we are perfectly situated between Tamworth, Armidale and Walcha. Music has always been a part of our devious plan for global domination, and we have held a number of concerts over the last year ranging from Jazz, to Mic Conway’s special brand of Steam Punk music. All of this was done in conjunction with the wonderful support of the Uralla Arts community. You asked at the beginning of this interview why we are still thriving in a very challenging and changing economic environment. Well, there are two very important things I failed to mention – and decided to hold to the end. Firstly, we have embraced the internet in a way that almost no other business has in the New England. We do not try to sell, but entertain on our site, which has led to a following in the last year of over 150,000 people and significant sales via that medium alone. The other main factor is that we spend our meagre advertising budget to maximum advantage; it is probably self evident from this article that we do our research and have found that by only advertising in just one glossy magazine, online and relying on word of mouth for the rest, we have broken through where others have not. Thanks Steven.

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Story by Kate Hedges.




Renaissance of a New England Village.

he universal law of attraction is a strange and wonderful thing, and the little village of Kentucky is a great example of this. Twenty years ago, it was a cluster of cottages and houses on small acreages, a village store and a primary school with a dwindling number of students. Many of the vacant timber cottages were falling into ruin, variously occupied by itinerant people smoking suspicious substances, bats and brown snakes. A community erstwhile founded on war heroes and apple blossom had become quiet and peaceful, with an ageing population. Returning home one uni holiday, I was appalled to find one of our beautiful landmarks, the little railway station, completely demolished. Having never bothered to involve myself with anything to do with the preservation of local landmarks – that, of course, being the responsibility of the ‘older generation – I furiously interrogated my parents. “What the ... ? Why didn’t you do something?” Unfortunately, they said, it had just slipped past – people just hadn’t realised it was to be demolished, until suddenly it wasn’t there. This was certainly a wake-up call for a community so devoted to preserving its treasures – an ominous sign of what would follow if residents let down their guard even for a moment. Apart from this unfortunate incident of historical destruction being slipped past the normally vigilant Kentucky residents, other crucial local services were vigorously defended. The general store, community hall and public school were maintained, thankfully, as once lost these utilities never seem to be regained. Several enterprising Principals meant that Kentucky School started to gain ground by attracting children from surrounding areas on

the back of the solid, disciplined but progressive education provided, and the steady increase in school enrolments kept things ticking along until the next progressive shift in the wind. Meanwhile, many families quietly and successfully continued to run other businesses, such as Fine Wool Merino studs (for which the area is well known), farm tree nurseries, timber processing plants and the few remaining commercial orchards. So Kentucky was hanging in there, but not really going forward – like so many other places of similar demographics. Kentucky’s real shot in the arm came with the whole ‘tree-change’ movement, where the area had the advantage in the location bunfight in that it offered real bang for one’s real estate buck – acres of fertile granite soils to run horses, cattle, sheep, alpacas of course, and all the assorted barnyard motley crew that comes with living the rural dream. OK, so it’s a bit further out of town than other similar areas, but with the extra kilometres also came cheaper real estate, and an affordable place to live suddenly become a sought after little honey pot. This is where I believe the law of attraction really came into play; like everywhere, real estate prices jumped, and so did the fortunes of Kentucky. So what if the reality of taking over an old weatherboard cottage and acreage is running out of water, fixing busted pumps, dealing with chicken-nicking foxes and various other travails that have been left out of the real estate blurb. Practicality, common sense and willingness to ask someone who actually knows what they’re doing goes a long way in these parts. Locals chuckle to themselves that “townies who think they know it all and aren’t smart enough to ask for help won‘t last long”, and it has to be said that that is pretty true. Attempting the rural life without a good dose of practical country skill should not be taken on unless armed with a healthy measure

of humility, coupled with the ability to listen and things to do – especially such civilised pass... a good supply of alcohol is also highly times as sipping coffee, tasting wine, touring recommended, both for oneself and the rose gardens and visiting family friendly alpaca tradesmen or neighbours needed to help fix the farms. various glitches that come with owning your Meanwhile, it’s full steam ahead down at the own patch of dirt. A word to the wise ... for local school ... another lauded Principal took goodness’ sake, make friends with neighbours. over a few years ago and has injected his own Chances are, they know more about your brand of diversity and academic achievement property than you ever will – like how your front to its growing list of credentials. The Kentucky verandah may get flooded after a particularly School kids are real little crowd pleasers, heavy downpour, or how that lush paddock earning their keep with the ability to make you think will fatten 20 weaners is actually a hundreds of dollars for a few hours busking on bumper crop of weeds which needed spraying their regular trips to Sydney to perform at ... 3 weeks ago. well ... the Opera House, of course. This Luckily for all concerned, Kentucky is in between learning to ski at has so far attracted a veritable Lake Jindabyne and getting cornucopia of the most ready to tend their soon to Locals chuckle fascinating characters, who be constructed Kitchen at to themselves think have managed the rural Garden, from which th “townies who and l transition with skill and they will pluck fresh al it ow they kn gh to ou en t ar enthusiasm. Interestingly, it produce to turn into sm ’t en ar ‘t last seems to have a strong pull mouthwatering dishes in ask for help wonto be long” and it has etty for creative, artistic people, their specially designed said that that is pr and these newcomers have kitchen – thanks to a .. true brought a wealth of new skills, prestigious newly awarded hobbies, interests and businesses to Stephanie Alexander Kitchen our formerly rather sleepy community Garden grant. Whew. – and Kentucky has embraced them with open There is a variety of extracurricular activites arms. too, with regular classes held at the Hall by the Unusual and interesting roadside gardens Kentucky Progress Association offering such appeal to visitors, bikers and vintage car pursuits as clay modelling, archery and tennis, enthusiasts, who regularly tootle around the if one is so inclined; and of course, there are quiet lanes to catch glimpses of sculptures, our very own village markets now being held flowers, stone meditation retreats and quarterly. renovated churches, as well as the usual Where previously the only real option for comforting rural scenes of hay baling and kids social interaction for adults was a snatched on ponies. They are luckily not put off by the conversation by the petrol pump at the general odd spill around a particularly bad bend that store in the afternoon, locals now have has long since lost its slow down sign. There’s extensive lunch, morning/afternoon tea and always an obliging local to pick them up, dust dinner options – and we’re talking the good them off and send them on their way. stuff here too. Seared Salmon for lunch from Some visitors include former residents the local store, cappucinos and cake or high tea and people who have worked here or visited at the rose garden and to top it off, cocktails, Kentucky in its orcharding heyday, when buses wine tasting and a truly superb meal at the of sight see-ers would flock out for a tour of winery. And so it goes that life out in our neck the orchards when the apple blossom was of the woods is pretty good ... pretty damned at its peak. They invariably remark that it is good. wonderful to see a resurgence in both visitors Photos taken by Michael Taylor.

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focus on neram

NERAM has its first gala opening for the year on 10 February. And it’s a blockbuster! e are delighted to be showing From Blue Mud Bay to Central Australia: Prints from Basil Hall Editions, Darwin. This exhibition includes an exquisite series of prints and is the culmination of a vibrant and intensive cross-cultural exchange between five highly respected Yithuwa Madarrpa artists and four renowned artists from across Australia. The 23 selected exhibition works resulting from this exchange capture essential aspects of country at Blue Mud Bay in Eastern Arnhem Land, one of the most pristine and culturally significant places in Australia. Accompanied by ethno-biologist Glenn Wightman, anthropologist Howard Morphy and photographer Peter Eve, around the campfire at night they discussed culture, history, sea rights and events, each of the artists responding to the experience in their own way. Also showing is the 20th Anniversary Desert Mob Panel – where 40 artists from


almost every art centre in Central Australia have worked on editions of woodblock prints with the printers at Basiil Hall editions. Basil Hall will be here in Armidale to open the exhibition at 6pm on 10 February and will also be giving a printmaking workshop at NERAM. Places are limited, so contact NERAM to book your place. Also opening on the 10th are two selling exhibitions by regional artists Fay Porter from Uralla and David Bromley from the Mid North Coast. Working in oil stick and watercolour, Fay has investigated the effect of light on everyday objects – taking pleasure in the fleeting beauty around her. David’s work reflects the artist’s childhood memories in Sierra Leone and places he visited in Europe on the back of his BMW motorbike. Regional artists, Margaret Brooks and Christine McMillan will also present their works, processes and ideas from a residency at Draw International in France. Draw is an exploration of the tactile and multimodal processes of drawing. This

exhibition is both drawing as research and research of drawing. Finally, we have our beautiful permanent collection show – Seasonal Fare. Watch the flow of the seasons – autumn colours replaced by the cool tones of crisp winter, spring blossoms emerging and giving way to hazy summers – through the eyes of Howard Hinton and Chandler Coventry, NERAM’s two major benefactors. Come and enjoy your art museum – a wonderful way to start the year!

more info. NERAM hours: Tues – Fri, 10am to 5pm; Sat and Sun,10am to 4pm. Harvest Café is open Tue to Sun from 10am to 4 pm. Phone: 6772 5255. For more information


Uralla Branch of the United Hospital Auxiliaries of NSW inc. The Uralla Branch of the United Hospital Auxiliaries of N.S.W Inc. consists of 29 enthusiastic members, who have raised funds to purchase much needed equipment for the Armidale hospital and Uralla Community Health. Their main fundraising activity is working at the hospital kiosk, and fourteen of their members do this, in three groups, two days a month. Other fundraising activities include catering for Council meetings, our annual street stall, and the occasional

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market stall. Over the past five years, equipment purchased for the hospital includes an imaging table and associated equipment for ultrasounds, an Anesthetic Induction Monitor (part), a four bay sure power battery charger, a Hovermat air supply, a Hug-U-Vac regular vacuum positioner, an electric bed with high weight capacity, and a variety of aides for paediatric physio, at a total cost of over $21,000. Equipment purchased for Uralla Community Health

includes a baby change table, curtains, frieze, pictures, a podiatry drill and handpiece and five double action clippers, at a total cost of over $3,000. Members attend Zone and Regional Conferences and our annual luncheon, which is a very enjoyable social occasion. Meetings are held on the second Tuesday of the month,

in the Memorial Institute.

the plug! New members would be very welcome, and ladies interested are requested to contact Bev Carlon, 6778 3758, or Bev Niland, 6778 4328.


s e y l o Marg Hpy Bihday, Char les Dicke .

Award-winning British actress Miriam Margolyes returns to Australia this year for an encore national tour of her one-woman show, Dickens’ Women, which includes two performances at the Glasshouse in Port Macquarie on Tuesday 17 April at 7.30pm and Wednesday 18 April at 11am.


ringing to life twenty-three of including Fly the Dog in Babe, The Matchmaker Charles Dickens’ most affecting in Disney’s Mulan, and the Singing Teacher in the and colourful characters, Oscar-winning Happy Feet. Margolyes presents her powerful, International stage credits include Sir Peter comprehensive, and at times Hall’s Romeo & Juliet and The Importance of hilarious expose of Dickens the writer and Being Earnest, The Threepenny Opera, The the man, and the real-life women who found Vagina Monologues and most recently A Day themselves immortalised on his pages. in the Death of Joe Egg at the Citizens Theatre, Nominated for an Olivier Award and with tours Glasgow. Margolyes appeared as Madame throughout the UK, USA, Australia, New Zealand Morrible in the West End and Broadway and India, this captivating theatrical experience productions of the smash hit musical Wicked. returns as part of the worldwide In Australia, Margolyes has also celebration in 2012 of 200th appeared on stage with Melbourne anniversary of Charles Dickens’ Theatre Company and Sydney birth. Theatre Company. In 2012 l An internationa As Melbourne’s Age she will appear in the ABC icon of stage and reported, “When she television adaptation of Kerry screen, Miriam e appears as herself, Greenwood’s Phyrne Fisher on Margolyes is most Margolyes sparkles with Murder Mystery Series, which s ’ ld or w of the acter intelligence and enthusiasm runs on ABC1 from February celebrated char .. when she inhabits Dicken’s to April. actors. characters, you’d swear they Winner of a BAFTA-award for lived and breathed in front Best Supporting Actress in Martin of you.” Margolyes will present Scorsese’s The Age of Innocence, characters from Martin Chuzzlewit, Sketches Margolyes has also received Best Supporting by Boz, The Uncommercial Traveller, Nicholas Actress at the LA Critics Circle Awards, a Sony Nickleby, The Old Curiosity Shop, Oliver Twist, Radio Award for Best Actress, and multiple Domby and Son, David Copperfield, Mrs Lirripers’ Theatregoers’ Choice Awards. In 2002, Margolyes Lodgings, Little Dorrit, Great Expectations, Bleak was awarded the Order of the British Empire House plus excerpts from Dicken’s Collected (OBE) by HM The Queen. Letters. An international icon of stage and screen, Book Tickets Miriam Margolyes is one of the world’s most for Miriam Margolyes in Dickens’ celebrated character actors. With an extensive film Women, on Tuesday 17 April at 7.30pm and television career, her credits include Ladies or Wednesday 18 April at 11am. in Lavender, Being Julia, End of Days, The Life Glasshouse Box Office (02) 6581 8888. and Death of Peter Sellers, How to Lose Friends & Alienate People, with Barbra Streisand in Yentl, and as Professor Sprout in the film adaptations of You can also find out more on www. Harry Potter. She has appeared alongside Rowan including several live Atkinson in Blackadder, and on the BBC hit series interviews with Miriam Margolyes. The Port Merlin and Doc Martin. In 1996, she starred as Macquarie performances of Dickens’ Women The Nurse in Baz Luhrmann’s film adaptation of are presented by Andrew McKinnon Fine Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet. Entertainment and Arts and Health Australia As a voice actress, Margolyes has given life ( to some of film’s most memorable characters, new england focus 19


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artist profile


Gallery 126.

Kerry Wilson is exhibiting at Gallery 126 during February. She explains that her inspiration comes from the strong contrasts in the local rock, trees and landscapes. hen and why did you first become interested in art? Art has always been in my life. I’m not sure when this started, but I’ve always liked making things. There were encouraging teachers along the way; this includes high school teacher, Pauline Fuller and local artist and teacher, Fay Porter. Art School was a natural progression, and I gained a degree at Northern Rivers College in Lismore, followed by a Graduate Diploma at Sydney College of the Arts. What materials do you prefer to work with? A wide range of materials and techniques are used in my work. There is a certain dichotomy, where I tend to use oils en plein air and acrylics in the studio. The outdoor oil paintings are direct impressions of the day. The studio works are multi layered pieces. In recent drawings, I have rediscovered charcoal and pencils. Lino block prints are another medium that I’m revisiting. Collage and mixed media are a mainstay. Why have you chosen to exhibit at Gallery 126? Gallery 126 supports local regional artists and the local arts industry. Gallery 126 fills the

role of a commercial gallery in a regional centre, which not many regional galleries can maintain. It is exciting to be a part of the local art community and represented at a supportive gallery. Many local artistss are landscape painters, and there is a sense of community and identity through plein air painting. What can we expect to see at your exhibition? This exhibition is the culmination of work from the local area, over the past few years. I have paintings, drawings, lino block prints, collage and photographs. The Dangars Falls paintings are plein air, which are painted outdoors on site. Others are worked up in the studio, referencing drawings and photographs. The attraction to stronger contrasts and bold shapes is a progression to simplification and hints at abstraction. The charcoal and printing tie in with the use of strong dark shapes. The pull between detail and simplification is part of the challenge, and both are represented in the exhibition. Where do you get your inspiration from? The local landscape is a constant source of inspiration. I am attracted to the strong contrasts in the rock and trees, patterns of light and dark that occurs in places like Dangars

Falls and Bald Rock. Working en plein air allows me to record the seasons and weather patterns. We have gone from drought to flood in the last few years. This is traced in the series of paintings in this exhibition. Artists who inspire you? Fred Williams is the quintessential Australian landscape painter. Fred made it cool to paint gum trees again, and landscape became a part of the Australian psyche. Other inspirations have been the abstract expressionists like Motherwell, Kline and Still for their use of bold black shapes. Margaret Preston is also someone I have always empathised with. The direction in my work is toward further simplification of the landscape and allegories that occur.

Exhibition dates The opening is Friday 3 February, 5pm to 7pm. The exhibition will run from 3 February to 25 February.

new england focus 21

New England

Spaghettini with Italian meatballs, shaved parmesan and fresh basil from red grapevine.

eat. Dining Guide is now available on the App Store. 22 new england focus focus.

eat. The Royal Hotel

Potato cakes with smoked salmon, dill creme and baby spinach.

Indulge in our delicious cuisine made with only the best local ingredients and prepared by expert chefs. We are providing a wide array of fine dining in a relaxing and modern atmosphere.

Courthouse Coffee Relax and enjoy the atmosphere of the Armidale Mall at the Courthouse Coffee Shop, with the owners Chrissy and Peter Rologas. Gourmet range of cakes and slices, mouth-watering lunches, and all-day breakfasts. Look forward to seeing you all at Courthouse Coffee!

Head Chef Danou Cullen.

Marsh Street, Armidale t 6772 1444 w open 7 Days. Dinner: 6 - 9pm. Lunch: noon - 2pm.

Chrissy & Peter Rologas

160 Beardy Street Mall, Armidale t 6772 0099 open Mon-Fri: 7.30am to 5pm

The Coughing Gherkin The Coughing Gherkin is a fun and funky establishment with an emphasis on fresh, flavoursome, low cost and informal food. The specialities are Tapas, Mexican and Pizza, and sharing is encouraged. Families are welcome, and the children have not been left out, with the Tiny Gherks’ food menu available for the little ones. The Gherkin is fully licensed, with an extensive wine list, specialty beers and fresh made cocktails designed to match the eclectic food style. A place to try something a little different. Dine in or Takeaway. Open Wednesday to Saturday, from 6pm. From 14 February, we will be open on Tuesday nights as well. View the current menu online at or follow us on Facebook for our weekly specials.

Owners Brian & Natalie Powles.

1/117 Beardy Street, East Mall, Armidale t 6771 4008 w open Wednesday to Saturday from 6pm.

new england focus 23




any of us have grown up experiencing the die-hard passion of Rugby League supporters. Over the past few weeks, Armidale has seen a resurgence of this passion, with the Parramatta Eels set to converge on the city for their Pre-season Training Camp at the University of New England’s Sporting Facilities – SportUNE, from 31 January to 3 February. The Eels visit is part of UNE’s sponsorship arrangement, which also sees the university as a jersey sponsor of the Parramatta Eels for the 2012 NRL season. This is the first time that a tertiary institution had become a major partner of an NRL club. During their visit, the Eels will stay on campus to utilise UNE’s state-of-the-art training and sports science facilities and raise awareness of the wide range of sporting courses now on offer at UNE. This year, UNE has added to its sporting credentials by significantly expanding the number of sports majors, with new specialities in sports management and physical education, building

24 new england focus.

on the existing programs in sports science and exercise physiology. Whether you’re an Eels supporter or not, it’s hard not to be swept up in the excitement of the team’s impending visit to Armidale and to appreciate just how talented and inspiring these athletes are. The Eels visit offers wonderful opportunities for the Armidale community and a rare chance for locals to mix with a First Grade NRL team. The players will be welcomed to Armidale at a Civic Reception, in the Armidale Mall, Tuesday 31 January at 4pm, offering fans the opportunity to meet the players and have merchandise and memorabilia signed. Retailers are being encouraged to get on board and offer promotions, have fun and dress the mall in blue and gold. In the case of wet weather, the Civic Reception will move to the Armidale Town Hall. There will be open training sessions at SportUNE on Wednesday February 1 from 8.45am and Thursday February 2, from 9.45am, where the public are invited to come along and see the boys

in action as they prepare to take on the 2012 season. On Wednesday at 5pm, a free Junior Coaching Clinic will take place at Harris Park for the Under 18s. Whether you’re new to league or already play and want to build on some skills, this will be an invaluable afternoon. It is an opportunity for the kids to learn from the very best in the game in a relaxed atmosphere and enjoy an afternoon with friends. Also on the Wednesday afternoon at Harris Park, the Armidale Junior Rams Rugby League registration will take place from 4pm. For the over 18s there is a ‘Dinner with the Eels’ on Thursday, 2 February, 6pm at the Armidale

Ex-Services Club. This is a not to be missed opportunity for NRL fans – a night that puts you right next to the players, from the canapés and drinks on arrival to when you put down your dessert spoon. There will be prizes, memorabilia auctions, a candid Q and A session and a special guest MC. Tickets for the dinner are $60 each and available in tables of 10 through the Armidale ExServices club on 6778 0600. If you would like any further information on the Parramatta Eels Pre-Season Training Camp, please phone Ben Bible on 6773 5186 or email You can also find out more on SportUNE’s website at


Powles Brian Powles from red grapevine talks about their new menu and his 8th year at the restaurant.


ell us a little about your new menu. It is a mixture of some favourites, brand new dishes and also some more traditional dishes that have been reworked and modernised. Warm weather has finally arrived to Armidale this year, and we've loved the opportunity to match it with some summertime food and wines. After 8 years at the restaurant, does designing a menu come easily? Well, we've certainly had plenty of practice, but in some ways it actually becomes harder over time. It's easy to be a brand new place with a buzz of fresh ideas, but once your customers get to know you and develop expectations of your restaurant, there are a couple of extra challenges. There are pizzas, pastas and sweets on our menu that we can't remove, as we have so many regular customers who would kill us. On the other hand, our customers welcome fresh new ideas. There's such a wide range of people living in and visiting Armidale, and the aim is to design a menu with all types in mind. It's part of the challenge of being established for a long time in a diverse community. Has Armidale changed much in that time? A lot! We moved here on a Saturday afternoon in 2004, and I remember the town centre was deserted! We've had a lot of retail development since then, and now the town is a lot more cosmopolitan. We're at the centre of Australia's newest wine industry, and the hospitality industry has also come a long way. Many of the pubs have done big renovations, and there are also a lot of smaller food operators doing really exciting things. It's meant more competition for us, but it's also become a local industry that we're really proud to be a part of. How has the restaurant industry changed over the years? Although certain trends come and go, what has changed is that there is so much more awareness of food. With celebrity chefs, the internet, travel and cookbooks, customers are very knowledgable now and have a clear idea

of what they expect. With times a little tougher financially, customers are also really conscious of value for money, and health is also a lot more important to people than it used to be. This has been pretty humbling for some chefs, and a lot have had to re think their motivations. We've always wanted red grapevine to be a place where customers could go to be looked after really well and eat great flavoursome food. While being creative with food is really exciting, the customer experience is the most important thing for us. Who inspires you? Our house is exploding with Nat's cookbook collection and her obsession with food magazines. I also follow a handful of really inspiring food blogs online. Celebrity-wise, my favourite chefs are Giorgio Locatelli, who is an icon of northern Italian cooking, and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and his passion for all things food. In general, I'm inspired by the lifestyle of the classic Italian family – every single thing they eat is a very important part of their lives. What's the future for red grapevine? We're not going anywhere! We love what we do, and we have a fantastic base of loyal customers and staff. An important part of our food philosophy is to make as much as possible from scratch, and we'd like to continue to grow in this direction. This year (together with the guys at the Gherkin) we will retailing our homemade Ciabatta directly to the public for the first time. We're also planning some cross promotional events with some of my friends in the local wine industry. There'll be plenty of new menus, and specials each week. We have a lot of plans – and can't wait to get on with them. Phone (02) 6772 2822 or v isit us at

new england focus



A special focus feature

26 new england focus.

focus feature Women in business

Elizabeth Egan. Armidale Chamber of Commerce

As the Armidale Business Chamber prepares for a very busy year ahead, Elizabeth Egan talks to us about the vital role sponsorship plays in the Chamber’s operations and introduces us to the Chamber Board for 2012. i Liz. FOCUS is really excited to be taking on the major media sponsorship for this year’s Armidale Business Awards. What role does sponsorship generally play in the work of the Chamber? Well to be honest, the Chamber would find it practically impossible to function without the generosity of its sponsors. We are a not for profit organisation, and our main role is to provide current and relevant business information to our members and the wider community. Very often this takes the form of running seminars and hosting guest speakers at our regular Members Meets and NEEW breakfasts, which would be very difficult without the financial and in kind support of our sponsors. Can you give us an example? There are different levels of sponsorship but for example, our Platinum sponsor is ‘yes Optus’. They not only provide financial support for our events, but in 2012 are providing several digital technology seminars to our members – which helps the business community stay abreast of the rapidly changing digital environment. QantasLink helps us with airfares for our


guests, and Inland Technology has sponsored an upgrade of the Chamber office technology, which has proved invaluable to our daily operations – especially given that we have a new website. We are also particularly grateful to TAFE NE, Trade & Investment NSW for speaker fee contributions, and ABL Apprenticeship Centre for their ongoing support of the Business Chamber. As you can see, sponsorship comes in all shapes and sizes! Are there benefits to the sponsors themselves? We like to think so. Our website and our events are very well patronised, and the sponsors branding gets quite a bit of exposure in the business community. But the benefits go beyond this. Most sponsors have said that they enjoy the opportunity to work with the community and see it as a constructive and collaborative relationship. Regina Davidson from Smith Sharpe and Abbott says that they see their support of the Chamber as contributing to the overall wellbeing of the whole community. So does the Chamber have all the spon-

er), Dr Lou Conway (Secretary), Matt Meehan, sors they need? Anthea MacPherson, Chris Hancock, Hugh We always need sponsors! But the contribuPiper, Peter Enlund and Peter Rickard. tion to our work doesn’t have to be ongoing. And what do the Board do? Very often we have companies and organisaWe’re very fortunate to have such an expetions decide to contribute to a particular event, rienced Board, because their main role is to because it aligns with their own business lead the decisions and direction that objectives or message. We always the Chamber takes in meeting the welcome this type of support! needs of the Members. Each Now, I believe there is a Board Member has a genuine new Chamber Board in d ar Bo ch Ea nuine ge a s interest in the local business place for 2012? ha r be em M cal community and has taken There is a new Board interest in the lo ity un business comm this on this voluntary role to asin place for the coming and has taken onassist year, and they are a parsist in its development and to le voluntary ro ent and ticularly experienced and success. pm lo ve de in its enthusiastic group – ready Wrapping up for this success.. to take on what is already month, how are the plans looking like a huge year for the for the Business Awards comBusiness Chamber. ing along? Our new President is Susan Cull from Preparations are underway, with nominaICT International. Susan has been an active tions for the Business awards open on February member of the Chamber for the past few 1. These can be submitted on the Armidale years and brings with her a wealth of experiBusiness Chamber website. We are really lookence and energy, as does Vice President, Gorm ing forward to seeing who has been making Kirsch. They’ll really make a great leadership an impact in business locally – this is going to team. be a particularly exciting and competitive year! Other members are David Simmons (Treasur- Thanks Liz.

new england focus 27

feature Women Wome Wo me en iin n bu b business siness focus fe

Kurt“ Eggart”

Greta Free

Jess and I pride ourselves on our friendly committed and caring approach to all who deal with Kurt Eggert Real Estate.

Arna Henry.

How long have you been in the industry? I have been in the Industry in both property management and sales for approximately ten years, being the 3rd generation of our family to have served in this industry continuously for the last seventy years since 1941. Tell us about your business? The business has been successfully active for six years now, and I having been managing rentals and conducting sales in Armidale with my brother Kurt Eggert. As the director and owner, I have had extensive experience within large real estate offices at Grafton NSW & Canberra ACT (Managing up to 400 properties within an office with over 2,500 properties in its care). I also acted as Sales and Property Management Manager within a 6 office Real Estate firm in Newcastle for 3 years.

28 new england focus.

Meet the team.

Kurt Eggert Real Estate The personal rewards of owning my own business? I have gained much personal satisfaction purely from having many happy landlords and tenants. It is very satisfying when our landlords and tenants offer thanks for our hard work and personal attention. We often receive flowers and thank you cards and return business due to our happy renting experiences. Plans for the future? I plan to remain focused on expanding and growing the rent role ... NOT to be the biggest in Armidale but the BEST. I endeavour to offer continuing personal experience, honesty and a caring approach to all our office deal with. I WOULD LIKE TO EXTEND MY GRATITUDE AND THANKS TO MY EVER LOYAL STAFF MEMBER JESS FISCHER, WHO IS A VERY KNOWLEDGEABLE AND CARING EMPLOYEE. THANKS JESS.

Embody Wellness Studio

February 4 brings the exciting launch of the new specialised studio to Armidale. Embody is a Pilates-inspired studio, incorporating the following wellness related classes: dance, ballet, Jazz, Hip Hop, ‘Strength and Balance’, ChiBall Method and pure Pilates sessions. Specialised group classes and individually tailored programs are structured for all age groups and ability, with specific focus on issues such as bone density, pre and postnatal, flexibility and weight-loss, meeting your personal needs as you move through life. The studio has been made possible by the talents and experience of three key local women. Joanne Knight – Joanne has extensive experience in teaching dance, specialising in ballet. Joanne is a registered ballet teacher for the Royal Academy of Dance, has been teaching for

15 years and is the principal of The Dance Studio in Armidale. Joanne is also offering private ballet lessons. Liz Moffitt – Liz is a physiotherapist who loves Pilates! She enjoys working holistically with clients, helping them take charge of their body and health. Liz uses her certification in Pilates with Physiotherapy techniques to empower her clients to heal, strengthen and move well through all life stages. Gretta Free – With over ten years’ experience in fitness and personal training, Gretta has now shifted her focus to Pilates and Wellness centred classes, specialising in exercise for older adults, Pilates injury rehabilitation and pre and post natal Pilates. Gretta’s aim is to create quality of life for her clients through mindful exercise.

focus featuree Wo Women W omen in business

... I have been n encouraged nco cour urag ur aged b ag by y th the e “wa warm warmth rmth rm th h and and support sup uppo port

Healthy He eal alth In nsp spiiratti Inspirations isn’t just a gym. ggy y We are a just liife fest styl ylle. . lifestyle.

who of tthe h llocals, he o al oc a s, w ho have ha ave embraced emb e m race c d ass pa off th us a part rt o tthe e community. c co mmunity. . mm

Tammy Homewood.

Healthy Inspirations

Meg Georkas.

Hutchinson and Harlow Real Estate

How long have you owned your business? My husband,

How long have you owned your business? I have always been

Adam, and I have owned Healthy Inspirations for just over

involved in the background with Hutchinson and Harlow Real

two years now, and the centre recently celebrated its 4th

Estate, ever since Peter and I became partners in the business in

Birthday. In this short space of time we have helped the local

2004. In February 2005 I came into the office to help out for a

ladies of Armidale lose over 3,000 kg!

few weeks when a staff member left, and I have been here ever

Tell us about your business. Healthy Inspirations isn’t

since! I completed my Diploma of Property (Real Estate) in 2008

just a gym. We are a lifestyle. We offer so much more than

and I am a licensed real estate agent.

just fitness. From our successful and individual weight loss program, to an exciting, jam packed group fitness class schedule, we also have a children’s playroom so mums can workout with their children close by – plus a wonderful relaxation chair that you can use as reward after a workout. 2012 brings some exciting changes, including the addition of Self Defence Classes and also the continuation of our unique weight loss program operating in Walcha. What personal rewards do you gain from your

Tell us about your business? At Hutchinson and Harlow Real

Estate we are committed to providing you with exceptional professional service, and we always strive to bring you the ultimate real estate experience. We do not have a rental department, and we became the first sales only office in regional NSW in 2004. This unique position allowed us to do what we do best – sell houses. What are the personal rewards that you have gained

business? I love working with other women and seeing

from your business? Peter and I are huge supporters of the

them achieve their individual goals. Every day I am inspired

community, especially the Locals 4 Locals brand – a campaign

by my members. I am also very lucky to have a great group of

that emphasises supporting local businesses that in turn

women working with me -– I would be nothing without my

support local events. Not a month goes by that the HH logo


isn’t being used by sporting groups, schools or clubs.

Kate Thorton.

GJ Gardner

How long have you owned your business? It’s hard to believe that we have just had our four year anniversary since opening our doors at 152 Rusden Street, Armidale. After just having some time off with family over the holidays we are now back into the swing of what looks to be another huge year a head. What areas do you build in? Over the past four years, our office has grown to the largest geographic area in NSW, building in Inverell, Glen Innes, Tenterfield, Guyra, Armidale, Uralla, Walcha, Narrabri and Moree. We travel into the different areas meeting so many people; it is one of the best things about my work I enjoy. What are the personal rewards that you have gained from your business? The personal rewards that have been gained from our business would have to be our recent move into our new home, that previously was our Display Home. The kids finally have their own bedrooms and space to play; it makes such a difference having a well designed home that suits your family and lifestyle. I enjoy the excitement of being involved from the ground up working with our clients, so they can achieve the best outcome that is designed to suit what they wish to achieve.

new england focus 29

Women in business focus feature

Pearl Perch Heidi & Kyleen.

2 Creative Media

Describe a typical day on the job? • Start 7.30am production meeting, including client strategic planning. • Reply to emails. • Client management and event management, analyze event progress and client campaigns, brain storming, story boarding, drawing, logo design, advertising campaigns, product design and implementation, staff scheduling, client meetings and campaign pitches, business development. Do you find there are any challenges being a female in this field? Yes, most Creative Directors, Brand and Marketing Managers are Male 40+. Most of our clients are also Male 40+ and often assume that a female, definitely under 40 years, may not have the experience and capabilities of our male counterparts. How do you juggle raising a family with children and work? You don’t. In the real world, you live in constant guilt; one has to play second fiddle. It’s complicated, perhaps not ideal, and only suited to the very few women who have very supportive husbands. Our children also know no different, as they all spent their first year in the business every day, before attending childcare. From the labour ward to the office space, all within one week. It’s one of those things you just don’t think about, and therefore it has to be part of your make-up. We’re highly driven, very determined, dedicated and passionate about what we do, and this is very obvious in the work we deliver.

30 new england focus.

Kristy Paull.

Pearl Perch

How long have you owned your business? My husband Brendan and I have owned Pearl Perch now for 6 years. I worked for the previous owners for almost 2 years while doing 2 other casual jobs – and figured why not go into business and do the hours for myself. Tell us about your business. Pearl Perch Takeaway is a well known takeaway that has been around for what we think is over 30 years. We are centrally located between Centro and Kmart plaza and offer a great range of takeaway foods and the best burgers in Armidale. We also make home made fish cocktails and potato scallops.

We have about six staff members who are all “friendly and hard working, which makes my job easier. ” What are the personal rewards that you gain from your business? One huge personal reward that my husband and I are gaining from the business is having great staff. Another personal reward for me are the customers – thank you for your ongoing support, and we hope to see you all in the new year.

Julie Hadgett.

Angelic Beauty

How long have you been a Beauty Therapist and owned your business? I have been in the beauty industry for over 17 years. This is my third business; I had a break from business for five years and lived in the Newcastle and Hunter area, where I managed a beauty salon and day spas. I opened my business in Uralla In May 2009, where I was only working out of one room. My business was growing, so on 6 April 2011, I moved into bigger premises – and it has gone from strength to strength. What advice would you give to young people who would like to do Beauty Therapy? My advice is to advance their training all the time, as the beauty industry has moved into cosmeceutical anti-ageing treatment that targets individuals’ skin, and the products now are getting remarkable results. What is your business philosophy? My philosophy ... well, I am motivated by giving my clients great results with their skin, providing exceptional service, a pampering experience and listening to what my clients’ needs are. What are your future plans? I am a qualified Assessor and Trainer and will be training two women this year who are doing an external beauty course. My future plans are to teach beauty therapy.

I focus on the ‘whole body’ when people visit me, and by doing this I can help my client clear a skin concern, lose weight, have more energy and feel really good all at once.

Kate Hedges.

Kentucky Roses

What do you love about running your Kentucky Roses? Promoting Kentucky! I love that it is becoming a destination for day trippers and that such a small community can offer so wide a variety of activities in one day. Everyone who comes here is realising what locals already know – how great it is! What are the challenges of running the business? I‘d say the same as any small business, with a few other factors thrown in. When we started, we were determined to let the business grow organically; but, there comes a time when you have to make decisions to keep moving forward to offer a standard of service that is expected these days. I think we have done that really well, as running and maintaining an outdoor café comes with a whole range of challenges we never expected! Future plans? To offer a larger range of plants in the nursery – where possible, ones that I grow in the garden myself ... true old fashioned perennials that have stood the test of time and climate. Also, to extend the garden even more.

Nat Meredith.

Main Hair Design

How long have you owned the business? I have owned this business since April 2011 and have been working here for about two and a half years before that. All up, I have been in this industry for 13 years from when I began my apprenticeship. Tell us about your business. At Main Hair Design, we pride ourselves on our high level of skill, coupled with excellent service. We consistently update our techniques, to offer the latest looks in fashion. We are also the only stockists of Redken colours and products in Armidale, with a full range in store. We have monthly specials listed on Facebook to cater for everyone. We also offer 100% Human Hair Extensions, as well as facial waxing and tinting. At Main Hair Design, we offer our clients complimentary barista made coffee, tea or hot chocolate, followed by a beautiful head and neck massage while we shampoo your hair. When you come in, you can expect to find a friendly team offering amazing colours, excellent hairstyles and unbelievable products. The personal rewards that you gain from your business? I would have to say that the greatest sense of satisfaction comes from when a client comes in and can enjoy the whole experience, as well as the actual services that we provide. Having people leave our salon feeling more comfortable within their own skin is great reward for us all.

Melissa Wood. Botanically Beautiful How long have you owned your business? I’ve owned my business for 18 months, and it’s been the most rewarding venture I have ever undertaken. I am leaping into 2012 with an exciting new emphasis on beauty, health and wellbeing from within. Tell us about your business. Botanically Beautiful is not just an ordinary beauty salon. I teach the higher truth and higher principles to natural beauty, health and wellbeing to give my client better results. A new era is evolving in the beauty industry, where beauty therapy meets wellbeing. For longterm, healthful and meaningful results, you cannot have one without the other. I focus on the ‘whole body’ when people visit me, and by doing this I can help my client clear a skin concern, lose weight, have more energy and feel really good all at once. I incorporate a natural, plant based skin care range, a high nutrient dense alkaline nutritional plan and a specialised medical grade water technology into my treatments and homecare regimes. The personal rewards that you gain from your business? This is the best part! I get a great sense of pleasure when I help people have more vibrance, more energy, a better self image and more confidence. This all comes from having beautiful skin and a healthy, balanced body.

new england focus 31

ffocus ocu cus ffeature eature Women in business sss fo

Miriam Prendeville.

Psychotherapist & Art Therapist

How long have you been in Armidale, and what brought you here? I grew up in Ireland and after spending some years as a primary teacher, I decided to go on a 12 month trip around the world. I lived in Melbourne for 10 years, but moved here last September. Having always had my son in the Steiner system of education, I was committed to finding a place close to his dad which also had a Steiner school, and that place was Armidale! Tell us about your work. While still in Ireland, I trained as a Psychotherapist, and since then trained as an Art Therapist in Melbourne. I worked in private practice for the past few years and in that time, I assisted clients to free themselves from addictive behaviours and patterns such as smoking and drug use, depression and relationship issues. Since moving to Armidale, fellow Art therapy graduate, Laura Re and I have established ‘The Chrysalis Arts Project’, which we hope to develop into an Arts centre devoted to the use of the Arts for emotional expression and healing. We are both passionate about the use of the Arts in general for healing past wounds and traumas and have found that art communicates from a deeper place than just talking about an issue and can often express what is hidden – even from ourselves.

32 new england focus.

Leigh Kelly.

Flowers @ your place

How long have you owned your business? Flowers at your place developed from a love of gardens and flowers. My garden had become quite large and costly, so I thought perhaps I could sell some flowers. I had no idea at that time selling a few flowers would change my working life so dramatically. Tell us about your business. I began selling seasonal flowers such as roses (I have around 2,000 bushes), lilies, dahlias. As my business developed, I supplemented the flowers I grew by buying flowers. I now sell a combination of home grown and bought flowers. Along the way, I began to do floristry courses, as people began to request flowers for weddings, birthdays, funerals and other special occasions. The personal rewards that you gain from your business? I deliver flowers to homes, offices, nursing homes, business houses. I have developed so many friendships through delivering flowers and often find myself having a cup of tea or perhaps posting letters or writing envelopes while delivering flowers. I want people to not just think of flowers as something for a special occasion, but something that can be enjoyed all the time. Contact details for Flowers at your place are: Phone: 6778 3454 Mobile: 0423 614 127 email:

Lucilla Marshall.

EPIC Landscape Architecture

How long have you owned your business? EPIC Landscape Architecture was launched in September 2011, when my family and I relocated to Armidale from Nth Queensland. Tell us about your business. EPIC Landscape Architecture is a practice dedicated to producing high quality creative landscape solutions by creating great places and spaces that inspire the soul. At EPIC, our focus is to Empower, Play, Innovate and Create with our client, to design and construct truly great places. The business is able to supply landscape designs, documentation and project management of all your landscape needs, including residential, commercial development, parks, streetscapes, city image projects, strategic and recreation planning projects. The personal rewards that you gain from your business? I find designing very rewarding. I have a particular passion for community participation in the design process. Through my job I am able to explore innovative and natural design options for landscape developments, particularly children’s play spaces. I hope that through this exploration that I am able to create memorable spaces for my clients and the community that will leave a sustainable legacy.

focus feature Women in business

Our products are bursting with skin nourishing vitamins, minerals and antioxidants and are completely free of toxins & synthetics.

Lel Banks.

elly b Organic Skincare

Lynette Salvador. Northern Tablelands Conveyancing

When did you begin your business? I created elly b ORGANIC SKINCARE over 10 years ago. Researching, developing and experimenting have always been ongoing – discovering the best certified organic ingredients to use in our products. Tell us about your business. Located at Uralla, elly b ORGANIC SKINCARE is one of a few truly certified organic skincare brands in Australia; we are certified organic by the OFC Australia. Our products are bursting with skin nourishing vitamins, minerals and antioxidants and are completely free of toxins and synthetics. We deliver results by working holistically to improve skin's health and vitality. The healthier your skin – the more resistant it is to the ageing process. Our range includes cleansers, moisturisers and special treatments, including the ever popular Dream Cream. What are your guiding principles? We believe in 'beauty that cares'. Beauty that cares about you, your health and your environment. We show we care by subjecting our products to the rigorous certification process. We educate our customers through ingredient disclosure and information on our packaging, website and brochures. And we step more lightly on our planet; all our ingredients are plant based. Armidale stockists: grassroots eco-store, Chique Hair Face Body and Uralla: Angelic Beauty Therapy.

How long have you owned your business? I began my working career as a junior legal secretary for the firm Patterson, Byfield and Morrow here in Uralla until my early twenties, when I relocated to Sydney. I had long held the desire to return to live in the country, to where I felt a common mentality and understanding, but it was not until 2003 that I was in a position to do so. In early 2011 I decided that it was time to take another leap of faith and open my own Conveyancing Practice in Uralla. Working and living in Uralla also provides me with the opportunity to become involved with local associations, local business people and to re-establish myself in the community. Tell us about your business? The main focus of my practice is rural and residential conveyancing, and I have been fortunate to act on matters within the New England and wider New South Wales area. The personal rewards that you gain from your business? I like to take particular care to make all my clients my priority, ensuring that they are fully informed as to the processes and happy with the outcome.

Di Johnston.

Armidale Toys

How long have you owned your business? Armidale Toys has now been open 12 months in our Dangar St location near Black Dot Music. Previous to the move and the change of name, I owned the Toyworld store for 5 years. How has the first year in your new premises been? The first year in the new location with the change in the type of toys we sell has been excellent. I would like to thank the Armidale community for supporting Armidale Toys in 2011 so well. I have been really lucky to have such fantastic staff. Nadine works most afternoons from 3pm, and Jess fills in here and there. Both these girls have experience and a love of children. What's new for you in 2012? I will continue sourcing unique, different toys at trade fairs during the year. I am hoping to change the look of the shop with new shelving and a new ceiling in 2012. I am going to dedicate an area to the 0-12months age group and will source interesting toys for this specific age group during the year. The personal rewards that you gain from your business? I love it when customers come back in and say, “That thing you said I had to buy last Christmas/birthday was such a success. What do you suggest this time?” With a background in preschool teaching, I enjoy helping choose toys that are age appropriate.

new england focus 33

ffocus ocu c s feature Women in business s fo

Georgie Wellwood.

Food for Thought

Meet the team.

Armidale Radiology

Terri Boulus.

Boulus Constructions

How long have you owned your business? Six months.

One of the most enjoyable aspects of working at Armidale

How long have you owned your business? Brian and I

Tell us about your business. It has been operating in Armidale for 26 years and is currently situated near the post office. The emphasis of New England Food for Thought includes offering clients: organic and gourmet foods, naturopathic and herbal ‘medicines’ – with an emphasis to encourage local growers to bring produce into the shop for us to sell. For example, one local lady grows Blue Oyster and Shiitake Mushrooms, Maria provides her plants, and fresh sushi is available each day. I also love our cosmetic ranges, which are great for our skin with natural minerals and essences, such as the certified organic range of Evohe from Burleigh Heads. Natural glamour! Our other main emphasis is to provide organic or chemical-free foods, oils, grains, flours, nuts, washing liquids at bulk prices. People can fill their own jars, or we provide containers. The honey from an Inverell apiarist and our own peanut butter from the machine are popular.

Radiology is the strong team of technical and administrative

have been in business together since we first got married in


one form or another. When you’re asked, “What do you want

What are the personal rewards that you gain from your business? I have been a teacher for 19 years and a mother for 15. This business now allows more freedom in making decisions, being creative, having fun and using all my skills from seemingly centuries of work.

34 new england focus.

Working as part of a close community like Armidale means that we get to know our patients. For this reason, all of the staff are passionate about patient care – and this extends to fundraising. Our major fundraising event of the year is in October. We are a member of the I-MED Network, who organise to donate $10 from every mammogram we perform that month to the McGrath Foundation.

to be when you grow up?” ... not in a million years was the construction industry on my list! Over the years I diversified and started a second business, which we had for nearly 10 years in Inverell: Furniture and Homewares Options, which we have recently closed. I now devote all my energy to Boulus Constructions and of course, my family and friends, Brian, my Rock of Gibraltar, and Nick, Josh and Alex. Tell us about your business. We have a construction company that prides itself finishing contracts on time and on

In addition, we undertake local fundraising at the practice.

budget. We build residential, commercial and government

This year this included a breakfast barbecue, a large

projects all over NSW, recently edging into QLD.

morning tea and in addition to this, two of our staff members undertook to dye their hair pink when we reached a certain level of donations. It made a colourful addition!

The personal rewards that you gain from your business? I love being involved in all aspects of the designing process, interior, exterior and landscaping. Since we have closed our

This year we are adding a Nuclear Medicine department,

retail outlet, I have been developing our compliance and

which introduces a completely new modality to

finalising our accreditations. This is an area that is growing in

Armidale. We are really looking forward to bringing another

the housing industry, and we take it very seriously. Delivering

branch of high level medical care to our town.

Quality Safely.

... the goal of Bubbles Consulting is to help these businesses get their ‘fizz’ back ...

Fiona Murray.

The Design Corner.

How long have you owned your business? In August 2011, I decided to leave full-time employment and start freelancing as ‘The Design Corner’. Tell us about your business. I am a graphic designer. Businesses and individuals outsource designs to me, such as corporate branding, stationery (business cards, with compliments slips, letterheads etc), invitations, calendars, brochures/pamphlets, book layouts, magazine and newspaper advertisements, web page layouts, magnets, banners, menus … the list goes on. I also provide all designs ready for the printers, or coordinate with the printers for clients. What are the personal rewards that you gain from your business? Rewarding elements of my job are the amazing designers I have met and worked with since going out on my own. Most importantly, I really enjoy the diversity of the work that I am able to produce. It is exciting to be working on a magazine layout one day, a logo design the next, then finishing off the week with a calendar design or wedding invitation. All these jobs involve dealing with fantastic clients, all of whom have a personal passion for their project. That is the best part of my job – helping clients to see their ideas become reality.

Jessica Price-Purnell.

Bubbles Consulting

How long have you owned the business? The business has been an idea of mine for a long time. I’ve always helped friends and family with their marketing ideas, but I decided to make it all official on 1 September 2011. Tell us about your business. My business is a boutique marketing and PR consultancy, and I specialise in creating social media strategies for my clients. After moving to Armidale from the heart of Melbourne six years ago, I noticed that the many fantastic businesses based in the New England are quite hesitant to ‘toot their own horn’. We have a plethora of fantastic, innovative businesses right here in our own backyard, and the goal of Bubbles Consulting is to help these businesses get their ‘fizz’ back. Bubbles will help businesses unlock their ideas and help them expand their markets. Bubbles can assist with communications strategies, social media strategies, media liaison and much more. What personal rewards do you gain from your business? I love working with people and helping them reach their full potential. It’s so exciting to work with some and to see a tiny seed of an idea turn into something wonderful. Assisting clients realise their dreams makes all the late nights and weekends in front of a computer screen worthwhile!

Fiona & Courtney.

Oracle Insurance Solutions

Who are the Oracle Team? Fiona Nash and her husband John own Oracle an insurance intermediary providing both Life and General Insurance. Courtney Dawson is an invaluable part of their team and together, they work for their clients tailoring insurance products to best suit their needs. Tell us about yourself, Fiona? After university, I worked in corporate banking and financial advice before running my own clothing business. I’m enjoying utilising the skills and knowledge I have acquired and building a business with John, who has a wealth of insurance experience and level of professionalism that I admire. Tell us about yourself, Courtney? I started working with Oracle Insurance two and a half years ago and have since completed studies and I became qualified to give advice in General Insurance. I’m looking forward to gaining more experience through helping our clients as Oracle grows. Why is Life Insurance so important? We all insure our cars and homes, but may overlook our most important asset, ourselves. When something goes wrong, our financial commitments continue, so having life insurance for income protection, trauma and disability makes sense. Fiona and Courtney are happy to arrange a meeting with John.

business cards and letterheads signage

...think a little outside the box... logos and branding EURFKXUHVDQGÁ\HUV catalogues, magazines, newsletters and calendars DOOW\SHVRIVWDWLRQHU\DQGLQYLWDWLRQV QHZVSDSHUDGYHUWLVHPHQWV website design LILWVQRWRQWKLVOLVWMXVWDVNPH together for great design...


VISUAL COMMUNICATION Create your own visual style... Be unique and yet identifiable to others.

[thedesigncorner] mobile 0421 872 870 email enquiries@

new england focus 35

feature Women iin nb bu business usiness focus featur

We have luxury brands of shoes, bags, gss, hats, gloves, accessories o ie or es and homewares.

Lyn Mowle.


Janette Mills.

Pratical Counselling & Careers

How long have you owned your business? I have owned Garducci’s since 2003. I had been working for the previous owners for five years when the opportunity arose for my daughter Lisa and myself to purchase the business. In 2006, we relocated the business from Richardsons Arcade to the west end of Beardy St.

Tell us about your business. Prior to opening Practical Counselling and Careers in 2010, I worked as a Psychologist in the public sector for several years. My various roles were all fantastic experiences, but now having the freedom of running my own business, I can totally focus on the wellbeing of my clients and the quality care that I provide.

Tell us about your recent move to the Plaza? I felt that now was a great opportunity to ‘rebirth’ the business in the heart of boutique shopping in Armidale. Our huge renovation took only an AMAZING ten days, and I must thank my husband Peter and the great contractors who helped make this happen.

How do you assist people? How people think and behave fascinates me, and Psychology provides a basis for understanding these processes. I specialise in working with people with depression, stress, and anxiety disorders. Teaching people to manage the negative or irrational thinking that has a detrimental effect on their lives is one important aspect of my work as a Clinical Psychologist. I also assist people with grief, anger, and major life adjustments, such as divorce or retirement.

What can we expect to find in your new store? We have two entrances to our store, with a stunning foyer and beautiful windows giving our store wonderful natural light. You will find the same great range of comfort orthotic brands, which I will be expanding into more ranges. We have luxury brands of shoes, bags, hats, gloves, accessories and homewares. We now also have a fitting room in which you can bring your garment in and try it on in store, where we will assist to complete the whole outfit for you. The personal rewards that you gain from your business? It’s not a job; it’s a passion. My role is to make every customer truly enjoy their experience when shopping at Garducci’s.

36 new england focus.

Explain how your new direction can help other business owners. Practical Counselling and Careers now also provides assistance to the corporate world: happiness is the key to success in most things – and especially in business. Happy staff can be more customer-focused, and this breeds happy customers. Businesses grow stronger when staff have effective strategies to manage moods and stress, and this can be achieved by providing regular professional mental health checks with brief or shortterm counselling interventions where required.

Linda Harrison.

Harrisons of Armidale

How long have you owned your business? Paul and I have had Harrisons of Armidale in the old Commonwealth Bank since May 2009. Previously to that we had Armidale Jewellers for 4 years, until we moved here. We’ve been very happy with the new shop. What can we expect to find in your store? Our shop is very eclectic, and you could find almost anything. We have many different ranges of beautiful jewellery, both sterling silver and fine gold, as well as hand-made one off pieces made in house by Paul, who is a hand crafting jeweller. You can find a gift for anyone of any age, either male or female, gifts from all over the world for any taste and budget; we even have gifts starting from $3.95. We also have a whole new section in the back of our shop purely dedicated to handbags, scarves and other fashion accessories, starting from just $10. Lamps, art, leather goods, puzzles and games, French toiletries, fine china and crystal ware, stationery and silk flowers are just a few of the many more options we have on offer here at Harrisons. The personal rewards that you gain from your business? Evolving the shop and watching it constantly grow, and meeting all the wonderful locals and lovely tourists are just a couple of the personal rewards we gain.

Daisy William.

Aboriginal Cultural Centre

Tell us about your business? The Aboriginal Cultural Centre and Keeping Place is a community-based centre where you can experience the diversity of Australian Aboriginal arts and culture. We organise six to ten exhibitions a year, functions to mark Aboriginal celebrations and workshops. We also have a gift shop with interesting gifts and an Aboriginal café with scrumptious food. Aboriginal art is available for sale all year round, and rooms can be hired for a small fee. What personal rewards do you gain from your business? It is a wonderful place to work at. The atmosphere is great, and the staff and volunteers are very cooperative and easy to work with. The place is very peaceful, and I enjoy coming to work every day. Working in an environment where there are many beautiful Aboriginal art works is another perk of my job. How do you juggle raising a family and work? It is not easy to juggle work, raising two teenage daughters and doing my PhD. Sometimes it is smooth sailing, sometimes I use my weekends to catch up, and other times I feel that I am just drowning. But the good thing about it all is I enjoy each facet of my life.

Pat Edwards.

Valinor Pert Em Hru Sanctuary

Susanne James. New England Conservatorium of Music

My partner, Stephen, and I have been juggling ‘Valinor’ and family for about 10 years now ... originally starting as a hobby, sprouting from our interest in maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

My passion for music came from my family and my town. My

Our Sound Spas are based on Sound Therapy and Cymatics, an ancient science being rediscovered in new and exciting ways, worldwide.

piano in the lounge room (no TV then), and music was in the

At Valinor, we have 16 pure quartz Crystal Singing Bowls, ranging in size from 7” high pitch to 24” deep and resonating. Each of these magnificent instruments is tuned to a musical note and emits very pure tones that have a very relaxing effect on the body and mind, together with the 3 large Cosmic Gongs and giant tuned Bar Chimes.

normal rural Aussie upbringing in Lismore was full of singing and performing, because in those days, most families had a school curriculum. We had school choirs, ABC concerts, an orchestra and best of all, the annual eisteddfod, music camp, musicals and G & S operas. Music made our life special, exciting and uplifting. At the time, we didn’t know how enriched or unique it was – it was just something we did because it was there. Music is no longer a ‘given’ in the life of a child or a

Your body is literally bathed in beautiful healing sound vibrations that travel through the air and the floor and into the cells of your body.

community – it is no longer ‘just there’, unless we make it

Relax, in our gorgeous Garden Sound Temple and let me take you on a journey through a magical sonic soundscape. Float through the clouds, skim the oceans, forests and grassy plains. Resonate to a magnificent mountain storm, sail beyond the distant stars and galaxies, returning then gently back where your journey began.

I passionately believe that music makes a society “stronger, happier, more creative, productive, cohesive and compassionate. ”

A Sound Spa at Valinor is an awesome healing experience, that cannot be communicated through words.


So as Director of the New England Conservatorium, my role is to ensure that in 2012 as many young people and their families experience the beauty, excitement and inspiration that music can bring to their lives.

new england focus 37

Women in business focus feature

Kurt Eggart Jenny Wild.

Jacinta Cherry.

Rapid Clean


How long have you owned RapidClean New England? Greg and I have owned RapidClean for so long now, it’s hard to remember exactly. I think we are coming up to 14 years.

What is your position at NAB and how long have you

also have family lives and being of as much assistance as

worked there? Having worked for NAB for 16 years, I

possible with helping them juggle the same.

returned home to Armidale almost 4 years ago and manage

Final word? We have worked hard to make NAB a

What are the benefits of being a female in your field? It is interesting that most people think the cleaning industry is a female world, but really the opposite is true. Most contractors and suppliers are male, and it can be a pretty ruthless kind of place sometimes.

the NAB Retail branches in Armidale, Guyra, Uralla and

warm, inviting place, with staff that are driven to help you

Because I have been around a long time, it has become easier for me to deal with my male counterparts; however, I think it’s been harder for me to establish my credibility because as many other business women will understand, you are forced to prove your worth.


only typical thing about my day is that it is always about our clients. It could be helping customers with their day to day banking, assisting people with buying their first home, helping families with their next home or assisting people plan their retirements.

It’s much easier for men, who seem to be accepted as credible until they prove otherwise; for the ladies, it happens in reverse.

We are lucky that in the RapidClean group there are many strong businesswomen who work alongside their husbands, so it has a ripple effect for all of us – the sisterhood of Rapid!

38 new england focus.

succeed. We are now open every Saturday for all banking requirements – pop in and say hi.

Describe a typical day on the job? The

We have worked hard toarm, make NAB a w inviting place are with staff that you driven to help succeed.

How do you manage to juggle family life with work? For me, it is about understanding that all aspects of your life need to be

Tell us about your team. We have a dynamic team across our four sites, with different backgrounds and different levels of experience within NAB. Our common goals are to actively contribute to our communities and to exceed our clients' expectations. I am constantly amazed at the personal

commitment from each of my team members, whether it be assisting with a community project,

in balance for you to be successful, reflecting on the areas

participating in sporting programs, promoting opportunities

that may be out of balance and being able to direct attention

such as Schools First, or ensuring we deliver on clients'

as required.


It is also about understanding that my team and my clients

They truly make NAB a great place to work.

Coming to Armidale.

Flix in the Stix. An exceptional line up of short films will come to Armidale in March, as part of Optus Flix in the Stix. Many of the films have won high calibre awards from top international Festivals, including the Monaco International Film Festival, the Sundance Film Festival and the Montreal World Film Festival.

showcases Australian and international shorts to the regional Australian community. It is a fantastic initiative and so important to give regional Australia exposure to short films from all over the world, which hopefully will inspire the next generation of Australian filmmakers."

The movies include short films from overseas, as well as by Australian filmmakers such as brothers Nash and Joel Edgerton and feature great Australian actors, including Paul Ashton, Gia Carides, Anthony LaPaglia, Jack Thompson, Gary Sweet, Sigrid Thornton, the Edgerton brothers and Ben Lawson.

Raised in Wagga as a child and then Canberra later in life, former Secret Life of Us actor and now LAbased actor-director, Paul Ashton is also supportive of the tour.

Nash Edgerton's Bear, in which he stars, is the highly-anticipated follow-up to the multi awardwinning short film Spider. Bear, straight from its North American premiere at the prestigious 2012 Sundance Film Festival, will form part of the line-up for Optus Flix in the Stix, as well as brother Joel Edgerton's Tropfest finalist Monkeys, which Joel wrote, directed and starred in. Filmmaker Nash Edgerton said, "Joel and I are delighted to be part of Optus Flix in the Stix, which

"Our short film In Loco Parentis will form part of the Optus Flix in the Stix line up," said Paul. "It will be a real honour for family and friends back home to be able to enjoy our work in stunning outdoor Aussie locations." The short film line-up will be accompanied by live performances by highly respected Australian singer-songwriter James Reyne, as well as well-known bush poet, Murray Hartin. Optus Flix in the Stix will take place at Armidale Saumarez Homestead on Saturday 17 March. Tickets from: or



live at

Saumarez Homestead



on sale EmTS o 13th feb n


new england focus 39

F E B RUA RY 2012


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A R I E S.

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MAR 21 - APR 20

JUL 24 - AUG 23

NOV 23 - DEC 21

Think about what you would like and be aware of why you want it, then get out of the way and let heaven help you get it. You deserve nice surprises, but need to let go of control. Citrine shatters negative energy and attracts great things.

Listen to the words you offer others for guidance, as this is also how you will hear your own answers. Feelings of entrapment will soon dissipate, and you can expect a feeling of freedom and fun. Turquoise is great for confidence.

Stop worrying about your future finances; everything is lining up for financial freedom. Your negative focus is seriously weighing you down, and this energy is so wasted. Citrine attracts an abundance. Carry some in your wallet.




C A P R I C O R N.

APR 21 - MAY 21

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Love life and relationships should be lifting your mood. Enjoy the little things in life, to realign your energy with joy that can be lasting. Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be afraid to wear your heart on your sleeve. Rose quartz is the crystal of love; wear it.



All the hurts from the past are surfacing, so you can recognise how they have changed you. You do have the choice to become more powerful as a result of experiencing these things. Amethyst connects us to our higher knowing and wisdom.

40 new england focus.

Now is a perfect time to re-establish new rules to live by. You have been feeling frustrated, because you have outgrown your old beliefs and feel trapped by them instead of comforted. Moldavite helps transform us.

Connect to your â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;gypsyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; energy. Lots of adventure can be expected, but it is important to embrace the unknown â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and not baulk at it. Many contacts and positive experiences will cross your path. Selenite keeps our energy clear; wear some.



SEPT 24 - OCT 23

JAN 21 - FEB 19

Relax about the unknown, and embrace it with excitement instead of fear. Many opportunities are coming your way, so you are likely to be very busy over the next few months. Enjoy! Ruby shatters negative thoughts.

Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t D â&#x20AC;&#x2122; bite bi your tongue just to keep smooth waters. Your new cycle asks for you to be open and honouring of yourself; suppressing words will block your energy and cloud your future with insecurity. Turquoise helps with open, loving communication.


S C O R P I O.

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Financial contentment can be expected, so avoid worrying about money, as this energy will block the flow of abundance. You are good at saving for a rainy day, so relax and enjoy what you have already. Citrine carried in your wallet attracts wealth.

Lighten up your energy and laugh a little more; you are taking life far too seriously lately, and this has shattered your joy of life. Prank, play and connect with your inner child, then you will like you more. Turquoise is a happy crystal lifting our energy.

Adventure is coming into your reality. Enjoy your journey and listen to your â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;intuitionâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; to avoid being in the wrong place at the wrong time. You will be bringing something back from your travels to enhance your life. Ruby is great for protection.

42 new england focus focus.


marine MAGIC Armidale residents, Nicole Symington and Bill Bloomfield, had the time of their lives in January when they took their son Dylan and grandchildren Levi, Kodi and Chelsea to the Pet Porpoise Pool in Coffs Harbour.


he fun started as soon as the Armidale family entered the park. Thirty minutes prior to the main pool presentations, they got to enjoy a seal and

ture," says Nicole. "We all really enjoyed playing with the dolphin. I will cherish the photos of my family giving the dolphin a great big kiss. And the smiles on our grandkids’ faces were unforgettable, as they gave the dolphin dolphin kiss. a hug and a tickle on her tongue. Next they moved on to see the “What a special time we had! Hear‘Marine Magic Presentation’, ing the dolphin speak, feeding which was a delightful thirty her a fish and viewing her minutes of interesting and underwater are memoly al re entertaining informaries that we will always l al We g tion, as well as exciting treasure." enjoyed playin with the dolphin. routines that showcased The Pet Porpoise Pool ill cherish the ily w I m the natural abilities of has been operating as a photos of my fahin a both seals and dolphins. rescue and rehabilitation giving the dolp great big kiss. The presentation was centre for over 41 years highly interactive, with now and is a well known Nicole and Bill's family given and loved, award winning the opportunity to get involved. tourist attraction for providing After the show, they were encourhands on interaction with animals, aged to pat and play ball with the dolphins, while providing education about marine aniwith a trainer supervising the interaction. mals, conservation and sustainability. Nicole informed us here at FOCUS that the The aim of the park is to connect people highlight of the day was the ‘Family Dolphin with these animals, so that there is a mutual Experience’, where both the grandparents respect and consideration of their place out in and children enjoyed twenty minutes in the the wild. Half of the animals who go into care water with a dolphin. "It was amazing to at the Park are rescued and rehabilitated and touch and play with such a magnificent crearemain well cared for at the PPP, while others have been transported to the facility or born at the Park. Other than Seaworld on the Gold Coast, the Pet Porpoise Pool is the only Marine Park which holds a license nationally to house Inshore Bottlenose Dolphins. The park has 5 dolphins and 15 seals, with a variety of fish in the Reef Tank, Sea Turtles and Little Blue Penguins. For more information, phone 6659 1900.

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44 new england focus.


walcha cup. Walcha Jockey Club's annual two-day Cup Carnival, which will take place on Friday 10 and Saturday 11 February 2012, is shaping up as one of the best yet.


rize money on offer totals $112,000 on Friday, and the back up Saturday non TAB day has prize money of $26,000. The Walcha Cup, over 1,400 metres, always attracts good nominations – as does the Ron Martin Memorial Maiden Handicap.

field Fashions on the on r la pu po s ay is alw a kids' the Cup day, with d held el fi e fashion of th rday (which on the Satu nb raldeSu He clu ’sy) ne ur . Th lbo da Me ' ds is ki gs, ba ow sh e fre provides d an es rid t amusemen entertainment.

The race was a memorable one, as Cangronde was going past the winning post just as the rest of the field was rounding the bend into the straight some 200 metres away. The Walcha Cup is always well supported both locally and from throughout the area, with many locals looking forward to the annual event.

The Cup carries prize money of $25,000, and the Maiden $22,000. Last year's Maiden winner, Komodo Blue, has gone on to greater heights – winning at the Gold Coast, among other meetings in the Country.

Fashions on the field is always popular on the Cup day, with a kids' fashion of the field held on the Saturday (which is kids' day). The club provides free showbags, amusement rides and entertainment for the children. This allows the parents to go about their day in a relaxed atmosphere. Walcha is only 4½ hours from Sydney via the Thunderbolts Way, and 3 hours from Newcastle via the same route.

The Maiden usually uncovers some handy gallopers and goes back to one of the best sprinters ever produced – Cangronde. Cangronde could not get a run in the Maiden, as he was a two year old and not eligible, so his owners started him in the two year old race.

All accomodation is booked in advance, with many visitors booking their accommodation as they book out the year before.The club provides free bus transport to and from the course, and this is widely used by the race day patrons.

new england focus 45

46 new england focus.

Armidale Community of Schools


icing on the cake with Susie Dunn


Armidale Community of Schools HSC Success

icing on the cake.

summer 2012

In our memories, NSW coastal summers always have a lot of myths about them.

Armidale’s two public high schools, Duval High School and Armidale High School, are delighted with the results achieved by their students in the last 12 months.


oth schools gained Success in the Creative and Performing monstrated through outstanding results in the HSC. Arts has been demonstrated A broad range of subjects and Youth Rock, the Bellingen Jazz Festival, the ration Choir, Britt Baker’s achievements was recorded. Soul Band, Celebration ney School Spectacular, The highest ATAR was Recorder, the Sydney ralla Battle of the Bands and recorded by Karina Siems, at 99.35. winning of the Uralla eddfod successes. successes Principal of Armidale High School, Ms the Armidale Eisteddfod Anne Matley, is particularly proud of the Some other highlights of 2011 include success of HSC students’ nominations Alex Wojno winning the NSW Brain Bee to exhibitions and performances, which Challenge; Thomas Browne, Oliver Bruhl, celebrate the very best of HSC works from Lindsay Symons, Ali Ahsan, Somyata Jhorar across the state. and Karina Siems achieving Distinctions in “We congratulated Emily O’Connor, the Australian Mathematics Competition and Sorcha Harrop, Julian Boggs, Stephen 38 students achieving Credits; Ed Harland, O’Hern for Onstage; Sam Prosser for Encore; Oliver Wheatley and Daniel Stanley receiving Stephen O’Hern for Bravissimo; Anna Roberts High Distinctions in the Year 10 Geography for TextStyle; Kate del la Motte for Competition; Ed Harland, Daniel Artexpress; and Chris McGrath Stanley and Michael Wojno and Toby Knights, both achieving High Distinctions nominated for InTech. in the Rio Tinto Science “Sorcha Harrop’s Competition; Open Boys Many, many oud success in gaining Cricket team placed students do uslypr by consistent g the Bell Shakespeare third in the State in the demonstratin and Scholarship after Alan Davidson Shield t pride, respec in nation-wide auditions competition after y lit bi si on resp do. has capped an becoming North West everything they outstanding year for our Regional Champions, students in the Creative along with numerous and Performing Arts,” Ms individual and teams’ sporting Matley said. successes. “Many other students have brought Mr Cameron praised students for the honour to the school, including Tara Riley, breadth of all-round achievement. nominated for the inaugural Governor’s Both Principals agreed that: “Many, Peace Prize; Brendon Howe, selected as many students do us proud by consistently Armidale Region’s NIAS Greater Ambassador; demonstrating pride, respect and and Sam Bruyn and Liam Monaghan, responsibility in everything they do.” winners of Defence Technical Scholarships. These two fine schools are proud of Once again the Year 12 Weirdathon was a their joint achievements, as they provide great success in raising money for Support educational opportunities to students classes in Armidale High, Drummond and in Armidale. Both schools recognise the Sandon.” benefits realised by working together as part Duval High School Principal, Mr Stafford of the Armidale Community of Schools. The Cameron, is similarly proud of student advantages to students are evident in the achievement this year. Outstanding individual great results being achieved. Additionally, achievement, including “Karina Siems’ there are opportunities for strengthening the achievement of an ATAR over 99 in the HSC professional enrichment of teachers and for is a highlight”. Nicola Traise’s successful broader school community participation. Art Express application and exhibition is The Armidale Community of Schools looks testament to her hard work and the support back on 2011 with pride – and looks forward of her teachers. to the possibilities available in 2012.


e imagine that they are special nature of shops and happenings in forever blue and golden – the Beardy Street Malls – the ones that are sun, sea and sand. In reality individualistic and draw visitors because they the climate – certainly the are different. Sydney one – is semi-tropical with a summer It’s great to see the old Richardson’s rainfall. We always seem to want to edit out building showing a glamour face to Beardy those fat drops that pelt down in the storms. Street again, with Turners and Garducci’s We ask ourselves, “What happened to reminding those of us old enough to summer this year?“ remember what a marvellous department Do you know, I think that on the whole it’s store it was. always been pretty much like that for a very, And of course, Hanna’s bookends it at the very long time. We only want to remember East End with its beautiful arcade and store. the sun, the sea and the sand. The Hanna family have served Armidale and In New England, of course, our summers district for ninety years, and they celebrated in are not oppressively humid and December with a spectacular birthday the nights cool down, so party that was loads of fun. that we can sleep and be While there is a lot of gloom refreshed. And as well, and doom talk everywhere Pop-ups are er we can scoot down to at the moment, I think l ov popping up alop the coast in a couple Armidale is, in reality, s, the world – sh eatrical of hours to dunk our holding up on the restaurants, thare y toes and bodies in the economic front pretty well he T events. n and fu d an g in sea, when it seems ... certainly better than a ris rp su . rather romantic like a good holiday lot of other places. People idea. being more conscious and Armidale shops are careful with their money – always busy in the prethat’s a good thing. Christmas rush. Pop-up shops Lay-bys are coming back, and open where there are currently empty surely that’s a better way to go than maxing spaces, with talented local artists showing out the credit card. off their wares. And there is a special buzz as When – as happens inevitably – some shops preparations heat up with the weather. are vacant for a time, it would be marvellous I’ve been thinking about those pop-up if the shop owners and agents used their shops again lately. Because they are mostly imaginations and actively encouraged specialised artisan shops, they don’t compete different kinds of ‘pop-ups’ to do their thing, in the same way that some el cheapo ‘raiders’ which helps make the space look more who come into town do, as they try to scoop inviting. It keeps vitality in the Malls and must up the dollars before moving on. put something into the landlords’ pockets Pop-ups are popping up all over the world while they wait for permanent tenants to – shops, restaurants, theatrical events. They come along. Some of the pop-ups could even are surprising and fun and rather romantic. eventually become permanent. World-wide, the same problems are We must be realistic, but I believe it is facing communities as the big new covered important that we should have faith in our shopping malls influence the ways we shop. special city and its future, and we should all Armidale, actually, is not doing too badly do our bit to keep its historic central heart compared with most towns and cities. beating strongly. That is what distinguishes us The thing is to keep the emphasis on the from other places. new england focus 47

48 new england focus.


Lorraine Gordon. Yaraandoo What is your position at Yaraandoo, and how long have you worked there? I am the Managing Director and Functions Coordinator. We have owned Yaraandoo for 11 years now and are as much in love with it today as we were when we purchased it in 2000.

encore Register Now for Encore in Armidale. The Exercise Program Provides Best Results for Recovery Post Breast Cancer Surgery


breast cancer, including those who egister now for the develop lymphoedema, swelling that new term of the 2012 commonly occurs after breast cancer YWCA NSW Encore treatment. Lymphoedema can occur Program, an innovative any time after cancer treatment and and inspiring approach to recovery from breast cancer surgery. is usually caused by the removal or radiation of lymph nodes as part of the It’s a proven exercise program offered treatment process. free in Armidale by YWCA NSW. The Encore Program was created The YWCA Encore Program is a to improve movement, flexibility and gentle exercise program for those strength after breast cancer surgery. who have had breast cancer surgery, It helps to reduce the potential risk of and it meets the physical needs and lymphoedema and can assist in the supports the wellbeing of women management of lymphoedema. after the trauma of surgery in a The incidence of breast nurturing and supportive cancer in Australia, environment. It can help published by the whether your surgery It helps Federal Government’s was a few months reduce the to Cancer Australia in ago, or 20 years potential risk of d an a em June 2011, showed ago. d oe h lymp e that the number of A new study can assist in thof management women diagnosed published in oedema. h p m ly with breast cancer in December 2011 Australia increased from in the Journal of 5,291 in 1982 to 12,567 in Cancer Survivorship 2007, but NSW has one of the by University of Missouri’s lower incidence rates, with ACT being Sinclair School of Nursing researchers the highest and Northern Territory the highlighted the benefits of exercise lowest. for women who have experienced

The YWCA Encore Program starts in Armidale Wednesday, 15 February 2012. It will run for eight (8) weeks until 4 April 2012 each Tuesday from 6pm to 8pm. Because medical clearance is required, it’s important to register as soon as possible in order to secure a place at least two weeks prior to the class beginning, because the classes are small and intimate – so places fill up quickly. Register by calling (02) 9285 6264 (Sydney) or 1800 305 150. Participation is free – just enrol. The 8-week program (two hours per week) incorporates gentle floor and hydrotherapy exercises and is a perfect opportunity for relaxation and information-sharing among women with similar experiences. Studies have shown that exercise programs for most people who have experienced cancer in general can reduce anxiety and depression, improve mood, boost self-esteem and reduce symptoms of fatigue.

Why are you so passionate about Yaraandoo? Yaraandoo undertakes some unique programs; for example, our Carer Respite Retreats have been referred to by the Federal Government as an example of best practice in Respite. This year, we are offering for the first time Fly Fishing Weekend packages, including all meals, accommodation, tuition and equipment. We are also doing Wellbeing Weekends, including great outdoor activities and wholesome, healthy cooking – these Wellbeing Weekends will provide the participant with a different, yet simple approach to improving their existing lifestyles. How do you juggle family life with running a business? My husband Jack is also a working Director of the business, and together we make a great team. My teenage children take a great interest in the activities that are run out of Yaraandoo; for example, my 17 year old son is currently assisting me in the design of a teenage boys’ life skills program, aimed at keeping boys at school and out of gaol – which we hope to run this year in conjunction with a Coffs Harbour organisation. My two older boys love assisting our staff at various functions, sometimes as waiters at weddings, other times simply with the cleaning and maintenance. As casuals, they earn good money and learn many valuable skills from our staff. Final word: We have so many exciting programs running out of Yaraandoo. Life is never dull; it is a very special place.

In NSW, YWCA Encore is funded by NSW Health.

Register by calling (02) 9285 6264 (Sydney) or 1800 305 150. Participation is free – just enrol! new england focus 49


property guide.

Gostwyck Park Estate. 50 new england focus.

Live the dream


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Relocating to Armidale is proving to be an increasingly attractive proposition, with more than n 20 families moving to the city since the Evocities campaign kicked off 16 months ago.


he campaign sees seven of There is the New England Conservatorium NSW’s leading regional cities of Music, a Symphony Orchestra, a Youth uniting to encourage people Orchestra, a biennial Bach Festival and several to live, work and invest in an choral groups. The Armidale Playhouse Evocity. Taking a closer look at Theatre, Armidale Musical Society, Stage One our city, it is easy to see why Armidale is so Theatre for Children and the University of attractive to people who are seeking a ‘city New England Department of Theatre Studies change’ to improve their life. perform regularly during the year. Armidale is considered the ‘capital’ of the Armidale’s leisure and dining scene New England region of northern New is buzzing with a fantastic selection of South Wales and is undergoing hotels, clubs, cafés and established a revival as a regional restaurants to choose from. economic force. Located Sporting facilities are also in halfway between abundance, with numerous its t gs on Am ns, Sydney and Brisbane sporting clubs, grounds many attractioth e on the New England and venues catering for a Armidale hasart best regional , with Highway, Armidale wide variety of sports and gallery in NSW ns is a cosmopolitan activities. io ct lle major co 0 $4 er city that is home to With median house prices ov at ed lu va the University of New in Armidale approximately million... England and many $295,000, it is possible to other fine educational own a beautiful home that can institutions. be bought for a fraction of the cost Armidale has been of a home in a major city. Commuting acknowledged as one of only 20 cities in to work from home can also be substantially Australia with an abundant, long-term easier, with no traffic jams to contend with. water supply, and its cool mountain climate Thanks to Armidale’s extensive range of is regarded as a major environmental asset education facilities, it is also easier for children against a backdrop of climate-change issues. to get to school, without parents having Armidale’s strengths lie in its educational, to worry about long bus routes or safety agricultural, retail and professional services, concerns associated with living in major cities. and it is these industry sectors that provide Education is Armidale’s largest employer vital employment for a significant portion of and drawcard. Armidale differs from most the local labour force. This positions Armidale regional centres, because it has a long as a knowledge-based regional service centre established university, transforming it with significant economic potential, which has from a rural town to a sophisticated and achieved a sustainable average annual growth cosmopolitan city. Through the university, rate of about 1 per cent in each of the past TAFE, private and public schools, the city has five years. become a significant centre of education, Among its many attractions, Armidale creating a wider range of jobs and business has the best regional art gallery in NSW, opportunities than usually found in the with major collections valued at over $40 regions. It has a well educated and diverse million, as well as a twin cinema which shows population, who stimulate change and mainstream and art house movies. demand a high standard of living. new england focus


focusinterview. focus feature


Peter Creagan. Meet Peter Creagan, Senior Manager, Consumer Lending and Third Party Relationship member for New England Mutual Armidale.


ow long have you worked at New England Mutual, and tell us about your position. I have responsibility for the Lending that you would consider to be of a personal nature â&#x20AC;&#x201C; that is mainly home loans, personal loans and overdrafts. I also look after the financial planning side of our business through Clearview Financial Advice and work with our Insurance Partner, Allianz, to deliver a complete range of insurance products to our members. I have been with the Credit Union now for 29 years, having started when we had just two branches and around 10 staff. We now have 29 branches, 3 agencies and 280 staff. What a journey! Describe your home loan products? We have a range of both Variable and Fixed Interest rate products. Within this product range, we offer special rates for both First Home Owners and also Sustainable (Green) loans for those members who use a range of energy efficient materials in the construction or improvements to their property. Do you assist owner builders? Yes, we do. We believe that we should be able to help those members who want to take on their own responsibility to build this

way. This is all part of extending ourselves and catering for our local market, as many other lenders will not lend to Owner Builders. How can one apply for a home loan, and how long does it take for approval? We have a network of 29 branches, where our members can talk directly Most membersity to our lending staff. We rtun prefer the oppoith our w n also accept applications w do to sit ugh ro th go over the phone 132067 biggest financial purchase that lenders and ation ic pl ap e th or via our website most people will make in their ally if process, especi e www.communitymulives, and we would like to enm ho this is their firs.t sure that it is a smooth process se ha purc Most members prefer for everyone concerned. the opportunity to sit down Does one need equity before apwith our lenders and go through plying for a home loan? the application process â&#x20AC;&#x201C; especially if this is There must always be equity in the applicatheir first home purchase. This way, we can tion/approval process. This may come from fully discuss the whole process. We offer either savings in your account, Government friendly, local service and fast local decision grants, or we may even have family support making, which sets up apart from some of the by way of another property being offered as other banks. We can even process members security. Not all applications are clear cut, so First Home Owners Application for them and it may be beneficial to sit down and discuss receive the Government grant directly into your application with our Lenders so that their account at settlement. This is usually the a full understanding is gained right at the

beginning of the process. Your tips on preparing for a loan application. 1. Talk to your proposed lender early in the process and find out exactly what are their requirements for a home loan. This way, you know what is expected and there are no unexpected surprises regarding documentation, deposits or the lending process. 2. Save as much as possible to put towards your home. Every dollar you save is saving you interest. 3. Be realistic with your budget, and donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t over commit yourself. Your mortgage will take a number of years to pay off, and you still have all the other living expenses to pay.

Helping to build homes and dreams... For a comprehensive range of home loan products and friendly, personal service, speak to New England Mutual today. 132 067 113-117 Dangar Street, Armidale.

at the heart of our community New England Mutual is a trading name of New England Credit Union Ltd. ABN 21 087 650 360 : AFSL/ACL 241167

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Dragonfly Plumbing. Why should you consider hydronic heating when building your home? As we live in a cold climate and heating bills increase, we believe heating needs to be well thought out when designing your home. Hydronic heating has come a long way in the past few years, with more efficient modulating gas boilers and user friendly thermostats giving you the ultimate heating system, that doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t cost the earth. The climate in the New England is more like Europe, as opposed to the Australian coast, so we are using heating systems the Europeans have been using for years. What advice can you give to a new home builder? Consider all your heating options before you start building, as you cannot put inslab heating in once your slab has been poured. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s worth considering that you can install your pipework to start; and then connect up your boiler at a later date, depending on how your budget goes as your house is going up. Your hot water can be incorporated into your heating system as well, which is a very efficient way to go.

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54 new england focus.

DRA Architects.

At DRA Architects Pty Ltd, we simply just love what we do – and that reflects in both the finished project and our people. ur team members place great emphasis on building lasting relationships with our clients, because we understand that working together on an ongoing basis is the best way of arriving together at the best creative solutions and results. Whether it is keeping up with statutory regulations, environmental issues, the latest trends in colour, materials or product availability, we can guide you through the entire process, ensuring that we make your project uniquely yours. We have four registered architects, one a


qualiÞed access consultant and six architectural technicians, plus administrative support staff across three ofÞces located in Coffs Harbour, Grafton and Tamworth. We specialise in the development of educational, residential, health and aged care, recreational and commercial projects throughout New South Wales costing less than $500,000 to more than $20 million and have a proven track record for delivering designs and documentation on time and on budget; so whatever your needs, no matter how small or large, DRA Architects has the experience and expertise to meet your every

the contractor National Buildplan Group to requirement. ensure that the quality of materials, products St Xavier’s Primary School Gunnedah and equipment speciÞed was matched with St XavierÕs Primary School GunnedahÕs recently completed multi-purpose hall has a quality workmanship. ground ßoor area of 870 m² and is already This process was managed through the implementation of inspection points and proving to be an iconic building for the test plans for key trades and strict school and region. supervision throughout the entire Consisting primarily of project. The Þnished project is steelwork frame, cladding We have four and masonry base, a credit to all involved and cts, registered architecess the building features will provide the St XavierÕs one a qualified ac x si d School and community corbelled brickwork, an consultant ans ci ni ch te al ur with a modern learning, patterned cladding, ct archite tive plus administra three sports and activities facility sports ßooring, a large staff across t or pp su for many years to come. timber performance Coffs offices located in and on ft DRA Architects Pty Ltd is stage and perforated ra G , ur bo ar H plasterboard curved again enormously proud of Tamworth. acoustic ceiling over the yet another successful school project completed for the Catholic main space. Schools OfÞce Armidale and have The multi-purpose hall boasts received an overwhelming response from the superior functionality with the installation of local region. modern sports, access and climate control equipment including hydraulic platform lift for You can Þnd out more about DRA Architects disabled access to the stage area; electronic Pty Ltd by liking our Facebook page, visiting our website;, or adjustable louvers and windows, enabling costby calling us on 6766 8149 (Tamworth), 6643 effective management of light and airßow; and 4939 (Grafton) or 6651 4905 (Coffs Harbour). a 6.5 metre wide electronic sectional overhead You can also Þnd us listed in the yellow door providing strong connectivity between the pages, local directories, and we welcome the main internal space and covered outdoor area to the north. opportunity to chat to you about any queries DRA Architects Pty Ltd worked closely with you may have.

new england focus 55

MY SCHOOL MY DREAMS MY FUTURE Offering a balanced curriculum with pathways through Years 9-12 in the sciences, humanities, creative arts, business and technology is a feature, along with small class sizes led by teachers with a genuine passion for learning. Through various relationships, NEGS

students are able to choose HSC courses in almost 40 subjects – something few other schools can offer. “we prefer to measure success by the way we prepare girls for their life beyond school – as capable, resourceful, thoughtful and resilient young women with active, passionate and creative minds”.

learning with spirit

Uralla Road, Armidale NSW 2350 Australia T +61 02 6774 8700 F +61 02 6772 7057 E

Focus 57 - New England  

Issue 57 of New England Focus

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