Page 1

NEW ENGLAND special edition

August 2012 // Issue 63

OZ OPERA Chris Ross-Smith interviews Sandra Willis, Manager of Oz Opera, which presents Mozart’s Don Giovanni at Lazenby Hall on August 22.

KERRY O’BRIEN Kerry O’Brien visits Armidale for Friends of the ABC.

I N S I D E 63

Arthur Kirk.

2 new england focus focus.

editor's note.


from the


Welcome to the August edition of New England FOCUS. elcome to our special ‘City Change’ issue. Armidale Council will be armed with this edition of FOCUS when they attend the 2012 Country and Regional Living Expo (CARLE) at Rosehill Racecourse. The Expo is designed to encourage city people to move to regional cities, and Armidale has a very strong presence at the Expo each year.

CARLE 2011 with intentions of moving to Orange. They tell me that it was the very friendly and enthusiastic Armadillos at CARLE who convinced them to move to Armidale instead.

We are flattered that Council chooses to distribute FOCUS at the Expo, and it does make sense considering our motto is ‘we love where we live’. We’re justifiably proud of the beautiful New England region, and we love to help promote its benefits to to any potential city changers!

Our aim in this edition is to show people from the big smoke that you can run a successful business from Armidale; therefore, we thought it necessary to cover the National Broadband Network rollout and how it is working since its introduction to Armidale in 2011. Seren Trump was one of the first people in Austalia to hook up with NBN, so we spent a moment with her to find out if her connection has paid off.


INSIDE THIS ISSUE After doing some research, it turns out that we have inherited some terrific new residents over the last twelve months. We talk to Sara Abboud and her partner Daniel Winton, who visited

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:

We tracked down Michael Martin, who has relocated from the USA to run Petals Network. He says that the best reward he has gained from the move to Armidale is “more quality time with his family”.

hope you enjoy reading about them. IPHONE EAT APP If you are at the 2012 Country and Regional Living Expo and like what you’ve seen in FOCUS, then be sure to download our free iPad application. Each issue of FOCUS is available FREE – every page, every issue, every month. So no matter where you are in the big smoke, you can keep up to date with all the great things that are happening in the New England region, right on your iPad. Readers can download the app by visiting: FINAL WORD ”I consider it the best part of an education to have been born and brought up in the country.” Louisa May Alcott.

I have only named a few of the new residents who dropped us a line – I

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 2012 and may not be reproduced whole or in part, in any form, without permission of the Publisher. All rights reserved.

new england focus 3

inside this

Issue 63 - August 2012

Oz Opera


Chris Ross-Smith interviews Sandra Willis, Manager of Oz Opera, which presents Mozart’s Don Giovanni at Lazenby Hall on August 22.

Michael Martin


Michael Martin has journeyed across the world to run one of Armidale’s most successful businesses, Petals Network. In this interview, he shares how his ‘family-time’ has increased tenfold.


McCrossin's Mill McCrossin’s Mill is a beautifully restored granite and brick flour mill that is 100% operated by volunteers. The ground floor and the gardens are available for functions, while the upper two floors house exhibitions about Uralla’s local history. Kent Mayo tells us more ...

usual suspects.


18. what’s on for August 26. eat featuring local restaurants 42. star guide with Terri

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

4 new england focus.


special edition

ultimate city change Meet Armidale's newest residents, Sara Abboud and Daniel Winton. They made the ultimate city change to Armidale after visiting the 2011 Country And Regional Living Expo, held at Rosehill Racecourse in Sydney.


ara: How long did you live in Sydney? I have lived in Sydney my whole life. I was born and lived up to the age of 13 in the western suburbs of Sydney, in the Bankstown area, and then we moved to Strathfield in the inner west. For my late high school and university days, I lived right in the city in an apartment with my mum until I met Daniel, and we moved in together in 2010. Daniel: How long were you in the Navy? I was a Maritime Warfare Officer in the Navy for about 4 years. I decided to leave for lifestyle reasons. Being in a relationship with Sara, I didn’t like having to travel and be at sea, often for extended periods of time. I also found the job incredibly stressful, and it just didn’t suit me as a long term career. That being said, I’ve had some amazing experiences in the Navy, and I’ve made some lifelong friends. Sara: How long have you and Daniel been together, and how did you meet? Daniel and I have been together for about 3 and a half years; we got engaged last March, and our wedding is early next year. We met in Sydney while Daniel was posted at HMAS Watson at Watsons Bay. The story of how we met is quite bizarre! I was out with my girlfriends at a bar in the city, Star Bar it was called, and it’s known for cheap drinks and a cheesy atmosphere! Daniel was out on the town after

a Freedom of Entry march ... yes, in his right choice! Also on the day, Sara met her full on white dress uniform, officer’s cap, current boss, Chris Serow, and shortly after badges and all! A sailor approached me the Expo in October, we paid Armidale a and insisted I dance with his friend, and I visit, and we met up with Chris again. Durpromptly refused, but he was so persistent I ing our visit, he offered Sara a job at Legal agreed – thinking I could sneak away. Minds, so that sealed the deal – we were Daniel then walked up to me, and I moving to Armidale in the new year! thought, “Hey, this guy’s all right!” Sara: How have you both settled in? So I stayed put. Daniel said We’re really enjoying it here. Still that some sailor had told getting used to the cold; it’s him I wanted to dance been a very 'crisp' winter! We’ve found with him, so he came We seem to do more on the cost over. It turned out the weekends here than of living he had no idea who we ever did in Sydney. In an much cheaper th r that sailor was and the city it was always too ou in Sydney, and ing had never spoken to hard to fight the trafok lo e finances ar him before! We had fic, crowds, and it was ” much healthier. a proper date the next so expensive! Here we can weekend and have been walk to most things or drive together since! We like a very short distance with no to think of that sailor as Cupid traffic, and there’s always so much incarnate. on. We love the markets and are very much Daniel: While living in Sydney, is it regulars for breakfast on a Sunday. true that you went to CARLE to check We’ve found the cost of living much out Orange as a potential city change, cheaper than in Sydney, and our finances but you ended up moving to Armidale are looking much healthier. I keep very busy instead? with work as a solicitor at Legal Minds, but Yes, we arrived at the Expo to check out it’s been a great opportunity to meet new Orange, as it was regional but still close people all the time. to Sydney for Sara’s family. The people at We are still definitely far more relaxed the Orange stall basically ignored us, so here than in the rush of the city. It did take we moved on, only to be drawn into the a while to get used to sleeping in the quiet Armidale stall with wine tasting and a very without the lullaby of sirens and parties we enthusiastic bunch of people. were used to. It seems we were won over with wine We also have a constant flow of visitors and the New England region has produced from Sydney, who use our place as their some rippers, so we think we made the country getaway, and it’s become a tradi-

tion to take our visitors on a wine tour of the region. Our friends are always surprised at how good the wine here is! Daniel: You're a horticulturist. What sort of work are you doing here? One of my qualifications is in horticulture, so in a roundabout way I am using this at the Guyra Tomato Exchange, working full-time. I also mark assignments for UNE on a casual basis. My main qualification is a degree in environmental management and I also have a graduate diploma of education, so I may try to move back into these fields when an opportunity presents. Sara: Have you and Daniel joined any clubs or organisations? We volunteer for the RSPCA and help out at their stalls and events – which is so much fun, because we get to play with adorable animals. Daniel is also on the board of directors of the Armidale Club. Final word? Moving to a regional centre was definitely a great move for us. The stress of the city and expense is no longer weighing on us, and we have more time to relax and enjoy our time together. At the moment we are renting a small place near town, but we are planning to buy our own home later this year. We’ve already made some great friends, and our favourite thing to do on a weekend is drive to Thunder Ridge Winery and have a few glasses of wine with the Moores, then spend the night in their lovely cabin with a toasty wood fire! Thanks Daniel and Sara.

new england focus 5

focusinterview. Emma Castelli, Donna Anna

Adrian Tamburini, Leporello and Katherine Wiles, Donna Elvira

Sandra Willis

Chris Ross-Smith interviews Sandra Willis, Manager of Oz Opera, which presents Mozart’s Don Giovanni at Lazenby Hall on August 22. part from being a check-out chick at Coles during her years as a student, Sandra Willis has spent all of her working life in the management and technical areas of the performing arts. Originally wanting to be a performer, she soon realised that although reasonably accomplished, she actually preferred the challenges of working behind the scenes and production management. Following a successful work experience at the Australian Opera, she undertook the three year technical production course at NIDA and then was immediately invited to become a stage manager at Opera Australia. She has worked for numerous companies and festivals, including being the Company Manager for The Bell Shakespeare Company and also being the inaugural Company Manager for the Australian stage production of Priscilla Queen of the Desert in Sydney and Melbourne. In that production she was confronted by enormous challenges in a company of 120 people, while the show was re-worked four times. She felt then that if she could do that, she could do anything. When I talked to her yesterday, she seemed more than pleased with the early performances of Don Giovanni, so I began by quoting an extract from the company’s publicity. “To many people, Don Giovanni is the best opera ever written. I want to make sure everyone knows why, by giving Australians from all walks of life an experience of this opera that will knock their socks off!” says Lyndon Terracini, Artistic Director of Opera Australia, who has selected this show for the 2012 Oz Opera National Tour and cast Michael Gow as Director and a raft of young Principal Artists to perform. “The reason I wanted to have Michael Gow direct Don Giovanni for the Oz Opera 6 new england focus.

“ I promise that Armidale will really enjoy This particul production is strong indeed and easy to understand. ”

Regional Tour was that as a theatre director, he has a great sense of showmanship. So it won’t just be good opera, but a great show! … And we have some of our best young performers in the lead roles, so we make sure the standard is one that we can be really proud of.” Why are you so excited about Don Giovanni? It is a really tight, exciting production. The director Michael Gow has brought to it all his skills as an artistic director of a large theatre company, a director of actors and an established playwright. He has treated the singers as actors, although they remain beautiful singers and encouraged bold, believable performances with excellent diction. Many experienced opera aficionados have said they have enjoyed this production more than many others. The cast is very strong and although most of them play two roles, they are all so accomplished. What particular aspects will please our audience? I have never seen such strong and successful double casting. Such handsome men playing opposite such spunky women. Luke Gabbedy, who plays the principal role of Don Giovanni, is quite excellent amongst an out-

standing cast of twelve. He has played over fifteen separate roles at Opera Australia, including Papegeno, Demetrius and Mercutio. The orchestra is terrific, and most people thought it a much larger group than its nine performers. This is a great theatrical production adapted and staged beautifully by Michael Gow, with a new exciting translation from Anthony Legge. To quote Michael Gow: “It’s really fastpaced, really passionate, really violent and really funny. It has a kind of 1950s ‘La Dolce Vita’ feel to it. If you’ve never been to the opera before, this is a great one. It’s got the big operatic numbers, a very famous duet, some comedy, and great twist at the end!” I promise that Armidale will really enjoy it. This particular production is strong indeed and easy to understand ... a variation on the story of Casanova and his last 24 hours. Although a very dubious character, he presents with enormous charm. So much so, that during one of his important serenades, I was quite affected and said to myself, “Yup – that’s what it is all about!” Why has Michael Gow set it in the fifties? This has been done deliberately. Michael lives in far north Queensland, where there

are many Italian immigrants. He has seen the opera performed there and knew that the Italians missed their language, so that influenced his decision to have one serenade kept in Italian. He has set it in Italy in the 1950s, because that was the last period where women’s roles were carefully defined by marriage and preserving virginity was highly regarded, although challenges were strong. Additionally, it’s just such a stylish era. How do you answer those who question why your touring productions are always sung in English, rather than the language of the opera? The problem is the necessity of accessibility and audience development. We are attempting to encourage and develop an audience for opera. Most newcomers to opera only speak English, and we have evidence that they would be discouraged if they couldn’t understand it. The English Opera Company has the same approach. Once people become opera enthusiasts, then they may want the original language as well. We have to accept that our policy does not always satisfy those who are passionate about hearing the original language of the opera. However, I do love this translation. What is the difference between Oz Opera and Opera Australia?


Adrian Tamburini, Leporello and Luke Gabbedy, Don Giovanni

Opera Australia is our national company performing in the big cities, with sets, musicians and casts of such size that their productions would seldom fit into even the largest regional Performing Arts Centre. Oz Opera has been the touring arm of Opera Australia since 1996, bringing high quality opera to all Australians, regardless of where they live. The annual core activities include a nation-wide regional tour of a full scale opera and two schools company tours to primary school students across metropolitan and regional Victoria and New South Wales. Each year Oz Opera performs to an audience of up to 100,000 people. Oz Opera’s schools company aims to introduce young people to the experience of live performance and to enhance classroom learning in the areas of music and drama. What is the purpose or mission of Oz Opera? Our job at Oz Opera is to reduce the scale of Opera Australian productions, but maintain their quality so that operas can be presented in towns all over this country, including places like Tennant Creek, even though there are not enough hotel rooms to accommodate our company. Our mission is to enrich Australia’s cultural life with exceptional opera that excites audiences outside of the capital cities. Oz Opera has presented a highly successful regional tour every year of its existence. Engagement and accessibility – geographic, artistic and financial are central tenets of our organisation, as is the development of new audiences. We conduct opera workshops to over eighty thousand students a year, with some of our best artists singing in their classrooms. Janet Todd, who plays Zerlina, found her love of opera witnessing such a classroom production. Do you have evidence that your mission is being accomplished?

Eddie Muliaumaseali’i, Commendatore

You wouldn’t have us back if there wasn’t a demand. We have more demand nationally than we can service. Armidale is the only centre in NSW to have presented every opera since our inception. We have an established relationship and a growing audience in the Armidale community, starting in 1997 with The Magic Flute and then followed by six operas including La Traviata in 2010, and now we look forward to performing our new production of Mozart’s Don Giovanni on 22nd of August. One of my favourite quotes was hearing a young girl at school, when asked if she had any questions about our opera workshop, saying: “I don’t have any questions. This is the first opera I’ve ever seen, and I love it.” Why should a city like Armidale have a Performing Arts Centre when we have several smaller venues? The challenge of performing in Armidale is quite definitely the lack of a suitable venue for my type of company. We have always performed in Lazenby Hall, part of the UNE campus. The hall is the only space with a seating capacity of over 400, which means all production, publicity, insurance and venue hire costs can be covered by a reasonably full house. However, as the hall contains too small a stage, we’re required to use the auditorium floor, bringing and building our own system of rostra pieces in order to elevate the performance space so the audience can see the performers. Armidale is the only centre on our tour where this is required, which means we have to transport a whole set of rostra for thousands of kilometres for just one performance. This comes as a large additional expense to Oz Opera. Most medium to large touring companies are simply unable to perform in this venue due to these factors. As you know, this also has the effect of restricting the number of

Jessica Dean, Zerlina and Luke Gabbedy, Don Giovanni

tickets available for sale, as it omits the first eight rows of floor seating, meaning a loss of over 200 seats – which affects your ability to cover costs as a presenter. In addition, the venue is owned and used by the university, meaning that its use for the regional performing arts touring circuit is very limited and reliant on fitting in with the university‘s own commitments, which are not planned anywhere near as far in advance as regional tours. Apart from being a centre for education and agriculture, you are certainly well known for your cultural activities throughout Australia, yet you’re missing so much of what’s on offer from the professional touring circuit. There would be many advantages to building a dedicated Performing Arts Centre in Armidale, which would be of great benefit to the city. These include a suitable loading dock and orchestra pit and a stage with sprung floor appropriate for a variety of medium to large scale productions. It could enliven the centre of town and your Mall, act as a community centre and venue for your local productions, yet encourage visitors to see many more touring performances to the region, including dance, drama, music theatre, opera and classical music. Port Macquarie’s new Arts Centre has done this so successfully that apart from now hosting many touring productions, it has gone from presenting one to three performances of Oz Opera in two years. Is there any evidence that your type of company has an economic impact on a town such as Armidale? It is important to note the economic impact that a regional touring company can have on the local area. For example, when Oz Opera tours in 2012, we will book 30 hotel rooms for two nights at a cost of at least $120 per night and have approximately 180 meals

there, most of which will be in local cafés and restaurants. The company members act as normal buying tourists in their spare time, so over $12,000 may be spent by Oz Opera in Armidale over two days. You may also have audience members coming to town from surrounding areas. If Armidale was to have a dedicated Performing Arts Centre, I am sure there would be much more touring to Armidale by many of Australia’s leading performing arts companies, which would stimulate the local community economically and provide artistic experiences that would not otherwise be available. Extra activities such as workshops and master classes would provide professional development opportunities for local artists, arts workers and students. Oz Opera very much enjoys coming to Armidale. It is one of the few cities in Australia that has been part of every Oz Opera tour since the very beginning. You have a committed and enthusiastic audience and The Armidillos Theatre Company is a very reliable presenter and one we enjoy working with. Has Oz Opera experienced any serious mishaps? Not on my watch, but a singer in one of our earlier productions in north Queensland was bitten by a truly venomous snake before taking his curtain call. He was saved by his thick pants and spats, but was seriously unnerved. Thank you Sandra.

the plug!


Oz Opera’s Don Giovanni will be appearing at the Lazenby Hall on August 22 at 7.30pm. Tickets are available at Readers Companion from July 23, Beardy Street Mall, Armidale.

new england focus 7


special edition

family Moving from Sydney to Armidale may seem like an enormous challenge, and to some city folk it was a move they would never consider. The Hempel family have recently relocated to Armidale, and we caught up with them on their beautiful acreage close to Armidale to find out how they have settled into their new lifestyle.


hat made you first think of relocating out of Sydney, and why choose Armidale? After over 25 years in Sydney, both Sebastian and I were keen for a change. We’d both come to Sydney for university and hadn’t expected to stay in Sydney so long. We had friends who were born and bred in Sydney and could never imagine leaving the city. We didn’t feel like that. We were conscious that if we were going to relocate, we wanted to do it before Emily and Marcus got much older. Sebastian grew up here, and had been reconnected to Armidale since early 2007 through the The Armidale School Board, making moving to Armidale a favoured option. Looking at country towns a key attraction of Armidale is quality schools to enable the children to get a great education and lots of opportunities, as well as its proximity to Sydney, Brisbane and the coast. Now we’re here we realise that Armidale has a lot going on for all ages, including music, education, art and drama. You both have country backgrounds. Why is it important to you to allow your children the opportunities of country living? We want our kids to grow up well-rounded and not just experiencing the slice of Australian life that is Sydney. After living in close quarters and near busy roads, we wanted them to have space and the opportunity to grow up in a more relaxed environment, but at the same time experience a wide variety of challenges. You have found a very special place with a country lifestyle just on the edge of town. What delights you most about your home? After living in Sydney, having acreage is fantastic. We’ve bought pregnant cows and then seen our calves grow up. Emily helped us round them up, vaccinate and ear tag them. At the same time, we’re close to town for the ferrying around and quick trips

8 new england focus.

in to the supermarket or the post office. What were your expectations of the move? Would you say Armidale has met or exceeded those expectations? We expected to have more space than in Sydney, and this expectation has certainly been met. We expected a more balanced lifestyle with more focus around the children and them growing up, rather than our work, and this has also been met. Making new friends has been easier than we expected, and that is great. One thing we’ve noticed is how many activities there are for the children to be involved in. Not having to battle the Sydney traffic makes it more manageable. Tell us about how you balance your busy city careers with living in a regional centre. Amanda does most of the commuting. She’s down to Sydney most weeks, but tries to only be away one night. Coming back to Armidale makes you appreciate the lack of traffic and the short trip from the airport. Seb has a bunch of local business clients and several city and overseas clients with his work as a lawyer at Wilson & Co in town. However, his company directorships, including being Chairman at TAS, now occupy a lot of his time, and a lot of this is done by email and phone. Technology means the people on the end of the phone or email don’t necessarily know or care where you are. It’s easier to manage having one parent away when you are living in a regional centre. The trips to school, sport and music are much quicker. Emily, what has been the biggest change for you? You’re at PLC; tell us what is special about your school? It was a surprise to be leaving Sydney, but I have really enjoyed moving to Armidale and living with extra space and farm animals. It was really easy to settle into PLC. I have a great class and really enjoy my friends and teachers. We get to have great excursions and do things with the university, as well as learning in class.

Marcus, you’re at Martins Gully. What do you love about your school? It has a great playground, and I have made good friends there. What are the unique and special aspects of Armidale that make it ideal for families? As we’ve mentioned, there are lots of opportunities without feeling like you’re giving up the quality education and social opportunities you would find in a major city. There’s plenty of space and a lot less traffic! What would you say to the other families considering a lifestyle change to a country or regional centre? Moving from Sydney makes you realise how Sydney-centric people can be. When Amanda suggested to her law firm that she could still do the

After living in close quarters and near busy “ roads, we wanted them to have space and the opportunity to grow up in a more relaxed environment, but at the same time experience a wide variety of challenges.”

same job by commuting and using technology, they had some doubts, but were willing to give it a go. Eighteen or so months later, everyone is surprised and pleased at how well it works. Coming to Armidale, you realise how many people are running businesses and working around the country while based in Armidale, without needing to be in the city. The smaller schools and a focus on rounded education have been great for the kids. From a social point of view, the smaller community is great, and we make the time to support local events. As someone said to us when we moved, it’s important to support the various productions and events that come to Armidale to make sure they keep coming. Thank you Amanda, Sebastian, Emily and Marc.


s o a k u p t h e a t m o s ph e r e

TURNERS PH: 02 6771 1888







special edition

Darren S C H A E F E R

Darren Schaefer had grown up in Armidale but married a city woman. Having lived away from his hometown for sometime, Darren and his wife decided that a return to Armidale would be the best opportunity for raising their young family.


hen and why did you decide to settle in Armidale? We arrived in June last year. We’d been talking about trying something different for a while, and we ended up deciding on Armidale for family reasons. I had grown up in Armidale and still had family and a few friends here, and my wife – a born and bred city girl – was keen to get a taste of country life. What ages are your children, and what education system have you chosen for them? We have two boys; the eldest is five and the youngest is two. We also have another one on the way, which is exciting – we’ll have to wait and see what that one is (probably another boy, I suspect). They are not at school yet, so we are in the process of choosing which school to enrol them in. You’re a bit spoilt for choice here in Armidale. From what I hear, you can’t really go wrong, as the standard of schooling here is quite high. My wife still can’t get over the number of schools here in relation to the town’s size. The boys are currently both at the Kurrawatha Early Learning Centre for 3 days a week, and they seem to like it ... probably because it has an outdoor play area bigger than the entire day care centre they attended when we were in Sydney. That, and the staff are really nice. Where do you work? At the Community Mutual Group – in Armidale. It’s the parent organisation for a number of regional credit unions that are spread over northern and central NSW. There are about 80 or so people working in our office, and it has a really good culture. It has good, strong values, and I think this is what makes it a great place to work. Tell us about your wife’s work? My wife works at the University of New England. She’s a Management Accountant and 10 new england focus.

Business Analyst by profession and is working 3 days a week in their Finance Division. It’s been great for her to be able to continue in her career, particularly at the UNE. It’s also helped with integrating into the community. Until recently, we actually lived quite close to her work, and her biggest gripe was that she only got By comparison, time to listen to one song in a metropolitan n on the radio while on her environment it ca ore m el fe ‘commute’ into the office. es im et som it’s e lik t bi a – It’s tough ...(?) transient mself, hi r fo an m y er ev Community Mutual easy and it becomes you is very ‘community’ on s cu fo to st ju e of Your advice to families focused. What do you and lose that sens ” living in Sydney, as to like most about our community. why they should move to community? Armidale? There always seems to be That’s a tough one, as every something going on in Armidale, family’s circumstances are unique. However, be it sports, cultural, a charity ball, or an the commonality we all share is time, and the expo of some kind. Community is about how increasing lack of it. This becomes particularly individuals work together, and this collaboration apparent when you have family, and it remains ensures that it remains a great place to live. the same no matter where you live. However, That’s spirit, and Armidale seems to have it in what I have found is that a regional centre spades. It is a bit like a big family, and I like that. offers you a bit of extra time, and if you use By comparison, in a metropolitan environment it effectively, that’s when you really begin to it can sometimes feel more transient – a bit experience the benefits of relocating. like it’s every man for himself, and it becomes Armidale as a choice for families is terrific. easy just to focus on you and lose that sense It’s kind of like one big crèche – but it’s not all of community. So, you could say I am feeling for the kids. This actually goes to one of the somewhat replenished. biggest fears about moving from a city, which is: Plus, it’s only about two hours from the coast, forgoing opportunity and experiences. That, and and on our doorstep are rivers, rapids, huge the perception that everyone north of Hornsby waterfalls, lakes, dams, and National Parks. is permanently in trackie daks, Ugg boots and There are plenty of things to experience if you’re walks around chewing on Spinifex! From my into the outdoors. experience so far, this stereotype does not fit What do you enjoy doing as a family unit? with the Armidale psyche or culture – even We pretty much just find ways to enjoy each though at times the Ugg boots and trackies do other’s company. We are still discovering (and feel terrific! in my case rediscovering) many of the local The energy and sheer volume of talent in attractions. We bought a second hand camper the community ensures that the mums and trailer a couple of months ago, so we’ll be dads don’t want for anything. I mean, I have putting it through its paces when the weather been here 12 months, and I have gone to an warms up a bit.

opera, musical theatre (for which you had to remind yourself you were not in the city), ridden a mountain bike to the coast with 230 other enthusiastic locals, and dined at some top notch local restaurants, many of which stock quality New England produce and are available in an array of international cuisines. That was never here when I was growing up. There’s French, Mexican, Indian, Thai, Moroccan, and more. We’ve even rocked out at local winery for ‘A Day on the Green’ with seven thousand other equally bad dancers – all of which took no longer than 10 minutes to get to, and parking was free! So my advice is: move it or lose it people – and by losing it, I am referring to ‘time’. How has your move personally satisfied you? I am getting to invest in family and myself a bit more. Even if it’s not doing anything at all, I am all good with that. We have recently purchased some acreage with aspirations of building a home within the next 12 months, so we’ll see how that goes. It’s actually taking the steps and making the commitment towards achieving that aspiration that I find personally satisfying. It’s our little shot at building the dream, so hopefully we’ll see it become a reality soon. Thanks Darren.


Arthur Kirk. Local businessman Arthur Kirk tells us how his desire for a challenge led him to retire from Forsyths and open his new company, Intuit Advisory.



A D V I S O R Y.

ow long have you lived in Armidale? I’m happy to say Armidale is my home town. Both my wife and I grew up here, and I was fortunate to enjoy all the good things about the New England lifestyle and environment throughout my schooling and university years. When I finished university, we moved to Sydney to work and experience city life, but when the time came to start a family, we knew it was time to move back to the country and enable our children to experience the advantages of growing up in such a family-friendly place. Armidale has so much to offer; it was a no-brainer. The schools are fantastic, offering abundant opportunities for our children academically, as well as on the sporting field, in the arts and music. The university offers another dimension to our city’s culture as well. And of course, it was great to be near grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins for all of us. Family and community is what it is all about for us. Describe your years at Forsyths? My time at Forsyths has been extremely rewarding and satisfying. I’ve met so many amazing people – colleagues, clients and business associates alike. It’s been a defining period in my career, where I have had an invaluable chance to challenge myself in a number of very different roles. That diversity offered a rich variety of experiences and allowed me to learn and grow and sharpen my skills. Over the last 10 years, I have had the privilege of being the Managing Director and to be at the forefront of managing and developing the business. Forsyths is always striving to be better, and I have thrived on being a part of that challenge. You have helped to build Forsyths into a

great business. When and why are you moving on? I’m never one to settle for the status quo, and you could say there’s something of a perverse streak in me that likes to continually stretch my ‘comfort zone’. My tendency is to take something on, often scarIt’s been a ing the pants off myself defining in the process, and once period in I have a good feel for er my care , where what I’m doing, I start Describe the ideal I have had an ce looking for the next type of client who invaluable chan elf challenge! to challenge mys ry would benefit from in a number of ve I said goodbye to ForINTUIT Advisory? s.” different role syths on the 30th June, The Intuit Advisory vision and the timing was based is simple and singular: to on 3 critical considerations: grow the value of your business. where Forsyths is at, my family, and We will be working with quickly my age. growing businesses that need help bedding Much of what I have been working down their strategy and structures to ensure towards at Forsyths has been achieved, our the business is strong and sustainable. We children are through school, and my best will also be working with large established years are still in front of me. Life is too short businesses that need additional support at to spend it wondering ‘What if?’ the board and executive management levels. I’m attracted by the possibilities of what High quality relationships are a non-negocan lie ahead if you are prepared to embrace tiable for Intuit, which is why we are looking change – on the one hand, exciting – on the for clients we can work with on a regular, other, a bit scary. But hey, it’s grand to be on-going basis and make a lasting and meaalive! surable difference to their business. I’ve never forgotten a great bit of advice a Give an example of the types of packlong-standing client of Forsyths gave me … ages INTUIT will provide? “Arthur, if you’re not standing on the edge, We want clients to think of us as a strayou are taking up too much room!” tegic partner, not a generic service provider. Why the word INTUIT as a company A key advantage is our ability to match the name? service package with clients’ needs. Intuit brings knowledge and wisdom to Intuit’s focus is firmly on strategy, corpothe table. This allows Intuit to focus on the rate governance, risk, succession and operaneeds of its clients and quickly identify what tional management, and our value lies in our should be done to provide valuable outability to help clients identify and implement comes. In other words, Intuit has the ability more effective practices in those areas. to help its clients get to the ‘heart of the Why do you believe ‘corporate managematter’ quickly. This requires insight, clarity ment’ is your forte? and the foresight to see the road ahead. I have always been fascinated with what

creates a quality and sustainable business. My time in advising and building a business has taught me that clear vision, strong principles, solid governance and management structures, and good people with a great attitude are fundamental to success. I have spent about half of my professional career in management roles, and much of my client advisory life has involved the corporate sector, having commenced my career with KPMG in Sydney. Without doubt, my involvement in the transformation of Forsyths from a partnership to a corporate structure over the past decade has been the highlight of my career so far. Will you stay in Armidale? My work will require me to travel around Australasia quite a bit, but we both love Armidale and intend to stay here. We are lucky to have wonderful family and friends in Armidale and a marvellous place to live just out of town, and we value that greatly. Finally, are you still an avid golfer? At 16, the only thing I wanted to do was play golf and be around golf courses. Life had other ideas and took me down different paths, but I still try to play on a regular basis. As much as I hate to admit it, Jan is a far more consistent golfer. Despite the fact that I think I should be able to play better than I do, I really enjoy being with my mates on the Armidale golf course every chance I get. Thanks Arthur. new england focus



Michael Martin. Michael Martin has journeyed across the world to run one of Armidale’s most successful businesses, Petals Network. In this interview, he shares how his ‘family-time’ has increased tenfold.


hat is your position at Petals Angeles, California just over a year ago, and it has Network? been a wonderful adventure. Moving halfway across I am the Managing Director of the world with a 6 and 2 year old to a new country Petals Florist Network and lead and from an urban centre to a regional city was a Petals’ and Teleflora’s operations tremendous leap of faith that hasn’t come without its in Australia, New Zealand and Great Britain. In April of share of challenges. But overall, it has been great. My 2011, Petals was purchased by Teleflora USA, based in ‘family-time’ has increased tenfold. The commute is 5 Los Angeles, making Petals part of the world’s leading minutes. flower delivery service. After a few trips back and forth, We couldn’t be more pleased with our son’s school I relocated to Armidale from Los Angeles with my wife and how well he is adapting to a new country and new and our two children to be part of the Petals operation home. And the access to Armidale’s natural scenery full-time. has been a wonderful bonus, giving us many areas to Describe your services? explore. Petals Florist Network is one of Australia’s How is it possible to run such a big premier flower delivery services, business from a regional city? connecting customers with the best It is not only possible, but in many local florists around the world cases easier and more efficient to for more than 20 years. We We couldn’t be operate from Armidale than from more pleased are the largest florist network one of the major cities, and the s with our son’ in Australia, with 1,700+ w ho d nature of our business model lends an school florist members throughout g itself to being here. Our key vendors well he is adaptin y Australia, New Zealand and the to a new countr are, literally, just down the street. I United Kingdom and transmit and new home.” can walk a few doors down and have hundreds of thousands of floral discussions with the team that helps arrangements worldwide. to support our IT infrastructure needs All Petals floral orders are artistically and then another few doors to talk to our arranged and hand-delivered from local Telecom guys and a few more doors and talk to florists, and most are ordered and delivered in the our banker. Armidale is geographically rural, but that same day. Operating under both the Petals and Teleflora has little to no impact on our operations. brands, we make it easy for consumers to send beautiful I talk with key customers and vendors daily, have florist-delivered products anywhere in the world. online video conferences with employees in Los Angeles In addition to our consumer business, Petals provides and have webinars with our e-commerce and IT a number of technology, e-commerce and marketing development teams regularly. We can address 100% of solutions to our florist members, designed specifically our operational needs with the team and infrastructure for floral operations. Petals Florists are the best in in place in Armidale. Plus, the necessary trips to Sydney, the business in a very demanding industry and pride Melbourne and Brisbane are very easy to manage. themselves on delivering beautiful, high quality floral How many employees do you employ in total? bouquets and arrangements on every order. Our employees are our greatest asset. The You moved from the USA to Armidale to run Petals. Petals Team is 20 strong and all are members of Are you enjoying your new Armidale lifestyle? the local community. The group is loyal, seasoned, Absolutely! Our family moved to Armidale from Los


new england focus.

knowledgeable and extremely dedicated to servicing the needs of all of Petals’ customers. They know our business and our customers and the job they do truly makes Petals stand out in our industry. How do you manage to remain leaders in your field? We are not complacent. We will lead by investing in the most modern technology, seeking continuous innovation and improvement in the services we offer, and providing the best people and support in the business to ensure our customers’ confidence and complete satisfaction. At the end of the day, it comes down to providing a valuable service to consumers and remaining a profitable partner to our florist members – and doing that better than our competitors. What are the benefits of running a huge business from a regional site? Lower operating costs, employee stability, better service and support and great balance between work and life are all benefits I have experienced first hand. All of these things give us greater flexibility to take calculated risks and make continuous investments in the company and our florist partners. Your advice to anyone considering a city change to Armidale? I guess it depends on your own situation, motives and priorities. For me, the change of pace between Los Angeles and Armidale and the better work/life balance suited our family very well. We love the outdoors, and Armidale thrives when it comes to nature and scenery. If you are considering a move to a regional city, I would recommend talking to someone who has already done it. Based on my own experiences, I have a long list of both pros and cons. The more people you can talk to, the better sense for how a move like this will impact your own life. The Armidale Chamber of Commerce would be a great resource to start prior to any relocation. It is also a great resource for networking and getting established once you arrive. Thanks Michael.



A word from Vicki Kembery.



There are many ways to travel the wo world and a myriad of companies that you can travel with, but I’ve always found that when travelling around Asia, being part of a small group tour is a really interesting, relaxing and enjoyable way to travel.


ours take the hassle out of everything and allow you to sit back, or in the case of many of the small group tours in Asia, jump on a push bike, ride in a rickshaw, laze back on a barge or jolt along on a train, all without the worry of having to organise or wonder if everything is going to fall into place. They really let you sink into the culture of the places you are visiting and often have hidden surprises and delights that you just wouldn’t get to see or experience if you were doing it on your own. The other really nice thing about travelling as part of a small group tour is the other people on tour with you. Because they have also booked the small group tour option, chances are they are going to be very similar in mind-set and expectations to you. I went on a small group tour a few years ago round Vietnam, and the other people on the tour were as much a ‘highlight’ of the tour as the sights and sounds I experienced. Everyone I speak to who goes on small group tours always come back with stories about the people they met on tour, as much as what they saw and experienced. Travel Indochina is one of the experts when it comes to small group touring in Asia, with over 60 different itineraries to choose from across 11 countries. They also have their Handmade Holidays programme for those travellers wanting a bit more flexibility but still want the worry taken out of their holiday. Travel Indochina has tours ranging from 5 days up to 26 days throughout Asia, and you can visit Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, China, India, Japan, Mongolia, Bhutan, Sri Lanka and most recently, with 2 new itineraries this year, fascinating Burma. Burma, or Myanmar, has been fairly hidden from the outside world but is now becoming a very popular destination, especially among 2nd and 3rd time travellers to Asia. The 9 day

Highlights of Burma trip is a great way to see this fascinating country. Cruising is another way to see Asia, and there are some great cruises which head down the coast of Vietnam, round into Thailand and then onto Singapore. Or, if river cruising is more your thing, there are cruises on the Yangtze in China or the Mekong in Vietnam and Cambodia. And if you are thinking about a beach holiday in Asia, why not give Vietnam a thought instead of Phuket or Bali – you’ll be pleasantly surprised not only with the beaches, but with the prices too! Or, for something really exceptional and picture-perfect, you still can’t go past the Maldives! Moving away from Asia for a moment, don’t forget if you are planning a holiday to Europe, the UK, USA or Canada next year there are some great savings to be made, if you can book early. There are deals with free airfares, 2 for 1 deals on airfares, free upgrades on your cabin on river cruises and much more. So drop in and see me for any of your travel needs. On a different note, Neal and Scot in Adventure 195 have put together a great ‘Starter Pack’ for would be walkers, campers and trekkers. Or if you are doing your Duke of Edinburgh Award anytime soon, then this Starter Pack is just the thing for you. It gives you a 2-man tent, sleeping bag, 2 water bottles, sleeping mat and trekking pack, all for just $495.95 – this would normally cost you over $720! So call into the store – that’s the bright green shop in Dangar Street – and see me about any of your travel requirements, or Neal and Scot if it’s adventure and travel goods you need. For the best advice, experience and knowledge on all things travel and adventure, drop into Travel 195 and Adventure 195. new england focus 13







Watch on your smartphone

ABOUT: Meet entertainer Richard Carter, who has worked with Baz Luhrmann on The Great Gatsby and soon Dr Miller on Mad Max 4. Richard moved to Armidale from Sydney 6 years ago. Does he regret g the decision? WATCH AT::


Image of the month.

by Marie Wall of Bistro On Cinders

local dr p.

Peterson’s Wines

"An image I took in Armidale one foggy autumn morning on Elm Drive at The University Of New England." Photo by: Adrian Goddard. Camera: Pentax K20D. Lens: Sigma 17 - 70 mm f2.8 - 4.5 DC. Taken a great photo of our local area? Like to see it published in FOCUS for the world to see? Just email

Pinot Noir

The wine is a bright burgundy red in colour with a light rust hue. The bouquet has aromas of strawberries, cherries, violets with gentle hints of smoky and earthy undertones.

with Robert Gasparre from Armidale Farmers’ Market

The palate is elegant and fine, with flavours of sour cherry and mixed berries. It is clean and ‘pretty’, with a dry and lingering savoury finish.


This wine is perfect with duck; however, you can also enjoy with salmon, tuna, sardines, as well as BBQ baby octopus.

AT ’ S I N

AVAILABLE: Available at Peterson’s Winery, 345 Dangarsleigh Rd, Armidale. Ph: (02) 6772 0422. COST: $27 a bottle.


MORE INFO: The beautiful leaves of the kale plant provide ide an earthy eart rthy hy flavou aavour vourr aand nd mo mor more orre nutritional o nutr nutr utriti triti itttiio iona ona onal n l value valu alu alue l e for for or few ffewer fe er calories than almost any other food around. It is in n season on from from the the middle mi dle off winter mid winte win r through thro hro rough ro u to the beginning of spring. Kale is a form of cabbage, in which the central leaves do head. considered o not form a h he hea ead. ea d It is con co onsidere onsid ered d to be closer to wild cabbage than most domesticated forms. It is easy to grow and is an ornamental n orname meenta men ntal addition to the vegetable garden. While not as well researched as some of its fellow cruciferous ferous us vegetables, veg getabl bles, like ble broccoli or cabbage, kale is a food that you can count on fo for unsurpassed or some some m un nsur s passed d health benefits. It is said to have cholesterol lowering, anti can cancer ancer and and detoxifying properties.



Sky 2 TAB Meeting.

Saturday 11 August

One popular variety of kale is the Italian Cavolo Negro. The leave leaves es are ae a very dark green, almost black, hence its name, which translates trans anslat a ess at as 'black cabbage'. It has a pleasantly tangy, bitter flavour, our,r, with ou with a sweet aftertaste.


Saturday 25 August

Sky 2 TAB Meeting.


Saturday 15 September

Sky 2 TAB Meeting. St Albert's College Race Day.

Look for crisp, unblemished leaves, with no holes. Avoid d cor cores es that are split or dry. Remove old or damaged outer leaves, es, es cut the leaves free of the core, and slice out any tough central stalks. Rinse, then chop or slice.


Saturday 27 October

Sky 2 TAB Meeting (Cox's Plate Day).

Kale is nice simply stir-fried in olive oil with garlic and pine ine nuts or slivered almonds.


Sunday 11 November

TAB Spring Cup.

For more information visit 14 new england focus.


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


David Aitken. David Aitken has made the ultimate city change to Armidale . He has moved from Hong Kong, where he was working with the most advanced mobile telecommunications network in the world. We catch up with him to find out WHY ARMIDALE? hen did you first live in Armiers throughout NSW who have found themselves dale? negotiating with coal miners and CSG companies I first lived in Armidale in 1990, wanting to either access or acquire their land. I also after moving from Narrabri to specialise in Local Government and planning law study at UNE. I had previously been at school in and have acted for a number of Councils in New Sydney and was really looking forward to living South Wales. I also act for large agri-corporates, as full-time in the country again. I lived in St Albert’s well as undertaking farm succession planning work. College in my first year at university, which was a Effectively I am a business and commercial lawyer, great introduction to university life and also the city. but I have also run many commercial litigation matIn second year, I lived in town with college friends ters during the 15 years since I was admitted as a and then was lucky enough to be employed at TAS solicitor. as a Duty Master. I stayed at TAS for a number of Your greatest achievements while working in years, and then took up a position as a residential Asia, Europe and North America? law tutor in Robb College. While in Hong Kong, I was part of a team that What did you achieve while studying at UNE? designed, built and implemented what was then I received degrees in Arts and Law, which set the most advanced mobile telecommunications the foundation for my working life. I’ve had an network in the world. It was a complex and difficult interesting career to date, and I owe much of this project, but the end result was extremely satisfying. to the things that I learnt during my time at UNE. I I looked after the regulatory side of the project and also made some great friends here in Armidale, so got to meet and deal with some very high profile it was great to come back and catch up with them representatives of the Chinese government. again. I also found the time to undertake more Why have you decided to return to studies and completed a Postgraduate Armidale? Diploma in Corporate Governance My wife, Megan, and I were and Directorship and a Master of s “ I have alway elf living in Hong Kong with our Science. ys m ed consider – y' children, Charlie and CampI think that the greatest achievebo ry nt ou a 'c bell. We had been there for six ment while working overseas was even when I was years and both had interesting sitting in a highdle not something that I achieved perrise in the mid careers, but we wanted the kids sonally, but rather something that of the city ... ” to be raised in Australia and have is inherent in almost every Austraa country upbringing. I had always lian: that is an ability to adapt, create retained very fond memories of Armiand ‘have a go’, which is why Australians dale, and we began to discuss the possibility are highly valued employees in many countries of moving back to this region. We found a place around the world. that we love just outside of town and moved here Would you say Armidale is suited to running in December last year. big business and why? The decision to choose Armidale for us was, I Any business owner will tell you that their guess, a very similar one that brings other people business is only as good as its people. Armidale is to Armidale. Education has always been important fortunate to have a highly competent and educated to us, and Armidale has exceptionally good schools. workforce (thanks in part to UNE), which means Beyond that, I was fortunate enough to be offered that it is a great place to build a business. a position with Wilson & Co Lawyers, who had Many people relocate here but their work (or similar ideas to me about providing legal services to in my case – clients) are from much further afield. clients both locally and further afield. With technology, the tyranny of distance becomes Our kids were very enthusiastic about coming meaningless, so that you can be based here but to Armidale. They’ve been riding horses since they effectively and easily work with businesses and were three years old, and the opportunity to have colleagues from around the world. Added to that their own horses was too good to miss. They enjoy the NBN, which is already a reality in New England the open space and the outdoors, which is a big (I have the NBN connected at my house) will further change after life in Hong Kong. facilitate opportunities for existing Armidale busiWhat part of law do you specialise in? nesses or new ones looking to set up shop. My family’s background is in agriculture, and I What do you do in Armidale for enjoyment? continue to maintain an interest in that industry, Most of my spare time is spent with our wonderraising a few cattle myself as well as the horses. I ful kids. We all ride horses, so that takes up most of have always considered myself a 'country boy' – our leisure time. Aside from that, I enjoy catching even when I was sitting in a high rise in the middle up with friends at Armidale’s great restaurants, folof the city, so now I specialise in the law as it relates lowing the Rugby and reading. to rural people and businesses. I act for landholdThanks David. new england focus 15

16 new england focus.


special edition

Seeking better career, education and lifestyle opportunities, Lisa and Peter Haynes and their daughters moved to Armidale eight years ago – and they’ve never looked back.



isa and Peter, tell us about where you both grew up. Lisa: I grew up right here in Armidale, after my family moved here from Mudgee in the early


In 2004, an opportunity came up for Pete to transfer to Armidale. What were some of the deciding factors in choosing to move to Armidale after being away for 10 years? ‘70s. Lisa: For me, it was pretty easy; I loved I went to Ben Venue for infants, Armidale growing up here. I still had friends and family City for primary and then PLC and Duval for in the town and could see that Armidale could high school. One great thing about going to be so fulfilling for a young family. a few different schools is that I know so many Pete: I could develop my career with NAB different people in town. After school, Agribusiness, as it is a strong, progressive I had a brief stint in Sydney and office. I also love my Rugby and completed a traineeship with a triathlons, and I could continue public relations firm. I came with both of them here. The business back to Armidale and was Peter, what does your got bigger e involved in shopping job as Agribusiness th er ov we d an s, ar centre management and manager with NAB ye x si next inal then commercial real involve? outgrew our orig ths site. Twelve mond estate. It was during this I help our mostly ago, we relocate to a time that I met Pete, and farming customers get to across the mall in . ” op I left Armidale to be with where they want to be, sh er much larg him in 1995. which is very rewarding. I Peter: I grew up on a get on farm two to three days sheep and cattle property near a week. Every farming operation Molong. After studying Ag Economis different, which means that you learn ics at Sydney Uni, I worked in woolsheds, on something every trip. We cover from Walcha to a few different properties and for an agent, as Tenterfield and Dorrigo to Bundarra. well as working on the family property. Lisa, you’ve purchased and rebranded a Lisa, you moved away from Armidale for retail outlet. What has your journey with some years, and in 2004 you moved back Concepts been like? here. Fill in the years in between for us. In January 2006 we purchased Country ConPete and I were married in 1997 and then cepts. We had never owned a retail business, lived on his family property. We had our first so it was a steep learning curve. We re-vamped daughter, Lucy, there. There were some changit, changing the look and the styling to suit es to the family business, so we broadened our our customers. The business got bigger over horizons. the next six years, and we outgrew our original Pete joined NAB Agribusiness in 1999 in site. Twelve months ago we relocated across Dubbo. Penny was born there, to make our the mall into a much larger shop. family complete. After about three years, Pete We changed the name to Concepts of Armigot a promotion that took us to Goondiwindi. dale, to broaden our range and market appeal.


The relocation of the business was a risk, particularly with the constant doom and gloom in the media, but it was a risk worth taking. I have a wonderful staff, and our customers are just delightful. They really enjoy the ‘Concepts’ experience. We get people from Sydney and other metropolitan areas who make us a destination on their travels. They always seem to find the right thing with us. Peter, you've been involved with New England Rugby Union as a referee for some years, haven’t you? I’ve been refereeing since we moved here, and I love it. It is a great way of giving something back to a game that I got so much out of. As well as making sure you stay fit, it teaches you to be positive, decisive and to stay calm under pressure. While New England is only a small comp, there is some great Rugby played here, and there are also opportunities to ref some good schoolboy Rugby. How would you describe your family’s life in Armidale? Lisa. Great, busy, full, relaxed, hectic, fulfilled. Like all families with children, life does get busy juggling between work, family, friends, school and sporting commitments. Winter is probably busier, with both girls playing hockey and Pete refereeing Rugby on Saturday afternoons. Some weekends are very lazy and relaxing, and others are very busy and social. We have a great group of friends, both old and new. What do you love about Armidale? Peter. The uni and schools give the town a different feel to most country towns. It actually mixes really well with the established cattle and sheep industries. Armidale has offered opportunities in terms

of career, business, education and lifestyle. It is a great place to bring up our kids. And of course, there is your children’s school. Why did you choose NEGS? Lisa: We liked the idea of sending the girls to St John's at NEGS, because of the small school environment they offer. Lucy was lucky to be offered an academic scholarship for primary, and this helped the decision. Penny followed, and the girls couldn’t be happier. Lucy actually came home on her first day and said, “Mum, that was the best day of my life. Thank you so much for sending me to St John's”. We haven’t looked back academically or socially with either of the girls. Lucy is now in high school at NEGS, and Penny is at St John's. They have a fantastic group of friends who are both day girls and boarders. It is really nice to be a bit of a surrogate mum to some of the boarders; weekend sleepovers are a regular occurrence. We have a really nice group of friends we have made through the school. Pick up and drop off can be very social! Peter, you were educated at a large boarding school in Sydney. What do you think are the advantages of a smaller school in a regional centre compared to one with thousands of students in the city? Peter: It is much more intimate. You get to meet so many more of the whole school community. At the same time, the kids get similar opportunities as the bigger schools. And finally – you’ve both got a stack of friends in the city. What would you say to them to help them discover a vibrant life in regional Australia for themselves? Peter: I would say wake up to yourselves and get up here. Thank you both.

new england focus 17

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


First Saturday chats


The next First Saturday Chats will be held between 10am and 1pm on Saturday 4 August 2012 and will be hosted by Chelsea Schaefer (Solicitor). Bookings for an obligation-free consultation as part of this program are essential on 1300 642 166. When 10am to 1pm; Sat 4 August 2012. Where Legal Minds, Beardy St Mall. Contact 1300 642 166.

OZ Opera The Armidillos Theatre Company will present Oz Opera's new production of Mozart's Don Giovanni. It is sung in English, with a Chamber orchestra. When August 22 at 7.30pm. Where Lazenby Hall. Tickets Readers Companion Ph 6771 2544.

31 Kerry O'Brien Join Friends Of The ABC in conversation with one of Australia's most respected journalists and Gold Walkley winner. When August 31 @ 7pm. Where Tas Hoskins Centre. Contact 6772 5856 or 6772 0342.

Ooh La La Burlesque Dancers live An evening of Burlesque and musical entertainment, Ooh La La promises to heat up even the coldest Armidale winter night, featuring special guest Miss Burlesque Australia 2012, Briana Bluebell. When 28 July. Where The Armidale Club. Contact or Black Dot Music.

18 new england focus.


Sydney Symphony at the Lazenby Hall Experience the majestic sound of trumpets,

Romanticism, as well as music of our own time.

trombones, French horns and tuba this

Enjoy the spine tingling Canzon Septimi by

August, when the Sydney Symphony Brass

Gabrieli, a stunning waltz suite by Richard

Ensemble perform Brass Exhibition for one

Strauss and the spectacular and mesmerizing

night only at the Lazenby Hall, University of

arrangement by Elgar Howarth of Mussorgsky’s


New England in Armidale, on Thursday 30

Pictures at an Exhibition.

August at 7.30pm.

Don’t miss the artistry and technical brilliance

This is an opportunity to see the Sydney

of the Sydney Symphony Brass Ensemble in

Symphony brass section, as they emerge from

Armidale, for one night only.

behind the orchestra in what promises to be

Book your tickets today at Dymocks Armidale,

an intimate performance which will showcase

169 Beardy Street, by phone (02) 6771 4558 or

the sheer brilliance of this section. They will

online at – tickets from

play works from high Renaissance to high

$39, with student and child prices available.

This is our backyard... Spectacular waterfalls, gorges, and World-Heritage National Parks. As an Evocity, Armidale offers the upsides of a major city, with none of the downsides. First-class education, the National Broadband Network and a diverse economy, packaged into a cosmopolitan city with a fabulous culture, stunning environment, fine food and great coffee.





Thu 30 Aug, 7.30pm


Featuring music by Gabrieli, Richard Strauss and the spectacular Pictures at an Exhibition, performed by the Sydney Symphony Brass Ensemble. Michael Mulcahy conductor Sydney Symphony Brass Ensemble

Buy tickets at Dymocks 169 Beardy street Armidale, NSW (02) 6771 4558 or Sydney Symphony Box Office Online at Or call (02) 8215 4600


*All prices include GST. Booking and transaction fees of $2.75 - $7.50 may apply. REGIONAL TOUR PARTNERS:


new england focus 19


Margaret Olley and The Yellow Room Triptych (2007)

ret Ollraey Margieace fo r Ne m

M as te rp xciting news for Armidale is the New England Regional Art Museum’s acquisition of The Yellow Room Triptych (2007), a major artwork by iconic Australian artist Margaret Olley.


Packsaddle, an Armidale-based group of long-time NERAM supporters, initiated the idea of purchasing The Yellow Room Triptych from the Margaret Olley Trust earlier this year. The Friends of NERAM, NERAM Foundation and NERAM Board have also thrown their support behind the acquisition and The Yellow Room Appeal, a two-year campaign to raise the required funds of $400,000, is now in full swing. This oil painting is widely regarded in the art world as Olley’s magnum opus and is currently on display at NERAM for a limited time. “Her genius, I think, lay in her belief that

simple is better than complicated, that quiet is better than noisy and that what is close at hand is better than that which has to be sought … we need to look no further for her genius than this great, great Yellow Room,” said Philip Bacon, leading Brisbane art dealer, philanthropist, longtime friend of Olley and guest speaker at the unveiling of the acquisition in June. NERAM, through The Yellow Room Appeal Committee, is committed to raising funds to purchase this exceptional work of art for the Howard Hinton Collection, to ensure Margaret Olley’s magnum opus is on display in a public institution, enjoyed and valued by a wide audience, as was her wish. Armidale is destined to become a vital stopover on the planned Margaret Olley Trail, connecting galleries in Sydney, Newcastle and Murwillumbah (where Margaret Olley’s own yellow room is to be recreated). This will undoubtedly

raise Armidale’s – and the entire region’s – profile in the cultural tourism market. The Yellow Room Appeal welcomes donations of any amount. For more details and to donate online, go to

the plug! NERAM opening hours: Tues - Fri 10am to 5pm, Sat & Sun 10am to 4pm. Closed Mon. Ph 6772 5255.

Supporting the Leaders for Tomorrow aul Wadleigh and Tony Tierney are employees of The Ascent Group’s Acacia Park Enterprises, an Australian Disability Enterprise whose purpose is to provide meaningful and productive employment in the local community and to facilitate opportunities for personal and social development. Paul and Tony were identified as potential participants in the Leaders for Tomorrow program and supported by The Ascent Group to participate.


Paul and Tony have been participating in the Leaders for Tomorrow program since September 2011, and they will graduate in October this year. The program is an individual leadership program which is committed to developing 200 people with a disability to be more skilled, confident and active in leadership roles in business, community, government or their chosen area of interest. The program started with a ‘Retreat’ in Sydney, where Paul and Tony were able to meet with nearly 50 participants from all over Australia who had been chosen for the program. Besides meeting the other participants, the two enjoyed the plane 20 new england focus.

Tony Tierney and Paul Wadleigh trip, exploring Sydney and getting lost in the city! Both Paul and Tonys’ goals involved having a leadership role in their workplace and the community. Paul and Tony have just completed a Semester at Armidale TAFE, where they studied subjects that will help them be effective and skilled leaders/mentors within The Ascent Group. They now feel more confident to be good communicators and have the skills to mentor other workers who may need support. Since joining the program, Tony has become very involved with the local SES, and with their support he is working on getting his truck licence. He also has the responsibility of driving the bus to pick up The Ascent Group workers to take them to and from work at Acacia Park. Paul is a keen Lawn Bowler and is hoping to become more involved in a leadership

role at his local Bowling Club. Through mentoring and leadership development opportunities, Leaders for Tomorrow participants will become better equipped to contribute as leaders in Australia’s future. The Leaders for Tomorrow program is being delivered throughout Australia by Hunter TAFE in partnership with E-QUAL (Enhancing Quality) based in Western Australia, with funding from the Australian Government Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs.

contact info. Kevin Mead p. 6774 8977 w.


special edition


It has been just over 2 years since the formation of the amalgamated Society. The combining of the old Armidale Playhouse and the Musical Society has enabled members to concentrate their efforts to provide a varied program of high quality amateur theatre for the people of Armidale.




The national concert series A Day On The Green launched in Armidale earlier this year, with a hugely successful event at Peterson’s Winery Armidale. More than 5,000 music fans from around the New England region were in raptures, enjoying classic Aussie Rock music from Noiseworks, Ian Moss, Ross Wilson, Richard Clapton, Dragon and the Choirboys. Peterson’s became one giant sing-along for home-grown hits like Take Me Back, Tucker’s Daughter, Eagle Rock, Girls On The Avenue, April Sun In Cuba and Run To Paradise. On a beautiful sunny March afternoon, the crowd relaxed on deck chairs and rugs, enjoying their own picnics or the food available on site from the quality local providers


– and of course, the fabulous Peterson’s wines! The artists also attended the merchandise stand after each performance to meet fans and sign CDs, which proved very popular with the local crowd. Since commencing in 2001, A Day On The Green has presented almost 300 shows around Australia. Melbourne-based Roundhouse Entertainment, promoters of A Day on the Green, worked closely with Peterson’s Winery and the Armidale Dumaresq Council for many months to secure the event, which provided a huge financial boon for local businesses. The good news is A Day On The Green will be returning to Peterson’s Winery Armidale again early next year.

The ADMS endeavours to present at least 3 or 4 shows a year. At least one of these shows is always a musical. Our recent efforts include the stirring Australian Musical The Hatpin and Mel Brook’s The Producers. We try to provide 2 or 3 plays a year as well. Comedy is always popular, and our recent endeavours reflect this. With Neil Simon’s California Suite and Noel Coward’s Blithe Spirit. You can follow our activities via our website at - Yet to come this year are our season of short plays, Favourite Shorts in late August and the Christmas Comedy A Kick in the Baubles for a short season in early December. We already have an exciting program lined

up for next year, with a musical that is still to be announced. Suffice it to say, it will be a very popular and exciting choice! As well, there will be a drama, The Memory of Water by Shelagh Stephenson and the riotous farce Farndale Ladies do Macbeth. Somewhere in there (August to be exact) is another in our popular concert series, with the Australian Symphony Orchestra based on music from Showboat and other Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein music. We welcome anyone who is interested to contact us at the above website. Neil Horton President ADMS.


ART esces Hoskins Centre. The TAS Hoskins Centre is a thriving creative arts hub offering a unique blend of professional arts practice and youth education.

s well as many high-quality student productions, its state-of-theart 240-seat theatre also presents a number of professional touring productions and plays host to many local cultural organisations’ events. On August 16, Queensland Theatre Company’s swashbuckling production of Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic Treasure Island will stop by The Hoskins Centre on its national tour, followed by irreverent indigenous comedy Chasing the Lollyman on August 25, also on its way around Australia. October 9 -13 will see

Country Art Escapes New England North West Regional Art Trail is now online!

the culmination of a thrilling collaboration between the Sydney Theatre Company and the Hoskins Centre. STC have been developing a new play inspired by work that was done with many young people in the New England region in 2012. The Hoskins Centre will host the world premiere of this new work, which will see young Armidale actors take the stage with professional actors. For more information on all that goes on at the Hoskins Centre, go to: http://hoskins. or email: or find us on Facebook and Twitter.

Explore the arts and cultural highlights of the New England North West is an interactive and accessible website that offers visitors and locals the opportunity to plan a day trip or a longer cultural tour. Explore the artist studios, galleries, museums and other cultural venues and experiences of the New England North West region of New South Wales. You might create your own regional art trail, or follow one of the suggested Country Art Escapes tours. The Country Art Escapes website is a convenient way to plan customised cultural tours – a resource you can use to map out a short day trip or a longer journey through the region’s quality arts and cultural experiences.

Country Art Escapes also presents options for you to follow suggested trails, take advantage of organised tours or investigate featured attractions and events. Whether you plan a day trip or create a longer term tour of the region, be sure to take the opportunity to intersperse your cultural tour with food, wine, festivals, accommodation and great local knowledge! Country Art Escapes is an Arts North West initiative. Thanks to support from the Regional Tourist Office (RTO) and the enthusiasm of the region’s many artists and venues, the subscription-based art trail is now online! Take a look … For more details, contact Arts North West on (02) 6732 4988 or

new england focus 21

focuseditorial. focus


Telstra has households humming on the National Broadband Network

Telstra technician and local resident Cameron Ross

How many devices do you have in your home that connect to the internet? You might have an old PC in the spare room, a laptop, each of your children might have a smartphone, and then there’s that new iPad you’ve been eyeing up?

AGM Tricia Wilson North West NSW (Armidale)

In the next decade, we will see an explosion in connected household devices, as the way we use technology to communicate with each other, and the world, continues to evolve. With Telstra services on the NBN, you’ll be ready to take full advantage of them.

According to recent Telstra research, the average Australian home has up to five devices connecting to the internet at any one time, and trying to use them all at once can cause more tension than a fight over the TV remote!

Our technicians are well equipped to support Armidale residents as they move into this fibre future. They will explain how to get the most out of your devices and ensure you have the right set-up.

In Armidale, the NBN offers super-fast connection speeds, making it easier to fit more into your day. You can surf the web, shop online, video call your friends and watch entertainment on demand across Wi-Fi enabled tablets, smartphones, gaming devices and laptops.

More importantly, our technicians won’t leave until your Telstra devices are up and running and your home is connected.

Fibre’s extra bandwidth means the whole household will hum – on our fastest plans it can take you just minutes to download a BigPond movie to your computer, or seconds to download songs, and you can upload photos to Facebook® in a flash.

22 new england focus.

more info.

This is where Telstra services on the NBN can make life easier. By connecting your home to the new National Broadband Network (NBN), the whole family can do more things at the same time, like downloading movies on the computer while checking the weather on the T-Hub® – all at high speed.

Telstra technicians deliver fibre future to Armidale Telstra technician and local resident Cameron Ross is using his 31 years of telecommunications experience and skills to connect customers to Telstra services on the National Broadband Network (NBN) in Armidale. After starting his career with Telstra at the local Exchange, Cameron moved out into the field and is excited about the roll-out of fibre in Armidale and connecting locals to the new technology. “We are here to get the job done

To fi nd out more about Telstra’s services on the NBN, where they’re available and if you can get connected, visit your local Telstra Store at 204 Beardy St, Armidale. 1800 TFIBRE (1800 834 273) or

quickly and efficiently and with little disruption. In most cases, the phone line will be working throughout the installation period,” he said. Cameron admits every home is different, which is why having a

personalised service is a big plus. Once NBN Co connects the fibre to a customer’s home, Telstra completes the installation with a follow-up appointment, where one of Cameron’s team attends to connect the customer to Telstra services on the NBN. “People often have multiple devices to connect, so having one of us come to their home to do a professional installation makes the process a little less daunting for our customers,” he said. “We take the time to explain to customers how their services work, and won’t leave until the job is done,” he added. ® Registered trade mark of Telstra Corporation Limited. Facebook® is a registered trade mark of Facebook Inc.



get connected. As National Broadband Network (NBN) is being rolled out accross Armidale, local user Seren Trump encourages our readers to get connected.


photography, page layout – the lot. ow long have you lived in Tell us about your business? Armidale? In 2009, after the birth of my second child, I I moved to Armidale 20 years started Trump Media, providing communications ago from a very small town in and design advice to clients. Along with Trump western Victoria. The town I came Media, for the past year I have taken on a role with from had the same population as my new school Evans Publishing as Group Editor of their six newsin Armidale, Duval High School, so it was a very papers. I’m constantly communicating with our site interesting experience moving to what I considered editors and photojournalists via email, downloading to be ‘the big smoke’. contributions and sending articles and photos in to The teachers were all very supportive, and I head office. I’ve had a few times when had access to so many extracurricular I went through my 200GB limit on activities. During my time at Duval, my NBN trial, and I can tell you it I sang in a choir at the Opera is incredibly painful having to go House twice, saw Shakespeare BN N “Since the el fe I ng hi back to normal speeds! performances and participatet is som out, I passionately ab to tell How and why did you ed in many writing workry happy ve am become one of the first busishops with famous authors. uch everyone how mNBN, e nesses to use NBN? The educational opportunith ith W it. e I lik can be My name was put forward by ties available in Armidale are rural businessese.” truly competitiv Council as someone who lived in fantastic; I’m so lucky to have the NBN trial area, who also ran a moved here and continued my business from home. They then gave education at Duval. my name to my internet service provider What is your history in media and and in April last year, I was hooked up. I was one marketing? of the first seven people on the Australian mainland I’m constantly surprised by the opportunities to have the NBN. Armidale has presented me with. In the early I can really see the benefits for regional and rural 2000s, I went to the University of New England and Australia in having the NBN. So often we hear during that time became Assistant Editor and Editor about the need to move the population off the of Neucleus, the now defunct student newspaper. eastern seaboard in order to be sustainable, yet disWorking at Neucleus was an amazing experience; tance has played such a negative role for businesses I learnt how to sell, write, lay out and co-ordinate in the regional areas. With the NBN, rural busian entire publication. While I was there, I worked nesses can be truly competitive, providing expertise casually at the Armidale Express, typesetting, web and services at the same speed, if not quicker, than management and basic graphic design. After in the city or coastal areas. leaving Neucleus, I began working at the Armidale How has your business improved since hookIndependent in 2005. For the first six months I did ing up to NBN? everything: selling, sport writing, rural reporting,

I can do things so much uch faster! But more than that, I can do things all at once. When I’m using normal ADSL internet, if I’m downloading photos or articles, that’s all I’m doing. With the NBN not only is it 100 times quicker, I can also continue on with other work, without it affecting my speed. When I originally started trying to synchronise my files with a cloud network on ADSL, it was going to take me 44 days. With NBN, it took about 12 hours to get all my data uploaded. Things that take me two hours to download with ADSL, take 15 minutes with the NBN. We see you in a lot of NBN advertisements. How did this come about? Through the trial, I am often asked to take part in case studies, advertising campaigns and promotional material. Since the NBN is something I feel passionately about, I am very happy to tell everyone how much I like it. Also, my kids really know how to work a camera! What is your advice to businesses that are not yet connected to NBN? Do what you can to get connected! The NBN can really change how you work and how quickly you get things done. The NBN is going to give Armidale an edge, I think. Just hearing about the technologies being put into play in Armidale – at the local TAFE and at the university; there are just so many applications in education, health and then small business and file delivery. This is just the start; there is so much more we can do with the infrastructure that’s here now. Thanks Seren.

new england focus 23




activ8me - experience high speed NBN broadband Gordon Cope is known to most as a local performer with more than 15 major performance credits to his name, including The Wizard of Oz, and Fiddler on the Roof. We find out why he has been seen around town promoting Active8me.

ruly a man of many talents, Gordon’s thespian career is but one thread in a rich tapestry of life experiences, as he retells from his property overlooking the magnificent gorge country east of Armidale. After graduating from the University of Sydney with a Social Work degree during the '70s, Gordon embarked on a fulfilling career in counselling and community development. Eventually the call of country life became too strong to ignore, and he and his family relocated from Sydney to the New England region in 1989.


“I love the Armidale lifestyle; it is the perfect mix of rural life and sophisticated culture. There is always more on in Armidale than an individual has time to see and plenty of extraordinary local characters that you just don't find in the city these days.� A feature of regional life that took Gordon by surprise was the slow and unreliable nature of internet connections, which later spawned his advocacy for the National Broadband Network. “I am a strong believer in the NBN. It’s a visionary plan and vital piece of national

infrastructure,� explains Gordon. "My work with the University of New England and as Creative Director for an e-learning organisation has given me a glimpse of some of the life enhancing applications made possible by fibre optic broadband technology. I want Armidale residents to enjoy access to the NBN now.�

“I am a strong believer in the NBN. It’s a visionary plan and vital piece of national infrastructure. �

So strong is Gordon’s passion for NBN Broadband, that he partnered with Activ8me, an Australian-owned internet provider, to make it easy and cost-effective for the Armidale community to enjoy the benefits of high speed broadband. “The problem with the old ADSL technology is that the further you live from the telephone exchange, the worse the broadband connection over copper wire gets; whereas, fibre doesn’t have those issues. NBN fibre speeds reach up to 100Mbps, compared to the ADSL2+ theoretical but rarely achieved

maximum speed of 20Mbps. ADSL and mobile wireless broadband speeds can fluctuate greatly depending on how busy the network is at any one time. NBN fibre is a more stable and reliable service.�

Many Armidale families now have multiple devices in their homes, including computers, smart phones, tablets, and games consoles. NBN broadband enables all family members to access high speed internet at the same time. Movies take just minutes, not hours to download, and Skyping loved ones no longer has the frustrating delays. For Armidale’s student population, the NBN can enable more intensive and immersive online interactions with students and industry leaders

around the world through the increased use of applications such as high-definition video. Health care provision is likely to evolve too, as the NBN makes it possible to one day receive medical consultations without leaving your lounge room. “The possibilities are only limited by our imaginations. NBN is the future!� enthuses Gordon. So what’s next for our resident actor, creative director, producer, writer, social worker and technology extraordinaire? “Well, I am currently rehearsing for Dickens’ A Christmas Carol and two short plays for our biennial Favourite Shorts program. Who knows, maybe I’ll stream the live performances via the NBN for people who miss out on tickets.� We look forward to it, Gordon!

Tired of slow internet?

Then it’s time to experience high speed







Call Activ8me now on 1800 80 44 10 to check h k your eligibility. li For more information, visit Activ8me is an approved NBN Internet Provider



24 new england focus.





National Broadband Network

hat is the NBN? The National Broadband Network, or NBN, is the Federal Government’s project to improve internet speeds and reliability across Australia. To reach everyone in our vast country, the NBN will be delivered via an optimal mix of fibre optic cabling, fixed wireless and satellite technologies. When finished, the NBN is planned to reach to 100 percent of Australian homes and businesses to provide access to high speed broadband.


digging large holes and costing a lot of money. However, when practically possible, the NBN is using existing infrastructure to “Apart from et reduce costs. The project is everyday internthe expected to cost taxpayers access at home, s network also haoffer $27.5 billion, with the the potential to in remainder to be raised in new applicationscare debt markets. Over time, the business, health� network will pay for itself. and education.

Why do we need it? While we may not need these speeds right now, we will in the future if we want to keep up with world trends. Apart from everyday internet access at home, the network also has the potential to offer new applications in business, healthcare and education.

How long to build it? The government’s most recent estimates say the network will be finished about 2021 and generate revenue of $5.8 billion in that year. Tasmania and test areas in South Australia and New South Wales are already using it, and commercial services will be offered on each section as it is rolled out.

Why does it cost so much? Infrastructure to hold the fibre optic cables, like underground ducts, if built from scratch would involve

When it’s finished, how will we use it? The NBN Co will charge telephone and internet service providers to access the wholesale

network, so they can sell their access to you at different rates and fees, depending on factors including maximum speed, download caps and so on. Prices of $29.95 a month for the basic 12 megabit per second service have been released. Will the NBN create a monopoly? In one sense, that’s exactly what the NBN is. The government is not directly administering the network, but has created NBN Co, which is publicly owned, to do that job. NBN Co will not be able to sell access to the network directly to consumers. It will have to sell

access to retail service providers on nondiscriminatory terms. Who will own and maintain it? The network will be administered by NBN Co, whose only shareholder at the moment is the government. Plans are for the network to be funded by its own operations from 2022. The government also has flagged that it wants private companies to invest in NBN Co, but this hasn’t yet happened. It isn’t clear just yet how much of NBN Co the government intends to keep for future decades, but it currently intends to sell at least some of its share at a later stage. For more information visit


More of what you want, when you want it

Online education

Working from home

Online banking

Online shopping

Video calls


new england focus


New England

Little Meringues with Cointreau infused berries and whipped cream from the Red Grapevine.

eat. Dining Guide is available for iPhone & Android mobiles. 26 new england focus.

eat. Azka Restaurant, Wine and Tapas Bar Quality Hotel Powerhouse Armidale’s signature restaurant has been reborn as Azka Restaurant. More than 70 Moroccan hanging lanterns adorn this vibrant dining venue, filling it with colour and exotic ambience. A fire adds to the atmosphere in winter while in fine weather, patrons can dine alfresco on the terrace. Azka Restaurant features beautifully cooked dishes with subtle Mediterranean influences that will appeal to every taste. The menu focuses on fresh seasonal produce from the New England.

The Coughing Gherkin The Coughing Gherkin is a fun and funky establishment with an emphasis on fresh, flavoursome, low cost and informal food. The Specialties 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. Now open Tuesday to Saturday from 6pm. View the current menu online at or follow us on Facebook for our weekly specials.

Susie Coventry, Maître d’

Owners Brian & Natalie Powles.

Quality Hotel Powerhouse, 31 Marsh Street, Armidale t 6772 7788

1/117 Beardy Street, East Mall, Armidale t 6771 4008 w

open Azka Restaurant – 7 days for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Azka Wine & Tapas Bar – daily from 11am – late.

open Tuesday to Saturday from 6pm.

Ma Po Tofu

Wonder Chinese Restaurant

Red Grapevine

At Wonder Chinese Restaurant, you can enjoy sizzling meats, steamed and braised vegetables and all the favourites: spring rolls, special fried rice, dim sims, delicious noodles and rice dishes and much more, prepared with traditional Chinese-style cooking by experienced chefs. Guests can dine in (licensed), or choose from our takeaway menu.

Red Grapevine – a warm and welcoming environment with well informed and friendly staff, which caters for those who want to experience a three-course meal, to others who prefer to just share a pizza.

Be sure to check out our Super Saving Takeaway Value Packs! Wonder Chinese Restaurant serves delicious Chinese food. We can also provide gluten free dishes. Phone orders welcome. There are plenty of specials available for delivery, Chinese takeaway, or dine in.

Shop 3/111 Dangar Street, Armidale t 6772 8388 w

The menu is simple, fresh and produce driven, with a range of modern entrees and mains.

Owners Kwan and Ching Sue.

Or choose from the wide range of pasta, risotto or homemade potato gnocchi, or the chef’s speciality – traditional hand stretched thin crust pizza, made with fresh top quality ingredients. The homemade desserts are also excellent.

Owners Brian & Natalie Powles.

Fully licensed, with fantastic cocktails and boutique wines.

113 Jessie St Armidale t 6772 2822 w U HG

open Lunch: Mon - Fri, 12 - 2. Dinner: Sun - Thurs, 5 - 9 and Fri - Sat, 5 - 10.

open Tuesday to Saturday from 6pm.

new england focus 27


McCrossin’s Mill is a beautifully restored granite and brick flour mill that is 100% operated by volunteers. The ground floor and the gardens are available for functions, while the upper two floors house fascinating exhibitions. Kent Mayo tells us more ...



ell us about the Mill’s early years? Uralla Historical Society was formed in 1979 specifically to save the redundant 1870 building, and to restore it under the supervision of visionary architect Peter Myers, who suggested the building should not only have a museum, but a Function Centre as well. Despite the braying of sceptics in the community, The Society members never compromised and never strayed from their vision. In 1983, Architect Myers won the Royal Australian Institute of Architects (NSW) Restoration Award for McCrossin’s Mill. That same dedication was applied to the restoration of the 1878 Stables/Store and the 1881 Chaff Shed, both of which have won prestigious awards. The whole McCrossin Precinct (1870-1881) is now on the NSW State Heritage Register. This is a phenomenal achievement, given that all three buildings may well have been lost to decay or demolition. Basically, it’s all been done by volunteers, with the support of the NSW Heritage Office and the NSW Ministry for the Arts, who have supplied various dollar for dollar grants over many years, and with the guidance of Architects Peter Myers and Tony Deakin. A huge debt is owed to the Society’s building supervisor, Peter Feitz. Just two weeks ago, Peter finished the installation of the reconstructed dovecote on the Chaff Shed roof to mark the end of thirty three years of building restoration. Importantly, the whole McCrossins’ Mill redevelopment has influenced the Uralla community to respect, enhance and exploit its heritage assets. The Heritage Walk, ‘Find Charm in Uralla’ is proving very popular with tourists, who now make Uralla a destination because of its charming atmosphere. 28 new england focus.

McCrossin’s Mill Museum and Function storehouses of emotion”. Centre is owned outright and operated by Uralla Some museums pride themselves on the Historical Society Inc., whose members all work vastness of their collections. Fair enough! But on a voluntary basis. Nobody receives a cent for that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re effective ... their input. They do it because it is a beautiful Sometimes a single artifact can tell a wondrous place, an important cultural asset and a great story. Take Tutankhamun’s mask in the museum thing for Uralla’s prosperity. at Cairo. Once you’ve looked into the eyes of Who runs the Mill these days? that, the rest of the junk lying around the room Volunteers carry out much of the restoration becomes meaningless, even if it is made of pure work and building maintenance, gold! create museum exhibitions, The motto of the Mill is “Why Not?” entertain coach loads which leads to a very positive attitude of tourists, clean the and strangely serendipitous The whole McCrossin place, develop the discoveries and events. It also 81) Precinct (1870-18 magical gardens, encourages a world view greater SW N is now on the . er st and act as chefs than that of a submarine’s gi Re ge ita er State H enal and/or waiters at periscope. It means the Mill can This is a phenom ven that functions. tell moving local stories that have achievement, gigs may all three buildinlost to The museum is universal appeal. well have been ition.” open to the public How many visitors do you get decay or demol every day of the year, per year? thanks to volunteers The museum attracts 6,000 visitors who serve on the roster as a year, which may not sound much, but is museum attendants and have significant in terms of Uralla’s population. Many visitors commenting on the “friendly, welcoming hundreds more come for weddings, conferences staff”. and parties. This is a real boost to Uralla’s Why is McCrosssin’s Mill described as an economy. “unusual museum”? Guests book out local motels and enjoy the The prime exhibits of this museum are the local pubs, cafés and shops. What’s more, they superbly restored buildings themselves. go home raving about the Mill, because there The museum is highly regarded across is nothing quite like it anywhere, and about the Australia as a leader in the field because of its charming nature of the town and community. unusual empathic approach. Kent’s favourite Word-of-mouth – the very best advertising! line goes like this: “There are only four species Tell us about your functions? of living things that inhabit museums. They are, We make sure every function is memorable in order of intellect, curators, silverfish, mice for the clients, because it is done the way they and human beings. Humans are the only one want. And it’s really enjoyable for our team of these with complex emotions. Therefore, we of volunteers, because they are constantly should be trying to stimulate those emotions, surprised, even entertained, by the creative ways to encourage people to think, to cry, to laugh people arrange and decorate the place. ...”. Put another way ...“museums used to be Certainly a really memorable function for stores of artifacts ... now, they are becoming our team was the official opening by Kristina

Keneally of the new kitchen in October 2009, to mark the 30th anniversary to the very hour of the decision to buy the derelict 1870 Mill and do something good with it. This wonderful new facility cost $160,000, with the bulk of the funds granted by the NSW Ministry for the Arts, The Ian Potter Foundation (Melbourne), and Uralla Shire Council and the rest raised by the hard working SAC team over three years. It was a very moving occasion, with excellent supportive speakers praising the work of our team. Kristina Keneally spoke about the dedication and integrity of the Mill volunteers and went home to Sydney to say glowing things about her special afternoon in a very special place, McCrossin’s Mill, Uralla. Future exhibitions and events coming to the Mill? Several exhibitions in the Mill are currently being upgraded …Trickett’s Triumph, Corporal Cecil Stoker, Sunny Jim Mackay, The Best Batsman in the World and A Tribute to the Aniwan. Revamped exhibitions are also being installed in the newly completed Chaff Shed. It’s Just Not Cricket pokes fun at the great game and indeed, at museums! She’ll Be Right, Mate looks like your typical folk museum collection, but has some lovely ‘make-do’ pieces and a text spiced with wry humour. These two ‘shows’ prove that it’s OK to have a good belly-laugh in a museum. Thanks Kent.

annual general meeting Sunday August 19 3pm, Guest Speaker: The effervescent Sandy McNaughton, manager of the stunning Roxy Cinema in Bingara. New members are always most welcome on The McCrossin’s Mill team! Phone Annie Mayo on 6778 4555 or The Mill on 6778 3022.



KERRY O’BRIEN KERRY O’BRIEN VISITS ARMIDALE FOR FRIENDS OF THE ABC he Friends of the ABC’s appeared on SBS’s Who Do You Think You keynote speaker this year Are? He has worked in newspapers, wire is one of Australia’s most service and television news and current distinguished and respected affairs, as well as a general reporter, journalists, with 6 Walkley feature writer, political and foreign Awards in correspondent, interviewer and journalism – including the compere. He also served as Gold Walkley. press secretary to then Kerry has been front Labor Prime Minister front “Kerry has beenr TV and centre on our TV Gough Whitlam. and centre on ou20 er ov r screens for over 20 The feature of the screens fo bly as years, most notably evening will be to years, most notaof The editor and host as editor and host invite the audience 7.30 Report. ” of The 7.30 Report. to engage in a In that time he has conversation with Kerry, interviewed many of the who will have a wealth world’s leaders and most of anecdotes to share, as influential figures in the arts, well as discussing the future of sciences and business. news and information in the digital With over 46 years as a journalist, Kerry age. has witnessed many changes, and his talk Kerry O’Brien will be appearing at The will focus on the impact those changes Hoskins Centre on 31 August. His talk will have had on journalism in general and for commence at 7pm with a meet and greet public broadcasting in particular. reception at 6.30 pm, where finger food Born into a working class Catholic will be provided and the Bar will be open. family in Brisbane, Kerry started as a news Tickets are $18 – for FABC members cadet in 1966. Many would have seen a $15 – and can be obtained by ringing Val more personal portrait of Kerry when he on 6772 0342 or Jan on 6772 5856.


Join us for a free 2½ hour Heritage Bus Tour. Departs each day from the Visitor Information Centre, 82 Marsh Street, at 10am. Bookings: 02 6770 3888

new england focus 29

icing on the cake with Susie Dunn


on the cake. If Armidale was putting in its CV for a promotional prize, what would it say ?


t’s a comment on the recipe for the ‘icing on the cake’ factor that a local poet can point to something that is both immediately obvious and yet has posed a problem as far as promoting an image of the tablelands generally is concerned. Some time ago at an event in the Armidale Library organised by Poetzinc and the Writers’ Centre, Professor Julian Croft – one of Australia’s distinguished poets – mused on the fact that the tablelands has no established place in the traditional Australian image. We are neither the sandy, blue coast, nor the flat, red inland. So how do we explain ourselves to people? Where do we fit in Australia’s image of itself? And then how do we sell ourselves as far as tourism and expansion are concerned? This took me back to past chapters in my life, when I found I was promoting the ‘icons’ of Bondi and Bourke at different times. Julian was right on the mark. Our tablelands lie up in the sky between these dominating iconic images. (Admittedly, The Man from Snowy River has his own niche, but sadly he wasn’t from Armidale.) I have to admit to a personal problem with a previous promotional slogan: “Big Sky Country”. Have those who coined it ever been further west and seen that expanse of sky out there? Here there IS something special about the sky; however, as Uralla artist Fay Porter so marvelously reminded us with her work: “I know what it is about this place; it’s the sky”. That’s part of the conundrum. Judith Wright has written beautifully of “clean, lean, hungry country”, but those particular words of hers don’t really inspire a tourist rush, I suppose. So how do we project ourselves onto the wider Australian canvas and draw appreciative and appreciable numbers of tourists to our district? And why should we? Tourism is a big, big, industry that brings serious economic benefits (and some pleasant ‘lifestyle’ spinoffs for us as well).

30 new england focus.

The phrase: “Australia’s best kept secret” was fresh thirty years ago. Now it’s a cliché. It doesn’t wash to rely on autumn leaves and four seasons – though they help. It doesn’t wash to rely on heritage alone. It probably doesn’t wash to rely on the interest generated through the ‘brain food’ opportunities provided by a university city. The gorges and wild places in the National Parks are sublime, but we can’t really rely on them totally for tourism either, as they are not always easily accessed by many. But tour supremo Peter Lloyd reminded me that this area has been declared the Gateway to Gondwanaland in the World Heritage listings. Now, there’s an interesting story we should all know more about and be utilising ... as is the romantic story telling of Signor Vertelli crossing Dangars Gorge on a wire in 1866. We know that the New England Regional Art Museum has nationally important collections. The Judith Wright Grove celebrates our internationally most famous citizen. We do have all those things – together. And much, much more. What a package! Judith Wright wrote of “country that built my heart”. Perhaps we are simply the City in the Sky. The special place. Armidale couple Kumi and Kiyo Hashimoto are well known ceramic artists. Now they have opened a Japanese café in the Mall. It is named ‘Ten Koo’ – ‘sky close to heaven’. Let’s all ponder how we explain ourselves to visitors and, above all, differentiate ourselves from other places. If we appreciate the pluses of where we live, it’s easy to communicate that feeling to others. My final thought takes joy from a haiku written by that wise and gentle local doctor, Brian Connor: “Australians adore the sea – in distant haze Roll waves of mountain blue”. Susie Dunn.

focusinterview. artist profile

Gallery 126.

Roberts. Local artist Sheree Roberts will be exhibiting her works at Gallery 126, opening 5pm Friday, July 27.


hen did you become interested in art? Isn’t everyone interested in art? Art is life. My interest started in my childhood, where ‘the wonders of life unexpected’ has stayed with me. I have been an art teacher in public education for 34 years. One of the most fulfilling times in my life has been creating the ‘Debbie Walford Gallery’ at Duval High School, where I have taught for 26 years. The gallery idea came about after this very wonderful woman passed away, as she had been a mentor and inspirational member of the school community. The gallery was developed in her honour for all students, teachers and visitors to see and appreciate the art of the Aboriginal people, both past and present, which includes professional artists’ and students’ works. Who and what inspires you? The child … who sees everything as new. ‘Moments of indescribable emotion’ – the poetry of the landscape of thought and memory. Passions, desires, dreams, the past. All artists from the ancient world to the post modern – they all inspire wonder and amazement in me. Describe your works? My works reflect life – ‘pure abstract’ with touches of reality – just as I find existence is. My exhibition is called In My Secret Life, which is drawn from our unique way of seeing, experiencing and feeling ... our own mysteries and imaginings. The exhibition is a varied collection of landscapes, figures and still life – it involves colour, symbols and story. I am still amazed how my work evolves from an idea, a drawing, then a work

which can seduce the eye. Another interesting drawing method I use, that I did when I was child, is to use the energy of the moving vehicle and pencil to create automatic drawings, which I then work back into – I think it’s fun! Describe your exhibition at Gallery 126 ... This exhibition has developed from many years of drawing, every night, every day, in any spare time, and even on trips in the car and bus. Recently a woman on a bus asked, “How can you draw in a bus? It travels too fast!” To which I replied that I draw fleeting moments of what I see and use my memory. During the preparation of my exhibition, I have created many works which are My exhibition similar in style, with is called In My Life, which et colour, birds, boats, skies cr Se r is drawn from ou and landscapes. However, of ay w ue iq un two works stand out as ing seeing, experienc very different; I call them ” and feeling ... interactive art works. They are interior still life paintings apply a fine line or dot. My hands with spaces for you, the reflect the hard work they do to make viewer, to add your own objects, my works. They are tools that create, discover, but have all the qualities of a painting and explore. The shards of pottery and glass in my ... colour, light, composition and that bit of magic work, have all been discovered on walks around that makes art work unique. Armidale. I see them as little bits of time and Favourite materials? history. My works are on paper, canvas and board. Gold ... anything gold, colour ... all colour, all Final words ... media ... I am fascinated how paint, crayon, pencil, Thanks to my amazing children, great friends, my charcoal, collage all work together – but it does wild creatures, my new love and my friend, Susan need a hand. Shea, whom I will never forget. And I paint with my hands, rather than a brush. Thank you Sheree. The hand is so sensitive; it blends colour or can

new england focus 31



Armidale has many advantages when it comes to education, work opportunities and quality of life. Some local business people have identified a particular need in the business community for quality, energy-efficient office space and are well on the way to completing their first development.


he Developers Long-time business associates and friends Gary and Doreen Pearson and Bob and Maureen Locke have teamed up to construct a modern office building in Allingham Street, Armidale, on the site of the 'Old Barn' building that was destroyed by fire in 2010. Gary is a local electrical contractor, and Bob is a Chartered Accountant. They have both run successful businesses in Armidale for the past 30+ years and both say that their wives are their biggest asset! Gary and Doreen have 3 children and 5 grandchildren, while Bob and Maureen have 6 children and 3 grandchildren. Westpac bank are assisting with the financing of the project, and local manager Jason Cavanagh has been very helpful in exploring various options and tailoring a package to suit the precise requirements of the developers. Location The site of the development is opposite the Phoenix Centre

32 new england focus.

building on the corner of Rusden and Allingham Streets in the centre of Armidale. This is a great location for businesses requiring a professional office close to the main city centre and is only 3 blocks to the Mall. Ample street parking is available right in front of the building, and there is unrestricted parking available less than 50 metres from the site. Site History The building site has a long history of being home to a number of local businesses, including CG Nott car sales and servicing, PJ Knudson builder, and most recently, The Old Barn furniture store, operated by Roger and Relma Patricks. The Patricks have kindly made available a number of 'relics' of the destroyed building, including a number of 'Armidale blue' bricks, a large hand-made steel plate used to connect the wooden roof rafters and some old photographs. The plan is to incorporate these into the construction of an outdoor BBQ area as a reminder of the site's heritage. Building style

Gary and Bob came up with the basic concept for the building. Local draftsman Brian Watts then developed it into a functional building design that is aesthetically pleasing and greatly enhances the general streetscape of the area. The idea was to develop a high quality but practical space that would provide comfortable and affordable office accommodation for small businesses and professionals. The basic floor plan provides for four separate tenancies of around 155 sq metres each. Wherever possible, local suppliers and tradesmen have been used, and the developers are very pleased with the quality of work and the co-operative approach of the business owners concerned. Disabled facilities The development will comply with all of the latest disability access standards set down by the Australian Human Rights Commission. The building sits on a flat site, and all entry and exits to the

came up “Gary and Bob ncept co c si ba e th with Local for the building. Watts n ia Br an sm draft it into a then developed g design in ild bu l na functio ly pleasing that is aesthetical nces the and greatly enhaape of the sc et general stre area. ”

building are wheelchair accessible and there are no steep slopes, steps or access ramps. The first car space in the substantial on-site car park is reserved as a disabled park. All external and internal doorways are wider than standard to allow easy wheelchair access. Each of the 4 tenancies has its own internal toilet block, including a full-sized and properly equipped disabled toilet and shower. Energy efficiency The building has a number of design features that will ensure that occupiers can operate in maximum comfort while minimising their energy consumption. These include: - A northerly aspect and wide eave line that maximises winter sun and minimises summer solar penetration - All windows and doors are doubled glazed - High bay double glazed windows will allow winter sun and additional light into the southern side of the building. Multiple layers of high quality insulation have been used on the exterior of the building and a unique dual ceiling system with additional high performance insulation is designed to minimise artificial heating and cooling requirements.

All tenancies have state of the art ducted reverse cycle air conditioning with the latest inverter technology, to minimise operating costs. Tenant facilities The building offers tenants a number of additional features that will ensure that they can offer their employees a pleasant and comfortable working environment: The on-site car park includes plenty of generous sized car parking bays well in excess of Council requirements and a covered bicycle rack. There is a sheltered outdoor BBQ/ entertaining area. The building features large windows around the entire perimeter, ensuring that all office spaces enjoy natural light and a pleasant outlook. The building will be connected to the National Broadband fibre optic Network and internally wired with high quality telecommunications cable. This will ensure that businesses will be able to operate in the modern digital world at maximum efficiency. All tenancies are fitted with modern kitchens which provide ample storage space and include continuous filtered hot water

tea-making facilities. Each tenancy has a toilet and adjoining disabled toilet/ shower located within their tenancy area. The internal office partitions are fully insulated for high acoustic and energy performance. The air conditioning system employs fresh air intake to eliminate the possible adverse health effects of continuously recirculated stale air. The internal fitout includes quality tiling and carpet throughout, making them inviting and comfortable. The building also incorporates secure storage facilities with external access. Managing agent The Professionals Real Estate agency in Armidale assisted the developers acquire suitable land for the project and have been appointed managing agents for the building. John Sewell from The Professionals said, “We are very pleased to be associated with such an innovative and dynamic building. Its solar passive design and flexibility of internal fitout will be very attractive to businesses seeking top quality office space in a central location.” Available tenancies Half of the building has been pre-let on a long term lease to Practical Systems Limited, a local farm software development company and PS Accounting Pty Ltd, Chartered Accountants. The remaining half of the building is available for lease as either 2 tenancies of 155 sq metres each or as one single tenancy. Details can be obtained from Bob Locke on (02) 6772 6672, Gary Pearson on (02) 6772 2852 or John Sewell at Professionals Real Estate on (02) 6772 4549. The development is progressing ahead of schedule and is expected to open in October this year. What’s next? A key to the success of this development has been the commitment to the task and the complimentary contributions of the partners. Gary has taken the role of on-site project manager, while Bob is the administrator and financial controller for the project. Both have enjoyed the total support and encouragement of their wives and families. Gary and Bob say that they will consider taking on further projects in the future ... ”but not until the new year!”

contact. Bob Locke PL Office Developments Pty Ltd, PO Box 876, Armidale NSW 2350 Ph. (02) 6772 6672 Email:

new england focus 33

34 new england focus.


ing to the world through the latest communication technologies”. We advertise a large number of positions at all salary levels and job types to assist in achieving this end. Our advertisements appear in print media locally and nationally, as well as across a range of online media destinations that target both active and passive job-seekers (including SEEK, LinkedIn and industry websites) to ensure we match the right level of skills and expertise to the right position. In addition to the advertising of our vacant Acting Director // UNE Human Resources positions, we are on the look-out for local talent to provide extra support to the university durUNE has he University of New England ing together to assist the ing times of need – for all a strong (UNE) is one of Armidale and the university to achieve its key levels of work and across tradition New England region’s major empriorities and objectives a wide range of job of academicand ployers and a magnificent envias outlined in our recent types, including IT and excellence gour ri y rl ronment in which to grow your career. As ‘UNE Strategic Plan 2011 – la technical roles, adminscho ally and both national a physical space, it enjoys pride of place on the 2015’. Our mission, which istrative and of course, ...” internation ly outskirts of Armidale, overlooking the town as firmly establishes our presthe specialist and acawell as the rolling green hills of the landscape ence on the world stage of demic positions within our surrounding it. UNE has a strong tradition of higher education, explains that Schools and Faculties. We’re academic excellence and scholarly rigour both “UNE is a regionally based, globally sensitive to the needs of our imnationally and internationally, attracting staff networked university that is renowned for mediate and wider community – and to from around the world to our Faculties and the quality of its student experience and the ensure that we always have a welcome presSchools, our Research Centres and the support excellence of its research specialisations. We ence and an open door, we have set up casual facilities that underpin them. provide a formative educational experience on staff registers for those people who would like We employ over 1,200 staff at UNE, workcampus, and we bring our research and teachto leave their contact details and a copy of

Bron Pearson.


their CV to be considered for casual roles (at: ). The casual register has been advertised in the local press, and has been a great success this year – both for those on the register and also for our Schools and Directorates, who have sought out additional help during busy periods. We currently have a range of positions available on the ‘Jobs at UNE’ webpage, which is where we place all of our job vacancies (www. Our positions are classified according to the national descriptors for academic and general staff roles – which determines the salary levels. These descriptors are the same ones used for all Australian universities – so our salaries are competitive. We are taking a new approach to our recruitment advertising, seeking to develop professional partnerships with our on and off-campus clients and work units, to ensure we understand and are able to support their needs by recruiting the very best staff to meet them. We’ve developed a fresh, new advertising presence in response to our approach – and you may have already seen our coloured presence in the press or online media. We encourage you to keep your eyes out for this and to consider applying to join us on an exciting career journey at UNE. We look forward to hearing from you.

Opportunity and lifestyle, UNE has it all UNE offers a broad range of employment and career opportunities and a refreshing lifestyle attracting staff from around Australia and the world to Armidale in the beautiful New England Region of New South Wales. Staff enjoy a vibrant, cosmopolitan university city; fresh, clean air; wide open spaces; and best of all, time to enjoy it. While UNE has a long history and strong tradition of academic distinction, our outlook is dynamic and fresh. Our focus is on the future.

For further information about UNE and the positions we have available to develop and grow your career, visit: Equity principles underpin all UNE policies and procedures

new england focus 35




C O L L E G E . Head of Austin College Andrea Gledhill reminds our readers of their up and coming 40th reunion and walks us through four decades of history, staff dedications and memorable moments.


hat is the history of Austin College? Austin, the youngest of the UNE colleges, has provided accommodation for more than 10,000 students since its opening in 1972. The College was named to honour the service to the university of Dr Robert Blackie Austin, who was the Government Medical Officer in Armidale at the time of the College’s establishment. Dr Austin, who served in both World Wars, was one of the original deputation in 1934 for the establishment of a university in Armidale. He was a member of the University College Provisional Council, the Advisory Council of the New England University College, the First Council of the College when it started in 1938 and the First Council of The University of New England when the university achieved autonomy in 1954. In 1972, with Dr Brian Seppelt as its first Master, Austin catered for women only, quickly becoming co-ed in 1973. Our reputation for

36 new england focus.

being the strongly supportive, ‘friendly and more informal’ Dr Austin, who n with him UNE College began him. served in both Dr Seppelt was replaced in World Wars, was al and daughters of one of the origin34 1977 by Dr Alan McKenzie, tion in 19 ta pu de these past students who continued to build on ent for the establishm becoming Austinites these strong foundations and of a university in themselves, years encouraged students to be Armidale.” later. both independent and proactive. In the dining hall, After 31 years as Master of Diane Cundy (‘Streak’), is Austin College, Dr McKenzie retired in still a star, after 38 years. She 2008 and was replaced by long term Earle really has seen it all! On hearing a tale about Page College Master, David Ward. I became ‘last night’s antics’, no matter how naughty, Head in 2010 and am committed to not only she just says, “Oh, God love ‘em!” Other maintaining the unique Austin energy, but dedicated kitchen staff have notched up well insuring that the college continues to grow and over a hundred years of service, including Jan strengthen. Ferris’ 35 years. Judy Sweeney, Janet Tanner, Tell us about your long term staff ... Rodney Pearson, Gerry Widders and Col Dade The long serving kitchen, dining hall and have each looked after our students for over household staff become the students’ second 20 years. parents and are never forgotten. They see The maintenance and cleaning of a college and hear a lot, keep great secrets and can tell is a huge job, and the House Manager must some very funny stories. They remember every be not only highly organised, but also broad name and nickname and love to see the sons

minded, have a loud voice when required, have a sense of humour and be empathetic. Annette Nelson (Nettie) fills all these criteria and has been doing so for 22 years. She and her long term staff, including her son Aaron, have risen at 5am every working day for over 15 years. They take a personal interest in each student over and above the call of duty! Kim has been maintaining the college for even longer than Nettie ... 25 years! He’s famous for his practical jokes and for every joke our students play on him, he’s able to give back threefold. Like all the household staff, his memory is razor sharp when it comes to names and faces – even room numbers of students who were here 25 years ago. Their memorable moments? When I asked Streak and Kim (Nettie’s on leave), to bring to mind some of their most memorable moments, they said there were



too many and if they were to write them into a book, it’d be too thick for the shelf. They were able to offer some, however: Kim was only a few days into the job back in 1987 and trying to impress, was doing a great job at mopping the dining hall, when Streak offered him an orange juice and ice and told him to drink it quickly before the boss saw him. Unknown to him, she’d loaded it with salt and he spat the lot out, just as the boss rounded the corner. One college rule is ‘no pets, except for goldfish’. So of course, many of the memorable moments have involved the secreting in of animals! Two sheep turned up from Girraween, with a little help. They somehow managed to climb a flight of stairs and reside for a while. These two also enjoyed the odd party outside, while tied to a tree. Nettie loves to tell the story of a friendly dog which she discovered in a student’s room. She let him follow her on her morning rounds and chatted to him, before taking it down to Dr Alan McKenzie’s office, to call the pound. They both suddenly had a closer look at her morning companion – he had painted eyebrows and glasses on one end of his body and a bullseye on the other! There was the time when Streak found a large family of garden gnomes in the Austin Office. Police were called, a paddy wagon turned up, and the gnome family were placed in the back and returned to their loving owner’s garden in Donnelly St. Many years ago, a student dropped into Girraween for a late night takeaway pie, after an evening with his friends at a hotel in town. For some reason, unbeknownst even to himself, he decided to put the piping hot pie down the front of his undergarment for safe

4 0 T H



he pie burst, scalding keeping. The nsitive area. The next him in a sensitive h ki h lladies di morning the kitchen The Austin were very concerned, as he D R B R I A N S E P P E LT A D D R E S S I NG ST U D E N T S College ry seemed to be walking up 40th Anniversa ober, to their servery in great weekend in Oct at is entitled ‘Only pain. They asked if he’d Austin!’ and has d waiting for the polish it to the dam the next morning in thirsty sought medical attention already generatem to dry, these students anticipation – and the rest is history. and when the answer was fro huge interest asked to be let into the Reunion Celebrations? a negative, they laid him .” ni alum ‘dumbwaiter’ lift, to go The Austin College 40th Anniversary on their staff room table to upstairs to watch TV. Kim had weekend in October, is entitled ‘Only at assess the injuries and raid the his music on and after quite a Austin!’ and has already generated huge first aid box. When they realised he few hours, went to find them – they interest from alumni. had what looked to be third degree burns, weren’t watching TV. He pressed the lift button One of the traditional Austin social events is they admonished that if he desired any children and found them squashed in exactly the same Bierfest. For the alumni who choose to arrive in the future, he’d better let them take him positions – he hadn’t heard them calling out. on Friday, we’ll be eluding to Bierfest with a straight to hospital, which they did. One of those students ended up marrying boutique beer and Peterson’s wine tasting in Judy Simms was the House Manager before an Austin girl. Kim spoke at their wedding in the Austin Attic Bar. Saturday will begin with Nettie. The students at that time delighted in 2002. And guess what they called their son? breakfast and then a chance for alumni to catch raiding her cleaning cupboard and ‘borrowing’ Austin! up and re-live their memories! Booloominbah items, such as her uniform. They’d then leave Our next door neighbour, Earle Page College, will be open for tours until midday. We’re her ransom notes, with hints as to where she and Austin have always been playful rivals. The offering a BBQ lunch, followed by a free (and the other cleaning staff), might find their two colleges also share one kitchen. One year, afternoon to explore the campus, Armidale and lost items. One time, Judy was directed to a Page was planning to have a party at Dumaresq surrounding National Parks. There will be an freezer. Her mischievous persecutor had soaked Dam and had saved their JCR money for a keg. exhibition of photographs from Austin’s history her uniform and then frozen it. Our students These were the days when the fridges weren’t in college, plus ‘spot yourself’ photo displays are, at the very least, inventive. locked at night. Austin students memorably in the Large Common Room – they go back to Kim and the household team had help from drank their keg the night before, filled it with 1972! Dr Brian Seppelt’s portrait by artist Jane two students when they cleaned up after water, watched with glee as Earle Page drove Nash will be unveiled. Bierfest one year, in the ‘90s. While they were continued over

new england focus 37




4 0 T H


Austin C O L L E G E . continued from over

For the nostalgic, we’re recreating some '70s, '80s and '90s themed bedrooms to trigger their memories and raise a smile. Brave alumni can also choose to stay in their old room – luxury! Saturday night’s formal dinner will be the highlight of the weekend, with a surprise speaker, slide shows and ‘spill the beans’ story time. Dr Alan McKenzie, Dr Brian Seppelt, ‘Streak’, Nettie and some other long time kitchen, household and grounds staff ‘treasures’ will also be special guests. After dinner, there’ll be a disco upstairs – there’s nothing like music and dancing to take you back – not to mention Eagle Rock! If the emails, Facebook response, incoming nostalgic photos and registration on the UNE and Austin website alumni pages that we’ve already received are any indication, this will be one very memorable weekend. There is so much laughter and talk to be had – my guess is that there’ll be many croaky voices travelling home on Sunday! What has changed over 40 years? A lot and a little. As mentioned, we started as an all-women college and converted quickly to co-ed in 1973. The hub of Austin, our dining hall, has barely changed. We sit on the same chairs and eat at the same tables, which feature in the black and white photo of the first formal dinner in 1972. Given that we have an average of six formal dinners (academic gown) each year, plus three communal meals daily, the furniture, if it could speak, would have much to reveal.

38 new england focus.

Streak, Nettie and Kim agree that this college still attracts students We sit on the with the unique Austin same chairs me ability to achieve and eat at the saature fe ch hi w , academically and have es tabl in the black and e much fun at the same up. Even our computer room white photo of ther in time. The difference nn di al is barely used now, as we have first form from the students of .” 72 wireless installed, even in the 19 the '70s, '80s and '90s dining hall. and today, is that they Austin is the only college on were more mischievous back campus with a licensed bar. There’d then. That was before computers, been much opposition to its establishment in mobiles and laptops became the norm – not to 1988 – the year of the Bi-centenary. The slogan mention social networking. on our new bar stubby cooler, is 'The Austin The common rooms haven’t changed, and College Attic Bar – proudly taking your parent's the activities inside them have only changed money since 1988!' Our Large Common Room according to the craze of the day. Cards and was painted at the same time – a classic '80s board games have thrived and survived, despite pink shade, very groovy then. As I write this technology. Dungeons and Dragons was an 24 years later, the LCR is being re-painted in a obsession a couple of decades ago. colour more befitting 2012. One of the biggest and most exciting changes This year is all about fire compliance and was in the '90s, when we had a PABX installed safety, with a sprinkler system being installed and students got phones in their bedrooms. throughout the college, one block at a time. State of the art! It’s obsolete now. Students all Our office and student leaders have been highly have mobiles, and while I phone their room organised in the management and planning of extensions when I don’t have their mobile the movement of entire floors in four stages numbers, I’m quite surprised if they actually pick throughout the year. It will be completed well

before the anniversary weekend. Alumni It’s exciting to research the Austin alumni lists and discover the variety of achievers, movers and shakers who’ve started adult life at this college. Too many to list, but the first who come to mind are ABC Middle Eastern Correspondent, Anne Barker, and Leith Boully, who’s been involved in state and federal politics, sometimes controversially, on the subject of natural resource management and water policy. Austin alumni live and work throughout the world, Australia and locally. Many Austin marriages and offspring have resulted from ‘love at first sight across the crowded pink common room’! Our motto is 'Through Living We Learn'. That’s exactly what Austin does provide its residents while they’re studying for a degree. They get to learn about life and practice life skills beyond the classroom. They’re encouraged to make choices, sometimes risky ones, in a safe and inclusive environment.

Port Macquarie focus _feature.High School


imagine AT TA F E A R M I DA L E Armidale, A r rmidale, with its unique blend blen of culture, state of the art technology, educational diversity and natural beauty is a city offering everything worth living for

esting high on the Northern Tablelands, Armidale is the most cosmopolitan NSW city outside Sydney catering for harmonious living for 25,000 citizens from 53 different nationalities. The city has become a significant centre of education, creating a wider range of jobs and business opportunities than usually found in the regions. Armidale’s strengths lie in its educational, agricultural, retail, government and professional services, and it is these industry sectors that provide vital employment for a significant portion of the local labour force. TAFE Armidale Campus offers courses in a wide range of industry areas, from trades and primary industries, automotive, engineering, business administration, visual arts, film/screen, graphic design, massage, fitness, aged care,

allied health, community services, tourism, hospitality, English as a second language, general education, outdoor recreation, Training and Assessment, purchasing and high level management courses. We offer flexible study options to suit a variety of work and life situations. Our courses emphasise a ‘hands-on’ approach, often combining study with work placements which allow you to benefit from practical on-the-job training. Students who complete a TAFE NSW course leave not only with a nationally recognised qualification, but also with the significant advantage of experience in their chosen field. TAFE Armidale has experts in a wide range of industries. Our customised training means that you don’t have to waste time, energy and money using more than one training provider. Enrol in a nationally recognised training program



to assist you to gain skills for employment in the local community and beyond. State of the art facilities TAFE Armidale Campus has modern facilities and buildings, including the 2010/11 multimillion dollar new M Block, incorporating new facilities for the delivery of hospitality (bar, dining room, commercial kitchen and alfresco dining), massage/fitness (massage clinic and gymnasium) & film/television (computer applications room and dubbing room); excellent educational resources (libraries and educational delivery technologies) and up-todate computer systems and software. We also have simulated work environments (such as model offices, nursing areas, massage clinic and our operational child care facility), modern trade workshops (carpentry/building, automotive and engineering) and a specialised off-site Rural Skills Centre (delivering agriculture, horticulture, horse industry practice, rural operations and sheep & wool courses).

Customised Training TAFE Armidale can develop training and education packages specifically for your business – exactly what you need taught, and delivered in a way that suits both the needs of you and your employees. Let TAFE Armidale package and deliver a program to suit your business. IN SUMMARY: • TAFE Armidale gives you the practical skills you need for the career you want • TAFE Armidale belongs and contributes to the community • TAFE Armidale makes your business more competitive • TAFE Armidale delivers social and economic value You are most welcome to visit our Beardy Street campus to make enquiries for your training for the future. Alternatively you can call our Customer Service Centre on 1800 448 176 or visit us on the web @


TAFE Armidale is nestled in the New England Ranges and our facilities and training complements the city with state of the art training facilities in a wide range of employment areas.

International airport

A variety of course areas include rural skills, graphic design, arts and media, hospitality, ¿tness, massage, Euilding and construction, automotive, engineering, ¿lm, television and screen, children’s services, aged care, health services, Eusiness administration, Eusiness management, tourism, outdoor recreation.

Domestic airport

New South Wales

New England Institute


Sydney Airport

If you are considering moving to the Armidale region and wish to study, staff at TAFE Armidale will Ee happy to discuss training options with you. For more information visit the Armidale Campus Beardy Street, or telephone 6773 7700 or contact Customer Service on 1800 448 176 Find us on FaceEook TAFE NSW, New England Institute

Follow us on Twitter @NEI_TAFE

Scan me to search

new england focus 39

New England Community College. NECC believes that learning is an integrated community activity, not an isolated impersonal event.

lifestyle enhancement activities that assist older members in the community to remain both mentally and physically engaged – in essence, ‘active ageing’. During the past years we have customised many of our training courses in order to meet the needs of our customers.

The College is a nationally approved Registered Training Provider (which has been since 1997) and partners with other Community Colleges NECC is across NSW to deliver NECC is unique, because unique, er pre-vocational training we offer a range of other off e w e becaus through to Certificate services apart from training, a range of other m services apart frog IV courses across a including hiring equipment training, includint diverse range of skill such as data projectors to hiring equipmen requirements and industry training rooms. We also such as data g in in tra to rs to areas. As well as operating have a design and printing projec rooms. ” in the vocational/certificated service, where we are able to education sphere, the college assist with design and printing also offers non-accredited training, of business cards and flyers, plus a lifestyle and leisure courses, giving computer repair business. participants multiple entry points and pathways The New England Community College is to learning. celebrating its 31st year of providing education



In addition, the college provides a socially inclusive learning environment for individuals and groups. Hence, NECC can offer life-long personal development opportunities and

40 new england focus.

opportunities to the local Guyra and New England communities. As in the past, the College will continue to offer courses that address the needs of the local communities.

The ARMIDALE YOUTH ORCHESTRA was formed in 1968. Since 2009, the orchestra’ss conductor and musical directorr has been prominent Australian musician and Armidale resident,t, M. Warwick Dunham, BMus, ASCM. ts stated objective was and still is to foster the playing of orchestral music among the youth of the Armidale district. It fulfils an educational role in developing the skills and musicianship needed in group music making and also an important social function in encouraging an ‘esprit de corps’ in young people sharing similar interests. Each week, several hundred music students from throughout the region meet at the New England Conservatorium of Music (NECOM) through the various groups under the umbrella of the Armidale Youth Orchestra Association. These groups include The Armidale Youth Orchestra, the Armidale Youth String Ensemble and the Armidale Youth Wind Ensemble. AYO activities include an annual music camp at the coast – an enjoyable family weekend of musical and social activities culminating in a concert. They have 3 major performances a year, including their annual fundraising event, the April performance in the garden of Armidale resident, Rosemary Leach. Other performances include the annual Gala concert, as well as the popular ‘Walk Through the Orchetsra’ concert for schools. Workshops and master classes are scheduled regularly, as well as get togethers with other orchestras and young musicians. The orchestra is a non-profit organisation and receives support from the New England Conservatorium of Music (NECOM), with weekly rehearsals being held during term time in the NECOM premises in the Old Teachers College. Members are aged between about 12 and 25 years and must have reached a suitable performing standard. Over the years, quite a number of members have been selected at Australia-wide auditions

f National N ti l Music M i Camp C d the th Australian A t li for and Youth Orchestra and have embarked on a professional career in music. Each year the Arnidale Youth Orchestra wins awards at the Armidale Eisteddfod and this year was no different, with the AYO winning first prize in the open age ensemble section, against much more experienced adult ensembles, as well as groups from across the region and from as far away as Bellingen About the conductor Warwick Dunham attained his ASCM Diploma and Bachelor of Music degree at the NSW Conservatorium of Music, Sydney, majoring in organ and composition. Postgraduate studies included a scholarship at the Royal College of Music, London, with further studies in Europe, including Paris, Vienna, Basel and Hamburg. In 1992, Warwick was winner of the Sydney International Organ Competition. He has given recitals, broadcasts and recordings for ABC Classic FM and live broadcasts from the Sydney Opera House. Warwick was organist for the Sydney Symphony Orchestra’s recording of Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis, conducted by renowned master, Sir Charles Mackerras. Nationally he has given solo recitals at the Sydney Opera House, Sydney, Adelaide and Melbourne Town Halls, and internationally in London, Oxford, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Mexico City. In 2008 Warwick performed several times at the Sydney Opera House with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra under Gianluigi Gelmetti, and as pianist with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Zubin Mehta. In 2009 Warwick was organist with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra for their performance and broadcast of Handel’s Messiah. For enquires, telephone NECOM: 6772 7203.

The township of Walcha offers the new resident the opportunity to enjoy a friendly country lifestyle, while still having access to a range of services, including medical facilities, educational institutions and shopping.

es a “ Walcha providtu ral na of e ng wide ra d an attractions pursuits, agricultural y of plus a variet ion and accommodat dining options. ”

welcomes you! ituated halfway between Sydney and Brisbane (65 km from Armidale and 92 km from Tamworth) and offering an inland alternative route to the Pacific Highway, Walcha provides the ideal location for business development and residential establishment. Walcha is also serviced by rail and air facilities, with Walcha Road Train Station 17 km west of Walcha, and Walcha’s light aircraft landing strip situated only minutes from the Walcha township. Other air services, including daily flights to and from Sydney, are provided at Armidale Airport (45 minutes’ drive) and Tamworth Airport (1 hour 10 minutes’ drive).


scho hool ho o ol Walcha is well serviced by a public sc school catering for primary and secondary students and a privatee primary school and preschool close by. The Walcha Home and Community Care Service provides services for people who are frail aged, or people with disabilities and their carers who need additional support to enable them to live comfortably in their own homes. Walcha’s Multi Purpose Service (Hunter New England Area Health Service) is licensed for both acute and aged care beds. There’s also Riverview Aged Persons Hostel, which is run by Presbyterian Aged Care and has a capacity of approximately 29 permanent and 2 respite beds. Walcha has a wide range of natural attractions, including waterfalls and National Parks. The Apsley Falls are the first falls in a succession of dramatic drops that are the start of the Oxley Wild Rivers Gorge system. Riverside, in the Oxley Wild Rivers National Park, is the only area in Australia where visitors can gain vehicular access to a wilderness core. The district provides some of the best fishing waters in New South Wales for a variety of fish, mainly

trout. The area is located in the sub-humid temperate zone. The average rainfall for Walcha is 809 mm per annum. The local soil type, rainfall, altitude and pastures provide an ideal foundation for our highly regarded grazing industries. The Walcha district is suited to almost all types of grazing pursuits; however, wool and prime lamb production, together with cattle breeding and fattening, are the major grazing activities. Production of fine merino wool, prime lamb such as Poll Dorset and White Suffolk and Hereford and Angus beef have put Walcha on the world export map. Walcha boasts a large variety of dining and accommodation properties, ranging from restaurants, cafés, takeaways, supermarkets, motel and caravan park, hotels, clubs, Bed and Breakfast establishments, farm stays and cottages available to cater for the weary travellers, adventure seekers, wilderness explorers and families wanting to escape the stress of everyday life and spend quality time reconnecting with family members. For further information, please call the Visitor Centre on 6774 2460 or email:

new england focus 41



A R I E S.

L E O.


MAR 21 - APR 20

JUL 24 - AUG 23

NOV 23 - DEC 21

Get ready to take action; a work move is on the horizon. If not a complete change, a new position or responsibility awaits. Set some goals now, so you will be ready for it when it arrives. Tourmaline will help connect you to your true destiny.

Words need to be spoken. Speak from your heart with a loving intention, and you won’t go wrong. Be honest and state your motive to ensure a happy outcome. Turquoise is great for communicating with confidence.



C A P R I C O R N.

APR 21 - MAY 21

AUG 24 - SEPT 23

DEC 22 - JAN 20

Complete change is coming. You can expect an answer to a wish made a few months ago. Give yourself permission to receive it. Don’t worry about what others may think; go chase your dream. Sugilite will connect you to your dreams.


Don’t worry about money; this is causing lower back-ache. Your creative energy is about to do over time, and you will be kept very busy soon, so try setting some new goals and RELAX! Rose Quartz will help you to DE-STRESS.

You may be feeling a little removed from your family or loved ones at present. This is not a bad thing, because right now you are getting ready for something new, and to be able to take the plunge you need to be prepared. Try to remain positive. Citrine will keep your thoughts positive.

Money problems will not last long. If you’re feeling stuck, write some goals down and plan a course of action. You are likely to contemplate a move soon; just wait for the timing to be perfect. This feeling of being unsettled will soon dissipate. Citrine is great for bringing an abundance of positive energy.



SEPT 24 - OCT 23

JAN 21 - FEB 19

Your immediate past has felt rather barren where work satisfaction is concerned. Inner peace and balance is on its way. Try identifying your fears, release them, and replace them with the opposite emotion. Ruby protects us from our fears. Carry it with you.

You will have victory very soon. Words will bring a positive outcome with a happy surprise. Your wish is coming true, but first you must heal past hurts by releasing them with GRATITUDE for the positive changes they brought to you. Rose Quartz connects us to our loving beautiful self.


S C O R P I O.

P I S C E S.

JUN 23 - JUL 23 JU

OCT 24 - NOV 22

FEB 20 - MAR 20

Be patient just a little longer. You are likely to be very busy over the next few weeks, offering you some distraction from your thoughts. Relax and let go of the need to know what will be and enjoy just being in the now. Clear quartz is great for centering your energy.

42 new england focus.

You can play with magic, so have fun manifesting what it is that makes your heart sing. Avoid being too critical of others, as they are mirroring you very well at the moment. Be kind to yourself. Rose Quartz will aid in raising self-worth.

You are about to have success with finance. Don’t waste your opportunity to live your dream. Make some plans to secure what you have wanted for so long, and don’t spend anything unless you really need to. Citrine attracts an abundance. Carry some in your wallet or purse.

Your thoughts of yourself are quite destructive at the moment. Release your harsh judgment and compliment yourself regularly throughout the day, just to reestablish a new habit. Your kind words benefit so many others. Try the gift of giving this energy to you. Carry some citrine with you; it shatters negativity.

Home Nursing Group. Supporting you to support your loved ones. With Australia’s ageing population, more and more people are finding out what it means to care for a loved one. n response, The Home Nursing Group has recently embarked on a project to develop a guide for carers – with a particular focus on the issues facing adult children dealing with their parents’ frailty and mortality – perhaps for the first time.


It is important for families to discuss wishes and desires ahead of time. Too many families avoid the subject of aged care until a crisis arises (for example, a fall leading to a stay in hospital). This means decisions are often made in a rush and at a time of maximum emotional stress and possible family tension. Once the family has started the conversation, the next step is to conduct a needs assessment. The old adage ‘prevention is better than cure’ is equally valid when it comes to considering the effects of ageing. Too many admissions to aged care occur because of preventable accidents or incidents. Issues to consider include:

becoming increasingly confused and disorientated? Are they forgetting jobs to be done, ignoring personal hygiene, getting lost in familiar places, or having problems doing simplee tasks? Nutrition: Can they get to the shops, prepare and eat nutritious meals? Toileting and Incontinence: Are they having problems getting on and off the toilet, attending to personal hygiene, incontinence? Driving and Transport: Are they capable of driving safely? Can they get to the shops and medical appointments, use public transport? Finances: Are bills being paid? Can they manage their bank account and organise finances? Maintaining the home: Do they need help taking the rubbish out? Cleaning the house, general maintenance about the home and garden. Do they need help with the laundry?

Mobility: Can the older person safely transfer in and out of bed, on and off the toilet, up and down stairs? Are they unsteady on their feet and prone to falls, slips and trips?

Medications: Do they have problems taking medications?

Memory loss and confusion: Are they

Social contact: Are they isolated in the home?

Safety: Are there any hazards in the home? Are they at risk of falls, trips and slips?

o many

To admissions “ ed to ag care Have limited contact with friends and family? Do they engage in social activities or hobbies?

occur because of preventable accidents or incidents.”

The Home Nursing Group is a locally owned and operated business providing skilled nursing and community care services for the elderly and disabled in their own homes. We can provide advice and support in all of these areas, as well as with skilled home nursing services. The business was established in 1985, and we now serve more than 350 clients throughout the New England region. Our 45 staff are all highly experienced and fully trained in areas such as first aid, CPR, infection control, medication management and other competencies relevant to the provision of excellent home care services. Several also have

specialist training in dementia care, mental health and palliative care.

Consumers are increasingly demanding higher quality, greater choice and more flexibility in how their care is delivered – and overwhelmingly prefer to remain in their own homes. Home care not only provides a better quality of life, it is usually more affordable than traditional residential aged care. The Home Nursing Group has Commonwealthfunded consumer-directed high care packages (EACH and EACHD) which enable the consumer and their carers to choose exactly which services they need to remain living independently at home. Please contact us on (02) 6772 8968 or visit our website: au for further details.

new england focus 43

44 new england focus.

Michael Griffith from Northern Inland Chiropractic What has brought you to Armidale? After living and working in Sydney and Hervey Bay QLD, I felt the time was right to return home to Armidale not only to open Northern Inland Chiropractic, but to be closer to family and friends. Tell us about what services you offer? N.I.C. offers the latest in chiropractic techniques ranging from traditional manual adjustments (Diversified/Gonstead), Thompson drop piece adjustments and activator protocol adjustments. We specialise in peripheral joint/sports injuries and are currently undertaking further training in chiropractic paediatrics. So whether you’re very old, very young or somewhere in between, we can help you reach your health goals. How did you get into Chiropractic? After experiencing first hand how chiropractic helped me with asthma problems and sports injuries growing up, I knew from an early age that chi-

ropractic was a career I needed to pursue. Is Chiropractic covered by my health insurance? Chiropractic is covered by all major health funds, and we have HICAPs for onsite health insurance rebates. How are chiropractors trained? Chiropractic requires 5 years of university study involving a 3 year bachelor degree and a 2 year masters degree. Chiropractic is the third largest primary health care profession in the western world after conventional medicine and dentistry. It is recognised in Australia by Medicare, DVA and all major health funds. Plans for the future? My plans for the future are to expand N.I.C. into Armidale’s surrounding communities and help as many families as possible to achieve optimum health through natural chiropractic care.

For the whole community. Are you considering getting out of the gym, indoor 25 metre heated pool, climbing city and looking at Armidale as an option? wall, badminton and tennis courts, recently It’s a fantastic regional city and is refurbished squash courts, a healthy eating home to one of the finest unicafé and free crèche. versity sporting precincts in We have approximately 2,000 Australia. members and 4,200 visitors to At SportUNE,

SportUNE is located at the the centre each week, yet we you and your eve family can achied, University of New England remain friendly and relaxed. a more balanc (UNE), and the facilities SportUNE is open 7 days a healthier and le.” here belie the perception week, offering a diverse range ty happier lifes that regional residents of programmes, including over 40 don’t fare as well as their city group fitness classes a week for all cousins when it comes to sportage groups and fitness levels, personal ing and fitness opportunities for the trainers, health and wellbeing programs whole family. and access to more than 20 sporting clubs. Our facilities are all in close proximity with easy parking and include 15 hectares of playing fields, two multi-purpose halls, a brand new state-of-the-art strength and conditioning

At SportUNE we can help you and your family achieve a more balanced, healthier and happier lifestyle. Check us out at www.sportune. or call us on (02) 6773 3856.

new england focus 45

Thinking Criminal Law with Elizabeth Stahlut, Solicitor


CRIMINAL LAW Every now and then, a neighbourhood dispute gets out of hand, or a bully at work or school harasses, intimidates and may even be violent towards you. This may also occur in a family situation, where a former spouse, partner, relative or child needs to be formally and publicly restrained from stalking or causing domestic violence and disruption to the family unit. What do you do? In some cases, the best thing might be to talk matters through with the person who is troubling you when tempers calm down. Sometimes however, there are occasions where trying to talk things through either makes things worse, or is simply not appropriate or practical. This is when you might need to consider applying for an Apprehended Violence Order, otherwise known as an AVO. What is an AVO? An AVO is a civil restraining order made by a Court for the benefit of a victim suffering intimidating, harassing or violent behaviour from someone else. It’s designed to protect the victim, also referred to as the Person In Need of Protection (‘PINOP’), against this sort of behaviour. An AVO can also protect anyone else the victim might have a domestic relationship with. It’s not a criminal charge, but an injunction or restraint on the perpetrator’s conduct. A person who becomes the defendant named on an AVO doesn’t get a criminal record, unless he or she is found guilty of breaching the Orders made under the AVO. There are two kinds of AVO. The Apprehended Personal Violence Order (APVO) is used when there is no relationship between the victim and the person against whom the APVO is sought. An example of this might be the serious neighbourhood dispute or otherwise where a PINOP has been attacked, stalked or continually harassed by another person. The other kind of AVO, is the Apprehended Domestic Violence Order (ADVO). This is what’s used when an ex partner, partner or family member behaves in a way that is intimidating, harassing or threatening. Both kinds of AVO can incorporate a variety of conditions a Court thinks appropriate, to protect the victim. The main difference between an APVO and an ADVO is that APVOs can, and often are, referred to a Community Justice Centre for mediation. The Magistrate can do this and if the mediation works, the parties can hand up the agreement to the 46 new england focus.

Court as an undertaking. If it doesn’t work and the defendant is not prepared to accept the AVO without admissions, then the APVO can proceed to a hearing. The process of getting an AVO In a lot of cases involving personal and domestic violence, the police can and do take out AVOs on behalf of the victim. They will also do it if the victim is a child. Otherwise, if you need to apply for an AVO, you do so by making the application at a Court registry. You will be informed when your matter is due to be dealt with in Court. In order for an AVO to be granted, the Court must be satisfied on the balance of probabilities (in other words, that something is more likely than not, to be true) that unless the AVO is granted, the defendant will engage in intimidating, harassing or violent behaviour against you. Also, unless you are a child under 16 years of age or suffering from an intellectual disability, you must show that you have a reasonable fear of the defendant. Sometimes, a defendant might accept the AVO without making any admissions of wrongdoing. If this happens, the AVO can be granted by the Court, without the need to go to a defended hearing, where witnesses would have to be questioned. Once the AVO is granted, a defendant has to abide by its terms, or risk criminal charges. There are also other consequences from having an AVO put on you, so if you are served with a Court notice that one is being sought against you, it is very important that you seek legal advice about the proper steps to take. A lawyer can advise you of those, as well as representing you in Court if necessary. If you are seeking an AVO, it is also best to get legal advice, as a lawyer can not only advise you of the proper steps to take in either taking out or defending an AVO, but also advise you of possible alternatives to Court litigation that might achieve a satisfactory result for you.


Invest Blue is about to relaunch their refreshed brand and N E Focus is the first to interview the founding members of Invest Blue, Paul Haslam and Steve Sewell, about their reinvigorated approach.

Paul: What is the main message behind the refreshed Invest Blue brand? The focus of our refreshed brand is about creating belief that it’s possible to live your best life. We want to help people move on and up in the world by challenging them to dream bigger. More success. Less stress. Happier life. And through the support of quality, tailored financial advice, we can help people realise these ambitions. Paul: Tell us about the process to refresh the brand? Over the last 6 months we have worked with a brand agency, The Garden, to reposition our brand. More than a tweak to our logo, we wanted to provide greater clarity of our differentiated offering, to help us take the business and the brand into the future. The brand refresh involved researching the market,


talking to everyone in our business and talking to our clients about our services and at the bigger picture of what financial planning means to them. The result has included some subtle changes to our brand identity, but also new ways to tell our brand story, including messaging that better identifies with each of our unique audiences and their dreams. Paul: Why did you decide to refresh the Invest Blue brand? Our business has grown and evolved considerably since we established our original brand. We now offer a much more comprehensive service for our clients, with our focus being to help our clients achieve their best possible life. It is not just about our clients’ finances, but about helping them define what they want out of life and helping them achieve it. We also wanted to reinvigorate our communication materials

and develop a new, more engaging and useful website for our clients and potential clients. Steve: How has the Invest Blue brand changed? Visually, the changes to the brand are quite subtle. The logo and supporting graphics have been updated to a more uplifting and modern design, and our imagery is a lot simpler. The real change, however, is in the key positioning and message of our brand – ‘it’s possible’. It’s possible is a simple yet empowering message that I think everyone can relate to. No matter where you are in life, we all have plans and dreams, and helping people believe they can achieve their plans and dreams is a key part of our process at Invest Blue. You need to believe before you can achieve! Steve: How do you feel about the new Invest Blue brand? I am so excited about launching this improved Invest Blue brand to my clients and the world. Behind the scenes nothing has changed; we still provide the same personalised level of service, we still have the best team working with us, and we are always trying to improve the service we deliver to our clients. This new brand just makes it easier to communicate why we all get out of bed in the morning – and that is to help our clients achieve their best life. The Invest Blue brand and our business have evolved significantly since Paul and I established the business back in the ‘90s. This refreshed brand really communicates where we are now and where the business is heading in the future. Paul: How will clients be affected by the new brand? The refreshed brand is being rolled out over the next few months. Our clients will start to notice that the communication they receive from us will look slightly different, as will the signage at the Invest Blue offices. In coming months they will also have access to our new website. Overall we hope the new brand makes it easier for our clients to share the message that ‘it’s possible’ with their families, friends and colleagues.

new england focus 47

Wilson&Co Lawyers. Wilson & Co. Lawyers was established in 2005 in Newcastle, when company principal Greg Wilson struck out on his own, aiming to provide a legal practice offering ‘a fresh, enthusiastic approach to client service’. The company rapidly established an excellent reputation and a strong client base, opening an additional office in Armidale in 2010. The same enthusiasm and commitment with which the company was launched is still evident today, as Wilson and Co. continues to grow and attract some of the best and most experienced legal professionals to join the firm. Recent months have seen additions to the professional staff, with the Armidale office of Wilson & Co. being boosted by significant placements. One such addition is Senior lawyer Sebastian Hempel, whose career focus and passion is in the field of corporate law, having acquired a wealth of experience as a partner at major Sydney law firm, Minter Ellison. Sebastian’s specialist experience in the listed company area has seen him actively involved in numerous capital raisings, ASX listings and strategic transactions, most significantly in the resources sector. Sebastian is also actively

48 new england focus.

Team WHK. WHK are very proud to announce the recent appointment of Nicole Lavender, Troy White, Kathleen Steinhardt and Melissa Jubb (pictured) to the role of Principals within the firm.

involved in the community at various levels and is enjoying a return to the place of his formative years. Joining Sebastian is another senior lawyer, David Aitken (see David’s interview on page 15). These latest appointments add to a firm that is fast becoming the legal practice of choice in the Newcastle and North Western regions and complements Wilson & Co. Lawyers’ other capabilities, including Conveyancing, Probate and Employment Law, along with specialist knowledge of Wind Farm, Coal Seam Gas, and Commercial Law.

Nicole has been appointed as a Principal in WHK’s Audit team and is based in Inverell. Specialising in the registered clubs and not for profit sectors, she has 13 years’ experience prior to her appointment. Troy White joined the firm in 1996 and since then has specialised in the transport industry, retail trade and primary production. Kathleen specialises in Tax and has recently completed her Masters in Applied Tax. Her skills are commonly used for business advisory and tax consulting. Finally, Melissa has expertise working with businesses in an advisory capacity, assisting to improve profitability and growth, often through utilising government funding, with expertise in business structure, salary packaging and Fringe Benefit Tax.

Being young and ambitious, the four new Principals have been working very hard to achieve their career goals. “We have all had aspirations to become Principals with WHK for some time,” said Kathleen Steinhardt. “The great thing about WHK is we knew exactly what we needed to do to achieve it; WHK is very supportive towards advancing your career.” Being from regional centres certainly doesn’t mean you can’t achieve some amazing career goals. Melissa Jubb said, “We have every opportunity we could ask for right here in the New England region. Now as a Principal, I can continue to work closely with regional businesses to help build our community even further. It really is an honour.” The other ten Principals from this area congratulate and welcome these four to their new roles. Contact WHK in Armidale or Inverell to book an appointment with our newest Principals.

Winter Warmers. Keep warm without burning a hole in your pocket or the environment. Lindsay Snell plumbing has been installing and servicing Brivis gas ducted heating systems for 12 years. There has never been a better time to install a ducted gas system for whole of house heating, as electricity prices skyrocket, and the rising cost of refrigerant gases is between 15 - 300 percent.

Yaraandoo Wellbeing Weekends. Yaraandoo Wellbeing Weekends offer two nights’ accommodation in the New England Snowy Mountains, adjacent to New England National Park at Point Lookout near Ebor. Scrumptious healthy meals are lovingly made on site by chef – Paul Mailfert, with fresh regional cuisine sourced from Guyra, Armidale, Dorrigo and Bellingen. Pampering is in abundance and includes a relaxing full body massage, remedial massage, reflexology and Indian head and shoulder massage. These sessions leave one feeling like they are floating on a cloud, washing the stresses of everyday life away. Fun activities include dancing, music, art and guided bushwalks in the many different habitats found in the Point Lookout area. Fly fishing or swimming under mountain waterfalls are available in the summer months.

The cooling component of an electrical reverse cycle air conditioner have priced themselves out of the market. No doubt gas prices will rise, but not at the rate of electricity, and because you will have your gas bill fortnightly or monthly, it is easier to manage your energy use than a large electricity bill every 3 months. A climate like Armidale really doesn’t warrant cooling in a residential dwelling. Let’s face it – we only have a couple of weeks of hot weather a year; fans would be a far better cost effective option.

“A climate like n’t does Armidale really g in a in ol co nt ra war ling. Let’s residential dwel have a face it – we only of hot couple of weeks ; fans weather a year r cost tte would be a far be n.” effective optio

A design with zoning so areas can be shut off so you are not heating the whole of house can save you considerable amounts of money on your energy bills. Starting from around $7,500 for a basic install, it is a great investment for your property.

We are also the Brivis service agents, so we can maintain your unit to keep it running efficiently.

We also install 5 star gas instantaneous hot water systems and 5 star dux storage hot water systems that can deliver up to 2,000 litres of hot water a day. Gas hot water is an instant and cost effective way to have a constant hot water supply. We also can help you with any plumbing and heating options that can help you reduce your energy bills or help you update your plumbing fixtures in your property.

The days kick off with guided on-site bushwalks, Yoga or Pilates sessions and finish with soothing live music over drinks and Hors d’ouevres in front of the fire. Participants are given one on one wellbeing consultations and can attend workshops on a variety of topics, which vary from diet, communication, finance, mindfulness and positive thinking. The weekends are all about ‘you time’ – time to relax, rejuvenate, reflect and re-program yourself by focusing on the physical, mental/spiritual and social elements of your life.

new england focus


New England Mutual At the heart of our communities. From the early 1980s, many financial institutions began to desert the smaller country centres in New South Wales – in some cases leaving those communities without any local banking facilities. ew England Mutual (then New England Credit Union) stepped into that role, retaining and extending local branches and agencies, as well as maintaining local decision making and the friendly face of local banking.


Today, New England Mutual is part of the Community Mutual Group, which now includes Hunter Mutual and Orana Mutual in its family. Together they represent the largest inland credit union in Australia and service almost 70,000 members throughout the New England, North West, Central West and Upper Hunter regions of New South Wales. Comprising 29 branches, three agencies, a call centre and e-banking services, member access is integral to their service philosophy. The strength of New England Mutual can be traced to its values (Integrity, Respect and Fairness) and ensures their focus is constantly placed on member satisfaction. Its emphasis on community values and close involvement in smaller centres has been rewarded with loyalty

and commitment and a steady growth in membership. New England Mutual lives its passion of community engagement not only through the breadth of financial services it makes available, but through its contributions to local organisations and support for community initiatives and causes. It is more often than not the first port of call to assist in incubating local projects or leading fundraising drives to help individuals having a hard time. All staff are encouraged to participate in their communities, to join local organisations and in many cases are released from work to make a personal contribution on a regular basis. New England Mutual is well equipped to assist its members in reaching their financial goals, whether they are for business or pleasure. Boasting a product range which consists of personal finance, a range of mortgage alternatives and a specialised commercial lending team, you can understand why so many locals choose to bank with them. Flexibility is key, and the extended trading hours – including Saturday

mornings – is yet another way they give back to their members. The convenience of having an extra day to conduct their banking is an aspect that many members appreciate. Not only does New England Mutual offer competitive banking products, they are also an employer of choice for hundreds of locals. Employing over 270 staff across regional NSW (over 100 of which are located in the Armidale district) New England Mutual is passionate about attracting staff from the local area who share their same values and who are focused on providing their members the highest quality service. With its Head Office based in Armidale, it has attracted a host of skills from across NSW in Information Technology, Human Resources, Marketing, Member Service, Legal & Compli-

ance, Corporate Services, Credit & Risk, Accounting & Finance. Our vision is to be the trusted banking provider in our communities, and our goal is to continually understand the needs of our members and provide them with the most relevant products and services for their financial wellbeing. Providing valued services to our members and investing in our communities is paramount. In the tough world of banking, New England Mutual has maintained a balance between its growth as a strong and viable financial institution and its community focus and core values. It demonstrates the power and integrity of the co-operative movement and the democratic way in which its members have contributed to its success to date.

Providing our regional communities with a better banking alternative. New England Mutual offers a flexible range of competitive products that can help you reach your financial goals. With 24/7 convenient access through phone, internet and mobile banking, you can rest assured that we look after you, no matter where you are. Best of all, you can support our local community, simply by banking with New England Mutual. Speak to us today and join the revolution in community banking.

132 067

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

50 new england focus.

Ian Lloyd TAS Junior School Ian Lloyd reflects on 30 years since he started teaching at TAS and his most recent appointment as Head of Junior School ...


ou started at TAS as primary school teacher in 1982, almost fresh out of the then Armidale Teachers College. What attracted you to the school? Originally, I had my sights set on PE teaching, but was drawn to studying Primary Education in Armidale. I have always been a keen outdoor person and learnt early on that TAS was a school with a focus on the co and extra curricular. I became immersed in the life of the school from day one, teaching a year 3/4 class, became involved in boarding, coaching all manner of sport and straight into the Activities program as a Cadet officer. A place like TAS is more than 8.30 to 3.30. What extracurricular programs have you been involved with? I have been fortunate enough to participate in and contribute to many different aspects of the school. I played Rugby, and believe the game offers all who play a wonderful learning environment, but I am equally comfortable in the surf as Bronze Medallion instructor or on a TAS ski trip to Falls Creek. It’s a busy place – I have toured NZ and Europe with school Rugby teams, camped in sub-zero temperatures on the shores of Pindari Dam with Year 7 and sung in Barber’s Shop quartets in the School’s Music Hall. During your time at TAS, the Middle School

-8, was established for boys from Years 6-8, and you were the first Head of Middle e School boarding. How do you think the ou ur yo youn un ung nge ger er st stud udents. I can remember simply Middle School concept is beneficial to our younger students. being in the classroom and then taking off boys, particularly boarding students? Middle School simply makes sense. Adolesfor sport after school. That was it. Today, we cence is a tough time for most, as students expect and demand much more from our chilseek more challenge and independence. Middle dren – and from an earlier age. Balancing our School provides for this a growing expectations and the right children have to sense of responsibility and grow in their own time is paramount. autonomy, while allowing Kids need to be kids, and learning for time to prepare for the from doing is the key. Finding demands of senior school. the avenues for their success m ai or aj m “One ts Beginning boarding life is can be complex and time for all our studenof difficult, no matter who consuming, but there is is to raise levels confidence and you are. In 26 years of nothing as gratifying as seeself-awareness, r boarding, there is not a ing the glow in a child’s eye te ea gr leading to ” . lot I haven’t dealt with. when they achieve. ce en nd pe inde For the kids, changTAS Junior School is coing schools, leaving your educational, but part of a home and friends, having no school renown for being speparents looking over your shoulder, cialists in boys education. What’s in all combine to create a huge culture shock. it for girls? Middle School provides a friendly and supportJunior School has a wonderful depth. I had ive environment that caters specifically for this the fortune to meet with our first TAS Old age group, providing them the chance firstly to Girl, Chloe Chick, late last year, when she had adjust and then develop their own talents. returned from her charity work overseas. In a Late last year you returned to Junior nutshell, she put much of her recent successes School as Head of School. How has primary down to having a TAS Junior School educateaching changed? tion. She was inspired by all the activities and I cannot believe how busy the days are for developed a resilience that goes hand in hand

with learning by doing – in the cl clas assr ssroo srroom oo om, iin n classroom, the playground and in the educational theatre. She is now taking on the most amazing challenges as the co founder of the Peaks Foundation, with the objective of providing challenges for women to reach their highest potential. TAS Junior School creates an additional dimension of education for girls that is out of the ordinary, exciting and challenging. Tell us about the Transition program and how it helps with genuine preparation for schooling? Teaching Transition is one of the most enjoyable lessons I have each week. The program is again based around education through activity – learning the structures in the classroom, the expectations of teachers and how it all fits together. One major aim for all our students is to raise levels of confidence and self-awareness, leading to greater independence and the ability to engage with the learning process. Valuable activities like the Learn to Swim Program, the Gymbaroo (PE) classes and many other specialist teachers provide significant benefits for students who carry their experiences with them to kindergarten and beyond. Thanks Ian.

TAS JUNIOR SCHOOL IS NOW ACCEPTING ENROLMENTS FOR TRANSITION 2013 Talk to Ian Lloyd our Head of Junior School on o2 6776 5817 A wonderful opportunity for your child to EXPLORE EXPERIENCE EXCEL

new england focus 51


Tony McMillan has been contributing to the business community of Armidale for 21 years. We take a moment to find out how McMillans Lawns And Gardens has developed over the past 2 decades.

McMillans Lawns & Gardens ow does it feel celebrating 21 years in business ? I think to be so long in business nowadays is a milestone, and I’m very proud of what we have achieved. Like any workplace there are ups and downs, but we have slowly built it to what it is today, and it’s our intention to grow more in the near future. When and where did it begin ? The business started 21 years ago this month; I was on long service leave from my last employer at 30 years of age. My parents had not long moved into town after selling the family farm, and my father was looking after a couple of gardens for people. To fill in my time, I started giving him a hand. I recall he said to me one day, “Hey mate, you know

52 new england focus.

we could start a business doing this!” So we started giving out a few cards we made up to local real estates and built from there. (Some of those places we still look after today). My father played a big part helping me get started, and soon we were working side by side. Unfortunately he became ill, and after a short illness passed away. As I carried on, all I had was a Ford Laser hatchback, 2nd hand mower, whipper snipper, straw broom and about 20 bags for grass.

How has your business developed over 21 years ? The business has grown so much over the years. For years we worked out of the garage at home, which at times became very overcrowded with more vehicles and mowers etc. as we picked up more work. We also started employing people, which has been quite an experience. We currently have 4 vehicles, which means we can provide a more efficient service to

our customers. We have 5 staff who are all trained to operate any machinery needed for any jobs we do. We now operate out of a shed at the back of Meredith Paints, which is in Naughten Avenue and off Taylor Street. Tell us about your team? Anthony McMillan (21 years) Owns the business and would rather be out working with his staff than sitting around giving orders. He is responsible for the day to day running of the business and making sure


“ We currently look after, at 5 last count, 21 one properties in r ... ” way or anothe

all staff have machinery in good working order and condition, to create a safe workplace for staff. OHS is a big issue nowadays, and he tries to keep up and adapt to changes for the business. On a personal note, it’s not really work when you enjoy what you do. Michelle Bankier (12 years) Michelle would be one of the most qualified gardeners in town. She holds a level 5 horticulture certificate and has a vast knowledge of all aspects of gardening; she is one of the hardest workers we have ever employed. Michelle can operate any machine we have, from ride on mowers to hedge trimmers and chainsaws; she is an expert when it comes to pruning and looking after your roses. As an example, Michelle is responsible for the garden maintenance on the hospi-

tal grounds, where you will find her every Monday giving it her special touch. Michelle also helps with the running of the business on a daily basis, and when the boss is away she supervises all staff members and keeps them on their toes. Scott Farrell (5 years) Scott has been trained to use all machinery needed for his work; he is without a doubt the best operator of a whipper snipper that has walked through my door. During mowing season he is responsible for a team that works together mowing lawns, and in the cooler months Scott spends a lot of time on the hedge trimmer and manicures many properties around town. He also does minor repairs and maintenance to machinery. Peter Bishop (14 months) Peter also has been trained up in the use of all machinery; he is a very hard worker and will have a go at anything we give him to do.

Peter Inman (3 months) New boy on our team, currently learning how to use machinery. So far he has fitted in well. Samantha O’Brien (15 months) Sam is our book keeper – she takes all the fun stuff off my hands. She is very good at what she does, which keeps me away from it. She has organised my office, so it runs smoothly. What are some of the bigger jobs you do? We currently look after, at last count, 215 properties in one way or another. Our bigger properties arethe hospital grounds, Drummond Smith and Duval Colleges St Mary’s School, Fire Training Centre, and we are about to start Masonic Village. Who would you like to thank ? I would like to thank all our customers/clients for the chance to work on their proper-

ties and hope it continues for many years to come. Also thank you to my staff for all their dedication and work over the years/months; I hope you enjoy what you do and stay a while longer. McMillans lawns and gardens are completely insured and OHS compliant. We are always looking for more customers throughout the year. Another service we offer is a rather large pile of wood chip mulch available for delivery or pick up (2 km out, Bundarra Road). To celebrate our 21st, we are offering wood chip mulch for pick up or delivery for only $44 per load – we can also spread at a cost. Come September, we are looking for 2-3 more workers to join our team. For enquiries, call 0417 677 810 – you need only apply if you have had experience. Thanks Tony.

new england focus 53


own Troy Miller & Family

Mick Clynch & Family

Mick Clynch and Troy Miller are part of the younger generation of Armidale tradesmen, who have both recently taken the big step of going out on their own and setting up their own businesses. Mick is a plumber, and runs ‘New England Plumbing Services’, and Troy is an electrician with his company ‘Troy Miller Electrical’. Mick and Troy are also good friends and have been coaching a kids’ soccer team together for the past 3 years with the Demon Knights. How long have you lived in Armidale, and tell us about your family? I have lived in Armidale for just over 8 years now. My wife, Kate, grew up in Armidale, and we decided in 2004 to move from Ireland where I am from, to Australia. Kate’s family are all here in Armidale, so it seemed like the perfect place to start. So we bought a house, and now have our two children: Rory, who is nearly 3, and Edith, who is 4 months old. Kate is a teacher at PLC Armidale, and I have spent the last 7 years working for Inglis Plumbing Contractors. Where did you complete your plumbing trade? I began my plumbing apprenticeship in 1992 in Dublin, Ireland. This was a fantastic place to complete my trade, as I was working for a large mechanical services company that completed major industrial jobs all over Dublin.

54 new england focus.

I gained valuable industrial and commercial

How long have you lived in Armidale?

Tell us about your family?

experience on large scale projects, as well as

Proudly a true local, having lived all my life

My wife, Alicha, originally from QLD, has been

domestic plumbing experience that set me up

in Armidale. I attended St Mary’s Primary and

working in local businesses for the past 13 years.

for the rest of my plumbing career. I completed

then went onto O’Connor Catholic College. I

We have 2 children: Connor (8) and Hannah

all my Australian licensing and registration

completed my electrical apprenticeship at the

(4). Connor is at St Mary’s and Hannah (our

requirements while working here in Armidale.

UNE works department. For the past 22 years,

Christmas Day Baby) is at Tiny Town.

The personal rewards you gain from your business? Having my own business has been a rewarding experience so far. I really enjoy talking to clients, discussing their needs and ensuring I am able to complete all work to a high standard. I take pride in my work and gain great satisfaction from a job well done.

I have worked with numerous local electrical companies, where I was able to gain my experience and knowledge. Back in September 2011, timing was right and I decided to take the big plunge and start up my own company, Troy Miller Electrical, with the support of my family. The personal rewards you gain from your business?

What are your personal interests/hobbies? This would have to be photography; the camera never lies. I’m also very passionate about sports, especially Rugby League, soccer and cricket – go Wests Tigers and Chelsea! I am actively involved in local junior soccer and cricket – we also sponsor local junior Rugby League.

I’m enjoying the challenge of operating my own

Plans for the future?

Plans for the future?

business. This new chapter has been my most

Seeing the business grow into its full potential

Hopefully the future will bring further

challenging yet most rewarding achievement –

while still maintaining a high standard of service

expansion of New England Plumbing Services.

after becoming a father, of course. It has also

to our customers, both locally and in surrouning

Armidale is a growing place, and I plan to be

given me the flexibility to be more involved with

areas. Thank you to all of our current customers

part of its future, along with my family.

our children and the community.

for your support.



Toyota Camry Atara For my latest assessment, I was fortunate to be given a Toyota Camry Atara for the week. My first impressions were the sleek and appealing body type, which made me excited as to what features this car offered ... and I wasn’t disappointed.


he Camry Atara comes with Smart Entry as standard, which allows you to enter the car without having to find your keys. Once I got used to this, it was very convenient. The interior was beautifully finished and the seating very comfortable. There was an abundance of room in the front and back, which suited my family. During the assessment, I tested the boot with a typical grocery shop for a family of four. I found that the boot accommodated this with ease, and I was surprised at the amount of space I had left over. Driving the car in town and on the open road was super impressive. I really noticed how quiet the car was in operation. Using the hands-free Bluetooth phone and media streaming feature was a real plus. The kids were able to hook up into the system and play their songs. The panels allowing operation of the systems from the steering wheel was very practical. The Camry Atara delivered on performance.

It is powered by a 2.5L Dual VVT-i engine, which didn’t lack in any driving condition. I was impressed by the six speed sequential shift transmission, which allowed me a choice of gears or the ability to leave it in automatic while driving. The on board trip computer is a real plus. In this climate of high petrol prices, any help is appreciated. The computer monitors and reports on the car’s efficiency. There is also a light on the dashboard which alerts you when you are considered to be using excess fuel.

The Camry Atara has seven uding ai S SR rbags, incl rbag ai ee kn a driver’s lt along with seat be l al r fo s warning occupants.

During my assessment, I was amazed at the direction vehicle manufacturers were heading with regards to vehicle features and safety. I don’t know where the limit is, but they seem to be finding new additions, as with this vehicle. The Camry Atara has seven SRS airbags, including a driver’s knee airbag, along with seat belt warnings for all occupants. The Blind Spot Monitoring uses radars to monitor

blind spots in your side mirrors. In the event that you indicate to change lanes and there is a car in your blind spot, a warning light activates.

I really loved utilising the reversing monitor. The picture was very clear, broad and used a grid to help guide me in the right direction. With young kids around, it was very comforting that this technology was able to be used to reduce risk of harm to others. One day, I hope that this is standard in all vehicles. I put this vehicle through its paces during the week, utilising it for work and family purposes,

and I was not disappointed. The overall package was very impressive, from practicality, performance and general running costs. The vehicle was very easy to drive, comfortable and loaded with features. This vehicle is highly commended for both business and family. The staff at Toyota explained to me the great deals they have on finance.

new england focus 55


special edition

Scott Geddes. Scott Geddes, franchisee of Harvey Norman Electrical, moved to Armidale in 2009. He remembers receiving a warm welcome on arrival and found his feet by supporting local sporting teams. hat is your position at Harvey Norman, and how long have you been with the Armidale store? I have been with Harvey Norman for 13 years now. I started as a salesperson in Darwin, when Harvey Norman first opened in the NT. I was then given the Franchise at Fremantle in WA in 2005. From there, I then went to Lithgow in NSW. In February 2009, I was then given the Electrical Franchise in Armidale and have been here since. Where did you grow up, and what sports were you involved with? I was born in Brisbane, but grew up on a cattle station near Charters Towers in Central Western Queensland, before moving to a property at Yeppoon. After spending 3 years as a paratrooper based in Sydney, I then

56 new england focus.

moved back to Rockhampton before moving to Darwin in 1990. I have mainly been involved in Rugby Union as both a player and coach, making various representative teams in both NSW and QLD. The highlight of my playing career would have been making the Australian Army service side in 1986. Some highlights from the coaching side of things would be coaching various junior representative sides, including Central Queensland, Northern Territory and more recently the New England U13s with Will Mazzie. What community organisations are you involved with? As a local business owner, I like to support a several things, mainly junior sports. Since I’ve been in Armidale, I have been involved with junior Rugby League and Rugby Union, both

junior Blues and various ter what your interest is, whether “ Armidale has it is the arts, sport or cultural. New England sides. I am something for everyone, noyour Armidale is also children friendly, currently involved with matter whathether meaning that there is plenty for the senior Blues and also w , is st intere t them to do, with a vast range the UNE Barbarians, as it is the arts, spor or cultural. ” of sports, parks, bike tracks and well as the juniors. I have entertainment. The thing that also been involved with the the family fell in love with was the show, as well as many other colours that appear at certain times of events around the New England the year, mixed with the old buildings that are area. I believe in putting back into the dotted throughout – it’s splendour not to be community as they, the community, support my business. I feel that it’s good to support the missed. There is so much to discover throughout the New England region, with all the Najunior sports, as well as the senior ones. tional Parks and history that the region has, and What do you like most about Armidale? it is only a couple of hours to the coast. When we first arrived in Armidale, I noticed What team did you support in the State of how friendly the people were and how they Origin? went out of their way to help and made us QLD of course, and the Reds in Union. feel welcome, no matter what we were doing. Thanks Scott. Armidale has something for everyone, no mat-


A R M I DA L E ’ S H I S T O R I C S I T E , K E L LY & PAT R I C K S, N OW F O R SA L E

CIRCA 2012



new england focus 57

A Piece of Armidale’s Past NOW FOR SALE 3 Town Houses and a shop (the original store). Sold individually, or as a whole. Contact your Armidale Real Estate Agent. The site dates back to 1856. The Kelly & Patricks building circa 1892 to 1907. Over 100 years old. A plan in 1936 shows a shop and a building facing Brown Street, and a shed facing Allingham Street. Extensive renovations were carried out in 1953 and in 2007. The exterior was faithfully renovated using bricks and timber of that era. The interior, a modern minimalist style, with Italian tiles, stainless steel kitchens, and a Miele oven. The old meets the new.

The old meets the new • A tableland change of trees, a bracing climate, and no water restrictions. For those wishing to leave the bustling city, the three bedroom town house (suitably separated) makes an ideal residence. • Armidale, a city of schools and churches, ideal for raising a family from primary to tertiary education. • Our university – complete sporting facilities. • Waterfalls, gorges and 2 hours from the beach!

Common Barbecue Area The thunder-box (outside toilet) dates back to 1936! Now a barbecue shed, in a common entertainment area.

Townhouse 1.

Townhouse 3.

• 2 upstairs bedrooms, leafy outlook • 2 quality bathrooms • Open plan kitchen living and dining with stainless steel appliances and a German Miele oven.

A free standing unit with private courtyard and a common barbecue area. • 2 bedrooms, rich carpets • Bathroom and ensuite • Modern tiled living area • All units air conditioned.

Contact your local agent First National Paul Campbell 6772 1277 58 new england focus.

Town & Country John Oelers 6772 2111

Kurt Eggert Ana 6772 6626

The Professionals John Sewell 6772 4549

Ray White Tim Richard 6772 4411

Hutchinson & Harlow Peter Georkas 6772 5333

The Shop

Freehold Only

The original store, now tastefully renovated, freehold for sale. Very good long term investment.

The Shop

Freehold Only

Kelly and Patricks for Sale Townhouse 2.

Townhouse 2 Bathroom fully tiled

• 3 bedrooms, or 2 bedrooms and 2 living areas according to your lifestyle • 2 quality bathrooms, fully tiled • Open plan living facing north for the sun • Open sun deck • Federation kitchen – Miele oven • Individual carport • Shared entertainment area with built in barbecue • Air conditioned

Living area with study bedroom

Bedroom rich carpet and ensuite

Federation kitchen with modern fittings

Interior Townhouse 2

Photography by John Sheridan new england focus 59





MS My name is Brett Cameron – most people know me as Camo. I am a 4th generation Cameron from my family to live within 100 km of Armidale.

A piece of

BY ROBERT HANNA n the earliest days, the main regarding the ownership. thoroughfare was what we now A plan of the site in 1936 shows the little call Brown Street – especially shop and building both facing Brown Street, the road past the train station. and a shed facing Allingham Street. Mr Wally Inns, stores and blacksmiths Head conducted a grocery shop here, and it shops were located there, and in the 1850s was then sold and subsequently turned into a people resided on top or at the rear of wood shed. these buildings, and in wooden huts and About 1946, a partnership was formed cottages. By 1857, land in Armidale was between Clarrie Kelly and Frank Patricks, readily available for purchase, and people hence the store being named Kelly & Patricks. commenced building homes away from the Kelly had been the Clerk of Petty Sessions, workplace. and Patricks the manager of Stuckley Some land at the north east corner of Newsagency (now Carrs). Together, they Brown and Allingham Street was brought the store and the shed, and Frank purchased from the crown in Patricks operated a grocery store on June 1856 for £4-5-0 by the site. Within a year, Patricks Between Henry P Bachelor and sold brought out Kelly, but kept 1892 and to Lawrence Doran in trading as Kelly and Patricks. 1907, a April 1858 for £100. A Extensive renovations were d shop was erecte . et re St cottage was erected on n carried out in 1953, when facing Brow en be s ha ly er the site between 1856 the store and shed became North 1907 found between and 1858; it was one of the residence of Frank and e th g in and 1936 regard the first in Brown Street. Launa Patricks and their ” ownership.. Now known as Kelly and children. Frank died in 1961, Patricks, it was the home of and Launa and her son Roger and Laurence and Susanna Doran. Mr wife Lelna ran the store until it was sold Doran died in 1866, and Susanna married Mr in 1980. Joseph McShane in 1868. In 2007, the present owner remoulded Sometime during the 1860s, Thunderbolt and renovated the site. Bricks and timber slept in the cottage, now 169 Brown Street. only from the same era and style were However at this time, it was all one site! used. The outside was faithfully made in a In 1882 the land was divided into 25 sites Federation style, while the inside is extremely – now 169 Brown Street one site and 171 comfortable and modern, with Harlan style + 173 the second site. Mr Eric Dunlop, a tiles, stainless steel kitchen, rich carpet, full lecturer at the teachers college and the air conditioning and German Miele ovens! curator of the Armidale Folk Museum, was Peter Patricks is the owner of the house told by a Mrs Gordon that she remembered which was actually an Inn where Thunderbolt Thunderbolt sleeping in the house. Mrs once slept. He considered the removal of Gordon passed away at 93 years of age. the premises, but unfortunately this did not Between 1892 and 1907, a shop was comply with Council regulations. erected facing Brown Street. Nothing has The Kelly and Patricks Site is profiled on been found between 1907 and 1936 the previous pages.

60 new england focus.

ow long have you been have heard them myself, and they can be shearing? wrapped up in one word: incredible! We For many years! My current will have a BBQ, bonfire and plenty more to occupation is a Livestock keep everyone entertained. Inspector/Ranger for the New England Who will officially monitor the shear? Livestock Health and Pest Authority. Prior Since the idea of the Mega Shear, we to this, my main occupations were a created a committee of 8 highly motivated combination of truck driving, carting sheep friends of the Hiscox family to make the and cattle and of course, shearing! Often event one of Armidale’s biggest and most these would clash, so it was a matter of successful this year! The shear will be finishing the day of shearing at 5pm then monitored by several local farmers and kicking the truck into gear and heading off hopefully watched by thousands! into the night. Why are you donating the funds raised Tell us about your MEGA SHEAR? to MS Australia? I had a very close family friend diagnosed I’ve been a close friend of the Hiscox with Multiple Sclerosis, and family for more than 25 years. I’ll be the first to admit I Since the death of their don’t know much about father, Ben, in 2004, I ays it – other than it can have offered support “I was on holid my g last year shearin the radically change a lot to them in any father’s sheep in Ben of young people’s lives way possible. The te shed that the la , when ilt for good. family has recently bu d Hiscox ha as w I – e m t hi ea I was on holidays id experienced the full the shear for going to try and ake my last year shearing my effect of how MS 24 hours and m ards a father’s sheep in the can change lives, and w to n io contribut shed that the late Ben now my support will be cure. ” Hiscox had built, when thrown towards finding the idea hit me – I was going a cure. to try and shear for 24 hours to All funds raised will be make my contribution towards a cure. donated directly to MS Australia to help I would like to consider myself as the find a cure. It’s incredible the response I’ve vehicle driving the fundraiser, but it’s the had from MS sufferers and supporters and people who are willing to get out to the how grateful these people are that have shed who will make it a success. In recent what I like to refer to as a silent disease. weeks, I have had countless Armidale locals How can our readers donate? who know someone or a ‘friend of a friend’ For the FOCUS readers who would like with high profiles to help us gain exposure to make a contribution and can’t attend for the event. From trucking companies the event, we have a website where they across NSW, VIC and QLD to having famous can donate: people on board to attend, everyone has ms24hourmegashear which has a short been so great in offering their help. video and small blog. This is a one off event, so make sure you We will also be selling raffle tickets in the come out to Lansdale, 338 Cluny Road! lead up to the event, and for those who It’s one of those things where if you don’t can attend, we will be holding an auction come out for an explosive night, you’ll hear on the night with some fantastic prizes how good it was from family and friends up for grabs. Please feel free to bring the and be thinking, “That’s a pretty poor family; they will be well catered for, and I excuse for why we didn’t go!” One of our dare say the jumping castle will get a good main attractions is the band Terra Firma – I work out.



Professionals A R M I D A L E Luke Fahy from The Professionals in Armidale explains why moving to Armidale is like knowing the Lotto numbers before they come out. ow long have you been selling real estate in Armidale? I started my real estate career in 2001 for another company, so in total I have been in real estate for 11 years. In 2007 I started my own company, Professionals Armidale, in which we work in residential sales, residential property management, commercial sales and leasing. We also do Strata Management. With Armidale having a vacancy rate of under 35, property management forms a large part of our business. In 2011, I was appointed to the board of the REINSW (Real Estate Institute of NSW). What homes do you have that would interest city families? We have many homes that would suit any type of buyer looking at moving to Armidale, whether that be a unit, family home, prestige property or acreage. Tell us about your commercial properties? Commercial property is a strong sector of real estate in Armidale, from industrial land through to freehold premises. We also have several small to large retail and bulky


goods/industrial properties for rent. Your advice to people considering moving from the big smoke to Armidale? I cannot understand why anyone would live in Sydney when there is such a better option here ers “Armidale off le ty es in Armidale. The property lif t a perfec prices in regional NSW cities and is the land of opportunityge, are terrific, so it just makes for a tree chan sense to buy here. A prestige investment or property in Armidale is the retirement. ” same value as an entry level unit I often laugh when I hear in some areas of Sydney. The fact things like I did last year at that a person can sell a property in CARLE ... a person asked me if we Sydney and buy a home in Armidale while had electricity? I would urge anyone to having plenty of money left over for retirement come and have a look for yourself, because or investment is such an appealing option. you will see so many opportunities in Armidale Armidale is known for being a city of that Sydney just cannot offer. We are two education, so to give your kids a head start is hours from the beach and one hour from an amazing thing – without the stress! We Sydney and Brisbane by plane. It’s great to don’t have to pay for parking, or take 3 hours be able to get away for a weekend and then to get to work (more like 3 minutes). Many come home to the perfect lifestyle. We don’t people work for their families; however, the have things like water restrictions. Armidale is stress associated with working in Sydney is silly not a ‘back water’ town, but rather a city that when Armidale offers such a perfect lifestyle. offers UNE and beautiful surrounds, such as

our waterfalls and National Parks. We also have shopping centres and all the facilities that a larger city does, at a fraction of the cost. Armidale is the land of opportunity. Even if you wanted to buy an investment property with the view to retire, why wouldn’t you? We have one of the best vacancy rates in Australia and signs of good capital growth on a stable basis ... not just because of a mining boom! We are a long term city with a wonderful future ... it’s like knowing the Lotto numbers before they come out!

(02) 6772 4549 Shop 1 / 210 Beardy Street, Armidale

$299,000 3 bedroom rendered house, 2 living areas great aspects, Entertainment deck New kitchen Expertly renovated and enhanced by a brilliant northern aspect, this 3 bedroom house located in a quiet Northern cul de sac offers opportunities for all. The House is kept warm all throughout winter with a wood fire and is enjoyed by all in the summer via the deck that overlooks the landscaped gardens situated in the back yard.




Immaculate 4+ bedroom home, Ensuite w/2 person spa bath, Ducted gas heating + alarm system, Private formal dining & living area, Spectacular views over town This immaculate home situated in a prestige North Armidale Location will captivate you on first inspection. The modern kitchen has dishwasher, elevated stainless steel oven and opens to an informal living area with sliding door access to the undercover entertaining deck which overlooks the secure rear yard having additional recreational shed that could be used as a games room or retreat with bar

Prestige home on acres, Immaculate finishes throughout, Northern aspect with views, Approx 7kms from town. Presenting impeccable finishes and picturesque outdoor spaces, this prestige family home is set on 5 acres and is only 4 years old. Located on the Northern side of Armidale approximately 7kms from the CBD. The first thing you notice upon entering the formal lounge is the great north eastern aspect which makes for a delight to spend time in. Save money on electricity with the solar hot water system and solar heating for the pool.

COMMERCIAL / INDUSTRIAL LAND FOR SALE Southern Cross Drive Fantastic industrial blocks ranging from 1000m2 to 1993m2 ready for you to develop. Prices from $250,000 + GST 65 Seaton St An impressive 4000m2 industrial block located at Acacia Park, featuring sealed street frontage, with water, sewer & power close by. $390,000 + GST 291 Mann St Huge 5420m2 industrial block with 49m frontage to Mann St – great development opportunity $850,000 plus GST Call John Sewell today for more information Phone 0429 075 001 24 hours 7 days



Fantastic opportunity to purchase this amazing residential complex comprising of 14 villas. Configuration is 6 x 2 bedroom units and 8 x 3 bedroom units, all with attached single lock up garages with internal access. Quality construction of brick & tile with paved driveways, sunny, private & modern villas. Park like gardens with underground irrigation system. Located on the main arterial road leading to the University of New England from the Armidale CBD Price $2,950,000.00


5 & 7 DREW ST ARMIDALE Fantastically located on the fringe of the industrial / big ticket retailers precinct 5 Drew St is approx 740m2 in size & features a large shed of approx 560m2 which would suit a myriad of uses 7 Drew St is a large yard adjoining the above shed of approx 850m2, this yard is securely fenced and has large double gates for easy access. One of the most affordable opportunites on offer which would suit either the invester, owner occupier or any developer. Call today for a full Information Memorandum.

new england focus 61



real estate esssta ate F E AT U R E

Thinking of relocating? Or spreading the wings?

Boulus Constructions. Constructions Do your research carefully. Armidale is the regional city servicing the New England district. Landmark Harcourts also services the New England district in rural and urban-rural real estate. Geoff Leedham has been associated with rural property in the New England for 40 years. He knows the district, and his knowledge can be most beneficial to those making the exciting change to the ‘bush’. The property below is undoubtedly one of the pick addresses in the New England. This is a brilliant recreational property; it produces beef, it grows magnificent timber, as well as many other income earning activities. The river access is an enormous feature that few properties anywhere can deliver. Landmark Harcourts have another property with a 2.5 km river frontage. The property is 67 Ha in area and is gently undulating to the north east, with wonderful home-sites. A shed has been converted to very comfortable accommodation; the property has Waterfall Way frontage and is only 30 minutes drive to Armidale. Another interesting farm is this 81 Ha property 30 km from Armidale, featuring running spring water. It has a very cosy and secluded home, an award winning landscaped garden, and National Parks adjacent. If buying or selling hobby farms or large rural holdings, Landmark Harcourts are the experts. Call anytime for a chat.

62 new england focus.

Building Homes, not Houses. Boulus Constructions Pty Ltd was established in 1989 by Brian and Terri Boulus for the provision of building and construction services within the northern NSW region. Since inception, the company has demonstrated commitment and philosophy to quality workmanship within commercial, residential and government building contracts. Historically, the company established a quality reputation on the construction of new buildings and ancillaries such as power stations and utilities, heritage property, residential and semi commercial dwellings, while increasing their competitive presence, trade networks and success in delivering specialised building services for state and federal government departments such as Department of Housing, Education, Teacher Housing and Resitech. The Company has acquired extensive experience within the construction industry and has further diversified their services to provide comprehensive and user choice packages for every customer. Construction design, commercial premises, parks and roads development, landscaping, interior design are just some examples of the level of choice and areas of excellence available. The company has demonstrated and proven their success and commitment to providing innovative and cost effective services that have been delivered on time and on budget within commercial contracts. In recent years, Boulus Constructions has received national recognition for their services, including multi Housing Industry Australia awards.


Port Macquarie focus _feature.High School


real estate F E AT U R E

Use Us U se Pi PPic ic ffr ic from rom om W WIB IB B2 20 2012 01 0 12

Kurt Eggert Real Estate. Property management specialists. Arna (Kurt’s sister) is now the sole owner and director of this rental agency. Through her experience, she provides the competent and caring service that she knows her landlords expect. If in the unlikely event you have an issue to raise, you will be dealing direct with the company’s owner, guaranteeing prompt and complete resolution. When purchasing a nest egg or investment property, there are quite a few things to consider. Getting it wrong can be very costly, and it’s often factors that are far less obvious that are the cause. Unnecessary delays in getting a tenant can cost hundreds of dollars upfront; not having market expertise can see properties under rented, potentially costing the owner many hundreds of dollars a year. Setting rents too high can delay tenanting a property and even deter better tenants. Not conducting regular rent reviews, inspections and arrears management can lead to substantial losses by owners, and not communicating with you about what’s required to maintain your asset and other matters can also cost you greatly. We focus 100% on property management. All our effort is applied to doing every facet of management well, so that the overall result for you is the best it can be. Our own business survival depends on it, and that’s a strong motivating factor to do it better than anyone else.

First National Real Estate. Armidale First National Real Estate celebrates 50 years of service to the Armidale community.

Locally Owned and Operated for over 40 years

Established in 1962 as Sewell & Hanlan Real Estate, it has had a few name changes along the way. This year we are also celebrating 30 years membership to the First National Real Estate Group, and we’re proud to be one of the founding members of the successful nationwide group.

Buying a home is usually the biggest investment of our life, and the process can be exciting but daunting. When purchasing an investment or commercial property, you need experience to accurately predict a good return on your investment.

Brian Thomas and Paul Campbell, the current Principals, both started with First National as salesmen in 1990 and are proud to have contributed over 40 years’ combined service to the local community ever since.

For over 40 years, Uphill & Schaefer have been committed to giving the best possible service, and they have earned the reputation as ‘the trusted name in real estate’. They have the experience to help you every step of the way and get the result you desire. The team has an intimate knowledge of the local real estate market. They have a keen understanding of the changing trends of the market – a very important factor when you are considering investment.

They now lead one of Armidale’s largest and most successful real estate teams, offering all your real estate needs and services, from a top performing sales team to a dedicated and caring property management team. Servicing the largest portfolio of strata managements, a specialised service in itself for both residential and commercial strata properties, plus they’re leaders in commercial management. Armidale First National would like to thank all the clients and customers who nominated their business and made it possible for them to win the Armidale 2012 Property Services award, organised by the valued Armidale Chamber of Commerce. We look forward to servicing you with the same commitment and dedication for many years to come.

Uphill & Schaefer is now recognised as the leading sales and property management performer in the Armidale area. You will be kept informed of every step of the sales and leasing process. It is the sort of service that people tell their friends about; in fact, much of the current business is from referrals and previous clients – a good indicator the team is doing it right! Come and meet the team at Uphill & Schaefer Real Estate ... the team that you can trust to help you along the path to a great result.

new england focus 63


M Million dollar facility now officially opened... šK šKdZ[hYel[hWh[dWc[Wikh_d].&cn **&cm_j^i_nc[jh[^[_]^jWjj^[[djho ffe_dji$ š7 š7d'.ijWXb[Yecfb[nm_j^ZkWb^ej mmWj[hmWi^XWoi"jWYaheeci"l[jWh[W WWdZWc[d_j_[iXbeYa$ šJ šJ^[Ykhh[djh[Z[l[befc[dje\j^[ [[gk[ijh_WdYheiiYekdjhoYekhi[_djeW( iijWhYekhi[XoZ[i_]d[hMWod[9eff_d]$

CCongratulations and go good luck to NEGS’ Old Girl, Ju Julia Hargreaves and her hhorse, ‘Vedor’ competing w with the Australian Olympic Sh Showjumping Team for London.

learning with spirit

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

D;=I;gk[ijh_WdFh[\[Yj"7ddWCen^Wc 9eedWXWhWXhWdm_j^^[h^ehi[¼=ki½

New England - 63  
New England - 63  

Issue 63 for New England