Coffs Coast Focus - i141

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issue 141 OCTOBER 2022

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COFFS COAST focus 7 *The Guarant ee d Future Value (GFV) is the minimum value of your new or a pp roved demonstrator Lexus at the end of your finance contract, as determined by Lexus Financial Services (LFS). If you dec id e to return your car to Lexus at the end of your term, LFS w il pay you the agr ee d GFV, w hi ch w il be put against your final payment su bject to fair wear and tear condit io ns and agr ee d ki lo metres being met. The inform at io n prov id ed is general in nature. You should seek your own financial a dv ic e to determine whether Lexus Ownership So lu tions is a pp ro pr iate for your individual cir cu mstances. Terms, conditions, fees and charges a pp ly. Lexus Ownership S ol ut io ns GFV products are available to a pp roved customers of Lexus Financial Services, a d iv is io n of Toy ota Finance Australia Limited ABN 48 002 435 181, AFSL and Australian Credit L i ce nce 392536 Images indicativ e on ly. LEXUS OF POR T M AC QUARIE | 10 Hasting s River Drive , Port Macqua ri e | PH 02 6583 912 2 | ww w.lexu so fportmac qua LEXU S GUARA NT EE D F UT URE VALUE TH ERE ’ S A F E ELING YOU GET w hen y ou’ re fir st beh i nd the whee l of y our b r and n ew L e xus. It ’ s t he same fee l ing of fi nancing y our vehic le th rough Le xus O w ne r sh i p Solutions, w i th the ce rta in t y of a se t Gua r antee d Future Value*. Con trol You pick the deposit a mount, and y ou pick th e le ngt h of y our loan term. Tha t way, y ou ’ ll kn ow the m i nimum va lue we se t fo r y our L e xus if y ou’d like t o keep i t, return it, or sw ap it for a n ew one at th e end of y our loan term. Conta ct y our L e xus de a ler to find ou t mo re. E XPER IENCE THE FE E LIN G OF CONTROL WIT H LEXUS OWNERS HI P SOLUTION S AN D A GUARA NT EE D F UT UR E VALUE *
8 COFFS COAST focus SALE ON NOW Harbortown Leather Suite $6600 $4900 2 Recliners with 2 Seater Sofa Quality FurnitureBeatties Monday to Friday 9am-5pm Saturday closed Sunday 9am-12pm Cnr Pioneer St & Duke St, Nambucca Heads PH: 6568 7484 Pinnacle Fabric Suite $4600 $3500 2 Recliners with 2 Seater Sofa Pinnacle Platinium Lift Harbortown Lift Chair $2700 $2200

This remarkable young athlete competes in Modern Pentathlon and Tetrathlon, and is currently off to Portugal to compete in the World Championships!

Dedicated to helping others through trauma, family and domestic violence and even human trafficking, Jas shares her own experiences, how she overcame them, and what she has learned.

A lifelong appreciation of art and creativity has run free since Chris retired. A fascination with glass sees her creating and exhibiting beautiful works, and holding workshops on her art form.

PFLAG - Sam Dawson

State of Play - Gurmesh Singh

Women in Business - Cath Fowler

Update - Aaron Hardaker

Conversations - Julie Thomas

Update - Nick Johnstone

Leaders - Cassandra Wilson


Vanessa Simpson

Estate - Chris Hines

10 COFFS COAST focus 56.
72. Physio
76. Counselling
84. Education
86. Youth
103. Buying
110. Real
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Every month you'll find the latest news, reviews and interviews from these locals. Thank you for your contribution to focus CASSANDRA WILSON CONTRIBUTOR OF THE MONTH INTERVIEWS OUR CONTRIBUTORS Follow us on contents ISSUE 141 - OCTOBER 2022 DINING GUIDE

team note

Welcome to the OCTOBER 2022 EDITION.

Ah, October, Daylight Savings kicks off which is a sign that Summer is around the corner.

FOCUS was founded on the desire to produce a beautifully designed, locally focused publication with positive interviews – on real locals. Locals in our community make a difference, leading the way and helping to shape a vibrant future for our region. We are really excited to present to you another bumper edition! 112 pages of epic, local content.

On the Cover

This month’s cover features Eloise Lydford, a true artist, with skin as her canvas much of the time. Her tattoo work is next level and she has cemented herself as the go-to


woman for realistic black and grey ink on the Coffs Coast.

And just like that. Two becomes one. After nearly 9 years of service as a FOCUS sales executive, it’s with a heavy heart that we say goodbye to the amazing Samantha Dawson as she transitions over to her new role in the community care sector – and we think she will be amazing! This women is irreplaceable and she will be missed dearly. Thank you for everything you have given Focus Sam. We wish you luck with your new career journey!

Nicci Seccombe will be taking over her role on top of what she is already doing. Any interview or advertising enquiries can be sent to or 0413 816 010.


Meet Bree McNickle

It’s been a busy 12 months for us here at FOCUS, but no one is busier than our Circulations Coordinator, Rachel Moser. Rach has been an absolute powerhouse when it comes to making sure FOCUS is readily available for the community to enjoy. Distributing 10,000 copies to outlets all over our region in just two weeks. It’s with a heavy heart we bid farewell to Rach as she moves on to focus on family and do some travelling. We wish you all the best Rach. As one chapter closes for Rach, the next will open for our new Circulations Coordinator, Bree McNickle... There is plenty of pep in her step when it comes to leading an active lifestyle, so she will be the perfect fit for the role as well as our fourth team member. If you see Bree around town, be sure to give her a wave!

Got a story idea? Looking to advertise in Focus? Contact us for more information.


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Coffs Coast Focus is published by Creative House Publications PTY LTD ABN: 621 287 8600 5. Material in Focus is Copyright © Creative House Publications PTY LTD 2022 and may not be reproduced whole or in part, in any form, without permission of the Publisher. All rights reserved. FOCUS is printed by Australian Community Media Print & Logistics North Richmond. Our paper is FFC and PEFC certified and meets with ISO14001 accreditation.

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Eloise Lydford is a true artist, with skin as her canvas much of the time. Her tattoo work is next level and she has cemented herself as the go-to woman for realistic black and grey ink on the Coffs Coast.

Hey Eloise, tell us where your tattoo journey began?

I have been creating art daily since I was very young, but I’ve always thoroughly enjoyed academics so I never thought I was going to pursue anything creative as a career. When I turned 20 I was studying at University and transitioning into an Engineering Degree, when I had a vivid dream one night that I was working as a tattoo artist. It wasn’t anything spectacular or out there compared to my other dreams, it was simply just me sitting in a room laughing and vibing with the people around me as I tattooed a portrait on someone’s leg. The feeling of joy I felt when I woke up was something I couldn’t stop thinking about for a week, and so I

decided to just bite the bullet and approached a tattoo studio for an apprenticeship.

To my absolute shock I got the job, and the rest is history. It changed my whole life.

How has your art changed over time?

I have been very blessed with the most wonderful clients, and currently the majority of my projects allow for a lot of my own artistic freedom.

Before I started my tattoo career I used to create pieces purely for myself. Once I started tattooing, spending years creating work specifically for my clients’ expectations really changed my process, and I’ve spent the last few years exploring some more expressive abstract work and relearning how to bring more of myself back into the process. I have been very blessed with the most wonderful clients, and currently the majority of my projects allow for a lot of my own artistic freedom.

If you weren’t a tattoo artist, what do you imagine your career would be?

I absolutely love aviation, so I would really enjoy getting my helicopter pilot’s licence. I also used to teach horse riding and I love it so much I could easily do it for the rest of my life.

I also have ADHD and through my own journey of navigating it as an adult I have found a talent and joy for organising, so I think I could also make a good career as a professional home organiser. What’s your all time favourite piece you have created and why?

There are way too many to pick one. I think it’s because I’m so strongly motivated by the sentimental elements of my work. Some pieces have really stayed with me because for example, it’s a cover up tattoo of something my client is ashamed of and it’s given my client more confidence to wear whatever they want again. Or because it’s a portrait of their dog that just crossed over and the session ends with a lot of bittersweet tears, or sometimes even just because the process of collaborating with my client was lots of fun and I spent the whole day laughing. When I look at my own work I see the vibes and memories involved with the creative process rather than just the finished result, so it’s hard for me to rank them on appearance alone.

Continued over...

What is your favourite tattoo on your own body?

Once again, I can’t pick just one haha. I have a bit of a collection now, from spontaneous small pieces that I decided to get on the day, to my sleeve which I planned and researched for a long time before even picking an artist. Two of the ones that bring me the most joy are on my shins so I get to see them myself; a titty caterpillar that one of my best friends and colleague Jess designed and tattooed for me, and a blue jay sitting in some berries that the wonderful artist Emma from Painted Horse Tattoo did for me.

In your opinion, what is the best thing about being a tattoo artist?

Definitely the opportunities and lifestyle it has given me. Some of my favourite people in the world I have met because of tattooing. I have travelled to some amazing places, slept on volcanoes, summited mountains, sailed the seas,

and met some really inspiring wonderful people who have all played a role in the person I am today.

What are some words of wisdom for someone planning on getting a tattoo?

Be patient; do your research. Look at the artist’s portfolio and make sure you can see a coherent style, and that you’re aligned with it. Look at their healed work, not just fresh pieces. And remember, a cheaper artist that isn’t as aligned with your expectations might save you a few dollars now, but can cost you a lot more later on. Where is the weirdest place you have ever tattooed someone?

I’ve been tattooing for so long now that nothing is really weird anymore, but my favourite places to tattoo are leg sleeves and back pieces. When you’re not sitting down for those long hauls in the chair you’re on the move travelling. Where do you end up and why do you personally

New Zealand, the west coast of USA and Canada. As much as I love living on the beautiful Coffs Coast, I find myself constantly drawn to mountains and forests and lakes. I’ve met some wonderful people who have become close lifelong friends while travelling which is why I keep going back. I think travel can be a life changing experience for the solo wanderer because you can take nothing but your own attitude and integrity. New places and experiences and people don’t care where you went to school, or who your Dad is, or what car you drive back home. All you have to offer is your own character, and it can be an amazingly liberating experience of self discovery.

You’re an amazing artist, when you’re not creating art on people’s skin what other mediums do you like to work with?

I’ve always loved to paint with watercolours, and have also done a lot of work with pastels and pencils. A lot of my work ends up as mixed media. My next

I’ve met some wonderful people who have become close lifelong friends while travelling which is why I keep going back.

goal is to learn how to paint with oils. If you could give any advice to someone who wants to pursue a dream, what would it be?

That you can actually achieve anything you want, if you truly want it. You just have to give yourself permission to go for it, instead of waiting for the world to give you the nod. Do what makes you happy, even if it makes you a bit poorer, or moving away from everyone you’ve ever known, or walking away from a career you’ve poured half your life into. All it takes is to realise that it is actually achievable. I have countless stories of friends I’ve met around the world who were successful but miserable, hit rock bottom with their mental health, and with nothing to lose decided to give up their high paying jobs for something that fed their soul. All of them have achieved their dreams with more abundance than they thought possible. All it takes is to decide it’s achievable and the rest writes itself.



The festival is best described as vibrant, yet relaxed. You can throw a rug under the bright flag sails and absorb every second of the music from Friday evening, all day Saturday to sunset on Sunday. Featuring The Waifs, Darryl Braithwaite, The Black Sorrows and many more... When 14th until 16th, October Where Wingham Central Park, Wingham Tickets




Based in NSW, Australia near Gondwana Rainforests, the DFBF is an acoustic weekend of concerts, workshops, jamming, dancing and more. Focused primarily on Old-Time, Bluegrass and Folk traditions, it is a family friendly Festival with something for everyone. When 21st until 23rd October Where Dorrigo Showground


Britannia ruled the airwaves in 1964. In the front ranks, marching in formation behind the Beatles were The Animals who became the second British band to top the American charts after The Beatles. When 19th October Where Sawtell RSL Tickets


Proudly sponsored by the Woolgoolga Lions and Rotary Clubs, the highly popular Woopi’s Got Talent: Amateur Talent Show is back for another year! Come and see the amazing local talent we have on the Coffs Coast. There will be lots of fun, with raffles and prizes on the night, with all proceeds going to the CanDo Cancer Trust. When 22nd October Where C.ex Woolgoolga Tickets $10 from


Join the legendary Toni Childs for a special two-hour performance as she celebrates her life’s musical works. Toni will be performing hits and fan favourites from Union, House of Hope, the Woman’s Boat and Keep the Faith in the first hour of her show then the second hour will be an introduction to Toni’s new music, from two very special albums It’s All a Beautiful Noise and Citizens of the Planet. When 19th October Where Jetty Theatre Tickets $65 from



Get your costumes ready! Oktoberfest is coming to the Coffs Coast. Music, Food Stalls, Beer Halls, Craft Beer, Wine, Family Friendly. When 29th October Where Jetty Foreshores Tickets: $50.50 from

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focus interview

Indi is a remarkable young athlete and person. She competes in Modern Pentathlon and Tetrathlon, a sport that combines multiple disciplines that each require completely different skills. She is already doing incredibly well in the sport at her young age, currently off to Portugal to compete in the World Championships!

Indi Harris

Hi Indi. When did you first start riding horses?

I grew up with horses but didn’t start to ride competitively until I was 8 years old.

You have been participating in Pony Club and Equestrian for some time now, what do you love about it?

I am a member of the Bellinger River Pony Club. I love spending time with my horses and also with like-minded people. I love the opportunity Pony Club gives me, not only to be a better rider and carer for my horses but also the ability to compete at events all over Australia and also Internationally. I was a member of the Junior International team in 2019 that travelled to Guilin, China, for Pony Club Australia. I was 11 years old at the time and the youngest ever rider to be part of an international team. That was such an incredible experience and I made some great friends too. How were you introduced to competing in Tetrathlon and Modern Pentathlon events?

Initially, it was when I was training with my running coach at Fast Feet training in 2019. I was watching a lady and another girl run the oval and then shoot at a target. My coach told me that the lady is actually an Olympic Modern Pentathlete. I didn’t even know what it was at the time and when I found out that they do show jumping as one of their events, I was immediately keen to know more. So, my journey began and soon after, I started training with Eszter and her husband Adam in 2020 as a Modern Pentathlete.

I was a member of the Junior International team in 2019 that travelled to Guilin, China, for Pony Club Australia. I was 11 years old at the time and the youngest ever rider to be part of an international team.

growth in NSW over the recent years for this discipline, it has been very popular in Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia over the years. The Tetrathlon event is a little bit different in both the rules and the way it works compared to a Modern Pentathlon event. But they both are so much fun.

Can you explain to our readers what this sport includes and what it’s like to compete?

Tetrathlon events are through Pony Club, and since I was already training as a pentathlete it made sense to combine my training skills for the Tetrathlon events with Pony Club Australia. There has been a huge

For Modern Pentathlon there are 5 events, there is a show jumping round, in which you don’t ride your own horses but rather a pool horse, where you pick a number and the number you draw is the horse you ride. Then there is a run combined with a laser shoot round. For my age group, I have to run a 3 x 600m course and shoot 3 rounds of 5 shots within 50 seconds.

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I am happy if I get my shooting time within 8 seconds each round. Then there is a 200m swim leg and a fencing competition as well. Modern Pentathlon is a sport that is also in the Olympic games.

As for Tetrathlon, there are only 4 disciplines, A 200m swim leg, a stand still laser shooting event where you take 5 shots from a 7 or 10m mark depending on your age group and you have to get as close as you can to the bullseye to maintain a good score. You are allowed 2 minutes to shoot 5 shots, so accuracy is the key in this event where in Modern Pentathlon it is accuracy and speed. There is a show jumping event that also has some cross-country style jumps included in the round, a slip rail and a gate we need to open and shut. This is an event that is based on speed as well. A clear jump round and the fastest time would gain you optimum points. Finally, there is a cross country style run of either 1km, 3km or 6km.

Competing in these two events is so exciting as there is so much training that goes into

each discipline, so it’s great to get out there and see how you improve from one event to the next, and what you also need to improve on for next time. You are coached both at school and out of school, can you tell us about your coaches and training?

I feel like I am the luckiest athlete alive to have the most incredible coaches that guide and train me each day. Eszter and Adam are my main coaches, Eszter is an Olympian Modern Pentathlete and Adam is an international Marathon runner and Olympic coach, so they both are very dedicated to improving my skills in shooting and running. Continued over...

Then there is a run combined with a laser shoot round. For my age group, I have to run a 3 x 600m course and shoot 3 rounds of 5 shots within 50 seconds. I am happy if I get my shooting time within 8 seconds each round.
COFFS COAST focus 21

Adam will also start training me in swimming when I return from Portugal. Then there is my fencing Coach Scott, he is also a Fencing Olympian and he teaches me the technical skills for fencing as well as preparing me for fencing bouts and competitions. I have a dedicated jumping Coach, Louise Light who is very accomplished in Australia in the Eventing and Show Jumping arena. I also work with Hannah who is now the Pathways and Performance director for Modern Pentathlon Australia, she was also in the Olympic Rowing team. She focuses on ensuring I am meeting development pathways for my future in the sport, and also organises online training for mental preparation for competitions and nutritional advice. She also comes along to competitions to watch the athlete’s individual performances.

I attend Bishop Druitt College and I am part of the High Performance Program that

is managed by Ms Natalie Titcume, she passes on all her advice and skills from when she competed at the Olympics and she also works with Sam from HOYS fitness and Lilly to program a strength and condition session, twice a week during school hours. I am so lucky to be training with these amazing coaches, as I feel like I am only at the very beginning of my journey but already I am surrounded by elite athletes that guide me in all aspects of my sport.

How often are you currently training to stay competing at your best?

I train every day of the week, whether it is for horse riding, combine (shooting and running), swimming or fencing. I also do a lot of shooting practice at home. Because I am heading to the World Laser Run Championships in Portugal, my main focus has been running and laser shooting recently and most of my training schedule has been built around this discipline. So, a usual week

would be Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday combine training for approx 1-hour sessions. Fencing is usually on a Monday and Wednesday for 2 hours, and although I have pulled back from swimming to focus on the running lately, I usually swim 3 mornings a week and I horse ride on weekends and whenever else I can fit it in during the week.

Can you tell us about some of the recent events you’ve been a part of and how you went?

In 2021, I travelled to Merriwa with my horse and competed in my first NSW State Tetrathlon event for Pony Club. I had a fabulous time and was so excited to come away with the Novice Sub Junior NSW Tetrathlon Championship title. This placing secured me a spot in in the Pony Club NSW National team where I competed amongst the best in the country. The National event was meant to be in Victoria but COVID stopped

I have a dedicated jumping Coach, Louise Light who is very accomplished in Australia in the Eventing and Show Jumping arena.
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that from happening and each state held a hub event instead. I placed in the top 4 nationally for my swim, run and laser shooting events but unfortunately my horse and I had 3 refusal on a jump so I was eliminated in the jumping round placing me 10th overall Nationally, for the 2021 Thoroughbred Industry Careers Pony Club Australia National Championships in the Tetrathlon event. However, my Sub Junior NSW team placed second overall at the National event, which was pretty exciting.

I took home second place in the Autumn Modern Pentathlon event in the Under 15's in 2021 and also placed second in the Under 15’s Winter Championships held in Melbourne in 2022. This result secured me a place on the Australian team for the UIPM Laser Run World Championships to be held in Lisbon, Portugal in September.

I have also recently been selected as a Brand Ambassador for Equestrian Rider Apparel and have really loved wearing all the

clothing they provide me when I compete and train.

You’re heading over to Portugal to compete in the World Championships, congratulations!

What are you most looking forward to about the trip and the event?

Definitely, competing on the world stage is what I am most looking forward to. I am so excited to finally be able to compete overseas, as COVID put that all on hold the last 2 years. I did compete in an online UIPM Laser World run event in 2020 during COVID and placed 15th out of 135 competitors worldwide, but I’m really looking forward to the atmosphere of a world event and actually being there amongst the world’s best competitors. What else do you enjoy doing or get

involved with in your spare time?

I love hanging with my friends and spending time at the beach. I also love reading and listening to music. But to be honest I don’t have all that much spare time and sleep is high on the list too!

What are some of your goals and dreams for the future?

I most certainly have my sights set on hopefully being selected for the Youth Olympic Games in 2026 and then I plan on continuing to train for selection in the 2028 Los Angeles Games and the 2032 Brisbane Olympics. After school, I really would like to study medicine and hope to work in this field, perhaps as a doctor or surgeon in the future. Thanks Indi.

I have also recently been selected as a Brand Ambassador for Equestrian Rider Apparel and have really loved wearing all the clothing they provide me when I compete and train.
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Hi Jas. You are an author, global resilience speaker and ambassador for domestic and family violence. Could you share with us a bit about your own experience that led you down this path?

I think most people who knew me as a young teen would be surprised to see where I’ve ended up in life, because it certainly wasn’t the path anyone (including myself) thought I would take! It’s an irony that’s never lost on me when I do media interviews, because not only was I so chronically shy that I had to bribe my teachers to let me out of public speaking, I was also battling a lot of things in private that – in hindsight – almost took my life from me.

Like many people, my career has been built from the foundations of my own lived experience, which includes a history of family violence, trauma, sexual assault, and the suicide of my father when I was just 18. From the outside, my life often looked perfect, but inside I felt as though I was constantly treading water and trying my hardest to keep my head above the tidal waves that threatened to consume me.

I think it goes without saying that I didn’t overcome these struggles overnight – but as I rebuilt my life and discovered my reasons to

live, I began to think about what I truly wanted to achieve in life. The answer that came to me, time and time again, was this: to stop women and children from feeling the fear, isolation, and despair that I once did.

After graduating with a degree in psychology and creative writing at SCU in my mid-twenties, I moved to Brisbane to pursue a career as a writer.

Today, I spread hope, awareness, and healing as a speaker, author, and book coach. My life’s purpose is to destigmatise taboo social issues – particularly mental health, domestic violence, and child abuse.

What were some of the turning points in your life; moments, people, or experiences that helped you through your trauma?

It was at the age of 20 that I experienced my absolute rock bottom, and it was also here that I found a tiny sliver of courage to begin pulling myself out of the darkness and up towards the light.

This moment came after a sexual assault at the hands of someone I knew and trusted, and as I lay in bed, feeling as though my arms were

weighted down by concrete blocks, I came to a powerful realisation. I had two choices. Give up, and follow the same path as my father, or dig deep, take back my power, and continue on.

I’m here because I chose the second option.

It was only through the writing of my newest book, ‘The Stories We Carry’, that I actually realised how many people had played a pivotal role in helping me to reroute my life – particularly after the experience I just mentioned, as well as my dad’s suicide. Despite what I’d been through, there were a lot of good men who were there for me during and after my trauma.

Though I did eventually seek professional help (10 years on from my assault), what helped me the most in those early days, weeks, and months, was learning how to start creating and implementing boundaries. It was the only way to stop attracting, and surrounding myself with, toxic or unhealthy people, and to begin moving forward.

What advice would you give to people experiencing violence at home or trying to move through the trauma of past

Jas Rawlinson is a remarkable woman. She has dedicated much of her life to helping others through trauma, family and domestic violence and even human trafficking, through sharing her own experiences, how she overcame them, and what she has learned through that process.
Most importantly, it shows that trauma does not have to be a life sentence.
Photo - louise wright
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First and foremost, I want you to know that you are not at fault for what is being done to you, or the feelings within you. Secondly, please find someone that you trust, and reach out to them. I really cannot stress this enough. Whether you’re experiencing domestic violence, or living through the aftermath of trauma, please don’t continue to suffer in silence. Speaking up won’t be easy – it may be the hardest thing you’ve ever done – but it could save your life.

Most importantly, please understand that you are not broken. Trauma is real, and it is complex, but it does not have to be a life sentence. Reach out for support, whether it’s through a trusted friend, a GP, or a professional therapist.

You have also become an ambassador and speaker on human trafficking, how did this come about for you?

From the moment I first learned about human trafficking, I found that I could no longer turn my eyes away from the reality of what was happening to hundreds of thousands of people worldwide. At the time, I was volunteering as a photojournalist at a festival in Queensland, and I came across Destiny Rescue, an organisation who work to rescue women and children from sexual exploitation across a number of South East Asian countries. A few years later I took a trip to Thailand to spend time with some of their rescue agents and survivors, and I saw first hand the places that many young girls were exploited. Some of them were only 15, and had already been out of the trade for several years. Let that sink in for a moment… some of these girls were only 12 when rescued.

I didn’t want to ever forget the faces of these young survivors, and that they were real people; not just statistics on a screen. Since that day I’ve dedicated much of my life to raising awareness and funds to end human trafficking – including swimming with sharks on a reality TV show named Adventure All

Stars, as part of my advocacy!

Many people wouldn’t realise this is an issue in our country, what do you hope to achieve by shining a light on this issue and working with victims of human trafficking?

I want people to understand that human trafficking happens within every country and culture across the world. It’s not a thirdworld issue, and it very much happens in Australia. Social media is now one of the biggest avenues used by traffickers, and young children can be easily groomed through popular apps and games. Kids are rarely kidnapped by strangers in dark alleyways – it generally happens through a person close to the child, or someone who has spent significant time getting to know them.

I’ve spent time with survivors in countries like Thailand, but I’ve also spent significant time investigating these issues in Australia – including in the massage parlour industry – and I can tell you that trafficking and exploitation happen in some of the most upper class and high socioeconomic towns imaginable.

Your fourth book ‘The Stories We Carry’ is due for release this month, can you give us a bit of an introduction to this book and what it covers?

‘The Stories We Carry’ is my debut memoir,

and the most intimate as well as powerful (in my humble opinion) piece of work I’ve ever created. In a nutshell, it’s my story of growing up with violence and trauma on the Coffs Coast, and how I rose above to re-write my life story and impact hundreds of thousands of lives as a keynote speaker, book coach, and best-selling author. There are funny stories, as well as sobering ones, and I also open up about things I’ve never really spoken about –like the night I was almost kidnapped by two people outside one of Coffs’ most popular entertainment venues.

Although I’ve written and published three other books, this is the first time I’ve ever shared my story in full, and it’s something I can’t wait to share with the world. I know it will help so many others – particularly young people – to recognise the early warning signs of domestic violence, and to walk away – or reach out for support – so that they can live a life of freedom and peace.

Most importantly, it shows that trauma does not have to be a life sentence.

Where can people find out more about you and your story, or find your books?

To pre-order a signed copy of ‘The Stories We Carry’ (as well as my other books) go to If you’re looking to write a non-fiction book, the best place is bookcoaching, or you can connect with me on Instagram: @jas_rawlinson

Thanks Jas.

I saw first hand the places that many young girls were exploited. Some of them were only 15, and had already been out of the trade for several years.
COFFS COAST focus 25
26 COFFS COAST focus ACCOMMODATION | RESTAURANT & BAR | CONFERENCE CENTRE | GOLF COURSE | DIRECT BEACH ACCESS No matter what the occasion, there’s no substitute for a complete resort experience There’s only Pacific Bay Resortone l Cnr Pacific Hwy and Bay Dr, COFFS HARBOUR. (02) 6659 7000


DISH Pappardelle Lamb Ragu from Marias Italian Restaurant
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a two-course buffet lunch, plenty of giveaways and a beverage on arrival

coverage of all the races,sweepstakes and prizes for best dressed male and female SCAN QR CODE TO BUY TICKETS




Salvatore Rossano is a passionate cook who whips up the most delicious Italian food. Whether he’s set up with his mobile pizza oven by the water in Bellingen, at a local market, or teaching pizza or pasta workshops in town, he’s cooking with love and you can definitely taste the difference!

Hi Salvatore. Can you tell us about yourself and how you came to be living on the Coffs Coast?

I was born in Italy in the beautiful region of Apulia. Nine years ago, after I completed my PhD in Spain, we decided to move to Australia with my partner and our kids. I am an academic and a musician and I started working as a researcher for University of Melbourne and playing music around the country with my band Santa Taranta. Living in Victoria, we often came here to visit my partner’s family and always dreamt about living here. Finally, four years ago we decided to make that dream come true!

When did you first learn to cook and what do you enjoy about it?

I’ve always enjoyed food. Growing up in Italy gives you a cultural imprint that’s hard to shake off! As a kid I was always interested in the magic that happens in the kitchen, but my mum never let me cook. I only started

cooking when I left home and went to Uni. Only then did my mum realise that I had to survive, so she would give me family recipes over the phone. At first it was hard to replicate those amazing dishes, but I learned how to do it and to change them to my taste. What I enjoy most about cooking is the happiness that you can give your guests. It’s a love language. Can you tell us a bit about your journey as a cook?

Growing up in Italy gives you a cultural imprint that’s hard to shake off! As a kid I was always interested in the magic that happens in the kitchen.

taste like, I have tried a lot over the years.

I don’t consider myself a cook, but a food enthusiast that likes to share meals with people. I only started cooking professionally two years ago, almost for fun, and now it is giving me a lot of satisfaction.

I began cooking pizza by observing others, learning the different production processes and to control the variables inherent in the chemical reactions of the dough. In my favour I had that I know what a good pizza should

I also love to improvise. I see my role as a cook as similar to my role as a musician – both are about connecting with others in unpredictable and sensorial ways. I find it very powerful how people can feel and understand parts of you and your culture without using any words. You are obviously known for your incredibly yummy woodfired pizza, but you also make pasta and other dishes. What are some of your favourite things to cook?

I love cooking gnocchi! It has become a family tradition, the kids get involved and it is very fun and messy!

Can you tell us a bit about your setup and why you chose to do a mobile food business?

I never thought that I would start a mobile food business. I was working in the

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music industry and in ethnographic field research until COVID hit and I had to get creative about how to support my family. During the lockdown

I built a pizza oven in my in-laws’ backyard and started to cook for the neighbours. I really liked it and had very good feedback from everybody. People made me realise that there were not many places around where you can taste an organic, slow fermented Italian style pizza, so I found the courage to give it a go. I bought my setup from a great local guy, and I started trading around the Bellingen shire almost straight away. It suited me because of the freedom it gives me. I have always been self-employed. Also, I don’t think I could cope with the overheads of a restaurant and I want to be able to maintain a work/life balance.

You set up at some regular locations and markets, when and where are your

regular spots and do you also offer catering or special orders?

I usually set up on Sundays and Tuesdays down at the Lavender Bridge Park in Bellingen. It is a great spot and people come to have a picnic sitting next to the river or to take away. It has become a nice informal gathering with an atmosphere that reminds me of Europe, where people use much more of the public space as a place to connect. Yes, I go to markets and festivals and I also love catering for private events such birthdays or weddings. I feel very privileged to be part of those special days and to be able to make it a bit more unique! I do offer different options along with pizza, that include Italian style grazing boards, lasagne, parmigiana, slow cooked meat and more!

You have also been running some workshops, can you tell us about those?

In the past I have run pasta making workshops and recently I have started giving

pizza workshops to help everyone make a good pizza at home. Everybody loves pizza but it can be a bit difficult to prepare a good dough or understand the steps to follow to make it tasty or light, so it does not hurt your digestive system. There are a lot of recipes online, but nothing is better than learning from someone that can answer all your questions and being able to bake your own pizza in a fun and relaxed environment. Last workshop went very well, people had the chance to make a pizza step by step and, obviously, we could not stop eating at the end!

Do you have any future plans or goals for Diavoletto Wood Fired Pizza?

Yes, of course! I am beginning a collaboration with my friend Stefano at his Beachstone Café in Sapphire. I am going to cook pizza with him on Thursday afternoons starting from the end of October. That is quite exciting, I really like his venue and I can’t wait to prepare something special for the locals with him. I also want to encourage people in the community to come and bake in my oven on Mondays and Wednesdays. The oven is still hot on those days, perfect for a loaf of homemade sourdough. Thanks Salvatore.

People made me realise that there were not many places around where you can taste an organic, slow fermented Italian style pizza, so I found the courage to give it a go.
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DiNE iN | |
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DELiVERY Scan here to book

We cater for conferences, celebrations of life, reunions, book launches, opening nights and exhibitions, workshops, meetings, parties, cinema nights, and general soirees. Want to have a formal gathering but don’t know where to have it? The aesthetic of

the Gallery can be transformed to match your desires.

Nowhere else in Coffs can you experience the ambience of an Art Gallery while sipping champagne and eating canapes!

Whatever you can imagine, we’ll probably be able to host your function. Have a chat with

of possibilities....



our Team.

02 6651 7343

1 John Champion Way, Coffs Harbour 02 6651 7343

Open Tuesdays to Sunday | 10am – 4pm

Sun 10am - 3pm

John Champion Way Coffs Harbour
02 66517343 A world

The Jetty Theatre is alive and thriving this spring with a plethora of events and entertainment to share with the Coffs Coast Community.

This month sees an iconic Aussie story hit the stage, the best of drag and burlesque from the East Coast, long-time legend Toni Childs and so much more.

If theatre lovers see one show this month, make it the Summer of the Seventeenth Doll by Ray Lawler (22 Oct), an iconic Australian story of passion, bittersweet romance and the yearning for lost youth.

A beautifully observed, humorous and poignant play, Ray Lawler’s much loved tale of two Queensland cane cutters who for 16 years have worked up north in the brutal sugar cane fields and travelled back to Melbourne to meet up for five months of partying and romance with their barmaid girlfriends. This seventeenth summer everything is different. One of the barmaids has ‘settled down’ and married a city bloke so a replacement date has to be found. This ‘off-season’ proves challenging for them all. Plays and playwrights go in and out of fashion but some endure and speak to each subsequent generation. Lawler’s much loved tale has endured, not through

nostalgia, nor because it spawned a new age in Australian writing, but because the characters and their dilemmas are so true, so beautifully observed, so humorous and so poignant – a must-see for theatre lovers this month.

Don’t be fooled by the name, The Jetty Theatre not only hosts a variety of theatre, music, comedy and kids shows but also a fortnightly film program, Jetty Flicks. Come along and see the best of international, arthouse and classic cinema curated by the local screen legends behind the popular Screenwave International Film Festival (SWIFF). This October brings two fabulous films including Lost Illustions (6 Oct), an eerily prescient fable of a young idealist who learns that anything can be bought and sold, and The Quiet Girl (20 Oct), a rousing Irish-language story of love and loss set in 1980s Ireland. For more info on all upcoming events and to book tickets –please subscribe to the Jetty Theatre newsletter at www. and keep an eye on their socials as more exciting entertainment is announced throughout the year.

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The Munro group of McDonald's

Proudly supporting our Juniors

Jaymie Rose


Representing Coffs High, Mid North Coast & North Coast in the T20 in the 100m. Shot put & Long jump in School athletics.


Jaymie is competing at the State athletic Championships at Sydney Olympic Stadium from the 7th - 9th September. Jaymie Rose is in the T20 multiclass category competing in the 100m Dash. Long Jump & Shot put. She is so proud that in her final year of schooling to be able to represent the North Coast in the above events.

Jaymie is very passionate about whatever task she sets her mind to. She is one of the Sapphire Sport House Captains at Coffs Harbour High School and wears her badge proudly every day. Always trying to stretch herself, out of her comfort zone, supported by a fantastic team at Jetty High school.


Assist with the cost of attending NSW State Championships representing the North Coast. Expenses will include airfares, accommodation (overlooking the athletic track!) Team uniform & rego for the 3 day carnival.


All athletes that complete at the Para Olympics & Commonwealth games. Jaymie sits and watches replays of these events.

G Macca's Coffs
• Kempsey • Nambucca • Grafton

Warwick started a new business this year “The Catalyst Club”. The business’s main focus is planning and executing a wide range of community events mainly tailored around inclusivity and community connection.

They will be bringing a slice of Europe to town this month. Get your costumes ready! Oktoberfest is coming to the Coffs Coast. Music, Food Stalls, Beer

Halls, Craft Beer, Wine, Family Friendly. Hi Sam & Stace, can you briefly tell us about The Catalyst Club?

Hey guys. The Catalyst Club is about stimulating change and mixing it up for the Coffs Coast social scene. We are passionate about making people happy, building relationships and connections within our community.

What are your favourite types of events

to work on?

We pride ourselves on creating safe, inclusive and fully accessible community events for all. We want to catalyse the industry with purposeful and innovative events.

What types of events do you have experience with planning/hosting/ coordinating?

The Catalyst Club’s previous successes include:

• DisAbility Dinner & Dance

• Burlesque Elite

• Wobble Palooza

• Violet Vibes Music Festival

• Partner of Banana Field Music Festival

• The Jetty Food & Wine Festival

Oktoberfest Tributefest will be a good time. Can you explain what it’s all about and what we can expect?

Mercedes Benz Coffs Coast Oktoberfest

Tributefest 2022 is set to deliver a host of regional and interstate tribute artists. With the likes of Queen, Abba, Creedence and Fleetwood Mac + roving performers and cocktail corner we will have you singing and dancing as the sun goes down! So dust off your lederhosen and dirndls and join us

Sam Phillips and Stacey
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down at the Jetty Foreshores from 2pm Saturday October 29th to celebrate Coffs Harbour’s version of the Bavarian festival.

Where did the idea for the event come from?

Having personally travelled to Munich for the traditional beer festival and being raised in a society that enjoys a ‘bevvie’ this was a nobrainer. With 800+ tickets SOLD to date we were not wrong!

Being that this event is also part of the “Jetty Food and Wine Festival” we have included a selection of tantalising flavours from multiple vendors for our patrons. Coopers will have all of your beer options sorted with some local craft options available + Mr Consistent in the bar.

Celebrating international fare – patrons will

travel all over the world with flavours from Germany to Portugal, Italian wood fired pizza and homemade authentic Lebanese, Mexican, and Turkish food too.

What other events do you have coming up?

Look out for the nostalgic Drive Inn Movie theatre experience and Wobble PaloozaSummer edition + our monthly DisAbility Dinner & Dance events.

What is the best part about your events?

Bringing the community together, seeing happy smiley faces! That’s our ultimate goal. What do you think makes a successful event?

We believe that being passionate about people, celebrating individuality and diversity with events outside of the norm is our driving success. We want to be the catalyst of exciting, fun and innovative events for our community.

Where can people find out more?

Find out from our Facebook page – The Jetty Food & Wine Festival/The Catalyst Club Events or email for more information.

Thanks guys.

Who are some of the vendors and suppliers we can look forward to tasting?
Being that this event is also part of the “Jetty Food and Wine Festival” we have included a selection of tantalising flavours from multiple vendors for our patrons.
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OCT O B ER 2022


90s Night With Dj Ibex Switch - Hoey Moey

Reece Mastin - Seaview Tavern

Urza and the song dark - Jetty Theatre


Hot Potato + DJ Dangerwaves - Hoey Moey

Snake Oil Delirium - Seaview Tavern

Simon & Angus - Coramba Hotel


Musical Bingo With Dj Dangerwaves - Hoey Moey


Karaoke - Hoey Moey


Matty Devitt - Hoey Moey

Karaoke - Seaview Tavern

Jetty Flicks - Los Illusion - Jetty Theatre


Mat Cochran + Dj Freddy Lee - Hoey Moey

Secret Squirrel - Coramba Hotel

Mismo Tempo - Seaview Tavern

Elvis - An American Trilogy - Sawtell RSL


Pure Acoustic + Dj Panda - Hoey Moey

Mike McClellan - C.ex Coffs

The Jacks - Seaview Tavern


The Jacks - Hoey Moey

Billie-Jo Porter - Coramba Hotel

Minnie Marks - Seaview Tavern


Musical Bingo With Dj Dangerwaves - Hoey Moey


Tim Stokes - Hoey Moey

Karaoke - Seaview Tavern


Brody Ireland + Dj Dangerwaves - Hoey Moey

Hekyl & Jive - Seaview Tavern


Rowland & Shekinah + Dj Ossix - Hoey Moey RnB night with Dj Ibex Switch - Seaview Tavern


Swamp Stompers - Hoey Moey

Brody Ireland - Coramba Hotel Billie-Jo Porter - Seaview Tavern


Musical Bingo with Dj Dangerwaves - Hoey Moey


Karaoke - Hoey Moey

Toni Childs - Jetty Theatre

The Animals - Sawtell RSL


Nathan Brett - Hoey Moey

Karaoke - Seaview Tavern


Waax - Hoey Moey

Queens of the Night - Jetty Theatre

Superstraight Duo - Coramba Hotel

Rowland & Shekinah - Seaview Tavern


Benny Black Duo + Dj Raven - Hoey Moey

Rebecca O’Connor as Tina Turner ‘Simply The Best’! - Seaview Tavern


Tim Stokes - Coramba Hotel

Raku - Seaview Tavern


Musical Bingo With Dj Dangerwaves - Hoey Moey


Great Gable - On The Wall In The Morning

Light Album Tour + Special Guests - Hoey Moey


Mitch Burgess - Hoey Moey

Karaoke - Seaview Tavern


Raku + Dj Ibex Switch - Hoey Moey

My life - The story of Billy Joel - Jetty Theatre

John Waters - The John Lennon SongbookC.ex Coffs

Fella Felafel - Seaview Tavern


The Funk Thieves + Dj Dangerwaves - Hoey Moey

Killer Queen Show - Moonee Beach Tavern

Mick Bateman Duo - Seaview Tavern


Lisa Hunt & Forever Soul - Hoey Moey

Jam Packed - Seaview Tavern

Marshall Okell - Coramba Hotel

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’ S


Hi Thomas. Has music always been important to you? What are some of your first experiences with music?

Music has always been a passion for me, yes.

My Dad was a drummer and I grew up around the music scene. I used to babysit for the neighbours as a kid, back in Scotland. At 14, they gave me a ratty old two-stringed guitar and I thought it was the best thing ever. It kinda grew from there. When did you first discover Queen? What did you love about them?

I was 12 when I first heard Queen. My friend had the record “I Want to Break Free” and I thought “Wow this is awesome”. Freddie’s voice was unlike anything else I had ever heard

before. His vocal range was incredible. Their sound was so versatile and their songs never sounded the same as the last. They were the first to mix genres in the one song.

How did your love of their music evolve into impersonating Freddie Mercury and now performing with Bohemian Rhapsody?

Well, I didn’t actually have a great love for Queen in the beginning; my brother joined a band in school and I just wanted to be part of that.

It always felt like it was something I should be involved in because I just loved music in general.

Freddie obviously had an incredible and distinctive voice, did you have to train yourself much to capture his sound or is it naturally similar?

I was involved in bands since I was 17, but it wasn’t until a friend mentioned to me in my early 20’s, that I sounded a bit like Freddie when I was recording my original tracks and I decided to go to opera singing lessons to sound even more like him.

A few years on, as a laugh, I was asked to perform at a friend’s 40th birthday party and the pub owner was so impressed with me, he asked me to come back and perform as a regular show. From there, I started doing Freddie solo shows around WA. It was my appearance on Australia’s Got Talent that really boosted my career across Australia (with the help of the movie later down the track).

Can you tell us about the other band members and how you all came together?

Funny story actually; the drummer Csaba, keyboard player Ben and lead guitarist

Bohemian Rhapsody are a Queen tribute band that could make you believe you were listening to the original band! Thomas Crane has a voice and presence that brings Freddie Mercury’s memory to life and is inspiring a new generation of Queen fans.
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Anthony had all been part of another Queen tribute band and I met them when they came to see a performance in QLD, with my old band from WA.

It was quite some time after that, when I was approached by my agent (at the time), stating they were interested in joining me for gigs in the Eastern states. We had a different bass player at that point. A year or so later, our current bass player, Maz, came to see a show and approached us. We have been together, as we are now, for approx seven years. What do you enjoy most about paying tribute to Queen and Freddie Mercury?

I enjoy bringing the magic of Queen to the younger generation, to keep Freddie’s memory alive. My favourite part of the show is when

I ask all the kids to stand up. It’s also very refreshing receiving fan mail or comments from kids saying how much they love Queen. Also I get a lot of comments saying “If I closed my eyes, I’d think you were Freddie”; that’s a very humbling compliment. What have been some of your music career highlights so far?

I was on Star Struck in 2006 with my brother John who is a Rod Stewart tribute artist; that was a thrill. I was also invited many times to perform for Telethon in WA, raising money for sick kids. I felt so honoured to have Molly Meldrum tell me “if Freddie was alive he would have been very proud of that performance”.

In 2011, I made it to the semi-final on Australia’s Got Talent and having people like Dannii Minogue, Kyle Sandilands and Brian

McFadden praise me, was a mind-blowing experience.

I have also performed to 30,000 people at the Subiaco Stadium (WA) football grandfinal; that was extremely nerve racking, but also very exciting at the same time. Bohemian Rhapsody will be performing here in Coffs Harbour at Oktoberfest Tributefest on 29th October, what can we expect from your show?

People can expect to see and hear the closest thing to Queen – the way it was in the height of their fame in 1985 & 1986. We all take our “job” seriously and have researched their costumes and try to replicate as closely as possible, even down to Freddie’s teeth.

They will see me playing piano and guitar, just like Freddie. I am the only Freddie Mercury tribute artist in Australia to do that. Where can people find out more about the show?

People can go to our Facebook page www. or website for information about the Oktoberfest show.

Oktoberfest Tributefest is on in Coffs on 29th October.

I enjoy bringing the magic of Queen to the younger generation, to keep Freddie’s memory alive.
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You Am I are without doubt one of Australia’s all-time essential rock ‘n’ roll bands.

More than two decades on from their first album release, You Am I have not only had one of the longest and most successful recording careers in Australia, but are also without doubt one of our most loved live bands.

Featuring guitarist and vocalist Tim Rogers along with bandmates Russell Hopkinson on drums, Andy Kent on bass, and (since 1999) Davey Lane on guitar, You Am I have released 10 studio albums to date. Their last studio album was the 2015 critically acclaimed ‘Porridge & Hot Sauce’ release.

Three of their releases have debuted at number one on the ARIA charts in consecutive order – 1995’s ‘Hi Fi Way’, 1996’s ‘Hourly, Daily’ and 1998’s ‘#4 Record’ – with the albums also receiving multiple Platinum and Gold status for commercial sales.

The band have won a total of 10 ARIA Awards including Album of the Year, Best Group, and Best Independent Release.

What do you get when you cross a stellar music festival with the biggest outdoor comedy gala event ever held in regional Australia, paired with cocktail & wine bars, a beer garden and a delectable array of street food? Welcome to The Big Bonanza, the funnest two days of your life!

The Big Bonanza is a two-day Comedy & Music Festival featuring a massive lineup of artists, comprising a Comedy Gala event on Friday November 4th, followed by a full day Music Festival on Saturday November 5th.

The all-star lineup includes a cast of hugely popular comedians including Dave Hughes, Judith Lucy, Geraldine Hickey, Dilruk Jayasinha and Cal Wilson. Plus, some of the biggest names in the Australian music scene including

Wolfmother, You Am I, Drapht, The Beautiful Girls, Phil Jamieson (Grinspoon front man) and The Bamboos.

The festival held at the Coffs Harbour Education Campus is an all weather event. The main stage is housed under a huge big top tent, and the hospitality precinct has a massive marquee to keep punters comfortable no matter the weather conditions.

As the name suggests, The Big Bonanza is going to be BIG! Tickets are selling fast – head to or Oztix to grab yours before they’re all gone.



Often referred to as “a typical Aussie bloke”, Dave Hughes is actually an unusual success story. From working class roots, the university drop-out and former abattoir worker has risen to become one of Australia’s most popular and successful stand-up comedians. His honesty and laconic humour have led to several long-term hosting roles on television and radio.

Having spent the majority of their career touring and selling out theatres, stadiums and festivals throughout the world including North & South America, Europe, UK & Scandinavia, Wolfmother are finally back on international stages performing sold out headline shows (postponed due to Covid).

With their last major Australia & NZ tour in late 2019 / early 2020, tour plans came to a grinding halt until the spectacular return to the live stage via their acclaimed performance at the 2020 AFL Grand Final viewed the world over by millions. Since then, Wolfmother have been forced to perform select shows due to the curse of Covid, including headlining Byron Music Festival, Blues On Broadbeach and sold out shows headlining theatres across the east coast.

With an extensive history and career, including multiplatinum sales globally, and ARIA, Grammy and other award nods too numerous to mention, Wolfmother released the recent albums 2016’s ‘Victorious’ and late 2019’s ‘Rock’n’Roll Baby’ to rave reviews and enthusiastic international response resulting in extensive world tours.

Across 10 albums, Melbourne nine piece

The Bamboos have been recognised worldwide as masters of reinventing Soul & Funk, placing modern songwriting within classic arrangements and production. The band have connected to both genre purists as much as casual music fans by focusing on what’s important: songwriting, groove and powerful vocals

Lead by guitarist / producer / songwriter Lance Ferguson and featuring the powerhouse Kylie Auldist on vocals, the band has also collaborated with guests such

as Aloe Blacc, Durand Jones, Joey Dosik, Daniel Merriweather, Alice Russell and Tim Rogers (on 2012’s hugely successful ‘I Got Burned’ and the 2015 album ‘Rules Of Attraction’).

Formed in 2000, they were the first Australian Soul / Funk act to be signed to an overseas label and then the first to tour the UK and Europe. Along the way they have been nominated for five ARIA Awards (the Australian Grammys), four APRA Songwriting Awards and their 10th studio album ‘Hard Up’, released in 2021, has been their best received record to date.


Coffs Coast Accommodation

Coffs Coast Accommodation is a boutique agency managing short term rental accommodation on the Coffs Coast and have been in operation for over 5 years.

They welcome around 5,500 guests per year and manage a portfolio of over 60 properties in the local area with a range of Luxury, Pet Friendly, Family Friendly, Affordable, Workcation, and Accessible holiday homes. We spoke with Monique Fitzgerald, Owner of Coffs Coast Accommodation to find out more. How are you helping put the Coffs Coast on the International Stage?

We are proud to announce that our holiday homes are now listed on Homes & Villas by Marriott International. We are among the first property management companies in a regional coastal town in Australia to be invited to join the Marriott International family thanks to our range of properties, as well as our high standards of property

management, guest relations and additional services. This makes our holiday homes bookable by over 160 million Marriott Bonvoy™ travel program members around the world.

Launched in May 2019, Homes & Villas by Marriott International is an expertly curated premium and luxury home rental offering with over 68,000 professionally-managed private homes in more than 700 of the most sought-after destinations around the world to date. The collection is backed by leading

We are among the first property management companies in a regional coastal town in Australia to be invited to join the Marriott International family thanks to our range of properties.

global hospitality company, Marriott International, which also encompasses thousands of hotels across 30 brands. It is also the only home rental offering that is part of the award-winning Marriott Bonvoy™ travel loyalty program, enabling millions of members to earn and redeem points for home rental and hotel bookings, hotel

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upgrades, VIP experiences and more.

Homes & Villas by Marriott International only works with carefully vetted property management companies, to ensure that every home listed is professionally-managed and meets the high standards expected of Marriott International. Before being added to the portfolio, each property is reviewed by Marriott International against several criteria in quality, design, amenities, safety, cleanliness, and service. Continues...

Artisan, Arrawarra Headland From left to right, Monique Fitzgerald, Melissa Parisi, Bianca Wood
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By listing our holiday homes on Homes & Villas by Marriott International, we are available to their millions of members worldwide, which ultimately drives qualified bookings and revenue for our owners and connects international travellers with the Coffs Coast. We have already welcomed international guests into our holiday homes with several groups being from the USA. Our first bookings were received in just 2 days of being listed on the Homes & Villas by Marriott International platform!

The Coffs Coast is renowned as a holiday destination where visitors can experience all the good things in life in one destination. From pristine beaches with rolling surf to lush rainforests and mountain highs, slow-paced hinterland villages and fabulous local food to action-packed adventures on the water, land or sky, all in NSW’s first ECO Certified Destination. By selecting a holiday home from

this exciting new venture, visitors will enjoy a holiday of exceptional quality and international standard. Tell us about your growing team. We have grown to a team of 6, plus we have an expanding team of cleaning professionals who help us

keep our holiday homes at the high standard that guests and owners expect. I’m fortunate to have a great team who are passionate about the service we provide – Bianca Wood is our Head of Operations and Melissa Parisi is our Experience Manager. We also have 3 staff in the office and on the ground assisting with Guest Support and Quality Control.

Service and presentation are at the basis of everything we do, so having the right staff to ensure we exceed quality expectations is key.

We have already welcomed international guests into our holiday homes with several groups being from the USA. Our first bookings were received in just 2 days of being listed...
The Marion, Sapphire Beach Serendipity, Sawtell Solitary Views @Sapphire
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Our business has grown from strength to strength, thanks to personal referrals, which are the best form of advertisement.

Tell us about the services you provide.

We are proud to have premium guest services including an exclusive concierge service and holiday home design service, both of which elevate our guest experience. Coffs Coast Concierge ensures that guests experience the best of the Coffs Coast authentically, with the option to curate their holiday. It also helps make our holiday homes more like a hotel experience.

For owners and investors, we provide a complete solution for property set up, listing and management. Our in-house designer, Melissa Parisi, The Holiday Home Stylist, transforms residential and investment properties into beautiful, functional, and successful holiday homes that stand out from the crowd. We believe that holiday

homes should be an experience, and this is how we continue to meet and exceed guest expectations.

Tell us how you help support the local community and environment.

Our in-house designer, The Holiday Home Stylist, transforms residential and investment properties into beautiful, functional, and successful holiday homes that stand out from the crowd.

We care about our community, environment, and our planet. We use environmentally sustainable products and amenities in all our holiday homes. We collaborate with local businesses to provide local experiences for our guests, and we support a team of small business owners, ensuring money earnt locally stays in our community. We have also just listed a unique luxury property in Bonville called Koala Lane, which has a small colony of koalas in neighbouring trees. For every booking received at Koala Lane we donate to the Koala Hospital.

Get in touch to list your property or to stay at one of our holiday homes: or call our team on (02) 5606 3767.

View our listings and use your Marriott Bonvoy™ points to book our holiday homes on Homes & Villas by Marriott International at

Koala Lane, Bonville The Farmhouse at Scotts Head
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Chris Fahey’s lifelong appreciation of art and creativity has run free since she retired. A fascination with glass sees her creating and exhibiting beautiful works, and holding workshops to introduce us to her art form.

Hi Chris. Has creating art always been something you enjoy and had as part of your life?

Yes, I’ve always had a deep appreciation of art and enjoyed viewing art and the process of creation.

I had dabbled in art for many years and since retiring from full-time work I have been able to indulge my interest.

I enjoy mixed media painting, drawing and glass mosaics. I love colour and found that I was particularly attracted to the use of glass as an artistic medium. You currently work mostly with glass, can you tell us how you first came to work with glass and what you enjoy about it?

I attended a glass mosaic group for a few years and absolutely loved it. During this time I also explored glass fusing, using fused

items in my mosaics to add variety and texture. During my early journey with glass I also made leadlight windows for my home and also copper foil lampshades. Then I started glass fusing, my passion. There are so many things you can do with glass.

I’m very drawn to the many colours available in glass and its beautiful transparency. I love the way the glass reacts to and reflects light. No matter how often you view a glass artwork

it always looks different as the light moves around and through it at different times of the day.

Was it a difficult medium to learn to work with? How long did it take you to get the hang of it?

It can be a difficult medium to work with. Learning to cut glass accurately is certainly a skill that can take some time to develop. I’ve been working with glass for approximately 20 years now and find it easy to work with. I love colour and design, so that aspect comes naturally to me.

Continued over...

No matter how often you view a glass artwork it always looks different as the light moves around and through it at different times of the day.
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two glass fusing kilns.

The art of kiln formed glass can be quite challenging, there is a real science behind the process of getting large amounts of glass to perform the way you want them to.

I thoroughly enjoy this aspect of glass fusing and love the challenge of melding my initial artistic inspirations, working with the raw materials and then calculating firing schedules to realise my objective – the creation of a unique work of art. Can you describe your work for us and the different kinds of items you make?

As a glass artist I tend to specialise in fused glass, creating unique fused glass sculptural pieces. This aspect has led to me creating glass trophies for a number of clubs up and down the coast.

I make fused glass platters and bowls and a large range of beautiful dichroic glass and art glass jewellery.

I even make a great range of Christmas decorations/gifts and offer some different designs every year. Do you have a current favourite piece, or type of piece to create?

There is always a “current” favourite piece or process. At the moment this is using a process known as “frit stretching” which involves using large amounts of clear glass and small amounts of coloured glass, firing it quite quickly and very hot and holding the kiln at a high temperature

It might be something in nature, a simple photo or even a shape. I enjoy the extrapolation of images I see into abstract artworks using colour and texture to express my feeling for an object or scene.

for quite a long time so the glass flows freely. The end result is an artwork with amazing depth and colour.

My two favourite artworks using this process are titled “Nature’s Kaleidoscope”, a large round glass sculpture featuring beautiful greens, ambers etc and another one “Heart of Darkness”, a beautiful heart shape with amazing pinks and sparkly black colours and so much depth you simply can’t take your eyes off it.

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What inspires a lot of your art?

My art is inspired by what I see around me everyday. It might be something in nature, a simple photo or even a shape. I enjoy the extrapolation of images I see into abstract artworks using colour and texture to express my feeling for an object or scene. Other than creating, you also teach mosaic workshops. Can you tell us about the classes you run and what they involve?

Over the last three years or so I have been

running Glass on Glass Mosaic Workshops. These have proved to be extremely popular with people travelling from far and wide to attend, lots of people have now attended two and even three workshops.

The workshops are held over a weekend and cater for all levels of experience. I provide everything needed – substrate, all glass, embellishments, glues and grouts and teach the skills necessary to facilitate the transformation of the glass substrate into a unique work of art.

Where can people learn about your workshops or view your work?

My workshops are promoted online through my Facebook page and various other social media sites. I also maintain a mailing list so people can register their interest and be advised of upcoming workshops.

I shall be teaching my Glass on Glass Mosaic course at Camp Creative in January next year.

My artworks are available online, again through my Facebook page. I have had several solo exhibitions, the most recent in August this year, “Nature’s Wonderland”, at the Nexus Gallery Bellingen. I regularly exhibit my works at local galleries and have participated in many collaborative exhibitions.

A selection of my artworks are currently available through a new exhibition “Plateau Traverse” at the Rainforest Centre within the Dorrigo National Park.

Chris Fahey Glass Art 0439 482 662

Over the last three years or so I have been running Glass on Glass Mosaic Workshops. These have proved to be extremely popular...
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At Sawtell Catholic Care it’s all about the mission. Our mission is to grow and sustain an inclusive community of Christian care. ‘We care’ is even our motto.

Thirty years of providing accommodation and services to the community we care for has seen Marian Grove, the flagship of our brand, setting a high standard for retirement living and Mater Christi residential care service recognised as a leading aged care provider in our region.

After witnessing the growing need for in-home community care and the lack of services to support the local demand for this type of support, we launched Sawtell Home Care as a new service in 2021.

The continuum of care at Marian Grove really is always evolving, adapting to the needs of our residents as they change over time, sustaining their independence and enhancing their quality of life. Now it’s time to introduce our latest innovation and support for our community, The Link.

The former site of Cockbain’s Nursery on Hogbin Drive has been reinvigorated, becoming part of Marian Grove’s village precinct which affords our residents an exceptional lifestyle opportunity in their own backyard. This huge 3.6 acre garden offers our community a wonderful, unique outdoor space to walk, sit and relax, enjoy a coffee and a light meal at the café in the company of friends and family, or some solitude and reflection time if

needed. The Link is here for our broader local community as well, as a space for gathering and social connection, intergenerational sharing and enjoyment, in addition to small functions and events.

In conjunction with the Day of the Older Person and National Gardening Week (October 10-14) we’ll be opening The Link gates and inviting the community to join us, celebrating our theme of “Positive Ageing”. From 10 am to 3 pm daily, Monday 10th October to Friday 14th October, there will be music, demonstrations, “The Art of Ageing” and “Young at Art” exhibitions on display, as well as works from Marian Grove residents, with a market day on the Friday to showcase our creative community and raise funds for charity.

The “official“ opening ceremony will take place on Tuesday 11th October at 10 am. For full details on the daily program, visit our website at

After this week, The Link grounds and Café will be open to the public. We are pleased to announce that The Link Café will be run by fellow not-for-profit organisation the Bularri Muurlay Nyanggan Aboriginal Corporation,

already known to many locals for their Nyanggan Gapi Café at Sealy Lookout and catering business which invests back into the Coffs Harbour Gumbaynggirr community. We’re looking forward to a beautiful collaboration, giving diners great service in delightful surrounds.

If you’re thinking of retiring, why not take a look around Marian Grove and The Link?

Marian Grove offers you home options to suit every taste, from villas to apartment living, and prices to suit every budget.

Our upcoming promotion offers anyone who moves into our apartments $2000 towards their window coverings and 3 months waived maintenance fees up to the value of $1700. Our villas and townhouses are also eligible for the 3 months waived maintenance promotion. These beautiful residences are selling fast, so why not give us a call today and arrange for a visit with our friendly sales team? We’d love to hear from you.

Call us on 0490 522 596, email or visit our website at

The Link is here for our broader local community as well, as a space for gathering and social connection...
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focus contributor.

PFLAG from Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays

Recently we featured Atlas’ journey and this month we are chatting to Mum, Amber Domberelli about how she was able to support Atlas.

Atlas’ story, I know, resonated with many of our readers who can struggle to discover their own identity and then be able to share that with their family and community – how was it for you? It was a bit of a surprise; we’re really close and learning that there was something Atlas was struggling with and hadn’t been able to speak to me about was difficult.

Unfortunately, it was also really scary, I was worried for Atlas and their safety and how they would be treated out in the world. That fear for my child’s physical safety for being their true self is the horrible reality of how our society treats gender diverse folk.

How was it for Atlas knowing your support was there? I’m sure it was helpful for Atlas, our support meant that they had a safe space to come home to when they’ve had a rough day. It’s not that we’ve done anything special though, loving our child for who they are is the least we can do as parents! How important was it for Atlas to also be

known by the correct pronouns? It’s really important for Atlas to be addressed by their correct pronouns, the same way it’s important for everyone. There’s often a narrative that gender diverse people are being unreasonable by asking to be referred to by their pronouns, but it’s the same respect we extend to cis people all the time.

Did you experience any hurdles for Atlas and the family and how did you overcome these? We’ve had a few hurdles to jump which are a result of systemic issues within the Education Department. I overcome these by ensuring I’m familiar with the policies associated with these systems and advocating for Atlas until they get treated the way they deserve to be treated.

What would you say to parents out there who may find this situation overwhelming? While there’s some parts of this journey that can be difficult, watching your child’s joy in embracing their authentic self with the love and support of their family is absolutely incredible. Your child is still the same person they’ve always been, regardless of their pronouns or how they dress. Seeing

Atlas embrace their true self has been one of the greatest joys of my life, and something I feel so honoured to be included in.

Do you see that young LGBTIQ people need the support as well as their parents and friends? Absolutely. My role is in health policy, and I was recently working on a submission for my organisation which required me to review the health outcomes of the gender diverse community. I cried the whole time I worked on it after reading stories from the gender diverse community and learning about the discrepancies in health outcomes. The stigma and judgement experienced by these communities is heartbreaking and something we all need to work towards overcoming.

Coffs Coast PFLAG is a volunteer group and is short for Parents and Friends of Lesbians And Gays and covers supporting everybody in the LGBTIQ+ community.

PFLAG is here to give help, support and information to families and friends of all gay people right here on the Coffs Coast.

PFLAGcoffcoast 0417 861 045

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The Coffs Harbour community has given strong support for proposed improvements to the Jetty Foreshore, with a clear call for a revitalised waterfront to boost the local economy and creating a buzzing atmosphere in the precinct.

The NSW Government recently released the reports detailing outcomes from extensive community consultation on the draft masterplan for the Jetty Foreshore. The results show overall support for development along the Jetty Foreshore to breathe new life into the precinct and create a thriving destination that locals and tourists want to visit.

Obviously there are many diverse views on parts of the draft masterplan but what is loud and clear is that there is a mandate for change while ensuring that the unique local character and sense of community is maintained.

The report outlines shops and cafes as the most supported uses to create an active foreshore with 73 per cent of those surveyed in favour, followed by an activity hub adjacent to the Coffs Harbour Train station which received 68 per cent support. Six in ten people who responded to the survey said they supported development of 2-6 storeys or higher, and the data suggests younger community members who responded to the survey were more likely to support improvements to create a buzzing atmosphere

in the area.

• More than 70 per cent of respondents support the addition of cafes, restaurants, and a function space, as well as creating a tourist destination at the former Deep Sea Fishing Club site.

• Height levels of 3-4 storeys were supported by 45 per cent of the community, with a further 15 per cent supporting up to 8 storeys.

• Over 80 per cent of respondents support pedestrian and carparking improvements to create a more vibrant marina.

and inviting place for all, allowing public access to natural beauty.

More than 70 per cent of respondents support the addition of cafes, restaurants, and a function space, as well as creating a tourist destination at the former Deep Sea Fishing Club site.

• Over 70 per cent of respondents support all proposed upgrades and ideas regarding North Park, the Billabong, Dune Care & Wild Play, and Family & Youth Play (which was the highest priority for delivery).

• Respondents overwhelmingly want to see the Foreshore Parklands become a welcoming

• Around 68 per cent of respondents supported development in the Jetty Hub, while 44 per cent suggested that up to 6 storey development spread over the Jetty Hub was appropriate. Respondents indicated they preferred development to be limited to the west side of Jordan Esplanade. Engagement with Traditional Owners and Elders highlighted that the Coffs Harbour Jetty Foreshore is the heart of Gumbaynggirr Country. The NSW Government will now carefully consider the feedback and update the masterplan to reflect an even more thorough consideration of community aspirations for the precinct.

Full details of the community consultation outcomes reports are available online.

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Authorised by Gurmesh Singh MP, 1/9 Park Avenue Coffs Harbour NSW 2450 Funded using Parliamentary Entitlements September 2022 (02) 6652 6500 Regional Seniors Travel Card Parents NSW Active Kids Creative Kids Stay NSW $250 $250 $200 $100 $50 You can apply by visiting or by scanning the QR code The NSW Government is supporting families and stimulating our economy by encouraging people to get out and about. You could be eligible for


Can you tell us a little bit about your business?

After more than 25 years in corporate administration and executive support roles, I now offer those skills ‘virtually’ to solopreneurs and small business owners in a way that’s more flexible than hiring a full time employee. This can be anything from implementing new tech solutions like CRMs, website content updates, appointment scheduling, proofreading, client communication such as email marketing, or just acting as a right hand woman for everyday tasks on the to do list!

As a natural problem solver, I’m able to sift through what’s not working and recommend solutions to fit their needs. Bringing these solutions to life is where I spend a lot of my time.

I love working with coaches the most, as personal development and all things people related are passions of mine. What’s your favourite part of your work?

My values are centred around connection and understanding, so building relationships and working as a trusted partner to my clients’ businesses is what makes me happiest.

I also love building a network of people across the region and, working virtually, across Australia too. Seeing different perspectives or approaches and learning from that is an

added bonus which makes my work varied and interesting.

Who is your greatest influence in business?

I worked for the iconic brand Bonds for almost a decade and it was a predominantly female-led business. Paid parental leave and flexible working arrangements were accessible there much earlier than in mainstream corporate environments, which allowed the business to retain key talent and intellectual capital. I was able to access both of these benefits when we started a family and still develop my career.

Supporting the GM and leadership team taught me so much. As a creative, peoplefocused yet commercially driven company, it was a dynamic and inspiring place to work.

More recently I have met a whole bunch of women on the Coffs Coast who show creativity, resilience and grit in building their own businesses, so I am tapping into that as I grow mine.

Have you always lived on the Coffs Coast?

My family moved to Coffs when I was little, and I completed school at “Jetty” High, so I guess that makes me almost a local! I moved to Lismore to study business and from there to Sydney where I have lived with my husband Andrew for 25 years.

We had a period of several moves up and down the east coast, and a serious career break travelling for a year before our daughter started

kindergarten, so we’ve seen enough to know how good life is here on the Coffs Coast.

We made a decision to move out of Sydney, and COVID made the transition much easier as our work became remote in early 2020. Working from home gives us freedom to choose a more relaxed lifestyle, and to be closer to extended family. We can see the beach from our place and I’ll never get sick of looking at it!

What advice would you give women making their way in the business world?

Build a hype squad around you. It can be lonely if you’re starting out or trying something new. Having a pool of expertise and advice available when you need it is invaluable.

Be YOU. Work takes up so much of our lives, spend that time being true to yourself.

If you are building a business, a coach may be the support that helps you keep momentum and progress and keep you accountable.

Never think you’ve got it all under control; as the pandemic showed, those who can evolve and adapt in a changing environment don’t just survive but can thrive.

Where can people find out more about your business?




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focus contributor.
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Hudson Barry has been competing in triathlons amongst the many, many other sports and activities he manages to fit into his impressive schedule, and he is doing so well we think he is definitely a local to keep an eye on as success is a sure thing for this young go-getter!

Hey Hudson, tell us the backstory behind how you became a triathlete?

Whilst I have always enjoyed running, martial arts, swimming, athletics, AFL, touch football, nippers and rugby league, it was after we returned to Coffs Harbour my parents suggested for me to do the annual BCU Triathlon. I gave it a go and realised how much I enjoyed the challenge. It was a few years before I could join the local club (age limits) and after Dad chaperoning on the bike leg (club rules) for a few years (amongst Covid restrictions), last year Mum suggested I try the sprint distance (750m swim, 20km bike, 5km run) and I absolutely found my happy place!

You’re no stranger to sports. What other sports do you play and what role do you think they have played as a triathlete?

At the moment I play and ref Oztag. I do volunteer patrols at the Coffs Surf Club where I am also an Age Manager with a friend for Under 6s. I compete for SLS in the 2km beach run at Country Champs, State Champs and Aussie Titles. With school sports, I also umpire and ref gala days as well as going through the stages to represent my school in CHS (State) swimming, cross country and athletics. I also umpire local senior and junior AFL matches, which I am in the talent pathway for the Next Generation Umpires. I ref in the local Touch Football comp and recently I was selected for the ROSTA (Rest of State Talent Academy for Triathlons). By being involved in different sports it has enabled me to become a

well rounded individual/athlete, taught me discipline, perseverance, patience and the understanding that hard work never stops.

You have faced a few challenges with sport and training. What have they been and how have you overcome them?

To avoid dangerous situations on the road with the other road users, I have started bike training indoors and on the velodrome. Over winter it was hard with lane space in the local pool due to lack of heating in the outdoor pool, as well as reduced opening hours, which meant wearing wetsuits outside and training without a squad most of the time. Also due to Covid major restrictions and cancellations as well as constant rain, flooding and bush fires also caused cancellations and postponements of events/comps/the ability to train with a group. What’s a typical training day look like?

Most mornings I am up before 5.30am, and I train on average twice a day on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays with each day having a different program. Monday is a run (10km) and swim (3.5km), Wednesday is a bike ride (30km) and run (13km), Thursday is a run (10km) and swim (4km), Saturday is a bike ride (50km) and run (6km). The rest of the week is three training sessions with Tuesday a swim (4.5km), bike ride (30km) and a strength and conditioning session (45 minutes). On Fridays, I do a bike (30km), swim (4.5km) and strength and conditioning session (45 minutes). In addition, every day I do core and stretch exercises (20-30 minutes).

Where has the triathlon taken you so far?

With events/comps spread all over Australia as well as internationally, I have travelled to St Kilda, Canberra, Yamba, Byron Bay and Kingscliff and earlier in the year Montreal Canada. Highlights so far… with the Australian Champs held in Canberra, I came third in my age group. I was the NSW State Champ in my age group at Byron Bay. First Australian Age Grouper across the line in Montreal Canada.

We hear you had quite the incident in one of your events. What happened?

During my race at St Kilda I was involved in a bike crash. I had come out of the water first with a 30 second lead on my fellow competitors, feeling good in myself, I got on the bike and during the second lap of the bike course, I was over taking a group of athletes that had started before me but I had caught up to and I was next to the median strip when another competitor came up beside me and hit my handlebars. This caused me to come off my bike, hit my head on the median strip, knocking me out cold and whilst I was extremely lucky for no breaks or fractures there was blood everywhere, some soft tissue damage to my right leg, grazes on my shoulders and ribs. My bike ended up about 15 metres away from me without a chain, my sunglasses broke, lots of damage to my bike including a massive chunk out of my helmet as well. I managed to get up after some time, grab my bike, put the chain back on and finish the race coming 6th in my age group.

Doing your final years at school, triathlons, training and reffing, how do you manage your time and fit it

all in?

By prioritising, keeping track of time including any “free time” and avoiding what Mum refers to as “fluffing around”. I also utilise early morning study sessions at school and my study periods that I am allocated during school. By doing this I ensure I keep on top of what needs to be done making sure I have time to study/ revise on school work. With reffing and umpiring, this is juggled around not only school work but training and comps. What’s the dream for you within the sport?

To learn how to pedal… but my ultimate dream is not only to continue doing sports forever and encourage others to give things a go, things they might think that they are or were unable to do, because hard work can and does pay off, but also to complete the major Ironperson World Championships at Kona.

My ultimate dream is not only to continue doing sports forever and encourage others to give things a go, things they might think that they are or were unable to do, because hard work can and does pay off, but also to complete the major Ironperson World Championships at Kona.


The red and yellow flags are familiar sight on any Aussie beach, and those at Park Beach in Coffs Harbour are no exception! The Coffs Harbour Surf Life Saving Club (CHSLSC) has been the heart and soul of the Coffs Harbour coastal community since its official formation in 1923.

2023 will mark a century of CHSLSC

- a hundred years’ worth of volunteer efforts, including surf patrol, water safety education and community programs. These are just some of the things CHSLSC does:


The first thing that comes to mind when you think of surf life saving is the beach patrols. It’s quite likely

you’re picturing a red and yellow-clad sentinel, gazing out to the ocean or running into the surf with a rescue tube. An Aussie icon, surf life savers are part of our coastal identify and way of life.

Surf life savers are trained volunteers that patrol beaches during weekends. Patrols include providing information

about the safest swimming spots (between those flags!), aquatic rescues, and providing first aid and emergency care.

Get involved: CHSLSC is always looking for new volunteers and provides full training. It’s a role which is challenging, satisfying, fun and rewarding. Incorporate health and fitness into your role, make new mates and give something back to the local community. Who knows –you might even save somebody’s life.


Nippers is another part of the Aussie coastal identity. A rite of passage for thousands of Aussie kids, Nippers

teaches importance surf safety, beach awareness and competence around the ocean. Targeted at kids aged 5-13 years. Nippers is a great way to build confidence, learn new skills, and meet new friends. Whether it’s swims, board paddling, beach sprints, novelty events, or even the opportunity to train and compete in local carnivals, there’s something for every kid at Nippers.

Get involved: The 2022-23 Coffs Harbour Nippers season commences Sunday October 16, and runs from 8.45am Sunday mornings at Park Beach with a sausage sizzle afterwards.


Not only do surf life savers run patrols and save lives; they can be a competitive bunch too! Whether it’s sand running, swimming out through the break, or rowing a boat down a wave, surf sports offer an adrenalineraising way to stay fit, have fun and develop those vital life saving skills. Surf sports are open to all volunteer surf life savers.

Our clubbies experience a range of sports, including beach and water events.

All events aim at developing and utilising key surf life saving skills in a fun and competitive way.

Our boaties focus on surf row boating – a discipline which demands high levels of fitness, commitment, teamwork and skill.

The surf sports offer the opportunity to compete locally and interstate, making plenty of friends along the way too.

Get involved: the Club is always on the lookout for new clubbies and rowers of all ages!


The Coffs Coast became a Refugee Welcome Zone in 2008, with over 1600 people arriving to Coffs Harbour under the Humanitarian Settlement Program. While Australians take the beach and beach safety skills for granted, many new arrivals do not have basic water skills. Coffs Harbour Surf Life Saving Club works with our local refugee community to help teach water safety.

Abdollah Noorani settled with his family in Coffs Harbour after fleeing to Iran from the war in Afghanistan. He’s now a CHSLSC volunteer with a bronze medallion in surf life saving, and teaches

many of his peers and other new arrivals swimming skills through Aquatic Tutoring Australia.


Silver Salties is a joint initiative of Surf Life Saving Australia, local surf life saving clubs and Sport Australia’s Move It Aus –Better Ageing Grants Program to encourage the benefits of moderate physical activity for older Australians.

They meet weekly, and each session features a welcome and check in, overview of the walking route, warm up and cool down, 15-30 minute walk and talk, and optional social tea/ coffee afterwards at the Surf Club Restaurant and Bar - supporters of the CHSLSC.

Meet new friends, develop some fitness skills and embrace the incredible Coffs Coast’s natural beauty too!

Get involved: meet at Coffs Harbour Surf Life Saving Club on Wednesday mornings at 8.30am.


There’s more to the Surf Club than just the surf! Volunteers are required not only on the beach, but behind the scenes as well. CHSLSC is always looking for new faces to help with administration and to continue their great work. They’re also always on the look out for new sponsors too!

Get involved: email info@ for more information.


Coffs Harbour Surf Life Saving Club 100 Year Anniversary Gala: Friday 5 May – Sunday 7 May 2023.

Coffs Harbour Surf Life Saving Club invites all members, guests, volunteers and community members to celebrate a century of CHSLSC.

Featuring welcome drinks on Friday evening, a gala celebration dinner on Saturday night and a farewell brekkie on Sunday morning, our celebration weekend is a celebration of the past, present and future of CHSLSC!

Check out coffsharboursurfclub. for more information!

The CHSLSC would like to acknowledge and thank our major sponsors.

The Club seeks sponsors that embrace and represent the values of the Club. Sponsors are a vital part of our club as it requires funding to purchase and maintain life-saving equipment as well as providing training and fitness opportunities to its members to ensure volunteers are able to perform to the best of their abilities.

Current sponsorship packages are available. If you would like to inquire about sponsoring the Coffs Harbour Surf Life Saving Club please contact the club on 6652 3245 or

Can you explain the concept behind Becoming U and how the idea came about?

About four years ago

Uniting invested in five communities across the NSW region to try something new and innovative. They knew that place-based approaches were emerging as a method for social change and recognised the importance and uniqueness of place, in addressing complex challenges, such as social and economic disadvantage. This approach focused on addressing local needs and working together with local people and groups to find locally tailored solutions.

The team and I were placed in the Nambucca Heads community and spent a good 18 months building trust, listening to what was important and then worked side by side designing with them local projects that were unique to that community and their challenges.

Becoming U then came to life. A name created by the community with a focus on the theme that kept repeating itself despite who we talked to. The theme was young people aged 8-18 where the community wanted to work together to empower them to unleash their full

potential and use it to thrive.

Becoming U operates five different programs, what are they and how do they each support youth here on the Coffs Coast?

Under the Becoming U Banner we have five projects that represent the different areas the young people, and those important to them, wanted to design.

Inspire U – Digital Storytelling projects amplifying the voices and powerful stories of young people and community. This supports young people to increase their self-belief, confidence and hope.

Guide U –Youth2Youth peer mentoring, community mentoring and career mentoring projects. This supports young people by training more local people to be mentors, so young people can have more role models and supports in their life than they do now.

Future U – Projects that expose our young people to career opportunities, future life paths and networks by working with them at an earlier stage to ignite their passions and give them something to strive for.

Active U – This is about keeping our young people healthy and well through projects promoting non-competitive activities, relationships, and skill building.

The theme was young people aged 8-18 where the community wanted to work together to empower them to unleash their full potential and use it to thrive.

Opportunity U –Projects that remove financial barriers and open doors of opportunity for our young people. This supports them through small grant programs and leadership opportunities like our youth advisory council at Nambucca Heads High School. Who makes up the team and what are some of the different roles they play?

I am the Community Impact Co-Ordinator for the project and have been leading this incredible, passionate and driven team for the

Becoming U is an exciting and innovative new project that involves a small team working side-by-side with youth in the Nambucca Valley and those important to them, designing together innovative and sustainable projects that create connection, well-being and life-changing opportunities. CASS WILSON
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last four years since we started. I have two community connectors, Elisse and Isabel, who work with the Nambucca Heads and Macksville community and one social media and content creator, Simone, who helps us communicate what we are up to and the impact we are making – check out our Becoming U social channels and website !

I am also so excited to say that we have just expanded into Toormina and Jess has joined the team as a connector who is focused on creating local projects with young people in that community.

Who is the program open to and what is the process to become involved?

Our project is open to young people aged 8-18 or those that are important to them such as teachers, sports coaches, parents. We are based in Nambucca Heads, Macksville and Toormina.

We are not a program or program deliverers; we work alongside young people and bring their ideas to life with them.

New programs and ideas are emerging and growing each week so if a young person (or someone close to them) has an idea they think will help tackle a local issue then reach out to me and the team and we can chat about it.

What are some of the positive outcomes you’re seeing for those involved?

Our team wants positive outcomes around a young person’s work readiness, an increase in how healthy they feel, both physically and mentally and an increased connection to opportunities and to their community. We are seeing that in a big way across our Opportunity U projects and Active U projects especially. The first Youth Advisory Council (YAC) for year 11 students have given them opportunities to become community and school change makers. They have had exposure to leadership skill building, connection to community champions and have had a life changing trip to Canberra, to meet other YAC groups, attend Universities and tour Parliament House. The Active U project has seen a big difference in young people’s confidence and self-worth as they learn new

skills but also build new friendships and have more mentors in their lives.

What sort of feedback have you had from the community and participants?

The feedback is overwhelmingly positive, from young people, schools, groups and levels of government. We often hear from young people that being part of something that they have designed together has helped them feel empowered, seen and heard. That they feel valued and that their opinions count. Schools have told us having a resource outside of school grounds, who are just as passionate about the students as they are and have the time and resource to help bring things to life with them, has been such an incredible game changer. Could you tell us about the mentor projects and give us an example of one that you are working on?

Both Guide U and Future U have mentoring components in the project. The Youth2Youth project was designed by students, primary and high school teachers and us as an innovative way to support year six students coming into high school. Ten year nine students are trained

to be youth mentors and are matched with 10 year six students who are feeling nervous about heading into high school the following year. Over the last term of school each week, the year nine students and year six students spend time together building friendships and completing challenges such as an Amazing Race. Then they continue building their new friendships in term one when they are both in high school together. This has given the older students more responsibility, leadership skills and has dramatically helped the younger students feel less anxious about making the transition to high school. Where do you hope to see Becoming U head into the future?

I see it being invested in and expanding which is so exciting. This project started with one Co-Ordinator and has grown to a team of 5. Long-term presence and sustainability are goals of ours as we hope to prove that place-based and co-designed projects and solutions are a great way forward for communities to grow and prosper. They are the experts in what works in their towns. We would love to see funding opportunities increased for longer than two or three years as it takes time to build trust and bring people together, but when it does incredible things happen.

We often hear from young people that being part of something that they have designed together has helped them feel empowered, seen and heard.
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70 COFFS COAST focus A vibrant intergenerational community space for interacting with nature and each other... SAWTELL CATHOLICCAR E Contact Us Email: 631 Hogbin Drive, Toormina NSW 2452 GATES OPEN TO THE PUBLIC MONDAY TO SATURDAY 9am to 3pm You are invited to attend the Official GRAND OPENING of Sawtell Catholic Care’s THE LINK Community Garden and Café Five days of celebration and community connection Monday 10th to Friday 14th October 2022, from 10-am to 3pm daily. Including: “THE ART OF AGEING” EXHIBITION MARIAN GROVE UKULELE BAND INTERGENERATIONAL “YOUNG AT ART” EXHIBITION THE SHED MEN BAND VIOLINS AT THE CAFÉ SAWTELL UKULELE BAND MARKET DAY PLUS SPEAKERS, DEMONSTRATIONS AND MORE. For a detailed daily program please visit Hope to see you at THE LINK!

focus contributor.

Occupational Therapy

– Community Care is Growing!

hile it’s only been two quick months since Mid North Coast Physio launched mobile services on the Coffs Coast, the next exciting announcement is already here. Their Community Care team is growing with the addition of a highly experienced Occupational Therapist (OT) adding a range of new services to what’s available for those in need to access at home and in the community. We caught up with Aaron Hardaker, director of Mid North Coast Physio, to find out more. What is Community Care?

The MNC Community Care program is our way of taking the caring, friendly, and high-quality healthcare the Coffs Coast community knows and loves from our 4 clinic locations and making it more easily available to those who need it. We launched Community Care initially with Ray Chen, our experienced and multi-talented physio, and are now pleased to announce we have Michelle Carr, an Occupational Therapist with over 20 years experience in the industry on board to support even more in our community.

WWho will benefit from OT services within the Community Care program?

We understand some of the most vulnerable in our community are the ones who have the least access to the services they need. Our aim is to provide targeted care and support to clients at home including individuals and families suffering with pain, older adults including those with Home Care Packages, people living with a disability including those funded under NDIS, and those in our community living with chronic disease who can’t access our clinics. We can also provide services for post-operative rehab after hospital discharge, rehabilitation following stroke or head injuries, along with workplace visits for injury prevention and injury management services.

Michelle has a good understanding of the health issues facing older clients and the services and supports available to them. For older clients experiencing cognitive decline, she can complete functional and formal assessments with clients and their family to provide comprehensive information to GPs and Specialists to enhance their care, diagnosis, and decision making. She is also able to provide follow up support for clients and their families as required.

What can Michelle help clients with through her Community Care services in homes and workplaces?

As an Occupational Therapist, her practise is very client-centred and focused on helping people achieve things that are important to them, whether it be a simple everyday activity, or a leisure activity.

Michelle can provide assessment and rehabilitation for people who have had a stroke or other neurological problems in the areas of upper limb, cognitive, perceptual, and functional difficulties. This can include reports to support NDIS applications for younger people.

Michelle is also able to provide services such as home safety assessments, recommendations for minor home modifications and equipment needs, and pressure injury care. Home assessments can be carried out prior to planned surgery (particularly joint replacements or back surgery) to ensure clients are prepared and in the best position to manage well and confidently when they return home from hospital.

To find out more about the Community Care service or to book a home visit, call the friendly team at MNC Physio on 1300 273747.

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If Recovery is a priority, adding L Glutamine to your regime is a must! It helps to reduce the muscle wastage we experience when in a fat loss phase by keeping your body in an anti-catabolic state! It also has gut health and immune boosting benefits! Another option to reduce muscle soreness post workout are BCAA’s, which stands for branch chain amino acids. They are the building blocks for several chemical reactions in our bodies, especially for protein synthesis and energy conversion!

To enhance strength and performance creatine is a great addition! It can be stacked into a range of supplements as it is naturally flavoured! It can increase muscle contractions, leading to a more explosive workout, increased strength, and performance! An additional supplement to add for strength is L Citrulline, it’s an

amazing vasodilator and increases our nitric oxide levels. This has multiple benefits including increasing protein synthesis, boosting cardiovascular health, and reducing blood pressure. Next up is Beta Alanine, responsible for more than the tingly feeling in pre workouts, it reduces the production of lactic acid while training allowing you to push harder! The range also boasts an impressive, delicious variety of dietary aids with a diverse range of proteins. Including whey protein isolate, lean whey, mass gainers, and slow-release casein options. If you want a convenient way to increase your intake of protein, come down and have a chat with us in store and we’ll find the best fit for you!

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Winning these following categories:

Young Business Leader – Kirsty Christensen: Kirsty is the Business Manager for Welcome Dental and has worked in the dental industry for the past 10 years. She is so thankful for the management experiences she has had over her working career to lead her to such an achievement. This award goes to all of the past and current employees that she has had who have helped her grow and have challenged her. She works tirelessly on the business and building the team culture within Welcome Dental and she is so very grateful to win such an award.

Excellence in Large Business: This award definitely belongs to our whole team, for their efforts in how we treat our patients, how we maintain our dental clinic and for the efforts that go into business operations and management. Our team are so very excited to

have won such an award and feel that this is due to their hard work and dedication.

Business of the Year: Words cannot explain how overwhelmed and humbled we are to win such an award, given our business has only existed since August 2020 this is such an achievement. Again, this award is to our team who dedicate so much time and effort into patient care and the daily functions of the practice. We put a lot of time and effort into volunteering in the local community by doing preschool visits and K-2 visits, we attend Aged Care facilities and also participate in kindergarten orientations. We sponsor a number of local events and clubs including Woopi Boardriders and the Urunga Hockey Club.

We were also a finalist for:

• Outstanding Employee – Dannielle Watt

• Employer of Choice

As a business we have been committed to providing high quality dentistry in a caring environment. We have a brightly coloured

practice with lots of local art work, that is very homely and is surrounded by a beautiful garden. You will be welcomed by one of our friendly reception team.

Our teams are innovative and inspired people and we work continually on our culture and engagement with our people. Our team is supported with a wellness program, EAP service, education and lunch! Having a happy and proud team results in us providing high quality care to our patients. It is of the utmost importance to us to have a stable team environment.

Our patients are offered high quality care with our hygiene and therapy team, general dentists and visiting specialists. We offer such things as Airflow cleaning system, Itero scanning, Zoom Whitening and orthodontic treatments. We also offer ZipPay and AfterPay, Saturday and emergency appointments.

Welcome Dental is your locally owned and operated dental clinic in Urunga – We’ll turn your frown upside down!

Jessica Cantrill, Kirsty Christensen Dannielle Watt, Jessica Cantrill, Kirsty Christensen, Kassandrah Szakal-Willcockson


There are days when we just feel very unmotivated and uninspired by the day ahead. You may have so much going on in your life that you do not know where to start and your to-do list seems endless! Do you find yourself hurriedly starting your day, feeling like the hamster on the never-ending wheel running round and round? Often these feelings exacerbate as your workload increases throughout the day.

Often starting our day with a healthy routine can help us set the tone for the day, leading to a more successful life. People who have created healthy routines to start their day are less likely to feel burnt out and stressed and feel they are in control of their daily schedules rather than their schedules controlling them. Creating healthy routines helps with mental health and wellbeing.

Why is a healthy routine important?

As a new day starts having a healthy morning routine provides us with a better focus for the day ahead. Goal-setting priorities for the day will increase energy and productivity. Creating a morning routine assists you to focus on your daily goals with mindfulness and strength. Stephen Covey (2020) suggests that we often get caught up in being busy in life without being highly effective. Covey explains we need to have a clear understanding of our


destination, to begin with the end in mind. Having a morning routine does not have to be an onerous task, use a simple plan to create and maintain a healthy routine. Please do not try to change everything at once, setting small goals is easier to achieve and helps to maintain good habits. Set reminders on your phone/watch, if you use an online diary set automatic reminders on your computer, or if you prefer pen and paper, keep a diary, wall planner, or have a book to write down your daily goals. Be patient with yourself as it might take a few months to create a new healthy routine.

Good healthy routines

• Healthy diet and exercise- eat a healthy breakfast that will sustain you for the morning. Do some stretches as you get out of bed, go for a walk, do yoga, and try some relaxation and mindfulness exercises.

People who have created healthy routines to start their day are less likely to feel burnt out and stressed and feel they are in control of their daily schedules rather than their schedules controlling them.

• Wake up a little earlierit is surprising how much you can achieve for yourself and the household in the quiet of the morning.

• Time management- do some preparation the night before. Involve your family in the preparation, make lunches, and get out your clothes for the next day. Write down your goals for the next day and write reminders and job lists.

• Healthy sleep habits- writing things down and having morning preparation completed may help you in feeling relaxed and able to get to sleep faster.

• Hydration- drink a full glass of water when you first wake up. Drinking water makes you feel good, more focused and as a result more productive. Remember to congratulate yourself when you have achieved a goal in your healthy routine.

Julie Thomas  MCouns, BPsychSC, BEd (ECTeach) Member of Australian Counselling Association

Member of AUSPATH, WPATH Reference Covey, S. R. (2020). The 7 habits of highly effective people. Simon and Schuster.

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A long-term Uniting foster carer shares her insights and joy.

Helen has been caring for 3 girls, full-time, for the past 8 years and loves it. As a former childcare worker with 2 grown daughters of her own, it wasn’t a difficult decision to make. “A foster carer I knew was moving to another city, and asked if I would take over so that the girls wouldn’t be uprooted,” she explains.

Coffs needs you to foster care now.

because they know I’m here for them,” says Helen. “I’m no longer working, so I take them to everything from medical appointments to sports training. It’s so rewarding to see how far they’ve come.”

Coffs needs you to foster care now.

Uniting is seeking foster carers

“They’re happy and comfortable

We urgently need more carers in Coffs – so find out how you can foster your way with Uniting. Call 1800 864 846, email ask@ or visit the Uniting website.

Uniting is seeking foster carers

Coffs needs you to foster care now.

for children who urgently need the stability and safety of a nurturing home environment.

for children who urgently need the stability and safety of a nurturing home environment.

Uniting is seeking foster carers for children who urgently need the stability and safety of a nurturing home environment.

Open your heart and your home for a few days, or weeks, or more, and we’ll support you with tailored training, expert advice and a non-taxable allowance for each child.

Open your heart and your home for a few days, or weeks, or more, and we’ll support you with tailored training, expert advice and a non-taxable allowance for each child.

Open your heart and your home for a few days, or weeks, or more, and we’ll support you with tailored training, expert advice and a non-taxable allowance for each child.

Find out more 1800 864 846

864 846

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Find out more 1800 864 846
Find out more 1800


Dragons Abreast Coffs Coast is a breast cancer support club that encourages women to get out, get active, have fun and support each other post treatment. They are also heavily involved in fundraising and raising awareness on the disease. With October being Breast Cancer Awareness month we spoke to Fran Stephenson to hear all about the club and the important work they’re doing in the community.

Dragons Abreast Coffs Coast (DACC) is a breast cancer support club. Tell us about your club?

We are a dragon boat paddling club for breast cancer survivors and supporters. We’re a small but active club started in 2004. We currently have around 25 members and we’re a member club of Dragons Abreast Australia. There are 28 member clubs throughout Australia. DACC is the only breast cancer support dragon boat club between Newcastle and Byron Bay. Being part of a national and international network of survivor clubs our members can participate in breast cancer survivor events throughout the world.

How does DACC differ from other breast

cancer support groups?

Most of our members have been on a similar cancer journey and we all understand what we have been through. However, we don’t dwell on the past, instead we’re a very positive support group getting on with life and having fun. During treatment the focus is on treating the cancer and our lives are governed by medical appointments and illness. After treatment there is often a void when we have to get back to a normal life and hopefully put it all behind us. That’s where we come in. We aid recovery. We don’t sit around and talk about our treatment. Through dragon boat paddling we help survivors reclaim their lives through healthy exercise. It’s wonderful being on the water and there is a camaraderie that exists between members. Occasionally there

is the mention of ‘when I was going through treatment…’ but that is very rare. We are too busy enjoying ourselves.

Is dragon boat paddling only for breast cancer survivors or women in particular?

No, dragon boating originated in China thousands of years ago and despite its ancient beginnings today it is a very modern sport and considered the world’s fastest growing water sport. It is enjoyed by men and women of all ages.

Most of us relate dragon boat paddling to breast cancer survivors so how did that strong association come about?

This is an interesting and inspiring story. The connection started in 1996 when Dr Don McKenzie, a Professor of Sports Medicine at Vancouver University, carried out extensive

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trials challenging whether breast cancer survivors should avoid rigorous upper body exercise for fear of developing lymphoedema. He choose dragon boat paddling as the epitome of strenuous, repetitive upper body exercise and introduced 24 breast cancer survivor volunteers to dragon boat paddling. During the experiment the women said that they felt fitter, healthier and happier and they loved the camaraderie and support of their fellow paddlers. At the end of the three month season none had lymphoedema. Not surprising that many of those original volunteers are still paddling today!

Hence the inspirational words ‘Doctors saved my life. Paddling saved my spirit’ from US paddler, Kim Bonomo, has become the mantra for the breast cancer survivor paddling fraternity throughout the world.

It’s a bit ironic but breast cancer has introduced many women to a sport they never thought they would never be able to participate in. For some women who considered themselves not the sporting type it has opened up a whole new world. I wonder if Dr McKenzie would have ever imagined he would start a movement that would change

the lives of thousands of women worldwide.

Why is paddling so good for survivors?

The upper body and core exercise from dragon boating is fantastic. It’s a whole body workout –you use your legs, arms, shoulders, back and core. It helps keep everything moving and it is done in a really supportive way, if you can’t do something there’s no pressure to push yourself. Plus it’s fun and you make lots of good friends. And this is the part I like, it is said that paddling hard can burn between 350 to 450 calories an hour.  October is breast cancer awareness month.

What is DACC doing to raise awareness?

An important part of our mission is to raise breast cancer awareness within our community. To do this we undertake talks to community groups and participate in other fundraising activities for cancer charities throughout the year. We will have a stall at the Harbourside Markets on Sunday October 2nd to kick off breast cancer awareness month and where people can find out more about our club.

You have another important reason for people to visit your stall. What is it?

We’re very pleased to say that we have

recently purchased a prosthetic breast which contains four different types of breast cancer lumps. To aid our awareness activities we will have this tool at our market stall on October 2nd and on other occasions like community talks so people can find out what a breast cancer lump actually feels like and to emphasise the importance of being vigilant and to do a regular ‘self-check’.

Can men come along and feel the boob?

Absolutely. What is often not generally realised is that men get breast cancer too. It is equally important for men to check their breasts on a regular basis and they can also aid their partners in detecting a lump. We invite everyone to come to our market stall and feel the breast.

When do you paddle and how can DACC be contacted?

We do a monthly social paddle on the last Sunday of the month generally on the Bellinger River at Mylestom and we have various other activities throughout the year either awareness-related or strictly social.

All our paddling members are also required to be members of a sporting club for insurance coverage so there is the opportunity to paddle with those clubs on other occasions.

For more information survivors can phone 0411 084 917 or email – coffscoast@ And like us on Facebook and keep up with our news.

Most of our members have been on a similar cancer journey and we all understand what we have been through. However, we don’t dwell on the past, instead we’re a very positive support group getting on with life and having fun.
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Love to


THE MHOC GARDEN CLUB (AND FRIENDS) ARE THOROUGHLY ENJOYING THE WARMER WEATHER. Our veggies and eggs go directly to the school canteen with excess supplies being sold at Friday’s Assembly.

Coffs Harbour Catholic Schools

School funding is a contentious subject. Whether it be editorialised in the Sydney Morning Herald or on social media, school funding particularly when it relates to independent schools, seems to get a regular run. In this month’s article, I wanted to put the facts before the myths to help when this subject comes up at that next social gathering or family barbecue.

In 2014, the Gonski Review was instituted to bring in “The Schooling Resource Standard” (SRS). This estimates how much annual funding a school needs to educate its students. The SRS constitutes a base amount for each child plus extra loadings based on disadvantage. Every school in every sector (public, Catholic and independent) is funded by a percentage of this measure.

In 2022, the SRS base amounts are $12,462 per primary student and $15,660 per secondary student. In public schools, the SRS base amounts and loadings are funded solely by governments (state and federal). Parents are not required to contribute to the SRS, but as you know, some parents pay voluntary fees in these schools (e.g. subject levies).

In Catholic and independent schools, parents are expected to pay some of the cost of educating their children, so governments pay only part of


the SRS base amount, based on parents’ median income at each school. This means that the more parents earn in that community, the less government funding goes to that Catholic or independent school. This is not the case in public schools.

The highest level of government funding most Catholic and independent schools can attract is 90% of the SRS base amount ($11,216 per primary student and $14,094 per secondary student) plus disadvantage loadings. Only schools with the lowest median parent incomes attract this level of funding.

Schools whose parents have the highest median incomes receive the lowest level of government funding possible – just 20% of the SRS base ($2,492 per primary student and $3,132 per secondary student) plus disadvantage loadings. These amounts help to fund a Catholic or independent school’s recurrent costs (teacher salaries, administration costs, insurance, power, water and maintenance). They cannot be used for capital works projects (e.g. buildings).

Another question asked is: why do governments fund Catholic and independent schools at all? There are several good reasons why governments (Labor and Liberal) financially support Catholic and independent schools:

• It shares the cost of educating one-third of Australia’s 4 million school students; otherwise,

taxpayers would be paying the full cost of educating 1.35 million students, instead of (on average) two-thirds of the cost – taxes would need to be raised to cover the increased financial and construction burden on the public education system.

• They provide families with a choice of education for their children, a right protected by Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights2.

• Education is both compulsory and expensive, so non-profit providers of schools are deserving of funding. Governments already subsidise other valuable non-government services with high underlying costs such as medicines, GP visits, childcare and aged care.

• Government schools would be unable to absorb the sudden influx of students from non-government schools if government support ceased. There is already a shortage of schools in many areas with more public, Catholic and independent schools required.

Government and parental contributions to each school are outlined on the My School website1 I encourage you to compare the actual funding arrangements of schools in your region and not focus on the media hype.




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COFFS COAST focus 85 (02) 6651 5644 111 North Boambee Road, Coffs Harbour, NSW 2450 FOLLOW US Bishop Druitt College Registration from 12.00pm, tee o at 1.00pm, shotgun start Join us for a fun, 4 person ambrose competition! Includes 18 holes, 2 golf carts per team, food & beverage ticket and end-of-day canapes. Single players welcome and will be put onto a team. Great prizes for men, women and student players. All money raised will go towards the BDC Barracudas Sporting Club. Day Event Entry &Sponsorship Forms Go to All Entry & Sponsorship Forms must be returned directly to Bonville Golf Resort Proudly Supported by The 24th Annual SUNDAY 6 NOVEMBER 2022 Bonville Golf Resort SCAN & BOOK


Hello Jenna! So great to see you. Would love to learn a little bit about you – tell us about yourself…

I am a 16-year-old proud Indigenous woman, currently studying year 11 at Bishop Druitt College. I am excited to be one of the service captains for 2022-23 and have already started bringing school and community events to life as part of my new role.

I live in a very full house with 3 younger siblings, one who is only a few weeks old. I adore being a big sister and it has cemented my passion and personal value for helping others.

Volunteering is also a big part of my life and I am really enjoying being part of the One Under the Sun project and have my own radio show – The Milky Teas with One Mob Radio. So busy in your house I imagine! You mentioned some school events, what were they?

Most recently I helped lead both the RUOK day and Wear It Purple day for our school community. It was important for me to be involved to help build awareness of having a conversation with our friends and family, it gave me opportunities to share my experiences and journey and be an approachable role model. You recently were part of a panel with

the Coffs Harbour Chamber of Commerce what was that like?

So good and a little nerve racking as I was on the panel with my principal! It was part of the event educating business leaders on how to remain relevant, engage generations and communicate effectively. I felt honoured to be part of this as I was not only able to proudly deliver an Acknowledgment of Country but also be part of conversation where I could share my experience as a female, Indigenous Gen Z young person and give others advice on how to have great working relationships with younger generations.

I have learnt a lot about myself over the past three years as I have discovered more about my family history. I feel more connected and supported than I ever had before. I love that I am drawn to sources of positive energy like my family, friends, dance and my culture.


You mentioned leadership, what have you learnt about yourself as a leader?

I feel like I have always been a leader. I am strong headed and determined but also very open minded to try new things and grow. I love to help others and be a positive role model in their lives. I enjoy encouraging and mentoring them and I think this has become a strong value and purpose of mine and the main reason why I am going to explore social science or social work as a career after school.

Tell me more about having your own show on the radio…

For the last 6 months my friend and I have started our own radio show called The Milky Teas. Supported by Lachie Skinner and the One Mob Radio team, we play music and have some great conversations about all different types of things. We are on every Tuesday for an hour at 6pm! Being part of this has helped with my public speaking, leadership, confidence and learning how I want to express

I have learnt a lot about myself over the past three years as I have discovered more about my family history. I feel more connected and supported than I ever had before. I love that I am drawn to sources of positive energy like my family, friends, dance and my culture. I have loved hearing about you Jenna, let’s finish on what advice you would give other young people…

Take every opportunity you can, try everything and trust that it will get you somewhere, or help you meet someone. Find good and wise people who want to support you.

focus contributor.
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CChandler Macleod’s Coffs Harbour office is proud to partner with Lifeline North Coast CEO Miko, and the Lifeline North Coast team. Lifeline North Coast offer various community support programs along with the national 13 11 14 phone service. Chandler Macleod have been assisting Lifeline with specialised staffing and volunteer appointments across their organisation.

handler Macleod’s Coffs Harbour office is proud to partner with Lifeline North Coast CEO Miko, and the Lifeline North Coast team. Lifeline North Coast offer various community support programs along with the national 13 11 14 phone service. Chandler Macleod have been assisting Lifeline with specialised staffing and volunteer appointments across their organisation.

sort our donations across our organisation.

we rely on kind donations and volunteers to coordinate our events, answer our phones and sort our donations across our organisation.

As a volunteer led, service delivery charity based in Coffs Harbour, Lifeline North Coast supports the national Lifeline 13 11 14 telephone services, manages five retail outlets and a warehouse, offers regional training and development support for workplaces and community, provides community engagement and awareness campaigns and delivers a harm reduction counselling program, GambleAware. As a charity

As a volunteer-led, service delivery charity based in Coffs Harbour, Lifeline North Coast supports the national Lifeline 13 11 14 telephone services, manages five retail outlets and a warehouse, offers regional training and development support for workplaces and community, provides community engagement and awareness campaigns and delivers a harm reduction counselling program, GambleAware. As a charity we rely on kind donations and volunteers to coordinate our events, answer our phones and

123 words over

Chandler Macleod is honoured to be supporting Lifeline to successfully meet their varied recruiting needs, especially in the current tight labour market. With positions ranging from clinicians, financial counsellors, volunteer coordinators and project staff Chandler Macleod have taken the recruiting pressure away from the busy charity to enable them to support their clients and help-seekers.

Chandler Macleod is honoured to be supporting Lifeline to successfully meet their varied recruiting needs, especially in the current tight labour market. With positions ranging from clinicians, financial counsellors, volunteer coordinators and project staff Chandler Macleod have taken the recruiting pressure away from the busy charity to enable them to support their clients and help-seekers.

The Chandler Macleod team supported our team to get the best results for our roles. I love the professionalism and the way that we were supported along the journey”, says Miko Smith CEO Lifeline North Coast.

organisation helping to place people in the perfect roles for them, as well as finding organisations the right people. Chandler Macleod is known to ‘get people’ by more than just hiring, they aim to understand what makes people tick, and how to bring out the best in everyone they encounter. Chandler Macleod is extremely happy to be able to support such an important project, helping to find counsellors that will go on to make a huge impact in changing people’s lives.

Chandler Macleod is a recruitment services

“Kristy and the Chandler Macleod team have been amazing to work with. They have met all of our varied demands for our recent appointments which resulted in some amazing additions to our Lifeline North Coast family.

If you are interested in volunteering or know someone who is, please visit the Lifeline North Coast website and show your interest as a volunteer. Volunteer roles are available in the events team, retail shops, warehouse, on the phones and in the office. Even if you could add value in a professional services capacity, it would undoubtedly add value. Your volunteering will have a huge local impact and will help a wonderful charity help our community.

“Kristy and the Chandler Macleod team have been amazing to work with. They have met all of our varied demands for our recent appointments

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Recruitment Specialists help you find staff. CHANDLER MACLEOD

At the north end of town, on a leafy road that leads to Charlesworth Bay, there is an unassuming building where something truly amazing is happening. It’s the National Marine Science Centre (NMSC), a research and teaching facility of Southern Cross University. The research taking place inside is significant locally but also internationally. One of the scientists working at the NMSC is Dr Daniel Harrison. His ‘cloud brightening’ technology offers innovative and promising potential for an environmental treasure under threat.

On clear days, when the sky is that unique Australian blue and the ocean is glass, Daniel reckons there is no better place in the world than being at the controls of his fourseater Piper Warrior light aircraft. Following a flight plan that traces the Coffs Coast and then takes him out to sea, Daniel views from up high what is happening in the sea below.

There was a time when he had ambitions to be a career pilot, which seems in contrast to what he does now as an oceanographer, engineer, researcher and Senior Lecturer at the NMSC. However, consider the projects that he is either leading or in which he is closely involved, and the separation of sky and sea is not so marked.

At the heart of everything is a unifying purpose – protection of Australia's Great Barrier Reef – where the concept of Transforming Tomorrow is imbued with massive energy and urgency.

A major player in this mission is the $150m Reef Restoration and Adaptation Program (RRAP), a collaboration between several Australian universities – including Southern Cross University – as well as the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS), CSIRO, Great Barrier Reef Foundation and the Federal Government. Daniel’s scientific team is investigating cooling and shading options for

the Reef, including the use of cloud brightening technology, floating reflective surface films, and creating sea fog.

“When it comes to the Great Barrier Reef, we have a window of opportunity that is rapidly closing,” says Daniel. “But if some of these ideas work as well as we hope, our modelling suggests it might be enough to alter the trajectory of the Reef and help it transition through this difficult period. There’s such a large amount of warming that’s already locked into the climate system that we need to see really strong action now.”

Prospects in the clouds

Cloud brightening is the strong action earning greatest attention. It involves the pumping of atomised sea water into the air above the Reef. As each tiny droplet evaporates, just three per cent – give or take – is crystallised salt. Each salt crystal then has a chance to become the nucleus for a cloud droplet.

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“We’re not actually creating clouds,” explains Daniel. “When the cloud forms, there’s a given amount of water content and each droplet needs a nucleus to condense around. If we provide more of these cloud condensation nuclei, the same cloud reflects more sunlight, thereby deflecting solar energy away from reef waters when heat stress is at its maximum.”

Southern Cross University’s National Marine Science Centre is located on the shores of the Solitary Islands Marine Park where both tropical and temperate currents meet, a unique environment for the study of marine science. It has state-ofthe-art laboratory and field facilities, including a flow-through seawater supply system, aquaculture farm and hatchery.

It was off the coast of Townsville in 2020 that Daniel led the world’s first outdoor trial of cloud brightening technology to combat coral bleaching.

“At the time, the Great Barrier Reef had gone through three mass bleaching events in just five years,” says Daniel. “Corals were bleaching all around us while we conducted our tests. It really emphasised the extent of the problem and how little time we have. Reef bleaching has occurred again during 2022 and we were one of the first groups to raise the alarm with the Great Barrier Reef

Marine Protection Authority.”

Along with Daniel and the NMSC, researchers from the Sydney Institute of Marine Science, the University of Sydney and Queensland University of Technology were involved in testing prototype equipment developed in partnership with Italian company EmiControls.

“Using drone technology linked to a sampling vessel, it showed how we can successfully create hundreds of trillions of these sea salt crystals per second and which then float up into the atmosphere to bolster the reflectivity of existing clouds,” says Daniel.

“If the technology proves successful and could be expanded and applied over the Great Barrier Reef – a massive upscaling from the proof of concept type processes-based research the group is now undertaking – it could reduce the severity of coral bleaching during marine heatwaves by cooling and shading the corals below.”

Daniel says the benefits of cloud brightening are environmental and economic. As well as protecting against coral bleaching in a relatively cost-effective way, it also just might buy enough time for longer-term climate change mitigation to lower ecosystem stress.

“The coral used to have such vibrancy, such colour. It’s such a treasure and we run the risk of losing it.

“Even if cloud brightening works, it can still only buy us time. Unless the world shifts from its current path and prioritises green energy and carbon dioxide removal of some of our pollution already in the atmosphere, then the long-term future of the Reef looks bleak.

“It will take a marathon effort to save it. Blue sky thinking for a blue water environment. But is there a choice? I don't believe so.”

Photo: Brendan Kelaher Photo: Brendan Kelaher
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Ihave seen many clients and their families facing the same stressful situation and have helped them to navigate through to an affordable solution.

Aged care room prices are quoted as a lump sum, with prices ranging up to $2 million for a room. On average, you might expect to be quoted around $300,000 - $900,000. This might cause you to panic if you don’t have that much money sitting in a bank account or you don’t want to sell assets.

The good news is that you have choices on how to pay. You might choose to pay a lump sum, but you could also choose to pay a daily fee and effectively “rent” the room instead. With a bit of research and good advice, you can choose the option that works best for you.

The bad news however, is that with interest rates going up, the daily “rental” price – called a daily accommodation payment (DAP) – is getting more expensive.

For example, assume Mary is looking at an

aged care room with a price of $500,000. If Mary moves in before 1 October 2022, at the current interest rate of 5% per annum this converts to $68.49 per day ($25,000 per year). If she moves into care from 1 October when the rate increases to 6.31%, the same $500,000 room would cost $86.44 per day, an extra $6,550 per year.

The Government reviews and resets the interest rate each quarter, and it is on the way up. October’s increase will set this rate at its highest point since 2015 and it is likely to continue increasing if cash rates keep rising. Although once you enter care, the rate becomes fixed so that you have some certainty with your planning. Only if you move rooms or move to a new provider will the rate change.

We would expect that this increasing interest

rate may see more people make the choice to sell assets and pay the lump sum, but every family is different, so it does require full analysis of your cash flow and estate planning objectives.

If you would like to arrange a meeting to find out how I might help yours or a loved ones’ own position, call me on 0431 414 799 or email

This advice is general in nature and everyone’s circumstances are different. So it’s important to speak to someone like myself who is a licenced financial adviser (I am an Authorised Representative of Count Financial Limited AFSL 227232). As an Accredited Aged Care Professional™ I have helped many clients to make this choice. I help to find a choice that is affordable, as well as works best for the family and protects the value of the estate.

If the prices for a room in residential care have caused you alarm and led to concerns about how to find such large lump sums, you are not alone.
The good news is that you have choices on how to pay. You might choose to pay a lump sum, but you could also choose to pay a daily fee and effectively “rent” the room instead.




It is hard to believe how quickly this year is going. We have seen a change in Government and delivery of another budget. With tax season upon us, we want to make sure that we get the best tax return possible.

The tax office focus this year is on work related expense claims. You need to ensure that the following 3 things have been considered when claiming your deductions:

1. INCURRED – The expense must have been incurred in earning your income

2. NEXUS – There must be a direct nexus to your current employment &

3. RECORD KEEPING – You must have a receipt or other evidence that you have paid the expense. You cannot claim the expense if the amount has been reimbursed by your employer.

We recommend you check out the ATO app – it’s free and captures all your receipts via a photo image.

Small businesses should ensure

that their financial information is up to date, so that important decisions can be made. If you are looking for new finance arrangements, it is a good idea to have your accounts finalised so that the bank has up to date information.

On the interest rate front, we have seen a couple of rate rises this year with potentially more to come, due to the high inflation rate. It is now a good time to consider fixed rates to have some certainty for future loan repayments and to help balance the household budget.

Choosing an Accountant –why use one?

If you are self-employed, an accountant is an essential part of your team.

Or if you have had a capital gains event you should seek the advice of a professional to steer you through this complex area.

At Barry Hockey Accountants, we not only specialise in taxation, but we have extensive background skills in finance and banking.

Her Majesty The Queen touched the lives of generations of Aus tralians. Her death has saddened Australians and many around the world.

I attended the Proclamation of the Accession of King Charles III by the Governor-General in the forecourt of Parliament House, where Karen and I laid flowers to pay our respect.

The Queen was a great friend of Australia, and the North Coast visiting Evans Head, Lismore and Casino in 1954. May the memo ries of our Queen inspire the very best in us.

We offer heartfelt condolences to the Royal Family and to the people of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth.

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COFFS COAST focus 93


Resilient, reliable, honest and dedicated. These are the four words the whole team at G.J. Gardner Homes Coffs Harbour live by as they navigate the constantlychanging climate of the current building industry. The team is busier than ever, working to deliver high-quality homes right across the region. Owners Rick and Susan Fischer love everything about living in Coffs Harbour and are extremely passionate about helping locals build their dream home, whether it’s a custom design or off-the-plan.

Three Generations of Builders - Levi, Neil & Rick Moonee Beach Display Home COFFS HARBOUR
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Hi Rick, tell us about the last 12 months in business.

Since COVID-19 and the building boom business has basically tripled for us. We feel privileged to be chosen to build brand new homes for so many deserving locals but it is no secret it has not been an easy year for the industry. For us, relationships have been the key to our success during these strenuous moments.

Relationships with our customers

We have really prioritised being upfront and honest with our customers so they know exactly what is happening with their project and when. We keep in touch weekly, which is not dissimilar to what we did previously, and we do not apply extra pressure to sign a contract before we get upfront prices. We understand building a home is a significant life milestone for all of our customers, so we are dedicated to making sure they feel excited


and reassured throughout their journey with us.

Relationships with our trades

As a fifth generation builder, I also understand the importance of establishing long lasting relationships with trades and suppliers. I have been a part of the G.J. Gardner brand since 2006 and more specifically Coffs Harbour since 2013, so the connection I have built within the community definitely helped us get through the difficult times. It is hard enough as it is when you are not busy if you do not have these relationships, let alone when your business skyrockets in a matter of months.

Another benefit of being part of the G.J. Gardner brand is the support and collaboration between offices. We are backed

by a company that has built more than 36,000 customised homes and is known for reliability. We work with our customers to create a home that meets their budget and takes into account their land size and orientation, and customisation isn’t just supported but encouraged.

Between trade shortages and price increases, there has definitely been a lot more pressure on not just builders but everyone involved in the construction process. This has impacted the mental health of many people close to us, so this is an area we are going to focus on in the year ahead. We are currently looking into initiatives and challenges in a bid to raise money and support mental health charities within the industry.


We work with our customers to create a home that meets their budget and takes into account their land size and orientation, and customisation isn’t just supported but encouraged.
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What do you love about the industry?

My love for building stemmed from the passion of the generations before me. I am proud to be a 5th generation builder, and I learnt so much from my family, in particular my father, Neil. No matter how many homes we hand over, I get the same feeling of accomplishment when I see the happiness on our customers’ faces.

The exciting part is we also have a potential 6th generation builder in the works…

Something I have been mindful of is not pushing my 14 year old son Levi to go down the same path if that is not what he wanted, but recently he came to us showing interest in the industry. He has just started doing a work experience program through his high school where he does one day a week with one of our carpenters!

He is absolutely loving it and is looking at doing two days a week next year so he will finish year 10 as a second year apprentice. I am extremely proud of him and look forward to seeing where this career takes him.


Tell us about your newest display home.

Located in Moonee Beach, the Parkview 302 is perfect for growing families. It has been carefully designed so there is enough room to entertain and spend time with loved ones, while also ensuring everyone has their own space and privacy. Both the exterior and interior of the home encapsulate the sought after coastal vibe the Coffs Coast is known for.

At the front of the house you will find the central hub of the home. The stunning high specification kitchen features a large butler’s pantry and innovative window servery that opens to the alfresco. The dining room and two living areas are right near the kitchen, making it the perfect area for indoor/outdoor entertainment.

Towards the back of the home you will find

Multi Award Winning Home - Bellingen BUILDER of the MONTH Moonee Beach Display Home
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the dedicated private family zone, with four bedrooms and an activity area. The stunning master bedroom includes his and her wardrobes, and has an open ensuite with floor to ceiling tiles. The quality of this home was evident in the recent 2022 HIA Awards presentation. It won in the Kitchen in a Display Home category and was a finalist in the Bathroom in a Display Home category which we are super proud of.

Check out the display home: Monday-Sunday: 9am-4pm

49 Moonee Creek Drive Moonee Beach NSW 2450

Have you entered any other awards recently?

We have definitely been busy behind-thescenes and we have a few other award wins to show for it.

Our hard-working Construction Manager

Tara Rhoades won the below award:

• 2021 Winner in MBA for Women in Building Award

Tara is a female leader within the industry and is passionate about advocating for women in construction. Her overall dedication and development towards the growth of our business and the industry as a whole is inspiring.

And our stunning Montville Design built for a customer in Bellingen recently also gathered a lot of attention:

• 2021 Winner in MBA Awards for Contract Home $550,000-$650,000

• 2021 Winner in HIA Awards for Northern

NSW Country Home

• 2021 Winner in HIA Awards for Northern NSW Project Home over $450,000

• 2021 Winner in HIA Awards for Northern NSW Project Home of the Year

• 2021 Finalist in HIA Awards for Northern NSW Home of the Year

Have you noticed any emerging trends?

We personally believe Coffs Harbour is one of the best places to live in Australia due to the opportunities and climate on offer and it turns out we are not the only ones! With more people working from home, we have definitely noticed an increasing emphasis on people wanting a dedicated office in new builds rather than a study nook. It is also because of this we have noticed a trend in a lot of people leaving the city and moving north to Coffs. If they are in a situation where they can work from home, why wouldn’t they want to be more comfortable and do it in a place like here where we have a beautiful coastal lifestyle without lacking access to big city amenities?

Contact the G.J. Gardner Coffs Harbour team today:

02 6691 3509

171 Orlando Street, Coffs Harbour

MBA AwardsTara Rhoades (Women in Building Award) Moonee Beach Display Home MBA Awards - Rick & Susan
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Proudly supporting G.J. Gardner Homes
98 COFFS COAST focus Cetnaj Coffs Harbour 151 Orlando Street Phone 6691 6100 LIGHTING | ELECTRICAL | DATA
COFFS COAST focus 99 COFFS HARBOUR CARPET COURT 1/22 Keona Circuit, Coffs Harbour, NSW 2450 P 6652 4866 Supporting GJ Gardner’s Display Home For all your steel and construction supplies visit your local InfraBuild Steel Centre. As the only locally based Steel Wholesaler, we’re here to help with all your building and reinforcing product supply, processing and delivery. • REINFORCING • PROCESSING • FLOORING SOLUTIONS • CATTLE RAIL InfraBuild Steel Centre: Cnr Isles Drive and Elswick Street, Coffs Harbour Phone: 02 6652 3744 • STRUCTURAL • TUBULAR • BAR SECTIONS • PLATE

The Belleview

The Belleview is a contemporary home that showcases Blue Ribbon Homes’ quality, innovation and individuality. The Belleview is a unique custom designed home with a feature courtyard that embraces the casual lifestyle of beachside living.

Take the first step in making your new dream home a reality and take a walk through our beautiful display home today with our friendly team. This is a great opportunity to get to know and see for yourself the Blue Ribbon Homes promise of quality, style and value.

7 Angler Crescent, Bonville, Sawtell Commons Estate. Open Thursday, Saturday and Sunday 10am - 3pm.

COFFS COAST focus 101 Same great team. Same great showroom. Same great product. Same great service Previously Accent Bathrooms P: 02 6652 9322 E: A: 2/12 Isles Dr, Coffs Harbour Bookdesignyour consultation today!
DISPLAY HOME NOW OPEN Display Home Blue Ribbon Homes Call 6651 8144 Welcome home...

For over 30 years, I have been operating my familyowned business covering the Mid North Coast (based in Valla) and in the last 4 years, a van on the Gold Coast too.

As a 4th generation floor sander, I commenced with my dad Kevin Brighton in the early 1990’s. He was a floor sander with his own father back in 1970’s who commenced back in the 1950’s to 1960’s and operated throughout the area as Brighton n Sons on the Mid North Coast. They were also timber merchants and timber floor installers.

I commenced with my father in my 20’s and I have been floor sanding and installing ever since he pushed me to go out on my own in 1996. As a local business I believe supporting local businesses and trades are paramount for the area to keep growing. I started off with myself and one offsider, now we are 5 vans in the Mid North Coast and one in the Gold Coast. I have a team of 8 employees, and the majority of them have been working with me for over 20 years. My son Daniel and my stepson Tom also run vans here in the area and on the Gold Coast.

At Dave Brighton Floorsanding we believe in delivering a quality job every time, no job is

too big or too small.

We are a member of ATFA (Australasian Timber Flooring Association) and I won the prestigious award of “Contractor of the Year 2022’’ for Australia and New Zealand. We are also a member of the HIA (Housing Industry of Australia) and I also hold a QBCC licence. With these licences and memberships it allows me to work in all States throughout Australia and I have been involved in many disaster events, such as the Bundaberg floods (twice), Brisbane floods, Lismore floods, Coffs Harbour hail storm and various events that have occurred in the last 15 years.

I started off with myself and one offsider, now we are 5 vans in the Mid North Coast and one in the Gold Coast. I have a team of 8 employees, and the majority of them have been working with me for over 20 years.

northern side of the Gold Coast.

We offer many services, being sanding and polishing new or existing timber floors, supply and install new hardwood and prefinished engineered timber floors, decks, and stairs. We use the latest trend in polyurethane, hard wax oil, waterbased and oil-modified coatings with sheens to match your décor, with modern systems in place to make every project run as smoothly as possible. We have a mix of clients from your home owner, builders, insurance companies and Councils.

As a 4th generation family owned and operated business, our NSW office services from Macleay Valley, Nambucca Valley, Bellingen Valley and the Coffs Coast through to the Northern Rivers including Yamba, Lismore and Grafton areas through to the

Check out our website and our Instagram pages, Facebook pages for NSW and Qld or send us a quick email at dave@ with any questions or call me directly on 0447 68 33 88.

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Rising interest rates have cooled the market, which is a good thing for buyers because our market was going nuts for the past two years. We finally have a turning point in the market, which started a few months ago. Buyers who have been getting crushed in bidding wars are now seeing opportunities open up.

Going forward, sales agents will require a more concerted effort in marketing properties and managing buyer relationships.

Time on market overall will increase in the coming months. Because the pressure has eased significantly, buyers can take their time to determine which properties present true market value and which properties still have prices reflective of the past market

focus contributor.



We’ve had ultra-low inventory for the past two years, and that hasn’t really changed much, which is why days on market (if the property is priced correctly) are still low on the Coffs Coast.


The higher end of the market is softening and consequently the median price will decrease. This means there will be a higher reduction in the median price for the suburbs which have a higher top end, such as Sapphire Beach, and suburbs such as Toormina, will initially see a lower reduction in the median price.

Right now, it’s important to research and measure the active market, rather than past sales from the past few months.

Right now, it’s important to research and measure the active market, rather than past sales from the past few months.

Of course, as always, remember your due diligence and questions for the sales

agent, such as, is the property zoned as flood affected? If yes, what percentage of the parcel and has water ever entered the dwelling? Have there been any offers? If yes, how many and has the advertised price been updated to reflect any rejected offers? Why are the owners selling? Are you aware of any DA’s recently approved or pending nearby? What percentage of the surrounding houses are owner occupied? What are the current occupants paying for utilities? What is the annual insurance premium? Does it include flood insurance? Happy house hunting and Good Luck!

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An award-winning, family-owned business for both sales and customer satisfaction, Ray White Dorrigo Bellingen, are seeking a licensed marketing executive to join their Bellingen office.

You may be currently doing well as an agent, but did you know that a move to The Bellingen Valley will not only improve your lifestyle in the idyllic surrounds, but it will also grow your earnings.

Ray White is the biggest real estate group in Australasia and

people are their greatest asset. A household name that is family owned with family values. At Ray White Dorrigo Bellingen, you are given support and direction to grow a strong and rewarding career.

If you are interested in knowing more about this opportunity, we would love to discuss your ambitions and how we can go further together. All conversations with be treated in the strictest confidence. Apply to

Take your sales caree r to t he co unt ry and see it p ros per.

a move to the country will not only improve your lifestyle in idyllic surrounds, it will improve your commission rates as well?

See how Ray White Rural Bellingen can give you both as a Real Estate Sales Executive by applying in strictest confidence to

Ray White Rural Bellingen 19 Hyde St, Bellingen, NSW 2454

104 COFFS COAST focus contact us (02) 6653 9186 Suite 7A/30 Orlando St, Coffs Harbour NSW Are you confused about property prices in our changing real estate market? Are you concerned about paying too much? We know which properties are priced correctly and which properties are not, potentially saving you 10's of thousands of dollars. BEACH OR BUSH EXCLUSIVE BUYERS AGENTS
COFFS COAST focus 105 STAGE 3 NOW SELLING FROM $475,000 - $585,000 A relaxed coastal community conveniently located in the Northern Beaches of Coffs Harbour offering the best of both worlds with nature and the comfort of all amenities at your doorstep. LAND LOTS AVAILABLE FROM 600M 2 HOUSE AND LAND PACKAGES AVAILABLE Sales Office open by appointment: Moonee Creek Drive, Moonee Beach MOONEEBEACHESTATE.COM.AU ROBYN GODDARD 0499 177 277


Crystal and Sam Tate took on the challenge of building their own home as owner/builders. Sam gained his Carpentry certificate for the project and literally built their family home from the ground up, almost entirely on his own. Crystal did the painting and made the stunning leadlight windows by hand.

Hi guys. When did you decide you’d like to build a house as opposed to buying something that was move-in ready? What appealed to you about building?

We were looking at buying a house, but nothing seemed ‘right’. We wanted a bit of land, close to the beach and also to town –and it needed to be reasonably priced...

Simple to find around here right? Haha.

I grew up in Bellingen but Sam enjoyed growing up on acreage and it was important to him to have some space. Sam has always wanted to build his own house, having grown up in the home his father built. With a working joinery on his parents’ property, a master joiner as a father and a mother who made beautiful leadlights – he was surrounded by examples of people who had done this type of project before. Sam had always been drawn to work that eventually led to him having all the skills he would need and the knowledge to find out what he didn’t. He’d done geotech

work, excavation, construction and builders labouring. Even so, we never thought we would have the opportunity.

You decided to be owner-builders, how did you come to make that choice?

We spotted this scrubby steep block on the side of the (then) highway with powerline easements criss crossing all over it. When I looked into what it would cost to have someone else build the home we wanted, it was clear we couldn’t afford it. We sat down and worked through our budget and realised we could afford it, but only if Sam built it. Win-win. Luckily for us, the banks were still doing owner-builder loans, but ONLY if you were a licensed builder or a carpenter. Sam was neither. Over the next 6 months Sam achieved his certificate in Carpentry through a recognition of prior learning pathway. I knew I wouldn’t be much chop on the tools so I started to learn how to make leadlights and put my hand up to do all the painting. Did you have a clear plan on what you both wanted? What was the design process like for you?

We had lived in lots of rentals together and understood how we used our space – so we designed the smallest, simplest space possible while still including what was important. We enlisted the help of an incredible draughtsman and he helped us maximise the space we had designed. Even so, some things that seemed simple on paper became complex once we were constructing them!

It’s very special that you can now say you built your own home from the ground up, what has the journey been like overall?

It is really special and the privilege is not lost on us. Now that it’s finished, we both feel a great sense of achievement and relief. The journey was epic and it took a toll. I’m so glad we were naive as to what was to come.

I don’t know if we would have done it if we did. Like everyone else, we faced fire, flood and plague. There was a moment when the bank threatened not to write our loan, we suffered significant financial theft, emotional and physical exhaustion and didn’t see our family or friends for most of the four years it took us to build. It consumed every moment

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of our life. It has been the best and worst thing we have ever decided to do. We were really lucky and are so grateful that we were surrounded by such a supportive and wonderful family who were always willing to jump in and make things just a little bit easier. What were some challenging aspects and highlights?

Our son was three when we started, and almost eight when we finished - so watching him play in the dirt piles, ride in the machinery, hammer at nails and watch his parents work hard to achieve their dreams was really special.

The most challenging aspect was trying to balance a young family with constant and unrelenting work. Sam would often pull overnighters and sleep in a swag and then start again at first light. I was juggling being a nurse and making sure that all the things a young family requires (like food, clean clothes and playdates) were not forgotten. In the last 18 months of the build, when the bank was telling us they wouldn’t loan us the money we needed, Sam returned to work full-time AND built the house in every other waking moment. It was A LOT.

The highlights have been many. Each stage was exciting to start and even more exciting to complete – we consumed a fair few

bottles of champagne in celebration of this or that! Watching our home materialise and the spaces we had dreamed about come to life was absolute magic. Our son was three when we started, and almost eight when we finished – so watching him play in the dirt piles, ride in the machinery, hammer at nails and watch his parents work hard to achieve their dreams was really special. What things have you learnt about yourselves through the process?

Sam said the word ‘resilience’ comes to mind. I think that’s true. We have learnt that whilst we can achieve anything through hard work, we also need to prioritise balance. We are now working towards discovering what that looks like. We’ve had such a frenetic pace these past few years, it’s actually really hard to sit still – but it has happened once or twice

and it is very enjoyable when it does! What are some of your favourite features of your home?

What we love about our home most is that it is ‘us’. We love that each of the spaces was designed to accommodate our family and because we built it – there are oddities and quirky characteristics that we enjoy. For me, the view from the verandah is breathtaking. Also when the sun shines through the leadlights I made, there is a unique joy and sense of pride. For Sam, the big exposed rafter in the centre of the house and our unique internal roofline are a definite favourite.

Are there any unexpected or unplanned things you’re enjoying about the house?

Our favourite thing is that it is finished! Now we look forward to being able to slow down and actually enjoy it. It felt like our version of climbing Mt Everest – for the last two years it didn’t feel like it had been a good idea at all and that we were running out of oxygen but then once we reached the summit, the view was spectacular and suddenly all our fear and doubt and exhaustion melted away. The big question... would you ever do it again or are you both done with building?

Would we do it again? I am a clear NO. Sam says, give him four years to recover and promise him he doesn't need to work a fulltime job at the same time and he thinks he probably would.

COFFS COAST focus 107

Adjustable beds are great value because they support the natural curvature of your spine and work to create the ultimate stress relief by reducing pressure throughout the body and helping to alleviate

Enjoy the feeling of weightlessness with Zero-G which evenly distributes weight and helps promote spinal alignment for a personalised position with maximum support. Indulge in a relaxing massage to truly settle in for a serene sleep.

Currently at Harvey Norman Coffs Harbour, Sleepmaker adjustable

Discover better sleep with cutting edge technology with Sleepmaker

Come in try Medici mattresses by Sleepmaker, feel the difference, experience zero-g, have a massage you won’t be disappointed. Our Team in Harvey Norman have over 25 years’ experience combined.

COFFS COAST focus 109



It is also a time when most of us are probably more likely to be swayed by the promise of big dollars and cheap fees, as opposed to doing our homework and listening to expert opinion.

Many people think they should entrust the sale of their principal place of residence to the real estate agent who puts the highest value on it. Not necessarily so, and in many cases the absolute last thing you should do, if you want to actually sell.

Talk to people you know who have recently sold in the area, act on advice from people whose opinions you respect. Word of mouth is the best source of current information about local real estate agents or any other professional services.

Intending sellers should also obtain submissions from agents who are active in their local area. You can tell if agents are active by the number of ‘Sold’ signs they have, and by the quality of their local advertising. Choose two or three agents and get them to put their submissions in writing.

Some of the criteria to consider are, a busy well located office, level of service, specific advertising details, fees and expenses, and a commitment to feedback during the marketing programme. Make sure they show you comparable sales in your local area, no

two homes are exactly the same, but compare similar properties to your property, they give you a great indication of what you can expect.

Once you have two or three submissions you are in a position to compare apples with apples.

It’s no good going with the agent who puts the highest value on your home or offers you the lowest commission only to find out that there is obviously a reason why they are heavily discounted. Many would-be sellers see through this kind of false economy too late. Like everything else in life we don’t mind spending money as long as we get value for money. And at the end of the day it doesn’t matter how little you’re paying if you don’t sell regardless.

As hard as it is to do, do not focus on the fee or commission that the agent is going to charge you. Consider first if you think that agent and agency is the best to represent you in the sale of your property. In a nutshell, are they the agent who is going to represent your best interest, ethically and honestly and put the most amount of money in your back pocket at the end of the day. Not just a high ‘fantasy’ listing price that doesn’t reflect the true market price of your property.

One of the biggest problems in selling a home is overpricing in the beginning of the marketing campaign. The first few weeks are often crucial,

as it is during this time that the most amount of property ‘hits’ either on the internet, print media or agents buyer data bases occur. If it is overpriced and misses its target buyer range, it may be destined to stay on the market for a considerable time.

Potential buyers recognise overpriced property for what it is, this makes them cautious and decreases competition for the property. Most overpriced properties fail to attract offers and purchasers end up with the psychological edge once negotiations are under way. Take your time about choosing an agent, after all, it’s not something you do every day and you want to be confident in your choice. Do your homework and don’t be seduced by fantasy prices.

Be extremely careful of the agent who gives you the highest price and then reduces his commission in order to get your business. If he or she can’t show their worth to you, do you want them negotiating one of the major financial transactions in your life?

Never forget that for most of us our home is the largest investment we ever make. It’s our nest egg, part of our superannuation package, and our kids’ inheritance. Choose and choose wisely, if you were going to a medical specialist you wouldn’t make a decision based solely on price.

focus contributor.
110 COFFS COAST focus

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Moonee Beach Estate

47 Moonee Creek Drive, Moonee Beach.

Open Saturday to Wednesday 10am-4pm

Contact : Phillip Hitchins 0428 271 8840428 271

53 090 866

Sawtell Commons Estate

4 Angler Court, Bonville.

Open Thursday to Monday 10am-4pm

Contact : Tracey Lavelle 0434 499 829

Act Lic. No. 718748.

Lic. No. 110970C. September 2022. E33633

NSW Lic. No. 110970C QBCC Act Lic. No. 718748.
Aria 28 *Offer includes all items in the Enhance Collection, Retreat Collection, Envy Collection, Indulge Collection and Inspired Finishes. Terms & Conditions: Offer ends 5pm Wednesday 30th November, 2022. Deposit to be paid by Wednesday 30th November, 2022. Building Contract to be executed, 5% deposit paid and ready for Council/Private Certifier lodgement within 12 weeks after initial deposit has been made. Note: Not in conjunction with any other offer or discount. This promotion is not redeemable for cash or credit and cannot be substituted with other products. Perry Homes (Aust.) Pty Ltd ABN
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DREAM HOME DEAL Up to $50,000 of upgrades for only $14,990!for $14,990!*
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