Coffs Coast Focus - i145

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inside this edition


Beth O’Loughlin grew up in Bellingen and after a number of years in the hospitality industry, she has settled in Dorrigo and opened her shop Peaches



Jarred Ward is a visual artist and musician, using both as forms of self expression and exploration. Recently he has been working on creating digital portraits and making music with his band Flying Giant.

Discover more freedom at Oak Tree

After many busy years of work, kids and countless other commitments, you are finally in charge of your time. No more alarm clock! No more early mornings! You get to decide what you want to do and when, which gives you more freedom to live the way you choose.

The beauty of moving into an Oak Tree village is that you’ll enjoy more freedom. The community facilities, social activities, friendly neighbours and organised outings offered in our villages are designed to enrich your retirement and keep your social calendar as full as you choose.

Start a new chapter with Oak Tree Retirement Village Coffs Harbour and secure your future today.

Call Michelle, Village Manager, to book your village tour on 0498 768 948 .

6 Domain Drive, Coffs Harbour

Call 1300 367 155

focus 3

Start discovering tomorrow’s solutions in 2023.

Studying at Southern Cross University’s Coffs Harbour campus or the National Marine Science Centre this year will prepare you to take on tomorrow and make a real difference in the Healthcare, Science, Education or Law space of the future.

Make 2023 the year you join a university that’s transforming tomorrow.

You can study:




Occupational Therapy

Speech Pathology

Sport and Exercise Science

Psychological Science



Scan the QR code to learn more

Pathways to your Degree: Preparing for Success Program

Diploma of Health

Undergraduate Certificate in Psychological Science

Ronke: Bachelor of Nursing student

Ashlee: Bachelor of Science (Marine Systems) student.

CRICOS Provider: 01241G | TEQSA Provider: PRV12043 Australian University
faces youknow...”



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Valentine's Day TUESDAY 14 FEB

Jeremy Becker has been shooting weddings for about 5 years but his love of photography has been a lifelong affair. His work speaks for itself and he is also just a good guy to have around on your special day. Every

Rhiannon Mitchell, a Mununjali woman, and Marine Science Student at Southern Cross University is wanting to change the future for Indigenous girls and women through her mentoring program ‘Saltwater Sistas’.

Jarred Ward is a visual artist and musician, using both as forms of self expression and exploration. Recently he has been working on creating digital portraits and making music with his band, Flying Giant.

10 COFFS COAST focus 24. PFLAG - Sam Dawson 42. State of Play - Gurmesh Singh 49. Counselling Conversations - Julie Thomas 65. Education Update - Nick Johnstone 110 Real Estate - Chris Hines 50 JEREMY
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COFFS COAST focus 11 Books & Journals, Artist Linen and Canvas Rolls, Canvas stretching , Drawing, Artist Paints, Keane Clay, Artist Papers, Stationary , Brushes + more NEW STORE ART SUPPLIES Located along the Pacific Highway (next to Dunlop Tyres) 1 Everingham Place Coffs Harbour Coffs Harbour Art + Design supplies

This month we present to you our 2023 Coffs Coast Wedding Showcase which will be sought after by local couples as the essential wedding planning tool. February, the month of love and eight months out from the traditional commencement of Wedding Season, means this is a timely feature for the Wedding Industry to showcase what they have to offer future couples. We caught up with some of our favourite local suppliers.

On the Cover

Rockstar Joe Hansen is the bass player for the iconic Aussie band Grinspoon. We sat down with Joe to talk about his life on stage and behind the scenes of his incredible music career.

Inside this edition

October 2022 saw the official opening of the Shoreline Luxury Retirement Living, a state-of-art aged care and retirement village development in the heart of Coffs Harbour. With a focus on using local trades and contractors, including the main builders FM Glenn, the quality and finishes for the build are immediately noticeable from that very first step into the main foyer.

Each year we celebrate International Women’s Day where we recognise and honour the amazing contributions of women on the Coffs Coast. Six wonderful women have been selected as Finalists for the 2023 Coffs Coast Woman of the Year.

Atlas Gouverneur started making his own

speakers after discovering a love for really highend audio systems but he wasn’t able to justify the cost. He met Jason Ridgeway after starting the project and they decided to collaborate; Jason decorating the speakers with his beautiful artwork.

Women in Business - Next Month

Our special Women in Business edition allows local leaders, managers, and workers to step out in front of their brand, and celebrate the amazing work they do within their business. It’s the perfect combination of an advertisement to connect the brand and imagery, with a Q& A interview and photo to allow locals to get to know you. If you would like to be part of this feature or know someone who has a great business story, please email


Nicci Seccombe


POSTAL PO Box 286, Coffs Harbour

PHONE 0413 816 010


IG focus.mag E





Gavin Moroney



Bree McNickle

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Comments and opinions of our contributors do not necessarily reflect the opinion or view of the Publishers. All reasonable efforts have been made to trace copyright holders. Information appearing in Focus is believed to be correct at the time of going to press, however no liability will be held for inaccurate information approved or supplied by advertisers or contributors. While all care is taken it is recommended that readers confirm material including advice with individual businesses and industry professionals. Articles marked as ‘Interview or Contributor’ are non-sponsored content. 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
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Rockstar Joe Hansen is the bass player for the iconic Aussie band Grinspoon. We sat down with Joe to talk about his life on stage and behind the scenes of his incredible music career.

Hi Joe. You are the bass player of the iconic Aussie band Grinspoon, when did you first fall in love with playing music?

Music was always in our house growing up. My Mum loved Tom Waits, Elton John, Ry Cooder and of course the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. When I was in my early teens my older brother started playing guitar and my younger brother played the drums, so picking up the bass was a no brainer. We made a hell of a racket but my Mum was always very encouraging and loved hearing us play, though I’m not so sure we sounded that great! When I was about 15 the Plunderers, the legendary inner city Sydney garage rock band played at the Memorial Hall in Bellingen and they just looked so cool I wanted to be like them.....

Can you tell us about when you first came together and what the early days were like?

Well Pat and I had been knocking around for a few years in Lismore in bands, some we were in together and others separately. Phil was playing in a band with Kris in Port Macquarie and when he moved up for Uni Kris came with him. It was actually Kris’s dad,

the drum lecturer at the Uni, that suggested we join forces. So we had a few jams and entered the TripleJ Unearthed Comp with a recording on cassette which we paid for by hocking Phil’s guitar. Next minute we’d won and after a couple of years touring and two self funded EP’s we eventually signed a deal with Universal Records. It was a crazy, exciting and chaotic time. We were borrowing friends and families vans to tour, doing crazy long drives and living on next to nothing. We were always on the hunt for food. I remember bumping into Ben from Regurgitator in the Valley and he couldn’t finish his noodles so he offered them to me, it was like Christmas had come early. As for beers we would wait for the other bigger support bands to leave and if they’d left any of their rider behind in we swooped! The gigs were wild and inconsistent- sometimes we’d be great and sometimes it was like a car crash, but I think maybe that’s what people liked about us!

Other than bass guitar are there any

other instruments you play and if so what are they?

I play a bit of guitar but I’m certainly not a shredder - I regret not learning to play the keyboard when I was younger maybe I’ll make it my ambition to be able to play chopsticks by the end of the year!

Who was your greatest inspiration in the music industry?

I suppose growing up it goes back to the Plunderers, but also other Australian bands like Midnight Oil and Hunters & Collectors. When Grinspoon started we looked up to bands like Regurgitator, Shihad, Magic Dirt and You Am I. These acts were releasing amazing records and it suddenly felt like maybe we could have a crack at that too. They made it seem like anything was possible. Continued over...

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So we had a few jams and entered the TripleJ Unearthed Comp with a recording on cassette which we paid for by hocking Phil’s guitar.

Can you share some of your most memorable moments from when Grinspoon took off and you were touring and playing some big gigs?

The Big Day Out shows were always massive, rubbing shoulders with some of the biggest bands in the world was incredible. I remember looking over my shoulder halfway through a set and seeing Flea from Red Hot Chili Peppers watching us - I shat myself! The Firefight show in 2020 in front of 75,000 people at ANZ Stadium was another memorable gig where bands had 15 minute sets. Because It was live on TV to millions of viewers there was a massive red light on the side of the stage that gave you a 30 second warning before you had to finish or they’d just cut you off and go to an ad. As well as the TV stuff we were being recorded live for a CD to add to the pressure. No sound check just wheel our stuff on and hope for the best! What is one of the craziest stories you have from being on tour?

I once saw Eminem get kicked off stage whilst I was on it - that was pretty weird! I was onstage doing a group singalong with Suicidal Tendencies on the Warped tour in 1999, and they didn’t want him up there cause he was very unsociable the rest of the time, so the guitarist Mike wrapped Eminem up in his guitar cord before booting him off. Another one was when we opened the Closing Ceremony at the Melbourne Commonwealth Games in 2006. Pat started the show standing on the roof of the MCG doing a blistering solo as he flew down to the stage on a flying fox, complete with fireworks coming out the end of the guitar. As

he hit the stage a bunch of pyrotechnics and smoke went off and we kicked into Hard Act to Follow. Not bad for a guy who isn’t a stunt man!

had the unique experience of working onsite at Splendour for a couple of weeks before jumping up on the mainstage on the Sunday night and playing to a packed amphitheatre - it was surreal!

You have been a Coffs Coast local for some time. As someone that has toured internationally what made you decide to make the Coffs Coast home rather than anywhere else?




some of the biggest bands in the world was incredible. I remember looking over my shoulder halfway through a set and seeing Flea from Red Hot Chili Peppers watching us...

You have had some time where you haven’t been performing much yourself, but you haven’t been far from the stage. Can you tell us about some of your work as a Stage Manager and working on festivals?

When Grinspoon took a break in 2013 I was looking for something else to do so I started to get into working on the other side of the fence and I can honestly say I had no idea how much hard work went on to putting on a festival. It’s so much easier just turning up and playing for an hour! We’d played our last gig of the tour in Brisbane, had a little after party and then after a couple of hours sleep I was donging in star pickets at the Falls Festival in Byron! Since then I’ve been working on several different events like Festival of the Sun in Port Macquarie, the BBQ event Meatstock, Splendour in the Grass and CMC Rocks. Each one has different roles ranging from production and stage managing, to being part of a site crew and camp marshalling. All different and with different challenges but as long as you have a good team it’s always fun and really rewarding. The friendships you make and the bonds formed are lifelong. Last year I

Coffs Coast is the best! We have amazing unspoilt and often deserted beaches, marine parks, and hinterland and great national parks to explore. It’s such a laidback and relaxed lifestyle. I love travelling and experiencing different cultures, in fact I think that it’s really important, but to be able to come home to this area is really special.

You have played with the band quite a few times in recent years, what has it been like getting back on stage?

I’m so appreciative to be still able to get on stage and have such a great fanbase to play to. To still be onstage with the same four blokes that kicked off in Lismore in 1995 really makes me proud. We’ve had some ups and downs but we still genuinely enjoy each others company and every gig these days is a lot of fun. We‘ve also honed the craft down over the years and no longer have the car crash gigs - well hopefully not anyway!

If you didn’t have a career in music and Grinspoon never took off, what do you think you would be doing?

Well I’d originally chosen to do to a Science degree in Sydney after Year 12 but changed it last minute to Music in Lismore so I guess given my love of the outdoors I’d probably be doing the classic Marine Biology or something similar. As much fun as that would’ve been I’m not sure it would’ve been quite the ride we’ve had in Grinspoon!

Thanks Joe.

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The Big Day
always massiverubbing

To still be onstage with the same four blokes that kicked off in Lismore in 1995 really makes me proud - we’ve had some ups and downs but we still genuinely enjoy each others company and every gig these days is a lot of fun.


Two of the hardest working men in show business Ed Kuepper & Jim White return for a short series of duo shows this summer.

When 3rd February Where Jetty Theatre Tickets


Community sports and free pizza by Dominoes, all young people and families welcome When Every 2nd Thursday starting 9th February Where Toormina Skate Park


Offbeat presents Thirsty Marc and special guests! Thirsty Merc are unquestionably one of Australia’s finest live acts. When 18th February Where Hoey Moey Tickets


Come sit with them under the trees at Yarrawarra and learn the various traditional weaving techniques of the Gumbaynggirr People. When Each Sunday of the month

Where Yarrawarra Cultural Centre Time 10am until 12pm


BANG, let’s go! In January, February, March & April 2023, Boo Seeka is jumping in the tour van and playing a HUGE run of shows around regional Australia. When 16th February Where Jetty Beach House Tickets $38.50 from Oztix


Every idea on Steve-O’s Bucket List was so ill-advised, he never expected to go through with any of them. Until it was time to prepare for this tour. Not for kids, or for the faint of heart. This is an X-rated show. Patrons (and employees) under the age of 18 are not permitted on the premises. When 28th February Where C.ex Coffs Tickets $60$120 from

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F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 3



Atlas Gouverneur started making his own speakers after discovering a love for really high-end audio systems but not being able to justify the cost. He soon found that others loved the idea but didn’t have the knowledge that he had, and so he started The Speaker Project; supplying kits and instructions for those looking to make their own set of high quality speakers. He met Jason Ridgeway after starting the project and they decided to collaborate with Jason decorating the speakers with his beautiful artwork. Jason’s traditional indigenous paintings turn a piece of equipment into a work of art.

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Hi Guys. Atlas can you tell us a bit about how the Speaker Project got started and where the idea came from?

The idea really started a decade ago, when I heard a high-end audio system for the first time. I had never heard recorded music sound so real. You know that


feeling you get when you see your favorite band live, well, it was like that but played off a record.

I soon discovered such a system was way outside of what I could ever afford, good speakers can easily exceed $10k. But, I soon learnt that the DIY speaker hobby was the affordable way to get great sound.

This led me on a decade long journey of building my own and chasing that high fidelity sound that I first heard. The loudspeakers I developed after years of practice had all the sonic characteristics of the expensive speakers found at the high-end audio stores, but more than that, I felt proud of what I made, and this is something that money can’t buy.

After years of doing it as a hobby some mates of mine asked if I could put on a speaker building session for them. I was hesitant in doing it to be honest, but with some encouragement I did it, and you know what, it was an absolute blast!

Seeing everyone enjoy the process and the sense of achievement gained was the moment that made me think, I want to do this again. And this was the very moment that The Speaker Project was born.

How does the project work and what makes it unique?

I think what makes The Speaker Project unique is that it’s the only inperson speaker building course on the planet right now. But more than that, it sets out to make speaker building easily accessible as all the material and tools are provided along with my guidance.

I used to only run inperson courses both in Sydney and on my parents’ farm. Then COVID came along, which prompted me to make a series of instructional videos so people could enjoy the process from their home. I think the most important part has been focusing on making the course fun and achievable for everyone no matter their skill level.

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Seeing everyone enjoy the process and their sense of achievement gained was the moment that made me think, I want to do this again. And this was the very moment that The Speaker Project was born.

How long would you say it has taken you to perfect the speaker design?

One of the toughest parts of the DIY speaker hobby is developing a design that sounds good and works well with all genres of music. For instance, the Trohet’s, which are my flagship model, have taken six years to perfect.

Is the course the only way people can get your speaker designs?

I’ve recently started building speakers to suit people who don’t have the time to build them. People can choose from a range of timbers and stains to suit their taste.

How did the two of you come together to collaborate on this project?

We met on my parents’ farm (Nulla Nulla

know that Atlas produced speakers. He approached me with the idea and we went back and forth for a little while and the artwork and speakers were delivered.

Blacksmith Farm), which is 65 km west of Kempsey. Jason was there painting an abstract birds-eye view of the farm. One of the key features of the painting is that the river is in the form of a snake.

We chatted and shared our thoughts and experiences with working on the things that bring us joy. The conversation soon progressed to the idea of Jason painting the exterior of the speakers in Indigenous-themed artwork. I think the idea is symbolic of how music brings people together, both in Australian indigenous culture and other cultures too.

Jason, you have actually created artworks on many different mediums, what has it been like working with the speakers?

Yes I have created artworks on a number of different mediums from surfboards, skateboard decks, helmets, footy boots, didgeridoo, boomerangs, signage, canvas, tables, artworks turned into clothing for fashion shows, and for sport community groups, schools, and now speakers. Working on the speakers was a new challenge but one that I accept with open arms. I had to paint one face at a time.

Can you tell us about the collaboration between the two of you and what you enjoy about being a part of it?

Atlas is an amazing person. He has a lot of experience with life in general and has a great nature. I didn’t know that Atlas produced speakers. He approached me with the idea and we went back and forth for a little while and

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I didn’t

the artwork and speakers were delivered.

How do you come up with new designs for the speakers, and what is your design process like for each one?

Coming up with new design concepts for the speakers is pretty easy. It’s all about coming together, gathering, sharing experiences and gaining knowledge. Music does this and art also does it, so what better way to appreciate that than to produce an exceptional product then to put this into an artwork that tells that type of story.

How long does each set of speakers usually take you to paint?

If I’m in the zone they could take me 5-7 days with dry time for each face.

Where can people check out the Speaker Project, view some of your work or get in touch?

The Speaker Project can be found on Instagram. If anyone wants to learn more about our collaboration, details can be found on the website

People can also listen to the speakers at the Ikigai Art Gallery at Crescent Head or by contacting Atlas or Jason directly via email: or

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This month I wanted to highlight World Pride which has been secured in our very own backyard of Sydney from the 17 February and has the most amazing events scheduled around the famous Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras that is celebrating 45 years since its inception.

Sydney World Pride wants to ensure as many people as possible can attend their events to enjoy and engage with this Festival so check out their website for the events and ticketing and assistance with purchasing these as well -

“No matter where you’re from, who you are, or what you like to do for fun, your community is here for you!”

They also have listed a huge amount of support groups from all around Australia and of course PFLAG + is there.

As they say “Getting involved in groups is a great way to connect and meet like-minded folk or get support during a tough time”.

I cannot stress enough how the last seven years of being a part of this group has helped myself and many others. We have kept this group very

casual without any real structure except for sharing information, connecting families with others who have had similar situations and we have seen very positive results. Friendships have been formed, people have felt heard and supported and this has helped our young loved ones. To educate each other and change views within our families and then to the wider community is exactly what PFLAG + has achieved! I’m so proud to think that we have helped each other to the absolute benefit of our community. It’s not always easy to address such raw emotions surrounding what can be experienced as a family and our group has had its fair share of pain through stories of homophobia and transphobia, but we have all found comfort in each other as we have been able to share experiences and suggest ways to overcome situations. There are also great people out there

and we share all the positives as well and I love when you see the transformations in our families from being “lost” and finding how to best support their young one to travelling through their issues to come out the other side. As a group we share other information that may be helpful at a local level that you cannot always find online and it’s the personal face to face connection that cannot be beaten.

If you have ever wanted to know more, please reach out. We have a private group on FB where people connect by safely asking questions and anyone can also call me. We have local support groups for young ones like BYP (Be Young and Proud) that meets twice a month, so check out Groundworks Youth Hub on socials to find out more or call me.

PFLAG+ is here to give help, support and share information to families, friends and everyone in the LGBTIQAP+ community right here on the Coffs Coast.

PFLAGcoffscoast (private, safe closed group) 0417 861 045

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focus contributor.
As a group we share other information that may be helpful at a local level that you cannot always find online and it’s the personal face to face connection that cannot be beaten.


Chocolate Brownie from Coast Hotel

Steve-O (a.k.a. Stephen Glover) was willing to do whatever it took to become famous, even if it meant stapling his testicles to his leg. After failing miserably at the University of Miami and couchsurfing with friends, he decided that in order to further his goal of becoming a stuntman he would enrol in Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Clown College. But it was his relentless attention seeking that ultimately led to working with Johnny Knoxville on a new stuntbased reality show called Jackass. In 2000, MTV aired the first season and the rest, as they say, is history. Since then, he’s had continued success, as a New York Times bestselling author with the release of his memoir, ‘Professional Idiot’, as well as establishing himself in the world of stand-up comedy. With fourteen years of sobriety under his belt, Steve-O shows no signs of slowing down. He can currently be found selling out theatres across the U.S. and Canada on The Bucket List tour, a multimedia stand-up comedy show like no other. In 2022, he rejoined Knoxville and the rest of the Jackass crew for the film ‘Jackass Forever’, which opened #1 at the box office, and released his second book A Hard Kick In The Nuts: What I Learned From A

Lifetime Of Terrible Decisions.

Steve-O regularly produces content for his YouTube channel which routinely racks up millions of views, and his ‘Wild Ride with Steve-O’ podcast has proven to be a fan favourite with guests like Post Malone, Demi Lovato, Shaq, Tom Delonge from Blink 182, and more.

Steve-O has described the performance as containing all of the stories and stunts from his sordid stardom.The raspy-voiced stuntman and career comedian known for his roles on the hit MTV show Jackass along with the spin-off Wild Boyz, most recently appeared in Jackass Forever (2022). The real catch for audiences is that The Bucket List content was too crude for the Jackass crew, so you KNOW that the xxx 18+ rating is absolutely warranted.

He’s had continued success, as a New York Times best-selling author with the release of his memoir, ‘Professional Idiot’, as well as establishing himself in the world of stand-up comedy.

The Bucket List Tour was first announced in 2018 for North American audiences, but has had a rocky history with shows in Canada and North America impacted by the pandemic during the past few years. Steve-O has yet to confirm whether other Jackass stars will make cameo appearances during his Australian tour, with co-stars such as Jason ‘Wee-man’ Acuña and Jackass lead Johnny Knoxville appearing in US iterations of the show. Steve-O’s tour coincides with the release of his second book, A Hard Kick in the Nuts: What I’ve Learned from a Lifetime of Terrible Decisions which hit shelves in September last year after the New York Times Bestseller status of his memoir, Professional Idiot.

Between his podcast, Steve-O’s Wild Ride! and his booming YouTube channel which has amassed 6.3 million subscribers, he has managed to keep adding stand-up dates.

Catch Steve-O at Cex Coffs on Tuesday 28th February. Tickets range from $60 to $120 and are available from

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*Selected cocktails apply, available during February.

Gary Puckett and the Union Gap are a band etched in Rock ‘n’ Roll history boasting six consecutive gold records in a career that started in 1968 and still remains very prominent to this day.

They continue to tour the world in a show that is loaded with hits including “Young Girl” “Woman, Woman” “Lady Willpower” and “Over You.” Gary Puckett and the Union Gap maintain a busy touring schedule, constantly touring the United States and Europe in a show that is packed with rock

‘n’ roll energy and vocal excellence. Gary’s velvet voice is complimented perfectly with the vocal harmony and musical perfection of the Union Gap in a show that delivers the raw sixties sound that can only be associated with live music at it’s best. Gary Puckett and the Union Gap will be touring Australia in February 2023.

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Emanuele Cereda & Leonid Pantani are the new owners of Bellingen Pasta. They are both originally from Italy and met working together as chefs in Melbourne. They left the city and moved to Dorrigo and when the opportunity came up to take on the pasta business they decided it was perfect for them!

Hey Emanuele, tell us how you came to be the owners of Bellingen Pasta?

Leo and I had met working together in Melbourne as chefs. We shared a passion of one day wanting to open a food business ourselves and express our love for the kitchen and for cooking. We briefly had a restaurant in St. Kilda for about 2 years but then we both decided to move from the big city and look for a quieter life, and that’s when we found Dorrigo. After a few years break, enjoying and reconnecting with nature, we were missing and very keen to head back and get in the kitchen again. We decided to be employees for other businesses while we were to get on our feet, save some money and look at putting ourselves together to run a business ourselves. Then we decided that markets would be great and a fun adventure, and in that journey we discovered a business called Bellingen Pasta that made and sold pasta was up for sale, and we jumped at this opportunity. It was perfect for us!

When did you get involved and what made you decide you wanted to take on this business? Our love for traditional Italian food

and at the time, we found the area needed more options for good quality food. We saw Bellingen Pasta was established with somewhat of a client base and decent machinery to start working. Leo and I are extremely hard workers, so we saw there was great potential for growth with our commitment and devotion. Plus, doing what we love we can also share and bring good Italian food to our community. We purchased Bellingen Pasta in October 2021.

Where did your love of pasta originate from? We are Italian! Need we say more? We are from Italy, we grew up with it. Since we can remember we’ve been eating pasta every day, at least once a day. We learned all the different shapes and sauces and why some sauces go better with certain shapes and not with others, why some shapes need to be extruded and some have to be sheeted,

why certain shapes have to be thicker or thinner. I guess the answer is that it came a bit from our culture and a lot from the countless opportunities it gives you to turn such a simple meal made with flour and water or eggs into something that looks and tastes completely different every time. If done with the due respect for food it can be turned into a rich meal that you can find in the best quality restaurants. Have you had much experience in the food industry before this? Yes, we both have been cooking for many years. I went to cooking school in Italy from the age of 15 and started working in a kitchen then. Leo started working in his family restaurant when he was 14.

You’re both from different regions in Italy, how does the way Australians do pasta differ from how it’s done in Italy? Pasta in Italy is traditionally poor people's food as

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Pasta is like music, somedays you want something lighter to just keep you going. Sometimes you want something more filling, depending what you feel like there is always pasta that can make you happy.
Emanuele Cereda & Leonid Pantani

Italian food is, most of the time, traditional recipes created by some Mamma at home trying to make something different every day so the kids won't complain. In Italy most sauces are made using a few simple ingredients and flavoured just by using fresh herbs. I think in Australia, most people cook with too many ingredients and don’t try to simply enhance the flavours of what they use. Most of the time in cooking, balance is the key. By adding too many ingredients you risk simply making a mess that might be tasty, but is also a waste of ingredients as you can’t really taste any of them anymore.

Can you talk us through the process of making such amazing pasta and sauces? Understanding the ingredients, learning the flavours, a lot of practice and the strive to always improve. Lots of recipes we make have changed from the first time we made them, with ingredients always being slightly different. A lot goes into learning how they interact with each other and what’s the best way to use them to make them do what you need. How do you come up with new recipes and ideas? Is there much trial and error involved in the kitchen? The recipes are traditional. We are on a journey to try and discover why certain flavours become so famous. We take original recipes from home and usually stick to the original way because that’s why they became so famous in the first place. Certain skills are

transported from generation to generation and unfortunately, we didn’t have that for a lot of the bigger production side. We know how to make pasta with a home machine but from there we had to learn to adapt the recipe to different machines and see what environment is needed to create dry pasta. We had nobody to teach us so we had to learn the hard way - 20 kgs at a time, trial and error.

How do you best enjoy your pasta when cooking for yourself? I love pasta in every type of way. I like to change it everyday, not have it the same twice in a row. We have pasta several times a day. There are so many different shapes. Pasta is like music, somedays you want something lighter to just keep you going and sometimes you want something more filling. Depending on what you feel like, there is always pasta that can make you happy.

Where would you like to take Bellingen Pasta heading into the future? We would like to expand and bring our products to more places and a wider area. Lots of people have asked when we will be opening a restaurant, but at the moment we are trying to create a good foundation for our business by expanding our customer base and we will always strive to make sure we are creating the best product we can.

Maybe in the future we’ll think about a restaurant...

Thanks Guys.

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$15 from just


One of the absolute gems on the Cocktail Menu at Element Bar on the Coffs Jetty Strip is this little blue delight, Smurf Tears. With it’s delicate blend of cherry cognac liqueur, citrus vodka, sour apple liqueur, fresh lemon juice and house syrup, not only does it look amazing on the eye, but is one of the most delicious & unique flavour surprises you’ll ever taste !! An absolute must-try for any cocktail lover!!

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Beth O’Loughlin grew up in Bellingen and after a number of years in the hospitality industry, becoming a pastry chef and gaining experience from Melbourne to Peru, she has settled in Dorrigo with her gorgeous young family and opened her shop Peaches Patisserie where she makes and sells the yummiest assortment of pastries you’ll find in the region!

Hi Beth. What first sparked your love of baking? Hi! I have loved baking ever since I was little. I was always finding dessert tables and gorgeous little cakes in illustrated childrens books and imagined bringing them to life! My family put up with a lot of experimental baking.

At what point did you decide this was something you’d like to pursue as a career? It’s something I had always thought about. I worked in hospitality and kitchens when I was a teenager, but it took until I was 20 to jump into it properly.

What is the process of becoming a pastry chef and what sort of training do you have to do? There are a couple of pathways to becoming a pastry chef. You can complete a Tafe/vocational course or, like I did, complete an ‘in workplace’ apprenticeship.

If you choose an apprenticeship, it’s important to try and position yourself where you’re going to get the most experience in the area you want to be in (restaurant service, bakeries, patisseries, chocolatiers etc). There are plenty of resources and courses for further education as an already qualified pastry chef. There is a huge difference between what is taught in basic pastry education and what the industry leaders are creating, so there is always more to learn!

I’ve worked in restaurants, 5 star hotels, bakeries and cafes but it’s taken me as far as Peru to make chocolate!

hotels, bakeries and cafes but it’s taken me as far as Peru to make chocolate! Having a taste of different positions has definitely helped me to understand my strengths and what I love to make. You have recently opened your own shop Peaches Patisserie in Dorrigo, has this been something you have envisioned doing for a long time and what was your vision for the shop?

Can you tell us a bit about your background in the industry and where it’s taken you so far? I started my apprenticeship locally before moving to Melbourne for more experience. I’ve worked in restaurants, 5 star

Peaches has been in my mind for as long as I have been making pastry! The vision for it has changed over time as I’ve moved and had kids but essentially it has always been a dream to have a small shop, filled with delicious sweets (and a chance to finally use the vintage crockery and aprons I’ve been collecting for

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way too long).

Can you tell us about the pastries you make? And do you have a favourite? The menu at Peaches is always changing. There are sweet pies, doughnuts, cakes and Viennoiserie (this is the name given to laminated, yeasted pastries).

I make a buttermilk dough which is used for all of the croissants, danishes and savoury pastries.

Making laminated doughs has always been my favourite. There are so many stages in the recipe process that need to come together correctly to make them perfect and there are endless possibilities when it comes to flavours. Even though I’ll always love to make and eat croissants, the customers at Peaches have declared the creme brûlée doughnut to be the firm favourite for almost everyone else!

What has the reception from the community been like to the new shop? The reception from everyone has been incredible! From the moment I arrived in town and began bringing Peaches to life I have been encouraged and supported by the whole community.

I am so grateful to be part of such a community minded area that sees the value in small business.

What do you enjoy most about what you do? I love making people smile, and you wouldn’t believe how many people smile while eating pastries.

What are your goals or dreams for Peaches Patisserie heading into the future? At the moment, Peaches is only open Saturday and Sunday, I would love to open more days so people have a chance to sit and enjoy a slice of cake or pastry outside of the

busy weekend trade. The most important thing for me is that as my business grows, it remains sustainable for my small family. A happy business owner means a happy working environment and I think that always shows in the final product.

Where can people find out more about Peaches Patisserie and what delicious treats are you whipping up next? You can head over to the Peaches Patisserie Instagram or Facebook page for information on each weekend’s sweet treats. Better yet, head up the mountain on the weekend and stop for pastries on your way to find a waterfall! Thanks Beth.

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I’ll always love to make and eat croissants, the customers at Peaches have declared the creme brûlée doughnut to be the firm favourite for almost everyone else!


Boo Seeka is heading to Coffs Harbour and playing at the Jetty Beach House on the 16th February! We had a chat with him ahead of the show. Expect a fun night of letting go, enjoying some good music and good vibes!

Hey Boo. When would you say you first discovered your love of music?

I started the same as probably a lot of other people, whether it's playing music or just a love of listening to music, and that was through my parents growing up. My Mum and Dad had a very big music collection, so there was always music in the house, music in the car, music everywhere I guess. Listening to the classics, stuff like the Beatles, Neil Young, Tracy Chapman, Led Zeppelin, Supertramp, a bit of everything. We were always listening to music. I just kind of started from there.

Have you ever done any formal music training or are you self taught?

Mum and Dad bought me a second hand guitar when I was 8. I don’t think they really thought much of it, I think they just bought it because I was always listening to music.

Then I just found myself sitting in front of the speakers, figuring out what I was hearing, you know, getting bounced back to me. It was probably about two and a half years later they asked me if I wanted to do some guitar lessons and I was super keen. But about two lessons in I had frustrated the guitar teacher so much because I knew what I was doing, but I didn't know what I was doing! So when it came to the theory side of things the guy gave up. So I've had two guitar lessons in my life. When it comes to singing I was in a band prior to Boo Seeka with my high school best mates. None of us wanted to sing at the time so my mate's father got five straws out and whoever drew the shortest straw learnt how to sing, and that was me. So my singing career comes down to that day where I drew the shortest straw and I’d never had a singing lesson in my life. Can you tell us a bit about your process when you’re creating a song or album?

I think you'll hear a lot of creative people

probably say the same thing, I don't think there's really a straight up process for any of us. I don't think we do the same thing over and over again. I think it's a time and a place that something comes to you or a certain way you go about writing something. When I wrote the first three singles for Boo Seeka I was coming off the back of the news that the guys from my old band didn't want to do it anymore and for me, I thought life was over. But I thought well, I don't really have anything else in life, I don't want to do anything else in life other than write music and I literally wrote Kingdom Leader, Fool and Deception Bay in probably a week after they told me that they didn't want to do it anymore. So off the back of that I was writing about me taking over my own career, my own life, my own kingdom, and finally doing what I wanted to do. I went into a studio and recorded them all in two days and stuck them out a week later, and heavens above, Triple J picked them up and started playing it and I was literally on the road a week later and

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didn't stop touring for three and a half years until COVID. Where do you draw a lot of your inspiration from?

I really do believe that most songwriters are, it’s a bit of a cliche saying, but we really are like a sponge. You could literally be walking down the street, whether it's a thought in your brain that comes to you or visually something that happens right there in front of you, I think you're always sucking up inspiration. I think for me personally, it always needs to mean something, it needs to have meaning for me. I think I use songwriting as a way to get out all the pressure that I seem to build up within my brain and in my heart and it's a very easy way to let go of that. I'm a bit of a procrastinator and I definitely overthink things a lot of the time so to be able to write a song and verbally get it out of me, I think it helps quite a lot. You’re currently on a big Australian tour, what do you enjoy most about being on the road and playing in lots of different areas/venues?

When COVID was here that honestly was the hardest 2.5 years of my life. Boo Seeka, and even the band prior to that, had been touring literally since I was eighteen and I've been playing four shows a week since then and have never got sick of it. And then coming out of that band into Boo Seeka and getting to tour the world, meant in my eyes I'd made it. You kind of set goals as a kid of what you want to do, and for me at that point, it was touring the world and being able to pay my rent off music, and I accomplished both of those. But when it got taken away from me it was honestly the hardest thing I had to go through because I tend to steer away from normality, I don't like doing the same things every day, I like being inspired. Touring is one of those things that does inspire me, being in a different place in a different scenario in a different city. It all helps me with writing so being able to do these

tours, and go and play a regional tour just off the back of doing a capital city run. I've always loved playing regional tours and I love experiencing a different crowd every night. I also still haven't really figured out the person that I I seem to turn into on stage and I think it's almost like a way I get to let go of whatever it is that is building up inside of me. It's like an expression, but I don't put it on. I mean, I still see footage of myself on stage and scratch my head and go ‘who the hell do I turn into on stage’ but when I get off stage I feel what some people might get from doing yoga or going for a surf in the morning, you feel cleansed. And for me, having that hour on stage, I get to let go of everything and feel reenergized when I get off stage. So that's why I like touring.

What can people expect from this show?

I just want people to have fun. I want people to come and whether they are coming just to have fun or if they’ve had a really crappy week at work, I want people to come and forget about all of that for an hour and just enjoy a room full of people that enjoy music, and dance and sing and let go. I can't wait. We hear you’re also a bit of a foodie, do you like to cook yourself or are you more of a discovering-new-restaurants-andfood-spots kind of guy?

A bit of both really. I've been cooking for a long

time now, probably from when I was seven or eight. My parents worked very long hours so by the time I was seven or eight I'd have food on the table for the family when they got home from work. I was in the kitchen at a very young age just being taught from Mum and Dad to be able to cook and put different flavours together. And obviously when I was touring with my old bands and not having money, my way of showing my appreciation to people that let us crash on their couches was to cook, and most of them would say I just use whatever's in the fridge and in the cupboard. So I was very good at always being able to put something together. Now, again, it's almost like another outlet for me to cook. I'm in the studio every day now writing the next record and can't wait to come home and pour myself a glass of wine and cook. It's relaxing for me. It's another really amazing part of touring too, most of my off time when I’m not doing interviews or soundcheck or travel time in between, it's always going to different places in the world and finding the best restaurants or the best produce, butchers or seafood markets and buying food and going back and cooking for the crew and the band.

Where can people listen to Boo Seeka or find tickets for your show?

Tickets for all the regional shows can be found on our website, or the links through our Facebook and Instagram or through all the venue's websites and Instagram and Facebook. And you can literally listen to us on every streaming service in the world.

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I also still haven’t really figured out the person that I seem to be on stage and I think it’s almost like a way to let go of whatever it is that is bulding up inside me.



Six wonderful women have been selected as Finalists for the 2023 Coffs Coast Woman of the Year. The winner will receive $1,500 for her Project, with the runner-up receiving $1,000.

Each year on 8 March, three major Women’s groups, - Zonta Coffs Harbour Inc, BPW Coffs Coast (Business & Professional Women) and the Coffs Coast Business Women’s Network (BWN) work together to create this event.

The guest speaker for our 2023 Breakfast is Jaz Rawlinson – Jaz is a remarkable woman, she has dedicated much of her life to helping others through trauma, family and domestic violence and even human trafficking, by sharing her own


Lily Isobella will once again be our Master of Ceremonies on Wednesday 8 March 2023.


Doris is a committed Community Advocate for the less fortunate members of our community.

In her life Doris has overcome Anorexia fuelled by the need to constantly exercise. This was in response to her father’s passing, and it was her way of grieving that loss.

Over an eight-year period and many admissions to Mental Health units, family and friends abandoning her, Doris worked on and continued the road to recovery.

From these events she came to understand

the needs of people in the community that are homeless, lost their way in life or just need someone to talk to.

Doris is a leader for the community, making change happen in a large range of projects in our community. Doris also organises the Christmas Lunch for the homeless each year which attracts approximately 110 guests with 45 volunteers assisting on the day.

Doris believes that her journey with Anorexia has helped her find her purpose in life.


Jo-Anne is currently the CEO of Baringa Private Hospital and the Ramsay Surgical Centre in Coffs Harbour.

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She started her career as a registered nurse and has worked across most areas of the hospital. Jo-Anne set up the Mental Health Unit at Baringa Hospital during 2012. She encourages her fellow staff and management to give back to the community by raising monies for Pete’s Place, Women’s Refuges and the Soup Kitchen.

Outside of work, Jo-Anne supports the Cerebral Palsy Association and has fundraised for school projects while on committees.

Jo-Anne is extremely supportive of women developing themselves to where they want to be, either professionally and or personally.

Jo-Anne’s aim is to provide the medical services to the Coffs Coast community they require without travelling to a metropolitan area for treatment and support.


Rani is a connection leader, bringing women together. She is a dedicated advocate for women in the maternal stages and is committed to diversity and inclusion.

Rani’s business is for the ‘Mumma’. This started as she was putting together gift baskets for her friends when they had their child. These gift baskets focus on the Mumma and what they need post-partum.

Soon people were asking Rani to put a basket together for them and this is how her business grew.

Rani is also the developer of ‘The Village’ Coffs Coast. The Village focuses on creating connection and community, offering an online business directory, support groups, and online forums, along with events where guest practitioners share their knowledge. This is a huge benefit for new or existing mums to connect and support each other. Rani facilitates the online forum as well as catch ups and quarterly Village gatherings.


Sophie is the owner of Tallow & Tide Coffs

Harbour. Her philosophy is to shop local and shop ethically, which is the underlying ethos of her business.

Her business supports local and ethical designers including craftspeople.

As a passionate business owner, Sophie advocates and speaks loudly about ethical consumption, and mental health awareness.

On top of being a mum, running a business and finding balance earlier last year during the March Lismore floods, Sophie was instrumental in creating a groundswell of support for the people of Lismore and surrounds enabling a quick response from our community to theirs.

By engaging directly with those communities through her network of contacts and friends or others she was able to find out what people needed immediately and ensured that happened.


Vigeeta is the Regional Coordinator for the Coffs Harbour Humanitarian Settlement Program.

This program supports newly arrived refugees to the region. The program aids/assists members to find a home, seek employment or establish a small business.

Vigeeta came to Coffs Harbour from Fiji fourteen years ago, so is aware of transitioning into a new community where you do not know anyone or

know where to start.

Vigeeta formerly worked for Anglicare where she was engaged as the Housing Officer and settling refugees into housing and work opportunities.

Vigeeta works closely with other stakeholders to ensure a holistic program has successful outcomes.


Yvonne is the founder of ‘Go Girls’ Coffs Harbour. This group was created for women over 55 some fifteen years ago, following her retirement.

Yvonne saw a gap in the social network of newcomers to the Coffs Coast. Many people make the move here without knowing anyone and Go Girls Coffs Harbour fills that niche.

Activities such as monthly dinners, picnics, group travel, exercise classes, theatre, shows and special events such Melbourne Cup Lunch aim to bring the group together and enjoy each other’s company.

Go Girls have raised funds for many organisations and charities such as Hope for the Homeless, St Vincent de Paul, Pete’s Place, Salvation Army, Coffs Coast Cancer Council, and Breast Cancer.

Tickets can be purchased at:

The 2023 International Women’s Day will focus on the theme #EmbraceEquity

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Jaz is a remarkable woman, she has dedicated much of her life to helping others through trauma, family and domestic violence and even human trafficking, by sharing her own experiences.


As a 30-something Dad, as someone who grew up here, and as an elected Member of Parliament, the last few years were a wake-up call. I have never been so grateful for the extraordinary way of life we enjoy here on the Coffs Coast.

The summer so far has been warm, dry and sunny, and at the time of writing, relatively uneventful when compared to the last few years.

While it is now a cliché, the truth remains that we have battled a crippling drought, followed by one of the worst bushfire seasons on record, and now record flooding – and in the last few years a global pandemic which still affects most of our lives on a daily basis.

But this summer felt different on the Coffs Coast – the weather was near perfect and without the events that have punctuated other years, I was able to reflect on the previous few years.

The one thought that stands out for me is that I wouldn’t have wanted to be anywhere else in the world over the last few years.

And although I’m grateful for our extraordinary way of life it’s not to say we shouldn’t be

striving for improvement. Our tolerance for mediocrity is far too high. Our tolerance for inertia in this regard is higher still. But we have to continue to fight this inertia. What does this mean in practice?

It means getting on with the bypass and clearing some of the congestion through the CBD to allow it to flourish. It means getting on with the Jetty Foreshores upgrade which will create more open space, more restaurants, bars and cafes, and improve our tourism offering.

It means attracting more big events like the NRL, Big Bash Twenty20 and the Rally. It means attracting events like the Oz Tag and

Touch Football that bring tens of thousands of competitors and their supporters every year. It means attracting cultural events like the Food & Wine festival, Curryfest, and the Chilli Festival. When I was elected to this job I knew it wasn’t going to be easy fighting the inertia that sometimes resists these changes, but I am encouraged to keep fighting for our way of life by the wins we’ve had and how much the community gets behind them.

Fighting for a vision of a happy, prosperous and flourishing Coffs Coast will be my focus leading into the election and it’s my belief that it’s a vision shared by the majority.

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But this summer felt different on the Coffs Coast – the weather was near perfect and without the events that have punctuated other years, I was able to reflect on the previous few years.

Parents, guardians, carers or students can apply for 3 x $50 vouchers totalling $150 for each eligible student.

The vouchers can be used towards the cost of school uniforms, shoes, bags, textbooks and stationery at registered businesses before 30 June 2023.

You can apply for vouchers for more than one student in the same application as long as they're on the same Medicare card.

You can apply by visiting or by scanning the QR code.

Authorised by Gurmesh Singh MP, 1/9 Park Avenue Coffs Harbour NSW 2450 Funded using Parliamentary Entitlements September 2022 (02) 6652 6500
Authorised by Gurmesh Singh MP, 1/9 Park Avenue Coffs Harbour NSW 2450
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What is your role at Welcome Dental in Urunga?

I am an Oral Health Therapist (OHT). An OHT is dually qualified as a Dental Therapist and Dental Hygienist.

I graduated in 2012 from Newcastle University and practiced solely as a Dental Hygienist whilst completing my 2nd Degree as a Dental Therapist.

My role is to educate and motivate our patients to maintain optimal oral health by providing relevant education and information, not only in the dental setting but in the wider community; at preschools and schools, parent groups, play groups and residential care settings.

Within the dental setting I work alongside an amazing team of trained dedicated staff. I provide preventive and planned dental treatment for patients of all ages. This includes dental examinations, taking radiographs of teeth and jaws to form a diagnosis. Oral hygiene instruction, scaling and polishing and a range of teeth whitening options. We treat people of all ages for gum conditions, apply sealants and fluoride therapy, and take impressions for mouth guard construction, splints and orthodontics.

My workday may also consist of treatments on people under the age of 18 such as: fillings of cavities, placement of deciduous crowns, assisting with orthodontics and extracting deciduous (baby) teeth under local anesthetic. We bring more complex dental problems to the attention of dentists and liaise with other healthcare providers to support oral health as part of general health. What is it that you love about your job?

I love the interaction with my patients. There is nothing more rewarding than a patient showing their gratitude for treatment when it’s something that you love doing. Working with children is very rewarding, they

share their emotions so freely. I receive artwork and thank you notes frequently which is very gratifying. I also love the working dynamics within the team at Welcome Dental. It’s very fulfilling having a close relationship with my colleagues and working together to optimize patients Oral Health for their long-term overall health benefits.

What is your one dental tip?

To focus on prevention! It is the key to reducing dental problems. I also encourage regular routine visits so if we have changes within the oral cavity we can address the concern before it becomes problematic. I suppose this is just my philosophy, this is what I do and I love it.

46 COFFS COAST focus We’ll turn that frown upside down. Meet The Team. Dr Sharon Marinucci Dr Oleg Pushkarev Dr Quintin Wilson Dr Neil McGregor Jessica Cantrill Susan Waldorf
(02) 6655 5800 Email: Website: WINNER MARKETING AND ADVERTISING AWARD MID NORTH COAST REGIONAL AWARD WINNER YOUNG BUSINESS LEADER AND EXCELLENCE IN LARGE BUSINESS Services. Late nights Open Saturdays Online bookings Orthodontic treatments Childrens therapist Bulk billing CDBS AirFlow
I love the interaction with my patients. There is nothing more rewarding than a patient showing their gratitude for treatment when it’s something that you love doing.


Get a head start on your New Year’s Resolutions with Emsculpt at Sapphire Studio! By now you’ve probably started your gym membership, a healthier diet and signed up to that HIT class, so why not throw one of the most cutting-edge, nonsurgical ways to define your muscles and rid stubborn fat in the mix too!

Emsculpt is a new technology to the Coffs Coast – it’s FDAcleared for strengthening, toning, and firming the abdominals and rear region. This gamechanging technology helps to achieve better posture, next-level abdominal contouring results and increases the gluteal region’s strength and stamina to not only help you lose fat and tone the area (all while laying down), but also provide more core and glute strength so you can take your regular work outs up a notch!

Emsculpt uses high-intensity focused electromagnetic (HIFEM) technology to deliver almost 20,000 muscular contractions in one 30-minute session – that’s equivalent to 20,000 crunches in

30-minutes! During the process, the muscles are essentially overworked and release chemicals that signal fat cells to break down. Once the fat cells are broken down, they’re metabolised and released as waste.

You will start noticing changes in the area we treat after your second or third treatment, and in a matter of weeks, others will be asking what you’ve been doing! This is a completely non-invasive treatment with zero down-time or prep, and is widely used by celebrities including the likes of Kim Kardashian, Megan Fox, Britney Spears, Hailey Bieber and more.

Over the past few months, we’ve seen some incredible results in our local clients. From people wanting a stronger core to see greater results from their workouts, to new mums who need a little extra help to feel like they’re back to their old selves again. This month we’re offering a free sauna session with each emsculpt booking! Book now through our website or contact us through socials.

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Gaslighting is a covert type of emotional abuse that leads the abuser to mislead another person or group by creating a false narrative and making them question their judgments, responses, and reality. Gaslighting is a psychological manipulation over a period of time that has an individual or group questioning their thoughts, beliefs, feelings, memories, and actions. Gaslighting typically leads an individual to a loss of confidence and self-esteem, confusion, uncertainty about their emotional and mental stability, and dependency on the abuser.

Gaslighting primarily happens in romantic relationships, however, it is not uncommon among family members and controlling friendships. People with gaslighting behaviours use emotional abuse to exert control and power and manipulate others.

You may start to secondguess yourself and feel confused and dazed as if there is something wrong with you. You are also manipulated to think and believe that you are at fault or being sensitive.

How gaslighting works is that it undermines a person’s perception of reality. You may start to second-guess yourself and feel confused and dazed as if there is something wrong with you. You are also manipulated to think and believe that you are

at fault or being sensitive. People who gaslight need domination which may stem from narcissism, antisocial personalities, or other issues. When manipulating and telling their lies they rarely back down and even if caught out will not admit they are at fault, often telling you that you are crazy, or that the event or situation never happened. The foundations of gaslighting behaviours are built on distortion and lies, the abuser can be very convincing that you start to second-guess yourself. Often the person who gaslights discredits you or spreads gossip and rumours behind your back, often about your emotional or mental wellbeing, while at the same time, they say things to you that are supportive. This strategy is extremely effective as others start to believe and start to side with the abuser as they only know one side of the story, they do not have the full picture. If you call a gaslighter out, they will often change the subject or ask a question instead of answering, distracting you and taking you off track. They also trivialise and minimise your emotions and say things such as ‘you are being irrational’, and ‘why are you so

sensitive, calm down’. This behaviour allows them to have power over you, leading to you feeling isolated and shamed and making the relationship difficult to manage.

If you are in an unhealthy relationship and are experiencing gaslighting, there are a few things you can do to protect yourself.

• Distance yourself from the other person. Leave the situation.

• Keep any correspondence to reassure and remind you not to question or doubt yourself.

• Set boundaries around your expectations in the relationship.

• Talk with a friend or family about what you are experiencing. Someone else’s perspective is helpful to hear, it often makes a situation clearer.

• End the relationship. This may be difficult and if necessary, seek help from relevant people who can support you through the situation.

Please remember that this is not your fault, you are not to blame for what you are experiencing. The other person is responsible for their actions and is choosing to behave this way.

Until next time, be kind and gentle with yourself.

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Many have found last year has thrown out their rhythm. BUT, the past need not define the future and as the old saying goes, today is the first day of the rest of your life!

The new year is the perfect opportunity to hit the reset button and get back on track. Here are Anytime Fitness’ top tips to rebooting your health and fitness and starting your journey towards the healthiest, happiest version of you in the NY!


Exercising at a gym can help prevent excess weight gain or help maintain weight loss. When you engage in physical activity, you burn calories. The more intense the activity,

the more calories you burn.

Working out at the gym also delivers oxygen and nutrients to your tissues and helps your cardiovascular system work more efficiently. It also helps prevent or manage a wide range of health problems and concerns, including stroke, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, depression, a number of types of cancer and even arthritis.


Good trainers, like the expert coaches at

Anytime Fitness, motivate their clients by understanding their goals. Reminding clients of these on their off days is often how some sessions get completed. A good trainer will also conduct regular assessments to monitor your progress and adjust the goals you set along the way as necessary.

An Anytime Fitness trainer can show you around the gym, teach you how to use the equipment, take you through workouts and help you set achievable goals and strategies.


A workout buddy is hugely helpful for staying motivated. But even better than one friend is a whole group of likeminded people who are working to better their health and as a result, their lives.

As the new year rolls around the best way to kick things off is by joining a fitness challenge run by a local gym like Anytime Fitness. These challenges will give you a simple to follow structure, world class trainers to coach and guide you, on top of an incredible community to share the journey with!

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Did you find 2022 a challenge in terms of staying on track with your health & fitness? If so then you are not alone.
Working out at the Gym also delivers oxygen and nutrients to your tissues and helps your cardiovascular system work more efficiently.

MAJORZoe & Tom

Zoe and Tom Major celebrated their wedding on the 22nd October last year on a cloudy but stunning afternoon in Bellingen.

Zoe has her own floristry business, Dusty Road Blooms and so, as expected, the florals were next level beautiful! But they also had so many of the finer details covered that everything looked amazing - from the bridal party’s outfits to all the stunning decorations, and everyone was able to enjoy a whole weekend of fun with everything running smoothly.

Hi guys. Congratulations on your recent wedding! When did you get engaged and what was the proposal like? Thank you so much! We were engaged in February 2022, the proposal was very special and a day I’m sure we will both never forget. Tom had planned a mini getaway to Port Macquarie to celebrate us being together for 9 years. Tom kept the

whole thing a surprise and managed to pull off organising a lovely picnic and platter set up on the beautiful headland, where he popped the question!

Our main idea was to bring all of our friends and family together for something less formal and a bit more casual. It was important to us that our wedding was unique to represent us and things we love and enjoy.

when you first started planning? One thing we decided was that we didn’t want to wait a long time to get married, so we got stuck into the planning fairly soon after the proposal, and skipped having an engagement party. Our process began with locking in a venue and date initially. We were fortunate that the rest of the planning was fairly straight forward and luckily almost everyone we asked was available on our date.

What was the planning process like for you guys? Did either of you have any strong ideas about what you wanted

Our main idea was to bring all of our friends and family together for something less formal and a bit more casual. It was important to us that our wedding

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was unique to represent us and things we love and enjoy and obviously Zoe wanted to include plenty of flowers!

What was your overall vision for the day? We didn’t want a traditional sit down meal wedding so that is why we decided to do more of a cocktail style set up. Our guests, and us too, were able to mingle with other people while they were served food or drinks - something that we had lots of positive comments from guests about! Having a venue

with accommodation and camping as an option for guests also was something we wanted and were very fortunate to find Bellingen Riverside Cottages as it suited perfectly. The aspect of having a beautiful venue to use as a blank

The aspect of having a beautiful venue to use as a blank canvas and customise as much as we wanted was another reason we went with this place.

canvas and customise as much as we wanted was another reason we went with this place. This meant we got to personalise the set up completely, choosing all furniture, vendors and caterers - having the ability to do this was exciting. Originally we also envisioned having a garden ceremony by the river - and although the rain had other plans, the back up choice we used inside the Pavillion was stunning.

Having the whole weekend to celebrate with our guests was also something important to us, so we booked at the Federal Hotel the night before and held a recovery breakfast back at the venue on Sunday morning to share all the stories and photos from the wedding.

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MAJORZoe & Tom

Zoe, as a florist yourself you have been part of many weddings, what are some of the things you have learnt through watching others that you used when making plans for your own big day? I have definitely taken in countless bits and pieces of advice or notes along the way while working on weddings! One thing it has made me aware of, is the importance of having a detailed

timeline and contact lists on hand for anyone who may need them - so this was something I paid close attention to and kept updated. I have also learnt that providing reference photos is really useful for things to be set up or placed in

The lead up to a wedding is hectic for all brides, there’s so much to do… I certainly knew what I was getting myself into, and that I had my work cut out for me!

the right spots.

The florals were absolutely stunning! Was it difficult planning and putting together your own flowers? Thank you! Honestly, yes it was hard! Mainly because I knew I wanted a lot of flowers to be a focal point of the wedding, so I really had to plan out my time in the days prior to the wedding efficiently. I made sure that on the morning of the wedding I didn’t have anything left to make, so I could relax and take it all in. The lead up to a wedding is hectic for all brides, there’s so much to do so I certainly knew what I was getting myself into, and that I had my work cut out for me! But I am thankful to have had lots of helping hands from family and friends who made it easier

and I have no regrets, it was the most rewarding feeling seeing the vision come to life. There was also quite a wish list of my favorite flower varieties and colours I wanted to include, so even ordering the flowers from suppliers was a decent task!

Can you tell us about some of your other choices, and some of the local vendors you used? Our photographer, Dave Le Page was one of our first choices as we loved his unique style, he traveled from Melbourne for us. There were many local talents who made our dream a reality - the lovely Married By Sam was our celebrant, we are lucky to have known Sam for a long time and we couldn’t be happier with the wonderful job she did. We had Daisy Moroney on Make Up and Tania Hastings on Hair, who both did a really beautiful job and were delightful to spend the morning with while we got ready.

The incredible Corinne from Style Events Coffs Coast not only supplied furniture and fairy lights but also helped bring the whole day together beautifully and run smoothly.

Our venue, Bellingen Riverside Cottages, had the entire place looking immaculate. We also had The Photo Shack and DJ Salty from Triple SSS for entertainment on the night. The Welder’s Dog from Armidale supplied an epic bar. And finally, our guests were raving about the spread of food, which started with Coastal Soul Food supplying delicious finger food, Diavoletto Woodfired Pizza as the main course, followed by Eric & Deb’s Ice Cream Van stopping in for dessert.

What were some of the highlights for each of you from your wedding day? The biggest highlight for us was the ceremony and the special moment of exchanging our vows and rings. Putting into words what the other person means to you is a very special thing and

we wanted our vows to be a surprise and very personal.

We got soaked setting up the day before, our rehearsal was held while we were in soaking wet clothes, thinking there was a chance our guests may get flooded out. However luckily the actual day was mainly overcast and hardly any rain fell in the afternoon.

Were there any funny or unexpected moments from the day that you can share? One of the funniest moments had to be the confetti toss, as it really ended up everywhere for us and our bridal party as they followed, it was in our hair, in the bouquets, clothes, even in our mouths as we were laughing so much!

What advice would you give to others that are embarking on planning their own wedding? Take it one step at a time, make lists and tick things off together! Don’t worry about the pressure of things you “should do” and just focus on the two of you. Also try not to leave writing your vows to the last minute! But of course most importantly - enjoy.

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Putting into words what the other person means to you is a very special thing and we wanted our vows to be a surprise and very personal.


What services do you provide? Offering everything for your events such as marquees, tables, chairs, glassware, catering and coolroom hire. We also offer lighting installations and generator hire for weddings. We work alongside our sister company, Dump’n’Pump to offer premium event toilets and services for all types of events such as weddings, street festivals, markets, sporting events, etc.

What plans do you have for 2023? 2023 is going to be our

biggest and best year yet! With the effects of COVID and many weddings and events postponed over the past few years, we are excited to say, we have come back bigger and better than ever! Having purchased more marquees already this year, we want to offer our services to as many wedding and event clients as possible across the Mid North Coast and beyond.

The books are filling up fast and it is fabulous to see!



The PhotoShack is owned by husband-and-wife Daniel and Hannah.

Hannah has been running The PhotoShack since 2014.

In 2017 they purchased Coffs Coast LOVE Letters to compliment the Photo Booth business in servicing their wedding clients. The Giant LOVE Letters are exactly that, custom made with each Letter standing 1.8m tall and 1.2m wide. They are battery powered so they can light up at night with no need for power, and rain is not an issue.

Having both businesses means clients can hire either individually or get fantastic package deals combining the two. The PhotoShack offers high quality photos, unlimited prints during the hire and the best

service before, during and after the hire that they constantly get complimented on. Their friendly attendant will run the Photo Booth for you and your guests to take the hassle out of trying to figure out what to do and make sure it all runs smoothly for you. Clients receive a high-resolution digital copy of all the photos and photo strips at the end of the hire to be able to use as they like. Clients also can choose from a wide selection of backdrops, as well as their own customised Photo Strip design. 6x4 sized Photo prints are also available as an extra service.

Last year a second photo booth was added to the business in order to service more clients

and give more people an experience they will love and remember.

So, this year they are looking forward to being able to service more clients on their special day and be a small part of what made their wedding dream come true.

The PhotoShack has won the Mid North Coast Brides Choice Awards 3 years in a row (that’s every year the awards have been running on the Mid North Coast excluding during COVID when no Photo Booth Businesses were entered) so you can rest assured that you are in good hands by choosing The PhotoShack and Coffs Coast LOVE Letters for your special day!

COFFS COAST focus 63 Beautiful Beachside Weddings Set upon the pristine shores of Charlesworth Bay in Coffs Harbour (02) 6659 7000 Images: Mad Love Photography


Jeremy Becker has been shooting weddings for about 5 years, but his love of photography has been a lifelong affair. His work speaks for itself, and he is also just a great guy to have around on your special day. His can-do attitude is infectious and he will definitely go the extra mile for his couples, giving them lasting mementos of their love and commitment to each other.

Hey Jeremy. For those that don’t know you, please introduce yourself.

Hey everyone! I’m Jeremy Becker, a wedding photographer and professional third wheel for lovers all over Australia. A Coffs local my whole life, I’ve spent my 28 years obsessing over movies, dogs, and taking photos whenever I can. When I’m not running wild at a wedding, you’ll usually find me down at the beach throwing sticks with my dog or consuming questionable amounts

of sushi with my partner. Known by some as the Indiana Jones of wedding photography thanks to my signature camera strap and hat, I’ve been photographing couples in different corners of the Mid North Coast, and across Australia, for the past five years and have been loving every moment. It truly is an honour to be trusted with capturing these once-in-a-lifetime moments, and I’m very proud of how far my little business has come. Take us back to when you first took an interest in photography and how the journey began.

For me my love affair with photography started when I was just a kid, making stopmotion films with Lego and borrowing my family's camera whenever we went on a trip. When I was 9, I snapped a photo at my Aunt and Uncle's wedding that soon ended up on everyone's cupboards and mantelpieces, which at the time I was incredibly proud of. At 17 I’d saved up enough money to buy my first camera, and it came with me everywhere I went, soon becoming the go-to photographer at school events and adventures with my mates. Photography had always

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been something I was passionate about, and it just came so naturally to me. I knew that if my future career didn’t involve a camera in my hand, then I wouldn’t feel fulfilled with what I was doing. And after years of teaching myself how to shoot, and learning from other photographers, I got asked to shoot my first wedding in 2016, and from that day on I was hooked and knew exactly where I wanted my

career to go.

How has your work grown and developed over the years as you have grown and developed yourself?

My work as a whole has definitely improved the more confident I’ve become in myself and my abilities. I’m able to bring more creative ideas to my portraits, help my couples feel confident to bring out their authentic selves, and people will always feel at ease when the photographer is having as good a time as they are.

Why was wedding photography something you wanted to involve yourself in and what drew you to it?

Apart from being a career solely based on capturing photos, for me what really got me hooked on wedding photography, was the people. Not just the couple that I was shooting or the hyped-up wedding party, but also the family and friends that surround them during one of the biggest days of their lives. In

the 5 years I’ve been shooting weddings I have met a lot of different people from all walks of life, and I’ve heard some incredible stories. For me, that’s what makes this job so special and exciting, getting the chance to interact with new people at their happiest and make some new friends along the way. On top of that, I get to photograph couples in some of the most breathtaking locations and have a blast while doing it. Personally, I reckon I’m living the dream!

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At 17 I’d saved up enough money to buy my first camera, and it came with me everywhere I went, soon becoming the go-to photographer at school events and adventures with my mates.

How have you gone about developing your skills over time and what would you say has been your biggest learning curve/ challenge?

Investing in education, and learning from other photographers and fellow wedding vendors has been a massive help in getting me where I am today. In a line of work such as this, you can never stop learning about ways to improve your craft and strengthen your business, and for me, that kind of mindset is incredibly important. There are always better ways to serve your couples, always new ways to capture that one image that will end up on everyone's mantlepiece for years to come. I learn as much as I can so I can better serve my couples and give them the experience that they deserve. When it comes to challenges, learning not to compare myself to other photographers and vendors has always been my biggest hurdle. But those doubts always disappear every time

an inquiry comes my way, or a bride leaves a heartwarming review. Clearly I’m doing something right! How would you best describe your style of work?

The goal of my work is to be a reflection of the couple to the world. For someone that’s never met these two people in the photo to look at my work, and from one quick glance, know exactly how they’re feeling and how in love they are with one another. My entire style is based on creating real and unplanned moments, because in those very brief moments, like a lingering look or kiss on the forehead, that’s where you find the raw and authentic love that I pride myself on capturing. You won’t find me posing you like a mannequin or guiding you into some awkward pose, only real emotions and genuine moments will do for me. A lot of couples will tell me beforehand that they don’t do well in front of a camera, and that

they’re not photogenic. But by connecting with them, and making them feel like we’ve known each other for years, I can bring out the incredible love that these couples have for one another, and help them feel safe enough to share that love with the world. That is what makes the perfect wedding photo. What has been one of your most memorable moments/shots and why?

In my years of shooting weddings, I’ve had quite a few stand-out moments both big and small. Like being told by one of my previous brides that her grandmother still raves about me after I gave her a lift home after a wedding, or helping a mate propose to his now wife at 4 am in the morning. A big moment for me recently was when a bride specifically chose her wedding date based on when I was available. To have someone choose their wedding day solely based on you is an incredible feeling, and showed me just how much some couples love my work and trust me to capture their big day. Making people cry tears of joy when I show them their photos though, that one always gets me.

Shooting weddings can be quite demanding. What would a typical

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To have someone choose their wedding day solely based on you is an incredible feeling, and showed me just how much some couples love my work and trust me to capture their big day.

wedding look like for you?

Thankfully I’ve found my rhythm when shooting weddings after so many years, so they’re not as daunting as they used to be. If there are no dogs to pet, I’ll get straight to work hyping up my couple and getting them ready to walk down the aisle. From there it’s onto the ceremony and the epic portraits in whatever location we’ve chosen, which of course is my favourite part of the day. The madness of the dance floor and late night antics are soon to follow, and then it’s time to bid my couple farewell and hit the road if they haven’t convinced me to stay

to share in some beer and wedding cake. What are some of the challenges you have faced when shooting a wedding and how have you overcome them?

Rowdy groomsmen can definitely be a handful if you only have a small window of time for photos, so bribes of snacks and beer usually gets them in line. But when it comes to actual challenges, being able to adapt to situations on the fly is something that has to come naturally when shooting a wedding. Most couples will look to me for advice if something goes wrong, and it's up to me to find the best solution for those problems. Has it started to rain before we head out for portraits? That’s ok, let’s find somewhere undercover that looks

incredible. Firework display goes off earlier than expected? No problem at all, I’ll start running to make sure I don’t miss a thing. The unexpected can always happen, and it’s up to me to be ready in case it does. Plus, some of the best photos come from absolute chaos, so a little bit of unpredictability can be good on a wedding day.

Where do you see Jeremy Becker

Photography heading into the future? The future is looking very bright for this little business of mine, and I’m incredibly excited to see what comes next. I’m slowly incorporating wedding films into my arsenal of skills, I have some incredible weddings on the horizon, and my fingers are crossed for one day shooting my dream wedding overseas in the South Island of New Zealand. As long as I can continue to give my all to my incredible couples and serve them as best I can, then I’ll be a happy man.

You won’t find me posing you like a mannequin or guiding you into some awkward pose, only real emotions and genuine moments will do for me.

Love to


Over the holidays I have been reading as much as I can get my hands on regarding the growth of ChatGPT and other Artificial Intelligence Bots. I’ve signed up for a number of them to endeavour to understand their impact for the start of 2023 in the education sector. The following article has been written using with the only prompting being to “write a 500 word article on the impact of AI on school education”. This article was generated in less than 20 seconds and has not been edited. “Artificial Intelligence (AI) is rapidly becoming a powerful tool in the field of education. It has the potential to revolutionise the way we teach and learn, and has already begun to have a significant impact on school education. One of the most significant ways that AI is impacting education is through the development of personalised learning systems. These systems use data and algorithms to tailor instruction to the individual needs and abilities of each student. This allows for a more efficient and effective use of instructional time, as well as a more engaging and relevant learning experience for students.

AI-powered tutoring systems are also becoming increasingly popular in schools. These systems use natural language processing and machine learning to provide real-time feedback and support to students as they work through


problems and exercises. This can be particularly beneficial for students who are struggling or need extra help, as the AI-powered tutors can provide individualised instruction and support. Another area where AI is having an impact on education is through the use of virtual reality and augmented reality technology. These technologies can be used to create immersive, interactive learning experiences that allow students to explore and interact with complex concepts in ways that would not be possible through traditional teaching methods.

AI is also being used to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of administrative tasks in schools. For example, AI-powered systems can be used to analyse student data and provide insights and recommendations to teachers and administrators. This can help to identify students who are struggling and provide targeted interventions to improve their performance. While AI has the potential to bring many benefits to education, it is important to be aware of the potential downsides as well. One concern is that AI-powered systems may reinforce existing biases and inequalities in education. For example, if the data used to train an AI system is biased, it may perpetuate that bias in the instruction and feedback it provides to students.

Another concern is that the increasing use of AI in education may lead to a reduction in the role of teachers and a more automated approach to learning. This could potentially lead to a loss of

human interaction and personalisation in the classroom, which are important factors in the learning process.

Overall, AI has the potential to significantly impact the way we teach and learn in schools. While it brings many benefits, it is important to be aware of the potential downsides as well and to ensure that the use of AI in education is done in a responsible and equitable manner. In conclusion, AI can help to improve the efficiency, effectiveness, and personalisation of education. The use of AI-powered personalised learning systems, tutoring systems, virtual and augmented reality, and administrative tools can enhance the students learning experience. However, AI is a powerful tool that needs to be used responsibly and in a way that promotes equity and inclusiveness in education. The importance of the role of teachers, human interaction and personalisation in the learning process should be taken into consideration while implementing AI in education.”

The application for this technology is endless, and what role administrators, teachers, students and parents will play in the near future is still being determined. What I can say, however, is that our students will be utilising this technology from day one, and our teaching staff and our parents will need to be aware of this change and write tasks that are tailored to their individual school setting.


focus contributor.

member of his club.

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Beau, can you introduce yourself to our readers?

Hi I am Beau, I was born in Coffs Harbour, I’m 10 years old, I have one little sister Daisy and one little brother Sonny. I go to Saint Augustine’s Primary School. You play footy for the Comets here in Coffs, when did you first start playing?

I started to play in under 6s. This year 2023 I am playing in the under 11s.

This is my fifth year playing rugby league. I have played every year with the Comets.

How often do you train?

In previous years we only trained once a week. But now that we are in the U11s we will train twice a week as we become more competitive and our points count.

How did the team go last season?

Last season we had a huge number of sign ups for under 9s. We had that many players we needed to make two teams. We had a Red Team and a Gold Team.

Both teams were awesome and we had a great year. Both teams were strong and our players all loved the game.

We will combine this year and hopefully have some new players to add to our team.

This year is the first time I have played in a

history within my club. Not many other players could say they are a 5th generation at their club! How cool is that!!

competition. So I am excited to see the points count and hopefully we make it to a grand final!!

What do you love about footy?

I love the game, the challenges while playing. I love the mates I play with and I love tackling. My favourite NRL team is the Brisbane Broncos. I look up to players like Selwyn Cobbo and Adam Reynolds. They never give up!

You have followed in the footsteps of a few of your family members, can you tell us about that?

I am the 5th generation to be involved in the Comets Club. In 1968 my Great Great Grandfather (Pop Shepherd) managed my Great Grandfather’s (Matt Rigoni) team. That team was the reserve grade major premiers.

My Grandfather (Dean Seccombe) played Juniors to Seniors with the Comets. I have two uncles (Dylan Seccombe and Cody Seccombe) who also played junior years and Uncle Cody

played First Grade.

My Dad even coached me for a few years.

I am lucky to have family history within my club. Not many other players could say they are a 5th generation at their club! How cool is that!!

What are your goals for this upcoming season and beyond?

My goal is to put in my best, have good sportsmanship, make new friends and have so much fun! I hope to do some hard tackles and score some tries.

My dream is to play in the NRL one day. For this season I really dream of making it to my first grand final!

What other sports do you enjoy?

I like to watch the AFL, NFL, Basketball, Cricket, Soccer. I enjoy any sport. I like the competition and the fun of it.

I like to watch AFL with my Dad and share interest in basketball with my Aunty Nicci. I follow San Francisco 49ers during the NFL season.

From a young age I have always supported the Port Power AFL team. My favourite basketball team is the Boston Celtics.

I like to look at game highlights and read about the games!

Thanks Beau.

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I am lucky to have family

She wants to change the future for Indigenous girls and women through ‘Saltwater Sistas,’ a mentoring program that creates a safe, culturally appropriate place to learn about culture, wellbeing, and ocean conservation.

Based in Coffs Harbour on Gumbaynggirr Country, Saltwater Sistas conduct group beach clean-ups, mentoring, DIY workshops, Elder conversations, or any activity where nature and culture is at the forefront.

“I grew up in nature as an Aboriginal person, and I was always really connected to the land,” said Rhiannon.

“We grew up swimming in the rivers, climbing trees, playing in the bush, and coming to the beach on the weekends. Then I started Saltwater Sistas because I thought so many Aboriginal children haven't seen the ocean the way that I've been able to see it and be inspired by it.”

The tight-knit group partake in numerous marine adventures, exploring local coastal environments, learning from Elders and ocean warriors and even collaborating with a museum on a marine-themed art exhibition. Rhiannon also offers one-on-one mentoring, where Indigenous girls can participate in yarning, walks on Country, cultural programs, and activities that focus on achieving their goals and aspirations.

studying, and then I thought, I want to do a degree to be really knowledgeable in this. It's something that I'm super passionate about, so it's really cool when you can study something that you really love.

The National Marine Science Centre is great, I spend a lot of time in the aquarium there and the facilities are amazing.

The 29-year-old conservationist decided to start studying a Bachelor of Science (Marine Systems) at Southern Cross University to enhance her knowledge about the marine world and be able to bring comprehensive expertise to her business.

“I started Saltwater Sistas before I started

“The National Marine Science Centre is great, I spend a lot of time in the aquarium there and the facilities are amazing.”

Now in her third year and on the way to achieve her dream of becoming a Marine Biologist, Rhiannon has been recognised for her work in numerous ways, including as an ABC 2021 Trailblazer. The award celebrates young people bringing about change in their communities.

“I feel very lucky as a young Aboriginal woman to be supported and to have a business because 20 years ago that wouldn't

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have happened - it wasn't long ago that Indigenous people didn’t even have rights,” she said.

“We are in a place where I feel like the country is changing and young Aboriginal people are standing up and saying hey, we want to have a business and share our culture and our knowledge. I think the wider community is listening, and I find that super powerful.”

Tune in to the SCU Buzz Podcast to hear more from Rhiannon. You can keep up to date with all of Rhiannon’s work at au or follow the Instagram page @saltwater__sistas

Pictured: Marine Biologist and Chief Remote pilot for Southern Cross University Professor Brendan Kelaher

Pictured left: Professor Symon Dworjanyn, who works in marine ecology and sustainable aquaculture at the NMSC

Aleafy street just north of Coffs city centre is where you’ll find Southern Cross University’s National Marine Science Centre (NMSC). It’s just a few hundred metres from Charlesworth Bay Beach and the edge of the Solitary Islands Marine Park, where temperate and tropical currents meet. It’s an ideal location for studying a variety of marine environments and conducting world-leading research.

predators like the crown of thorns starfish, just to name a few.

The Solitary Islands

Aquarium is open every Saturday and Sunday and every day during the School Holidays from 10am to 4pm.

NMSC scientists work across four broad topics: biodiversity, ecological interactions, aquaculture and sustainable fisheries. Their work covers an incredible range of activity, and has included an education series on post harvest processing of sea cucumbers to maximise income and resource use for Pacific Island artisanal fishers; research into the impacts of pesticides on prawns and seafood; the importance of leaf oysters in our estuaries; ways to protect the Great Barrier Reef from the effects of climate change and how to manage coral

The Solitary Islands Aquarium, where visitors can take a deeper dive into the unique marine environment of the Coffs Coast, is located on the lower floor of the NMSC. Besides dazzling marine life and fish, the aquarium has some fascinating displays on thought-provoking issues like sustainable recreational fishing, marine debris, ocean climate change and the important work Southern Cross is conducting in these areas, and more.

The Solitary Islands

Aquarium is open every Saturday and Sunday and every day during the School Holidays from 10am to 4pm.  Visitors are encouraged to reserve their tickets via the Solitary Islands Aquarium website as the facility is space limited. Tickets and bookings: solitaryislandsaquarium. com

Both undergraduate and postgraduate study is possible at the NMSC. Check the website for details about study options:

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Jacqueline Carniato opened Cãrnivalé in Coffs Harbour in 2012, and so has recently celebrated 10 years of teaching dance to our youth. Jacqueline is a passionate dancer and has dedicated the last 10 years to giving young dancers a space to learn and grow and be themselves.


Hi Jacqueline. Can you tell us a bit about your own experience with dance and how you came to teach? Even

after 50 years in the Performing Arts I’m still so proud to call myself a dancer and even though I have had many roles in this industry, my one true love has been being an educator. My initial training started not unlike many of my students today, with dance classes as a pre-schooler at my local dance school. My training was technically based in RAD classical ballet which saw me at 15 years of age accepted as one of the inaugural fulltime Vaganova ballet students of Kelvin Coe OBE and Kim Traynor’s NSW College of Dance.

When persistent injuries cut short my classical ballet career at 19, I definitely was not prepared for the prospect of finding an alternate career – I was devastated. A choreography job opportunity at a Theatre Company opened my eyes to two things; teaching and the Performing Arts world.

I fell completely in love with mentoring young students and working behind the scenes as a “creative” on the production team – I had found my new direction and loved every minute of it.

When did you first start cãrnvialé and what made you decide to open your

own school?

Upon relocating to Coffs Harbour from Sydney, I found that after 25 years of teaching both locally and internationally for others I knew exactly what I craved – my own creative space. As a young dancer, I myself “didn’t fit a mould”, I often felt “displaced” and I always craved “more”; so, I knew I needed to create a unique school, “cãrnivalé” unique. A place to educate students with the most up-to-date dance syllabus in all genres so they are well rounded and not pigeonholed and to nurture each student's performance individuality … so I took a leap of faith and in 2012, cãrnivalé was born. Now you’ve recently celebrated 10 years, how has the school evolved over that time and what have been some highlights for you?

our ethos is a dancer with exceptional technique enjoys a freedom of spirit, has limitless creativity options and feels a sense of improvisation that will turn them from a good performer into a great performer with that something “special.

for 3-4 years old and now today: we have 3 studios running lessons six days/nights a week with four incredible teaching staff, seven styles of dance taught inhouse and students going on to compete at State Scholarships and to top it all off in 2022, our 10th anniversary year, we had two Australasian champions.

Watching every student is the highlight. Seeing them on their very first day at dance class to, the majority of them last year, entering examinations and having over 97% of students achieve Honours or higher.

In 2012, it was me in Coffs Harbour’s Scout Hall, two mornings a week with lessons

From those humble beginnings we have built a school curriculum with multiple pathways for dance education for all interests and all skill levels, we offer financial scholarships for technical and performance excellence and have an advancement initiative project to help fund students’ off-site education – and we’re not done yet, look out 2023!!!

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What do you love most about dance and what do many of your students love about it?

Every passionate dancer will tell you the same thing “dance is who I am, it is part of me” and at cãrnivalé they can be themselves; they can be confident that they are learning the best from the best, surrounded by people who are as passionate about dance as they are – we are a rare breed that’s for sure!

We all celebrate being different and know every goal is worth training hard for. Our ethos is a dancer with exceptional technique enjoys a freedom of spirit, has limitless creativity options and feels a sense of improvisation that will turn them from a good performer into a great performer with that something “special”.    Is there a specific age range or skill level that you teach at cãrnivalé and what classes do you offer?

fundamental skills like colours and numbers all integrated with dance and music. We introduced this in 2012, then each year since then we have introduced our next age level into the school, so for those two-year-old students that started back in 2012 they are now 12 and in our intermediate division for 12 – 14-yearold students.

Our main focus will always be to encourage our students to build healthy relationships with themselves as an athlete and artist, their bodies and their minds, their friends, teachers (us and their parents) and respect for our wonderful industry.

One of my greatest achievements has been creating our PETiTZ +1 classes for 2 to 2 ½ year olds to come along, dance with their parent/carer at fun themed lessons each week, learning

We offer lessons in all genres for all skill levels; Classical Ballet, Jazz & Tap, Lyrical, Hip Hop & Contemporary, Variety (Song & Drama) and last year we introduced acro into our school curriculum which has added another exciting dimension to our student’s skill set. Entry level can be our core skills syllabus program which feeds into our syllabus extension program and then into our industry mentoring program for those students with performing arts and dance career aspirations, there are masterclass workshops for troupes, trios, duos, soloists and even assistant teaching opportunities.

What are some of your goals for yourself and cãrnvialé over the next ten years?

The goal is perpetual and we have never wavered - to continue to offer a quality product to educate and nurture each student on their own dance journey, represent cãrnivalé and Coffs Harbour on a local, State and National level with our examinations, eisteddfod and scholarship opportunities for students. Our unique approach to dance education has been the key to our three programs' overwhelming success. Our main focus will always be to encourage our students to build healthy relationships with themselves as an athlete and artist, their bodies and their minds, their friends, teachers (us and their parents) and respect for our wonderful industry.

A thought that is echoed by so many of our parents at cãrnivalé, “what you do here is about so much more than dancing!”.

Where can people follow the school’s journey or get in touch and when do classes commence for 2023?

On Instagram and Facebook for all the BTS and for new Semester 1 enrolments via our website www.carnivaledanceco. com or calling 0407 879 708 so we can cater your enrolment to your needs.

Classes commence Monday 6th February – we are having an open day Tuesday 24th January for families to come along and visit our HQ at Coffs Harbour Showground Precinct.

Thanks Jacqueline



Jarred Ward is a visual artist and musician, using both as forms of self expression and exploration. Recently he has been working on creating digital portraits and making music with his band Flying Giant.

Hey Jarred, tell us where your artistic journey began? There wasn’t a definitive decision to pursue art in my life, only that I’ve always been drawn to creative expression. Like a camera lens that’s focusing at first capturing everything blurred together, later revealing the focal point.

As a kid, I had severe asthma preventing me

from participating in more active or social interests. We didn’t have a lot of money, it was pre-internet and so there weren’t many options. What I did have were pencils and paper.

I started with copying comic books and cartoon characters. At some point I understood that artists were communicating their perspective. From there I was unsatisfied with copying others, and became obsessed with the pursuit

of using art as a means to process my own experience.

What medium do you use and why did that spark your interest? For most of my life I’ve worked almost exclusively with pencil sketching, avoiding the complexity of colour until recent years. Pencil was accessible and easy to control. It’s a meditative sensory experience too. There’s a satisfying sound and friction that I continue to emulate digitally with

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textured screens.

Early on I didn't take digital seriously to really challenge myself artistically, only using it for cartoons or graphic design work. I began to educate myself on the tools that were available once I saw how powerful they were through the art of other people. There are so many advantages to working digitally over traditional media, not to say one is better than the other. It just suited me, the entire workflow is so much faster. No more smearing the page, the ability to make previously impossible adjustments later in a piece. It allowed me to explore colour where I’d been too impatient to work with real paint. What would be one of your fave pieces and why? My favourite pieces are also my most feared. There’s this push/pull between confidence and self-doubt. Sometimes you create something that feels like a leap forward from what you thought you were capable of.

Afflicted by Imposter Syndrome you question if you’ve earned it or fluked it, and if you can repeat it.

There’s a black and grey male portrait from a couple of years back. At that point I was disappointed with the results I was getting. I would spend hours perfecting details, but felt like it was lacking enough expression. In my rebellion I threw down bold brush strokes and left it somewhat unfinished by my usual standards, and it marked a turning point in my approach. After losing my Dad to cancer, my grieving process led me to paint a portrait of him. It really helped me confront that whole chapter and honour him in my own way. It’s hard enough to capture the likeness of a stranger, but for someone you know so well the piece is constantly challenging you. I’m proud of myself for not abandoning the canvas and persevering through that whole experience.

Currently my favourite piece would be my most

recent portrait of a close friend of mine, Eloise. She’s definitely pulling most of the weight in terms of its aesthetic appeal. For me, this painting represents all the singular qualities I’ve explored through art, coalescing into my own style.

What's the process when creating a piece of art? My process used to be pragmatic. I would utilise many digital layers, carefully constructing my work, safely able to revert to previous states. I’d spend hours on the underlying sketch only for it to be hidden. Shading and blending with techniques the same as with a real pencil, portraits left me exhausted and unsatisfied.

I fell in love with the painterly style of artists like John Singer Sargent, I wanted to capture the same energy. I wasn’t a fan of how digital my art looked and wanted a more organic, human rendering. With more focus on hue shifts and lighting, colour has become my favourite part of the process!

Now I work similar to a traditional oil painter, only digitally. I keep my project to a single layer, committing to every decision. I use big brushes, make bold statements with colour, focusing on building harmony and shape design, refining details sparingly. I avoid blending too much, embracing imperfection to create character.

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Life has meant a lot of failures to do things the way I’m ‘supposed’ to do them and conform to other people’s ideals. Art provides me the freedom to fail or succeed completely on my own terms.

What does your art mean to you? When I create something, I’m trying to connect. I’ve always struggled to fit in, spending so much time observing, trying to make sense of what’s around me. It’s a library of visual language that I can use to relate to people.

Life has meant a lot of failures to do things the way I’m ‘supposed’ to do them and conform to other people’s ideals. Art provides me the freedom to fail or succeed completely on my own terms.

I think good art is art that makes you want to keep looking at it. In the same way a good song makes you want to put it on repeat. Not only a talented digital artist, you also play a mean guitar. Tell us how that came about and how long you have been playing? My guitar playing has been around as long as my visual art, it’s all the same thing really. There’s a quote that says art is how we decorate space, and music is how we decorate time and since we live in both, I’ve found satisfaction in expressing myself in both.

I feel more like a storyteller with songwriting.

You can glance at a painting, yet with music you’re asking someone to invest themselves and take a journey with you. Have the two forms of art ever interacted?

Oh absolutely, I’ve designed all the visual art and media for my band Flying Giant. That’s been a fun process to reinterpret a statement into another language. Every medium resonates differently, so combining them creates a deeper experience. Currently I’m exploring the visual language of film for our upcoming music video.

From a process perspective, all art shares some commonality. People look at the finished product, assume some unattainable level of

creativity, and look no deeper. I don’t think any one person is more capable of spontaneous creation than another, it’s about embracing the process of refining your ideas. You only get good at what you practise!

You also give back and teach others how to play. How long have you been teaching for? I’ve been teaching only for a little over a year now. I’m still figuring out my methods as I go, and so fortunate to have some amazing students put their trust in me.

Often people learn a few chords or scales and

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There’s a quote that says art is how we decorate space, and music is how we decorate time, and since we live in both I’ve found satisfaction in expressing myself in both.

can replicate existing music, but nobody has taught them why those things work, or what kind of decision making goes into using those tools for themselves. I’ve really wanted to capture the joy of creativity and expression with my approach. It’s so valuable to learn what others have pioneered before us, but the true value I hope to instil in my students is the ability to use their own creative voice through music. What level of students do you teach and what do you get out of teaching personally? I’ll teach any skill level, we never stop learning. If they are motivated by the process more than the outcome and are willing to put in the work, perfect. Trust in the process, stick to it,

and you’ll achieve anything. It’s unbelievable how much I get out of teaching my guitar process. Other musicians tend to want to talk about gear and bands. But guiding students through those eureka moments is so rewarding. It’s making me a better guitarist by having to clarify my own understandings to pass them on to others, teaching them to be their own teachers. If that sounds interesting, I have slots available.

You can contact me via Sick.Strings on Facebook or Instagram. Or come down and see me at Rage Music in town where I host the lessons.

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I don’t think any one person is more capable of spontaneous creation than another, it’s about embracing the process of refining your ideas.

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.

Many locals will already have visited “The Link”, Sawtell Catholic Care’s latest innovation and support for our community, the reinvigorated former site of Cockbain’s Nursery on Hogbin Drive.

This huge 3.6 acre garden offers our community an exceptional lifestyle opportunity in their own backyard, 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 venue hire for small to mid-range functions and events.

The Nyanggan Gapi Café at The Link is run by fellow not-for-profit organisation, Bularri Muurlay Nyanggan Aboriginal Corporation, already known to many locals for their café at Sealy Lookout and catering business, which invests directly back into the Coffs Harbour Gumbaynggirr community. The café is open from 8.30 am to 2.30 pm, Monday to Saturday.

In conjunction with Seniors Festival 2023 we

invite you to visit and “Celebrate Together” with us, acknowledging the contributions that older people make to our community and enjoying some uplifting ‘ageless’ pastimes, like art and music.

From 10 am to 3 pm daily, Monday 6th February to Friday 10th February, we will be showing the “Young at Art” exhibition created by Mary Help of Christians Students partnered with Mater Christi Residents, a joyful celebration of intergenerational connection, as well as artworks from our creative Marian Grove and Mater Christi residents in the ‘Pavilion’ space. Music from Nota Bene, the Coffs Harbour City Orchestra string ensemble and other fabulous local musos will be on offer during the week, complementing the exhibitions and beautiful surroundings.

On February 23rd from 11 am The Link will host an Australian Institute of Horticulture Awards Event, to accept the “Regional Green Space Award” for 2022 and to acknowledge local landscape designer Garden Expressions and Great Gardens Landscaping

Contractors who worked on the project. The past few years have seen an explosion of research finding concrete links between increased exposure to nature and not just improved physical health, but better mental health, too. A purpose designed space like The Link makes this kind of exposure accessible for everyone, from mums and bubs to those using wheelchairs and wheely walkers. We hope to see you at The Link, soon.

If you’re thinking of retiring, why not take a look around our thriving, supportive community? Marian Grove offers you home options to suit every taste, from villas to apartment living, and prices to suit every budget.

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 0490522596, email or visit our website at

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The past few years have seen an explosion of research finding concrete links between increased exposure to nature and not just improved physical health, but better mental health, too.
CALL our friendly Marian Grove Sales team on (02) 6653 1241 EMAIL VISIT Lifestyle Image - Departure fee payable, enquire for more information. SAWTELL CATHOLICCAR E Celebrate Come Home to MARIAN GROVE LIFE! Prices to suit EVERY budget - Home options to suit EVERY taste



Perry Homes has been building award winning homes for 30 years. A trusted builder, they have a well-earned reputation for delivering quality homes that provide exceptional value for money.

ith an extensive range of house designs available, Perry Homes also understands that there isn’t always a perfect match for everyone, that’s why flexibility is key.

New Home Consultant

Phillip Hitchins commented, “at Perry Homes, we appreciate that building a home is a deeply personal experience and we want our clients to love their home for many years to come. That’s why we are happy to modify our plans or even create a custom designed home that meets our clients’ needs.” And, for a limited time, when you build with Perry Homes, they will include all of their

WInspired Inclusions for only $6,990. That’s over 38 luxury upgrades to your new home valued at $60,000!

Some of the luxury inclusions include

• Ducted air conditioning

• Smartstone benchtops and a choice of highend kitchen appliances

Our Inspired Inclusions allow them the flexibility to explore different materials, fixtures and fittings for an affordable price.

• Colorbond steel roof with statement front entry door

• Mirrored robes to the bedrooms and feature panel internal doors throughout

• Choice of high-end bathroom fixtures and fittings and semi frameless shower screens

• Ample LED downlights and additional LED switches and internal sensor lights throughout the home.

Phillip added, “our clients are often looking at ways to bring their personal flair to their home design without breaking the budget. Our Inspired Inclusions allows them the flexibility to explore different materials, fixtures and fittings for an affordable price.”

Perry Homes has been helping people realise their dream home for 30 years. Their dedicated team have the experience and know-how to help you create your dream home and the expertise to deliver it to the highest of standards.

Perry Homes has a portfolio of over 50 home designs to choose from that will suit flat or sloping blocks, traditional or acreage homeseven knockdown rebuilds and dual occupancy homes.

If you are thinking of building, visit one of Perry Homes’ display homes located in Moonee Beach Estate or Sawtell Commons Estate. You can contact Phillip Hitchins on 0428 271 884 or phillip.hitchins@perryhomes. or visit

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Shoreline the LUXURY



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October 2022 saw the official opening of the Shoreline Luxury Retirement Living, a state-of-art aged care and retirement village development in the heart of Coffs Harbour. The precinct features a 120 bed Residential Aged Care Home and will feature 185 Independent Living residences. With over 85% of the independent living apartments sold in the 77 Saltwater Apartments, the first residents have made themselves at home and have created a warm buzz around the precinct.

With a focus on using local trades and contractors, including the main builders FM Glenn, the quality and finishes for the build are immediately noticeable from that very first step into the main foyer. You’d be forgiven for thinking you’ve stepped into

“The vision for The Shoreline has always been to focus on redefining the meaning of lifestyle for those in our community who are over 65. The precinct brings the Mid North Coast retiree community something our region has never seen before, while creating a community that they can proudly call home. The resort-style community centre is at the heart of the development. Topped off with an inviting pool surrounded by an outdoor BBQ area, beautifully landscaped gardens and the convenience of practical recreation facilities, which is all contained within a secured gated community “ said Steve Gooley, the General Manager of the Bachrach Naumburger Group.

The Aged Care Home had its first residents move in during November, with the

Shoreline team fulfilling its commitment to offer premium residential aged care beds featuring spacious rooms and lounge and living areas. With a focus on providing a comfortable senior living environment for those that are looking for tailored care and attention, it’s for this reason The Shoreline has taken the approach to only move in five aged care residents into the Aged Care Home each week. We currently have close to 40 residents on site and we are growing weekly.

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a luxury holiday resort to rival any luxury escape.
The vision for The Shoreline has always been to focus on redefining the meaning of lifestyle for those in our community who are over 65.

“We’ve worked extremely hard over the past twelve months since I’ve come on board with The Shoreline team to develop an exceptional quality model of care for both our residents and our staff. So the staged approach to moving in residents allows us to really get to know our residents as individuals and help us to understand their unique values. This also means we can be confident in delivering the highest level of care and support” said Owen Lednor, Director of Care at The Shoreline. One of the redeeming qualities of the


luxury retirement living precinct in the heart of Park Beach, is the seamless interaction between the higher needs Aged Care Home and the Supported Independent Living apartments and villas.

of 130 full time locals.

“When our team has been chatting to residents who have purchased into the development, what we’ve heard time and time again is that they love the cohesion

and communal spaces that the aged care home and the independent living components share. So, if they’re currently in the independent living part of the precinct they feel assured knowing that if their, or their partners needs change as they age, it will be an easier transition into aged care living, because the two components of the precinct work cohesively together”, said Brett Kelly, General Manager of The Shoreline.

With the Aged Care Home and some

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We’ll not only have a great village area that benefits retirees in Coffs Harbour and surrounds, but also employs in excess

independent living now completed, there is still future independent living and villas being constructed at the Shoreline and available to purchase.

“We’ve created a true aged care, retirement and health hub, and once the additional construction is completed, we’ll not only have a great village area that benefits retirees in Coffs Harbour and surrounds but also employs in excess of 130 full time locals.” said Steve Gooley.

The Shoreline team is thrilled to show people over 65 around the precinct and sit and discuss their care needs. You can learn more about the newest leaders in luxury retirement living by visiting.

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BOOK YOUR TOUR TODAY 02 5656 0200 41 York Street, Coffs Harbour NSW Visit Trina at the Display Suite, located at Park Beach Plaza (opposite Ritchies IGA)

The Shoreline is now open creating the opportunity for long-term, rewarding and secure employment.

The Shoreline provides traineeships, exciting opportunities to gain Nationally Accredited qualifications and access to specialist training for employees.

We are currently looking for Care, Clinical, Catering, Barista, Laundry, Maintenance and Housekeeping staff to join our dynamic team.

If you are interested in working for the best Residential Aged Care Facility on the Mid North Coast, please forward an expression of interest along with your resume to:

100 COFFS COAST 02 5656 0200 RETIREMENT VILLAGE & AGED CARE RESIDENCE 41 York Street, Coffs Harbour, NSW, 2450
Are you interested in A CAREER IN AGED CARE?

JOIN Our Team

100 COFFS COAST focus WHEN QUALITY AND SERVICE MATTERS PROUD LOCAL SUPPLIERS of windows and doors for The Shoreline luxury Retirement Village and Aged Care Residence WINDOWS \ DOORS \ SCREENS 58 Industrial Drive, North Boambee Valley, NSW 2450 (02) 6699 3877

Coffs Coast Formwork Pty

Ltd is very proud to have been involved with the construction of BNG Group’s The Shoreline Project. It has been a rewarding experience for all involved, we would like to thank BNG Group and FM Glenn Constructions for the opportunity and look forward to working together again in the future.


25 Craft Close Toormina NSW 2452 P: 02 6658 1665 | M: 0403 458 017 E:
• Concrete driveways,
and patios • Ground slab
of Suspended
and Vertical Elements • Steel Fixing • Excavation • Retaining
– All forms
We are excited to have been selected to supply & install the solar and hybrid battery systems for T The Shoreline Luxury Retirement Living and Residential Aged Care at Coffs Harbour. 395kW Canadian Solar Panels 67.5kWh Tesla Powerwall 2.0 Battery storage 496,000kg CO2 Total Carbon Emissions Reduction Per Annum 66529700 Solar and Renewables Solar and Renewables
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AJ Civil Projects are proud to have been part of both the early earthworks and the construction works of the Shoreline development. The quality and integrity of this project’s end result is second to none and a plus for the Coffs community.

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Alan Johnson - Director
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COFFS COAST focus 97 Residential and Commercial specialists in Coffs Harbour Proud to be a part of The Shoreline fitout! O’Brien Electrical Coffs Harbour (02) 6652 2011 O’Brien Electrical Coffs Harbour ABN 84 625 499 789 LIC. 385320C We are an independent legal entity using the O’Brien mark under license Experts making it easy “Construction, commercial, industrial, or residential, we are experienced at working with a broad range of clients for over 50 years”

Laser/O'Brien Plumbing & Relining Coffs Harbour collectively carries over 100 years plumbing, relining and management experience.

Our skilled group of local operators, who through the implementation of strong systems and client service, have allowed for strategic expansion and growth in the construction and facility maintenance sectors.

Our market position in the industry has been earned by nurturing relationships, investing within our local community, and displaying a can-do attitude with our clients through to the end user.

Our attention to providing the highest levels of customer service and a common-sense approach are the principles promoted and embraced by our teams.

As a group that uses innovation, quality, integrity, and serviceability as the cornerstone of our operations and supported by O'Brien’s access to a national workforce, we are well-positioned to take plumbing and relining service delivery to the next level.

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This strategy is one of the most useful tools we have to make residential aged care affordable, so it is common to hear it used. The main benefit is helping to manage cashflow when paying for your room, by making your money stretch further.

The cost of a residential care room is quoted as a lump sum amount – called a Refundable Accommodation Deposit (RAD). But if you don’t want to pay the lump sum or you don’t have enough money to pay it in full, you can choose to convert all or some into a daily accommodation payment (DAP). This conversion uses an interest rate set by government - currently 7.06% per annum.


Henry has been quoted a room price (RAD) of $500,000. He uses $100,000 from his bank account to pay part of this RAD as a lump sum. The remaining $400,000 remains unpaid and he pays $77.37 per day (ie $400,000 x

7.06% / 365 days) as a DAP.

Paying a part RAD and part DAP may solve the problem of not enough liquid assets. But the next problem to solve is how to create enough cashflow to pay the daily fee (DAP) as well as your other ongoing care fees and personal expenses.

This is where the DAP from RAD comes in. Instead of paying the DAP from either cashflow or remaining savings, you can ask the care provider to deduct the DAP from the lump sum RAD that you paid. This is a bit like tapping into another bank account – one that you thought was locked away with no access.


Henry asks the care provider to deduct the DAP from his RAD. Each month the balance of his RAD account is reduced by the DAP payable. It would take just over three years for the balance to be fully depleted. But at least Harry will be able to plan his finances, knowing that the $100,000 paid will cover his room costs (the DAP) for three years.

P 0431 414 799

Paying some RAD has the benefit of reducing fees and may also help to qualify for a higher age pension as it is an exempt asset when calculating pension entitlements. Paying the DAP out of this RAD then has the benefit of managing cashflow. Getting the balance between a RAD and a DAP is the key to a successful strategy.

If you have concerns about affordability of residential care, call me today on 0431 414 799 to make an appointment and we can review your options and strategies available. As an Accredited Aged Care Professional TM 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.

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).



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Understanding aged care can be complicated enough, without needing to decipher all the jargon and acronyms. An example is the “DAP from RAD” strategy, which can be confusing if you don’t understand what all the letters mean.

lifestyle Living a WE DESIRE


ero-G evenly distributes weight and promotes spinal alignment for a personalised position with maximum support.

Add the Luxury of a Medici Mattress with individual pocket springs, Beautyrest Black Medici comes with a 10 year warranty, this will give you the desired look and personal touch for your bedroom.

Come in and try Sleepmakers Luxurous Medici mattresses, feel the diffence, experience Zero-G, and other features including massage you won’t be

Adjustable beds create the ultimate stress relief by reducing pressure throughout the body by alleviating muscle and joint pain.

Cutting edge technology that’s second to none. Choose from a selection of preset programs that can even help reduce your snoring for a better night’s sleep.



Small-business owners are being urged to take time out in the new year to take stock of their mental and financial wellbeing.

The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman Bruce Billson said it is important for smallbusiness owners to spend time working on their business as it is to spend time working in their business.

“Too often the daily quest to keep the doors open and manage the many immediate demands prevents time being spent thinking about the health, future and goals of your business. And for that matter, your own health,” he said.

“That’s why it is vital those running or managing a small business look after their mental and financial wellbeing. Sometimes it can be as simple as making time to pause, reflect and


Research published by Treasury just before Christmas confirmed that many small-business owners struggle with mental health challenges.

One in five of those surveyed had been diagnosed with a mental health condition by a doctor or health professional. In some industries such as manufacturing, retail trade, accommodation, and food services, one-in-three small-business owners said a key cause of stress was finding a balance between the demands of work, family and personal life followed by lockdowns owing to COVID19.

Mr Billson said talking to trusted advisers and networks was a great way to find solutions, and an independent but dependable view can be a vital ingredient to blend with the optimism that drives enterprising people.

SURF LIFESAVERS - Summer finishes at the end of this month, but this does not mean our Surf Lifesaving volunteers stop. They’ll continue to patrol our beaches in Woolgoolga and the Northern Beaches until Tuesday, 25 April 2023 (ANZAC Day). Our community is grateful for their dedication in ensuring we are safe while at our local beaches.

A big thank you to our volunteers for their hard work through this season. To everyone visiting our local beaches, remember to swim between the flags and obey

our Surf Lifesaving volunteers instructions.

LABOR HAVE CUT OUR MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES - Under the previous Government, individuals could receive 20 Medicare subsidised psychology sessions. Labor have cut this back to 10. This is unacceptable, especially in our region. I have been calling for the Labor Government to reinstate this back to 20, but they haven’t. This is not ok. Governments need to act as it is their family members who are going through this physical and emotional journey.

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Ombudsman urges small-business owners to ‘take care of themselves’
That’s why it is vital those running or managing a small business look after their mental and financial wellbeing.
KEVIN HOGAN - The Nationals

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.

Call 6651 8144

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The Belleview
NOW OPEN Display Home
Ribbon Homes


Choosing a Property or Tenancy Manager is a task many people avoid, as often they are all marked with the same persona. Property Management is not a hard job, it is a job that needs doing and when managed correctly, the process should just flow. Good old fashioned communication and service is TMP Rentals commitment to all those who work with them.

What’s new at TMP Rentals?

Have you seen our new office at 76 Mildura Street? We have recently relocated into a flash new space to cater for our ever-expanding portfolio and team – Yes, still behind the green door! We also have not long opened up a second office in Grafton to service the Clarence Valley!

Tell us about your team and their area of expertise? Our team comprises over 50+ years experience in real estate, however it is our choice to offer a streamlined property management service.

What services do TMP Rentals provide?

TMP Rentals provide all aspects of managing your investment property from appraisals, renovation suggestions, marketing, leasing, tribunal hearings, accounts and tenancy management.

Tell us about some of the new, exciting projects you are working on now and in the future. We continue to refine our services to ensure our clients' needs on their investment journey are met. It is the nature of our industry to be constantly evolving.

What are the stand out features or the benefits of working with TMP Rentals? Because we are solely dedicated to tenancy management, it is always our top priority.

What makes you stand out above your competitors? At TMP, we pride ourselves on good old fashioned communication and service.

What is the process when a new client wants their rental property managed by

the team at TMP Rentals? Give us a call and we’ll organise a meet up to discuss your specific needs.

What is the process when a new tenant wants to rent a property managed by the team at TMP Rentals? We suggest prospective clients pop onto our website and fill out an online application form. Following that make contact with our friendly staff to organise an inspection or attend an already scheduled open home.

What are the top three things that people should consider when looking to rent or lease a property? Location, budget and house requirements.

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Our team comprises over 50+ years experience in real estate, however it is our choice to offer a streamlined property management service.

How has the rental market changed over the years? The market has seen an influx of people relocating from our major cities over the last few years which has created demand. More demand means that landlords have more choice which results in greater competition within the marketplace. We believe the market is still “finding its feet”, however, we do believe over the next twelve months the market will stabilise.

Since conception what has been the most important thing to you as a local trade? Educating our landlord clients that investing can be a positive experience.

How important is it to support local businesses? So important! Supporting local businesses not only strengthens our local economy and creates more jobs for locals, it also builds community relationships.

What are some challenges that the industry has faced and how have you overcome these? Although recent years have been challenging, our day to day workload is very challenging. Our office policies and procedures provide solid foundations which allow systems to flow effortlessly.

Tell us about your community involvement. Whilst we currently sponsor a local rugby club and have recently participated in a charity walk for mental health, we regularly assist our landlords and tenants directly with community assistance when we deem needed.

How about we meet Chrissie and meet Joanne? Name: Christine Rengger

Role: Director & Licensed Property Manager

Can you tell us about your role? Owner, bill payer, risk taker, pay master.

What do you think is important to be successful in this industry? Resilience. Be strong but compassionate, have empathy, have a clear and concise knowledge of the laws associated with renting and continuously be expanding and renewing that knowledge

so that all parties can rest assured that all matters are being dealt with according to law. What are your goals moving forward with your career? Continued education and training, exploring the ever changing face of Property Management in Australia and to find new and up to date techniques that can assist us in providing a streamlined and enhanced renting experience that people find easy, not to mention fair and knowledgeable.

What have been your greatest highlights and accolades over the years? Running several successful businesses (and some not so successful - but that’s when you learn stuff), having the industry knowledge and experience so our clients and customers know they are getting the facts and can rest assured that their interests are protected. Also working as an industry Trainer and

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Supporting local businesses not only strengthens our local economy and creates more jobs for locals, it also builds community relationships.


teaching the younger generation how to do the job right and have successful careers. I have recently attended the USA Property Management Conference and observed how property management works in the USA. Was very interesting.

What do you enjoy most about living and working on the Coffs Coast? I love that you can be living in this picture perfect metropolis and then be on a plane and in Sydney in an hour - how cool!

Name: Jo McIntyre

Role: Senior Property Manager

Can you tell us about your role? Well I do a bit of everything really but essentially I am the Senior Property Manager and oversee the day

to day running of all things landlord/tenant/ property.

What do you think is important to be successful in this industry? To have a clear and authentic mindset that is transparent in dealing with all.

What are your goals moving forward with your career? To continue to learn and do my best to achieve my clients expectations (and to make it to retirement)!

What have been your greatest highlights and accolades over the years? I must say that when a landlord or tenant thanks me for something I have done to assist them, that is the greatest thanks I can expect. I don’t do this job for the thanks, (as normally there

isn’t any) but it is a happy moment when someone goes out of their way to say “thank you” and “we appreciate your help”. Of course every day we strive to assist people in their renting journey but honestly, it is a pretty thankless job most of the time. I hope one day that will change.

What do you enjoy most about living and working on the Coffs Coast? What is not to love! I love the water, I love water sports and I love taking my grandkids to the beach and being an active grandparent in their lives.

How can we get in touch?



Give us a call on 6651 2944 or drop into one of our friendly offices! We’re always up for a chat about how we can assist you.

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I must say that when a landlord or tenant thanks me for something I have done to assist them, that is the greatest thanks I can expect.


How many purchasers buy the first property they see? Ask most agents and they will tell you it rarely happens. Most purchasers stay on agents’ books for weeks, months and even longer.

Purchasers really like to shop around, after all, the family home is the most important purchase most people ever make and they need to do their homework before they buy. The amount of time they spend shopping around reflects the amount of money invested. Purchasers shop not only to find their ideal home, but also to be really confident that the price they are paying is market value. By the time purchasers are ready to make a commitment, they know exactly what their money will buy. That’s why sellers need to do the same amount of homework when deciding what price to advertise the property at in the first place. Pricing a property too high and “hoping” someone will come along just wastes time and potential purchasers. At any one time, the percentage of qualified purchasers (those with finance and enough market knowledge to commit themselves) is only the tip of the iceberg compared to those who have just started looking or are still trying to get a feel for what their money will buy, One of the most important aspects of

shopping around for any product or service is comparing prices.

One of the reasons there is often a gap between what vendors and purchasers think a property is worth, is that vendors usually look at the asking prices of properties similar to their own. Purchasers on the other hand compare selling prices.

The selling price reflects the market value of the property and while the asking price should include a negotiating factor to achieve the highest possible figure, overpricing will simply make purchasers lose interest.

It’s important not to underestimate the amount of homework a serious purchaser will have done before deciding to make an offer on your property. Qualified buyers know when prices are inflated and they tend to focus their interest where they can see value for money. Many vendors think that successful agents use aggressive or “pushy” selling techniques. They believe that an agent who uses such techniques will sell their property faster and for a higher price. But the reality is often far different and purchasers frequently report that they dislike hype and they hate being pushed. Many purchasers who are put off by often well-intentioned “hype” make the decision not to carry out any further inspections with that agent. After all, you can’t really bully someone into buying their single greatest


Home purchase is rather more significant than buying a pair of trousers or a new detergent. With so much at stake purchasers do their homework for weeks even months before committing themselves. They usually know down to the last light fitting what their money will buy. Pushy selling techniques are no substitute for a well thought out marketing programme and could even lose a potential buyer.

Alienating purchasers is counter-productive and in some cases even leads to a property staying longer on the market than otherwise. When this happens there is a chance that the ultimate selling price will be lower. If the marketing programme is sound and the ground work has been thoroughly covered, a sale will result.

Correct pricing, attention to presentation of the property, professional and consistent exposure so that all the prospective purchasers in the price range are introduced to the property and it’s best features are just some of the aspects of a good marketing programme. The best agents don’t need to use pushy techniques. Their professionalism, superior marketing programs and local reputation are working and they have the quiet confidence and genuine enthusiasm that goes with success.

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FROM UNREAL ESTATE with CHRIS HINES focus contributor.

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