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Feature Story


The Men’s Shed

I N S I D E 17

February 2012 // issue 17

A PASSION FOR FOOD Meet Robert English of Avé Restaurant, winner of last year’s Mid North Coast Signature Dish Awards.

CHARLOTTE FRENCH We find out more about Charlotte’s work and how she implements her eco-friendly philosophies in her business.


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editor's note note.

kim gould.


from the

Welcome to the February issue of Coffs Coast FOCUS. ell, we’re finally back in the swing of things after an enjoyable festive season. It has taken us a couple of weeks to get our heads out of holiday mode, but we got there ... just in time for a fabulous February! I’ve always liked February ... it brings great weather, and people really start to get stuck into the joys of a new year and the metaphorical blank canvas that it brings with it. I’m really looking forward to what the Coffs Coast has to offer us this year – many festivals, great entertainment, a myriad of community events and all the interesting characters that we get to meet along the way.


IN THIS ISSUE This month our focus (pardon the pun) is on longevity, with our special feature ‘Decades In The Trade’ highlighting an array of businesses who have been operating in the local area for more than 10 years. Read their success stories from page 38. We also introduce you to some ordinary local people with extraordinary stories. Charlotte French tells us about her creative side (page 32), George Maguire tells us about being a champion lawn bowler (page 48), and the guys down at the Coffs Harbour Men’s Shed tell us what their facility is all about (page 6). And that’s just to name a few!

says that he loves doing the regional circuit, because he gets to meet his fans up close and personal. Josh tells us about his third studio album, Only Sparrows, and his plans for 2012 (page 10). A SPECIAL THANK YOU This month we say goodbye to one of our Advertising Consultants, Kylie Soultanian. Kylie has been with us for the past year and has been a real asset to FOCUS. Without her hard work, passion and genuinely kind nature, the last year would not have been as much of a success (or as much fun) for FOCUS. So we’d like to thank her for being such a great team player, and although we are sad to see her go, we wish her all the very best of luck in her future endeavours. EDITOR’S PHOTO This month’s landscape photo featured above is courtesy of 16 year old Liam Hardy of Sapphire. He’s been doing photography for about two years now and hopes to make it his profession. We think he’s on the right track! If you’d like to see your photography published in FOCUS in 2012, email samples of your work to FINAL SAY “Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

ON THE COVER One of Australia’s favourite homegrown musicians, Josh Pyke, comes to Coffs in February. He always puts on a great show and

focus C O F F S C OA S T

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

Kim Gould – Editor

contacts. EDITOR: Kim Gould

ART DIRECTOR: Jay Beaumont


ADDRESS: 3/57 Grafton St, Coffs Harbour POSTAL: PO Box 286, Coffs Harbour PHONE: 02 6650 9343 FAX: 02 6651 3798 WEB: iPHONE: TV:





SALES MANAGER: Louise Beaumont

Comments and opinions of our contributors do not necessarily reflect the opinion or view of the Publishers or Editor. All reasonable efforts have been made to trace copyright holders. Information appearing in Focus is believed to be correct at the time of going to press, however no liability will be held for inaccurate information approved or supplied by advertisers or contributors. While all care is taken it is recommended that readers confirm dates, times, prices and any other material including advice with individual businesses and industry professionals. Coffs Coast Focus is produced and published by Creative House Publications PTY LTD ABN: 621 287 8600 5. Material in Focus is Copyright © Creative House Publications PTY LTD 2011 and may not be reproduced whole or in part, in any form, without permission of the Publisher. All rights reserved.




COPY EDITORS: Reg Brookhouse/Jo Atkins


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Charlotte French has always been an artistic person, using her creative talents wherever possible. But she also has a strong passion for sustainability and using eco-friendly products. We find out more about Charlotte’s work and how she implements her ecofriendly philosophies in her business.

charlotte french.


harlotte, you’ve always been a creative person and spent 8 years designing and manufacturing teddy bears. Tell us about that part of

your life. I started sewing as a young teenager and wanted to be a designer. I finished the tertiary course and planned to enter the designer college in Stockholm. During holidays, I went travelling to Australia – and of course, I fell in love. Once the kids were at school, I had to do something with myself, so I decided to make little calico dolls and get a bit crafty. Then I saw calico bears in a shop and thought I could make those, so I did. I discovered a magazine with proper bears, fully jointed in the old style, and I thought that’s what I should do. So I registered a business, bought a heap of fur, and dived in head first. I sold the bears worldwide … hundreds and hundreds of them! I’ve got koalas in Alaska, brown bears in Russia … I’ve got bears all over the world. Two and a half years ago, I got a big order for 100 koalas for a company in America called Abercrombie & Fitch. That was a huge job. All the bears are hand made, and each koala has 13 body pieces. I design them myself, so they’ve got to be drawn up, cut out, trimmed, stitched, turned, stuffed and fully jointed. Then I did polymer hand sculpted noses on every single one of them. After 8 years of making teddy bears, my knuckles were aching a little bit and my eyes were tired, so I decided to have a break. By this point, my husband, Wayne’s, art was going so well, that he wanted an art

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gallery. So that was the next adventure … Tell us about Greenroom Gallery – how it began and the ethos behind the store. It’s been roughly 18 months since we opened Greenroom Gallery at The at Promenade. We wanted to have a store that would display Wayne’s art and also house sustainable clothing, because that was something I was passionate about. And I guess that was the challenge – to unite the two. I wanted the name Greenroom – that was just a word I liked. We used to joke, because Wayne has surfed all his life and I haven’t, and the greenroom is obviously when you’re in the wave. So Wayne always used to say, “I’ll see you in the Greenroom ... me looking out, you looking in.” So I always wanted Greenroom, and the word Greenroom is really tying in thinking more about sustainability and making better choices, along with the waves that Wayne loves and paints. The shop only stocks eco-friendly and ethical products. Why is this important to you? I was on the net one day looking up beeswax candles, and suddenly I discovered a heap of information about commercial cotton … and that was it. I was completely convinced that we needed to buy organic cotton and fibres. Out of everything that gets harvested in the world, only 3% is cotton, and that 3% uses 25% of all the pesticides in the world, so it’s very bad. So I only have organic cotton in my shop, along with renewable and eco-friendly fibres like bamboo, silk, linen and hemp. When you grow a fibre, there are really

two o main things thi hings to think about – growing two and harvesting and then manufacturing the fibre. When it comes to growing, hemp and bamboo are possibly the best. Bamboo and hemp grow really fast, and you don’t actually have to spray or water them. We don’t realise how many chemicals go into fibres. The worst part is when you grow it, because the chemicals go out into the waterways. Then when you manufacture all fibres, there is a chemical process … linen and hemp are probably the best, because the fibre is IN the stalk. When it comes to manufacturing, I’ve learnt so much in the last two years. When I buy clothing for the store, it has to fit in with the concept of fair labour and be eco-friendly. No fibre is perfect, but it’s a better way of doing fibres. So I go worldwide and find little obscure labels that are trying to do something better. I stock Australian labels as well, among others exclusive to Coffs Harbour, like ‘Bodypeace’, a new label by a designer in Byron Bay. One of my favourites is hempage from Germany – natural hemp in eco friendly dyes. In Europe and the US, eco friendly fashion is big and ever growing. You also paint some of the garments you have in store and sell them with your designs on them. Tell us about these.

used d to to I have a little work room where I used make my teddy bears, and I paint in there on a Sunday. It’s therapeutic for me; I never really know what the garment is going to look like until it’s finished. I do mainly paint, including singlets, scarves, T-shirts, babywear etc. It just adds a nice bit of colour to the garments. For the babywear, I’ve done something different, including painting some owls and simple designs. It’s getting to the stage where anything that’s plain I’ll pick up and paint! If you visit Greenroom Gallery you’ll realise that from art to gifts and clothing we are all about colour, creativity and making waves for change. hanks Charlotte. Thanks


inside this

Julie Ross The students at Julie Ross Dance Studio are busy preparing for a trip to America in July, which will see them perform at Disneyland. We catch up with co-ordinator Sally Johnson, to find out about the rehearsals and fundraising involved.

Issue 17 - February 2012

Passion for food Last year, Robert English of Avé Restaurant won the Mid North Coast Signature Dish Awards, and his humble Bellingen restaurant was thrust into the spotlight. Since then, Robert and his partner Amanda have gone from strength to strength, obtaining a liquor licence and being awarded a Chef’s Hat from the AGFG.


usual suspects.



8. what’s on for February 16. eat featuring local restaurants 24. social scene with Carole Beros 30. star guide with Terri

Jodi McAlary From a working life in Sydney, a sea change to the MidNorth Coast, the birth of identical triplet daughters and an enthusiasm for life has led Jodi McAlary to develop a bright new business venture ...

47. tourism with Tourism Coffs Coast

48. business voice with the Coffs Harbour Chamber of Commerce

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

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The Coffs Harbour Men’s Shed is a great place for local men to meet, make new friends, build things and access a great support network. They’re facing tough times, with a lack of funding and their lease running out in March. FOCUS chats to the Shed’s manager, Peter Murphy, to find out more about the organisation.

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ell us about how The Coffs Harbour Men’s Shed came to fruition. It officially opened in February 2010. Some key members in Rotary identified Men’s Shed as a movement and something that we needed in this community. Ultimately, what they needed to get started was for a shed to be donated, so when John Mandle, CEO of CHESS Employment at the time and also an ex-Rotarian, heard of what they wanted to do, he tapped into some funds through CHESS and provided a shed to get it started. So CHESS provided the shed and hired me as a manager to set it up, then Rotary came in and built our offices and got all the materials donated, including paint, carpet, tools, timber, etc. From their membership base, they then looked for people who could be mentors and help others on the floor, and it all went from there. Since then, lots of businesses have come on board and donated things, to the point that everything on our floor has been donated. There’s a lot of people that would be a little bit naive as to what a Men’s Shed actually is ... give us some insight? It’s very broad, and it’s hard to give just one single statement as to what a Men’s Shed is. Basically, it’s a place for men to meet, have fun and build things. There’s a strong focus on men’s health, particularly mental health, and the Shed can provide a meeting place and a support network for men who come along. The Men’s Shed gives guys an opportunity to engage in constructive activity and contribute to others and the community, share their knowledge and experience and learn from others, meet in a social, non-threatening environment, benefit from mutual support and overcome isolation. In our particular shed, the focus is woodworking, and we’ve got a range of skills from people who aren’t woodworkers at all, to people who are very good at it. They all come in to this melting pot, and everyone gets something a bit different out of it. There are some guys who are here just to meet people, because they’re new to the area, and it’s a way to meet other blokes. This is an excuse for them to say they’re going to the shed to work, when they’re really going to

make some friends. We’ve noticed that you do a lot of work with disability groups … Well, because CHESS auspice the Shed and put a huge contribution into getting this going, part of their charter is getting people with disabilities work. So, they want to encourage people with disabilities to come to the shed, because it fits with our ethos and satisfies the board at CHESS. We have a variety of local and these two organisations don’t want to fund us disability groups who come along, but if someone forever. We’ve got costs and we need to cover them, with a disability wants to come in, they need to have so we’re looking for broader support and for someone a support worker with them – because we don’t have else to come along and realise that it’s a worthwhile the staff to supervise them the whole time. cause that they can help out with. But you are by no means just a disability service? Funding has been a real stumbling block for us, Not at all. A lot of the comment that we’ve had is because government funding tends to focus on a that the Men’s Shed is a place where people new project, and we’re an existing project with problems and/or a disability go, doing something successfully. Plus, it’s and that’s not the case at all. We are hard to get funding for rent and here for able bodied people, but additions to the shed, because ar ul ic rt pa r In ou we do encourage people with is s cu it’s owned by a private entity. fo e th , ed sh d disabilities to come along. We’ve negotiated with the woodworking, an e of There’s no eligibility we’ve got a rang shed owner to continue month ho le w requirements – people of any skills from peop by month until something else at rs ke or aren’t woodwwho are age and any ability can come comes up. all, to people it. along and join us. If there are kids In the meantime, we’re very good at under 20 years old, we do assess looking at all avenues – in them individually to see if they’re particular putting pressure on the mature and responsible enough to Federal and State Governments and the work on the floor and operate the machinery local Council to give us some funding to keep themselves. us going. After all, we support community groups, we What’s your membership base like? make things for the community and the community They’re all volunteers and are coming here for uses the Men’s Shed, so we feel there is a responsibility different reasons. We’ve got a membership base of for Council to support us – but up to this point, about 180 men, and we average roughly 22-24 people they’ve been unable to. in here a day, which adds up to a lot of people using Council have set aside some land, but it’s subject to the shed. There’s no membership fee, but we do have lots of factors; things are a little way off, and we’ve a gold coin donation for each day of participation. got to survive in the short term. How often are you open? If anyone can help you with some financial We open 3 days a week at this stage: Wednesday to sponsorship, what’s the best way to do that? Friday, from 8.30am to 3.30pm. It would be great if some local businesses could You’re at a cross roads now in terms of funding jump on board and help us out. If they’re able to, they and keeping the premises after your lease runs can call me on 6652 5420. out in March. What’s next? Thanks Peter. Rotary and CHESS were a part of the plan to start For more information, visit the website: up the Men’s Shed. We’re past the setup stage now,

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what’s W H AT ’S O N A RO U N D T H E R E G I O N // F E B RUA RY 2 012

Sunday Sessions

14 feb

Origins of Love Zulu’s Restaurant & Bar will be hosting a six-course degustation charity dinner and silent auction themed: The Origin of Love, featuring as much local produce we can get our hands on ... and spreading as much love as we can! At just $100 a ticket, you get six courses AND matching wines, with every cent of the ticket sales going to the charity! When Tuesday 14 February. Where Zulu’s Restaurant & Bar. For more info Call 6652 1588.

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Sunday Sessions are back at Aanuka Beach Resort due to popular demand. Kick back, relax and get in the mood for fun loving summer days with quality food, cheeky beverages and locally grown entertainment. Where Aanuka Beach Resort. When Every Sunday 3pm - 6pm. For more info Call 6652 7555.

19 Botanical Jazz Enjoy the sultry sounds of live Jazz in a beautiful garden setting. February features performances from Caxton Street Jazz Band and Jugalug Stringband, with plenty more music to come in March. Where North Coast Regional Botanic Garden, Coffs Harbour. When 19 February and 26 February. For tickets and info Visit the Botanic Garden Shop or the Visitor Information Centre.


NRL Pre-Season Trial Match Get ready for the 2012 NRL season, with a pre season trial match held right here in Coffs Harbour. Watch the South Sydney Rabbitohs and Vodafone Warriors battle it out on the field, as they prepare for the season ahead. When Saturday 11 February 2012; gates open 4pm. Main Game 7pm. Where BCU International Stadium. For more info


Dance Studio. The students at Julie Ross Dance Studio are busy preparing for a trip to America in July, which will see them perform at Disneyland. We catch up with co-ordinator Sally Johnson, to find out about the rehearsals and fundraising that’s involved.

ell us about the program that the students will be a part of in America. There are a few parts to this trip. We’ll be performing at Disney as part of a program called Dance The Magic, and we’re doing the Summer Spectacular. Studios from all around the world participate in the program. We all got sent a DVD with a routine that we have to learn, and we then get to perform it on the main street dressed in a Disney costume. We have another two performances at Disney that aren’t a part of the Dance the Magic program, and we also get to perform at Universal Studios as well as on Hollywood Boulevard. We’re going over there for 10 days, which will be made up of 5 days of performances and 2 days of workshops. We attend a Disney workshop and I think it will be something in musical theatre, because Disney is really good at that. Then we also get to dance at Debbie Reynolds’ dance studio, which is where all the big stars go – including Britney Spears and the like. It will be great for the kids to get to see what a big professional studio is actually like, because we don’t really have anything quite like that in Australia – where really professional dancers can go and train. They give you the choreography for the parade. Do you do the rest of the choreography yourselves? Yes, and we’ve had 5 choreographers work

on that. We’re doing routines in Tap, Jazz, musical theatre and Modern. Tell us about the group that’s going over to the USA for these performances. We have 25 students going, but there are nearly 70 people travelling in the group with all the families who are coming with us. The youngest dancer is 7, and I’m the oldest dancer at 25. We went over there in 2008 as well, and I actually danced in that one with my younger brother. We had 19 students go It will be great then, but we didn’t get to get th r fo e kids tobi g perform on Hollywood a at to see wh dio is u st al on Boulevard back then, so si profes use ca be that’s a new addition to actually like, have ly al re t we don’ the actual trip, but it’s the program. g quite like in h yt an our plan to pay for the As the co-ordinator, ... that in Australia extra stuff ... they’ve what’s involved for you? got to have two costumes Oh, so much work! It’s not and a uniform, and we also only organising the rehearsals, want to make sure that we can getting the performances ready, and pay for the actual performance cost and the getting the costumes organised, but it’s also workshops. making sure that we’ve got uniforms ordered Thankfully, we’ve had major sponsorship and designing new costumes. There’s a huge from Subway, and we’ve had Harvey Norman amount of paperwork to do with Disney that jump on board and provide us with lots of I have to complete as well. And early on, we BBQs. We’ve also done a couple of BBQs had to do audition DVDs, which took a bit at Bunnings, Carols by Candlelight, and to get together. But I think the hardest thing the Buskers Kids’ Day. Plus, we have had is getting the parents organised and giving pie drives and we’ve spent time selling them the info that they need. chocolates. It’s not going to be a cheap trip - what At the moment, we’re about $4,000 away are you doing for fundraising? from our target, but we’ve got our major The kids and their families are paying for

concert coming up in April, so hopefully we can raise half the money from that. It would be easier if you gained some major financial sponsorship. If our readers are interested in donating money, what’s the best way to do that? If we could have 2 big businesses jump on board and provide us with $2,000, that would be amazing! We’d be so grateful. So if anyone is interested in helping us out, the best thing would be to either contact myself or Julie. My number is 0429 396 426, or you can call the studio on 6651 9419. We’re happy to exchange a performance for some funds and/or mention the sponsors in everything that we do. Thanks Sally. Good luck with the performances!

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Josh Pyke is one of Australia’s favourite home grown artists, with a stack of accolades to prove it. Nicci Seccombe has the chance to speak with Josh as he prepares to embark on his regional tour – which includes a stop at Coffs Harbour ... our third studio album, Only Sparrows, has been out for a while now … we actually did a CD review on it a couple of months ago. What was it like writing and recording this album? It was probably the most challenging one that I’ve done so far, for lots of reasons – one of which was having a young baby, and my head being in domestic life for a while. The first two albums came really easily… they always say that your first album you’ve had your whole life to write. With the second one, I was touring so much and my life was changing so much that I was really inspired to write all the time, because everything was new and exciting. So when the third album came around, I’d had quite a long break and I’d had a child – and my life had changed a lot. There’s a lot of material there to write about, but I didn’t want to write like a ‘new dad’ record! So it was a real challenge for me to try and step outside of the life I’d been living and write songs that were still intimate stories, but they weren’t just like reading pages from my diary – which is what the last two albums were about. So that was a really new method for me; I found it really challenging, but really really rewarding when I got into it. What was it like working with Katy Steele (Little Birdy) on your latest single, Punch in the Heart? It was really good, but it’s one of those funny things with music and modern technology these days, where she was in New York and I was in Sydney the whole time. So we sent the files across to her for the song, she recorded over there, then sent it back and we mixed it over here. It was perfect, what she did. And it was the same for the film clip … we filmed our half over here, and she filmed her half over in New York. But then, really by coincidence she was in Perth visiting family when I was touring over there, so we did get to perform the song live together at the theatre where we played. That

was a really special moment, and it kind of felt like it had all really come together. Last year you toured the capital cities with Only Sparrows, and this year you’re doing a regional circuit. What are you looking forward to I really love this e we’v about performing at album and how I just these smaller venues? been touring it; ganic, think it’s really or Honestly, I am really t to d I just kinda wan an ... loving playing live at the at th g in do keep moment, so any chance to do it is great. I love my band – we’ve been playing done Bluesfest, so I’m mainly just together with this line up for about excited about playing the festival three years now, and I feel like we’ve really itself. And it’s never a bad thing to be up in found our true form with the band. It just feels Byron for a couple of days! effortless and really, really fun. We hear you’ve got an iPhone app out So playing the smaller venues makes it more now too. What can we find on that? fun because it’s more intimate. And they’re I don’t really look at it much, to be honest! kind of pub style venues, and that’s where we Ha ha! But I’m pretty sure it’s got things like all came up through the ranks doing shows tour dates, my twitter feeds, and we run a few – it’s just always fun. At the regional venues, competitions through it and that sort of stuff. I generally like to get out and say g’day to It’s mostly just so that fans can keep up to date everybody at the show and make it a bit more with tour dates and that sort of thing. intimate and fun. I guess it’s about getting We’re really fortunate to have a good back to basics. mix of Australian music on our airwaves So can we expect a good mix of the old these days. What are your thoughts about and the new music with the show? where the industry is heading in this Yeah, definitely. We were rehearsing the country? other day, and we’re throwing in songs like Whoa ... that’s a big question! I kind of feel Silver, which is off the very first EP I ever that there’s a definite changing of the guard did. We’ve got a fair bit of new stuff, and moment in terms of music and the bands everything in between as well. coming up through the ranks. Who have you got supporting you on the For example, bands like Boy and Bear, tour this time? Jezebels, Cloud Control and all these bands It’s a band called The Rescue Ships. They’re that have sort of, in the last four years or from Sydney and they’re friends of ours, so so, really started to make their mark – and they’ll be supporting us throughout the tour. it’s clear to me that they’re the new pack of You’re playing the Byron Bay Bluesfest what’s going to be the really successful bands. this year too. What are you looking And to me, that’s really exciting! forward to about performing there? It’s probably safe to say that Triple J has Well, I’ve never done it, so I’m just looking played an important part in your success, forward to the experience in general. It’s one particularly in the early days. Why do you of the premier festivals in Australia these think Triple J and their initiatives are so days. I’ve done pretty much most festivals important to Australian music? at some point in my career, but I’ve never They’re just a pretty unique station, because

they’re a national youth oriented station. Anybody anywhere in the country can access it. And for a band, it is a launch pad that is truly national and not just concentrating on city by city. So, I think it’s really important for that reason. It’s great that they offer competitions like Unearthed as a lot of massive bands have come through them to make it to the top. Yeah, that’s so true. So what can we expect from you in 2012? As you know, I’m touring up until April. But I would really love to get back into the studio before the end of the year and get stuck into a new album. The last one I did in between everything else, so there was a bit of a gap there, but this time I’d really like to push into a new one straight away and just keep going with more of the same. I’m really loving this album and how we’ve been touring it; I just think it’s really organic, and I just kinda want to keep doing that. As clichéd as it sounds, I just want to keep making records that I love and playing to audiences that love them too. That would keep me happy. Thanks Josh.

the plug! Josh Pyke will be performing at The Hoey Moey on Saturday, February 4. For more information, visit

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R E VIEWS PAGE Coffs Coast BWN proudly presents



meet a


Five fabulous local women ... share five fantastic tips ... for one first-rate life!

They are eir walkers of th t pu d an ... lk ta , and their moneyth ego, where eir mouth is.

This year, Coffs Coast BWN plan to start the year on the right shoe (a wedge, but of course) ... and with that considered, what better place to do that than the BEAUTIFUL Bonville Golf Resort! Thursday February 2, over breakfast, Coffs Coast BWN will present five inspiring Coffs Coast women sharing the floor to pass on five realistic ways you can start living the life you’ve always wanted ... and totally deserve! These women will wow you with the simplicity in which you can make life altering changes, and decisions, in your own life. They are walkers of their talk ... and put their money, and ego, where

Meet EJ Merrick, from Tint a Car and Tint a Window.

their mouth is. If they can do it, so can you!

Covering everything from achieving a successful work/life balance, to shifting your ‘stuff’... from looking and feeling fabulous, to taking that real leap of faith and setting and obliterating your goals ... these women have it covered! This event is one absolutely, positively not to be missed! Coffs Coast BWN will be donating all monies raised to the Dancing with the Stars.

the plug! RSVP by 31 January. Go to for more information.

How long have you been on the Coffs Coast? We moved here in 1984, to start up the 7 to 7 top town market in Woolgoolga. That was the start for us working for ourselves in business. What’s you favourite thing about this area? The rainforest where we live, the beaches, family and friends, the hinterland and 4WD tracks, the camping spots, the climate; it’s just a great area. Plenty to be thankful for ... Describe your typical day. Get up early and meditate and prepare for the day and before you know it, it’s time to head off to work. Our Tint store is in Marcia Street, and I set the order up for which cars we tint first or where we have to go to do home tinting. We’ve got 3 really good tinters in Michael, Josh and Beau working


with us, which makes for an enjoyable day. What’s the best thing about your job? We love working for ourselves; it gives you fantastic rewards. Also, the opportunity to train young emplyees in the art of window tinting – a trade they will have for life. What keeps you motivated? I just really like business and the satisfaction of owning a good business that pays its bills and wages. But, mainly dealing with people and offering what we reckon is a good service. Having fun at home and not taking it all too seriously! What does the future hold? We have a few acres at Woolgoolga where we live, which is based on permaculture values, so something along the lines of working with the earth ... and having some fun.

with Nicci Seccombe



360. FALLING & FLYING with Joel McCulla from Zulu’s

The Th he A Ancient ncient Romans ns u used s to wear a garland of celery to ward of hangovers, and while wearing a vegetable has not ever been attributed to health benefits, the celery should not be dismissed, as it truly is a super food. (There is talk that this Ancient Roman tradition did lay rise to the reason why Bloody Marys are garnished with celery – I personally think it’s because celery tastes so awesome). Celery in stalk, seed and leaf form has been used in Chinese Medicine for centuries, attributed with the ability to lower blood pressure, fight temperatures, increase liver function and pancreas function. More recently, compounds found in the celery have also been noted to have high antioxidant and cancer fighting properties. Along with it’s cousin parsley, celery has also long been used in the battle of bad breath. All the health benefits aside, celery is widely used for its property of complementing savoury flavours, whether it’s being used in a French mirepoix (a combination of onions, carrot and celery) the southern holy trinity (onions, capsicum and celery) or in one of its most common forms, the crudite, the dipping stick. Personally, I cannot go past the combination of celery and peanut butter, whether it’s using extra celery in satays, or just sitting there with a jar of peanut butter and some sticks of celery.


To continue reading about the benefits and uses of celery, including a few useful tips and recipes, visit my blog on the Zulu’s Restaurant & Bar website:

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Have you ever listened to that one album that relates so closely to your life or someone you know? My best mate introduced me to this album, that I thought told a life story similar to his … Which is why when I was asked to pick an album to review last minute, there was no hesitation from me to review Channel V’s Australian artist of the year – Melbourne’s very own underground Aussie Hip Hop MC, Matt Colwell (aka 360). After a go-karting accident in late 2010 that nearly took his life, 360 experienced one of his lowest ever points in life. Far from wallowing in self-pity, 360 used the experience as fuel for the fire, recording a swathe of new tunes for the already-completed album, Falling and Flying, including a handful of soulful, soul-baring tracks with uber-producer, M-Phazes. It feels wrong to call the new album Falling and Flying a Hip Hop album, because 360 pushes the boundaries much further than that. He manages to include a versatile range of genres throughout the album, which makes it one of my favourite albums of 2011/2012. Collaborating with a handful of some of Australia’s most talented musicians, with the likes of Josh Pyke, Gossling and N‘Fa, 360 has set the bar, and to me puts Eminem to shame. He has sold out tours through February and March, and I am glad I was lucky enough to jump

on the bandwagon early to score tickets to his Byron Bay Gig on February 4. If you want raw honesty through the lyrics, then 360’s tracks are deeply personal – and by the end of the record, you feel like you’ve known him for years. 360 is a masterful story teller, drawing the listener in with his honest lyrics and infusing his musical autobiography with anecdotes of his family and inner most thoughts, both the good and bad. He paints a picture of a flawed individual coming to terms with his past and the realisation that life is never quite what one plans it to be. The vulnerability that comes through on his tracks is endearing, if a little confronting at times. Falling and Flying strikes the perfect balance of self-deprecation and cheeky arrogance, and with such keen skill and a taste for Pop, things are only going to get better for 360.



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

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


including Fly the Dog in Babe, The Matchmaker ringing to life twenty-three of in Disney’s Mulan, and the Singing Teacher in the Charles Dickens’ most affecting Oscar-winning Happy Feet. and colourful characters, International stage credits include Sir Peter Margolyes presents her powerful, Hall’s Romeo & Juliet and The Importance of comprehensive, and at times Being Earnest, The Threepenny Opera, The hilarious expose of Dickens the writer and Vagina Monologues and most recently A Day the man, and the real-life women who found in the Death of Joe Egg at the Citizens Theatre, themselves immortalised on his pages. Glasgow. Margolyes appeared as Madame Nominated for an Olivier Award and with tours Morrible in the West End and Broadway throughout the UK, USA, Australia, New Zealand productions of the smash hit musical Wicked. and India, this captivating theatrical experience In Australia, Margolyes has also returns as part of the worldwide appeared on stage with Melbourne celebration in 2012 of 200th anniversary of Charles Dickens’ Theatre Company and Sydney birth. Theatre Company. In 2012 l An internationa As Melbourne’s Age she will appear in the ABC icon of stage and reported, “When she television adaptation of Kerry screen, Miriam e appears as herself, Greenwood’s Phyrne Fisher on Margolyes is most Margolyes sparkles with Murder Mystery Series, which s ’ ld or w of the acter intelligence and enthusiasm runs on ABC1 from February celebrated char .. when she inhabits Dicken’s to April. actors. characters, you’d swear they Winner of a BAFTA-award for lived and breathed in front Best Supporting Actress in Martin of you.” Margolyes will present Scorsese’s The Age of Innocence, characters from Martin Chuzzlewit, Sketches Margolyes has also received Best Supporting by Boz, The Uncommercial Traveller, Nicholas Actress at the LA Critics Circle Awards, a Sony Nickleby, The Old Curiosity Shop, Oliver Twist, Radio Award for Best Actress, and multiple Domby and Son, David Copperfield, Mrs Lirripers’ Theatregoers’ Choice Awards. In 2002, Margolyes Lodgings, Little Dorrit, Great Expectations, Bleak was awarded the Order of the British Empire House plus excerpts from Dicken’s Collected (OBE) by HM The Queen. Letters. An international icon of stage and screen, Book Tickets Miriam Margolyes is one of the world’s most for Miriam Margolyes in Dickens’ celebrated character actors. With an extensive film Women, on Tuesday 17 April at 7.30pm and television career, her credits include Ladies or Wednesday 18 April at 11am. in Lavender, Being Julia, End of Days, The Life Glasshouse Box Office (02) 6581 8888. and Death of Peter Sellers, How to Lose Friends & Alienate People, with Barbra Streisand in Yentl, and as Professor Sprout in the film adaptations of You can also find out more on www. Harry Potter. She has appeared alongside Rowan including several live Atkinson in Blackadder, and on the BBC hit series interviews with Miriam Margolyes. The Port Merlin and Doc Martin. In 1996, she starred as Macquarie performances of Dickens’ Women The Nurse in Baz Luhrmann’s film adaptation of are presented by Andrew McKinnon Fine Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet. Entertainment and Arts and Health Australia As a voice actress, Margolyes has given life ( to some of film’s most memorable characters, coffs coast focus 13


Robert English of Avé Restaurant

a passion Last year, Robert English of Avé Restaurant won the Mid North Coast Signature Dish Awards, and his humble Bellingen restaurant was thrust into the spotlight. Since then, Robert and his partner Amanda have gone from strength to strength, obtaining a liquor licence and being awarded a Chef’s Hat from the AGFG. Robert tells us more about his restaurant and his passion for food.


ongratulations on winning the Mid North Coast Signature Dish Competition last year. How exciting was that for you? We were proud to showcase our style of food and be recognised in the area. This competition has boosted our small family owned restaurant into the spotlight. Tell us about your winning dish, including what local ingredients you choose to use. It was an assiette of local squid consisting of squid ink risotto with crispy tentacles, sautéed squid with saffron mussels and smoked ham foam. The local ingredients were: a locally produced ham, local squid and garnishes from local growers like radish, watercress, flowers and broad beans. How did Avé Restaurant evolve? We moved up from the Hunter Valley in

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2009 to build the restaurant in this quaint 100 year old church. We originally opened as a breakfast and lunch venue, but after trialling a few nights (and by popular demand), we decided to open four nights a week, along with four lunches. Last year we also started our external catering, which really took off and has kept us very busy. You recently acquired an alcohol license. Was choosing the wine menu We moved up ter made easier, considering from the Hun9 to build 0 20 in y lle Va you both worked in this in nt ra the restau wineries in the Hunter old ar ye 0 10 nt ai qu Valley? infusing the bisque. We church. No, there is a lot of great also enjoy using garlic wine – and it takes time shoots and the flowers. to taste such a large array. If you have to give the It’s a hard life sometimes in this home cooks one tip, what industry! We think we’re off to a great would it be and why? start with the list, and it can only get better. Dine out; it’s easier. What’s on the menu at Avé Restaurant? What makes dining at Avé Restaurant On the menu this season we have a few unique? unique items like: House smoked caviar with It is a combination of the food, the kangaroo carpaccio. I use a local apple wood service and the atmosphere, along with to smoke our caviar, to impart even more being situated in an old church ... the depth to an already amazing product. only church serving more than bread! House made goats’ ricotta with brulée What can diners expect from Avé? lemon and daylilies (an edible flower with an We can guarantee that the food will amazing variety of flavours and colours). I also always be of the highest quality utilising use garlic shoots and heirloom tomatoes on exciting and unique produce – and this dish to match the strong flavours of the using techniques which are not seen ricotta. in any other restaurants in this area. Sous-vide beef striploin with morels – a What is your greatest quote in life? low temperature poaching method that helps There are many great quotes to live by, but retain maximum flavour and breaks down the the one that stands out at the moment is a protein over a twenty-hour period. quote by Len Evans, a wine legend, “Live each What ingredients excite you the most this day as if it will be your last, but plan your life season? as if you’ll live forever”. At the moment, our favourite would be a What is your goal as an establishment? local apple wood I use for smoking caviar and To provide guests our absolute best by

continually reinventing our food and wine and treating our customers as if they were family. There is a deep satisfaction for us in what we do, and this is only magnified when our guests leave feeling that dining with us was a great experience – not only a meal. You recently were awarded a Chef’s Hat by the Australian Good Food Guide; how did that make you feel? Being one of two restaurants in the whole Mid North Coast with this recognition has really inspired us to push ourselves even further this year; although, we’d rather focus on providing our guests with a quality product than just winning awards. Thanks Robert.

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Coffs Coast

Cover Dish Meringue, fresh passionfruit and mango, liquorice ice cream from Saltwater.

eat. Dining Guide is now available on the App Store.

eat. Wholly Cow Café The Coffs Coast’s newest and exciting dining experience is here! Wholly Cow in Sawtell offers burgers and coffee the likes of which have not been seen before. Our burgers are made with local produce, all their ingredients are made in house, and they’re served on organic sourdough buns – ‘burgers how they should taste’. Our coffee is fairtrade, organic and roasted locally in Bello. We also have a great selection of sweet treats for those lazy mornings or afternoon catch ups ... or if you’re in a hurry, order your coffee from the street through our ‘coffee window’.

Deep Sea Fishing Club Newly appointed Head Chef, Craig Clarke, has attracted the attention of seafood lovers by using an extensive range of local seafood that is complemented by his house made condiments. Craig and his team will continue to take advantage of the region’s fresh seafood and produce when launching the new February menu. Seated on the all weather balcony, diners at the Oceanfront Brasserie can take advantage of the best ocean views of any restaurant on the east coast. Open for lunch and dinner every day and specialising in corporate and private functions.

Owner Ricky Lee Head Chef Craig Clarke

2/39 First Avenue, Sawtell t 6658 2682

Jordon Esplanade, Coffs Harbour Jetty t 6652 1534 w www.

open: Mon - Tues. 7am - 5pm. Wed -Sat. 7am - 8pm Sunday – 7am - 3pm.

open: lunch and dinner daily.

Bluebottles Brasserie Bluebottles is open 7 days a week for all day breakfast and now due to popular demand, we’re extending our lunch hours to cater for late lingering lunches after a long summer day. We’ll be open each day from 6.30am – 7pm and under the guidance of head chef Gerard Geerligs, we offer superb breakfast and lunch choices in a relaxed alfresco atmosphere. Our wind-down menu in the afternoon is very popular and a great way to enjoy a drink and catch up with friends and family. Bookings are recommended, and private functions are catered for.

Fiasco Ristorante + Bar Located at the end of the Jetty Strip, Fiasco Ristorante offers an authentic Italian dining experience – with award winning cuisine and service, together with an extensive international wine and beer listing, it has featured in the prestigious SMH Good Guide for the last six years. Fiasco Bar has a relaxed feel, and the bar menu offers light meals. Especially popular is our special woodfired Bar Pizza ... a favourite with locals and visitors alike – still only $10 – available Tuesday to Saturday from 6 pm. Head Chef Stefano Mazzina

22 Orlando Street, Coffs Harbour Jetty t 6651 2006 w open: Fiasco Ristorante open Tues to Saturday from 6pm. Fiasco Bar open Tuesday to Saturday from 5pm.

Head Chef Gerard Geerligs

Shops 1 & 2 53 Beach St, Woolgoolga t 6654 1962 open Breakfast and lunch daily; dinner Friday and Saturday evenings. coffs coast focus 17

eat. Cocoa Café

Zulu’s Restaurant & Bar

Cocoa is a modern, upbeat café. We provide old fashioned table service to a professional standard. Our food is modern and funky, using only the freshest ingredients from local sources. We have a weekly specials board, as well as our ever popular breakfast and lunch menu. Cocoa has a reputation for the best coffee in town, as well as our home-made cakes and desserts. We cater for private functions and can provide morning/afternoon tea or lunch platters.

One of the most exciting and unique things we serve at Zulu’s is our liquid sherbet range. A frothy, tangy, zany way of putting fruit into any meal, and that’s what we start with ... fruit! We then do a whole heap of things to it, add a bit of this, and a bit of that, and you end up with an almost explosive form of dessert. I say almost, ‘cause me boss seems to be against me serving something that ACTUALLY explodes ... pfft... spoil sport.

Chef Stephen Partington.

Palms Shopping, Harbour Drive, Coffs Harbour t 6650 7417 open: Monday – Friday: 7am – 5pm. Saturday: 7am – 3pm. Sunday: 8am – 1pm.

Chef Joel McCulla.

27 Grafton Street, Coffs Harbour (Pacific Highway). t 6652 1588 w open: Breakfast: Monday – Friday, 7am – 9am. Dinner: Monday – Saturday, 6pm – late.

Saltwater Restaurant EXTENDED HOURS OVER SUMMER. Superbly positioned only a few lazy metres from the rolling surf at Emerald Beach, just 15 km north of Coffs Harbour. Take in the view, while our team of award winning chefs and staff look after you. Enjoy breakfast on the terrace, a leisurely lunch, or fine dining in the evening. Saltwater is the perfect location for your wedding reception or function. Recently voted Winner Best Breakfast Restaurant, Northern/New England.

Horizons Restaurant & Bar Horizons Restaurant and Bar at Opal Cove Resort features modern Australian cuisine with a creative menu, which changes seasonally to take full advantage of the region’s freshest produce and seafood. Overlooking the pool and taking in the coastal views, guests are able to dine alfresco on the terrace or in air conditioned comfort. Horizons Bar has fabulous cocktails and happy hour 5 - 6pm daily. BOOK NOW FOR VALENTINE’S DAY Enjoy our 2-course menu with complimentary chocolates and a glass of champagne. Just $58 per person. À la carte bookings also available for Valentine’s Day. Bookings essential.

Opal Cove Resort, Opal Boulevard, Coffs Harbour t 6651 0510 open: breakfast, lunch and dinner – 7 days a week.

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Clinton Hunter Head Chef.

Head Chef Dustin Bowie.

104 Fiddaman Road, Emerald Beach t 6656 1888 w open: Breakfast, lunch and dinner. Open Wednesday to Sunday.

eat. Surf Club Restaurant & Bar

Latitude 30 Restaurant + Bar

We invite you to bliss out to the sublime views and fantastic food @ Surf Club Restaurant and Bar.

Latitude 30 is the talk of the town, boasting fantastic dining and atmosphere. Let us introduce you to Head Chef Ben Massey. Ben prides himself on utilising fresh locally sourced seafood and produce. His enthusiasm for cooking is evident in every dish, from his house made curry pastes created from 38 individual ingredients, through to the decadent desserts that are on offer. Ben works alongside proprietor and Executive Chef Marcus Blackwell, whose knowledge and ability to source the best ingredients the East Coast has to offer shows on the menu, which includes Yellow Fin Tuna, local lobsters, King Prawns and succulent grain fed steaks.

Our absolute beachfront location is a captivating hub of daily beachside activity – the whales and dolphins never cease to amaze, the skydive drop zone, the Lifeguard Tower … it’s like a holiday for your soul AND definitely the coolest place to chill out whilst catching up with friends and family! Our menu is inspired by our unbeatable location and loaded with the freshest of local produce … tantalizingly delicious food which complements our amazing outlook. TRY – Our ‘Deck Opening Special’. Choose from BLAT style brekkie wrap, bacon and eggs or vego brekkie for just $10, including small fresh OJ. Available 7 days from 7am to 8.30am.

Chef Matt Donovan.

Head chef Ben Massey.

Surf Club Road, Park Beach, Coffs Harbour t 6652 9870

Unit 8/1 Marina Drive, Coffs Harbour t 6651 6888 w

open: Daily from 7am. Breakfast and Lunch.

open: 8am ‘til late.

Rolled spatchcock with grilled garlic shoots, shaved vegetables, porcini foam and a slow poached local egg yolk

Avé Restaurant

The Pier Hotel

In the heart of the beautiful Bellingen valley on NSW, Coffs Coast, is this area’s most unique and innovative restaurant. Built inside a magnificently restored old timber church (circa. 1800s), this restaurant just oozes character. From the secluded courtyard entrance through to the high ceiling main dining room with its unique wooden tables, original stained glass windows and French inspired furniture, the olde worlde charm is not lost with the modern open kitchen and stylish ambience. Modern European inspired cuisine and stunning wines ensure your night will be rewarding.

The pier is paving the way for pub food here on the Coffs Coast. Once again, they are a step ahead with innovative food. This month will see the introduction of a new fresh contemporary menu – a clever fusion of bistro food, with modern Australian cuisine, resulting in a funky and very tasty menu. Succulent steaks and fresh seafood will still play a part in this new dining experience. Take advantage of our beautiful coastal summer and chill out upstairs in the open dining area.

Robert English Co-owner/Chef.

8 Church Street Bellingen t 6655 0070 w open: Lunch and Dinner Friday to Monday, Lunch from 11:30, Dinner from 6. Closed Tues, Wed & Thur.

Head Chef Dave Newick.

Cnr Harbour Dr and Camperdown St, Coffs Harbour hotel 6652 2110 bistro 6651 8222 open: lunch 11.30-2.30pm, dinner 5.30-8.30pm, 7 days a week. coffs coast focus 19


18 February, Bruce Mathiske and his band, Rhythm Express.

2012 season launch. February is an exciting month at the Jetty Theatre! Not only do we have some fabulous entertainment lined up for you, we are also gearing up to launch our 2012 season … So, what’s to come? You’ll have to wait until 12 February for all the details, but for now we can promise you some cutting edge new dramatic work from all over Australia, a bellyful of comedyy and some inspiring and inventive children’s shows, which will transport our young ones into new realms of their imaginations. There’ll also be some awesome acrobatics and of course, there’s more on offer from our innovative young performers’ program. But don’t stay away until then, because right now we have some great shows on offer: First up (and not far away) we have young actors Billy White, Nathan Booth and Lucien Fowler treading the boards in a new musical work they have devised with director Amanda Scott, who declares: “Broadway never sounded this good!” This talented lot have been training in the Jetty Theatre ensemble and are bursting at the seams with impressive skills. Next, on 18 February we are pleased to welcome

back Bruce Mathiske and his band, band Rhythm Express. This tour marks the release of his new album, Guitar-Uoso. Expect an entertaining night of stringed excellence with infectious rhythms from far flung corners of his guitar and beyond! Then, from 29 February to 10 March we have more local talent, with Pat Slattery directing My Husband’s Wild Desires Almost Drove Me Mad. Best known for her box office smashes with CHMCC, Pat is turning her talents to comedy, with a show she describes as “laugh-out-loud funny”. Come and see us down at the theatre, and find a full line up of shows for 2012 in next month’s issue of Coffs Coast FOCUS!



A new musical theatre work devised by Billy White, Nathan Booth and Lucien Fowler Directed by Amanda Scott Playing 3rd and 4th February Tickets from $15

BRUCE MATHISKE LIVE IN CONCERT Saturday February 18 @ 8PM Tickets from $22

MY HUSBAND’S WILD DESIRES ALMOST DROVE ME MAD Directed by Pat Slattery Playing 29th February til 10th March Tickets from $15



NCH 12.2.12 2012 SEASON LAUshow launching on s at the Jetty Theatre will be

The brand new season of available at h our season brochure will be the 12th of February, after whic call in or call, se plea , copy us to mail you a the theatre. If you would like au .gov. .nsw chcc tre@ .thea send us an email: jetty

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6652 8088

Stephen Partington. Meet the chef at Cocoa


ow long have you been in Coffs Harbour? Thirty years. What inspired you to become a chef?

Being creative with food, the pace and the atmosphere that comes from working in a busy café environment. How long have you been cooking? Twenty years. What will locals love about Cocoa? Tell us about your style of cooking? The style of the café, the great vibe it gives I like to create well balanced meals that off, the perfect coffee and most are unique to the experience of all, the pleasure of eating that I have within the range great food. of restaurants/cafés that is u en I have worked in. Using What do you enjoy Our m ng fresh local ingredients forever changiia most about running ls with our specgive where I can, but my style s an eatery in beautiful board, which dom is of no particular culture ee fr Coffs Harbour? us a bit of w ne te but a mixture of different ea cr I‘ve worked at Cocoa to dishes. styles. for nearly 3 years, so What are your favourite ingredients to cook with? Seafood would have to be my favourite – the range and what you can create with it is endless. What makes your menu unique? Everything I do at Cocoa is made within the kitchen, which is fresh, quick and most of all, reflects who I am as a chef. Our menu is forever changing with our specials board, which gives us a bit of freedom to create new dishes.

being able to mix with the customers and having a laugh is great! What’s new at Cocoa? We are always changing our specials, which gives people variety. Do you cater for functions or any other special services? Yes, we cater for any party needs or special lunch time catering that needs to be taken to offices for corporate functions etc. Thanks Stephen.

Direct from the farmer.

Farmers Beef Direct. There’s something really satisfying and emFarmers Beef Direct is a husband and wife powering knowing the history of the food that team situated in the stunning Bellingen you’re consuming and feeding your family. Valley, on the Mid North Coast of NSW. Farmers Beef Direct cattle are free range, grassTogether with their three gorgeous girls in tow, fed, ethically farmed and guaranteed they own several farms in the Bellhormone free. Their beef is aged ingen and Dorrigo districts and correctly for maximum flavour manage their magnificent tenderness. There are no beef cattle to the highest All the s to customer need secrets – only the ability to and strictest of standards. e do is jump onlin provide you with great, honTheir cattle are treated ck and order a pa ed, est beef. It’s a great feeling to humanely and grown corer liv de and it is to , ge ar know you’re directly supportrectly. They decided that ch of ee fr ing a local Coffs Coast farmer. it’s only fair that others your door. should have access to their All the customer needs to do is superior tasting beef, direct jump online and order a pack and from the farmer. it is delivered, free of charge, to your Farmers Beef Direct is an online business and currently offers those people who live on the Australian eastern seaboard, from Coffs Harbour to Newcastle, the opportunity to share in their home grown delights.

door. Now, that’s service. Their beef is all vacuum packed into meal size portions, so all the hard work has been done for you. Taste the difference at Farmers Beef Direct. You will be back for seconds in no time at all!


LENNON In Word and Music


WATERS with Stewart D’Arrietta


coffs coast focus


Botanical Jazz. Back by popular demand: the Botanical Jazz series will be held in the Botanic Garden, Coffs Harbour on four successive Sundays in February and March. The Friends of the Garden, all volunteers, have organised a wonderful selection of Jazz concerts both to raise funds for future development of the Garden, and also to bring top quality entertainment to the Caxton Street community. ings

The Roger Burke Jazz Band br They invite you to Quartet, featuring vocals hot classic Jazznt bring a chair and from the brillia ng, from Phill Stitt, produces 1900s: Armstroon and music that is swinging and enjoy these fine gt lin Bechet, El ea performances at the has a sense of humour. Moreton, to nam Sound Shell. Concerts few ... Swingfonia is led by the start at 6pm, February 19. smokin’ hot keys of Mei Wei Caxton Street Jazz Band Lim on piano. The 40 strong brings hot classic Jazz from the choir and vocalist solos perform Mei’s brilliant 1900s: Armstrong, Bechet, Ellington own arrangements of Blues, Swing and and Moreton, to name a few. Truly a night Classics. This promises to be a sparkling to remember. show which will appeal to all age groups. You are in for a treat when the Tickets: $20 each for the first three Jugalug Stringband (February 26) plays concerts. $10 for the final concert. Jazz, Jugband, Blues, Ragtime and preWet weather venue: Coffs Harbour High western Swing classics that are fun and School auditorium. exciting. Their instruments are unique!

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Tel: 6648 4188.

Book a table and indulge in the beautiful Asian menu, or just drop in for a drink and enjoy the show.

Thomas Shilling and his father, Norman, with Paddy Warfield of Directions Group Training. Thomas was signed up to his Cert 2 Electrotechnology Traineeship through Directions Group Training.

Youth directions. Creating Career Pathways for local youth. School-based Traineeships and Apprenticeships (SbATs) are excellent opportunities for young people to gain workplace skills, earn a wage and commence a career pathway while they are studying for the Higher School Certificate. The SbAT program typically involves one day per week in paid employment, which aligns to the study of a vocational subject in the HSC. For example, if an employer offers a School-based Traineeship in Automotive or Hospitality, students who are eligible to apply must study Automotive or Hospitality as part of their HSC. Over the two years of the HSC, on-the-job training occurs in the workplace, and off-the-job learning is provided as part of the vocational HSC subject. In September 2011, Youth Directions established Directions Group Training to promote and grow local opportunities for students to undertake School-based Traineeships and Apprenticeships. Directions Group Training provides simple options for employers to offer SbAT positions to local students. Directions Group Training manages all aspects of the program for employers, liaises with schools, trainers and parents, and provides mentoring support for students. To find out how Directions Group Training can kickstart career pathways through the SbAT program, contact Paddy Warfield 6653 2900.

Why music education? The world of sound is fascinating to us all. It captures our attention from a very early age, and children especially are curious about sound. Making sound and creating music is both captivating and fun. Plus, there is a wealth of scientific research that clearly shows that engagement with music contributes significantly to the mental, physical and emotional growth of children. In America, results from a ten-year study indicate that students who learn music achieve higher test scores at school. Researchers also found that children who were falling behind in numeracy and literacy caught up to their peers in reading and were ahead of their classmates in maths after just seven months of music lessons! A two-year study in Switzerland, involving 1,200 children, showed that kids involved in a music program were better at languages, learned to read more easily, demonstrated more enjoyment in school and had lower stress levels than non-music students. All great reasons why music education is important for your child. Coffs Harbour Regional Conservatorium has classes for children, starting from as young as two. Call us today for information and get your child involved in music.

Christie Schlenker goes SMOOTH. After many years of being a featured artist around the Coffs Coast, Christie Schlenker has joined Chris Frater and John Mostyn to form 'SMOOTH', a sophisticated Jazz trio, playing a diverse repertoire of Blues, Ballads, Swing Hits, Latin Grooves and Jazz/Rock. With John’s custom built 7 string guitar, Chris’ combination of saxaphone and clarinet and Christie’s beautiful voice, they are able to achieve a unique range of music in a relaxed and informative show which gives an insight into their passion and joy for performing. Sarong Bar and Restaurant is excited to announce the continuation of their residency for 2012. Playing every Thursday night from 7.30 ‘til 10pm. Book a table and indulge in the beautiful Asian menu, or just drop in for a drink and enjoy the show. You won't be disappointed – and the show is FREE.



KIDS Early Childhood Music

SING listen


for kids 2-5 years grow learn


Call 6652 1592 Visit Bray Street Complex Cnr Bray Street & Pacific Highway Coffs Harbour NSW 2450

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James Zuvela, Clinton Hayes, Dennis Xenos and Lisa Zuvela at Pink Silks.

right Rachael O’HaraPensini and Angela Van Den Bosch at Pink Silks.

below Carole Beros enjoying a day at the races with Gai Waterhouse.

right Lorraine Gordon, Pamela VictoriaThyssen, Ruth Gollan and Tess Tunnel at ARTURUNGA.

above Nathan Quinn, Hollie & Patrick Sens & Laura Bamford at the Sens’ Wedding.

social scene

What gorgeous weather we are having this summer! It encourages the unmotivated and the slug type to get outside and enjoy the great outdoors and attempt to get FIT! es, the dreaded word, which yet. Just under 1,800 arrived dressed up and means you have to make a ready to have a terrific day out. This is a day conscious effort to become for the family too – not just a day for the healthier. There are so many ladies to show off their fabulousness! There is places to enjoy a walk or even a entertainment for the kids, and you can sit on run. I used to be lucky enough to eat everything blankets in the sun, enjoy lunch and watch the and still give the false impression that I worked races. out! I can hear my friends roll around in Le Dãin Designs had a table inside, and I hysterics as I write! Sure, I zoom around at high must admit to being a fan of air conditioned speed, can’t be classed as lazy and look slimish comfort when the heat is on! The day rose over ... but that doesn’t mean I’m FIT! The husband $50,000 for women’s health – what a fantastic and I are starting to notice rolls and bulges that effort. Local businesses and also sponsors from we hadn’t seen before! Men really don’t care, outside the area help to make the day such a and I really don’t know why women ask their huge success. One of the regular sponsors each partners, “Do I look fat in this?” But something year for the day is Gai Waterhouse, who is one came over me ... and I did just that! DAFT! My of Australia’s Racing Royalty. husband does pass compliments, Every little bit of help counts to but I have also always asked make this a fabulous day at the him to be honest with me ... races and a great fundraiser for I’ll fill you in later! women’s health. More fabulous Still on race days, once The sun was ly on shining brightR weather for the Sawtell a year I throw a picture e the Pink Silks eacCoffs Fun Day. Crowds flocked of myself into my own Day here on thy drew to have some fun and column (much to the son’s Coast. The daowd they cr t enjoy what the day had disgust) and as I have just es the bigg to offer. recently been down to have had yet. From the excitement of attend a race day with Gai the annual wood chop to Waterhouse, I couldn’t resist stalls filled with yummy things showing off... honestly, who to tantalise your tastebuds. wouldn’t?! Le Dãin Designs adorns the Carnival games and rides on fast moving Waterhouse ladies, and Gai was wearing some dodgem cars kept the littlies well amused. All of my jewells on the day. I couldn’t pass it by the fun of the fair, for the young and old. There ... I am your Social Pages Columnist, and I was was even a vintage fire truck on display. being social! Speaking of Fire Chiefs, our local Mayor, Cr. It would be lovely if she could personally Keith Rhoades, presented the Sawtellian of the present her donation to the winner at our Pink Year award to the well deserving winner, Mr Silks one day ... I’ll work on that one! Phil Jacobson. This was the 92nd event and I recently attended the ARTURUNGA Cocktail was, as usual, a huge success. Launch, which was Urunga’s first exhibition. The sun was shining brightly on the Pink What made the exhibition so exciting was that Silks Race Day here on the Coffs Coast. The there was such a variety of styles and mediums. day drew the biggest crowd they have had There was something for everyone to enjoy.


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Around 180 guests arrived to enjoy artwork from a group of artists who exhibit their work at the prestigious ‘Circle Gallery’ in Brisbane and independently in Europe and Australia. Artists such as Pamela Victoria-Thyssen, Lance Boucaut and Sue Beacroft were just some of the talented artists here visiting the Coffs Coast. There was also fine artwork from local artists such as Ruth Gollan, Ruth Faheys Photography and Judy Bailey, to name but a few. To add to this charming evening, guests were treated to scrumptious gourmet finger food prepared by Chefs on Carrington, while listening to the captivating sounds of Barbara Trists string trio. Also proving to be a lovely afternoon were highlights from the play Invisible Women, which was presented by CHATS. This was made available for those who missed this fabulous play and was held at the Coffs Harbour Regional Gallery. We went to the beautiful wedding of a couple of well known locals, Patrick Sens and Hollie Bell. The ceremony was held out in the sunshine at the picturesque Botanic Gardens. This would be another place to start your Get Fit regime. Brisk morning walks around the beautiful surrounds ... lovely. Anyway, back to the wedding ... the reception was held at the Park Beach Surf Club, which has just completed its outside deck. It is the perfect place to not only enjoy a delicious meal, but is the ideal venue for any conference or function. The reception we attended had a lovely, relaxed atmosphere with delicious food, while looking out over a million dollar view. Photographers Tom and Sherrin Woods from ST Images were there snapping up pics of the bridal party and guests, which included the Best Man – who just happens to be our very own King of Speed, Mr Nathan Quinn. Spruced up in

a suit, he looked a tad different to the last time we saw him all dusted up in Rally Australia. There are plenty of ways to boost up our fitness levels; we have a great choice of swimming pools, golf courses and sporting clubs on our doorstep – one of these being the Sawtell Tennis Club. People of all ages can benefit from whacking the old ball around the court. A good reason to combine getting a bit of exercise and raising funds to help out one of our local families was a Tennis and BBQ night held recently at the Sawtell Tennis Club, to help support Tim Williams and his family through his serious illness. Tim was the Chief Instructor at the Sawtell Surf Club and is a very well known local. Balls were bashed, and money was raised all for a great cause. For more information on fundraising, contact Sue Cook on 0414 532 734. Still on getting fit and bulges and stuff ... we actually spent quite a while worrying that there was something wrong with THE CAT when we first got her. Having kittens? No, because she’d been desexed. Glandular problems? Hmmm ... she was started to look like a furry, plump salmon! Anyway, we went to our vet (I was hysterical, as usual) and he looked at me and says, “Mrs Beros, all this moggy is suffering from is ... CAT FAT!” I don’t know whether I was relieved or insulted, but to top it off, right in front of the vet, his assistant and a room full of pet owners, the husband says, “There you go darling, that sounds better. You asked me to be honest ... you look all right in those shorts, but you do need to lose a bit of that CAT FAT first!” Guess who is not getting one of my famous roast dinners tonight! Here is to the fit and the motivated. Or ... at least to the motivated! Carole, Le Dãin Designs.

coffs coast focus 25

Unique service; outstanding results.

Coffs Harbour War Memorial Olympic Pool. More than a swimming pool – all your swimming and fitness needs in one place. The pool complex has an enclosed 8 lane 25 m pool heated to 29.5 degrees, an outdoor 8 lane 50 m pool and zero depth toddler splash pad. There is a shaded area with tables and chairs for coffee and a chat and plenty of grass to sit and watch the kids enjoy the water or kids water park. Lap Swimming: lap lanes are available for those who like to swim for fitness. For opening times, see Learn to Swim: at C.H.O.P. Swim School, AUSTSWIM certified instructors teach a balance of water confidence, aquatic survival and swimming skills in a safe and friendly environment. Class sizes are kept small, to ensure you and/or your child receives the best quality tuition. Squad: programs for all ages and abilities, from juniors moving up from Learn to Swim to competitive swimmers and triathletes, as well as swimmers just wanting to improve their stroke and fitness while having fun. All coaches accredited with the ASCTA. Birthday parties: there are plenty of shaded grass areas for children and adults of all ages. Barbecues can be booked for a sausage sizzle, or party packs are available. The Buccaneer: an inflatable aquatic obstacle course – can be hired for the 7-14 year olds.

26 coffs coast focus.

Coastal Pilates & Fitness. Coastal Pilates & Fitness offers you the most unique experience in Coffs Harbour. No matter what health and fitness goals you have, you will get results by becoming a client of my studio. I can guarantee that! I only ask that once you get started, you never look back. You need to look at your health and fitness as an investment and a journey. What you put into it you WILL get out of it, more than you can ever imagine. Hi, my name is Lauren Harper, and I am the studio owner and operator of Coastal Pilates & Fitness. Coastal Pilates & Fitness offers Pilates, personal training and nutrition coaching to help you get results. No matter what your restrictions are – age, financial, injury, pain, no time – I can develop an exercise and nutrition plan to help you meet your goals. Once you realise you need to make change, then the rest will come easy. Sure you will have hiccups along the way, but it’s a journey of learning – and that’s what life is all about! As a client, you will have access any of the my standard services, or you can have your own individualised program developed.

Dryland Fitness – Get Fit For Summer: group fitness for weight loss and functional strength suitable for all fitness levels, and your first session is free. Session times at

Coastal Pilates & Fitness offers you a small and nurturing environment for exercise and support, and all clients are cared for equally. The studio offers you a very peaceful and private setting to do your training. See the map below for its exact location.

Aquarobics and Water Polo: are also available, so call us on (02) 6652 1779 for session times.

So if you are after results and ongoing support, don’t wait any longer and contact me today!


new year new you feature

New year new you!

Fun® Go 4 Fun® is a free healthy lifestyle program supporting children to become fitter, healthier and happier. FOCUS finds out more about the program from Co-ordinator Hayley Johnson, and former participants, Joanne Wilkins and her son, Jake Simpson. What is Go 4 Fun all about?

– which makes it much easier.

Hayley: The program is fun and interactive and supports 7-13 year old children and their families to adopt a long lasting and healthy approach to living. The program has been specifically designed for children who are above a healthy weight, and their parents.

Joanne, tell me a bit about the modules. There were all different modules about ways to approach the subject of healthy eating with your child, ways to support them, goal setting and rewards within your capabilities. There was a recipe section which covered good and bad foods, a supermarket tour, and each time we’d go to the program the kids would stay inside and learn for a while, then they’d go outside to play – and always come back in with red faces!

The program runs for 10 weeks, meeting twice a week for two hours, and it generally runs with the school term. It includes weekly games and activities for children; fun, interactive discussions to teach you easy and effective ways to improve children’s nutrition, physical activity and self-esteem; practical demonstrations, games and tips about healthy foods, label reading and portion sizes and the chance to try delicious and healthy new foods! Joanne, you and your son Jake have been through the program. What was it like? From the minute that I went there, I felt really supported. It was fun for Jake, and I learnt a lot along the way as well. When I first went there, I thought I knew a lot about healthy eating. But I learnt things too, which was great. The program targets families and the parents come along, so we’re all in it together

Joanne, how hard has it been to implement the changes in to your daily life? It wasn’t so hard for me, because I eat healthy anyway, but having that outside influence teaching Jake about it was really good – because he really listened to it. Now he will tell you whether or not something is good to eat. Jake has his occasional treat still, but that’s the good thing about the program – they don’t have to miss out on their treats. So they can have some hot chips once a week if they want to, or soft drink or something like that. They don’t have to miss out on everything – just being aware of moderation. Joanne, what was the biggest benefit of

the program for you personally? I think it was Jake learning from other people in a fun way. I could sit here and tell him things until the cows come home, and I don’t think he’d pay that much attention. But hearing it from other people with Jake has his ill, sional treat st ca oc other children there made od but that’s the go it OK for him. t the

thing abou


Joanne, have you program – they do on have to miss out seen a difference in . ts ea tr r ei th Jake since completing Go 4 Fun? Definitely; he’s sleeping better now. He was waking up during the night, and I think it was because of too much carbohydrate before he went to bed, e.g. potato and bread. Now he doesn’t wake up and he just goes straight to sleep, because I’ve cut the carbs back and given him more protein. And just generally, he’s more healthy. get involved. I can’t speak highly enough of the program. Contact the Coffs harbour Women’s Health Centre. Hayley, how is the program funded? Go4Fun is funded by NSW Ministry of Health and is being organised and delivered by Coffs Harbour Women’s Health Centre. There’s no cost at all to participants.

6652 8111 email Register directly by calling 1800 780 900.

coffs coast focus 27


new year new you feature

New year new you!

Liposuction without surgery. Take advantage of special Shiseido offers by joining the Shiseido Camellia Club at City Centre Pharmacy.

Sounds too good to be true? Yes, it is real – and now available at Opal Essence. The new owner of Opal Essence, Caroline Moran, is excited at the prospect of meeting new and existing clients and recommending treatments that will result in them looking wonderful and feeling great. Imagine having similar results to liposuction, without actually having the surgery. The very latest technology for reshaping and body contouring can be done in the intimate surroundings of Opal Essence Day Spa. Opal Cove Resort. Treatments from Alpha Shape result in the reduction of cellulite, fatty tissue and are perfect for Body Sculpting.

By assisting thece fa muscles in yourntract, and body to cog skin tighteninsult treatments re hful in a more yout appearance.

How does a non surgical face lift sound? You no longer have to feel self conscious about your double chin and sagging jowls. By assisting the muscles in your face and body to contract and firm, skin tightening treatments result in a more youthful appearance. Also available are treatments to improve the appearance of your skin’s texture by shrinking the pores and reducing inflammation of Acne.

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140 years of Shiseido.

The spa now offers a wide range of beauty and hair services and great deals on treatments for regular and valued clients.

Caroline and Jayne have put together beauty packages for weddings, hens’ parties, girls’ night, or for mums who need to be pampered. Opal Essence is open 7 days a week, and the girls are happy to take after hours appointments for people on a tight working schedule. Contact the girls or drop in to take advantage of the opening specials running for February and March to assist you to launch into the New Year with confidence by looking and feeling your best.

There is one kind of beauty that transcends time, culture and taste. It is the unique quality that gives each woman her own individual essence and appeal. It’s the beauty that a woman keeps for a lifetime and wears well at every age. This is the beauty Shiseido strives to help women achieve and maintain at every stage of life. Shiseido combines the ultimate in high technology with the human touch, to create a unique approach to skincare. This year marks the 140th anniversary of Shiseido skincare worldwide. Years of research and development have seen Shiseido produce an outstanding product range, which constantly progresses and improves with the availability of new

technologies and the needs of the modern day woman. To celebrate their birthday, Shiseido has released a special range of starter kits for a variety of their products. With something for every skin type, these packs are the perfect way for you to discover the Shiseido difference and treat your skin to a little bit of luxury. Take advantage of special Shiseido offers by joining the Shiseido Camellia Club at City Centre Pharmacy. Build up points with every dollar you spend on Shiseido products, which can be redeemed for a variety of reward products, including everything from lipstick to jewellery. Care for your skin and its future by asking the trained staff at City Centre Pharmacy which Shisedo products are right for you.

new year new you feature


New year new you!

Dr Bobby Kumar. Boambee Chiropractic. Chiropractic is the largest and most popular drug-free healthcare system in the world. Chiropractors work with the bones of your spinal column and the nerves in and around your spinal cord. Chiropractors spend years in highly specialised training to learn and locate misplaced spinal vertebra impinging the nerves. Your Chiropractor uses various highly specialised techniques to realign your vertebra, and thus release pressure on your nerves and body structure. With 17 years of experience, Jason Parkes from Boambee Chiropractic certainly knows health care. After growing up on a wheat property on the western plains of NSW, Jason followed his interest in studying health care, completing a Masters Degree in Chiropractic. Jason has practiced in Orange, Bathurst and Mudgee, moving to Coffs Harbour in 2000. Jason takes a holistic and preventative approach to chiropractic, with a strong focus on being thorough and professional. We specialise in lifting injuries, neck, arm and back pain, headaches, lower back pain, hip and leg pain, sports injuries, massage therapy, scoliosis, pediatrics, pregnancy. DVA accredited, EPC with GP referral, HICAPS on the spot claims. Our offices are in Boambee, Bellingen and Dorrigo. Please feel free to call our office on (02) 6658 5550, and one of our friendly staff can help you with any enquires you may have.

School of Natural Medicine. Lives are changed and careers are formed at the NSW School of Natural Medicine. Are you looking for a career change, or searching for something extra? Many people express dissatisfaction with their existing unfulfilling occupation and are looking for a more personally rewarding career. People are finding that new and exciting career through the NSW School of Natural Medicine. The school has been offering a variety of natural medicine and beauty courses for 24 years. During this time, it has been owned and operated by natural medicine practitioners who are both passionate and inspiring. The students find their studies at the school rewarding, and their teachers excellent role models, as they are all practitioners in the local area. The school has a social and healing energy that helps people evolve and grow. Some students do not know why or how they were drawn to the school and some have come from overseas. The school is justifiably proud, with its record of transforming lives and educating students in heath and beauty. So, if you are looking for that new direction, contact the team of Lisa Hawkins (Registrar), Stephanie Schupp-Wheatley (Program Leader) or Madeline Louis (Reception\Administration).

Cosmetic Surgeon, on breast augmentation and breast lift: Breast augmentation is performed by Dr. Bobby Kumar for women seeking to enhance their breast size, shape and volume due to dissatisfaction with small or uneven breasts, or to achieve confidence in a curvaceous and feminine figure. Women seeking to restore volume and shape after breast feeding or weight loss may benefit from a Breast Lift. This can be achieved with particular types of breast implants, or combined Breast Augmentation and Lift Surgery to achieve natural results. As an experienced and trusted Cosmetic Surgeon, Dr. Bobby Kumar treats each woman as an individual with unique needs and desires, providing all the information you require to make an informed decision. Choices regarding Breast Implants include: • Saline vs Silicone • Size/volume, shape, projection • Textured vs smooth (e.g. ‘furry Brazilian’) • Placement As a Surgical Fellow of the Australasian College of Cosmetic Surgery and having performed more than 600 Breast Augmentations, Dr. Bobby Kumar has not only the training and qualifications, but also the experience required to achieve the most natural and satisfying results. Consultations available in Kempsey. For an appointment, call 6563 1678 or 0430 491 009 or visit

coffs coast focus 29

F E B RUA RY 2012


A R I E S.

L E O.


MAR 21 - APR 20

JUL 24 - AUG 23

NOV 23 - DEC 21

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

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



C A P R I C O R N.

APR 21 - MAY 21

AUG 24 - SEPT 23

DEC 22 - JAN 20

Love life and relationships should be lifting your mood. Enjoy the little things in life, to realign your energy with joy that can be lasting. Don’t be afraid to wear your heart on your sleeve. Rose quartz is the crystal of love; wear it.

GEMINI. MAY 22 - JUN 22 All the hurts from the past are surfacing, so you can recognise how they have changed you. You do have the choice to become more powerful as a result of experiencing these things. Amethyst connects us to our higher knowing and wisdom.

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

Connect to your ‘gypsy’ energy. Lots of adventure can be expected, but it is important to embrace the unknown – and not baulk at it. Many contacts and positive experiences will cross your path. Selenite keeps our energy clear; wear some.



SEPT 24 - OCT 23

JAN 21 - FEB 19

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

Don’t D ’ bite bi your tongue just to keep smooth waters. Your new cycle asks for you to be open and honouring of yourself; suppressing words will block your energy and cloud your future with insecurity. Turquoise helps with open, loving communication.


S C O R P I O.

P I S C E S.

JUN 23 - JUL 23 JU

OCT 24 - NOV 22

FEB 20 - MAR 20

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

30 coffs coast focus.

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

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

Adventure is coming into your reality. Enjoy your journey and listen to your ‘intuition’ to avoid being in the wrong place at the wrong time. You will be bringing something back from your travels to enhance your life. Ruby is great for protection.

It’s time for a change at Vast.

The new owner of Vast Coffs Harbour, has been searching far and wide to bring you new products, and in order to make room for the new we sadly must say goodbye to the old... great time to come in and find a treasure.

Terms and Conditions: Discount on RRP. Sale on floorstock only. No Laybys, rainchecks, or financing available on sale items.

furniture & homewares


Rosalie Skinner. Local writer, Rosalie Skinner, weaves sorcerers and magic, ghosts and dragons together in a series of science fiction/fantasy novels that stir the imagination. Find out how the Chronicles of Caleath will transport youto another world ... ell us a bit about your background as a writer. For most of my life I have been an avid reader. So much so, that when I moved to a regional town, the library couldn’t keep up with my appetite for books. The solution, I decided, was to write one of my own ... something I would choose to read and enjoy. So I began writing and as the novel grew, so began my education on ‘how to write’. Most bookworms would say that there is one book that they just couldn’t put down, which really made them fall in love with reading (or writing). For me it was To Kill A Mockingbird. What was your ‘one book’, and why was it so special? I couldn’t name one book. From an early age, back in the days before television and videos, I was reading everything I could beg, borrow or hmm ... beg or borrow. When I worked in a library, it was bliss! Being surrounded by books was my ideal environment. Still, asked to name one author whose work I have found most inspiring, I would have to say Douglas Adams. My favourite book of his is Last Chance to See. His sense of humour, intelligence, outlook on life and his writing style inspired me. My first attempt at a travel journal was trying to follow his style of humour. He’s much easier to read than to emulate. I returned to dabbling in fantasy. What makes a good book, do you think? A good book is one that captivates the reader on page one and doesn’t release them, even when the story ends. Good writing, tight prose, a plot that moves forward, characters you believe, and, most important, a story you enjoy. Not a lot to ask, is it? You’ve been contracted by a Canadian publisher to write an 8 book series, The Chronicles of Caleath. Tell us about Exiled. Exiled: Autumn’s Peril, Winter’s Curse, The Legacy of Lathraine’s Pledge and The Battle for Enderseer Hold are the first four books in the Fantasy/Science Fiction series, The Chronicles of Caleath. They begin the adventure as Caleath, adept in virtual reality games, survives in exile. Driven by guilt and 32 coffs coast focus.

vengeance, he finds himself on a world where magic rules. Assassins hunt him, ghosts haunt his nights, a sorcerer covets his knowledge and a beautiful hostage complicates his escape. His quest is to avenge his abduction. His arch enemy remains off world, watching. Why science fiction/fantasy? Fantasy writing is limitless. Science fiction too, allows the imagination scope. Imagine being able to travel to any time and place in your imagination, with no restrictions on world size, character numbers or physical laws. Take your pick of character traits, cultures, hierarchy and villains, throw in a heroine or two ... add a hero worth following to the ends of a dozen worlds. Bring to life with your imagination a set of circumstances that gives your troupe of heroes a little grief, a chance to shine, grow, fail, succeed, discover, teach, learn, and love. For me, that is the definition of fun! What can we expect from the Exiled installments due for release in 2012? There are three eBooks in the series that are available now online: Book One Exiled: Autumn’s Peril, Book Two Exiled: Winter’s Curse and Book Three Exiled: The Legacy of Lathraine’s Pledge. The Chinese Year of the Dragon, 2012, is the perfect time for the series to hit the eBook stores. So 2012 seems like a fortunate time to be releasing a series of fantasy novels that include sentient dragons. I hope some of the dragons’ good luck rubs off. Maybe they have helped already! Exiled: Autumn’s Peril has just been voted second in the global reader’s choice poll at Preditors and Editors’ Best Science Fiction Fantasy book of 2011. It’s great to be an Aussie author in the top three! The first adventure due for release in February 2012 is Book Four Exiled: The Battle for Enderseer Hold. This chapter will see Caleath face the sorceress Azriel and her forces ensconced in Enderseer Hold. Being the year of the Dragon, it is fitting to add that a dragon is pivotal to the outcome! Book Five Invaded: The Darkest Day returns us to Caleath’s adventures. Five years later, Caleath again faces

The inspiration C for aleath’s om story comes frstruggle watching the ult with of a young ad ss and a chronic illneing life how a promis . is out of reach

challenges that threaten more than survival. Prophecies are coming to fruition. Dragons and dread lords clash, the Deathbringer could change the course of battle, but there are doubts about whose side is he on. Book Six Underground: The Day of The Sun, continues this new adventure. Caleath searches for those souls lost in the final battle of Invaded. His journey takes him to an underground world where magic is scorned. While suffering the effects of artificial sunlight, Caleath strives to rescue his friends from space pirates able to manipulate a race of enslaved sorcerers. Book Seven Adrift: In Search of Memory Begins the final adventure in the Chronicles, when Tag Seawell needs to find out who he is, before the black fits he suffers get worse. When a vessel carrying wizards and powerful warriors come looking for a backwater sailor, Tag makes a life-altering decision. Book Eight Adrift: The Fragile Sun completes the journey. Caleath must resolve the Legacy of Lathraine’s Pledge. Now it is up to him to save a world from darkness and resolve one more dilemma between humans and dragons. Again, the Year of the Dragon seems to be an appropriate time for this book’s release. You’ve published both paperbacks AND eBooks. What has the publishing experience been like for both mediums? This is my fourth adventure in publishing. Twice I took the risk of self publishing. The first Australian POD publisher went out of business a few weeks after Exiled came out in 2004. Urged by readers not to give up, I chose to go with a larger POD publisher, who still has my paperback versions of Exiled for sale. The downside is they are in the USA, and postage is prohibitive. Still, this exercise gave me a following. Copies of these unedited, self published books have proved popular through Coffs Harbour Library. From the response to these books, an eBook publisher offered me a contract in

2005. After a disappointing experience, I cancelled my contract and put my writing on hold. The good thing to come out of the experience was meeting my editor, Lea Schizas. Lea began Museitup Publishing in 2010 and knowing Exiled, offered me an eight book contract. Another thing I learnt was the importance of cover art. Thankfully through our local writers’ group, Nitewriters, I discovered at a local mediæval re-enactment faire, Matt Bryant, from Rognvald’s Lith. Matt became the character Caleath for the covers. Another godsend, and talented artist, Rachel Lewis Photography Coffs Harbour took the photos for all eight covers. With a portfolio to offer, the cover artist at Museit Up produced the series’ covers. Who inspires your writing and ideas? The inspiration for Caleath’s story comes from watching the struggle of a young adult with a chronic illness. Seeing how a promising life, friendships and career can suddenly become out of reach while the future becomes a full time struggle gave me enough material and more to work with. Fascinating things inspire me, like the development of virtual reality games and nanobots, tall ships, watching humpback whales, global warming, magnetic reversal ... the list is endless. The scope for incorporating scientific discovery and mixing in dragons and magic is too much fun. Where can readers obtain your books? Three eBooks are now available through Museitup Publishing, Amazon, or my website: Coffs Harbour library still carries the unedited paperback version of Exiled in two parts. Exiled: Winter’s Plight and Exiled: Summer’s Peril. For information about release dates and more on the Chronicles, you are welcome to follow my blog at Ramblings from Lady Rosalie. Thanks Rosalie.

Home loan specialists to help y u find the right loan. Whether you’re buying a new property or looking to invest, your home loan shouldn’t be hard work. That’s why we’ve been putting on more home loan specialists to help you find the right loan. With great rates, special offers and flexible features^ to suit you now and in the future, it’s no wonder we’re still Australia’s most awarded home lender.* To find an ANZ Home Loan that best suits you, call your Local Coffs Harbour dedicated home loan specialist Lois Crossley on 0435 963 709 to book your complimentary A-Z Review® today. ^Not all features are available on all loan types. *Money Magazine Home Lender of the Year Award 2010, 2008, 2007, 2006 and 2005, and AFR Smart Investor Magazine Home Lender of the Year Award 2005, 2004, 2002, 2001, 2000 and 1999. Australian Lending Awards, Mortgage Lender of the Year Award 2011 and Best Investor Lender Award 2011. The Australian Lending Awards is an independent initiative of The Adviser and specialist research and advisory firm RFI. Terms and Conditions, fees and charges apply refer to ANZ Consumer Lending Terms and Conditions on All applications for credit are subject to ANZ’s normal credit approval criteria. Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ANZ) ABN 11 005 357 522. Australian Credit Licence Number 234527. ANZ’s colour blue is a trade mark of ANZ. Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ANZ) ABN 11 005 357 522. Australian Credit Licence Number 234527. ANZ’s colour blue is a trade mark of ANZ. Item No. 86136 01.2012 W261468

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T F I G ide gu

Le D達in D達 Designs. igns. g Phone. Phone e. (02) 665 6658 58 2920

Le D達in Designs.

Phone. (02) 6658 2920

Flowers on First. Phone. (02) 6658 9599

City Ce Centre Pharmacy. cy. Phone. (02) (0 6652 3658

Bath, Body & Soul. Phone. (02) 6651 9188

City Centre Pharmacy. Phone. (02) 6652 3658

34 coffs coast focus.


Flowers on First. The Girls from Flowers on First at sunny Sawtell are experienced and respected Floral Designers, who have a wealth of creative experience in all aspects of floristry. Our diverse designs and ideas show great attention to detail, always producing beautiful flower orders for our customers. Flowers on First can deliver daily to Sawtell, Coffs, Bellingen and surrounds. Being an Interflora florist, our standards are the highest, and we can deliver your flowers and gifts locally, interstate and worldwide. This year for Valentine’s Day, we are giving away a bottle of Moet to one of our lucky customers. Order a dozen roses and you will go in to the draw; your champagne prize will be delivered with your farm fresh roses on the Morning of Tuesday 14 February – VALENTINE’S DAY! • Lush Roses • Chocolates • Giftware and teddy bears • Add on champagne • Le Dãin Design in store/designer jewellery. Every order of a dozen roses for Valentine’s Day will receive a complimentary bottle of Wild Rose Oil. Phone us to place your orders on 6658 9599, or we would love you to pop in store for personalised service.

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Having a strong background in marketing was all the incentive that Samantha Wardman needed to establish her own marketing consultancy business on the Mid North Coast. She shares her passion and some tips on current trends in using social media in business.

Samantha Wardman. ou’ve got a long and proud history on the Coffs Coast. What do you love about this area? Coffs is one of those places that has the best of everything: beaches, restaurants and people. It’s where my family and friends are, which makes it an easy choice when choosing a great lifestyle like the Coffs Coast boasts. I was born in Coffs Harbour some 30 years ago, and I’ve lived here for most of my life – with the exception of a few years spent in Neutral Bay, Sydney. I moved back around three years ago to enjoy the lifestyle once again and to embark on my goal of running my own marketing consultancy business. Luckily for me, I was offered the marketing manager’s role at the C.ex Group, and so began this journey. It was through some great experiences, challenges and fantastic achievements at the C.ex Group that empowered me to begin this business. I also devote quite a lot of my time to the Coffs Harbour Surf Lifesaving Club and Tubby’s White Whales Trust, as well as assisting Michael Crossland to spread his inspirational story throughout the world. Having a strong marketing background has helped launch your new business? Yes, it’s very exciting times for me at the moment. After spending the past nine years working for various national law firms and notfor-profit organisations honing my marketing skills and knowledge, I decided it was time to launch my marketing consultancy business, CornerPost Marketing. Why now? I feel that the Coffs Coast is growing at a rapid pace and so too are the competition challenges and the consequential need for businesses to be distinguished in what they offer. By working with a marketing consultant like me, I can provide the strategic guidance and expertise to ensure your business is projecting the best possible image to consumers and in turn, achieve your business goals. I’m also a local, which is a plus! I also bring expertise in planning and creative art direction for events, interiors and advertising. The Tubby’s White Whales events are a good example of my local creative endeavours. Furthermore, working with a consultant such as me, with broad marketing, event and creative skills, is often a more effective and efficient alternative to employing marketing staff, as you are only paying for the output delivered and have access to a variety of expertise. You’re also working in association with Peter Williams of Axis Print Solutions. What makes this partnership so special? 36 coffs coast focus.

pics in photos folder

Peter and I have been long term business associates, and he’s one of my mentors. Honesty, integrity and respect are key values we both share in our business and personal lives, and I think that’s what makes this partnership so special. Now that I can provide marketing specialist services, Axis Print Solutions can provide clients with a uniquely focused approach to marketing, print, graphic design and mail-house services. It’s a really fabulous synergy of core services for businesses to take advantage of. Social l What’s the secret to media is truly galand successful marketing? encompassin g. It overwhelminus The key to successful has engulfed of marketing is ensuring that all like plague ere is firstly you know what your locusts, but thd of product is, secondly, have light at the en the tunnel! identified a market need and best way to take advantage thirdly, ensuring that your brand of it? and ultimately, product or service Social media is truly all is chosen by your customers over your encompassing and overwhelming. It competitor’s product or service. How do you has engulfed us all like plague of locusts, but do this? Well, it’s simple – tell your customers there is light at the end of the tunnel! It can the compelling reason why they should choose be an overwhelming thought to tackle, but my your product or service over another’s – a reason suggestion for business owners is to really think which is deeply embedded into your branding about how social media marketing might help and consequentially product or service, marketing complement their business offering and work out and customer service objectives. a strategy to achieve set objectives. Brands include everything from your logo, Social media and social media marketing unique selling proposition, brand personality, (SMO) are two different things. Commonly tagline and core business values. Subconsciously referred to as Web 2.0, social media includes: and whether you believe it or not, all brands social networks (Facebook, LinkedIn, My Space); resonate with our internal value system. It’s blogs and micro blogs (Twitter); media-sharing important to ensure that your business brand is sites (YouTube, Flickr); review sites (Yelp) and projecting the right positive vibe. forums. SMO is integrating the best identified So often I see businesses that have a great social media platforms into your marketing logo and seemingly good brand, but fail when plan, focusing on creating content that attracts it comes to actually delivering on the brand attention and encourages consumers to share it values, and consequently product or service, with their social networks. This will allow you to resulting in a negative or dull overall experience. enhance your brand awareness, gain insight into This is because having a good brand and great customer and competitor trends and ultimately, marketing is only half of the answer to successful customer service. marketing. The other half is ensuring that your There is no reason why your business can’t use staff know what your brand, product or service SMO; it costs relatively nothing, is easy to get and values are and that they live these values started and may have a very favourable financial and understand them better than, or as good as, impact on your business, if done effectively and anyone. with a targeted strategy. The best advantage of My tip: take a look at your brand and the social media is that it can cost a little or as much market you are in, as it all starts there, and really as you like and is easy to track response rates, think about how your ideal customer might making it easy to work out what’s working or perceive your product or service from your brand not. and external marketing efforts to your internal Current trends we should be aware of? marketing and customer service objectives. Your Wow! Trends are always appearing in the business needs to speak and act the same, which marketing world; it’s sometimes hard to keep up! will make the marketing and sales job easy! But I’d have to say that Customer Relationship These days, social media plays a big role in Management (or CRM) is a very important trend marketing. What are your thoughts on the that has really come to the forefront in the

last few years. When you think about it, every minute of the day you are gathering customer data, whether from your website, email, sales conversations, or from ongoing service history. CRM really involves the careful ‘mining’ of this data to establish ideal customer segments and pin point who buys, when they buy and why they buy. My tip: think about all the customer ‘touch points’ that you have with a customer when they are purchasing a product or service and from all potential points of contact (i.e. phone, email, social media, website, in person). This exercise will help identify the key areas to focus your ‘data mining’ efforts to discover your ideal customers and ultimately, hold the key to how to best develop successful long term relationships with them and service them best. What’s the best piece of business advice you’ve ever received? The most-important piece of advice I ever received was from my dad, Peter Wardman, who shared with me that acting with integrity at all times is the single most important value that you can possess in both your business and personal life. So long as you act with integrity, you can always be comforted that what you have achieved has been done so by honesty, hard-work and respect for yourself and others. This is a core value of mine, and one I hold in high esteem. How can people contact you? I’d love to help any business out, large or small, with any marketing needs – whether it be social media strategy, advertising, marketing planning, branding, content writing, sales promotions, PR, events or creative, I’ll help you to achieve your business goals. You can contact me on 0400 560 323 or email: cpmarketing@ Alternatively visit my blog Thanks Samantha.

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Willaid Health Care

J.R. Superstar

Established in 1995, Willaid Health Care Equipment is your local expert in health care equipment. Willaid can assist with independence, safety, increased mobility and comfort for elderly clients, people with a disability and postoperative patients.

28 Years in the trade.

John Reynolds established the Coffs Harbour Gymnastics Club in 1983 in the pavilions of the Coffs Harbour Showground. Today, over 28 years later, John has continued to grow and expand the business into the fun filled spectacle that is now known as Jr. Superstar Sports. Combining his knowledge and passion for all things sport, the gymnastics centric Jr. Superstar Sports is designed to give children between 18 months and 12 years the confident head start in any sporting endeavour. The building may have changed, but you’ll find some of the faces are still the same. Head Coach Olenka Saeck has been teaching the skills, fitness and fun that come with every Jr. Superstar Sports program since 1997 and together with Centre manager Jemma Scotford, the team are striving to make each visit better and more exciting than the last! For John and the team, the dream of superstar success doesn’t stop here. Having introduced two Olympians to gymnastics, the desire to spread his knowledge and passion has led John to make the move from local business owner to franchisor, with 2012 being the year to make the biggest change to children’s sport and leisure services since the invention of the trampoline.

38 coffs coast focus.

17 years in the trade.

Superior Service

10 years in business.

If you’re looking for a gift for someone special, then look no further than Bath, Body and Soul. For newborns to great grannies, we will gladly giftwrap your purchase for free. We stock the popular MOOGOO range, which is an Australian made natural skincare product designed for sensitive skin, Psoriasis, Eczema and new borns. If you have problem skin, then feel free to come in and chat to Sally or Karen. They can help you decide what products are suitable for your skin type. We get great results from this product and good customer feedback. SPECIAL OFFER: Mention this ad when you spend over $50 on MOOGOO product, and we will give you a FREE Cow Lick Balm to the value of $7.95

Willaid is a one stop shop, with experienced staff who work hard to find the best equipment solution for each client and their situation. Involved in sales, hire and repairs, Willaid stocks everything from walking sticks to hospital beds. Willaid also have an extensive range of goods for hire. Hire can be short or long term, and we cater for visitors to the area. Owner and manager, Trish Jackson, said the business has stood the test of time, because clients and professionals keep coming back for our wide variety of products and expert advice. We stock all the major brands and because of our membership in Peak Care Equipment, Australia’s largest Equipment buying group, we can supply at very competitive prices. We now have an Occupational Therapist on staff, who can work with customers and health care professionals in store, advising on product. As well, we have a qualified auto electrician on staff, who can service and repair the wide variety of products that are available. He also performs scheduled maintenance for nursing homes and other care groups. The staff at Willaid value our role in helping people, and invite the community to visit our showroom in Isles Drive to view the range of products we have on offer.


17 years in Coffs

17 years in the trade.

Emerald Beach Plumbing is enjoying its 17th year in Coffs Harbour, after initially commencing our business in the front yard of our home in Emerald Beach. One of the highlights in our history of business would be connecting almost 90% of the residents to sewer at Emerald beach in 2000. This put us in touch with the local residents and quickly cemented our business as a household name. Another highlight was when we moved into our very own factory and hired staff. Starting your own business is always fraught with challenges – especially when increasing staff and ensuring there is enough work to go around. It is our amazing and incredible employees, along with our business/ work ethics, that are responsible for our longevity. We continue to pride ourselves on the utmost professionalism, efficiency and customer service. We love working in Coffs Harbour, as it is an amazing community and it is like having a big arm around you. Coming from a large city like Melbourne, it has been a great lifestyle change. 2012 is shaping up to the best year ever, with lots of exciting new procedures in the pipeline and an exciting fundraising promotion for 2013!

17 years in Coffs


32 years in the trade.

With 32 years of experience in the Coffs area, Greg Goodman and his team pride themselves on top quality meat, as well as second to none customer service and providing the community with a sterling reputation for quality. According to Greg, “My business prides itself mostly on customer service. The key is to keep the customer happy, so they return knowing that they will be served the best by the best.” Bray Street Butchery specialise in making their own ham and bacon, which is always a favourite. The product is always fresh and sourced from pasture fed farms. Beef is not only the main product sold. The business also stocks chicken, lamb, pork and frozen seafood. Got a family to feed? Or are you just a massive meat lover? We offer bulk packages at great prices. Give Greg and his team a call on 6652 6144, or pop in and say G’day at Bray Street Shopping Complex, ask about what packages are on offer and come up with a package that will suit you. FREE DELIVERY IS AVAILABLE TO THE COFFS HARBOUR AREA.

22 years in Coffs

22 years in the trade.

The Coffs Harbour Acupuncture Clinic was established in 1990, after Karen and Bruno relocated from Sydney. Originally located on Grafton Street, the practice moved to its present location of 87 West High Street in 1997. The practice is owned and run by Karen and Bruno, who are both Acupuncturists and fully accredited with the Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Association. Karen and Bruno are both devoted to integrating the use of Traditional Acupuncture with the more mainstream western care most people receive. The clinic functions predominately as a general Acupuncture practice, with special interest in women’s health, fertility issues and the Acupuncture IVF support protocol. With extensive post-graduate studies, Karen specialises in facial rejuvenation and is the only qualified practitioner on the Mid North Coast to offer the Qi Beauty facial, which is an innovative skin treatment that uses 24 carat gold-plated magnets. The Coffs Harbour Acupuncture Clinic offers a tranquil, professional therapeutic environment to clients in need of restoring health and wellbeing.

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Decades in the trade.

12 years in the trade.

local hospitality

Over 40 settings on display in their new showroom.

Troy Club & Restaurant Supplies, located at 35B Lawson Crescent, Coffs Harbour, was established in October 1978 and had five owners until Sandra Hawkins took over in July 1996 – and she is still there.

outdoor furniture specialists The Outdoor Furniture Specialists’ Coffs Harbour store was opened in September 2001 in the Park Beach Homebase complex. After 10 years at that location, owners Dennis and Penny Martin decided to move to a new location next to Morrisons Betta Electrical, opposite WOW in the Home Central complex, directly opposite Homebase. While the move was only a short distance, the owners took the opportunity to completely revamp the look and feel of the shop. The new air-conditioned furniture showroom is modern, well set out and offers a magnificent range of quality traditional and contemporary outdoor furniture for both inside and outside living and entertaining. With a great range of quality settings on display and the ability for customers to mix

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We are a local business employing local people who have a combined 79 years of experience in servicing the hospitality industry.

10 years in the trade.

rth a visit to and match, it is certainly worth ariety of options appreciate the quality and variety available. g features for local Also, one of the outstanding buyers is that all settings are in stock and very As an added available for immediate delivery. bonus, in most instances free local delivery is offered within the Coffs Harbour area.

Our team of friendly, experienced, competent staff evidently enjoy working at Troy’s, with Leanne, head of Sales and Purchasing clocking up thirteen years, Les, our Rep and Geoff, External Sales, each with ten years’ experience at Troy’s; then there is Deb in Sales and Kellie in our Warehouse.

With over 40 settings on display in their new showroom, the Coffs Harbour shop has the largest range of quality outdoor furniture on the east coast between Newcastle and the Gold Coast.

Our product range includes commercial grade crockery, cutlery, glasses (we have the Crown Glass franchise for our area), quality German chef knives, kitchen utensils, commercial bench top equipment, chef uniforms and clogs in many reputable brands, and selected disposable items.

Whether you are looking for aluminium, timber, wicker or stone outdoor furniture, call in and have a look at the great range on display at the Outdoor Furniture Specialists in their new showroom next to Morrisons Betta Electrical.

As Troy’s is a strong supporter of the budding chefs of the future, we offer student discounts on uniforms and toolkits for apprentices, TAFE students and school students, with each kit designed to the requirements of each entity – so that only items that are needed for each

course are provided. Our area is fortunate to have many good chefs and eating places, most of whom obtain their chef uniforms and products from Troy’s, as all of our range is commercial grade and is made to withstand constant use – which is essential to any busy kitchen. This is also popular with those who love to cook at home and want quality products to enhance their skills, often inspired by the celebrity chefs on TV. We thank our customers for their ongoing support and look forward to being of service; so pop in, say hello and look around.



“We stick to our deadlines, and people appreciate that.”

Success is in the detail Arc Attack Engineering was established over 14 years by local couple Warren and Sheenah Whitten. The company has had an amazing growth in its short history; in fact, the business has expanded to be 40 times its original size. When the business was still in it early stages, a violent storm destroyed the entire workshop and all of the equipment. Warren and Sheenah Whitten began again from scratch. Originally it was a one-man operation working out of a small shed; today, Arc Attack is a large industrial complex able to tackle the smallest repair job through to major works such as the new Sealy Lookout and the new Coles Supermarket. The business employs a workforce of 15 skilled tradesmen and has a solid commitment to

14 years in the trade. training young apprentices. “We have made a commitment nt to employ local young people and help them to gain a trade and valuable experience. ce. We work closely with Woolgoolga High h School through their work experience program; in fact, every apprentice we have so far employed has come from Woolgoolga High,” says Warren Whitten. Arc Attack Engineering will do the job from the initial measuring and quoting, drawing (using auto cad) through to the manufacture and erection. The secret to their success is attention to detail and their work ethic ... "We stick to our deadlines, and people appreciate that," says Warren Whitten. “The bulk of our work is major construction, but we do small general repairs as well as jobs for local builders.”

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Fitzroy motors is the oldest Mazda dealership in NSW – from 1967 – and its Honda dealership dates back to 1969.

A sterling reputation Fitzroy motors are one of the most successful car dealerships on the Coffs Coast, with a sterling reputation and second to none customer service. General Manager Rob Partridge has been in the business for 46 years and has an eye for detail and an understanding for running his own car dealership. Rob attributes a lot of his success to the cars his dealership stocks. “Honda and Mazda always rate highly, because they are reliable and trouble free vehicles.” However, the cars themselves cannot take full credit for the company’s prosperity. The real driving force behind Fitzroy motors is the dedicated team of sales consultants, service technicians, administrative staff and detailers. All staff are trained to help buyers look for quality, style and safety, and they always strive

42 coffs coast focus.

Natural Rejuvenation Dr. John and Sister Barbara Wenman are excited to introduce their new MediSpa to the Coffs Coast and welcome you to explore an exotic world of treatments that are influenced by the queen of Goddesses herself, Cleopatra, and the decadent world of the emperors and empresses of China and Japan.

48 years in the trade. to meet any customers’ needss and demands. According to Rob Partridge: “In all, Fitzroy Motors’ success reflects the commitment and dedication of its well deserving ng staff.” This is the driving key for a successful company. ompany. Keeping staff trained, happy and looked after determines the dollar result at the end of the day, year, and month. If there’s a passion for product, then customers find they get the best result – because staff know exactly what to offer. Fitzroy Motors is located in Grafton Street, directly across from The Coast Hotel. It has been on the same site for more than 65 years – it was Foote’s Garage when Ces Vost bought the business in 1946 and later bought by the Partridge family in 1963. Fitzroy Motors is the oldest Mazda dealership in NSW – from 1967 – and its Honda dealership dates back to 1969.

Born in Coffs Harbour, Barbara returned to Coffs after studying nursing in Sydney with her husband Dr. John Wenman over 36 years ago. They have over 20 years’ experience in Cosmetic Medicine and offer a full range of treatment options, tailoring them to suit each clients specific skin type and skin concerns. They both take a holistic approach to fighting the ravages of age. Dr. Wenman is a member of the Australasian Society of Cosmetic Medicine and a fellow of the Royal Australian College of Physicians. Sister Barbara Wenman is an associate member of the Australasian Society of Cosmetic Medicine and like all members, they maintain a commitment to high standards of treatment, patient safety and ongoing training. Barbara specialises in the rejuvenating effects of cosmetic injecting using dermal fillers and muscle relaxing injections. She creates a

20 years in the trade. celift, and a natural natural, non-surgical facelift, lip treatment is used to restore the youthful appearance to the lips. Barbara is also eeling and skin analysis. experienced in facial peeling alises in the Promoitalia Dr. John Wenman specialises Threads face and neck lift. The Thread Lift procedure elevates the soft tissue of the face and neck to create a lifted effect without the need for traditional invasive surgical facelifting. While this Thread Lift is a standalone procedure, when combined with the natural face, eye and lip treatment, it gives a more significant rejuvenated effect. Dr. Wenman is also experienced in the treatment of Acne and is qualified to prescribe Roacutane and other Acne medications.



Decades in the trade.

The Yin and Yang of Pushkar The story of the Pushkar shop began when two backpackers kers from NSW met for the first time on the vibrant streets of Turkey in July 1990. Over the next four years, Nathan and Tina fell in love with the romanticism that travel through the most exotic and remote parts of the world can bring. Extensive travel through S.E Asia, China, Tibet, Nepal, Pakistan and a year in India all helped create what is the flavour of Pushkar today. With their behinds hanging out of their pants and with the last of their money spent on a bag of Rajasthani silver, the pair hit the flea markets of Victoria, Tasmania and NSW, slowly alchemising that bag of silver into a way of life. As others reading this Coffs Coast FOCUS have also had the fortune to experience, the Mid North Coast really captured the hearts of Tina and Nathan. Regular market stalls at Bellingen, Kempsey, S.W. rocks, Grafton and our own famous Jetty markets cemented the idea that this may prove to be more than just a traveller’s whim. Smitten with the idea that success is not a measure of wealth but simply doing what you want to do in life, they began to experiment with a more permanent set up in the guise of

a shop. After two shared attempts, the pair opened the Pushkar shop in its current location on March 1, 1998. Soon after, they officialised their travelling relationship with an exchange of rings combined with ever more frequent travels, all the while sourcing interesting and unusual items that over the years have increasingly helped make Pushkar the exciting and colourful energy source it is today.

Sucess is not a lth measure of wea g in but simply do what you want to inurlifnee’s. Herald Sun do Melbo

With profit not being the motivating force from the beginning, they were able to implement some important strategies. Bamboo, rattan and non forest timbers have always been preferred over rainforest timbers. Many organisations also receive ongoing support, which is seen by the pair as an appropriate way of redirecting some of the profits of Pushkar – which in turn have been generated by you, the customer. UNICEF, World Vision, RSPCA, Amnesty and WIRES, among

others, are viewed as vital links in the chain. Pushkar today retains much of its market flavour. Far removed from a regular shop fitter’s layout, it has been built up layer by layer, creating a feeling and energy a world away from the shopping centre mould. Parts of that character are Jessy and Lucy, the Pushkar dogs. Customers tell their children about playing with Jessy as a child themselves 14 years previously. Also adding to the unique flavour and originality of things, items are purchased directly from

mostly small family run businesses by Tina and Nathan in person. This ensures all profits filter through their village community and are not bypassed to a global manufacturing monopoly. All item swing tags are then designed, printed, laminated, cut and displayed in Pushkar by the beautiful Pushkar staff. The history and the heart of the one and only Pushkar in Coffs Harbour tells an intriguing tale that can bring you into its web of wonder, creating an environment that has a story for you to feel, hear, smell and hopefully transport your imagination to that far away place.

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Giant Media. A design studio with a difference, Bryn Goode explains how Giant Media uses both talent and technology to provide innovative solutions.


ow long have you been in business on the Coffs Coast? For over seven years with my own business and working around the industry for a total of over 17 years. I started drawing, screen printing and cutting ruby for a great local business at the tender age of 16 (before computers). What are some of the highlights from your time in business so far? Really getting a great understanding of my clients and helping them expand and market their business through innovation and great design to assist them every way we can. Also, growing my client base to extend past Australia and throughout parts of Asia, New Zealand and America. How about the challenges? The industry is changing all the time – especially the digital and social media aspects of my business, which we integrate into our clients’ websites. Also, finding the right staff ... we have some great young talent working for Giant Media at the moment. So through all that, what has been the secret to your success and longevity? Again, really staying in touch with technology, adapting to change and utilising its full potential. The other reason our calendar is never blank is that we take pride in really making our clients’ experience at Giant Media stress free ... we make it

simple, from when we shake their hand at the door through to completion of the projects in question ... it’s easy. Who are some of your local clients? Our local client list is massive, but here are a few: Coopers Surf Australia, Bonville Golf Resort, Specialist Medical Centre, Fishburn Watson & O’Brien, Nautilus Resort, Yknot Bistro, Latitude 30, Water Surf Art Café, Lee Winkler’s Surf School, Tea People, Wicked Berries, Self Sufficient Homes, Northern Beaches Physiotherapy, Coffs We make it Coast Sports Physiotherapy and e, from when pl m si nd Coffs Hardwoods, to name just we shake their ha h ug ro th a few. or do e th at e th of n io et pl daughter Olive and wife Amy What’s the best thing about to com tion ... es qu in ts ec oj pr I’m excited about the launch of running a business on the it’s easy. our new website which is online Coffs Coast? now at Growing up in Coffs Harbour get clicking and check out some of from 8 years of age, I would have to the great work we have been doing. Giant say it’s the area’s sheer beauty that has kept Media is a multi-disciplinary design studio based in me here. I can be surfing some great local waves in Coffs Harbour. They specialise in custom-built Wordthe morning with my family and then within a few press-based websites and corporate branding. Also, minutes, be immersed in a rainforest setting havwe have just launched our new website, which ing a BBQ. Having a great collection of clients and is online now at – get friends nearby, it truly does not get any better. clicking and check out some of the great work we What exciting plans have you got in place for have been doing. Giant Media is a multi-disciplinary 2012? design studio based in Coffs Harbour. They speciaApart from spending time with my beautiful

lise in custom-built Wordpress-based websites and corporate branding. Thanks Bryn.

the plug! If you are interested in using Giant Media for your next project, please contact the team on (02) 6651 5322, visit the website or email Alternatively drop by the office to arrange an appointment at 4/13 Industrial Drive Coffs Harbour.

coffs coast focus 45



Jodi From a working life in Sydney, a sea change to the Mid North Coast Coast, the birth of identical triplet daughters and an enthusiasm for life has led Jodi McAlary to develop a bright new business venture ... here did you start your working life, and what was your first choice of career? Previously I was a National OHS System Manager for a large labour hire company based in Sydney. What prompted your move to the Mid North Coast – and how long have you been here now? My husband and I moved to here three years ago after our stint in Sydney and some travelling. We both grew up in the country, had always holidayed on the Coffs Coast and have family close by. What have been some of the lifestyle changes you’ve made since moving up the coast? After we decided to make the move, I fell pregnant with identical triplet girls. We were advised to stay in Sydney for the pregnancy and birth, so moved two weeks after we left hospital. It was a massive team effort from our families, and the first year was a blur. It took two hours to feed the girls, leaving one hour between feeds before the process started again 24/7. I have so much gratitude and love for our families for the help they gave us and continue to give us. What led to you creating the idea for your new business? When we were finally able to get out of the house with the girls, I found it difficult to discover what was available for us to do. I completed state-wide market research and found this was a universal problem for parents in their home towns, as well as on holidays. What is your new business concept, ‘todokids’ all about – and how will it work? todokids provides information for families across the state (and Australia within the next three years) about what is available to do with their kids. Think but for activities instead of accommodation. Users of todokids will have easy access to a wealth of information about what’s on, places to go and things to do. todokids has a very powerful information sorter which allows you to refine the search according to the specific age of your child/ ren, how much you want to spend (including free activities), the distance you are prepared to travel, as well as the types of activities you prefer. Our search criteria include indoor

46 coffs coast focus.

activities, holiday programs, sporting clubs, educational/tutors, special needs children and play groups, to name just a few. We also have family friendly activities and services for parents such as restaurants and gyms with crèches. The best feature for parents is the free weekly todokids Diary, which provides a customised list of upcoming events based on each subscriber’s location and age of their children. I know this would make my life easier, and I’m sure other parents will love it too. What steps have you taken to get the idea off the ground so far? Firstly, I engaged an IT company to build the sophisticated, yet simple to use, website. We’re fortunate to have such world class service providers right here on the Mid North Coast, so we don’t need to rely on services from the city. I am also busy Users of todokids partnering with industry will have easy lth of groups and associations access to a weaout information abes to go to further build the what’s on, placdo. business across the state. establishing a business and things to What have you learnt from the ground up – and throughout your how have you overcome working and personal life them? that has helped you with a The biggest problem is coming new business startup? up with all these ideas and then finding No challenge is too big! There is never a good the time to get it all done. I’ve taken this into time – just do it. consideration and allowed a generous timeframe What can you offer local businesses/ to ensure we get it right the first time. I figure I organisations through ‘todokids’ that will only get one shot at this! be mutually beneficial for your business and Efficient communication is vital for me, theirs? as I am trying to reach such a large number There is a real need for a logical, locationof ‘kids’ businesses both in tourism and in based activity search tool for parents – especially servicing the local community. I have formed a one that caters to regional areas. todokids great relationship with the Coffs Coast Tourism provides a platform for businesses to build their Association and Board, as well as Tourism profile, gain exposure and access an actively Bellinger. The tourism industry locally is very engaged audience of people looking for things fortunate to have such receptive, positive and to do with their kids. Mass take-up is key. enthusiastic people working on the Board for The more organisations listed on the site, the them. more valuable it will be to parents – the more Tracey Adendorff has been a wonderful ally parents using the site, the greater the benefit to in facilitating communication to the Association businesses. members and making this new opportunity To show my long term commitment and my available to them. I have also had tremendous belief in todokids, I am offering all Mid North support and interest from several tourism Coast businesses free access to todokids to providers in town, who joined me for the testing input their information on the website by midand preload phase of the website. The local February. businesses preloaded on todokids are Tabatinga, What challenges have you found so far in The Big Banana, The Butterfly House and Big4

Trial Bay, with several providers who had already registered their interest before the launch to quickly follow. todokids and the opportunity I have to create this website would not be possible without the confidence, support and encouragement of my husband, Andrew. Given you’ve already experienced a huge lifestyle and career change, where would you like to see yourself personally and professionally in the next few years? I have big ambitions for todokids. I really see this as shaking up the marketing approach of tourism, entertainment and recreation businesses all over Australia. My aim is to be the first item on their marketing plan. I want to provide a great life for my family growing up here on the Mid North Coast. Where can people go to find out more about todokids? Parents will have to wait until we get the site crammed with loads of activities ready for launch on 1 July this year. Businesses who want to take advantage of the free listings should go directly to the website, From there, they will be invited to choose a username and password and follow the simple, three step process – easy! Thanks Jodi.


with Guy Saddleton, President of Tourism Coffs Coast.

More affordable than ever!

Travel Tasmania. UPDATE Hello all. Well, January provided terrific weather for tourists, and feedback from holiday makers to our region was exceptionally positive. Great weather was a strong contributor, but feedback included great beaches and a variety of things to do ... but whether this has equated to dollars spent is debatable.


community, and it’s great fun. So go on ... get out there and enjoy! I mentioned in last month’s article that CHCC had appointed PR agency, PEPR, to work with Coffs Coast Marketing (Council’s marketing division) and Tourism Coffs Coast, to promote our region and leverage to maximum benefit the recently released, new brand for Coffs Coast. We are looking forward to working with PEPR for the benefit of all members.

Speaking of members, our membership renewals are now due, having been moved from 1 July to 1 January, and I am pleased to say that our membership benefits subcommittee has been successful in We will continue to have strong competition negotiating even more benefits for holiday dollars from overseas for our members, including destinations, and the great significant discounts on diversity and welcoming ing an active Be various media options, nature of our community member of anides strategic brochure displays ov are major drawcards for association pr llent and subsidised ‘buy ins’ ce ex our visitors. So keep up you with ty, ili ab to larger marketing ng ki or tw ne the great work Coffs together ng ki packages. With our new or w d an Coasters – much local can increase thl e e w structure, a number of employment relies on ca benefits for loum membership categories s er ns tourism. And don’t forget businesses, coalike. have come down in price, to get out yourselves and and visitors and memberships start enjoy all the attractions from just $132 p.a. inc GST. and activities that many other For application forms and more people travel a long way to enjoy. information on how you can benefit Visitors staying with friends make up a large from joining Tourism Coffs Coast, call Tracey proportion of our tourist numbers, and often Adendorff at our office on 6651 7766, or email this is when we discover or rediscover local features ... but why wait for when you have No doubt 2012 will bring challenges for us all, visitors? Get out on a regular basis and take but with challenges come great opportunities. advantage of the fact that you live here in Being an active member of an association this magnificent region and always have the provides you with excellent networking ability, opportunity to go riding, cycling, sky diving, and working together we can increase the forest walking, scuba diving, whale watching, benefits for local businesses, consumers and surfing, water skiing, ice skating, tobogganing, visitors alike. So, until next month, embrace and shopping, eating, ‘butterflying’, ‘porpoising’, enjoy your Coffs Coast region, and ‘share the and so much more. Local dollars, spent locally, love’ with as many people as you can! provide the best support possible for your local quick survey of our members confirmed that on the whole, the number of days stayed was slightly longer than last year.


Australia’s oldest bridge in Richmond, or a trip If you’re thinking of a holiday but want to keep the costs reasonable, then why not to Bruny Island, with its abundant wildlife and consider Tasmania? With daily flights from stunning views. Coffs Harbour (through Sydney), it’s Tasmania’s wilderness is talked about easier and more affordable than throughout the world – and ever. Tasmania has a wonderful deservedly so, as it is the blend of history, architecture home of some of the most Drop in and and wilderness, with see the girls at el spectacular World Heritage beautiful fine food, cool Quadrant Travin listed scenery on the planet! and Journeys s climate wines and some of Most famous of all is Cradle off C , Vernon St out the freshest seafood in the nd fi to Mountain, where visitors ur bo ar H country. more. can spend a day or a month Hobart has come of age with its contemporary art, culture and dining scene and is home to a spectacular harbour famous for fishing, sailing and of course, the annual Sydney to Hobart race. Plan your trip to visit the once a week Salamanca Markets, which are an explosion of colour and flavour showcasing local produce and modern artworks. Hobart also acts as an excellent base to explore the surrounding area, including the historic site of Port Arthur,

(or anywhere in between!) Experienced hikers can tackle the 65 km overland track, or day visitors can canoe, walk or fish in Australia’s deepest freshwater lake. With breathtaking scenery, gourmet food and award winning wines and cheese, it’s easy to see why Tasmania is a very popular destination. Drop in and see the girls at Quadrant Travel and Journeys in Vernon St, Coffs Harbour to find out more.

coffs coast focus 47


focusbusiness. with the Coffs Harbour Chamber of Commerce

garth shipperlee.


I hope the new Year’s been good to you so far. The Chamber had a big year last year, achieving many major milestones ...

George Maguire is a well known Sawtell resident and a champion lawn bowler. He shares his passion for the sport and his local club.


ow long have you been a part of the Sawtell community? For roughly 37 years now, and I’ve been a part of the Sawtell Bowling club for around 34 years. What do you like about the Sawtell community? It’s a very friendly place, Sawtell. You walk up the street and you know everybody. I come in to the club and I know everybody ... it’s just a nice peaceful spot here. You first started playing bowls down in Albury and have been playing for years. What got you hooked on the sport in the first place? I don’t know what it was, really. I think it was just that everyone was playing, and they talked me into it. I was the youngest member at the club in Albury at the time, and I’ve been playing regularly ever since. And you still play regularly? Yes, I play twice a week, on Wednesday and Fridays. I just play socially these days, generally as part of a men’s team. I don’t play championships anymore ... I’m too old now! But you have won some tournaments in your time, haven’t you, George? Yeah, I’ve won a few. I don’t want any recognition for anything, but I did win a few. I won the Major Fours here at Sawtell 7 times; I think that might be a record, actually. The first one I won here in 1979, and it finished in about 1993. I only played with the same team twice, and the rest were with different blokes. You get to meet everybody when you play with different teams. I really like the friendships that you can make in bowls. It’s a very friendly game ... if you lose, you come in and have a beer; and if you win, you do the same thing! So what is your favourite thing about lawn bowls? Friendship, more than anything. Since my wife died and I was home on my own, it’s given me a good place to go and enjoy good friendships. I can play bowls and come down here and have a couple of social drinks. It’s great. You were on the Board of Directors here at Sawtell for a while, weren’t you? Yes, I was on the Board of Directors here for

48 coffs coast focus.

three years. It was pretty hectic. The wife used to go crook all the time, because I’d get home from meetings late at night – and she wasn’t very happy! So that lasted three years, and then I decided it was time to just get back in to the fun of lawn bowls. But we’ve had a lot of highlights at this club. While I was on the Board, we spent something like $1.5 million on the extensions down the back, and I think that really made the club and attracted people here. We had 100 here playing on one day last week, which is a big number for this area. It has really flourished at this club. Lawn bowls is a bit of a tricky sport, but you make it look so easy! What’s the secret? I don’t think there’s any secret – just practice I would say. But I’m not one to practice ... well, not now anyway! I guess the trick is to not aim directly at the kitty up the other end. You generally point your feet a little bit towards the side that you’re going to bowl, and it helps you take a bit of grass – and that’s how you pick it up. What about the weight? Actually, the weight most probably is the easiest … it comes to you. If you’re short or long, after a while you can pick the weight and correct it yourself. What do you think about bringing juniors up through the ranks? There are not a lot of juniors here, but young people still do play – more so in the city than here. The Club at Sawtell does have a Juniors Program. Frank Gradson’s wife, Pat, passed away maybe 12 months ago, and she left $5,000 for the junior bowlers in this club – and that has helped to promote it. It’s very hard to encourage juniors to get involved with the sport when you live around the coast like thi,s and they want to get out and surf and do more active sports. So aside from winning all those tournaments, what have been the highlights for you so far? Over the years I can say it’s been wonderful. When my wife was alive, I talked her into playing, and she played here for years. You meet a lot of people through lawn bowls, and that’s the greatest part of it. Thanks George.

e had our Centenary, the biggest ever Sunny’s Awards, with the inception of an Employer Careers Expo and working through a 12 month plan, which included a re-brand and re-positioning of the Chamber. On behalf of the Chamber – thank you to our members, sponsors and many supporters. We look forward to delivering more great breakfast speakers, beneficial networking events, comprehensive communications and increased advocacy in 2012. How time slips by; here we are already in the 2nd month of the year! Early indications are showing that visitor numbers are up and there have been large crowds in our shopping centres, so hopefully our retailers, hospitality businesses, accommodation houses and tourism sectors are reaping the benefits of our visitors; even Mother Nature was kind to us over the Christmas/New Year break! The owners of the Palms Shopping Centre, Gowings Bros Ltd, have submitted a development application to the Council; the DA involves reconfiguring of the current Coles Supermarket, as they will close and relocate to the new store on Harbour Drive when it opens on 14 February. The reconfiguration of the Coles site into new speciality retail area, the creation of a new food court with significantly increased seating capacity, and the upgrading of the Harbour Drive footpath area to create a vibrant café/retail space makes this an exciting time for the centre, and we look forward to the refurbishment and further development. Coffs Harbour may soon see a GP Super Clinic; an ideal site has been identified on Stadium Drive. The location is a short drive from the centre of Coffs Harbour and neighbouring towns; it is accessible by public transport and is close to the sporting complex, education campus and base hospital. The clinic will have a strong emphasis on chronic disease and preventative health care; offer a range of allied health services, including psychology, physiotherapy, podiatry and exercise physiology. We are still seeking your support for us to join the NSW Business Chamber Alliance Program. Thank you to the members who have ‘opted in’ on the proposal; as we have outlined in earlier communications, it is FREE. The committee have discussed at length the services and benefits to you, our members, and we strongly believe that for our local businesses to be heard at the State

and Federal Government levels, your Chamber must be a member of the alliance program. Please go to our website www.coffsharbourchamber. and complete the ‘opt in’ form. Guest speaker for February’s ‘How to Thrive, Not Just Survive in Business’ networking breakfast will be Wayne Donnelly, Business Coach from Sydney’s 10X. Wayne understands what makes a business work, no matter what the size; he also understands the commitment and drive needed for a small business to survive. This is your opportunity to hear his expertise on how to look at your business operations in a new light, improve your results and how to put in place more effective marketing, promotional and customer retention strategies. Learn how to focus and identify the activities that need to be implemented in your business to move away from the day-to-day operations and into thrive mode! Key benefits from attending: • How to make small changes in key areas that will result in a more profitable business • Get your product and marketing mix right to gain a competitive advantage • Focus ‘on’ your business and get more done in less time • Grow your customer base and improve customer retention This is a great networking event for business owners, managers and professionals who are serious about getting better results, staying ahead of their competitors and taking their business to the next level. Have you registered for our Chamber Golf Day? This is a day not to be missed. The golf day is a great way to catch up with business associates, ‘do business’, socialise and most importantly, have some fun with friendly rivalry competition! We will have some great prizes, so to book your spot and remember places are limited, ph the chamber office on 6651 4101.

upcoming events. HOW TO THRIVE, NOT JUST SURVIVE IN BUSINESS Date Venue Time Cost RSVP

7 February 2012 Opal Cove Resort 7am - 9am Members and Guests – $30/head Non-members – $40/head Chamber Office – 6651 4101 or

MORE INFO For more information on events and membership, contact the Chamber on 6651 4101 or by email

How long has the cabbage you just bought at the supermarket been sitting in cold storage?

You won’t find lack-lustre, unreasonably priced or out-of-region produce at the Innovation Farm Market Stall. What you will find is picked that day, pesticide free and certified organic produce from Innovation Farm in Bonville. We also support small local growers by selling their chemical free and organic produce. The Innovation Farm is a vocational project set up by CHESS Employment, a non profit organisation that provides skills to highly disadvantaged job-seekers on the Coffs Coast. All profits are re-invested back into the farm which supports ongoing community initiatives to get people meaningful and productive work.

Market Stall opens: 8.00am – 3.30pm every Thursday. Located:

At the Coffs Coast Growers Market in the City Square on Harbour Drive, we are located towards the car park at the back. Look for our sign.


Seasonal - popular staples including Russian garlic, okra, salad mix, Asian greens and rhubarb.


Call Linda on 6653 5846.

Support local talent, enterprise and commitment to providing a healthier happier Coffs Community.

Reg. No 2628

employment, vocational & support services coffs coast focus 49



property guide.

Integrity New Homes.

50 coffs coast focus.

Integrity New Homes.


Thinking of building a new home? Then look no further than the experienced team at Integrity New Homes to make your dream a reality.

Integrity New Homes. he Integrity Group is a multi-faceted Australian property entity with a diverse range of subsidiary companies involved in the design and construction on flat and sloping land of: new residential homes, units, townhouses and medium density projects; residential and commercial renovations; commercial building projects; and land development. Integrity is a steep site specialist (and yes, we also build on flat blocks) and provides the design flair of an architect but with the systems, service and price benefits of a volume builder. This design and construction edge has allowed the company


n By placing desig t hear e th at y lit bi xi fle ’s of the company focus, Integrity New Homes hasdo nestablished a ca . ch oa pr ap

to diversify into other markets, such as renovations, commercial, units, townhouses and medium density projects. Construction of residential homes under the company’s building licence occurs over a wide geographic area of New South Wales and Queensland. Proven systems deliver a safety net which underscores field operations. Plus, by establishing a design culture, Integrity New Homes can take on jobs which other large project home builders overlook. By placing design

flexibility at the heart of the company’s focus, Integrity New Homes has established a can-do approach. Consequently, there are a stunning range of homes in the company’s Contemporary, Custom, Homestead and Investor collections. This delivers exciting low sets, high sets and designs for steep and challenging sites, whether they are one-off custom designs or ‘offthe-shelf’ homes and duplexes. continued over




Changing my world coffs coast focus 51


Integrity New Homes.

Integrity New Homes.

Custom Design. raditionally, new home buyers have only really had two options when deciding to build a new home. They could wander off and talk to an architect, who could design them a home. Once the home was designed, they then have to find a builder who could construct the home ... hopefully for the ‘ballpark price’ the architect quoted them. And many people who have been down this path will tell you the price the architect said the home would cost and what the builder’s final contract price are usually ‘poles apart’. These builders are invariably small niche operators without display homes, so you can’t see first-hand the quality of their work. The other alternative was to go with a project home builder, who tradition-


ally have display homes, great design

Home Renovation.

Special Projects.

he Australian renovation market is very large, but is dominated by a horde of small building companies completing no more than a handful of jobs annually. No large scale building company has successfully been able to target and develop the renovation market ... until now. Integrity Renovations is using modified versions of the same proven design, costing and construction systems operating in the new home side of the business, to provide a marketing edge in renovation. And because Integrity is a design driven company, the same problem solving skills used in creating new homes are applied with real zeal to coming up with renovation solutions. What is more, these solutions are suited to the customers’ needs and budget. As a volume builder of hundreds of homes, Integrity can also deliver much better buying rates than small operators who only complete a couple of projects a year.

ntegrity New Homes is a flexible special projects company, which is able to manage design and construction of a diverse range of commercial residential projects. Whether it be muliunit dwellings and townhouses in Airlie Beach or an apartment project in Ballina, Integrity Commercial Construction Pty Ltd uses it design edge to give clients marketable solutions within budget. Access is also available to the Group’s centralised support team, including colour specialists and custom building designers. Integrity’s background in residential construction, with its traditionally higher levels of finish and customer expectation means the company delivers commercial projects with industry leading quality.

ranges and pricing, but will not let you make too many changes to the standard design. They will not build on steep blocks, preferring to build on slabs on flat blocks. In fact: there are a heap of things they will not do. Integrity custom design combines all the advantages of dealing with an architect to get the personalised design you want, with the value for money, price certainty and systemisation of a big project builder – and yes, there are a ‘fleet’ of display homes showing the quality of Integrity’s finish and design on flat and steep blocks. We will create one-off designs from your sketches and ideas, then have our qualified home designers create plans.



Reece Plumbing are proud to support Integrity New Homes. For your nearest Reece store please call 1800 032 566 or visit

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Call us today on 13 62 63 or visit for more information



Award Winning. A subsidiary of emerging national property identity, the Integrity Group, has again taken out the peak New South Wales Housing Industry Association’s (HIA) Professional Medium Builder of the Year Award for 2011/2012. Integrity New Homes took out the award from a quality field of leading builders for the second time in three years – having previously won the award in 2008/2009. Integrity New Homes Managing Director, Glenn Leet, said the award recognised the efforts of the entire team in a difficult and challenging marketplace. “Awards are not an excuse to pat yourself on the back,” he said. “New home construction is very competitive with many potential pitfalls, so it is crucial to remain customer focused, professional and concentrate on the tasks at hand. “However, when a peak industry group like the Housing Industry Association acknowledge the overall performance of a company across all aspects of construction from innovation and client communication through to quality assurance and financial systems, it highlights the business is

heading in the right direction. “It also sends a message to future and existing clients they are dealing with a business which is striving, and having some success, in its quest to be an industry leader. “We will continue to improve our business and strive to achieve great outcomes for our clients,” Mr Leet said. The HIA Professional Builder of the Year Awards gauges the performance of building companies in Australia in four key areas including: customer service; leadership of the company and business and financial management. In the past 12 months, Integrity New Homes commenced franchise building operations in Canberra and Adelaide, as well as successfully opening display homes in Brisbane and Newcastle as part of the careful and considered expansion into key markets nationally. “Our land estates subsidiary, Integrity Land Developments, recently released prime residential allotments in Coffs Harbour and Tamworth, with the first land sales already nearing settlement,” Mr Leet said.

Integrity New the m Ho es took outality qu a m fro award ilders field of leading bu e in for the second tim ng three years – havithe on w ly us io ev pr 009. award in 2008/2

more info. For more information on building your dream home, visit or phone 1300 886 793.

coffs coast focus 53

focuson renos

New showroom open February 6, 2012.

focus on

who’ll do the work? local solahart dealer. Emerald Energy is the proud dealer for Solahart, offering the world leading Solahart solar hot water system to the Coffs Harbour region. Since 1953, Solahart has sold over a million systems across 70 countries, including the Base Camp of Mt Everest. And now Solahart is expanding its range and offering Solahart solar power. The panels are amongst the most efficient in the world, and when backed with a Solahart warranty, you can be assured that your solar system will perform and be looked after well into the future. Another product in Emerald Energy’s range is the Solatube Daylighting System. The Solatube Brighten Up series is the only Energy Star rated skylight available in Australia. This system will bring in 99.7% of the daylight, without any heat gain. Innovative reflective tubes make it easy to brighten those difficult to light areas. SolarVent solar roof ventilation systems reduce both the heat and humidity in homes by roof ventilation, powered by the sun. The temperature in your roof space can be reduced by up to 20 degrees and internal temperature by up to 6 degrees. 100% solar powered, $0 running and maintenance and a lifetime warranty make this something worth looking into. A new showroom will be opening on Monday 6 February 2012 at 305 Pacific Hwy, Coffs Harbour (opp Super A-Mart), or you can call on 6651 9926.

54 coffs coast focus.

Many undertake renovation of their home with little trouble and enjoy the process. Many more can’t believe what they have started and don’t know where to go and what to do next. In renovations, you are working with structures that are not meeting current standard building codes and material which is not workable with current product. Asbestos, lead based paint, flooring substandard for just polishing, access doors and garaging, ability to match existing windows with new product, the need for lintels and supports in walls, electrical and plumbing also can be antiquated. Sometimes one job creates another. So who is going to do the actual work? David from Houston Constructions says he works for many folk who are happy to be the designer and decorator, hunter of the perfect tile and such, but are more than happy also to have David and his team take the worry out of the actual construction work. Timely advice on a costly idea which will not benefit the owner or the home can save stress and money and keep the renovation from stalling until someone suggests a solution. This is something David feels is essential in renovations. David spends time with the owner throughout the renovation, to ensure the owner is happy with the progress and making changes where necessary. David Houston pays tribute to his team of carpenters and tradesmen who have worked with him over the years, for their professionalism and consistently high standards of workmanship.

direct from the manufacturer? Your local appliance factory outlet, Coffs Factory Seconds, has been servicing Coffs Harbour and surrounding areas for the past 4 years. Their products are sourced directly from the manufacturers, which ensures that you get the best quality product and the lowest prices. They also offer non seconds (new in box) electrical appliances. Delivery and installation services are available for all appliances, including split system air conditioners, ovens, cooktops and stoves. There are some really big plans in place for 2012. Coffs Factory Seconds will be offering high quality custom made kitchens with stone tops at very attractive prices. They will also carry a large range of vanities and shower screens, creating a one stop shop for all of your renovation needs. Be sure to visit their store in Keona Circuit, Coffs Harbour soon and have a look at what they are offering; it will be worth it!

focuson renos

locally owned and operated.

focus o n

Before you start, come in and talk to us at Adventure Coast Plasterboard and visit our new showroom in Coffs Harbour. We can offer a take-off service for engineered bearers and joists, as well as for the range of CSR Cemintel and James Hardie fibre cement products for external use. We are also a CSR Hebel Distributor and can even offer the render products from Rockcote and Acratex to finish the job. As a CSR Gyprock Specialist Distributor, we can explain the different types of CSR Gyprock products and systems you can use internally to achieve what you want. This is especially important if you plan to incorporate a media room in your upcoming project. Do you need cement products? Being a distributor for Cement Australia, we have you covered, as we stock a good range of products and accessories. Are you looking for timber flooring? We offer solid and engineered timber flooring from Boral Flooring, as well as Bamboo overlay flooring, for those looking for an Eco option. We can also help you with Hume and Corinthian internal and external doors, as well as Gainsborough and Lockwood door locks and

handles to complete the job. We stock a good range of internal and external timber for all your needs. We even can help you with a Clark water tank or a clothes line from Hills Hoists! Our range is growing all the time, so come visit our friendly staff and get the right advice on the large range of quality building products we have in stock, as well as the many more we have access to through our sister company, FastPlast Building Supplies and via special order. For all enquiries please call: General Manager Jeff Hickson M: 0488 333 990 Sales Representative Les Millis M: 0467 527 727.

coffs coast focus 55


with Chris Hines from Unrealestate

Two Birds. Two Birds Design is an innovative and affordable design studio run by two local experienced and respected designers – Kylie Mackay and Kristie Peel.

chris hines.

We pride ourselves on working closely with clients to ensure their designs are suitable and that the end result is what they had expected. Good design is not about the magnitude of the budget; rather, the ideas behind the concept and the attention to detail in executing it. We select and schedule colour finishes, materials, fixtures and fittings for exterior and interior works, and we can complete each project by providing our designers’ finishing touch with furniture, window treatments, artworks, soft furnishings and accessories. Two Birds Design offer interior design services for new dwellings, renovations, commercial and retail fit outs, as well as furniture packages for home, unit and holiday rentals. We are very excited to be celebrating Two Birds Design 1st birthday! As part of our celebrations, we would like to offer new and existing clients 20% off all fabrics, wallpaper and lighting ranges. We invite you to contact us to discuss your project needs, or visit our website

real Why do some homes seem to sell and some don’t?


uyers and sellers alike without taking a holistic view of wonder why apparently their property. They think in terms of similar houses sell for immediate solutions and a particular different prices. problem area of the house, rather Two houses of equal size and than conceptualising the impact of condition in the same street can have the house as a whole. In the worst a very different market appeal. It cases, money is spent and features often comes down to what can best are added, but market appeal is be summed up in terms of a gestalt negligibly enhanced. For example, principle, or the relationship between extending without reference to the the whole and the sum of the parts. scale of the home creates an effect Sometimes the whole is greater that is not harmonious or flowing than a mere sum of the parts – but as a design concept and lacks the sometimes, unfortunately, it is less. market appeal of other houses with The effect of the superior property the same number of features on is similar to that special human paper. When decorating, extending or quality labelled charisma. Charisma is renovating, remember charisma adds hard to define, but as far as houses to the capital value of your home. are concerned, it can be as simple If the proposed changes add as the overall impressions created by features only, chances are you regular maintenance and attention to won’t have maximised your market detail in the presentation of the potential. property. However, it is more Ok, do I renovate likely to be a function to sell? of the original design Most home rs ne ow e m ho concept of the t owners os M ting or house. think that renorva think that operty pr extending theieir net gain Many people like renovating ill increase th sell. w to think they are or extending when they to sell r saving money at their property It is often cheape d buy the property an the planning stage will increase another. and wonder why their net gain their house doesn’t when they sell. end up having the impact It is often cheaper they imagined. Good design, to sell the property and especially the skilful use of natural buy another. light, window placement and the Whether you renovate or extend, correct orientation of the property, it is not always a cost-effective way adds something you can recognise to improve your standard of living but can’t always define. or accommodate that new family Many people add on, or make member. The arithmetic isn’t as minor changes as the need arises, simple as original value plus cost of

56 coffs coast focus.

extensions equals final selling price. There are lots of factors to consider. Before going ahead, home owners should estimate the average sales price being achieved for houses within a four kilometre radius of their home. Be wary of going by the advertised price. Follow properties through, and find out what they eventually sell for. You should then be able to estimate the current reasonable selling price of your property. Make sure you are realistic; compare your property carefully with others that have actually sold in the area. The last thing to do is to get written quotes from licensed well referenced local builders for the work you intend to carry out. Once you have done your homework, you are in a position to put your equation together by estimating the reasonable selling price of your property and working out whether it is as high as the original (excluding renovations) value plus the cost of the renovations. Another way of checking to see whether your sums are correct, is to make sure the final (including renovations) estimate is no more than fifteen percent higher than the original (excluding renovations) one. Above all, make sure you don’t end up with the best house in the street, or the value of the properties around you will negatively affect yours. In the long run, it is often easier to save yourself the hassles and the heartache and upgrade to another property instead of renovating.

coffs coast focus 57


After recently rebranding the business, James Robinson tells us more about Choices Flooring in Coffs Harbour and what they’re doing to keep up with the eco friendly movement.

Choices Flooring. James Robinson is justifiably proud of the quality and range of products Choices Flooring stocks – and also the fantastic service offered by the business to every customer ...


hare with us a brief history of your business. The business was established in the late 1960s. The business has had a few name changes over the years – originally Max Finlay Carpets, then Max Finlay Carpet Choice and now CHOICES FLOORING. One thing has always remained the same – we have always been a family owned and operated business. We continue to supply quality service and products at competitive prices. If it’s commercial or domestic, we have it covered. Our goal is to help the customer (YOU) make the right choice. We keep up-todate with floor coverings trends and product advancement. We offer a lifetime guarantee on our installation, because we are so confident in the quality installers we employ. You have recently rebranded to become Choices Flooring after years as Carpet Choice. Why the rebrand? Well, because that’s exactly what we’ll be offering: more choices, more contemporary

colours and patterns, more versatile textures and more ways to help you find the floor you’ve been searching for. These days, people are becoming more There is nothing environmentally g better than bein dent, nfi co a conscious and are by ed serv ho w on rs pe l cheerfu trying to reduce their ts enthusiasm ec oj pr ‘footprint’. Tell us ch growing plants on the and support tostea g in in si as , about your eco friendly er om cust planet and compared or al achieving their go options. to hardwood, it grows outcome. We’ve got two major at an amazing speed due products in our range that are to it being a grass and not a very eco-friendly. wood. This gives it a wonderful The first is bamboo, which is a very renewable ability to regenerate itself attractive alternative for any person making after each time it is harvested, which is unlike that difficult flooring choice. Bamboo is hardwood forests that require replanting. synonymous with quality and has grown over Bamboo reaches full maturity between 5 - 6 the last few years to become today’s market years, compared to a hardwood tree being leader in this specialty flooring product. 50 plus years. Strand Woven Bamboo has gained the Bamboo has amazing physical and reputation as an ecologically sustainable mechanical properties; its strength and product, while being totally environmentally hardness exceeds our top hardwoods grown friendly. Bamboo is one of the fastest in Australia. Not only is the mechanical strength of bamboo amazing, but bamboo is also resistant to insects – especially termites. The second eco-friendly flooring we have in stock is Godfrey Hirst eco+ carpets. Manufactured with Sorona renewably sourced polymer, this range marks the next generation in carpet. Made from natural corn sugar, the Sorona polymer in Godfrey Hirst eco+ places less reliance on non-renewable resources than other synthetic fibres and generates less greenhouse gas emissions to produce. You’ve obviously been in business for many years now. What is the key to successful business? The key to a successful business is having the right staff and happy staff. There is nothing better than being served by a confident, cheerful person who projects enthusiasm and support to each customer,

58 coffs coast focus.

assisting in achieving their goal or outcome. Tell us about yourself, and the team you work with. I was employed as the storeman of Max Finlay Carpets at 17 years of age. At 22, I ventured to Sydney and was the manager of three different outlets for Carpet Fashion stores over the following 3 years. Returned to Coffs in 1999 and resumed with Max Finlay Carpet Choice as a partner in the business. I took on the sole responsibility of the store in 2002. David has been in the industry for over 20 years, both in sales and installation. He thrives on giving good, enthusiastic customer service. He has the extensive experience and knowledge of the products and installation requirements. Jenni joined us in 2011 in an administrative role, but has now joined the sales team. Jenni is the first point of contact for our customers. Shirley has been with us since 2000 in an administrative role, ensuring both customer and business requirements are fulfilled. What keeps you motivated? The continued support from our buying group and suppliers supporting the growth of the floor covering industry. We live in the best place, where my family and I all contribute to the local community and enjoy what the Coffs Coast has to offer. My children are both growing up in a developing city, and my business is part of that. Thanks James.

Si Clean Energy Supply and commissioning of inverters for the largest ground mounted array in Australia for the Solar Cities 1MW solar power station at Alice Springs



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Focus 17 - Coffs Coast  

Issue 17 of the Coffs Coast Focus.