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MAR 2016

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Natalie Welsh. Riverboat Skipper

NATALIE WELCH. Cruising the beautiful Hastings River

Cruising the beautiful Hastings River is a is a job that many would envy. Natalie job that many would envy. Natalie Welsh Welsh enough to do just that is lucky enough to do just thatisaslucky a part of the friendly team at The Cruise as a partTerminal. of the friendly team at The Chrissy Jones caught up with the busy Cruise Terminal. Chrissy Jones caught Skipper of The River Princess and Chinese up with the busy Skipper of The River Junk for a chat.

Princess and Chinese Junk for a chat.

u have a great job - working t The Cruise Terminal … What oes a normal day entail? A normal day starts with getting ur boats ready for our guests, then welcoming people on-board and one is having a great time. I do a t cruises, and of course we make nical aspects of our vessels are in fully maintained. Working with a es sure that the days I spend on ys enjoyable. ns and experience do you

nty years of experience driving the rivers and oceans of Australia, ss 5 licence/ MED/ and am also a ctor. I began as a coxswain driving I was a Dive Instructor and slowly experience and qualifications to n into marine operations. say the best thing about being ssel is? umerous things to like about hink delivering a great day of passengers is always very gratifying. the vessel, what are your main a cruise? he most important aspect of any omfort and satisfaction are also business. Anyone can buy a boat e, but the secret of a successful he respect and care the team arketing and the genuine desire e major factor in this industry. xtremely sophisticated tourism


Kirsty Cross is one of few a female pilots in the Royal Australian Air Force. She is currently serving as a Captain of the E7 Airborne Early Warning and Control aircraft. As Captain of the E7, Kirsty is responsible for the execution of the mission and the safe return of what is a billion dollar aircraft and its crew of specialist operators. Kirsty has 15 years of service with the Australian Defence Force, including service with the Australian Army and graduation from the prestigious Royal Military College, Duntroon.




centre in Cairns, I can inspire and collaborate with my work others do with you. Good communication and colleagues to excel, where other operators may not listening skills are also essential. be as concerned. Do you have any awards or accolades to boast Would you recommend As other women tocelebrates join you30 years Direct Advisers of lately? in business this month, Director Ursula in this industry? My latest award I received was the Maritime Boorman reflects on her career as a Of course. The more women involved, the Award for Outstanding Commitment, when Certified Financial Planner. better off the industry gets! Marine I finalised a TAFE course in 2012. I am operations has certainly changed pleased to mention that I’ve also over the years. There are more received a number of Tourism PAG E 3 6 - 5 1 C O F F S C O A Awards S T in Queensland women actively involved in all as well. ya maritime careers. I think this What are your interests out Anyone can bu ea is a very encouraging time for of work hours? bo at and operat of et cr women in this industry. I love to spend time at the cruise , but the se ss is sine a successful bu Any memorable beach with my family and ect an d always the resp experiences on the walk our Border Collie. We ” . er liv care the team de waterways that you would are so fortunate to have such like to share with readers? a pristine environment to enjoy. Where do I start! Currently, What keeps you motivated in here in Port Macquarie, I really enjoy the workplace? the whale season and the customers’ Happy workmates and the pleasure reaction when we observe the whales we give to our guests that explore the river breaching, or dolphins that swim alongside the with us on-board The River Princess and the boats in the river. I have soJessica many Wilson memorable Chinese Junk. runs the highly successful had experiences from my days fashion driving app and called divingStashd at the and hasDo you aspire to learn any new skills in the with Richard Focus Great Barrier Reef as well. conversations It’s hard to describe in a Branson. future? caught up with the 24 year old CEO to few words what it feels like to have had the privilege I would like to be of service to those who wish find out more about her rise to the top of to be part of it all. to learn. I have in the last few years thought about e-commerce. The biggest challenge of your job? teaching in the TAFE environment and have a TAE Usually weather. Some days challenge you and the qualification enabling me to do so. I would think natural conditions are varied, so you never take things a part-time involvement could benefit the next for granted - especially on the water. generation of mariners who wish to get a start in this What’s your best tip for staying on task and field. We’ll have to wait and see if a position comes being organised in your job? up and whether I’ll be able to squeeze that in an Respect for the people you work with is a big already busy week. thing. I think it’s important to have a strong sense Thanks Natalie. of purpose and duty for the work you do and the You’re more than welcome.


Let us introduce to you Port Macquarie’s first Women’s Shed, a welcoming and safe haven where women can teach, be educated in skills for life, make new friends and have fun in an inclusive environment. FOCUS chats to Chair of the Shed Natalie Junge, who gives us some insight and explains how other women can become a part of this exciting and innovating new group in our community.





A 10 year old girl sits on her bed and on the desk behind her is a framed certificate clearly identifying her name, the school she attends and the city she lives in.

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Read about the four beautiful ladies that graced the cover of this month’s Coffs Women In Business Edition. Jade Woodward of Coffs Coast Business Women’s Network, Mel Crossland of Fuji Xerox Business Centre, Sharni Seccombe of Offbeat Operations and Lauren Vestey of Living Doll.

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Amy Heague and Kerryann Hayes have formed a wonderful partnership that allows each of them to use their own skill and talent in a way that has positive benefits for all women. Starting up their own business from scratch, Travel Play Live has been a steep learning curve. Here, Amy shares with us what it’s like to create your own magazine, from the ground up!




Meet the ladies that styled and posed our cover shoot for this month’s feature in Manning-Great Lakes.

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Sonia Repin is a woman of talent and passion with a huge drive for success. What started as an idea to decorate the walls of a rental property has blossomed into a successful and wholly local business …

Nicola Wilkins, founder of Mollydale Yarns and the owner of the Uralla Wool Room, has always loved creating colourways. Thanks Nicola, for sharing your journey so far with Focus readers.



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Proudly introducing our women in business for 2016

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Innovate Body + Mind Studio. CHRISTIE CRISTOFORO


What new products or services are you developing in 2016? Christie: Our studio! Innovate Body + Mind Studio is a boutique, integrated and community focused approach fitness and wellbeing, targeting the body and mind. We offer yoga and HIIT separately and also our signature ‘blended’ classes (high intensity + yoga). This style is new here and we are so excited about the options it’ll provide our community. Define Success…Success is challenging the norm. It’s not gym junkie vs yogi. Instead you’re a tribe member who wants an integrated approach to health. Our job will be done when our students feel a mind-body connection and have a healthy approach to their fi tness to improve quality of life, vitality and emotional balance. How do you evaluate customer satisfaction? Kerri: Feedback! Listening to what our students want and what drives them is the number one thing I like to focus on. Failure isn’t always a bad thing. If we’re not meeting customer requirements, we need to find out why and fix it accordingly. How do you stay motivated? Some days I will walk into a class and think, how am I going to get through this?! But as soon as I start talking to my class I instantly get in the zone. Why? Because I’m not there for me, I’m there for them. My clients and class participants keep me motivated because of their enthusiasm and trust in me to help them achieve their goals. Plus I love what I do and I love connecting to the people I’m teaching.

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Kerrie McMahon. WORLD PAR-TEA How do you create a positive environment for your team? We treat them equally and with respect. Putting your team first really pays off tenfold by them looking after our customers. What new products are you developing in 2016? Every time I go to cull our hand blended 180+ organic/natural teas, it’s just impossible ... They are all so sought after. Our business has really boomed since we relocated to the Rydges complex (next to Port Day Spa) a year ago, with locals and tourists enjoying our loose leaf teas and large range of teaware.

Freedom of Speech. How do you create a positive environment for your team? By focusing on the positive results we are achieving every day for both children and adults in our practice, and by acknowledging each others’ strengths and achievements. What new products or services are you developing in 2016? Our speech pathology team has increased to two full-time, with over 50 years’ experience between us. This basically means that there is no communication or swallowing difficulty we cannot handle!

Two new products are: Condiments: Strawberry tea infused with fresh local strawberries to create an old fashioned Strawberry Jam (GF). A smokey black tea infused Tomato Relish (GF) - all hand crafted by “The Other Chef”.

We are also expanding to offer more preschool, school and home visits for our clients.

3 new tea blends

How do you evaluate customer satisfaction? By their feedback and word of mouth responses. Freedom of Speech has been in business in this area for nearly 20 years, and we have never been busier.

Dragonfuit Dreaming Tea: any time of the day or evening, this spectacular Rooibos fruit blend includes Rooibos, crystalised ginger, lemongrass, dragonfruit, ginger and liquorice. Organic Morning Sickness Blend: a pleasant tasting herbal blend to provide relief from sickness and nausea. Tried and tested on mumsto-be! Chamomile, ginger root, fennel seeds, peppermint and red rose petals. Peach Blonde Tea: the delicate white tea is soothing, the peach bright and fruity, and the ginger adds the perfect amount of zest, whilst also soothing an upset stomach! Serve it hot or cold, either way ... It’s SCRUMPTIOUS!

Define Success … Doing what you love every day and knowing that you’re making a real difference to people’s lives.

What’s your go to resource for personal training and development? Our national association, Speech Pathology Australia, keeps us up to date with the latest evidence based research, as well as opportunities to attend workshops and conferences in areas of interest. How do you stay motivated? Knowing that there are people out there who need help, and that we can provide that help.

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Customer satisfaction is the essential for all businesses to succeed in today’s market.

Kerrie Winn. FRANCHISEE - FURNITURE AND BEDDING HARVEY NORMAN How do you create a positive environment for your team? Most of my team have been with me a very long time - the average time being eight years. There is closeness amongst the team and that itself creates a positive and familiar environment. Keeping my team motivated, happy and given daily encouragement and allowing them to feel self satisfaction by promoting their ideas adds to the positive environment. Being a TEAM with a common goal, regular meetings and communication all create our positive environment. What new products and services are you developing in 2016? Much of my time is spent viewing new range lounge, dining, outdoor, manchester and bedding products throughout the year. Regular meetings and discussions with buying committees and viewing the new trending ranges and

colours throughout the European Markets - plus my passion for Australian Made which has been re-invigorated with the fall of the Australian dollar all gives me a great and exciting overview of what’s coming this year. We have lots of colour in lounge suites, the warmth of Messmate timber being very popular through dining and occasional furniture. Our bedding market is really seeing a surge in the introduction of ergo motion ensemble bases with built in massage units built in attractive linen shrouds. The ever improving technology in our bedding provide us with an enormous range of mattresses to suit all needs and budgets from all top bedding suppliers AH Beard, Sleepmaker, Sealy and Tempur. What’s your best tip for staying on task and organised? The old fashioned and simple diary still works well for me and of course having the ability to

delegate to experienced managers and staff allows me time to continually oversee all aspect of my business. Define success ... My definition of success is making it happen ... Success gives great self satisfaction, watching my business grow, my sales people develop and most importantly seeing that satisfied, happy customer excited about their purchase and overall in store experience. How do you evaulate customer satisfaction? Customer satisfaction is the essential for all businesses to succeed in today’s market. We aim to give all our customers an excellent experience to maximise their satisfaction both with service and products - so they become loyal customers who re shop with us. Repeat business is my measure of customer satisfaction.

Do you have any awards or accolades to boast about lately? 2015 saw my business Harvey Norman Bedding Franchise receive nationally for the first time NO. 1 CUSTOMER SERVICE STORE OF THE YEAR. This is judged externally, so is a true measure of our service and measured against all other 180 Harvey Norman stores. We also received Highest Growth Regionally, with bedding supplier AH Beard and Sleepmaker highest growth in premium bedding sales. A very satisfying and pleasing result for bedding in 2015. How do you stay motivated? Motivation is easy - simply I still wake every morning and can’t wait to get in and get stuck into my day - there is always something different to do. It’s easy to be motivated when you love what you do.

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Kerri Moore. OPTICAL DISPENSER Kerri Moore has worked as a qualified optical dispenser in the Camden Haven for over 20 years. The improvements in technology have transformed spectacle lens designs and materials over recent years, but the increased choice has made dispensing more complex. Kerri’s training, knowledge and experience turns prescription numbers into a comfortable, easy to wear, purpose made pair of spectacles. What new products or services are you developing in 2016? As the only locally owned, independent optometry practice in the Port Macquarie area, we are able to source products from an unlimited number of optical suppliers for frames, sunglasses, spectacle lenses and contact lenses, without the constraints of a buying group. We are stockists for Bolle, Vera Wang, Kaos, Fysh, Bogner, Prodesign, Koali, Lightec and Kensi to name a few, and we are always looking for interesting shapes, colours and designs to add to a wide range of frames to suit all styles and budgets. “Chemistrie” is a new patented magnetic lens layering system which allows the one frame to add a sunglass tint, a magnification reader or even a 3D lens onto tiny micro magnets embedded in the lens. There are 23 sunglass colours, 3 magnet colours, five titanium bridge colours and 12 Swarovski crystals which allow complete customisation. These no fuss, ultra light weight,custom rimless clip ons turn your favourite frame into sunglasses, and/or an extra strength magnifier for a particular hobby. They are ideal for high prescriptions and multifocal wearers as the cost of the original lens doesn’t have to be duplicated for each pair of glasses. As the only local stockists of “Chemistrie” it is well worth a visit to look at the samples we have in store. How do you evaluate customer satisfaction? The proof is in the pudding, as they say! I am there at the end of each consultation, and I personally deliver all the spectacles when they are ready to be collected. We offer a very personalised service, with longer than standard consultation times and comprehensive warranties on all our products.

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Julie Currie. VISION THERAPIST After attending many American run programmes, Julie is the only OEP (Optometric Extension Programme) trained vision therapist on the Mid North Coast and will soon complete a new Australian accreditation process. What is Vision Therapy? In the case of Learning-related vision problems we use standardized tests to work out relative strengths and weaknesses. Highlighting strengths helps to keep children motivated while we work on improving specific visual skills. Patients will see me for regular weekly sessions and will then practice the tasks at home. The activities are structured to find the most effective method to improve as quickly and easily as possible. Vision therapy is an individual programme of activities that retrains the brain to improve vision skills, whether it be to correct a lazy or turned eye, to improve muscle stamina and flexibility for binocular vision (two eyes working as a team) or to improve the visual processing skills needed to learn at an age appropriate level. Other specialised vision therapy is used in sports vision and in rehabilitation of traumatic brain injury, such as strokes or car accidents. How do you stay motivated? Team work, and inspiring each other by sharing success stories and realising the degree to which improving vision can impact the lives of not only the patients, but their families and those around them. Working with children of all ages and abilities does have its challenges but the positive feedback I receive from parents is very rewarding. Improved visual skills often relates to improvements in self-esteem, behaviour and confidence as well as academic changes. I also love the challenge of modifying or creating new activities to keep vision therapy interesting and fun for the kids - the craft box and my imagination are a great combination!

Natasha Barnard-French.


After graduating from Optometry, Natasha went on to complete a research Masters in Vision Development and Learning. The following year she was introduced to Behavioural Optometry and found it was the perfect link between her research interest and the real world of patient care. Through ACBO (Australasian College of Behavioural Optometry) she went on to complete the highest level of training and was awarded her Fellowship in 2005. “Panoptic Vision (meaning all-encompassing) is the only full scope Behavioural Optometry practice on the Mid North Coast.” How do you create a positive environment for your team? I feel so fortunate to have a team of completely dedicated, exceptionally talented people who are inspired about the difference they get to make every day at “work”. Making the time to acknowledge the day’s achievements always goes a long way to staying motivated for tomorrow. What new products or services are you developing in 2016? Apart from expanding vision therapy services, thanks to Julie’s never ending wish list, I am very interested in pursuing different specialty lens options. Behavioural Optometry is very neuroscience based and looks at the way the brain processes all aspects of visual information. Lenses are a powerful tool in redirecting vision to work more efficiently. SHAW lenses were launched in Australia last year and have provided an amazing breakthrough in reducing the problems caused when the two eyes have very different prescriptions. We have always struggled with the various problems this creates, but apart from contact lenses, there was never a solution … Until now. There are two very exciting aspects of these lenses - they can reduce the amount of patching required to improve amblyopia (lazy eye) and they are very helpful for patients who have had one cataract removed but need to wait some time before having the other eye corrected. Usually the imbalance this causes can be very disruptive, even dangerous when considering the increased risk of falls.

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We help start up and existing small and medium sized businesses with one-on-one business advice.

Loren Enfield. SOUL SURFING Define Success ... I have four beautiful and capable young children, a community-focused business, and still devote time to my passions in the surf, nature, or at play. My life is a balanced art of family, work and soul-nurturing activities, with surfing and yoga predominantly. How do you stay motivated? Being a working mum (as a surf coach and now yoga teacher too) keeps me energised, calm and positively driven. Every day, I aim to be the best version of myself, and in every action I aim to share my positive awareness with my community. As a mum, I felt the benefits I was gaining from my own time out, and so a few years ago, I created Women on Waves (or WOW) programme for other women to experience the same feelings of relaxation and rejuvenation. Seeing other women find better balance,

Marilyn Breen & Renae Tate. ETC BUSINESS ADVISORS joy and health through surfing keeps me motivated too. WOW is still going strong, and on weekends you’ll see us all down at a local beach loving our surfing time, with new women continuing to join us! What new products are you developing in 2016? Creating innovative and inspiring programmes has been a major part of my last 10 years. At Soul Surfing, we focus on our customers’ needs of all ages, nurturing their surfing in a fun and safe environment. For 2016, Soul Sisters lights up again, providing women with a full day retreat, leaving the duties of modern living behind. Each retreat is unique, with plenty of activities to complement the surfing and yoga. Soul Sisters aims to have women leave feeling more self-love, selfempowerment, and self-drive towards creating positive balance.

What new products or services are you developing in 2016? We are excited to be launching a co-working space in Port Macquarie in May. This will be a first for the region, and we are thrilled to be able to provide a space for business people to connect, access support and foster innovation. In May we are also planning a Creative Industries Forum for all creative producers, artists and artisans across the Mid North Coast to come together and work on their business. These are just two exciting new initiatives that ETC’s Business team is working on in 2016. Of course, we are still available to help startup and existing small and medium sized businesses with one-on-one business advice.

inspiring and empowering people and helping

Define success … Renae - when you find your passion and purpose and can make that your living - that’s success. For me, it’s about

got that insight or inspiration that they were

them achieve their goals. Marilyn - witnessing a client’s satisfaction when they open their first business or bring together their ideas into a plan that allows them to move forward in their business venture. How do you evaluate customer satisfaction? Marilyn - one of the most pleasing ways is through the new people who seek my advice on the referral of a previous client. This personalised network is a very clear indicator that my customers have found my assistance useful. Renae - I love that moment when a client has looking for and you can see that moment on their face - it’s a light bulb moment!

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Natalie Welsh. Riverboat Skipper Cruising the beautiful Hastings River is a job that many would envy. Natalie Welsh is lucky enough to do just that as a part of the friendly team at The Cruise Terminal. Chrissy Jones caught up with the busy Skipper of The River Princess and Chinese Junk for a chat.


ou have a great job - working at The Cruise Terminal … What does a normal day entail? A normal day starts with getting our boats ready for our guests, then welcoming people on-board and making sure everyone is having a great time. I do a number of different cruises, and of course we make sure all the mechanical aspects of our vessels are in working order and fully maintained. Working with a fantastic crew makes sure that the days I spend on the water are always enjoyable. What qualifications and experience do you have? Having over twenty years of experience driving different vessels on the rivers and oceans of Australia, I hold a Master Class 5 licence/ MED/ and am also a Scuba Diving Instructor. I began as a coxswain driving dive tenders when I was a Dive Instructor and slowly and surely gained experience and qualifications to make the transition into marine operations. What would you say the best thing about being a Skipper on a vessel is? Well, there are numerous things to like about my position, but I think delivering a great day of adventure for the passengers is always very gratifying. As the skipper of the vessel, what are your main concerns during a cruise? Safety is always the most important aspect of any cruise. Customer comfort and satisfaction are also paramount for our business. Anyone can buy a boat and operate a cruise, but the secret of a successful business is always the respect and care the team deliver. Creative marketing and the genuine desire for excellence is the major factor in this industry. Coming from an extremely sophisticated tourism

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centre in Cairns, I can inspire and collaborate with my work others do with you. Good communication and colleagues to excel, where other operators may not listening skills are also essential. be as concerned. Do you have any awards or accolades to boast Would you recommend other women to join you of lately? in this industry? My latest award I received was the Maritime Of course. The more women involved, the Award for Outstanding Commitment, when better off the industry gets! Marine I finalised a TAFE course in 2012. I am operations has certainly changed pleased to mention that I’ve also over the years. There are more received a number of Tourism women actively involved in all Awards in Queensland as well. ya maritime careers. I think this What are your interests out Anyone can bu ea is a very encouraging time for of work hours? bo at and operat cret of women in this industry. I love to spend time at the cruise , but the se ss is sine a successful bu Any memorable beach with my family and ect an d always the resp experiences on the walk our Border Collie. We liver. ” care the team de waterways that you would are so fortunate to have such like to share with readers? a pristine environment to enjoy. Where do I start! Currently, What keeps you motivated in here in Port Macquarie, I really enjoy the workplace? the whale season and the customers’ Happy workmates and the pleasure reaction when we observe the whales we give to our guests that explore the river breaching, or dolphins that swim alongside the with us on-board The River Princess and the boats in the river. I have so many memorable Chinese Junk. experiences from my days driving and diving at the Do you aspire to learn any new skills in the Great Barrier Reef as well. It’s hard to describe in a future? few words what it feels like to have had the privilege I would like to be of service to those who wish to be part of it all. to learn. I have in the last few years thought about The biggest challenge of your job? teaching in the TAFE environment and have a TAE Usually weather. Some days challenge you and the qualification enabling me to do so. I would think natural conditions are varied, so you never take things a part-time involvement could benefit the next for granted - especially on the water. generation of mariners who wish to get a start in this What’s your best tip for staying on task and field. We’ll have to wait and see if a position comes being organised in your job? up and whether I’ll be able to squeeze that in an Respect for the people you work with is a big already busy week. thing. I think it’s important to have a strong sense Thanks Natalie. of purpose and duty for the work you do and the You’re more than welcome.

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QualOT Hand Therapy. THE TEAM The team; Therese Guild, Nicole Bosci and Elizabeth Besgrove. How do you create a positive environment for your team? As a team we create a positive environment within our workplace. We all share a common passion for our work and thrive on returning people back to work, school, leisure pursuits and basic everyday activities. This is how we measure our success, which in turn, drives our motivation to help people. Patient satisfaction keeps us rewarded! What new products or services are you developing in 2016? Our most unique product would be our customised orthosis for the hand, wrist or elbow. They are highly individualised to our patients’ needs and are always being upgraded according to the latest research. Currently, we have expanded our practice to the management of traumatic or post surgical scars of any part of the body. Scar management is a specialised skill we develop in the management of trauma injuries, and we are often asked by people about “other scars” and can we do anything for them. The answer is, “Yes, we can”. There are some amazing products out there to help, and we will be developing this service further for our clientele. What’s your go to resource for personal training and development? The Australian Hand Therapy Association convenes a conference annually. This brings together such an amazing melting pot of Hand Therapists and their ideas; we close the practice for three days a year so we can all attend the conference. It keeps us motivated, informed and always gives us a few extra clinical gems to come home with.

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Arcadia Loughland

Fresh-faced 29-year-old businesswoman Ashley Sargeson has come a long way since she purchased a half-share in Touchwood Flowers at just 18 years of age.

How do you create a positive environment for your team? We encourage our team to express their individual ideas and strengths, allowing each person to contribute as a valued member of the team.

Now the outright owner, she has learnt to spend time working on the business and in it, using her phone and large desk-top diary to keep herself on task and well-organised.

What new products or services are you developing in 2016? We are currently developing a range of tools that will give our clients a competitive edge and professional network benefits.

Bridal floristry has always been a feature at Touchwood Flowers, and Ashley’s talent has twice seen her appear on industry professional Tesselaar’s Top 10 design list.

What’s your best tip for staying on task and organised? Have a diary and use it every day to prioritise what items are urgent, important and not so important and update this throughout the day.

Her position as the only local florist with an in-store bridal studio is a large part of her commitment to continue a retail presence in Port Macquarie.

Define success ... Success can be different things to different people. On a micro level it is achieving my personal goals. On a macro level it is exceeding the expectations of my customers and seeing the smiles on their faces.

“I just knew I wanted to be a professional, full-service retailer, rather than someone who dabbles in floristry from home.” For Ashley, business ownership also provides flexibility and allows her to spend time with husband, Aaron, and cheeky 4-year-old daughter Lily, and on her other interests, like Physie.

“I’m willing to work hard on and in every aspect of my life, which for me is the key to achieving success, happiness, and a good work-life balance.”

How do you evaluate customer satisfaction? We often receive referrals or repeat business from our current customer base. A referral to a friend or family is the best feedback we can receive. What’s your go to resource for personal training and development? I find a mentor who has achieved a similar goal as I am trying to achieve and discuss with them how they were successful. Do you have any awards or accolades to boast about lately? Recently I competed in a fitness competition in Sydney and achieved a silver award and two achievement awards. This reinforced to me if you have clear goals and constantly work toward them, this often brings you success.


Your “one stop” solution for all property sales and marketing

PHONE: 1800 223 768 web: email:

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Susan Rupert and the women of the mbc family. How do you create a positive environment for your team? My team have great ideas, and I trust them to take ownership of their projects. mbc is a family owned recruitment agency, which allows us to be spontaneous and have a little fun. Fun happens when people feel well connected with a team, where there’s mutual respect, open communication, acceptance of who people are, and everyone’s working towards shared goals. Being available to listen and showing meaningful appreciation also creates a positive workplace. What’s your best tip for staying on task and organised? With a busy team of fifteen consultants and four divisions including Labour Hire, Traffic Control,

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Recruitment and a dedicated Nursing Agency, it’s easy to get distracted. My advice is to prioritise tasks, identify the actual distractions and implement countermeasures. For many businesses, recruiting staff is a distraction from the day to day running of their business. That’s where mbc recruitment can help. Our fast and flexible recruitment solutions give organisations the time they need to run their business and build success. How do you define success? I live by the same sentiment as Dr Wil Rose: “Success is not counted by how high you climb, but how many people you brought with you”. This definition of success is focused on people and relationships.

As a recruitment agency, helping people be successful in their chosen career or industry is our top priority.

gives employees the opportunity to reach

How do you evaluate customer satisfaction? Feedback and follow up is essential with clients and candidates. We’re open, flexible and collaborative. For us, it’s always a two-way partnership.

training, ensuring workers are qualified

We pick up the phone to talk and resolve issues. If problems arise, we view them as valuable opportunities, as long as we address them in a timely and professional manner. What’s your go to resource for personal training and development? As a recruiter, I understand the importance of personal training and development across all industries. It helps businesses thrive and

their full potential. That’s why we offer nationally recognised and have the most up to date skills and qualifications to suit our clients’ needs. How do you stay motivated? Above all, I value people, health and our community. At mbc we’re committed to making a real difference in the lives we serve. We recently launched a new website to support our existing In-home Nursing and Home Care Support services to meet community needs. Our nurses are doing a wonderful job to ensure people can stay healthy and happy at home.

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Natasha Schurink. TRAVEL MANAGERS How do you evaluate customer satisfaction? When you have a great experience in life, it makes you want to go back. To me, the biggest indication of customer satisfaction is my clients’ repeat business and referring their friends and family to me. I pride myself on little details, and the end result is the amazing, flawless journey my clients will experience on their travels. How do you stay motivated? Staying motivated is not a problem - keeping up with the workload is the hardest part! Every client desires a different experience or destination to the last person or their last trip, so it never gets boring. I thoroughly enjoy the challenge of new destinations or constructing different

itineraries to ensure everything runs as smoothly as possible. This is why I can spend countless hours putting together options for my clients, so they have as much information as possible to choose the itinerary that suits them best and ticks as many boxes as possible on the wish list. Define success: Many people define success as wealth, respect or fame, but this is not a complete definition. To achieve these things is important to some ‌ But being able to work your way, doing a job you love, into a position of wealth, well-being and happiness, with the ability to give back to others from the rewards of your hard work and achievements is equally as important.

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Dance is an amazing way to stay fit and healthy, as well as improve confidence, coordination and musicality.

LVC TEAM. I love my work ... And this year is exciting, as I have new staff who are extra creative and passionate about their work. This year we want to shake things up and introduce some exciting classes which will appeal to a wide range of students, both young and young at heart. Over thirty years ago I opened La Vive Classique Academy of Dance and since then, along with my staff, I have trained so many people to dance across the Hastings, Manning and Macleay Valley. Dance is an amazing way to stay fit and healthy, as well as improve confidence, coordination and musicality. Many of our students start with us as tiny tots; however, that isn’t always the case. I am constantly blown away by how much raw talent there is out there in our community, which is a real motivator for me. So, I encourage all young people out there to not hold back and if you have the passion and want a career in the performing arts, come and meet with me. There are so many inspiring things happening every day in our school, with our incredibly diverse and talented team. I encourage everyone to develop and evolve. How do you create a positive environment for your team? I am incredibly passionate and motivated when it comes to dancing, and it’s important my team are equally as passionate as I am. We work positively together and create fun and exciting classes for our students. They are part of the planning and decision making of the yearly calendar, and their creative input is greatly appreciated and rewarded. We enjoy LVC working breakfasts to bounce ideas off

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each other and as a bonding activity. Classes are available for the staff to diversify their talents and to keep them fit and healthy which include teachers yoga. What new products or services are you developing for 2016? We are always evolving and like to keep up to date with new dance trends. This year we have been developing new classes, including Jazz, Funk, Hip Hop, Acro-Dance, Baby Bopper Jazz for tiny tots, and coming soon is latest craze thats sweeping the fitness world…Barre Attack! We are also branching out and offering burlesque classes for hens parties, wedding dance choreography and classes to assist people with special needs and disabilities. We have many experienced teachers travelling from Sydney to teach the students. They keep us abreast of all the exciting new up and coming trends! The Hastings Dance Centre is the other arm of my business and the shop is selling wonderful new items from Bloch, Capezio, Sansha & Martins. We take pride is offering the best brands of dance and performance wear to customers. Our team can correctly fit Bloch pointe shoes and understand the specific needs of dancers of all ages and abilities. We are also opening a new studio in Wauchope, so our students further afield can take part in the fun. This year we are experiencing different Eistedfodd competitions, in order for the students to gain an extensive insight into dance across various regions. What’s your best tip for staying on task

and organised? Planning is a great asset in our world of dance as is having a clear vision of the full year before it starts. Concerts and performances are all booked a year ahead. Long hours and late nights when the studio isn’t buzzing with dancers is the best time to get work done! What’s your go to resource for personal training and development? La Vive has a range of adult classes that I participate in regularly, my favourite being Pilates and Ballet. My latest favourite is adults’ Barre, which incorporates Pilates, weights, core strength and cardio. I also subscribe to numerous publications to keep me stimulated and keep abreast of all new techniques and performances. I also attend personal development sessions through the Royal Academy of Dancing. Do you have any awards or accolades to boast about of late? Some of the highly talented people who have gone on to do amazing things in drama and musical theatre include Natalie Alexopoulos, Chloe Bayliss and Erin Brookhouse. Darren McIntyre, Katie Rooke & Richard Smith have followed their dreams, entering Classical Ballet companies, and now Katie is about to embark on a new journey with Staatsballett in Berlin. Matthew Shilling and David Mack went to the Sydney Dance Company, and Michelle Sharman continues to wow us in Hollywood. Many of the students have graduated from the Australian Ballet School. Scott Alaban started dancing with LVC just 13 months ago, and in January 2016 was

accepted into the Lee Academy full-time after just one year of studying. How do you stay motivated? I love to attend the Australian Ballet Company performances and I’m always present in the audience when my ex students are starring in musicals. I still get excited when i watch the amazing artists at the peak of their professional careers. I am also rewarded when the students make progress and show improvement. The dancers motivate me with their desire to learn and special moments of delight when they light up and shine on stage. Being backstage with the performers and experiencing the atmosphere side stage at the end of the year concert is one moment that motivates me to give La Vive students these performing opportunities. I’ve been a certified RAD teacher for 31 years but I’m still inspired by the changes they make such as including traditional ballet music into the syllabus. This is so engaging for the children and helps me teach them the rich history of dance. Recently we became a member of ATOD and teaching the contemporary program has been stimulating for students and teachers. Define success ... Success is a discipline you must embrace. Success is a journey of trials and beliefs, not measured in dollars but the length of your reach. How far you travel is not up to me; your dreams once unravelled, are your future to be.

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Amy Hobbis & Ashley Steven. ALL ABOUT CONVEYANCING All About Conveyancing has branches in Port Macquarie, Taree, Forster, Gloucester and Tamworth. They employ eight Licensed Conveyancers and a similar number of support staff. Ashley Steven is the licensee at All About Conveyancing, Port Macquarie and is supported locally by Amy Hobbis and more broadly by the remainder of the firm. Ashley has been licensed since 2008 and has many years of experience, having previously worked in large legal firms in the city. In addition to sales and purchases, Ashley brings a wealth of experience in strata title and subdivision work. “I am now living in the most beautiful part of the most beautiful country in the world, and I want to add some value to the Port Macquarie community. I know how stressful it can be when buying, selling

and moving house, and I want to make it easy for those doing that. This is something I do every day, and I know how to relieve the anxiety from my client. At the same time, I focus on protecting their legal interests, so that my client feels comfortable and safe throughout the transaction. Since joining All About Conveyancing, the infrastructure and support available to me is first rate and facilitates frequent and timely responses. With the structure we have, there is no job we can’t do. Consultations are free, and I would welcome your call or visit to see how we can assist you in your property law matter.” My commitment to the community in 2016 is twofold: Firstly, to be available every day to anyone who wants to ask about a property law issue, and secondly, if you employ me to do a job and you are not satisfied, then there will be no charge for the job.

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- Michelle Percival



02 6583 8606

106 William Street, Port Macquarie












I passionately love my family & work. The relationships we create & responsibility we have to achieve the very best outcome for our clients demands a 200% commitment & is dependent on energy, passion & drive. I am truly blessed with a wonderful family, good health & a job I love. It doesn’t get any better balanced than that.

Flexibility & compromise are vital to try & keep the work & family life balanced. In this occupation there is never going to be the perfect balance. Cold meals & late night calls are par for the course. It’s all part of the dedication to your clients though, & the pleasure & thrill of achieving great results for them.

My passion for real estate was well timed because it allowed me to enjoy freedom from family obligations and to explore and focus on my career. Fortunately my husband shares household responsibilities which allows me to focus on my career and achieving great results without sacrificing family obligations.

Do the things you love and have a positive attitude both at work and home! I do try hard to be organised in my working day so I can unwind at home with my family doing the things I love like fishing, camping & gardening. Yoga is an important part of my weekly routine, it grounds me.

Since returning to work, the help & support I get from my family has been integral - without this the quality of family life verse work would not be as manageable. To be organised is the key & a boss that understands life & its challenges makes finding a balance possible.






Finding a ‘balance’ can definitely be tricky. My family is very supportive & flexibility & having good time management is a must. Knowing the efforts I put into my work life are fully appreciated by the wonderful team I work with makes it all worthwhile!

Effective work/life strategies are still sometimes elusive. Some weeks I have it down pat - others, it’s not without bumps in the road. The support of family is integral to longevity in this industry, as is the energy of the team you work with.






Women tend to put themselves last on the list of priorities. Take some time out & do things which are of benefit to you. Even just 5-10 mins time out each day will help you to refresh & be ready for the ever constant demands of work & family life.

It is very much like being on the wildest rides at sideshow alley, throwing you every which way but smooth! Hang in there & enjoy the ride! My escapes are visiting my children, who live away in separate cities, the beach & the family farm.











Not having children of my own at this stage in my life, it is probably easier for me to find a healthy work life balance. I come to work with 100% focus so that when I leave the office, I can devote my time & attention to family & other aspects of life.

Scales fluctuate until you are able to get the exact counter balance on the other side. Life is like this - work may weigh heavily on some occasions so we have to build the other side with life events we enjoy to get a balance, or we take away some of the work load so it balances better with our lifestyle needs.

Switching from the fitness industry back to my real estate roots & securing a position with Percival has made the biggest change to my family life. Having a supportive partner & great employers like Michael & Michelle help. They always encourage us to drop into school activities they would be disappointed if we didn’t!

Finding the balance is possible with support from both sides. My husband is incredibly supportive & Michael & Michelle are fabulous employers who encourage us to take time off when needed so we don’t miss the important things at school or necessary appointments. Our kids are welcome in the office & family is never viewed as an inconvenience at work.

The dilemma of balancing family & work has no easy solution. Every person & family must find specific solutions depending on their own preferences & needs. There is nothing wrong with working hard to gain some of the finer things in life, but you should also not forget the worth of the things & people that really matter most.



02 6583 7499

4/111 William Street, Port Macquarie


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The Ladies from Kazac Civil. KAREN CUSATO, DANIELLE MARTIN, TINA WARD, KIM BROWN, MARILYN BRADLEY, REBECCA PROUDLOCK , CATHERINE ANDERS How do you create a positive environment for your team? Kazac Civil has a great team of administrators working in our office. They manage everything from Human Resources, Contract Management, Work Health Safety and much more. I’ve always made a point to really get to know my employees, so we’re actually more like a family! I encourage a healthy work-life balance, and I believe this means the team are far more engaged, productive and happy to be at work! It’s important for me to let the girls know when they do a great job, sometimes by a simple “thank you”. Showing my appreciation for the great work they do creates a positive work environment for everyone. My team members are entrenched in the work they do every day, so when they have an idea to improve the way we do things - I listen. I

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love being able to give good ideas a try, because you never know what might happen. The keys to our great team are: open communication, mutual respect, trust, acceptance of who we all as individuals, everyone working towards the same goal and having fun! We celebrate birthdays (always a good excuse for cake) or occasionally we have cake … Just because! Sometimes everyone needs a break from the seriousness of business! What’s your best tip for staying on task and organised? My best tip for staying on task and being organised - I pick three of my most important tasks to be done for the day and if I achieve them - I feel great. It doesn’t always happen, so my trusty to do list (on Outlook) is a great tool for helping me stay organised. Troubleshooting is a big part of my job, from sorting out an accounts issue to resolving

IT problems, so I stay on track by utilising my to do list regularly. Oh, and trying not to check my emails too much during the day … Working “offline” helps a lot to prevent interruptions. How do you stay motivated? Recently the team and I attended a seminar in Port Macquarie, 2016 Fast Start Workshop, through Leadership Management Australia. We learnt about the power of goal setting and, as such, each of the team have now identified their top five goals for 2016. The goals set are SMART - Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Timely. By keeping track of these goals and regularly checking on their progress, I believe helps everyone keep motivated day in and day out. Only time will tell! However, most important to staying motivated is creating a working environment that is stress free (most of the time!), fun and a place that the team enjoy

coming to every day. How do we evaluate customer satisfaction? Kazac Civil are required to conform to Legislation, Regulations and Australian Standards for all work we perform. Whether it be Quality Management, Work Health Safety or Environmental Legislation, Kazac Civil strive for excellence in everything we do, and our management systems promote continuous improvement and provide assurance to our customers that we fulfil these commitments. Port Macquarie-Hastings Council evaluate the construction of our works, every step of the way, and their final sign off at job completion provides assurance to our customers that construction is completed to a high standard, in order that they may complete the next stage of their works; for example, construction of housing.

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Feedback is always appreciated to enable us to know what people like, what we do well, and even obtain suggestions on any improvements to what we do.

Kylie King. PROPERTY MANAGEMENT SUPERVISOR How do you create a positive environment for your team? The name “Harcourts” is one of the most recognised in real estate across the world. People associate the name with a dynamic, progressive yet respected and experienced real estate business. For prospective clients this validates their confidence in us as a Harcourts real estate agent. The Harcourts Values include “Putting People First”, “Doing The Right Thing”, “Being Courageous” and “Having Fun and Laughter”. We adhere to these values, and it creates a positive environment for everyone. What new products or services are you developing in 2016? Harcourts Greater Port Macquarie’s property management department pride themselves on the superior service they provide to their landlords and tenants. During the previous year we have assessed and improved our internal systems and upgraded our computer operations to ensure a streamlined service to both

landlords and tenants. We have just completed the move to our new office location in Port Macquarie, so we are now ready focus on achieving property investment goals for our landlords. What’s your best tip for staying on task and organised? We believe in setting goals and developing a comprehensive plan in order to achieve them. Across all levels of the Harcourts business, we set annual business plans which are reviewed quarterly. This allows our people to really stretch themselves and helps to achieve their dreams. These big goals are then incorporated into my weekly and daily activity plan, so that I don’t lose focus whilst dealing with everyday issues. Two great tips are to time block tasks to enable focus for a specified time period, and to deal with issues in the immediate rather than procrastinate and leave ‘til “another time”. How do you evaluate customer satisfaction?

We speak with people who have used our service, plus conduct surveys to gain insight into their thoughts and experiences. Feedback is always appreciated to enable us to know what people like, what we do well, and even obtain suggestions on any improvements to what we do.

Macquarie staff members are repeatedly achieving recognition for our performance at NSW state level. These awards are based upon personal performance and meeting specified outcomes, plus office achievements in areas of sales and property management.

What’s your go to resource for personal training and development? The Harcourts Academy aims to develop the skills needed to build a highly successful career in real estate. Offering a range of dynamic courses and a tailored system of learning, The Harcourts Academy is one of the leading real estate training organisations. I also subscribe and am involved with other specialist real estate and property management training organisations and receive regular industry newsletter updates.

How do you stay motivated? I enjoy working in property management and real estate, so most of the time it’s relatively easy. After being involved in the industry for over 20 years, I have dealt with many challenges and had many successes. Yes, we have tense and stressful moments in property management, and these can make you doubt your involvement, but I attempt to see everyone’s side of the situation and hopefully achieve the fairest outcome for all involved. Having time with my family away from the business, being involved in community organisations and playing sport gives me time off from the office to have a more balanced approach to life.

Do you have any awards or accolades to boast about lately? Harcourts Greater Port

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Carolyn Kelly. LEGAL


I feel lucky to live in Australia - particularly on the Mid North Coast - and to be a part of its legal system.

How do you create a positive environment for your

Define your business …

team? I have confidence in my team’s ability; I encourage

WTF - WHITE T-SHIRT FACTORY is an audacious and innovative

And I love my job, so it is easy to stay motivated.

team input and involvement.

fashion label founded and designed locally in Port Macquarie.

I work alone, but am supported by a great team of professionals - in the court system and in the legal fraternity. I also rely on other businesses in town for computer IT, printing services, vehicle repairs etc. and that extended network is essential to me.

I’m responsive to their suggestions and provide a supportive,

We strive on unique style and approach to fashion,

caring and good working environment.

manufacturing our very own exquisite blend of Organic

What new products or services are you developing in

BAMBOO-SILK fabric that is not only luxurious, but softer and

2016? We are now the authorised dealership for Baby Lock

stronger with enhanced durability and flexibility.


Our Eco-friendly Bamboo-Silk fabric has been produced in

We’ve instigated the formation of The Port Macquarie

compliance with International Green Processing Standards, and

Modern Quilting Group and Textile Art Group, for ladies in

tested and certified by CSIRO Australia.

Port and surrounding Districts.

What products and services do you offer?

We have arranged well known tutors from around Australia

The WTF BAMBOO SILK range consists of Stylish, Super Soft and

to teach in our store.

Ultra Comfy Polo Shirts, Plain T-shirts, Print T-shirts and Socks.

Define success ... Success is setting realistic and achievable

Custom Orders, such as Uniforms and Bulk Discounts are also

My practice involves helping people at very stressful times of their lives, such as when they are separating from a partner, when they have been arrested, or when they have to go to court for any reason.

goals and being able to enjoy the results when goals are Or it might involve representing children who have been removed from their parents or parents whose children have been removed. I feel privileged to be able to do this kind of work, and at times I hope I make a difference in people’s lives - for the better, that is! Define success: Success is not defined by salary or status but satisfaction and contentment.

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available. Contact us by phone: 1300 WTF WTF [983 983] or by

exceeded. My team comes with many years of patchwork

email: to enquire.

experience, which is shared with customers freely and

What are you most proud of?

without hesitation.

Our high quality, great value products, and Charity

How do you evaluate customer satisfaction? Customers

commitments. WTF supports The Movember Foundation and

return regularly with their finished projects. Visiting

Australian Red Cross by donating 2% of all sales. Every purchase

customers who have heard through word of mouth and

will help improve Men’s Health and Worldwide Humanity.

customers who visit from far and wide all give favourable


comments and enjoy their visit. This gives us the motivation

Today! Available Online or In Store at SPORTSPOWER and

to provide the top service we pride ourselves on.

Port Macquarie Golf Club.

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Kristine Edwards & Kath McGuire. CAFÉ CULTURE Kristine Edwards and her husband, Sean, a stake in their workplace destiny. We expect followed their vision 20 years ago and everyone to be a decision maker, solving small created a global café/coffee business. The problems and controlling all our company’s mothership, Café Culture International, now direction. has offices in three What new products/ countries, running world We create a sense of services are you coffee events, coffee ownership for all our developing in 2016? and barber media, and team players. We believe Three major projects providing education and everyone has a stake in this year include Baos & business acceleration to their workplace destiny. Bagels, which Kristine the global industry. and Sean’s son, Charlie, Kath McGuire came on board as financial controller, so the business could expand outside of the Port Macquarie head office. Kath brings over 25 years of banking finance and insurance management to the business. How do you create a positive environment for your team? We create a sense of ownership for all our team players. We believe everyone has

has researched and developed a traditional bagel manufacturing concept for; taking The Golden Bean, a coffee roasting event to the UK, along with our barber magazine, The Cutthroat Journal to the UK and US; and our Australasian Café School in Port Macquarie, which will teach new café owners the skill of running a successful café business.

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What is your



Have you ever scribbled down the story behind your brand personality, why people need your brand, who’s attracted to your brand, how it’s perceived and where it is positioned in the market? Has your story changed since the first chapter, or does it need to?

You need to get your story straight.... then scream it out!

Neopitch offers a blend of traditional marketing services and digital solutions to help your brand deliver a consistent message. Founded by Hayley McGrath, 20 years industry insight will help guide your communications and your business onto the same page.

Visit for her story or call Hayley on 0402 0402 15


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How do you stay motivated? We are incredibly fortunate to live in Australia and as women, to be able to earn our money and own businesses as strong women.

How do you create a positive environment for your team? We have a fun, enthusiastic and sometimes crazy team here at Mojo Styling.

What services do you specialise in? We specialise in a holistic view of everyday health, hair and beauty. We strive to make the foremost with Weddings and bridal packages such as hens night bliss packages where the party gets all their hair and beauty needs met. Spray tans and shellac or just the pampering like massages are very popular! We love the challenge of colour correction. We strive to give you the client the best you ever had. Our team has a wealth of experience and knowledge behind us and can’t wait to meet you!

It’s very hard not to be happy in the store. It’s exploding with colour, has amazing scents from our popular locally made melts and candles and always has new and unique pieces that transform our little shop into a wonderful little world of its own.

How do you create a positive environment for your team? Personal reasons of success in our business is due to a tight group of strong women working together to enable great customer service, using modern and effective technique and the highest quality products such as KEUNE and Goldwell to ensure incredible results. Within our business we have lovely people like Melanie Robinson of Gaia Health, Erica Blanch of Gracewood beauty, hairdressers Yalene Clarke, Julia Thompson, myself and apprentice Karoline. How do you evaluate customer satisfaction? I believe that as long as we know what we are doing and keep education a priority, results will reflect our business and feedback in the greater community. We run monthly draws on Facebook for customers to win fab prizes and customer surveys. The best feedback is a returning client who also receives great loyalty rewards.

How do you stay motivated? My motivation is taking the constant stream of ideas buzzing around in my head and applying them to keep Mojo Styling fresh and unique in Port Macquarie. The Mojo team gets so much from engaging our customers, to really find their needs and do our best to meet or exceed those needs - that’s so rewarding. Our customers’ feedback is so important - always positive, encouraging, and often the seed of new ideas! Our exciting new Mojo Beach designs, cool new home décor finds and amazing locally made furniture are on the top of the list at the moment. Define success … Happy customers! At the end of the day, they are the key to success! We want our customers to have a pleasant experience when they visit us, and to walk out with a smile.

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Susanna Christie. COLUMBA COTTAGE How do you create a positive environment for your team? When you have a team that is so dedicated to caring for others, you need to make sure that they are also cared for. Small things like celebrations or recognition of milestones in their lives make a difference, but the big thing is making sure that the workplace is a positive and nurturing space. What new products or services are you developing in 2016? Our Cottage has always offered the very best in care for our children. In 2016 we will be undergoing a major refurbishment.

The physical appearance of the Centre is being brightened and brought back to “new”. We have a great new software system called Storypark which provides communication with parents.

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Nortec. STAFFING SOLUTIONS Name: Nikia Hall, Joanne Ford, Luchia Noyes. What is the history behind your business? NORTEC began in Northern NSW over 30 years ago, but is new to the Port Macquarie region since last year.

We deliver programmes and invest in local initiatives that inspire business growth and employment opportunities in our region. Tell us about what makes your business unique? Delivering on our service promise of inspiring futures and creating opportunities. What is the best piece of business advice that you can offer to others? Have passion for what you do, give your all, and the rest will follow. We’re about matching jobseekers to employers who need them; that’s what makes us happy!

We are expanding our free co-curricular activities; and upgrading our finance and administration processes to make them much more parent-friendly and efficient.

What do you consider to be the most important aspect of business? Marketing, good team, customer service? Customer service firstly; having a great team is essential for this. Marketing is important, yes, but you need to deliver on your promises - and this is where we step in!

How do you evaluate customer satisfaction? For us, customer satisfactions is easy to measure. It is in the smiles of the children that greet us each morning and the thanks of the parents who know their child will be cared for and educated.

What services do you offer? NORTEC offers recruitment services - both no-fee and commercial for temp, labour hire and permanent, job search support, small business advisory support, and community investment initiatives.

Alyson Gainsford. DYNAMIC HRM SOLUTIONS Switch on your thinking and get results! Albert Einstein famously said: “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them”. We have to switch on a new level of thinking if we want a different result! Alyson Gainsford is known for her dynamic thinking and ability to assist business owners and entrepreneurs switch on a new level of thinking, action and results. Alyson helps small businesses, leaders and entrepreneurs to discover their blind spots, overcome their fears and frustrations, develop leadership capability, improve critical decision making, financial performance and develop and grow their team and business whilst having a life outside their business.

SPECIAL OFFER: download Your FREE Special Report on “Business Blind Spots, 5 Reasons Businesses Fail and 6 Secrets Revealed to Switch on Your Business and Get Results!” In this report, Alyson shares with you the Top Reasons Businesses FAIL to Perform and Strategies to Help You Develop, Grow and Get Results in Your Business (valued at $197). Download now at

‘Creating Opportunities. Inspiring Futures’. No-Fee Recruitment Services. Business Advisory Support.

Accredited Training. Community Investment.

Looking for Staff? Lodge online at Or call Nikia on 0437 446 324 Offices throughout the Coffs and Manning Regions greater port macquarie focus. 23 81 focus Special Edition

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Photo credit Lauren Kimberley

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Kirsty Cross is one of few a female pilots in the Royal Australian Air Force. She is currently serving as a Captain of the E7 Airborne Early Warning and Control aircraft. As Captain of the E7, Kirsty is responsible for the execution of the mission and the safe return of what is a billion dollar aircraft and its crew of specialist operators. Kirsty has 15 years of service with the Australian Defence Force, including service with the Australian Army and graduation from the prestigious Royal Military College, Duntroon. Through her experiences, Kirsty has found a passion for the advocacy and advancement of the status of women in her community and will be speaking at the Hastings Heroines International Women’s Day Breakfast this month on March 8th.


rowing up, what were your aspirations? Did it include being a pilot? I really wasn’t sure what I wanted to do when I was leaving school. I had known for some time though, that I wanted to do something out of the ordinary, something that was a challenge. My older brother had always wanted to be a pilot since he was very little. I found myself, probably as a very tedious younger sister, following him along to all the air shows, helping him build model aircraft and the like. I had always loved going to the airport to see the planes and was so excited to see flight crew wheeling their bags to their aircraft for departure, off to somewhere exotic, of course. So these elements eventually led me to where I am now. As a young woman, what challenges did you face during your early career in a field dominated by men, and how did you overcome them? Actually in my very early career, I was working in the Army, as a radio and communications operator. The physical nature of those years in the Army was always a challenge, but I found that it really took my body to places I had never thought it was capable of. Discovering this physical ability demonstrated to me how much potential we actually have within us. It has since given me a great belief that determination and tenacity will eventually see rewards. Even though I was in the Army, I was working in an environment that was probably about 40% female, 60% male. It was highly technical work, but also very physical. I learnt a lot from the women I worked with there. They were great,

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strong women and taught me a lot in those early work with. I just tried to emulate what they did; years. They were some of the best operators that’s how I learnt to find my groove. I think men physical and mental abilities had no regard for do a really great job of finding informal mentors gender. - it seems to happen naturally. I do believe As an aviator, the gender ratios are much that formal mentoring is key in bringing along different - I make up a 3% minority in my women in the workforce. It is something my current workforce. It is well recognised there female colleagues are working hard to establish are significant and various barriers to for the next generation of women pilots. women in my career stream. It I’ve benefited from this too - I now is something the Air Force is have some more senior women working hard to address pilots who touch base with right now. me and who I can use as a help r fo k as ld How did you stay bit of sounding board. It is ou w I ld focused on your incredibly valuable. more often. I wou r al mento rm fo a t ou goals? Tell us about some of ek se times I It is inevitable that the highlights of your earlier. I think at ould it w was afraid that we will face adversity career as Captain. ” s. es kn ea w show in the pursuit of our My first job in Canberra, goals. The trick is to flying government VIPs, was stay in there and ride definitely a highlight. It was through the hard times. I a great honour to do my part had great family and friends for Australia and see them step off who could offer support, but the our aircraft to advocate for our country. unique training environment just often It has also been incredibly rewarding flying meant that I was on my own in terms of with the professional crew we have in the Air understanding what I was going through. Force. Most rewarding is conveying them safely My fellow students were men, and so it was home to their families at the end of the day. hard to talk things through with them as well! Looking back now, what would you change, Ultimately, I think it was probably two things: if anything? the years I had spent in the Army; secondly, I would ask for help more often. I would seek the outright self-belief my mother had always out a formal mentor earlier. I think at times I instilled in me since I was little. Those two things was afraid that it would show weakness. But brought me through. I can see now that there are so many people Did you have any mentors who helped you who are willing to impart their knowledge and along the way? experience. I know my ability to learn would I never had any mentors. I just chose a few have been exponentially improved if I had of just people along the way in my career that I thought asked along the way. did the job right - and were good people to You now undertake training of other pilots.

What is the most valuable piece of advice you pass on to them? I think it would be to ask and ask to understand, not just to know the answer. And of course, to have fun - pilot training can be hard, but it is important to look out the window on those beautiful peaceful mornings. It is a very unique perspective we get to see most days, and it is really worth taking that step back to appreciate it. You will be speaking at the International Women’s Day breakfast on March 8th - what will you be speaking about? The theme for International Women’s Day is Pledge for Parity. I will be talking about my own experiences and hopefully leaving some food for thought along this year’s theme. Why is it important that we advocate for Gender Parity? Well, so many reasons! But mostly for the next generation - I don’t want to see any false limits put on our young women. There is so much talent and potential out there. We need to actively ensure the opportunities are there to see that potential realised. Thanks Kirsty.

the plug! Hear Kirsty’s inspirational talk on Tuesday 8th March at Panthers. When: 6:45am. Tickets: are $45, and all profits from the event are donated to the Port Macquarie Hastings Domestic & Family Voilence Specialist Service.

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Thank you to Meg & Me Boutique and Oz Design Furniture for your assiatnce with the focus Women in Buisness cover

meg & me boutique. meg & me has been in its current location under the Port Pacific Resort for three years, two of which we've had the Espresso Bar operating as well.

The cover shot showcases a great cross section of our brands. There's the quintessential collection from elk with its unmistakable look from season to season. The effortless chic of

We pride ourselves on personal service, quality rather than quantity and trans seasonal ranges that allow customers to extend their wardrobes by adding well chosen pieces from each new collection.

Lounge the Label, which can be worn professionally around the office but also comfortably take you to drinks with the girls after work. Chalice, a label designed by a talented couple of ladies from Western Australia, blends classic cuts with just a hint of edginess, perfect for standing out in the crowd.

We have identified a number of new Australian labels which will appear in store this year. These collections have four distinct drops throughout the year, with each collection dovetailing into the previous to create a cohesive, yet equally individual look for each and every customer.

Whether it be fashion as individual as you are, accessories, leather goods, homewares or even coffee, meg & me should be the top of your list!

Oz Design Furniture. For more than 30 years Oz Design Furniture has been delivering unique and attractive designs for Australian homes. Local owner Richard Newell moved directly to Port Macquarie from Canada in January 2013, and his first encounter with Oz Design was as a customer! Richard fitted out his entire house with furniture from Oz Design and four months later bought the store here in Port Macquarie. “I think we offer the best value in Port with the largest selection of Australian made and imported furniture at great prices.” Experienced store manager Dee McCauley has been with Oz Design in Port Macquarie 84 focus greater port macquarie focus. 26 Special Edition

since its opening nine years ago, and the other fantastic staff members include Rhonda, Ilona, Carol and Richard’s wife, Jenny. Father and son duo Peter and Brodie look after home delivery. The team at Oz Design deliver expert advice when it comes to the right styling for any home, and will look after you from the moment you walk into the store to the final delivery of your special items. Committed to providing customers with a great experience, Richard says, “That is what sets us apart and why we get so much repeat business. That is what I’m most proud of.”

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Someone once said to me that the road to success is always under construction, which I think is very true.



Define success ... Success, for me, is not Programme geared for businesses that want solely measured by what you achieve, but by to generate more leads and sales via social the commitment you show to “have a crack” media channels. Digital marketing is a game at something. I was fortunate early on in my changer for business, and we help people build career that I had a a strategy to reach and mentor who taught me engage with people Marketing is a constantly the meaning of “dare in a cost effective way changing and evolving to fail”. If you don’t as part of their overall industry, so we need to be put yourself out there marketing plans. on the front foot of new and have a go, you will developments to stay How do you stay never know what you’re relevant for business. motivated? truly capable of. My motivation is fuelled What new products by the vision that I share or services are you developing in 2016? with my business partner, Jane Hillsdon, to Marketing is a constantly changing and create a full service marketing agency in this evolving industry, so we need to be on the region that inspires confidence for our clients. front foot of new developments to stay We love nothing better than to get results relevant for business. This year, Dragonfly for people who are passionate about their Marketing launched a Social Media Accelerator business and what they do.

What’s your best tip for staying on task and part of making the office a positive place to be in. organised? Organisation is such a huge part of I have a great friendship and working relationship being a conveyancer. We are handling multiple with my assistant, Ivy. We are lucky to work deals every day and each deal has its own as conveyancers, as we are helping our clients deadlines, which means through such an exciting we need to be masters journey, and it’s great to Being organised and of time management. build a relationship with on top of everything I am a huge believer in them. Being organised and keeps stress out of the being proactive - if you on top of everything keeps workplace and keeps know someone is going stress out of the workplace us feeling positive and to request something and keeps us feeling working efficiently. from you, try and get positive and working it done before they are efficiently. There is nothing chasing you. I am also more positive than telling a big fan of a to-do list. I’ll write myself a list in a client they can go and collect the keys to their the morning of the things that I need to achieve new dream home! during the day and the order in which I want to Define success ... I think it is something we tackle them. should all strive for. Someone once said to How do you create a positive environment for your team? Building relationships is a huge

me that the road to success is always under construction, which I think is very true.

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Aimee Pelley. PAINT THE TOWN

Francessca O’Donnell. OUT THERE

Define success… Success is knocking out your goals while following your heart. That’s when you can truly be happy.

How do you stay motivated? I think it’s hard to stay motivated if you are not inspired by what you do.

What’s your best tip for staying on task and organised?

My life and creativity are constantly being inspired and challenged, which keeps me motivated and my brain ticking over.

I’ve needed to be pretty much self-motivated and stay focused

I have a fabulous balance of the excitement of creating new artworks for my flourishing art business, Out There Design and Mosaic, which I run with my partner, Vick Compton.

answer, “yes”, then I know I’m on track. If not, it’s time to

Then there is the constant inspiration and satisfaction of working with young people, sharing my love and knowledge of dance at Port Macquarie Performing Arts and this term also at St Columba Anglican School.

Define success … Being able to do what I want to do, when I

Do you have any awards or accolades to boast about lately? Late last year I was delighted to win the MAANZ 30:30 Vision National Mosaic Award, held at 107 Projects Gallery in Sydney. My entry was a 2D Mosaic titled Fight or Flight.

development? Other like minded successful people, The Micro

My favourite quote is: “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone” - Neale Donald Walsch. It’s scary as hell to leave your full-time job and start a business from scratch, but you can’t succeed unless you try! Once I realised my passion, I dreamt BIG, set high goals, and took it step by step. What new products or services are you developing in 2016? I am currently working on franchising the company. The response I’ve had from up and down the coast is remarkable! My goal is to have a Paint The Town Taree started by the winter and a few new locations north and south happening in 2017. What’s your go to resource for personal training and development? I’m a member of EBC- Edmund Barton Centre, whom I meet with regularly. Their knowledge on small business development has helped me tremendously. I’ve gained considerable knowledge in the financial, marketing and advertising aspects of business management. Thanks Grant!

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Barbara Smith. THE ROVING TRAINER Having been self employed as The Roving Trainer for 15 years, on what’s important. I say to myself, “If I had a boss, would they think I was at my most productive right now?” If I can honestly switch focus. Oh, and I make a point of celebrating significant achievements – usually by rewarding myself with something fun. want to do it, with whom I choose to do it with and having the time and money and health to do it. What’s your go to resource for personal training and Business Forum (MBF) , The Hastings Business Women’s Network (HBWN), the Hastings Business Enterprise Network (HBEN). Plus numerous internet sites, I often have some inspirational audio going on in the background. I also find the library has terrific

The standard of work by my contemporaries was both inspiring and humbling, which was echoed by the jurors, well know international artist Emma Biggs from the UK and esteemed Australian artist George Raftopoulos.


I also have an extensive network of computer trainers and IT experts to call upon when I come across unusual or difficult technical issues.

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Our passion for visual storytelling is infectious, so when we involve our clients in the creative process it’s easy to see how excited they become.

Tania Marino. EXECUTIVE PRODUCER - THE BIG MOVIE COMPANY How do you create a positive environment for your team? Being a husband and wife team, we are both visual people, so we have a large vision board which is covered with images, text and goals that we wish to achieve and manifest. It is a great inspiration for us and helps keep us moving forward, even when challenges arise.

and connect with your customers, whilst

What services are you developing in 2016? With video becoming the future of online marketing and growing more and more every year, it is expected to dominate marketing strategies in the near future. Any business that fails to include it in their marketing strategies could reduce their opportunities for growth. Video content allows you to share information

a video production service that can handle

reaching new audiences - not to mention the benefits of increased SEO (how people find you) and your online presence. Every business should have video on their home or landing page. For this reason, we have developed a Business Profile and Like N Share Clip Package to get you started in the world of online marketing. Although we are advertising campaigns and larger corporate projects, we predict that with the increase of live streaming and user generated content, businesses should be creating their own regular content themselves. We have put together a series of training seminars that will help business owners and staff utilise the technologies available to create

their own content, with little or no initial investment. What’s your best tip for staying on task and organised? I like to have the month’s calendar set out on a very large whiteboard, so I can see at a glance what I have on for the month. I’ve found that if you make yourself a daily to do list the night before and every morning get up and eat a frog (that means doing the things from your list that you least want to do) then the rest of the day should be a piece of cake. I also function better when everything in the office has is its own place and is labelled. Define success ... Doing what you love and living your dreams. How do you evaluate customer satisfaction? Our passion for visual

storytelling is infectious, so when we involve our clients in the creative process it’s easy to see how excited they become. Although we are the experts in what we do, working with us is very much a collaboration. The fact that most of our work comes from referrals means we must be doing something right. Professional video testimonials are an extremely effective way to catch your customer’s satisfaction. Add these videos to your website and across multiple social media platforms to attract more customers. Do you have any awards or accolades to boast about of late? Late last year ABC Lateline came to Port Macquarie to do a story on us, which aired in November. The video can be seen on our website.

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Michelle Newman. NEWMAN COMMUNICATIONS Lee Heng. LJ HOOKER WAUCHOPE Define success … For me, it’s: “a meaningful life full of passion and freedom in which we grow as individuals and contribute beyond ourselves”. What’s your best tip for staying on task and organised? The Pomodoro Technique involves splitting tasks into 25 minute chunks and setting a timer. If you’re like me and love a deadline, but are prone to distraction, give it a go! It really improves my productivity and creativity.

Smart, local mortgage advice. Port Macquarie mortgage broker Suzy Spicer works with all types of borrowers to get the best loan to suit their needs: First home buyers Refinance Moving house Property investment Commercial property loans Choose from over 25 lenders:

Don’t pay too much, call Suzy today for your free appointment!

Suzy Spicer 0412 976 260 (02) 6583 7222 Suite 2, Level 1, 31- 33 Horton St, Port Macquarie NSW, 2444.

Australian Credit Licence Number 385325

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How do you evaluate customer satisfaction? PR is all about building strong relationships, solid reputation and open communication - and these are great markers of client satisfaction in my business. The rewards are repeat business and valuable referrals. What’s your go to resource for personal training and development? I am a bowerbird, collecting fragments of wisdom! I love business blogs, books, webinars and networking events. But the best insights come from the inspiring people I surround myself with. How do you stay motivated? My motivation comes from knowing my “why”. When I aligned my business goals with my purpose in life, I found so much more energy! Time out is equally important.

How do you create a positive environment for your team? Try new things, hold regular one-on-one meetings, be there to hear their concerns, always look to improve their situation, even if it means finding them a better position. Remember, their family is your family. Always ask. Keep testing. Keep improving. Keep challenging the norm. Be yourself. What new products or services are you developing in 2016? Not products per se, but services. At a product level, LJ Hooker Wauchope carry various residential and rural propertiesand development offerings from as small as 1 - 3 acres to 100 Ha, business broking and strata management. At a services level we can reach out to vast clientele using my currents skills and contacts - drawing on my experience of having sat on the board of Chatswood Chamber of Commerce - as I bring a great deal of wealth and experience in dealing with clients from Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Hong Kong and China. That I speak three languages and various Chinese dialects and also work with overseas buyers, attending to their needs, understanding FIRB and migration, improves the level of acceptance for foreign and local people to our community. We, in Port Macquarie-Hastings need these investors and any local investors to provide jobs and growth to attract more people, investors and businesses here - especially when our local universities are targeting large numbers of students.

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Our reputation for quality action and advice is critical to us.

Veronica Lind. VERMILION MARKETING AUSTRALIA At 18, I started technology sales and got involved in business matters. By 30, I had owned and run 2 technology companies, a coffee roasting business, restaurant and drug store. Later, I moved to Australia joining IBM to lead their global marketing strategies, while focusing on helping businesses grow and connect with their customers. These days, my passion is in helping local businesses, in and out of Australia. I have been invited to present and run workshops for experienced B2B marketing and PR professionals, small business owners and Institutes of Higher Education, written thought leadership articles for Marketing Institute of Singapore and meet women quarterly to discuss personal and business leadership. Vermilion Marketing is my vehicle to help entrepreneurs attain their business visions cheaper, faster and better. We have a simple and affordable Business Accelerator Program that uses marketing

Noleen, Susan, Kelly and Ros. HR CULTURE

and technology as part of clients’ business strategy to generate revenue and improve efficiency.

How do you create a positive environment

the areas we will cover include managing mental

for your team? AT HR Culture, our entire

health challenges in the workplace, best practice

This means that even when we do something simple like creating and managing your website or social media, we help you capture and make sense of your customers’ behaviours, provide the right counsel so that you can personalise your marketing campaigns to accelerate your business. We do not want you to waste money on the wrong marketing tactics!

team really love what they do and show a real

in WHS record keeping, managing employee

passion for helping other businesses with their

performance without doing the wrong thing, and

people. Loving what you do and helping make

tips to reward and recognise your team effectively.

We’re launching EAT-Appy for restaurants and cafes, one of our Appy-Business app that handles takeaway, deliveries and dine-in ordering to payment from the web, Facebook, phone or onsite. Just ONE app with built-in marketing and business operations functions, enabled by technology. This is just one way that we help you accelerate your business. Making it easier for YOUR customers to BUY repeatedly and GROW your services with them!

a difference to our clients and their workplaces, means our workplace is a truly positive place to be. Our goal is to help our clients generate this positive energy at their workplaces as well! What new products or services are you developing in 2016? Believe it or not - each year

How do you evaluate customer satisfaction? WE ASK THEM! We contact our customers regularly to find out how we are tracking from their perspective. Our reputation for quality action and advice is critical to us.

we add new products and services to add value to

What’s your go to resource for personal

our clients. We add new training workshops, new

training and development? Our entire HR

HR software programmes to help you manage

Culture team has been through development

compliance, and we bring experts to our region

programmes with Leadership Management

regularly to inform and train our clients. On

Australia. LMA creates exceptional results through

Tuesday 19 April, we are holding an expo, where

people, and this is definitely what we believe at

local business can ‘“Ask the Expert”. Some of

HR Culture!


The of Business Is Doing MARKETING RIGHT

The SCIENCE of Marketing Is Leveraging TECHNOLOGY RIGHT To Generate Revenue and Increase Productivity

greater port macquarie focus. 89 focus Special Edition 31


with Michelle Newman from Newman Communications



s Direct Advisers celebrates 30 years in The qualities you need to be a financial planner include the business this month, Director Ursula Boorman desire to help people, an appetite for learning and change, and reflects on her career as a Certified Financial the ability to explain complex ideas in simple terms. Planner. “A good financial planner understands that you can’t Ursula grew up in Port Macquarie and influence financial markets but that we can influence our remembers working as a waitress at the old RSL club. She clients to make good decisions.” admits she wasn’t a very good waitress, which The best bit of Ursula’s day is being with clients provided good motivation while studying her and making a difference. Bachelor of Economics from the University Ursula is grateful to be a trusted adviser al ci an of New England. to her clients, some of whom she has fin Being a ry ve is r A 17 year career in the banking worked with for 16 years. She often ne plan y da to y da y M . industry in Nambucca Heads followed, goes above and beyond, helping fulfilling nd ou ar e lv vo re s starting with a role as ‘The Examiner’ clients deal with the confusion of task achieve helping clients checking signatures and working up Centrelink, and offering support ty, and financial securi to Branch Manager in 1996. during times of illness and loss. g lpin the reward is he r As country town career options This has even extended to helping ei them improve th changed, Ursula contemplated what it one lady work out how to use the ” e. quality of lif was she loved about her job. “I decided I buttons in her new car. love helping people.” Ursula says ‘time’ is her biggest Ursula obtained a Diploma of Financial challenge. “I am running a small business Planning and began working as an adviser in as well as being a Certified Financial Planner, so the bank. “I must admit I became a bit disillusioned as making sure we stay on top of legislative changes and recognition in the role revolved around who sold the most. investment issues are important, but so is managing the This didn’t sit right with me.” success of our business. Lucky I have a great team to help in After moving back to Port Macquarie, Ursula came across supporting our clients.” Direct Advisers in 2004. “It was a perfect fit, independently In today’s world, Financial Planners rarely just deal with owned, small and client focused.” investments. “My knowledge base includes superannuation, As a partner in the firm, Ursula was able to provide the tax, aged care, Centrelink, debt reduction strategies and type of services and advice she wanted in a fee-based, no budgeting.” commission environment. Ursula is passionate about helping people to understand “30 years ago, founder of Direct Advisers, Peter Rodgers, their money situation because knowledge is power. “Being a was at the forefront of our profession, rejecting commissions financial planner is very fulfilling. My day to day tasks revolve from investments and instead charging a fee for the services around helping clients achieve financial security, and the provided. This was the future of financial planning!” reward is helping them improve their quality of life.”

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my Day 6:30am

Check news and investment reports over breakfast


Team meeting to discuss client work


Phone calls and emails with Centrelink, mortgage broker and clients

10:00am Planning meeting for 30th anniversary event 10:30am Meet with Alzheimer’s Australia about becoming a Dementia Friendly Business 1:00pm

Lunch break


Meetings with clients to discuss Centrelink updates, bank accounts, and insurance policies


Staff meeting about our Pension Assist service and plan work while I attend a SMSF Conference


Home to hug my family and walk the dog

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I know that my clients are satisfied when they thank me for a job well done, and hopefully refer my services to their friends and family.


Danyelle Macfarlan. LAING+SIMMONS What’s your best tip for staying on task and organised? Write a list of “Things to Do” and check progress each day.

Define success ... Everyone defines success

collective effort actually, beginning with my

differently. For me, I would say that success is

amazing Principal and mentor Chris Koch, who

being able to look yourself in the mirror and

continually guides and encourages me to reach

Define success … For me, it is about feeling truly satisfied that I have made a difference in an ethical and caring manner.

be satisfied at the person looking back at you -

my goals and become an agent befitting the

being able to say to yourself that you’re happy

Laing+Simmons brand. Also, the experienced

with who you are and the way you treat others.

and professional team of agents I work

What’s your go to resource for personal training and development?

How do you evaluate customer

alongside who help me and give me guidance,

satisfaction? Customer service is simply a

as well as the Laing+Simmons admin and sales support team, who are a wealth of knowledge

developing in 2016? Our contract under NSW

Taking the time to reflect and think about how it could be done differently and/or better.

terminology that is quite often used “tongue in cheek”. It’s actually the actions one takes to

in themselves.

Smart & Skilled has been extended to provide

How do you stay motivated?

help create a great customer experience that is

Do you have any awards or accolades

measurable. I know that my clients are satisfied

to boast about lately? Having been in the

when they thank me for a job well done, and

industry for only four months, I’m yet to attend

hopefully refer my services to their friends and

my first official Awards Ceremony. I have,

family. That’s the best indication of customer

however, listed and sold seven properties so far


and been involved in the sale of nine others.

What’s your go to resource for personal

Feedback from all my clients has been really

training and development? It’s quite a

positive - that’s reward enough for me!

How do you create a positive environment for your team? I believe respect is the key ingredient for a positive environment. We work as a team in a flat structure, with each staff member stepping in to help their colleagues when needed. We find the time for a laugh, to care about each other, and to recognise and celebrate success. What new products or services are you

all our Certificate IV courses, Traineeships and School Based Traineeships. We are also putting a greater focus into providing opportunities for the disadvantaged, including the start up of the first regional “School of Hard Knocks” and specialist programmes for people with disabilities and mental ill-health.

By taking notice of the achievements of my team and our clients. It is truly motivating to see our students with intellectual challenges achieve the simple things, our “youth at risk” re-engage with learning and step into employment, and our mainstream students gain satisfying jobs after completing their qualifications.

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Port Macquarie’s

women’s shed. Let us introduce to you Port Macquarie’s first Women’s Shed, a welcoming and safe haven where women can teach, be educated in skills for life, make new friends and have fun in an inclusive environment. FOCUS chats to Chair of the Shed Natalie Junge, who gives us some insight and explains how other women can become a part of this exciting and innovating new group in our community.


ongratulations on the growth of Port Macquarie’s first Women’s Shed! How did it all begin? Thanks Sarah. The response from the local community has been phenomenal. The Shed’s previous Chairperson, Claire Welsh, put a simple message on Facebook last October, to see if any other women were interested in getting together to try and learn some woodworking skills. She was inundated with, “Yes please”, and, “We would love a shed of our own”- and it’s just snowballed from there. What is the Women’s Shed mission? We would like to provide a place where women can learn together as friends - where support, guidance, help and encouragement is given and received. Our shed will be a safe place where women can come to learn new skills, pass on existing skills and become stronger, self-sufficient, confident, and proud individuals through their involvement with our association. It is women helping, supporting and encouraging other women in whatever endeavour or activity they want to pursue. We see ourselves as creating a niche space in our community. It will be a space that is welcoming to all women, with no regard to skill level, background, race, age, social demographic, or any other factor, other than to want to create, learn and grow in a safe and inclusive environment. We see ourselves creating the perfect environment for all women to be themselves and become who they want to be.

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How far has it grown since the beginning; pottery workshops. I think we can cover just how many members are now involved? about every interest. So far, we have over 1,100 women (and some We also have members who have WH&S, men) who have been accepted as a Facebook social media, management and community enmember on our page and, in the seven gagement experience - we even have our weeks that we have conducting own Survey Monkey queen - as workshops and been open well as our trained educators to receiving paid memberand our administrators, ships, we already have all of whom have put ill There is no sk 53 financial members. themselves forward pt ce required ex What are some of to form the Steering d an for enthusiasm the workshops and Sub Committees. r ou as , optimism s ha r fa provided? These members have so p hi rs membe mous or en To date, we have been constantly an d ye la disp ore run a few pallet working to progress appetite to expl s … st deconstruction and the establishment of all sorts of intere is t lis e th y, sl up-cycling workshops, the workshops that Seriou endless! ” and a couple of crochet our members desire and and knitting workshops advance the cause for with one (possibly two) more our own shed, to make it a to come. Over the next month, reality. we will be conducting some woodworkPlans for the next 12 months? ing workshops in Port Macquarie and a few The ultimate plan over the next 12 meditation workshops in Wauchope. We months is to find our shed! have just conducted a survey that was open In the meantime though, in the next month to all of our members and Facebook followers, or so we will be conducting some social events and there seems to be an overwhelming requireand activities, not only to drive membership but ment for a social aspect to the shed. to provide a place for our existing and potential Tell us about some of the skills your memmembers to meet and make new friends. We bers bring to the group … will increase our presence, not only through the Our members are a talented bunch! We have media, but by attending events and expos and skills ranging from woodwork and metalwork to getting out into the community via fundraising all types of needlework. Add in some cooking or by forming partnerships with other organisaand baking, mechanics, welding, home renovations that feel we have areas in common where tion projects, upholstery, all aspects of craftwe can be of help to each other. work, art, photography, gardening, and we’ve The Steering Committee will undertake a strajust been offered the possibility of creating some tegic planning session early in May so, based on

the outcomes of the planning session, we will be able to provide our members with a clearer picture of the next year. What’s the process for becoming a member? The process is simple. Our technology team have done a fabulous job to make it easy. Head to our web page at portmacquarie and “click to join”. Once you have completed the online form, someone from the Women’s Shed will be in contact. Are you looking for women with particular skills to share? We can’t really pinpoint any particular skill, as we are constantly evolving and fluid. We are looking for all the women of the Hastings region to join us, whether they have skills to share or want to learn skills from one of the other members. There is no skill required except for enthusiasm and optimism, as our membership so far has displayed an enormous appetite to explore all sorts of interests … Seriously, the list is endless! We would also love our members and potential members to consider putting themselves forward to help the Sub Committee if they can, either in fundraising or setting up workshops. They are not difficult tasks and the Steering Committee is always on hand - we all work together, and the saying “many hands make light work” is very true in the Women’s Shed! We are a truly organic and flexible organisation that is guided by our members’ excitement and enthusiasm to learn new things in a supportive and fun environment. We look forward to you all joining us! Thanks Natalie.

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Kristy Judge.


Define success … Success means different things to different people, depending on where they are in their career or personal life. For me, I am incredibly passionate about people and I am lucky to be able to work in a role and organisation that allows me to have enormous variety on a day to day basis, with autonomy to get the job done - but ultimately I work with amazing people who inspire me to always be a little better every day. Dale Carnegie once said: “You never achieve success unless you like doing what you are doing”. Do you have any awards or accolades to boast about lately? Recently Coles were recognised by the Australian Human Rights Commission for our long-running First Steps programme, winning the prestigious 2015 Human Rights Business Award. First Steps is an industry leading, pre-employment and mentoring programme which provides guaranteed permanent part-time roles for people who require additional support to enter or re-enter the workforce. The First Steps programme demonstrates Coles’ commitment to diversity in the workforce as one of many programmes dedicated to promoting and developing a workforce representative of the communities that we serve.

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Tania Magon. MAVEN ACCOUNTING What new products or services are you developing in 2016? A Complete Self-Managed Super Fund Service Solution. We are adding to our taxation services and providing trustees with access to expert educational information, specialised advice and investment tools, so they can optimise the benefits of running their own retirement fund confidently and more importantly, compliantly, from one central platform. What’s your best tip for staying on task and organised? Nothing like deadlines to keep you on track, giving you a great sense of accomplishment when you meet them. Define success … Happiness and achieving whatever it is that makes you happy. Absolutely nothing to do with money or positioning. Do you have any awards or accolades to boast about lately? No; however, I am proud to serve on the HBWN Committee as Treasurer and the SMSF Association’s Northern Sub Chapter Committee. How do you stay motivated? 1/ Being grateful for the opportunity to work for myself and make my own decisions every day. 2/ Change - navigating through the ever-changing rules and regulations around taxation and the self-management super fund industry always keeps me spirited.

Rebecca Rowsthorne. OWNER How do you create a positive environment for your team? By being a positive person and encouraging staff when they are doing well, and showing staff that working as a team gets better results in the end helps greatly to create a great work environment. What new products or services are you developing in 2016? The Cruise Terminal have hit the ground running in 2016. We have monthly theme cruises planned, and our cruise routes have changed slightly. We are now cruising up the Maria River in the Port Venture; it is quite spectacular. Define success … I never let anything beat me; if I know I have given 100%, then I know I have done my best. That’s how you succeed; keep moving with the times and try new things. How do you evaluate customer satisfaction? By making customers always feel welcome. My staff know what I expect, and I’m pretty strict on customer service. We get great reviews on Facebook and Trip Advisor to back this up. What’s your go to resource for personal training and development? We try to have team meetings once a month and brainstorm ideas and go through procedures. I have also recently joined the Hastings Business Womens Network (HBWN) and the NSW Business Chamber. Both networks offer a wide range of personal development opportunities.

The talented Retail Leader’s shopping list. All available now at Coles.

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Shelley Gray.



De Groot.



Deidre Cleary.

Amelia Cocks.




Van Gestel.






Kristie Peel.


O Fiona



Carole Beros.

Kerry Moss.

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We all believe strongly in learning through play and offering the very essence of what childhood means to all of us.



What is the history behind your business? Gardiner Ave Children’s Centre has been a long established Child Care Centre here on the Coffs Coast, located near the CBD.

juggle it all? I have an amazing family that unconditionally offers me support and encouragement. My husband is incredible; he makes sure I have nothing to worry about on the home front. He is a teacher and also Early Childhood trained, so he has a greater understanding of what it takes to be in this position and how much it means to me to give it my best. My two daughters have basically grown up with me at Gardiner Ave, and my youngest attended. I think they see the love and passion that I have for what I do, and they also share in that.

I am a new “local” to the Coffs coast. I

What does our service offer? Close to CBD, 8am ‘til 6pm, ages 2 - 6 years. Two early childhood teachers undertaking their degree, four diploma trained staff, two completing their diploma. We are now licensed for 25 children a day; vacancies available.

driven on the exact thing that defines our

What makes you stand out from your competitors? We are very fortunate to be able to remain a small, homely centre. In an industry with high staff turnover, we are thrilled to have educators who have been here several years, and I am coming into my eighth year at Gardiner Ave. This creates stability and continuity for the children and our families, which in turn strengthens and deepens the relationships we have with each other. Our educators know all the families and time is spent intentionally engaging, to create that sense of belonging for all that enter Gardiner Ave. You also have a family; how do you

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am a mother to three children. I adore children and watching them grow and

we believe strongly in allowing them to experience childhood to its fullest.

means to all of us. Children are only little

What do you consider to be the most important aspect of business? Marketing, good team, customer service? For me, the most important aspect of business is a good team. A team that shows up every day not because they have to, but because they want to. A team that loves what they do, and at Treehouse you will definitely find that. When you find a great team, you know you are on to a winning formula, because everything just works. When you have a group of people that all believe that what they are doing is making a difference, you know you can expect great things.

for such a short period of their lives, and

Thank you! Amelia.

discover the world around them. What are your business goals for the next 12 months? Over the next 12 months I’d like to see our fantastic centre continue to grow on a professional and personal level, with our educators developing further skills to facilitate the learning of our children, and to expand the relationships we have with our families. At Treehouse we are all incredibly industry, and that is “Childhood”. We all believe strongly in learning through play and offering the very essence of what childhood

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O Melanie Zander. MJ ACCOUNTANTS


Why did you decide to take the plunge and swing open the doors of your business back in the day?

What is the history behind your business? Coffs Harbour Real Estate commenced in 2010 and become the contract selling agents for a local agency, with Barry France and I working as a team. Solid sales performance over an extended period of time led to an excellent reputation for delivering great results. Most of our new listings come from referrals from our past clients, so we decided it was time start operating under our own banner.

I had worked with a number of major accounting firms, and I saw there was a need for accountants to be more aligned with their clients. We’re often too busy tallying up the results of the past, when our clients are focused on what happens next. I decided to launch a firm that really understood business owners, spoke their language and had a range of tools to help them to be more successful. Tell us about what makes your business unique? Our focus is on helping our clients to grow

and thrive. We do great compliance work, but where we really make a difference is in helping business owners to understand their financial levers, plan for the future and develop their leadership skills. What has been your best achievement to date? I’m particularly proud of the business coaching services we launched last year. We’ve combined our financial know how with all the business lessons we’ve learned in developing our own business into a programme that is really making a difference to other business owners. Four of our graduates were finalists in the 2015 Sunny Awards, and two graduates took home gongs.

What service do you offer? The high level of personal service we offer to our clients, backed by years of industry knowledge and experience, I feel is highly valued by our clients. We are experts in assessing your home for market presentation and provide presale advice which can be the difference in you achieving a great sale price in a relatively short selling period.

Our clients love the fact we can take that pre-sale pressure off them by providing practical and sound advice. What community events do you support? We feel strongly about supporting local business and the local community in general. With that in mind, we launched the “Locals helping locals” Community Support Programme, which has been a great success and very much appreciated by the community groups and clubs that have been recipients. When home owners trust us to sell their property, we give back to the community by donating $300 from our selling fee to their favourite charity, school, sports club or community group. They choose who they want to help. If you want to find out more about “Locals helping locals”, call us or visit our website.

Reliable property service based on integrity 6651 2888

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hat is your connection to the a single contact of anyone who lived there (sorry Mum, I know ing back on that experience. Richard Branson and spending Coffs Coast? you were worried!) but I was ambitious to find out more about time with him and like minded entrepreneurs on Necker Island I grew up in Coffs - on a small the tech industry. I met people from the likes of Google and was beyond anything I can put into words - I learnt a lot from farm just outside of Coffs Harbour Yahoo, who taught me about the industry. I then moved back him (we spent breakfast, lunch and dinner together with (Karangi). I went to BDC throughout to Australia and into a tech co-working space called Fishburntwenty or so other like minded entrepreneurs for five days). high school and I learnt some of my ers, where I found a tech co-founder. The tech co-founder built The island only ever houses 30 people at a time and it’s all most valuable lessons and met my core group of friends, who Stashd, and the rest is history. We had a fair amount of traction through invitation only - the villas are incredible and it’s in the continue to be super supportive in Coffs Harbour. relatively quickly and have continued to grow since. The start Caribbean, so when we weren’t having conversations about And your entrepreneurial spirit began to show at a was all bootstrapped, which means we did it all on not much the mindset of being a business owner, motivating people or young age, when you began organising parties for your money. general banter, we were making the most of the location. friends and school mates? What are some of the interesting statistics for Stashd? Who have been some of the most influential people you Ha ha, yes - it was all quite random at the time! The events We have users in 136 countries, have featured as one of have met? started out when our principal at the time banned formal after Apple’s Best New Apps in 11 countries and within the top 10 I’ve been so fortunate to meet some incredible people along parties, so a group of friends and I decided to organise the Lifestyle Apps in five countries. We will soon have close to one the way - some of whom I’ve mentioned, such as Richard Branschool formal after party on the farmland I grew up on. million items available on Stashd from retailers such as ASOS, son and our Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull as well as the We pitched to my parents to use the farmland as a venue Bloomingdales, Estee Lauder and Shopbop. co-founder of Net-a-porter, the founder of companies such as and once (after much convincing) we got the go ahead, we Looking back, what were some of the things that helped Tinder and Spanx and investors who have invested in compatook to organising suppliers of lighting, staging, DJs and securi- you succeed? nies such as Paypal ... ty and even registered the party with the local police. The first Persistence ... And surrounding yourself with people who What start-up business advice could you give to young event went quite well and we broke even with ticket sales, so know more about the industry than you do and being open women from regional areas like Coffs Harbour? I pitched to my parents again to use the farm as a venue, and to learning from them. Mentors who have been there and I’d say just make a start - I’m a big we continued to hold after parties, 18ths and believer in that we only have one lifetime 21sts throughout my final years of high school. and if you have an inkling of what you What is Stashd is and how does it works? Persistence ... And surrounding yourself with people want to be doing with your life, you’re Stashd is what we like to call a global digital who know more about the industry than you do and ahead of a large majority of the popubeing open to learning from them. fashion mall on your mobile, although unlike a lation, so you may as well give it a go. regular mall, Stashd holds zero stock. We have Worst case scenario, it doesn’t work out, taken the process of how we intuitively browse you learn a lot, meet some really cool in an actual mall (flicking through items) and people and then try again. Don’t be put off by “failure” - sotranslated the process onto mobile with the use of swipe. Users done what you are trying to do cuts your learning curve in half ciety has put a level of negative hype on failure ... Failure isn’t - then you need the mindset to persist when things get hard are presented with one item and have the choice to either bad - it’s a stepping stone and process to learning and life ... I (which they will), be surrounded by the right team to execute swipe left to “Trash” an item to never see it again, or right to would also start to train your brain to think as big as possible; and have courage to do things the way you think they will “Stash” an item into a centralised Virtual Wardrobe in which just because you live in a regional area doesn’t mean you can’t work ... they can go back to for style inspiration, to share with friends have a global vision. Put yourself in sight of any opportunity Why do you think that Stashd has been so successful? for a second opinion or to go directly through and purchase, in which aligns with that vision ... A few things, one of which is that we’re a bit lucky the which we take a commission on sales. industry is ready to be disrupted, so we have timing on our side What are the plans for Stashd’s future? When was the light bulb moment for Stashd? The vision is to become the largest digital fashion mall in the - which is a major factor as to whether a company succeeds or I was working through Australia and New York fashion world holding zero stock - so a lot of locking in brands. We are doesn’t. The industry needs to be ready to be disrupted, users weeks and I noticed a huge transition from shopping on also a contestor on a reality TV series, which is a cross between need to be willing to use your product, and the market size desktop (e-commerce) moving to shopping on mobile (m-comShark Tank and X Factor airing on a Chinese reality TV network and stats need to be large enough to get retailers excited and merce) and like any successful platform of new technology, to 22 million people in April. We are looking to strategically on board the vision. there needs to be one “hero location” to discover, with a user break into the Chinese market - which is a whole mission in I also think a good mix in our team has been a factor - I am experience unique to the technology. So I decided to use my itself. the target market of our end user, which allows us to underknowledge of the fashion industry and book a one way ticket We’re also shooting a reality TV series, which is looking to stand what the customer wants more so than competitors who to Silicon Valley to find out more and fill that multi trillion air on one of the major free to air stations around our journey are more often than not old men who can see an impressive dollar market gap opportunity. growing this vision, behind the scenes of fashion weeks and market size, but might not necessarily be passionate and eduHow did you get started on the journey of building the generally handling the ups and downs of running a tech busicated about the industry they are heading into. app and the company? ness as a 24 year old CEO - which I’m super excited about. The journey started with booking a one way ticket to Silicon What was being invited to Richard Branson’s island like? Valley when I was 21. I didn’t have much money, I didn’t have Necker Island was incredible! I still pinch myself a little lookThanks Jessica. coffs coast focus. 33 focus Special Edition 41

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Know where you are heading. A business’ success is determined by its ability to give the business owner what they need and want.



I’m learning that being a woman in

What services do you offer? ETC’s business services programmes offer small businesses the opportunity to discover and work towards the goals for their business. These services are provided by funding from the state and federal government, allowing business owners to access advice at fully and partially subsidised rates from experienced business advisors. Businesses can find answers to one-off questions, access relevant resources or partner with an advisor on a longer term basis to work on their business.

What do you consider to be the

What is the best piece of business advice that you can offer to others? Know where you are heading. A business’ success is determined by its ability to give the business owner what they need and want. Knowing what you need and want will help you to plan, succeed and ultimately drive you to do things the best way they can be done.

the understanding and experience to work

business is empowering and fulfilling, although my journey hasn’t been an easy one. Three years ago Troy, my gorgeous husband and father to our four beautiful children, passed away suddenly. So running our family business without him has been a traumatic and bumpy ride, and at times I’ve felt like giving up. Troy worked in flooring from his teens, and he went on to become a sought-after flooring specialist, which often took him away from home. Anyone who knew Troy knows that family was the most important part of his life and that is why, 12 years ago, we bought our first floor covering store here in Coffs. From then we worked together, building our business. We then went on to buy R & R Carpets from Bob and Narelle Burns - an independent, family owned business established by Bob’s parents in the 1970s. We had the business only six years when our beloved Troy passed. The amazing Cowlings R&R team pulled

the local community, I am proud to say Cowlings R & R Carpet is stronger than ever. Since Troy passed, I have learnt anything is possible, every day is a learning opportunity and with our kids as my motivation, that work-life balance is so important. I feel so grateful every day for the support and guidance I have from friends, family, my team, reps, our customers and business people in our community. The culture at Cowlings R & R Carpet is one of integrity. We promise “Our family looking after yours”, and we mean it. We pride ourselves on our after-salesservice, and our team has over 100 years of experience between them. We want to ensure getting new floors or blinds is an enjoyable and stress-free experience for you, or your business, from start to finish. We supply all the leading brands, and some exclusive ranges, to suit any budget, plus blinds, vinyl (planks or sheet), carpet (wool, synthetic and solution dyed nylon carpet (SDN), bamboo and laminate. We recently extended our showroom to show you our most popular products.

mentally. Three years on, with the support

If you are looking for flooring or blinds visit the showroom or our new website:

from friends, people in the industry and

It would be great to meet you.

together and kept the business running when I couldn’t be there physically or

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most important aspect of business? Understanding all aspects of financials in your business - pricing, record keeping and reporting is most important, even if you a social enterprise or not-for-profit business. What experience has brought you to where you are today? Owning a family business in Coffs harbour for 12 years, that had consistent financial and visitor growth, has given me as a Business Advisor for ETC. It excites me that small business owners have a connection with their customers and that they are often ultra-passionate about their product or service. Working with business owners to help them “WIN” is what keeps me going every day.

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O Lee Smidt. COSMETIC ARTISTRY BY LEE Tell us about what makes your business unique ... Cosmetic Artistry By Lee is a non surgical boutique cosmetic practice located at the Jetty Village Shopping Centre on the Coffs Coast. We use only the highest quality products, to guarantee highest quality results. We are committed to giving everyone confidential, friendly and personal attention at an affordable price. We use the latest technology and techniques to achieve only the best results for all of our clients. Myself and all technicians working at the salon are qualified/certified in all treatments we perform and undergo continuous training to stay ahead in the industry. What inspired your business? My business started in Main Beach, Gold Coast; I had a small salon where I was predominately working as a cosmetic and paramedical tattooist. I was travelling up and down the coast due to demand for my services, and I saw the opening in the

that you can offer to others? Follow your dreams; believe in yourself and your own abilities. Anything is possible if you want it bad enough. I took the leap into business six years ago with $150 in my bank account and a new baby and told myself I had no choice but to succeed. What has been your best achievement to date? Being a mother is by far the greatest achievement in my life; my daughter is my number one inspiration and drive. With the enhancement of technology over the past decade, how has this impacted your business? The medi beauty industry is one of the fastest growing industries in the world. The enhancement of technology is the key to my business and its success. Today, people are very busy and want treatments that are permanent and delivered quickly. For example, SHR hair reduction: each treatment is faster than waxing an area, less painful and costs roughly the same

Cosmetic Artistry By Lee is a non surgical boutique cosmetic practice located at the Jetty Village Shopping Centre on the Coffs Coast. We are committed to giving everyone confidential, friendly and personal attention at an affordable price. market in Coffs Harbour. There was a strong demand for quality affordable cosmetic services here. Until now, the medical beauty industry has been out of reach for many people due to cost and availability. I wanted to create a platform for everyone to have access to treatments. What are your business goals for the next twelve months? Cosmetic Artistry is expanding very quickly, and we will be operating from a new salon at the Jetty Village Shopping Centre by the end of May. The new salon has four treatment rooms to allow for extra technicians and treatments to be offered quickly and efficiently. We have more very exciting new treatments and products that we will be adding to our service menu with the opening of the new salon. You also have a family; how do you juggle it all? Yes, I am a single mother of my beautiful six year old daughter. My life is extremely busy running my business and being a full-time mum, but I would not change it for the world. I often push myself to the limit and need take a step back and remember it’s important to keep balance in relationships, health, and finance. What is the best piece of business advice

as it would to wax the area for only one year. What services do you offer? Cosmetic Artistry offers a very extensive list of services, including: • Tattoo removal - Ultralase Q Switched Nd YAG Laser, safe and effective, permanent results, reduce or remove tattoos. • Cosmetic tattooing and paramedical tattooing • IPL, SHR and Elight permanent hair reduction for ALL hair colours and types (yes, we can treat grey, red and blonde hair) • IPL - acne management, pigmentation treatments, vascular treatments, skin rejuvenation, Rosacea treatments. • Ultrasound cavitation - cellulite reduction, fat reduction, body contouring, fat melting • RF - radio frequency non surgical skin tightening • Bio-Synthesis LED light therapy • Professional teeth whitening • Moroccan spray tanning • Silk Eyelash Extensions • Acrylic nails, gel nails, manis and pedis • Swedish massage, facials, ear candling and much, much more. We offer interest free payment plans. Conditions apply. focus Special 43 coffs coast Edition focus. 35







hat is the history behind your business? With its beginnings at a local café in 2004, demand for larger monthly business events grew, and almost 12 years on, the Coffs Coast Business Women’s Network has built to a membership base of 1300+ local business leaders. The premise is to nurture the personal and professional development of women through informative, supportive and enjoyable events. Tell us about what makes your business unique? Word of mouth is powerful - and it’s a well known fact that women love to chat! Through increasing our networks, both personally and professionally, there is insatiable opportunity for growth. Most of us are familiar with the adage: “It’s who you know, not what you know” - and this rings true, with many a business partnership formed through facilitated social interaction. This is a proven and extremely effective strategy to boost personal/brand awareness, whether in business for yourself or for a local firm. We have such an amazing array of talent on the Coffs Coast, and I’m continually blown away at the background of these women. The experience and diverse skills we have in our own backyard is akin to metropolitan areas - we don’t need to outsource geographically; just take a look a little closer to home next time you need a more specialised service. What are your business goals for the next twelve months? Our core focus is to position Coffs Coast BWN as the premier networking organisation on the Coffs Coast - to be the go-to professional resource base for local business. To achieve this, a slight rebrand and a strong, proactive development strategy is key. We’ve exciting enhancements planned for 2016, including: a significant increase to the value offered to our membership base; introduction of a financial membership for 2016/17; introduction of an annual Awards

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night; implementing a strong marketing and PR strategy; a new-look website with enhanced database; and strategic alignment with partners to mutually fuel business growth. Further enhancements being considered include affiliate memberships with larger business bodies, introduction of monthly lunchtime round-tables to cater to a wider market, and potential for an education based mentor programme to ensure the future talent of this region stays put to further strengthen the local economy. What community events do you support? Coffs Coast BWN support a range of local business and charities, and our aim is to further increase that involvement with a strong representation across a wider range of community events. BWN are also co-initiators of the International Women’s Day Coffs Coast Woman of the Year Awards, which recognise impactful contribution. In essence, we’re a representation of the wider business community, so a strong social awareness and responsibility is, and has never been more, important. We also provide a platform at our monthly events for fundraising direct through various charities. As a network, we’ve raised in excess of $30,000 for local charity. With the enhancement of technology over the past decade, how has this impacted your business? As a not-for-profit organisation, the proliferation of social media has enabled us to increase our marketing reach with nil financial strain. Technology affords a much quicker, streamlined business process and systemisation of the back end, allowing for decreased input with greater value output. We are able to target demographics relevant to subject matter, and we can respond quicker to stakeholder needs. What services do you offer? Facilitated networking between women in business on the Coffs Coast. In addition to our key offerings aforementioned, we are the only organisation on the Coffs Coast to offer child minding at our events.


hat is the history behind your business? The Fuji Xerox Business Centre Mid North Coast was first established in 1982 and the current Dealer Principal has run the business for over 10 years. Since his leadership, the business has grown from two staff to almost 20 covering from Grafton to Port Macquarie. Our office is on the corner of Park Avenue and the Pacific Highway. What is the best piece of business advice that you can offer to others? The old saying, love what you do and you will never have to work a day in your life is so true. It may not be the dream job you had as a child,

We are so lucky to live in such a beautiful place where the climate barely changes, and straight after work you can run down to the beach and go for a stroll or a dip. We live in Sawtell, and the vibe in the main street with the new cafés is really nice and positive for a small town. What has been your best achievement to date? In January I returned home from the “Honours Club”, which is an incentive system operating for high achieving sales staff. I was one of this year’s winners, and earned the trip of a lifetime to New York, where I received an award for my achievements. It was an amazing experience to interact with

Specifically with work, I like that I am able to show people cost and business efficiency in an area of their business which is often unanalysed.

but if you are passionate about it you will succeed. We are fortunate enough to offer the best quality products in terms of our photocopiers, so it makes my job easier, as we know that we can deliver above and beyond client expectations. Find what you like to do, and that is typically what you are good at, and stick with it. Not every day is going to be rainbows, but there is no point wasting our already short lives doing something we are miserable about. What do you enjoy the most about working on the Coffs Coast? I am out and about quite a bit with my job and have met lots of wonderful people with some really interesting stories. Specifically with work, I like that I am able to show people cost and business efficiency in an area of their business which is often unanalysed.

all of these top performing staff within the company. What services do you offer? We provide state of the art Fuji Xerox copiers, printers and software solutions, as well as copying and design services, from our Park Avenue shop. We have had countless examples over the years of businesses with cost savings and quality printing with our Fuji Xerox devices, and now we offer numerous software solutions for businesses which assist with even more cost efficiencies in the ever evolving workplace. For example: freeing up more productive time by reducing manual steps in uploading documents to your database. It might sound corny, but we know the copier industry backwards, forwards, duplexed, stapled, folded and scanned … You will be so happy you spoke with us.







ell us about what makes your business unique ... It’s very unique, as there aren’t many businesses at all like ours. We have many different clients we need to keep focus on, from publicans to bands and the media; it’s a juggling act to keep everyone happy and find a happy medium so they can all thrive. We certainly deal with a very diverse range of characters! What makes you stand out above your competitors? We have certainly stood the test of time. Many competitors have come and gone; we have always just done the right thing, and this has paid off. We have developed very loyal relationships with clients, and we have grown more over time - hence why we are still here. What do you enjoy the most about working on the Coffs Coast? I love the size of the Coffs Coast; it’s just perfect in every way. I have travelled to many countries, and this truly is such a beautiful place. Working and living here is the ultimate lifestyle. You can work, play and do everything in between, without having to go anywhere. The suburbs around us are all unique and connected and add so much character. It’s big enough to stay excited and have different things to do, but not too big you lose that sense of community. And so many businesses are thriving here. What do you consider to be the most important aspect of business? Marketing, good team, customer service? Well, all of these things. I think a good team will give you good customer service, and you can’t market anything unless you have these things to start with. You couldn’t ask for much more than family as a good team, so we have a great advantage with this. We trust

each other, we know no matter what we can always rely on each other, and we can always speak our real truth without worrying about offending each other - and this gives us a very clear direction and communication. Dedication and loving what you do would have to be the most important aspect. If you love it, you will be dedicated and passionate, and you will be successful. What community events do you support? We support The Hoey Moey’s Coffs Harbour Boardriders Club; surfing is a big part of all our lives also. We also support many fundraisers and events; we have always helped with fundraisers for any locals in need of support. With the enhancement of technology over the past decade, how has this impacted your business? It has impacted massively. We have a relatively new website that has been great for our business, plus developing an understanding Google, and doing a lot more social networking. You need to roll with the times and be clued into these new advances. What services do you offer? We have a few aspects to our business; one is to supply venues or clients such as wedding parties or corporate businesses with entertainment, and the other is to supply bands or DJs or any sort of entertainers with work in these categories. We exclusively look after some entertainers and venues, who are our main priority. Another service we offer is co-ordinating outdoor concerts and festivals and also booking tours for major national and international bands along the East Coast and promoting their shows. Lastly, we also hire out production equipment for touring and local artists.


hy did you decide to take the plunge and swing open the doors of your business back in the day? I opened Living Doll in September 2010 to create a space for women and men to come and take some time out for themselves, to recharge their batteries and feel confident and sexy in their own skin. Living Doll’s vision was to treat people really how I would like to be treated myself - to have the upmost skill and knowledge of the latest hair trends and share that passion and skill with my staff and the beautiful Coffs Coast. Living Doll is driven to elevate the hairdressing industry standard as a whole. With the right training, what we do can really change lives (laughs). It’s true; anyone who has had a bad cut will understand. Tell us what makes your business unique? Living Doll is your little oasis, a time just for yourself, to indulge in warm coffee, good magazines, head massages and to give you the pick-up you so deserve. With everyone’s busy schedule, it is so hard to put yourself first especially women and mothers. We try to really focus on clients’ every need, to really give them that lift of life, the feeling you get when you have that amazing haircut that just sits into place with little to no effort. Or, that shiny colour where a stranger on the street comments on how great it looks, and you are suddenly walking taller. It’s an overall wellness we can help bring out in you, that keeps you going until your next visit. What do you enjoy the most about working on the Coff Coast? I was just talking about this today with my staff, about working in a “City Salon” in one of the busy shopping centres, how life was oh so different. Living Doll was designed so we would have the time with the clients, to really give them the love and attention they deserve. Working in Coffs is like a dream; the salon’s location on the jetty strip was chosen for its beautiful outlook on to one of Coffs Coast’s wood carvings of an eagle (I like to think he watches over us).

But the people are what makes Coffs Harbour so beautiful. I can honestly say I have never met so many amazing people who come to one salon than those who have entered Living Doll. When you are working with remarkable staff and then have just honestly amazing customers, that love flows over to your home life - and really, that’s what we all dream of ... A balanced, happy life. What do you consider to be the most important aspect of business? Relationships … I run Living Doll with my HEART, and everyone who comes into the business shares that love. This includes our clients, the talented, beautiful inspiring team, the suppliers and anyone else who shares our vision. Is your business sustainable? We understand as an industry that hairdressing has its elements that can affect the environment, so at Living Doll we wanted to have the least impact possible. Firstly, we chose La Biosthetique range for its professional colour and makeup, as its ethos is that it should be natural, not synthetic. They forbid testing on animals as well. Even their head office runs on hydraulic energy and has a carbon-neutral footprint throughout Europe. La Biosthetique colour range is full of natural ingredients that are chosen for their biomimetic qualities, meaning they mimic our own bio-chemistry. They have home care sulphate and paraben free products direct from Mother Nature. Secondly, we recycle everything we can, including our colour tubes and aluminium foil and even the hair. Who would have thought hair could be recycled, but it can; it is used for cleaning up oil spills. What services do you offer? We are a full service salon, where we like to do everything from shampooing your hair to an in-depth consultation, scalp analysis, aromatherapy massage, all over colours, foils, balayage and women’s and men’s style cuts, blow-dries, upstyles and makeup. Thanks for reading. XO Lauren Vestey Living Doll coffsSpecial coast focus. focus Edition3745

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Our team has more than 100 years of combined experience - experience in travel, travelling, and agriculture.



Tell us about what makes your business

towards providing the best service we can

unique ... Le Dãin Designs is an ever

offer to our current clients and all our new

changing store that extends beyond its

customers. We are setting up a monthly in

own doors and joins forces with other

store fashion parade and cocktail event and

What is the history behind your business? Quadrant Australia has been in operation nearly 30 years. We’re in the travel business: holidays, packages, flights and special interest tours.

businesses to offer extra special services to

are working on late night shopping evenings

make your shopping experience stress free

for all those busy people who miss out on a

and enjoyable. From beauty treatments

touch of retail therapy.

to photo-shoots, we have all the right

Sawtell is booming at the moment with the

connections. Shopping online is a flat and

reopening of the local cinema and all the

sometimes frustrating venture. There is

eateries to choose from. So, to come out for

nothing like walking into a beautiful store

dinner with the girls and have a bubbles and

and being totally looked after. It turns your

“treat yourself to something fabulous” time

whole shopping experience into something

is so much fun.

you want to do, instead of something you have to do.

Who has been your biggest business influence? There is only one answer for that

What makes you stand out above your

on a grand scale, and that would be Coco

competitors? Le Dãin Designs at Sawtell is

Chanel. For designers and business women

like a one stop shop for getting the whole

within Australia, it would be Carla Zampatti.

Le Dãin Designs at Sawtell is like a one stop shop for getting the whole look. We also pride ourselves on being able to dress ladies of all sizes and all ages for any occasion. We have families of three generations who can walk out, all styled and dressed, ready to go.

look. We also pride ourselves on being able

You also have a family; how do you

to dress ladies of all sizes and all ages for

juggle it all? I am very good at separating

any occasion. We have families of three

family time and business. Sometimes the

generations who can walk out, all styled

two merge, but luckily my other hat I wear

and dressed, ready to go. We stock casual

is being part of the FOCUS team.

to formal and specialise in millinery and

I am a fashion shoot stylist and write for the

dress ladies for the races. Our prices suit all

publication and I know it sounds corny, but

budgets. We also have experienced stylists

the whole family love FOCUS as much as me,

available at all times, even after hours.

so I get loads of support.

What community events do you

What has been your biggest achievement

support? House of Le Dãin Designs is

to date? Within this industry , I would have

heavily involved in many different events.

to say that when we had the opportunity to

We are one of the Major sponsors at the

design and provide the three Waterhouse

Coffs Harbour Racing Club and love to

ladies with Le Dain Designs originals . We

support The Pink Silks Perpetual Trust. We

are heavily involved with the Racing industry

are also once again supporting the Cancer

, so adorning Racing Royalty such as Gai ,

Council with their annual events and the

Kate and Susie was pretty exciting . I am

local Coffs Harbour Children’s Ward with

also a writer and photographer for National

a Le Dãin Designs event later this year. The

Magazine ‘Ladies in Racing’ . We are also

store also involves itself with looking after

involved and join a Melbourne Team in

the Annual Charity Fashion Parade run by St

producing Photo shoots that get submitted

Nics Opportunity Shop and are also now a

to appear in High Fashion Magazines . Last

major sponsor of The Hero Organisation.

year our Couture Jewells adorned all the

What are your business goals for the

models on the front cover of A New York City

next twelve months? We are striving

Magazine. Great Times !

38 focus. 46 coffs focuscoast Special Edition

Tell us about what makes your business unique ... Quadrant Australia are leaders in Agricultural Tours. We give farmers the chance to travel, experience and learn from an agricultural perspective, all whilst seeing the sights and experiencing the culture of another country. We take small groups of farmers all over the world and get them into places that they couldn’t get to any other way. Whether it’s taking a group of beekeepers to Korea or beef farmers to Canada, the experiences are one-of-a-kind. What makes you stand out above your competitors? Our team has more than 100 years of combined experience - experience in travel, travelling, and agriculture. Our travel agency team have travelled to more than 50 countries and love to travel themselves. Our tours are led by experienced leaders, holding the hands of our

travellers from the very first day. What is the best piece of business advice that you can offer to others? If the door opens, walk through it. Some of our most amazing achievements have happened by circumstance. With the enhancement of technology over the past decade, how has this impacted your business? Many people feel that the internet means that travel agents won’t exist in the future. I don’t think this at all. The internet has provided really valuable tools to our customers to allow them to research a lot of information before they come to an expert for the booking. Twenty years ago, people asked about travelling to Europe; now, those same people are asking about a tiny little villa in Tuscany where they can stay, play and eat with locals. Whilst there are some people who choose to book their own travel online, we’ve seen an increase in customers who are returning to travel agents for the options, peace of mind and ability to call someone if something doesn’t go to plan.

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O Ellen Slater. JOYLAND CARERS RETREAT Tell us about what makes your business unique? Joyland Carers Retreat is a purpose built, bespoke retreat, affording carers some much needed ‘me’ time away from their caring role. Joyland is unique, being the only service of its kind from Coffs Harbour to Brisbane. What is the vision behind Joyland Carers Retreat? I have been a carer the majority of my life. I’ve experienced the varied challenges and sacrifices that carers make. My dream has always been to provide a luxurious in-home environment for carers to be nurtured and take rest. Thankfully, that dream was realised in 2015. Why is community important to you? Giving back to our community is very important to me. Joyland hosts Goddess Sisters, a free morning tea for ladies to share a laugh and relax. Joyland also hosts some wonderful annual fundraisers, which are becoming renowned as sell-out events, with ‘that something extra’. Our community has been incredible with their support, and at times it is overwhelming, the generosity received. What has been your greatest achievement to date? A Sunny’s Business Award ‘Finalist’ was an exceptional honour, particularly after only nine months of operation. We have also been fund recipients of the Pink Silks Perpetual Trust. However, the greatest achievement is seeing the impact on carers wellbeing - when they arrive to when they leave - a pure miracle before our eyes.

Kim Pasterfield.

Trish Jackson.



The main aim of the business is to provide clients and their pets

Willaid has been part of Coffs Harbour for about 20 years. Owner and manager Trish Jackson said clients keep coming back to Willaid because of its long established reputation, wide variety of products, and friendly and expert advice. Involved in sales, hire and repairs, Willaid stocks everything from a walking stick to a hospital bed.

with a far less stressful and a less costly alternative to a dog boarding kennel or cattery. As most people treat their pets with very high affection the service I offer enables the pets to stay on their regular routine and they do not have to adapt to a new environment. There is no travel trauma, more flexibility around a boarding kennels required vaccinations and less risk of the pet being exposed to illnesses and parasites of other animals. Eg: kennel cough, ear mites, fleas, ticks etc. I offer a quality service that provides a number of different options to my clients such as doggie day care, flexible opening hours, covering areas outside Coffs Harbour, caring for pets in my home when possible or housesitting in yours if required. I also offer a doggie social day (twice weekly) which includes transport, socialising, walking and swimming. Being a dedicated and passionate animal lover myself I offer a reliable friendly service guaranteeing your pet will receive ongoing attention, love and cuddles. For further information contact Kim Mb: 0433 965 805 Email: Facebook: Your Home Pet Sitting Service

Providing independence, safety, increased mobility and comfort for elderly clients, people with a disability and post-op patients, Willaid is your local expert in health care equipment. As a woman in business, Trish said the last eleven years have been challenging. There have been a number of changes in funding and delivery of services in this sector. The buying group we helped establish, Peak Care, has allowed Willaid to remain competitive and relevant. We serve a large section of the community, and we welcome inquiries. “The main thing we value at Willaid is a sense of community; we help people maintain independence and be comfortable, and that’s a fulfilling role to play.” Trish said the best way for people to experience what Willaid has to offer is to come into 1/16 Isles Drive and view the range of products. For more information on any of the products or services listed above, visit, email sales@ or call 6651 7900. Willaid Health Care Equipment is located at 1/16 Isles Drive, open Monday to Friday, 8:30am - 4:30pm.

coffs coast Edition focus. 39 focus Special 47

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Kristie Peel & Kylie Mackay.

Sarah Armstrong.

What is the history behind your business?

Tell us about what makes your business unique ... The small

Two Birds Design has been established since 2010, owned and

and personal nature of our business means that clients get the one

operated by Kylie Mackay and Kristie Peel.

on one service that their unique project deserves. I end up calling

After working together for over 13 years, both as business partners

the majority of my clients friends by the end of what is a very

The staff are like one big family and sponsor some of the events held in Coffs, like the World Rally Championships.

and colleagues, we have an excellent understanding of each other

personal journey.

Mel Crossland, Marketing

which reflects in our quality of work & services we offer.

Why did you decide to take the plunge and swing open the do things the way I think they need to be done ... All with the

I love that we have high quality photocopiers that our clients love. We also have a great team to work with which makes our jobs easier and enjoyable.

flexibility to be able to pop out to watch a kids’ sports carnival

Emma de Groot, Print Production


Tell us about what makes your business unique? We tailor our services to each client’s individual needs and work directly on the project from start to finish. Our aim is to ensure the clients expectations are met and a beautiful design is completed. After all we want our clients to love their home, office space etc. Why did you decide to take the plunge and swing open the doors of your business back in the day? Loving what we do! We wanted to offer affordable interior design services and inject our experience, passion and professionalism


doors of your business back in the day? Realising that I could

when needed! What are your business goals for the next twelve months? To have Armstrong Architects get involved in some community projects that benefit Coffs Harbour, as well as continue our great work in the commercial and residential world. With the enhancement of technology over the past decade, how has this impacted your business? Constant improvements

We asked the staff what they love about what they do. Alana Castor, PA.

I get to build a relationship with all of my customers, as I handle their work from the initial enquiry to the finished production. They are always blown away with what we can do with our copiers. Sarah Mcilvaney, Service Work Controller Dealing with a wide range of customers and organising a service team to assist them. I like waking up every morning knowing I’m coming to a great, friendly, enjoyable environment.

100% into each project.

in the world of computer documentation and 3D rendering has

What services do you offer? One-off hourly consultations to

meant that we need to keep up to date to offer our clients the best

Suzanne van Gestel, Graphic Design

extensive exterior and interior schemes for renovations, new

services possible.

homes and commercial projects.We have a full decorator service

What services do you offer? Design and documentation of both

with furniture packages for holiday fit outs and residential homes.

residential and commercial projects - small or large! Renovations or

We have an excellent range of quality fabrics for soft furnishings,

new build - we work in closely with interior designers Kristie and

There is nothing more satisfying than finishing up a job I’m particularly proud of and to see it in print or online. My success is tangible. It is also so rewarding to see people so happy with what you have created for them.

window treatments and stock beautiful rugs, artworks, lamps,

Kylie at “Two Birds Design” and also offer a full design service.

cushions and designer pieces in the showroom.

Call today for a free consultation.

40 coffs coast focus. 48 focus Special Edition

Contact the ladies to assist with all of your business printing needs on 6652 6844

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I have always loved sewing and creating clothing.

Tell us about what makes your business unique? We mix art and clothes - a little weird, but it works. Wayne’s vibrant paintings dress the walls, and the shop is stocked with bamboo, organic cotton, hemp and lots of lovely silk. Greenroom is colourful all year around.

I travel regularly to Cambodia - a destination I find, together with its people, so beautiful. I am passionate about natural fibres, and during one of my visits was fortunate enough to locate a cotton that is hand dyed, using 100% natural ingredients and hand woven on traditional looms. Due to the use of natural dye, the colour palette is soft and muted. This fabric was the inspiration behind the children’s clothing range that I carry. I work closely with designer Yek Hong, who is based in Phnom Penh, and together we have created a gorgeous range of vintage inspired garments under the label ‘it’s my bliss’. The garment workers that Yek employs within her small business “Peace Handicrafts” are all disabled, deaf or landmine victims. Their workmanship is of the highest standard, and the garments are beautifully finished featuring French seams. All the items I carry in store have been sourced from ethical and sustainable businesses throughout this amazing country. I also carry a range of beautiful bags and purses which have been made from recycled materials including netting, fish and/or cement bags. Find us on Facebook and Instagram

Why did you decide to take the plunge and swing open the doors of your business back in the day? After years as a bear artist, having just finished an order of 100 koalas for an American company, I needed a break from bear making - a new challenge. I wanted a boutique where I could buy fair trade clothes and gifts. Wayne was keen for a showroom for his art, so we joined forces. That was in 2010. We are still on The Promenade, but recently moved next door to bigger premises. Is your business sustainable? We, as well as our suppliers, big or small, are all about ethical and sustainable practices. Whether it’s the environmental aspect or the people who produce the goods, this is our commitment - my heart and passion. What services do you offer? I give honest and experienced help to women of all ages, shapes and sizes. Our comfortable bamboo clothes are flattering, great for work, play and travel and you can dress it all up with our gorgeous silk kaftans and kimonos. We have a March special for Focus readers, mention this add and you have $10 to spend on a bamboo top of your choice.

Jen Dowd. RALLY AUSTRALIA What is the history behind your business? NSW Coffs Coast and Mid North Coast is the traditional home of rallying in Australia, commencing with the renowned Southern Cross Rally in the ‘60s and ‘70s that attracted some of the world’s best drivers and teams. The event was welcomed back to the region in 2011 and received unprecedented local and national support. What do you consider to be the most important aspect of business? For Rally Australia to host a successful event, it requires great team work, trust, long hours and excellent communication. We are a small team who host a world event. What experience has brought you to where you are today? I worked in Sydney for 20 years before moving to the Coffs Coast, always in Marketing/Advertising. I’ve worked in New York, Hong Kong, Singapore. I’ve worked for large international companies, as well as small agencies. I’ve never had a job I didn’t like. Who has been your biggest business influence? Michael Bloomberg. I worked for Bloomberg for several years in Sydney and New York before he became Mayor of New York City. He was the most interesting, motivating, smart and kind man. He had a great sense of humour. He put it all into perspective.

For Rally Australia to host a successful event, it requires great team work, trust, long hours and excellent communication. We are a small team who host a world event.

Colourful . Ethical . Naturally Inspired ROUND 14 FIA WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP




Ph0413 349459

RALLYAUSTRALIA.COM.AU focus Special coffs coastEdition focus. 49 41

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O Christine Rengger. TMP RENTALS What is the history behind your business? Started the business to allow landlords to explore an exclusive tenancy specialist that focuses solely on the rental process. What are your business goals for next twelve months? We are experiencing unprecedented growth in just a short space of time, so we are focusing on refining our service and implementing some updates to business strategies that will allow the process of renting to follow much more effortlessly for our landlords and tenants. What do you enjoy the most about working on the Coffs Coast? Well, it is a beautiful location, so that is a huge bonus, but there are some extordinary people in our area with extordinary experience to learn from. What has been your best achievement to date? Everything I have experienced to date is an achievement! I have travelled some huge learning curves, and they have shaped the person I have become and showed me the kind of person I wish to be. What do you consider to be the most important aspect of business? Marketing, good team, customer service? My team hands down have invaluable experience, they are a delight to be around, I value their knowledge and advice highly, and they are reliable.

BJ Ballantyne. Kimberley Grant. What is the history behind your business? NORTEC is a for-purpose, community organisation that matches jobseekers and businesses looking for staff. We invest in local initiatives that inspire business growth and employment opportunities in our region. Tell us about what makes your business unique? Delivering on our service promise of inspiring futures and creating opportunities.

Tell us about what makes your business unique? HARA at 2/1O5-107 West High Street is the only Coffs Harbour studio that combines Pilates, Yoga and GYROTONIC®under one roof. We teach the super fit to those who require rehabilitation. What services do you offer? Group classes in Pilates, Yoga and GYROKINESIS®. Private

You also have a family; how do you juggle it all? Both Kim and Billy-Joh juggle families and work. It’s a great area to work in, though - nothing like the beautiful coast and countryside for de-stressing!

and duo sessions in Pilates, Yoga and GYROTONIC® for

What is the best piece of business advice that you can offer to others? Be authentic, follow your passion and give your all; the rest will follow. We’re both passionate about securing work for jobseekers in our region; it gives us both a real buzz!

for 12 years in Europe . My dance career taught me about

What do you consider to be the most important aspect of business? Marketing, good team, customer service? Customer service firstly; having a great team is essential for this. Marketing is important, yes, but you need to deliver on your promises, and this is where we step in!

My lifelong experience in movement developed my

‘Creating Opportunities. Inspiring Futures’. No-Fee Recruitment Services. Business Advisory Support.

Accredited Training. Community Investment.

Looking for Staff? Lodge online at Or call BJ on 0408 897 589 Offices throughout the Coffs and Manning Regions 50 Special Edition 42 focus coffs coast focus.

Suzanne McCarty. OWNER

those who require or prefer individual attention. What was your earlier career? I danced from age 3 and was a professional ballet dancer the human body, refined movement, injury, dedication, commitment, discipline, endurance, team work and hard work. . What makes you stand out above your competitors? attention to detail to meet the personal needs of each individual. I continually educate myself with leaders in the movement field so that I can offer high standards of training expertise to the Coffs Harbour community. I’ve been teaching movement for 17 years and am a Pilates and GYROKINESIS® teacher of teachers.


with Caroline Bleechmore, Cyber Safety Advocate




he girl innocently looks at her computer and responds to questions on the screen with no understanding that who she is talking to is clearly a stranger. “Do you play sport?” “Yes, I play soccer and I dance.” “Do you have a boyfriend?” “No, why?” She is chatting online and is wearing only her swimmers, as it is a hot day. What’s wrong with this picture? Mainly the fact that the girl has no idea who is on the other end of her internet connection. For example, she has no idea who I am, but I am looking into her bedroom watching her answer increasingly personal questions from hundreds of other anonymous viewers in the name of research. Welcome to the world of “YouNow,” one of many online video chatrooms we parents need to be aware of. is a website self-professed to provide “the best way to broadcast live and get an audience to watch you”. At any given moment there are thousands of live video feeds, and watching them requires no registration, no age verification and no need for any identification of any sort. Viewers communicate with the broadcaster through written comments. Broadcasts are organised under various categories sorted by a hashtag (#) with some of the most popular being #dance, #girls, #truthordare and #sleepclub. Broadcasters can earn “likes” from viewers and accumulate “fans”, while advancing in “levels” ultimately encourages or coerces children to do increasingly daring things to avoid losing the attention of their audience. YouNow terms of use lists the behaviour and the content that they consider to be unacceptable. For example, the guidelines prohibit users

under 13, nudity or sexually explicit content, as well as “grooming and solicitations”, which are defined as “behaviour intended to manipulate another member into producing sexual images of themselves, or provide personal information”. However, prohibited but commonly seen behaviours I witnessed include girls frequently flashing their breasts or underwear in response to viewers demands, threats, taunts and insults, swearing and underage drinking. Whether YouNow’s lack of policing of their website is a deliberate choice by the developers or perhaps they would claim it’s the difficulty of supervising thousands of live streams simultaneously … I do not know? But what I do know and what is clear, is that their guidelines exist in theory alone. What is also clear, is that many children are inviting the world anonymously into their bedrooms, naively sharing their identity, privacy and intimacy with strangers. YouNow also exists as a smartphone app, enabling children to broadcast from virtually anywhere and negating crucial parental supervision. YouNow’s style of personal broadcasting represents a new kind of internet peril, and it is imperative that awareness among parents grows. Children need to be aware of the risks and to have clear guidelines for safe behaviour. For a young child, in the safety of his/her own house and his/her own room, the adoration of strangers can hold strong allure and the unknown people at the other end of the internet might not seem real. But the risks being faced and the risks being taken are very real. I hope that a serious or tragic event is not needed to trigger the much need scrutiny of this video chat site and many others like it. This, parents, is without doubt our worst nightmare! focus Edition 43 51 coffsSpecial coast focus.


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Bringing the Women’s Leadership Forum and Layne Beachley to Taree has been a few years in the making.

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Mia Tycehurst. YMCA

What was it that first attracted you to your chosen industry? Truthfully, it was the poor service that we were receiving on our investment properties. Also, my husband was encouraging me, as he thought I would be good at real estate. I did apply for a job at one of our competitors, but he didn’t take me seriously and told me it was a really hard job for women and would advise me against it.

What was it that first attracted you to your chosen industry? It was more of a fluke; the gym I went to were looking for casual reception. It was love at first sight; the fitness industry and me. I can’t get enough of the joy it gives me to see someone grow in confidence! When your relationship towards your body changes, it changes all your relationships: from family to work. And to think that I could play a tiny part in that journey, makes me feel like a million bucks!

How do you maintain a successful work environment? Everybody knows that if you love what you do, you are usually great at it and that passion shows through in everything you do and everyone you deal with. Culture within our office is extremely important to me, and it is imperative that our staff share our vision and fit into our beliefs. I believe when you walk into our office, you can feel the energy and the passion from the team. This

cannot be bought; it is created. If you don’t love your job, it’s time to leave. Have you set yourself a business goal for 2016? What is it? Bringing the Women’s Leadership Forum and Layne Beachley to Taree has been a few years in the making. I have spent a lot of time last year refining our processes and building a good team, so this year we are letting loose and we are already seeing solid growth in both property management and sales. Our major goal is to maintain our No. 1 position whilst exceeding clients’ expectations in the services that we provide. What are your hobbies outside of work hours? When I am not working, I just love being in the moment with my family. Add a glass of a good red, and I am happy.

What can our readers expect from your business in 2016? It is important for us to keep renewing ourselves and find new exciting forms of exercise to keep the motivation up for our valued members. At Manning YMCA, the focus is on our new Precor machines, which allow you to set goals and track your progress. It’s like having

your personal trainer with the swipe of your membership card! We are also excited about the growth of family memberships. With swimming lessons included in the membership, this offers amazing value for the entire family! While your child has their swimming lesson, one parent may have a quick workout together with their teenage child. If your children are past swimming lesson age, there will be more variety of youth classes and programmes offered. Why not take advantage of our offer this month and try us out for $10 for 10 days? What are your hobbies outside of work hours? I love teaching Body Balance! I can’t call that work, because it is my passion. My time outside of the Y I spend with my daughter, renovating my house, or going to the beach.

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O Marlene Masters. MANNING HAIR & BEAUTY Julie Spicer. YOGA AT WALLABI

Kylie Menser. CASA LOCO

How do you create a positive environment for your team? By respecting and supporting employee engagement in all areas of the business. By modelling the organisation’s values, I have created a high performance, culture where innovation and creativity are encouraged.

What was it that first attracted you to your chosen

How do you maintain a successful work environment?

industry? My first yoga class was in Taree in the mid 1990s,

As a retailer, I find that redisplaying and moving the stock on

and from that very first class I was hooked.

a regular basis ensures that my shop always looks fresh and

I loved the way I felt after each class. It wasn’t only the

different, so my customers get to see everything with fresh

stretching and strengthening of the physical postures, it was


What new products or services are you developing in 2016? Following the successful implementation of a fortnightly delivery van in 2015, Manning Hair and Beauty Supplies is moving forward in 2016 with a web page which will feature an online purchasing option, allowing salons quick access to their stock requirements.

also the connecting with your breath, the calming of your

What Taree expects from us this year ...

body and mind, and the people I met that kept me coming

Look for exciting new teapots and Mother’s Day mugs and teapots

back time after time.

In store during March and April. Also look for the great gifts we

How do you maintain a successful work environment?

do with our fantastic pink lady chocolates. For Easter we will have

What’s your best tip for staying on task and organised? Plan your day - using a “TO DO” list helps me keep on task and ensures I keep to the scheduled time frames. Define success … Success for me comes from working toward my own goals, making mistakes and learning from the failures, without losing the passion and enthusiasm required to reach them. How do you stay motivated? For me, the key to staying motivated is to live a balanced life. Don’t overwork yourself; it is important to enjoy life when not at work. Family, friends, hobbies and sporting activities all help to reduce life’s stresses and aid in increasing motivation and positive performance at work.

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My work environment is the yoga space that I teach in, and I

mugs, egg cups and chocolate arrangements and other exciting

want students to feel welcome when they arrive.

edible gifts for Mother’s Day.

The room is set up with mats and props, the lighting is soft,

Best business advice ...

there is gentle music in the background, candles, an oil burner

Came from my dad, and it was “always keep 10% of your

and all you have to do is arrive, lie down, close your eyes and

earnings in reserve and make sure you do it weekly, so if the

know that the next one and a half hours is time for you.

unexpected happens you have something to cover it”.

What can our readers expect from your business in

What attracted you to this industry?

2016? I have been teaching classes at Wallabi Point for almost

Every girl dreams of a well stocked glory box, and from late teens

three years in my beautiful space at home. 2016 sees me

I used to wander places like Peters of Kensington and David Jones

expanding a little to teach in Taree at Anytime Fitness, on the

looking at homewares and the like. My first job was in the Myer

deck at Flow Café Old Bar and even a free class on the beach

crockery department. When the opportunity came up to take over

at Old Bar, just down from the surf club.

Casa Loco Manning Mall, I jumped at it.

Find Yoga at Wallabi on Facebook for all the info. Come and

Business goal for 2016?

try a class, so that I can share the special practice of yoga with

Continuing to provide competitively priced top quality kitchen and


homewares to Taree.

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We intend to put all that together to abide by our mission statement of ‘working together to build a better financial future for our clients’.

O Valley Industries. THE TEAM


Renee Gilbert - Human Resources Manager

do yourself.

How do you maintain a successful work

Robyn Jenkins - Senior Manager

environment? Working as a team & supporting

Governance, Day Services and NDIS

all employees and service users of Valley

What has been the best piece of advice

Industries to get the best possible outcomes.

you have been given? Always ask, “Why do

What can readers expect from your business

we do what we do and can we do it better?”

in 2016? Providing the highest quality support

What can readers expect from your

to service users.

business in 2016? A brighter future for

Wendy Grant - Day Services Manager

people with disability.

How do you maintain a successful work

Rhonda Annesley - Recreation Officer

environment? Promote a person-centred

What was it that first attracted you to

approach, maintain an open-door policy, support

your chosen industry? Family history; both

and mentor staff by passing on my skills and

my parents and grandparents worked in this



What has been the best piece of advice you

How do you maintain a successful work

have been given? Lead by example, and never

environment? Keep the communication open

expect more of anyone than you are willing to

between departments.

What was it that first attracted you to your chosen industry?

we can achieve for our clients.

I get a real kick out of watching businesses succeed, and helping out along the way. I work with a fantastic team who are all passionate about helping people to not only navigate our complicated tax system, but also to improve their businesses.

your business in 2016?

How do you maintain a successful work environment? To have success in a business like ours, you have to value your team. The knowledge and skills our team has is our product, so it’s crucial that they all understand how important they are and the contribution they make to the business. This is reflected in the results

What can our readers expect from Having successfully jumped the hurdle of merging two distinct accounting firms in 2015, we expect only positive things in 2016 for both our staff and our clients. The firms have collaborated into an amazing team with a diverse range of skills and expertise. We are passionate about doing what we can to make sure our clients reach their financial and lifestyle goals and objectives, efficiently and effectively. Visit to find out more about us and how we can help you reach your financial and lifestyle goals.

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O Tracey Drayson & Janet Knot . PROFESSIONALS FORSTER What was it that first attracted you to

optimistic and positive attitude helps me

your chosen industry? Tracey - I love the

maintain a consistency in my work and

challenges, freedom and satisfaction that

balance in my personal life.

working in the real estate industry brings to

Janet - I am very lucky to work with such

your daily routine. Each day presents new

successful and motivated people. We have

contacts and new houses to work with.

a fantastic work environment within our

It is an interesting and a very satisfying,

office. We certainly work hard, but have

rewarding career.

a lot of fun as well.

Janet - I have always

It’s very important to

loved working within

me to be surrounded

Professionals Forster Tuncurry has a wonderful a people orientated work culture, and it truly is a profession. Real delight to work so closely with estate is a very diverse a fabulous group of people. industry, where I get to meet different

by positive people, and the team at the Professionals is very supportive. What has been the

clients from all walks of life and all with very

best piece of advice you have been

different reasons for why they are selling

given? Tracey - The best advice I have been

or purchasing. Helping clients achieve their

given was to “never give up”. This has

goals is satisfying, but maintaining the

helped me to keep going through the highs

friendships that I make along the way is also

and lows that this industry has, whilst still

very important to me.

achieving great results.

How do you maintain a successful work

Janet - Always be yourself and treat people

environment? Tracey - Professionals Forster

fairly. Real estate can be very challenging,

Tuncurry has a wonderful work culture,

so it’s important to maintain a professional

and it truly is a delight to work so closely

approach and do the best that I can for my

with a fabulous group of people. I find an


56 focus Special Edition manning-great lakes focus. 30

Joan Parsons & Susan Cluff. PROFESSIONALS HARRINGTON What was it that first attracted you to your chosen industry? Joan - The first thing that attracted me to real estate was the opportunity to not only deal with people on a one to one basis, but to be able to assist them to find the right home to suit them, their needs and their budgets and their lifestyle, whether it be a rental property, their first home or a sea change. Meeting new people and developing friendships has been one of the most rewarding aspects of this career. How do you maintain a successful work environment? Joan - In my work environment I am conscious of the fact that for most of my clients this is a major investment and not an “every day” transaction. I do my best to offer as much qualified and personal advice as possible on the locations and type of homes in the area, to find the “best fit”. I do my best to be professional, whilst trying to offer just that little bit of extra care and personal attention. It is always a balance to achieve the best outcome for my vendor, as well as the purchasers. What has been the best piece of advice you have been given? Susan - My mum was

a steadfastly honest real estate agent for 30 years. She taught me to always be honest, as this is fundamental to building successful, respectful relationships, and all clients should be treated with honesty and respect. I also have an old friend (also a retired agent) who said, “Don’t pretend to know everything, because no-one does”; in other words, don’t be embarrassed to ask the right questions and get the right information. Again, this is about being honest and respectful to all parties. What can our readers expect from your business in 2016? Susan - Making more dreams come true. I love my job, and I am passionate about our industry. I will be continuing to provide a high level of customer service (open seven days) and the delivery of expert and professional advice. I will devote my time and energy into achieving the best possible outcomes and working hard to achieve the best possible prices. I will continue to enjoy doing business in the places that I am passionate about, from the mountains to the sea - I just love it all! Joan and Susan - dedicated to serving Harrington and surrounding areas’ real estate needs.

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It’s really important to me that we gel well together as a team, respect each other and have fun.

O Nikki Thornton. Penny McDermott. INSURANCE ADVISERNET Esher Townsend. What was it that first attracted you to your chosen industry? Nikki - My husband had been in insurance, both broking and underwriting and after moving back to Taree, we decided to start our own business. I love the diverse range of clients we have and that we help clients in their darkest times. We take on the stress for them, so they don’t have to worry about the claim - we do it all for them. Penny - I have always been drawn to the helping professions and after working in insurance for several years, I can honestly say, in spite of popular belief, Insurance is a “helping profession”. We work to ensure that our clients understand their risks and insure appropriately so that in the event of a disaster, they are covered and their lives can return to normal as soon as possible.

How do you maintain a successful work environment? Having the right staff helps and we are so blessed to have a wonderful team. Our philosophy is to give family flexibility to our staff, so they don’t miss important milestones in their children’s lives.


What can our readers expect from your business in 2016? We have a new logo and branding coming out to complement what we currently do. This puts the focus on advice before price. It is important to know your risk and what cover is available, so that you can make an educated choice as to what is really important.

What was it that first attracted you to your chosen industry? I loved running (still do), but was constantly injured, no one was helping - I was working as a Sports Therapist and couldn’t fix myself either. A friend pushed me to see a podiatrist. I was so reluctant, told my friend it would be a waste of time, as "don’t they just cut nails"? So wrong! After a full assessment, I was put into a pair of orthoses, and I've never been injured since well, not from running. There have been a few horse-related incidences. I was so impressed, I applied to study Podiatry at university three months later.

We’ll continue to be big supporters of local events like the Troy Bayliss Classic, Manning Mustangs AFL, Dance groups. The more we grow means the more we can give back to the community that we love.

How do you maintain a successful work environment? One, I choose my staff well; I only have the best. It’s really important to me that we gel well together as a team, respect each other and have fun. I’ve been excited to

have Kelsey Cook join us this year; she has a special interest kids' podiatry and loves an ingrowing toenail. It’s important to me that whichever podiatrist you see in the clinic, we all deliver the same high standard of treatment and can provide specialist therapies such as dry needling or mobilisation. What can our readers expect from your business in 2016? The business has grown so much in the past year, which enables me to bring new treatment modalities into the practice. It’s vitally important to keep abreast of new research that is emerging and implement it into practice if the evidence is there to support its use. This month we are trialling a shockwave machine; there is now evidence to support its use for reducing pain in Achilles tendinopathy and plantar fasciitis; I’m looking forward to seeing what results we achieve.

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i Amy. Why did you decide to start up your own business ... What was the inspiration? I guess there were two main things that motivated me to start my own business. One - I realised that if I didn’t step out of my self-doubt and fear, I would forever be helping someone else build their dreams instead of my own and always wondering “what if?” Two - I was discussing this with my friend and now business partner Kerryann Hayes, and we both realised that we were passionate about empowering women and helping them discover their more authentic self, so we decided we should explore this further and see where it takes us … And the rest is history. Describe Travel Play Live in a bit more detail ... What are the aims of the business, and what does it encompass? There are two arms of Travel Play Live. The first one is the magazine, which is where I get to stretch my creative muscles. And the second is our travel arm, where Kerryann’s years of fitness and adventure experience come into their own. Our overarching message for the business is that: • We believe that an adventurous lifestyle is a state of mind, not just for “sexy” people. • We are about encouraging women to seize adventure today and discover their stronger, braver, happier sides. • We believe women of all body shapes, sizes, fitness levels and age can embrace her desire for adventure. • We believe she is ready to start now; there is no such thing as “the right time”. • We are here to support her to think freely

and to make informed decisions on her quality with the “big boys”, we were going to need of life. to be flexible, prepared to pivot our focus at a Your official title with the Travel Play Live moment’s notice and drop things fast if they magazine is Editor-in-Chief. What does weren’t working in our favour. this role involve? We launched the first print issue in spring That may be my “official title”, but 2015, one year later, and boy has that been a anyone who has ever started a business will steep learning curve. know that you end up doing anything and As a start-up, we have had to seek out everything that needs to get done to get you investors - publishing costs are astronomical, across the line. and I can totally understand why Kerryann and I work very so many niche magazines are well as a team, as we both moving to the online space, bring complementing but time and time again se We will showca skills to the table. But, when we spoke to our intelligent , as Editor-in-Chief it is readers we would hear informative, my role to guide the how they didn’t want ntent empowering co direction and set the to spend any more to en that inspires wom ith pace of the magazine. time as a slave to their w e lif choose to live it I help choose the ir devices, so print it was. sp s ou ur an advent ner in r type and style of We crowd funded he e ac br and em content, ensure that part of the costs of our ” . wild our contributors are up first print run. We totally to speed with the theme of underestimated the support an issue, chase up interviews, we would get and probably and I work very closely with our sold ourselves short, as we reached awesome designer on the look and feel of over 80% of our target in the first few the magazine, including the paper stock days and smashed our goal. So if we do that (don’t underestimate the importance of the again, we will definitely up our target. physical feel and smell of the magazine). Balancing out our expectations, with the I liaise with the printer and distributors, realisation that not everyone is in as much of our sales team and work very closely with a rush as we are, has also been a challenge companies and organisations to ensure in terms of getting companies on board to beneficial partnerships for us and our readers. support us. The tide is slowly starting to It’s the role where the buck stops. turn - we are getting our name out there, How long has Travel Play Live been up companies are starting to come to us, but the and running, and what have been some pressure is ALWAYS on. of the biggest challenges/changes you’ve Tell us a bit more about the magazine had to cope with since its launch? - what are some of the topics it usually We officially launched in September 2014 covers, and what format does it take? with an online magazine/blog, and we learnt We are a quarterly print magazine - “The very quickly that if we were going to compete heartbeat of women’s adventure lifestyle”. In

this day and age where people are suffering from technology overload and content fatigue, we saw an opportunity to create a magazine that pushed back against the tide of mainstream media … A place where women could discover their adventurous authentic selves and be empowered to take hold of their lives. We are not in competition with each other. We will not tell a woman what she should do. We will not support a message, programme or event that body shames participators. We will not tell a woman how to get a bikini body or change her appearance to fit into society. We will showcase intelligent, informative, empowering content that inspires women to choose to live life with an adventurous spirit and embrace her inner wild. We are body positive. We are active. We are for wellness - mind, body and spirit. We are for championing every woman, from the start line to the “back of the pack”. What would you say to anyone else who may be considering starting up their own business - especially one that involves mass communication? Any words of advice? Be authentic. There is so much bulls*^! out there online, and people are tired of it. Stand firm in your principles, and most of your decisions are already made. How do people find out more about what you do, or subscribe to your magazine? They can check out our website www. From there, they can subscribe to the magazine or purchase single issues. There are plenty of articles online and if you are interested, our travel calendar is there too. We are also on Facebook and Instagram. Thanks Amy. manning-great focus. focuslakes Special Edition3359

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O Lynda Bryant. THE PHOTOGRAPHY HUB Can you believe it’s almost Easter already?! Wow the year is just flying by! We love our Easter shoots and the kids do too. As part of our Hub Club, our members get a full family shoot each year, as well as 2 themed shoots to choose from.

Jennifer Richardson.


What attracted me to this industry? I grew up competing in athletics and took it to a university level. We had sports therapists working on us and I thought it would be a great career to keep my hand in the sports field and do a physical job that I could travel with, as well as helping people and working in a relaxed environment.

What was it that first attracted you to your chosen

Easter is one of the most popular themes so we’re ready to welcome lots of excited children into the studio soon.

Role model: I come from a family of disciplined, hardworking dreamers and entrepreneurs. My mother had five children, a university degree and a catering business, and she has been very inspiring to me - as well as watching my brothers create successful businesses from just an idea.

We’re making some changes to the set which will be announced soon on our facebook page.

Best piece of advice: Don’t undersell yourself. Your education, time, experience and passion is valuable.

This is a great way to give something special this Easter – not chocolate!

Business goals: To bring more natural therapies to Old Bar and create more awareness of the mind-body connection and help people to tap into the unlimited self healing potential they have through living a natural healthy lifestyle.

Or they can opt for a mini family shoot and four themed shoots!

A keepsake that will be treasured for years to come. The kids will have a ball and leave with a fun goody bag. Join the Hub Club now and book your free Easter shoot.

This is a great way to give something special this Easter – not chocolate! A keepsake that will be treasured for years to come. The kids will have a ball and leave with a fun goody bag. Join the Hub Club now and book your free Easter shoot.

lakes focus. 34 60 manning-great focus Special Edition

What new products or services are you developing in 2016? We have three experienced registered therapists on staff. We offer remedial massage, relaxation, myofascial release, craniosacral therapy, hot stone therapy and corrective excercise therapy. We also sell some natural products, ranging from deodorant to candles. We have foam rollers and fascia balls to aid in stretching your muscles post massage. What’s your best tip for staying on task? Being organised, planning ahead and delegating jobs when things get busy.

industry? I discovered the Virtual Assistant industry almost eight years ago whilst on maternity leave, and I was instantly attracted to the thought of being able to work from home. I had a six month old baby with health issues and knew that it would be difficult to go back to what was expected of working full-time. Becoming a Virtual Assistant gave me the flexibility I needed with my family and the ability to work from home. I was able to continue doing what I loved, but with the added benefit of working with multiple businesses in different industries at the same time. How do you maintain a successful work environment? The nature of our work is so varied and changes in an instant, so I need to be realistic and really understand the number of hours’ work required for each client at any given time. To me, letting down our clients is simply not an option. Learning to say no to a timeframe is hard, but saying yes and not delivering is even harder to swallow. The key to our successful work environment is being highly fluent in the language of flexibility, while still ensuring we stay within the schedule.

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on the


2016 COVER MODELS. Kriste from JMK Solutions, Mia from YMCA, Nikki from Insurance Advisernet and Esther from Mid North Coast Podiatry.

JEWELLERY. Our jewellery was supplied by Occasions Jewellers Forster and Taree. Products from Thomas Sabo and Pandora.



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Hard work, dedication to my profession and identifying when it was time to move on.

O Emalene Gemmell. SOLICITOR What do you like about what you do? Client satisfaction and assisting my clients through the often daunting and at times overwhelming legal process. Every day is different, and every client’s circumstances are unique. I have been fortunate to have had unwavering support and varied experiences that have helped me to achieve my goals. It is because of these strong foundations that I have been able to build a practice which delivers the legal process to my clients in a manner to which it is easy to relate. I enjoy being an advocate and working hard with my clients to achieve the best possible outcomes for each individual case. I am aware of the commercial reality of the legal system and how inaccessible it can be at times, with my skills and training

in Dispute Resolution I enjoy assisting my

How have you created your own

Independent Children’s Lawyer (something I

clients achieve their desired outcomes.

business opportunities? Hard work,

have wanted to be since I sat my final HSC

What are your qualifications?

dedication to my profession and identifying

exam). In celebration of this, I asked the

Bachelor of Arts (Hons)/ Bachelor of Laws,

when it was time to move on. Whether

children in my life who are closest to me


it be the weekly commute from Uralla to Newcastle to rapidly expand my skills in a

to colour my walls happy with their artistic

Masters in Law, University of Aberdeen Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice, College

busy family law practice or a relocation to

of Law, Sydney

the UK to complete my Masters in Family

Diploma in Dispute Resolution, Community

Law, I have embraced the opportunities

Business vision for 2016? What started

Training Australia

as they present. In turn, this has come

seven (7) months ago as a sole practice

Accredited Family Dispute Resolution

with many personal sacrifices for me and

from a home office, now translates to a


those most dear to me. The end result =

shop front. Together with Lorraine and Sue,

Independent Children’s Lawyer

the integration of these experiences into

I intend to continue to work hard to provide

Legal Aid NSW Family Law Panel Member

practise and providing a service which is

my clients with a service which is second to

Legal Aid NSW Care & Protection (Adult)

friendly, empathetic and professional.

none. I want my clients to have the benefit

Panel Member

What do you like most about your new

of sound legal advice in an environment

Legal Aid NSW Criminal Panel Member

premises? In early 2015 I was appointed

which is welcoming, calm and professional.

creations on canvas. To my favourites, you know who you are, thank you.

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We’re very excited that Blissful Blooms is now at Armidale Market Fresh! We now offer gorgeous market fresh flowers both online and in-store.

O Maria Hewitt. CO-OWNER OF ARMIDALE MARKET FRESH What do you specialise in? We are traditional modern greengrocers. Traditional in that we provide fantastic, in-season, Australian fruit and vegetables, and modern because we are always looking at new approaches, products and services to provide our customers. We strive to delight our customers with our quality, range, value and service. Armidale Market Fresh won the Excellence in Customer Service category in last year’s Chamber Awards. What is the secret of your success? Hard work and always listening to our customers. Phil and I are a great team: we sit down and talk to each other, and we are always thinking about what’s next. We also work at making sure we provide good old-fashioned service, and go the extra mile, such as free home delivery within the Armidale town boundary, seven days a week.

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We’ve introduced new product lines such as balloons and flowers. We don’t just sell flowers from the markets; we’ve also hired a professional florist so we can offer professionally arranged flowers at an unbeatable price.

was competing in an ultramarathon, when she was caught in a grass fire and badly burned. Turia is courageous, determined, and has a beautiful spirit. She believes that negativity is contagious and has an outlook on life where the glass is half-full rather than half-empty.

With Aldi coming to town, are you feeling the pinch? Not at all. While we are very proud cheerleaders for shopping local, we think that, as a true blue Aussie Greengrocer, our offering complements any of the supermarkets. Most people shop several times a week, so they can shop one day at a supermarket for things like their canned goods and toilet paper and come to us the next for a huge variety of fruit and veg, safe in the knowledge that our fruit and veg is almost exclusively Australian grown.

And my mum (Noelene Frost) was very hardworking, honest, reliable, and levelheaded. She taught me to believe in myself and to accept that situations happen, to learn from what went wrong, and to be in control of it not happening again. She also taught me that if you want anything in life, you have to work hard for it. My first job was at the fruit market when I was 15! But most of all she taught me love - to love myself, my family and to always be supportive of the people around me, because there is always someone worse off than you.

Who inspires you? Turia Pitt inspires me. She

If you were a superhero, who would you be, and why? Elastigirl from The Incredibles. I could stretch myself in a lot of different directions and be everywhere at once! What’s your superpower? My mum taught me that stuff happens, but it’s how you deal with it that really matters. I’d like to think that staying on course is my superpower. What’s new in 2016? We’re very excited that Blissful Blooms is now at Armidale Market Fresh! We now offer gorgeous market fresh flowers both online and in-store. We can also cater for weddings, parties and special occasions. In 2016 we are going to continue our focus on customer service and keep exploring new ways we can improve the fresh food experience for our customers.

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People are your biggest asset and your greatest risk.

O Bronwyn Pearson. DIRECTOR AND PRINCIPAL CONSULTANT, PINNACLE PEOPLE SOLUTIONS What is your speciality? I have been a HR specialist for more than twenty years, and when the opportunity arose to start my own business, I was able to fulfil a long held vision for giving regional business access to high-quality relevant advice that is normally the domain of the large corporates and city-based business. Our services are tailored to meet the needs of regionally-based small to medium enterprises and the not-forprofit sector. How have you created your own business opportunities? I focus on both community engagement and on business networking. I sit on the Board of the North & North West Community Legal Service and the Senior Common Room of Duval College, UNE and am a member of the Armidale Business Chamber. I sponsor a number of community events such as the Lions Youth of the Year Awards. I am currently the President of the Armidale chapter of Business Network

International (BNI) that has proven invaluable in connecting me not only with local businesses, but with contacts regionally and nationally. I firmly believe in local and regional businesses supporting each other. What have been your biggest challenges? When we launched, it quickly became clear that there was significant unmet demand. So rather than a gentle ramping up of demand over a period of time, I had to hit the ground running. Fortunately, today’s clients are increasingly coming to see me to review their HR risk so we can head off problems before they become a serious issue. This is important, as ignorance isn’t a defence under the law and for too many businesses, their staff know more about their rights and obligations than they do. What was your best investment when you first started up? A lot of start-ups wait for

a year or two before investing in professional services such as accounting, legal, HR and marketing. I wanted to have solid foundations for my business from the start. One of the more visible things I did was invest in brand strategy. I wanted to have my business and its direction clearly articulated from the outset, and I wanted the business’ branding and communications to reflect that from day one. This has really supported my growth. Which business women inspire you? Anita Roddick, founder of the Body Shop, because she began with a concern for community and advocated for ethical consumerism. She inspired me to think about how HR services could support growing and sustainable regionally-based businesses and communities. Naomi Simson is the founder of RedBalloon. Her idea was to sell experiences and memories

instead of gifts. I really appreciate her business acumen and tenacity. She went after something that was completely unique. She is also renowned for the ethical approach to how she engages with, and treats, her staff. Which superhero would you be? Batman, because he’s not super human; he’s an ordinary person who uses his knowledge, intellect, determination and invention to successfully protect the good guys. And there’s something quite fetching about wearing a cape and your undies on the outside! And what’s your superpower? I’m a company’s best defence against inadvertently breaching their employment obligations. What’s ahead in 2016? I’m currently exploring technological solutions to support multi-site HR service delivery for my larger clients and enhance client service experience.

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ell us a bit about yourself ... I grew up on the North Shore of Sydney and scratched my way up to management level in marketing and recruitment, mainly in the tourism sector. I have travelled the world and Australia extensively both with work and personally. If I were to revisit anywhere, it would be Petra, Jordan. That place took my breath away, and Italy is still firmly entrenched on my bucket list. In 2005 I was stagnant, bored, and tired of suits and high heels. This, coupled with my lack of agreeable option to buy into the Sydney market, became my aha moment. So, I stopped and bought a ‘50s red brick home in Nowra and, bingo, in the same year I achieved my greatest honour and my son, Charlie emerged into the world. In 2007 I opened my first business, which was a retail outlet called Melrose Parade, despite some negativity. This decision allowed me to pool together my work experience from the corporate world and successfully embark on my dream to own my own business, with the freedom to inject some creativity in my work life - which was what I always yearned to do more of. Art was my passion at school, and I was always at my best when I was creating something. From Nowra I opened two more stores (both in Terrigal), which meant I had to rent an apartment there. This was where Love Bomb Designs was brought to life. As a very adamant landlord gave me strict instructions that nothing was to touch the walls of my rental, not even blue tack, I knew I had to find a way, as being an décor design addict this was not good news to my

ears. In 2013 I moved to Uralla NSW, bought a tiny 100 year old cottage that I renovated, well am still renovating (does it ever end?) and spend the majority of my time designing the range, developing the packaging and forecasting the strategies of Love Bomb moving forward. At the end of 2014 I opened a pop up store with my friend Felicity Nivison, who owns Letto Bello Linen, and our little pop up store grew into Highland Living Uralla. Tell us more about your first wall dot; what was the process for creating your first one, and what was the design? Initially I designed two, which I keep in the range as my signature designs. I wanted a stag type one in neutrals for my lounge room and a sort of vintage floral that popped a bit of colour for my bedroom. It was not an easy process. It took about six months to find the images I could work with and how to edit like a pro, track down the adhesive fabric that worked, who could print them and what sizes would work best. When the day came to order, I added extra for my stores, and as I secretly expected, they were a bit of a hit. When it comes to designing, where do you find inspiration? I believe my travels and experiences fuel my designs, and my personal style drives them. I find inspiration in many ways, but a few of those would be when I take a break from the routine of life, when I read or watch a story of an inspirational person, or when I am in the company of creative driven friends and loved ones talking about our mutual goals in life. What is the process for manufacturing the wall dots? Is it all completed here in Uralla? Initially they were being printed in Melbourne, but after much collaboration with Thunder

Graphics I was able to move the entire process to little Uralla town, which I get great satisfaction out of. Production has increased, so now I am also using Armidale City Signs to do some of the printing, especially now with the canvas range. You’ve introduced a series of canvases and wall hangings to your catalogue; what else is on the horizon? OK, I have Wylde and Wyse, Uralla, who are the suppliers of the soaps I carry in Highland Living, making a range of high end soy candles that we are still at the table with. We are going to pour them into handmade cement tumblers, and they will be branded under the Love Bomb Designs umbrella. I have also designed a range of linen tea towels that will be released in mid 2016, and I aim to have my own range of cushions and throws in store ready for the Christmas rush. I know, I know who talks about Christmas in February, but we retailers have to plan ahead. As a business woman and a mother, how do you keep a work/life balance? A big part of my decision to move here was so that I could maintain a balance. Up until my move to Uralla, Charlie was such a patient little off-sider, spending so much time in the stores, or on the road with me. I tried to spend quality time with him, but it wasn't happening. By moving here, I knew I could structure a life where I could give Charlie more time, but still set a good work ethic example for him. I also moved here so that Charlie could go to a good school and enrolled him in The Armidale School. I would not have opened Highland Living if I didn't have Felicity as a business partner. We manage the working relationship seamlessly, allowing each other the flexibility to tend to family commitments and our businesses’ needs. As we share

a passion for creativity and interior design, we really bounce well off each other as our individual businesses grow. We also love that we can showcase other designers and artists from the region in Highland Living. I think you have to keep in the back of your mind that your hard work needs reward, and take some down time. My partner and I both have our own businesses and kids, and have worked hard all our lives, so we decided this year to take five weeks off and travel up to Darwin, camping in the National Parks (I just have to figure out how to operate my hair dryer on the road). I feel that this time will allow us the head space to reflect, forward plan and return to the table with renewed passion and energy. Do you have any advice to give other women aiming to reach their goals? Ignore at all costs negativity, tackle obstacles head on (they are a lesson) and under no circumstances listen to self doubt. Value your creative expression, happiness and strength (especially in transitional times), move forward gracefully, and remember we are all a work in progress. What do you think the key to success is? Be saddened by greed, validate your passions and dreams, acknowledge your successes in family and life as well as in business, don’t get overwhelmed by your to do list; instead, reflect on your achievements, cultivate the habit of being grateful, and hold the vision and trust the process. Locally Love Bomb Designs are stocked in The Old Bell Tower, Tamworth - Melissa Simmonds Art, Inverell - Café Graze, Walcha, and of course ... Highland Living, Uralla. Thanks Sonia.

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What do you specialise in? VIVID acts as the Marketing Manager for its clients, on a retainer basis, or for one-off projects. VIVID’s business is, to date, 100% repeat-andreferral based.

has been my mum, a working mother when

How long have you owned your own

so passionate about Ella Baché. Creating

all my friends’ mums stayed at home. She

business? I took over the business when

employment for local women is also

worked hard and truly led by example. When

the salon was called Anna Louise Skin &

something I feel I have achieved for our

she was in her 60s, she fulfilled a lifelong

Beauty in 2003 from my mother. At that

dream and started her own restaurant. She’s

Armidale community. I’m also a member of

stage there was just myself and one other

Why the change to VIVID thinking? To better reflect what we do and why we do it. Brand is so much more than a logo, and I believe that if you get the thinking right first, you will get significantly better outcomes. And this has been backed up by my customers’ experiences.


the Ella Baché Franchise Advisory Council

therapist working in the salon. In 2006 we had to relocate the salon because of the

for NSW, which I have been on for two

Which superhero would you be? Definitely Wonder Woman. She fought the

redevelopment in the area of the plaza. At

bad guys without ever resorting to violence.

this stage, I decided it was an ideal time to

What lies ahead in 2016? For solopreneurs

convert to an Ella Baché franchise salon, as

“My goal was to double my revenue in two years, which we achieved in 2015. Our brand strategy, developed by VIVID, was the most significant contributor to this outcome,” Steve, High Country Productions.

ongoing basis often isn’t financially viable.

Which businesswoman inspires you and why? The most influential woman in my life

years. It gives me great insight into what happens on a national level with the Ella Baché franchise group.

it was always my vision to do this. I now

Business vision for 2016? This year marks

have a team of eight working the salon and

10 years in our Dangar Street premises and

They need to be able to take their brand

have a much bigger space, growing from a

being a franchised Ella Baché salon. This

strategies and plans and DIY. So VIVID is

small four cubicle salon to a large six room

year we have a few renovations planned to

launching a DIY Marketing Tool Box and

with shower and retreat area facilities.

freshen the look of the salon and also some

hands-on workshop series, where businesses

How have you created your own

innovative new technologies and products

can learn to DIY and still get professional

business opportunities? Becoming a

to offer our clients. It will be an exciting


franchise was a big goal of mine, as I am

year ahead.

and start-ups, using an agency on an


TREATMENT BOOSTER With your next Signature Facial for instantly glowing skin (Valued at $20) ELL A BACHÉ ARMIDALE T: 02 6772 7089 | Shop 5, 111 Dangar Street, Armidale NSW 2350 E: | W: *Available exclusively for a limited time only. Bookings essential. Not available in conjunction with any other offer or gift voucher. 1st - 31st March 2016. This salon is independently owned and operated.

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O Gayle Kee. CO-OWNER TG’S CHILD CARE What is your speciality? My career has always been in early childhood education, but it is so much more than that. Providing an environment where children can learn with joy is something I truly believe in. Our motto is “Playing is learning for life”, and our learning experiences are designed so that our children can most effectively learn through play, meet the required educational standards, and simply have great fun in a loving and supportive environment. One of our Uralla mums, Amanda Adams, described it best: “FUN! When you walk in you are met with vibrant activity, busy friends, dancing, painting, gardening, waterplay, cooking, picking fruit and salads from the garden and the subsequent picnics. World Pirate Day, treasure hunts, parties - every day is fun.” How have you created your own business opportunities? Firstly, in child care reputation

is everything. And of course, reputation is founded on the quality of care and education, the meals you provide, your staff, how you communicate, and whether you go above and beyond the everyday. Secondly, one of the most important things we have done was hire a business coach, who worked with us to develop a growth mindset. Most recently we have discovered the power of networking, joining a business group where we get to proactively engage with fellow business owners. Each week we make new connections or business opportunities. And the collegiality in the group is a huge bonus. What have been your biggest challenges? Eighteen months ago our business was shaky, not because we weren’t doing well, but because we were growing so fast we didn’t have the systems in place to support our

growth. We’d grown very quickly from one centre to two and then three and four. Thank goodness we found the professional support we needed in Armidale. We realised we needed to learn how to run a multi-site business so that it was sustainable and replicable, and we worked with our business coach, Diane Gray from Grayheart, who helped us work on systems and culture, and how to build great teams so that we can ensure that all of our centres have the same high quality standards and nurturing environment. Which businesswoman inspires you and why? It’s surprisingly difficult to pick just one. I started participating actively in a business networking group around 18 months ago, and the professional women I have found in that group have been tremendously inspiring, both professionally and personally.

Which superhero would you be? Captain Feathersword! He’s energetic and playful. He has a crew that all have bright and cheerful personalities, and he has a feather-sword for fun and spreading magic. What’s your superpower? Building relationships and understanding the gifts each of our team and children have to give and helping them reach their fullest potential. What’s ahead in 2016? We are focusing on updating our Uralla centre with an amazing new room for 0 - 2-year-olds, playground upgrades and bathroom facilities. In addition, we will be opening new services in Glen Innes, Tamworth and Port Macquarie. Our centres are custom designed and built, with natural landscapes designed to facilitate imaginative play, so it’s going to be a very big year - and, of course, an exciting one!

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Every day at The Powerhouse is different. With an amazing staff of 40, we work extremely hard in an industry that never stops.

O Di Gray. GRAYHART What do I love about what I do? I love to see people in regional areas, enjoying what they do in the workplace and by people, I mean business owners, CEOs, managers, supervisors and employees. It’s great to help people challenge themselves and their businesses or workplace, so they get to the next level. As a result, they create what is important to them, and for most that means a happier, more functional, more productive workplace with people who want to be there, utilising systems and processes to get best results, and implementing communication strategies that work. When this happens, they find there is more time for them, more time with family and friends and less of the long days while enjoying increases in sales, therefore business growth is inevitable. It’s a win/win.

offers... GrayHeart offers a diverse range of services in individual or group settings, because we tailor to the needs of each client, whether it is individuals, teams or businesses. Our services include: Culture and Strategy Development, Strategic and Operational Planning, Systems Analysis, Leadership Training and Coaching, Team development, People Skills Coaching, Succession Planning, Behaviour Profiling and Career Coaching. Do you have any projects for 2016? With more and more clients now on board, the major project for 2016 is to create the membership portal on our website. It’s very exciting, because it will give clients a place to tap immediately into training modules and other resources when they need them, with no waiting.

How long have you been in the hospitality industry? Since birth! I remember working every school holiday and loving it. I finished my secondary education at NEGS and completed a hotel management degree at Ecole Hoteliere in Lausanne, Switzerland. I have worked full-time ever since, both here and overseas. What do you love most about what you do? The variety and the people! Every day at The Powerhouse is different. With an amazing staff of 40, we work extremely hard in an industry that never stops. It is exciting to see our departments (reception, housekeeping, food and beverage, events and maintenance) come together to make our guests happy. I get immense satisfaction from exceeding guest expectations on a daily basis. How have you created your own business opportunities? By realising that a family owned company based in a regional area must offer quality

product, innovation and service at an international level. Never compromise and always strive to improve. Technology and social media are both game changers in our industry. Which business women inspire you and why? I am most inspired by Sara Blakely, the founder of Spanx. She went from selling an undergarment that nobody would buy to having one of the largest underwear companies in America in just 15 years. She still owns 100% of the company and was named the world’s youngest, self-made female billionaire by Forbes Magazine and one of TIME’s 100 Most Influential People. Plans for the future? At The Powerhouse we’re currently extending our meeting and events facilities by 40% to bring a new style of conferencing and weddings to Armidale. We’re committed to enhancing the guest experience through innovation and outstanding customer service.


Share with us the services GrayHeart



Privilege Card

Join The Powerhouse dining loyalty program, Privilege Card and receive: • Buy 1, Get 1 Free Lunch • 10% Dinner Discount • Exclusive Offers Conditions apply, see website.

Open every day over Easter for all day dining! Armidale 6772 7788 Tamworth 6766 7000

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O Uphill & Schaefer. Uphill & Schaefer Real Estate are a local team working for a local community. Our group of 12 consists of 10 women in business, including two directors, four administration and four property managers. Gail Schaefer and Julie Schaefer lead the team (along with their business partner, Shane Kliendienst) and are the longest serving female real estate agents in Armidale. Gail and Julie have their finger on every button and an eye on all aspects of the business, overseeing the property management department, office administration along with their full-time sales commitments. In every part of running a business, Gail and Julie’s principles are the same. They strongly believe in honesty, intergrity and personalised service. Women business leaders inspire other women to pursue their dreams; they also find it easier to balance business and family outside the traditional

Denise Aldridge & Lea McMillan. HOUSE WITH NO STEPS corporate world. Tastes and trends will always change, and as women we definitely understand the ups and downs of our dynamic real estate market. Uphill & Schaefer are a hardworking, professional, dedicated and highly qualified team. We strive to make every experience the best experience. Due to our commitment to the local community, we have earned our reputation as the trusted name in real estate. Since 1971 we have provided Armidale and surrounds with our expertise in real estate, to make sure every client achieves the best outcome. The whole team is great to work with. We are all great friends, which makes our job a lot easier. The majority of our working women have young families, and having such a great relationship creates a great work life balance. Call the team at Uphill & Schaefer on 6772 1200 for all your real estate needs.

What are your roles? Denise is House with No Steps Area Manager for the New England and North West regions of NSW, and Lea McMillan is Support Manager for the New England region.

What do you like about what you do? We love being part of people’s life journey. It’s wonderful seeing an individual become more independent and more involved and connected with their community.

Remind us of what HWNS does? House with No Steps is one of Australia’s leading disability service providers, dedicated to giving people with a disability greater choice, control, and freedom - empowering them to live life on their own terms.

It’s really fulfilling to be able to support people to achieve their goals and dreams, especially when sometimes they thought it might not have been possible.

How long have you been in the industry? Denise has been working in disability services for over 30 years now. She started in the 1980s as a support worker and has worked in a number of different positions to get to where she is today. Lea is a bit newer to the industry and has been working in disability services for five years so far.

What make HWNS unique? At House with No Steps we focus on an individual and their interests and goals, working in partnership with them and their family. We also work closely with other providers, disability and mainstream, to provide the best supports available for a person - even if this means HWNS will not necessarily provide the support.

“I love how the people who support me like and understand me. I love that my staff are my friends” Hannah

House with No Steps is a leading provider of quality, flexible and innovative services tailored to your needs. For more information or to book an appointment, call 0424 036 182 or email

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NICOLA WILKINS Mollydale Yarns


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hen and why did you first get involved in yarn dyeing? In the ‘70s I had an opportunity to work in a shearing shed as rouse-about and general shedhand. I helped out for three shearing seasons and loved it! The property grew superfine Merino wool and at the end of the shearing, I was given some of the coloured fleeces. This was a wonderful gift and opportunity - I immediately decided to learn how to spin. At the time I was living in Sydney’s inner west and had found a shop in Crown Street Surrey Hills that sold spinning wheels, looms and all things associated with the craft. I purchased an Ashford spinning wheel. As it turned out, learning to spin with Merino superfine was not easy - I was at the point of throwing the wheel out the window! However, I found a teacher who helped me get started. Much better to be shown the correct way by someone who knows. So, from there I was up and running. My interest grew and a natural progression was to start dyeing the yarn. This was work I could do at home while my children were young. During this time, I started a business with a friend; we called our label Maree Knows, and we made garments from hand spun, hand-dyed yarns. Fair isle patterns were mostly what we did. They looked great, and we sold them at The Rocks in Sydney. It was fortuitous that my aunt, who was then living in Tasmania, sent me a pattern to make knitted/felted hats. She

also enjoyed working with woollen fibres and had contacts who sold me wholesale yarns. My inspiration grew further. Maree Knows folded up and in its place I set up my own business, Mollydale Knits. I had several women knitting for me while I dyed and felted the hats. For several years I exhibited at the Australian Craft Show and the Sydney Easter Show, selling felted hats and hand dyed yarns. I was also supplying shops around the country. Tell us about the process ... My method for dyeing the yarn is pretty basic. Water is brought to boiling point in electric vats, and the dye is “taken up” by the yarn. Some skeins are dyed several times. It’s pretty time consuming, but the results can be very pleasing. What do you love most about what you do? My workspace is on my verandah, recently set up as part of a renovation, to enable me to work at home, with vats bubbling away. And the view is wonderful! I’m somewhat hyperactive: I can have twenty jobs on the go about the place while I’m dyeing yarns. I’m pretty lucky. Creating colourways is what I love to do, and this work has sustained me over the years - it’s not just about the income. To “lose oneself” creating a wonderful, colourful product - and earning an income from it - yes, I’m really lucky. How is hand dyeing different to factory processing? Hand dyeing gives a different quality to the yarn. My vats are not huge, therefore dye lots are not large - but they will be unique. This is why it’s important, when purchasing hand dyed yarns, to buy more than you think you’ll need, because

repeating the colourway in the multi coloured range to be exactly like another lot is impossible. Often quirky colour combinations can result in a very interesting pattern when knitted, creating a beautiful effect. My yarns are sold at the Uralla Wool Room. I also sell the yarn wholesale to shops and craft groups around Australia. You have owned the Uralla Wool Room for ten years now; tell us about this business ... In 2006 I purchased the Uralla Wool Room from Margot Fleming. The shop sells Merino wool and natural fibre garments and accessories. Much of what we sell is manufactured in Australia. I’ve extended the business by selling yarns, and running knitting classes at the shop. Plans for the future? Recently we have increased the range of yarns and patterns, and I have more plans to extend the area at the back of the building for a display area for yarns, patterns and accessories. The hope is to have space to accommodate larger knitting and crochet groups as numbers are increasing. The knitting and crochet groups have been meeting for several months now. Many wonderful creations have been started and completed. We hope the word will spread and more people will take the opportunity to join the groups it’s an opportunity to sit and create and discuss your projects with others who share your interests. It’s a time to enjoy a couple of hours away from what is often a hectic life for many us! I don’t think I’ll ever stop working with yarns and colour. Thanks Nicola.

Creating colourways is what I love to k do, and this wor e m d ne has sustai s it’ s ar ye e over th e th t ou ab st ju not income ...”

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O Hutchinson & Harlow. THE TEAM


How long have you been in the real estate industry? Meg - I came in to help out for a couple of weeks in 2004, and 12 years later I’m still here. Rhonda - three and a half years and all with HH Real Estate, and I still enjoy every day. Helen - Since 2011. I can’t actually believe it’s been five years! Katrina - seven years - wow, that has gone so fast!

Hot yoga delivers great health results.

What’s your role? Hi, I’m the owner operator of Reflections

Bikram Yoga has been delivering great health results for practitioners over the 12 months it has been running in Armidale.

Hair Studio. I am also a colour specialist/technician for Davines.

Both men and women have participated regularly in the 90 minute sessions in a heated room at the studio at 82 Rusden St.

as passionate as the day I started.

Teacher Jo Neilson, who introduced Bikram to the city after intensive training in Los Angeles and Sydney, says the outcomes have been even more positive than she expected.

have them walking out feeling like a new person!

Bikram Yoga was created for people with broken bodies. People with hip and knee problems, back pain, nerve pain and arthritis, suffering stress and depression, high blood pressure, insomnia and other ills have reported dramatic improvements.

techniques and much gentler colouring and chemical service

“It’s been much more popular that I expected in the first year,” Jo says. “People appreciate that they can participate at their own level and take breaks as they need them. Nothing is forced.”

direction gives our clients higher quality service and products.

Working in a heated room warms up muscles and allows them to stretch more safely and easily. The Bikram Yoga series addresses every single part of the body, every muscle, joint, gland and organ.

relationships with clients, many of whom have become great

It’s a great way to repair injuries, increase energy and improve general health and fitness.

become a first class stylist. Also, working alongside Dannii

What do you love most about what you do? Meg - I never get tired of looking at property. I also love it when our buyers find their perfect home. Rhonda - Guiding clients and being part of their excitement when buying and selling their home. Helen - Seeing the diverse range of homes in our beautiful city. It’s so lovely that we have a town that can provide all types of property. Katrina - Getting to know people and finding them their “dream” home. Plans for the future? Meg - I’m hoping for lots more travelling, reading, cooking, gardening and studying. Rhonda - Looking forward to doing up our newly purchased home with my partner, Russell, and my two daughters. Helen - To travel with my family and to achieve some personal goals. Katrina - Finishing off my house, enjoying my daughter and continuing to work in the industry.

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Samantha Dell. REFLECTIONS HAIR STUDIO How long have you been in the industry? I have been hairdressing for nearly 13 years in the Armidale region, and I’m What do you love about your job? I love making people feel good about themselves and creating new looks for people and How have you seen your industry change over the years? The industry has changed in the way we do things, with new products. Most companies have now adopted the Sulphate Paraben free concept, using organically sourced ingredients also. The nature of the job hasn’t changed, however; the new How have you created your own business opportunities? I have created my own business opportunities by working hard to establish a successful business and working on having great friends also. What’s your vision for 2016? Continuing to provide high quality service along with teaching and inspiring Hannah to Goodwin - Dannii’s Beauty Room.

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Founder of Annie K Communication Matters and winner of the Armidale Business Chamber 2015 Excellence in Business Ethics Award.

Jane, you have been a local business woman for many

What do you specialise in? I specialise in personal and professional development training programmes, essential people skills, communication, and staff development programmes.

helping them find what they are looking for, whether it be for

years now. What do you love most about what you do? People. It is such a pleasure to work with friendly customers, themselves or a gift.

How long have you owned Face 2 Face Salon? In March this year I will have owned Face 2 Face Beauty Salon for seven years. Tell us about the salon?

What is unique about your business?

I have eight staff working for me: six fully qualified beauty

In a small city like Armidale, I think it is important to carve

therapists, myself, Terry, Heidi, Meg, Tegan and Jenna.

How have you created your own business opportunities? I am actively involved in our community, I continue my own personal and professional development, and I focus on how I can serve others.

out your own niche. We started as a “POP UP” Christmas

Marg is my receptionist/manager, and Sophie is our part-

Shop and are now permanently “Things With A Difference”.

time receptionist.

We also now specialise in unqiue giftware, Australiana,

We provide a wide range of beauty services which can be

indoor and outdoor furniture, homewares and much more.

found on our website, including electrolysis, and we have

What inspires you and why? My inspiration comes from giving people the tools to develop their communication skills, so that their personal and professional relationships are strengthened.

Customers often comment that we are a happy shop.

a fully qualified cosmetic tattooist who comes regularly to

We source products with all different styles and tastes in

the salon.

mind. We also pride ourselves on bringing new trends to the

We have a wide range of products, such as Clarins,

shop, and we are always looking for those items a bit left of

Dermalogica and Napoleon Perdis products.

I understand you have a programme designed just for women? Women are often guilty of overcommitting themselves, because they don’t want to offend people, they are afraid to say no to work requests, or they are not assertive enough about timelines. The Women in Business programme is designed to help women gain more confidence in business and to balance their personal and professional priorities.


fantastic range of products.

Our main goal is to have every client who leaves the salon

The future? You will see an exciting new suite of learning opportunities in 2016. I am embracing advances in technology to expand the options for my clients’ learning experiences.

We also welcom Pam Baldwin to the team, with the idea

feeling they have had the absolute best treatment. We

of spending more time with my husband, Greg, in his

want people to look good and feel even better when they


leave Face 2 Face.

Plans for 2016? As always, “Christmas” and all that goes with it is very important to us here at “Things With a DIfference”, so we are already gearing up for Christmas 2016. It is only 10 months away… In the meantime, we will continue with our

What is your main focus at Face 2 Face Beauty Salon? Client satisfaction and relaxing treatments are the main focus of the salon. The girls are constantly updating their knowledge in an ever changing industry. What are your main goals?

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O Melissa Sharpe. ELDERS INSURANCE Tell us about yourself ... Born in Tenterfield, I have grown up in the Armidale district for over 20 years, attending Chandler Public School and later PLC Armidale. After school I commenced working for Elders Insurance in 2006. I have a gorgeous daughter, Imogen, who’s nearly 4. She has just started Pre-Kinder at PLC and loves going to the school that Mummy went to. Tell us about your last 10 years at Elders Insurance: I started on a two year work based traineeship and studied a Certificate 3 in Financial Services/General Insurance. After my traineeship, I became a Sales Support Officer responsible for general enquiries and office duties. Later when the business grew, I moved into processing insurance claims and product sales, which I found very interesting. The business then expanded in 2013 when we purchased Elders Insurance Tamworth and Gunnedah. This gave me the opportunity for promotion and to become the Group Insurance Services Manager and Armidale Office Manager. My role now is managing staff in all three offices, ensuring the standard we offer our clients remains nothing short of exceptional, debtors, and renewal management for the group. What do you like about your job? Honestly, everything! I have a great role within the business which gives me a perfect work/ family balance and the opportunities my bosses, Ben and Trudy Page have given me are endless, for which I am truly grateful. I am fortunate enough to work for great bosses who have become part of my family.

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Tracy Le Messurier.

Lynda Lynch.



How long have you worked for NE FOCUS? I have worked at FOCUS for nine years and counting. I work with the best group of people ever … There would not be a FOCUS in New England if it were not for our loyal advertisers and contributors, so thank you to all of you.

How long have you worked at NE FOCUS? I have worked at New England FOCUS for almost four years now. We have a dynamic team, and we love what we do.

What do you love most about what you do? I love the people! Every client becomes much more than a business associate: friendships are formed every day. I love that our readers love FOCUS and look forward to it every month. Our design team is awesome, and I am so proud to have been the longest serving staff member. Every issue that I have worked on, which is 106 now, has a special meaning to me. Why should businesses consider advertising in FOCUS? Even if I was not apart of this great team, I would still have to say we have the best print media product in regional NSW. We are a positive media and news service, which is easy to read and beautifully presented. To Be Seen ... It’s always FOCUS. Plans for the future? God willing, to still be able work with this great team and continue to give my clients the best service I can possibly provide. Thanks to my son, Eric, and his partner, Emma, I now have a granddaughter, Poppy and a grandson, Ryder. I want to spoil them as much as I can, visit my other children, Myles, Anne and Ben more often (hopefully more grandchildren … no pressure) and do lots of road trips with my marvellous husband, Greg.

What do you love most about what you do? We often meet with new and interesting people from the community, business owners, and people from all walks of life. I love working with the client to get best possible exposure for their business. Why should businesses choose to advertise in FOCUS? It's an amazing publication, and a lot of hard work goes in behind the scene. We have great exposure for the New England region. It's a great read and keeps the community up to date with what is happening in the community. Plans for the future? To keep doing what we do here at New England FOCUS, meeting more people in this wonderful community. Spending more time with the family. Enjoy being back home in the beautiful New England, looking forward to our next horse ride. Looking forward to a great 2016.

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New range of local books just arrived


n atio . m r nfo rists.. i r isito for tou v r you ot just is n e r t cen

an d

Hig hw

d Ben Lomon

 nd Highw a y

Old A rm idale Road



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Gr af to

Hig hw ay an d



da d

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W ollo mo mb i - W gw o n ib



Oxley Wild Rivers National Park



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Long Point

Cunnawarra National Park

Dangars Gorge

Georges Junction

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Wattle Flat


Gara Gorge



West Kunderang iR an Mir




Wa olts derb Thun


Wollun R d




East Kunderang

Oxley Wild Rivers National Park



New England National Park

Styx River State Forest




Point Lookout

Ras p berry Rd

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la - Bend em ala

Wollomombi & Chandler Falls

Bakers Creek Falls d

Metz Gorge

int Loo ko




Carrai National Park Oxley Wild Rivers National Park



Walcha Road



World Heritage National Parks •

waterfalls • gorges • rainforest •

Oxley Highw ay

unique wildlife

Riverside Budds Mare


To Tamworth

Apsley Falls

ay ghw Hi ley Ox

Thunderbolt s Way

To Gloucester

Werrikimbe National Park


To Port Macquarie

Willi Willi National Park

Tia Falls


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a nd H igh a w y



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ay sW olt


Trout Hatchery Grafto n Rd

Deeargee Woolshed

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C a st led


Oxley Wild Rivers National Park Gostwyck Chapel

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Cathedral Rock National Park Cathedral Rock


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Dangars Lagoon

Thunderbolt’s Rock B org ers R





Pine Forest



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al Arm id


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h garsleig Rd Dan

Rocky River nR d


R le oy

Uralla - Kin gst o






Rd reat Ret

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Saumarez Homestead






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derb olt


Th or p le

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Ur alla -Ki ng sto wn

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Pu ddled



Boorolong Rd

Invergowrie un

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Ebor Falls

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Rd ale

Kilc oy Rd

Mount Yarrowyck Nature Reserve


Gu yra -Eb or Rd


Thunderbolt’s Cave

Dumaresq Dam

d Allingh am s R

Weekends are all about spending time with my beautiful family and drinking good wine with friends.





Well, anyone who knows me can answer this! I love training at Creighton PT … Believe it or not, I love getting up early every morning and smashing myself before I start work!

Gu yraEb or Rd



Rive r dir Gwy

What do I enjoy doing when not at work?

Malpas Dam

People looking to move, or who have recently relocated to Armidale, frequently visit the centre to gather information, and have a chat to a “local”. Welcome to Armidale packs have been established containing a wide variety of information to assist people in settling in, or alternatively, assist them in making a decision to relocate to our region. The favourite part of my role is having the opportunity to take visiting journalists on familiarisation trips of the region. This occasionally includes 4WD adventures through the beautiful New England High Country wilderness. It is a wonderful experience to be there when journalists witness the wonder of our gorges, national parks and waterfalls.

Business Vision for 2016 Our ultimate goal is for the New England High Country to be as well known and recognised as the Blue Mountains. We will continue to work collaboratively with the seven Councils that make up New England High Country and build on our current marketing campaigns; My Favourite Corner is a marketing campaign that is targeting motorbike riders, and this year we will commence our Outdoor Adventures marketing campaign.

n wE Ne

Boorolong Nature Reserve


le ida Arm

Guy Fawkes River National Park



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seeing new ideas being transformed into informative and professionally presented information flyers, resulting in a Visitor Information Centre packed with excellent information that has been researched, written and designed by the volunteers.


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The new centre enables visitors to readily find information, as well as beautiful imagery to entice visitors to explore the region. The Armidale Heritage Tour operates six days per week and provides visitors with an informative snapshot of the city and its history. This free tour is often the highlight for a visit to Armidale and frequently results in visitors remaining in the region for additional nights. The Armidale Visitor Information Centre actively promotes local events through an online event calendar, as well as a weekly “what’s on” listing distributed to all accommodation venues.


Mother of Ducks Lagoon

To Grafto

To Glen Innes Guyra-Ebor

Rd igh ersle ald

Black Mountain


The volunteers at the Visitor Information Centre are a daily highlight. It’s wonderful

To Inverell


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One of the greatest highlights was Armidale receiving #3 Hottest Travel Destination and then listed as a Bucket List Destination by the Australian Traveller Magazine. This provided us with a wonderful platform to continue our development of New England High Country.


l ng Ne w E


Highlights of my job ... The restoration and refurbishment of the Visitor Information Centre and transforming it from drab and daggy to a beautiful space that showcases our region was the first highlight of my role. The new centre enables visitors to readily find information, as well as beautiful imagery to entice visitors to explore the region.

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What is my role at the Visitor Information Centre? As Co-Ordinator of the Visitor Information Centre, I am responsible for the day to day operation and management of 32 volunteers and staff. We look after on average 60,000 visitors per year, and these include visitors to Armidale, UNE students, new residents, local businesses, accommodation providers and Armidale locals. The Armidale Visitor Information Centre provides a wide range of information services, predominantly for visitors to the region as well as locals, businesses and people looking to relocate to the area. The information provided covers a range of topics and can be loosely classified as anything a visitor to the area (whether on business or pleasure) may require.



The Armidale Visitor Information Centre boasts a huge range of travel information, National Parks brochures, maps and all kinds of gifts from books and postcards to locally made art & craft. Pop in and have a chat with knowledgeable staff.

82 Marsh St • 6770 3888

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Vicky Kemberey. TRAVEL 195

What do you specialise in? I am a physiotherapist with a special interest in treating patients with complex conditions. As a physiotherapist, I see a lot of preventable injuries and conditions. As a result, I saw the need for programmes focused on workplace assessment, risk prevention and wellbeing services. And so, Workhealth Australia was born. And it is not just about worker wellbeing. We help business improve their bottom line by reducing business risk and insurance costs and improving employee productivity.

What’s your role? I am owner/manager of Travel & Adventure 195 with my husband Neal - he looks after the Outdoor Adventure gear side, and I look after the travel side of things. How long have you been in the industry? Too long! I started in Brisbane back in 1991, so I guess that makes it a silver jubilee year for me this year! I can’t really believe it’s been 25 years - they say time flies when you’re having fun, and most of the time this job is fun. What do you love about your job? I really love the diversity of the job - no two clients want exactly the same thing, so it’s interesting and fun helping people realise their dreams. It’s not only people wanting to visit different places; people also have vastly different needs when it comes to what they want to do when they get to where they are going. People have very different ideas on what “makes” a holiday - I’ve sent people white water kayaking in Siberia, and I’ve also sent people to places like the

How is what you do unique? Our service includes face-to-face assessment and intervention and an online delivery component. The online delivery includes follow-up consultations based on structured individual rehabilitation plans. By using digital technology to deliver a portion of our services, we can provide a faster, more effective service and reduces business costs,

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without compromising on quality. How have you created your own business opportunities? There was an opportunity in the market, and I decided to explore it. Once I thought it was viable, I sat down and did strategic planning and set some clear goals. From there, it’s largely been a result of networking, referrals, cold-calling and hard work. Who inspires you and why? Miles Franklin; she was born in 1879 in rural Australia, making a significant impact for woman against the odds - being both rural and a woman. She achieved this through hard work, tenacity, and a sharp intellect, underscored by obvious talent. What lies ahead in 2016? I’m focused on building Workhealth Australia into a successful business and intend to expand in the Coffs Coast and New England North West areas and further afield.

Maldives, where they just want to chill out on a beautiful beach - and everything in between. How have you seen your industry change over the years? Like everything else and every other industry, it would have to be the internet that’s had the most impact, but I have to say all of it has been positive. I love that people go online to have a look at “what’s out there”, and then they come in and get me to put it all together for them. The internet is useful in a broad sense, but as most travellers know, if you book online, you’re on your own. Having the experience, knowledge and expertise of a Travel Agent in planning and booking your holiday will make the whole holiday experience just that: a stress-free holiday - just what everyone wants! What’s your vision for 2016? To send as many people as possible on their holiday of a lifetime! There are so many fascinating places to visit and things to do out there - everyone needs a holiday of some sort this year!

Focus Mini-Mag Women in Business 0316  

Mid North Coast and New England's Women in Business, 2016

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