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December 2012 // issue 70

STEPHANIE JANSEN Expressing herself through music is a way of conveying her philosophy on life for Stephanie, who will perform at The Aztec on December 7.

M. V. HISTORICAL SOCIETY Manning Valley Historical Society was established in 1964 to preserve the district’s unique history. Its museum, located in Wingham, is a must see!

CRAIG MASON This month’s Behind the Lens guest is someone whose photos feature regularly in Manning-Great Lakes FOCUS. Craig’s natural aptitude for photographyis clearly apparent in his work ...

Team Ty

editor's note.


from the

Jo Atkins

Welcome to the December issue of Manning-Great Lakes FOCUS. t’s been very exciting to be involved with Manning-Great Lakes FOCUS over the past two months – and hasn’t that time flown! It’s the start of the so called ‘silly season’ and my favourite time of year. We’re all starting to think about families, holidays, Christmas shopping and parties.


To help get your festive season underway, we’ve included a Christmas Gift Guide in this edition of FOCUS, which showcases some wonderful ideas for presents – even for those hard to buy for family members! Remember that our area will welcome scores of visitors over the next few months – many of whom will be your relatives and family friends. In the spirit of the festive season, spare a smile and a few friendly words for everyone you meet this holiday period. INSIDE THIS ISSUE We’ve lined up some great stories and interviews for you again this month, covering sport, business, local identities and art. Team Ty is an amazing story about Australia’s only champion K-9 marathon runner. Ty and her owner, Mark Jensen,

run to support and raise awareness for the RSPCA – a very worthy cause. Ty’s story is one of overcoming adversity and defying the odds – don’t miss it!

FOCUS this month – Jess Zammit, our new advertising sales rep, brings her big smile and wonderful enthusiasm to her new role.

Also in this edition, we profile Red Plateau Organic Produce, which produces amazing organic avocadoes, citrus, nuts and honey from their beautiful property at Mooral Creek.

Jess joins the fabulous Jasmine McQuillan and me in the office – and we’ve recently dubbed ourselves ‘The J Team’, in honour of our first names!

Artist Tarryn Jade explains how her art has developed over the past few years, while Stephanie Jansen, who is making a splash on the Country Music scene with her new EP, Risky, spares some time to talk to us prior to her appearance at The Aztec on December 7. And let’s not forget our cover, which is dedicated to well known local and respected businessman Graham Barclay. Graham shares the story of his many sporting achievements and tells us how he found his feet in the business world. EDITOR’S PHOTO This month’s Editor’s Letter photo was taken by Bernie Stenchion. Thanks Bernie, for such a great shot!

Welcome aboard, Jess! SEASON’S GREETINGS From all of us at FOCUS, we’d like to wish our advertisers, contributors and readers a magical Christmas and a New Year full of hope and promise. Take care if you’re travelling – and we’ll see you all in the New Year, refreshed and relaxed from our end of year holidays. FINAL SAY Appropriate for this time of year, I think: “Christmas ... is not an external event at all, but a piece of one’s home that one carries in one’s heart.” – Freya Stark.

THE J TEAM We welcome a new and friendly face to our team at Manning-Great Lakes

contacts. Got a story idea? Looking to advertise in Focus? Contact us for more information. ADDRESS: Suite 2 / 42 Wharf Street, Forster 2428 PHONE: (02) 6555 3381 FAX: (02) 6555 7338 EMAIL: WEB: TV:

Jo Atkins – Editor

EDITOR: Jo Atkins


Louise Beaumont



ART DIRECTOR: Jay Beaumont



Michael Marchment




COPY EDITOR: Reg Brookhouse

PHOTOGRAPHER: Craig Mason, East Coast Photography


02 6554 9703 / 0411 846 084


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

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Meet the man behind Graham Barclay rclay Marine – one of the most successful businesses in the Great Lakes area …


ou were born here, work on weekends, and I didn’t want to play Graham, but what’s your third grade, so I came back home to Tuncurry to family’s history in the area? work the farm. Yes, I was born in Tuncurry, That same year, it was 1955, Canterburyin Taree Street. Bankstown offered me 500 pounds to play My dad and mum met with them. I signed up with Canterbury, played during the Depression. Dad had been working as half the season, and then I was hurt badly. an accountant in Sydney, but he lost his job and Canterbury paid me out, as I was told I’d never came back to Tuncurry to live. Mum’s dad also be able to play football again with a damaged died suddenly, so her mother came to Tuncurry knee. and started a dressmaking business – and that’s At the time, I used to go out to the Manly how Mum and Dad met. dam on Sundays and watch Jack Murray – he When dad came here he didn’t have a job, ran a ski show there, it was then I decided that so he was taught to be a fisherman by some I had to learn to water ski. When Canterbury wonderful Italian locals. Dad’s father was already paid me out, I came back home and bought a in the oyster industry, so he got my dad to ski boat. manage a couple of small oyster farms on the A Forster local, Fred Williams, was making weekend, or when he wasn’t fishing. From then water skis and skiing up and down Breckenridge on, my dad spent half his working life oyster channel and I asked him if he’d teach me to ski, farming, and half fishing. which he did. What do you remember most Because I had the bad knee, I used from your earlier years? to pull a Mini Minor tube over I went to Tuncurry the knee to hold it together! Primary School then to Luckily, you don’t really e th h ug ro Forster High School th need to use your knees as w It for only one year. much to water ski. ski club that I mete ok m After I did that Fred and I put a my wife, Kay. It to ce her a while to convine! That’s year of high school, slalom course in out to go out with m at’s ever Dad said I’d better at the Forster keys, the best thing th life. work with him. and I’d practice every y happened in m ther for I worked for two morning and night. ge to We’ve been .” w years on his oyster I went to my no s ar 50 ye farms, but it was really first metropolitan ski only meant to be a onechampionships in Sydney, man operation, so I had to and I won the competition! I look further afield. went in the NSW Championship, You’ve always been a keen and I won that too. Then I entered the sportsman too. How did you career as a Australian Titles at Surfers Paradise Ski Gardens footballer and water skier unfold? – and I won again. That was in 1959. I’m very I started looking in the paper for jobs. I was proud of that trophy – my 'Oscar'! a good football player, though I was only 17 I was selected to go to Milan, Italy to at the time, and I was told if I played football represent Australia in the World Titles. I did really in Dapto (Wollongong), I’d be given a job and well over there, and won all of my heats. On accommodation. I did really well down there. the last day, I had to race at 3pm, later than the I then moved to Sydney and played first grade other competitors, when the water was really in the St George Pre Season Trials. After the rough – but I was still only beaten by 3 bouys. Australian Kangaroo team returned from playing I ended up coming third. I was given a contract in England, 7 of us were dropped to third grade. to go to Cypress Gardens in Florida; I went over My dad had already given me an oyster farm to there for a while and was offered big money to


manning-great lakes focus.

stay, but I decided to come back to Tuncurry. Fred had a ski club going in Forster then, and I started to teach some of the locals to ski. It was through the ski club that I met my wife, Kay. It took me a while to convince her to go out with me! That’s the best thing that’s ever happened in my life. We’ve been together for 50 years now. How did your big break in the business world come about? I got my big break skiing in Melbourne. At one event, a voice boomed out of the crowd, “Barclay! The General Manager of OMC wants to see you!” I met the GM, who wanted me to do some ads for outboard motors. The ads were a big success. OMC [Outboard Marine Corporation] offered to set me up in a franchise in Forster, and basically just dropped 10 Quintrex boats and outboard motors on my lawn at home. At the time, Kay and I were living in a flat opposite the Bowling Club. And you wouldn’t believe it – every single boat and motor sold within two weeks! That was the start of Graham Barclay Marine. At the time decimal currency came in, I was only a small oyster farmer. A firm called Alan Giles and Company, which owned several oyster farms on the coast, sold me their Wallis Lake business. Both businesses, the marine sales from my lawn, and the oysters, took off from there. My grandfather was originally the General Manager of Woodward And Co. an oyster farming company that also had a large number of leases in Wallis Lake at the turn of the century. In 1987 I purchased these same leases, some 100 years after my grandfather’s time, owning the company. And you’ve run both businesses side by side ever since?

Yes. Both businesses grew – it got too big for me at one stage, and in 1975 I sold my original Boat Land and marine business and just went with oysters for a while. But I missed the marine centre, so I started up again in our new location along the Lakes Way in 1985. What’s the significance of the ski you’re holding in our cover photo? This is the ski that Fred Williams designed for me when I came back to Forster. I used to have trouble when I was doing fast turns at 70 mph; the spray would fly back and hit me in the leg, so Fred cut out the sides of the ski to make the spray throw out wider. I broke a world slalom record – unofficially – on this ski, at Glenbawn Dam in Scone. I retired from skiing at the top of my game – it was getting too busy for me to run the business and tournament ski at the same time. What are some of the changes you’ve witnessed in Forster-Tuncurry over the years? When I grew up, Forster and Tuncurry were two individual towns with a lot of rivalry. That’s all changed now. The bridge really made a difference when it was built in 1959 and the towns linked together. When the big supermarkets, Woolworths and Coles, came here, that made a difference too and brought more people into town. Future plans? I can never see myself retiring. I swim nearly every day and I play tennis regularly, and I try to keep fit. I’m 80 now, but I certainly don’t feel it. I love being around boats, and I’ve travelled around the world a couple of times and believe I live in the best town in the best country. I enjoy life. Thanks Graham. Interview by Jo Atkins.

inside this

Issue 70 - December 2012 Stephanie Jansen. Stephanie Jansen is making a name for herself on the Country Music scene as a singer/songwriter. Her recent EP release, Risky, is receiving rave reviews, and plans for a new album are in the pipeline for next year. Stephanie pops into The Aztec in Forster on December 7, fresh from a stint in the Country Music Mecca – Nashville, USA.



Marrangbah Cottage - Memorial Garden for Aboriginal Veterans Sueanne Russell’s family has a history of involvement with World War II. A proud Biripi woman and volunteer, Sue describes the stunning new memorial garden recently established and opened at Marrangbah Cottage in Taree, which was developed to recognise and honour Aboriginal Veterans and offer a place for both healing and reflection …


Tarryn Jade.

28. Red Plateau Organic Produce The combination of a pristine environment coupled with rich, red volcanic soil produces nutritious and abundant produce for market.


Using the renaissance masters for inspiration, Tarryn paints with spontaneity and passion, also admitting to being a perfectionist! Her portraits have an intriguing depth and an old world charm ...

usual suspects.


13. what’s on for December 16. eat featuring local restaurants 33. star guide with Terri 45. tourism update with Kerry Johnstone.

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

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Ty was given “ to an 80 year old grandmother as a pup, and at 18 months the woman could no longer care for her, so she took her to a vet to be euthanised.”


This is a good news story of a different kind … a truly uly inspiring tale of a wonderful dog who’s overcome adversity and an uncertain future to become Australia’s only K-9 champion marathon runner. Mark Jensen and his dog Ty are Team Ty – extraordinary athletes, with an even more extraordinary story to tell …


ow long have you lived in the Manning-Great Lakes area, and what originally brought you here? I’m originally from Kingswood, NSW. I have been holidaying in Forster most of my life, coming here with my family since I was about 8-years-old and visiting family members who were living in Tuncurry. I bought in Forster in 2000. I enjoy the outdoors and keeping active, I love the water and the environment. I’ve been an animal lover my whole life. I’ve always had dogs, cats, birds and reptiles. I had homing pigeons as I was growing up, and I find they’re a great hobby. I’m a licensed electrician and have worked in the electrical trades since 1982. I’ve been marathon running for about 25 years, after giving up smoking. I find long distance running a great outlet and a time to reflect. How did Ty become a part of your family? Ty is a Kelpie cross Border Collie, and she’s 6 years old. Ty was given to an 80 year old grandmother as a pup, and at 18 months the woman could no longer care for her, so she took her to a vet to be euthanised. Ty was rescued by an RSPCA Animal Shelter in Kurri Kurri and put up for adoption. I had originally gone to visit this particular animal shelter looking to adopt a German Shepherd and immediately found the dog I wanted to bring home. Her name was Gabbie, and she was a beautiful Shepherd. Gabbie was about 9 years old when I first met her. Gabbie had found a new friend at this shelter − Ty. I noticed that Gabbie and Ty were inseparable 6 manning-great lakes focus.

and had formed a close bond with each other. I was not sure how to separate them, so I adopted them both. It was a huge challenge to introduce two large dogs to our home, as we already had 5 rescue cats living with us. Gabbie and Ty settled into their new home very quickly, and I’m happy to say that the five cats and two dogs were all able to live together without too much unrest. We enjoyed and loved Gabbie for the next three years, until one day she began to get sick. We took her to the vet, and it seemed Gabbie had some form of brain tumour. We could do nothing for her except bring her home and make her as comfortable as we could. Within 6 months, she was gone. Gabbie was very much loved and is greatly missed. How did you first come up with the idea of entering both yourself and Ty in marathons? Ty is different to any other dog I’ve ever known. Her high energy levels require an outlet. I was not sure how to keep Ty happy, other than go for walks and play ball. After 2½ years, I decided to take Ty for a run to help release this incredible energy that she has. I wasn’t too sure how far I should run with Ty; I figured about 2 km would be far enough. I discovered something unique about Ty from our very first outing. She had a talent for running, which even today I cannot explain. It was like I had opened up a world to Ty … it took this first moment of running to release an incredible ability. Our next outing covered about 5 km, then 10 km, and then a whopping 14 km, and Ty loved every step of the way. To date, how many marathons have you both run, and what have been your

results? In June 2011, I decided to enter myself and Ty (Team Ty) into the Brooks Forster Running Festival on September 11, 2011. The half marathon is 21.1 km, which I was confident Ty could complete safely − but also knowing this distance had never been attempted before in Australia by a canine. Ty ran her first half marathon event comfortably and finished with plenty still in the tank. Ty crossed the finish line of the half marathon in a speedy time of 2:28:47 and became the first dog in Australian marathon running history (from 1908) to complete a marathon event. Ty ran her 2nd half marathon in Port Macquarie on March 18, 2012 in a time of 2:31:20 with a field of about 1,000 runners, becoming the first dog in Australia to be photographed crossing the finish line of a marathon event. Ty ran her 3rd half marathon on May 20, 2012 in the Sydney Morning Herald half marathon, crossing the finish line in a time of 2:20:08 with a field of about 13,000 runners. The thought of running a dog in a full marathon event was so absurd it was bordering on the psychotic, but I knew Ty could cope with this huge challenge. On July 29, 2012, Ty lined up at the start of the Westlink M7 Cities Marathon, leaving Liverpool and finishing at Blacktown International Sportspark, 42.2 km later. After the 21.1 km point, Ty was entering uncharted waters, and nobody could say just how she would cope with this incredible endurance event. At the halfway mark, it was as simple as taking one step at a time toward the finish line. Ty’s vet could not tell us just how she should train for such a long distance and gruelling

event, what Ty should eat the morning of the big race or how much she should eat. All the vet knew for sure was that Ty must be kept hydrated throughout the entire marathon event, which meant she would need to have fluids every 2.5 km. I needed to carry her water and food with me the entire marathon, which added more weight to me and led to a long, slow day.

At the 32.2 km turnaround point, it was like Ty knew we were on our way home, as she seemed to just take off, and I really struggled to hold her back. As we came around the last bend of the marathon course, I could see the Sportspark and with my legs cramped up and buckling underneath me, I knew we were running the last kilometre.

As we entered the Sportspark, I could hear people cheering for Ty. And there it was: the finish line 100 m away. I looked up to see our finish time was 5:14:07 and as Ty touched down at the finish line, we were met by photographers, race officials, retired athletes and the Blacktown Mayor, Mr Alan Pendleton, who awarded Ty two medals to recognise her incredible effort. The world looked pretty good at that point,

focus feature interview

when Ty had become the greatest running dog in Australian marathon running history. Never before in Australia has there been a K-9 marathoner, and never before in Australia has there been a dog awarded the ‘Marathon Finishers Medal’. Ty had come from death row to become 4 times Australian K-9 marathon running champion. On Sunday, September 9, 2012, Ty returned to where it all started, the Brooks Forster Running Festival half marathon. Ty ran a nice comfortable race, as there was nothing more for her to prove, and amazingly she ran the 2012 race in a record time of 2:18:18, taking a whopping 10 mins, 29 secs off her first half marathon. Ty’s story has been written about in newspapers and magazines. She has been on radio and television and is the only dog in Australia running for the RSPCA and to show people the benefits of recycled pets. When is Team Ty’s next marathon? Ty’s next marathon event will be in the Port Macquarie half marathon on Sunday, March 10, 2013. Ty’s obviously very special in terms of her running ability, but what else is special about her – how would you describe her personality? Ty’s a remarkable dog with a great personality. She is very intelligent; she loves people and absolutely loves to be cheered on. Ty gets on well with the other family

pets: Molly the dog and 5 cats: BB, Bonnie, Freddy, Rosie and Meeka − all have been rescued from an uncertain future. Ty loves to play ball and chase the water coming from the hose. Her favourite colour is yellow, her favourite snack is the chicken drumstick, and her favourite song is Ben by Michael Jackson. Ty has her own bed and her own backyard to play in. She does not tolerate the birds too much when they land in her yard and try to steal her food. Ty is an all-round great dog and has never been any trouble. You’d like to give a special mention to a lady in Kurri Kurri, who operates a rescue service for German Shepherds. What does this service actually do? Pauline Bellemore is the operator of ‘German Shepherd Rescue NSW’ and is located in Keinbah, in the Kurri Kurri area. Pauline has been rescuing Shepherds for 9 years and has rescued and re-homed over 450 Shepherds, with some people coming back for their second Shepherd after their last one passed away. The German Shepherd is a very beautiful dog and is very intelligent and can be fiercely protective of their environment. Pauline can be contacted by email: paulinebellemore@hotmail and her group would be grateful for any feedback or enquiries. What inspires you to keep competing? Ty and I love to run for and support the RSPCA. We are a life member of the RSPCA,

and we have seen first hand the difficulties and the struggles that the RSPCA are faced with every day. The RSPCA NSW require $35 million a year to keep up the great work that they do. The Government gives them about $400,000, and the rest comes from bequests and people like us who donate. All donations to the RSPCA are tax deductable.

Every Christmas thousands of animals turn up to the RSPCA NSW for help, and hundreds remain in desperate need of financial support so they can find new homes. In the months leading up to Christmas, the RSPCA NSW must cope with an extraordinary influx of abandoned animals: over 3,000 extra animals will require shelter and care this Christmas.

The RSPCA NSW inspectorate has 32 inspectors across the state, 16 inspectors in metropolitan Sydney − one inspector for every 281,250 people. There are 16 regional inspectors covering over 800,480 km − one inspector for every 50,030 km. It’s a small team with lots of ground to cover and thousands of animals requiring the RSPCA’s assistance. The RSPCA NSW can be found at:, or write to: Po Box 34, Yagoona NSW 2199, or phone: 1300 278 3589. What’s in the future for team Ty? The future of Team Ty Marathon Dog is to keep running long distance as long as we possibly can and to keep supporting the RSPCA NSW. I would like to see Ty recognised and registered as an Australian Champion running dog, but at the moment Australia does not have a category for marathon running dogs. I would also like to see a K-9 marathon event take place in Sydney, which has never been seen before in Australia, or even the world. This K-9 marathon event would be for K-9 teams only and could be used as a fundraising event for organisations such as the RSPCA and Animal Welfare League. I believe this idea would attract a lot of interest and generate sponsorship directly from Australian industry. I guess when the day comes that Ty gets too old to be running these long distance events, she may be giving herself to the elderly as a companion dog visiting nursing homes and the like. As Team Ty, we would like to thank everyone who has come out to support Ty the wonder dog and see her run and to all those who have donated to the RSPCA. Thanks Mark and Ty. Interview by Jo Atkins. manning-great lakes focus 7

focusinterview. Stephanie Jansen is making a name for herself on the Country Music scene as a singer/songwriter. Her recent EP release, Risky, is receiving rave reviews, and plans for a new album are in the pipeline for next year. Stephanie pops into The Aztec in Forster on December 7, fresh from a stint in the Country Music Mecca – Nashville, USA.



hen do you first recall being exposed to music that had a positive impact on you? Being born to relatively young parents (they had me when they were 18 and 19), I was raised on their '80s CD collection. The soundtrack of my childhood was Fleetwood Mac, The Eagles, Bon Jovi, Rod Stewart, Cold Chisel ... that’s the stuff Mum would crank while she was doing the housework, and those were the tapes or CDs that dad would play in the car on our family road trips. Mum and Dad love music, and I can’t remember a time where it wasn’t a part of my life, in one way or another. I’ve even been told stories of them taking me out to pubs and clubs with them as a newborn, and sliding my capsule under the pool table when they wanted to dance (with them watching close by, of course!) My first concert was Michael Jackson. I went to see him at the Sydney Cricket Ground when I was 4 years old (although I really couldn’t see a thing, being so small). I think after that the bar was raised pretty high as far as concerts go! You never set out with the intention of making music a career choice. When did you first realise that a professional career as a singer-songwriter was a possibility? To be honest, I’m not sure it’s something I ever ‘realised’ ... I think it is a dream that is becoming more and more real all the time. What I do know is that I never, in my wildest dreams, thought that I could or would do this for a living. I thought that the artists and writers I ever saw on stage were born stars, something I could never be. But once I started to realise that ‘stardom’ is just being yourself at your most, tapping into what is uniquely ‘you’ and being unafraid to show it, I started to think that maybe it is something that I could do after all ... it’s something we all have in us! It seems you’ve always marched to the

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beat of your own drum, having studied At the time I was writing the EP, I was feeling Philosophy at university. How do you think overwhelmed at times by the people giving me your study choices have influenced the (well intended) advice as to what I should do. person you are today? The songs Risky and Boxes were my cheeky I’ve always been really interested in ideas and responses to those people. trying to make sense of this crazy world we live Other songs on the EP are about the things in. So really, that I was drawn to Philosophy isn’t I think are important enough to write about. all that surprising to those who know me. I loved The current single The Life You Made is about that degree. I think I came out of it feeling less reminding ourselves to slow down once in a intelligent than I went in (Philosophy will do while ... we live in a crazy materialistic world. that to you), but I think the biggest Sometimes it’s easy for things to thing I took away from it is the get out of hand. But I think it’s courage to think outside the so important to be kind to y er box. Philosophy is all about yourself and take a break ev d ve I’ve lo . looking at the things we ... hang out with the kids minute of my trip e and ‘know’ and deciding ... spend some time with It has changed mmusic my approach to el that just how rock solid they the people you love. in every way. I feity in really are. And I think What’s your favourite I have more clar as that that’s a skill that can single off the EP? ed ad where I’m he tally to I’m d come in handy in the 21st That’s like asking a an t, tis an ar forward century − especially for the mother to choose her inspired movingrd.” to this next reco independent musician! favourite child! In a way though, I’ve always At the moment, it’s the felt that music is about people’s song Shoes. I got to sing that philosophies on life, so that I’ve now song at the Bluebird Café in Nashville become a songwriter isn’t that crazy either. recently, and it’s one of my most special Who are some of the performers you’ve career moments to date. I like the song toured with over the past few years, because it’s me, it’s honest, and it’s not trying to and what’s the most important thing you be anything it’s not. It’s a song for parents and learned from these experiences? daughters ... and anyone who’s ever struggled I was really lucky to serve my ‘apprenticeship’ to fit in. in music as a backing singer/guitarist. I gigged You’re looking to release your very first alongside some great Australian Country artists, album in early 2013 … any ideas about its including Amber Lawrence and Catherine Britt. content just yet? Those years were a really important time for I’m really excited about this record. I started me, because I was able to stand outside the writing a bunch of songs for it in Nashville; I spotlight and look on to see what it takes to be wrote around 17 songs in the month I was there, a successful artist these days − not just on the some of which I daresay will make the final stage, but behind the scenes too. I learnt a lot cut. I think the album will be very different to from those girls ... they work hard, and they’re the EP … It will be a little rawer, and probably great at what they do … much ‘groovier’. I’ve become a lot more fearless You went out on a limb to forge your own creatively; I’m exploring heaps of different genres solo career recently, with the release of your and styles and feels beyond Country Music … first EP, Risky, earlier this year. What were I think in the last 12 months I’ve experienced some of the inspirations behind the songs? a real musical ‘coming of age’, and I’m sure

that will be reflected in the songs. I’ll continue to write until we get into the studio though, so I can’t tell you what to expect – I don’t actually know myself! You’re over in Nashville at the moment. Why did you decide to go the US – and how much have you enjoyed the experience? Nashville is the absolute Mecca for artists like me, and particularly songwriters influenced by Country Music. It was a dream of mine to one day go there … I’ve loved every minute of my trip. It has changed me and my approach to music in every way. I feel that I have more clarity in where I’m headed as an artist, and I’m totally inspired moving forward to this next record. Where can people download or buy your music? My EP Risky is available on iTunes, but you can also buy a copy through my website and have it delivered to your door! My website is the place to go for info on gigs and myself: I have a pretty happening Facebook page, and I’m also active on Twitter and YouTube and have some pretty exciting things going on there too. Thanks Stephanie. Interview by Jo Atkins.

the plug! See Stephanie Jansen perform at The Aztec in Forster on December 7, show starting between 7 - 7.30pm. The show is free entertainment for those who are there to enjoy dinner at The Aztec on the night, or $10 for those who are there just to see Stephanie perform. Phone 6554 5906

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Matters. [ with Alan T ickle ]

Dear Alan, I work at a Doctors surgery and I am concerned for some elderly patients who carry a lot of cash because they think that if they don’t draw out all their pension and keep their bank balances low, that Centrelink might take some pension from them. PA. Dear PA, A fear of ATMs, using cards and the lack of understanding around being able to have money safely held in their account rather than risk losing it or being robbed, means that many pensioners do carry too much cash.

by setting up a fortnightly transfer to that savings account, the same day the pension is received. There is also a Centrepay option where a form can be completed giving Centrelink authority to pay a set fortnightly amount to cover such things as electricity direct to that service provider before the pensioner receives the pension. Deeming Rules The Centrelink deeming rules mean that an earning rate is applied to money held in savings and investments, irrespective of the rate that the investment earns.

I hope that this story will reach a few pensioners and their carers, so that less people run that risk.

The deeming rates means that a single pensioner can have $102,950 invested before losing any pension and a couple $180,000.

There are tests that apply for both the Centrelink income and assets tests and while the limits differ for a single pensioner and a couple, it does mean that a substantial amount can be held in bank accounts without impacting on age or disability pensions.

There really is no need therefore, for pensioners to be carrying a lot of cash, because it is much safer being kept in the savings account.

Superannuation pensions and annuities and rental property are treated differently when the income test is applied, so I am going to keep this example really basic and aim it at the pensioners you describe who would have a savings account, modest means and are probably receiving the full pension. First of all, a pensioner does not have to draw out their pension, and they are encouraged to budget and put some aside in a separate account to cover bills that might come up during the year, or to save or other purposes. The bank or savings institution can even help

Even if pensioners have more than those deeming thresholds, the small drop in pension can be made up by investing the money and earning some interest. It is worth remembering that it can be difficult to live off a single pension and when there is the death of one member of a couple, it can be pretty hard. It is sensible to seek advice if you are a couple with more than $103,000, so that some strategies might be implemented while you are a couple (preferably before applying for the age pension) to minimise the impact financially, when the death of one of the couple results in the single income test being applied.

Disclaimer: the Centrelink estimates does not take into account circumstances that can apply to the income and assets assessment of an individual and is restricted to a pensioner with no assessed assets other than savings and investment accounts. No reliance should be made from examples in this article without first seeking advice from a suitably qualified person or Centrelink. Both Alan Tickle and Your Heritage Financial Planning are Authorised Representatives of Securitor Financial Group ABN 48009189495 AFSL 240687

TOBWABBA ORIGINAL WORKERS NETWORK (TOWN) To the Defence Service in Canberra and to the Principals and students of Great Lakes in the Land District of Tobwabba Yuri Worimi Country Kattung language area, thank you very much for attending what was a very moving day on Tobwabba, 12 November 2012. n this day, the last surviving about that one day, but a focus on respect of WWII widow, Mrs Joyce our law, land and people in showing a duty of Simon, was the special care to our Ancestors buried at Tobwabba and guest of honour for the of course, a special guest in Mrs Joyce Simon, Tobwabba Memorial Service wife of WWII soldier Mr Toki Simon, who took at 90 years young. The five bullets whilst at war and then returned to comments were all the same: that Aunty the front line to finish the job. Such bravery Joyce was getting around like a 60 year old. is beyond speculation. His brother, Robert How great it was to have her in Simon (Bob), was a prisoner of war in our presence; it was beyond Changi, and the Leon and Slater my ever thinking thoughts families all served in WWI to have this reality at a and WWII in New Guinea I feel that TOWN time when our cultural and Malaya. Len Leon, Bill id has filled a vo history certainly needed Slater and Will Paulson, a en that has long be r ou a reminder of our ex-army reservist, all have of rt forgotten pa y or st hi l ra commitment as Original a camaraderie which is ltu genuine cu r ou in women of cultural part and parcel of being ity al and re e past th to n tio history in itself. family. ec nn co

and the My thanks to all who participated, and especially the sponsorship provide by Coates Hire Service, who were most generous with their sponsorship offer and Tobwabba Aboriginal Medical Service, who did not hesitate to provide the necessary equipment Tobwabba Original Workers Network (TOWN) needed to make this day go according to a plan.


I feel that TOWN has filled a void that has long been a forgotten part of our genuine cultural history and reality in our connection to the past and the present. What we have lacked in such resources to accomplish our mission was fulfilled in sponsorship support and TOWN's dedication, commitment and perseverance. Tobwabba Memorial Service was not simply 10 manning-great lakes focus.

This is cultural history in the making; this is Tobwabba in the beginning, and it will be the future, as the unveiling of the Tobwabba Memorial also took place, with Aunty Joyce Simon as a special guest to unveil the Tobwabba Memorial Plaque. I would like to thank everyone who had a part in giving time and effort in getting Tobwabba to this point. There is more to be done of course; but for now it is a great 'big thank you'. Photo: Elvina Jean Paulson (far right) and Aunty Joyce with two daughters, Rozie and Barabara. Aunty Joyce’s son, Victor Simon, who fought in the Long Tan Battle in Vietnam RAR 6 Company D and daughter Gail were not present.

12 manning-great lakes focus.

W H A T’ S O N A RO U N D T H E R EG I O N / / D E C E M B E R 2012


Free Entry to the

Tuncurry Races


Tuncurry Races this year is proud to announce that on 19 January, it will hold it's very first Seafood Race Day! To celebrate, The Tuncurry Forster Jockey Club is holding the following guessing competition ... Every entry received by FOCUS will receive FREE ENTRY to the race day, valued at $10! WOW! The major prizes are one of two pavilion double passes valued at $60! Guess the name of the feature race at Seafood Race Day on 19 January 2013:


to be in the running.

Name______________________________ Address__________________________________

Carols by Candlelight presented by the Rotary Club of Tuncurry Forster will this year be compered by Lyn Lelean commencing at 6.30pm with special guests Santa and Big Dog. There will be free lollies (for the children), food and drink, candles and songsheets available. Just bring a chair or blanket and your best singing voice. Suitable for everyone! Community singing leaders will be accompanied by the Great Lakes Concert Band. Where John Wright Park, Tuncurry. When Mon 17 Dec 2012, 6.30pm. Contact (02) 6554 6771.

New Year’s Eve at Harrigan’s Come and see in the New Year at Harrigan’s! Fireworks at approx. 9.30pm. Band DeJaVu will be playing from 8pm 1am. Courtesy Bus will be running every 30 minutes − no pickups after 9.30pm; last bus leaving hotel at 12.30am. Dinner specials available. Accommodation available at the lodge. Where Josephine Boulevard, Harrington. More info (02) 6556 0555.

Phone____________________Email______________________________________________ Entries close 17 December 2012. Major prizes drawn on 19 December @ the FOCUS office at 3pm EST. The correct entries will be published in the January edition of FOCUS.

Send your entry to:

Tickets Giveaway Suite 2, 42 Wharf Street, Forster NSW 2428 Entries close on Monday 17 December 2012 at 3PM. The winning entries will be chosen by the first correct entries chosen in a lucky draw held at 3PM on Wednesday 19 December 2012 at the Manning-Great Lakes Focus Offices, Suite 2, 42 Wharf Street FORSTER NSW 2428. Phone (02) 6555 3381. The winners will be published in the January issue of FOCUS. The prize can not be redeemed for cash. Conditions of entry: All entries must be originals and no photocopies or facsimiles will be accepted. Staff and immediate family members of the Creative House Publications are ineligible to enter. The winners will be notified by telephone. NSW PERMIT NUMBER: LTPS/12/01055

It’s been working out. E-Class Sport Edition. With its athletic new body, the E-Class Sport Edition is warmed up and ready to run. Boasting AMG styling, sports suspension and 19 inch 5-twin spoke alloy wheels on the outside, you only have to jump inside and discover the luxurious double stitched dashboard and designo roof liner to see that the Sport Edition is on top of its game. See the results at Taree Motorama.

Sports inspired interior.

AMG twin exhaust.

manning-great lakes focus 13


Marrangbah Cottage

M e m o r i a l G a rd e n f o r A b o r i g i n a l Ve t e r a n s

Sueanne Russell’s family has a history of involvement with World War II. A proud Biripi woman and volunteer, Sue describes the stunning new memorial garden recently established and opened at Marrangbah Cottage in Taree, which was developed to recognise and honour Aboriginal Veterans and offer a place for both healing and reflection …


here (and what) exactly is Marrangbah Cottage? Marrangbah Cottage (also known as Biripi Aged & Community Services) is located at 151 Manning River Drive, Taree. Marrangbah Cottage comes under the umbrella of Biripi Aboriginal Medical Service. How did you become involved with the creation of a memorial garden at Marrangbah? My four uncles: Donald, Duncan, Jack and James Wallace served in WWII, and I became fascinated by stories told to me by Uncle James of their service in the Army. However, I needed to respectfully ask my mother, Susan, if she would allow me to acknowledge their service and to encourage her to participate in the ANZAC Day ceremony. This took considerable encouragement by me to get Mum to march in honour of her four brothers − primarily because my four uncles never participated in any ANZAC parades, because when they returned to Biripi in 1945, the ‘Black Bar’ was in place. This meant that some shops refused service to Aboriginal persons, along with some business houses, and certainly pubs and clubs refused entry to all Aboriginals. Even on ANZAC Day, our Aboriginal Veterans were not allowed entry to play Two-up and have a beer with other Veterans. However, the main reason I wanted to acknowledge my uncles was because of an incident that took place when my Uncle James was returning home after being honourably discharged from his military service. When he arrived in Kempsey, it was night, and as he was walking through the CBD area, he passed by a bank. A Night Watchman from the bank thought he was trying to break in, and he shot 14 manning-great lakes focus.

Uncle James. Elders both in Country and Out of Country and Uncle James was not taken straight to the volunteers, both Aboriginal and non-Aborighospital; he was taken to the Kempsey Police inal. We held meetings continually over two Station. They interviewed the bank employee, years − much consideration and thought has who said he was mistaken about the Aboriginal gone into this endeavour, and this is reflected man trying to break into the bank. At this point so beautifully in the garden. they finally took Uncle James to the hospital; Describe the garden for us – is it purely he survived, but the bank employee was only ornamental, or does it have a practicharged with firing an unlicensed cal purpose, such as growing weapon. vegetables, as well? Uncle James was prevented The garden was a The garden has from suing the bank or the designed by Biripi circular pathway e Night Watchman because Elder David Russell. iting th with a bridge un d the of the laws that governed A request was put un two sides. Aro xes bo t Aboriginal Australia; the to David to become an pl e ar ay pathw les, po ag Aboriginal Protection fl involved in the e re th ith w proudly Board and the Aboriginal memorial garden − upon which we , Torres fly the Aboriginald Welfare Board prevented the primary reason Strait Islander an him from taking that we hoped to capture s.” Australian flag course of action. David’s interest was What’s the concept behind because he designed and the garden – what message is built the Purfleet Church it intended the garden will convey Garden, which has such a peaceto the public? ful and calming effect when you The concept of this Aboriginal specific enter the church grounds. This was the memorial garden is to acknowledge Aborigisame effect we hoped to convey in the nal families and to acknowledge, honour and Marrangbah Cottage Memorial Garden. pay respectful tribute to Aboriginal Veterans. The garden has a circular pathway with Our hope is to educate and to raise awareness a bridge uniting the two sides. Around the in the Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal communi- pathway are plant boxes with three flag poles, ties of our Aboriginal Veterans. upon which we proudly fly the Aboriginal, This memorial garden will be a tangible place Torres Strait Islander and Australian flags. We where community can sit, reflect on times past have, in two paved circular designs, a plaque and to heal … to heal through Yarning. Yarnwhich holds the name of the garden, along ing is a way we educate, learn and connect. with the names of the Elders who opened the How long has the garden been in the garden, and on another is a commemorative planning stages, and who else has been plaque which holds the names of our Aborigiinvolved with the project? nal Veterans. This project has taken two years. A commitOn the plant boxes are circular discs; detee was formed by Biripi Aged Care Services; picted on them are the stories told through art this has been very much a joint effort by staff, of Aboriginal families. Their tribal and family

totems communicate who they are and their family’s origins. In the garden, volunteers have planted flowers, bush tucker plants and vegetables that can be accessed by community. Our objectives have been to build not only a memorial to acknowledge Aboriginal community in Country and Out of Country along with acknowledging and honouring Aboriginal Veterans, but to build a meeting place where all can gather to socialise, Yarn, reflect and to heal. Our hope is to inspire community, both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal, to share their family history through Yarning. As our Elders know, it’s only through the sharing of our history through Yarning that we can better understand each other, and with that understanding we can break through misconceptions, misunderstandings and ignorance to reach a true and meaningful reconciliation as it applies to this community. Will the garden be open for the public to visit at any stage, and do people have to contact anyone prior to visitation? The memorial garden is open to all, Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal. We ask, however, that everyone be mindful and respectful that this is a respite cottage; if anyone wishes to visit the Marrangbah Cottage garden, please phone Andrew at the Cottage on 6550 0788 to advise of your visit. Where can people find out more information about the Marrangbah Cottage memorial garden project? For anyone wishing to know more about the memorial garden, please email Sue Russell on or contact Sue on 6550 0788. Any questions pertaining to this memorial garden are welcome. Thanks Sue. Interview by Jo Atkins.



craig mason R









His natural aptitude for photography led Craig on a different career path after leaving the real estate industry. From weddings to calenders to magazine shoots, his creativity is truly inspiring ...


hat was the very first camera their cameras to get better results. Many people own great you ever picked up and took digital SLR cameras but are not happy with the results they are some shots with? getting, so I explain how light and camera settings interact to I first owned a Pentax MX; it achieve great results, in a simple and relaxed style. Many of my was a great SLR that lasted for students are now taking wonderful images. quite a few years. As a photographer, what do you believe is the most chalHow did you kick start your professional photography lenging part about your work; and conversely, what is career ... what led to the development of East Coast also the most rewarding? Photography? For every hour I spend out shooting, I usually spend 2 I started East Coast Photography after leaving my 15 year hours in front of the computer processing the digital files, and real estate career in Forster. I had enough of the ‘complaints although rewarding, I much prefer to be out shooting. department’ and decided on a change of direction. The rewarding side is with weddings seeing the smile and I had just finished an aerial shoot for Great Lakes happy tears from a bride (and sometimes groom) as they look and Manning Tourism offices, so decided to market at their proof images after the wedding. the aerial images I had shot from this job. Another reward is the sale of my landscape images. My first professional wedding shoot was With some of these images, I have put many hours for another local photographer who into revisiting the location to get the best light s These calendar had double booked himself; I shot this and atmospheric conditions; it is very rewardge hu a have any m ith w (large) wedding and instantly fell in ing to have people purchase these images and d, an m de g them locals purchasin to love with shooting weddings. comment on how sensational my work is. to send overseastives What types of photographic work Many locals know you through your la re friends and g does your business specialise in? images in Manning-Great Lakes FOCUS. – truly showcasin our beautiful area The majority of East Coast PhotogWhat are some of the other projects internationally.” raphy’s business is weddings. But I have you’ve been busy with lately; in particular, lately had a real run on commercial work – tell us about the calendar you’ve produced ... and must say am loving shooting for FOCUS – it I’ve been producing calendars of the local area for 5 gets me out from the gallery and meeting new and years now. This year’s edition features photographs (aerial and interesting people. landscape) from not only around Forster and Tuncurry, but also What training/courses have you done to help hone your our neighbouring areas such as Pacific Palms and Seal Rocks. I skills over the years? have also incorporated 2 photographs shot with a simple (yet I am mainly self taught. Back in the film days, I wasted lots effective) GoPro sports camera. of dollars experimenting, but it certainly taught me how to These calendars have a huge demand, with many locals purjudge exposure without a light meter. Since those days, I have chasing them to send overseas to friends and relatives – truly attended seminars by some of Australia’s greatest photograshowcasing our beautiful area internationally. These calendars phers, Ken Duncan and Peter Eastway – Landscape, Robyn Hills can be purchased from local newsagencies, Great Lakes Tour– portrait, Jerry Ghionis, and Yervant Zanazanian for wedding ism at the Gallery (7/41 Wharf Street, Forster) and online at photography. days I am teaching people myself, on how to use tent/calendarfront2013.html

What equipment would you never be caught on a shoot without, and why? Well, there is the obvious camera and lens LOL, but I recently killed my tripod of 25 years. I spent 10 days without a replacement and although I don’t always use it, I really noticed during that time what a valuable tool in a photographer’s arsenal it is. What’s something (or someone) you’ve always wanted to shoot, but haven’t yet managed – and why would you like to achieve this? I have captured some amazing storm photographs over the years, but I have a couple of locations in mind I want to photograph with an approaching storm/lightning. I do feel it’s important as a photographer to have personal projects to work on (as a work in progress thing). I am working on one at the moment and will be starting another in January. These projects I feel keep the mind open and fresh and certainly give much self satisfaction. Thanks Craig. For more info or to view Craig’s work, please visit Call Craig on 6554 9703 or 0411 846 084. Interview by Jo Atkins.

with focus Craig has very generously given FOCUS 20 copies of his amazing calendar to give away. If you’d like a copy, email, including in your email what your favourite thing is about the ManningGreat Lakes area and your contact details. The first 20 people to email through this info will be able to collect a stunning calendar from the FOCUS office!

manning-great lakes focus 15

Manning-Great Lakes

Cover Dish Prawn Pad Thai from Sai Thai Table and Tea.

eat. Dining Guide is available for iPhone & Android mobiles. 16 manning-great lakes focus.

eat. Crème brûlée

Bent on Food

Bowers Café

Bent on Food wishes all of our loyal customers a wonderful Christmas and a prosperous New Year. We offer the perfect venue for a special lunch in our beautiful garden, or relax with a coffee and lazy breakfast, which are a big hit at Bent on Food. We pride ourselves on a menu that focuses on local produce and showcases all the wonderful condiments that line our shelves.

Bowers delights in making all food in house, using the freshest local produce and serving locally roasted coffee. Perfect for functions and intimate weddings. Only 5 minutes from Taree and Wingham, with a peaceful rural outlook.

Call in and see our beautiful new Christmas stock, including lovely biscuits, puddings, cakes, chocolates and sauces for your indulgence; it’s not too late to send a gourmet hamper to your friends, family or as the perfect corporate gift. Bent on Food is closed Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.

New buffet breakfast on Sunday mornings, 9am - 11am, $12.50pp. Bookings recommended. Bowers would like to wish everyone a happy and safe holiday. Head Chef Paul.

Find us on Facebook – 461 Kolodong Rd, Taree t 6550 1230

95 Isabella Street, Wingham NSW t 6557 0727 w open breakfast and lunch, 7 days a week (phone to check hours on public holidays).

open 9am – 5pm, 7 days. Closed public holidays.

The Bellevue Hotel Bistro

Sheppo’s on the Green

Have you experienced the Bellevue Hotel Bistro lately?

Book your Christmas Party & Function now – call 6551 3677 Catering to meet your requirements and budget. Alternate Drop/ Buffet/Finger Foods Casual or Formal settings available. Sunday night $10 for two courses, Daily $8 lunch specials, dine in or take away. Nightly dinner specials, or choose from a huge variety of Aussie & Thai Cuisine. Why cook when you can get a great meal any night of the week, plus club raffles – Sunday 60 hams to give away up until Christmas, Bookings appreciated call 6551 3677.

We have recently completed some wonderful renovations in our kitchen, and we also have a new menu for you to try! We are still offering all of our great specials through the week, including $9.50 lunch meals (sirloin steak, grilled chicken breast, beer battered fish), Monday night beer and burger $10, Tuesday lunch lobster mornay half $20, full $28 (to avoid disappointment, please pre-order three days in advance), Thursday night schnitzel and beer $10. Our friendly, experienced staff look forward to seeing you soon! This is the perfect place for your Christmas party.

Manning Street, Tuncurry t 6554 6577 Open 11.30am - 2pm & 5.30pm - 8pm Sunday to Thursday. 11.30am - 2pm & 5.30pm - 8.30pm Friday & Saturday.

Our Chefs Hayley & Jason.

Chefs Luxmee & Wayne

Taree Leagues Sports Club, 43 Cowper Street, Taree t 6551 3677 open 6 days: lunch 12 - 2pm; dinner 6pm - 8.30pm. Closed Mondays.

manning-great lakes focus 17


FLOW Espresso Bar

Beach Bums

‘FLOW – For the Love Of Water!’ Two items off our summer lunch menu; enjoy with a beer or glass of wine. • Roast Vegetable Timbale: Layered Roast Eggplant, Sweet Potato, Capsicum, Zucchini, Pumpkin and Danish Feta coated with a Basil and Walnut Pesto Baby spinach salad, $15. • Locally Caught Beer Battered Flathead Fillets served with Chips, Garden Salad, and House made Tartare sauce, $15. Dinners Friday and Saturday nights – menu changes dependant on local seafood delivery. • Whole Baby Snapper, with Chili and Coriander Sauce atop an Asian Salad with Side of Saffron Rice, $28. • Crispy Skin Chicken Breast Supreme stuffed with Sun Dried Tomatoes and Feta, wrapped in Bacon and finished with a Madeira Jus + Seasonal Vegetables, $26. Live acoustic music Friday nights and Sundays from 1pm

Beach Bums Café boasts a unique position situated five steps from the sand, overlooking Forster Main Beach. Great food and coffee are the heart of Beach Bums, but you won’t find the snobby coffee crowd here. What you will find is a delicious team, a sexy and simple menu, fresh tunes daily and a great atmosphere.

31 David St, Old Bar t 6557 4224 open Tue to Sunday, 8am to 4pm and Fri and Sat nights from 6pm. Closed Mondays. Fully licensed. Bookings recommended.

Sit back, relax and watch nature at its best!

Owners Kate and Darrin.

North and Beach Streets, Forster Main Beach. t 6555 2840 w open seven days a week from 6.30am. (weather permitting)

Chicken rolled with pistachio dukkah, wrapped in prosciutto and served with roast capsicum coulis and a watercress and preserved lemon salad $26

SAI Thai table and tea

Bean Bar

We are proud of our Thai heritage and would like to share the sensation of flavours from our culture. The humble act of sharing food between friends and family is a reflection of our past growing up in Thailand, as it is in many cultures.


We invite people to share our cuisine in a friendly setting.

We offer a select menu and hope people will enjoy our authentic Thai flavours.

Tony and Ray and the staff welcome all along to their award winning Bean Bar. Open for breakfast and lunch 7 days a week and à la carte dining every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night.

We are open for lunch and dinner, 6 days per week and have takeaway in environmentally friendly containers.


Specialists in all types of functions any day OR night of the week. Owners Ray and Tony.

50 Old Bar Road, Old Bar t 6553 6660 fb open: Lunch: Wed to Sun, 11 - 3 pm. Dinner: Tue to Sun, 5 - 9 pm.

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1 Pulteney St, Taree, set on the Manning River t 6550 0022 w open 7 days breakfast and lunch and dinner Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

eat. Honey lacquered confit duck

Reef Bar Grill

Club Taree


Our Specials from1 Dec to 31 Dec include:

Reef Bar Grill is serving the freshest breakfast in town. Reef not only features breakfast classics – silky benedicts and big brekkies from the grill – but also a contemporary menu of healthy and light mueslis, fruits, and sweet starters. Catch up for coffee with friends, spend some quality minutes with the family, and enjoy the sensational view of Wallis Lake in the comfort of Reef’s all-weather dining. There’s no need to brave the wind and rain!

Honey lacquered confit duck

Breakfast at Reef, brought to you by the first footprint on the beach and the first wave at dawn.

Rump steak with pan fried king prawns Chicken schnitzel topped with bacon, avocado and cheese Pan fried salmon with caper and prawn butter Beef massaman curry Pesto marinated gnocchi with rocket, fetta and pumpkin sauce Owner Darren McDonagh.

Half lobster mornay with herb and bacon risotto

Chef Kevin Williams.

Salt and pepper chilli squid with Thai salad Pan fried king prawns with Waldorf salad

Shop 1, 2-6 Wharf Street, Forster t 6555 7092

121 Wingham Rd, Taree t 6539 4000 w

open Lunch & Dinner Monday - Friday, Breakfast - Lunch Dinner, Saturday & Sunday - 8am till late

open from 10 am daily. Closed Christmas Day..

Breakers at Sporties

Harrigan’s Irish Pub

Two of the region’s most popular chefs, Dylan Gummer and Ian Robinson, have returned to Tuncurry’s friendliest club, the Sporties, and promise you a gastronomic delight in the very comfortable and stylish Breakers @ Sporties.

Open 7 days per week for breakfast lunch and dinner. Lunch Specials: available Monday – Friday 12 meals for $12 each.

Along with a brand new menu that will please the most discerning diner, the boys offer great specials – 7 days a week! For starters, their lunchtime special, ‘Fish and Chips’, at an amazing $5.50 for members is very hard to beat. If you haven’t been to Breakers @ Sporties lately, do yourself a favour – ‘cause the BOYS ARE BACK IN TOWN!

Beach Street Tuncurry t 6554 9270 open 7 Days for Lunch and Dinner. Lunch: 12pm-2.30pm Dinner: 5.30pm-8pm

Chef Dylan and Ian.

Dinner Specials: Monday: $15 schnitzel night Tuesday: 12 meals for $12 each Wednesday: $12 steak night Thursday: ‘Redback Special’, 3 courses for $20 Friday: $15 pizza and pasta night Sunday: $12.50 two course lunch or dinner, Roast + Dessert

Head Chef Scott Hyde.

Harrington Waters, Josephine Blvd, Harrington t 6556 0555 open Breakfast: 7.30am - 9.30am Mon-Fri, 7.30am - 10.30am Sat Sun. Lunch: 12pm - 2.30pm every day. Dinner: 6pm - 8.30pm every day. manning-great lakes focus 19



King Prawn and mango salad.

Raw Sugar Café Our food is prepared by our qualified chefs, using only the freshest local ingredients and served by experienced and friendly staff. Our specials board changes weekly! Don’t forget our fantastic fresh fruit smoothies, frappes and fresh juices. Come in and enjoy the five star experience today. Open for breakfast at 7.30am, lunch from 11.30am and afternoon tea until 4pm.

IAN ROBINSON + DYLAN GUMMER Freshest local ingredients.

214 Victoria Street, Taree t 6550 0137 open 7.30am to 4pm.

From the Breakers at Sporties Tuncurry Warm date and pistachio pudding with chamomile ice cream, preserved orange and cardamom sauce.

Restaurant Synergy Synergy Restaurant & Bar, located at the Mercure Centro Hotel – where food and service works in harmony. Enjoy an intimate dining experience serving modern Australian Cuisine at it’s best. Private dining rooms available for up to 20 guests, or for larger events, consider our spectacular ocean roof top.

Happy hour 5.30pm – 7pm nightly. Sunday special $50pp – 2 course choice menu with complimentary bottle of wine.

ow long have you lived ed d in the Great Lakes, and how long have you y? worked in the industry? IR: I have lived in the w, Great Lakes area for about 10 years now, and I have worked in the industry for around 20 years. I have been a chef for 17 years. DG: I have lived in the area for 11 years. I have worked in the industry for 25 years and been a chef for 25 years.

Cnr Hay & William Streets, Port Macquarie t 6583 0830 w open 7 days, from 6.30am 'til 10am for breakfast; 5pm – late for dinner. Bookings essential.

20 manning-great lakes focus.


DG: Quality food, great atmosphere and friendly staff.

I like to What are some of our giant your favourite local Do you have a 500 g T-bone withtop. on ingredients to cook signature dish that ns aw pr garlic e hit with and why? we can expect to That is a massiv with the locals.” IR: I like to cook with see on the menu at local Snapper, Leather Breakers? Jacket, local Blue Swimmers, IR: My signature dish and the local oysters here are would be garlic prawns the best in the world. I like cooking and avocado fettucini. I try to with these ingredients, because the mix it up a bit – I like to cook shanks, Co-op lets us know what fish they have lobsters and crumbed lamb brains. They are caught daily. a favourite with our customers.

Maître d' Ammish & Executive Chef Nathaniel.

Wh can people expect from a Breakers Wh Breake kers rss What @ Sporties experience? IR: Good food at a low price. We have a lunch time special of fish and chips for only $5.50. Great value!

DG: I like cooking with the local seafood here. Barclay Oysters, Manning Valley Duck and Emerald Valley Rump are some of my favourites. I like the fact that you can talk to your local suppliers about the local produce. I like to support the locals, and you can guarantee it is always fresh.

DG: My signature dish is lobster mornay. We do a local seafood platter for two which we need 24 hours' notice for, as we go and hand select the local seafood ourselves. I like to cook our giant 500 g T-bone with garlic prawns on top. That is a massive hit with the locals.

manning-great lakes focus 21



SteveAttkins. Stev from Great Lakes Winery

What to do with all those

Flow Restaurant


Wineries continue to be a popular destination for tourists and locals alike, as they provide an experience of more than just drinking wine. here are a number of elements to wineries that make the overall experience enjoyable and offer a great destination when you have friends and relatives staying, and by default you assume the role of entertainment director!

another form of produce to be produced at or nearby the winery, as they're often in an agricultural area. Organic beef, cheeses, condiments, jams and knick-knacks make the visit to the winery an opportunity to buy gifts without the queues of shopping centres, and you’re likely to find something a little different.

First of all, the majority of wineries provide So, as you prepare yourself for the influx of free wine tastings, with friendly staff offering families and friends over the next couple information about the wine and of months, keep in mind the half winery and happy to just dozen or so wineries you can have a relaxed chat with visit – each has its own you. Wineries are speciality, providing unique Wineries are typically located in a experiences that you typically located n, tio beautiful location, might not have realised in a beautiful loca u with yo es which provides were available. id ov pr ch whi tion you with a sense a sense of relaxawind – At the southern end of relaxation and and space to un r the of our region we have meaning room fo space to unwind d Great Lakes Winery an nd ou kids to run ar – meaning room to rs in Wootton, Villa ke in dr e non-win .” for the kids to run ck ba ck De’sta and Wallamba ki d an relax around and non-wine Vale Winery at Krambach drinkers to relax and kick and a bit further north, we back. have Ghinni Ghinni Wines at It is common for a winery to sell other interesting items, from local produce through to antiques. What a great way to do your Christmas shopping – sampling wine and gathering items to create unique gift hampers – a job that maybe the non-wine drinkers can be tasked with while you enjoy the wine tasting.

Ghinni Ghiinni and Red Tail Wines at Marlee. Pick a couple to visit in a day, for a fun experience for the whole clan.

Food is also a big attraction in wineries – some have restaurants, and most offer some sort of light refreshment. It is also common for

So you never know what you might find, as most wineries are so much more than just a winery!

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At Great Lakes Winery, we do wine and cheese tastings, grow our own beef, sell as much local produce as we can get our hands on, and we do our best to make it an experience when you take the time to come and visit us.

ears in the industry: 14.

Professional training: I've worked in many resorts and local restaurants up the East Coast of Australia under some passionate and well regarded chefs; plus, I spent some years working in the Southern Highlands. Time at Flow: I have been at Flow since the business took a new direction towards creating a summer menu prior to Xmas 2011. At this time, I helped incorporate a dinner menu for Friday and Saturday nights, which we change every week depending on the availability of local seafood and produce. What’s new on the menu for summer? Each week we recreate the dinner menu and include specials for our weekend lunch menu. These are posted on every week to inform our regulars. Meals are a mix of all the best flavours from around the world, which we like to call modern Australiana cuisine. On every menu there is a range of the highest quality steaks, seafood and vegetarian cuisine. These are priced to allow diners the option to enjoy an everyday favourite such as our beer battered fresh local Flathead, or our famous Schezuan salt and pepper squid. For the more discerning palate, we offer a confit of pork belly with orange blossom, saffron and pear gel, pork skin crumble and pear galette with chilli caramel as an evening entrée. In essence, we have created a menu that will satisfy each individual in a large group of friends looking for an exciting venue to eat.

mention. We get berries, wood fired bread, specialty sausages and even Old Bar Primary donate their hand grown herbs from the school garden, which from the taste is obviously fussed over tirelessly with love. What’s the best seller on the new menu? For lunch, it’s definitely the Middle Eastern spiced beef burger with a house made red pepper and eggplant relish and for dinner, the popular choice is the crispy skin whole baby Snapper, with a caramel Asian glaze and fresh seasonal vegetables. Did I mention desserts? Canada Julie has well and truly earned a reputation for her amazing variety of homemade cheesecakes, panna cottas and gluten free delicacies. What is your favourite ingredient? It’s hard to say, as there are so many, but as mentioned above I enjoy working with rich cuts such as pork belly. They allow so many innovations of varying flavours and the use of exotic spices and seasonal fruits. As a chef, who do you look to for inspiration? My main inspiration comes from chefs who have a passion for modern cuisine, such as Peter Kuruvita with his rich culturally inspired cooking and George Calombaris from Master Chef, who puts an influentially modern twist on traditional Mediterranean and Greek cuisine.

Tell us about your use of local produce on the menu? It’s hard to beat the freshness and quality of produce available on the Mid North Coast. We get first pick of freshly caught seafood from Stone’s Seafood before it heads to the Sydney markets, Luco at Old Bar Quality Meats helps us source the most tender and juicy cuts of meat, while ole Rex at Solomon’s is a workhorse when it comes to getting our fruit and veg out here on time every other day.

There is a great vibe at Flow with your live music. Do you have any special events coming up to note? Locals have been crying out for an alternative to the gambling styles of entertainment venues that tend to be flooding small coastal towns these days. Live music at Flow has been well supported as such, and this summer is no exception. Every Friday night and Sunday afternoon will see a variety of local and travelling musicians perform. The word is getting out there among musicians looking for venues to play, most of whom travel between Sydney and Byron Bay for gigs. If the weather is kind, we bring out a jumping castle for the kids and try to create a real inclusive environment.

The area is amazing as far as local business support goes, of which there are too many to

Please be sure to book in for meals during live performances, as we fill up quite quickly.

Beat the rush and stock up now!

Fancy a Delicious Seafood Feast? Beat the rush and stock up now! If you haven’t tried Bayview products before, don't miss out on the big Cook Up Day, from 9am to 4pm on Friday 7 December at the factory outlet in Mahogany Crescent, TAREE. Come and try our freshly cooked samples, and get cooking tips for our products at the same time. You'll discover a large variety of frozen seafood at factory direct prices. You'll be amazed by how much there is to choose from including tempura prawns, crumbed Flathead fillets, tempura seafood sticks, Barramundi fillets, crumbed Calamari rings, tempura butterfly Whiting and more. Catering for a party? Entertaining is easy at Bayview. There's a huge range of finger food including cocktail spring rolls and samosas (curried vegetable puffs), big fish cocktails, garlic prawns (great for the BBQ), chicken bites and salt and pepper squid. Looking for Gluten Free? Bayview produces an excellent range of crumbed Gluten Free products including flounder, chicken and vegetable patties. Find out the weekly specials in advance with Bayview's weekly e-newsletter, which is emailed every Wednesday. It includes new specials, cook up day information, new products etc. If you are interested in receiving our weekly e-newsletter, or would like a current price list, please contact Jane at or phone 02 6539 5555.

Tuncurry Seafood Race Day Tuncurry Races this year is proud to announce that on 19 January, it will hold it's very first Seafood Race Day! Buses will run in the morning from 11am, and the last bus leaves at 6pm. You can look on the website for more information: The gates open at 11am. Entry into the track is $10 non members, $5 for members and aged pensioners, and children under 18 are free accompanied by an adult. On the day, race book with a pen will be available for $5 each. Food available on course will be prawn rolls, local Barclay oysters, BBQ sausages on a fresh bread roll with oysters in the sausage (sausage carpet bagger!) Great Lakes Fisherman's CoOp is barbecuing fresh fish and plates of prawns. Also available will be pies, hot dogs and fresh cut sandwichs. There will be an undercover food eating area with tables and chairs and a bar selling beer, wine, champagne, spirits, cold drinks and water. The feature race of the day, 'The Oyster Cup', will be ran over 1,400 m, plus there will be four other races on the day. There will be 10 book makers and a six window TAB operating on Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane.

December at Club Forster VIVA LAS VEGAS! A spectacular production starring dynamic vocalist PETER PAKI, amazing instrumentalist JOEY FIMMANO and award winning comedy juggler RICK ALLISON. All of these top performers plus the LAS VEGAS SHOWGIRLS and BAND. It's suggested that you book early to avoid disappointment! Since arriving from New Zealand, Peter Paki's dynamic voice and vibrant personality has led him to all the major clubs throughout Australia. Peter was awarded the prestigious and coveted 'CLUB ENTERTAINER OF THE YEAR'. Joey Fimmano has developed an electrifying stage show. A brilliant pianist, vocalist and accordionist, Joey is a true showman captivating audiences with his energy. Joey has won many multiple awards, including best Vocal and Instrumental Performer and Variety Performer of the Year. Joey has 4 albums to his credit, and he has recently performed on Channel 7’s popular morning show Sunrise with David Koch. Rick Allison is part of the famous Australian showbusiness family – THE ALLISONS. He is an international award winner and an amazing comedy juggler who will leave you breathless.

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focusinterview. s o c i a l s c e n e Below. Amanda Kennedy and James Dorrington.

with Donna Carrier from Bent on Food. Below. Pink Ribbon Day.

Below. Mum and Dad cutting the cake.


Below. Amanda Gregory and Matt Burrows’ wedding.

Above Natalie Carrier and Sharon Cave.


Above. Building the Pizza Oven.

As I was looking through my folder of Social Scenes, I found one I had written back in 2008, and I was surprised that I have had this gig for so long. During the past 4 or so years,, I have had the pleasure of writing about so many milestones and events. Each month when the deadline comes around, which I invariably stretch a bit, my first question to selff is: when am I going to find time for this? Then I put pen to paper, or more like fingers to keyboard, and I really enjoy sharing people’s special moments in this column.


his year is almost done; it has been a challenging year for many people in the community, and a successful year for others. For most, there is a balance, but many people in the region do not even have a roof over their heads. Each year, Bent on Food participates in DineSmart for the 6 week lead up to Christmas, where we ask diners to donate $2 on the top of their bill for local initiatives. This Christmas, think about some way you can help those not as fortunate as you. We only need to give up a few small indulgences to help another community member or a family in need. November has been quite social with weddings, anniversaries, birthdays and the start of many Christmas celebrations; I managed to get a few days in Sydney too, with an awards night or two to attend. I must say a big happy 18th birthday to my very beautiful niece, Paige, who celebrated this milestone on 3 November. She had a quiet celebration with family and a few close friends. On the same day, we were privileged to join Mave and Eric Richardson and around 100 guests at the Manning Regional Art Gallery for a 000 celebration party which included Eric’s 80th, Mave’s 70th and their 20th wedding anniversary. George Hoad was the entertaining MC for the night, with friends and family travelling long distances to witness the renewal of their marriage vows. It was a lovely evening at a fabulous venue spent with some great people. A very special event that is close to my heart 24 manning-great lakes focus.

or a great grea gr eatt future, ea futu fu utu ture re, Amanda re Amanda and Matt, was my own parent’s 50th wedding anniversary Good luck for on 24 November. It was a small party held and thanks for allowing us to be part of your at Bent on Food with family and a few close special day – and you share an anniversary with friends, along with their ‘adopted’ children, as my parents too. my parents have always remained close to all On the very same day, November 24, the of their children’s friends and their families. day I needed to split myself in two – really Their longtime friends, Dot and Paul I did – I was at Sydney Fish Markets at Menzies, surprised them by 7am that morning, serving at a coming up from the Blue wedding at 1.30 and feeding my Mountains. We had a family at 7pm. Consequently, beautiful celebration, I would like I missed another special which made me realise to take this event: Amanda Kennedy opportunity to S once again how lucky I and James Dorrington held wish all the FOCUrful am to have an amazing de their engagement party readers a won a family, along with d an as with 22 close friends and Christm .” parents who have taught prosperous 2013 family, who joined them for me such wonderful a casual celebration at James values. Thanks Mum and parent’s home in Killawarra. Dad for being you and for Guests came from all over Sydney, sticking together through thick and Lismore, Newcastle and Wingham. thin! Congratulations, Amanda and James; I know

Also on November 24, in a beautiful garden in Taree, Amanda Gregory and Matt Burrows were married in front of 50 friends and family. This was a very special party, as invitations were sent out to their engagement party, so none of the guests knew that they were going to a wedding. My beautiful friend, Sarah Julian, did a great job conducting a lovely wedding ceremony. As you can see by the photos taken by Judith Conning, this was a seriously stunning wedding; the bride and groom looked fabulous, and the family was a joy to work with. It was also a really relaxed way to get married. We really enjoyed the day.

you will have a fabulous life together. Just last week, I had the pleasure of meeting Lisa from The Green in Tuncurry and learning more about their sustainable projects. It always amazes me how there are so many dedicated people out there helping to save our planet. The Green is a whole-of-community project located at the current site of the Tuncurry land-fill. This area is currently being transitioned to a transfer station and together, they are creating a vibrant new community recreation venue. The Green has recently run some pizza oven workshops lead by eco-architect, Will Eastlake and a team

enviro viiro o oven. o ove ven ve n. of volunteers, who built a hugee enviro They plan on holding a number of community events in the coming months. This year we were one of the many sponsors for the annual Pink Ribbon Motorbike Ride, a major fundraiser for the Cancer Council. The first event was a Pink Ribbon Breakfast at the Dunbogan Boatshed, which was a really fun morning where they raised $1000. The next event was the Mid North Coast Pink Ribbon Motorbike Ride, which was held on 13 October. The day was a huge success, with over 140 bikes decorated with pink and many great pink outfits. Lunch was provided at the Long Flat Hotel ... they even had pink bread! The organisers raised $3500 on the day from raffle sales and the barbecue. Congrats to Mary and Suzanne for another successful event. If you would like to help out the Blackhead Surf Club, do not miss the Head2Head Ocean Classic on Sunday January 6, entries are open, or just head to Blackhead to watch. I would like to take this opportunity to wish all the FOCUS readers a wonderful Christmas and a prosperous 2013; I hope you all enjoy some relaxing time with your family and special friends, stay safe and make sure you allow yourselves to indulge in some great local food. Bye until 2013. I would love to hear from you if you have any social events, weddings, parties anything! Send pics and info to Cheers, Donna.


It’s common knowledge that not only do we NEED clean, fresh water to survive, but also that our bodies largely consist of water. Steve Tea distributes Mount Seaview Spring Water through his business, Sands Refreshments, and says his research has proven to him that spring water has the edge over filtered or tap water …


hat originally brought you to the Great Lakes area? I’m originally from Queensland, and I came to Forster-Tuncurry 23 years ago. I was a young bloke in my 20s and doing a bit of travelling around Australia; I was in the building trade at that time. I met some people from the Manning-Great Lakes area, who kept telling me how great the place was. I also had a friend who got the job of Captain-Coach at the Forster-Tuncurry Hawks Rugby League Club. So, I decided to come and visit – and like most people, I really liked the place. Even though I’ve always lived in a couple of capital cities, I always wanted to settle in to a smaller country town. You played with the Hawks as well? Yes, I played first grade for the Hawks, and I was Captain for a couple of years. I played until I was in my early 30s. I’m still a keen watcher and supporter! How did you establish your business, Sands Refreshments? Sands Refreshments stands for ‘Steve and Sue’ (my partner). We bought a small, family owned water distribution run, which actually distributed Mount Seaview Spring Water. I’ve been in business for exactly 12 months now. After I took over that run, I was keen to expand the business. I asked Anthony, the Proprietor of Mount Seaview Spring Water, tonnes of questions about how I could expand the business and how the water distribution worked, and after a few months, he decided to get me to distribute Mount Seaview Spring Water right throughout the Manning-Great Lakes area. So what would be a typical day’s run for you – you have a large area to cover? I go to Mount Seaview, which is located not far from Wauchope, twice a week to pick up the water. I then visit Harrington and Lansdowne, the greater Taree area, out as far as Wingham, Forster and Tuncurry and all the way out to Pacific Palms. What do you believe are the benefits of

drinking spring water? Mount Seaview Spring Water has a high quantity of minerals and electrolytes, which makes it a top quality spring water. Mount Seaview Spring Water contains magnesium, which can boost circulation, encourages blood vessels to open up to allow greater blood flow and can help with blood pressure levels. Magnesium is also beneficial to muscles, the brain, nervous system and helps maintain the immune system and normal heart rhythm. are For people who Mount Seaview Spring p ta t worrried abou Water also contains n, io at water and fluorid nt calcium, which when de they can be confi er is combined with magneat w g rin that our sp sium, can work together l with ra tu tanks, and then it na y el et compl nt to help the body keep ou M d. de undergoes a thorough ad g in th no water is illness and disease at bay, filtration process, involvSeaview Spring urce.” Bicarbonate, which is good ing ozonation, filtration bottled at the so for the kidneys, and potasthrough granular activated sium. Sodium is also present carbon filters and then through in low levels – which is normal for 5 micron and 1 micron filter media. spring water. After filtration, the water is poured into Before I took on this distribution business, I sterilised bottles, ready for distribution. knew that spring water was good for you, but I It’s also important to note that Mount Seaview didn’t know to what extent. I’ve done quite a bit Spring Water is bottled at the source – it’s not of research and all water is NOT the same. Tap transported away and bottled outside the area. water and filtered water does not contain the This ensures the quality and bottling process are same level of minerals or electrolytes. consistent. The water is also regularly tested by And for those people who may be conindependent laboratories. cerned about fluoride in their drinking What size bottles do you actually distribwater? ute? Everything that is in Mount Seaview’s Spring We have: large 15 L bottles, which are used Water is clearly printed on the label – there on top of water coolers or bench dispensers; 10 are no surprises, and nothing is hidden. So for L bottles, which have a tap, so they’re perfect people who are worried about tap water and for people who travel on holidays or go campthe possibility of water fluoridation, they can be ing; and then there are the 1.5 L and 600 ml confident that our spring water is completely bottles, which are perfect to store at home in natural, with nothing added. the fridge and are easily portable. What processes are actually involved from We also lease a variety of coolers and dispensthe time Mount Seaview’s Spring Water er units. One of the most popular is a cooler that is collected, to being delivered direct to provides both cold and room temperature water. people’s doors? We also have hot and cold units, freestanding Mount Seaview Spring Water is sourced from or benchtop units, and ceramic water dispensers a capped aquifer that has been in operation with a tap. We can even supply cups! since 1994. Once brought up from underDo you actually recycle any of these bottles, ground, the water is stored in large holding and if so, what are the processes involved?

We recycle the 15 L bottles - the other sizes are one-use only. When the 15 L containers are empty, I collect them, take them back to Mount Seaview, where they’re sterilised before reuse. Once the bottles are refilled, they’re capped and dated, so it’s easy to see exactly when the water was bottled. Once the bottles are sealed, I pick them up in a large truck and bring them back to an undercover holding bay in either Taree or Tuncurry. I use a smaller truck to distribute the water around the area. Typically, how long has the water been bottled before it‘s delivered? Normally no more than 3 days. Sometimes you can be lucky enough to have water delivered the same day as it’s bottled. Do you supply water to sporting groups/ venues, as well as individuals’ homes and businesses? We do. We supply quite a variety of businesses, ranging from hairdressers to mechanics’ workshops, chemists and offices. We supply to various sporting groups, and our individual customers range in age from the young to the elderly. How can people contact you if they’re interested in ordering Mount Seaview Spring Water? Call me on: 0422 182 137. Thanks Steve. Interview by Jo Atkins. manning-great lakes focus 25



barriers M A RGA R E T L E W I S


hat’s your role with the Life Without Barriers (LWB) organisation, and what’s involved with this position on a

day-to-day basis? I am the Operations Manager for the Lower Mid North Coast. The region is part of the Northern area and covers the Great Lakes, Manning and Hastings LPSs. My role is to manage the overall provision of programs we have in the region, to liaise with relevant stakeholders including government departments and to ensure our clients’ needs are met as closely as possible. I lead a wonderful team of people who have a diverse range of skills. They work directly with the clients and in some cases they also lead teams who work in the provision of direct client care. What’s some of the history behind the establishment of Life Without Barriers nationally? In 1995, two community leaders from Newcastle who shared a passion for improving the lives of people living with a disability proposed to create a new non-government, secular organisation for people living with a disability. A Board was formed, and Life Without Barriers commenced operation. Chief Executive Officer Ray Dunn joined the team in 1999. LWB recruited more staff, enhanced and expanded the original disability programs, and applied for government funding. In 2000, Out-Of-Home-Care services, such as foster care, commenced in New South Wales. The demand for these services increased rapidly because of the unique community based approach of LWB. Between 2001 and 2005, Out-Of-Home-Care services commenced in South East Queensland, Central and Far North Queensland operations commenced, and LWB established itself in South Australia. The LWB model of care expanded into mental health services in South Australia. Services commenced in the Northern Territory and new programs were developed in collaboration with

26 manning-great lakes focus.

local Aboriginal communities to provide culturally was employed to support and build on these appropriate care. In 2006, operations were programs. In 2007, the local office was opened established in Tasmania and Far West NSW and in in Taree, and the Port Macquarie office was 2007, Life Without Barriers launched services in opened in 2010. Western Australia. It was also in 2007 LWB won What are the aims of the organisation? the Australian Business Award for Innovation LWB is an organisation that identifies the for our unique approach to mental health and ‘gaps’ in service provision and develops models Indigenous support services. of service which can meet the need and are In 2008, LWB became the sustainable into the future. largest non-government Our Vision: Communities where provider of disability disadvantage is challenged and services in the people are empowered. We are optimistic ial. to future potent Northern Territory. Our Mission: We support is to be Our philosophy e and The organisation vulnerable and marginalised open, accountablals and held its first annual people to reach their full go tic to set realis ions. at ct pe reconciliation event potential. ex on er deliv h with and established the Our Values: We follow througwill do.” e w y sa e w t wha Carer Advancement and Relationships first: we Training Team. value meaningful, healthy In 2009, LWB hosted its relationships, and it is the inaugural Carer Conference, difference and the foundation of attracting carers from all around everything we practice. We engage in the country. The organisation commenced meaningful dialogue and communicate providing care to unaccompanied asylum openly. We work collaboratively with seekers on Christmas Island. Operations individuals, families and communities. We listen were established in Victoria and LWB and reflect, empathise and seek answers. expanded into New Zealand, gaining approval to Quality delivery uncompromised: we are an be an out-of-home care provider. ethical organisation that looks to provide client In 2010, a new five year strategic plan was focused services. We take an evidence-based developed identifying key success areas for the approach, we undertake research and we organisation. The implementation of a consistent measure our outcomes. We are efficient and National Service Delivery Model commenced for effective, delivering value for money through out-of- home-care services. our services. We are flexible, responsive and In 2011, Claire Robbs was appointed as innovative, and we continually look to improve Chief Executive Officer, Life Without Barriers what we are doing and how we do it. was accredited as a home and community care Honesty: we are optimistic to future potential. provider, and services to support refugees and Our philosophy is to be open, accountable and asylum seekers expanded to include provision of to set realistic goals and deliver on expectations. community detention. We follow through with what we say we will do. How long has the organisation been We challenge established ways of thinking and operating in the Manning-Great Lakes? we are accountable for our actions. We build LWB started providing Out of Home care hope by increasing opportunities, capabilities and services in the local area in 2004. There were a independence. We create safe environments for small number of carers who were supported by a honest dialogue and we encourage and respect small team managed from the Newcastle office. feedback. In early 2005, some disability programs were Everyone is valuable: we are an organisation established, and later in 2005 a local Coordinator dedicated to caring, and we never give up. We

are centred on people. We have faith in the human spirit, we embrace and value diversity and we are culturally respectful. We value our clients, our people and our stakeholders. Our approach is to see capability and possibility. What are some of the services/programs offered by LWB locally? The main program areas in our region are Out of Home Care and Disability. In the Out of Home Care program, we recruit, train and support carers who care for young people who are in the care of the Minister. How do people access these services – are referrals necessary? People who use the services provided by LWB are mainly referred through Department of Family and Community Services (DoCS and ADHC). Generally funding is allocated to an individual or group of individuals/program and LWB then provides the programs as per the relevant guidelines. There are some exceptions which may be ‘short term’ needs for support; these are sometimes ‘brokered’ to LWB from other organisations. Life Without Barriers is a not-for-profit organisation. Is it possible for members of the public to offer either monetary or volunteer assistance, and if so, how would they go about doing this? If people wish to donate they can do this through a link on the website au. They can also call in at the Taree or Port Macquarie offices. All donations over $2 are tax deductable. There are many ways to volunteer with LWB. Our carers are voluntary carers who are paid an amount for reimbursement. There are other ways to volunteer; the best idea is to contact us at the office if you wish to do so. Where can people go to find out more information? The number for the Taree office is 6539 2100. People can phone this number and our Admin Officer, Mikaela, will put you in touch with the person who can best assist you with your query. You can learn more about LWB by going to the website Thanks Margaret.

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Peppa’s Business

CAPRICORN. December 22 - January 20

Relationships may bring some unexpected surprises. Keep the nurturing magic of your relationship active this month. A holiday may soon be on the agenda. New friends and work colleagues are also likely to be a major influence over the next few weeks. Rose quartz is a loving, nurturing crystal encouraging confidence.

AQUARIUS. January 21 - February 19

Congratulations you are about to receive a beautiful reward. Your faith is one of your strongest gifts, and even though you have been through rough times, you were still able to be true to yourself and remained yourself. You may now be showing others how to do the same. Turquoise enables us to receive our rewards effortlessly.

PISCES. February 20 - March 20

You may have been feeling left out or abandoned lately. Don’t despair, you were just being given a perfect time out time to regather your energy and personal power. Work opportunities will soon take you on a new journey. Enjoy! Ruby is very effective for personal power.

ARIES. March 21 - April 20

If life still isn’t satisfying you, perhaps your focus is a little too material. Try connecting with the essence of your childhood joy, and allow new adventure into your life. Your intellect will soon be satisfied, as study is a likely influence soon. Citrine brings an abundance of creative energy.



April 21 - May 21

August 24 - September 23 A

More adventure is on the horizon this year. A trip overseas is likely to occur soon, bringing further passion into your life. Avoid being anxious about money, because you will manifest the perfect amount needed, as you usually do anyway. Citrine carried in the wallet is said to attract an abundance of wealth.

GEMINI. May 22 - June 22

New beginnings surround you at the moment. Dreaming of birth often represents new beginnings too so don’t be worried if you have dreamt these themes. This year is likely to host a myriad of activities for your social calendar. New acquaintances are entering the picture so enjoy their company. Mangano Calcite is wonderful for removing potential negative thought patterns, and eliminating self- sabotage.

CANCER. June 23 - July 23 Ju

You have recently triumphed over personal challenges and may have begun to recognise new strengths. Now just bring back your laughter and lighten up your energy. New romance, fun and adventure can be expected. Make a wish and see what happens. Rose quartz brings out our passion for living and our joy.

LEO. July 24 - August 23

You are about to tumble into ‘the adventure of a life-time’. Enjoy your talents and the wonder of developing them as this year will present many opportunities to explore them through. Reconnect through your inner child with a personal relationship and enjoy some playful energy. Aqua Marine gives us enormous self courage to confidently walk through any situation.

Your feelings of distance from your situation will not last much longer, as your tolerance is returning to you. Be patient and kind to yourself, as you are so often there for everyone else and rarely for yourself. In order to survive, you needed your space to recover from the demands placed on you. Ruby protects us from our own worst enemy (ourselves). Stops fear based thoughts and insecurities playing with us.

LIBRA. September 24 - October 23

Congratulations; you have created the way for your success through letting go of anxiety and bringing forth self confidence. Now rehash what is important to you and why it is, to attract even more reward. Real estate dealings should prove very rewarding. Orange Calcite heals, restores and rejuvenates the mind, body and spirit.

Hi, Peppa and Leigh here. e. You may have seen see ee en us over ove ver the ver th he rkets and special events anywhere past several years at markets l with i h our unmistakable i k bl between Bellingen and N Newcastle, bright white stall bursting with colour. Well ... we have grown and now celebrate three years in our shop in Centrepoint Arcade, Taree, with the same eclectic, inspiring and always surprising rage of goods and with our diverse selection of clothing, we capture the imagination of our clientele – young to mature, small or voluptuous. We have friendly service and a comfortable atmosphere, so come on in and see our beautiful flowing summer range. Also in store is this year’s line of gifts with a difference, including ‘Toots exclusive gift books’, which have the shape and texture of their subject. e.g. cricket, wine, flowers, UFOs and golf. ‘Coo Clocks’, with a 19th century charm and 21st century style. With a host of characters, including whinny coo, moo coo and elephant coo clocks! Also on our shelves, we have sand pictures hand made in Austria; they are very refined, beautiful, relaxing and mesmerising. The ‘Healthy Habits’ corner of the store has a wide selection of books, CDs and DVDs for inspiration, personal growth and awareness. Stocks are limited on exclusive gift and clothing lines. So see you soon at Peppa’s Business downtown, Victoria St, Taree, in the Centrepoint Arcade (or at a market near you).

SCORPIO. October 24 - November 22

Stand strong in your own light, someone close to you is trying to grow through their weaknesses, and their insecurities are playing with them. They are learning by your example, so don’t give up. Remember we all react to truths we aren’t prepared for. Blue lace agate lightens the mind and clears thoughts.

SAGATTARIUS. November 23 - December 21

Total change can be expected to your binding circumstance, as your wish has been heard. Validate one talent today by using it, and watch the wonderful difference this makes to your attitudes. Try a little goal setting. Carnelian is a wonderful motivating crystal.

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Are you looking for a gift with a difference? Bent on Life is the region’s place to shop when you are looking for a gift with a difference. With an incredible range of quality kitchenware, French Provincial tableware and homewares, handcrafted ladies jewellery, beautiful leather handbags and great things for you and your home, there is no need to go any further than Bent on Life.

for that special teacher.

Take advantage of our Christmas Neoflam cookware sale, with 50% off RRP, along with coffee vouchers and discounts off cookery school bookings.

If you are looking for a stylish gift or a special piece for your home that you can’t find anywhere else in the valley, Bent on Life is the place to find it.

Kitchenware brands include Cuisinart, Kitchenaid, Scanpan, Joseph Joseph, Bodum and S & P, Curtis Stone.

Open every Sunday in December, 10am - 2pm.

Take a look at our beautifully bound journals and photo albums.

We lovingly gift wrap while you pop down to Bent on Food for a coffee, complimentary when you spend $50. If on the odd occasion you are unable to find a suitable gift, you can purchase one of our gift vouchers, which can be used for gifts, lunch, gourmet food or even a cookery class.

Pop into Wingham on Thursday 13 December for the Christmas Street Carnival and do some shopping; we are open late.

If you would like to spruce the house up before the guests arrive, look no further.

If you can't make it to Wingham, you can buy online: and we can gift wrap and send away for you.

Gorgeous scented diffusers and soy candles, glassware, teapots and cups, and small gifts

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Where to go after breast surgery. Where to go after breast surgery? Fatal Attraction lingerie is now trading from Margo’s Boutique Sundek Plazas, Wallis Street Forster. Ladies did you know the Government’s initiative to provide reimbursement of up to $400 for both new and replacement breast prostheses to eligible women who have had a masectomy as a result of breast cancer was announced in the national breast cancer was announced in the National External Breast Prostheses Reimbursement Program. The $400 limit applies to each prothesis for each breast. Jennifer Presland is still providing this caring service for all of her customers, but is not in the store unless booked. You must ring her and book in. Jenny is available at your convenience in December 4 days a week and she will come to you if you cannot make it to the store. Easy parking in front of the store makes it easier for elderly ladies to park. You can order by phoning if you cant come in.

$10 off each pocketed bra purchase during December. Keep this service going by supporting local business. Phone 6555 5050. Please leave name and number if unanswered and Jenny will return your call.

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Celebrating our 1st Birthday irthday December is the month for you to come and visit us at Margo’s Boutique. Not only are we celebrating our 1st Birthday this month we also want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas! We are celebrating in style so come in for the huge array of Birthday / Christmas specials! The early bird gets the worm with this sale, so don’t miss out.

Look no further than Justdresses4u Have you left your Christmas shopping to the last minute? Then look no further than Justdresses4u! Justdresses4u have a great range of dresses, from casual beachwear to daywear to cocktail and formal dresses.

Also on the racks you will find all the vibrant colours of the new Summer ranges from all of our fabulous designers. Don’t miss out on their new season stock, as it will sell fast; be quick, so you’re not disappointed!

Justdresses4u also stocks shorts, tees, jeans, tops, handbags and jewellery. We also have a fabulous new range of beautiful hand made bath bombs and moisturisers with essential oils, to keep your skin soft this summer.

They have new arrivals every day from new labels Ping Pong, Andiamo, and See Saw and also their popular brands Jillian, Black Apple, Meredith, The Clothing Company and Resort Report.

Or if it is all too hard too choose from, then why not buy that special girl in your life one of our gift vouchers?

So don’t hesitate! Come in and meet Judie and the team today at Margo’s Taree and be the most fashionable lady on Christmas Day. While you are there, why not also find yourself that special outfit for New Year’s Eve and see in the New Year in a spectacular new outfit!

We have a huge range of dresses in store for all your party season requirements. Come in and meet Leanne today and try on a dress that will be perfect for your Christmas and New Year occasions. We have all the accessories that you could ever need to really set you apart from the crowd. You will find us on Kularoo Drive, Forster – just past the Likely Street turn off. We look forward to seeing you soon!




The combination of a pristine environment coupled with rich, red volcanic soil produces nutritious and abundant produce for market, as Sandra Fishwick explains ns ...


ow long have you lived seem to flow, even in the drought. Our on your property at rainfall is around 2 metres a year. Mooral Creek? What are some of the crops you grow on Red Plateau Organic the property, and why did you originally Produce is owned and decide to grow them? managed by business partners Sandra The Comboyne area had started to take Fishwick and Matthew Hanly. off, with more avocado orchards being We’ve been farming the property since planted. So, after checking out what other 1987 and started living there after we built farmers were planting, we thought we could the farm house in the late ‘80s. give it a go and planted 200 avocado trees as Describe the property – how many acres a trial planting. (or hectares) does it consist of, and We started our first planting of 200 what are some of the key geographical macadamia nuts and then started planting features? avocados a year after that. The first orchards The property is 650 m above that were planted are over 25 years sea level and is 300 acres. old. We have around 2,000 It has deep, rich, red avocado trees, 500 citrus volcanic soil, is partly trees and around 400 nut We have always cleared and is mostly trees. It takes around 6 been organic, to e natural hardwood years before you get ar and our practices od go and subtropical in a decent crop off the nd la r ou keep y to grow rainforest, being an avocado trees. condition and tr ing st isolated part of the We keep bees a healthy, great ta t lead n’ Comboyne Plateau product that does of the to help with the n to the degradatio − the only difference pollination and flower .” ils so precious rich is our property is in the set, and they also produce Manning shire, which is lovely honey. bounded by the Comboyne In the time before fruit, Hastings Shire. we market gardened and grew We are surrounded by Marsh State Forest, potatoes, garlic, corn, pumpkins and Killabakh Nature Reserve and other organic tomatoes. fruit and nut farms. The farm is certified with Red Plateau also has a range of jams, AUS-QUAL (certifying body). Orange Marmalade and the Orange Ginger We have no chance of contamination from Marmalade, which won a bronze award at chemical farmers or industrial pollutants, the 2012 Royal Hobart Fine Food Awards; all which have the potential to destroy our the fruit they contain is organic and sourced organic status. from the Red Plateau farm. There are natural springs on our property Why do you feel it’s so important to that just pop out of the ground and always embrace organic principles on your

arm? ? farm? We’ve always thought it was important to try to grow our crops and trees with organic principles. In the rows between the trees, we have grass crops like paspalum, clover, Maku lotus − naturally occurring grasses and other things we sow to complement the ‘green manure’ crop, then we cut and mulch the trees with it. Also, we buy in mulch hay and organic blended fertilisers, as we think it's a key aspect in maintaining a healthy bio life in the soil. We have always been organic, and our practices are to keep our land in good condition and try to grow a healthy, great tasting product that doesn't lead to the degradation of the precious rich soils. What are some of the processes and tasks you regularly perform on the farm to ensure the quality of your organic produce? The business is a family business, and our 2 sons work on the farm. Carl (25) who is the manager and Joey (18) both know the principles of organic farm management. During the year we do a range of maintenance jobs, like fertilising, cutting back and keeping the ever smothering weeds and vines that want to grow over the trees cut down and pulled out. Any fruit that is damaged or for some reason uneatable is then thrown under the tree to break down and become a nutrient in the soil. Where can people source your produce,

or find out more information abo b utt y ourr ou about your business? In the season, we pick the fruit with 3 cherry pickers and orchard ladders, and also employ up to 6 men. After it is picked, it is trucked to Coastal Avocados, Stuarts Point organic certified pack house and processed ready to be trucked out to the markets. The avocados are sold into Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne organic wholesalers and into Coles and Woolworths. In the past we have had field days and showed people how we grow organically and how to start an orchard. It would be great for more people interested in organic farming to come and look. It would be good for young people to become interested in farming and learn how to start a garden and grow some fresh food for themselves. The issues we are facing in the world today are food, security, clean water for drinking and clean food production. We have always been organic and take care with our farming practices to maintain a healthy farm. Google Earth is fantastic to have a look at the farm: 320 The Den Road, Mooral Creek 2429; you can see how isolated the farm is and in a wonderful position for organic growing. People can contact me by email: Thanks Sandra. Interview by Jo Atkins.

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AcademyofDance A N N U A L


Students have been working very hard at the Andrea Rowsell Academy of Dance, in preparation for their annual concert. Andrea says the concert will be a delight for young and old, as her students, aged 3 and up, take to the stage to present some wonderful musical numbers …


our dance academy will be holding a concert at the Manning Entertainment Centre on December 8. How many students will be involved with the production, and what is their age range? We will have just over 200 students performing, with ages ranging from 3 years to adult. What styles of dance will be presented on stage? Classical Ballet will be a main feature in all levels, as well as Jazz and Tap. Without giving too much away about the night’s program, what are some of the pieces that will be performed on stage on the night? The first half will be the story of Alice in Wonderland using the entire school. Each class’ routine is fitted into the story line to keep the performance flowing. This gives the students a feeling of a production, which they benefit from greatly and really enjoy. The second half is only the senior school performing a classical ballet entitled The Recital and a Jazz segment, A Chorus Line. Both of these pieces will showcase the talents of the Senior part of the school and give the younger students something to aspire to. How much practice and time has gone into rehearsing for this concert? For this concert itself, not long, due to Ballet and Tap exams that fall in September and October each year. It's pretty much as soon as these are over we put our heads down and get going. This year, we have had 7 weeks to our first dress rehearsal to pull it all together. This is pretty amazing, as some children only attend dance class once in the week, so that's 7 lessons to learn and perfect their piece. I am very proud of what we achieve in such a short space of time. Describe some of the special costumes that will make an appearance on the night ... who helped to design/make them? The costume committee (volunteers who assist in organising the costume department) also have 7 weeks to design, make fit or recycle. We are so lucky to have fabulous mums,

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grandmas and even family friends who like to help out; others put their hands up to help with props, so it all miraculously comes together. The costuming continues to get better every year. This year you will see dancing cupcakes with tea cups, bees, butterflies, flowers, and cards, just to name a few. It will be colourful and very entertaining. What’s the vibe like amongst your students at the moment as they count down to the performance ... are a few nerves present, or is everyone really excited? The concert brings the entire school together, and all the students love it. They are so excited, bouncing into class full of suggestions and ideas. What I think it all comes down to is the fact that they are really proud of what they are a part of, and they see how important every role is in making a production come to life. After the concert’s over, what will the Andrea Rowsell Academy of Dance be turning its attention to next? After the concert, we will be washing costumes for weeks to come, and packing and storing things away so they can be used again if need be. The students only have one week of classes after the concert is over, so it's a good time to reflect on their achievements after a busy year. The school will be participating in both Taree and Old Bar Carols by Candlelight, so rehearsals will take place for those involved. Then it will be preparing for enrolments for 2013, as the registration days on January 29 and February 2 come along very fast. Thanks Andrea.

the plug! The Andrea Rowsell Academy of Dance Annual Concert will be performed at the Manning Entertainment Centre on December 8. There will be a matinee performance at 1pm and an evening performance at 6.30pm. Tickets cost $16 - $18 and are selling fast. Contact the MEC on 6592 5466 for details.

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This year Mid Coast Connectt secured over 2 2,500 ,500 500 placements for students in Years 11 and 12 studying i i subjects bj ffor their h i Vocational Education and Training HSC. Our valued local employers consistently accept students for work placement, providing them with the opportunity to turn theory into experience in a real life working environment. Recently we were able to celebrate our ongoing working relationships at a series of employer thank you events in Forster, Wauchope, Laurieton, South West Rocks, Port Macquarie and Kempsey. Schools and TAFE partners joined with us to acknowledge the contribution our employers make to the program. It was great to catch up and celebrate the successes of 2012. After such a huge year, we are already planning for 2013 and are seeking employers happy to share their knowledge with the next generation. If you could assist by hosting a student for a short placement in your business, or if you would like to know more about how to be involved, please contact our office on 6551 5463. More information is also available on our website:

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manning-great lakes focus 39


A spring time health journey Part IV So spring has sprung, a new season is around the corner, and a New Year is 5 weeks away. Are you planning and goal setting, or dreaming and hoping?

ew Year resolutions fit into the dreaming and hoping category for most people. But most people’s hopes fit into the ‘want an improvement’ basket. So what is in your hope basket? Most importantly for many is HEALTH, and possibly next is finances.

N Mary Thurgood. Sunrise Supported Living offers residents like Mary Thurgood the support, security and lifestyle she desires ... Mary tells us more.


ow long have you lived at How are the meals at the village? Sunrise Supported Living Our chef, Mark, is wonderful, and his Tuncurry? meals are excellent. We have a roast twice Almost three years, and I a week, lots of traditional meals, but Mark have never looked back. It gives us variety. I particularly like his desserts, was a great decision. and I would recommend anyone to come and What made you choose Sunrise try his wonderful daily meals. Supported Living instead of other How is Management at the village after options? changes earlier this year? I looked at other places, but the Management is fabulous. I cannot fault atmosphere at Sunrise was so much better Victoria and our village wouldn’t be the same and personal. I wanted freedom and without her; she is very thoughtful independence, but the security and caring. We can approach of knowing when I need care her about anything and I wouldn’t have to move know it will be taken The Sunrise staff clean my room to a nursing home. The care of. The staff le I’m once a week whien do the Nurses are so attentive. I respect and trust her, out, and they ev ng for yi am secure, have friends and this reflects in how dr d washing an e for tim e or m ve and have nursing care happy the staff are ha I you. e going things I enjoy, lik when I need it, 24 hours every time they come on a bus trip.” a day. If I buzz for help to work smiling. they come straight away, What services do you which is vital. My family love like at Sunrise? to visit me here too and join in Nurses will always on special occasions. be available to take me to Can you name three things you love appointments. We go shopping every about living at Sunrise? Wednesday, and I have a nurse assist me and There are many more than three things, push me in a wheel chair. I am very grateful but if I had to choose three ... First, I enjoy for that. We travel on the Sunrise bus for the comradeship between the staff and appointments, shopping and outings. residents. Second, I love the activities and The Sunrise staff clean my room once a outings; we have been to Elvis shows, week while I’m out, and they even do the luncheons, morning teas and mystery trips. washing and drying for you. Any task is We have a Craft room and make cards available – we just ask. I have more time for and have the church ladies volunteer each things I enjoy, like going on a bus trip. fortnight. Carol volunteers and does so much I would say anyone curious should come around the village; she is a great asset. Lastly, and have a look; I think they would be very the security is so important at my age: nurses surprised, impressed and wanting to join our provide 24/7 support and they’re always Sunrise family. there for me. Thanks Mary.

We have looked at HEALTH and discovered that EVERYTHING in your body needs to be FULLY functional ALL the time. We have realised that there is a physical, emotional, and spiritual aspect. Each one has an effect on that 100% function we aspire to achieve. Spiritual: this term means many things to many people. Ask yourself: what is my purpose in life? Am I satisfactorily fulfilling it? If not, why not, and what can I do to get back on track? Some time for ‘self’ is important, and to help you FOCUS, meditation and prayer are two ‘activities’ that may help. Emotional: second in the non-tangible stakes is your feelings. Many people ‘blame’ others for their feelings, and until this is dealt with, physical health and relationships will continue to deteriorate, with susceptibility to individual disease conditions being linked to certain emotions. The most destructive ones that eat away at your being are anger, resentment, envy, jealousy, bitterness, and not forgiving, and have been linked to things such things as cancers, heart conditions, and arthritis. Saying: “You

make me angry” is not even true. You make choices, and you are responsible for them. The same applies to anger. You may choose to be angry at something, but no-one ‘makes you’ angry, and the longer you allow it, the more destructive it is to your health and relationships. Countering all that negativity is the STRONGEST of all emotions, LOVE. Concentrate on anything you like about yourself and be thankful. You are loved and appreciated, just as you love and appreciate others. Tell them and show it, and they will reciprocate, although some people find it hard to express it in words. Smiles and hugs are a good start. Physical: probably the one that most people prefer to deal with as it is more direct with tangible input and more discernible results, but the above two cannot be neglected, as all work together. Nutrition, water, sleep, exercise need to be assessed, and a plan determined to get you to a better place. Work on these aspects now, then you will be more able to do and appreciate the physical, which you will find are easy and pleasurable. Chiropractic is an wholistic approach and helps to eliminate some major interferences in your life that then enable progress in other areas. Dr Keith Bastian has 45 years of experience assessing and advising people with all kinds of problems, especially looking for the basic underlying issues affecting FUNCTION.

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with Sharon Fowle

Business B

Darren Croker.

of Croker Oars

Who would have thought that in this small region of the Manning Valley we would have our very own Olympic success story! Sharon meets with Darren Croker of Croker Oars and discovers that it can take more than a winning solution to be successful in business. ow did it all begin? This is a family run business that was started by my father, Howard Croker, in 1962 in Sydney. We are proud to be celebrating our 50th anniversary this month. He was a boat builder by trade and loved rowing and still rows 3 mornings per week. We now have 19 employees, whom we value very much and consider the best in the industry. Some of our employees have been with us for 35 years. We have 5 family members involved in everything from administration and customer service to product production and distribution, and they are a key component to our success. My mother, Kaye, and father are still involved in the business and come with us to Olympic events. They help service all the different nations and ensure that our customers are satisfied with the end product and confident to race. The company has been in the export business since the start, when my dad was working to provide the NZ team in 1964. He was also exporting to Harvard University in the US. Other changes since include moving from timber to carbon and glass (composite moulding) materials to produce our product. How does a business in this part of the world manage to compete on the international market? We ensure our success by winning Olympic gold medals. Our focus as a company is to service our customers with the best product available. We have hundreds of loyal, satisfied customers worldwide who know we pride ourselves on quality. Our product must be 100% correct, or it won’t leave our premises. Customer relationships are crucial. There is a lot of product coming from China and cheaper European nations. Overseas companies have a cheaper cost base, but we know we can still win on quality and service. How did you fare at the London Olympics, and how did you get the opportunity to be involved? There were 16 gold medal positions available, and we won 7. We only have 20% of the market share, so our conversion ratio for wins is about 40 - 50%. Many of the Olympians have been using our oars since they were kids. That’s

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how we effectively promoted our product in the initial stages. We put the oars in their hands and worked directly with them to demonstrate the effectiveness of our product. Dad supported the Swindell twins from New Zealand, who won the gold in Beijing. Dad’s known them since they were 14 years of age. He supported them by rigging their boat and helping them get the best out of the product. That’s a relationship which extends over 15 years. Our business is all about having relationships, otherwise it just wouldn’t There is a lot of work. We can’t compete product coming r cheape on price. We wish from China and ns. can’t control. tio na an we could, and it is pe Euro In the ‘90s we went es ni pa m Overseas co becoming an issue. st co from producing 300 r pe ea ch a have How do you oars a year to 10,000 but we know we & se ba overcome issues with ality a year. The last 3 years can still win on qu cost? service.” has seen no growth, We may have no choice because of the high but to consider moving the Australian dollar. We have business overseas to address reinvested to further streamline costing issues. There is potential for our processes and provide a more our business to close if things get harder. To efficient production line. We aim to get more ensure we have the same quality and service, done with less people. we would have to consider moving the whole One of the machines we purchased enables operation, but we don’t want to do that; we us to get 80 minutes of extra man hours per want to stay here on Oxley Island. We have to week, so I can have my man focus on other look at ways to reduce our costs if we are to work to potentially generate more revenue in continue to compete internationally. other areas. Also, the additional technology can Electricity is so expensive here; we’ve had improve quality and overall reduce production 30kWh solar panels since June and have seen costs. We have positioned our work areas in a no reduction in the cost of electricity. We had manner that enables us to optimise workers’ a representative come and provide us with an time, thus reducing any time wastage. energy audit, and there was nothing they could There is no opportunity for us to increase tell us that we weren’t already doing. our costs to cover the investment we put into Other issues include the global crisis. Europe our company. The market won’t bear the extra was one of our biggest customer bases, but costs; if anything, we need to decrease the there is no money there currently. The coaches price. in Greece haven’t been paid for a while and are What about local business for Croker Oars? not sure when or if they will be paid. Australia is too small for our product. There In our business we work on a 4 year cycle – are very few customers here for our business. the Olympic cycle. The product we developed It’s a population sport. There are a number of last year is the product that will be used for the businesses up and down the Australian coast Rio Olympics in 2016. It’s already being tested that we service, but we are exporting 70 on the water. We have to keep producing the 72% of product. Even though we have a high best, regardless of the global crisis and the Australian dollar, we still have to export. If we increasing costs. It’s an external factor which we don’t export, we don’t have a business.

Is Olympics revenue the core of yourr business? Definitely not. The Olympics are only 1%. That’s basically our method of advertising for 4 years. Our customers are colleges, schools, clubs, universities and master rowers. The Olympics just help prove that our product is not going to slow them down. What is your biggest expense? Freight is an issue. Logistics are difficult. We spend a lot of time and effort ensuring we have the right packaging, because things do get broken. It’s a light product, but awkward. Our cartons are especially designed. We have a local carrier who comes in twice a week and brings them to the airport in Sydney. They are then shipped internationally to 30 distributors around the world. We don’t spend much on advertising. There is no better advertising than having people winning gold medals with our product. What does the future hold for Croker Oars? We are optimistic about the future, otherwise we wouldn’t be spending the money. We have 3 guys working on new projects to make the business sustainable. The core business will always be making oars, but we are diversifying, which we hope will take care of our overheads. We are currently developing the world’s lightest seat and improving centreboards for sailboats. We have successfully attained a government grant. This is a growing industry; our objective is to be in business indefinitely and having continued joy in doing what we love. Thanks Darren. Photo – Left: Darren Croker; right: John Corbett.

focustechnology. with Cameron Illingworth from Harvey Norman.


focusbusiness. with Trisha Brindley from the Forster Tuncurry Business Chamber

Christmas Gift Ideas Too much to choose from? Trisha Brindley. A great place to live, work and play. Well maybe … at Vivid Sydney in June this year, the NSW Government announced its intention to develop a Creative Industries Action Plan ... A Think Tank with more than 90 industries practitioners and advocates focused on ten topics for development.

Santa is coming. N No really, ll th the arrival i l off th the jjolly ll red d man iis jjustt around the corner, and he’s bringing gifts. Hopefully, those gifts are technology related (maybe he’ll read this column?) So what are the hottest items this year? Well ...


SOL Republic Headphones The SOL Republic Tracks retail for $179 These have to be on the top of Santa’s list for sure. SOL stands for ‘Sound of Life’, and these headphones are the brainchild of the designer behind the monster beats headphones. They have a crystal clear sound and accurate bass reproduction, as well as being customisable by changing the headband (which can be purchased separately for $39). These headphones are upgradeable too – because of the removable headband, the drivers can be replaced also, so moving to a better pair of headphones isn’t as expensive.


Nokia Lumia 920 The Lumia 920 is $829. This is the latest in line from a partnership between Microsoft and Nokia, with Nokia using the Windows 8 mobile software as the operating system on the new Lumia. Large format screen of 4.5 inches made from super tough corning gorilla glass. It has an 8.7 mp camera capable of capturing full HD videos at 30 frames per second, perfect for capturing memories on the go. It even charges wirelessly using the Nokia wireless charging pad sold separately. But the coolest part is the colour range. Santa is bringing me a bright yellow one, but they come in red, white, yellow, grey and black.


Windows 8 Tablets The Vivo Tab retails for $998. The ASUS VivoTab RT is a thing of beauty. It has a super slimline design which makes it look like something out of a Bond film. It has an 8 mp rear facing camera and HDMI out port, meaning the movies you record on it can be played back on your plasma or LCD TV. It also has a keyboard dock included in the price, which transforms the tablet into a windows laptop, complete with USB port. The mobile dock also has the added advantage of an extra battery built in, giving you a total of 19 hours play time with the dock attached. That’s big! What’s Santa bringing you this year?

all benefit from the digital explosion, and our . Digital environment art and craft sector can be developed to world2. Social change and diversity standard. It’s the kind of transition from the old 3. Visitor economy economy to the new economics of happiness 4. Export opportunities that transforms shrinking country areas into 5. Regional opportunities thriving local economies – into regions and 6. Marketing the economic and social value of towns discerning tourists want to visit again and the creative industries locals want to live, work and play in. 7. Education, skills and training The problem? The NSW Government recently 8. Developing creative careers made big cuts to the TAFE Arts programs, the 9. Leadership with long-term focus incubator for training new talent and bringing 10. Role of Government, including assistance, on new directions. That just does not grants and procurement. make sense. If the Creative Industries Immediate (1 - 2 year), Action Plan is to be developed medium (5 year) and and to prosper, professional longer-term (10 year) arts education should be goals were identified This kind of m enriching progra supported, not destroyed. and a number of t just So if you would like to themes emerged: will be exciting no r he for artists and ot live, work and play in a Education, events, n bring creatives, but it ca e more vibrant and exciting the role of the di theatre, music, in community, raise your voice; Government, r ou to films and music more give your local member a the need for a h regions on a muc call. Contact the NSW Deputy single voice from s.” regular basi Premier and Minister for Trade the industries and and Investment. Make your voice stronger networking heard, so that we can restore arts and connections. funding and then get this challenging This could be an extremely new show on the road. valuable initiative. Harness the The Forster Tuncurry Business Chamber’s energy of local creatives and Executive Committee welcomes 2013 as a year deliver entrepreneurial solutions to our current of change, when new ideas and new directions mish-mash of events, ideas, educational will be put in place. A Business Chamber is only opportunities and art businesses, then work as effective as the input and commitment of together to develop a culture of excellence its members, and we encourage everyone to which supports and promotes creative people get involved, make suggestions, take important and creative businesses locally, nationally and issues to local Council and to State and Federal internationally. Government – help make a real difference. Regional NSW is already the destination of The Chamber’s successful networking choice for a large number of architects, artists, breakfasts provide an opportunity to meet locals designers, film directors and producers, graphic who’ve been there and done that and are happy artists, musicians and other creative people to give back. who no longer want to deal with the city, who For further information, go to treasure the silence, the clean air and water and, email info@ftchamber. who create brilliant ideas and objects in their or contact 0499 779 972. own backyards. Salute to the women who went before us: The development of a more creative way of “I myself have never been able to find out living will be attractive to more than practicing precisely what feminism is: I only know that artists; it will also be popular with the school and people call me a feminist whenever I express university leavers, who can see their future more sentiments that differentiate me from a clearly in a more intimate talent pool. doormat.” Rebecca West 1892 - 1983. This kind of enriching program will be exciting Trisha Brindley is a member of the Forster not just for artists and other creatives, but it can bring theatre, music, indie films and music to our Tuncurry Business Chamber and a Director of Swell Architects. regions on a much more regular basis. We can


manning-great lakes focus 43

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The bush to beach rides are set amongst natural bush country, where you can spend up to three hours winding your way through the picturesque landscape of the Great Lakes, arriving on the white, sandy beaches of Tuncurry. Horse about tours provides a relaxed and friendly environment, where you can enjoy the full experience of riding a horse. Our experienced lead riders will go above and beyond to make your riding experience fun and safe! So get together and enjoy the sun on horseback! Our new two-day getaway is now up and running, or should we say riding! Enjoy two days of horseback riding through this region’s state forests, beaches and river country. The night’s accommodation is at Sunbury lodge, and meals are included in the package deal. An awesome and fun experience which has everyone coming back for more! Bookings are essential. Or you can experience the best this landscape has to offer with sunrise or sunset tours, and our full moon night rides are an experience like no other! Group bookings are welcome. To arrange your beach ride or for more information, call on 0423 830 738. You can like us on Facebook or visit our website at:

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GROUP CHARTERS Make your next group outing one to remember. The Free Spirit offers a range of cruising options, all of which can be scheduled to suit your needs. And remember, the more people you book, the less it costs! Just get in touch and let us help plan a very special trip. PRIVATE CHARTERS The Free Spirit crew host the best parties in Forster and tailor cruises to meet your needs. If it can be done legally on the water ... we’ll do it for you aboard the Free Spirit! Fully licensed for up to 90 passengers. CRUISE EXPERIENCE Our 18 years’ experience means that we know what is important to you. So relax onboard and enjoy a leisurely cruise exploring the stunning waterways, wildlife and history of the Great Lakes. “We love what we do; so we’re sure you’ll love it too!”

Get your pool ready for Summer! Looking for the right man to come and fix the neglected pool that is looking decidedly green and slimy in the backyard? Want to make your pool sparkling and healthy, ready for whenever you decide to jump in? Then look no further than Aqua’s pool equipment and services! Aqua’s Pool Equipment and Services has been operating in the local area for the last 12 years as a mobile pool service and is owned by Nabiac Local, Charlie Aquilina. Aqua’s Pool Equipment Services can maintain pools in the area between Diamond Beach to the north, Smiths Lake to the south and Krambach to the west. Charlie and his in depth knowledge of your pool and how it works will happily supply, install and service any brand of pool, pool pump, chlorinator, pool filter, pool solar heating or pool cover that you may have already or would like installed. Charlie offers regular servicing and cleaning of domestic and commercial pools and he specialises in holiday rentals, body corporate and holiday homes. Aqua Pool Services is fully qualified, insured and licensed.


Kerry Johnstone from Manning Valley Tourism

on the


100% sighting guarantee on their whale and dolphin cruises.

Amaroo Cruises Amaroo Cruises ses has been providing prov ovid id idi din ing professional,, high class, quality cruises in T l t 35 the Forster/Tuncurry area ffor almost years!

Tourism Kerry Johnstone Spread out the picnic blanket, get the beverages chilling and crank up the barbecue, because it is time to start entertaining the masses! ven as we speak, summer visitors are arriving in their thousands to eat our food, mess up our homes and steal our parking spaces. They are literally pouring through our gates with tents, eskies, sleeping bags and a holiday mindset, so letÕs make sure they have a good time!


For most of you, the beach and backyard pool will be a major drawcard this summer, but there are always those days, when the sunscreen was applied a little too thinly or the clouds have stolen the sun when you need another option to keep the family busy. So on these days, head for the hills or the bush and the comfort of a shady tree in some of the following ÔOne Day DestinationsÕ that can be enjoyed in any type of weather. Around 25 kilometres north of Taree, take a drive through Coopernook State Forest and Coorabakh National Park. Wander amongst giant Blackbutt forest over the shaded boardwalks of the Starrs Creek sub tropical rainforest. Amble down along a fresh creek to NewbyÕs cave and if the day is warm, you simply have to take yourself for a dip in the ever cool Waitui Falls. Some of the most amazing views over the Manning Valley and out to the coastline can be enjoyed here from both NewbyÕs and Flat Rock lookouts. Be sure to check out Big Nellie, Flat Nellie and Little Nellie, prominent ancient volcanic plugs which, as a sneaky piece of trivia, are part of the same volcanic vent that formed the famous Glass House Mountains in Queensland. Just off the PaciÞc Highway at Spring Hill Road lives Cattai Wetlands, which will be open to the public from 4 January 2013. This wonderful and unique site is located 20 minutes north of Taree and is described as a hidden gem in our valley. Cattai is a beautiful wetland that provides a sanctuary for over 100 species of birds, kangaroos, wallabies and regularly spotted goannas. Make your way along one of the many walking tracks, go bird

watching, take a picnic, or just relax and enjoy the scenery. Guided tours are available by appointment Ð call Greater Taree City Council on (02) 6592 5399. For a nature reserve with a difference, head to Wingham Brush, located right in the town centre of Wingham, off Farquhar Street. This rainforest remnant is part of the last remaining 10 hectares of ßoodplain rainforest in NSW. Giant Moreton Bay Figs dominate the Brush, along with one of the largest permanent breeding populations of Grey-headed Flying Foxes in NSW. If you get to the Brush on sunset, the sight of thousands of Grey-headed Flying Foxes heading out for the evening meal is awe-inspiring. From Wingham, follow the Tourist Drive 8 signs to the legendary Ellenborough Falls at Elands. Ellenborough Falls is reported to be one of the highest waterfalls in the southern hemisphere, with a single drop of 200 metres. The falls are stunning and the sound is deafening, as you watch thousands of litres of water plummet straight down into the valley.

Bill Coombe, the owner of Amaroo Cruises, says his cruise operation has ßourished since he bought the business in 1978. Back in the early days, we started out with a very basic little timber mono hull boat that could only accommodate 25 people and cruise at a slow 8 knots. Today, we run a state of the art twenty metre aluminium catamaran that can facilitate up to 120 passengers and cruise at an exciting 20 knots. It's our Þfth vessel since 1978, and we have plans for a larger one on the drawing board. Bill still loves his business and claims to have another 35 years in him with Amaroo Cruises! These days Bill's son, Matt Coombe, manages and skippers Amaroo Cruises, along with First Mate Martin Tucker. Matt says Amaroo Cruises' main focus for the past few years has been on whale watching. The Humpback Whale population has been increasing greatly each year with the slowing of commercial whaling, and this season we had

approximately eighteen thousand Humpbacks migrate past the Great Lakes. Amaroo Cruises also runs Dolphin and Lake cruises on a daily basis (weather permitting), as well as party cruises and private functions tailored to your needs. Our whale, dolphin and lake cruises depart at 10am and duration is between 2 and 2½ hours. Morning tea is also included. Amaroo Cruises offers a 100% sighting guarantee on their whale and dolphin cruises. In the unlikely event we fail to sight a whale or dolphin on your cruise, you will receive a free return ticket to use another time. This whale season (2012) we had a 100% strike rate with the Humpback Whales! For more information, please visit www. or call 0419 333 445.

There are two walks at the falls: a nice easy 10 minute stroll to the viewing platform and for the more adventurous, a steep walk down 641 steps to the bottom of the valley. To get the best Ellenborough Falls experience, head up over the weekend or school holidays when the Ellenborough Falls Kiosk is open, where you can taste mouth watering goodies baked fresh on the premises. So this summer, you can be prepared as the masses descend. Turn off the fast lane, take a breather and let your beautiful local area do the entertaining for you. For more information on the above and for other ideas on where to go this summer, head to and like us on Facebook at Visit Manning Valley. NB: For many of these drives, please be aware they are on unsealed roads, so please drive to the condition of the road. manning-great lakes focus 45

on the


The Fastest Growing Global Water Sport.

Explore areas that you never thought was possible.

Stand up paddle boarding (SUP) is the fastest growing global water sport. Paddle boarding is an amazing sport and best of all, it’s family friendly and anyone can do it. SUP promotes balance, strength, and cardio improvement. It encourages a focus on your core muscles, and you get to enjoy our beautiful waterways while you exercise. Imagine not just standing on the shoreline admiring our lakes, rivers and coastline, but actually paddling along these while you are interacting with the marine life. Explore areas you never thought possible, while you improve your fitness. At Jungle Surf we actively use the boards and equipment we sell. We understand what equipment is required for the first time paddler looking for a stable easy to use board, or the accomplished paddler ready to take on the next challenge of this diverse sport. Whether you want to cruise the lakes and coastline or charge the biggest of waves, we have the equipment for all levels. We service all the equipment we sell.

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Come along for a demonstration paddle to find the right board for you, using our extensive range of boards. Simply call in to our store and have a chat to the friendly staff, or give us a call and we can book you in for a no obligation introduction to paddle boarding. Check out our web page or Facebook to keep up to date with our latest equipment and special offers. SUP is a low impact activity that anyone can master. Come and join the SUP adventure this summer.

manning-great lakes focus 47



A dream come true. property guide

A dream come true is how Peter and Lorraine Cross refer to their new home, recently completed by Esen Constructions in the tranquil bushland setting on the banks of Smiths Lake. Found at 93 Amaroo Drive, the home is a magnificent example of the close collaboration and understanding between builder and owner. Chrissy Jones had the pleasure of being shown through the home ...

he home combines a mix of texture coated and varied exterior claddings; the front facade of the home emits a modern but natural ambience that blends naturally into its bushland surrounds. Fully landscaped gardens also complement the natural setting, flanking both sides of the hardwood timber walkway bridge that leads to the entrance of the home. An aluminium framed glass front door and security screen, with highlight window above, opens into the entrance foyer and allows in plenty of natural light. The ceiling of the foyer is lined with lovely Blue Gum timber that creates a timber contrast theme that is used on the hand rails and stairwells in various parts of the home. Large grey porcelain tiling is the flooring of choice underfoot from entry throughout the entire home, giving a warm contrast to the crisp whiteness of the painted walls and skirting. Left of entry is the guest bedroom, finished off nicely with ceiling fan, wall niches that tuck away power points and internet connections; a vertical panel louvre window along with a horizontal picture frame window above the bed head are dressed expertly by Summer Breeze Blinds with sheer grey roller blinds that match the aluminium window frames to a tee. Double sliding wooden doors open to built-in wardrobe shelving and hanging space for the guests. Servicing the guest room is an ensuite that also doubles as an everyday bathroom for visitors, with a handy doorway placed on the far wall that opens out onto a glass balustrade timber framed landing overlooking the dining and lounge areas. The ensuite has vertically laid white wall tiling combining with seamless glass walls of the shower cubicle, to provide an easy clean surface. Stainless steel tapware and fixtures mix well with the timber look laminate of the vanity, that has been fitted with a rectangular handbasin, flick mixer and large mirror above and shelving along with 2 deep drawers below. Two feature floor to ceiling tile panels, in a bronze foiled pattern, add a touch of style. Right of entry is the family room, strategically placed in the centre of 3 bedrooms to accommodate guests, especially the ten grandchildren when they come to visit. All are mirror image, with ceiling fan, built-in double sliding door wardrobe, 2 x panel vertical louvre windows with the continuation of the

48 manning-great lakes focus.

focus abode. focus abode.

silver grey roller blinds and crisp white painted walls and skirting. One bedroom has been purposely designed to comfortably accommodate the couple’s disabled grand daughter. Being wheelchair accessible, the doorway is wider for ease of access and is placed directly opposite the bathroom – also purpose built for easy wheelchair access. A wide shower with grab rail has been provided, as well as a deep oval bath that is freestanding on wooden leg bases. Floor to ceiling white tiling is broken with feature foil tiles, as in the guest bathroom. A wall hung vanity has a timber laminate top that also wraps around the vanity, providing

shelving in stark contrast to the white tiling and stainless steel tapware. A vertical rectangular vanity mirror, downlighting, knick knack shelving – also a timber laminate, exhaust fan and WC all add to the amenities. The home takes full advantage of the sloping block that it sits on, through the Blue Gum door and then stepping down via three timber step treads from the guest and family rooms to the open plan living, dining and lounge room. Varied roof angles and ceiling levels add character, with the inclusion of bulkheads dividing the ceiling space into separate rooms; the highest point in the living area is 5 m. Long, thin rectangular shaped windows at ceiling

angles “ Varied roofve ls le ng ili ce d an ith w r, te ac ar ch add of n io us the incl ding bulkheads divi into the ceiling spacs;ethe om ro te ra sepa the highest point in . ” living area is 5m

height act as skylights, allowing in loads of natural light and adding to the open feel of the design. On the left of the living areas are two rooms – one neatly tucked away behind wooden bi-fold doors is Lorraine’s sewing room, that also doubles as a study nook for the grand children. The other is the master bedroom. Very spacious, the master has a raked ceiling above the bed and glass sliding doors opening out to the back balcony of the home. The tiled and glass balustraded balcony stretches across the entire back of the home and boasts magnificent unimpeded views of

Smiths Lake and bushland. A walk around divider wall strategically placed as a bed head separates the ensuite, bedroom and walk-in robe. Top quality fitting and fixtures are on display, from the twin set square shower roses of the glass screened shower, to the heated towel rail and the floor to ceiling brown tone and pewter mosaic feature tiling panels that break up the white wall tiling, downlighting and exhaust fan; the master ensuite is luxurious. To finish off the master bedroom is the his and hers walk-in robe, having both overhead shelving three sides and plenty of hanging and low shelving space. continued over

manning-great lakes focus 49


Esen Constructions

A dream come true.

continued from over

No home would be complete without a kitchen, and Lorraine and Peter now have one that totally fits their lifestyle and will accommodate the many family and friends they will welcome into their new home in the years to come. Encased with glass windows two sides in an L shape, lake views are unimpeded above the double stainless steel sink, in the food prep, cooking and eating areas of the kitchen. Soft close drawers and cupboards are abundant, incorporating the up to the minute appliances, the Stainless steel Bosch Lifestyle Automatic Dishwasher, Omega electric oven, Highlander gas cooktop and range hood and the BEKO push button fridge/freezer with ice-maker. Blending expertly with the open plan living areas, the kitchen will lend itself to entertain-

50 manning-great lakes focus.

ing superbly. LED and Echo fluoro light fittings have been installed throughout the home, including a modern version of a chandelier hanging pride of place over the island bench, and large, round pendant lights that also double as ceiling fans in the living room. To create a fantastic indoor/outdoor entertainment space encompassing the kitchen, dining, living and balcony – the 5 bi-fold glass doors spanning the rear of the home may be opened entirely. The balcony has non-slip tiling, aluminium framed glass balustrade and privacy screening either side to block off the neighbouring properties. Concrete step treads one end lead to ground level and have aluminium hand railing for safety. Overall the home is a standout, being a superb example of open plan living that not only takes full advantage of the sloping block that is its footprint, but also blends naturally

with the bushland and lakeside surrounds.

From the Owners – Peter and Lorraine Cross

ing, “ Open plan liv ral tu na s, high ceiling light; where do ! you start and stop Everything! We ier. It’s couldn’t be happ just beautiful. ”

You chose Esen Constructions as the builder of your new home. How has it been working with Brad and Paul? Working with Brad and Paul has been a delightful experience. They catered for all our needs and were extremely patient and helpful during the planning period and moving on into the construction phase, allowing us to forge a strong relationship with both builders. A lot of laughter and fun to be around. Would you recommend Esen Constructions to other prospective home owners? We would without a doubt, because of

our confidence in them as diligent and cost effective builders. For quality, value for money, trademanship, you can’t go past them. I’d like to make mention of all the people who made building our house such a wonderful experience and for their help and great service. Jay from Pacific Palms Landscapes, Sharon from Town Plumbing, Michelle from Sustainable Lighting, Simon Strutt, our plumber (the finished work is a work of art), Oz Craft Forster and Kepler from Tile Power. We have probably forgotten people, but thank you to all. What are some of the featured design elements of your new home that you love? Open plan living, high ceilings, natural light; where do you start and stop! Everything! We

focus abode. focus abode.

Merry Kitchen Moments December is such a fun time of year for us all: a mad mix of Christmas shopping, deadlines and the all important party season!

couldn’t be happier. It’s just beautiful. Did you have any specific requirements when you first decided to build your new home? Yes, we did. The home needed to have good disability access, be family oriented, be tiled through out. We also wanted quality, value for money and to take full advantage of the view via the positioning of the windows. Tell us a bit about the design of your new home and its functionality. How does it suit your lifestyle? The house is perfect for our large family, designed with our 10 grand children in mind. The garage is huge and designed to house our caravan, as well as our car. We really like the different textures on the outside, which has given our home a pleasing appearance. Being able to open the bi fold doors gives us a feeling of being closer to nature. Also, being so close to the water is great; we can fish and kayak from our back yard. Thanks Lorraine and Peter.

There’s been plenty happening behind the scenes of Viison Kitchens this past few months! Our factory is a hive of activity, ploughing through a maze of pre Xmas orders and ‘abuzz’ with the hum of a new German built ‘state of tthe art’ edging machine purchased recently (p (pictured). So we are now fully equipped with tthe latest technology in nesting and edging m machines to enable us to produce the highest q quality doors and panels here in our local area, sstreamlining production time, so it’s a win-win situation all round. Our other fabulous Viison news is that we were named runners up at the recent 2012 Hunter Housing Industry (HIA) Awards for a beautiful kitchen designed and built for a client at Smiths Lake. The home itself won the prestigious Home of the Year award for the under $700,000 category, built by local builders Sorenson and Caldon of Taree, whom we are proud to be associated with. Viison designer Melinda Oirbans was present to collect the award – a very exciting moment for her and fellow work colleagues.

We invite you to be part of the Viison experience too, whether it be for a new home or renovating an existing home. Our expert team provide a one on one service from concept to completion. Finally, we take this opportunity to wish you a very Merry Christmas and a happy holiday season!

in pantry was designed by Rob Andrews of Viison Kitchens and all manufactured locally at Viison’s factory. This chef’s dream kitchen

From Summer Breeze Blinds

comes with up market cooking appliances

Blinds, awnings, plantation shutters and interior decorating – Summer Breeze Blinds can do the lot. A new exciting business on the Mid North Coast offering more than a service, we have a qualified Interior Decorator to assist with selections and colour choices to enhance your home in the most appropriate way. Our installer has a fine eye for perfection and excellence, supplying a guaranteed product – we take much pride in our work. The main aim of our business is to provide you with the best customer service, prompt on time appointments and fast quotes. Customers Peter and Lorraine selected a fine fabric semi translucent silver for their blinds, matched in with the white accessories; this has given a modern look and defines the elegance of their beautiful new home. For more information or free measure and quote, please call or email Craig or Rachel on 0435 713 937 or 0412 663 001. We would love to hear from you.

and some stunning decorator features, includ-

From Viison Kitchens

wine rack beside the refrigerator has been fit-

This stunning kitchen with its large walk

HIA awards are judged not only on design and aesthetic appeal; many facets of the job are taken into account. These include the expertise and quality of the workmanship, installation, workability and the use of quality materials. This outcome requires a skilled team effort. But the most important thing is the owners of the home are certainly over the moon with the final result!

ing: silky, sleek, Hanex ‘Risotto’ Acrylic benchtops, used throughout in varying thickness, 45 mm for the main kitchen bench as well as ‘walk in pantry’ top, with 200 mm high coving for the splash back areas and 100 mm thickness for the island bench top, which also features mitred ends to the floor. The glossy white cabinetry is all fitted with Blum soft close door and drawer systems, and the island bar has ‘Quarry Micro’ contrasting panels on the bar back. To keep the theme of smooth clean lines, all the cupboard doors and drawers have been fitted with integrated painted aluminium rails rather than handles, and the floor kickers are stylish brushed aluminium. Aluminium framed doors have been used for the lift up doors on appliance cabinet and overhead cupboards along with entry doors to pantry and all have been fitted with etched glass inserts. Finally, to add a dash of pizazz, a ted with Echelon stainless steel bottle inserts.

manning-great lakes focus 51

focuseditorial. As temperatures rise, Manning, Great Lakes and Gloucester residents are asked to think about their outdoor water use in an effort to conserve our precious water resources.

watch. Save water this Summer.


s the days heat up, many residents start to water lawns and gardens – putting increased pressure on our water supplies. MidCoast Water encourages residents to take part in the summer water saving program, which urges residents to refrain from outdoor watering between 10am and 4pm. Supporting the summer water saving program will not only help water supplies, it is also more effective for gardens. Watering during the heat of the day is inefficient, as the water evaporates before the plants have a chance to benefit from it – wasting water, and money. Restricting watering to the cooler hours of the day is far more effective. To help residents be more water efficient, MidCoast Water offers a $1,500 residential rebate program. The program covers water efficient devices such as showerheads, dual flush toilets, dishwashers

and washing machines. Connecting a rainwater tank for use in either the garden, toilet or laundry (or all three) also attracts points under the system. Renters are also eligible to apply for part of the rebate – that designed for washing machines. Washing machine and dishwasher rebate points are based on the WELS (water efficiency labelling system) star ratings. The higher the rating, the larger the rebate. As part of the program, MidCoast Water is providing restrictive flow devices for showers free of charge from their customer service centres in Taree and Forster, so those customers who don’t wish to replace their existing showerhead can reduce the amount of water it uses. There are many simple ways of using water wisely, and residents are encouraged to think about waterwise options for the summer. Water saving tips and information can be found at

Taree Film Society will present the charming I Wish (PG) on Monday evening, 3 December at Fay’s Twin Cinema. Twelve-year-old Koichi lives with his mother and retired grandparents in Kagoshima, in the southern region of Kyushu, Japan. His younger brother, Ryunosuke, lives with their father in Hakata, northern Kyushu. The brothers (real life siblings Oshiro and Koki Maeda) have been separated by their parents’ divorce, and Koichi’s only wish is for his family to be reunited. When he learns that a new bullet train line will soon open, linking the two towns, he starts to believe that a miracle will take place the moment these new trains first pass each other at top speed. With help from the adults around him, Koichi sets out on a journey with a group of friends, each hoping to witness a miracle that will improve their difficult lives. Director Kore-eda Hirokazu captures the essence of family, inspiring hope in viewers

around the world. This is a moving story of the children’s belief for the miracle and parents watching over children, affected by their adventure and then healed by them. It’s a story that quietly tells the audience that just being alive is a miracle to someone out there and that having people you cherish in your life is a miracle on of itself.

the plug! For further information, tickets or subscriptions, visit the society’s new website:, phone 6552 3476, email, or find the Society at the food table in the foyer.


Mortgagee Sale 91-95 MacIntosh Street, Forster

24 Unit strata/motel complex Refurbished in 2005 Excellent unit mix, stroll to waterfront Development potential: site area 3184sqm approx. To be sold in one line Estab. income stream, MUST BE SOLD! Public Tender Closing 18 December 2012 Janet Knott m: 0402 467 918 o: 6555 6555 w:

au 52 manning-great lakes focus.

a: 48 Wharf Street, Forster NSW, 2428 Matt Kearney m: 0427 921 206


artist profile

Tarryn Using the renaissance masters for inspiration, Tarryn paints with spontaneity and passion, also admitting to being a perfectionist! Her portraits have an intriguing depth and an old world charm ...


OCUS last spoke to you a couple found myself feeling very lonely amongst thouof years ago. What’s been keepsands of people. ing you busy since then? And I think it was this, along with the fact that For the last two years I have been there is no place more nurturing than home, that I ßoating around, observing and bedecided to move back to the beautiful Great Lakes coming wiser. I believe that to create art, you have and get my thoughts down. Life seems to be a to be able to put it aside when the time is right balancing act of being brave and going out into and just live and experience for a while (unless of the unknown, but then coming back to absolute course, you're Pablo Picasso). comfort. For now, this is the perfect place for me I don't want to be stuck creating the same to cocoon myself again and paint. painting over and over again. Art is the objecFor those who aren’t familiar with your arttiÞcation of feeling, so it has to be natural, not work, describe your style and the tools you forced. I Þnd it hard for reality and art to co-exist, use to create your pieces ... it is either one or the other. When one has Lately, I have been working with all sorts of been exhausted, you move to the next. materials. I've experimented with sculpture, So after functioning in normal society ink, painting with red wine on raw canvas and for a period of time, I am able to my favourite at the moment is using old come back into my mind and live typewriters to type portraits. But I there for a while, using the am still in love with oil paint. e th at th impressions of actuality to As for subject matter, movnd fi so al I d create whatever dances ing to Sydney has deÞnitely brush strokes ana steer onto the canvas. And at proved to inßuence what mood I’m in will pletely m co painting in a the moment I am living I paint and how I paint I an th n different directio ally enjoy in my head again, with it. My portraits have re I d intended; an s of es a fresh perspective. become more dynamic oc pr at th g in watch So, instead You told me you’d and ßuid while still transformation. gically, I had a stint living in drawing inspiration from of thinking too lo ke on its the big smoke (Sydthe renaissance masters let the painting ta own agenda.” ney). How much did you and surrealism. More than enjoy the contrast between ever, IÕm wanting to create coastal and city living – and purity and let the sub-conscious are you back in the Great Lakes take over, so that in my portraits, I can area permanently now, or just for a visit? intercommunicate something truthful. Sydney had its pros and cons. I loved being Jean Luc-Goddard said: "Art attracts us only by able to walk to the gallery on my lunch break what it reveals of our most secret self". And this and share a coffee with the Pre-Raphaelites, and I is how I feel also. I want to reßect my own secrets loved mingling with artists, musicians, poets and of self, I want to reßect the secrets of the person memorable characters of the underground. I am painting, and I want the viewer to be able But my adventure to Sydney was not producto Þnd themselves within the work, whether they tive artistically. I was simply experiencing. I often know they are Þnding it or not.

What/who inspired the paintings depicted in the photos you’ve supplied, and what processes did you use to create them? The portrait of the girl is my little sister, Indianna. For me, this painting is very personal, because I see so much of myself in her. I am also attracted to and inspired by the innocence and beauty that she exudes. When she isn't being a pest, she is quite a majestic creature. In my paintings, I often strive to have something ancient present É something a little bit eerie and old world. Another important part of my paintings is the poetry and words that I display with them. They are often like short, surreal, symbolic stories of what could be happening in the image. As I pointed out in my last interview, I rely on art-ing at night and in the wee hours of the morning. I always do my best work when everyone is asleep. When you’re creating a portrait, do you generally work from memory, imagination, or do you use photographs to assist with the creative process? It is a combination of all those things. A painting starts out as either an observation or a dream. I then design the way it should look in my head − take the photographs if needed − and then add anything that is lacking. I also Þnd that the brush strokes and mood I'm in will steer a painting in a completely different direction than I intended; and I really enjoy watching that process of transformation. So, instead of thinking too logically, I let the painting take on its own agenda. Some artists struggle to understand when a painting is ‘finished’ – often striving to create a piece that is ‘perfect’. How can you tell when a piece you’re working on is complete? I am a terrible perfectionist! If I start a painting, work all night and Þnish it by morning, it is usually

my best work. Because I'm excited about it, I have enough spontaneity and physical and mental energy to create the piece as a whole, as opposed to coming back to a painting each day and having a mosaic of scattered emotions and thoughts as the Þnished product. To be honest, I don't end up Þnishing a lot of my paintings. If I lose the spark for it, then there is no point wasting my time with it, because it never comes out as good as I thought. IÕm better off starting a new one that I'm passionate about, which can be a bit of a strain Þnancially, but it's just how I am. I think I immediately stop painting when I start to get a ßutter in my stomach or when I start feeling like the person I am painting is actually staring back at me. What’s next on the artistic agenda for you? My short term goals include entering the Archibald Prize and Sulman Prize next year and working on exhibitions in Newcastle and Sydney soon. In the long run, I would love to make my mark in the art world, as long as I go about it the right way, stay true to myself and keep being a perfectionist. From my perspective, the art world today is overßowing with art that has been strained, processed, materialised and controlled. I am happy that the art I create is coming from a good place. Where can people find out more details about your art? You can contact me by email: tarryn_jade@ or phone: 0479 182 777. And if you would like to have a glimpse at my work, go to Keep an eye out for my paintings to be shown at The Secret Gallery in Forster during December and January, along with artist Donna Rankin. Thanks Tarryn. Interview by Jo Atkins. manning-great lakes focus 53


Manning Valley B arbara Waters - P resident


ow long have you personally been involved with the Manning Valley Historical Society, and what’s your role on the

committee? I have been a member of the Society since the 1980s. With work commitments, my activity was limited. Since my retirement I have had the opportunity to volunteer regularly within the museum, and in 2011, I was elected President of the Society. Please provide a brief history of the Society – when and how did it first form? On 20 May 1964, the Mayor of Wingham, Mr Alan Carlyle, chaired a public meeting held in the Supper Room of the Wingham Town Hall. It was called with the purpose of forming a Historical Society and had 22 people and representatives from the two local papers in attendance. It was resolved the motion of Mr E Laird and Mrs J. Gibson that “a historical society be formed”, and it was decided that the society be named “Manning Valley Historical Society” and be located in Wingham. Mr M Gibson was nominated and accepted the position of President, Mrs J Gibson Secretary, Mr A Smalley Treasurer, Mr R Duff Vice President and Mr E Laird Research Secretary. Patrons to the Society were Miss C Gollan, Miss Lobban, Mr PE Lucock, Mr LC Jordan and Mr FC Summerville. Early minutes record the activity of the society and the need to record histories of shipping and Wingham schools. Mr E Laid, Research Secretary, was to write to The Wingham Chronicle emphasising the importance of preserving documents. In 1965, the Society became affiliated with the Royal Australian Historical Society. Historian Mr Gordon Dennes, a great grandson of Mrs Mary Cann who settled in the Bo Bo Creek area

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Society Inc.

in 1835, was one of the first guest speakers museum has on display? hosted by the Society. His address was ‘The The museum has many items of interest Discovery of the Manning Valley’. with providence to the district. One such item Premises were being sought by the society, is a Gaelic Bible which was used for the first and in 1966 Wingham Municipal Council Gaelic church service held in NSW. It was advised that the School of Arts would be brought to Australia by the McLeod family considered if it became vacant. In 1966, the in1837 from the Isle of Skye. We have the Moxey’s building was leased to the Society doors of the Ashlea Presbyterian Church which by the Wingham District Services Club after was built in 1882 and timber items crafted by opposition to the proposal of the site for their the late Mr R Duff, ad also a small organ the new club. In July 1974, the Club sold the late Mrs Elizabeth Beale OBE took with her building to the Society. to play at various church services and On 30 November 1968, events. aviatrix Nancy Bird Walton What are some of the officially opened the other activities/events museum. In 1993, the Manning Valley The museum is m 25 years after the Historical Society open each day fro official opening of regularly organises? e ith th 10am to 4pm, w d Friday, the museum, the The Society oo G exception of d completed restoration an meets on the third e Ev as Christm try is of the museum was Wednesday morning Christmas Day. Enn $1 and officially opened by of each month. New adults $3, childre family $7. Nancy Bird Walton AO. members are always OBE, Hon ME (Syd). welcome. This society is one of At present, the the few Historical Societies Society is currently assisting who own their own premises the Centenary of Railway and is staffed entirely by volunteers. The committee with their preparations museum is situated in Moxey’s store at to commemorate in May 2013, the 12 Farquhar Street, Wingham. In 1926 coming of rail to Taree; the War Veterans the shop front was modernised to what Remembrance Drive Association, in we see today, and in 1988 the building was preparation for the ANZAC centenary. classified by the National Trust. The Society features displays within the The Society looks after the museum Museum, highlighted this year by a themed located in Farquhar Street, Wingham. display for History Week. An activity sheet for What are the opening days and times of children has been devised and is making the the museum, and how much is the entry Museum visit interesting for children, as well fee? as Mum and Dad. The museum is open each day from 10am Why do you and the committee of the to 4pm, with the exception of Good Friday, Society feel it’s so important to preserve Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Entry is our history for future generations? adults $3, children $1 and family $7. History must be preserved for future What are some of the unique items the generations. Items will not last forever, and in

the past items were collected for display. We now research and document the significance of our collection digitally. Gowns from our Collection are being recorded on the National Dress Register of the Power House Museum. Researching an item can open a whole new social history. What are some tid-bits of history from Wingham that the general public may not be aware of? Wingham was proclaimed a town in 1844. In 1865, the population of Wingham was 90. In 1868, there were 45 pupils enrolled at Wingham School. In March 1870, cyclonic storms swept the valley, floods devastating crops. In 1874, tea meetings were popular events; they were gatherings to partake of food followed by one or more guest speakers, possibly a visiting minister, often with over 100 people in attendance. Is there anything else about the Society you’d like to share with readers? Research is carried out by our archives team Tuesday and Wednesdays. The Society houses a very large collection of photographs, and is always looking for interesting historic photographs. Volunteers also man the Museum door. Being ‘A Meet and Greet’ person can be interesting; you never know who you may meet, whether it’s former residents coming back to the district, or giving tourists information on the must see places of our district. For those interested in the museum, or in joining the Society, where can you be contacted? The Society’s contact details are: Telephone: (02) 6553 5823 Email: Web: Thanks Barbara. Interview by Jo Atkins.

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Manning Great Lakes Focus - i70  
Manning Great Lakes Focus - i70  

Issue 70 of the Manning-Great Lakes Focus.