Greater Port Macquarie Focus - i200

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WHAT’S ON FOR BOOKINGS: 02 6581 8888 I Follow Glasshouse: WOMEN LIKE US Friday 11 November, 8pm THE AUSTRALIAN TENORS: I STILL CALL AUSTRALIA HOME Saturday 12 November, 2pm THIS IS ME - AN INTERNATIONAL TRIBUTE TO DAME SHIRLEY BASSEY Friday 18 November, 7.30 pm A CELTIC CHRISTMAS BY A TASTE OF IRELAND Friday 2 December, 7.30pm
GLASSHOUSE PORT MACQUARIE Corner Clarence & Hay Streets, Port Macquarie NSW 2444 Glasshouse Opening Hours Mon - Fri 9am - 4pm Sat, Sun & Public Hol’s 9am - 2pm Closed Christmas Day Regional Gallery Opening Hours Tue - Fri 10am - 4pm Sat, Sun & Public Hol’s 10am - 2pm Closed Mondays The Glasshouse is supported by the NSW Government through Create NSW @ GLASSHOUSE THE BEST OF BUBLÉ CHRISTMAS EXPERIENCE Sunday 4 December, 3pm EXHIBITION Saturday 5 November 2022 - Sunday 22 January 2023 EXHIBITION MOMENTS IN COLOUR On view until Sunday 27 November Kiata Mason, Mother Rock, 2022, acrylic on canvas. NEW STOCK HAS JUST ARRIVED! GLASSHOUSE MEMBERS SAVE 20% SUNDAY MATINÉE

In this rapidly changing property market, the experience, approach and skill of your agent really counts.

At HEM, throughout the years, our team of agents have seen the ups and downs, and weathered the storms of multiple property cycles. Whilst some agents have only seen the boom years and now hit the panic button as things change, our clients sell happier and stress-free knowing they have the most experienced, skilled and unified team navigating them through their move.

It starts with providing honest, up-to-date advice on pricing, to helping you prepare the home for sale, offering a personalised plan, tailored to your individual home and above all, negotiating the best possible price.

Whilst the one-size fits all franchise agents will try and lure you in with cheap fees or gimmick promos, ultimately it will be the agents who understand how to work this new market, that will make the difference between just a sale and a happy ever more.

Here it is, we made it! 200 editions of Greater Port Macquarie FOCUS. 17 years of local stories, shows, events and businesses showcasing their products and services to you, our loyal readers. We are ever so grateful to absolutely everyone who has ever advertised, sent us through story ideas and of course read our publication each and every month. Of course we know we missed a few months there thanks to the C word, but we don’t talk about that. A huge shoutout must also go to the people who have worked and continue to work on FOCUS. It’s a big job pulling together a magazine every month and we have the best team ever.

Our Cover

This one is very amazing. We have had and done some pretty awesome covers but this could be everyone’s new fave.

The one and only Kate Wood-Foye who has been with us since the very 1st edition back in December 2005 is of course our cover model. Our beyond talented photographer Gavin and head designer Dylan really pushed themselves with this one and we hope you love it as much as we do.

In this Edition

Speaking of covers we have looked back and selected our fave 20 - check them out on pages 56 and 57. There are definitely some blasts from the past in there. I

would also like to welcome our new columnist Lusanna from Meg + Me. We are super excited to have Lusanna join us and you can check out her first column and see what she has in store for our readers on page 66.

There are some really beautiful stories this month. We chat with the lovely Francessa O’Donnell about a book she has just illustrated, our Behind the Lens this month is Kate Tubman and we speak to Colton Craig who has just been accepted into the Australian School of Ballet.

Thanks again for helping us keep FOCUS alive and we hope you love our 200th edition as much as we do.

Now to start on the next one :)


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









Sarah Baker




Fernhill Road, Port Macquarie
PO Box 690, Port Macquarie PHONE 02 6584 7433 WEB IG focus.mag E contacts.
Comments and opinions of our contributors do not necessarily reflect the opinion or view of the Publishers. All reasonable efforts have been made to trace copyright holders. Information appearing in Focus is believed to be correct at the time of going to press, however no liability will be held for inaccurate information approved or supplied by advertisers or contributors. While all care is taken it is recommended that readers confirm material including advice with individual businesses and industry professionals. Articles marked as ‘Interview or Contributor’ are non-sponsored content. Focus is published by Creative House Publications PTY LTD ABN: 621 287 8600 5. Material in Focus is Copyright © Creative House Publications PTY LTD 2022 and may not be reproduced whole or in part, in any form, without permission of the Publisher. All rights reserved. FOCUS is printed by Australian Community Media Print & Logistics North Richmond. Our paper is FFC and PEFC certified and meets with ISO14001 accreditation.
GREATER PORT MACQUARIE Welcome to the NOVEMBER 2022 ISSUE of Greater Port Macquarie FOCUS.
12 GREATER PORT MACQUARIE focus 40. Lou Perri - Palate Pleasures 42. Alex Cassegrain - Wine Time 60. Mid North Social - The Gig Guide 66. Lusanna Koltz - Monthy Musings 83. Rachel Leman - Fitness Update 99. Alex Glen-Holmes - Business Voice 102. Kate Wood-Foye - Business Illuminate 108. Sophie Knight - HBWN 111. Alan Priest - Legal Light Issue 200 - November 2022
Every month you'll find the latest news, reviews and interviews from these locals. Thank you for your contribution to FOCUS. INTERVIEWS OUR CONTRIBUTORS Follow us on 28 70 92 Francessca O’Donnell is an artist whose creativity has lead to her latest project of writing and illustrating a children’s book around one of her Hello Koala characters ‘Lola’. Tori McCombe is an Apprentice Metal Fabricator and has recently been recognised at the Worldskills competition receiving first place in the Construction Steel Work category. Colton Craig is a 14 year old dancer who has just been accepted into the Australian Ballet School in Melbourne, so he’s off to live in the big smoke to pursue his dreams! COVER DISH SPECIAL DISH: RASPBERRY PANNA COTTA CASSERA’S PATISSERIE 38 GREATER PORT MACQUARIE focus 36 LUSANNA KLOTZ CONTRIBUTOR OF THE MONTH
Warm welcome to Dr
& Dr Bijit
to Port Macquarie
Medical & Dental Centre New Patients Welcome Additional appointments are now available To book an appointment and for opening hours, scan the QR Code. Alternatively, please call our friendly team on (02) 5526 9999


Katchafire return to Australia for a run of dates across Australia. Katchafire have been recording new music while they were not able to tour overseas since the pandemic began. When Thursday 10th Nov 22 8:00 PM - 11:30 PM Where Finnians Tavern


Come along to Bain Park in the Wauchope CBD for a fun filled afternoon of food, drinks, trade stalls, music, demonstrations and so much more! There are so many local businesses selling, creating and promoting amazing things that are ready to be discovered at #LoveLocal Festival! When Saturday 19th Nov 22 2-6pm Where Bain Park Wauchope Contact 0437 133 138


Long Point Vineyard and The Harbour Agency present Ash Grunwald live in concert! A relaxed, bluesy day of food, wine and music amidst the beauty of the vines. Bring a camper chair or picnic rug. Where Longpoint Vineyard

When Saturday 26th November 12-4pm More info:


A vibrant marketplace for local artists, producers and artisans to showcase and market their talents in the Port Macquarie area. Unique handmade arts and crafts highlight the event with an eclectic mix of other stalls, from gourmet foods, locally grown produce, flowers to vintage clothing, handmade jewellery and clothing. Where Port Macquarie Foreshore When 12th November More info: fb/marketplaceeventspmq


This is the first time St Agnes’ Education will see a cross school musical, with students from each of our six schools performing, assisting with stage management, managing the front of house and supporting our technical staff. This spectacular musical will even include the heart stopping St Agnes’ Schools Drumline! When


A Low ‘n Slow BBQ Sharing Feast cooked by Pitmaster Adam Roberts. It will Include a WHOLE Brisket, Pork Belly, Pork Shoulder, Tacos, Smoked Turkey, Jalapeño & Cheese Sausages, Picahna Steak with Chimichurri, Cornbread, Slaw, Pickles And Hot Sauces! Yes, thats PER TABLE! 4 Matching Four Pillars Gin Cocktails and an amazing Gin Dessert. Live Entertainment by local legend Mat Brooker. Where Black Duck Brewery

When Friday 25th & Saturday 26th November More info:

14 GREATER PORT MACQUARIE focus 19 12 26 2426 10 NOVEMBER 22
the store Department 4PM - 7PM, NOVEMBER 3 Complimentary cake and champagne *Excludes food items, electricals, Napoleon Perdis, Akubra and already marked down items. 30


As FOCUS Magazine celebrates its 200th edition this month - that’s over 16 years of Port Macquarie’s publication, we thought it only fitting to highlight a very special contributor - a woman who has played an integral role since the magazine’s inception, shining a light on our coastal community and sharing the stories of countless leading locals, their passions, insights and achievements.

It is a pleasure to speak to Charles Sturt University’s Director of External Engagement and Co-Founder of Luminosity Youth Summit, Kate WoodFoye who was recently awarded 2022 Port Macquarie Local Woman of the Year for her contribution to the Port MacquarieHastings community.

Hi Kate. You have so many achievements to your name, both professionally and in your many community-focused initiatives to celebrate and promote all that our region has to offer. You have been a contributing columnist of Focus since the magazine’s inception writing the monthly ‘Social Scene’, celebrating and championing locals and events across the region and through your ‘Illuminate’ column interviewing regional game changers, leaders and innovators from all walks of life. Most

recently, in your capacity at Charles Sturt University, sharing your regular ‘Campus Conversations’ presence highlighting the work of students, academics and professionals in their prospective fields. What do your significant contributions to Focus magazine mean to you?

Thanks so much for your kind words and a HUGE congratulations to the entire Focus family on their 200th edition. It is an absolute honour to be a part of this wonderful magazine that has, from small beginnings, become a central and celebrated part of our community. The longevity and quality of the magazine are a testament to the dedicated and talented team behind it. From the graphic designers, the account execs., proofreaders, photographers and editors across the years, they have all been part of what makes Focus special and lasting.

I’m so grateful that through my columns, I

have met and shared the stories of so many incredible locals and been privileged to be a part of their special events or projects. Above all, connecting with the extended Focus crew has always been a huge amount of fun, and I am thankful for the friendships and professional collaborations that continue.

It has been one heck of a ride to the 200th edition, and I am forever grateful for the invitation to be a guest columnist back in the crazy days of running our special events business SilverSpoon Catering & Events, where my husband Steve and I first met founders Jay and Louise Beaumont. These guys were literally on the cutting edge of creating this new publication with a fresh and funky look, as we were in the thick of delivering a whirlwind of business events, birthdays, launches, engagements, weddings, and festivals. Later on, we collaborated and catered on a very special magazine launch in December 2005


and the rest is history!

I remember being both excited and completely terrified to write my very first monthly Social Scene column and even more petrified as the reality of the first deadline and first edition publish dates loomed. I was all cold sweats and jitters! I’m sure some of those early pieces, along with my slightly dodgy pre-iPhone DIY photography were pretty horrendous! Thankfully through my roles at Rydges and Sails Port Macquarie, I connected with a ridiculously talented crew of photographers who have shared their stunning images with me in the columns showcasing the depth of creative talent in our region. Thankfully, despite countless late nights, near misses and a few dangerously tight press deadlines, I’m still here to tell the tale! The connections and friendships with individuals and our incredible community are my most valued treasure, and this amazing platform has allowed me to do what I love, which is connect and celebrate our region.

Your Illuminate column showcases regional leaders, entrepreneurs, innovators and game changers and was created in 2021 and continues to highlight leading locals in our region. Can you share a little about why you created this column?

My Illuminate column is really a fusion of all my worlds, business, community, learning, leadership, events and innovation. I’m able to

draw out all the wonderful people I have connected with along my journey at the University, the hotel group, our event business and through Luminosity Youth Summit. Through these different projects, platforms and partnerships, I have been lucky enough to connect and learn from an incredible and varied list of local thought leaders and luminaries and become fascinated with what drives them to make a difference.

We have so many business people, corporates and community organisations batting well above their weight in terms of skill, output and impact. I am regularly blown away by the diversity and talent in this region and admire the complete guts and grit it takes to stand up and make a difference. Whether that be in business, for your community or for your family. I have always loved understanding how high-impact humans got to where they are, who inspired them, pivotal moments and decisions made that set them on their current path and what they hope to leave as their imprint on the world.

As the Director of External Engagement for Charles Sturt University, can you tell us a little about your role?

I have the honour of being a part of the extended Charles Sturt team based at the beautiful Port Macquarie Campus. I facilitate pathways for those wanting to connect, collaborate or partner with the

University. I work with industry, community, government and education leaders to build awareness and foster strong and meaningful connections for the university. Through establishing partnerships, projects, events and outcomes we collaborate to advance the social, economic and cultural development of the university and our region. A key focus is to foster community connection and impact and enhance campus vibrancy and profile.

I joined the team in 2019, just prior to the bushfires and the pandemic and witnessed first-hand the camaraderie, dedication, commitment, and connection this University has with our community. It is truly exciting to be on the next leg of the journey, working as part of the team, bringing our next ten-year vision for a vibrant region and campus to life. Kate, you are also one of the visionaries behind the acclaimed ‘Luminosity Youth Summit’ annual event, inspiring young people 15 -25 to follow their passions and push beyond boundaries. In July this year, the team celebrated a decade of delivering the Summit in Port Macquarie. As CoFounder can you tell us a little about why this initiative is so close to your heart, and can you explain a little about the idea behind its creation?

The Summit truly is a passion project, and thankfully an incredible group of locals feel the same way and have worked collaboratively with me across the last 10 years to pour their love, time and talent into this youth leadership and development summit - the first of its kind in regional Australia.

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The connections and friendships with individuals and our incredible community are my most valued treasure, and this amazing platform has allowed me to do what I love, which is connect and celebrate our region

Luminosity was incepted to remove barriers and provide access for young regional students to what metro students have access to on a daily basis. As a student from the MidNorth Coast myself, it was so important to communicate to these young people that your postcode does not determine the trajectory of your success. We created a dynamic three day face-to-face forum to uplift young people to explore dangerous ideas for success. The summit ignites creativity, entrepreneurship and connection and fosters purpose, health and wellbeing for young people aged 15 - 25. Over 3000 young people have experienced Luminosity to date and have come away with fresh ideas and inspiration, tangible tools, real connections and lifelong skills.

Our All Stars Summit this year was a celebration of a decade of this special event and was an action-packed three day experience filled with main stage magic, keynotes, performances and hands-on workshops. The incredible line-up featured many of our most loved speakers, thought leaders and facilitators from the last 10 years. I am so grateful to the team that pulled this off after two heartbreaking years of postponement due to COVID. It was a mammoth team effort, and the relief and joy we felt on that main stage with the young leaders, our community and industry partners on the last day was overwhelming.

This year, you were also awarded 2022 Port Macquarie Local Woman of the Year for your incredible contributions to the community by the Hon. Leslie Williams Member for Port Macquarie and the NSW Minister for Women - an amazing achievement. Can you explain a little about this award and what the recognition means to you?

I am completely humbled to be recognised in this way and send a huge and heartfelt thanks to the Hon. Leslie Williams MP for this unexpected honour for contributions to advance and enrich our community and for my work at the helm of Luminosity Youth Summit. I absolutely love Port Macquarie and will continue to dedicate my time and energy to elevate this region through the creation of special events and projects, raising funds and awareness for charity and community groups. This wonderful and unexpected award quite literally came as a complete shock to me, and as such, I thought the invitation to the awards ceremony was in fact a hoax email

and popped it directly into my spam folder! Little did I know I missed my own award ceremony in Sydney! Thanks to Leslie, Terry Sara and coconspirator hubby Steve, a special ceremony was held back in Port Macquarie. This award is shared with Steve and Jack and my extended family, who support me in whatever I do. Thanks to the dedicated and passionate voluntary Luminosity team across the last 10 years, my beloved Rydges and Sails crew, SilverSpoon family and Charles Sturt University, who have worked with me to bring these community events and projects to life.

Looking back at your impressive career to date, you’ve worked in the UK and spent 13 years as the Area Director of Sales & Marketing for dual hotels, Rydges Port Macquarie and Sails Port Macquarie and now as the Director of External Engagement for Charles Sturt University. You have worked with many external stakeholders, created key partnerships and events and liaised with diverse groups of people of all ages. Can you tell

I absolutely love Port Macquarie and will continue to dedicate my time and energy to elevate this region through the creation of special events and projects, raising funds and awareness for charity and community groups.

us about some of your highlights?

I am so thankful for the professional teams I’ve been a part of and the amazing projects we have created together. Some of the ‘pinch me’ moments that stay with me are working for the Royal family in the UK for the late Queen Elizabeth and the now King Charles at the Chelsea Flower Show and at Disney premieres in London, welcoming Sir Anthony Hopkins to Rydges Port Macquarie, corresponding with the iconic Sir David Attenborough to collaborate on a conference in Port Macquarie and delivering the keynote address at the Charles Sturt Graduation at the Glasshouse - completely terrified!

The full rebuild and relaunch of Zebu Bar + Grill back in 2010 is a standout. Working with an incredibly talented hotel design, food and beverage team as well as graphic designers such as Dylan Gaul, who helped cocreate the original Zebu brand look and feel. Transforming this space from a sedate hotel café into a metro-inspired cocktail venue really helped change the game for Port and helped the industry flip the switch and realise its full potential as a coastal tourism destination. The team that brought that to life are like family and are still connected today.

The relaunch of Sails Resort was particularly special. After a long-awaited $25 million dollar refurbishment, it was pure magic, and, collective hard yards to see this stunning property come back to life and become the majestic coastal beauty she deserves to be. Working with an incredible team led by the late great Rob Von Hartitzisch was a career highlight. I will never forget the opening night celebration for 300 special guests and a killer

line-up of food, fun and entertainment.

Creating and delivering the annual events calendar across both properties, including the very first Dancing with the Stars in 2011 where I was coerced in to compete as a dancer, coordinate and be on the Event Committee, Masquerade Hope Ball, Six Degrees of Degustation, High Tea on the roof of the hotel - a full 9 stories up in gale force winds, and the much-loved Melbourne Cup and New Year’s event series.

Most recently seeing the Charles Sturt team come to life to support our community in floods, fire and the pandemic and how our students and team have bounced back bigger than ever. Launching Stage 2 of the campus and delivering the Innovation Hub launch event featuring keynote thought leader Todd Sampson and working with our new global IT partners Axiom Connected to create their first Australian headquarters on campus. Away from your busy schedule, where would we catch you spending your downtime?

Absolutely in the sunshine at the beach with my family, my husband Steve,11-year-old son Jack and our much-loved doggos Koda

and Nya. These two, along with my incredibly loving, supportive, extremely close Wood, Foye and Manning family are really everything to me. They are my absolute rocks and keep me in a healthy state of motivation and reality check at all times. Away from the craziness of corporate and community, I just love being with them, reconnecting with my beloved, and sometimes neglected, network of friends. Taking inspiration from the famed “Adventure Day”, I make sure we get our essential nature fix, squeezing in as much swimming, walking, horse-riding and sunshine as possible. For people wanting to connect with you Kate, how can they best get in touch?

Please come and connect with me at Charles Sturt and experience this stunning, state-of-the-art campus. We have so much happening with the return of students and a total vibe on campus, with an even more exciting program of community and industry events and projects to enjoy next year. My arm is also very easily twisted to come to the coast for a cheeky coffee at one of our fab local cafes to plan the next exciting project.

Thanks Kate. Interview: Sarah Baker.

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LEE Hannah Lee is an up-andcoming local musician who has just released her single ‘Momentary Thing’ and has her debut EP on the way!


Hi Hannah. Tell us a bit about how your music journey began?

I’ve always loved music. I grew up listening to Mum and Dad’s CD’s cranked up out on the verandah. I heard a whole lot of Tim McGraw, Jimmy Barnes, Garth Brooks, AC/DC, The McClymonts etc. I can remember singing any chance I got when I was younger, and I think we would have a fair few videos of me singing “Strawberry Kisses” by Nikki Webster at 5 years old.

One Christmas my brother asked for a guitar for Christmas. I thought that sounded like fun and I didn’t want to miss out, so I asked for one too. We both started guitar

lessons together at 12 and 14 and my guitar teacher, Bill Lane, thought I should give singing a crack as well and I haven’t stopped since.

How would you describe your style?

I ask myself that question everyday. I would definitely say Country, my music is always grounded in Country. It’s the style of music I love so much, but I grew up listening to so many different genres and artists, I think that definitely influences my style. The more I write and let myself create whatever I want to create, I find I can hear a little bit of rock and

blues mixed up in my country sound as well.

Over the past year or so as I've been writing my debut EP (which will be coming out in the coming months) I have become more comfortable in my sound by not being so caught up by “genre”. I found myself over-analysing songs I would start writing, wondering if they were country enough. Maybe it was too rocky to be considered country, or too pop. As soon as I let that go, I've been having the most fun and feeling more confident as an artist.

Who have been some of your biggest musical influences?

Like every other young girl that got into country music around 2010, Taylor Swift was absolutely the biggest influence I had growing up. I admired how she wrote all her own songs with unwavering honesty and wit. She was a trailblazer 12 years ago and continues to be to this day.

It’s the style of music I love so much, but I grew up listening to so many different genres and artists, I think that definitely influences my style.

I find that if I try to sit down and force myself to write something, it doesn’t often work for me and I really struggle in that environment. I need to be doing something where I can let my mind wander and that usually does the trick for me.

More recently though, some of my biggest musical influences would be Chris Stapleton, Miranda Lambert, Ashley McBryde, Tyler Childers and Carrie Underwood. I love a good songwriter, someone that can write a story and then put their whole heart and soul into singing it. It's captivating and that’s what I strive to do. Can you tell us a bit about your creative process when you’re working on a song?

I feel like it’s a bit different every time for me. A lot of the time I will think of a few lines or a melody I like while I’m driving. I have a long commute to work so my mind definitely wanders.

I try to write the song as soon as I can after I think of the first line or melody, while the idea is still fresh in my mind. I’m a bit of a mess with my song writing, I don’t have a nice system, but it gets me there in the end.

I find that if I try to sit down and force myself to write something, it doesn’t often work for me and I really struggle in that environment. I need to be doing something where I can let my mind wander and that usually does the trick for me.

Where do you draw a lot of your inspiration from?

I almost always write from real life experiences, mostly my own, but I have definitely written songs from a friend’s point of view, or someone I went to school with, or someone I spoke


to briefly at a pub. No one is safe from a songwriter. If I have had any kind of interaction with you personally, you could very well have had a song written about you! I find it can be really beneficial to write from someone else's perspective, it's definitely a challenge.

The thing I love about country music the most is storytelling. I love songs that make people feel things. So that’s why I draw from personal experience the most and try to be as honest as possible. Somehow, I think, the more specific and detailed you make a song, the more people will relate to it.

Your current single Momentary Thing is out now, what sort of feedback have you had on the song?

It has been great! Such a positive response for a song that’s definitely different from anything I’ve done in the past. I love a sad song that makes people cry, so to release an upbeat, light-hearted little love story instead actually made me quite nervous. I’m so glad people are loving it, I can't wait for everyone

to hear the next single and EP.

What was it like to create the music video for this song?

I had the best time making the music video for this song. Steve from Silver Quinn Productions absolutely killed it! It was all pretty last minute as Steve was off to New Zealand for a couple of months, so we had to pull it together quite quickly. It was filmed on a dairy farm in Bellangry. It is actually a campsite on HipCamp and it was perfect.

Where did the inspiration for the video come from?

I just wanted something really simple, nothing too extravagant for this song, it didn’t need it. It is a light hearted little love note in

song form and I liked the idea of being out in the sunset, in a beautiful spot, singing away. Are you currently doing many live gigs?

I had a bit of a break over the last few months while I was recording this new EP and getting everything ready for its release, but I'm finally getting back into the swing of things over the summer. I make sure to post all my gigs and any other fun announcements on my socials.

Where can people follow your journey or have a listen?

You can follow me on my Instagram @ hannaahlee, on Facebook which is Hannah Lee and you can stream all my current and upcoming music on Spotify or any streaming service you prefer!

Thanks Hannah.

The thing I love about country music the most is storytelling, I love songs that make people feel things. So that’s why I draw from personal experience the most and try to be as honest as possible.



Hi Marie and Trevor. You both have exquisite taste for the finer things in life and can often be seen driving in style in your Range Rover. Tell us about some of your favourite features of your vehicle?

(Trevor) Marie regularly points out to me that the Range Rover is like driving your lounge! It is so comfortable due to the independent front and rear air suspension. The soft close doors and blind spot monitoring are a couple of standard features. The driving experience is really elevated by four zone climate control and heated seats.

Hi Peter. You are a long time car aficionado and can currently be seen in the driver’s seat of the Jaguar F-PACE; one of the most efficient and refined cars the brand has produced. What driver focussed benefits do you enjoy about this particular model?

(Peter) I have been a Jaguar Land Rover driver since I purchased a Land Rover Freelander in 2011. Since then, I have owned a Range Rover Evoque, two Range Rover Sports and now a Jaguar F-PACE. The performance, road handling and comfort are second to none. I especially like the features incorporated in the F-PACE, including head-up display. You all obviously have a love of the quality craftsmanship these premium brands offer. What is it that has drawn you both to Jaguar and Land Rover in comparison to other offerings on the market?

(Peter) No one builds cars quite like the British, especially Jaguar Land Rover. They are renowned for their styling, quality finish, mechanical reliability, and performance.

(Marie) There is no doubt the craftsmanship is second to none. The economy is first class and on long trips we have achieved 1,000 kilometres from a tank of diesel. We are very happy with our 2014 model year Range Rover. While it is now eight years young, it has less than 110,000 kilometres on the clock.

(Trevor) We previously had a Range Rover Sport and have not been interested in any of the other premium brands on offer.

I know you are also all proud customers of Sales Manager Ben Husk and the Port Macquarie Jaguar and Land Rover teams. Tell us about your experience purchasing and continually servicing your vehicles at the John Oxley Motors Port Macquarie dealership?

(Trevor) We will be visiting Ben later in the year to check out what new vehicles will be on offer next year. The Range Rover is always serviced by John Oxley Motors and following its recent September service, we were informed by the Service Manager that it is in first class condition.

(Peter) Ben provides the service and attention to detail that you expect from a quality car dealership. He is a personable young man, and nothing is a problem for him.

What is on the horizon for you all for the new year ahead?

(Peter) The only thing I have planned for the new year at this stage, is a visit to the Ascot Races in the UK and a tour of Vienna and Budapest.

(Marie) We have planned for a holiday in New Zealand in early 2023. In addition, we will concentrate on visiting some Australian destinations.

Port Macquarie Land Rover 130 Hastings River Dr, Port Macquarie Tel: (02) 6588 8525 |

Hi Tori. When did you start out in steel work and what made you decide to get into the trade?

When I was a little kid, I did not dream of becoming a metal fabricator, it never even crossed my mind. I envisioned myself at a desk job wearing high heels to work every day. I found as I grew up that it wasn’t for me. I first experienced metalwork in high school, more so when I chose it as an elective. Part of doing a high school elective/TVET course is mandatory work placement and that’s how I introduced myself to Bennetts Steel. After work placement I went on to complete my HSC doing as many practical subjects as possible e.g. Construction, Metalwork and Woodwork. After receiving the highest bands in my final school testing, I found that working with my hands must be my calling. Due to showing my hard work and aptitude towards

fabricating during my work placement, Shiree, the Manager of Bennetts Steel found me to be the right fit for her workplace and offered me an apprenticeship the day I graduated from year 12. I accepted and began my journey into the world of trade. What sort of training do you have to do to start in the industry?

To become a qualified Metal Fabricator, you need to complete a TAFE course run through an apprenticeship. ‘Certificate 3 Engineering Metal Fabrication Trade’ is the official title, and it takes 4 years to complete. Where are you currently working and what is your role?

I’m currently in my third year of my apprenticeship through Bennetts Steel and my employment title is Apprentice Metal Fabricator and Junior CNC Program Operator. Can you tell us a bit about the kind of work you do?

In my role I fabricate with steel, aluminum and stainless steel using a range of processes such as MIG welding, plasma and oxy-cutting, TIG welding, forming and shaping, grinding, cutting and painting to produce items ranging from structural steel components to ornate garden decorations and everything in between. At Bennetts Steel we do a variety of fabrication styles.

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I enjoy seeing a pile of metal turn into a usable, functional or even just decorative item and knowing that I created it.

You recently got 1st place in a structural construction competition, can you tell us about the competition and how you came to enter?

Worldskills is a competition that has been run for the past 40 years. The competition is used to test the knowledge and skills of thousands of apprentices and students, letting young workers showcase their talents in the industry.

Worldskills can also open new pathways in the contestants’ field of work by further educating them in workshops and introducing them to new people within industries. Workskills got introduced to me when my TAFE Teacher suggested that I enter the regional competition. Then it was just a matter of enrolling. What did it involve and what was the experience like for you? The regional competition was held over 6 hours and using a range of skills including interpreting plans and job specifications, TIG, Stick and MIG welding processes, and predominantly oxy flame cutting to create a miniature sized earthworks roller. To add an element of difficulty you were judged on the raw skill, meaning that no grinding was permitted in the making of the roller. The final item was marked by a panel of three judges and was tested to tight tolerances. I found working under a time trial to be stressful, but

first place?

The final item was marked by a panel of three judges and was tested to tight tolerances. I found working under a time trial to be stressful, but at the end I was glad that I completed the job.

I was happy with myself for having a go and even happier with myself for winning. Receiving first place in the Construction Steel Work category, means that I progress with the regional team to go to organised workshops. This will educate me over the next year, so I am ready to compete again in a three-day contest held in Melbourne. What do you enjoy most about your work?

I enjoy seeing a pile of metal turn into a usable, functional or even just decorative item and knowing that I created it. I enjoy the variety of work that comes through Bennetts Steel. It has been very beneficial to me

time job Bennetts Steel has made my transition into the trade industry very pleasant. All the tradespeople around me are more than willing to teach me and share with me their knowledge regarding the work we do which creates a good team environment. Have you set yourself any other goals for the future?

I hope to further my studies and get greater qualifications while working so I can become multi-skilled and diverse in the industry and possibly progress into becoming a teacher of the trade.

If you could give advice to anyone thinking of a career in this field, what would it be?

Don’t let the thought of being a minority in an industry deter you from pursuing a career you want. The right person will always get picked for the job. If you work hard you get where you need to be, and you get the recognition for the work you do.

Thanks Tori


Katy Tubman

Hi Katy. Thanks so much for speaking with FOCUS. You are a celebrated family and pet photographer.

Where do you draw your inspiration in your work?

Thank you so much for this opportunity to share a bit about myself and my business. Family and connection has always been a big part of my life growing up. My Nan always had a camera out when we had family get-togethers or new people came to visit. She was always documenting every part of life. So for me my inspiration comes from her and now having my own family being a Mum to two young boys.

Watching my boys grow up so quickly and how our family has grown and changed over the last 5 years, I want to be able to document all of the little things in life, to preserve those memories forever in time with a photograph, but not only for my family but for other families too, in all stages of their life. When did you first pick up a camera and what is it you love about the craft?

I’ve always had a camera of some sort in my hands. From when I was young and used to take photos for my Nan on a wind-up disposable camera that you took to the shops to be developed, to a small point and shoot digital camera through school. But it was once I

had my boys that I really got into photography and wanted to learn more about the art of photography.

I love that you can capture the emotions and characteristics of people with the right light and beautiful scenery, but what I love most is taking those photos and turning them into artwork. Something that you can proudly display in your home and every time you see it, it takes you straight back to the memories of that day or the feelings of connection and love you had in that moment.

What type of equipment do you predominantly use?

Equipment. Well, there is the physical

FOCUS speaks with local photographer Katy Tubman, formerly of Zoom Photography by Kate and now rebranded to EvoKative on her insights and passion for capturing those special family and pet moments through the lens.

into stunning artwork that they not only love but suits their style and home.

Tell us a little about your artistry expertise and what you most like to create.

My expertise is a full portrait experience where I guide you through the whole process. From the first call where I get to know you and your family and what they like and what you want to get out of your shoot, to preparing for your shoot, to a relaxed and fun shoot where I capture the moments that we have discussed in

the first phone call and finally creating artwork that suits your style and home. Whether that is wall art like a large famed hero print to stand out in a room or a canvas collection to tell your story or something small like an album of your whole shoot to display on your coffee table or a keepsake box to hold your prints that can be displayed on a shelf.

My favourite thing is to design and create the artwork for my clients. I love taking photos, but once those photos have been taken and you receive your digital files, you might share a couple on social media but then they get stored on your computer or in the cloud and forgotten about.

Continued over...

equipment I use, which Is a Nikon Camera and a 50mm lens. If I shoot indoors I use lighting but I mostly shoot outdoors in the beautiful scenery with the lovely natural light. Then there is my laptop I use to design and create artwork. But that is only part of what creates my photography, so I would have to say the best equipment I have is my knowledge, my planning and my passion for creating what my clients want and the vision to turn their photos

Photography is just so amazing in my opinion. It can stir emotions, happiness, good times, reminiscing, friendships, love, laughter, all these emotions and more can be seen in just one simple photo.

What’s the point in getting professional photos taken if they get forgotten about. I believe that you should proudly display your photos so you can be taken back to those memories and moments in time that were preserved, and the way that I do that is by designing and creating printed artwork you can show off and look at all the time.

What have been some of your highlights looking back?

One of my biggest highlights would be recently winning a commended and a semifinalist award for my photography at the Australian Photographic Prize 2022.

For me entering the competition and putting my work out there to be judged by a panel of 5 Australian and International award-winning professional photographers, all of whom have been in the industry for many years and are highly respected and regarded amongst their peers, it makes sure that the work I am producing for my clients is of a professional standard.

I entered 2 of my clients photos into the Portrait Category and they both scored high.

This reflects that I am producing exceptional professional work for my clients and all of the wonderful people I have met and had the chance to work with. Getting to know them and their family and being a part of capturing their memories, is such a special thing.

Can you describe a little about yourself behind the lens?

I’m a fun and energetic person and I bring that energy along to every shoot I do. I like to try new things like splashing in the water at 6.30am on a cool autumn morning or kids hanging upside down from play equipment to get those fun and unique shots. I am open to trying anything!

Being a Mum myself I know the stress and struggles you can go through to get ready for a shoot or get the perfect shots but my job is to make sure you have a fun and

relaxed shoot. I do this with some planning by getting to know what things you like, for example dancing to the Wiggles or splashing in the water, because this shoot is about your family and what they like to do. I’m not someone that gets you to line up and say cheese to get an awkward smiling photo, but if that’s what you want to do that is also fine. I may do a little bit of posed shots but a lot of my shots are about the interaction and connection between everyone.

My preferred times of day to shoot is at sunrise or sunset when the light is nice and soft but I know that those times don’t always work for some people so I am flexible. It might just mean that we have to pick a location that has more shade or we do an at home session.

The Mid North Coast region offers such a picturesque landscape to photograph beautiful families and their pets.

I love that even though we are a coastal town, there is so much variety in the landscape. We definitely live in such a magical place that offers something to suit everyone’s style.

What is it you love most about living in Port Macquarie?

I love that even though we are a coastal town, there is so much variety in the landscape. With all of the beautiful beaches, which is where I spend a lot of time shooting, to not too far down the road having the stunning bushland and rainforest, which are also lovely backdrops for your photos. We definitely live in such a magical place that offers something to suit everyone’s style. We just need a bit of a break in the rain to enjoy it. What is on the horizon for you?

I have just done a rebrand, so I was Zoom Photography by Kate but I have just recently rebranded to EvoKative. It will still be the same experience but with some new products and packages to choose from. Also with the rebrand I will be doing a major giveaway

worth $2000. I have also decided to branch out a little and am now offering Personal Branding and Headshots for business.

With Christmas around the corner I am about to launch our Christmas Sessions and a little elf has told me that Santa Claus will be making an appearance for them, so that’s exciting! Away from the camera where would we find you spending your own time?

When I am away from the camera I spend a lot of time with my family going on adventures or walking the beaches or at home watching the latest movies on Disney +. When I’m not with my family I like to pamper myself with a massage or a nice coffee at one of the many local coffee shops or find a quiet place out in nature to collect my thoughts and refresh. For people wanting to find out more

about your work or engage your services, how can they best connect with you? You can check out my latest work, pricing and products at: EvoKative evokative_photography 0431423913

Thanks Katy.

I have some exciting news regarding photography training if anyone is interested in furthering their skills and knowledge in photography, this will be announced once I launch the website.
GREATER PORT MACQUARIE focus 39 FRANKIE ’ S14 Clarence St Port Macquarie 6583 7387 Open daily 6.30am to 3pm /frankies.pmq /frankies.pmq CONNECT WITH US


S T A R Chefs


Having recently pulled out a tattered copy of Anthony Bourdain’s cult restaurant bible ‘Kitchen Confidential’ for old times sake – I couldn’t help but wonder if it showed signs of aging.

After all, it has been 22 years since this exposé on the front-line realities of chef and restaurant life was written and of course Bourdain has since tragically taken his own life.

Since the early 2000’s when this book was written, there’s been a whole host of similar tomes penned by kitchen professionals, plus of course the rise of the reality cooking genre. That’s where one can take one’s pick from anything in the realm of say, Masterchef, all the way to Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares, where it is indeed possible to gleefully view the complete gamut of bad chef behaviour, soul destroying abuse of underlings and all manner of food crimes and health and safety breaches.

Indeed, it seems as if our appetite to consume not just the culinary delights plated up by chefs, but also a non-stop feast of their dirty laundry saw no bounds for a good chunk of the last couple of decades. But as we emerge from the tumultuous last

couple of years of pandemic, floods and firesare we still so unapologetically voyeuristic when it comes to our need to be a ‘fly on the wall’ of the restaurant kitchen?

Certainly when it comes to the serious business of the mental health of those in the industry, and the fate of Bourdain himself, there is a need for perhaps less exposé and more TLC.

For an industry still in strife and flux, there needs to be an acknowledgement of the importance of the profession, a duty of care and respect given to those that chose this path.

In the last few years, perhaps because of the recent Covid derailment, the bad boy chefs seem to have all disappeared. The old boys such as Ramsay have gone all soft and middle aged. And the up-and-coming young guns? Well, I could be imagining it but there seems to be a new generation of serious young chefs out there.

The focus is on the artistry, the creativity and the produce. Instagram feeds are full of serious, minimalist plating up and less name dropping and made for TV spin offs. There’s a backlash

within the industry to quash that cliché. Those that choose the profession, are themselves individuals and not to be lumped in as a bad boy/girl collective. As indeed within any given profession, there are surely bad boys and girls, shonky practises behind closed doors, tantrums and scandals that co-exist with others that just get on with it.

The new generation chefs are known and congratulated by the dining public, but it seems like the tantrums, the posturing, the brazenly degenerative behaviour and ‘celebrity chef’ label have been relegated back to that Spice Girl era.

Sadly for Bourdain, all this comes too late. With the recent release of a new unauthorised biography, he looks to remain firmly in the spotlight that he so wanted to escape. As he wrote to his estranged wife shortly before his death “I hate my fans too, I hate being famous. I hate my job”.

Everything has to come full circle and could it be that is one thing we’ve learned? That chefs and restaurants are, and should be all about the food. Not about antics, or gimmicks or scandals. We started with the food, then the closed doors of the kitchen became of interest to us and now we’re realising that yep, it was –and still is about the food.

focus contributor.
Instagram feeds are full of serious, minimalist plating up and less name dropping and made for TV spin offs. There’s a backlash within the industry to quash that cliché.



When it comes to wine, the romantic aspect is the sound of a cork being pulled out of a bottle, and this has been the primary

form of closure for wine for centuries. These days finding wines still under cork, whilst still common, is becoming far less popular for not only the winery/ producer but also the consumer, as it is now the screw cap that is the preferred closure.

This is primarily due to the wines produced these days being consumed much faster than what used to be the “norm” and both restaurants and consumers prefer the ease of a screw cap. Both types of closures have positive and negative attributes, however, arguably the best thing about the cork can very easily be the worst.

Whilst many wines are designed to be aged, having a cork closure can be very beneficial, resulting in a fantastic product allowing the

wine to “breathe”. The biggest drawback of this closure is that it can leak if not properly stored but also it can cause a taint known as “cork taint”. Even if it’s just a few per cent of wines affected, it can result in a loss of aromatics all the way to a wine that is heavily tainted and sometimes not drinkable. When you factor in potential costs as a result (replacement or loss/ damage to reputation) the decision can be easy for some producers to make the move to screw cap.

Compare this to a screw cap closure whilst this taint is all but non-existent and the consistency of the product over its life is very reliable, this closure is sealing the external part of the wine. The slightest of hits to the lid can cause it to lose its seal and result in an oxidised wine.

Personally, I do enjoy a wine under cork, and I am not phased about getting a bad wine as it can happen, but when you get an aged wine under cork that is in its form, there isn’t much that can top that.

focus contributor.
These days finding wines still under cork, whilst still common, is becoming far less popular for not only the winery/producer but also the consumer...

Huge Congratulations on winning best Parmi in NSW at the Australian Hotel Association NSW Awards for Excellence.

How does it feel knowing you guys are the best?

Cheers, it’s a great feeling! I’m so glad for our hard working chefs. They do an amazing job.

We are really proud of our parmis and schnittys here at Setts. It’s a staple for any good Pub bistro menu so you need to do it well and our chefs really take pride in making sure that we have a really consistent offering.

What makes Settlers the best Schnittys?

We don’t cut corners! Many pubs will actually buy in their chicken schnitzel already crumbed which is a frozen product (I'm cringing thinking about it!) but we do all the crumbing in house. We spend about 8 hours a week crumbing our schnittys but we think its important! Now everyone has an opinion on how to do the perfect schnitty – we don’t mind keeping our chicken slightly thicker and we have found having a mix of panko crumb and bread crumb works a treat. We also add a touch of herb in there. And of course you have to have a great topping to go with it. We think of course we do a great parmi but have also created

great homemade pepper or mushroom sauces that go great over a schnitty!

Who is Schnitzella?

Haha, we haven’t seen him for a while but every now and again we bring out a monster schnitty meal. It’s over 1kg in size (3 times the normal size) and not many people can finish it. I hear actually he might make an appearance again next year perhaps.

When is the best time to get a Schnitty at Settlers Inn?

Any time is the right time for a parmi right? But Thursday Schnitty night is probably your best bet. It's very popular and you definitely need to book a table - you can do that on our website. In the winter it’s footy training night so we usually get a heap of hungry footballers and every week we do nearly a thousand schnittys or parmis.

For bookings or more

It’s a staple for any good Pub bistro menu so you need to do it well and our chefs really take pride in making sure that we have a really consistent offering.


Summer means stone fruit season and let me tell you this year’s crop is looking delicious.  The supply of peaches and nectarines has begun so now is the time to get stuck into the fruit on offer this year.  Peaches are highly versatile, maybe use them in a dessert, or grill them with your savoury dish, whatever takes your fancy.

Christmas is approaching fast so make sure you get in quick and order Ken’s famous Christmas trays before books close. Again, we would like to thank all our regular customers and our amazing staff. We wouldn’t have the success without our local community.

Restaurant opening hours: Tuesday to Saturday – 11.30am to 2pm & 5pm to 8pm Sunday – 11.30am to 2.30pm Port Macquarie Golf Club 700 Ocean Drive Port Macquarie NSW 2444 | (02) 6582 0409 what’sON at the Club ITALIAN NIGHT Tuesdays from 5pm MEMBER’S DRAW Coming Soon! TRIVIA Wednesdays from 6.30pm LIVE MUSIC Fridays from 6.30pm to 9.30pm DELUXE ROAST Sundays from 11.30am HAPPY HOUR $4 SCHOONERS & HOUSE WINE Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday 5pm to 6pm RIBS & STEAK SPECIALS Thursdays from 5pm


A strange collaboration evolving into this year’s most highly anticipated feast. Founder of the Australian Gin Collective Joey Dable reached out to Legendary Local Pitmaster Adam Roberts and Cocktail King Andy Crowther to make plans for Port Macquarie’s second gin dinner.

A fusion feast between American low ‘n slow barbecue and Australia’s most highly awarded gin; Four Pillars. Huge tables filled with smokey, decadent offerings such as whole briskets, reverse seared steaks, pork shoulder and sausage links, accompanied by perfectly paired cocktails and a gin soaked desert. Hosted over two evenings at Black Duck Brewery, there are few tickets left for Friday 25th and Saturday 26th of November.


Tell us how Friends.Meat. Gin came to be? The domestic gin scene is still relatively unknown to most and growing rapidly. Our goal was to spread the word on this beautiful and complex drink. Last year, we had the privilege of publishing a book all about Australian Gin Distilleries, where we got to meet and greet some amazing providers from around the country and taste what they had on offer. I really wanted to expand on that concept. We held our first gin crossover dinner with the wonderful team at Drury Lane a few months ago and showcased gin from The Farmers Wife Distillery, fitting in perfectly with Drury Lane’s fresh locally sourced produce. The concept was a hit and we sold out of tickets in under 2 weeks.

I thought it would be time experiment pairing gin in a way that hasn’t been done beforewith American low ‘n slow barbecue. What better person to approach for such an idea than our very own local Pitmaster, author and competitive barbecue champion, Adam Roberts.

Gin is not all fruits and florals, although they are delicious. Flavour profiles can be complex and range with deeper, aged and earthy as well; a perfect pairing with barbecue. What brand are you collaborating with this time around? We reached out to industry giant Stuart Gregor, Co-Founder of Four Pillars and the President of the Australian Distillers Association. He was thrilled to come on board.

Hailing from the Yarra Valley of Melbourne, and Australia’s most awarded craft gin, they often endeavour collaborations to continue to throw an exciting twist on their offerings. I won’t reveal too much about the cocktails on the night, but expect to see an interesting range of these limited gins.

Spice Trade - Aromas of finger lime, chilli, cardamom and turmeric. The spices of green szechuan, long pepper and red chilli blended with lemon and anise myrtle add to the intensity and depth of the gin.

Bloody Shiraz Gin - Shiraz fruit, steeped in high-proof gin for eight weeks before pressing, resulting in a deep, rich, reddish purple. Aromas of fresh pine needles, citrus and spice, and distinct peppery, dense raspberry notes.

I’m really excited to be cooking up for this Gin and Barbecue event in November. I’ve travelled far and wide in my barbecue journey to date and I’ll be bringing my ‘A Game’ to ensure no one leaves hungry or disappointed in the food.

I’ll be bringing my Hogpit smoker trailer for some serious low ‘n slow smoking and grilling and to rotate meat to perfec tion, pairing the flavours beautifully with the amazing cocktails on offer.

Some of my favourite cuts will be on the share platters including whole beef brisket, pork shoulder, my signature Ja lapeno and Cheese links, spiced chicken, turkey slices, reverse seared steak and a bunch of sides to match.

This will be my last cookup of the year before I head to the America’s for a month-long ‘food study tour’, finding inspiration for my next barbecue book due out next year. If you miss this one, It’ll be a while before the next one - so snooze and lose and all that!



Gin and BBQ seems like a fun collaboration. How did you get involved? I have done a couple of Adams BBQ classes so as soon I heard he was also involved, all the boxes were ticked. Our focus for Romeo is predominantly weddings and private events but when Joey asked me to come on board to make cocktails from Four Pillars that showcased their Gin, I couldn’t say no. I love the idea of experimenting with this pairing.

So, tell us more about the concept behind Romeo? Anyone in my circle will tell you I’ve always wanted to do something like this. Romeo is the name for the van which eventually turned into the personality of the entire brand. Romeo & Juliet is one of, if not, the most wellknown love story – so the name was very fitting for the Wedding Industry. Romeo himself is impulsive, playful, and intelligent just like the entire offering. I think I had my own bromance with Romeo even before he arrived. The van is gorgeous. How did you come across it? The idea of modifying an actual vintage van was on the cards but fell through early on. I realised that internally they wouldn’t

fit me at 6 foot 4!

Despite the vintage appearance, Romeo was built from the chassis up, with extra height added of course.

I worked closely with a team of builders in Melbourne for 8 months.

when Joey asked me to come on board to make cocktails from Four Pillars that showcased their Gin, I couldn’t say no. I love the idea of experimenting with this pairing.

What are some of the features you focused on? The brief was simple. I wanted something elegant, practical, and adaptable. He has an array of characteristics including almost 4 metres of service windows, a hot water system, stainless steel ice wells, fresh and grey water tanks. The stand out being the 3 tap ice bank keg system. All I need is power and you’ve got a fully operational bar that can serve draught beer. I could be in the middle of a field with a generator and pour you a cold schooner out of an ambient keg.

How does your offering work? Essentially, you provide the booze and we do the rest. We work with you every step of the way assisting you with beverage quantities, selections and

times and from there we work with the client to build a package that meets their vision.

We have more than just the van now. I have other portable bars that are just as capable if the Van isn’t logistically possible. The Wedding venues we work with often have bars already built in and we’re more than happy to work with that. Give us the space and we will make it happen.

Is there anything on the forecast for You and Romeo? Definitely. Romeo is only half of the love story. I am working on a Juliet. Let’s leave it there.


Friday 25th and Saturday 26th of November. Tickets $170pp / Tables of 10+ Black Duck Brewery 6 Acacia Avenue, Port Macquarie NSW 2444



Principal and Director of Delicate Minds Support by Choice Pty Limited, Cindy Newman and her team of therapists focus on providing early intervention therapy and support to families raising neurodivergent children. The therapists at Delicate Minds, are skilled and qualified to match their expertise. They trust in the process of delivery a unique, compassionate, friendly approach to working holistically with families facing challenges navigating daily life raising neurodivergent children. Meet our team:

CINDY NEWMAN – Degree Qualified Clinical Child and Adolescent Counsellor studying her Masters in Child and Adolescent Mental Health. She is a registered Clinical Member of PACFA, Certified Autplay Provider and qualified facilitator for Tuning In To Kids and Cool Kids / Cool Teen Anxiety Program.

SCOTT NEWMAN – Support Worker. The person all our clients love. He is particularly skilled in supporting our clients to implement the therapy learnings in our community through creative and joyful experiences.

SHARNI GEARY – Special Education Teacher working in Behaviour Therapy. Sharni loves working with families in the home, clinic or school to support them in identifying and implementing behavioural strategies. Sharni facilitates Social Thinking/Social Skills group therapy for preschool and primary aged children.

JOSS HEWITT - Play Therapist earning her qualifications through the Queensland Institute of Play Therapy. She is also an Occupation Therapy AHA and studying towards her Diploma of Counselling. She is our queen of play and provides amazing, competent knowledge in her play skills.

TEGAN PICTON - Administration /Office Manger welcoming you into our space with her friendly and positive energy. She is passionate in her role, sharing her love for children and always choosing to warmly interact with our families. Her goal is to let our children’s personalities shine.

Unit 9, 10 Bellbowrie Street Port Macquarie Email

Welcome to Hastings Data Loggers. We are the main Australian and New Zealand distributor for Tinytag Data Loggers, Probes and Accessories and offer a comprehensive sales and support service with indepth stock for same day dispatch.

Our sales and technical staff can assist with any question. Since its inception in 1993, Hastings Data Loggers has built a first class reputation as Australia’s Portable Data Logging Specialists. We are committed to quality, service and customer satisfaction and enjoy a hard earned reputation for providing excellent pre and after sales service. This focus enables our staff to offer in-depth product and technical knowledge to assist you in choosing the most suitable logger for any given application. We offer a level of service to the point that when placing an order with us before 2 pm you will receive the delivery to your doorstep the next day in 99% of cases. Hastings Data Loggers also stock an exclusive range of Australian made probes that

are compatible with the Tinytag range of data loggers. For the non-technical, data logging is a generic term that describes the process by which an electronic device records information such as Temperature or Relative Humidity. So the words Data Logging mean much the same as recording. An electronic data logger is a small selfcontained miniature computer that once setup via a computer will operate independently of the computer using its internal battery. Data loggers are housed in a diverse range of cases that can allow them to operate in a wide range of conditions some of which can be quite extreme. To find out more: Hastings Data Loggers 02 6581 3900 Unit 10/10 Bellbowrie Street, Port Macquarie, NSW |

Come in to Bellbowrie Park to discover these and many other businesses and services

54 GREATER PORT MACQUARIE focus HastingsRiverDrive Hastings R ver Dr v Bellbo wrie Street Bellbowrie Street Nearly
30 exciting businesses call Bellbowrie Park home.
Hastings Data Loggers. BELLBOWRIE PARK Business Park Centre
Local Faces 20 of our favourite EDIT

How long have you worked at FOCUS? Too long! Seriously though 17 years.

What have been some of your favourite editions to work on and why? Any edition that helps promote a major event in town like Fotsun, Artwalk, Slice of Haven, Port Cup, Boots and Beach to name a few. I do take a lot of pride in helping to promote events in our local area that attract people to discover our region.

What has been your favourite cover you have either worked on or just love? We have had some amazing covers over the last 200 issues. The ones that stood out for me were the Tastings on Hastings covers. We always went

above and beyond with those to create something iconic.

What do you love about FOCUS? Every month we interview amazing people, doing amazing things, and 200 issues later, we just keep finding people that live in our community doing amazing things. It always blows my mind, even now, that we keep finding people that have something interesting and exciting to share. We live in a beautiful town, no doubt, but it’s the people that make it so special.

How long have you worked at FOCUS? 11 years and 6 months

What have been some of your favourite editions to work on and why? Christmas edition is always fun, lots going on, lots happening and people are so happy and excited.

What has been your favourite cover you have either worked on or just love? The yellow cover that we did for our 2nd edition in our “new format” is gorgeous and is definitely a fave. From our “old format”, the two Men In Business covers we did, they were both pretty cool.

When you are not at FOCUS where can we find you? When I’m not at FOCUS I’m at Physie.

I proudly run the Wauchope Physical Culture Club (dancing) with my sister and another lady.

What do you love about FOCUS? The people I work with. Honestly I am so blessed to have an amazing crew of people around me each day that make this job super fun. I would also like to say a huge thank you to my clients. Some have been with me from day 1 at FOCUS and I am lucky to have such amazing businesses to work with each day :)

How long have you worked at FOCUS? 2 years.

What have been some of your favourite editions to work on and why? November 2021. I was sent on my first photography assignment to Sticky Tips Bee Hive. I got covered head to toe in a sting proof suit and walked among thousands of bees and, November 2022. My beautiful wife Kate has been writing for Focus since the very first edition and done so many amazing things for the community during this time.

What has been your favourite cover you have either worked on or just love? Definitely Men in Business - August 2015.

When you are not at FOCUS where can we find you? Walking the dogs at Nobby’s Beach or on the sideline of a basketball court watching my son shoot hoops.

What do you love about FOCUS? Everyone here has a unique relationship with each other. We’re like a family. We’re not afraid to disagree or to admit we’re wrong. It’s a really enjoyable workplace to be part of.

How long have you worked at FOCUS? I have been working with Focus for about 5 years now. I started working as the photographer on the Coffs mag then have been shooting down in Port for about 2-3 years. What has been your favourite cover you have either worked on or just love? That’s a hard one. There isn’t any specific cover but my favourites are usually the ones that have a creative idea and a bit of a challenge behind it. Like throwing water at Nathan Tomkins, or coloured powder at Raye Alford or spending hours with Dylan Gaul trying to write the perfect ‘2’ with a sparkler.

When you are not at FOCUS where can we find you? Usually working on my own photography business and travelling. But when I’m home, I’m usually sitting on the mower.

What do you love about FOCUS? I love the fact that I get to spend a little bit of time each day photographing and spending time with some incredible people from all walks of life.


How long have you worked at FOCUS? 6 years

What have been some of your favourite editions to work on and why? I would have to say our March and August issues each year profiling our local and talented men and women doing extraordinary things in their businesses and industries are always exciting editions.

What has been your favourite cover you have either worked on or just love? This month’s November cover to celebrate our 200th edition is pretty special. I have worked with our cover star Kate Wood-Foye as a client and contributor of Focus for years.

When you are not at FOCUS where can we find you?

Probably at the beach or juggling life with my busy 2 year old - never a dull moment!

What do you love about FOCUS? Our team is a closeknit family who each bring amazing talents to the table. It is a pleasure to work alongside each of the FOCUS legends.

Equally, I’m privileged to bring to life campaigns for my wonderful clients, many of whom I have worked with since day one. They make my job an absolute pleasure!

How long have you worked at FOCUS? I’ve been with Focus before the first issue, I met Jay about 20 years ago as a Junior designer.

What have been some of your favourite editions to work on and why? I always love the Women in Business and Men in Business editions. They’re always bumper editions, the theming and the photography.

What has been your favourite cover you have either worked on or just loved? The Tastings on Hastings cover shoots were always fun, and a lot of work went into them. I really love working with our talented photographer Gav, and he’s got to be one of the best in the biz.

When you are not at FOCUS, where can we find you? I’ll be working on other projects, landscaping our new build, or taking it easy with my wife and two girls.

What do you love about FOCUS? The fast pace. It’s monthly, so every time it rolls around, it’s go time, working with Kyle on so many pages, two mags averaging around 128 pages each, 248 pages in 10 days, it’s pretty cool.

How long have you worked at FOCUS?

I started on the Coffs magazine a little over a year ago, and then I joined the Port team at the beginning of 2022.

What has been your favourite cover you have either worked on or just love? The Feb ‘22 mag, there was a big wedding feature and local makeup artist Karina was our cover girl. It was just an amazing creative photo and it was great to see a fellow makeup artist taking centre stage!

When you are not at FOCUS where can we find you? I am

a cosmetic tattoo artist, makeup artist and hairdresser and I have my own business, so when I’m not working on Focus I’m kept very busy there! I’m also a mum to two gorgeous girls, and wifey to Gavin (Focus’ photographer!), so they keep me on my toes too!

What do you love about FOCUS? I love continuously discovering how much local talent with interesting stories we have here on the Mid North Coast!

How long have you worked at FOCUS? In 2011 I joined the Focus team as part of my school-based work experience. From there I was offered a permanent and full-time role as a junior graphic designer so I left school to pursue this career and passion.

What have been some of your favourite editions to work on and why? I always enjoy working on the Men and Women in Business editions as I get to learn about the faces behind our incredible local businesses. When you are not at FOCUS where can we find you? I enjoy enjoy spending time outdoors

with my wife, daughter and our puppy. We love exploring the nature within our local area. I can also be found at World Gym working on my calves.

What do you love about FOCUS? The people that I work for and with are amazing. FOCUS really is a little family and I feel lucky to have been a part of that for 12 years. I’m also passionate about our product and I love how well FOCUS profiles local people and businesses.




1:00pm Gary King Hastings Hotel

2:00pm Besty Settlers Inn

3:00pm Brendan Twemlow Laurieton Hotel

3:30pm Ruby Blunt Tapp Bar

6:30pm Open Mic Bonny Hills Hotel


6:30pm Jessica Flanagan Botanic Wine Garden


6:30pm Gary King Club North Haven

6:30pm Open Mic Wavebowl


5:00pm Mat Brooker Wicked Elf

5:30pm Jasmine O’Brien Black Duck Brewery

5:30pm Andrew Cousins Chop ‘n Chill

6:00pm Shane Peters Club Lake Cathie

6:00pm Pure Acoustic Wavebowl

6:30pm Besty Port Macquarie Golf Club

7:00pm The Aronsten Bros Tapp Bar

7:30pm Isabella Livingstone Settlers Inn

8:00pm Glamstars Finnians Irish Tavern


12:30pm Andrew Best Chop ‘n Chill

2:00pm Finn Hoy Brewhaven

2:00pm Tony Kennelly Wicked Elf

4:00pm Larry Moylan Tacking Point Tavern

5:30pm Dave Strauss & Matt Devitt Tapp Bar

6:30pm Blues Brothers Rebooted Comboyne Club

6:30pm Bill Roberts Little Turkey

7:00pm Live Music Wavebowl

7:30pm Rhys Callinan Hastings Hotel

8:00pm Adrenaline Crush Bonny Hills Hotel

8:00pm Fella Felafel Finnians Irish Tavern

8:00pm Cheryl Hall & The Wisemen Kove Lounge

8:00pm Kyle Moore Laurieton Hotel


12:00pm Jessica Flanagan Royal Hotel Kew

12:30pm Simon Gudgeon Chop ‘n Chill

1:00pm Gary King Long Flat Pub

1:30pm Vanessa Lea & Roadtrain Tapp Bar

1:30pm Nikki Rudge Wauchope Country Club

2:00pm Sharky Sweeney Laurieton Hotel

4:00pm Brody Ireland Bonny Hills Hotel

4:00pm Damian Wynne Tacking Point Tavern


6:30pm Open Mic Bonny Hills Hotel


6:30pm Kyle Moore Botanic Wine Garden


6:30pm Suave Club North Haven


5:00pm Sarah McKenna Wicked Elf

5:30pm The Coppertones Black Duck Brewery

5:30pm Andrew Best Chop ‘n Chill

6:00pm Rockabillys Club Lake Cathie

6:30pm Gary King Port Macquarie Golf Club

6:30pm Craig Nelson Royal Hotel Kew

6:30pm Kyle Moore Wavebowl

7:00pm Bad Sneakers Tapp Bar

7:30pm Finn Hoy Settlers Inn Hotel

8:00pm Minnie Marks & Mitch Burgess Bonny Hills Hotel

8:00pm Leigh I’Anson Finnians Irish Tavern


11:00am Damon Winter Douglas Vale Vineyard

12:30pm Jackson James Chop ‘n Chill

2:00pm Keanu Jai Brewhaven

2:00pm Sam Buckley Wicked Elf

4:00pm Cheryl Hall & The Wisemen Tacking Point Tavern

5:30pm Raku & Darren Jack Trio Tapp Bar

6:30pm Emma Dykes Comboyne Club

7:00pm Brock Colley Wavebowl

7:30pm Happy Dave Hastings Hotel

8:00pm Andy & Besty’s Funhouse Bonny Hills Hotel

8:00pm Slyder Kove Lounge

8:00pm Graham Howle Laurieton Hotel



12:30pm Goody 2 Shoes Chop ‘n Chill

1:30pm Isabella Livingstone Tapp Bar

1:30pm Pure Acoustic Wauchope Country Club

2:00pm Bill Roberts Laurieton Hotel

4:00pm Hudson Rose Bonny Hills Hotel

4:00pm Andrew Best Tacking Point Tavern


6:30pm Open Mic Bonny Hills Hotel


6:30pm Live Music Botanic Wine Garden


6:30pm Kyle Moore Club North Haven


5:00pm Young Floyd Wicked Elf

5:30pm Bryden Black Duck Brewery

5:30pm Mat Brooker Chop ‘n Chill

6:00pm Stevie B Club Lake Cathie

6:30pm Pure Acoustic Port Macquarie Golf Club

6:30pm Geoff Jones Wavebowl

7:00pm Portamento Tapp Bar

7:30pm Graham Howle Settlers Inn Hotel

8:00pm The Rockabilies Bonny Hills Hotel

8:00pm Ben Black Band Finnians Irish Tavern


12:30pm Andrew Best Chop ‘n Chill

2:00pm Mat Brooker Brewhaven

4:00pm Brock Colley Tacking Point Tavern

5:30pm Nikki Rudge & Strazz & Berg Tapp Bar

6:30pm Steve Bennett Royal Hotel Kew

7:30pm Geoff Jones Hastings Hotel

8:00pm Dirty Coverz Finnians Irish Tavern

8:00pm Darren Jack Laurieton Hotel


12:30pm Craig Stewart Chop ‘n Chill

1:30pm Reggie D Tapp Bar

1:30pm Nikki Rudge Wauchope Country Club

2:00pm Keanu Jai Laurieton Hotel

4:00pm Ruby Blunt Bonny Hills Hotel

4:00pm Misha Bear Tacking Point Tavern


5:00pm Tanisha Palmer Wicked Elf

5:30pm Mat Brooker Chop ‘n Chill

6:00pm Gary King Club Lake Cathie

6:30pm Damon Winter Port Macquarie Golf Club

6:30pm Finn Hoy Wavebowl

7:00pm Salsa Dance Night Tapp Bar

7:30pm Nikki Rudge Settlers Inn Hotel

8:00pm Live Music Finnians Irish Tavern


12:30pm Brody Ireland Chop ‘n Chill

2:00pm Tiarmon Music Brewhaven

2:00pm Tennyson King Wicked Elf

5:30pm Keanu Jai & Rhys Callinan Tapp Bar

6:00pm Tennyson King Tacking Point Tavern

6:30pm Gary King Comboyne Club

6:30pm Ruby Blunt Little Turkey

7:00pm Lockout Band Fernhill Tavern

7:00pm The Southern Hold Wavebowl

7:30pm Geoff Jones Beechwood Hotel

7:30pm Graham Howle Bonny Hills Hotel

7:30pm Brock Colley Hastings Hotel

8:00pm The Coppertones Kove Lounge

8:00pm Prime Suspex Laurieton Hotel


12:00pm Simon Gudgeon Royal Hotel Kew

12:30pm Young Floyd Chop ‘n Chill

1:30pm The Moye Boys Duo Tapp Bar

1:30pm Jukebox Bingo Wauchope Country Club

2:00pm Trev Hart Laurieton Hotel

4:00pm Gary King Bonny Hills Hotel

4:00pm Mat Brooker Tacking Point Tavern


6:30pm Brock Colley Botanic Wine Garden


Josh Pyke is not only an incredible musician, but a songwriter, producer, composer, children’s book author, and has been an ambassador for the Indigenous Literacy Foundation for many years as well as having set up the Josh Pyke Partnership to provide funding and mentorship for emerging artists.

He is currently touring for his latest album To Find Happiness, and will be playing at Hello Sailor in Port on the 24th November.

Hi Josh. Can you tell us about your introduction to music and how you first fell in love with singing and writing music?

My love of music really started when I was a little kid. I remember listening to certain songs and having visceral emotional responses to them. The song House At Pooh Corner, which is a country song by the Nitty Gritty

Dirt Band used to make me cry every time I heard it when I was about 6 years old, but it was a response that I started to associate with something being desirable. I wanted to listen to music that gave me “the feels”, whether it was crying or feeling elated or energised. So that was my first real indication that music was something I connected deeply with. When I was 12 my

mate asked me to sing in a band that he’d started in Year 6, and after a lot of cajoling I reluctantly agreed. We played in front of about 600 parents and students and I was terrified but also completely hooked, and from then on, I literally never considered doing anything else with my life. All the way through high school and beyond I was focused on becoming a songwriter.

Can you tell us a bit about your process when writing and composing music?

When I’m writing songs for my own albums, (as opposed to music for film or TV), I really just have to wait until lightning strikes. I wish I could just sit down and make myself write songs that mean something authentic to me, or express something I find interesting, but I really just have to wait until inspiration strikes and kind of be in the state of mind to accept that inspiration. Once I have the shell of an idea it becomes a matter of refining that initial inspiration into a “proper” song, and having a studio at home is a massive help with that. Not being on the clock, and having that space to disappear to has been such a joy, especially when we were all in lockdown!

You have had an impressive career in music, including being recognised with multiple ARIA awards and nominations, what have been some of your personal highlights in your career so far?

We played in front of about 600 parents and students and I was terrified but also completely hooked, and from then on, I literally never considered doing anything else with my life.

It sounds corny, but the biggest highlight for me is when the crowd sings the words of my songs along with me. Just recently I played two festivals over a weekend, one in NSW and one in WA. The crowd was singing along from the first song and sang their hearts out for the whole set. For me, that’s not only incredible validation that my songs have reached so many people over the years, but it’s just a really beautiful and organic way to connect with a whole bunch of strangers. To me that’s a huge highlight of being a musician, especially today when the world feels a little bit more divided than it used to.

Your latest album To Find Happiness was released earlier this year, where did you draw a lot of your inspiration from for this album?

It was really drawn from being in lockdown. Rome was written before Covid, but TFH was very much written in the throes of it. The idea of the album is that even in trying times we need to keep looking for those fleeting moments of happiness. It’s not a permanent state of being, and anyone who tries to sell you a version of life where you’re constantly happy is either mad or a liar! If the last few years have taught me anything, it’s that happiness is there, but you have to look for it, and sometimes it’s about shifting your perspective in order to do that. In terms of sonically and production wise, it was very much inspired by having the creative escape of my studio.

I wasn’t planning on doing another record so soon after Rome, but I just found that I kept on coming up with songs that I loved and so I felt compelled to put them out there.

You’re currently touring for this album, what do you enjoy most about being on tour and performing live?

It’s really the connection with the audience. No matter how far I’ve travelled, how much I’m missing my family, or how tired I am, whenever I get up and play, a magical energy

happens and it’s very much about feeling that connection with the crowd.

It is obviously important to you to give back to the community, having been an ambassador for the Indigenous Literacy Foundation for many years now and also starting the Josh Pyke Partnership. Can you tell us about each of these projects and how you have been involved?

I’ve been an ambassador for the ILF for over ten years now, and my main role there is to raise awareness and funds. They do an incredible job of delivering culturally appropriate books into remote communities and I try to help by spreading the word for them. This year we also piloted an initiative I created called Busking For Change which is set to be their main annual fundraising activity every year which is something I’m very proud of. The JP Partnership was really born from seeing that there was a lack of grants and funding for musicians out there. I saw an opportunity to partner with APRA/AMCOS to provide funding

and mentorship for some emerging artists, and it’s been really rewarding.

Your creativity also goes beyond music, you’re also a published author! How did you get into writing children’s books?

Having my own kids really kicked that one off. I would tell them stories at night and the ideas would develop, and finally I decided to actually write some of them down. It was a long process of learning the craft, (it’s actually really hard to write a good kids book!). I’m very proud to say I have 7 kids books out now, with another 3 to come next year. I was recently in Korea and got the chance to meet up with the publisher who has released one of my books over there, and it was pretty wild to see a book I wrote in English translated for a Korean audience. Very cool!

You’re playing here on the Mid North Coast in November in both Port Macquarie and Coffs Harbour, what can people expect from the show?

I’m playing solo on this run, but I did incorporate a loop pedal and a few other elements. Hayley Mary will be joining me on this tour and we’ll play a few songs together too, so it should be a lot of fun. I always try to play tracks from across the whole gamut of my career, but that’s getting harder now having 7 albums out! I try though!

Thanks Josh, see you at Hello Sailor!

This year we also piloted an initiative I created called Busking For Change which is set to be their main annual fundraising activity every year which is something I’m very proud of.

focus contributor.



I haven’t always called this stunning town home though. You see I’m originally a Hobart girl but together with my husband Ant, who runs our onsite espresso bar, we have lived in Port now for 12 years. The story of how I came to own Meg + Me is a somewhat funny, truly “Port” tale, let me fill you in.

Way back in 2010 I suggested to Ant that we hit the “Mainland” as Tasmanians call the Big Island, for 12 months. “Let’s just expand our horizons and see the country for a while” I thought, and then we can slot back into life back home in Tassie, refreshed after our big trip. The only problem was the minute Ant stepped out of the car at Lighthouse Beach, I saw him grow roots. “What have I done” I thought to myself, “this guy is never going to want to leave here!” And true enough, within 10 minutes of arriving Ant had lined himself up a dream job as a Barista and I could see the writing on the wall; Port was going to become our home.

I fought the transition to Port Macquarie for a while, and after a few casual positions here and there I found myself chatting to the then

owner of Meg + Me which was located under Rydges at the time. I was trying to secure a couple of casual days work, but that’s not how things turned out. “Unfortunately I don’t have any work I can offer you” I’m told, “but I am thinking of selling the business, and I can tell you’d be perfect for it!” Wow - that was not what I was expecting. Going home and giving Ant the news that I didn’t get the job, but I might buy the business was strange and unexpected by both of us to say the least! Fast forward to 2022 and we have just celebrated our biggest achievement yet - 10 years in business! When I think of where Meg + Me started to where it is today, we really have come a long way and have definitely made Port Macquarie and this fabulous community our home.

Now, let me tell you a little about Meg + Me, the business. When I arrived here Port seemed like it was going through a bit of a transition. So many of my customers shared with me the good old days when Port was full of independently owned fashion boutiques and lamented that many had closed down over the past few years. It was clear that I had to take this business and fill that need.

Over the years we have established Meg + Me as the “Go To” boutique for anyone looking

for something different, perhaps a special piece that will give you joy for many years to come. We aren’t fast fashion and we aren’t the place to find all the latest trends, but we are here for you. I have always described a retail therapy experience at Meg + Me to be like going shopping with your most stylish friend, one who supports your individuality and knows that not everyone wants to end up looking the same as everyone else, especially when that trend just doesn’t suit you!

So as I sit here and gratefully contemplate the opportunity that I have been given to become the voice of the “style” column for Focus, I also realise this comes with a great responsibility. With the rise of social media, filters and influencers to name just a few, there’s an unparalleled need to keep things real and support each other where we’re at right now. We’ve all had a tough few years in one way or another, but I can definitely sense there’s positivity in the air again. As summer sneaks into view and travel becomes more accessible again, we’re all looking forward with anticipation to the next few months ahead. I can’t wait to share my expertise and passions with you as we explore the fabulous world of fashion, styling and life together!

Until next month… x

Hi! I’m Lusanna the owner of Meg + Me Boutique + Espresso under the Port Pacific Resort.
Well hello there…this is a nice surprise! My name is Lusanna and I’ll be popping in here as your monthly “style columnist”. But before I dive into all things style, you might want to know a bit about who I am and what my story is… so let’s take a minute or two to get to know me.

There is a lot of “big” news right now, starting with the arrival of The Big Koala, designed by Pauline Roods, at the new tourism and educational precinct in Cowarra State Forest called Guulabaa (‘Place of Koala’).

The creation of The Big Koala is the result of over 1,400 people who have purchased a Monopoly Port Macquarie Special Limited Edition from the Hello Koalas Gift Shop over the past 12 months. They are our “Friends of the Big Koala”.

We believe Port Macquarie Monopoly is the only Monopoly game in the world to have a koala token and ours has been created utilising Hello Koalas sculpture design which depicts the koala species found in our region.

We are also excited to acknowledge Regional Australia Bank as sponsor of The Big Koala, in addition to their sponsorship of ‘Kirralee’ at their Horton Street branch.

Welcome to three new sponsors to the Hello Koalas Sculpture Trail in time for Christmas. Sovereign Place Town Centre (Frankie Firefighter), Lake Innes Village (Captain Koala) and Highfields Manor Aged Care (Lord Burrawan). Our sponsors are such valued partners in our work.

Inspired by The Big Koala, Hello Koalas is further developing innovative koala conservation awareness projects.

The sale of Monopoly Port Macquarie through our Hello Koalas Gift Shop at Bellbowrie Park Business Centre, Port Macquarie and online, (,

continues to provide vital funds for Big Koala projects, which includes a second children’s book about several Hello Koalas characters.

Our first children’s book, Lola had a Dream, written and illustrated by acclaimed local artist Francessca O’Donnell, has just been released and has been inspired by ‘Lady Lola The Dancing Koala’. Lola is the Hello Koalas character created by Francessca and is resident at the Glasshouse Arts and Visitor Centre. Francessca says the book “is dedicated to all those children who dare to dream, and those who believe in them”.

Francessca has also created three other Hello Koalas sculptures including ‘Retro Rita’, the mosaic pair of performers ‘PK Sparkles’ at the Glasshouse, and ‘Kalido’ who has moved to the Hello Koalas Gift Shop for the release of “Lola had a Dream”. The RRP is $24.99 from the Hello Koalas Gift Shop or purchase online ( All books will be signed by Francessca and if you would like a personal inscription for the special person you are buying it for, call the Hello Koalas Gift Shop on 0416 641 482 or email info@ and we will organise that.

In our bid to continue to raise awareness about koala preservation, Hello Koalas Gift Shop has expanded its high quality koala themed gift range and custom Hello Koalas merchandise sourced locally, including our Big Koala range. Proceeds from the Hello Koalas Gift Shop, including our sales of Port Macquarie Monopoly, go back into our advocacy work to preserve our koalas.

This is why the Hello Koalas Gift Shop is so vital to the work that Hello Koalas Sculpture

Trail does in our community and in promoting koala conservation to visitors to our region.

Hello Koalas is putting Port Macquarie on the map in a unique way through the environmental and cultural designs of our Hello Koala sculptures.

Hello Koalas is also a finalist in 2 categories in the 2022 NSW Tourism Awards, ‘Cultural Tourism’ and ‘Tourist Attractions’. Awards night is at Luna Park on 17 November.

We invite you to visit Hello Koalas Gift Shop and discover for yourselves our Treasure Trove of koala memorabilia.

Choose from koala door stops, koala glasses cases, koala music boxes, koala mobiles for children’s rooms, Hello Koalas Calendars (unique to Port Macquarie), koala rattles, Australian made koala toys, koala chocolates, koala slippers for toddlers, koala snapbands and keyrings and koala ballerina dolls to complement our new children’s book “Lola had a Dream”.

There are also Hello Koalas customised merchandise including T-towels featuring all 84 Hello Koalas sculptures, aprons (a new line), tote bags, notebooks, artbooks, magnets, badges, postcards, lens cloths and stickers.

When I grew up, in our family we had a variety of ways to stop the doors from slamming shut when the breezes cooled our home. Recently I discovered a koala doorstop. It brought up such memories. I was hooked.

Hope to see you at the Hello Koalas Gift Shop soon. We are located at 16/10 Bellbowrie Street, Port Macquarie and we are open Monday to Friday 9am to 3pm.

Enquiries 0417 761 482

Contact Us: Online at Phone 0416 641 482, Email find us on shop ONLINE  and click on the  “Shop” tab Bellbowrie Park Business Centre Unit 16, 10 Bellbowrie Street, Port Macquarie (just 5 minutes walk from Settlement City) Opening Hours: Monday to Friday 9am to 3pm  PLUS: Top Trumps Port Macquarie Card Game, T shirts, Magnets, Badges, Stickers, Notebooks, Tote Bags, Aprons, Eco personal products, chocolates, koala soft toys and novel koala themed accessories like doorstops! It’s a “Koala Treasure Trove”! 2023 Calendar $20 BELLBOWRIE PARK Calendar2023 ... and The Big Koala HELLO KOALAS FOR SOMETHING SPECIAL THAT SAYS “PORT MACQUARIE” this Christmas Say “Hi” To 12+ Hello Koalas  Sculptures All In One Place! Colouring Books $18.95 Tea Towels $26.99 Monopoly Port Macquarie $69.95, including exclusive Hello Koalas token New Children’s Book $24.99 ‘Lola had a Dream’ written and illustrated by Francessca O’Donnell who created ‘Lady Lola The Dancing Koala’, resident at the Glasshouse. Available from Hello Koalas Gift Shop and online at
Lady Lola The Dancing Koala’ is centre stage this month, pictured with koalas from the Hello Koalas Sculpture Trail. Hello Koalas Gift Shop is at home at Bellbowrie Park Business Centre, 16, 10 Bellbowrie Street, Port Macquarie, NSW 2444

O’Donnell Francessca

Francessca O’Donnell is an artist whose creative journey includes teaching dance for many years, designing stage costumes, creating and teaching mosaic work, and recently designing four local Hello Koalas which has lead to her latest project of writing and illustrating a children’s book around one of her Hello Koalas characters ‘Lola’.

Hi Francessca. You have experience in a few different creative fields, can you tell us about your time as a dance teacher and your studio?

I moved to Wauchope in 1987 with my family and two young sons Kane and Tim. Later that year, I opened Francessca-Louise Academy of Dance and Performing Arts and in 1991 a multi complex studio in Wallace Street, Wauchope. The next 25 years just flashed by in a flurry of children, examining, adjudication, teaching, eisteddfods, exams and rehearsals across studios in both Wauchope and Port Macquarie.

You have done some study in Fashion Design and are currently doing costume design for the Milwaukee Ballet Company in the US. How did that all come about?

With a BA in Design from Sydney College of the Arts, I find my creativity swings across all styles and genres of art and design. The opportunity to design for the ballet company came via my youngest son Tim, who worked for the Milwaukee Ballet Company as leading Artist and Resident Choreographer for 10 years. Each time he created a new ballet or contemporary work for the company, I was delighted to work with him to design

the costumes. The highlight of this creative partnership was travelling to the US in early 2019 to work with the costume department to create over fifty individual designs for the cast of 16 dancers. The Ballet ‘Sacre’, was part of the Ballet Russe Reimagined.

After years as a dancer and teacher you have now come back around to focusing more on your visual art. What are your favourite mediums to work with?

I love to work across many genres and artforms. My great passion is mosaic, as there are so many styles within this ancient artform to explore. I have been very fortunate over the last 16 years to work full time as an artist creating

mosaics and artworks for private clients, local businesses, councils and community projects.

Do you remember when you first fell in

I was born into a family where art and creativity was encouraged. My mother, a passionate artist herself, never missed an opportunity to open creative opportunities to learn and explore. One of my early memories as a preschooler was sitting at the foot of the model in a live drawing class, fascinated as she sat motionless in a class hushed by passionate enthusiasts, sketching.

Can you tell us about what the process is like for you when creating a

There is always lots of thinking before I put pencil to paper. Once I have found direction, I can usually see the idea clearly enough to


start, then just let my design grow organically as I work.

Where do you draw a lot of your inspiration from?

When I am working to a brief for a commission or exhibition, designs often have a specific starting point, from which I develop a series of designs. Inspiration can be sparked from so many things I see, discover and experience. You also run mosaic workshops locally, can you tell us about them and what you offer?

Lola was passionate about becoming a ballerina, despite being told “koalas don’t dance, they just eat gum leaves and sleep.

your skills with others?

I love to share my passion for art and mosaic and watch confidence grow as new skills are developed. It’s very fulfilling to enjoy enthusiasts of all abilities coming together, in a warm and welcoming space to create, laugh and inspire each other.

and memorable moments teaching children and my young son, in their dance journey. Children are so impressionable, what we say and how we support them can make a huge difference to their belief in themselves and their drive to follow their passions and ultimately have fulfilling careers, wherever that takes them.

I run weekend workshops about 6 times a year and weekly mosaic classes, Tuesday morning and evening and Thursday morning and afternoon.

During weekend workshops, participants can select a small project they would love to create. Over the two days I work with them to develop their design using different cutting and laying techniques. The workshops include all materials and delicious catering.

During weekday classes students explore a larger range of mosaic cutting and laying techniques and develop a deeper understanding of colour and design theory. This allows them to work towards larger or more technically challenging artworks. What do you enjoy most about sharing

You have also created some of the Hello Koalas around the area, what has that experience been like?

I have felt honoured to have created four of the Hello Koalas Characters in this inspired Art Trail. Retro Rita, Kalido, PK Sparkles and Lola, are all based on theatre characters, with their own backstory. You can read about their quirky connections

We hear you’ve also written and illustrated, a Hello Koalas children’s book ‘Lola Had A Dream’, what was the inspiration for the book?

Writing ‘Lola had a Dream’ started as a random conversation over coffee with Margret Meagher. The character was named after her granddaughter Lola and the story was inspired by so many funny

The story tells the journey of an unlikely little character, Lola, a koala. Lola was passionate about becoming a ballerina, despite being told “koalas don’t dance, they just eat gum leaves and sleep”. Lola’s journey tells of the power of belief and determination and the joy to be found when you follow your dreams.

What’s next for you? And how can people follow along with some of your creative projects or get in touch?

2023 is already looking interesting with a few new collaborations and commissions in discussion including illustrating a children’s book for a local writer. I am also excited to be continuing my work with the Lockhart Council in the Riverina, where I am working with them to create an Art Precinct, that will include multiple mosaic installations.

You can find out more at




I Still Call Australia Home - 2022 Tour

Come and enjoy the fun, romance and excitement of the finest tenor voices in Australia. Hear from their magnificent 2022 program, Nessun Dorma, Verdi’s Anvil Chorus, to popular tenor songs, packed with so much emotion that will delight your heart. From Man of La Mancha, The Impossible Dream – Les Miserables, Do You Hear The People Sing & Neapolitan favourites Funiculi Funicular with other repertoire including a stirring rendition of The Hallelujah Chorus. Beautiful duets are also a part of

the program including Phantom of The Opera & The Pearl Fishers Duet.

The Australian Tenors have performed extensively with Opera Australia, Australian and International Symphonies & Philharmonic Orchestras.  The Australian Tenors are: Murray Mayday, John Donohoe, Matthew Reardon and Michael Butchard under the direction of Musical Director Glenn Amer. Guest soprano is the beautiful song Opera Australia bird, soprano Clarissa Spata.




Congratulations on your brand new store here in Port Macquarie. Can you tell us a bit about the Matthews Jewellers story?

We are Sam and Adam Matthews. Our grandfather, Norman Matthews, opened a jewellery and watch store in Scone, NSW in 1957. We know watchmaking was in the family prior to Pop, but we’re still trying to nail down all the historical details! Our father, Stephen Matthews, opened his first jewellery store in Muswellbrook in 1978 and went on to open several stores across regional NSW. We both joined the family business in the last decade and today we operate four Matthews Jewellers stores, with Port Macquarie as our latest addition. We look forward to our family business continuing for another 65 years! What a wonderful opportunity to open your store in Port Macquarie. What excites you the most about joining the Port Macquarie community?

We’re passionate about providing beautiful

diamonds and fine jewellery to this region of the coast. Port Macquarie is such a vibrant and growing area. We love helping our customers find high-quality pieces of jewellery that will last a lifetime, without having to travel to a larger city.

We enjoy connecting to the community and happily contribute to fundraising initiatives by donating jewellery as prizes to help out where we can. We’ve supported and sponsored fundraising initiatives for organisations like Rotary, the NICU Ball for John Hunter Children’s Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, the Women’s Surfest event, the Mark Hughes Foundation, the Cancer Council and International Women’s Day. We look forward to contributing to the Port Macquarie community in similar ways and getting to know the locals.

I’m sure you have a very experienced and wonderful team behind you, can you introduce them to our readers?

Keira, our Store Manager, has worked in jewellery for over two decades now and is such an asset to us. She’s been with us for the past 14 years! She loves the family aspect of the business and freedom to design individual pieces of jewellery. The family business aspect is a great attraction for our staff members. Troylene has also worked in jewellery retail and loves the idea of working for a family jeweller. Like Keira, Kim has also made a sea-change to Port and enjoys our stellar range of unique pieces, something that also drew Ella to work for us. And after a rewarding career in the childcare industry, Olivia has joined us and is pursuing her passion for drawing and

Focus speak to the owners of the new jewellery store in Port Macquarie, Matthews Jewellers, whose family have been in the industry for 65 years
We both joined the family business in the last decade and today we operate four Matthews Jewellers stores, with Port Macquarie as our latest addition.

bringing customers visions to life.

Keira, Troylene, Kim, Olivia and Ella are always working hard to ensure our customers have the best experience, advice and products whenever they visit our store. All the team are super friendly so feel free to pop in to say hi and have a look around the new store! What are your strengths in jewellery that the Port community can take advantage of?

We offer the widest range of diamonds and fine jewellery to suit every budget. If you need an engagement ring or special gift at short notice, chances are we will have what you are looking for! Our ready-to-wear engagement ring range is unbeatable. The same goes for our stunning dress jewellery, wedding rings, pearls, sapphires and so much more to choose from.

If you can’t find exactly what you want, or have something creative in mind, we can also custom-make any piece you like within 6 weeks!

To give our clients peace of mind, we offer a Lifetime Care Commitment Plan free with any jewellery purchase over $1,499. This includes free cleaning, rhodium plating, resizes and our diamond guarantee, an endorsement of the

quality of our workmanship.

So, if you’re after something unique, beautiful and to last a lifetime you’ve come to the right place.

You are a custom design jeweller, what does this mean for customers?

If you can describe it, imagine it, draw it, or even just screenshot it, then we can make it.

Our expert team works with the client and guides them through all the ins and outs of selecting a diamond or precious gem to suit your preferences and budget, design decisions and pairing with other jewellery such as wedding rings.

And yes, they are all real diamonds and gemstones! We hand select all the diamonds in our Matthews Signature and Certified Collections. We have over 100 years of combined diamond experience and 60+ year relationships with the leading local and international diamond merchants.

We have an excellent Australian Argyle Diamond range including white, pink, blue and champagne coloured diamonds. We have seen huge demand for these since the Argyle Mine closed. We have also been appointed as the exclusive retailer in the region to offer the world’s most perfectly cut diamond, the Hearts

on Fire range. The sparkle on these is amazing. Tell us about some of your favourite pieces that you have made and the ones that have stuck in your memory and why?

A few come to mind for different reasons!

We created a stunning engagement ring featuring a large white opal held in leafy tree boughs of rose gold, lovingly designed by one creative husband-to-be!

We recently made a simple six claw solitaire for one of our customers, which sounds fairly normal except that it had a 3.5ct round diamond in the centre. The whole team couldn’t stop looking at it!

Another special task we were entrusted with was for a customer who had inherited family jewellery and arranged to have some stunning, modern pieces made using these diamonds which held so much sentimental value. More and more we are seeing our customers want to connect the past to the present by reusing diamonds and jewellery they already have and transforming them into new pieces and we love being part of this process.

Thanks Sam and Adam.




Hi Angus. Can you tell us about your connection to Port Macquarie?

I was born and raised in Port Macquarie. I lived there until I was 15, when I first moved to Newcastle. I went to school there and have two sisters and my school teacher parents who still live in Port Macquarie.

How long have you been playing in the A-League now?

This is my 5th season, so 5 years. Can you tell us about your beginnings in football, where you played and how you got started?

I started playing for the Port Macquarie

Saints when I was five years old. My Dad was my first coach, so he claims he taught me everything I know, which is far from the truth! Then I moved on to play for Mid North Coast, the local representative side, which meant playing in Newcastle and versus teams like the Jets Academy. What were some memorable moments for you in your junior career?

I remember playing in the Under 15’s Port Saints team when I was about 12 or 13, and scoring a goal in the last minute of the game

to draw the game and send it to extra time, and then we ended up winning. That was pretty cool to be playing with an older friend of mine and his team a couple of years above. That was just one memory that comes to mind of my time playing in Port Macquarie.

What do you love most about the game?

I guess I’m very lucky that I get to do something that I love for a job. I look back on the way I’ve become a professional footballer, and all I’ve really done is play the game that I love, do what I would have done anyway, get

I started playing for the Port Macquarie Saints when I was five years old. My dad was my first coach, so he claims he taught me everything I know!
Angus Thurgate is a footballer who grew up in Port Macquarie and has worked his way up to the A-League, playing for the Newcastle Jets. He has represented Australia in the under 20’s side and his future in the sport is looking very bright.

paid for it and meet friends along the way.

The connections I’ve made through football are life changing.

You started with the Newcastle Jets in 2018. What was the pathway like to get you from local football to that break?

I was scouted whilst playing with Mid North Coast against the Jets Academies. I moved down when I was 15 and lived with another parent and his son who had moved down from Port Macquarie for similar football reasons, so that was a big move I guess. I was travelling down with my parents for a year before that, but it was a bit tough on them travelling 5 hour round trips, three days a week, plus working full time as teachers.

So moving down, living by myself for a few years and progressing through to the youth team and then getting a scholarship at 17, was basically my pathway.

What did it feel like to run on for the Jets the first time?

It was a really proud moment. Most of my family was there, besides one of my sisters, so it was pretty special to play in Newcastle in front of a local crowd as well as my family and friends. It was something I’ll always remember.

What would you say are your biggest strengths as a footballer and what have you been working on?

I guess a lot of people would know me as a hard working player that gives 100% every game. I added goals to my game last year which is something I’ve said in the past I’ve needed to do and I’ve continued to work at that. It is the main aim of the game, scoring

goals and creating assists, and that’s ultimately what people look for and that’s what I’ve been working on.

What have been some of your career highlights so far?

Playing for Australia in the Under 20’s team was a pretty special moment and a career highlight for sure. My first year in the A-League the Jets made it to the Grand Final so it was pretty special to be involved in that. And also last year getting named A-League Young Player of the Year was another pretty cool achievement.

With the season about to kick off, what are you hoping to achieve for this year?

Personally, more of the same from last year. As a team I definitely want to be in the finals, pushing for a Grand Final and challenging for the title. I feel like Newcastle has such a good buzz when the team is doing well, I’ve had a taste of it in my first year and I really want to taste it again.

Thanks Angus

I added goals to my game last year which is something I’ve said in the past I’ve needed to do and I’ve continued to work at that, it is the main aim of the game, scoring goals and creating assists.


Not everyone is gifted with a perfect smile from birth. Others find later in life they feel dentally ‘challenged.’ Whatever the case, if you or a loved one is missing teeth, suffering from a broken down smile, have Advanced Gum Disease, chronic tooth pain, toothlessness, or feel their smile is letting them down, it may be time to consider the rehabilitative technology of All-on-4 Dental Implants.

You might be wondering what are All-on -4 Dental Implants? The term All-on-4, also known as All-on-Four and All-in-Four, refers to ‘all teeth’ being supported on four dental implants. This is a highly popular treatment for the total rehabilitation of the smile by replacing teeth on the entire upper or lower jaw (or both). This solution is best suited to patients with badly broken teeth, decayed teeth, who are suffering from toothlessness, or have teeth that are compromised by Advanced Gum Disease.

The All-on-4 treatment is a prosthodontics procedure. It is the replacement of missing teeth, and provides a permanent, dental implant retained denture or bridge as a replacement for the entire upper and / or lower set of teeth.

The All-on-4 technique takes advantage of the dense bone that remains in the front part

of the upper and lower jaw by placing two implants there and subsequently a further two implants at the back of the jaw. This is done at an angle to create stability, all the while avoiding the sinus cavities in the upper jaw and the nerve canal in the lower jaw. The four implants support a fixed denture or bridge with 10 to 14 teeth. Typically the denture or bridge is fitted immediately or within 24 hours of surgery, called loading.

If you are considering an All-on-4 Smile a careful analysis of the bone density, bone structure, existing teeth, bite, occlusion and your ideal dental outcomes needs to be taken into account to design your dental solutions. A detailed evaluation starts with a 3D x-ray and a comprehensive consultation that lasts 40 minutes. Additional digital images may be taken or impressions, then with the use of CAD CAM technology we can design your smile and print mock up All-on-4 models to show you the look, fit and feel of your new All-on-4 Smile. Planning an All-on-4 Smile may take several appointments to assess, design and approve your new smile because it is a full mouth rehabilitation. The good news is with today’s design technology you can be a part of the design process to achieve the smile you have always dreamed of.

The cost of the All-on-4 procedures varies

based on the dental implants used and the final prosthetic material used. For example acrylic resin teeth over titanium bar vs other prosthetic materials like zirconia. The best way to assess if this treatment is right for you is to book a 3D x-ray and an All-on-4 consultation. For a limited time we are offering the All-on-4 consultation for free and you will only need to pay $175 for the 3D x-ray at our rooms.

If you or a loved one is considering a smile rehabilitation call the caring team at Sundial Dental 6583 3533 or 6585 2015 to speak to one of our friendly team members and book an All-on-4 Smile Consultation today.

for the rehabilitation of All-on-4
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focus contributor.


Welcome to your November Fitness Update!

As the party season approaches I hear many women

chatting about how they want to lose a few kilos or fit into a particular outfit before Christmas, and you can’t escape the social media bombardment of weight loss fads and “shape up for summer” content.

So, let’s get real about all this before you embark on a rapid weight loss program that might have you hungry, disappointed and right back where you started.

This month I share my tips on navigating the BS that we are surrounded with when it comes to health and weight loss.

Check the credentials of the person delivering the content or the sales pitch. The internet is a minefield of “influencers” touting the newest weight loss method or fad diet, or how to grow your bootie and slim your waistline. Focus on building lean muscle mass through regular weight training. Muscle burns kilojoules not fat. Adding weight training to your program won’t make you “bulk up”, it will help to boost your metabolism, so that you can burn more kilojoules.

Strength training also helps with balance, proprioception and bone density. NOTE:

Regular Strength Training is different to High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT).

If it is an easy quick fix or looks too good to be true then it probably is! Crash/fad diets and extreme workout programs are never sustainable and can be very damaging to your body, metabolism and hormone levels. Yo-Yo diets have been proven to be detrimental to your long term success as rapid weight loss also results in muscle loss. These slow down your metabolism, contributing to rapid weight gain when you return to normal habits.

because of the pressure to look a certain way or to feed into media rubbish is not ok.

Switch off! If you find media messaging unhelpful, switch it off! Surround yourself with people who love you no matter what dress size you are! So, there you have it, don’t be pushed into smashing yourself in these coming months, just to get your summer holiday body ready. By all means, make positive changes to better your health but don’t be pressured or led astray. Always work with a professional and be kind to yourself, your body and mind. Have fun and stay strong!

If it is an easy quick fix or looks too good to be true then it probably is! Crash/fad diets and extreme workout programs are never sustainable and can be very damaging to your body, metabolism and hormone levels.

Set realistic expectations. A sustainable amount of weight loss is considered to be 0.5kg – 1kg per week. You really need to be prepared for the long game if you have a significant amount of weight to lose.

Follow dietary guidelines. The Australian dietary guidelines recommends eating a variety of food from all food groups in moderation and limiting alcohol and foods high in saturated fats.

You do you!

Weight loss for health reasons is one thing that I absolutely support, but desiring weight loss

Rach x

At Miss Motivator we help women to create healthy routines and behaviour for optimum health and fitness. Pop in and see us or check out our website to grab your free trial.



Hi my name’s Nikki Brown and I’m a Counsellor, Clinical Hypnotherapist, Neurolinguistic Programmer, Intuitive Emotional Energy Release Work and Regression Therapist. I live in Wauchope with my wife, son and fur babies and have lived in this area for 12 years coming from South Australia and growing up in Victoria, don’t hold that against me.

My own journey in my earlier years at school was full of bullying, trauma, abuse and social anxiety. In my late 20’s I began to suffer from constant illness and was later diagnosed with Lupus. In 2019 at 53, I was diagnosed with brain cancer and am currently in remission. Throughout my own experience I have been driven with a desire to assist others in a path of healing and wellness.

After 20-plus years working with many different clients, I’ve moved my practice to Wauchope to a brand new space. I’m also

I use a range of person-centred therapies to help clients explore both their past and their present. Using techniques outside of “regular talk therapy”, you have the chance of extending your understanding of what led you to where you are now, and focus on where you hope to go in the future.

Clinical hypnotherapy deals with the subconscious mind. In this way, it attempts to help the conscious mind and all its limitations and barriers be bypassed.

NLP - neurolinguistic programming, helps you understand how your thinking, feeling,

Intuitive Emotional Energy Release work is a unique modality that I have developed that helps you identify through an overview of your life why you continue to repeat the same patterns, sabotages and behaviour. Once you become aware of how your story has folded your subconscious beliefs and view of self, you are then able to transform and reframe to live life on your own terms, in a safe, non-harmful, controlled space, allowing you for the first time to experience life without triggers and patterns of behaviour associated with these. Feel free to contact me today.

offering online appointments for those who can’t see me in person. language and behaviour produce the results they do.
It begins


Hi Racehle, tell us a bit about yourself and how long you have lived in Port Macquarie.

I have lived in Port Macquarie for 37 years. My parents moved our family from Sydney, and I feel extremely grateful to have been able to grow my own family here with my husband and 2 children in such a beautiful location.

How long have you been involved with the Port Macquarie Triathlon Club and how did you get into the sport?

I have been involved with the club for approximately 12 years. I was introduced to the sport roughly 13 years ago. Our family was heavily involved with surf lifesaving at the time and that’s where I met Melinda Cockshutt when she was training for

Ironman Port Macquarie.

I watched Mel compete and was in awe. Coming from a running background I knew I just had to give the sport a try, and the rest is history.

Tell us about the Port Macquarie Triathlon Club’s Women’s Only Workshops and Triathlon Race. How did this all get started and what is it about?

and to assist us with pre-event workshops. The concept is an approach to encourage more women to participate in the sport of triathlon.

I watched Mel compete and was in awe. Coming from a running background I knew I just had to give the sport a try the rest is history.

The club has been holding the Women’s Only race for a few years now. However, the club has been fortunate to receive a grant from Triathlon NSW to contribute to the race

The workshops will be held over 4 days in November, then the actual Women’s Only Race will be held on Sunday the 11th of December.

We will also be providing a Luncheon post-race on December 11 at Settlers Inn Hotel.

Day 1 - 19th of November - Women’s Only Triathlon Skills Workshop. A day learning all things triathlon including skills/ nutrition and strength and conditioning.

FOCUS chats to Racehle from PORT MACQUARIE TRIATHLON CLUB about their upcoming Women’s Only Triathlon Skills Workshop

Day 2 - 20th of November - Women’s Only Triathlon Specific Open Water Skills. Day

3 - 21st of November - Women’s Only Injury Prevention and Management Workshop. Day

4 - 28th of November - Bike Maintenance Workshop. All workshops and entry to the race are $10 for club members and $20 for non-club members. Women can choose to participate in all, or just a few of the events for this one low cost.

Can you introduce us to the coaches who are involved?

We have 2 main coaches, Melinda Cockshutt and Caroline Steffan. Caroline will be running the day one Triathlon Skills Workshop and Mel will be running the Day Two Workshop and the Triathlon Specific Open Water Skills Workshops. Both coaches have spent over 20 years in the sport and have a wealth of knowledge. We also have several other local specialists in the field of physiotherapy, nutrition, and bike maintenance who are also involved in the workshops including:Lilly Hoey - Nutritionist, Fiona Bagley - Strength and Conditioning, Leah Burton - Sports Medicine Physiotherapist and Paul Nixon from TRS for bike

maintenance education. Why do you believe something like this is so important?

Keeping active is what I believe plays a huge part in healthy mental well-being and self esteem. I also feel that being involved in a sporting club opens lots of opportunities for social connections and a sense of community involvement. The Women’s Only Workshops and Race are a fantastic way for women of all walks of life to learn something new and have fun! What advice do you have for those thinking about it, but are not too sure?

The workshops will be held over 4 days in November, then the actual Women’s Only Race will be held on Sunday the 11th of December.

to get them to their first triathlon.

Although it is named as Race, the Women’s Only Triathlon will not be a competition. This event is simply for the women to use the skills they have learnt at the workshops and have fun.

The workshops and race are an invitation to women from all walks of life and will be catered for beginners to experienced. The club will be providing a safe and friendly environment, so no need to be scared.

This is a great opportunity to come and meet new friends and learn some great skills

How can our readers find out more?

All details of the workshops including the online registrations are on our club Facebook page. Any enquiries can be answered via our Facebook messenger or our club email

Thanks Racehle

Coastal Walk Against Domestic & Family Violence Wear white and take steps towards a safer community Sunday 27 November 2022 REGISTER FOR FREE:  Register with friends, family and colleagues!  Donate or fundraise to support local women and children  Wear white, bring your water bottle and hat Event Partner Gold Sponsor Silver Sponsors Choose your starting point Park at Westport Park and catch the FREE Busways bus to Lighthouse Beach or Flynns Beach, or join the walk from Town Beach Lighthouse Beach – 11km 7.30am - Bus departs Westport Park for Lighthouse Beach 8.00am - Opening address and walk starts from Tacking Point SLSC (no pets to Nobbys Beach) Flynns Beach – 3km 8.30am - Bus departs Westport Park for Flynns Beach 9.00am - Walk starts from Port Macquarie SLSC, at Flynns Beach Town Beach – 2km No bus 9.30am - Walk starts from Town Beach Lifeguard Tower (suitable for prams and mobility aids) End of Walk Celebration From 10.00am – Westport Park Refuel at the coffee van and BBQ. Enjoy live music, cultural entertainment and guest speakers LIFESTYLE GROUP Liberty_Coastal_Walk_2022_FOCUS.indd 1 23/10/22 5:24 pm


We are really looking forward to seeing the community come out in huge numbers to take part in the Coastal Walk Against Domestic and Family Violence, wearing white and walking along our iconic beaches and headlands on Sunday 27 November.

It’s a great show of strength that our community says no to domestic and family violence. It’s a chance for everyone to stand in solidarity with victim survivors. By taking part, people are committing to a safer community where violence supporting attitudes, beliefs and behaviours are not tolerated.

After two years of COVID impacts, the event is back to its former format? Yes, participants can register for free at www. – either as an individual or get a group together of friends, family, workmates or your sporting team.

There are three starting points to choose from – 8am at Lighthouse Beach, 9am at Flynns Beach or 9.30am at Town Beach – all ending at Westport Park for a celebration from 10am.

For those wanting to leave their car at the finishing line, we’re running free buses from Westport Park to the Lighthouse Beach and Flynns Beach starting points, thanks to the very generous support from Busways.

We’re encouraging everyone to join us after the walk at Westport Park where we’ll have a coffee cart, bbq, entertainment, cultural performances and guest speakers.

As our local domestic and family violence specialist service, what has Liberty experienced over the past few years? Last financial year Liberty supported 1210 women and their children experiencing domestic and family violence. The incidence and severity of violence has increased significantly over recent years. Many of these families experienced abuse for the first time – and this includes coercive control, verbal, psychological and financial abuse, not just physical violence.

The complexities of the pandemic, including lockdowns, isolation and financial pressures, have been compounded by the local housing crisis, meaning many women and children have not had an option to leave violent situations.

The Liberty team works with local families to

The Coastal Walk Against Domestic and Family Violence is back on Sunday 27 November. CEO of Liberty Domestic and Family Violence Specialist Services, Kelly Lamb, talks with us about the popular community event…

provide specialist domestic and family violence support, crisis accommodation, transitional housing, support groups for women and children, after-hours responses, a mobile outreach service and prevention programs. We’re also supporting local workplaces to prepare for the upcoming changes to domestic violence leave to ensure it is implemented safely for staff.

How can people get involved in the Coastal Walk? Register to take part at While you’re there please also consider making a donation or setting up a fundraising page to help us support local women and children.

The Coastal Walk Against Domestic and Family Violence is made possible with the support of our wonderful sponsors: Event Partner – Port Macquarie Hastings Council; Gold Sponsor – Men and Women at Work; Silver Sponsors - Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Charles Sturt University, Lantern Legal, Elders Real Estate and Focus Magazine.

Find out more about Liberty at


I am Bernie Ginnane, the woman behind The Willow Room and I am a Certified Sound Energy Healer, Reiki Master, Certified Meditation and Mindfulness Facilitator, Counsellor, Intuitive Mentor, Shamanic Practitioner and an empowering Workshop Facilitator.

My mission statement is to help clients find more peace, purpose, personal power and passion within themselves, by shifting negative mindsets and energetic blockages so that they are better able to manage feelings of overwhelm, self-doubt, anxiety, grief and confusion.

Sound Healing is a gentle but powerful modality that can assist in quietening the mind, gaining insight and rebalancing energies. Shamanic Healing is also energetic healing that helps to facilitate a profound transformation. Until you heal the wounds of the past, they will continue to be carried within you.

I offer:

• One-on-one private appointments

• Couples’ sessions

• Group Meditation, Sound and Reiki Sessions & Group Intuitive Sound Healing Sessions

• Workshops such as ‘Release the Old and Call in The New’, ‘Cleansing and Re-Aligning the 7 Chakras’ , ‘Connecting with Your Spirit Guides’, and ‘Mindfulness Meditation’.

• Corporate Mindfulness Meditation sessions, as well as Team Building Workshops

• Sessions available via Zoom and Skype

• A 3 Day ‘Women’s Retreat –Release – Renew - Re-Connect’ 17/18/19 March 2023

• At The Willow Room are regular nurturing and insightful yoga classes with Aimee Clarke, offering Venus Yoga for women and Brother’s Yoga for men, as well as Deep Relaxation Yoga classes.

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

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

to foster

Coffs needs to foster

“They’re happy and comfortable

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

Port needs you to foster care now.




home for a

foster carers for children who urgently need the stability and safety of a nurturing home environment. Open your
and your
few days, or weeks, or more, and we’ll support you with tailored training, expert advice and a non-taxable allowance for each child. Find out more 1800 864 846
Coffs needs
Uniting is seeking for children who the stability and nurturing home Open your heart and few days, or weeks, support you with tailored expert advice and a allowance for each Find out more 1800 864 846
Uniting is seeking for children who the stability and nurturing home Open your heart and few days, or weeks, support you with tailored expert advice and a allowance for each Find out more 1800 864 846 “THEY KNOW I’M NOT GOING ANYWHERE.”

Colton Craig is a 14 year old dancer who has just been accepted into the Australian Ballet School in Melbourne, so he’s off to live in the big smoke to pursue his dreams!


Hi Colton. When did you first take up dance and what did you love about it?

Mum and Dad would take me to my sister’s dance lessons and the teacher asked if I wanted to join in. Seeing as I was there, I thought why not! I was 4 years old and I just loved dancing to the music. Can you tell us a bit about the dance you do and your training so far?

I do most styles of dance including jazz, tap and contemporary but mostly ballet. I was accepted into the Australian Ballet Interstate Programme in 2019 and Queensland Ballet Interstate Programme in 2020 which involves doing 3 or 4 week long intensive programmes throughout the year. For the last 2 years I have also been part of the PMPA Talent Development Program, a 3-hour intensive programme with other PMPA students run by Mr Brendan every Saturday. This has elevated my skills immensely. What have been some of your favourite productions or shows you have been a part of so far?

different studios feel part of the team.

You have just been accepted into the Australian Ballet School in Melbourne, how did it feel to hear that news?

Relieved and excited. It’s where I have wanted to go since I was 9 or 10 so when they gave me the news I was elated. I realised dedication, passion and hard work really does pay off!

What was the audition process like and when did you decide to try out?

I have wanted to go since I was 9 or 10 so when they gave me the news I was elated. I realised dedication, passion and hard work really does pay off!

I really enjoyed performing ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ with the Melbourne City Ballet which was my first professional production performance and the ‘Nutcracker’ with the Imperial Russian Ballet. The group dances at eisteddfods are also so much fun, everyone just enjoys themselves and has a great time. I really enjoyed performing in the ‘Power of Love’, a Celine Dion inspired show we performed in 2020. It had a great vibe, was heaps of fun and Mr Pete made all of the dancers from

After 3 years in the interstate programme, they invited a select few to Melbourne in August this year for a full week audition. This included master classes with current Australian Ballet School teachers, conditioning classes, nutrition and health. It’s a pretty big move for someone your age, what are you most looking forward to? I’m only 14 but I’m ready. I am really looking forward to staying at the Australian Ballet School Boarding House (Marilyn Rowe House) with the other students, who are like-minded and have common goals, and interests, taking in everything that Melbourne has to offer. What are some of the things you’re hoping to learn or get out of your time in Melbourne?

Taking my skills to the next level and learning from the best ballet company in Australia. I’m also looking forward to testing myself and seeing what I can do personally. I suppose it’s about personal growth.

What are some of your goals for the future?

To complete my training at the Australian Ballet to the best of my ability and find a position after graduating in a full-time ballet company.

On a personal note, I would like to thank my Mum, Dad and sister for always being there supporting me.

Also, Mr Brendan for his ballet classes over the last couple of years, Mr Pete for always giving me motivation when I’m not feeling myself, Mr Kye and Miss Ange for their input and all their support and encouragement into my development. I’d also like to thank Miss Stacey for giving me many opportunities and everyone that has helped me and supported me on my dance journey. Without all of your encouragement, support and help, I don’t think I would have made it.

Thanks Colton.




The right to plan our families is such a fundamental right, and for most of us forms a large part of our life dreams and plans. Interference with those rights can be absolutely devastating for families and particularly mums and babies.  It is important to seek expert advice from experienced medical negligence lawyers who champion the rights of families in their work, seeking redress in cases involving laboratory errors in genetic testing and IVF, or clinical and medical errors in antenatal and birthing

care. All too often women suffer in silence, too embarrassed to discuss the physical and psychological damage they have endured during childbirth.

Not all mistakes are the result of negligence, however there are strict time limits for bringing a claim. To ensure you have considered your legal rights and preserved them, contact The Law Office of Conrad Curry for a confidential, no-obligation consultation to discuss your individual circumstances and evaluate your options.

GREATER PORT MACQUARIE focus 9584 GREATER PORT MACQUARIE focus Please call direct on 02 5542 2055 or 0458 164 029 or visit our website at With a focus on ‘reablement’, we provide care for people with high and low needs and take a person-centred approach, adapting our services to each of our residents alongside specialist rehabilitation and dementia support - 105 private room facilities - Offering Respite, Permanent and Palliative Care services. Highfields Manor is your new provider of quality aged care, respite care, rehabilitation and palliative care in Port Macquarie. RESPECT - COMPASSION - EXCELLENCE - LEADING BY EXAMPLE WELCOME TO HIGHFIELDS MANOR

Rodney and Susan retired to Port Macquarie 24 years ago from Moruya on the South Coast.  The couple moved from the home they built in the late 1990’s in Greenmeadows to their beautiful new Banksia apartment in September. They are two of the newest residents at the brand new Banksia at Garden Village. The new beginning was long awaited for the couple who had been on the Garden Village waitlist for a new apartment for a few years. Although they have only lived at the Banksia for a very short time Susan already describes it as home and has made new friends and tried new activities.

Susan, tell us more about your apartment? We love the apartment we chose off the plan. It’s opposite the park on the second floor so we overlook trees and can hear the birds singing which is similar to Greenmeadows. At five or six in the morning you can hear the birds. We’ve bought lots of new furniture for a fresh start and we are waiting for our new Australian-made lounge to arrive. As soon as Sarah let us know about The Banksia we were determined to get one and we got our first choice and bought off the plan. The rooms are much bigger than we thought. It’s great. What do you love about Garden Village?



What I love about it here at Garden Village is that I can get everything done in one place. We walk out of the door and it’s two minutes to the coffee shop. I can get my nails done and my hair cut and we buy our bread here at the General Store. If we need to go to the shopping centre we get a taxi. To get to medical appointments we have the Linked Community Transport. Everything is close by. I have been doing aqua aerobics in the hydrotherapy pool and I like that too, and I go the Garden Village Craft Groups on Mondays. We didn’t know anyone here before we moved in but we have made friends very easily.

New resident Susan tells us what she loves about Garden Village.
Pictured new friends Susan and Phyllis Garden Village residents
Rainbow Beach. A whole new life. Over-50s living on the Mid North Coast. New homes now selling. GemLife offers luxury resort-style living with premium lifestyle facilities on your doorstep. No entry fees, exit fees or stamp duty Friendly community Pets welcome Gated neighbourhood Extensive premium facilities Luxury homes Optional caravan and boat storage* Retain your capital gain Ageing-in-place solutions Call 1800 718 413 *Conditions apply.

Congratulations to Jay Beaumont and the team at Focus Magazine on your 200th Edition and the amazing contribution you make to the local community. We look forward to working with you for many years to come.

October saw another busy month for Business Port Macquarie. From meetings with the Mayor, Deputy Mayor, CEO and Federal member Pat Conaghan discussing how we can work together to benefit business, to working with Business NSW at a breakfast with our Federal member Pat Conaghan, Leader of the National Party David Littleproud and Senator Perin Davey on their listening tour.

On the 25th we held our AGM where we acknowledged our departing Board members Linda Elbourne, Greg Freeman and Tadhg Kelliher and thanked them for their input and involvement. We also recognised Janette Hyde, who stepped down after 16 years as a Board Member. Janette contributed so much to the Board through Business Awards, Christmas Parades, Events and so much more. Our board members volunteer their time to create a community where all businesses have the opportunity to thrive and be supported. We would like to congratulate and welcome our newest board members Charlie Cull from Assef’s Port Macquarie, Claire Matthews from Colourworks Australia, David Relf from NIS Power & Communications and Jenny Fraser from Mid Coast Connect. Our new board members bring a wealth of knowledge and skills to Business Port Macquarie to assist

our business community. We look forward to introducing them to you over the next few months. Following the AGM we had a presentation from our State Member Leslie Williams speaking about the current state of play in NSW, what has been delivered in our electorate and what is in progress in our region.

Join us on Thursday, 10 November for breakfast and hear from the Dementia Friendly Initiative where we will learn how to make our businesses more dementia friendly and benefit these members of our community.

November is Small Business Month. To celebrate we are running our Small Business Accelerator Program. This is a course run one evening a week, over five weeks in November to assist new and established small business owners to not only work in their business, but on their business and to assist small business to be in the best position to combat increasing running costs and interest rates and prepare for the future. The topics that will be covered are HR, Building & Retention (Susan Judd, HR Culture), The Success Formula for Social Media Marketing (Bron Watson, The Social Coach), Plain English Financials, Understanding your Bottom Line and Reports (David Ross, Direction Accounting & Business Coaching), Sales & Customer Service, Relationship Building (Stacey Morgan, Simply Stacey Morgan) and Time Management & Planning

(Stuart Goodfellow, Regional Business Specialists). Thank you to NSW Government for the Small Business Month Grant that made this possible and to all our presenters. We look forward to bringing more business educational programs to our members next year. If you would like to be involved in any of these programs please let us know.

Are you ready to celebrate New Year’s Eve? We are super excited to announce that New Years Eve fireworks are confirmed to go off with a bang!! A very big thank you to the team from Hello Sailor for sponsoring the midnight fireworks. We will also be holding a 9pm Family Fireworks display and will confirm soon who is sponsoring these. It is wonderful that we have businesses in our community that want to give back to all and you can say thank you by supporting them.

If you would like to know more about Business Port Macquarie, what we do and how you can be involved, feel free to give Katherine our Executive Officer a call on 0422 562 300.

My quote for the month: “Don’t worry about being successful but work toward being significant and the success will naturally follow.” - Oprah Winfrey

Until next month stay safe and keep smiling, people will wonder what you’ve been up to! - Alex

focus contributor.
100 GREATER PORT MACQUARIE focus106 Greater Port Macquarie focus







Greater Port Macquarie focus
Luminosity Youth Inc. is both delighted and grateful to have the support of the following sponsors and scholarship providers. Celebrating a decade of Luminosity Youth Summit, we are truly humbled by the level of local support the Summit has received and acknowledge that it would not have been made possible without their generosity and support. A huge thank to our incredible voluntary Lumo Crew who make the magic happen!
123tix APM Employment Services Belle Property Port Macquarie Blatch Consulting Blueprint Life Coaching Branch Productions Business Port Macquarie Camden Haven High School Charles Sturt University Charles Sturt University Sutainability Chatham High School Chatham High School P&C Clancy Corporation Cloud Concepts Complete Risk Solutions Constable Printing Courage to Care CowanCreative Dana Management Elders Lifestyle Group Enterprise & Training Company (ETC) Flow Kitchens Focus Port Macquarie Gather + Place Glasshouse Port Macquarie Grace Church Port Macquaire Hastings Co-Op Hastings Rotaract Hastings Secondary College Port Macquarie Campus Hastings Secondary College P&C Hastings Secondary College Westport Campus Hastings Women’s Business Network headspace Port Macquarie Ink Lens Media Innovate Event Solutions iTravel Jack & Co Food Stores Kempsey Adventist School Kempsey-Macleay Country University Centre Kenny Little’s Fruit & Veg Kumiai Ryu Martial Arts Legacy Port Macquarie Th Hon. Leslie Williams Lindsay Moller Productions Macleay Options Inc Mackillop High School Macquarie Signs and Tinting Manning River Lions Club Manning Valley Neighbourhood Service Many Rivers Family Violence Prevention and Legal McCann Media Group McNeil Architects Melville High School Meraki Photography Mid Coast Gaming Mid North Coast Local Health District Mission Australia Mount Seaview Water National Recovery and Resilience Agency Officeworks Port Macquarie Page Conveyancing Port Bus Port Combined Netball Club Port Macquarie-Hastings Council Port Macquarie SRC Posify Ray White Manning Valley Rotary Clubs of Port Macquarie Regional Australia Bank Rotary Clubs of Port Macquarie Rydges Port Macquarie Salty Crew Kiosk SeaChange Accounting Solutions Seed Catering & Events Snap Port Macquarie St Columba Anglican School St Joseph’s Regional College Stihl Shop Sunrise Interact Rotary TAFE NSW Taree High School Taree North Rotary Club The Happy Snacks Company The Pathway Project The Posify Group The Saunders Family Think Plan Do University of Newcastle Vanity Day Spa Wauchope High School Wavebowl Webstudio World Changers Grace Church Youth Wingham High School Wingham Rotary Zebu Bar + Grill Zonta



As Chief Executive of Mid North Coast Local Health District, Stewart Dowrick continues to lead his dedicated team through one of the most challenging periods of change in health care. His passion for improving health outcomes for our region is front and centre as he and the MNCLHD team work to inspire and uplift the next generation of leaders in our community through education, development, health and wellbeing.

For over 30 years you have advocated and worked towards greater access to quality health care for regional communities.

Stewart, can you share your journey across the health sector to your current role as Chief Executive for Mid North Coast Local Health District? Where did it all begin?

I had an interest in health from a very young age and started my career working parttime in stores and distribution at the former Children’s Hospital at Camperdown in Sydney

while I was studying at the University of NSW.

In 1989, I secured a full-time role as a management intern after finishing University and was fortunate to be mentored by Dr John Yu AC, who was named Australian of the Year in 1996, and was then the Chief Executive Officer of the Children’s Hospital. That internship gave me a broad understanding of health as I worked across a range of disciplines including engineering, capital works, human resources, finance, and strategic planning.

After working in a range of roles for the Central Coast Local Health Service, I relocated to the Mid North Coast, where my wife’s family is from in the late 1990s.

I have been Chief Executive of MNCLHD since 2011. This role leads a team of more than 4,500 healthcare workers across seven hospitals and 12 community health centres with an operating budget of around $800 million. Your journey in health has led to many pinnacle moments including key leading

clinical and governance roles and sector leading projects including the conferral of the esteemed Doctor of Health Studies by Charles Sturt University in 2019. What have been some of the highlights on your professional journey?

Receiving the honorary award of Doctor of Health Studies in recognition of my contribution to the health sector and advocacy for health in regional communities was certainly a career highlight for me. Another highlight for me was being appointed Chief Executive of the MNCLHD. I feel very privileged to have been in this leadership position during a time of considerable change for the health care sector in NSW and across Australia.

It has been incredibly rewarding to witness the changes and growth of the Local Health District across the past decade, and to play a role in the expansion of services available. Importantly, I have enjoyed working with the higher education sector to expand the

It has been incredibly rewarding to witness the changes and growth of the Local Health District across the past decade, and to play a role in the expansion of services available.

range of courses and thus the number of students undertaking health-related studies, in particular here in Port Macquarie with Charles Sturt University and the University of NSW.

One of the most rewarding aspects of my time in health has been our work towards increasing our Aboriginal healthcare workforce from 1.6 per cent to 5.6 per cent - one of the largest Aboriginal healthcare workforces in NSW. This has been important as we work towards closing the gap and improving health outcomes for our Aboriginal communities. You have been a mentor for many through your leadership roles within the LHD and the broader community. In particular the incredible work you do with youth in both the hockey sporting arena and through your professional development role as Presenting Partner for Luminosity Youth Summit. How has this mentor role influenced and impacted you?

I have been in my current role for well over a decade and one of the highlights for me has been our partnership with the Luminosity Youth Summit, and I am so grateful for the opportunity to be involved in influencing and inspiring our local young people to be the best they can be. Our youth will be our future health workers and health leaders, and I am very grateful to be part of an event that really

engages and challenges young people to set goals for their future and pursue those goals. Being a mentor to young people through my connections in junior sport, both volunteering and coaching, has been extremely rewarding,

and I feel I have learned so much through those roles that I have carried into my professional life. What has been your biggest challenge in your professional journey?

The past three years have been some of the most challenging times in the health sector and, in my professional career with our region facing some of the worst natural disasters in our history, and a global pandemic, which has put great strain on the health system and health workers. I am fortunate to work within a health system that is among the best in the world, and my colleagues in health and all the wonderful staff in our Local Health District have certainly proved a great support in navigating these challenges. Our healthcare

workers have shown such dedication and resilience over the past few years, and I am so grateful to be surrounded by such commitment and professionalism. What imprint do you hope to leave on your community?

Improving the health of our community is at the forefront of what we do, so I hope the work I have done over my career has made a positive impact to the health outcomes of the community and, of course, we know there is still so much more that we can do.

The Local Health District has played an important role in the growing higher education sector and I look forward to these partnerships expanding into additional opportunities for health research.

One of my passions is the wellbeing and development of young people, supporting higher education in the region, coaching, and volunteering in junior sport and providing employment and learning opportunities for many young people in the region.

Thanks Stewart

Our health care workers have shown such dedication and resilience over the past few years, and I am so grateful to be surrounded by such commitment and professionalism.

It’s unbelievable to think that we’re now 11 months into the year - just one shy of a full first year in office for our elected councillors.

With the looming anniversary just around the corner, it is fitting that I update our community on what’s been happening throughout 2022 in the same edition that this wonderful publication prints its 200th copy.

It is an achievement for a free magazine to remain as relevant as FOCUS has in this evolving digital environment, and I think it is so important to have local voices such as this one keeping our community connected. I am grateful for your support and I look forward to seeing what the next 200 editions bring!

It’s been a refreshingly busy year this year, with considerable progress made and outcomes reached.

I would describe your Council’s focus throughout 2022 as collaborative, and we’ve taken a very proactive approach to delaying less, and doing more.

Our agenda of getting on with the job is illustrated perfectly in our $288 million budget, which was adopted in June. It has allowed us to unlock considerable funding for key projects, and core service delivery. We’ll see better roads, upgraded sewer networks and improved footpaths. We’re investing more in the maintenance of our parks and gardens and sporting field upgrades.

We have heard from many ratepayers and

implemented a freeze on the ordinary rate for 2022. Little do we know just when the inflationary headwinds will ease, but I’m thankful that we’ve had the foresight possible to put measures in place to absorb some of the financial pressures facing our community. We’re now looking at ways we can ease the pain for our business community also, through a review of the Town Centre Master Plan (TCMP) levy.

The TCMP component of the Port Macquarie CBD business rate has played a role in funding ongoing improvements and maintenance for our CBD for many years.

However, we’re now undertaking an independent review of the rate model to ensure all businesses contribute fairly and our community receive the benefits of that levy in the places that matter most.

The review is also incorporating feedback regarding future options for the Port Macquarie CBD, and will explore other areas of the LGA including the Wauchope and Laurieton business centres.

On the infrastructure front, we’re about to turn the first sod on the single-largest road project ever delivered in the Port Macquarie Hastings, with the duplication of Ocean Drive. We’ll have more to say on the construction front soon, with the appointed contractor to determine the commencement date in December.

I am thankful for the investment Council and the NSW Government are making in this project and look forward to it kicking off soon.

I also want to briefly touch on our decision to acquire the Tuffins Lane sporting precinct at our October Council meeting.

I am so pleased to see these fields return to community ownership. Our region relies heavily on a strong sporting economy, so it makes sense that we should acquire the land to provide for year-round community sport, and utilise it for the purposes of bringing sporting events to the region.

In ending, I’d just like to mention the work we are doing to develop a new Blueprint. While we’ll have more to say on this soon, the Blueprint aims to consolidate a range of existing plans and policies at Council into one overarching strategic document.

The Blueprint will set the strategy for how we deliver on our actions and goals for the future, and the ways we plan to get there.

In the coming months our community will be able to engage with us on the Blueprint, and I encourage as many of you as possible to do so.

We want you to be better informed about our region and your Council’s strategic direction. The Blueprint will help to achieve this.

With the festive season almost upon us, goodness knows we all deserve a wonderful break and I wish you and those special to you a happy and safe holiday period and a positive start to a new year.

Thank you and take care, Peta.

Doing more and delaying less - that’s the motto of Mayor Peta Pinson in 2022 as she shares her thoughts on a big year that has come wrapped with a Rate freeze and a Blueprint for the future.



One of the original cast members, Isabella (Gutierrez) Mistry, relocated to Port Macquarie in 2018 and has a returning role in the recent Netflix hit series playing her original role, Chaka Cardenes. In the new Heartbreak High we see Chaka reconnect with her first love from Hartley High, Peter Rivers, played by original cast member Scott Major.

Bella has enjoyed a rewarding career in the entertainment industry across multiple artforms and now applies the skills and knowledge she has gained to her teaching career and role as Director of Performing Arts at St. Columba Anglican School. Bella, tell us how your journey in the performing arts began.

I started learning violin from 5 years old and had always enjoyed the contribution I could make through performing in an ensemble on stage. At home, my family had to endure countless lounge room concerts where I would sing and dance to the entire Beatles Ballads album. In secondary school, I was introduced to drama and was learning dance outside of school. With the support of my family and teachers, I completed a Bachelor of Dance and a Bachelor of Theatre Performance and always wanted to become a drama teacher, just like the amazing drama teacher I had at school.

How did that lead to a career as a performer in the Australian entertainment industry?

My university had a graduating showcase that agents and directors attended and I was recruited by a prestigious agent, who sent me along to a range of auditions in theatre and television.

After graduating in November, I landed my first big job for The Toe Truck Theatre Company and would work with them for eight months before auditioning for Heartbreak High in November 1993. You were then cast as Chaka in the original Heartbreak High. What was that experience like?

Being a part of the original pilot series was an incredible experience. We had the luxury of pre-production time to develop our characters and use improvisation to explore the depth of our characters. This process allowed scriptwriters the opportunity to incorporate colloquial language that young people in the 90s were using into their scripted narratives. We were a close-knit group of young actors who became lifelong friends.

What has it been like to return your character of Chaka in the Netflix Heartbreak High reimagined series?

It has been a beautiful gift to be able to bring Chaka back to her stomping ground. Scott Major called me on my birthday and

explained that he had given my number to the producers of the reimagined Heartbreak High series. I was so happy for Chaka to be able to go back to her old neighbourhood. As the O.G. cast generally stayed in touch, it was lovely to be able to work alongside my mates again. Arriving on the set for my first day of filming, I was welcomed and embraced by new stars Ayesha Madon, Asher Yasbincek, James Majoos and Will McDonald. They were all so lovely, and everyone on set from the runners to the cinematographers and the wardrobe department were all so welcoming. The producers were also there to welcome me and working with Gracie Otto was wonderful. Gracie is full of energy and her approach with actors is authentic and she has mutual respect for our craft and character development.

As I breathed life back into Chaka, it all felt familiar, like going back to where you grew up. Familiarity and a sense of security in the known history between Chaka and Rivers’ characters was emotional for both Scott and I. The new and exciting part about playing the same character 27 years on, was exciting work for me to ensure I portrayed Chaka as the sum of her life experiences and journey from when she left Hartley. Being able to create the journey Chaka has had since she moved to Darwin with her family and all that happened in between, was an exciting venture. In the first season of the reimagined Heartbreak

Netflix has recently released Heartbreak High reimagined. This series is a reimagining of the 90’s series which follows a group of friends as they navigate high school and heartbreak.

High, there is magic and wonder in the fleeting exchange between Rivers and Chaka when they first lay eyes on each other after so many years apart.

How did you make the decision to move into a career as a teacher?

I always intended to be a drama teacher. Inspired by my amazing high school drama teacher Julia Homfray, I wanted to complete performance degrees to fully understand the craft and techniques involved in the artforms of dance and drama. I completed my AMEB violin examinations up to Licentiate (LMusA) and continued to play in community orchestras for many years. Initially, I enrolled in the teaching degree to start in 1993, however, I deferred this as I was working as an actor and would continue to work as an actor, singer and dancer for the next eight years. I eventually went back to complete my teaching qualification at university and have been teaching across the performing arts for the past 20 years in Sydney before completing my Master of Applied Theatre Studies and moving my young family up to Port Macquarie to work as Director of Performing Arts at St

Columba Anglican School.

How does your industry experience help you shape opportunities that inspire young performing arts students?

My experience as a working performer in the Australian entertainment industry has allowed me to gain a first-hand understanding of the necessary skills needed for a successful career in the industry as well as insight into the day-today knowledge of a working performer. It’s not always as glamorous or easy as it looks. In order to be successful, you have to be entrepreneurial, a good team player, have a positive work ethic and have strong self-discipline. You have to make authentic connections and nurture relationships across the industry, including directors, writers and technical crew. Talent is valuable, but uniting this with a desire to grow and achieve is what makes a sustainable career possible. What exciting opportunities do you have planned for the future?

In 2022, in conjunction with the principal of St Columba, we established the Iona Peak Performing Arts Academy, designed to offer aspirational performing arts students the

support and inspiration they need to reach their potential. This year we only opened applications to current SCAS students, but for 2023 we are excited to offer this incredible opportunity to any students in the local community interested in receiving unique access to experiences and enrichment opportunities to focus their talents. They can share their passions and connect to the industry in readiness for lifelong learning and pursuits in the performing arts industry. Some of the things we offer include industry insight connections where industry professionals, local artists, celebrities and established working artists visit the Academy to share their professional insight in an intimate group setting allowing for bespoke masterclasses, small workshop opportunities, candid advice, and an invaluable opportunity to ask questions about the industry. Each of our programs provide a foundation of profound discovery, growth, and skills development to enhance student confidence and experience as a performer and best equips them for a lifelong career in the performing arts industry. Our education will ignite passion and empower students to find their deepest potential. To find out more visit Will there be a Season 2 confirmed for Heartbreak High? And will you be appearing in it?

Now, wouldn’t that be great! We will have to wait and see...

Each of our programs provides a foundation of profound discovery, growth, and skills development to enhance student confidence and experience as a performer and best equips them for a lifelong career in the performing arts industry.


Amanda, you’ve been in Port Macquarie for a while working in the real estate sector, what are the biggest changes or trends that you have witnessed recently. The largest contributor to have caused significant change in our industry would have to be none other than COVID19. What a wild ride it has been for us all, and not just real estate professionals for that matter. The industry boomed despite the predicted gloom and doom and continues to do so despite what the mainstream media tell us. Market growth YTD for 2022 has been 14.9% for houses and 9.8% for units. This takes the median house price for our beautiful and highly sought after Port Macquarie to $885,000 and $560,000 for units (Pricefinder). Not bad for a little convict village by the sea. LJ Hooker team members have been part of HBWN for years, how does the network help you in your business? I have been a member of the Hastings Business Women’s network for 18 months but have been attending their events for many years on and off. The network is very welcoming and supportive of women in general, not just business, and hosts numerous events annually with many different themes. Being a member and attending more regularly has enabled to me to expand my network and form stronger connections with its members all the while having a good time and learning

from the presenters and members themsleves. The association is not only educational but inspirational. I would certainly recommend anyone new to business or to Port Macquarie to join or at least attend an event to experience what the group can offer. What qualities do you believe are essential to being a successful agent in a competitive real estate market? A successful agent needs to be highly motivated, deeply committed and highly resilient. In order to be at your best it’s important to participate in selfcare as this is an intense industry. Taking time out for yourself is super important, but easier said than done. Finding balance is the key to being an awesome agent and never giving up on yourself or your goals. We work long hours so it’s important to set boundaries or burnout can kick in. First and foremost, don’t forget why you began this journey and continually remind yourself you can do this, no negative self talk. When pushing up a hill I often think of a line from the cartoon, Thomas the Tank and it goes something like this - I think I can, I think I can - and you know what I

can, I did and will continue to do so!

What advice do you have for business women in the area? Keep on getting up every day and showing up with a smile on your face and a positive attitude. These qualities are infectious and make for a pleasant working environment. People will gravitate towards you and will want to work with you. Don’t forget a little bit of kindness and compassion goes a long way too. Being yourself and striving to be a new improved version of yourself is the best advice I can give. Know your strengths and commit to them, know your weaknesses and delegate. Furthermore, take a moment to be gracious and celebrate every day, not just the big things but the small things too. Mini or major achievements and milestones, love, life, laughter, friendship, food, drink, the beauty of nature and our surroundings. Last but not least our connections - human, animal and with Planet Earth which all add to the quality of our everyday lives.

Thanks Amanda.

In order to be at your best it’s important to participate in selfcare as this is an intense industry. Taking time out for yourself is super important but easier said than done.
focus contributor.
Howard Ashman, Tim Rice and Chad Beguelin Book
by Chad
Beguelin Based on the Disney film written
John Musker, Ted Elliott & Terry Rossio and directed & produced
Ron Clements & John Musker ST AGNES’ EDUCATION CROSS SCHOOL MUSICAL With a cast, choir and crew from each of our six schools, this is the first time St Agnes’ Education will see a cross school production of this size. Hold on to your carpet, this spectacular performance will even include our heart stopping St Agnes’ Schools Drumline! We are excited to invite the community to our enchanted city for the following performances: Thursday, 24th November @ 6pm Friday, 25th November @ 6pm Saturday, 26th November @ 3pm Saturday 26th November @ 6pm Licensed exclusively by Music Theatre International (Australasia). All performance materials supplied by Hal Leonard Australia.


Sham, scam, fraud, deception!

It doesn’t matter whether it is a cybercrime or an in person crime, if you are a victim of deception, you probably feel violated and a little stupid.

Research shows that statistically the most likely victims of cybercrime are young people under the age of 25 and older people over the age of 75. According to Lexis Nexis Risk Solutions Cyber Crime Report July-December

2020, “Cyber criminals are opportunists first and masters of disguise second”.

The internet and modern technologies have provided a myriad of opportunities for criminals to commit new crimes and to carry out old crimes in new ways.

According to the Australian Federal Police who are responsible for investigating cybercrime offences, the number, sophistication and impact of cybercrimes continues to grow. Criminals no longer need to come through your front door and have to deal with your ferocious dog to commit a crime, they come in through your computer and your phone and there is no barking dog to warn you.

This is definitely an area of law where individual prevention is better than any potential cure.

So, can you avoid being attacked? No, but you can ramp up your security. How?

1. Build a layered defence. Use digital as well as physical identity solutions. For example, at Priest legal if we need your bank account details, we will confirm these both by email and by telephone. It is time consuming but it ensures that the financial transaction is secure. Organisations like banks may add behavioural biometric intelligence too.

2. Use pass phrases rather than passwords. Make them long, unpredictable and unique such as MonkeySpaceCraze2022

3. Automatically update your operating systems, software and apps.

4. Do some research before responding to an email or an SMS. Make a phone call to the organisation. Check out the Australian Cyber Security Centre website.

5. Don’t give your very personal data away on the phone or by email unless you are sure that the organisation is legitimate.

There is legislation in place to prosecute cyber criminals within parts 10.7 and 10.8 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 but as most cyber criminals exist overseas, the process is extraordinarily lengthy and unlikely to return your funds to you.

Cybercrime has brought with it a whole new set of words like malware, splatware, phishing and ransomware. Hardware once innocently referred to tools and machinery that was helpfully sold at the corner store.. Now we have “malware” - bits of computer code designed to damage your data, resources, programs and computer – and splatware – a very unpleasant game. Fishing was once an innocent recreational or legitimate economic activity. Turn the “f” into a “ph” and it becomes a source of fear, frustration and financial loss.

Like the AFP, there is very little that Priest Legal can do to help you if you have been scammed, but you can help yourself by staying informed and up to date. Reduce the opportunities and stay alert to the potential disguises. For now it seems, you have to be your own barking dog when it comes to cybercrime.

Priest Legal has offices in Port Macquarie and Wauchope. If you need help with anything other than cybercrime contact us on 6583 1777 or 6586 4922 or check out our website

internet and modern technologies have provided a myriad of opportunities for criminals to commit new crimes and to carry out old crimes in new ways.

Welcome to Regis Port Macquarie

Welcome to Regis Port Macquarie

Considering aged care for a loved one?

Considering aged care for a loved one?

Through our range of permanent and respite aged care services, we are committed to helping people realise their wellbeing goals and lead meaningful lives.

Through our range of permanent and respite aged care services, we are committed to helping people realise their wellbeing goals and lead meaningful lives.

With almost 30 years’ experience, we know what it takes to care for someone you love. At Regis, we focus on every person as an individual so we can provide the best possible care and help them find the smile in every day.

With almost 30 years’ experience, we know what it takes to care for someone you love. At Regis, we focus on every person as an individual so we can provide the best possible care and help them find the smile in every day.

To find out more about our community in Port Macquarie, call us on 1300 998 100 or visit

To find out more about our community in Port Macquarie, call us on 1300 998 100 or visit

Regis Port Macquarie

Regis Port Macquarie

10 Sherwood Road, Port Macquarie NSW 2444

10 Sherwood Road, Port Macquarie NSW 2444




I am not one to get too wrapped up in media reports of the current state of the market. Generally, I like to play with what is right in front of me at the time, stay-in-the-moment type.

I’m big on analyzing my figures month-to-month to ensure Team Bates is aware of current market trends, our personal goals are on track, and we have real facts and figures to share with our clients.

After 26 years in the real estate market – I’ve nearly seen it all! The good, the bad and everything in between. I’d say the current market is still transacting well despite a reduced number of properties hitting the market which leaves buyers with less to choose from.

I’ve seen an increase of vacant land coming back to the market and the uptake from land releases slowed. This is due to builders experiencing a huge backlog of homes awaiting to be built plus land registration has caused significant delays to buyers wanting to build and now them having to wear an

increase in costs for building materials. I am now seeing this flow through to buyers looking at near new homes just to get into the market instead of placing their lives on hold waiting for homes to be built.

Contact Team Bates if your interested in one of our properties for sale or if your looking to sell!

You have until November 30th to take advantage of Elders Lifestyle Group’s Spring Offer (below). Book a free appraisal with Team Bates to enter the draw to win a $5000 Bunnings voucher!

GREG BATES | 0418 112 025

ROSIE MODEL | 0438 755 344



The beautiful thing about a garden is it can be anything you want it to be

Traditional, modern, natural, resort – there are many ways to design and grow a garden and the Sovereign Hills Display Village is blooming with ideas.

Effortless Natives

Australia is home to some of the world’s most distinct flora and here on the Mid North Coast there are striking examples all around us.

A native garden is drought-tolerant, attracts a variety of birds and other wildlife and contributes to healthy soil and water, all while purifying the air.

Australian Coastal

Prefer to spend your time enjoying coastal recreation activities? The low-maintenance

coastal garden style of natural textures and native grasses is calling you.

Top tips:-

- It’s important to choose plants that are resistant to the coastal elements of salt and wind.

- Combine shape and texture of foliage to create interest; mix fine grass trees and find foliage ground covers with lush broad-leafed varieties and tropical palms.

- Add interest to your design with natural elements of sandstone statement rocks.

Quaint Cottage

Embrace the true essence of Hamptons style.

Flex your green thumb by opting for a delicate cottage garden filled with flowering shrubs, lush green lawns, elegantly trimmed hedges and quaint picket fences.

Important Hamptons garden elements include:

- Classic flowers such as Hydrangeas and white Gardenias.

- Symmetry - a balance of planting and paving.

- Clean and uncluttered spaces.

Green your scene with style inspiration from the gardens of York Street HOTONDO HOMES' DISTINCT NATIVE GARDEN IN BLOOM

- Well-manicured hedges and topiaries.

Stunning Succulents

Creating a drought resistant desert inspired landscape to offset the mid-century modern façade of your home is the perfect low maintenance choice for our warmer summer months.

The key to a Palm Springs garden, inspired by southern Californian desert plants is balancing planted and empty spaces. This style is often defined by the absence of lawns and opts instead for rock beds and stone pavers. Self-sustaining gardens you can feast on. There’s something satisfying about tucking into a meal you’ve prepared using homegrown produce. Getting started takes planning and dedication but the rewards far outweigh the work. Consider:-

- Thinking beyond the veggie patch and herb pots. Fruit trees lining your driveway and fence lines will not only produce pretty

blossoms but delicious, sweet fruits.

- Apples, pears, oranges, mandarins and even cherries are not only low maintenance, but your kids will love picking the sweet treats.

- Bees are an edible garden’s best friend, especially native stingless bees.

- Soil quality counts when it comes to a

successful crop .

Elevated Style

Lift your garden game and add an architectural element to your landscape. Elevated garden beds, rockeries or decorative retaining walls not only create interest and allow you to tier your plant species but serve a practical purpose on sloping blocks.

York Street, Sovereign Hills

Want more style tips?
out the new
Hills Style
Series Scan
here and be inspired!
Not only does tending to an edible garden encourage you to spend time in nature but you’re harvesting pesticide-free food
MBA Award Winner BEST DISPLAY HOME 2022 The Bayside

The Bayside, by Pycon Hornes

Combining style and luxury, the 275m2

Hamptons-inspired Bayside design from Pycon Homes offers a haven for your family in 2022 and beyond. We've had lots of feedback about how the light colours, soft textures and wooden tones make it feel like home; they create a calming, comforting and relaxing feel.


Receive $7000 in credit towards any Panasonic Ducted Air Conditioner when you complete our Lifestyle Profiler.

Our Lifestyle Profiler is designed to help you identify what is most important to you, in your new home. Through asking questions you might not expect. This tool will help you and us uncover the customisable details that are perfect for you and your new home. Scan QR to participate.

The Bayside Display home is located at 18-20 York St Thrumster, Port Macquarie NSW 2444. Drop in or call us on (02) 5524 7903. Visit us at

120 GREATER PORT MACQUARIE focus Overseas model shown. Australian s pe cifications and f ea tures may vary. please co ntact your local Lexus De aler for details. Available on NX 350 Sports Luxury & F Sport + EP 2, NX 350h Sports Luxury & F Sport + EP 2 & NX 450h+ models. Driver assist f ea ture. Only operates under ce rtain co n di tions Chec k your Owner’s Manual for expla na tion of li mitations. Pleas e driv e safely. LEXU S O F POR T M AC QU AR IE | 10 Hastings River Drive , Port Macquarie | PH 02 6583 9122 | ww w.lexuso fpo rt ma c qu UNLIMITED KMS WARRANTY FEEL MO RE IN E VE R Y MO MENT LEXU S NX THE A LL - NE W LEXUS NX WE LCO ME YO UR EVERY SE NSE — to t he all-ne w L e xu s NX. Wit h s tr i ki ng new l ook s and t houghtful tech n olog y, th e NX ha s bee n c r af t ed for e xh il ar ati on. Avai lable i n pet rol, Hy brid or Plug-I n Hy br id for t he u lti m at e fle xib ili ty an d fuel e c iency of pe tro l an d e l ec tric seamle ssl y w ork ing t ogethe r In side, be imme r sed in a cab in that feels li ke a n ex t en si on of y ou. With a dig ital rearview mir r or for park ing assistance * , 14- i nch mul ti med ia t ouc hscr ee n di splay * , v oic e ac tiva ti on , and am a zi ng s afe ty fea tur es such a s t he int ui tive e-La t ch an d Safe E x it Ass is t * , de s ig n ed for t he un e xpected . Book a t es t dri ve tod ay.